2021-02-17: News Headlines

Martha Grevatt (2021-02-17). From electric vehicles to corruption — UAW faces huge challenges. workers.org General Motors CEO Mary Barra raised more than a few eyebrows Jan. 28, when she announced GM would have an all-electric product line by 2035. This planned phaseout of fossil fuel-burning vehicles represents a serious departure from four years ago, when GM joined the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers in calling . . . |

Scott Williams (2021-02-17). Solidarity accelerates with Amazon workers' union drive in Alabama. workers.org Solidarity with the struggle of 5,800+ Amazon workers in Bessemer, Ala., to unionize continues to grow, following the heroic lead of this majority-Black workforce fighting for justice on the job. Walking the Powder Plant Road approach to the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Ala.,where a union drive is underway by the . . . |

Betsey Piette (2021-02-17). Morgan Lewis lawyers — high-paid union-busting thugs. workers.org In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, bosses hired Pinkerton Agency goon squads to infiltrate unions, break strikes and intimidate workers who were trying to organize. Graphic: supportamazonworkers.org Today's hired union-busting thugs are more likely to be high-paid lawyers tasked with turning labor laws — intended to protect workers . . . |

Staff (2021-02-17). "David vs. Goliath": Warehouse Workers in Alabama Fight Amazon for the Right to Unionize. democracynow.org Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama, are continuing to vote on whether to become the first unionized Amazon warehouse in the United States. Their demands include stronger COVID-19 safety measures and relief from impossibly high productivity standards that leave many unable to take bathroom breaks. "We want to be heard. We want to be treated like people and not ignored when we have issues," says Jennifer Bates, a worker at Amazon's BHM1 facility who has been part of the union drive from the beginning. We also speak with Michael Foster, a poultry plant worker, union member and member-organizer with RWDSU. "Amazon h…

A Guest Author (2021-02-17). Incarcerated workers say: 'Solidarity with Amazon workers!'. workers.org The following letters from incarcerated workers in the Pennsylvania prison system were sent by email on Feb. 13 and 15 to Joe Piette, a member of the Prisoner Solidarity Committee of Workers World Party. From SCI Frackville As I've advised you before, anything that I can do . . . |

A Guest Author (2021-02-17). Incarcerated workers say: 'Solidarity with Amazon workers!'. workers.org The following letters from incarcerated workers in the Pennsylvania prison system were sent by email on Feb. 13 and 15 to Joe Piette, a member of the Prisoners Solidarity Committee of Workers World Party. From SCI Frackville As I've advised you before, anything that I can do for the people, . . . |

Binoy Kampmark (2021-02-17). The "Return" of America: Biden's Maiden Foreign Policy Speech. counterpunch.org Few could have been slack-jawed at the first significant foreign policy speech of US President Joe Biden. It can easily be filed under the "America is back" label. Back as well, as if the previous administration had been incapable of it, was a promise for that practice unflatteringly called jaw-jaw. "Diplomacy," the President states from

Gary Leupp (2021-02-17). The Iran Deal: Biden and Blinken, Wykan and Blynkin. counterpunch.org Trump's attack on the Iran Deal was based on his ego, but done in tandem with apartheid-Israel and rogue state Saudi Arabia, whose vile leaders advised him to bomb Iran; he was reportedly on the verge of starting a war (in June 2019 and November 2020) when his more level-headed advisors checked him. (We must always recall that however sickening the Trump years they did not produce another criminal war.) Meantime Trump deeply annoyed the Europeans, such as the Deal's co-signers Germany, Britain and France, by thwarting major investment projects in the Islamic Republic. These included a factory to produce much need…

Gary Leupp (2021-02-17). The Iran Deal: Biden and Blinken, Wynken and Blynken. counterpunch.org Trump's attack on the Iran Deal was based on his ego, but done in tandem with apartheid-Israel and rogue state Saudi Arabia, whose vile leaders advised him to bomb Iran; he was reportedly on the verge of starting a war (in June 2019 and November 2020) when his more level-headed advisors checked him. (We must always recall that however sickening the Trump years they did not produce another criminal war.) Meantime Trump deeply annoyed the Europeans, such as the Deal's co-signers Germany, Britain and France, by thwarting major investment projects in the Islamic Republic. These included a factory to produce much need…

The Socialist Program (2021-02-17). In the News: Did Impeachment Make Trump Weaker or Stronger? liberationnews.org This interview is an episode of The Socialist Program with Brian Becker, a podcast providing news and views about the world for those who want to change it. You can follow the show on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. On today's "In the News" roundtable, Brian Becker, Nicole Roussell, Esther Iverem and Walter Smolarek discuss the …

_____ (2021-02-17). Tyranny by Propaganda Is Tyranny by Force. strategic-culture.org By Caitlin JOHNSTONE | As people became more educated and more aware of what's going on in their world, they began to decide that they didn't much like being attacked by the ruler's goon squad whenever they stepped out of line. Because there are a lot more ordinary people than rulers, this forced an end to the practice of rule by overt brute force tyranny in some parts of the world. | So a few things changed. First, we began to see rulers shipping their violent goon squad enforcers overseas. While it is now taboo to openly butcher members of your citizenry who oppose you, it is considered perfectly acceptable to…

Aboulfotouh Kandil (2021-02-17). Trump's right-wing Egyptian allies attack Biden administration and Dems. peoplesworld.org Egypt's miserable record on human rights has resulted in two Democrats launching a congressional group to deal with the situation. On Jan. 25, Democratic Reps. Tom Malinowski of New Jersey and Don Beyer of Virginia announced the formation of the "Egypt Human Rights Caucus." Egyptian human rights organizations and activists in the U.S. have responded …

W. T. Whitney (2021-02-17). To Normalize US-Cuban Relations, Restore Working Embassies. counterpunch.org The new Biden administration may soon ease regulations enforcing the U.S. economic blockade against Cuba. However, if Oregon Senator Ron Wyden's new bill, the U.S.-Cuba Trade Act of 2021, becomes law, the blockade itself will disappear. Meanwhile, the two countries' embassies in Havana and Washington are dysfunctional. No normal relations will obtain until they are

The Conversation (2021-02-17). 'Indian Country' is excited about the first Native American secretary of the interior — and the promise she has for addressing issues of importance to all Americans. juancole.com By Traci Morris | — President Biden's nomination of U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico to lead the Department of the Interior is historic on many levels. Haaland, an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna, was one of the first Native American women elected to Congress, along with U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids of …

Audrey Huff (2021-02-17). 22-year old climate change organizer arrested in India. liberationnews.org Disha Ravi is accused of "sedition" for allegedly helping to create a digital "toolkit" to support the farmers' struggle.

James K. Galbraith (2021-02-17). Congressional Budget Office Not Competent to Assess Economics of Minimum Wage. counterpunch.org A Congressional Budget Office Report on the Raise the Wage Act of 2021 underpins a February 11 Washington Post editorial headlined, "Democrats Must Listen to the Data."

Sameena Rahman (2021-02-17). We need more than Biden's "intention" — close Guantanamo now! liberationnews.org The Biden administration has directed the National Security Council to conduct a review as part of initial efforts to permanently shut down the infamous U.S. prison at the Guantanamo Bay naval base.

Liberation Staff, Texas (2021-02-17). Texas infrastructure nears collapse, millions without power, water. liberationnews.org Four million or more Texans are without power. Outages that were initially called "rolling outages" are now lasting several days. The private non-profit corporation that oversees the electric grid is now admitting that they are "unable to predict" when conditions will stabilize.

Eds. (2021-02-17). GameStop and Share Markets: Between the bad and the ugly, there is no G. mronline.org The recent GameStop story coming out of the U.S. pushed arcane financial dealings into a prominence they rarely enjoy. The public was introduced to weird concepts such as "short selling and short squeezes" and, for a while, they are likely to be part of many Zoom conversations.

Staff (2021-02-17). THIS is why 'deregulation' is deadly. therealnews.com Millions of Texans are struggling to keep warm and survive Winter Storm Uri. Meanwhile, Republicans like Texas Gov. Greg Abbot are rushing to save their own asses, pushing the blame for power grid failures onto anyone but themselves; but they, and years of market-serving conservative governance, caused this mess.

Emily Denny (2021-02-17). Texans freeze as fossil-fuel power grid fails, but conservatives blame wind turbines. peoplesworld.org While Texans suffer from freezing temperatures and extensive power outages, frozen wind turbines are being used as a ploy to spread skepticism on the reliability of renewable energy. This week, a relentless winter storm pummeled through parts of the southern and central U.S., causing people to crank their electric heating systems. In Texas, the energy demand became too high for …

Joelle Fishman (2021-02-17). 'Georgia On My Mind: The Third Reconstruction': Connecticut Black history event planned. peoplesworld.org "Georgia on My Mind: The Third Reconstruction," is the theme of a series of scheduled events including a Black History Month Youth March / car caravan, a virtual event, and an arts and writing competition highlighting the 47th People's World African American History Celebration in Connecticut. Register here. NEW HAVEN, Conn.—Co-sponsored with the Young Communist …

Richard Fidler (2021-02-17). Remembering Leo Panitch. mronline.org I first met Leo personally in 1984. Articling with a progressive law firm in Toronto, I found that Leo was my contact for arranging the visit of Ralph Miliband as guest speaker at the annual Law Union conference. Miliband's presentation was well received, and following the meeting Leo suggested the three of us should repair …

W. T. Whitney Jr. (2021-02-17). Unsubstantiated 'sonic attack' allegations still hobble U.S.-Cuba relations. peoplesworld.org The new Biden administration may soon ease regulations enforcing the U.S. economic blockade against Cuba. However, if Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden's new bill, the U.S.-Cuba Trade Act of 2021, becomes law, the blockade itself will disappear. The two countries' embassies in Havana and Washington are dysfunctional. No normal relations will be obtained until they are …

Michael Tarm (2021-02-17). Execution cruelty hidden by Trump officials to speed up death sentences. peoplesworld.org CHICAGO (AP)—Executioners who put 13 inmates to death in the last months of the Trump administration likened the process of dying by lethal injection to falling asleep and called gurneys "beds" and final breaths "snores." But those tranquil accounts are at odds with reports by The Associated Press and other media witnesses of how prisoners' stomachs rolled, …

Monica Moorehead (2021-02-17). Montgomery Bus Boycott, Bessemer, prisons — Class struggle then and now. workers.org Fifty years after the end of the U.S. Civil War — and during the height of horrific lynchings of Black people in the Deep South by KKK terror — the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History was founded in 1915 by Dr. Carter Woodson and Rev. Jesse . . . |

Peoples Dispatch (2021-02-17). Fight for 15: Workers across the US strike for dignified wages. peoplesdispatch.org Pickets and demonstrations, led by workers from major fast food chains and home care workers, were reported in major cities across the US. The strike comes at a time when Democrats are trying to hike the federal minimum wage that has remained unchanged since 2009.

Raouf Halaby (2021-02-17). Israelis, In God's Name, Why? counterpunch.org "The International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust is a time to mourn those who disappeared and to reflect upon the choice of the individuals and governments that allowed this genocide to unfold. It is also a call for vigilance and for action, to address the root causes of hatred

Dan Bacher (2021-02-17). Big Oil Spent $10 million Lobbying California Officials in 2020. counterpunch.org The powerful oil industry lobby in California in 2020 spent less on lobbying in California than it did in 2019, but still managed to defeat legislation it opposed and getting CalGEM, the state's gas and oil regulatory agency, to double the number of new oil production well permits approved in the state. The top four oil industry lobbyist employers — the Western

Patrick Cockburn (2021-02-17). The Arab Spring Failed But the Rage Against Misery and Injustice Continues. counterpunch.org Ten years ago, people across the Middle East and North Africa rose up in protest against their rulers, demanding freedom and democracy. Despotic rulers were toppled or feared that power was being torn from their grasp in countries across the region, as millions of demonstrators surged through the streets, chanting that "the people demand the fall of the regime".

Liberation Staff, Texas (2021-02-17). Texas infrastructure nears complete collapse as capitalist neglect meets climate change-driven winter storms. liberationnews.org Four million or more Texans are without power. Outages that were initially called "rolling outages" are now lasting several days. The private non-profit corporation that oversees the electric grid is now admitting that they are "unable to predict" when conditions will stabilize.

Liz Theoharis (2021-02-17). Whose Rights Matter in Pandemic America? Not Those of Poor Americans, That's For Sure. juancole.com By Liz Theoharis | — ( Tomdispatch.com ) — In June 1990, future South African President Nelson Mandela addressed a joint session of Congress only months after being released from 27 years in a South African apartheid prison. He reminded the political leadership of the United States that "to deny people their human rights is …

Eds. (2021-02-17). Vulture Funds plan to use the Pandemic to pillage the Global Economy. mronline.org Before the pandemic, private equity had amassed $2.5 trillion—more than the GDP of Italy—in 'dry powder,' waiting for distressed assets to plunder. Covid-19 provided them with the perfect opportunity.

Liberation Staff, Texas (2021-02-17). Texas infrastructure nears collapse; millions without power, water. liberationnews.org Four million or more Texans are without power. Outages that were initially called "rolling outages" are now lasting several days. The private non-profit corporation that oversees the electric grid is now admitting that they are "unable to predict" when conditions will stabilize.

Michele de Mello (2021-02-17). Agro-ecology project links peasant production to urban communes in Venezuela. peoplesdispatch.org "Only the people can save the people." With this idea in mind, the Pueblo a Pueblo Foundation (People to people, in Spanish) seeks to apply in real life, union and solidarity between the countryside and the city. The project is based on bringing food produced by rural Venezuelan communities to urban communes. The goal is to shut out intermediaries, and ensure the societal division of agricultural production: ensuring that the farmer does not lose his harvest, and that the consumer can have access to a diversified basic food basket at a fair price. | "The Pueblo a Pueblo plan has working on this dimension of agroe…

Real Progressives (2021-02-17). COVID-19 Has Made Americans Lonelier Than Ever — Here's how AI can Help. realprogressives.org "How does that make you feel?" | In the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are missing a sympathetic ear. Would a response like that make you feel heard, less alone, even if it were a machine writing back to you? | The pandemic has contributed to

Juan Cruz Guido (2021-02-17). 120 millones de personas cayeron en la pobreza por la pandemia. globalizacion.ca Los datos se desprenden de un informe del Banco Mundial, que estima que la cifra crecerá en 2021. El lado B de la pandemia que quiebra una tendencia global de reducción de la pobreza de más de 20 años. La…

Michael Berkowitz (2021-02-17). 'Faith in the Masses': Communist Party history gives something to believe in. peoplesworld.org Faith in the Masses: Essays Celebrating 100 Years of the Communist Party, USA, edited by Tony Pecinovsky, is an ambitious undertaking—almost as ambitious as the work the book describes. These essays cast a wide net aiming to capture the breadth of the Party's efforts to change society over the last century. The celebration is heartfelt, …

Eds. (2021-02-17). Leading from the front: The role of women in Farmers' movement. mronline.org As lakhs of farmers continue their protest against the new farm legislations introduced by the Modi government, a remarkable number of women are not only braving the rough weather by participating in these demonstrations but are also leading from the front.

Emma-Louise Fenelon (2021-02-17). Essential Inquest Law Updates with Rachel Marcus and Jim Duffy on Law Pod UK. ukhumanrightsblog.com The last 12 months have provided fertile ground for many significant judgments concerning inquest law. In Episode 136, Emma-Louise Fenelon speaks to Rachel Marcus and Jim Duffy about the developments practitioners will need to know about. The episode mentions: Rushbrooke v HM Coroner for West London [2020] EWHC 1612 (Admin) R (Maughan) v Senior Coroner …

Ben Imbus (2021-02-17). Albuquerque teachers say, 'Until cases decline, keep school online!'. liberationnews.org Photo credit: Liberation screenshot of KOAT coverage. On Feb. 3, teachers and students held a protest outside of Albuquerque Public Schools administrative headquarters against the rushed re-opening of schools. They chanted "Save lives, keep the schools closed!" and "Until cases decline, stay online!" Later that day, the APS Board of Education met to vote on …

Leif Autzen (2021-02-17). Columbus OH activists fight closure of park, site of a homeless encampment. liberationnews.org The city's decision to close the park without offering alternative plans to house the people who live there exposes the city's failure to care for its most vulnerable residents.

alexander (2021-02-17). Twitch.tv: A new frontier for the Left. dsausa.org Will Twitch hold an active role in the next campaign cycle? Will the Left be able to utilize this platform not only for electoral politics, but for direct action too?

John Bachtell (2021-02-17). For the sake of democracy, kill off the Senate filibuster. peoplesworld.org The nation's economic outlook is worsening, and new, more contagious COVID-19 variants worry public health officials. In response, the Democratic-led House and Senate are moving quickly to pass President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan (ARP) through the process of budget reconciliation. This process requires a simple majority vote in the U.S. Senate. Budget reconciliation is …

Anand Naidoo (2021-02-17). The Heat: Farmers protest in India. america.cgtn.com India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi facing the largest demonstrations since he came to power. We will take a look at the protests by thousands of farmers in the country.

Global Research News (2021-02-17). Selected Articles: Science and Power as Fellow Henchmen. globalresearch.ca By Today's science is in a relation…

Areeb Ullah (2021-02-17). Islamic State: New Zealand lashes at Australia for stripping woman's citizenship. middleeasteye.net Islamic State: New Zealand lashes at Australia for stripping woman's citizenship | A dual Australian-New Zealand national was arrested in Turkey over suspected affiliation to IS. Now the two countries are rejecting responsibility for her | Wed, 02/17/2021 – 13: 46 | New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has slammed Australia for 'unilaterally' stripping the suspected IS member's Australian citizenshi…

MEE staff (2021-02-17). 'Path to diplomacy' between Iran and US is open, Blinken says. middleeasteye.net 'Path to diplomacy' between Iran and US is open, Blinken says | But Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has said Washington's 'nice words and promises' were not enough to revive the nuclear deal | Wed, 02/17/2021 – 18: 54 | 'We know that that agreement was working,' US Secretary of State Tony Blinken told NPR (AFP/File photo) | Washington and Tehran have an open "path to diplomacy" to revive the nuclear deal a…

Areeb Ullah (2021-02-17). Syria: US journalist Bilal Abdul Kareem released by HTS after six months. middleeasteye.net Syria: US journalist Bilal Abdul Kareem released by HTS after six months | Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham detained reporter after he highlighted allegations of torture inside group's prisons | Wed, 02/17/2021 – 12: 29 | Bilal Abdul Kareem (second from right) was freed after HTS held him for six months following his reports on the treatment of Tauqir Sharif (right), a British aid worker (Supplied) | Syrian militan…

Jordan Woll (2021-02-17). Fight for $15: Is Biden trying to sabotage key provision of his own stimulus bill? liberationnews.org One of the biggest unanswered questions regarding the stimulus package is whether or not it will include a provision to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour.