Russia’s Vostok 2022 has big messages

M. K. Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline | July 27, 2022

Russia’s massive Vostok 2018 manoeuvres, held four years ago was first of its kind after 1981 during Soviet era (File photo)

The announcement by Russian Defence Ministry on Tuesday on Vostok-22 strategic command post exercises during August 30-September 5 gives a big message to the West in political and military terms. 

The announcement said, “In addition to the troops (forces) of the Eastern Military District, units of the Airborne Troops, Long Range Aviation and Military Transport Aviation, as well as military contingents from other states, will be involved in these manoeuvres.” 

If there is going to be participation by China, it will be highly significant in the present context of global politics, especially in the Far East. 

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Russia will install the base of its Glonass navigation system in Venezuela

Moscow and Caracas signed a cooperation pact for space exploration in March

The Russian space agency Roscosmos announced through a statement its intention to deploy a measurement collection station for its Glonass navigation system in Venezuela.

“As part of the implementation of the provisions of the agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes […], the Roscosmos state corporation plans deploy an unsolicited measurement station of the Glonass system in the territory of Venezuela”, reads a statement from the Russian agency, issued this Sunday.

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Petro’s position on Venezuela allows to refresh relations

The historian Ydelfonso Finol visualizes a process of diplomatic normalization

Robert Araujo

Últimas Noticias | July 24, 2022

Finol affirmed that the brotherhood between Caracas and Bogotá is still valid

By recognizing Nicolás Maduro as the constitutional president of Venezuela, the elected president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, opens a door for a refreshing of bilateral relations, historian Ydelfonso Finol said on Sunday.

“It is interesting that Petro said that the constitutional president of Venezuela is Nicolás Maduro. This allows a refreshing of relations between Venezuela and Colombia, and the normalization of contact between the embassies of our nations », he said during the program Here with Ernesto, broadcast on VTV.

He asserted that the brotherhood between Caracas and Bogotá is still in force, since it was determined by the Liberator Simón Bolívar, who this Sunday celebrates 239 years of his birth.

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Venezuela Condemns Washington Coup Plots As Bolton Doubles Down

Bolton stood by his comments about Venezuela, saying that Washington’s support for coup plots was “necessary to protect [US] interests.”

José Luis Granados Ceja

Venezuelanalysis.com | July 18, 2022

Mexico City, Mexico, July 18, 2022 (venezuelanalysis.com) – The Venezuelan National Assembly unanimously condemned recent comments by former US National Security Advisor John Bolton where he boasted about his involvement in coup plots against the government of Nicolás Maduro.

In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Bolton claimed he “helped plan coups d’etat” and when pressed for an example, pointed to his chapter on Venezuela in his book The Room Where It Happened.

Bolton, who served as the top national security official under Donald Trump from April 2018 to September 2019, detailed in the book his efforts to oust Maduro in concert with the US-backed Venezuelan opposition.

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National Security Search Engine: Google’s Ranks are filled with CIA Agents

Alan Macleod

MintPress News | July 25, 2022

Google – one of the largest and most influential organizations in the modern world – is filled with ex-CIA agents. Studying employment websites and databases, MintPress has ascertained that the Silicon Valley giant has recently hired dozens of professionals from the Central Intelligence Agency in recent years. Moreover, an inordinate number of these recruits work in highly politically sensitive fields, wielding considerable control over how its products work and what the world sees on its screens and in its search results.

Chief amongst these is the trust and safety department, whose staff, in the words of then Google trust and safety vice president Kristie Canegallo, “[d]ecide what content is allowed on our platform” – in other words, setting the rules of the internet, determining what billions see and what they do not see. Before Google, Canegallo had been President Obama’s Deputy White House Chief of Staff for Implementation and is currently Chief of Staff at the Department of Homeland Security.

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2022 Labor Notes: ‘A Special Moment for the Labor Movement’

Angela Bunay

Labor Notes | July 21, 2022

“The stage of the Labor Notes conference tonight is arguably the epicenter of the U.S. labor movement,” tweeted New York Times labor reporter Noam Scheiber during the Friday night plenary, which included Chicago Teachers Union President Stacy Davis Gates, Nolan Tabb of the UAW at John Deere, Michelle Eisen from Starbucks Workers United, Teamsters President Sean O’Brien, and Amazon Labor Union President Christian Smalls. Photo: Jim West, jimwestphoto.com

Despite nationwide flight cancellations due to weather conditions and labor shortages, the 2022 Labor Notes Conference drew a huge and diverse crowd of more than 4,000 workers from across the globe.

They heard daring tales of organizing, learned strategies for getting a first contract, and joined a joyous Juneteenth celebration. Many workshops were packed, standing room only.

“We are in many ways living through a very hard time, and yet the outlook for working people is hopeful,” said Alexandra Bradbury, editor of Labor Notes, at the Friday night main session. “The terrain has shifted, and there’s a new spirit of resistance. We all feel it. There’s hope in the air.”

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Dollar Decline to Make Americans Poorer, Economist Hudson Says

teleSUR | July 18, 2022

Image of U.S. dollar bills. | Photo: Twitter/ @business

The de-dollarization or decline of dollar hegemony will put the United States in a slow crash and make everyday Americans poorer. Other countries have to de-dollarize because of American foreign policy, which forces them to create an alternative, said Michael Hudson, professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

“Any country that supported land reform, any country that protected its economy and grew its own food, and any country that did anything the United States didn’t like, they have all the foreign exchange, and all the savings stolen,” Hudson said, adding that “so obviously, this has led countries no longer to keep their savings in the form of U.S. dollars.”

Dollar hegemony is the system where U.S. overseas military spending and other spending deficits result in U.S. dollar savings in foreign countries. Then, foreign central banks recycle their reserves in dollars in the form of purchasing U.S. treasuries. Dollar hegemony enabled Americans to have high living standards and to become rich even though the U.S. is de-industrialized.

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Ukraine’s ‘Great Game’ surfaces in Transcaucasia

M. K. Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline | July 16, 2022

Presidents of Russia, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Iran and Kazakhstan (clockwise from left) took part in the 6th Caspian Summit, Ashgabat, June 29, 2022

If the metaphor of the “Great Game” can be applied to the Ukrainian crisis, with the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) at it core, it has begun causing reverberations across the entire Eurasian space. The great game lurking in the shade in the Caucasus and Central Asian regions in recent years is visibly accelerating. 

The edge of the game is above everything else the targeting of Russia and China by the United States. This unfolding game cannot be underestimated, as its outcome may impact the shaping of a new model of the world order. 

Starting with the Caspian Summit in Ashgabat on June 29, the inter-connected templates of the great game in the Caucasus began surfacing. The fact that the summit was scheduled at all despite the raging conflict in Ukraine — and that Russian President Vladimir Putin took time out to attend it — testified to the high importance of the event. 

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Climate expropriation: US caused nearly $2 trillion damages to other countries from 1990 to 2014

Farooque Chowdhury

Countercurrents | 13 July, 2022

U.S.-attributable climate damages. (a) Ensemble mean GDPpc changes in each country attributable to U.S. emissions, over 1990–2014 with territorial emissions accounting and a short-run (contemporaneous) damage function. Missing data (white countries) denotes countries without continuous GDPpc data from 1990 to 2014. bc U.S.-attributable damages in the five countries with the greatest GDPpc percent decreases (b) and percent increases (c). The black lines show the mean, the boxes denote the 95% ensemble range, and the colored portions denote the additive fraction of each 95% range due to each.

With its carbon footprint from 1990 to 2014, the US caused nearly $2 trillion in damages to other countries, finds a new analysis.

How much “aid”, in all forms, the country has provided to other countries? The motive, character, use, implication, beneficiary of the so-called aid are not questioned/discussed here.

This is the face of carbon footprint, actually, climate-plunder/expropriation, which is global and impacting the entire humanity, and all lives. This is expropriation of climate from the entire humanity; and the humanity is paying with life.

The colossal amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) released by the US over the period cited above has led to natural disasters, and economic damages including crop failures in countries, resulting in $1.9 trillion in lost income globally, the report found.

The study by scientists from Dartmouth College and published in the journal Climatic Change on July 12, 2022 (Callahan, C.W., Mankin, J.S. “National attribution of historical climate damages”, Climatic Change 172, 40 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-022-03387-y).

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Ukraine peace talks in the cards?

M. K. Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline | July 16, 2022

A goods yard in Kaliningrad, the Russian exclave that has become increasingly isolated since the start of Ukraine war

Finance ministers are the pangolins in the world of international diplomacy, solitary animals and predatory, unlike foreign ministers who are like glowworms, mesmerising and gorgeous animals that create light through their tail. While the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken attending G20 foreign ministers meeting in Bali a week ago staged a dramatic walkout when Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov rose to speak, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen simply sat through the speech by Russian minister Anton Siluanov at the meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank chiefs that began in Bali on Friday. 

Indeed, Yellen said her piece — calling Russia’s war in Ukraine the “greatest challenge” to the global economy and all that — while Russian Deputy Finance Minister Timur Maksimov who was present, calmly listened. But a joint communique is unlikely, as the US is pressing G20 allies for a price cap on Russian oil, where consensus is lacking. All the same, the moderation in Yellen’s behaviour catches attention, as she realises, perhaps, that she no longer sets the global agenda. 

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