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Your weekly round up of alternative news you ought to know


South Africa has a new trade union federation. Can it break the mould?

safty launchThe newly launched trade union grouping in South Africa – the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) – promises to be a voice for the growing numbers of unorganised and marginalised workers in the country. But, as the secretary of the South African Informal Traders Alliance warned delegates Don’t break our hearts with false promises.

World Economic Forum-Africa: a Turf Battle Between Jacob Zuma and ‘White Monopoly Capital’

zuma WEFAt a time US and South African presidents Donald Trump and Jacob Zuma personify controversies over crony capitalism, corruption, populist rhetoric and self-serving economic strategies, will big business calm down the politicians – or just egg them on? Patrick Bond weighs in.

People’s Economic Forum March on the World Economic Forum

On 3 May the People’s Economic Forum marched from Durban City Hall to the US Consulate and then to the International Convention Centre where 2000 selected business and business economic elites were meeting for the World Economic Forum on Africa to shape policies, negotiate trade deals and make investment decisions that benefit themselves at the expense of all us.

banksyApartheid in the Shadows: the USA, IBM and South Africa’s Digital Police State

“Beggars and vagrants” are not welcome in Parkhurst, a mostly white suburb of about 5,000 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Criminals of “increasing sophistication and aggression” are on the prowl, residents claim. To combat local crime, community members proposed a solution: put surveillance everywhere.

State doctors: their real, everyday world

I am a doctor working in the state sector… Firstly, I want to give you an idea of what a typical weekend morning is like in the trauma unit of a South African tertiary hospital.


Against Venezuela’s authoritarian turn

maduroOn May 1, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro signed an executive order to form a Constituent National Assembly to rewrite the country’s constitution. many on the left see the latest move by the ruling Venezuelan United Socialist Party (PSUV) to consolidate its power as a dangerous further lurch toward authoritarianism.

Labour party pledges to outlaw all zero-hours contracts

Labour has pledged to ban all zero-hours contracts, put a halt to unpaid internships and end the pay cap on public sector staff in a leftwing pitch to British workers.

Teachers from around the world will protest today at a meeting in London of a transnational company that takes advantage of foreign aid funds to profit from fee-paying schools in Africa and Asia.

Is American Retail at a Historic Tipping Point?

retrenched clerkBetween 2010 and 2014, e-commerce grew by an average of $30 billion annually. Over the past three years, average annual growth has increased to $40 billion. “That is the tipping point, right there”


Ahmad Sa’adat’s message from prison to the international left

ahmad sa'adatAhmad Sa’adat, the imprisoned General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, delivered a special message from prison to the forces and movements of the Left in the world on the occasion of International Workers’ Day.


Fighting Fire With Fire: African Regional Body Proposes High Costs for Internet Shutdowns

tanzania internet“Shut down the Internet and we’ll take it away from you.” This is a new response, from telecom industry advocates, to African governments threatening to shut down the Internet in the face of political uncertainty.

Almost half of African journalists attacked on social media: report

As the world marks World Press Freedom day on Wednesday, African journalists are facing a new trend of attack – social media threats.

Inside Uber’s Aggressive, Unrestrained Workplace Culture

uber-protestWhen new employees join Uber, they are asked to subscribe to 14 core company values, including making bold bets, being “obsessed” with the customer, and “always be hustlin’.” The ride-hailing service particularly emphasizes “meritocracy,” the idea that the best and brightest will rise to the top based on their efforts, even if it means stepping on toes to get there.

Smart Ships Are Coming!

Get rid of those pesky sailors who eat, sleep, get sick and drink and get paid!smart-ship
“The technologies needed to make remote and autonomous ships a reality exist – the sensor technology needed is sound and commercially available and the algorithms needed for robust decision support systems – the vessels’ ‘virtual captain’ – are not far away.”

Chinese Robots replace human labor beyond manufacturing basesrobot arm

The smart technology leading to an explosive growth of robotic replacement for human labor has begun to flourish beyond the traditional manufacturing bases, but also in China’s service industry. Robots have replaced humans in manual work in 5,000 industrial programs over the past four years in Zhejiang Province.


27 Images That Prove That We Are In Danger of Environmental Catastrophe


Adults in the Room by Yanis Varoufakis review – one of the greatest political memoirs ever?

varoufakisThe leftwing Greek economist and former minister of finance tells a startling story about his encounter with Europe’s ‘deep establishment’

Rosa Luxemburg Explains Capitalism Using Spoons