Leftnews.org | News and Views from the Left

by Editors — last modified 2018-05-01T13:01:25-04:00
Contributors: Faiz Ahmed, JBB, Graham H. Cox, R. Dubois, JA Cox
The best of the political left-wing from around the web.

Public transport is in decline in many wealthy cities | The Economist

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jun 26, 2018 05:27 PM
"The American Public Transportation Association’s figures show that the number of journeys in the country as a whole has fallen in each of the past three years. ...Public transport is holding up better in other rich countries, but not by much. In Toronto, adult trips have fallen every year since 2014 (the city made public transport free for young children, so their numbers are up). In London, bus journeys are down by 5% since the 2014-15 fiscal year. ... In almost every city in the rich world, the fiercest competition for public transport comes not from Uber, cycling or the appeal of working from one’s back garden. Rather, it comes from driving."

Ghetto defendants: Race, class and the French National Team. | Grégory Pierrot

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Jun 26, 2018 07:29 AM
"In France, as in most football-playing countries outside of the US, professional players tend to have more in common socially than they do racially: football is the social elevator and has been a narrow path out of the mines, the factories, the mills. Football develops particularly in industrial areas and banlieues because these are where the working class—whether native or immigrant—lives. Football is a quintessentially working class professional prospect: it is physical labor of a rare sort in that it appears to reward excellence exponentially. Competition is ruthless, the system is crass and exploitative, but it constitutes a social ladder more concrete and radical than the meritocratic fables bandied by our rulers and teachers. This is a truth as old as professional football, which tore the sport away from public school elites and put it into the feet of the working class. At some level, because anyone can and does judge on performance whether or not players ‘deserve’ their place in the sport’s elite, football seems a more honest organization than social hierarchy. The aristocrats of football earn their place there without exploiting anyone and only remain on top as long as they can maintain themselves there: though they can’t lament it out loud, this doesn’t sit well with them. Good thing they have racism to fall back on."

FIFA’s Weak Attempts to Fight Racism Are on Display at the World Cup in Russia | Dave Zirin

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Jun 25, 2018 07:30 AM
"The group Fare Network (Football Against Racism in Europe) is an organization that tracks racism and homophobia in the soccer world. For the 2018 World Cup in Russia, they set up a series of “diversity houses” for the LGBTQ community and people of color. Now in St. Petersburg, they have been evicted from the building they were leasing for these safe spaces with other tenants also reportedly under instruction not to offer subleases, leaving only the brutal symbolism of a diversity house shuttered. [...] For years, anti-black racism has blighted the soccer culture in Russia. It’s increasingly obvious is that FIFA, the international body that ostensibly regulates the game, is not taking these claims seriously as they should. "

Reading the #WorldCup | Roxanne Dubois

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Jun 24, 2018 04:30 PM
Football fans across the globe are focused on the World Cup, which started just over a week ago and is hosted in Russia. The tournament takes place every four years, and will be, as always, one of the most watched sporting events of the year. For this non-sports fan, the World Cup is an object of fascination with good timing. In these early days of summer, watching football and getting into the game is a welcome distraction. Here is a short, global, and somewhat political reading list for following the World Cup.

Police killings of unarmed black Americans harm mental health of wider black population | CBC

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jun 22, 2018 10:29 AM
"The study is the first to explore the damage to mental health of so-called vicarious experiences of racism on members of the same group. ... Nearly 300 black people are killed by police each year in the U.S. Black Americans are nearly three times more likely than white Americans to be killed by police, and five times more likely to be killed while unarmed. ... The mental health impact occurred only in cases where black Americans were killed while unarmed. By contrast, no mental health effects were seen among black Americans when armed black people were killed by police. And white Americans did not report any negative mental health impacts from police killings, including when white people were killed by police, either armed or unarmed."

Opioid death toll in Canada nearly 4,000 last year, new data show | CBC

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jun 20, 2018 02:26 PM
"The death toll rose to almost 4,000 in 2017 from about 3,000 in 2016. The figures show 72 per cent of apparent opioid-related deaths involved fentanyl or fentanyl analogues, compared to 55 per cent in 2016. ... The numbers for apparent opioid-related fatalities show a national death rate of 10.9 for every 100,000 people in the population in 2017, up from 8.2 in 2016."

How U.S. tax reform rewards companies that shift profit to tax havens | Reuters

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Jun 20, 2018 10:29 AM
"Many big U.S. companies consistently report large domestic revenues while also reporting losses or relatively small profits at home. Such companies are among the biggest winners from tax reform. Microsoft and Synopsys declined to say if their 8-year runs of reporting around half their sales in the United States but less than a quarter of their profits domestically reflected a tax reduction strategy. Expedia and Boston Scientific did not respond to requests for comment."
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