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An Interview with Yanis Varoufakis

Source: Dissent Magazine

The last few years have been a bit of a rollercoaster for the European left. Riding up front has been Yanis Varoufakis, the charismatic economist and former Greek finance minister who went to war with the troika—the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund—in 2015 as it sought to inflict brutal austerity as a penalty for his country’s debts and its decision to elect an openly left-wing government headed by Syriza. They lost that fight, but Varoufakis escaped mostly unscathed. Amid Brexit and a wave of Euroskepticism, he went on to found the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25), pushing for a more democratic and inclusive continent, free of austerity. The group mounted several candidates under the mantle of a European Spring this May, including Varoufakis himself. They failed to gain a single seat, though his vote total came in a hundredth of a percentage point below the 3 percent threshold needed to gain representation. While the center-right faltered in May, so, too, did the left. read more

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Extreme water stress affects a quarter of the world’s population

Source: The Guardian

Qatar, Israel and Lebanon top list of places with worst shortages, as climate crisis threatens more ‘day zeroes’

A quarter of the world’s population across 17 countries are living in regions of extremely high water stress, a measure of the level of competition over water resources, a new report reveals.

Experts at the World Resources Institute (WRI) warned that increasing water stress could lead to more “day zeroes” – a term that gained popularity in 2018 as Cape Town in South Africa came dangerously close to running out of water. read more

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On the Front Lines of Bolsonaro’s War on the Amazon

Source: The Intercept

THE RIVER BASIN at the center of Latin America called the Amazon is roughly the size of Australia. Created at the beginning of the world by a smashing of tectonic plates, it was the cradle of inland seas and continental lakes. For the last several million years, it has been blanketed by a teeming tropical biome of 400 billion trees and vegetation so dense and heavy with water, it exhales a fifth of Earth’s oxygen, stores centuries of carbon, and deflects and consumes an unknown but significant amount of solar heat. Twenty percent of the world’s fresh water cycles through its rivers, plants, soils, and air. This moisture fuels and regulates multiple planet-scale systems, including the production of “rivers in the air” by evapotranspiration, a ceaseless churning flux in which the forest breathes its water into great hemispheric conveyer belts that carry it as far as the breadbaskets of Argentina and the American Midwest, where it is released as rain. read more

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The revolution in Sudan is far from over

Source: Roar Magazine

Today, the Sudanese military and civil opposition are singing a political agreement — meanwhile the revolution is carried forth by grassroots organizers.

A political agreement has been reached between the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) — the broad alliance of civil society and rebel groups leading the revolution in Sudan — and the Transitional Military Council (TMC) currently in power. For months, the two forces have been at a gridlock in negotiations.

As the representatives of the people in the streets, the FFC has a mandate to ensure a democratic transition. On the other side, the TMC — supported by UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt — wants to block one. If the agreement is finally signed, the two groups will share power. History will judge whether or not the leaders of the revolution made the correct decision? We suspect this to be capitulation. read more