United States

US president Donald Trump announced by tweet on December 19 his intention to withdraw US troops from Syria. This followed a phone call between Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had often stated his intention to invade north-eastern Syria. 

Trump’s announcement was widely seen as giving a green light for the planned Turkish invasion. Trump’s decision caused dissension within the US government. Defence secretary James Mattis resigned, as did some other prominent officials.

When Donald Trump first announced he was running in the Republican primaries for the 2016 election, he signaled that his campaign would rely heavily on anti-Mexican racism, racism against all non-whites, anti-immigrant xenophobia and Islamophobia.

Part of this was his oft-repeated pledge to “build a wall” between the US and Mexico to keep out immigrants from Central America and Mexico. He slandered these migrants as rapists, murderers, thieves, drug dealers, sex traffickers and more.

The death of George H.W. Bush has dominated the U.S. news for days, but little attention has been paid to the defining event of Bush’s first year in office: the invasion of Panama. On December 19, 1989, Bush Sr. sent tens of thousands of troops into Panama, ostensibly to execute an arrest warrant against its leader, Manuel Noriega, on charges of drug trafficking. General Noriega was once a close ally to Washington and on the CIA payroll.

Sorry to Bother You
Written & directed by Boots Riley
In cinemas now

This review includes mild spoilers.

As an Australian living abroad, incidents of Australians being racist and/or misogynistisic that attract attention from international media outlets are frequently forwarded to me in anticipation of a seething refrain.

A new map developed at the University of Cincinnati illustrates one motivating force behind migrant caravans leaving Guatemala and Honduras to reach the United States.

UC geography professor Tomasz Stepinski has turned high-resolution satellite images from the European Space Agency into one of the most detailed looks so far at how people are reshaping the planet.

Stepinski said: “Right now there are caravans of people walking to the United States. Many of them are coming from Guatemala.”

Looking at elections in the United States, deeper trends in the population can be difficult to discern as the choices are between two capitalist parties that are both staunch defenders of capitalist rule and US imperialism.

There are no mass workers’ parties of any stripe. If there were, we may be in a better position to understand the relation of class forces.

In 2008, the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations published a report titled US-Latin America Relations: A New Direction for a New Reality. Timed to influence the foreign policy agenda of the next US administration, the report asserted: “the era of the US as the dominant influence in Latin America is over.”

Then, at the Summit of the Americas the next year, then-president Barack Obama promised Latin American leaders a “new era” of “equal partnership” and “mutual respect”.

A combination of real estate capitalism and climate change has unleashed murderous fires in California, writes Phil Hearse.

Things are getting serious. On November 15, at least are 56 were confirmed dead with hundreds missing. Thousands of homes and businesses have burned down. Two major fires, in the north and south of the state, were still not under control.

Trans and gender diverse people in the US are preparing to fight for their lives — literally — against a push by the Republican religious right to quash life-saving laws protecting them from discrimination.

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