[The IMF and the World Bank are key instruments of the finance/montary/credit-debt management of the entire world. Enacted at the end of WWII to establish US leadership of the world imperialist system, both IMF and WB have come under endless criticism and challenges over the decades, but the emergence of new imperialist powers from post-socialist Russia and China has posed historically-contending blocs-in-formation as unprecedented dangers to the once-presumed “permanent” US hegemony. Both IMF and WB have become increasingly tattered and less effective instruments, as challenges have grown. Congressional reforms aimed at a more durable structure for the IMF are hailed by the media-of-empire NY Times in the following editorial, which writes, strategically, ‘If the fund and the World Bank are to remain relevant and be truly global organizations, they cannot be seen as European and American fiefs.’ — Frontlines ed.]
Congress Gets Out of the I.M.F.’s Way
By The New York TimesEDITORIAL BOARD, December. 22, 2015
The House went into holiday recess after passing a measure that included ratification of International Monetary Fund reforms.
After five years of Republican foot-dragging, members of Congress last week ratified an agreement that will increase the capital of the International Monetary Fund and give developing countries like China and India a greater say in the organization.
This should strengthen the fund at a time when its expertise is needed to help revive a slowing global economy. In 2010, the Obama administration negotiated an agreement with other countries to double the I.M.F.’s capital to about $755 billion, so it could lend more money to troubled countries like Greece and Spain. The changes also gave more voting power in the fund’s management to China, India, Brazil and Russia while slightly reducing the clout of European countries and the United States. Continue reading →
On a street in Oakland, Calif., a tiny home sits on wheels. The artist Gregory Kloehn, using recycled materials picked up from the streets, made several such homes and gave them to the homeless in the industrial neighborhood near the Port of Oakland.
OAKLAND, Calif. — This summer, the median rent for a one-bedroom in San Francisco’s cityscape of peaked Victorians soared higher than Manhattan’s, sent skyward by a housing shortage fueled in part by the arrival of droves of newcomers here to mine tech gold.
And so, as the story of such cities goes, the priced-out move outward — in New York City, to Brooklyn and, increasingly, to Queens. For San Franciscans, the rent refuge is here in Oakland, where the rates are increasing as well — so much so that young professionals are living in repurposed shipping containers while the homeless are lugging around coffinlike sleeping boxes on wheels. Continue reading →
Eric Garner and Tamir Rice among those missing from FBI record of police killings
Only 224 of 18,000 law enforcement agencies reported fatal shootings in 2014
Previously unpublished FBI data sheds new light on flawed voluntary system
Emerald Garner, daughter of Eric Garner, right, cries while standing next to Esaw Garner, Eric Garner’s wife, center, and Lesley McSpadden, mother of Michael Brown, in April. Photograph: Seth Wenig/AP
Jon Swaine and Oliver Laughland in New York, The Guardian
Thursday 15 October 2015
Killings by police that unleashed a new protest movement around the US in 2014, including those of Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and John Crawford, are missing from the federal government’s official record of homicides by officers because most departments refuse to submit data.
Analysis The tracking of police violence in the US may have reached a turning point
The past week has seen a series of comments regarding the state of documenting US police killings – and some clarity on how the government plans to do so
Only 224 of 18,000 law enforcement agencies around the US reported a fatal shooting by their officers to the FBI last year, according to previously unpublished data obtained by the Guardian, which sheds new light on flaws in official systems for counting the use of deadly force by police. Continue reading →
[Once, when a country attacked another by force of arms, it was called WAR, and human rights violations were identified as WAR CRIMES. Now, as the US shoots Mexicans in Mexico, it is called an approved, acceptable, police action. It is another obscenity of arrogance and impunity. Frontlines ed.]
US border patrol agent looks towards Mexico from the bank of the Rio Grande River. Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images
US border agents shouldn’t have the courts’ permission to shoot people in Mexico
If you shoot an unarmed teenage boy in the head, 3 days of administrative leave isn’t nearly enough punishment
Guinevere E. Moore, The Guardian (UK),Tuesday 28 April 2015
A United States court has all but declared open season on Mexican nationals along the US-Mexico border. Border patrol agents may shoot foreign nationals in Mexico with impunity – provided that those at whom they aim are standing within feet of US territory.
According to a ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit last week, agents who shoot and kill people in Mexico while standing on US soil will never be held to account, except before their administrative agencies. No court will ever review these actions and the families of the victims will be left with no avenue for justice. An agent’s actions will not be governed or restrained by the constitution nor subject to review by US courts.
This isn’t a hypothetic situtation: all of this has already happened.
[Each day brings news of the every-sharpening contention between imperialist powers, who have long cooperated but are now more-ready to seize advantage at the expense of each other, and place burdens of more aggressive exploitation and more oppressive conditions on working people inside the imperialist countries (from US/EU to Chinese/Russian and others scrambling to expand their profits at each others expense). One day, it is the seizure of energy resources, then it is trade routes and shipping, then monetary dominance, then credit dominance and wars, then military eyeball face-offs and surrogate/proxy hotspots, then it is digital battles and cyber wars. There is no stopping this contention, nor any way for the people to see it but to raise the people’s struggles against all imperialism and all reaction. Between these imperialists, working people have no horse in this race. — Frontlines ed.]
STRATEGIC rivalry between America and China takes many forms. Rarely does a clear winner emerge. An exception, however, is the tussle over China’s efforts to found a new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). China has won, gaining the support of American allies not just in Asia but in Europe, and leaving America looking churlish and ineffectual. This month first Britain and then France, Germany and Italy said they hoped to join the bank as founding shareholders. China said other European countries such as Luxembourg and Switzerland are thinking of joining the queue.
Yet America has been sceptical about the AIIB. Its officials claim they have not “lobbied against” it, but merely stressed how important it is that it abide by international standards of transparency, creditworthiness, environmental sustainability, and so on.
NEW DELHI: At a time when the government is busy with security preparations for US President Barack Obama’s arrival to be the chief guest at the 65th Republic Day celebrations on January 26 here, the Maoists have called out to people to “condemn and boycott” the visit.
“In protest of calling him to be the chief guest at the at the Republic Day celebrations, we call upon people to observe 26th January as a day of protest and to boycott all the meetings,” a written statement issued by the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee of the CPI (Maoist), dated January 5, said.
PM Modi with US President Barack Obama at the White House in September 2014.
Under the banner Ferguson is Here! #fergusonéaqui Thousands took the streets in Sao Paulo, Brazil in solidarity with Black Lives Matter protests in the US.Today’s event in Sao Paulo was to highlight the systemic police violence, the high rate of murders and the judicial injustices suffered when these crimes against black communities go unpunished.
In a report by the Brazilian Forum of Public Safety published on Nov. 9th 2014, Brazilian police killed 2,212 people in 2013. Twice as many blacks as whites in Brazil were victims of police violence in 2009, according to a recent study by economist Daniel Cerqueira.
Another study by the University of Sao Carlos showed that even as blacks comprised 34 percent of the population of Sao Paulo, they numbered 58 percent of those killed by police.
[The jails and prisons are still filled with countless victims of the same kind of phony justice, if one considers the millions who are driven by lack of resources into unjust “plea-bargained” sentences. — Frontlines ed.]
Judge vacates 1944 execution of black S. Carolina teen
George Stinney Jr. was convicted of killing two white girls in one-day trial with a white jury and a white judge
Al Jazeera, December 18, 2014
A South Carolina judge on Wednesday vacated the conviction of a black teenager executed in 1944 for the murder of two white girls, saying he had not received a fair trial.
George Stinney Jr. was, at age 14, the youngest person to be executed in the United States in the past century. He was convicted of killing Betty June Binnicker, 11, and Mary Emma Thames, 7, in Alcolu, a segregated mill town, and was electrocuted three months after their deaths.
Stinney’s case has long been whispered in civil rights circles in South Carolina as an example of how a black person could be railroaded by a justice system during the Jim Crow era where the investigators, prosecutors and juries were all white.
Weekly News Update on the Americas, December 9, 2014
Hundreds of Mexican immigrants and other activists held actions in at least 47 US towns and cities on Dec. 3 to protest the abduction of 43 teachers’ college students by police and gang members in Mexico’s Guerrero state in September; each of the 43 students had one of the actions dedicated to him.
The protests were organized by UStired2, a group taking its name from #YaMeCansé (“I’m tired now,” or “I’ve had it”), a Mexican hashtag used in response to the violence against the students, who attended the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers’ College in the Guerrero town of Ayotzinapa. The protesters focused on US government financing for the Mexican government—especially funding for the “war on drugs” through the 2008 Mérida Initiative—but they also expressed outrage over the US court system’s failure to indict US police agents in two recent police killings of unarmed African Americans.Continue reading →
Young black males are at a far greater risk of being shot dead by police in the United States than their white counterparts, a new study has found.
The killing of Michael Brown in Missouri prompted this Chicago protest against police violence.
Salon.com said on October 13 that Black youths were 21 times more likely to be shot dead by police, according to a ProPublica analysis of federally collected data on fatal police shootings between 2010 and 2012.
The 1217 deadly police shootings over that time captured in the federal data show that Blacks, age 15 to 19, were killed at a rate of 31.17 per million. The study found just 1.47 per million white males in that age range died at the hands of police.
Filipina transgender Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude, left, was allegedly killed by US Marine Sgt. Joseph Scott Pemberton,, right. The ensuing protests over yet another US military person charged with abuse or murder of Filipinas has created a suspension of “normal” US visits to the Philippines
MANILA, Philippines–Three US Navy ships have canceled their scheduled port visits to the country this month for operational reasons, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Monday.
“The reconsideration of the port visits is a normal occurrence as US ships are deployed in many areas in the Pacific and are subject to changing operational requirements,” DFA spokesman Charles Jose said at a press briefing, citing a US Embassy diplomatic note.
The Inquirer reported Monday that the Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce had said that nine US vessels had scrapped scheduled port calls because of “anti-American sentiments” stemming from the slaying of Filipino transgender Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude on Oct. 11 in an Olongapo City motel.
[An increasingly common private view now being publicly voiced by political opponents of corporate-capitalist control of the state and imperialist politics. — Frontlines ed.]
October 24-26, 2014
by ROB URIE, CounterPunch
When considering elections in the U.S. the tendency is for voters to look at the issues placed in front of them rather than at history, political trajectory and who it is that chooses the issues? On their face Republicans, broadly considered, are more direct shills for the worst of the corporate-state— Wall Street, multi-national oil and gas companies, munitions manufacturers and replacement of any and all democratic tendencies with corporate interests. This written, Democrats have been the cleverer proponents of these same interests, the clean-up crew that poses state support as response to ‘natural’ catastrophes that are exactly and precisely the product of self-cannibalizing corporate-state capitalism.
The cartoonist Latuff’s commentary on the elimination of independent and opposition politics, when embracing electoral illiusions and voting. The cartoon was produced in response to the false choices offered the people in Brazil’s elections this year
Political strategy within the mainstream, the choice between slower or faster decay, leaves out of its calculation the possibility of break and rupture that are the most likely ends. Wall Street, which counts ‘both’ political parties in the U.S. as wholly owned subsidiaries, has had three crises of increasing magnitude in as many decades. The oil mafia, the CIA-MI5-BP-Exxon Mobil-military oil and gas establishment, is launching wars at increasing cost with decreasing results except inasmuch as human and environmental catastrophes sustain it. And the ‘political’ establishment that sits metaphorically atop this morass retains public attention only through infinite iterations of manufactured cultural difference.
[Chinese imperialism is moving rapidly, knitting new alliances of trade, investment, security, intel-surveillance, and other challenges to the “traditional” US domination of these world relations. Finance is one of the most active arenas of this inter-imperialist contention, as this fidgety New York Times article describes, from US perspective. Significantly, the article, while focusing on the challenge to the US-dominated World Bank, does not go into the parallel challenge (to the US dollar standard) that China is making on the monetary systems of trade, investment, and credit — raising the yuan/renminbi as the significant “alternate” currency/monetary system. The Wall Street Journal reported, “The U.K. government moved a step closer on Thursday to becoming the first country other than China to issue bonds in China’s yuan.” Revolutionary people everywhere are beginning to note that the contradictions within and between imperialists are sharpening, and becoming more muscular. It won’t do to focus on the US as the only imperialist to oppose. — Frontlines ed.]
BEIJING — For almost a year, China has been pitching an idea to its neighbors in Asia: a big, internationally funded bank that would offer quick financing for badly needed transportation, telecommunications and energy projects in underdeveloped countries across the region.
With the public backing of President Xi Jinping and a pledge from Beijing to contribute much of the $50 billion in initial capital, the plan could be seen as an answer to critics who have long argued that China should take on greater responsibilities as a world power. But the United States, perhaps the most vocal of such critics, especially on issues such as climate change and arms proliferation, has not embraced the Chinese proposal.
Instead, in quiet conversations with China’s potential partners, American officials have lobbied against the development bank with unexpected determination and engaged in a vigorous campaign to persuade important allies to shun the project, according to senior United States officials and representatives of other governments involved.