People Will Remember Shell Oil As a Symbol of Planet-Destroying Greed

By Bill McKibben – The Nation

On the day the heat index in an Iranian city broke world records, Shell Oil moved forward with its plan to drill in the Arctic.

Shell Oil’s icebreaker Fennica is apparently on its way to the Arctic from the Pacific Northwest, ending a dramatic week-long siege that saw activists dangle from bridges and blockade the Portland harbor with kayaks, and a federal court threaten environmentalists with heavy fines.

Continue reading

Bailout Money Goes to Greece, Only to Flow Out Again

By JACK EWING and LIZ ALDERMAN – The New York Times
FRANKFURT — The Greek businessman was nervous as he carried a suitcase stuffed with cash through security at the Athens airport a few months ago. But the distracted and overworked officials waved him through.

A few hours later the man touched down in Frankfurt, where he quickly deposited the money in a German bank.

The stash was part of 40 billion euros, or about $44 billion, that businesses and individuals have withdrawn from Greek banks since December, exacerbating the country’s financial woes.

Continue reading

U.N.’s Post-2015 Development Agenda Under Fire

By Thalif Deen

UNITED NATIONS, July 2015 (IPS) – The U.N.’s highly ambitious post-2015 development agenda, which is expected to be finalised shortly, has come fire even before it could get off the ground.

A global network of civil society organisations (CSOs), under the banner United Nations Major Groups (UNMG), has warned that the agenda, which includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), “lacks urgency, a clear implementation strategy and accountability.”

Continue reading

Greece-EU: humiliating defeats and pyrrhic victories

Alberto Rabilotta* – Alai

28/07/2015It is very curious that the political leadership of the European Union (EU) and their traditional spokespersons, the politicians, economists and the mainstream press that for decades have sustained and defended this project, have not joyfully saluted, with statements of confidence, that the irreversible order has been maintained with the humiliating defeat inflicted on the government and people of Greece.

Continue reading

Revolting World

Robert J. Burrowes*

There is much that is revolting about the current world and Andre Vltchek, Christopher Black and Peter Koenig are well placed to document it, which they have done in their new book ‘The World Order and Revolution! Essays from the Resistance’.

Continue reading

Why Greece’s Lenders Need to Suffer

Adam Davidson* – The New York Times

There is definitive proof, for anyone willing to look, that Greece is not solely or even primarily responsible for its own financial crisis. The proof is not especially exciting: It is a single bond, with the identification code GR0133004177. But a consideration of this bond should end, permanently, any discussion of Greece’s crisis as a moral failing on the part of the Greeks.

Continue reading

Greece Isn’t a Morality Tale

By Mark Buchanan* – Bloomberg

One of the more troubling elements of the recent drama over Greece’s debt was the urge by many to see a deficiency of national character, rather than euro-zone economics, as the problem. Right-leaning opinion, not only in Germany but around the world, put the trouble down to Greek corruption and, worse, laziness: The bad people of Greece retire too early and produce less per capita than the European average, despite working longer hours.

Continue reading

A problem called Germany

Boaventura de Sousa Santos*

Europe’s biggest problem is Germany, not Greece. Just over two years ago (May, 2013) I published a piece entitled “The German Diktat”, in which I listed the justifications given by Germany at the beginning of the First World War for its atrocities against Belgium, a small country that had refused to go along with Germany’s bellicose plans.

Continue reading

Greece, the Sacrificial Lamb


ATHENS — AS the Greek crisis proceeds to its next stage, Germany, Greece and the triumvirate of the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission (now better known as the troika) have all faced serious criticism. While there is plenty of blame to share, we shouldn’t lose sight of what is really going on. I’ve been watching this Greek tragedy closely for five years, engaged with those on all sides. Having spent the last week in Athens talking to ordinary citizens, young and old, as well as current and past officials, I’ve come to the view that this is about far more than just Greece and the euro.

Continue reading

The Syriza Syndrome and Italy’s Political Establishment

By Frederika Randall – The Nation

Why doesn’t Italy, with its strong left-wing traditions, have a Podemos like Spain?

Rome—Italians were anything but indifferent this spring when the Syriza government in Greece decided to defy the dogma of European austerity. Syriza’s natural allies here, those to the left of the Partito Democratico (PD), were exuberant: At last there was going to be a real battle against the neoliberal consensus.

Continue reading

Faith Leaders Issue Global “Call to Conscience” on Climate

By A. D. McKenzie

PARIS, Jul 24 2015 (IPS) – “We received a garden as our home, and we must not turn it into a wilderness for our children.”

These words by Cardinal Peter Turkson summed up the appeal launched by dozens of religious leaders and “moral” thinkers at the Summit of Conscience for the Climate, a one-day gathering in Paris earlier this week aimed at mobilising action ahead of the next United Nations climate change conference (COP 21) scheduled to take place in the French capital in just over four months.

Continue reading

Fatal tests

Boaventura de Sousa Santos*

Europe has become a laboratory of the future. What is being tested there should be cause for concern for all democrats and particularly for everyone on the left. Two experiments are currently underway in this laboratory – and hence supposedly controlled – environment. The first experiment is a stress test on democracy, its guiding hypothesis being as follows: a strong country’s democratic will can undemocratically trump the democratic will of a weak country without making a dent in the normalcy of Europe’s political life.

Continue reading


By Roberto Savio*

Greece was the civilization where drama and farce were established as forms of theatre. The negotiations with the Eurozone were a drama for the Greek people, and a farce for the European leaders. In fact, it is a dramatic for all, that this brings to an end of the most radical dream after the Second World War. Let us see why. It will be a little long, but without examining a little history it is impossible to understand how we came to this situation.

Continue reading

Love and hate between Greece and the west

Tony Barber – Financial Times

In 2010, the year of their nation’s first €110bn international rescue, plenty of Greeks understood that the state and citizenry had lived for decades beyond their means. The medicine of austerity and economic reform would be bitter, but it had to be swallowed. The paramount need, as for earlier generations of Greeks, was to stay on the path of modernisation and a European identity.

Continue reading

The Turkish Enigma

George Friedman* – Geopolitical Weekly

In my “Net Assessment of the World,” I argued that four major segments of the European and Asian landmass were in crisis: Europe, Russia, the Middle East (from the Levant to Iran) and China. Each crisis was different; each was at a different stage of development. Collectively the crises threatened to destabilize the Eurasian landmass, the Eastern Hemisphere, and potentially generate a global crisis. They do not have to merge into a single crisis to be dangerous.

Continue reading

Raising of Cuban flag in Washington signals restoration of US-Cuba relations

Paul Lewis – The Guardian

Foreign minister conducts ceremony during his first trip to the US

Bruno Rodríguez: embargo must end and Guantánamo must be returned

Washington – Diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba have been officially restored, with Cuba’s foreign minister taking the hugely symbolic step of raising his country’s flag at a newly designated embassy in Washington later on Monday.

Continue reading