Leftnews.org | News and Views from the Left

by Editors — last modified 2017-07-05T10:43:19-04:00
Contributors: Faiz Ahmed, JBB, Graham H. Cox, R. Dubois, JA Cox
The best of the political left-wing from around the web.

Brazil's Lula Sentenced to Prison on Corruption Charges | Bloomberg

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jul 12, 2017 02:04 PM
"The guilty verdict on Lula, one of the most popular presidents in Brazilian history, weakens his chances of leading the Workers’ Party back into power in the 2018 elections. Over the past few months he has consolidated his position in opinion polls as the front-runner for the presidential race, but he will become ineligible if his sentence is upheld on appeal. The conviction of the left-wing leader also ratchets up yet further the political tension in Brasilia, coming as President Michel Temer is battling to avoid a trial in the Supreme Court on corruption charges."

UK arms exports to Saudi Arabia can continue, high court rules | The Guardian

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jul 10, 2017 12:50 PM
"Delivering an open judgment in the high court in London, Lord Justice Burnett, who heard the case with Mr Justice Haddon-Cave, said: “We have concluded that the material decisions of the secretary of state were lawful. We therefore dismiss the claim.” The court is also handing down a closed judgment, following a case in which half of the evidence was heard in secret on national security grounds."

Iran-Pakistan at the Crossroads? | The Diplomat

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jul 10, 2017 12:08 PM
"During his previous term, Rouhani showed considerable interest in trade with Pakistan, particularly with its largest province Balochistan. Indeed, he visited Pakistan for that in mind. Because of the India factor, however, the Sharif government, under constant pressure from Pakistan’s military establishment, was unable to respond to the Iranian outreach. Although Iran and Pakistan did try to improve economic ties, the Saudi-Iran rivalry impeded their efforts on several occasions."

Tillerson Says Syria Progress Could Be Replicated With Turkey | Bloomberg

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jul 10, 2017 11:57 AM
"The U.S.-Turkey relationship has been strained by the U.S. partnership with the Syrian Democratic Forces, an umbrella opposition group whose main fighting force is the Kurdish YPG. The U.S. chose to partner with and arm the YPG for an assault on the Islamic State’s stronghold of Raqqa despite Turkish protests and offers that it could provide an alternative military option. The YPG is affiliated with the PKK, a Kurdish group that has been fighting for autonomy inside Turkey since 1984, and which both Turkey and the U.S. consider a terrorist organization."

Egyptian, Palestinian leaders meet amid likely Gaza shakeup | The Washington Post

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jul 10, 2017 11:56 AM
"The emerging understandings between Egypt, Hamas and Dahlan could pose a serious political threat to Abbas and the prospects of Palestinian statehood in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem — the lands Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war. A Palestinian “mini state” in Gaza could undermine the official state sought by Abbas and others within the pre-1967 lines. If implemented, such understandings would likely help ease Gaza’s decade of isolation, but would also deepen the Israeli-enforced disconnect between Gaza and the West Bank. The two territories lie on opposite sides of Israel."

Tuition fees should be scrapped, says 'architect' of fees Andrew Adonis | The Guardian

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jul 08, 2017 10:43 AM
"Andrew Adonis, the former adviser to Tony Blair who also served as an education minister, has used a column for the Guardian to attack the system of student finances, accusing the government of running a Ponzi scheme that leaves students in England with crippling debts. ... Admitting that he was “largely responsible” for the structure of fees and loans, with repayments pegged to graduate incomes, Adonis complains that greedy university leaders have failed to improve teaching quality but still rewarded themselves handsomely. ... Adonis’s intervention comes after a damning report on student loans in England was published by the IFS, which revealed that students from the poorest households would accrue debts of £57,000 by graduation, and that 77% of students would fail to pay off their debts even 30 years after leaving university."

Durham Miners' Gala 2017: When will Jeremy Corbyn speak, how to get there and all you need to know | Chronicle

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jul 08, 2017 09:54 AM
"Buoyed by Labour’s successes in the election the Labour leader is expected to receive a hero’s welcome and draw in thousands of people who’ve never been to the Gala before. The Islington MP is a regular face at the event and last year addressed the crowds as Labour party leader for the first time. Despite the trade union links to the event, relations between past Labour leaders and Gala organisers have been somewhat frosty at times. Ed Miliband only addressed the huge trade union event once as leader in 2012, while his predecessors Tony Blair and Gordon Brown never made it. Blair was slammed as ‘the devil’ by the late Davey Hopper as his Sedgefield constituency was just 12 miles south of the city, and he still didn’t bother to show up."

A zombie world | Michael Roberts

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Jul 08, 2017 09:10 AM
The zombies arrived at the G20 meeting in Hamburg this weekend – and I don’t mean the G20 leaders but a group called Gestalten, who dressed as zombies and walked through the streets. The group said they wanted the G20 to stand for a more open, egalitarian society, rather than power in the hands of the few; and wanted to send a symbol of solidarity and political participation out to the world.
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