Opinion

On the edge of climate disaster

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A new United Nations Synthesis Report on climate change makes grim reading, and despite attempts by various governements to skew its findings, it is unambiguous in its conclusions.

November saw the publication of the Synthesis Report for the fifth Assessment Report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

This presents the conclusions and policy recommendations that arise from three earlier reports by working groups on the causes of global warming, its current and potential impacts, and suggested solutions.

It is the most comprehensive and authoritative document on the subject yet published. It is also the most forthright statement made by the panel on the reality and risks of climate change.

Solidarity against racism

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The electoral success of far-right parties presents a challenge for the left. Brian Richardson reports from a key anti-fascist conference in Greece that is beginning to coordinate a continent-wide strategy to halt them.

The headline story in this May’s European Parliament elections was the success of the fascist Front National (FN) in France. Marine Le Pen’s party topped the poll with 24.85 percent which translated into 24 seats.

It is now the fourth biggest party in the parliament. That success was subsequently consolidated with the capture of two seats in the French Senate elections in September. The outright fascist Jobbik party took second place in the Hungarian elections with 14.6 percent of the vote, winning three seats.

A catastrophic failure to act

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As the Ebola crisis continues to rage across West Africa, Tokunbo Oke recalls the history of colonialism and neoliberal policies, which has ravaged the continent and left many states unable to withstand the epidemic.

The current Ebola crisis has been running for seven months — yet you would not know that from the media coverage in the West. The epidemic has only become a major concern since US and European citizens have become victims. British nurse William Pooley, who has returned to Sierra Leone to help victims having recovered from Ebola himself, has been rightly hailed for his heroism. But the deaths of several hundred African doctors and nurses from the disease so far have been virtually ignored.

Bassem Chit (1979-2014)

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After the sudden loss of a revolutionary who inspired and organised young activists in the Middle East, Simon Assaf records Bassem Chit's legacy.

The sudden death from a heart attack of Lebanese revolutionary socialist Bassem Chit is a tremendous blow to our movement. Bassem was a man of immense energy and extraordinary bravery, with a sharp tactical and strategic mind.

The economy's empty smile

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October's market jitters show how confidence in the recovery can flip into panic. But what underlies the turmoil?

Appropriate mood music for London’s stock exchange last month, according to the Financial Times’s James Mackintosh, might have been Anthrax’s “I’m Alive”. For those readers unfamiliar with thrash metal, the relevant lyrics are: “An empty smile / And you’re hypnotised / Selling lies, my enterprise / The sheep just get in line / Capitulate so easily / The power of fear.”

Welling, 1993

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The vicious attack that left Stephen Lawrence bleeding to death at a south east London bus stop in 1993 was a racist murder that left a family heartbroken and many people angry.

There had already been other racist murders — Orville Blair, Rolan Adams and Rohit Duggal. Since the fascist British National Party (BNP) had opened its headquarters in Welling, south east London, racially motivated attacks had increased by a staggering 200 percent, leading the area to be named “Britain’s racist murder capital”.

Dylan did not go gentle

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Dylan Thomas

The centenary of the birth of the great Welsh poet Dylan Thomas is being marked by a host of events across Wales, including tours, art shows, film screenings, plays, lectures and poetry readings. The highlights include a Dylan Thomas Festival in Swansea between 27 October and 9 November and exhibitions at Swansea Museum and the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth.

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