Bill Weinberg

CounterVortex reader survey

This year marks the 15th since World War 4 Report (now CounterVortex) was launched in the immediate aftermath of 9-11 to monitor global conflicts; support anti-militarist movements and autonomy struggles; and give voice to dissident-left perspectives from the Middle East, Latin America and around the world. We continue to have a dedicated following, but an admittedly select one. We continue to wonder how many readers "get" what we do, and how valuable it is to you. We would appreciate any response, either by e-mail or commentary on the website, to this brief reader survey...

Philippines: protests against martial law

Protests are emerging in the Philippines against ultra-hardline President Rodrigo Duterte's declaration of martial law in the southern island of Mindanao last month. Over 100 former and current lawmakers, religious leaders and activists gathered in Manila for an interfaith rally on June 11, the Philippines' Independence Day., demanding an end to the official suspension of basic democratic rights in Mindanao.

US guns to Brazilian narco-gangs

Amid fast-escalating nightmarish narco-violence in Brazil comes disconcerting word that police in Rio de Janeiro seized 60 assault rifles hidden in a shipment of swimming-pool heating equipment that had just arrived on a flight from Miami. Pulse News Agencyreported June 2 that the AK-47s and AR-10s were discovered in the cargo terminal of Rio's international airport. Photos of the haul showed weapons in the foam packaging they were flown in.

Help sustain ultra-dissident CounterVortex

CounterVortex, an ultra-dissident voice of left in a time of deep reaction, depends 100% on our readers for support. We receive no foundation sponsorship to meet our operating costs of some $2,000 per year. You can't tell us we're beholden to George Soros, because we don't get a dime from him. We appeal, as we do once a year, to our readers to at least help us meet our annual costs. This year, we are especially appealing to new readers. There is a handful of around 10 hardcore supporters who have been extremely generous since our founding in the immediate aftermath of 9-11. But they have more than done their part. Google stats indicate that our readership is growing, at least modestly. May we ask those of you who have never donated before to step up to the plate today?

Syria slides closer to Arab-Kurdish ethnic war

Fierce clashes broke out between Syrian rebel factions and Kurdish fighters in Aleppo province this week, as the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) continue to battle ISIS in Raqqa. Fighting erupted in Derat Ezza in the western Aleppo countryside on June 13, after Kurdish fighters attempted to take a rebel base in the area, opposition media reported. The assault was thwarted after the rebels regained the positions with support from Turkish artillery. At least 32 fighters from Ahrar al-Sham and other rebel groups were reported killed in the clashes, as well as dozens of Kurdish militants. (The New Arab, June 14)

Taiwan sacrificed to Central America geopolitics

Panama announced June 13 that it is breaking its long-standing diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of establishing relations with China—a clear political coup for Beijing. The Panamanian statement said it recognized "only one China" and considers to be Taiwan part of it. The change was spurred by an unavoidable fact: China is the second most important Panama Canal user after the United States. Last year it sent 38 million metric tons of cargo through the interoceanic waterway, accounting for 19% of its traffic. The announcement of the diplomatic switch also comes just as Chinese enterprises began building a container port, with natural gas terminals, in Panama's Colón province, on the Atlantic side of the canal. "I think Dominican Republic and Nicaragua will soon follow," Mexico's former ambassador to China, Jorge Guajardo, tweeted soon after the announcement.

US using white phosphorus in Raqqa: reports

Several civilians were killed June 8 when US-led air-strikes reportedly targeted Raqqa, the de facto ISIS capital in northern Syria, with white phosphorus—banned by the Geneva Convention as a weapon of war. The reports came both from Syrian state media and local activists on the ground in Raqqa, who posted footage online, showing the skies of above the city lit by a rainfall of glowing ordnance. The report comes as the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are preparing a final offensive to take Raqqa. (Xinhua

Mexico second most dangerous country on Earth?

Protests have been held in Mexico over the slaying of an award-winning journalist on May 15—the latest in a long line of reporters killed for daring to cover the country's ongoing nightmarish narco-violence. Javier Valdez was founder and editor of weekly newspaper Ríodoce in Culiacán, capital of Sinaloa state and principal stronghold of the notorious Sinaloa Cartel. Ríodoce staff pledged to carry on his work in spite of threats. Valdez was the sixth Mexican journalist killed so far this year.

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