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.

Assad in Afrin: Possible ramifications of Damascus' deployment | Rudaw

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Feb 21, 2018 12:47 PM
"Professor Joshua Landis, a Syria specialist from the University of Oklahoma, argued just before this deployment that it could well constitute "a win-win for everyone, Turkey wins because its YPG problem in Afrin would be solved, [t]he Kurds win because they would not be defeated by a hostile military and would thus save life and home. The Syrian government would win because it restores its sovereignty over another region of Syria and would show that it can serve as a protector rather than threat to local populations." ... The only stumbling block Landis foresees is the US government "dilemma" over "whether it weighs stability in Syria over its goal of rolling back Iran."

Supreme Court ruling affirms injured workers’ rights on the job | The Toronto Star

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Feb 19, 2018 01:43 PM
"Employers have a human rights obligation to reasonably accommodate injured employees after an accident, the Supreme Court has ruled in a decision that could have significant implications across the country — particularly for migrant and temporary agency workers. ... While all Ontario employers have a duty to co-operate with return-to-work efforts, only workplaces with more than 20 employees have an obligation to re-employ workers after an accident. The worker must also have been continuously employed there for at least a year before their injury. ... [M]igrant and temp workers were most likely to benefit from a more rigorous application of the duty-to-accommodate principle, because they are often immediately terminated or repatriated after an injury. ... A 2015 study conducted by professors at McMaster and Trent universities looking at injured workers with permanent impairments in Ontario found that 46 per cent were living on the poverty line five years after their accident."

Free Higher Education Resolution Passes Overwhelmingly at NDP Convention | Rank & File

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Feb 19, 2018 01:39 PM
"Ontario has a “free” higher education policy that’s actually a funding scheme that allows governments and institutions to continue to increase tuition fees. The Liberal government created a combination of grants and loans that defers and reduces tuition fee payments for some students, while inaccurately billing the policy as offering free education. Since they were first elected in 2003, tuition fees in Ontario have more than doubled."

It's time for the NDP to stand for democracy and human rights for Palestinians | Rabble

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Feb 16, 2018 02:07 PM
"A resolution has been submitted to the NDP convention to update the NDP's policy on Palestine. It is supported by human rights advocates, veteran NDP activists, including ex-MP Libby Davies, and my organization, Independent Jewish Voices Canada. If adopted, it would significantly shift the discourse in Canada about Palestine. Its ripple effects would reach even more widely."

Deaths From Gun Violence: How The U.S. Compares With The Rest Of The World | NPR

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Feb 15, 2018 02:49 PM
"Rates of gun deaths in the U.S. are far greater than in much of the rest of the world. Take countries with the top indicators of socioeconomic success — income per person and average education level, for instance. The United States ranks ninth in the world among them, bested only by the likes of Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Iceland, Andorra, Canada and Finland. Those countries all also enjoy low rates of gun violence, but the U.S. has the 31st highest rate in the world: 3.85 deaths due to gun violence per 100,000 people in 2016. That was eight times as high as the rate in Canada, which had 0.48 deaths per 100,000 people — and 27 times higher than the one in Denmark, which had 0.14 deaths per 100,000."

Spratt: Canada has the opportunity to fix its justice system | Ottawa Sun

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Feb 14, 2018 04:34 PM
"But the deliberate and selective exclusion of jurors is not the only reason the Stanley jury – like so many Canadian juries – was all white. Racial bias is baked into the jury selection process. Out-of-date, and inaccurate census information means that many potential Indigenous jurors’ names are completely left of the jury rolls. And then there are the practical barriers to jury duty. Some provinces disqualify people from jury duty for even the most minor of criminal records. When Indigenous people are stopped, charged and arrested by the police more often than non-Indigenous people, it means that they are more likely to be disqualified for a dated and minor criminal offence. And let’s not forget the fact that most of the time jurors don’t get paid at all. That makes it hard for a single parent or those with precarious work to afford to do their “civil duty.”"
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