Leftnews.org | News and Views from the Left

by Editors — last modified 2015-11-11T09:19:15-05:00
Contributors: Faiz Ahmed, JBB, Graham H. Cox, R. Dubois, JA Cox

Trigger Happy: Will Turkey’s Downing of Russian Jet Backfire on NATO? | Counter Punch

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Nov 25, 2015 04:46 PM
"Nato countries will give some rhetorical support to Turkey as a Nato member, but many will not be dismissive in private of President Vladimir Putin’s angry accusation that Turkey is the accomplice of terrorists. Turkey’s support for the Syrian armed opposition, including extreme groups like Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham, has been notorious over the last three years. Its relations with Isis are murky, but it has been credibly accused of allowing the self-declared Islamic State to sell oil through Turkey."

Autumn Statement 2015: John McDonnell Reads From Chairman Mao's Little Red Book In The Commons

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Nov 25, 2015 11:49 AM
While most publications will focus on who brought Mao to the UK Commons, it should be put into context:""I never envisioned when it came to nationalising I would be outdone by a conservative chancellor," McDonnell told MPs as he responded to the chancellor's Autumn Statement. "I would like to bring services like rail back into ownership of the British people. The chancellor wants to sell the to the People's Republic of China."He added: "Nationalisation is OK for him as long a it is by any other state but ours.""To assist comrade Osborne in his dealings with his new found comrades, I’ve brought him along Mao's Little Red Book.""

Autumn Statement 2015 at a glance: Everything you need to know from George Osborne's spending review | Daily Mirror

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Nov 25, 2015 11:17 AM
"Tory axeman George Osborne has unveiled billion-pound cuts in his spending review.So what exactly has the chancellor done?This full guide will help you navigate the small print of the Chancellor's teeming Autumn Statement, from his housing boom to a welfare bust.The Chancellor once again referred to the letter ex-Cabinet minister Liam Byrne left behind as a joke to his Tory successor in 2010 as he taunted Labour in the Commons."Economic and national security provide the foundations for everything we want to support," he said."

With new governments in Alberta and Ottawa, Parkland Institute asks: What's left? | Duncan Cameron

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Nov 25, 2015 10:16 AM
"Not many universities in the world can claim a full-blown left-wing think-tank. To its credit (and continued surprise for some, including its senior officers), the University of Alberta houses the Parkland Institute, a leading source of Canadian political economy research, and left animation of political life in Alberta and Canada."

Policy Repercussions of the Paris Terrorist Attacks | Schneier on Security

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Nov 25, 2015 10:05 AM
"In 2013, in the early days of the Snowden leaks, Harvard Law School professor and former Assistant Attorney General Jack Goldsmith reflected on the increase in NSA surveillance post 9/11. He wrote: Two important lessons of the last dozen years are (1) the government will increase its powers to meet the national security threat fully (because the People demand it), and (2) the enhanced powers will be accompanied by novel systems of review and transparency that seem to those in the Executive branch to be intrusive and antagonistic to the traditional national security mission, but that in the end are key legitimating factors for the expanded authorities.Goldsmith is right, and I think about this quote as I read news articles about surveillance policies with headlines like "Political winds shifting on surveillance after Paris attacks?""

Marxians, Marxists, profitability, investment and growth

by JBB — last modified Nov 24, 2015 06:38 PM
Michael Roberts Blog | I continue my campaign, along with a small band of like minds, arguing that the ups and downs of real economic growth are driven by changes in business investment. And, in a capitalist economy, that investment is driven by the level and movement in the profitability of capital and in the mass of profits generated by the workforce and appropriated by the owners of that capital. To me, this seems a simple and realistic analysis: profit rules. But this thesis is dismissed, ignored and rejected by mainstream, post-Keynesian and other ‘Marxian’ economists.

The Roots of the Current Situation in Venezuela

by JBB — last modified Nov 24, 2015 06:29 PM
By Gregory Wilpert | teleSUR English | How did Venezuela get into this difficult economic situation? What happened since Hugo Chavez’s death? Did the project derail, get stuck, hit a speed bump, or crash altogether?

Russian President Putin, Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei Meet Over Syria | The Wall Street Journal

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Nov 23, 2015 02:51 PM
"The Russian leader’s visit comes amid a push by the Kremlin to forge a broader coalition against Islamic State in the wake of the attacks in Paris and the downing of a Russian airliner over the Sinai Peninsula. French President François Hollande is due to arrive in Moscow later this week to discuss that effort. ... Mr. Khamenei accused the U.S. of creating or supporting terrorist groups such as Islamic State “behind the scenes,” a conspiracy allegation often forwarded by Iran. Mr. Putin has also accused the U.S. of playing a “double game” in the Middle East."

Syrian troops seize territory from IS in central province | Associated Press

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Nov 23, 2015 02:49 PM
"The capture of Mheen and Hawareen helps secure the highway linking the capital Damascus to the central city of Homs. The government's next push is expected to target the nearby town of Qaryatain and later the historic town of Palmyra, which was taken by IS in May. ... Syrian troops have captured dozens of villages in northern, western and central Syria since the Russian airstrikes began."
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