This is an archived newsroll page on A Socialist In Canada, consisting of headlines and weblinks, with occasional news summary and brief analysis, for the indicated month(s) and year. See the current, ‘World news’ website page here. To find past stories on this and other news pages on this website, use the ‘find’ (word search) function on your web browser. Headlines in red denote items published on the main news page of A Socialist In Canada, mostly authored by Roger Annis.
World news headlines on A Socialist In Canada, July 2021
Japan ignored months of protests to host the Olympics. The opposition is still growing, PBS News, July 29, 2021 [Japan set new records on July 30 and 31 for new Covid-19 cases, at more than 10,000 each day. On July 31, Tokyo recorded a record new cases, more than 4,000. Al Jazeera reports that the seven-day rolling average of new cases in Japan is 28 per 100,000 people nationwide and 88 per 100,000 in Tokyo. This compares with 18.5 in the United States, 48 in Britain and 2.8 in India (data from Johns Hopkins University).].
Related: Japan expands virus emergency after record spikes amid Games, Associated Press, July 30, 2021
The UK has chosen a dangerous path out of the coronavirus pandemic, editorial, New Scientist, July 28, 2021 read the editorial here in pdf format: The UK’s dangerous pandemic path
Related pandemic news:
* Conditions are ideal in the UK for evolving vaccine-resistant Covid variants, by Michael LePage, New Scientist, July 28, 2021 read the article here in pdf format: Evolving Covid variants in UK
* U.S. is split between the vaccinated and unvaccinated. Deaths and hospitalizations reflect this divide, by Rodney E. Rohde (Texas State University) and Ryan McNamara (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), published in The Conversation, July 22, 2021 …Public health experts have been concerned about what might happen if large sections of the U.S. population, for whatever reason, did not get vaccinated. Over the past few weeks, the answer to that question is starting to emerge…
Police shootings continue daily in U.S., despite a pandemic, protests and pushes for reform, Washington Post, July 30, 2021 …Over the past six years, police officers have fatally shot more than 6,400 people, an average of nearly a thousand a year, or almost three each day. The yearly toll even reached a new high of 1,021 fatal shootings in 2020…
‘The war has changed’: Internal CDC document urges new messaging, warns delta infections likely more severe, Washington Post, July 30, 2021 …The data and studies cited in the document played a key role in revamped recommendations that call for everyone — vaccinated or not — to wear masks indoors in public settings in certain circumstances, a federal health official said…
* As Covid cases rise all over the U.S., lower vaccination rates point to worse outcomes, New York Times, July 31, 2021 The highly contagious Delta variant is now responsible for almost all new Covid-19 cases in the United States, and cases are rising rapidly
* CDC study shows three-fourths of people infected in Massachusetts coronavirus outbreak in early July were vaccinated but few required hospitalization, Washington Post, July 30, 2021
* Holdouts rush for shots as Delta variant surges, Washington Post, July 30, 2021
The ‘creative chaos’ of civil rights fighter Gloria Richardson (1922–2021), by Barbara Smith, The Nation, July 23, 2021 The civil rights activist was a militant advocate for her community as well as a canny strategist
Related: The Nonviolent Action Committee in Maryland, 1963-64, letter to the editor of the Washington Post, July 31, 2021 Read the letter here in pdf format: The Nonviolent Action Committee in Maryland
U.S. approaching same levels as one year ago for Covid cases, hospitalizations, ABC News, July 30, 2021 Report: One year ago, the U.S. was beginning to see a downturn in Covid-19 cases following a summer surge. On July 27, 2020, the U.S. was averaging about 63,400 new COVID-19 cases per day. Now, one year later, the U.S. daily average of new cases is nearly 62,000. The new infection average is up by 64.1% in the last week and 440% since mid-June. Hospitalization levels are also nearing last summer’s numbers. Daily deaths, however, are significantly lower now than they were last summer.
Related news of pandemic in U.S.:
* Biden tightens vaccination rules for federal workers, Associated Press, July 30, 2021
* Biden to allow eviction moratorium to expire on July 31, Associated Press, July 30, 2021
* Reversing earlier guidance amid fears of Delta variant, CDC advises vaccinated people to wear masks indoors in indoor public spaces, Common Dreams, July 27, 2021 Public health experts and healthcare workers expressed alarm in May when the CDC released earlier guidance saying vaccinated people no longer needed masks indoors in public places.
Global vaccine mismanagement will have dire repercussions, by Ramzy Baroud, published on his website Politics for the People, July 27, 2021 …Sadly, whatever the positive influences of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (whose deadline was to be the year 2015), the objectives are now quickly vanishing because of the Covid-19 pandemic which continues to ravage the world and the selfish and haphazard international response to it… While many are busy measuring the possible future repercussions of the pandemic for economic output, life expectancy and such, other factors are critically important and are certain to result from this unbearable inequality: revolutions, mass migrations and famine. These are the other ‘variants’ that we must urgently address…
Royal Navy defies China en route to South China Sea, Asia Times, July 27, 2021
Biden says he’s ending forever wars. He isn’t, by John Glaser, CATO Institute Blog, July 26, 2021
Corporate media joins the anti-vaxxers when it comes to Chinese- and Russian-made vaccines, by Alan MacLeod, Mint Press News, July 27, 2021
Philippine president does about-face, agrees to renew the ‘Visiting Forces’ military agreement with U.S., Rappler, July 28, 2021 …Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte had threatened to terminate the VFA in January 2020, a threat backed up by a formal notice of termination one month later…
Related: Philippine leader’s U-turn over U.S. forces helps keep up the pressure on China, South China Morning Post, July 30, 2021
Koreas talk again in dormant channels, agree to improve ties, Associated Press, July 27, 2021
* North Korea facing heat wave and drought, putting pressure on food supply. Report in Washington Post, July 29, 2021
* Reopening direct hotline between South, North Korea should be stepping stone for normalizing inter-Korean relations, editorial in The Hankyoreh (S. Korea), July 28, 2021 [This editorial reflects the commitment of the ruling capitalist class in South Korea to maintain close military and political ties to the United States.]
Canada should reflect on its past and present struggles with racism, by Yuezhi Zhao , China Daily, July 29, 2021 (Yuezhi Zhao is a professor and Canada Research Chair in political economy of global communication at the School of Communication of Simon Fraser University in Vancouver BC.)
…The Communist Party of China, despite all the trials and tribulations, even grave mistakes, is in a position to tell the proud history of national liberation, a history in which the Chinese nation overthrew the “three mountains” of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucratic capitalism. On the Canadian side, however, history has brought up disturbing skeletons in 2021, so much so that Canadian flags were flying at half-staff on Canada Day (July 1)… What must be brought into sharp focus is not just Canada’s residential school system and its genocidal crimes but the entire colonial project of the West, with its crimes against humanity all over the world for more than 500 years…
[The anti-China Globe and Mail daily in Canada has jumped on the appearance of the above published commentary written by Chinese-Canada academic Yuezhi Zhao. A red-baiting style commentary is published in the Globe on July 29 by a seasoned Globe columnist. He seeks to denigrate the column by writing that it appears in a “state-run” media outlet, as though state-run media outlets such as the CBC in Canada, BBC in Britain and Deutsche Welle in Germany, are not omnipresent in Western imperialist countries, serving as faithful transmitters of government propaganda. He writes of “repression of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim minorities in the northwestern province of Xinjiang” as fact, even though the accusation is a Western media and government construct. He writes, “Chinese officials have acknowledged that the birth rate across Xinjiang fell by nearly a third in 2018”. But any ‘change’ in birth rates of the Uyghur population dutifully unearthed by the columnist occur in a context of a steadily rising Uyghur population, exposing the Western lie of a ‘genocide’ by the Chinese government against the Uyghurs. The Globe writer carefully avoids using the term ‘genocide’, even though no less than Canada’s Parliament endorsed the lying claim in a unanimous vote on February 22, 2021. He concludes his columnar tour de force with citations from several anti-China academics and former government officials in Canada.]
The ideology of late imperialism and the return of the geopolitics of the Second International, essay by Zhun Wu, Monthly Review, March 1, 2021 (print issue of March 2021) …The disappearance from leftist discussion in the West of analyses of imperialism is quite remarkable. According to Google Books data, the frequency of the term ‘imperialism’ in a large sample of English-language books declined by more than 50 per cent between 1974 and 1990… There has been a rise of conservative ideology framed as leftist discourse and a related return of what we can call ‘Second International politics’. This breaks from the Marxist traditions exemplified by Lenin and Mao Zedong and severely limits revolutionary potential in the imperialist core…
Koreas talk again through dormant channels, agree to improve ties, Associated Press, July 27, 2021
* North Korea facing heat wave and drought, putting pressure on food supply, Washington Post, July 29, 2021
* Reopening direct hotline between South, North Korea should be stepping stone for normalizing inter-Korean relations, editorial in The Hankyoreh (S. Korea), July 28, 2021
* U.S., Japan and South Korea present united front against North Korea, South China Morning Post, July 21, 2021
How Cuba has survived the U.S. embargo/blockade, essay and book review by Tony Wood, in London Review of Books, July 1, 2021 read the essay here in pdf format: Cuba and U.S. blockade
* The Cubans: Ordinary Lives in Extraordinary Times, by Anthony DePalma, published by Bodley Head (Random House), 368 pp., 2021
* We Are Cuba! How a Revolutionary People Have Survived in a Post-Soviet World, by Helen Yaffe, Yale U Press, 363 pp., 2020
(subscription information for London Review of Books is here)
Previously reported: What’s actually going on in Cuba?, by Helen Yaffe, Novara Media, July 20, 2021 (Helen Yaffe is a senior lecturer in economic and social history at the University of Glasgow. She is the author of We Are Cuba: How a Revolutionary People Have Survived in a Post-Soviet World and Che Guevara: The Economics of Revolution.)
* Three ships organized by Mexico gov’t taking fuel, medical aid and food to Cuba, Associated Press, July 28, 2021 [This article by Associated Press is being widely republished and e makes the several false accusation that the Cuban government has “violently suppressed” the relatively small street protests that took place in the country on July 11. Two soft-left publications in the U.S. are voicing calls for the overthrow of the Cuban government: In These Times (writer Sam Farber) and NACLA (writer Hilda Landrove).].
* Russia sends aid to Cuba amid rise in COVID-19 cases, by Euronews with AFP, July 24, 2021
* Russian president Vladimir Putin hosts Cuban leader Miguel Díaz-Canel for talks on expanding ties, Associated Press, Oct 29, 2019 Russian-Cuban trade has more than doubled since 2013, to an expected $500 million this year, mostly in Russian exports to Cuba.
* Russia cancels most Soviet Union-era debt owed by Cuba, some $30 billion, Al Jazeera, July 11, 2014
* China urges U.S. to lift embargo against Cuba, following another overwhelming vote at UN General Assembly against the embargo, Xinhua news service, June 24, 2021
* Active trade and investment relations between China and Cuba, The Diplomat (India), Dec 24, 2020
* Value of Cuban imports According to the Observatory of Economic Complexity, Cuba exported $1.2 billion of goods and imported $5.3 billion of goods in 2019. The top destination countries for exports from Cuba were: China ($461M), Spain ($127M), Netherlands ($65.5M), Germany ($64.7M), and Cyprus ($48.9M). The top countries origins of imports to Cuba in 2019 were: Spain ($1.01B), China ($790M), Italy ($327M), Canada ($285M) and Russia ($285M). The the CIA Factbook reports similar figures.
The nuclear rearmament by the UK gov’t and military, by Tom Stevenson, London Review of Books Blog, July 26, 2021
More than 50 health care groups in U.S. urge mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for health care workers, Modern Healthcare, July 26, 2021 and read: report by Axios, July 26, 2021
* Biden will announce vaccination requirement across federal government on July 28, CNN, July 27, 2021
* The floodgates have opened for mandatory vaccination, Axios, July 27, 2021 State governments, private businesses and even part of the federal government are suddenly embracing mandatory coronavirus vaccinations for their employees…
* America is getting unvaccinated people all wrong, by Ed Yong, The Atlantic, July 22, 2021 They’re not all anti-vaxxers, and treating them as such is making things worse.
China: Imperialism or semi-periphery?, by Minqi Li, Monthly Review, July 1, 2021 ( is a professor of economics at the University of Utah.) …Whether China has become an imperialist country is a question of crucial importance for the global class struggle. I argue that although China has developed an exploitative relationship with South Asia, Africa, and other raw material exporters, on the whole, China continues to transfer a greater amount of surplus value to the core countries in the capitalist world system than it receives from the periphery. China is thus best described as a semi-peripheral country in the capitalist world system…
* Serve the people: The eradication of extreme poverty in China, essay and photos by Tricontinental Institute for Social Research, July 23, 2021
* The July-August 2021 issue of Monthly Review is a special issue devoted to the New Cold War against China. See the editors’ introduction and the list of contents at the weblink. Subscriptions to Monthly Review help to maintain the publiczation and can be purchased here.
Cuba’s cultural counter-revolution: U.S. gov’t-backed rappers, artists gain fame as ‘catalyst for current unrest’, by Max Blumenthal, The Grayzone, July 25, 2021 (part one) …Behind their branding as cosmopolitan intellectuals, renegade rappers and avant garde artists, the ‘San Isidro’ cultural project has openly embraced the extremist politics of the Miami Cuban lobby. Indeed, its most prominent members have expressed effusive support for Donald Trump, endorsed US sanctions, and clamored for a military invasion of Cuba…
* Washington beats the drum of regime change, but Cuba responds to its own revolutionary rhythm, by Tricontinental Institute for Social Research, July 22, 2021
* Cuba is hell, purgatory or paradise, depending on your social class and outlook, by Frei Betto, published by Internationalist 360, July 20, 2021 (Frei Betto (Carlos Alberto Libânio Christo, b 1944) is a Brazilian writer, political activist, philosopher, liberation theologian and Dominican friar. He is an advisor on behalf of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization to the Cuban government on the implementation of Cuba’s Food Sovereignty and Nutritional Education Plan.)
* The Bay of Tweets: Documents point to U.S. hand in Cuba protests, by Alan Macleod, Mint Press News, July 16, 2021 The U.S. government can cause economic misery for the Cuban people, but it cannot, it appears, convince them to overthrow their government.
Nicaragua’s Sandinistas battle ‘diabolical’ U.S. empire and poverty on 42nd anniversary of revolution, by Ben Norton, The Grayzone, July 24, 2021 The Grayzone reports from Nicaragua on the 42nd anniversary of the Sandinista revolution. Nicaraguans discuss their improved quality of life, President Ortega condemns the dictatorial US. empire ‘that wants to dominate all countries”, and Vice President Murillo declares poverty an imperialist ‘crime against humanity’.
Some Cherry Garcia, please, by Patrick Lawrence, Consortium News, July 26, 2021 The apartheid state’s swoon into freak-out mode since Ben & Jerry’s ice cream producer took its stand against Israeli settlements tells us all we need to know about the accumulating power of the boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) movement …The world needs an honest, principled confrontation with apartheid Israel, its murderous, openly racist leaders and the criminally culpable settlers they have let run wild. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield — Jews, a point to which I will return — have pushed us measurable steps closer to one, the mainstream press’s blackout of the movement be damned…
Related: Palestine activist Wafic Faour explains how Vermonters for Justice in Palestine convinced ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s to halt sales in Israel settlements, Mondoweiss, July 23, 2021
Senator Joe Manchin (D – W. Virginia): The enemy within, essay by Alexander Cockburn, Harper’s Magazine, Aug 2021
Related: Coal conflict of interest of West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin Coal not of interest to corporate news, by Julie Hollar, FAIR.org, July 27, 2021
Intersectional imperialism: A wholesome menace, by Alex Rubinstein, published on his Substack website, March 15, 2021
The debate over vaccination mandates is intensifying in the U.S. as the coronavirus surges in many parts of the country, New York Times, July 23, 2021 Mayor Bill de Blasio is urging private businesses to require their workers to get vaccinated against the coronavirus and has signaled that he will introduce similar measures for hundreds of thousands of municipal employees. Days earlier, he announced that all employees in the public hospital system would have to either receive a virus vaccine or submit to weekly testing. The move reflected growing concern that New York, like much of the United States, is on the verge of another wave of the pandemic. In just a few weeks, case counts in the city have tripled, to more than 650 a day on average, while inoculation rates have leveled off… President Biden has so far been reluctant to embrace requirements for vaccines or masks, despite calls from some public health experts that insisting people get shots is the only way to ensure that a larger share of the population is vaccinated. On July 23, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said it was not the federal government’s role to impose a nationwide mandate…
* Patience wearing thin in U.S. with vaccination holdouts, Washington Post, July 23, 2021 …Exhausted health providers say they are bracing for case spikes that are largely preventable, driven by the hyper-transmissible Delta variant. “We are frustrated, tired and worried for this next surge — and saddened by the state we find ourselves in,” said Jason Yaun, a Memphis-based pediatrician, who said his colleagues are grappling with an “accumulation of fatigue” since the outbreak exploded in March 2020…
* American Hospital Association urges mandatory vaccinations for hospital workers, Modern Healthcare news, July 21, 2021 The AHA represents nearly 5,000 hospitals and health systems. It joins dozens of providers and several associations that have also backed vaccine mandates for healthcare workers.
* Persuasion vs. coercion: Vaccine debate in Europe heats up, New York Times, July 23, 2021
The government of France is taking the lead in pressuring people to get vaccinated …Europe’s problem is similar to that of the United States: vaccination levels at or just under 60 per cent–inadequate for herd immunity; surging Delta variant cases; and growing divisions over how far getting an injection can be mandated…
The bombs rain down as I visit the Idlib frontlines in northern Syria and witness atrocities committed against civilians by NATO-backed terror, by Vanessa Beeley, RT, July 23, 2021
Death rates soar in Southeast Asia as coronavirus wave spreads, Associated Press, July 21, 2021 …Images of bodies burning in open-air pyres during the peak of the pandemic in India horrified the world in May, but in the last two weeks Indonesia, Myanmar and Malaysia have now all surpassed India’s peak per capita death rate as a new coronavirus wave, fueled by the virulent delta variant, tightens its grip on the region…
Related pandemic news:
* Steep rise in coronavirus cases in U.S. is fueled by the Delta variant; new model shows it will drive a steep rise in deaths, National Public Radio, July 22, 2021 The current Covid-19 surge in the U.S. will steadily accelerate through the summer and fall, peaking in mid-October, with daily deaths more than triple what they are now. That’s according to new projections released on July 21 by the Covid-19 Scenario Modeling Hub, a consortium of researchers working in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s a deflating prospect for parents looking ahead to the coming school year, employers planning to get people back to the workplace, and everyone hoping that the days of big national surges were over…
* New coronavirus cases in U.S. nearly triple in two weeks amid misinformation, Associated Press, July 21, 2021
* While England gambles on ‘Freedom Day’, Scotland opts for caution, New York Times, July 22, 2021 Scotland is not ready to abandon pandemic restrictions, says its nationalist leader, Nicola Sturgeon. That stance could increase support for Scottish independence if coronavirus cases in England surge.
Germany is in shock, its politicians are on autopilot, commentary by Anna Sauerbrey, in New York Times, July 23, 2021 (Anna Sauerbrey is an editor and a writer at the German daily Der Tagesspiegel.)
Trotskyist publications blow hard on Cuba protests, echoing their pro-regime change arguments on Venezuela and Nicaragua. Two Trotskyist publications—the U.S. New Politics (and here) and the Australian Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal are loading up their pages with variants of the argument that Cuba’s ‘bureaucratic socialist’ system has failed and is causing masses of Cuban people to go into the streets demanding ‘change’. A contrasting view is explained here below by Helen Yaffe, an outstanding British scholar who documents the achivements and continuing challenges facing the Cuban people in a world of intensifying imperialist threats and war. Yaffe explains that relatively few numbers of Cubans took part in recent protests and that the purpose of the harsh and unrelenting imperialist embargo against Cuba is intended, precisely, to stir domestic protest that blames the Cuban government, not the U.S. government, for the country’s social and economic difficulties:
What’s actually going on in Cuba?, by Helen Yaffe, Novara Media, July 20, 2021 Helen Yaffe is a senior lecturer in economic and social history at the University of Glasgow. She is the author of We Are Cuba: How a Revolutionary People Have Survived in a Post-Soviet World and Che Guevara: The Economics of Revolution.
Further news and analysis:
* Shifting from campaign promises, Biden announces new Cuba sanctions after protest crackdown [sic], USA Today, July 22 ].
* 400-plus former heads of state, politicians, artists, and intellectuals call on U.S. president Biden to ‘Let Cuba Live’, People’s Dispatch, July 22, 2021
* Cuba’s mass protests are driven by the misery of COVID and economic sanctions, by Emily Morris, Institute of the Americas (University College London), The Conversation, July 16, 2021
Rare ‘breakthrough’ Covid cases are causing alarm, confusion, Associated Press, July 21, 2021
* Why vaccinated people are getting ‘breakthrough’ infections, by Apoorva Mandavilli (medical reporter), New York Times, July 22, 2021
* Coronavirus infections of the fully vaccinated do occur but vaccination remains an effective and essential safety measure, Washington Post, July 21, 2021 …It is uncertain exactly how rare breakthrough infections are. Ongoing clinical trials following tens of thousands of vaccinated people for two years will help determine that rate. Meanwhile, far more certain, based on clinical trials and real-world data, is that the three vaccines authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration broadly protect people from the coronavirus’s harmful effects…
Russia files first ever complaint before European Court of Human Rights, against Ukraine over 2014 Maidan massacre and the censorship, discrimination and water blockade of Crimea that followed, RT, July 22, 2021 [Western media outlets such as the Moscow Times and Radio Free Europe are filling their news reports of this story with their typical laundry list of false accusations against Russia–‘invasion’ of eastern Ukraine, ‘annexation’ of Crimea, shooting down of Malyasian Airlines Flight 17 by ‘pro-Russia seperatists’, etc, etc. The purpose of the constant repetition of the accusations is to create commonplace acceptance and to whitewash the coup government of Ukraine that came to power in February 2014 and the violent crimes and widespread human rights violations it has committed ever since.]
‘Indo-Pacific’ speech by New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern aligns the country’s foreign policy with U.S., Stuff.co.nz, July 14, 2021 and read: report in The Guardian, July 22, 2021 [The very term ‘Indo-Pacific’ is an imperialist construct that has arisen explicitly to counter China by rhetorically rebalancing Asia towards India.]
Three drug distributors and Johnson & Johnson reach $26 billion deal to resolve opioid lawsuits, Washington Post, July 21, 2021
* Drug poisoning deaths in U.S. hit grim record number in 2020 as the killer ‘war on drugs’ marches blindly onward. Report by CNN, July 14, 2021 Drug overdose deaths rose by close to 30 per cent in the United States in 2020, hitting the highest number ever recorded, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on July 14. More than 93,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2020, a 29.4 per cent increase from the 72,151 deaths projected for 2019… Overdose deaths from opioids rose from 50,963 in 2019 to 69,710 in 2020…
* The 50-year ‘war on drugs’ in the United States imprisoned millions of Black Americans, Associated Press, July 20, 2021
Life expectancy in U.S. saw largest drop since WWII in 2020, Associated Press, July 20, 2021 read also: report in Washington Post, July 20, 2021 …The declines of 1.5 years for white skinned people, 2.9 for Blacks and 3.0 for Hispanics are due mainly to the Covid-19 pandemic, which health officials say is responsible for close to 74 per cent of the overall life expectancy decline. More than 3.3 million Americans died in 2020, far more than any other year in U.S. history, with Covid-19 accounting for about 11 per cent of those deaths… From 2018 to 2020, the United States saw a drop in life expectancy that was 8.5 times the average decrease in 16 other high-income countries, such as France, Spain and the United Kingdom… The drop in life expectancy also reflects the pandemic’s broader impacts on health, including a record-high number of deaths from drug overdoses. In 2020, there were a staggering 93,000 overdose deaths…
Britain sends aircraft carrier group to Asian waters; two of the warships will stay for permanent deployment. Reports by RT, July 20, 2021 and by Reuters, July 20, 2021
Related: Why British navy’s South China Sea trip only shows fealty. Commentary in South China Morning Post, May 31, 2021
[This otherwise informative commentary argues for a ‘better’ way for Britain and its imperialist alllies to project their power in the world. Example: “What is the right role for British forces in modern times? An obvious one is to protect clear British interests – the recovery [sic] of the Falkland Islands following the Argentine invasion of 1982 is one example. Another might be to support international efforts to maintain order – anti-piracy operations in the Horn of Africa spring to mind.”]
Afghanistan was a war of lies, sustained by the powerful U.S. and British media, by Eric Margolis, Common Dreams, July 20, 2021
Snowden grills Wash. Post for ‘embarrassingly weak’ reaction to NSO Group spyware scandal, says it’s untrue Pegasus can’t target U.S. phones, RT, July 21, 2021
* Western media consortium ‘Pegasus Project’ reports that journalists and government ministers are among those on a list of 50,000 phones targeted by Israeli spyware Pegasus and spy firm NSO Group, RT, July 19, 2021 and read: report by Common Dreams, July 19, 2021
* The Pegasus Project, by the ‘Frontline’ program on PBS, July 18, 2021
* UN human rights chief urges stricter rules on spyware; Edward Snowden calls for outright ban, Common Dreams, July 19, 2021 A Western media consortium investigation has revealed the abuses of NSO Group’s ‘Pegasus’ malware. Whistleblower Edward Snowden has declared ‘This is an industry that should not exist.’
* Despite the hype, iPhone security is no match for NSO spyware, report in Washington Post, part of ‘Pegasus Project’ reporting, July 19, 2021 An international investigation finds 23 Apple devices that were successfully hacked
What’s actually going on in Cuba?, by Helen Yaffe, Novara Media, July 20, 2021 Helen Yaffe is a senior lecturer in economic and social history at the University of Glasgow. She is the author of We Are Cuba: How a Revolutionary People Have Survived in a Post-Soviet World and Che Guevara: The Economics of Revolution.
The war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, by Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, London Review of Books, June 17, 2021 read the essay here in pdf format: The war between Armenia and Azarbaijan
* Azerbaijan: NATO’s strategic gateway to the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea, by Rick Rozoff, published in Anti-Bellum, July 18, 2021 (Anti-Bellum website was founded in early 2021 and describes itself as ‘A journal of NATO’s threat to world peace.’ The term drives from Latin and translates as ‘before the war’.)
* The ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh, brokered by Russia, should be welcomed by defenders of Armenia, commentary by Roger Annis, published in A Socialist In Canada, Nov 15, 2020
Pedro Castillo declared elected as Peru’s new president, CNN, July 19, 2021 and read: report in Common Dreams, July 20, 2021
Related: In Peru, ‘the whole world eats well, and we do not’, photo essay by Michael Robinson Chavez, in Washington Post, July 14, 2021 In Peru’s Andean highlands, voters hope a new president can improve their lives
India’s pandemic death toll could be in the millions, ten times higher than official numbers, Associated Press, July 19, 2021
Why many of the unvaccinated insist on going without, commentary in Washington Post, July 19, 2021
Related pandemic news:
* Stop pleading with anti-vaxxers and start mandating vaccinations, commentary by Max Boot (conservative writer), in Washington Post, July 19, 2021
* My mother saved my ‘vaccine passport’ from decades ago. Why are we so averse to the idea now?, commentary in Washington Post, July 20, 2021
* Circumventing Covid-19 with better ventilation and air quality, commentary in Stat News, July 19, 2021 Federal regulations in the U.S. are insufficient for improving indoor ventilation and few states are moving to improve it
New Covid-19 infections are rising in every U.S. state, USA Today, July 18, 2021
Related pandemic news: U.S. surgeon general: ‘I am worried about what is to come’, The Hill, July 18, 2021 Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said on July 18 he is “worried about what is to come” in the COVID-19 pandemic as cases increase throughout the U.S., primarily among those who are not vaccinated…
* Disease experts warn the world needs a ‘reality check’ as coronavirus infections rise in U.S. and much of the world, Washington Post, July 17, 2021 …Coronavirus infections in the United States rose nearly 70 per cent during the past week, officials reported on July 16. Hospitalizations and deaths rose 36 per cent and 26 per cent, respectively. Almost every state has experienced a rise in cases…
* In undervaccinated Arkansas, Covid upends life all over again, New York Times, July 17, 2021 …While much of the U.S. tiptoes toward normalcy, the coronavirus is again swamping hospitals in places like Mountain Home in a rural county in Arkansas where fewer than one-third of residents are vaccinated …Overall, Arkansas ranks near the bottom of states in the share of population that is vaccinated. Only 44 percent of residents have received at least one shot…
* Australia was a pandemic hero. Mixed messages and rising cases are muddying the picture in a country with low vaccination rates, Washington Post, July 17, 2021
* How vaccine-skeptic France and Germany have come to support near-mandates for vaccinations, Washington Post, July 17, 2021
The world’s vaccine inequity: Inside the cutthroat race to secure doses, Associated Press, July 18, 2021 No one disputes that the world is unfair. But no one expected a vaccine gap between the global rich and poor that was this bad, this far into the pandemic.
President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez addresses the Cuban people, calling for peace and solidarity, extensive report in Granma (Cuban daily), July 16, 2021
Related: Cuban people rally across the country on July 17 to defend their socialist government and system, but corporate media is silent or lies. [This report in Al Jazeera on July 17 provides scraps of information of the mass rallies that took place across Cuba on that day to defend the country’s government and socialist system. But typical of corporate media in the West, the report is punctuated with negative information and outright lies. For example, Al Jazeera writes that Cuba is “fifth in the world and first in Latin America in terms of [Covid-19] infections per capita”. That’s a blatant lie. According to Worldometer, there are four Latin American countries with more than 90,000 Covid-19 cases per million population–in order, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil and Colombia. Chile is higher than 80,000 and Peru is higher than 60,000. Cuba’s comparable rate is 25,000. That’s lower than Canada’s 37,000 and immeasurably lower than the unspeakable 104,000 in the U.S. Venezuela’s rate is 10,300 while Nicaragua sits at 1,300.]
Lost lives, lost culture: The forgotten history of Indigenous boarding schools in the United States, New York Times, July 17, 2021 …By the 1920s, one group estimates, nearly 83 per cent of Native American school-age children were attending such schools…
Indonesia overtakes India as Asia’s new Covid-19 epicenter, CNN, July 16, 2021 Indonesia reported 54,517 new cases of Covid-19 on July 14, a single-day national record and dire warning sign for the world’s fourth-most populous country, home to about 270 million people. New cases number more than in hard-hit India and experts say the numbers could push Indonesia’s health care system to the brink of disaster…
South Africa deploys more than 20,000 troops as death toll from unrest tops 100, Al Jazeera, July 16, 2021
* Poverty and despair fuel South Africa’s unrest, Al Jazeera, July 14, 2021
* Violent unrest in South Africa imperils Covid-19 response, Al Jazeera, July 16, 2021
* South Africa expands its military deployment to fight a domestic crisis years in the making, Globe and Mail, July 14, 2021
The developing world is a tinderbox, feature essay by Farhad Manjoo, columnist, New York Times, July 15, 2021
Related: Africa’s Covid crisis deepens but vaccines are still far off, New York Times, July 16, 2021
Chart showing global vaccine production:
Head of World Health Organization says the world is entering a ‘third wave’ of pandemic negligence. Report by UN News, July 14, 2021 Last week marked the fourth consecutive week of rising cases of Covid-19 globally, with increases recorded in all but one of WHO’s six regions. Deaths are also rising again, after ten weeks of steady decline. Meanwhile, the virus is continuing to evolve, resulting in more transmissible variants… The spread of the Delta variant – one of the main drivers of the current increase in transmission – is also being fuelled by increased social mobility and the inconsistent use of proven public health and social measures…
Related pandemic news:
* Opening remarks by WHO director-general at the eighth meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on Covid-19, July 14, 2021
* Global Covid-19 deaths on the rise again, by the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (U of Minnesota), July 14, 2021
* U.S. is ‘losing time’ in vaccination race as Delta variant becomes more pervasive, CNN, July 15, 2021
* Delta variant takes hold in U.S. as coronavirus cases rise nearly 70 percent and nearly all hospitalizations are among the unvaccinated, Washington Post, July 16, 2021 ‘There is a clear message that is coming through: This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,’ says Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. …More than 97 per cent of hospitalizations are among those who are unvaccinated, Walensky said, and almost all Covid-19 deaths, which climbed 26 per cent in the past week, are among people who have not received a shot…
* Covid-19 cases are surging in 46 states. In one hot spot, hospitalized patients are younger than ever, doctor says, CNN, July 14, 2021
* Superspreader ‘explosions’ in U.S. and globally continue to plague pandemic efforts, NBC News, July 14, 2021
* More than 1,200 scientists in the world denounce Boris Johnson’s announcement to end Covid restrictions in England, Common Dreams, July 16, 2021 [New, daily cases of Covid-19 have risen sharply in Britain during the past six weeks, from an average of 4,000 in late May to more than 50,000 beginning July 16.].
* Sydney, Australia, extends lockdown by two weeks as Covid-19 cases grow, Reuters, July 13, 2021
* Some countries defend mixing vaccines as WHO suggests booster strategy is ‘chaotic’, Washington Post, July 14, 2021
Rich country hypocrisy exposed by vaccine inequities, commentary by Anis Chowdhury and Jomo Kwame Sundaram, InterPress News Service, July 13, 2021
Related: The pandemic will continue until we break Big Pharma’s monopoly and end vaccine apartheid, by Luke Savage, Jacobin, July 13, 2021
U.S. targets Nicaraguan presidential election while former solidarity activists echo imperial talking points, by Roger Harris, CounterPunch, July 16, 2021 (Roger Harris is on the board of the Task Force on the Americas, a 32-year-old anti-imperialist human rights organization. An earlier version of this article appeared on its website in the form of an open letter welcoming signatures.)
The Guardian’s anti-Russia conspiracies plumb new depths with the wild claims from its resident ‘Russiagate’ fanatics that Putin got Trump elected, commentary by Paul Robinson (University of Ottawa), RT, July 16, 2021 [Not reported in this very insightful essay is the fact that many liberal, ‘Marxist’ (Trotskyist) and anarchist analysts and political currents in the Western imperialist countries have long embraced the bizarre and right-wing tenets of ‘Russiagate’ conspiracy.].
Related: Luke Harding’s hard sell of Rusiagate, by Joe Lauria, editor, Consortium News, July 17, 2021
The story of how Colombian mercenaries machine-gunned Haiti president Jovenel Moïse then were captured or killed, by Kim Ives, weekly column in Haiti Liberté, July 13, 2021
* A preemptive counter-revolution in Haiti?, interview with Kim Ives, broadcast on The Analysis News, with host Gregory Wilpert, July 11, 2021 (42-minute interview, with transcript)
* Assassination of Haiti’s U.S.-backed president highlights failure of $13 billion in post-earthquake aid, New York Times, July 7, 2021
Drug poisoning deaths in U.S. hit grim record number in 2020 as the killer ‘war on drugs’ marches blindly onward. Report by CNN, July 14, 2021 Drug overdose deaths rose by close to 30 per cent in the United States in 2020, hitting the highest number ever recorded, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on July 14. More than 93,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2020, a 29.4 per cent increase from the 72,151 deaths projected for 2019… Overdose deaths from opioids rose from 50,963 in 2019 to 69,710 in 2020…
Related: The 50-year ‘war on drugs’ in the United States imprisoned millions of Black Americans, Associated Press, July 20, 2021
Mississippi asks U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, CNN, July 22, 2021
* Federal judge blocks Arkansas’ near-total abortion ban, CNN, July 20, 2021
* Abortion rights groups sue to block Texas law that allows citizens to enforce ‘heartbeat’ ban, CNN, July 13, 2021
* Citizens, not the state, will enforce new abortion law in Texas, New York Times, July 8, 2021 The measure bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy. And it effectively deputizes ordinary citizens to sue people involved in the process.
* Texas governor signs into law one of nation’s strictest abortion measures, banning procedure as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, Texas Tribune, May 19, 2021
The hidden hand of the U.S. blockade sparks Cuba protests, by Medea Benjamin and Leonardo Flores, Common Dreams, July 13, 2021 The recent protests in Cuba should be understood in the context of a brutal economic war waged by the United States against the island nation for more than 60 years.
* Statement by the Cuba Solidarity Campaign (Britain) on the current situation in Cuba, July 12, 2021
* Cuba’s leader lays some blame for protests on his government, Associated Press, July 15, 2021
* Anti-government protests in Cuba: legitimate or deceiving?, by the editorial team, Challenge, July 12, 2021 (magazine of the Young Communist League of Britain-YCL)
* Western media is using images of pro-government rally in Cuba, opposition rally in Miami to report unrest as Havana warns of ‘soft coup’, RT, July 14, 2021
* Trotskyist publication ‘Left Voice’ calls for overthrow of Cuba’s socialist government. Commentary published in Left Voice, July 12, 2021 [The Trotskyist publication Left Voice, a publication of the ‘Trotskyist Faction-Fourth International’ (Wikipedia), argues that Cuba has been on the road to “capitalist restoration” for some years already and the leadership of the Cuban Revolution is taking the country further down that road. It calls the Cuban government a “one-party bureaucracy” and concludes the above, published commentary with the following: “The present crisis can only be solved through a new revolutionary intervention of the masses that puts a brake on the restorationist course, throws out the bureaucracy, and puts an end to its one-party regime — and its prohibition on any organization outside the Communist Party.” This appeal for a reckless and counter-revolutionary ‘uprising’ in Cuba echoes the longstanding calls by most Trotskyist sects in the world for the overthrow of the worker and peasant governments in power in Venezuela and Nicaragua.]
Pandemic-driven hunger is making the world more unequal, Washington Post, July 12, 2021 …Global hunger shot up by an estimated 118 million people worldwide in 2020, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, jumping to 768 million people — the most going at least as far back as 2006. The number of people living with food insecurity — or those forced to compromise on food quantity or quality — surged by 318 million, to 2.38 billion…
Related: UN warns ten per cent of the world’s population is undernourished, as hunger ‘shot up’ amid Covid pandemic, CBS News, July 12, 2021 “Close to 12 per cent of the global population was severely food insecure in 2020, representing 928 million people, or 148 million more than in 2019,” says the UN’s annual State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World for the year 2020. ‘Severely food insecure’ is just below the threshold for hunger…
Wealthy countries should donate vaccines instead of using boosters, says World Health Organization, Associated Press, July 13, 2021
Related vaccine news:
* On eve of German leader’s July 15 visit to Washington, 15 members of U.S. Congress issue letter asking to meet with her to urge Covid vaccine patent waiver, Common Dreams, July 12, 2021
* Canada to offload some 18 million ‘surplus’ AstraZeneca doses to low- and middle-income countries. Report by CBC News, July 12, 2021 [Canada has led the wealthy countries of the world in purchasing the highest per capita number of vaccine doses. Now it has lots of extras to ‘donate’. The country has simultaneously joined with the wealthy countries in blocking the sharing of vaccine production technology. There is a term for all this: vaccine imperialism.]
Biden blasts ‘un-American’ voting restrictions being imposed by Republican-led state legislatures but offers little in how to fight them, Associated Press, July 13, 2021
Related: As Biden dodges the issue, Democratic Party officials urge senators to ‘repeal the filibuster’, Common Dreams, July 13, 2021
Previously reported: What’s in the new voting restriction legislation introduced in the Texas House and Senate, Texas Tribune, June 8, 2021
Why liberals suddenly love the ‘lab leak’ theory of pandemic origins, feature essay by Alan Macleod, Mint Press News, July 9, 2021 The lab leak theory bears a striking resemblance to the ‘weapons of mass destruction’ hoax of 2002, not only in the fact that one of its key players is literally the same journalist using potentially the same anonymous sources, but also in the bipartisan political and media support it enjoys
* New evidence shows SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus evolved naturally, not from a ‘lab leak’, scientists write in The Lancet, News 18 (India), July 5, 2021 The report said there is no scientifically validated evidence to support the theory that the coronavirus leaked from a laboratory in China
* Science, not speculation, is essential to determine how SARS-CoV-2 reached humans, The Lancet, July 5, 2021
* U.S. media give new respect to ‘lab leak’ theory of coronavirus origins, though evidence is as scant as ever, special report by Joshua Cho, Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, June 28, 2021
Judge in Vancouver overseeing extradition drive against Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou into U.S. prison gulag rejects new evidence showing U.S. gov’t case is fabricated. Report by Canadian Press, July 9, 2021 Meng Wanzhou’s extradition trial is now set to begin on August 3.
The Syria deception: The public has been hoodwinked yet again into supporting a criminal war of aggression, one that has been effectively lost, special report by Jeremy Kuzmarov, Covert Action Magazine, July 8, 2021
* Russia’s about-face on Syria’s Idlib is the opening gambit of a larger diplomatic chess game, by Scott Ritter, RT, July 17, 2021
* Weaponizing ‘humanitarian aid’ to Syria, by Rick Sterling, Covert Action Magazine, July 12, 2021 [The Syrian town of Bab al Hawa is located on the Syria/Turkey border app. 40 km west of the city of Aleppo.] * What is wrong with the ‘humanitarian crossing’ into Syria at Bab al Hawa?, by Rick Sterling, Dissident Voice, July 7, 2021 Supplemental note to this article by the author, July 9: On Friday July 9, the UN Security Council unanimously agreed to a one-year extension of the Bab al Hawa ‘humanitarian’ crossing into Syria. As part of the agreement, the UN Secretary General must report regularly on what is happening with the aid going into the Al Qaeda dominated zone in northeast Syria. Evidently, Russia and China thought the time was not right to insist on principle. The problems outlined in this article remain true.
The U.S. says it can answer cyberattacks with nuclear weapons, according to changes made by the Trump regime. That’s lunacy, commentary by Scott Sagan and Allen Weiner, Washington Post, July 9, 2021 …In 2018, the Trump administration expanded the role of nuclear weapons by declaring for the first time that the United States would consider nuclear retaliation in the case of “significant non-nuclear strategic attacks” … read the commentary here in pdf format: U.S. nuclear policy after Trump
Iran hosts talks between Afghanistan government and Taliban in a bid for peace, by Borzou Daragahi, int’l correspondent, The Independent, July 8, 2021 The deputy chief of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation described it as a ‘small step in the right direction’
* [The Costs of War Project at Brown University in Washington DC estimates that 241,000 people have died as a direct result of the Afghanistan war begun with a U.S. invasion in 2001. This does not include deaths caused by disease, loss of access to food, water, infrastructure and/or other indirect consequences of the war. The total cost to the U.S. has been $2.261 trillion.].
* Australia completes full withdrawal from Afghanistan, leaving behind trail of war crime allegations, RT, July 11, 2021 …Australia mobilized some 39,000 troops over the past two decades as part of the U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan. Forty-one Australian service members were killed during the war… [NATO allies of the United States, Britain and Canada, suffered some 450 and 158 deaths, respectively, during their participation in the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan. They were more than twice as likely to suffer casualties compared to the U.S. military, which lost more than 2,300 soldiers. Britain and Canada withdrew ‘combat’ troops from Afghanistan in 2014 but continued to suport the U.S. effort through the guise of ‘training’ the Afghanistan armed forces.].
* Is Afghanistan heading toward a civil war?, Deutsche Welle, July 9, 2021 Taliban fighters have intensified attacks across Afghanistan and are aiming to capture more territories amid the withdrawal of U.S. troops. The government is backing warlords and arming locals to counter militants.
* Defeat and humiliation: The hushed-up end to the U.S.’s longest war, by Chris NIneham, published by Stop The War (Britain), July 2, 2021
* The war in Afghanistan was a disaster that must never be repeated, statement by Stop The War (Britain), July 8, 2021
Famine death toll outpaces COVID-19 fatalities, says Oxfam, Deutsche Welle, July 9, 2021 The number of people facing famine-like conditions worldwide has increased sixfold over the last year, according to a report released Friday by the anti-poverty organization Oxfam.
Why are children suffering from hunger in Ukraine?, by Christelle Néant (publisher), Donbass Insider, July 8, 2021 …The sale of agricultural land in Ukraine to foreign companies is set to open in 2024. It may well bring Ukraine gradually closer to the number of countries for which the UN collects humanitarian food aid. This is good business, because the aid collected is worth far less than the resources, food and money extracted from Ukraine for the benefit of the West…
The ‘Census of American Religion’ shows why Evangelical Christianity is doomed, by Hemant Mehta, Friendly Atheist, July 8, 2021
Related: The 2020 Census of American Religion, by the Public Religion Research Institute, July 8, 2021 (60-page report at weblink, press release here) …Seven in ten Americans (70%) identify as Christian, including more than four in ten who identify as white Christian and more than one-quarter who identify as Christian of color. Nearly one in four Americans (23%) are religiously unaffiliated, and 5% identify with non-Christian religions…
World passes ‘tragic milestone’ of four million recorded Covid-19 deaths, France 24, July 7, 2021
Related pandemic news:
* Japan gov’t declares fourth state of Covid-19 emergency in Tokyo, this one to last six weeks, Associated Press, July 8, 2021 …Tokyo reported 920 new cases of Covid-19 on July 8, up from 714 last week and its highest since 1,010 on May 13. The figure is in line with experts’ earlier estimate that daily cases in Tokyo could hit 1,000 before the Games and could spike into thousands in August…
* Japan Olympics announces no spectators after Tokyo placed under Covid-19 emergency, Reuters, July 8, 2021
* British PM Johnson says restrictions to ease, UK must live with virus, Associated Press, July 5, 2021 …Britain plans to scrap laws requiring face masks and social distancing later this month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed on July 6, even as he acknowledged that lifting the restrictions will drive surging coronavirus cases higher. Johnson said legal controls will be replaced by “personal responsibility”… Britain has recorded more than 128,000 coronavirus deaths, the second-highest toll in Europe after Russia, and infections are rising due to the highly transmissible Delta variant, which was first found in India. Confirmed cases have shot up from about 2,000 a day earlier this year to 25,000 a day in the past week. The number of deaths is broadly stable, at fewer than 20 per day…
Full two-dose vaccine regimen offers best protection against Delta variant, reports study published in Nature magazine, news summary by Kaiser Health News, July 9, 2021
* New study on Delta variant reveals importance of receiving both vaccine shots, highlights challenges posed by mutations, Washington Post, July 8, 2021 …The bottom line is that, in a time when the delta variant is rapidly gaining traction — it now accounts for a majority of new infections in the United States, according to the latest estimate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — full vaccination offers a much better firewall against infection than partial vaccination…
* Reduced sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 variant Delta to antibody neutralization, report by researchers published in Nature magazine, July 8, 2021
* What you need to know about the highly contagious delta variant, Washington Post, July 8, 2021
* Infection and vaccine-induced neutralizing-antibody responses to the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617 variants, New England Journal of Medicine, July 7, 2021
Citizens, not the state, will enforce new abortion law in Texas, New York Times, July 8, 2021 The measure bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy. And it effectively deputizes ordinary citizens to sue people involved in the process.
* Texas governor signs into law one of nation’s strictest abortion measures, banning procedure as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, Texas Tribune, May 19, 2021
* What’s in the new voting restriction legislation introduced in the Texas House and Senate, Texas Tribune, June 8, 2021
* Texans can carry handguns without a license or training starting Sept. 1, after Gov. Greg Abbott signs permitless carry bill into law, Texas Tribune, June 16, 2021
How the fear of imperial encirclement has driven the policies of the Chinese Communist Party-led government of China, by Prabhat Patnaik, Indian Express, July 7, 2021 …The context within which the CCP was formed a hundred years ago and the context within which it operates today have this element in common — the fear of imperialist encirclement and the CCP’s desire to lead China out of such a predicament. The threat of this encirclement has not lifted in a hundred years…
Related: Liberals in U.S. aligned with Democratic Party warn Biden’s new Cold War with China will result in climate collapse, Politico, July 7, 2021
Vietnam to gain as EU-China investment pact stalls, Deutsche Welle, July 9, 2021
Mounting evidence suggests Sputnik COVID vaccine is safe and effective, Nature magazine, July 6, 2021 Russia’s vaccine is in use in nearly 70 nations, but its adoption has been slowed by controversies and questions over rare side effects, and it has yet to garner World Health Organization approval
Related pandemic news: Africa struggles under the new variant, video news report (12 minutes) by Deutsche Welle, July 5, 2021
The Nation magazine publishes fact-less diatribe arguing that China is an ‘imperialist state’ and is conducting ‘genocide’ in Xinjiang autonomous region. Essay published in The Nation, July 6, 2021, titled ‘Xinjiang denialists are only aiding imperialism’.
[This essay is worth reading as an example of how the ‘genocide in Xinjiang’ construct is infecting left-wing discourse in Western imperialist countries and is doing so without a shred of evidence to back it. The ‘evidence’ of the construct assembled in The Nation consists of nothing more than acquiescence to that well-known purveyor of news and facts–governments as well as corporate and state media in the imperialist countries. Rather than assemble facts, the left-wing purveyors of ‘genocide’ accusations bluster. Here is the opening sentence of the essay: “Opposing American empire should never justify supporting perpetrators of atrocities, and yet that’s exactly what some anti-imperialists are doing with their analysis of events in China’s Xinjiang region.” The essay terms the arguments of those who defend the Chinese people and government against imperialism’s economic embargos and war threats as “narcissistic parochialism”. Read this commentary (pdf format) on the Nation essay, posted on Facebook on July 7, 2021: Facebook commentary on ‘genocide’ against Uyghurs in China. [Read this commentary (pdf format) on the Nation essay, posted on Facebook on July 7, 2021: Facebook commentary on ‘genocide’ against Uyghurs in China. And read the comments which accompany the article on The Nation website.]
Australia is making a bid for power in the Pacific, by David Brophy, Jacobin, July 6, 2021
In Brazil, calls grow for Bolsonaro’s impeachment amid embezzlement allegations, massive protests, Common Dreams, July 6, 2021
Previously reported: New country-wide protests in Brazil seeking ousting of far-right president Bolsonaro. Report by Telesur, July 3, 2021 and read: report, with video, in RT, July 4, 2021 Social movements, trade unions and human rights activists staged protests on July 3 in at least 350 cities across Brazil to condemn the recent corruption scandal linking President Jair Bolsonaro with the purchase at inflated prices of Indian-produced Covaxin COVID-19 vaccines. The protests were in support of the impeachment petition submitted by unions, left political parties and social organizations to Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies (lower house of the National Congress) on June 30…
[Brazil has suffered the second-highest number of deaths from Covid-19 in the world, at 524,000, second only to the U.S. at 622,000 (Worldometer). Among large countries, its per capita rate of death from Covid-19 (2,450 per million) is exceeded only by Peru and Hungary and higher than Belgium, Italy, Colombia, Britain and the U.S. All these named countries are in the top-20 of per capita death rates by country.]
The conflict among progressives in the U.S. over Syria and Assad exposes an astonishing lack of intellectual curiosity by some on the American Left, commentary by Scott Ritter, in RT, July 7, 2021
Related: An ugly war among leftist YouTubers shows two common, toxic pathologies plaguing U.S. politics, brief report and 44-minute video presentation by Glenn Greenwald, published on his Substack web project, July 5, 2021 (video presentation here)
Venezuela adds Cuba’s ‘Abdala’ vaccine to its program of to immunize its population against Covid-19, People’s Dispatch, July 5, 2021 … Venezuela began inoculating its healthcare workers and other priority sectors against Covid-19 on February 18 with Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine. In February, the Bolivarian government purchased 10 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine. It launched a mass vaccination campaign on June 1 for the rest of the population with Sputnik V vaccines and 100,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines received in donation from China. On June 5, the government signed a deal to buy ten million doses of Russia’s EpiVacCorona vaccine. The government also bought 11 million doses of vaccine through the WHO’s COVAX initiative, however, the delivery of those vaccines was blocked due to the commercial, economic and financial blockade imposed by the United States against Venezuela…
Related: Venezuela to COVAX: Send vaccines or return payment, by Paul Dobson, Venezuela Analysis, July 5, 2021
The new cold war against China, by John Bellamy Foster, editor, Monthly Review, July 1, 2021
[The new issue of Monthly Review (July-August 2021) is devoted to analysis of present day China; the above essay by editor John Bellamy Foster serves as an introduction to the issue. The essay should be considered essential reading for those wishing to learn more about present-day China and how it came to be following the country’s earthshaking social revolution beginning in 1949. The editor of A Socialist In Canada website has written a commentary on the new essay by Foster; you can read it here on the ‘Editor’s comments’ page of the website.]
Putin endorses revised national security strategy prepared by Security Council of the Russian Federation, TASS Russian news service, July 3, 2021 Russia’s national security strategy must be amended every six years, according to the country’s constitution. The previous version was approved in late 2015.
* Russia unveils new security strategy that aims to balance ties with India, China, by Samyak Pandey, The Print (India), July 4, 2021 The Russian National Security Strategy released by President Putin on July 3 also calls for reducing the usage of U.S. dollars in international transactions.
* Putin approves revised national security strategy to counter Western intervention. Report by Deutsche Welle, July 3, 2021
[NATO’s ‘Sea Breeze 2021’ military exercise includes participation from Brazil and Canada, South Korea and Australia, Israel, Turkey, Egypt, Sweden and all the large, imperialist countries of Europe. One, big happy family armed to the teeth with bombs and missiles! Germany is not participating in Sea Breeze 2021 for public relations reasons–Nazi Germany destroyed Crimea during its 1941-44 invasion and occupation. Best to not do anything that might remind the populations of ‘Sea Breeze’ participating countries of that sordid history and NATO’s fondest wishes for a repeat.]
U.S. heads into July 4 with sharply divided coronavirus risks, Washington Post, July 3, 2021 More than 2,000 counties representing over half of the American population have not met President Biden’s goal of 70 perc ent of adults receiving at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine by Independence Day, according to an analysis by The Washington Post. Those counties are seeing steeper increases in new cases and double the rate of tests coming back positive compared with counties who have met the president’s goal… Most ominously, the highly transmissible Delta variant is on the rise and represents a quarter of confirmed cases, posing a greater risk to pockets of unvaccinated communities than earlier strains of the virus…
Related: The racial gap in vaccination rates in the U.S., Washington Post, June 27, 2021 …The United States is awash in coronavirus vaccines, with free beer, plane tickets and million-dollar prizes dangled as inducements to persuade the reluctant to get a shot. Philadelphia is doling out $400,000 in giveaways. Despite that, a racial divide persists in the nation’s vaccination campaign, with federal figures showing counties with higher percentages of Black residents having some of the lowest vaccination rates in the country…
The Delta variant risks ending Australia’s pursuit of ‘Covid zero’, New York Times, July 2, 2021 …For Australia and every other nation pursuing a so-called ‘Covid zero’ approach, including China and New Zealand, the birthday gathering in western Sydney two weeks ago amounts to a warning: Absent blanket vaccinations, the fortress cannot hold without ever more painful restrictions… [As evidenced in this otherwise informative news report in the New York Times, Western corporate media continues to trivialize the historic significance of China’s successful battle against the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The Times report makes an equivalence between the achievements of China, a country of 1.4 billion people, and those of New Zealand, an island country of five million.].
Related: China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi calls for ‘Great Wall of Immunity’ against Covid-19 at int’l conference in Beijing, ABC.net.au, July 3, 2021
Media applaud the new cold wars, ask the U.S. to please be more aggressive, by Gregory Shupak, Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, July 1, 2021
Related: Toronto Star joins Globe and Mail daily in featuring front page, McCarthyite-style attack against Chinese gov’t and people. See: ‘Canada’s public pension plan has invested millions in Chinese companies blacklisted in the U.S. over security concerns’, published on page one, Toronto Star, on July 2, 2021 [The Star article cites the U.S. gov’t as an authoritative source on action against China. It writes: U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order June 3 expanding a Trump-era ban barring American investments in 59 Chinese companies the U.S. government says have ties to that country’s military and surveillance apparatus. A statement from the White House said the companies named in Biden’s executive order “undermine the security or democratic values of the United States and our allies”.]
China and the lure of global capitalism, book review by Macabe Keliher, in Boston Review, July 1, 2021 Markets have played a central role in China’s explosive development since the 1980s. But as GDP rose, inequality has soared—a stark turn away from earlier socialist ideals. Reviewing: How China Escaped Shock Therapy: The Market Reform Debate, by Isabella M. Weber, Routledge, 2021, 358pp
* Full text of speech by China’s president Xi Jinping at July 1 ceremony marking the centenary of the Communist Party of China, Xinhua, July 1, 2021
* Chinese Communist Party: a party of workers or capitalists?, by Michael Roberts (Marxist economist in UK), published on his website, July 1, 2021
* China declared officially malaria-free by World Health Organization, CNN, July 1, 2020
* Walden Bello’s skewed and misleading history of China. [In an essay on China published on June 30, 2021 in Foreign Policy in Focus, Philippine intellectual Walden Bello fails to ask the two central questions that should preoccupy any left-wing or Marxist analysis of present-day China, namely: 1. ‘What is the class character and direction of development of the People’s Republic of China? How may a socialist path of development be furthered?’ And, 2. ‘How can the struggling peoples of the world unite in an anti-imperialist alliance to defend the Chinese people and government from the threats and sanctions of imperialism’s new cold war?’ Bello answers the first question with an unsubstantiated claim that China has become “capitalist”. The second question is not even broached. Instead, Bello’s essay is an eclectically worded wish to see ‘left-wing regime change’ in the country. Bello laments in his essay, “Though protests are widespread on the ground — and often tolerated instead of repressed — and alienation from the authorities is widely expressed on the internet, there is no systemic challenge to the Chinese Communist Party.”]
100 years of the Chinese Communist Party, by Steve Smith, Jacobin Magazine (New York), July 1, 2021 (Steve Smith is a professor in the history faculty of Oxford University. He has authored several books on the history of the Chinese Revolution of 1949, including Revolution and the People in Russia and China: A Comparative History (2008).)
In launching airstrikes in Syria and Iraq, Biden lowers bar for use of military force, Washington Post, July 1, 2021
Related: House Democrats want to spend more on weapons procurement than Biden, Defense News, June 29, 2021 …The House Appropriations Committee released its fiscal 2022 Pentagon-funding bill on June 29. It proposes $706 billion in defense spending, or roughly $10 billion above the amount enacted for the current fiscal year. When added to the $11 billion for military construction appropriators are seeking separately, that sets it about even with Biden’s $716 billion request…
Russian president fields questions, comments from concerned Russian citizens in annual, marathon phone call-in. Report in Moscow Times, June 30, 2021
[A news report on this story in the Washington Post begins with, “Russian President Vladimir Putin, facing a devastating coronavirus outbreak in the country coupled with widespread vaccine hesitancy, took to national television on June 30…” According to Worldometer, Russia has suffered some 136,000 deaths due to Covid-19. The United States, with app. twice the population of Russia, has suffered app. 620,000 deaths. Britain, with half the population of Russia, has suffered app. 128,000 deaths. Russia’s per capita death rate from Covid-19 is 931 per million population. Here are some equivalent figures (rounded) among NATO-member countries: Poland 2,000; U.S. 1,900; Britain 1,900; France 1,700; Germany 1,100; Canada 700.].
Related: The full text of Vladimir Putin’s annual direct line with Russian citizens on June 30, 2021 can be read here on the website of the President of Russia.]
New York Times op-ed denounces Daniel Ellsberg and Edward Snowden on 50th anniversary of its publishing of the Pentagon Papers, by Barbara Koeppel, Covert Action Magazine, July 1, 2021
Nicaragua’s inspiring social and economic advances, by Coleen R. Littlejohn, published by the Alliance for Global Justice, July 1, 2021 [For a listing of articles reporting on Nicaragua’s social and economic advances, see the news headline compilation in the ‘World news’ page of A Socialist In Canada for June 2021, including this article: Nicaragua’s political opposition as organized crime, commentary by Stephen Sefton, in Telesur, June 15, 2021.]
As Delta variant surges, outbreaks return in many parts of the world, New York Times, June 30, 2021
Related pandemic news:
* Israel scrambles to curb jump in Covid infections, Associated Press, July 1, 2021 Israel reported 307 new Covid-19 cases on June 30, its highest daily infection rate in three months as it scrambles to contain the spread of the new Delta variant. The health ministry reportedly expects the numbers of newly infected people to jump in coming days, raising concerns that Israel is plunging back toward a crisis. In recent months, Israel has reopened businesses, schools and event venues, lifting nearly all restrictions after it inoculated some 85 per cent of the adult population. It is now seen as an early-warning system of sorts for other countries…
* Russia records highest daily Covid death toll; and other pandemic news, global news roundup in Associated Press, June 29, 2021
* Britain to lift lockdown rules despite raging Delta variant, South China Morning Post, June 29, 2021
* Scientists brace for impact of Delta coronavirus variant, Nature magazine, June 22, 2021
* New EU COVID-19 vaccine rules governing ‘Covishield’ vaccine produced under license from AstraZeneca could restrict travel by many Africans and others, Globe and Mail, June 29, 2021 read the article here in pdf format: Vaccine travel restrictions …There are similar concerns from countries that have relied heavily on Chinese or Russian vaccines, which are also among the vaccines that have not been approved by European regulators… [According to the Toronto Star on July 1, the European Union has lifted travel restrictions for Canadians, including those who received the Astra Zeneca vaccination. Britain remains on the list of countries whose ctizens are barred from travel into the EU.].
* The coming rental eviction storm in the U.S. as end of pandemic moratorium looms and judges begin ruling in favour of landlords seeking evictions, Washington Post, June 28, 2021 and read: More than $425 million promised for rental assistance in U.S. didn’t make it to tenants or their landlords, by The Center for Public Integrity, June 29, 2021
Oklahoma becomes 37th state to expand Medicaid coverage following successful referendum in 2020, The Oklahoman, June 30, 2021 From Wikipedia: Medicaid in the United States is a federal and state program that helps with healthcare costs for some people with limited income and resources. Medicaid also offers benefits not normally covered by Medicare, including nursing home care and personal care services. The main difference between the two programs is that Medicaid covers healthcare costs for people with low incomes while Medicare provides health coverage for the elderly.
* Twelve holdout states haven’t expanded Medicaid, leaving two million people in limbo, NPR, July 1, 2021
* Interactive map of Medicaid expansion decisions, published by Kaiser Family Foundation, July 1, 2021