Leftnews.org | News and Views from the Left

by Editors — last modified 2017-05-15T08:29:35-04:00
Contributors: Faiz Ahmed, JBB, Graham H. Cox, R. Dubois, JA Cox
The best of the political left-wing from around the web.

Trump to offer exclusive contract to service U.S. student loans | Reuters

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified May 19, 2017 05:55 PM
"Trump is making good on Republican campaign promises to get government out of the business of student lending, and recently lifted limits on fees debt collectors can charge some defaulted borrowers. The Washington Post has reported he will propose major changes to loan repayment in his forthcoming budget, including eliminating a program that erases student debt for public-sector workers after 10 years of payments. "The changes will certainly increase profits for the industry, but will do nothing to tame the high levels of default in the program," said Rohit Chopra, senior fellow at the Consumer Federation of America and former CFPB assistant director. The CFPB says 1.2 million student-loan borrowers have defaulted in the past year and 90 percent of the highest-risk borrowers are not enrolled in affordable repayment plans, even though student-loan companies are supposed to inform borrowers about them."

Julian Assange says ‘proper war is just commencing’ after rape investigation dropped | The Toronto Star

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified May 19, 2017 02:28 PM
"Speaking from the balcony of Ecuador’s London embassy, where he took refuge in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, Assange said his seven-year legal ordeal — which he called unjust detention — “is not something that I can forgive.” He says his battle is not over, and “the proper war is just commencing.” Assange, 45, believes the United States wants him extradited and arrested in connection with WikiLeaks’ publication of classified U.S. documents. ... Assange and WikiLeaks have repeatedly infuriated U.S. officials with the widespread release of sensitive secret documents related to military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and diplomatic relations around the world. WikiLeaks also had a provocative role in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign when it published emails written by Hillary Clinton’s campaign officials. Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning served seven years in prison for giving classified material to WikiLeaks. She was freed Wednesday, having had her sentence commuted by former president Barack Obama before he left office."

Labour party’s future lies with Momentum, says Noam Chomsky | The Guardian

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified May 18, 2017 12:26 PM
"[A]head of what could be a bitter split within the Labour movement if Corbyn’s party is defeated in the June election, Chomsky claimed the future must lie with the left of the party. “The constituency of the Labour party, the new participants, the Momentum group and so on … if there is to be a serious future for the Labour party that is where it is in my opinion,” he said."

Death, disappearance of First Nations teens reignite concern about police practices in Thunder Bay | CBC

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified May 18, 2017 08:49 AM
"Tammy Keeash of North Caribou Lake First Nation was found dead in a river in Thunder Bay on May 7. The 17-year-old was living in a group home in the city. She is the sixth Indigenous teen to drown in a Thunder Bay waterway since 2000. ... A recent coroner's inquest examined the deaths of seven Indigenous students in Thunder Bay between 2000 and 2011. The bodies of five of those students were found in one of the local rivers."

Brazil roiled as President Temer reportedly taped arranging bribe | The Globe and Mail

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified May 18, 2017 08:45 AM
"Late on Wednesday, the newspaper O Globo reported that President Michel Temer was caught in a secret audio recording authorizing the head of meatpacking giant JBS SA to pay bribes to buy the silence of disgraced political leader Eduardo Cunha, who is serving a 15-year prison sentence for corruption. ... [T]he incidents in the reported recordings would seem to lead Brazil into new legal territory: these alleged crimes were committed just weeks ago. ... Many Brazilians also read into the fact that it was O Globo, a media conglomerate whose wealthy owners were viewed as backers of the Rousseff impeachment and supporters of Mr. Temer, that broke this story – a sign that he has lost their protection, which could complicate his efforts to see out his term."

Brazil Court to Begin Trial that Could Unseat President Temer | teleSUR

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified May 18, 2017 08:38 AM
"Brazil’s top electoral court said Tuesday it will restart the trial on a case that could annul the 2014 presidential election on charges of illegal campaign financing and even oust President Michel Temer one year after he was installed in office through a parliamentary coup against his predecessor Dilma Rousseff. ... Although Rousseff's rivals have often portrayed her impeachment as part of a campaign to root out government corruption, she was removed from office on accusations that she cooked the books with common accounting tricks ahead of her re-election campaign and was never accused of personal enrichment."

Democrats divide on Bernie’s 2020 plans | Politico

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified May 18, 2017 08:29 AM
"Sanders loyalists say they’re eager to stir up the internal fight that they say the party needs to have. To Sanders, it’s the natural next step in his pursuit of the 40-year-old goal of upending the established political system, which they see millions of voters having supported last year. And each passing day of the Trump administration, along with the Democrats’ resistance, has vindicated his belief that substantive change can come when masses rise up."

Patrick Cockburn: As Trump Cozies Up to Saudi Arabia, War With Iran Becomes More Likely | Counter Punch

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified May 16, 2017 09:03 PM
"Saudi leaders were overjoyed by the election of Trump whom they see as sympathetic to them and the Gulf leaders whom he will meet after he arrives in Saudi Arabia on 19 May, before going on to Israel. It is a chilling tribute to the authoritarian instincts of Trump that his first foreign visit as President should be to the last arbitrary monarchies left on earth"
Document Actions