AFL-CIO Endorses Keith Ellison for DNC Chair

The largest union federation of the US, the AFL-CIO, has announced that it is endorsing Representative Keith Ellison to chair the Democratic National Committee. Ellison is currently co-chair of the congressional progressive caucus and was an early supporter of Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Party primaries. The AFL-CIO’s endorsement represents an important boost to Ellison’s candidacy and victory for Sanders’ efforts to push the party towards a more progressive political direction. The Anti-Defamation League is campaigning against Ellison for being “excessively critical of the State of Israel.”

Obama Orders Investigation of Russian Influence on US Elections

The White House is ordering an investigation into the Russian government’s alleged hacking activity aimed at influencing the US presidential elections. Sources from within US intelligence agencies have long maintained that the Russian government was interfered in the election, particularly in the hacking of emails of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta. However, no official investigation or report has been released on the matter. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who published the emails, has denied that any government agency was involved in providing the emails to Wikileaks. According to Homeland Security advisor Lisa Monaco, the report will be released before the inauguration on January 20th.

European Central Bank Investing Billions in Fossil Fuel Industry

The European Central Bank – or ECB – is undermining EU climate change policy by injecting tens of billions of dollars into fossil fuel companies via its “quantitative easing” program. This is according to a study released by the non-governmental organization Corporate Europe Observatory. In the past six months the ECB has invested 50 billion dollars in corporate bonds in order to inject cash into European economies and to boost their economic growth rate. This number is expected to grow to 140 billion dollars by late next year. Not all of this money has gone into fossil fuel industries, but analysts say that it makes no sense for the ECB to support these industries when the European Union is trying to reduce Europe’s carbon emissions. “We should be looking for a public investment policy that puts combating climate change and creating jobs first, not mindlessly throwing public money into the coffers of Big Oil and car makers,” Kenneth Haar, the author of the Corporate Europe Observatory report, told The Guardian.

Only 5% of Refugees in Italy and Greece Relocated

Only five percent of refugees in Italy and Greece have been relocated to other countries of the European Union, according to European Commission data. In September 2015, the EU set a goal of relocating 160,000 refugees in Greece and Italy by September 2017. The plan has deeply divided EU member countries because many central and eastern European countries are refusing to accept any refugees. Most of the refugees from from Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, and from various countries in Africa. Turkey is currently sheltering 3.2 million refugees, while EU countries took in about 1.2 million refugees in 2015.

Assad Says Kurdish Federal Zone in Syria ‘Temporary’ in First Major Statement About the Kurds in 5 Years

Kurdish communities in northern Syria could soon find themselves being targeted by the Syrian Government.

Speaking on state-owned media, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad described the Kurdish autonomous regions as ‘temporary’ federalist structures. 

“As far as we are concerned as a state, we accept whatever the Syrian people accept, and I don’t think that the Syrian people accept federalism anywhere in Syria,” Assad said.

Over the past few years, the Kurds in Northern Syria have founded autonomous self-governing societies along the border with Turkey.

Kurds throughout the Middle East and Turkey have long been persecuted and denied the right to express their ethnic identity.

 

Investigation Finds Britain is Financing Syrian Rebel Propaganda

A main source for western reporting on the Syrian war is financed by the British government, according to Alternet.

Emails obtained in the investigation show that The Revolutionary Forces of Syria Media Office, a pro-rebel news service, is run by westerners operating from within Turkey.

The investigation notes that the organization works with rebel groups known to have tortured or killed Syrians who are critical of the armed opposition.

One journalist, who declined an offer of $17,000 a month to work in Istanbul for the RFS, described the organization as “a propaganda outlet.”