Leftnews.org | News and Views from the Left

by Editors — last modified 2019-06-24T08:39:47-04:00
Contributors: Faiz Ahmed, JBB, Graham H. Cox, R. Dubois, JA Cox
The best of the political left-wing from around the web.

Currency wars, who are they good for? | Financial Times

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Aug 06, 2019 11:15 AM
"China’s economy, however, has more serious problems than US dollar borrowing by local firms. While some sectors such as construction are heavily exposed, the overall amounts are in the single digits when compared with the (sizeable) total debt burdens of the its corporates. The fact that [China's devaluing its currecny] hurts both Chinese and US firms does, however, point to a bigger point: the grim fate of global manufacturing. Indeed, it increasingly seems that monetary policy is a poor fix for a retrenchment of world trade that at its root is political." All the global central banks are now singing to the same tune. Yet when they all loosen their monetary policy in tandem, the local currency benefit is shortlived.

Wettlaufer inquiry underlines need for more staffing and hours of care in long term care | CUPE

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Aug 01, 2019 08:24 AM
"For years, CUPE Ontario, through its Time to Care campaign, has been calling on the government to legislate a minimum of four hours of care per day in long term care homes. Despite years of evidence and the inquiry’s recommendations, CUPE is concerned about whether the provincial government in Ontario will find the political will to take action, especially while the Ford government is busily slashing funding for health care and social services."

Ontario must increase funding and staffing at the province's nursing homes | CBC

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jul 31, 2019 02:36 PM
"The recommendations will take political will and money. Among them: The ministry of Long-Term Care should conduct a study to determine adequate staffing levels on day, evening and night shifts — and report on that study by July 31, 2020. ... Increase funding for staffing as determined by that study. At times, Wettlaufer was the only nurse working on a night shift, overseeing 99 patients with no oversight. ... Increase the number of registered nurses and registered practical nurses in long-term care homes. ... Limit the use of temp-agency nurses, who go into long-term care homes with little knowledge of the residents and procedures, to fill staffing holes. ..."

Iran simply won’t let itself be hemmed in by the U.S. and UK | Monthly Review Online

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jul 31, 2019 10:32 AM
"Under pressure from the United States, Panama has removed its flag from 59 vessels that are either linked to Iran or Syria. A ship without an international flag cannot buy insurance, which means that it has to almost instantly take on a different flag. The United States has been pressuring countries such as Sierra Leone and Togo to pressure them not to put their flags on vessels that are part of Iran’s oil export trade. Carrying an Iranian flag does not allow ships easy access to insurance; the United States has pressured insurance companies to deny insurance to these ships. Ships with Iranian flags not only have a hard time buying insurance, but they are also on the radar of customs officials who have been asked to give these ships more scrutiny, therefore delaying their progress and raising the costs for the transport of Iranian oil."

Six Chavista Militants Killed in Fresh Rural Violence | Venezuela Analysis

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jul 31, 2019 10:16 AM
"The Venezuelan countryside has seen a recent increase in targeted killings of campesinos in the context of escalating disputes over land rights. ... According to campesino groups, since the inauguration of Venezuela’s revolutionary land reform law in 2001, over 300 small farmers have been murdered by hired guns in the employ of large landowners."

Jewish groups urge Ontario students to opt out of union dues | The Canadian Jewish News

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jul 30, 2019 03:44 PM
"The leaders of four Jewish organizations are calling on Ontario university students to opt out of paying dues to the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), because it supports the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. Students at universities in Ontario are now able to opt out of paying non-essential fees, thanks to recent changes enacted by the provincial government."

In victory for activists, Vancouver city council votes against adopting IHRA antisemitism definition | Monthly Review Online

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jul 29, 2019 12:09 PM
"Passing this motion would have set a dangerous precedent of being the first municipal council in Canada to endorse the IHRA definition. Vancouver, however, has a long and proud tradition of being both anti-racist and defending free speech and Palestinian rights. A popular campaign was immediately launched to tell Vancouver City Council why this motion should not be adopted–letter writing, social media and articles in local papers all happened. People from both within the Jewish community and other sectors were adamant in stating that this definition had more to do with squashing criticism of Israel than it did with contributing to the fight against racism. The Palestinian community also pointed out that the definition actually promotes anti-Palestinian racism, as it severely limits and defines what the Palestinian narrative can be. The Vancouver & District Labour Council (VDLC), the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) and civic parties like the Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) all took the position that adopting the IHRA definition would be divisive and harmful."

Court ruling against Venezuela in Crystallex case puts Citgo at risk | Ottawa Citizen

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jul 29, 2019 11:48 AM
"A U.S. federal appeals court on Monday rejected an appeal by Venezuela’s state-owned oil company to set aside an order allowing a Canadian gold mining company to seize shares in its U.S. refining unit, Citgo Petroleum Corp. ... The decision was also a blow to investors holding PDVSA’s 2020 bond, for which the company had pledged half of Citgo shares as collateral. Maduro’s government had remained current on that bond even as it defaulted on most other debt in order to avoid losing control of Citgo."

Minimum wage workers can’t afford rent in most communities | CUPE

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jul 29, 2019 11:25 AM
"[A]ccording to a report released last week by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) ... A full-time minimum wage worker could afford to rent a one-bedroom apartment in only 70 of the 795 cities reviewed in the CCPA report. ... Over half of the cities in the top 20 for unaffordable rents for minimum wage workers are in Ontario."
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