World

The Swift, Shocking Collapse of Theresa May and the Tories

by m2c4  – It is hard to believe but it was just two months ago that Theresa May called a snap election in the UK. With polls showing around a 20 point lead for Conservatives, the expectation was that May would solidify her “strong” leadership position for the difficult Brexit negotiations ahead, the Tories would get a 75 to 100 seat majority in the House of Common, and the resulting Labour party losses would put them into minority status for a generation to come. It didn’t quite work out that way. The election resulted in a hung Parliament. May and the Conservatives actually lost their 17 seat working majority and were forced to join with the anti-abortion, climate change denying Northern Irish DUP party in order to try and actually form a government. May, who had run as a “strong leader” that the UK needed to move forward for the next...

Read More...


Grenfell Fire: Residents Demand Justice

by Shafik Mandhai – Pressure grows on local council and PM Theresa May to hold those responsible for safety failings to account. A member of Al Manaar mosque in West London opens up the doors to its prayer area in a vain attempt to cool the community hall where hundreds of people, including survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire, have gathered. The temperature is 30C outside, but the inside of the hall offers little relief to those dabbing away sweat and trying to fan themselves cool with leaflets. Nevertheless, an unrelenting stream of locals, Muslim and not, continues to flow through the mosque’s entrance further cramming the room. They have come to listen to a group of local lawyers and social housing experts who have taken it upon themselves to advise those who have lost their homes on the best course of action. Those addressing the crowd urge a united front and...

Read More...


Iran Accuses Saudis of Supporting Terrorist Groups

Iran’s Zarif says Tehran has intelligence that Riyadh supports terrorist groups operating on the eastern side of Iran. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has accused Saudi Arabia of supporting terrorist groups inside Iran, days after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group claimed attacks in Tehran. “We have intelligence that Saudi Arabia is actively engaged in promoting terrorist groups operating on the eastern side of Iran in Baluchestan,” Zarif said on Tuesday at a news conference on the sidelines of an annual peace mediation in Oslo. He said the armed groups were “using the territory of one of our neighbours against its will to launch attacks against Iran which only two months ago led to the murder of nine Iranian border guards,” refering to Pakistan. “On the Western side the same type of activity is being undertaken, again by using the diplomatic...

Read More...


Israel Plans Most Settlement Homes Since 1992 (VIDEO)

Defence minister says first half of 2017 has seen most illegal expansion since before “Oslo peace process” began. Israel has so far this year advanced its highest number of settlement projects since 1992, the defence minister said, despite warnings such plans make a two-state solution impossible. Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman made the comments on Sunday as Israel’s government faced mounting pressure from leaders of the settlement movement, who wield heavy influence in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition. Netanyahu has found himself seeking to balance the competing demands of the settlers and US President Donald Trump, who has asked him to hold back on such projects for now as he seeks a way to restart negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. Lieberman told journalists and ministers at the start of a cabinet meeting that, so far this year, plans had been advanced for 8,345 homes in the occupied West Bank,...

Read More...


The Resurrection of Jeremy Corbyn: Truth Can Be an Effective Political Weapon

by Mark Weisbrot – The Labour Manifesto allowed voters to see that Corbyn stood for things they believed in. Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the UK’s Labour Party, has made a remarkable comeback after his political obituary had been written and widely accepted as recently as seven weeks ago. Although the Tories, led by Theresa May, will still have the largest number of seats, they have lost their majority, after calling the election in the belief that they would increase it. Labour has picked up at least 29 seats. The result is a hung parliament, and it is not yet clear whether a coalition government will be formed or new elections will have to be held. Observers have pointed to various historical causes that have brought Corbyn to his leadership position and kept him there, such as the failure of the centrist, neoliberal project of “New Labour” to provide economic security or...

Read More...


A Gulf Crisis: How Did We Get Here? (VIDEOS)

by Sultan Barakat – Qatar is being punished for refusing to join Saudi Arabia’s war mongering. Qatar’s residents woke up on the morning of the June 5 to the news that the country is now subject to a siege-like isolation through land, air, and sea imposed by its erstwhile brethren of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Egypt. This latest crisis is more serious than the diplomatic spat of 2014, which involved the withdrawal of ambassadors but not the closing of borders or expulsion of citizens. The message from Riyadh and Abu Dhabi is that Qatar must concede to their demands or be prepared to face a blockade, similar to the one Israel has imposed on Gaza. This will have a real lasting legacy on the integrity of the Gulf, as families are split, employees lose their jobs and people are forcibly displaced. WATCH: Amnesty slams embargo on Qatar over rights violations (2:20) In effect, it is shocking to...

Read More...


‘Absolute Joke’: Despite Thrashing, May Forges Far-Right Coalition to Hold Power in UK

by Jon Queally – Though rebuked at polls and hopes for mandate terminated, Conservatives move fast to keep Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn from taking over as prime minister. Despite failing to win an outright majority of seats in Parliament in Thursday’s snap-election, British Prime Minister Theresa May and her Conservative party looked determined to cling to power despite results that stripped them of the strong mandate they sought ahead of upcoming Brexit negotiations. Reports confirm that May has reached a deal with the right-wing Democratic Unionist party (DUP) in Northern Ireland in order to prevent the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn from assembling his own minority coalition and becoming prime minister. According to a DUP source who spoke to the Guardian: “We want there to be a government. We have worked well with May. The alternative is intolerable. For as long as Corbyn leads Labour, we will ensure there’s a Tory PM.” For street-level perspective from...

Read More...


Police Face Scrutiny as Third London Attacker Named

Italian officials claim they passed on concerns about Youssef Zaghba to British intelligence officials last year. British police on Tuesday named the third London Bridge attacker as an Italian national of Moroccan descent, and Italian officials said they had passed on their concerns about him to British intelligence officials last year. UK police said that 22-year-old Youssef Zaghba lived in east London and had not been considered to be a “person of interest” to either police or the intelligence services – meaning they had no reason to think he was violent or planning an attack. The other two attackers were named on Monday as Khuram Shazad Butt and Rachid Redouane. The three, who were wearing fake suicide vests, were shot dead late on Saturday after ramming a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and then slashing and stabbing people in nearby Borough Market. Seven people were killed during the...

Read More...


Is Britain Also Feeling the Bern?

by Robert Borosage – Bernie Sanders is in England for sold-out speaking engagements to boost Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party’s candidate for prime minister in the snap election scheduled for June 8. Corbyn is surging in British polls, and running a populist campaign that pledges radical economic reform. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons The tides of British and American politics often rise and fall together. Conservative Margaret Thatcher’s rise to power in Britain was followed one year later by the stunning victory of her “political soulmate” Ronald Reagan. The two launched the modern conservative era, declaring, in Thatcher’s famous formulation, that “There is no alternative.” The 1992 victory of Bill Clinton’s New Democrats was echoed by the rise of Tony Blair’s New Labour four years later. The 2016 Brexit revolt against immigration and the European Union was followed five months later by Donald Trump’s stupefying victory in the U.S. election....

Read More...


London Bridge: Seven Killed in Car and Stabbing Attack

Attackers drive van into pedestrians on London Bridge and go on stabbing spree before being shot dead by UK police. At least seven people have been killed in the UK capital after a van ploughed into pedestrians on London Bridge and attackers went on stabbing spree in the nearby Borough Market area before being shot dead by police. Another 48 people were also wounded in the attack late on Saturday, which occurred in a busy area with many restaurants and pubs. “It has now been confirmed sadly that seven members of the public have died. In addition, as you know, we believe, three suspects are dead,” London Metropolitan Police chief Cressida Dick said in a televised statement on Sunday. Two French nationals were among those injured in the London attack, the French president’s office said in a statement. Australia said two of its citizens were caught up in the...

Read More...


With Bold ‘For the Many’ Platform, Corbyn Rides Sanders-Like Wave in UK

by Jake Johnson – In Wednesday night’s televised debate, Jeremy Corbyn accused his rivals of prioritizing the wealthiest over the vulnerable. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s prospects are rising ahead of upcoming elections in the United Kingdom, as his insurgent campaign rides a wave of progressive populism similar to the one created by Senator Bernie Sanders in the United States last year. With the British election just a week away, the BBC on Wednesday hosted a debate featuring several party leaders, including Corbyn, who has in recent days surged rapidly in public opinion polls. The most recent survey, conducted by YouGov/The Times, finds the Tories ahead of Labour by a mere three points. This drastic shift has appeared to inject new life into an election that was previously viewed as a potential landslide victory for the Conservatives. On Wednesday, Corbyn used the televised debate—and the fact that Prime Minister Theresa May declined...

Read More...


Chemical Weapons a Red Line in Syria, says Macron

Meeting Putin in Paris, Macron also said France and Russia should cooperate to ‘eradicate terrorist groups’ in Syria. The use of chemical weapons in Syria is a red line for France and “would result in reprisals”, President Emmanuel Macron said after meeting his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Monday. Meeting Putin for the first time, Macron told a news conference that France and Russia must cooperate to “eradicate terrorist groups” in Syria and did not directly criticise Moscow’s role there. France and Russia back different sides in the Syrian conflict, with Putin supporting President Bashar al-Assad and Macron part of a western coalition that supports rebel groups and has accused Assad of using chemical weapons in the past. Putin in France: Divisions ahead of first meeting “Our two countries will cooperate on Syria, this is essential,” Macron said. “We need strong cooperation because we have a joint priority, which is the...

Read More...


Manuel Noriega, Ex-military Ruler of Panama, Dies at 83 (VIDEO)

Former ruler of Panama was held in medically induced coma after brain surgery in March. Manuel Noriega, Panama’s former ruler, has died aged 83, Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela announced on Twitter. Noriega was the country’s military ruler from 1983 to 1989, when he was removed from power by the United States during the invasion of Panama. “The death of Manuel Antonio Noriega closes a chapter in our history; his daughters and their families deserve a burial in peace,” Varela said. Juan Carlos Varela ✔@JC_Varela Muerte de Manuel A. Noriega cierra un capítulo de nuestra historia; sus hijas y sus familiares merecen un sepelio en paz. 12:58 AM – 30 May 2017 Noriega was held in a medically induced coma after suffering brain hemorrhaging in March. The hemorrhage occurred after Noriega underwent surgery to have a tumour removed from his brain. During his rule, Noriega initially positioned Panama as a...

Read More...


We Must Be Brave Enough to Admit the War on Terror Simply Not Working

by Jeremy Corbyn – Amid sorrow of Manchester bombing, UK Labour Party leader explains why actively building peace is requisite for ending such horrific and inexcusable carnage in the future. Our whole nation has been united in shock and grief this week as a night out at a concert ended in horrific terror and the brutal slaughter of innocent people enjoying themselves. When I stood on Albert Square at the vigil in Manchester, there was a mood of unwavering defiance. The very act of thousands of people coming together sent a powerful message of solidarity and love. It was a profound human impulse to stand together, caring and strong. It was inspiring. In the past few days, we have all perhaps thought a bit more about our country, our communities and our people. The people we have lost to atrocious violence or who have suffered grievous injury, so many of them...

Read More...


Hassan Rouhani Wins Iran’s Presidential Election (VIDEOS)

Final results show incumbent president emphatically beating rival Ebrahim Raisi to extend his time in office. Iran’s reformist President Hassan Rouhani has decisively won the country’s presidential election, according to official results, fending off a challenge by principlist rival, Ebrahim Raisi. With all of votes in Friday’s poll counted, Rouhani was re-elected with 57 percent, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmanifazli said on Saturday. “Of some 41.2 million total votes cast, Rouhani got 23.5 … and won the election,” Rahmanifazli said in remarks carried live by state TV. PROFILE: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani Raisi, Rouhani’s closest rival, got 15.8 million votes, he added. A big turnout on Friday led to the vote being extended by several hours to deal with long queues. Campaign pledges The election was seen by many as a verdict on Rouhani’s policy of opening up Iran to the world and his efforts to rebuild its stagnant economy....

Read More...


LANDSLIDE: France Overwhelmingly Says “NON” to Fascism, Trumpism

by Common Dreams staff –  “A global victory against the movement of explicit and unhinged Islamophobia, xenophobia.” Centrist Emmanuel Macron has won the French presidency with a landslide victory over the far-right, nationalist Marine Le Pen of Front National. Macron, 39, a former economy minister who ran as a “neither left nor right” independent, took 65.1% to Le Pen’s 34.9%, according to election projections released after polls closed at 8pm local time (2pm EDT). Macron’s margin of victory was larger than the lead he had in the latest available polls of French voters. Many Macron voters were voting against the far-right xenophobic polices of Le Pen and her party – Front National. As economist Mark Weisbrot wrote Friday: “As France heads into the second and final round of its presidential election on Sunday , a number of observers have compared the choice between the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and centrist...

Read More...


Venezuela: The Catastrophe the World has Been Ignoring

by E.A. Crunden – Venezuela is in a crisis. Blackouts, deaths, a state of emergency. Over the course of the past few months, Venezuela’s national crisis has gone from bad to worse, as food shortages and economic distress have pushed citizens into the streets. Protests have been raging for the past two months, resulting in the deaths of at least 37 people, with more than 700 protesters wounded and over 1,000 arrested. The situation hasn’t been getting a tremendous amount of attention in the Western world — but after this week, that could change. On Thursday, students stormed Caracas, Venezuela’s capital, demanding that the government hold elections and address terrible food shortages. Sprayed with tear gas and confronted by soldiers, the protesters persisted, undaunted. “The terrorists today are in government, today we are the ones who are fighting for Venezuela, today they are stopping us, today they are killing us, today we are victims...

Read More...


France’s Election Could Decide the Fate of the EU

by E.A. Crunden – Relations with the United States and other Western powers will also face a test. The French presidential run-off is on Sunday, and the fate of the European Union is at stake. Frontrunners Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron will go head-to-head at the polls as French voters decide between two diametrically opposed world views. Macron, who took home 24.01 percent of the vote in the initial election on April 23, remains the favorite, while Le Pen, who earned 21.3 percent, is trailing behind. Polls indicate Macron should emerge victorious, but a number of factors could see his rival edge him out for the top spot. Center-right candidate François Fillon and far-left long-shot Jean-Luc Mélenchon each drew a significant number of voters in the first round, though not enough to make the run-off. Fillon swiftly endorsed Macron following his defeat, citing a Le Pen win as an unacceptable outcome....

Read More...


Who are Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron? (VIDEOS)

by Shafik Mandhai – The far-right female National Front leader will go head-to-head with the 39-year-old favourite to win the presidency. Who is Emmanuel Macron? Few could have asked for a better start to a political career than the French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron. The current frontrunner is a graduate of elite National School of Administration, which produces the country’s top civil servants and counts three French presidents among its alumni. Macron will be hoping to make it number four in May. As things stand, he looks best positioned to fend off the far-right candidacy of Marine Le Pen, who he is predicted to easily beat in a second round runoff – if the polls are correct. France election: Voters cast ballots in first round After graduating, Macron worked as a financial inspector at the Ministry of Economy before joining Rothschild & Cie bank as an investment banker. Politically, he was a...

Read More...


The Trump Doctrine

by ROBERT REICH – Though his foreign policy seems arbitrary and inconsistent, a pattern has emerged to explain Donald Trump’s worldview and how the US will carry it out. What’s the “Trump Doctrine” of foreign policy? At first glance, foreign policy under Trump seems inconsistent, arbitrary and devoid of principle. A few weeks ago, even before the airstrike on Syria, Trump communications director Mike Dubke told Trump’s assembled aides that international affairs presented a messaging challenge because the Trump administration lacks a coherent foreign policy. “There is no Trump doctrine,” Dubke declared. I think Dubke is being grossly unfair. Of course there’s a Trump Doctrine. You just have to know where to look for it. The Trump Doctrine began to emerge when Trump issued his travel bans (both the first and second) on predominantly Muslim countries. But he notably excluded predominately Muslim countries where Trump has business interests. So under what might...

Read More...