News 5/3/19

Local elections: Why has Labour lost seats?
Labour has suffered a net loss of council seats - starting from the low base of 2015 in many cases.The Conservatives have lost more than 10 times as many councillors, but what is remarkable is that the main party of opposition - around the mid-term of a not-very-popular government - has not made net gains.

German SPD youth chief lambasted for proposing collective ownership for big firms
The head of the Social Democrats’ (SPD) youth wing has unleashed a storm of protest in Germany, including from party allies, for saying firms like BMW should be collectively owned in a clear appeal to left-wingers before European and regional votes.

After Spanish elections, Podemos pushes for pro-austerity PSOE government
Since Sunday’s elections saw the fascistic Vox party enter parliament and a small plurality of votes go to the ruling, pro-austerity Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), Podemos has embraced the PSOE. It is working to block the independent mobilization of the working class against the PSOE and growing far-right danger in Europe.

UN calls for Julian Assange's release from UK high-security jail
UN experts have called for Julian Assange to be released from prison and criticised the British government for breaching his human rights.

Malaysia frees Vietnamese woman accused of killing North Korean leader's half-brother
A Vietnamese woman who spent more than two years in a Malaysian prison on suspicion of killing the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was released from jail and returned to Vietnam on Friday.

Putin Signs Controversial Internet Law For "Centralised Traffic Control"
President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday signed into law a "sovereign internet" bill which will allow Russian authorities to isolate the country's internet, a move decried by rights groups.

North Korea food rations hit record low level after poor harvest: UN
The North Korean regime has cut rations of food to 300 grams a day after the worst harvest in 10 years, the UN says. And a UN team found that 10.1 million people lacked enough food to take them through to the next one.

Taliban rejects calls for Ramadan truce in Afghanistan
The Taliban in Afghanistan has rejected calls for a Ramadan ceasefire and attacked the traditional council, or loya jirga, which made the proposal.The grand assembly is meeting in Kabul this week to discuss peace and called for an immediate ceasefire between the government and militants.

The Powerful Group Shaping The Rise Of Hindu Nationalism In India
Before dawn, men gather in a suburban Mumbai park to play team-building games, meditate, chant Sanskrit mantras from Hindu scripture and salute a saffron-orange flag — the color, sacred to Hindus, of robes worn by Hindu monks.

15 cops blown up as Maoists trigger IED on Gadchiroli road
Fifteen Gadchiroli police personnel and the driver of a private vehicle they were travelling in were blown up when Maoists triggered an IED blast at Lendhri nullah close to the Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh border on Wednesday afternoon in the worst attack on security forces in the area in 10 years.

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FBI sent undercover investigator to meet Trump aide: report
The FBI sent an undercover investigator to meet with an advisor to Donald Trump's presidential campaign to try to determine if it was working with Russia, The New York Times reported Thursday.The investigator who met with George Papadopoulos at a London bar in September 2016 – two months before the election that brought Trump to office – was posing as a research assistant, the Times said, citing unnamed people familiar with the operation.

Peace Activists Arrested While Trying to Deliver Food and Medicine to Blockaded DC Venezuelan Embassy
Peace activists were arrested at the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, D.C. Thursday while trying to deliver food and medicine to members of the Embassy Protection Collective who are blockaded inside.

‘We saw this playbook in Iraq’: Ilhan Omar shoots back at VP Pence in socialism spat
Freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has fired back at Vice President Mike Pence, after Pence accused her of “choosing socialism over freedom” by opposing regime change in Venezuela.“Just as in interventions past, those who oppose war are labeled supporters of dictators and haters of ‘freedom,’” Omar tweeted on Friday. “We saw this playbook in Iraq.”

Amazon's delivery network is set to explode as the company moves toward one-day shipping — and workers are bracing for big changes
Amazon delivery drivers are bracing for big changes as the company moves to cut its Prime two-day shipping promise to one day."I don't know how we're going to do it," a Richmond, Virginia-based driver said Wednesday. "It's going to be hectic."Another driver said she was excited about the change: "I just see job security! More packages, more work. I'm OK with that."


Lib Dems have gained hundreds of seats when nobody even knows what policies they're for other than people's vote. I really hope Corbyn knows what he's doing but I really don't think he does.

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The Coming of American Fascism, 1920–1940
The Coming of the American Behemoth is an interesting book with lessons for the present, as we confront a polarized and oligarchical political economy so redolent of that which precipitated the Depression. All the debate about whether Donald Trump is fascist, or whether society is in danger of succumbing to fascism, can be seen, from one perspective, as missing the point. Fascism in the materialist sense has been increasingly with us, especially (though not only) with Americans, for the last forty years, as the political economy has returned to something like its state in the 1920s. It is here now, already, and would be here even if Hillary Clinton had won the presidency.The danger isn’t so much that “paramilitary formations of brown shirts or black shirts” will take over society as that we will fail to overturn the class foundations of fascism that are at this moment racing to destroy life on Earth. Roberto is right to emphasize this deeper structural reality.In short, while the American Behemoth was rising in the 1920s and ’30s, in the 21st century “the beast is at full strength.” It will take a revolutionary struggle of the working masses to destroy it.

Spring Stirrings and Misgivings: Of Autocrats and Uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa
“Al-Shebab,” said my student Jerry early in the fall 2010 semester. “We’re calling our small group al-Shebab. It means ‘The Youth.’” From his name alone, I wouldn’t have guessed his background, but he was proud of his family’s Egyptian roots and had convinced his classmates to give their group an Arabic name.As usually happens when the semester ends and my dozens of students scatter, Jerry and I lost touch. The following April, however, we ran into each other at a rally organized by students at my university to support the Arab Spring. Like many others around the world, I’d watched transfixed as brave unarmed civilians faced down riot police on the bridges leading to Cairo’s Tahrir Square. I’d celebrated on February 11, 2011, when the corrupt and authoritarian Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak resigned as the military took control of that country.Jerry’s eyes sparkled when he saw me. “Isn’t it amazing?” he shouted. Yes, it was amazing… until it wasn’t.This spring, eight years later, there has been a new set of popular uprisings in northern Africa, from Algeria to Morocco, to Sudan. Let’s hope they have more lasting success than Egypt’s Arab Spring.

Class Rules Everything Around Me
The socialist emphasis on the centrality of class isn't about ignoring racial inequalities, but about crafting a politics capable of ending them.

May Day 2019 Across the World
Check out our roundup of anarchist and autonomous actions on May Day from around the world! We will be adding to this page throughout the day, but be sure to watch Enough is Enough and CrimethInc. for more international reports and coverage.

Butthurt remoaners. They were posting all over The Guardian comment section that they were going to vote Green or Lib Dem because those were overtly remain parties.

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Are you trying to say that Lib Dem voters are leftists?

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If they considered voting lib-dem they aren’t leftists, their Centrist Blairites, and they should leave.

ur a good lad, news user. thanks.

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What's with all the anxiety over Brexit? Plenty of countries trade with the EU without actually being in it.

The issue of Northern Ireland for those who hate change, "muh immigrants" "muh European brotherhood" for virtue-signaling liberals who either don't know or don't care how crucial free movement of labour and capital is to the bourgeoisie.


I'm praying for the SPD youth, they deserve better

How will you defend this?

'lul just get over centuries of ethnic strife'

also left-wing =/= leftist, don't act like you don't know this shit

I expected worse from them, but it seems like young people everywhere are starting to wake up.

C'mon OP, you should know better. I hate to invoke 1984 but one thing it describes is broadcasts reporting constantly how output of chocolate or whatever is up 50% without any actual changes. There's an army of North Korea watchers who whore themselves out to various state departments, think tanks and corporations and their job is literally to make shit up and if they're lucky it gets picked up and spread. If you take all anti-DPRK propaganda seriously you'd believe rations are cut in half each day till it's just one crumb per person, and they execute their population two times over every decade.

Look how shoddy the reporting is - first it's a record low, then it's the worst harvest in 10 years, then it's the worst harvest in decades (supposedly worse than during the Arduous March). Only later does it actually mention it's the worst harvest since 2008-2009.
Why are rations a fixed amount of grams? None of this makes sense, foodstuffs have varying caloric density.

There's a lot of asspulling and the actual report gives better (although very biased and extrapolated from tiny sample sizes) insights.

Do what?

Based Maoists blowing up cops left and right.

It makes it so that foreign social media operating in Russia must put their servers in Russia. China's internet rules were much more extreme and it spurred the growth of their own IT giants. I don't see how this position is not defensible.