The Guardian • Issue #2101


  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2101
Global briefs

WALES: Welsh unions have launched a campaign to remove profit from the social care system. Unison Cymru noted the Scottish experience with a “national care service,” which showed that the term could be twisted to refer to a system of private contractors. Such privatised systems trap care workers, most of whom are women, in poverty while requiring them to work excessive hours. Unison Cymru secretary Jess Turner reported that care companies avoid taxes by incurring massive debts. She also noted that, as many of the companies are owned offshore and based in tax havens, it is difficult to track the actual owners of care homes and the tens of millions of pounds invested in care services that is leeched upon by these private firms. GMB union stated that the current system only benefits select individuals and hedge funds. Among other actions, unions such as Unison have supported the Health and Social Care (Wales) Bill, which proposes to remove profit from services for looked-after children.

FRANCE: Demonstrators in Paris have gathered outside the French Ministry of Defence to call for Israeli arms companies to be excluded from the European International Defence and Security Fair, also called Eurosatory, taking place in June. One of the largest arms exhibitions in the world, Eurosatory is held in Paris every two years. In 2022, the event was attended by more than 1700 exhibitors and 62,000 guests. Among the protesters’ demands were the recognition of the criminality of Israel’s government, the cessation of arms sales to Israel, and the end of Macron’s complicity in Israel’s genocide.

USA: Mayor of New York City, Eric Adams, was urged to unleash police against Columbia University protesters in private communications with America’s wealthiest. A WhatsApp chat leaked to the Washington Post has revealed a co-ordinated effort of more than 100 of America’s business elite to “change the narrative” of Israel’s genocide in Gaza. Created shortly after 7 October, the chat titled “Israel Current Events” included more than a dozen Forbes listed billionaires, as well as real estate, finance, and communications moguls. On 26 April, several members of the group held a private Zoom call with Eric Adams, in which they discussed political donations to Adams, as well as strategies to pressure Columbia into accepting police on campus to crack down on protesters. Members of the group even offered to pay for private investigators to assist police. Adams’ office and the NYPD have denied working in tandem with the group, despite claims by members of the group to the contrary.

CHINA: China has condemned accusations made by British defence secretary Grant Shapps that it has provided Russia with “lethal aid” for use in the war in Ukraine. Speaking to a defence conference in London, Shapps claimed that “we have evidence that Russia and China are collaborating on combat equipment for use in Ukraine.” US national security adviser Jake Sullivan reported that Washington had not observed any evidence of China supplying weapons to Russia, adding that he would speak with his UK counterparts to “make sure that we have a common operating picture”. US secretary of state Anthony Blinken also reported in April that there were no signs of Chinese weapons shipments to Russia for the Ukraine invasion.

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