At the International Climate Change Symposium

Tempio di Adriano, Piazza di Pietra, Rome

27 – 29 May 2015

Dear participants,

We live in urgent times. The sum of the concurrent crises that have been engulfing everything from climate to energy, to politics and economy is creating a spiral of need for change. But climate change sticks out of this list as being an explicitly clear and present danger of existential proportions. Therefore I welcome your effort to review the linkages between climate change and world development and to examine broad lines of action to improve human wellbeing and security in the new conditions of the 21st Century. Unfortunately my health prevents me from joining you, which I regret, as the situation in the world makes this Symposium extremely timely and important.

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Online database ‘exposes’ pro-Palestinian college students in bid to block future jobs

By The Forward and Josh Nathan-Kazis /, Israel

Canary Website keeps backers’ identities hidden, calls on activists to ‘ensure that today’s radicals are not tomorrow’s employees.’

A new website is publicizing the identities of pro-Palestinian student activists to prevent them from getting jobs after they graduate from college. But the website is keeping its own backers’ identity a secret.

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Ukraine’s “Operation Vulture” and Labor Protests

By Michael Hudson*

Ukraine’s collapse since the February 2014 coup has become an umbrella for grabitization. Collateral damage in this free-for-all has been labor. Many workers are simply not getting paid, and what they actually is being paid is often illegally low. Employers are taking whatever money is in their business accounts and squirreling it away – preferably abroad, or at least in foreign currency.

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In Solidarity with Greece

Boaventura de Sousa Santos

I am writing from Athens, where I came at the invitation of the Nicos Poulantzas Institute to discuss the issues and challenges that now beset the countries of Southern Europe and the potential lessons to be drawn from the innovative experiments currently being conducted in Europe and elsewhere in the world.

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Terror Groups May Be Winning Digital War on Extremist Ideology

By Thalif Deen

UNITED NATIONS, May 2015 (IPS) – The United Nations is quick to point out the increasing pace at which digital technology is racing across the world.

Six out of every seven people are armed with mobile phones – and more than three billion, out of the world’s 7.1 billion people, have access to the Internet.

Still, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warns that while advanced technologies are accelerating progress, there are also emerging threats.

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How the China’s New Silk Road is Shifting Geopolitics

By Robert Berke* – Naked Capitalism

Posted on May 27, 2015 by Yves Smith- Yves here. I thought this would be a useful companion post to our update today on the TPP, since the TPP is one of the US’s answer to China’s efforts to stand at the center of a new geopolitical web of alliances. Notice in particular how some of China’s new ties are fragile and how the US is dialing down its efforts to foment a new cold war with Russia.

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How The Saudis Wag The Washington Dog

Submitted by Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge
Submitted by Andrew Levine via,

American diplomacy favors (majority) white, English-speaking countries (the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) and non-Hispanic European settler states (Canada, Australia and New Zealand again, but also Apartheid South Africa and, of course, Israel).

South Africa eventually fell out of favor, thanks in part to boycott, divestment and sanctions efforts in Western countries.

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A BRICS Political Response to the Unsustainable Unipolar Global Internet (1)

by Parminder Jeet Singh*

In part because the time is short, I will completely eschew the conventional vocabulary and discourse that is currently employed for discussing Internet governance (IG) and go directly to the heart of the matter. I will be looking at governance of the Internet from a systemic geo-economic and geo-political viewpoint, and argue where I see the BRICS countries fit in, and what, in the circumstances, could be their best common way forward.

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Organized Crime on Wall Street

By James Kwak *

Why Stringer Bell should have been a Wall Street C??

One of the central dramas of the early seasons of The Wire is the cat-and-mouse game between Avon Barksdale’s drug operation and the detectives of the Major Crimes Unit. The drug dealers started off using pagers and pay phones. When the police tapped the pagers and the phones, Barksdale’s people switched to “burner” cell phones that they threw away before the police could tap them. By Season 4, Proposition Joe advised Marlo Stanfield not to use phones at all.

Well, apparently, Wall Street currency traders don’t watch The Wire. I don’t think anyone was surprised to learn that major banks including JPMorgan, Citigroup, Barclays, RBS, and UBS conspired to manipulate currency prices?—?something that regulators have been investigating for over a year and a half. One common strategy was cooperating to time large transactions in order to manipulate daily benchmark rates at which other client transactions are executed.

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Neo-McCarthyism and the US Media

James Carden – The Nation

The crusade to ban Russia policy critics

As a result of the civil war that has raged in Ukraine since April 2014, at least 7,000 people have been killed and more than 15,400 wounded, many of them grievously. According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, 1.2 million eastern Ukrainians have been internally displaced, while the number of those who have fled abroad, mainly to Russia and Belarus, has reached 674,300.

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Trade and Trust

Paul Krugman – The New York Times

One of the Obama administration?s underrated virtues is its intellectual honesty. Yes, Republicans see deception and sinister ulterior motives everywhere, but they?re just projecting. The truth is that, in the policy areas I follow, this White House has been remarkably clear and straightforward about what it?s doing and why.

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The Crisis of the Left and the Decline of Europe and the United States

By Roberto Savio*

ROME, May – The victory of the Conservative Party and the debacle of the Labour Party in the recent British general elections is yet another sign of the crisis facing left-wing forces today, leaving aside the question of how, under the British electoral system, the Labour Party actually increased the number of votes it won but saw a reduction in the number of seats it now holds in Parliament (24 seats less than the previous 256).

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Why Elites Love Drones

Robert J. Burrowes

I sometimes read that drone strikes are counterproductive to western security interests because each person killed by a drone results in more new ?terrorists?. See, for example, ?The more civilians US drones kill in the Mideast, the more radicals they create?.

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9 Headlines We Guarantee You?ll See Again Sooner Than You Think

Tom Engelhardt ? The Nation

From toddlers with guns to wedding parties hit by drones, here?s the news for tomorrow.

It?s commonplace to speak of ?the fog of war,? of what can?t be known in the midst of battle, of the inability of both generals and foot soldiers to foresee developments once fighting is underway. And yet that fog is nothing compared to the murky nature of the future itself, which, you might say, is the fog of human life. As Tomorrowlands at world fairs remind us, despite a human penchant for peering ahead and predicting what our lives will be like, we?re regularly surprised when the future arrives.

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A third of Russians fear military attack by US, poll finds

By Tom Parfitt –

Survey indicates growing suspicion of possible invasion by Washington after crisis in relations over Ukraine

Moscow. Almost a third of Russians fear an invasion and occupation of their country by the United States, a new poll indicates.

The respected Levada Centre polling agency in Moscow found that 31 per cent of respondents in a survey conducted last month thought the US represented a threat of military takeover, up from 21 per cent in 2007.

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