The Venezuelan government is planning to implement profit limits across the economy as part of a crackdown on overpricing, Venezuela Analysis said on November 18. The plan is in response to revelations of mass price speculation by retailers earlier this month. Some companies were found to be taking advantage of cheap imports at the government’s official exchange rate, then marking up prices and making profits of more than 1000%.
Video: Do we need anti-capitalist governments? John Riddell, editor and translator of Towards the United Front: Proceedings of the Fourth Congress of the Communist International, 1922 spoke in London on November 3 on "Do we need an anti-capitalist government" and "United fronts in the 20th and 21st centuries". 'Growth imperative' versus 'climate imperative
Two reliable recent reports throw light on the moral depravity of Washington’s “war on terror”. The first concerns a massacre in Afghanistan by US Special Forces. The second documents how doctors and other medical personnel “participated in cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment and torture of detainees” held in Guantanamo and elsewhere. Rolling Stone magazine published an article by award-winning investigative journalist Matthieu Aikins, who is based in Kabul, titled “The A-Team Killings”. 'A-Team' killings
For more than a decade, people opposed to Venezuela's left-wing government have argued that its economy would implode. Like communists in the 1930s rooting for the final crisis of capitalism, they saw economic collapse just around the corner. How frustrating it has been for them to witness only two recessions: one directly caused by the opposition's oil strike (December 2002-May 2003) and one brought on by the world recession (2009 and the first half of 2010).
The International Criminal Court (ICC) was established at The Hague in 2002 to investigate and prosecute individuals alleged to have committed war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of genocide. Between 2002 and 2009, the Bush administration implemented sanctions on military aid and Economic Support Funds (ESF) assistance against states which refused to sign “Article 98” agreements with the US. Under such agreements, states agreed not to transfer US nationals to the ICC without the consent of the US government.
A new paper from the Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research examined Honduras’ economy and found that much of the economic and social progress experienced from 2006–2009, when left-wing president Manuel Zelaya was in power, have been reversed in the years since. Zelaya was overthrown in an elite-backed military coup in June 2009. The coup was condemned by most of the Americas, but not the United States, which refused to cut ties to the coup regime.
Samsung service worker Choi Jong-beom committed suicide on October 31 in protest against poverty wages and harsh working conditions at the company's operations in South Korea. The 31-year-old was found dead in his car the following morning. He left behind a wife and a 10-month-old daughter. Choi was a contract worker employed at a Samsung after-sale service centre that provided repair and maintenance services to customers. The service centre was owned and operated by an outsourced contractor.
“They did it,” TheBlaze.com said on November 15. “Seattle voters elected a Socialist candidate to the city council.” Kshama Sawant, a member of Socialist Alternative and former Occupy Seattle organiser, defeated four-term Democratic incumbent Richard Conlin. She was finally declared the winner in the November 4 election on November 14.
Haiti’s New Dictatorship: The Coup, the Earthquake & the UN Occupation Justin Podur Pluto Press, 2012 280 pp, $44.00 There seems to be no lie too base, no crime too awful that the “international community” has not committed against the tiny nation of Haiti ― the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Canadian solidarity activist Justin Podur explains in exacting detail every slander and misrepresentation peddled by imperialist governments and retailed by the Western media to justify the continuing denial of Haitian sovereignty that began in 2004.
The Circle By Dave Eggers Hamish Hamilton, 2013 491 pages The Circle is a novel for our times. It is an indictment of Big Data and surveillance society, and also speaks to the difficulty many white-collar workers face in the digital age, in maintaining a separation between their working and private lives.
A revealing story about the lawsuit against the United Nations over a cholera outbreak in Haiti was broadcast on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s The World At Six on November 13. The report began: “The United Nations is among those leading the effort to get aid to the Philippines. But even as it helps out with this natural disaster, it is haunted by the ghosts of another.”
A national day of action against rape drew thousands of protesters onto the streets across New Zealand on November 16. Outrage continues to grow at revelations police were aware of an Auckland “rape gang”, which posted videos boasting of their exploits on social media, for at least two years, but did nothing.
In the same boat Channa Wickremesekera Bay Owl Press, 2010 It almost seems superfluous to review this book. At a mere 62 pages, it is barely a novella — a short story, perhaps. Why not just read the book, and skip the review? Once you start, if it's going to appeal to you at all, the first few pages will draw you in and you will finish it in the same sitting.
Over the years, I have heard many left-wing activists say that mass peaceful protests do not achieve anything. Rather, “militant actions” which “take it up to the ruling class” are more important. But for smaller direct actions to have any real political significance, they have to be connected to a patient and democratic approach to building mass movements that can win reforms. Smaller direct actions that are not tied to this political aim are a posture.
Another round of United Nations climate talks were being negotiated in Warsaw, Poland, this week when the strongest typhoon recorded to hit land swept across the Philippines before moving on to Vietnam. Typhoon Haiyan, known locally as Yolanda, has killed an estimated 10,000 people in the area of Tacloban, mostly from the strong tsunami-like storm surges that accompanied the typhoon. Entire villages were flattened and a large rescue effort is underway to evacuate survivors.
Vocational education has become one of the fastest growing markets in Australia. There are more than 5000 private providers; half receive government funding and many accrue enormous profits. This huge rise in private providers has made it impossible for the regulatory system to adequately police them, so there is little guarantee of the quality of courses. But federal and state governments have embraced private providers' “user-pays” ideology rather than commit to free, high-quality public education for all as a human right.