Friday, December 01, 2017

Trump administration escalates threat to “utterly destroy” North Korea – SEP Newsletter

From WSWS:

Trump administration escalates threat to “utterly destroy” North Korea

By Joseph Kishore
The Trump administration is escalating its incendiary threats against North Korea in the wake of the North Korean regime test Tuesday of an intercontinental ballistic missile reportedly capable of reaching the east cost of the United States.
At an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Wednesday, the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, warned that “if war comes, make no mistake, the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed.” The “utter destruction” of the regime can only mean a genocidal war against the country of 25 million people.
Haley directed her fire as much toward China as North Korea, reporting that Trump had called Chinese President Xi to demand that China cut off all oil imports to the impoverished Asian country. “China must show leadership and follow through. China can do his on its own,” she added, “or we can take the oil situation into our own hands.” What precisely was meant by this threat, Haley did not elaborate.
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Trump retweets fascist anti-Muslim videos from Britain
By Fred Mazelis
US President Donald Trump retweeted three videos Wednesday morning that were posted by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain First, a fascist outfit that has specialized in such activities as “mosque invasions” and “Christian patrols” in urban areas with large Muslim populations.
Trump’s latest tweeting is an escalation of a political strategy aimed at inciting and encouraging far-right forces. At the time of the fascist rampage in Charlottesville, Virginia in August that left one anti-fascist protester dead, Trump claimed that there were “good people” among the white supremacist demonstrators. Now he has openly associated himself with a fascist group.
The videos, entitled “Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof,” “Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary,” and “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches,” are crude attempts to whip up hatred of Muslims. The Dutch video, from earlier this year, shows a fight in which no Muslims were involved, and the other two are four-year-old depictions of violence in Egypt and Syria, respectively—no more representative of all Muslims than the murderous rampages in California and Texas exemplified all Americans. Read more »

Amid mounting fears of financial turmoil

Departing Fed chairwoman seeks to reassure markets while warning of debt crisis and social inequality
By Nick Beams
Amid surging stock markets and warnings of a new financial bubble, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen made her final appearance before Congress on Wednesday.
In her testimony, Yellen sought to talk down fears that stock markets are massively overvalued, saying that while asset prices “are high by historical standards,” the risks “remain contained.”
But she combined these assurances with warnings about the federal debt and social inequality, noting that productivity, economic growth and wages remain depressed. Responding to a question about the impact of the Trump administration’s planned tax cuts, Yellen declared, “I would simply say that I am very worried about the sustainability of the US debt trajectory,” adding that it “should be a very significant concern.” Read more »

Hurricane Harvey three months on: Tens of thousands still homeless from worst natural disaster in US history
By Joseph Kishore
Hurricane Harvey made landfall in the United States in late August of this year, killing at least 90 people and devastating much of the region around Houston, Texas. Three months later, tens of thousands of people are homeless, home construction has hardly begun and the long-term health consequences of the disaster have yet to be tallied.
By some measures, Harvey is the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States, with estimated costs of nearly $200 billion, including flood damage to more than 300,000 homes. It was followed in September by Hurricane Irma, which struck the Caribbean and Florida, and Hurricane Maria, which destroyed much of the infrastructure and housing stock on the US island territory of Puerto Rico.
Each of these storms, fueled by higher temperatures caused by global warming, has exposed the criminal negligence of the American ruling class. Inadequate or nonexistent evacuation procedures and emergency shelters led to the deaths of some 250 people, according to official figures (the number of deaths in Puerto Rico is far higher than reported). Many more have had their lives upended, forcing them to fend for themselves after their homes were destroyed. Read more »
Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi demands Representative John Conyers resign over harassment claims
By Andre Damon
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi demanded Thursday that Representative John Conyers Jr., the chamber’s longest-serving lawmaker, resign from Congress because of unproven allegations of sexual misconduct. “Zero tolerance means consequences—for everyone,” she said. “No matter how great the legacy.”
The move marks a reversal by Pelosi, who defended Conyers Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press, calling him an “icon in our country” who has “done a great deal to protect women” and should be entitled to “due process.”
Conyers, who has already stepped down as the top Democrat on the House Judiciary committee, participated in the civil rights movement and helped found the Congressional Black Caucus. As the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, he holds the honorary title of “dean.”
A spokesman for Conyers said Thursday that the congressman, who is nearly ninety years old, has been hospitalized due to a stress-related illness. Read more »

Graduate students protest Republican tax bill
By our reporters
Thousands of graduate students and faculty members from over 40 US universities protested Wednesday against the provision to tax graduate student tuition waivers included in the Republican tax plan which passed the US Senate Committee earlier this week.
The protests, which were mostly called by various graduate student unions, took place in New York City, Alabama, California, Minnesota and Kansas. Two of the largest demonstrations occurred at UC Berkeley (300-400 graduate students) and the University of Minnesota.
The American Council for Education has calculated that the combined effect of all the House bill’s provisions on higher education would increase its cost by $65 billion over the next 10 years. Graduate students would be the hardest hit.
According to an analysis by UC Berkeley, taxes for a campus teaching assistant at this institution, which charges some $13,793 of tuition per year, would rise by 61 percent or $1,400 per year, and by 31 percent for a research assistant. Read more »
Oppose Trudeau and Trump, the Canada-US alliance, and imperialist war!

For a working class counter-offensive based on socialist internationalism!

Part one
 | Part two

By Socialist Equality Party (Canada)
Two years ago this month, the Canadian Labour Congress, the Confederation of National Trade Unions (CNTU) and other Quebec-based unions, the Greens, myriad NGOs and pseudo-left groups, and the New Democratic Party (its own electoral debacle notwithstanding) celebrated the swearing in of the Justin Trudeau-led Liberal government. With one voice they claimed the return to power of Canadian big business’ traditional party of government--a party which when it last held office carried out the greatest social spending cuts in Canadian history and deployed Canadian troops in a series of US-led wars and regime-change operations--constituted “progressive” change.
The Socialist Equality Party challenged the fraudulent “liberal-left” consensus. In an Election Day statement we warned: “A union-backed ‘progressive’ government whatever its exact composition--whether formed exclusively by the Liberals or NDP, or involving a formal coalition or informal alliance between them--would be an instrument of big business for attacking the working class.”
This analysis has been more than vindicated. The “real change” delivered by the “gender-balanced,” ethnically diverse, ostensibly pro-environment, pro-refugee and pro-“native reconciliation” Liberal government has proven to be a sham. Like Stephen Harper’s decade-long Conservative government, the Liberals are pursuing an aggressive, militarist foreign policy and a domestic agenda aimed at making Canadian capitalism more globally “competitive” on the backs of working people. Read more »
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