Europe
Nordstream

Russia ‘weaponizes’ gas supplies to Europe

Russian energy giant Gazprom cut off the flow of natural gas to Germany and other European markets via the Nord Stream pipeline, calling it a three-day shut-down for maintenance. But Western governments charge that Russia is “weaponizing” gas supplies amid the Ukraine war. Days earlier, Germany’s government broached allowing the blocked Nord Stream 2 pipeline to begin pumping Russian gas. Wolfgang Kubicki, vice president of the Bundestag, said the move is necessary so “people do not have to freeze in winter and that our industry does not suffer serious damage.” His comment prompted a harsh response from Kyiv, where Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that “addiction to Russian gas kills.” (Map: Wikipedia)

Watching the Shadows
Aleppo ruins

Podcast: against pseudo-left disinformation on Ukraine and Syria

In Episode 138 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg is outraged that The Nation magazine marks the ninth anniversary of the Ghouta chemical massacre by engaging in glib “false flag” theorizing—the predictable response of the post-truth pseudo-left. This sinister spewing from writer David Bromwich is but the latest entry in a long and shameful litany of pro-Assad and pro-Putin propaganda to appear in The Nation. Similar chemical denialism has been dished out by James Cardenn, and loaned credence by Phyllis Bennis—despite the findings of bona fide human rights groups. The Nation’s Bob Dreyfuss has expressed open support for the genocidal dictatorship of Bashar Assad. The Nation’s late Ă©minence griseStephen F. Cohen has spread dishonest Russian propaganda both on Syria and on Ukraine, his spewings eagerly lapped up by Tucker Carlson. Weinberg asserts that The Nation has become a vehicle of Kremlin foreign policy aims, and calls for a complete boycott. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon. (Photo of Aleppo ruins from UNHCR)

The Andes
adepcoca

Bolivia: La Paz marches for and against government

The pro-government Pact of Unity and Bolivian Workers’ Central (COB), the Andean country’s largest trade union federation, held a “March for Democracy” in La Paz to oppose what they called “destabilization” attempts and demonstrate their support for President Luis Arce. Thousands marched from the outlying working-class city of El Alto to Plaza Mayor de San Francisco in La Paz, where a mass rally was held. But days earlier, cocaleros of the Departmental Association of Coca Producers (ADEPCOCA) marched in La Paz, accusing the government of attempting to undermine the organization’s legal monopoly on sale of coca leaf by establishing a “parallel market” in the city, run by loyalists of the ruling party. ADEPCOCA announced formation of a “Self-defense Committee” to forcibly shut down the “parallel market” in the city’s Villa El Carmen district if the government does not act. (Photo: ADEPCOCA via La RazĂłn)

Greater Middle East
syria

US strikes Iran-backed militias in eastern Syria

The US carried out a new round of air-strikes against Iran-backed militias in Deir ez-Zor province of eastern Syria. The militias had been firing rockets on US positions, including the base at al-Tanf, which came under fire last week. The US strikes apparently targeted the Ayash Camp of the Fatimiyoun group of Afghan fighters. According to local reports, at least six Syrians and foreigners were killed. The situation escalated the following day, as two other US bases, Conoco and Green Village, came under rocket fire. The US struck back with attack helicopters, killing “two or three suspected Iran-backed militants conducting one of the attacks” and destroying vehicles, according to Pentagon Central Command. (Image: Pixabay)

Planet Watch
doomsday

Nuclear war would cause global starvation: study

More than 5 billion people would die of hunger following a full-scale nuclear war between the US and Russia, according to a study led by Rutgers climate scientists, published in the journal Nature Food. The team estimated how much sun-blocking soot would enter the atmosphere from firestorms that would be ignited by the detonation of nuclear weapons. Researchers calculated soot dispersal from six scenarios—from a regional India-Pakistan exchange to a large US-Russia war. Under even the smallest nuclear scenario, global average caloric production decreased 7% within five years of the conflict. In the largest scenario—a full-scale US-Russia nuclear conflict—global average caloric production decreased by about 90% three to four years after the exchange. “The data tell us one thing: We must prevent a nuclear war from ever happening,” said Alan Robock, professor of climate science with the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University and co-author of the study. (Image: MoreSky)

South Asia
naxals

Podcast: India’s forgotten wars

In Episode 137 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg explores two of the many under-reported internal conflicts in India, which are rooted in unresolved issues left over from the colonial era in spite of 75 years of Indian independence. In the east-central interior, the Naxalite insurgency has been met with harsh repression from the security forces—especially against the Adivasis, or indigenous peoples who make up the movement’s support base. In the remote Northeast, the long struggle of the Naga people is still met with massacres at the hands of the military today. For three generations the Naga have been fighting for their independence, keeping alive their indigenous culture, and protesting the genocide of their people—to the silence of the international community. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon. (Photo via MIM)

Africa
Senegal

Senegal: peace process with Casamance rebels

The concluding of a peace agreement between Senegal and separatist rebels in Casamance is being hailed by the government as “an important step” toward ending the 40-year conflict in the southern region. The deal was signed in neighboring Guinea-Bissau by a delegate from President Macky Sall’s administration and Cesar Atoute Badiate, leader of the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC). The long-simmering conflict was re-ignited in 2021 when the Senegalese army launched a major offensive against the rebels. But Seydi Gassama, director of Amnesty International Senegal, noted that the MFDC is now but one of several rebel factions. “The negotiations must expand to include these factions so that a peace deal can be quickly signed with all the factions and peace can be established throughout all of Casamance,” Gassama said. (Map: PCL Map Collection)

Southern Cone
University of SĂŁo Paulo

Brazil: cyberattack on ‘Democracy Manifesto’

Faculty at the University of SĂŁo Paulo produced a “Manifesto for Democracy” in response to threats by President Jair Bolsonaro not to respect the results of Brazil’s upcoming elections if he loses. The letter was released and read aloud at an event at the university on Aug. 11—the date of the release of a similar manifesto in 1977, opposing the military dictatorship then in power. The letter has accrued more than 800,000 signatures. However, the day before the manifesto’s release, the computer system collecting the signatures was debilitated by a “distributed denial of service” (DDoS) attack. The IP addresses indicated that the attack originated in Russia. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons viia Brazilian Report)

Syria
#Wewillnotreconcile

Syria: protests against Turkish ‘reconciliation’ call

Thousands of local residents held protests across the Turkish occupation zone in northern Syria to oppose calls by Ankara for “reconciliation” with the Bashar Assad dictatorship. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, speaking to diplomats in Ankara the day before, said, “We have to somehow get the opposition and the regime to reconcile in Syria. Otherwise, there will be no lasting peace, we always say this.” Angry protests, under the slogan “We will not reconcile,” were held in the towns of al-Bab, Afrin and Jarablus. In the town of Azaz, a Turkish flag was burned by protesters. (Photo via Syria Direct)

Greater Middle East
suez

ISIS militants ‘besiege’ targets near Suez Canal

Dozens of militants believed to be associated with the Islamic State’s “Sinai Province” (Wilayat Sinai) attempted to besiege targets including power transformers and railway facilities in the city of El Qantara Sharq, on the eastern bank of Egypt’s Suez Canal. The militants barred access to the sites, but dispersed as security forces advanced. Attacks by the ISIS affiliate have been mounting in the Sinai Peninsula. In May, militants attacked a water station near the Canal, killing 16 members of the military force guarding it. (Photo: Pixaby)

Africa
freetown

Econo-protests rock Sierra Leone

Authorities in Sierra Leone imposed a nationwide curfew amid anti-government protests, in which a still undetermined number of people have been killed, apparently including at least four police officers. In the capital Freetown, protesters barricaded the streets and clashed with security forces, enraged at a 40% spike in the cost of living. A key demand is the resignation of President Julius Maada Bio, who is on a month-long vacation with his family in London—a trip apparently paid for with misappropriated public funds. The government has shut down internet access in the country to prevent activists from issuing calls to protest and spreading images of the repression. President Bio has long been accused of rampant corruption and human rights abuses. (Image: Africa Facts Zone via Twitter)

Europe
Ukraine

Ukraine: debunking Russia’s war propaganda

In Episode 136 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg debunks Vladimir Putin’s “de-Nazification” propaganda for his invasion of Ukraine,  a paramount example of the ultra-cynical phenomenon of paradoxical fascist pseudo-anti-fascism. Putin’s stated justifications for the Ukraine war are either paranoid delusions or outright lies. His real objectives are to rebuild the Russian Empire, re-establish the Russian dictatorship, and exterminate Ukraine as a cultural and political entity. These are the open aims of Alexander Dugin, the intellectual mastermind of Putin’s revanchist imperial project, and the political heir of Ivan Ilyin, the 20th century theorist of “Russian Fascism.” Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon. (Map: PCL)