What are food crisis and how many people are affected by them?

Poverty, Threats

What are food crisis and how many people are affected by them?

At least 155 million people are facing acute hunger because of conflict, economic shocks and extreme weather, a new report has found. The Global Report on Food Crises 2021 says the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased the risk of severe hunger in some regions of the world.

The figure marks a new five-year high for global food crises, which affected 55 countries or territories in 2020. The publishers of the report issued a stark warning, saying “If current trends are not reversed, food crises will increase in frequency and severity.” In 2020, 20 million more people than in 2019 experienced acute food insecurity at “crisis or worse levels,” the report found. Around 133,000 people in Burkina Faso, South Sudan, and Yemen faced widespread death and a collapse of livelihoods in the most severe level of food crisis, classified as a ‘catastrophe.’

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Developing countries in the stranglehold of debt

Demographic, Wild Cards

Developing countries in the stranglehold of debt.

The coronavirus pandemic and other aspects of the multidimensional crisis of global capitalism are enough to fully justify suspending debt repayment. Indeed priority must be given to protecting people against ecological, economic and public health disasters.

In the context of the current emergency, we have to assess longer trends that make it necessary to implement radical solutions to the issue of DCs’ debt. This is why we develop our analysis of factors that currently increase the unsustainability of the debt repayments claimed from countries in the Global South. We shall consider in turn the downward trend in commodity prices, the reduction of foreign exchange reserves, continued dependence on revenue from commodity export, the DCs’ debt payment calendar, with major repayments due between 2021 and 2025, mainly to private creditors, the drop in migrants’ remittances to their countries of origin, the back flow to the North of stock market investments, the perpetuation of capital flight.1 Payment rescheduling granted in 2020-2021 because of the pandemic by creditor countries that are members of the Paris Club and of the G20 only accounts for a small portion of repayments owed by developing countries.

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How We End the Forever War

Policies, Terrorism

How We End the Forever War

The U.S. does not know how to end its wars. Even when US troops are withdrawn from another country, US involvement in the war there does not necessarily end. The Trump administration pulled troops out of Somalia last year, but US military operations in Somalia continue. President Biden has committed to withdrawing the remaining troops from Afghanistan, but it is simply understood that US special forces, drones, and jets will continue to conduct operations in the country for the foreseeable future. The troops move, but the wars continue.

As if to drive this point home, Gen. McKenzie, the head of CENTCOM, recently stated that the war on terrorism “is probably not going to end.” He could have dropped the probably. When the goals of a war are unachievable, it is not possible for the war to end when our government is determined to keep fighting it no matter what. Like every other war the US has fought since 1945, the forever war is a war of choice. Unless there are major changes in policy, the “war on terror” will outlive the US troop presence in Afghanistan.

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America’s Next Insurgency

Civil War, Threats

America’s Next Insurgency

Bleeding Kansas began with an eviction attempt. In late 1854, Jacob Branson, an abolitionist from Ohio, started trying to kick Franklin Coleman, a slavery proponent, off his property. Roughly a year later, Coleman ran into a friend of Branson’s at a local blacksmith’s shop. The friend berated Coleman for continuing to squat on the land and demanded that he desist. It’s not clear what, if anything, Coleman said in response. But it is clear what he did. As the friend walked away, Coleman took out a gun and killed him.

Fearing reprisal in what was a largely antislavery community, Coleman fled to a nearby town and turned himself in to a proslavery sheriff. That sheriff promptly freed him and then arrested Branson.

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Myanmar’s Bloodshed Reveals a World That Has Changed, and Hasn’t

State War, Threats

Myanmar’s Bloodshed Reveals a World That Has Changed, and Hasn’t

Myanmar’s rulers this week crossed a threshold few governments breach anymore: They have killed, by most estimates, more than 500 unarmed citizens of their own country.

Such massacres by government forces have, even in a time of rising nationalism and authoritarianism, been declining worldwide. This is the seventh in the past decade, compared with 23 in the 1990s, according to data from Uppsala University in Sweden.

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The Politics of Stopping Pandemics

Disease, Threats

The Politics of Stopping Pandemics

Even before the COVID-19 crisis, global instability had caused a worrying rise in epidemics. Medical science alone won’t be able to turn the tide.

“Just a few years ago, many of us in the global health policy community were thrilled at the prospect of eliminating catastrophic infectious and tropical diseases,” Peter Hotez writes in his new book, “Preventing the Next Pandemic” (Johns Hopkins). He dates this high point of optimism to the start of 2015, when the success of vaccination campaigns had become dramatically evident. Polio, once endemic in more than a hundred countries, had been limited to three—Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Measles deaths were down by eighty per cent, from half a million children worldwide in 2000 to a fifth of that number.

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Dreaming War: Blood for Oil and the Cheney-Bush Junta (Nation Books)

Terrorism, Threats

Dreaming War: Blood for Oil and the Cheney-Bush Junta (Nation Books)

When Gore Vidal’s recent New York Times bestseller Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace was published, the Los Angeles Times described Vidal as the last defender of the American republic. In Dreaming War, Vidal continues this defense by confronting the Cheney-Bush junta head on in a series of devastating essays that demolish the lies American Empire lives by, unveiling a counter-history that traces the origins of America’s current imperial ambitions to the experience of World War Two and the post-war Truman doctrine.

And now, with the Cheney-Bush leading us into permanent war, Vidal asks whose interests are served by this doctrine of pre-emptive war? Was Afghanistan turned to rubble to avenge the 3,000 slaughtered on September 11? Or was “the unlovely Osama chosen on aesthetic grounds to be the frightening logo for our long contemplated invasion and conquest of Afghanistan?” After all he was abruptly replaced with Saddam Hussein once the Taliban were overthrown.

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Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible

Proflieration

Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible

Two respected journalists tell the incredible story of Viktor Bout, the Russian weapons supplier whose global network has changed the way modern warfare is fought. Bout’s vast enterprise of guns, planes, and money has fueled internecine slaughter in Africa and aided both militant Islamic fanatics in Afghanistan and the American military in Iraq. This book combines spy thrills with crucial insights on the shortcomings of a U.S. foreign policy that fails to confront the lucrative and lethal arms trade that erodes global security.

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First In: An Insider’s Account of How the CIA Spearheaded the War on Terror in Afghanistan

Terrorism, Threats

First In: An Insider’s Account of How the CIA Spearheaded the War on Terror in Afghanistan

While America held its breath in the days immediately following 9/11, a small but determined group of CIA agents covertly began to change history. This is the riveting first-person account of the treacherous top-secret mission inside Afghanistan to set the stage for the defeat of the Taliban and launch the war on terror.

As thrilling as any novel, First In is a uniquely intimate look at a mission that began the U.S. retaliation against terrorism–and reclaimed the country of Afghanistan for its people.

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First In: An Insider’s Account of How the CIA Spearheaded the War on Terror in Afghanistan

State War, Threats

First In: An Insider’s Account of How the CIA Spearheaded the War on Terror in Afghanistan

While America held its breath in the days immediately following 9/11, a small but determined group of CIA agents covertly began to change history. This is the riveting first-person account of the treacherous top-secret mission inside Afghanistan to set the stage for the defeat of the Taliban and launch the war on terror.

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