Roe v Wade: Abortion clinics start to close after Supreme Court ruling

BBC:

The landmark 1973 Roe v Wade case saw the Supreme Court rule by a vote of seven to two that a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy was protected by the US constitution.

The ruling gave American women an absolute right to an abortion in the first three months (trimester) of pregnancy, but allowed for restrictions in the second trimester and for prohibitions in the third.

I remember in 7th grade my Social Studies class had exhilarating debates about abortion, Watergate, the ERA. At that time I would not have expected to see this headline in 2022.

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Jeremy Corbyn on UK media

Declassified UK:

In June 2019, then US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited the UK and was recorded saying privately: “It could be that Mr Corbyn manages to run the gauntlet and get elected. It’s possible. You should know, we won’t wait for him to do those things to begin to push back. We will do our level best. It’s too risky and too important and too hard once it’s already happened.”

Compared to the extensive coverage of alleged Russian interference in the Brexit referendum, Pompeo’s remarks barely registered in the British media. I ask Corbyn why he thinks that is.

“We have a supine media in this country,” he tells me. “The British self-confidence of saying we’ve got the best media in the world, the best broad­casting in the world, the best democracy in the world. It’s nonsense, utter, complete nonsense. We have a media that’s supine, that self-censors, that accepts D-Notices, doesn’t challenge them, and the vast majority of the mainstream media haven’t lifted so much as a little finger in support or defence of Julian Assange.”

He adds: “And so the idea that we’ve got this brave British media that is always exposing the truth is utter nonsense. Even the liberal supposedly left-leaning papers like the Guardian, where are they on all of this? Nowhere. Where were they kicking off about Pompeo’s remarks? Nowhere. We obviously kicked off about it, protested…We were just told it was a private briefing…It wasn’t. It was a quite deliberate message.”

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The Guardian has long been viewed as the voice of the liberal-left in Britain, so it surprised many during the Corbyn leadership to see it act as one of the main media vehicles through which the campaign to bring him down was fought.

The paper was a key part of the “anti-semitism crisis” that engulfed Corbyn’s leadership. From 2016-19, the Guardian published 1,215 stories mentioning Labour and anti-semitism, an average of around one per day, according to a search on Factiva, the database of newspaper articles.

In the same period, the Guardian published just 194 articles mentioning the Conservative Party’s much more serious problem with Islamophobia. A YouGov poll in 2019, for example, found that nearly half of the Tory party membership would prefer not to have a Muslim prime minister.

The Guardian’s coverage of anti-semitism in Labour was suspiciously extensive, compared to the known extent of the problem in the party, and its focus on Corbyn personally suggested that the issue was being used politically.

The late Jewish anthropologist David Graeber commented after the 2019 election: “As for the Guardian, we will never forget that during the ‘Labour antisemitism controversy’, they beat even the Daily Mail to include the largest percentage of false statements, pretty much every one, mysteriously, an accidental error to Labour’s disadvantage”.

“I have absolutely no illusions in the Guardian, none whatsoever,” Corbyn tells me. “My mum brought me up to read the Guardian. She said, ‘It’s a good paper you can trust’. You can’t. After their treatment of me, I do not trust the Guardian.”

He continues: “There are good people who work in the Guardian, there are some brilliant writers in the Guardian, but as a paper, it’s a tool of the British establishment. It’s a mainstream establishment paper. So, as long as everybody on the left gets it clear: when you buy the Guardian, you’re buying an establishment paper”.

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Ukrainians who come to UK illegally could be sent to Rwanda, Johnson says

Guardian:

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Stalin was eager to bribe the Allies with the prospect of German loot and wanted the British to take more. He offered Churchill “shares in German undertakings.” Churchill did not nibble. He did not object, however, to the Soviets taking German equipment. “By removing factories and equipment from Germany, Russia would be doing us a service, for it would put an end to German exports which could then be replaced by British exports,” he said. Stalin said that the Soviets would happily remove German factories once they got hold of them.

—Serhii Plokhy, Yalta, (London: Penguin, 2010), 257.

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Michael Hudson:

Biden’s cabinet depicts this New Cold War as a fight of the “democratic” United States privatizing economic planning in the hands of the largest banks “too big to fail” and other members of the neo-rentier class, in opposition to “autocratic” China and even Russia treating banking and money creation as a public utility to finance tangible economic growth, not financialization.

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For the past half century, the Fed’s role has been to provide easy money to give the ruling party at least the illusion of prosperity to deter voters from electing the opposition party. But this time the Biden Administration are running on a program of financial austerity.

The Party’s identity politics address almost every identity except that of wage-earners and debtors. That does not look like a platform that can succeed. But as the ghost of Margaret Thatcher no doubt is telling them: “There Is No Alternative.”

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Ukraine to ban music by some Russians in media and public spaces

BBC:

Ukraine’s parliament has voted in favour of banning some Russian music in media and public spaces.

The ban will not apply to all Russian music, but rather relates to music created or performed by those who are or were Russian citizens after 1991.

Artists who have condemned Russia’s war in Ukraine can apply for an exemption from the ban.

The import of books from Russia and Belarus will also be prohibited under the legislation.

The document says the ban will “minimise the risks of possible hostile propaganda through music in Ukraine and will increase the volume of national music products in the cultural space,” BBC Monitoring reports.

The ban will apply to musicians who have or had Russian citizenship at any time after 1991 – the year Ukraine declared independence – except for those who are Ukrainian citizens or were so at the time of their death.

In a parallel bill to that affecting music, books imported from Russia, Belarus and occupied Ukrainian territories will also banned, as well as material in Russian imported from other countries.

This law will ban the publishing and distributing of books written by Russian citizens (with similar exemptions to those for music) though this will not apply to books already published in Ukraine.

In addition, translations of books will only be published in Ukrainian, official EU languages or indigenous Ukrainian languages.

This means Ukrainians will not be able to import and read Ludmila Ulitskaya’s Sonechka or Swetlana Alexijewitsch‘s Zinkjungen which I read recently. Ukraine has outlawed the publication of books in Catalan, Mandarin, Cantonese.

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Catastrophe

We have a democracy. Last year that democracy was in danger. There could have been a catastrophe. Lucky for us we had Mike Pence (thank God). Because of The Courage of Mike Pence, while we came dangerously close to catastrophe, catastrophe was averted.

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Burning imperatives

Guardian:

It came as the new head of the British army said British troops must prepare “to fight in Europe once again”.  “There is now a burning imperative to forge an army capable of fighting alongside our allies and defeating Russia in battle,” Gen Sir Patrick Sanders said, writing to his charges about the challenges they face.

The statements suggest the west believes Ukraine cannot achieve a rapid military breakthrough despite the anticipated arrival of fresh Nato-standard arms, while officials in the country have continued to call for rapid help.

Ukraine’s forces remain on the defensive in the eastern Donbas region, where fighting continues in Sievierodonestsk.

The head of the British army is talking about the UK and its allies “defeating Russia in battle”??

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Der Krieg könnte Jahre dauern

Bild:

BBC:

The West must prepare to continue supporting Ukraine in a war lasting for years, Nato’s chief has warned.

Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the costs of war were high, but the price of letting Moscow achieve its military goals was even greater.

His comments came as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also warned of the need to brace for a longer-term conflict.

Both Mr Stoltenberg and Mr Johnson said sending more weapons would make a victory for Ukraine more likely.

“We must prepare for the fact that it could take years. We must not let up in supporting Ukraine,” the Nato chief said in an interview with German newspaper Bild.

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