A Fight for Civil and Labor Rights: Union Vote Looms at Nissan

united-autoworkers-auto-worker-nissan

A meeting with autoworkers in a Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi. (Photo: Maina Kiai / Flickr)

“Our only hope is to control the vote.”

Mississippi civil rights leader and NAACP icon Medgar Evers said those words over 50 years ago about the fight for voting rights. He believed, like many activists, that voting enabled dignity in the control of one’s political and economic destiny.

Decades later, a new generation of Southern activists is renewing that vision.

On August 3 and 4, a 14-year campaign to organize the Nissan Motors plant in the small southern city of Canton, Mississippi will come to its climax. The workers at Nissan will finally have their say and get the opportunity to vote for a union, the United Autoworkers (UAW), to represent them on the job.

The vast majority of the nearly 4,000 workers who will be voting at the Nissan plant are African Americans, a population that has historically faced severe economic exploitation due to racism.

The UAW promises it will help the workers grow in strength and negotiate better working conditions, hours, wages, and benefits at the plant. Additionally, the workers have made a broader call for more dignity and respect on the job.

A victory for the workers at Nissan would be historic. It would represent one of the largest successes for labor in decades and one of its largest triumphs in the South.

Read the full article on NBC News.

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A Bipartisan Vote to Put the Brakes on War

anti-war-movement

(Photo: Ben W / Flickr)

One of the few things I recall fondly about the Trump campaign — a short list, I’ll admit — was the candidate’s apparent glee in ridiculing the war-mongering of his rivals and predecessors.

In early 2016, Trump (correctly) summed up George W. Bush’s legacy this way: “We’ve been in the Middle East for 15 years, and we haven’t won anything.”

He ridiculed Hillary Clinton for being “trigger happy” — no standard-issue jibe from a guy who also promised to bring torture back — even while echoing progressive complaints that the $ 5 trillion pricetag from Bush’s wars would’ve been better spent at home.

And though Trump’s relationship with the Russians has since acquired an unseemly cast, he once offered quite sensibly that “it’s better to get along” with the world’s other nuclear-armed superpower than not to.

Compared to his rivals, Politico magazine once mused, Trump was “going Code Pink” on foreign policy. But what a rose-colored lie that turned out to be.

Since taking office, Trump’s turned virtually all use of force decisions over to his generals. With the president’s backing, they’ve ordered 4,000 new American troops back into Afghanistan, sent thousands more to Iraq and Syria, and nearly quadrupled the rate of drone strikes from the Obama administration, which was already quite prolific.

Everywhere they go, they’re escalating the brutality — and we still haven’t won anything.

They cratered Afghanistan with the largest non-nuclear bomb ever dropped. They’ve stepped up support for the brutal Saudi-led bombing of Yemen, where 11,000 have died and thousands more are at risk of dying of hunger and cholera. Meanwhile they’ve brought civilian casualties from our bombings in Iraq and Syria to record levels, inflicting what the UN calls a “staggering loss of civilian life.”

Things are about to get even more dangerous in Syria, as the Islamic State falters and armed factions turn on each other to claim the remains of its caliphate.

Under Trump, U.S. troops have repeatedly attacked pro-Syrian forces — a line Obama never crossed — in a misguided effort to bolster Washington’s favorite rebels, many of whom are fighting each other. That’s ratcheting up tensions with Syria’s allies, Iran and Russia, endangering Obama’s hard-won diplomatic gains with Iran and even leading Russia to threaten to shoot down American planes.

For Trump, a president lampooned as a puppet of Putin, blundering into conflict with Russia over an empty corner of eastern Syria should be an embarrassing prospect. But Trump seems blithely unaware of the whole thing.

While Trump may be uniquely prone to careless belligerence, the problem is plainly bipartisan: He’s mostly just adding ghastly additions to a war scaffolding the Obama and Bush administrations built before him.

One possible solution? Revoke the congressional war authorization passed after 9/11, which gave the president authority to track down the perpetrators of those attacks. There were 19 hijackers that day, but that law’s been abused to justify military action 37 times in 14 countries, the Congressional Research Service calculates.

Stunningly, on June 29, the House Appropriations committee overwhelmingly approved an amendment from Rep. Barbara Lee to revoke that authority — and then broke into applause. It’s not law yet, but Democrat Tim Kaine and Republicans Jeff Flake and Rand Paul have voiced support for doing something similar on the Senate side.

Trump has failed to bring any sense or strategy to America’s wanton post-9/11 war-making. But precisely by putting such a sinister face on it, he might’ve finally inspired bipartisan action to rein in the war machine.

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Does the Brexit Vote Mark the End of Internationalism?

brexit-eu-uk-internationalism

(Photo: Flickr / Photo: portal gda)

This week might represent the beginning of the end for international cooperation. All the treaties, alliances, and unions that have incrementally strengthened the ties between nations over the last several centuries have suddenly been revealed as a house of cards, which a wayward puff of air known as Brexit might suddenly blow away.

Surely this must be an overstatement. The decision this week of British voters to stay inside the European Union or make the unprecedented move to leave can’t be that important. Brett Arends writes in MarketWatch that’s it’s really all a bit of a scam: If the voters decide to leave, the British government will negotiate “a face-saving formula that gives the illusion of Brexit without much substance.”

In any case, the UK was always iffy about the European project, maintaining more than just physical distance from the continent. For instance, the UK has more opt-out clauses than any other EU member. There are even some Brits who find the Chunnel — the underwater rail line linking the UK and France — an unacceptable infringement of their country’s inalienable right to be an island.

If the referendum vote on Thursday does favor the leaveniks, the world will not end. The EU will simply proceed with their continental business, turning a cold shoulder to those ingrates across the Channel.

As an example of the snowballing disdain, French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron recently cut Britain down to size when he said that the country, post-Brexit, would be no more important than the tiny island of Guernsey. German bankers will yawn, French diplomats will sniff, and Belgian bureaucrats will titter nervously before they all go back to their paperwork. The markets will shudder and then regain their equilibrium.

Or…

Humpty Dumpty will begin to wobble out of control. And we, along with all the king’s horses and all the king’s men, will watch in horror as the fragile egg topples off the wall and goes splat, never to be reconstituted. The UK will split apart as Scotland goes ahead with a second vote on its own independence. Referendums on EU membership will follow in France and in the Netherlands. Brexit would be a tipping point for the Swedes and their growing Euroskepticism. Economic contagion could spread to Ireland, which is so closely linked to the British economy, and to Portugal, which is so close to default.

After the EU comes apart at the seams, then perhaps all the various international efforts to pool resources and find common purpose — NATO, ASEAN, the OAS — will suffer a similar failure to cohere. The UN, already dysfunctional, will melt away. It’s a grim scenario, and one that I’ve laid out in dystopian fashion in my new novel Splinterlands (which you can pre-order here). Let’s hope that this brave new world stays in the world of fiction where it belongs.

Perhaps the referendum will narrowly favor those who want to stay in the EU. Bankers and politicians and Eurocrats will sigh with relief because, after all, who can really predict what happens when the fabric of international relations suffers such a tear. Perhaps it can be repaired. Perhaps it goes directly into the rubbish bin.

But a narrow victory may not ultimately settle the question. The anti-EU forces in the UK would likely push for another referendum. Indeed, both UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage and some Conservative MPs have already predicted such a rerun in the case of a close contest — even though British Prime Minister David Cameron has signaled his opposition to such “neverendums.” And Euroskeptics on the continent will probably move forward with their own votes regardless of the British result. Their convincing win this spring in the Dutch referendum on trade relations with Ukraine illustrates the depth of disgust with the EU across the political spectrum.

In either case, this effort to make Britain great again — and America great again under Donald Trump, Japan great again under Shinzo Abe, Turkey great again under Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Hungary great again under Viktor Orban, and so on — will indelibly stain the very concept of “international.”

Ah, well. International cooperation: it was fun while it lasted.

The Mechanics of Exit

Until just recently, it looked almost inevitable that the “Europe No” crowd would triumph in the referendum. In most polls, they had a several-point lead. Momentum seemed to be on their side. Hysteria was mounting as the UKIP improbably presented all potential incoming immigrants as barbarians at the gate (instead of the source of dynamism the British economy sorely needs).

Then, last week, a right-wing extremist assassinated pro-EU Labor Party politician Jo Cox. The assassin, Thomas Mair, had been connected, though peripherally, to white supremacist, pro-apartheid, and other far-right groups for decades. “My name is death to traitors, freedom for Britain,” Mair declared in lieu of identifying himself in court. If he’d had access to assault weapons — like Anders Breivik in Norway — he might have aimed for mass murderer status.

As Nick Lowles of the British-based anti-extremist group Hope Not Hate told The Washington Post:

It fits a pattern of far-right attacks. We’ve had a number of these lone wolves — men in their 50s who are on the periphery of these movements and who believe that the battle is coming… On the one hand, they’re on their own. But they’ve also been inspired by a lot of the things they read.

Coming on the heels of that other lone-wolf attack in Orlando, the assassination seems to have sobered up at least some Brits who might have otherwise voted to leave the EU. The hate that motivates so much of the far right’s desire to leave the EU — and keep the UK as white as possible — had been laid bare. The three-point spread suddenly reversed in favor of the pro-EU faction.

But this last-minute reversal might not mean much. Perhaps those who plan to vote against the EU in the referendum don’t want to admit their true preferences to pollsters because of the stigma attached to being on the same side as a mad assassin.

More to the point, the emotions run much stronger on the anti-EU side. According to a recent poll published in The Independent, 44 percent said that they would be “delighted” with Brexit, while only 28 percent would feel the same way about a Remain vote. “And if there were a vote to Remain, 44 percent said they would be ‘disappointed,’” the pollsters noted, “while only 33 percent said the same about a Leave result.”

The bottom line is that the EU hasn’t succeeded in creating sufficient emotional attachments among its denizens. Perhaps if there were an EU football team that participated in the World Cup, that all-important in-group feeling might well up in the hearts of those living from Lagos to Liepaja and from Lesbos to London. As it is, very few would fight and die for the EU flag. They wouldn’t even rumble in the football stadium, belting out Ode to Joy as they pummel non-European fans like something out of Clockwork Orange, since they reserve their hooliganism for their homelands. (Actually, as “stay” advocate and former footballer David Beckham recently pointed out, Manchester United was a champion because of players drawn from all over Europe — but that still doesn’t qualify as an “EU team.”)

If the leaveniks succeed, the British prime minister will likely invoke what’s known as the “article 50 procedure,” which functions like a divorce settlement — a two-year period of negotiations over who gets what and how the parties shall thenceforth behave. That agreement would require passage in the Council of Ministers and a majority vote in the European parliament and the British parliaments. A separate deal that addresses trade with the EU would require ratification in every EU member state.

No one ever said that divorce was easy.

The Death of Internationalism

The 20th century featured an epic tug-of-war between two types of internationalism: communist versus capitalist. Communist internationalism involved the workers of the world uniting and then the leaders of communist countries linking arms. It didn’t end well, with communist leaders going their own way and the workers turning their backs on communism at the end of the 1980s.

Capitalist internationalism, meanwhile, involved the elimination of all barriers to the free flow of money, investment, and financial services. This globalization of the world economy overwhelmed virtually every obstacle in its path — national regulations, political opposition, cultural preferences. It has also heavily influenced the European project, which started as a social democratic experiment in ending conflict, raising standards of living, and harmonizing social regulations upward, only to move inexorably in the direction of a banker’s paradise.

Some on the left have opposed the EU on the grounds that it’s been hijacked by precisely this kind of internationalism (as well as the internationalism of war via NATO). And, of course, some on the right have embraced the EU, despite its leftist origins, precisely because of its globalization-friendly and NATO-positive policies.

But the pro-EU forces have managed to unite the centrists in both of Britain’s two major parties, though their cooperation has been somewhat half-hearted. The heads of the two parties will thus have their heads handed to them if the campaign fails — Cameron for being overly enthusiastic about the EU, Jeremy Corbyn of the Labor Party for being under-enthusiastic. The Brexit vote is the UK’s equivalent of Donald Trump — a potentially fatal infection for both major parties.

But there’s a third kind of internationalism, which the EU represents, however faintly. This civic internationalism was perhaps best exemplified by Jo Cox.

Before entering politics, Jo Cox worked in several humanitarian organizations, including Oxfam and Save the Children. She’d worked with refugees, on maternal health, on trade reform. She’d been in some of the most dangerous countries in the world like Sudan and Afghanistan. She empathized with people across borders and worked with civil society — first in non-governmental organizations and then inside the British parliament — to help people regardless of their skin color or nation of origin.

The EU continues to be a radical political experiment in overcoming the negative aspects of nationalism (war, xenophobia) while preserving its more benign aspects (flag, language, culture). It’s not a perfect compromise by any stretch of the imagination. But the EU has created a political space within which common values and differences of opinion can be negotiated. It continues to spread around the wealth and attempt to raise social standards in the common European home.

Given the influence of globalization, the EU may not be as committed to these values as it once was. But it doesn’t deserve the “wrecking ball” that David Ignatius recommends in The Washington Post, in an op-ed that marks a new low in his analytical acumen. On so many quality-of-life issues, the EU still puts the United States to shame.

Which is why it’s so sad to see that now, after a century of knocking down walls — trade walls, the Berlin Wall, intra-EU borders — Europeans are about to retrieve their trowels from history’s dustbin and start entombing the EU brick by brick. The capitalist internationalists will survive these new walls. But I’m not sure about the third type of internationalists.

In the name of civic internationalism, Jo Cox stood shoulder to shoulder with her fellow Europeans — her fellow human beings — to build bridges, not walls. Let’s hope that her death will alert everyone to the preciousness of the internationalism that she embraced. We can’t let the Thomas Mairs of the world — or the Omar Mateens, Dylann Roofs, and Anders Breiviks — dictate with their words and weapons of hate the kind of world we live in.

The post Does the Brexit Vote Mark the End of Internationalism? appeared first on Institute for Policy Studies.

John Feffer directs Foreign Policy in Focus, a project at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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International Business|’Brexit’ Vote Has European Workers in Britain Unsure of Future – New York Times


New York Times
International Business|'Brexit' Vote Has European Workers in Britain Unsure of Future
New York Times
Even the British farm vegetables on your plate were probably harvested by European immigrants. As Britain prepares to vote on whether to retain its membership in the European Union, dire warnings have been multiplying about the punch to the British …

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Benin: Prime Minister Concedes to ‘King of Cotton’ in Presidential Vote – Newsweek


Newsweek
Benin: Prime Minister Concedes to 'King of Cotton' in Presidential Vote
Newsweek
A Beninese electoral official counts votes after the second round of Benin's presidential election. An electoral official counts votes after Benin's presidential run-off vote in Cotonou, Benin, March 20. Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou has conceded defeat
Benin presidential poll: Patrice Talon defeats PM Lionel ZinsouBBC News
Benin holds presidential runoff vote as leader to step downU.S. News & World Report
Key issues in Benin's presidential electionDaily Mail

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The Future of Europe Depends on This Vote in the Netherlands

holland-tourist-shop-cropped

(Photo: Flickr / Moyan Brenn)

The future of Europe is being decided this week in the Netherlands.

Perhaps you thought that the European Union’s fate would be voted up or down in June, when the United Kingdom holds its referendum on continued membership. The “leave now” constituency in the UK currently holds a four-point lead, though much depends on whether younger British voters who are more EU-friendly will actually make it to the polls. The stakes are indeed high in the UK, and Brexit quite naturally commands much of the world’s attention.

But this week, the Dutch are holding a referendum on a trade agreement with Ukraine that has already been approved by the Dutch parliament and by all the other members of the EU. Indeed, the agreement has already been partially in effect for much of 2015. The organizers of the referendum, only the second one in modern Dutch history, don’t actually care much about Ukraine. They simply wanted a way to rally Dutch public opinion against the EU. The association agreement, because of its European connection, served as a nice fat target.

In the initial exit polls, the anti-agreement forces were winning a clear victory, by nearly two to one. It’s not clear, however, whether enough voters will have turned out to achieve the 30 percent required to validate the results.

The result of the Dutch referendum is not the only storm cloud on the horizon.

NATO recently announced that it’s sending 4,200 additional troops and 200 tanks to Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, and the three Baltic states in order to counter an “aggressive Russia,” according to Philip Breedlove, the top U.S. commander in Europe. NATO is also assembling a 40,000 strong rapid-response force to deploy if one of its most easternmost members gets attacked.

It’s not exactly a high-noon moment in Europe. The European Union is distracted by the continuing impact of the refugee crisis. Russia has been focusing on events in Syria. Ukraine itself is struggling to establish a measure of political stability and deal with endemic corruption. A tenuous ceasefire holds in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine.

But events this week may nevertheless determine the future of Ukraine, the trajectory of the EU, and whether armed conflict will return to Eastern Europe.

Much depends on the Dutch.

The Referendum

The Ukrainian economy has taken a beating in the last couple years. In 2014, according to the World Bank, the economy shrank by nearly 7 percent. Last year, it contracted by an astonishing 12 percent. In this context, projected growth of 1 percent in 2016 is cause for celebration. But at that rate, Ukraine won’t even get back to pre-Euromaidan levels for some time.

One major reason for the economic tailspin is the loss of the Russian market. Gone the cheap Russian energy flowing to Ukraine; gone the aviation exports going the other way to Russia. According to Ukrainian government statistics, Ukrainian exports to Russia dropped by a third in 2014. In the first half of 2015, trade fell by another 59.4 percent. The same sources indicate that Ukraine has now become, basically, an exporter of raw materials: corn, iron, sunflower oil. That’s not exactly a recipe for rapid economic growth.

The association agreement with the EU — the same association agreement proposed in 2014 that sparked the Euromaidan protests — might ordinarily be a lifesaver for Ukraine. As Russia steps away, the EU steps in. And boy, what a economic plum the EU is! Through this agreement, Ukraine gains preferential access to a market of 500 million customers.

But it’s not clear whether Ukraine is selling anything that these customers want to buy — or are even allowed to buy. As Nicolai Petro writes in The Guardian:

EU rules restrict Ukraine’s exports to Europe, which fell 23 percent in 2015 despite the preferential tariff regime that was in place for most of last year. For example, only 72 Ukrainian companies are allowed to export food of animal origin to the EU: 39 of the licenses are for honey. While that may sound like a lot of honey, Ukraine exported its yearly quota for honey in the first six weeks of 2016. A similar story holds for other commodities.

Also, the association agreement goes both ways. As the EU removes tariff walls against Ukrainian products, so Ukraine takes away barriers to EU products. During the 1990s, Eastern European countries discovered to their dismay what happens when West European products suddenly become available much more cheaply: a hollowing out of domestic industries and agriculture.

You’d think, perhaps, that the Dutch are just now poring over all of these statistics to determine whether or not to support the association agreement. But the Dutch referendum, as I said, is not about Ukraine.

The opponents of the association agreement — an odd combination of Euroskeptics, right-wing populists like Geert Wilders, the left-wing Socialist Party, and even an animal-rights group — have made any number of absurd objections to the agreement: that it will cause Ukrainian workers to flood the EU (they won’t), that fascists are in control of Ukraine (they aren’t), or that the agreement is the first step for Ukraine to join the EU (in another 50 years, if the Ukrainians are lucky and the EU still exists).

The supporters of the agreement are not much better. They have tried to turn the vote into a referendum on Vladimir Putin. As Politico reports:

Supporters of the Ukraine agreement see the Russian leader as a bully who has to be taught a lesson. In their view, rejecting the accord would betray Ukrainians, boost the Kremlin, and reward Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. A digitally manipulated poster created by Yes backers and displayed in the Amsterdam subway shows a passionate kiss between populist Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who opposes the treaty, and the Russian president.

Sure, Putin is a bully, but the referendum is not about Russia. It’s not about pulling Ukraine apart. It’s about following through on a commitment that the EU made in the aftermath of the changes that took place in Ukraine in 2014.

On the basis of the trade figures mentioned above, a good argument could be made both for and against the agreement. But the Dutch are not debating the finer points of trade. There are larger issues at stake. A “yes” vote represents a measure of hope — in the continued viability of the European Union and its potential to help countries on its borders. “No,” meanwhile, suggests that the EU is a spent force and the “European idea” no longer has any capacity to inspire the better angels of our nature.

If the initial results of the referendum hold up, and Dutch voters reject the agreement, it could significantly buoy the hopes of Euroskeptics in the UK and elsewhere in the EU. And it would be yet another misfortunte for Ukraine to suffer in a year of hard knocks.

The Trouble with Ukraine

Ukrainians are not just suffering economically.

The political situation in the country is tenuous, to say the least. The government of Petro Poroshenko has been trying to pull together a new ruling coalition that could support its choice for a new prime minister, Volodymyr Groysman. Groysman, in turn, has signaled that he would appoint Slovak politician Ivan Miklos as the country’s finance minister. Miklos presided over Slovakia’s economic about-turn in the 2000s.

But earlier this month, former prime minister and the head of the Fatherland Party Yulia Tymoshenko pulled out of negotiations over the creation of a new ruling coalition. Tymoshenko is, quite sensibly, outraged at how the economic reforms so far have plunged Ukrainians into misery. But she’s also taking a chance that she and her party would benefit the most from early elections.

Poroshenko — whose disapproval rate hovered around 70 percent back in January — has been reeling from a succession of corruption allegations. The latest ties him to the Panama-Gate revelations — the huge investigative journalism undertaking that has implicated politicians across the globe in off-shore schemes to enrich themselves and their cronies. Poroshenko, required to sell his cake and candy company Roshen, allegedly transferred the concern overseas in order to reap tax-free profits from the sale. The head of the country is supposed to be encouraging the citizens to pay the taxes that the state needs so desperately. He should not be misleading by example.

Poroshenko, up until the Panama-Gate scandal broke, was actually one of the more popular government figures. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and the parliament as a whole have approval ratings in the very low teens. A pervasive stink of corruption hangs over the country. Even after the Ukrainian government finally dismissed the notoriously unscrupulous prosecutor general, Viktor Shokin, The New York Times lambasted the leadership’s cronyism:

Poroshenko seems to have accepted continuing corruption as the price to pay for a modicum of maneuvering room. But the president, the prime minister, and the Parliament must be made to understand that the International Monetary Fund and donor nations, including the United States, cannot continue to shovel money into a corrupt swamp unless the government starts shaping the democratic rule that Ukrainians demanded in their protests.

Given that the economy has bottomed out, the political system is fragile, and corruption is widespread, the situation in the Donbass would seem to be the least of Kiev’s worries at the moment. After all, the situation in eastern Ukraine is relatively quiet, emphasis on “relatively.” Ceasefire violations continue sporadically, according to the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and there have been casualties. Elections have not yet taken place in the Donbass region, though Poroshenko insists that more of an armed OSCE presence is necessary before any such election can proceed. But at least all is mostly quiet on the eastern front.

The last thing Ukraine needs right now is a resumption of hostilities in the Donbass. Given the punishing impact that low energy prices are having on its economy, Russia can also ill afford a hot war on its periphery and even more stringent sanctions. By sending more troops to its eastern borders, NATO is reassuring its newest members. By providing Ukraine with over $ 300 million in non-lethal security assistance, the United States is reassuring the Poroshenko government. But the West should be putting much more attention and resources into ensuring that the Minsk process succeeds. Signals that are reassuring to one side are very often threatening to the other.

The best way for Ukraine to guarantee its territorial integrity — and not lose any more acreage to an opportunistic Russia — is to be successful, politically and economically. Ukraine desperately needs a cohort of clean politicians at the helm. It needs an economic package of support that doesn’t require the most vulnerable portions of the population to shoulder most of the burden of economic reform. Economic and political success will more effectively secure the support of the residents of Donbass than force of arms.

Meanwhile, the EU has to get its own act together. It has to reimagine itself as something more than just austerity economics sung to the tune of Ode to Joy.

Brussels faces the same challenge as Kiev: how to command the loyalties of a diverse population. The Dutch, the British, the Greeks — they can’t be forced to stay inside the Union. The rewards of membership must be made visible and fast. The EU can still help Ukraine move forward. But it can do so only if it somehow masters its own centrifugal forces.

The post The Future of Europe Depends on This Vote in the Netherlands appeared first on Institute for Policy Studies.

John Feffer directs Foreign Policy in Focus, a project at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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Benin: Prime Minister Concedes to ‘King of Cotton’ in Presidential Vote – Newsweek


Newsweek
Benin: Prime Minister Concedes to 'King of Cotton' in Presidential Vote
Newsweek
A Beninese electoral official counts votes after the second round of Benin's presidential election. An electoral official counts votes after Benin's presidential run-off vote in Cotonou, Benin, March 20. Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou has conceded defeat
Benin presidential poll: Patrice Talon defeats PM Lionel ZinsouBBC News
Benin: Presidential runoff vote pits prime minister against cotton magnate who was once accused of trying to poison Daily Journal
Key issues in Benin's presidential electionDaily Mail

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Benin: Prime Minister Concedes to ‘King of Cotton’ in Presidential Vote – Newsweek


Newsweek
Benin: Prime Minister Concedes to 'King of Cotton' in Presidential Vote
Newsweek
A Beninese electoral official counts votes after the second round of Benin's presidential election. An electoral official counts votes after Benin's presidential run-off vote in Cotonou, Benin, March 20. Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou has conceded defeat
Benin presidential poll: Patrice Talon defeats PM Lionel ZinsouBBC News
Benin: Presidential runoff vote pits prime minister against cotton magnate who was once accused of trying to poison The Republic
Talon wins Benin presidential race as Zinsou concedes defeatYahoo News

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No Opposition on Vote to Blacklist Corporations in Occupied Palestine Shows Shifting Global Opinion

Which companies are doing business in occupied Palestine? That’s a key question that’s been essential to the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement known as BDS, which is trying to increase economic and political pressure on Israel to end the occupation and the growth of Israeli settlements. On Thursday, the United Nations Human Rights Council voted to create a blacklist of corporations doing business in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Golan Heights. The Palestinian Authority and members of Arab nations put forth the resolution and the proposal did not receive any “no” votes, while 32 supported the move, and 15 member states abstained from voting altogether. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized the decision, calling the United Nations “an anti-Israel circus.”

Watch the interview on the Real News Network’s website.

The post No Opposition on Vote to Blacklist Corporations in Occupied Palestine Shows Shifting Global Opinion appeared first on Institute for Policy Studies.

Phyllis Bennis directs the New Internationalism project at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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Benin: Prime Minister Concedes to ‘King of Cotton’ in Presidential Vote – Newsweek


Newsweek
Benin: Prime Minister Concedes to 'King of Cotton' in Presidential Vote
Newsweek
A Beninese electoral official counts votes after the second round of Benin's presidential election. An electoral official counts votes after Benin's presidential run-off vote in Cotonou, Benin, March 20. Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou has conceded defeat
Benin presidential poll: Patrice Talon defeats PM Lionel ZinsouBBC News
Benin: Presidential runoff vote pits prime minister against cotton magnate who was once accused of trying to poison The Republic
Talon wins Benin presidential race as Zinsou concedes defeatYahoo News

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