2021-02-26: News Headlines

MEE and agencies (2021-02-26). Covid-19: Israel freezes programme to send vaccines abroad amid legal scrutiny. middleeasteye.net Covid-19: Israel freezes programme to send vaccines abroad amid legal scrutiny | Bid to garner international goodwill suspended after attorney general said to be seeking clarification about its legality | Fri, 02/26/2021 – 10: 32 | Palestinians have accused Israel of ignoring its duties as an occupying power by not including the Palestinians in its inoculation programme (AFP) | Israel has…

Patricia Gorky (2021-02-26). Exposed: McDonald's surveillance operation spies on employees organizing for a living wage. liberationnews.org New reports show that McDonald's has spied on workers "for years" in their effort to combat the Fight for $15 movement that has been struggling for a living wage for nearly a decade. According to documents leaked to Motherboard, McDonald's hired a team of global intelligence analysts to identify and surveil workers and labor leaders …

Michael T. Klare (2021-02-26). Biden, Climate Change, and China: A New Cold War equals A Scalding Planet. juancole.com ( Tomdispatch.com ) — Slowing the pace of climate change and getting "tough" on China, especially over its human-rights abuses and unfair trade practices, are among the top priorities President Biden has announced for his new administration. Evidently, he believes that he can tame a rising China with harsh pressure tactics, while still gaining its …

Rob Urie (2021-02-26). Capitalism and Political Violence at Home and Abroad. counterpunch.org Question: why do both conservative and liberal governments in the U.S. install right-wing governments abroad if 'the U.S.' opposes right-wing political violence? While right and left politics may seem to have limited descriptive value in many current conflicts, the interests of capital, broadly considered, represent an unwavering motive for them. Why then would military conflict

Ramzy Baroud (2021-02-26). Imagining Palestine: On Barghouti, Darwish, Kanafani and the Language of Exile. counterpunch.org For Palestinians, exile is not simply the physical act of being removed from their homes and their inability to return. It is not a casual topic pertaining to politics and international law, either. Nor is it an ethereal notion, a sentiment, a poetic verse. It is all of this, combined. The death in Amman of

Viviana Weinstein (2021-02-26). Denver protest: 'No war on Iran!'. workers.org Feb. 20, Denver.Denver Students for a Democratic Society, Jewish Voice for Peace and the Denver Peace Council held a demonstration Feb. 20 at the state capital, in cooperation with the national call to prevent Washington from instigating a war against Iran. Threats the U.S. warships would move into the Persian/Arabian . . . |

Michael T. Klare (2021-02-26). A New Cold War on a Scalding Planet: Biden, Climate Change, and China. counterpunch.org Slowing the pace of climate change and getting "tough" on China, especially over its human-rights abuses and unfair trade practices, are among the top priorities President Biden has announced for his new administration. Evidently, he believes that he can tame a rising China with harsh pressure tactics, while still gaining its cooperation in areas of concern

Andrew Levine (2021-02-26). "America is Back": Make the Best of It. counterpunch.org America is back; Joe Biden says so. Therefore, it must be true. He seems as pleased as can be about it too. So is the entire political class, except for the miscreants wedded to Donald Trump or to rightwing views, distinguished mainly by their vileness and stupidity. There are alarmingly many Americans who hold those

Ron Jacobs (2021-02-26). Health Care and Colonialism: A Sickness unto Death. counterpunch.org Nothing is immune from the stain of colonialism and its associated phenomena of racism. This includes the practice of medicine. Whether one is considering the inequality of medical care between the global north and south, the unevenness of medical care inside imperial nations stemming from those nations' colonial history, or the racist attitudes still endemic

Ted Kelly (2021-02-26). Biden sends B-1 bombers to Norway, threatens Russia. workers.org The U.S. Air Force announced during February that it is sending four B-1 bombers and at least 200 personnel to Orland Air Base on the central coast of Norway. Pentagon officials made no secret of the fact that the deployment is meant as a threat to Russia, which is well . . . |

Jonah Raskin (2021-02-26). What Lawrence Ferlinghetti Means to Me. counterpunch.org The anarchist, pacifist poet, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, whom I knew for forty years was shy and introverted, even while he was a public figure who wanted to be recognized and appreciated as an artist. A decade older than me, he cared deeply about his friends in the city, in Bolinas and in Big Sur. He also valued his own privacy. At events at the San Francisco public library, where he stood out from the crowd, he often meant to be witty, but his one liners would fall flat. He took many of the changes in San Francisco—the arrival of the dot comers, the Google buses, the influx of wealth, the price of real estate…

The Conversation (2021-02-26). Facebook's news blockade in Australia shows how tech giants are swallowing the web. juancole.com By Jennifer Grygiel | — When Facebook disabled Australians' access to news articles on its platform, and blocked sharing of articles from Australian news organizations, the company moved a step closer to killing the World Wide Web — the hyperlink-based system of freely connecting online sites created in 1989 by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Though the …

Eds. (2021-02-26). Hundreds of law students announce boycott of Chevron law firm Seward & Kissel for "unethical" private prosecution of human rights attorney Steven Donziger. mronline.org Students from over 50 leading U.S. law schools—including Stanford, Harvard, Yale, and New York University—have announced a recruiting boycott of a prominent Chevron law firm to protest its "unethical" private prosecution of U.S. human rights lawyer Steven Donziger after he helped win a $9.5 billion pollution judgment against Chevron.

Workers World Party (2021-02-26). Tell Biden: Stop bombing Syria! workers.org It has taken only 36 days in office for the Biden administration to show the world, through a bombing attack on Syria, that it is belligerent, aggressive and hell-bent on war. There was only a short respite from Trump's vile words and actions. Now we have to face Biden's vile . . . |

Roger Harris (2021-02-26). Joe Biden's US Foreign Policy: Return to the Old Normal? counterpunch.org US President Biden bellicosely proclaimed, "American is back," in his major foreign policy priorities speech at the Munich Security Conference on February 19. Repeated twice for effect, Biden signaled the end of the Trump interregnum. No more assuring words could have been uttered for George W. Bush's former Defense Secretary Colin Powell and the 70 odd Republican national security officials, who wrote an open letter endorsing Biden out of fear that Trump would upset the bipartisan foreign policy consensus of regime change, forever wars, and the NATO alliance. Republican neo-cons now shelter in the Democrat's big…

MEE staff (2021-02-26). US launches air strikes against Iran-backed groups in Syria. middleeasteye.net US launches air strikes against Iran-backed groups in Syria | Pentagon says raids were authorised by President Biden in response to rocket attacks against US-led coalition forces in Iraq | Fri, 02/26/2021 – 02: 10 | President Biden had vowed to revive the nuclear deal with Iran, but the two countries remain at a diplomatic impasse (AFP/File photo) | US air raids targeted the positions of Iran-backed armed grou…

MEE staff (2021-02-26). Biden launches deadly air strikes against Iran-backed groups in Syria. middleeasteye.net Biden launches deadly air strikes against Iran-backed groups in Syria | At least 17 pro-Iran fighters reported dead in strikes made in response to rocket attacks against US-led coalition forces in Iraq | Fri, 02/26/2021 – 02: 10 | Biden had vowed to revive the nuclear deal with Iran, but the two countries remain at a diplomatic impasse (AFP/File photo) | Deadly US air raids targeted the positions of Iran-backe…

Areeb Ullah (2021-02-26). Shamima Begum not allowed to return to UK, Supreme Court rules. middleeasteye.net Shamima Begum not allowed to return to UK, Supreme Court rules | Londoner who travelled to Syria to join Islamic State as a teenager argued she should be able to appeal stripping of citizenship in UK | Fri, 02/26/2021 – 09: 45 | Shamima Begum, photographed in her tent at the al-Roj camp in northeastern Syria in February 2020 (Screenshot) | The UK's Supreme Court has ruled that Shamima Begum, a British wo…

Alex MacDonald (2021-02-26). Saudi Arabia: Father of political prisoner Ali al-Nimr detained. middleeasteye.net Saudi Arabia: Father of political prisoner Ali al-Nimr detained | Family lawyer tells MEE Mohammed Baqir al-Nimr is a 'prominent intellectual' who maintains a 'moderate' discourse regarding Saudi government | Fri, 02/26/2021 – 09: 45 | Ali al-Nimr was imprisoned as a minor in 2012 and had been sentenced to death before the penalty was commuted earlier in February (Reprieve) | Saudi Arabia has de…

Jeffrey St. Clair (2021-02-26). How Real Nazis Came to the Americas: the Recruitment of Klaus Barbie. counterpunch.org By the time Klaus Barbie went on the payroll of an American intelligence organization in 1947, Klaus Barbie had lived several lifetimes of human vileness. Barbie sought out opponents of the Nazis in Holland, chasing them down with dogs. He had worked for the Nazi mobile death squads on the Eastern Front, massacring Slavs and Jews. He'd put in two years heading the Gestapo in Lyons, France, torturing to death Jews and French Resistance fighters (among them the head of the Resistance, Jean Moulin. ) After the liberation of France, Barbie participated in the final Nazi killing frenzy before Allies moved into Germany…

STEVE O'KEEFE (2021-02-26). Vladimir Putin's Very Bad Week. counterpunch.org It's been a rough week for Russian Federation President, Vladimir Putin. The European Union imposed sanctions under Euro-Magnitsky; Australia is expected to pass its own Aussie-Magnitsky; and imprisoned anti-corruption crusader, Alexei Navalny, is leading a growing Russian protest movement from behind bars. Oh yeah, Pussy Riot is back! Putin is considered the richest man in

Ralph Underhill (2021-02-26). Crime and lack of punishment. thecanary.co Image description | This cartoon begins with the text "Crime and lack of punishment" the words "lack of" are smaller and coloured red, the rest of the text is black. Under that is text reading "A story of government accountability". The rest of the cartoon is divided into two columns, the one on the left is titled "Crime", the one on the right is titled "Punishment" and has quotation marks around it. The crime and punishment columns then read in order as follows. | Crime: Inquiry finds minister bullied staff | Punishment: PM calls for 'protective square' around minister | This is illustrated with a giant mouth…

A Guest Author (2021-02-26). Black rage: a new 'reconstruction' in the U.S. workers.org The following letter from an incarcerated worker at SCI Pine Grove was received by Workers World Feb. 24. By Wesley Massey How do we make a paradigm shift to change how Blacks are viewed with pessimism, and on a good day cautious optimism? How do we change the culture in . . . |

RT (2021-02-26). Amazon-owned Twitch removes anti-union ads pushed by parent company after media and users complain. rt.com Ads urging workers in Alabama not to unionize "shouldn't have been allowed," the streaming platform Twitch said, bucking its parent company Amazon after a pro-union outlet published a story complaining about the videos. | "Twitch does not allow political advertising, and these ads should never have been allowed to run on our service," the company said in a statement on Wednesday, thanking the "community" for bringing them to attention. | new: Twitch says they have removed these ads from the platform "Twitch does not allow political advertising, and these ads should never have been allowed to run on our service…

RT (2021-02-26). TikTok agrees to $92mn settlement in class-action over alleged privacy breach of US users. rt.com Chinese multinational ByteDance agreed to a $92 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit after over a year of litigation. The suit alleged its short video app TikTok tracked and harvested private data of some US users. | The proposed settlement came to light in court documents filed in the US District Court in Illinois on Thursday. The settlement still needs court approval. | The settlement, the result of 21 consolidated federal cases filed primarily on behalf of minors — some as young as six — applies to 89 million TikTok users in the US who allegedly had their privacy breached. While the compan…

RT (2021-02-26). 'Stunning and brave?' Oreo Cookie called out for marketing ploy after tweeting 'Trans people EXIST'. rt.com Oreo Cookie may have been trying to signal a boldly virtuous statement for social justice by proclaiming that "Trans people exist," but while the message struck a chord with some, it fell flat with many denouncing it as a PR move.

RT (2021-02-26). McConnell says he'd 'absolutely' back Trump as 2024 GOP nominee, as poll shows 46% of Republicans would ditch party for ex-POTUS. rt.com Senator Mitch McConnell said he would "absolutely" support Donald Trump as his party's next presidential pick, taking a more friendly tone after a recent poll found nearly half of the GOP would dump the party for the former POTUS. | Asked whether he would support Trump as the Republican presidential nominee in 2024 during a Thursday interview, the Kentucky senator answered readily in the affirmative. | "The nominee of the party? Absolutely," McConnell

teleSUR (2021-02-25). Food Insecurity Climbs in Central America in the Last Two Years. telesurenglish.net The Regional Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) for Latin America Miguel Barreto warned of an increase in food insecurity in Central America as a result of the pandemics and extreme weather events. | RELATED: | Over the last two years, around eight million people have suffered from hunger in El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Honduras. At least 1.7 million people are currently "in need of urgent f…

_____ (2021-02-25). A Private Government In Honduras Moves Forward. popularresistance.org "It's almost like an insult that this is happening to us now, after so much sacrifice to develop the community to the point it's at today," Venessa Cardenas explains, in Crawfish Rock, Roatán, as she remembers her grandmother who passed away last May at 90 years old. "She was the one who fought for us to have the road, the school, water, all of the basic projects… the government has never given us anything that we didn't fight for. She gave everything for this community. She's the reason me and my family are so firm." | Venessa's community is located between two tourism projects—Pristine Bay and Palmetto…

teleSUR (2021-02-25). Honduras President Denies Drug Trafficking Accusations. telesurenglish.net During an address to the Congress Hernandez said that "if certain offices in the United States make the mistake of rewarding drug traffickers who give false testimony, instead of increasing their penalties … then the battle that we have jointly waged with our allies against drug trafficking may become unsustainable because there will be loss of trust."

Staff (2021-02-25). "Decades in the Making": How Mainstream Conservatives & Right-Wing Money Fueled the Capitol Attack. democracynow.org As more details emerge about those who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, it's becoming clearer that the insurrection was not the work of a "fringe" group, but rather the result of a decades-long conservative effort to undermine democracy, according to author Brendan O'Connor. "The events of January 6 were not just months, but years, decades, in the making," says O'Connor, who notes that major Republican donors and prominent conservative groups were connected to the Trump rally that immediately preceded the Capitol riot.

Staff (2021-02-25). 100+ Countries Push to Loosen WTO Rules on Vaccine Patents. Why Is the U.S. Still Blocking the Way? democracynow.org As the pandemic's death toll nears 2.5 million, stringent rules around intellectual property rights could be preventing much of the world from obtaining COVID-19 vaccines. Over 45 million people in the United States have received at least one dose of a vaccine, according to the United Nations, while 130 other countries have not received any vaccines at all, leading to what some describe as "vaccine apartheid." At the World Trade Organization, South Africa and India are leading a push by over 100 nations to waive intellectual property rules that give pharmaceutical companies monopolistic control over vaccines they…

Staff (2021-02-25). "Not Ready to Give Up": Democrats Push Senate to Keep Popular $15 Minimum Wage in Stimulus Bill. democracynow.org As the House of Representatives prepares to pass a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, a fight is brewing over the inclusion of an increase to the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. The measure is at risk in the Senate, where conservative Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Arizona's Kyrsten Sinema oppose its inclusion in the relief bill or suggest a lower amount. Congressmember Jan Schakowsky of Illinois says Congress must pass the minimum wage hike to help address inequality in the United States. "The current minimum wage, federally, is $7.25. Now, you can't live on that. You can't raise a family…

Medea Benjamin, Nicolas J. S. Davies (2021-02-25). What Planet Is NATO Living On? counterpunch.org The February meeting of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Defense Ministers, the first since President Biden took power, revealed an antiquated, 75-year-old alliance that, despite its military failures in Afghanistan and Libya, is now turning its military madness toward two more formidable, nuclear-armed enemies: Russia and China. This theme was emphasized by U.S. Secretary of

G. Dunkel (2021-02-25). COVID crisis drags down U.S. life expectancy. workers.org The number of deaths due to COVID-19 in the United States is now over 500,000. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. life expectancy dropped by a full year from the first six months of 2019 to the first six months of 2020. This is the biggest drop . . . |

Vincent Emanuele (2021-02-25). Dr. Osterholm's Warning: COVID Hurricane on the Horizon. counterpunch.org Twelve months ago, Dr. Michael Osterholm was interviewed on the Joe Rogan Program. At the time, he warned that anywhere from 400,000 to 1.5 million Americans would die of COVID and that the pandemic would last for many years and significantly impact our lives. So far, his predictions have been eerily accurate. Today, Dr. Osterholm is warning that a "Category 5 COVID-hurricane" is on the horizon, with the B117/UK Variant posing the greatest threat.

Chris Banks (2021-02-25). Half a million dead: What's the difference between Biden's and Trump's COVID plans? liberationnews.org The COVID-19 death toll in the United States has now surpassed half a million people — approximately 20% of all COVID-19 deaths on the planet, according to official statistics. The United States continues to lead the world in coronavirus deaths, with January ranking as the United States' deadliest month yet. Reflecting this monumental death toll, …

Chris Hartmann (2021-02-25). To 'Build Back Better,' listen to those disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. peoplesworld.org Though often ignored, communities know best what ails them. I am reminded of this often because I hear it in my classroom. I heard it before the COVID-19 pandemic, and I hear it louder now as the pandemic rages on. At the end of last term, amidst the surge in cases after Thanksgiving, I asked …

Jomo Kwame Sundaram (2021-02-25). Developing Countries struggling to cope with COVID-19. mronline.org SYDNEY and KUALA LUMPUR: The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is adversely impacting most developing countries disproportionately, especially the United Nations' least developed countries (LDCs) and the World Bank's low-income countries (LICs).

David Cavendish (2021-02-25). It's time to shorten the workday—and the workweek. peoplesworld.org It's been nearly a year since the COVID-19 pandemic forced people in our society to "shelter in place," social distance, and wear masks. Most social activities, such as sporting events, concerts, and parades were canceled. Schools and businesses closed, forcing nearly 50 million people onto the unemployment rolls. And while in recent months the numbers …

Chris Banks (2021-02-25). Half a million dead: What's the difference between Biden and Trump's COVID plans? liberationnews.org The COVID-19 death toll in the United States has now surpassed half a million people — approximately 20 percent of all COVID-19 deaths on the planet, according to official statistics. The U.S. continues to lead the world in coronavirus deaths, with January ranking as the United States' deadliest month yet. Reflecting this monumental death toll, …

Global Research News (2021-02-25). Selected Articles: The Covid Outbreak: "Biggest Health Scam of the 21st Century." globalresearch.ca By We are health professionals of the international collective :…

RT (2021-02-25). 'Get the f*ck over it': UFC's Kevin Holland questions Covid-hit Khamzat Chimaev for 'not having heart'. rt.com UFC middleweight Kevin Holland has insinuated that Khamzat Chimaev's battle with the lingering effects of Covid stem from the Russian-born star not having "heart" — citing his own comparatively light brush with the illness. | Chimaev was forced to pull out of his headline welterweight match-up with Leon Edwards on March 13 as he continues to struggle with health issues brought on by a coronavirus infection. | It was the third time the bout had fallen through and Edwards will now face Belal Muhammad — while Chimaev has been flown to the US so that he can receive medical care at the UFC's provision.

RT (2021-02-25). Offices of senior German lawmaker in Merkel's party raided over allegations he claimed huge fee in Covid mask deal — reports. rt.com Police in Germany raided the offices of a senior politician in Chancellor Angela Merkel's party, Georg Nuesslein, who is accused of pocketing hundreds of thousands of euros for securing a face-mask contract, according to reports. | A total of 13 properties were raided in Germany and Liechtenstein as part of a probe into alleged corruption and the bribery of officials, the Munich Public Prosecutor's Office told

RT (2021-02-25). 'Completely defiant' minority have no regard for Covid-19 rules, police say, as almost 70,000 fines issued in England and Wales. rt.com A total of 68,952 fixed penalty notices have been handed out by police officers in England and Wales since Covid-19 laws came into effect last year, with more than 10,000 given in London alone. | Data compiled by the National Police Chief's Council (NPCC) on penalties from March 27, 2020, when the Covid-19 laws took effect, through to February 14, 2021 was released on Thursday. | In the week beginning January 27, police handed out their highest weekly total of the pandemic to date, issuing 6,218 tickets. | "Eleven months on and back into a national lockdown, the rules are really clear and so it is frustrating…

RT (2021-02-25). Deputy mayor wants Paris back under 3-week lockdown, despite opposition. rt.com Paris Deputy Mayor Emmanuel Grégoire has said that his administration will likely place the French capital under a harsh three-week lockdown to curb Covid-19, and he doesn't care what President Emmanuel Macron thinks. | A curfew is currently in place in Paris to slow the spread of Covid-19, but Grégoire said it's "not enough to settle the curve." Speaking to France Info on Thursday, Grégoire said that his administration will propose a total lockdown of the capital next week. Mayor Anne Hidalgo will issue the proposal. | "We must now make courageous decisions," he said, adding that a lockdown "is…

RT (2021-02-25). 'Compulsory vaccination': Moscow Communist MP takes aim at mayor for ending pensioners' free transport until they get Covid-19 jab. rt.com Controversial Russian Communist MP Valery Rashkin has asked the country's General Prosecutor's Office to investigate if Moscow is legally allowed to refuse free travel to pensioners who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19. | Last year, the city's Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, from the pro-Vladimir Putin United Russia party, decided to block the social cards of the elderly, forcing them to pay for travel until they get inoculated. According to Rashkin, the Communist leader in the capital, this is tantamount to compulsory vaccination. | "The mayor's decree violates the rights of citizens of the city of Moscow ove…

Staff (2021-02-25). Over 100 Countries Push to Loosen Rules on Vaccine Patents as US Blocks the Way. truthout.org As the pandemic's death toll nears 2.5 million, stringent rules around intellectual property rights could be preventing much of the world from obtaining COVID-19 vaccines. Over 45 million people in the United States have received at least one dose of a vaccine, according to the United Nations, while 130 other countries have not received any vaccines at all, leading to what some describe as "vaccine apartheid." At the World Trade Organization, South Africa and India are leading a push by over…

Staff (2021-02-25). COVID Vaccine Websites Violate Disability Laws, Create Inequity for Blind People. truthout.org Many covid vaccination registration and information websites at the federal, state and local levels violate disability rights laws, hindering the ability of blind people to sign up for a potentially lifesaving vaccine, a KHN investigation has found. | Across the country, people who use special software to make the web accessible have been unable to sign up for the vaccines or obtain vital information about covid-19 because many government websites lack required accessibility features. At l…

RT (2021-02-25). Israel suspends sending its Covid vaccine doses to other countries amid legal scrutiny & defense minister's objections. rt.com The office of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has halted the sending of Covid-19 jabs to other countries after the move sparked questions from the state attorney general and angered Defense Minister Benny Gantz. | The suspension was announced on Thursday, shortly after Israel's attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, asked National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat for clarification on the program. | Gantz has

2021-02-25: News Headlines

_____ (2021-02-25). A Private Government In Honduras Moves Forward. popularresistance.org "It's almost like an insult that this is happening to us now, after so much sacrifice to develop the community to the point it's at today," Venessa Cardenas explains, in Crawfish Rock, Roatán, as she remembers her grandmother who passed away last May at 90 years old. "She was the one who fought for us to have the road, the school, water, all of the basic projects… the government has never given us anything that we didn't fight for. She gave everything for this community. She's the reason me and my family are so firm." | Venessa's community is located between two tourism projects—Pristine Bay and Palmetto…

Staff (2021-02-25). Mayim Bialik: 'S*** got deep with me and Cornel West'. therealnews.com Mayim Bialik delves into the long history of solidarity amongst the Jewish people and Black Americans, and details her dismay at the state of racism in America, her upbringing as a staunch advocate for social justice, and her perspective on the apparent contradictions between her faith and her political ideologies.

_____ (2021-02-25). Democracy Now Amplifies State Department Propaganda Campaign Against China Behind Progressive Cover. strategic-culture.org By Danny HAIPHONG | While Democracy Now hosts US gov't-funded pundits to spread humanitarian interventionist propaganda about Xinjiang, an analysis by The Grayzone found most of the outlets's China coverage is sharply negative | The U.S. has claimed a humanitarian "Responsibility to Protect" to justify military operations in the name of saving civilian lives from evil dictators. Most notable have been the brutal U.S.-led wars in Libya and Syria which destabilized entire regions in the name of "civilian protection" and "promoting democracy." These operations relied heavily on self-described human rights NGO's and…

Juan Cole (2021-02-25). Biden's New Mideast: In Nadir of US-Saudi Relations, release planned of CIA report Accusing Crown prince of Murder. juancole.com Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) — The Biden administration will release a Central Intelligence Agency report concluding that crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman, 35, of Saudi Arabia, masterminded the assassination on October 2, 2018, of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. I'm not sure even an old foreign policy hand like President Biden understands how explosive this …

Staff (2021-02-25). Republicans Think Commission to Investigate January 6 Needs More Republicans. truthout.org Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) The commission will be tasked with investigating the events of the at…

TN Long (2021-02-25). Virginia comes out to support Alabama Amazon workers. peoplesworld.org ARLINGTON, Va.—On Saturday, Feb. 20, the Southern Workers Assembly coordinated over 40 solidarity events around the country in support of the workers at the Bessemer, Ala., Amazon facility who are currently in the midst of a vote to unionize their workplace. The unionization campaign there, called the BAmazon Union, is organized by the Mid-South Council …

A Guest Author (2021-02-25). Bessemer Amazon workers: 'They are showing the way'. workers.org Joan Hwang The following remarks were given by Joan Hwang (she/they), an organizer with the Workers Assembly Against Racism, at a Feb. 20 rally in Manhattan, N.Y., in solidarity with Amazon workers organizing a union drive in Bessemer, Ala. Hwang is also an urban farmer. We are out here today . . . |

Betsey Piette (2021-02-25). On Feb. 20: U.S. cities in solidarity to #BAmazon workers. workers.org Outside union-busting law firm Morgan Lewis, Philadelphia, Feb. 20. (WW Photo: Joe Piette) As Amazon workers in Bessemer, Ala., vote to unionize, they are gaining support. On Feb. 20, demonstrations took place in solidarity with BAmazon workers in 50+ U.S. cities in 30 states, including several in the South. The . . . |

Betsey Piette (2021-02-25). On Feb. 20: U.S. cities in solidarity with #BAmazon workers. workers.org Outside union-busting law firm Morgan Lewis, Philadelphia, Feb. 20. (WW Photo: Joe Piette) As Amazon workers in Bessemer, Ala., vote to unionize, they are gaining support. On Feb. 20, demonstrations took place in solidarity with BAmazon workers in 50+ U.S. cities in 30 states, including several in the South. The . . . |

Staff (2021-02-25). "Not Ready to Give Up": Democrats Push Senate to Keep Popular $15 Minimum Wage in Stimulus Bill. democracynow.org As the House of Representatives prepares to pass a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, a fight is brewing over the inclusion of an increase to the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. The measure is at risk in the Senate, where conservative Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Arizona's Kyrsten Sinema oppose its inclusion in the relief bill or suggest a lower amount. Congressmember Jan Schakowsky of Illinois says Congress must pass the minimum wage hike to help address inequality in the United States. "The current minimum wage, federally, is $7.25. Now, you can't live on that. You can't raise a family…

Staff (2021-02-25). 100+ Countries Push to Loosen WTO Rules on Vaccine Patents. Why Is the U.S. Still Blocking the Way? democracynow.org As the pandemic's death toll nears 2.5 million, stringent rules around intellectual property rights could be preventing much of the world from obtaining COVID-19 vaccines. Over 45 million people in the United States have received at least one dose of a vaccine, according to the United Nations, while 130 other countries have not received any vaccines at all, leading to what some describe as "vaccine apartheid." At the World Trade Organization, South Africa and India are leading a push by over 100 nations to waive intellectual property rules that give pharmaceutical companies monopolistic control over vaccines they…

Staff (2021-02-25). "Decades in the Making": How Mainstream Conservatives & Right-Wing Money Fueled the Capitol Attack. democracynow.org As more details emerge about those who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, it's becoming clearer that the insurrection was not the work of a "fringe" group, but rather the result of a decades-long conservative effort to undermine democracy, according to author Brendan O'Connor. "The events of January 6 were not just months, but years, decades, in the making," says O'Connor, who notes that major Republican donors and prominent conservative groups were connected to the Trump rally that immediately preceded the Capitol riot.

Chris Hartmann (2021-02-25). To 'Build Back Better,' listen to those disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. peoplesworld.org Though often ignored, communities know best what ails them. I am reminded of this often because I hear it in my classroom. I heard it before the COVID-19 pandemic, and I hear it louder now as the pandemic rages on. At the end of last term, amidst the surge in cases after Thanksgiving, I asked …

David Cavendish (2021-02-25). It's time to shorten the workday—and the workweek. peoplesworld.org It's been nearly a year since the COVID-19 pandemic forced people in our society to "shelter in place," social distance, and wear masks. Most social activities, such as sporting events, concerts, and parades were canceled. Schools and businesses closed, forcing nearly 50 million people onto the unemployment rolls. And while in recent months the numbers …

Eds. (2021-02-25). Human nature is no barrier to socialism. mronline.org Of all the reasons to be angry during the pandemic—the profit-first response of governments, the neglected state of the health system, the environmental crisis underpinning the disaster, the millions dead—it has been people buying extra toilet paper that has elicited the most outrage.

Vincent Emanuele (2021-02-25). Dr. Osterholm's Warning: COVID Hurricane on the Horizon. counterpunch.org Twelve months ago, Dr. Michael Osterholm was interviewed on the Joe Rogan Program. At the time, he warned that anywhere from 400,000 to 1.5 million Americans would die of COVID and that the pandemic would last for many years and significantly impact our lives. So far, his predictions have been eerily accurate. Today, Dr. Osterholm is warning that a "Category 5 COVID-hurricane" is on the horizon, with the B117/UK Variant posing the greatest threat.

Jomo Kwame Sundaram (2021-02-25). Developing Countries struggling to cope with COVID-19. mronline.org SYDNEY and KUALA LUMPUR: The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is adversely impacting most developing countries disproportionately, especially the United Nations' least developed countries (LDCs) and the World Bank's low-income countries (LICs).

Staff (2021-02-25). Over 100 Countries Push to Loosen Rules on Vaccine Patents as US Blocks the Way. truthout.org As the pandemic's death toll nears 2.5 million, stringent rules around intellectual property rights could be preventing much of the world from obtaining COVID-19 vaccines. Over 45 million people in the United States have received at least one dose of a vaccine, according to the United Nations, while 130 other countries have not received any vaccines at all, leading to what some describe as "vaccine apartheid." At the World Trade Organization, South Africa and India are leading a push by over…

RT (2021-02-25). Trump hands over 'MILLIONS of pages' of tax returns to Manhattan DA — reports. rt.com Former president Donald Trump has reportedly handed over his tax returns to prosecutors in New York. With Trump describing the investigation as a "fishing expedition," sifting through the "millions of pages" may take time. | The US Supreme Court ruled on Monday that Trump's lawyers may no longer shield the ex-president's tax returns from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, who is investigating whether Trump and the Trump Organization committed any financial crimes, including his alleged inflating of property values to secure loans. | Trump's lawyers immediately handed over the returns, CNN reported on Thu…

Norman Solomon (2021-02-25). Republican Hypocrisy is No Reason to Support Neera Tanden. counterpunch.org Most corporate media outlets have depicted President Biden's effort to win Senate confirmation of Neera Tanden as a battle to overcome Republican hypocrisy about her "mean tweets," name-calling and nasty partisanship. But there are very important reasons to prevent Tanden from becoming the Office of Management and Budget director. They have nothing to do with

William Boardman (2021-02-25). How Rational Can the US Be in Dealing with Yemen and Iran? dissidentvoice.org We're also stepping up our diplomacy to end the war in Yemen — a war which has created a humanitarian and strategic catastrophe. I've asked my Middle East team to ensure our support for the United Nations-led initiative to impose a ceasefire, open humanitarian channels, and restore long-dormant peace talks…. And to underscore our commitment, …

MEE and agencies (2021-02-25). Yemen: UN aid chief urges Gulf states to step up to avert 'man-made' famine. middleeasteye.net Yemen: UN aid chief urges Gulf states to step up to avert 'man-made' famine | Mark Lowcock made the appeal ahead of a virtual pledging conference, highlighting a big drop off in aid support in 2020 | Thu, 02/25/2021 – 08: 36 | The United Nations describes Yemen as the world's largest humanitarian crisis, with 80 percent of the people in need (AFP) | UN aid chief Mark Lowcock urged Gulf sta…

Medea Benjamin, Nicolas J. S. Davies (2021-02-25). What Planet Is NATO Living On? counterpunch.org The February meeting of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Defense Ministers, the first since President Biden took power, revealed an antiquated, 75-year-old alliance that, despite its military failures in Afghanistan and Libya, is now turning its military madness toward two more formidable, nuclear-armed enemies: Russia and China. This theme was emphasized by U.S. Secretary of

Arthur Zipser (2021-02-25). William Z. Foster—Pioneer fighter for Black equality in organized labor. peoplesworld.org Editor's Note: Feb. 25, 2021, marks the 140th anniversary of the birth of William Z. Foster. One of the most well-known figures of early 20th century labor history, Foster spearheaded the drive to organize the packinghouse industry during World War I and led the Great Steel Strike of 1919. He later joined the Communist Party …

Eds. (2021-02-25). Cuba has assisted almost one third of the world's population in health care. mronline.org In the six decades of Cuban medical collaboration abroad, its health personnel have assisted 1.988 billion people in the world, almost a third of mankind, said Dr. Jorge Delgado Bustillo, director of the Central Unit for Medical Cooperation (UCCM).

George Wuerthner (2021-02-25). Degrading Forest Ecosystems in the Name of Collaboration. counterpunch.org A recent article in the Blue Mountain Eagle Finding Common Ground on Active Forest Management quotes several people about restoring forest health. None of these people have expertise in forest ecology, except James Johnson from the OSU forestry school. The irony is that all these people, including Johnson, ignore the science from other scientists in

Sasha Harrison (2021-02-25). Harlem's 1930s housing struggle has lessons for today. liberationnews.org The housing struggle in Harlem during the Great Depression took New York City by storm, as some of the most oppressed sectors of society united and stood tall in the face of exploitation.

Eds. (2021-02-25). How did a fateful CIA coup—executed 55 years ago this February 24—doom much of sub-Saharan Africa? mronline.org Fifty-five years ago on this day, the fate of Africa was irrevocably altered when the CIA sponsored a 1966 coup d'état against Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, former Prime Minister of Ghana and Pan-Africanist visionary who was voted as "Africa's Man of the Millennium."

Chuck Collins (2021-02-25). Nomadland: The Impact of Gender-Bias in Wages. counterpunch.org If you grew up agitated that "women earn 59 cents on the dollar," for the same work as men, there's a movie for you. At the beginning of the new film, Nomadland, one of the characters tells Fern, the lead character played beautifully by Frances McDormand: "My social security check is $550. How am I

Chris Banks (2021-02-25). Half a million dead: What's the difference between Biden and Trump's COVID plans? liberationnews.org The COVID-19 death toll in the United States has now surpassed half a million people — approximately 20 percent of all COVID-19 deaths on the planet, according to official statistics. The U.S. continues to lead the world in coronavirus deaths, with January ranking as the United States' deadliest month yet. Reflecting this monumental death toll, …

Nicholas Stender (2021-02-25). Chicago Teachers Union's commitment to democracy pays off. liberationnews.org The battle over school reopening in Chicago was a hard fought one.

Joe Piette (2021-02-25). 'No war drills on Korean Peninsula!'. workers.org Philadelphia Korea Peace Now Grassroots Network activists hold signs, Feb. 21. Annual U.S.-ROK (Republic of Korea) combined military exercises are costly and a major obstacle to achieving peace on the Korean Peninsula. And it's a provocative threat against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Korea solidarity groups in the U.S. . . . |

Chris Banks (2021-02-25). Half a million dead: What's the difference between Biden's and Trump's COVID plans? liberationnews.org The COVID-19 death toll in the United States has now surpassed half a million people — approximately 20% of all COVID-19 deaths on the planet, according to official statistics. The United States continues to lead the world in coronavirus deaths, with January ranking as the United States' deadliest month yet. Reflecting this monumental death toll, …

The Socialist Program (2021-02-25). Capitalism in Crisis: End Capitalist Control Over Heat & Light. liberationnews.org Brian and Prof. Wolff discuss the terrible storm in Texas and elsewhere in the south that has caused death, destruction and a near total breakdown in infrastructure. What does this say about the capitalist system?>

Ray McGinnis (2021-02-25). The Doll House the CIA Built. dissidentvoice.org American news these past few decades has been an almost constant non-stop spectacle of shock and awe. Breaking news is emotionally gripping, often disorienting, a 24/7 drama without rest. Key talking points are relentlessly asserted. And with each passing year news commentators grow ever more certain of their talking points, with no sense that dissenting points …

Jackie Fox (2021-02-25). Neoliberalism is Killing US. realprogressives.org Following the idea of the Big Other defense falling apart when a truth is seen to be publicly accepted, what would be another similar public acceptance of failure for capitalism? Especially now, I think the US healthcare industry is a great place to look. The more timely issue is one of 'who gets coverage at all?' Barack Obama is the first mainstream, high-profile politician to say the words 'single payer,' descriptors that don't describe the Republican-influenced Obamacare that came to pass. | Bernie Sanders again was a part of the elevation of this idea in the mainstream. As I suggested before, he's not a…

Anustup Roy (2021-02-25). India's Farm Protests: "If We Don't Stand By Them, Who Will?" counterpunch.org "The company people are certainly irritated with the protest happening here. It has badly affected transportation and the business is running poorly," says 22-year-old Nizamuddin Ali, a security supervisor at a home appliances factory in the Kundli industrial area. He lives about six kilometres from the farmers' protest site at Singhu, on the Haryana-Delhi border.

The Conversation (2021-02-25). Texas blackouts show why energy should be a universal right. juancole.com By Gordon Walker | — An unprecedented cold wave in the US state of Texas recently left several million households without power for days on end, as temperatures dropped well below freezing. Dozens of people died from hypothermia, car crashes, house fires or carbon monoxide poisoning from running cars or generators simply to keep warm. …

Philippe Marlière (2021-02-25). "Islamo-Leftism": Macron's Witch Hunt Against Critical Academics. counterpunch.org Speaking recently on CNews, France's equivalent of Fox News, the higher education minister launched an unprecedented attack on the whole French academic community. Frédérique Vidal argued that French academia is "gangrened by Islamo-gauchisme" or "Islamo-leftism". The "Islamo-leftism" tag is today used uncritically by members of the government, large sections of the media and conservative academics. It is reminiscent

Sasha Harrison (2021-02-25). Fired up! Harlem's fight for housing in the 1930s. liberationnews.org The housing struggle in Harlem during the Great Depression took New York City by storm, as some of the most oppressed sectors of society united and stood tall in the face of exploitation.

G. Dunkel (2021-02-25). COVID crisis drags down U.S. life expectancy. workers.org The number of deaths due to COVID-19 in the United States is now over 500,000. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. life expectancy dropped by a full year from the first six months of 2019 to the first six months of 2020. This is the biggest drop . . . |

David Trujillo (2021-02-25). We have earned the right to look to a new, socialist future. peoplesworld.org The door is wide open. The opportunity for socialism is a serious option for a new political future. Let's get real: The Republicans have abdicated democratic responsibilities. They have given up on our basic democratic values and the U.S. Constitution. The Republican Party and many of its supporters are frankly pushing for a fascist, racist …

US (2021-02-25). Over 800 Organizations and Individuals in the United States Demand the Biden Administration End Its Support for the Brutal MoàØse Regime in Haiti. dissidentvoice.org Above photo: By Professor Danny Shaw who is currently in Haiti United States — Today, February 24, 72 organizations and 700 individuals published an open letter calling for the Biden administration to end its illegal and destructive intervention in Haiti. While Joe Biden and the Democrats condemned the Trump forces for not respecting the results …

Howie Hawkins (2021-02-25). HR 1's Campaign Finance Program: A Reform that Doesn't Reform. counterpunch.org HR 1, the For the People Act, is an omnibus voting reform bill that has many progressive measures concerning voter registration, voter roll purges, voter-verified paper ballots, early voting, no-excuse absentee ballots, presidential candidate tax returns, gerrymandering, and more. According to reports, the Democratic leadership will whip their members hard to pass the bill through

John Wojcik (2021-02-25). Lies and white supremacy fuel Republican voter suppression campaign. peoplesworld.org It is now clearer than ever that the Republican Party is carrying out a strategy of stoking the big lie that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump and that it is hanging its ability to make a comeback on supporting the white supremacy that was behind the right-wing insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. …

Staff (2021-02-25). Republicans Unite Against Stimulus Bill That Has 76 Percent Voter Support. truthout.org A new poll of 2,013 registered voters has found that 76 percent of voters are supportive of President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package. This is an increase from The stimulus package enjoys wide and decisive support. Nearly 90 percent of Democratic voters are in favor of the bill, called…

Staff (2021-02-25). Dems Introduce Bill to Eliminate Pensions for Presidents With Felony Convictions. truthout.org Two Democratic lawmakers will introduce a bill that would strip former presidents of pension and other benefits if they were convicted of a felony — legislation that seems to be aimed directly at former President Donald Trump, who is presently the subject of numerous investigations. | Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-New York) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington) have authored the Restoring and Enforcing Accountability of Presidents (REAP) Act, which would change portions of the Form…

Staff (2021-02-25). No, Biden's Climate Plans Don't Cut It. truthout.org Long before the Texas energy crisis renewed calls for dramatic action, President Biden was getting high marks right now from a climate movement that was far from enthusiastic about him during the 2020 primaries. A wide range of activists, academics and policy wonks who spent four years planning for a post-Trump reality are almost unified in their enthusiasm about Biden's early moves. | But while everyone agrees there's considerable work ahead, is the celebration of Biden's climate agenda premature? | The White House's release of a s…

Staff (2021-02-25). Two-Thirds of GOP Voters Still Buy Into False Claims of Election Fraud. truthout.org A new poll focusing on Republican voters' attitudes on the 2020 election shows that more than two-thirds of respondents do not accept the result of the presidential race as legitimate. | R Street Institute, a policy organization which promotes "free markets and limited, effective government," found that

RT (2021-02-25). Flu gets the cold shoulder: Influenza now virtually non-existent in US as Covid-19 spread continues. rt.com The coronavirus-battered US has enjoyed an unusually calm flu season, showing the lowest figures in decades. The lack of influenza likely stems from enduring restrictions — or Covid-19 wrestling out weaker germs, experts believe. | The ongoing pandemic has had an unexpected effect on the US healthscape, with the conventional flu being almost completely wiped out. Figures from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show a sharp drop in influenza cases occurred last April — and the figures remain extremely low ever since. | The 2020-21 flu season has essentially not even happened at a…