Leftnews.org | News and Views from the Left

by Editors — last modified 2017-12-18T08:46:21-05:00
Contributors: Faiz Ahmed, JBB, Graham H. Cox, R. Dubois, JA Cox
The best of the political left-wing from around the web.

Yemen war: senators push to end US support of Saudi Arabia | The Guardian

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Feb 28, 2018 06:38 PM
"The intent of the resolution is to revive the decades-long debate over defining – and in their view, reclaiming – Congress’s constitutional role in declaring war ... The House voted overwhelmingly last year to adopt a resolution that declared the US military had not been authorized to assist Saudi Arabia in its war in Yemen. The resolution, however, did not stop America from providing support to Saudi Arabia in its war. ... For decades, members of Congress have wrangled with how to restore its war-making powers from a succession of assertive administrations. Under the US constitution, the president cannot declare war without the approval of Congress. But recent administrations, through the use of drone strikes and so-called special operators, have expanded the interpretation of when a commander-in-chief can send US troops abroad."

Afghan President Offers Taliban Political Recognition, Talks | Bloomberg

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Feb 28, 2018 11:56 AM
"Ghani said he would recognize the Taliban as a political group and would initiate talks if they agreed to a cease-fire, he told delegates at a peace conference in the capital, Kabul, on Wednesday. He also suggested a constitutional review as a confidence-building measure for both sides. Ghani said he would help release Taliban prisoners, remove international sanctions on the group and assist them with passports and visas."

I am Colten Boushie. Canada is the all-white jury that acquitted his killer | The Guardian

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Feb 28, 2018 11:53 AM
"The land where Boushie was slain is governed by Treaty Six which was negotiated between the Crown and the Cree and Assiniboine peoples from 1876 to 1898. The treaty was met with apprehension by many Indigenous leaders, including the Cree chief Wuttunee, who sent his younger brother, Red Pheasant – for whom the Red Pheasant First Nation is named – to sign in his stead. ... In 2016, 26% of Red Pheasant residents were unemployed versus just 6% for their broader census division, according to Statistics Canada. Median household income on the reserve was $25,000, compared with more than $75,000 in surrounding communities. More than half of Red Pheasant’s adult residents did not graduate high school. Maclean’s magazine named North Battleford, just across the North Saskatchewan river, the most dangerous place in Canada. This is the landscape that Boushie, his girlfriend Kiora Wuttunee and their friends Eric Meechance, Belinda Jackson and Cassidy Whitstone set out from for a day of swimming and drinking on 9 August 2016."

It’s time for a higher N.B. minimum wage | Jean-Claude Basque

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Feb 24, 2018 12:21 PM
It is time for New Brunswick to increase its minimum wage. And contrary to the view of opponents, there are many convincing arguments for adopting this policy change. Consider that for the past 15 years, the number of workers at the minimum wage has fluctuated between six and ten per cent of the labour force. The majority of these workers have always been women. The percentage of teenagers, however, has decreased over the years, which means that almost sixty per cent of today’s minimum-wage workers are twenty years and older.

Largest-ever strike called in British higher education | Jacobin

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Feb 24, 2018 09:36 AM
This Thursday, lecturers at most universities in the UK will go on strike. They will stay on strike on Friday. They will continue to do so for three days next week, four days the week afterwards, and five days the week after that. In total, unless the dispute is settled in the meantime, 14 working days will be lost to industrial action in an industry that seldom sees action of any kind. The cause of the strike appears simple. University managers want to make changes to the USS, the pension plan that covers lecturers at 65 UK universities. Lecturers and their union, the University and College Union (UCU), the largest higher education union in the world, are determined to prevent those changes taking place. With neither side willing to budge, the UCU balloted members for strike action in January 2018 – and lecturers at an overwhelming majority of universities voted in favor of action.

Indigenous leaders call for change after 'all the systems' failed Tina Fontaine | CBC

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Feb 23, 2018 07:44 AM
"Indigenous leaders in Manitoba say Canadian systems failed Tina Fontaine, and Canadians need to work together to fix them. "The CFS system has definitely failed Tina Fontaine," said Kevin Hart, regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations, referring to the province's Child and Family Services system. "The Winnipeg Police Service has failed Tina Fontaine. Canadian society failed Tina Fontaine." Hart and other leaders addressed reporters from the steps of Winnipeg's courthouse minutes after an 11-person jury found Raymond Cormier, 56, not guilty of second-degree murder in Tina's 2014 death."

A less timid version of Justin Trudeau won’t cut it. The NDP must be bolder | The Guardian

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Feb 21, 2018 01:53 PM
"What is firing people up around the world are not flashy personalities but far-reaching policies. It’s a good start that Singh has rejected balanced budgets – a destructive neoliberal mantra that has transfixed the NDP for a generation, and allowed them to be out-flanked by Trudeau. So too is the refreshing fact that Singh has begun arguing the case for taxation. A bold and transformative agenda funded by taxes and historic government spending, as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has demonstrated in the UK, is not a risk in elections. It is a sure-fire recipe for success. A dramatic challenge to neoliberalism would be just as popular in Canada. ... The NDP has yet to realize that the howls of out-of-touch pundits would not be a mark of its failure but a guarantee of its promise."

Stakes rise in Turkey's Afrin assault as pro-Assad militia arrive | Reuters

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Feb 21, 2018 12:49 PM
"Since the onset of Syria’s conflict in 2011, the YPG and its allies have carved out three autonomous cantons in the north, including Afrin. Their power expanded as they fought Islamic State militants with the help of U.S. jets - though Washington opposes their political ambitions as does the Syrian government. ... Syrian Kurdish officials have said they sought assistance from Assad’s military after foreign powers did not help them against Turkey’s army. The move of pro-Assad forces into Afrin has drawn more attention to the relationship between Damascus and the YPG, which will prove pivotal in how the conflict unfolds."
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