— by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jan 21, 2017 05:36 PM
"Last August the Obama administration quietly designated it an “area of active hostilities,” where the guidelines to prevent civilian deaths did not apply. The change gave the military a freer hand to target Islamic State fighting positions and equipment. Under ordinary combat rules established by the laws of war, some bystander deaths are permissible if deemed necessary and proportionate. ... areas of active hostilities, where the protections do not apply, currently include Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria."
— by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jan 21, 2017 05:28 PM
"The new Russian military agreement with Syria provides for an expansion of Russia’s Tartus naval base on the Syrian coast under a 49-year lease that could automatically renew for a further 25 years ... The Russian-Syrian agreement came as momentum grew among dissidents to join the peace talks in Astana, although it was a foregone conclusion that any deal from those negotiations would be rejected by jihadists. At least 14 rebel factions are participating."
— by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Jan 21, 2017 10:12 AM
"Many organizers with Black Lives Matter – Toronto have heard the phrase “You’ve had a great 2016,” but great years are made from lasting, systemic change, and in that regard we can’t say we’ve had a great year"
— by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jan 20, 2017 03:17 PM
"The incoming administration has competing power centers, with much of the legislative agenda driven by traditional conservatives and Vice President Mike Pence—until Trump notices something, weighs in, and scrambles the equation. ... Trump is prepared to do battle with Republicans on infrastructure, trade, and child care, even as he gladdens them with an industry-friendly slash-and-burn approach to regulation."
— by JBB — last modified Jan 20, 2017 10:09 AM
Jacobin | Imagine a different inauguration. If we had a working-class party, what would it fight for?
— by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jan 19, 2017 11:46 PM
"The release of the newly available primary documents, which include information not discussed in a 500-page executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into the C.I.A. torture program that was released in 2014, comes at the same time as an urgent legal battle is unfolding over the potential fate of the still-classified, 6,700-page full version of that report. Lawyers for two detainees who were subjected to the C.I.A.’s most extreme “enhanced” interrogation techniques are asking federal judges to order the executive branch to deposit a copy of the full report with the judiciary to ensure that the Trump administration and congressional Republicans do not destroy it. But the Obama administration, in its waning hours, is fighting that idea."
— by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jan 19, 2017 11:15 PM
"Syria will give Iran 5,000 hectares of land for farming, and 1,000 hectares for setting up oil and gas terminals, according to Iran's state news agency IRNA. A deal was also signed on providing lands for animal husbandry. Analysts said the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), a military force that runs a powerful industrial empire in Iran, would benefit from the deals, especially on the mobile network contract. IRGC largely controls telecommunications in Iran. ... Tehran has already shown interest in helping Syria rebuild its roads, airports, power stations and ports - potentially benefiting the Revolutionary Guards, which own the biggest construction firms in Iran. ... Iran aims to export electricity to Syria and create the biggest power network in the Islamic world by hooking up Iran's national grid with those of Iraq and Lebanon."
— by JBB — last modified Jan 19, 2017 08:11 PM
By Henry A. Giroux | Source: Tikkun (via Znet) | The United States stands at the endpoint of a long series of attacks on democracy, and the choices faced by the American public today point to the divide between those who are committed to democracy and those who are not.
— by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jan 18, 2017 09:50 AM
"Snowden’s Russian lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, told RIA Novosti news agency that the permit had been extended until 2020. He also said that as of next year, Snowden would have the right to apply for Russian citizenship."
— by Editors (What's Left) — last modified Jan 17, 2017 07:31 AM
"We can't shut down the oilsands tomorrow. We need to phase them out. We need to manage the transition off of our dependence on fossil fuels. That is going to take time. And, in the meantime, we have to manage that transition.” That was a statement made by Justin Trudeau last week about the Alberta oil sands.