World

Britain’s departure from the European Union without a deal would make a united Ireland and the break-up of Britain more likely, British Prime Minister Theresa May told MPs ahead of a January 15 vote on her government’s Withdrawal Agreement that it has negotiated with the European Union. May dramatically lost the vote by 432-202.

It is the first time May has admitted British rule in Ireland and Scotland could be jeopardised by Brexit.

Brazil is going through a profound political crisis, probably more serious than the military coup in 1964 that ushered in 25 years of authoritarian rule, writes Sue Bradford.

After his election as president in October, the neo-fascist Jair Bolsonaro began selecting his ministers. His most important decision — and one that will probably change the destiny of Brazil for many decades — was to choose Paulo Guedes, an advocate of extreme free-market economics, as a super-minister, responsible for a hugely-expanded finance ministry.

Protesters barricaded roads and burned tires in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, on January 14 after President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced a huge fuel price hike in a bid to stem a deepening economic crisis.

Cash shortages have plunged Zimbabwe’s economy into disarray, threatening widespread social unrest and undermining Mnangagwa’s efforts to win back foreign investors sidelined under his predecessor Robert Mugabe.

India was brought to a standstill for two days on January 8 and 9 as an estimated 200 million people nationwide took strike action against the right-wing government, Morning Star Online said.

Ten unions affiliated to the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) called the action after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government rejected their 12-point charter of demands, which included a rise in the minimum wage and measures to boost the economy.

Garment manufacturers in Bangladesh agreed to raise workers’ pay, commerce minister Tipu Munshi said on January 13, urging people to return to work after a week of violent demonstrations, TeleSUR English said

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.

In regional elections in Andalusia on December 2, the outgoing government of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) was defeated after 40 years in power. Defeat came at the hands of a fractured yet radicalising right and high levels of abstention on the left.

In late December Green Left Weekly spoke to Younis Hamad Birama and Khalid Hassan from the Democratic Consciousness Forum, a Perth-based democratic and secular organisation founded by Sudanese refugees, about the wave of protests sweeping Sudan following the dramatic increase in the price of bread. Despite a brutal crackdown by security forces, including the killing of at least 40 people, the protests have spread an

Street protests have broken out in at least seven cities across Sudan, beginning on December 19, in response to the price of bread increasing nearly threefold. They are rocking the repressive regime of Omar al-Bashir and echoing the protests against austerity and price rises that swept the country in January that were brutally repressed.

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