A great op-Ed by Nick Kristoff at the NYT explaining how, though lacking in first rate medical technology, the infant mortality rates are actually lower in Cuba. We could take away many good practices from the Socialist, island nation so close to our shores.
From the AP: https://apnews.com/6c66de0a22944b58b276d43eef91c093
The suffering of the Venezuelan people is heartbreaking. But:
A) This is not a result of a failing socialist system but rather an economic strangling committed by the U.S. and the International community, who are in our pocket, through strong sanctions, and,
B) If Maduro lets in the U.S. aid, it would be seen as a gift from Guaido which would strengthen him immensely. And Guaido would be a U.S. puppet.
The only thing that should solve this is the delivery of aid by Russia or China. Where are they at?
1) Set a one-year deadline for negotiations with Israel;
2) Established targets for Palestinian sovereignty, including a capital in East Jerusalem;
3) Called for the “full and phased withdrawal of Israeli forces” from the West Bank by the end of 2017.
Only 8 of the total of 15 nations voted for the resolution when at least 9 supporting members are needed for adoption. Oh, and that is irrelevant for the United States would have vetoed the resolution if it were to get the 9 votes anyways as the U.S. is a permanent member of the Security Council with veto power. Just saying… But the Palestinian Authority, led by Pres. Mahmoud Abbas, says it will apply again when members of the revolving Security Council are more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause.
Also, this past Wednesday Abbas moved to join the International Criminal Court in a symbolic step to put Israel on notice regarding prosecution for violations of international law, e.g., war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity. In response the Israelis have frozen $127 million in tax revenue which supports the Palestinian Authority (PA). These funds are provided to the PA under the Oslo Accords agreement to maintain stability. Israel collects $1 billion annually in customs and taxes on behalf of the PA and the money goes to the organization. It would probably collapse without it.
In light of the above actions by the Israeli government, a great analysis in the NYT yesterday explains the momentum is actually on the Palestinians’ side. And according to a couple of quotes from rank-and-file Palestinians in the article shows they may be able to live on their feet instead of their knees.
I hear it from my father for the first time: Even if we will not get our salaries and the economic situation will be worse, at least we can say we will get our rights,” Rula Salameh said of her father, who is 70 and relies on a Palestinian Authority pension.
Ms. Salameh said her sister, who is on the government payroll, “hears it also from her friends, her colleagues — they said even if we will not get our salaries, we need to feel like something is going on, tomorrow will be better than today.
A U.N. panel (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reported today that it would cost less to prevent climate change today than to deal with it later.
It outlines that it will be cheaper to develop green energy solutions and lower CO2 emissions standards today than to deal with reversing the causes of global warming in the future. And if we wait even later we will have to financially recover from global catastrophes caused by the phenomena, eating into our bottom line.
Maybe this economically-centric argument may give some push against right-wing, business interests opposition.
An article in The Guardian reports that on Thursday, the UN Human Rights Committee harshly criticized the U.S. for human rights abuses which include racial discrimination, drone attacks, the detention of prisoners at Gitmo, and even our gun policies, amongst many other offenses.
It is a good thing to have an organization such as the UN holding even the world’s most powerful nation up to a mirror at times and dare to damn it’s policies.
A great NYT piece on how an UN Panel Report states that fighting and general violence in Syria is on the rise, including crimes against humanity. And what is at most is that the peace process stands still for the members of the UN Security Council back differing warring parties.
So now the reported crimes get buried beneath the latest, mostly inconsequential, reports making up the 24-hour news cycle for their is no foreseeable movement regarding peace for the Syrian people.
The article is also worth reading for the included video presentation outlining and explaining the different fighting forces in the Syrian territory that fight the ruling regime and each other.
An article in the NYT reports that everyday people in Iran have yet to fill the effects of the tough sanctions imposed upon Iran’s oil exports in an effort by the international community to stop their weapons-grade uranium enrichment efforts from continuing. The main thing to take away from this article is that, as I’ve written on before, sanctions often fail due to the fact that the leaders of these nations do not suffer the effects of sanctions, the people do. But the thing is in this report states that not even the people have yet to feel any real economic pain, much less the leaders. So the game goes on as enrichment efforts continue.
Joe Biden, in Germany today, says that the United States is open to bilateral talks with Iran regarding their development of nuclear weapons. Hopefully, now that Obama has more leeway in his second term, he will be able to fulfill his first term campaign promise to be more open to talks with so called perceived enemies like Iran and North Korea. These particular developments would be a great move for the U.S. We could possibly stop the punishment of the Iranian people (who are not all too in love with their governing body at this time so close to their elections in June) and remove some of history’s most brutal sanctions conducted by the U.N. Also, we could avert a possible attack by Israel on Iran’s nuclear reactors which would rally all of the Mid-East steps against Israel even more strongly.