2021-02-05: News Headlines

Ralph Nader (2021-02-05). The Struggle Inside Senator Mitch McConnell's Brain. counterpunch.org Since 2015, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell has ruled the Senate with an iron hand, describing himself as "the Guardian of Gridlock." He was Senator "NO," except for confirming over 200 mostly corporatist federal judges. Now comes a new challenge for Mitch McConnell as he leads 49 other Republican Senators, twenty of whom are up

David Swanson (2021-02-05). U.S. Should Pay Iran Reparations. counterpunch.org Why would I say such an outrageous, treasonous, delusional, OBVIOUSLY-funded-by-Putin thing? Am I hoping to enrage war-crazed sadists who've seen too much television "news"? Not at all. I want them to still be around when I say that it would actually be preferable for the United States to pay reparations to the entire rest of

_____ (2021-02-05). The Economist: Democracy Index ranking for Britain rises!! truepublica.org.uk By TruePublica: The 2020 Democracy Index from the Economist Intelligence Unit found that democracy had deteriorated in all seven regions of the world for the first time since 2010, driven by government measures to address the Covid-19 emergency. And while the biggest regressions were in authoritarian regions, the report said that — "the removal of …

RT (2021-02-05). 'America is back!' Biden talks 'tough' on Russia and China, vows to reclaim 'moral leadership & defend democracy'. rt.com In his first major foreign policy address, President Joe Biden vowed to confront the enemies of 'democracy' globally, while seeking to reclaim America's 'moral credibility' and leadership in LGBT and climate change issues. | Speaking at the State Department headquarters in the nation's capital on Thursday, Biden outlined his foreign policy vision in a 20-minute address, laying out a sprawling list of priorities for his administration, among them countering supposed US "adversaries." | "American leadership must meet this new moment of advancing authoritarianism, including the growing ambitions of China to rival…

_____ (2021-02-04). Migrant Deportations Continue Despite Biden's Policies. popularresistance.org The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continues to deport migrants despite president Joe Biden's 100-day moratorium on deporting most people in the U.S. without authorization. This decision was barred by a federal judge in Texas last week. | During the first days of Biden's administration, ICE has deported hundreds of immigrants, including 269 people, to Guatemala and Honduras last Friday. The agency has been accused of violating human rights as a coalition of immigrant groups denounced that Cameroonian asylum seekers were tortured to be forced to approve their deportations.

_____ (2021-02-04). 111 NGOs Call On Biden To Close Guantánamo. popularresistance.org On February 2, more than a hundred non-governmental organizations joined a letter led by the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Center for Victims of Torture, urging President Joe Biden to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba and end indefinite military detention. The letter is signed by organizations ranging from those working to end anti-Muslim discrimination and torture to immigrant rights organizations and organizations working broadly on civil rights, civil liberties, and racial justice at the national and local level. It emphasizes the devastating and ongoing consequences of the prison, including…

Staff (2021-02-04). Mass Rapes. Sweeping Surveillance. Forced Labor. Exposing China's Crackdown on Uyghur Muslims. democracynow.org China faces widespread condemnation following a BBC report about the mass rape and sexual torture of Uyghur women and other Muslims detained in the province of Xinjiang. Women who spoke with the BBC described gang rapes, routine sexual torture using electrocution tools, forced sterilizations and men outside the prison camps paying for access to the detainees. China has rejected the report as "wholly without factual basis" and claims its mass detention of Muslim minorities is part of a "vocational training" program to counter extremism. Meanwhile, The Intercept has obtained a massive police surveillance database u…

Susan Price (2021-02-04). Pandemic capitalism and resistance. greenleft.org.au Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw the rise of authoritarian regimes as a brutal expression of neoliberalism's death throws, writes Susan Price.

Caitlin Johnstone (2021-02-03). The Lesson Of The BLM Protests: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix. thealtworld.com Remember when Americans shook the earth with massive protests demanding an end to the police state and the entire liberal establishment just kept saying "I hear you, I agree with you" and then did absolutely nothing to even reduce police brutality? It's important to remember such lessons. | People would ask me "Why are you supporting Black Lives Matter Caitlin? Don't you see all the corporations and corporate Dems support it? Why would they do that if it didn't serve them?" This is why they did it. Empty words of support can defuse a situation far easier than open opposition. | Imagine if all the plutocrats, pun…

MEE and agencies (2021-02-03). Ethiopia says it foiled attack on UAE embassy in Addis Ababa. middleeasteye.net Ethiopia says it foiled attack on UAE embassy in Addis Ababa | Intelligence and Security Service says 15 people arrested were working at direction of foreigners, local media reports | Wed, 02/03/2021 – 21: 10 | Ethiopian police before inauguration ceremony in Addis Ababa's Sheger park last September (AFP) | Ethiopian authorities arrested 15 people in an alleged plot to attack the United Ar…

Ralph Nader (2021-02-03). The Struggle Inside Senator Mitch McConnell's Brain. commondreams.org Allowing the Trumpian half of his brain to overpower his judgment and vote to acquit Dangerous Donald would spell disaster for the Republican Party (assuming the Democratic Party doesn't go to sleep as it did after Obama's win in 2008). | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/cd_special_coverage/public/views-article/thumbs/mcconnell_biden_0.jpg

news.un (2021-02-03). Afghanistan: Detainee torture allegations remain 'alarming', UN report reveals. news.un.org Torture claims among people detained for security or terrorism-related offences in Afghanistan remain high, according to a new UN human rights report published on Wednesday.

Cassandra Stubbs (2021-02-02). Atrocities of the Federal Death Penalty. aclu.org In just six months, the federal government conducted an unprecedented, unjust, and unlawful execution spree, taking the lives of 13 people. The record of injustice in those cases — the compelling claims for mercy and legal relief by those executed and the denial without fair consideration by the executive branch or by the Supreme Court — underscores the urgency for President Biden to grant row-wide clemency to the 49 people on the federal death row. | Although it was William Barr and Donald Trump who scheduled and pushed these executions amidst a deadly pandemic, it was the U.S. Supreme Court that fac…

Fight Back (2021-02-02). Tampa activists rally against police brutality and Gov. DeSantis' anti-protest bill. fightbacknews.org Tampa, FL – On January 30, the Tampa Bay Community Action Committee (TBCAC), alongside other local organizations and around two dozen people gathered near city hall to demand that state legislators reject HB1, the repressive bill being proposed by Governor Ron DeSantis. | William Blake, a member of TBCAC, said, "This bill is a huge attack on those fighting for police accountability in Florida. It would legalize running over a protester, something we've seen many times in Tampa, as well as giving felonies to those exercising basic constitutional rights." The bill, which was proposed during the uprisings of the sum…

WSWS (2021-02-02). Workers Struggles: The Americas. wsws.org Workers in Haiti carried out a general strike February 1 and 2 against the increasingly authoritarian regime of President Jovenel MoàØse while teachers in Brazil's largest city have supported strike action against attempts to re-open schools.

WSWS (2021-02-02). Rochester, New York police pepper sprayed handcuffed nine-year-old girl. wsws.org The unending wave of police brutality in the US, directed toward the working class and most vulnerable, was exemplified by the assault by Rochester police officers last week.

Grant Molen (2021-02-02). White or Wealth Supremacy? realprogressives.org The Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 authorized the dissemination of US state department propaganda to foreign nations deemed a threat to American democracy. This act has been a useful tool for intelligence operatives who have repeatedly sought to stamp out populist revolutions in countries with access to valuable natural resources. Through the spread of propaganda and the arming of US aligned insurgency groups, the US has been able to foment confusion and discord in foreign populations resulting in unwinnable political battles, power struggles and weak leadership representing the working people's interests. In the pow…