Sunday, October 7, 2018

Kavanaugh Confirmed, Quebec Solidaire, Brazilian Election & more -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos September 30 - October 7

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 September 30 - October 7.

It begins with a selection of articles related to the Kavanaugh confirmation.

1) Ford's attorney fires back at Trump: 'He is a profile in cowardice'

John Bowden, The Hill

An attorney representing Christine Blasey Ford fired back at President Trump on Tuesday after the president mocked Ford's testimony concerning her allegation of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

2) National Council of Churches calls for Kavanaugh's nomination to be withdrawn

Avery Anapol, The Hill

The nation's largest group of Christian churches on Wednesday called for the withdrawal of Brett Kavanaugh's nomination for the Supreme Court.

3) Yale roommate says Kavanaugh lied under oath about drinking and yearbook

Kate Sullivan, CNN

James Roche, one of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's freshman year roommates at Yale, said Wednesday that Kavanaugh lied under oath about his drinking and about the meaning of his yearbook entries.

4) Kavanaugh's former classmates, 'drinking buddies' call on Senate to vote 'no' on confirmation

Justin Wise, The Hill

A group of former Yale University students who referred to themselves "drinking buddies" with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are calling for the Senate to vote against his confirmation.

5) ‘Unfathomable’: More than 2,400 law professors sign letter opposing Kavanaugh’s confirmation

 Susan Svrluga, The Washington Post

More than 2,400 law professors have signed on to a letter saying that Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh displayed a lack of judicial restraint at a Senate hearing last week — behavior that would be disqualifying for any court nominee.

6) Accuser 'Silenced' and Witnesses Ignored, FBI's Kavanaugh Probe Denounced as 'Sham' and 'Charade'

Jon Queally, Common Dreams

With the report summarizing the FBI's less-than-a-week-long probe into sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh now in the hands of the Senate Judiciary Committee, his accusers as well as witnesses to the events are speaking out forcefully Thursday morning to decry the entire process.

7) Mass Arrests as Thousands Descend on Senate Office Building Demanding Lawmakers Reject Kavanaugh

Julia Conley. Common Dreams

As the Senate moved one step closer to voting to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, thousands of men and women took over the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on Thursday afternoon, voicing solidarity with sexual assault survivors and demanding that lawmakers reject President Donald Trump's nominee.

8) Joe Manchin flounders as he tries to explain Kavanaugh support in the face of furious protesters

Luke Barnes, Think Progress

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), the lone Democrat to defect and announce that he will vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court despite allegations of sexual assault, was drowned out by protesters in the Senate as he tried to explain his decision to the gathered media.

9) Brett Kavanaugh Has Lied His Way Onto the Supreme Court

John Nichols, The Nation

The House has a duty to do what the Senate has failed to do: investigate this shameful jurist and hold him to account.

10) Toronto is segregated by race and income. And the numbers are ugly

Sandro Contenta, The Toronto Star

In Toronto, the colour of money is mainly white.

11) Child poverty plagues every corner of Toronto, census data shows

Laurie Monsebraaten, The Toronto Star

Upwards of 125,000 Toronto children — more than one in four — are growing up in poverty, a problem that plagues pockets of every city ward, says a new report released Monday by Social Planning Toronto and a coalition of agencies serving vulnerable communities.

12) Real Madrid football club honours Palestine activist Ahed Tamimi

Al Jazeera

Palestinian activist, who spent eight months in Israeli prison, is welcomed at Bernabeu stadium by the football club.

13) Palestinians Mourn and Demand Justice After Israeli Snipers Murder Two Young Children in Gaza

Jake Johnson, Common Dreams

After Israeli snipers massacred seven Palestinians—including two young children—and injured over 500 during protests against Israel's brutal occupation on Friday, thousands of Gazans on Saturday attended funerals for those who were killed and demanded justice from the international community.

14) Canada capitulates to Trump on trade with renegotiated NAFTA

Duncan Cameron, Rabble

Pierre Trudeau called the original FTA with the U.S. "a monstrous swindle." The new deal is that, plus a set of unnecessary capitulations to shut up Donald Trump on trade. It won't.

15) With its new trade deal, Canada surrenders sovereignty to a bully

Neil Macdonald · CBC News

So first, Clause 32. It's long-winded and uses code language, but basically, it says that if Canada wants a trade deal with China, it has to notify the Americans about any negotiations, and tell them the substance of those negotiations, and submit the text of any deal, "including any annexes and side instruments" in advance, for American scrutiny, and then, like a puppy, await Washington's verdict.

16) Canadian steelworkers were 'sacrificed' to make new trade deal, union says

Dan Taekema, CBC News

The union representing Canadian steelworkers says they were "sacrificed" to make a new trilateral trade deal with Mexico.

17) Solidaires Score Important Breakthrough in Quebec Election

Richard Fidler, Socialist Project Bullet 

The October 1 general election campaign in Quebec unfolded as two distinct contests. One was the competition between the Liberals and Coalition Avenir Québec for control of the government. The other was a battle between the Parti québécois and Québec solidaire for hegemony within the pro-sovereignty movement.

18) Quebec Solidaire makes big gains on and off island of Montreal

CTV Montreal

Quebec Solidaire's slow growth since its founding in 2007 has paid off.

19) Anti-racist activists take aim at incoming CAQ government

CTV Montreal

Francois Legault hasn’t even taken office as premier yet, but he’ll already find himself the subject of a protest on Sunday.

(Related: The rising of the hard right in Canada

20) Left Parties Statement

Communist Party of India (Marxist)

Leaders of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)-Liberation have issued the following statement.

21) Detroit fast food workers to strike for union rights

Tom Perkins, Detroit Metro Times

Around 1,000 fast food workers in Detroit and Flint will strike on Oct. 2 to demand union rights.

22) Macedonia's failed referendum: a disaster for the EU and Nato

Vladimir Unkovski-Korica, Counterfire

The failed referendum in the small Balkan state represents a major upset for the West.

23) Ford government prepares to drop the axe on labour reforms

City TV News

Premier Doug Ford says his government will be scrapping Bill 148, and that could impact Ontarians who are part-time workers.

24) Ontario Business Lobby Calls Additional Domestic Abuse Leave, Other Rules “Harmful to Business”, Begs Ford to Repeal It

North 99

Two of Ontario’s corporate business lobby groups are calling on Ford to repeal A Plan for Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs (Bill 148).

25) Doug Ford’s Minimum Wage Halt Will Increase Kids’ Exhaustion, Anxiety: Teachers

Emma Paling, HuffPost

Daniel "killed himself" juggling two jobs at both the local school board and a shoe store this summer, trying to save as much money as possible before classes started in September. The 18-year-old feared that Doug Ford's election as premier meant the minimum wage would go down.

26) Protestors confront MPP Elliott over minimum wage rollback

Kim Champion, Newmarket Today

Protestors for a $15 an hour minimum wage today confronted Newmarket-Aurora MPP Christine Elliott in Aurora as she made her way into a local chambers of commerce event.

27) Ontario’s Education Minister Has Emerged From Hiding After Dodging Journalists for 41 Days

Press Progress

Ontario’s education minister had been AWOL since mid-August.

28) Female Nobel prize winner deemed not important enough for Wikipedia entry

Leyland Cecco, The Guardian

When the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm announced the Nobel prize for physics this week, anyone wanting to find out more about one of the three winners would have drawn a blank on Wikipedia.

29) The alpha males of physics

Leonid Schneider, For Better Science

Two sets of events for Women in STEM: the theoretical physicist Alessandro Strumia, soon likely ex-CERN affiliated, decried feminist conspiracies and the discrimination against males like himself, in a workshop talk on gender. Right after, the Nobel Prize for physics was finally after 55 years given to a woman. Thing is: one of the other recipients, Gerard Mourou, made it clear in a 2013 video what the roles of males and females in physics are.

30) Congolese doctor, Yazidi activist, champions in fight against rape in war, win Nobel Peace Prize

Crispin Kyalangalilwa, Ted Siefer and Nerijus Adomaitis, Reuters 

Denis Mukwege, a doctor who helps victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nadia Murad, a Yazidi rights activist and survivor of sexual slavery by Islamic State, won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday.

31) 24-hour strike hits public transportation, health care, schools and daycare, retail


Finnish industrial workers join service, food, and power sector workers in a 24-hour strike on 3 October to protest a government bill that would make it easier for small firms to fire employees. Welfare sector union JHL also launched an indefinite overtime ban starting 1 October.

32) Toronto Election 2018: The colour-coded race for mayor

Azeezah Kanji, NOW Magazine

Instead of correcting for the deep social, economic and political disadvantages of racism and sexism, media compound them by ignoring racialized candidates.

Thanks to Desmond Cole for the support: “Walied Khogali Ali is the best candidate for the heart of Toronto because he is making sure that people in our communities don't get left behind."

33) Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father

New York Times

President Trump participated in dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud, that greatly increased the fortune he received from his parents, an investigation by The New York Times has found.

34) Suppression of a Daily Newspaper

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) strongly condemns the action of the BJP state government of Tripura in cancelling the registration of Daily Desharkatha, a progressive newspaper.

35) The Cruelty Is the Point

Adam Serwer, The Atlantic

President Trump and his supporters find community by rejoicing in the suffering of those they hate and fear.

36) Trumpism as capitalism’s default option

Zoltan Zigedy, The Morning Star

Although he represents the growth of ‘anti-elite’ feeling in the masses, the US president is a ruling-class response to a ruling-class crisis.

37) Amazon's hourly workers lose monthly bonuses and stock awards as minimum wage increases

Eugene Kim, CNBC

Amazon's minimum-wage increase for its hourly workers comes with a trade-off: no more monthly bonuses and stock awards.

38) While Nestlé extracts millions of litres from their land, residents have no drinking water

Alexandra Shimo, The Guardian

Just 90 minutes from Toronto, residents of a First Nations community try to improve the water situation as the beverage company extracts from their land.

39) Fast food, pub and delivery workers strike across the country

Jack Hazeldine, Counterfire

The Fast Food Shutdown - #FFS410 - sees TGI Fridays, McDonalds and Wetherspoons workers strike in nine workplaces, joined by UberEats couriers in at least six cities.

40) Federal Judge Blocks Trump From Removing Immigrants From 4 Countries

Richard Gonzales, NPR
A federal court in California has blocked the Trump administration from terminating the Temporary Protected Status program that allows immigrants from four countries to live and work in the United States.

41) How Baltimore police routinely violated people's rights

Al Jazeera

An Al Jazeera investigation reveals information about a corrupt unit of the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) that was allowed to continue operating in spite of grievious violations for at least a decade.

42) Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke found guilty of second-degree murder in Laquan McDonald killing

Ray Sanchez, CNN

Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke was found guilty Friday of second-degree murder in the 2014 shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

43) Convicting Laquan McDonald’s Killer Isn’t Enough

Nate Marshall, BuzzFeed

I hope that we can have better visions for liberation than cages. I hope that the young people who will grow up where Emmett Till and Laquan McDonald and Rekia Boyd and I grew up will have their chances for libraries and for liberation. I hope that we can make a way forward with new institutions that don’t murder us as part of their “official conduct.”

44) Puerto Rico Governor Calls for ‘Elimination’ of Venezuelan Government, Offers to Host ‘Transition’ Logistics

Paul Dobson, Venezuela Analysis 

Hypothetical post-Maduro planning has been discussed “at many levels”, Governor Rossello claimed. His comments follow Trump’s endorsement of a military coup d'état in Venezuela.

45) Miami will be underwater soon. Its drinking water could go first

Christopher Flavelle, Bloomberg

One morning in June, Douglas Yoder climbed into a white government SUV on the edge of Miami and headed northwest, away from the glittering coastline and into the maze of water infrastructure that makes this city possible. He drove past drainage canals that sever backyards and industrial lots, ancient water-treatment plants peeking out from behind run-down bungalows, and immense rectangular pools tracing the outlines of limestone quarries. Finally, he reached a locked gate at the edge of the Everglades. Once through, he pointed out the row of 15 wells that make up the Northwest Wellfield, Miami-Dade County’s clean water source of last resort.

46) Syriza’s Repressive Turn

Stathis Kouvelakis and Costas Lapavitsas, Jacobin

Alexis Tsipras’s government promised to end austerity. Now it’s defending the banks against people evicted from their homes — and persecuting those who protest.

47) Saudi Women Who Fought for the Right to Drive Are Disappearing and Going Into Exile

Sarah Aziza, The Intercept

If, in the meantime, the government continues its crackdowns on all dissent, it may find itself rebuffed by the same Western audiences it hopes to entice. “Going after civil society in such an aggressive way, MBS is shooting himself in the foot,” said Aldosari. “Maybe, when he was just arresting clerics, the Western world didn’t care. But arresting women, elderly people, respected academics, all of them nonviolent — this is a direct contradiction of his rhetoric of modernization and openness. And he can’t stop everyone who wants to criticize him. The world doesn’t work that way anymore. Even if he throws all the activists in jail, they started a work that will continue. It cannot be stopped.”

48) Women Are Retreating From Public Life In Iraq After Several High-Profile Murders

Nishita Jha, BuzzFeed

A week after the murder of Tara Fares, former Miss Baghdad and Iraq’s sixth most-followed person on social media, Shimaa Qasim posted a tearful video on Instagram.

49) How a homophobic, misogynist, racist ‘thing’ could be Brazil’s next president

Eliane Brum, The Guardian

Jair Bolsonaro is the monstrous product of the country’s silence about the crimes committed by its former dictatorship.


Noam Chomsky, The Intercept

PRISONS ARE REMINISCENT of Tolstoy’s famous observation about unhappy families: Each “is unhappy in its own way,” though there are some common features — for prisons, the grim and stifling recognition that someone else has total authority over your life.

51) Brazil: Indigenous Parliamentary Front Unites Against Bolsonaro


Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right candidate leading Brazil's presidential polls since the electoral tribunal banned Lula from running in the elections, has vowed to end Indigenous reservations, claiming they are too large for such a small fraction of the population.

52) Brazil: Lula Rallies Support for Haddad Ahead of Presidential Vote


As the Brazil presidential election enters its final stage ahead of the first round of voting Sunday, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has released a video rallying support behind stand-in Worker's Party (PT) candidate Fernando Haddad.

53) Democracy Vs. Fascism: Polls Open in Brazil Elections


Brazilians went to vote Sunday in a polarized presidential race that could result in the election of a far-right former Army captain, whose praise of past dictatorships enrages critics but whose promise of a brutal crackdown on crime and corruption has electrified his supporters.

See also: Kavanaugh Confirmation, Ontario Austerity, Gaza & more -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos September 23 - 30

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