Tariq Ali is recalling a party for the late Tony Benn on the House of Commons terrace shortly after Labour’s 1997 election victory. “Edward Miliband, as he was known then, came up to me, eyes shining, very excited, asking: ‘Tariq, what would you do if you had just won?’ I said: ‘The first thing I would do is to renationalise the railways. Between 70 and 80% of the people want that, it would be very popular.’ And he rolled his eyes in despair at me.” Continue reading–>
by Daniel Costa-Roberts
In the face of a moribund economy and growing tensions with the west, Moscow will move ahead with a planned decade-long upgrade of the Russian military, raising 2015 defense spending to 3.3 trillion rubles ($50 billion), a 30 percent nominal increase over last year. Continue reading–>
by Andrew Smith
For those with a spare £246 to burn (or a military corporation willing to burn it on you) and an interest in arms and conflict, this month’s ADS Dinner was the perfect night out. Continue reading–>
Source: Peace Movement Aotearoa
11 February 2015
In response to yesterday’s announcement that the New Zealand armed forces will begin specific training for a possible deployment to Iraq, more than 30 representatives of peace, justice and faith organisations and academics have sent an open letter to government Ministers and Members of Parliament today strongly opposing any military deployment and stressing there are more useful contributions New Zealand can make.
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by Rich Smith
Russia is in trouble.
According to its own Finance Ministry, the nation depends on revenue from crude oil and gas exports to fund 50% of its budget. But with the price of crude oil itself down nearly 50% over the past year, finding money to fund government programs is getting harder.
Result: Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov recently warned that crude oil prices of $50 per barrel (oil costs about $58 now, but has fallen as low as $46 in recent weeks) could siphon as much as $45 billion in revenue out of government coffers this year. This, Siluanov said, could necessitate budget cuts of as much as 10%. But there’s one part of the Russian state budget that won’t be cut at all: defense. Read more from source: The Motley Fool