1033

It is arguably the most important political development of South Africa’s post-1994 era. In the early hours of November 8, South Africa’s largest union, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), was expelled from South Africa’s largest union federation, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).

The political significance of NUMSA’s expulsion derives from three key, interrelated areas of impact.

ANC-led alliance

The Israeli parliament has voted overwhelmingly to suspend Haneen Zoabi, a legislator representing the state’s large Palestinian minority, for six months as a campaign to silence political dissent intensified.

The Israeli parliament, or Knesset, voted by 68 to 16 to endorse a decision in late July by its ethics committee to bar Zoabi from the chamber for what it termed “incitement”.

It is the longest suspension in the Knesset’s history and the maximum punishment allowed under Israeli law. At a press conference, Zoabi denounced her treatment as “political persecution”.

How does capitalism survive? This was the question that greeted the 11th annual Historical Materialism conference in London. Held from November 6 to 9 at the Vernon Square Campus, it was a four-day long broad marriage of global leftist activists and academics run by the Marxist journal of the same name.

Posed as a simple question, it quickly developed into as many answers and narratives as there are positions within the left.

This week, by law, I have to deride Russell Brand as a self-obsessed, annoying idiot.

No article or comment on Twitter can legally be written now unless it does this, so by the weekend the Sunday magazine recipes will go, “Goose and marmalade paella, serves six ― unless one of the six is Russell Brand in which case he can make his own dinner as he’s such a rebel I suppose he doesn’t agree with ovens”.

When Thomas Eric Duncan died on October 8, shortly after his arrival from Liberia, west Africa, the Ebola crisis burst onto millions of news screens in the United States, generating deep levels of fear and xenophobia.

To be sure, Ebola is a serious health concern, for it has a 70% mortality rate. But, to beat back the fear, public officials have been playing down the threats posed by the virus, often armed with little more than hope and false confidence.

For politics, often more imagery than reality, is a poor barrier against the seriousness of viruses, disease and death.

To mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, a direct action took place in Beit Hanina, a neighbourhood in Jerusalem.

A national strike for November 20 to protest the government’s ineffective investigation in the case of 43 missing Ayotzinapa students was announced on November 12 by the Mexican Inter-university Students Assembly, chaired by the Ayotzinapa Teacher Training School “Isidro Burgos”.

The assembly, attended by students from 79 schools, decided to support the national strike summoned by the parents of the missing students.

Gerry Adams on 'Good Old IRA' hypocrisy

“It is right that we remember those from previous generations who fought and died or were imprisoned or exiled for their efforts to liberate Ireland of British rule,” Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams writes over attempts to contrast the early IRA with its later incarnation. “But if there is a wilful amnesia, it is within the Dublin establishment parties.”

Rojava's autonomous cantons: what a revolution looks like

Saleh Muslim Mohamed is co-president of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), representing the independent communities of Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan) and its armed wings, the People’s Defence Units (YPG) and Women’s Defence Units (YPJ).

In an interview with Dutch site Tenk, Muslim spoke to Jonas Staal about the fight of Rojava against the Islamic State (IS) and the development of democratic autonomy during the Rojava revolution.

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The November 4 congressional mid-term elections in the US reflect the further shift to the right in capitalist politics.

The obvious aspect of this is the fact that the Republicans won control of the Senate, increased their majority in the House, and won more state governorships.

There has been speculation in the media about how this result came about.

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