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.

The Israeli James Bond? Arnon Milchan and His Ties to the Secret Services | Ha'aretz

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Feb 14, 2018 04:05 PM
"Milchan confirmed long-standing speculation that he had worked as an agent for Israel’s clandestine security services for many years, purchasing arms for the country and assisting in the development of the nuclear capabilities that foreign media attribute to Israel. ... Milchan disclosed that he had been enlisted into the secret services by Shimon Peres, the former Israeli prime minister who played an instrumental role in building the country’s military capabilities in its early years. ... According to the LA Magazine article, Milchan represented Israel in arms negotiations over the years with such heavyweights as Raytheon, North American Rockwell, Beechcraft, Bell Helicopter and Magnavox. He insisted he had never helped sell arms to any other country but Israel, and therefore should not be labeled an “arms dealer.”"

How Canada became an offshore destination for 'snow washing' | The Guardian

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Feb 14, 2018 11:06 AM
"While publicly traded firms in Canada are required to disclose major shareholders, private companies need only note their directors, allowing those who own, control or benefit from the firm to remain in the shadows. Most provinces allow nominee directors and shareholders and do not require them to disclose that they are acting on behalf of another person. “Privately-held companies can easily be abused for tax evasion, for money laundering purposes and to stash the proceeds of crime,” said lawyer Mora Johnson, who recently authored a report detailing the country’s lax rules around corporate registration. ... Transparency International Canada’s James Cohen is calling on Canada to require private companies to disclose ownership information and for the federal government to compile all of the information in a public registry."

Dream Defenders & Allies Stand with Ahed Tamimi and the Palestinian Freedom Struggle

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Feb 13, 2018 06:20 PM
"Ahed was arrested a few days later in the middle of the night. Her cousin Noor and her mother Nariman were also arrested. All three have been indicted by Israel's military court, which has a 99.7% conviction rate and lacks basic fair trial protections. Ahed has been denied bail and her trial will begin February 13th. Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have called for her release."

“It’s Hard to Believe, But Syria’s War Is Getting Worse”: World Powers Clash as Civilian Deaths Soar | Democracy Now

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Feb 13, 2018 02:45 PM
"[S]outhern Syria is the biggest issue, because, of course, there’s always been conflict between Hezbollah and Israel, and tensions there across the Lebanese border, but now Hezbollah is entrenching itself increasingly in areas in the southern part of Syria, bordering the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, the portion that’s held by the Israelis."

U.S. Strikes Killed Scores of Russia Fighters in Syria, Sources Say | Bloomberg

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Feb 13, 2018 02:27 PM
"More than 200 contract soldiers, mostly Russians fighting on behalf of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, died in a failed attack on a base held by U.S. and mainly Kurdish forces in the oil-rich Deir Ezzor region, two of the Russians said. The U.S. official put the death toll in the fighting at about 100, with 200 to 300 injured, but was unable to say how many were Russians. ... The death toll from the skirmish, already about five times more than Russia’s official losses in Syria, is still rising, according to one mercenary commander who said by phone that dozens of his wounded men are still being treated at military hospitals in St. Petersburg and Moscow."

John McDonnell: Labour public ownership plan will cost nothing | BBC

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Feb 13, 2018 12:57 PM
"Mr McDonnell told BBC Radio 4's Today programme taking services into public ownership would not ultimately increase the burden on taxpayers because government bonds could be swapped for shares in a revenue-producing company. ... But Mr McDonnell said utilities could be managed more efficiently under public ownership, because they would no longer have to fund dividends for shareholders."

WikiLeaks founder Assange loses bid to halt UK legal action against him | Reuters

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Feb 13, 2018 12:47 PM
"The ruling means Assange remains in a legal and diplomatic impasse, with no way out of the embassy where he has been living for almost six years unless he decides to face the prospect of arrest by British police. ... “I find arrest is a proportionate response even though Mr Assange has restricted his own freedom for a number of years,” judge Emma Arbuthnot, the chief magistrate of England and Wales, said in her ruling at Westminster Magistrates Court."

Israel Will No Longer Allow Palestinian Teen Ahed Tamimi to Make the Occupation Look Bad | Ha'aretz

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Feb 13, 2018 12:42 PM
“There are 351 other Palestinian minors currently in Israeli jails. None of them are going to get any attention.” ... Ahed Tamimi is on trial because Israel’s political leadership doesn’t want to be accused by the Israeli public of allowing the IDF to go soft on Palestinian civilians. The trial is being hidden because the same leadership doesn’t want the world to see how pointlessly cruel Israel’s occupation of those same Palestinian civilians is."
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