Daily Archives: March 5, 2018

USA | Los Angeles’ homelessness crisis is a national disgrace

There are few sights in the world like nighttime in skid row, the teeming Dickensian dystopia in downtown Los Angeles where homeless and destitute people have been concentrated for more than a century.

Here, men and women sleep in rows, lined up one after another for block after block in makeshift tents or on cardboard mats on the sidewalks — the mad, the afflicted and the disabled alongside those who are merely down on their luck. Criminals prey on them, drugs such as heroin and crystal meth are easily available, sexual assault and physical violence are common and infectious diseases like tuberculosis, hepatitis and AIDS are constant threats.

Italy | Italian elections roundup: The centre can hold, but it is weakened

by Chris Bambery

With the possibility of another far-right leader in a European government, the left needs to get its act together

On Sunday night the Italian elite and their European counterparts went to bed clinging to one seemingly comforting thought. Even if their favoured outcome,  a return of a pro-EU, neoliberal centre-left government to office in Rome, seemed ruled out by that day’s elections, surely that old rogue, Silvio Berlusconi, could form a government in which his right-wing coalition would dominate.

USA | A President Held Hostage: They’ve got him surrounded

As Vice President Mike Pence made a fool both of himself and the country he is supposed to be representing at the Olympic Games by refusing to stand for the athletes of any nation other than the US, back at home the Washington Post was reporting on a President Trump who appears to have nothing in common either with Pence or with the White House staff. The piece, entitled “Trump’s favorite general: Can Mattis check an impulsive president and still retain his trust?” tells a story that pits a President inclined to challenge the War Party against a Praetorian Guard determined to nullify his electoral mandate to keep out of foreign wars and put “America first”: