Planet Watch

Will world war be October surprise?

Will an "October surprise" in the prelude to the mid-term elections in the US be the outbreak of world war—that is, direct superpower conflict? Things are escalating fast on the frontlines with both of the United States' major imperial rivals. The US Navy's Pacific Fleet is preparing to carry out a "global show of force" as a warning to China, after a near-skirmish between a US warship and a Chinese destroyer in the disputed South China Sea. Meanwhile, NATO is planning to conduct its largest military exercises since the end of the Cold War, Trident Juncture 2018, along Norway's border wth Russia. This comes as Washington and Moscow are odds over missile deployments, accusing each other of violating the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty. (Image: Lockheed Martin)

Greater Middle East

Conviction in Syrian regime war crime —at last

For the first time, after six years of war and escalating atrocities, a member of the Syrian regime's military has been convicted of a war crime—a low-level soldier now in Sweden as a refugee, and tried in that country's courts. Yet there have been several convictions of Syrian rebel and ISIS fighters in European courts. This gross imbalance in convictions persists despite the fact that Assad has killed far more Syrians than ISIS or any other "terrorist" outfit in the country.

Europe

Moscow stonewalls on fate of Holocaust hero

A Moscow district court rejected a lawsuit by relatives of Raoul Wallenberg, seeking to access uncensored documents concerning his death in Soviet captivity. Wallenberg was a Swedish diplomat who rescued thousands of Hungarian Jews during World War II. Soviet forces detained Wallenberg in 1945, supposedly for espionage. He was reported to have died two years later in Moscow's notorious Lubyanka Prison.

Europe

‘Car Intifada’ comes to England?

As the commentariat debates whether the London SUV attack was terrorism or the work of an apolitical loner, both sides will overlook the critical factor of car culture.

North America

Jewish Resistance against Stephen Bannon

Under the banner of "Jewish Resistance," protesters rallied outside the Zionist Organization of America gala in Manhattan—where the featured speaker was to be Steve Bannon.

Greater Middle East

Syria rebel gets five years for war crimes

A Swedish court sentenced Syrian refugee Mouhannad Droub to five years in prison after convicting him of abusing a captured member of dictator Bashar Assad's forces.

Europe

Sweden: Muslims under attack —and Jews

The Christmas night fire-bombing of a mosque in Sweden follows weeks of mounting threats and attacks against Jews in cities across the Scandinavian country.

Europe

Fascist pseudo-anti-fascism advances in Russia

Putin's political machine convened an "anti-fascist" summit at Yalta in annexed Crimea, attended by Hungary's Jobbik party, the British Nationalist Party and other neo-fascist entities.

Europe

Sweden: Sámi protest British mining company

Swedish police have repeatedly broken up a protest occupation by Sámi indigenous people against iron mining in a crucial reindeer herding area above the Arctic Circle. 

Europe

France: Muslims under attack… and Jews

A right-wing "Identity Group" seized a mosque in Poitiers, issuing a "declaration of war" against the "Islamization" of France—weeks after a bomb attack on a kosher shop in Paris.