Sunday, November 18, 2018

California Wildfires and Extreme Climate Change, UK and Ontario Austerity, Abortion Rights & more -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos November 11 - 18

This week's list of articles, news items, opinion pieces and videos that I see as a must if you are looking for a roundup that should be of interest to The Left Chapter readers.

This list covers the week of November 11 - 18.

1) Ten lies we’re told to justify the slaughter of 20 million in the First World War

Dominic Alexander, Counterfire 

Dominic Alexander debunks the myths used by politicians and historians to rebrand ‘the war to end all wars’ in the centenary of Armistice Day.

Via Counterfire on Facebook

2) Poland's president addresses far right at independence march

Christian Davies, The Guardian

Nationalists burning flares and carrying fascist flags marched at same time as politicians.

3) Hero’s welcome in Poland awaits hitman who killed Mandela’s ally

Christian Davies, The Guardian

Janusz Waluś, who shot dead South African communist leader Chris Hani, could soon return home.

4) South Korea's nascent feminist movement turns to abortion ban

Benjamin Haas, The Guardian

Kim Soo-jin will never forget the disgusting taste of the pulpy green-brown traditional Korean brew she drank in the hopes of ending her pregnancy, or the night she spent in pain, curled into a ball and unable to move.

5) Woman who bore rapist’s baby faces 20 years in El Salvador jail

Nina Lakhani, The Guardian

A rape victim is facing 20 years in jail charged with attempted murder, after she gave birth to her abuser’s baby in a latrine in El Salvador.

6) Ontario Basic Income Cancellation Births A Movement In Thunder Bay

Emma Paling, HuffPost

They call themselves Disrupt, and they’re ready for change.

7) California's Camp Fire Becomes The Deadliest Wildfire In State History

Richard Gonzales & Bill Chappell, NPR

Fire investigators in Northern California say they found the human remains of 6 more individuals, bringing the death toll to at least 48 people who have died in the wildfire that burned through the town of Paradise with shocking speed, making the Camp Fire the deadliest wildfire in state history.


Jack Herrera, Pacific Standard 

As fires clogged the air in Southern California, farmworkers continued to work, even as public-school students and others were told to stay home and indoors.

9) California Firefighters Union president to Trump: ‘You’re an idiot’

Sky Palma, Dead State

In response to the raging brush fires ravaging Southern California, President Trump on Friday approved an emergency measure to provide federal funds to help combat the blazes. But in a tweet fired off the following day, Trump threatened to withdraw the aid, blaming the state’s alleged poor “forest management” for the destruction.

10) Indigenous women coerced into sterilizations across Canada: Senator

Kristy Kirkup, Global News

When she was 17 years old, Liz was coerced by a Children’s Aid worker into having an abortion and being sterilized at a northwestern Ontario hospital, she says it’s an experience she’s carried for 40 years.

11) Colombian Soldiers Implicated in Social Leader's Murder


Communal leader and human rights defender Alvaro Gomez Garzon was reportedly murdered by members of the Colombian Army Monday night in the Cauca department.

12) After 17 years, many Afghans blame US for unending war

Kathy Gannon, AP News

When U.S. forces and their Afghan allies rode into Kabul in November 2001 they were greeted as liberators. But after 17 years of war, the Taliban have retaken half the country, security is worse than it’s ever been, and many Afghans place the blame squarely on the Americans.

13) Muslim Trailblazer Ilhan Omar Admits She Backs BDS — Now That Election Is Over

Aiden Pink, Forward

Tuesday marked the start of “freshman orientation” in Washington, D.C., where new members of Congress arrived to meet their colleagues and learn how the House and Senate actually work.

14) When it comes to Saudi LAV sales, lobbyists will likely rule

Yves Engler

Will they cancel the contract or won’t they? In order to understand Ottawa’s decision making process regarding General Dynamics’ massive arms deal with Saudi Arabia one must look closely at industry lobbyists.

15) Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Andy Blatchford, The Globe and Mail

The Canadian government is showing no signs of toughening its stance on arms sales to Saudi Arabia, even after Canada’s spy chief heard a recording of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

16) Alberta UCP’s John Carpay Sorry For Comparing Pride Flag to Swastikas

Liz Haq, HuffPost

Alberta's United Conservative Party Leader has acknowledged party member John Carpay's apology for comparing rainbow flags to swastikas in a speech over the weekend.

17) The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us

George Monbiot, The Guardian

Climate breakdown could be rapid and unpredictable. We can no longer tinker around the edges and hope minor changes will avert collapse

18) Death of an English major

Gary Taylor, Tampa Bay Times

I did not anticipate this death. No one warned me that being chair of an English Department meant that I would have to “manage” the grief, despair and rage caused by the political murder of one of our students.

19) Brazil: Bolsonaro's Son to Legislate Against Opposition Groups


Listing the bills he will submit as a lawmaker, the son of Brazil’s President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, Eduardo, said he will not hesitate to criminalize social movements like the Landless Workers' Movement (MST) and ban opposition political parties “if necessary.”

20) Cuba Withdraws from More Doctors Program in Brazil


The decision comes after Brazil's far-right president-elect Jair Bolsonaro criticized the program and the Cuban government.


Tom O'Connor, Newsweek

The United States has spent nearly $6 trillion on wars that directly contributed to the deaths of around 500,000 people since the 9/11 attacks of 2001.

22) Prostitution or Sex Work? Language Matters

Red Resurgence 

The term ‘sex work’ has come to replace the word ‘prostitution’ in contemporary discussions on the subject. This is not accidental. The phrase ‘sex work’ has been adopted by liberal feminists and powerful lobbyists in a deliberate attempt to steer the narrative on prostitution.

23) Thousands attend funeral of murdered Turkish trade union leader


Thousands of people gathered for the funeral of Turkish union leader, Abdullah Karacan, the day after he was fatally shot during a visit to meet workers at a Goodyear tyre factory in Adapazarı.

24) As Jeff Bezos Earns $191K Per Minute, Why Are NY & VA Giving Amazon $3 Billion in Corporate Welfare?

Democracy Now

Amazon has selected a pair of cities to host its new, expanded headquarters: Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia, and Long Island City in Queens, New York. Amazon’s decision came after a 14-month search that saw cities around the U.S. promise tax breaks, taxpayer-funded infrastructure and business-friendly ordinances in an effort to win what Amazon says will be $5 billion in new investment and thousands of jobs. Democratic Virginia Governor Ralph Northam called the Amazon headquarter “a big win for Virginia,” and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has similarly applauded Amazon’s decision. But many local politicians have openly criticized authorities in New York and Virginia for backing the deals, which will create a total of 50,000 jobs. We host a roundtable discussion about Amazon and corporate welfare. In New York, we speak with Ron Kim, member of the New York State Assembly. He recently co-wrote an opinion piece for The New York Times headlined “New York Should Say No to Amazon.” In Washington, D.C., we speak with Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First, a watchdog group on economic development incentives. And in Portland, Maine, we speak with Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. She is the author of “Big-Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America’s Independent Businesses.”

25) Instead of Giving Billions to Amazon, We Could Just Cancel Student Debt

Allie Conti, Vice News

On Tuesday, Amazon confirmed it would build new offices in Long Island City, Queens, and a suburb of Washington, DC, called Crystal City, ending a massive bidding war that saw the leaders of almost 250 cities prostrate themselves at the feet of the world's richest man.

26) Teenage girl’s underwear used as evidence in Irish rape trial prompting mass protests

Katie Dangerfield, Global News

Protests were held in Ireland Wednesday after a teenage girl's underwear was used as evidence against her in the trial last week of a man accused of raping her.

27) Toronto activist carded while in Vancouver to give keynote address on racial equity

Wendy Stueck, The Globe and Mail

A Toronto activist and journalist who is in Vancouver to give a keynote address on racial equity was stopped by police near Stanley Park on Tuesday in what he alleges was a racially based street check by police.

28) America Is Blaming Pregnant Women for Their Own Deaths

Kim Brooks, New York Times

What is it like to face dying during childbirth in the richest country in the world in the 21st century?

29) No safe place: When Israeli airstrikes hit, Gaza's children have nowhere to run

Charlie Hoyle, The New Arab

A sense of normalcy returned to life in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday after a ceasefire agreement between Palestinian political parties and Israel ended a major escalation in violence.

30) Brazil's new foreign minister believes climate change is a Marxist plot

Jonathan Watts, The Guardian

Brazil’s president-elect Jair Bolsonaro has chosen a new foreign minister who believes climate change is part of a plot by “cultural Marxists” to stifle western economies and promote the growth of China.

31) Nowhere to go: Moncton homeless sleep on abandoned porches, in backyard tents

Vanessa Blanch · CBC News

Dozens of dangerous rooming houses are boarded up, but Charles LeBlanc is hoping owners will make improvements.

32) Ontario government scraps rent control and Toronto doesn't like it

Lauren O'Neil, Blog TO

Ontario Premier Doug Ford's first-ever fiscal roadmap, revealed on Thursday, could have sweeping implications across all aspects of life for almost everyone in the province.

33) Ontario government cancels plans for province’s first official Francophone university

Joe Friesen, The Globe and Mail

The Ontario government has cancelled plans to open the province’s first Francophone university despite having promised to do so during the election campaign and shortly after taking office.

34) 'We're talking about our children's lives here': Ontario cuts child and youth advocate

Rhiannon Johnson · CBC News 

The Ontario government has tabled fall economic legislation that will eliminate the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth.

35) Ford's move to axe child advocate office 'a nightmare,' children's rights lawyer says

Lorenda Reddekopp · CBC News

Youth workers and lawyers are joining with the Ontario child advocate to call on the Ford government to reconsider its decision to cut the position.

(Related: Ford government disguises ugly attack on minimum wage workers as a tax cut to offset slide in polls)

36) Federal government issues permanent postal ban on hate speech publication

Peter Zimonjic · CBC News 

A Toronto-based publication widely criticized for disseminating hate speech against minorities, Jews, women and the LGBTQ community has been permanently banned from distribution through Canada Post.

37) UK austerity has inflicted 'great misery' on citizens, UN says

Robert Booth and Patrick Butler, The Guardian

The UK government has inflicted “great misery” on its people with “punitive, mean-spirited, and often callous” austerity policies driven by a political desire to undertake social re-engineering rather than economic necessity, the United Nations poverty envoy has found.

38) UN warns of damage to “the fabric of British society” as the state turns on its people

Jack Peat, The London Economic

Drastic cuts to social support and welfare risk damaging the very fabric of British society, a UN report has today revealed.

39) Dozens arrested after climate protest blocks five London bridges

Matthew Taylor and Damien Gayle, The Guardian

Eighty-five people have been arrested as thousands of demonstrators occupied five bridges in central London to voice their concern over the looming climate crisis.

35 Years Of EZLN

35 years ago, to defend the rights denied to Indigenous people, the EZLN was founded.

40) Inuk woman's tell-tale botulism symptoms would have been taken seriously if she'd been white, says her widower

Catou MacKinnon · CBC News

A man from Inukjuak said the failure of a nurse stationed in the northern Quebec community to recognize the signs of botulism cost his wife her life, and it was only after she died that clinic staff took his adult daughter's symptoms seriously.

Chilean Police Continue Violent Repression Against Mapuche Members

While the right-wing government announced that they will investigate the Mapuche murder, they continue violently repressing protests.

41) Ohio Legislature Considers Total Abortion Ban

Joe Ingles, WOSU

There’s been a lot of attention given to the contentious “Heartbeat Bill,” which bans abortion at the point that a fetal heartbeat can be detected, since it passed the Ohio House earlier this week. But Republican lawmakers are considering another bill during this lame-duck session that would ban abortions entirely.

See also: US Midterms, Climate Change, Mass Shootings & more -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos November 4 - 11

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