2021-02-18: News Headlines

Sara Flounders (2021-02-18). Alexei Navalny: Why is Biden supporting a Russian fascist? workers.org At the very time Democrats in Congress were attempting to impeach Trump for the Jan. 6 fascist rampage, President Joe Biden expressed support for a Russian political leader allied with a gang comparable to the Proud Boys. In his first contact with Russia's President Vladimir Putin as U.S. president, Biden . . . |

Staff (2021-02-18). Stop blaming the Green New Deal for Texas blackouts. therealnews.com Republican politicians like Texas Gov. Greg Abbott have cynically used overblown and patently false claims that renewable energy failures are responsible for millions losing power and heat during deadly Winter Storm Uri. Critics around the country are calling "BS."

Norman Solomon (2021-02-18). Cuomo and Newsom Symbolize the Rot of Corporate Democrats and the Dire Need for Progressive Populism. counterpunch.org The governors of New York and California — the most populous states led by Democrats — now symbolize how slick liberal images are no substitute for genuinely progressive priorities. After 10 years as New York's governor, Andrew Cuomo is facing an uproar over revelations that his administration intentionally and drastically undercounted the deaths from COVID in nursing homes. Meanwhile,

Jonathan Cook (2021-02-18). Why Politicians and Doctors Keep Ignoring the Medical Research on Vitamin D and Covid. counterpunch.org It is probably not a good idea to write while in the grip of anger. But I am struggling to suppress my emotions about a wasted year, during which politicians and many doctors have ignored a growing body of evidence suggesting that Vitamin D can play a critically important role in the prevention and treatment

Anand Naidoo (2021-02-18). The Heat: South Africa's Challenges. america.cgtn.com As South Africa battles COVID-19, it is also dealing with a series of challenges on several fronts including the economy and jobs.

Sam Pizzigati (2021-02-18). Rising Inequality: the 'Pre-Existing Condition' That Doomed the U.S. COVID Response. counterpunch.org Back in April 2017, only a few months after Donald Trump's inauguration, one of world's most prestigious medical journals, the London-based Lancet, established a special commission to keep tabs on "Public Policy and Health in the Trump Era." The panel's 33 commissioners — medical professionals of all sorts, along with assorted notables in legal and

MEE correspondent (2021-02-18). Iranian press review: Iran plans to export Covid-19 vaccine to the world. middleeasteye.net Iranian press review: Iran plans to export Covid-19 vaccine to the world | Meanwhile, Tehran indicates readiness for Qatar to play mediator role in nuclear talks, and, as the pandemic spreads, the number of Iranians working without a contract rises to seven million | Thu, 02/18/2021 – 10: 58 | A member of the Imam Khomeini Hospital medical personnel receives a dose of Russia's Sputnik V…

Staff (2021-02-18). How to Wear a Mask & When to Wear Two to Reduce COVID Transmission & Increase Vaccine Effectiveness. democracynow.org While COVID-19 infection rates and hospitalizations appear to be waning, the United States has a long way to go before people can safely return to everyday life without masks. Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease physician and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, says it's vital to stay vigilant even as vaccinations ramp up. "If we can get our transmission down as low as possible, that is actually going to make the vaccines more effective."

Staff (2021-02-18). COVID Deaths in the US Lead to Biggest Drop in Life Expectancy Since WWII. truthout.org Life expectancy in the United States has dropped by a full year, according to new figures released on Thursday. | The current life expectancy of an individual in the U.S. While there have been drops in life expectancy in recent years due to increases in drug overdoses, the decline over the past year, in large part due to the coronavirus pandemic, is the biggest drop i…

_____ (2021-02-18). How the Gates Foundation seeded America's COVID-19 policy catastrophes. strategic-culture.org The nursing home death warrants were signed by panicked governors using Gates-funded forecasting. | By Jordan SCHACHTEL | New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is finally facing the heat for his botched and criminally negligent coronavirus response policies, yet no one seems to be asking why Cuomo and select governors made the fateful decisions that led to the excess deaths — and the coverup campaigns — of tens of thousands of senior citizens in New York and elsewhere across the United States. | After being awarded an Emmy and writing a book on his supposedly heroic response to the pandemic, Cuomo is finally…

RT (2021-02-18). Pfizer, BioNTech launch global trials of their Covid-19 vaccine in pregnant women. rt.com US pharma giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech have kicked off an international study into the safety and effectiveness of their coronavirus vaccine in pregnant women, with 4,000 volunteers from nine countries taking part. | Healthy pregnant women in the US have already received their first shots of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab as part of the research, the companies announced on Thursday. They'll soon be joined by fellow test subjects in Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mozambique, South Africa, the UK and Spain. | Women aged 18 and older are to be inoculated during weeks 24-34 of gestation, the later stag…

The Socialist Program (2021-02-18). Capitalism in Crisis: An Absurd & Deadly System. 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. Brian and Prof. Wolff discuss how deeply dependent big banks and corporations are on government assistance, the …

MEE staff (2021-02-18). US lawmakers press military over data purchases from Muslim apps. middleeasteye.net US lawmakers press military over data purchases from Muslim apps | Military and intelligence chiefs asked to disclose whether any US citizens were surveilled when military bought user information from popular apps | Thu, 02/18/2021 – 19: 08 | The effort was led by Congressman Mark Pocan, with representatives Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ro Khanna signing on to it (AFP) | US lawmakers…

Prof Michel Chossudovsky (2021-02-18). Video: The 2020 Worldwide Corona Crisis. globalresearch.ca We bring to the attention of our readers, the English version of this PANGEA TV program which was broadcast live in several regions of Italy. | Maya Nogradi of PANGEA TV interviews Prof. Michel Chossudovsky pertaining to his E-Book entitled: | |

Ramzy Baroud (2021-02-18). 'Leaving Aside' International Law: Democrats are as Dangerous as Republicans to Peace in Palestine. mintpressnews.com It's easy to discredit the foreign policy agenda of Trump, Pompeo, and other Republicans as their aggressive, dismissive language and action are unmistakably objectionable. The Democratic discourse, however, cannot be as easily censured,…

Ramzy Baroud (2021-02-18). "Leaving Aside" International Law: Why Democrats are as Dangerous as Republicans to a Just Peace in Palestine. dissidentvoice.org Motivated by their justifiable aversion to former US President Donald Trump, many analysts have rashly painted a rosy picture of how Democrats could quickly erase the bleak trajectory of the previous Republican administration. This naivety is particularly pronounced in the current spin on the Palestinian-Israeli discourse, which is promoting, again, the illusion that Democrats will …

Staff (2021-02-18). Failed State: Texas Power Grid Collapse Impacts Millions. Black & Brown Communities Are Worst Hit. democracynow.org Millions of people in Texas were plunged into freezing cold and darkness as a major winter storm overwhelmed the state's power grid. More than 12 million Texans face water disruptions and have been ordered to boil tap water for safe consumption, and some parts of the state have no running water at all. The state is also running out of food as the storms disrupt key supply chains. Leading Republicans, including Texas Governor Greg Abbott, falsely blamed renewable energy sources for the state's blackouts, warning against a shift to more green energy, but the state's own energy department said the outages were prima…

Staff (2021-02-18). "Not Doing This Is a Choice": Biden Drags His Feet on Canceling Student Debt Despite Campaign Pledge. democracynow.org Students, campaigners and top Democrats have been pushing President Joe Biden to use executive authority to cancel at least $50,000 in student loan debt per person. Student loan debt in the U.S. stands at $1.7 trillion, with some 45 million people owing money. Filmmaker and organizer Astra Taylor, an author, documentary director and organizer with the Debt Collective, says Biden has clear legal authority to cancel student debt. "Not doing this is a choice," she says. We also speak with Braxton Brewington, a digital strategist with the Debt Collective, who says student debt cancellation is also politically smart.

Staff (2021-02-18). "No Hate! No Fear!" Democracy Now! Co-Host Nermeen Shaikh Celebrates 10 Years Covering War & Peace. democracynow.org As Democracy Now! prepares to mark 25 years on air, we celebrate Nermeen Shaikh's 10th anniversary as a Democracy Now! co-host and feature a report she filed from protests at New York's JFK Airport against the Trump administration's Muslim ban, one of the many highlights from her time on the program.

John Perry (2021-02-18). If It Were a Narco Lab, It Would be Working. counterpunch.org On the day he was inaugurated, Joe Biden halted the construction of Trump's Mexican border wall. A few days earlier, 1500 miles to the south, a new 'caravan' of at least eight thousand Honduran migrants had set off northwards, partly in the hope that by the time they tried to cross into Texas, Biden's promised softening of immigration policy might have taken effect.

Staff (2021-02-18). Biden Plans to Use "Inclusive" Language in Future Discussions on Immigration. truthout.org The Biden administration announced this week that federal agencies will use "more inclusive" language when it comes to discussing issues relating to immigration. | A memo from Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Tracy Renaud

Global Research News (2021-02-18). Selected Articles: Pandemic Revelations. globalresearch.ca By We bring to the attention of our readers, this important international statement by health professionals, medical doctors and scientists,…

Workers World Party (2021-02-18). PDF of February 18 issue. workers.org Download the PDF. Alabama — Roll the union on! Solidarity with Amazon organizing; Class struggle then and now. BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Tribute to George Jackson L.D. Barkley, martyred in Attica uprising A fighting union leader: Karen Lewis ALSO: Care workers dare to strike; $1K per hour union busters; Electric vehicles . . . |

RT (2021-02-18). Amazon changes timing of TRAFFIC LIGHTS in Alabama town to derail unionization drive. rt.com Online retail giant Amazon was so desperate to scuttle a unionization drive among warehouse workers in Alabama that it actually had traffic light times changed. A pro-union publication says it confirmed the rumors with the county. | Amazon actually reached out to Jefferson County to change the timing of the traffic lights near its Bessemer warehouse, the pro-worker publication More Perfect Union reported on Tuesday, citing a public official from the county who said the company had complained about "traffic delays during shift changes" in order to secure the light change. | Organizers had claimed for weeks that…

Akram Al-Waara (2021-02-18). Palestinian cancer patient on deathbed after release from Israeli prison. middleeasteye.net Palestinian cancer patient on deathbed after release from Israeli prison | Hussein Masalmeh lies in critical condition in hospital, as family accuses Israel of medical negligence | Thu, 02/18/2021 – 12: 01 | Hussein Masalmeh's family say he was gravely ill for two years before being released from Israeli prison (Twitter) | When Bilal Masalmeh, 34, dreamt of the day his older brother Hussein woul…

PAI (2021-02-18). West Virginia workers keep pressure on Manchin for $15 wage. peoplesworld.org CHARLESTON, W. VA. (PAI)—Pam Garrison, of Fayette County, W. Va., has toiled at minimum wage jobs her whole life. She calls it "getting us for slave wages." The minimum wage is "the only thing that hasn't doubled and tripled" since she first started working years ago, says Garrison, co-chair of the New Poor People's Campaign …

Media Lens (2021-02-18). "Our Indifference To Ourselves": Beyond The "Virtue" Of Self-Sacrifice (Part 2). dissidentvoice.org As we saw in Part 1, in 1914 and again in 1939, millions of men and women welcomed war. Arnold Ridley and his pals did make this choice, but in reality the choice had been made for them by decades and centuries of the relentless 'patriotic' propaganda described by Tolstoy, which most people were powerless …

IMEMC News (2021-02-18). Palestinian Woman Dies Of Heart Attack After Soldiers Stormed Her Home. imemc.org A Palestinian woman suffered a fatal heart attack, on Wednesday at dawn, when Israeli soldiers stormed into her home in Abu Njeim village, east of Bethlehem, south of occupied Jerusalem in the West Bank. Medical sources said the woman, identified as Rahma Khalil Abu 'Ahour, 67, suffered a heart attack when the soldiers invaded her …

Dennis Broe (2021-02-18). 'The Mandalorian' season two: Not cancel but carnivore culture. peoplesworld.org One of the surprise hits of the contemporary streaming era is The Mandalorian, the first original series on Disney+. A surprise not because it was a hit—any Star Wars spinoff is guaranteed to have a wide audience—but because of the magnitude of its popularity and the way it has penetrated the culture. This space Western …

Jim Soliz, Antonio García (2021-02-18). Proponen manifestaciones en Santa Clarita, Lancaster, Bakersfield contra Trumpistas en Congreso. peoplesworld.org Se escala la oposición contra el dirigente Republicano congresista Kevin McCarthy del Distrito Congressional 23 y su co-representante Mike Garcia en el Distrito 25. Esto viene a consecuencia en que estos representantes se oponen a denunciar a Donald Trump por el atentado golpe de estado contra el electo presidente Joe Biden y la violencia ocurrida …

PAI (2021-02-18). Fast food workers forced to walk out again for $15 and a union. peoplesworld.org ST. LOUIS (PAI)—For 40 years as a Black pastor in St. Louis, the Rev. Darryl Gray has seen the impact of low-wage jobs not just on his congregants, but on their kids. That's why he and a wide-ranging ministers' coalition support the Fight for $15 and a Union movement—and raising the federal minimum wage to …

Judy Greenspan (2021-02-18). Leonard Peltier Defense Committee urgently needs support. workers.org The International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee has launched an urgent appeal for funds to support legal efforts to free this Native political prisoner, who has been held in U.S. dungeons for nearly 45 years. Peltier is a leader of the American Indian Movement, who was framed and jailed for the . . . |

Eds. (2021-02-18). Taxes on the rich: One-sixth of what they used to be. mronline.org A new IPS briefing paper highlights the unique role of tax policy in wealth concentration.

Melvin Goodman (2021-02-18). George Shultz's Character Study of Robert Gates. counterpunch.org In January 1986, Shultz told Gates that he had no "confidence in the intelligence community" and that he "wouldn't trust anything you guys said about Iran no matter what." Shultz charged Gates with "trying to manipulate me" and accused him of trying to create an "alternate State Department with its own strong policy views." Shultz conceded that his department made mistakes, but that Gates' "assaults are almost joyful."

Eds. (2021-02-18). 'Only the strong will survive': Texas city mayor resigns for lashing out at residents asking for help during deadly storm. mronline.org The now former mayor of Colorado City, Texas, Tim Boyd, has resigned after two Facebook posts telling people needing help and without electricity that they are on their own.

Raúl Zibechi (2021-02-18). China avanza desde el mar de Sur hasta Medio Oriente y Europa. globalizacion.ca La disputa por el Mar del Sur de China se sigue intensificando, pero el Dragón va colocando sus fichas de forma gradual, implacable e incontenible, como lo muestran los recientes desarrollos de una estrategia largamente diseñada, que parece estar poniendo…

Peoples Dispatch (2021-02-18). Colombian students demand free higher-education for 2021. peoplesdispatch.org Students from different public universities of Colombia have been demonstrating to demand that the national and municipal governments guarantee free tuition for all students across the country this year…

Raul Diego (2021-02-18). Prisons Prime Testing Ground for Dehumanizing Hi-Tech "Advances" mintpressnews.com A new form of exploitation, known as "stakeholder capitalism," is already being tested in many places around the world and prisons are among the main targets for its implementation, as they provide an ideal and literally captive market for its proof of concept.

Thomas Klikauer — Norman Simms (2021-02-18). What is Digital Fascism? counterpunch.org At least since the great Italian author Umberto Eco's description of the fourteen points that define classical fascism, many readers know what fascism is — at least in theory. New research describes Italo-German fascism (1920s—1940s) as classical fascism. It contrasts classical fascism with a new variant, digital fascism.

Joe Piette (2021-02-18). 'Release Mumia NOW!' was the cry in Philadelphia. workers.org Pam Africa (right), speaking at rally, Feb. 15. Philadelphia On less than 24 hours' notice, more than 40 people came out on Feb. 15 to show their opposition to a Feb. 3 legal brief by Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, a so-called "progressive." It denies Mumia Abu-Jamal the right to . . . |

Melvin Goodman (2021-02-18). George Schultz's Character Study of Robert Gates. counterpunch.org In January 1986, Shultz told Gates that he had no "confidence in the intelligence community" and that he "wouldn't trust anything you guys said about Iran no matter what." Shultz charged Gates with "trying to manipulate me" and accused him of trying to create an "alternate State Department with its own strong policy views." Shultz conceded that his department made mistakes, but that Gates' "assaults are almost joyful."

Monica Moorehead (2021-02-18). L.D. Barkley — A leader in the Attica uprising. workers.org L.D. Barkley, second from the right, and other Attica rebellion leaders negotiating with prison officials, Sept. 1971. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Attica Prison Uprising. The following slightly edited excerpt is from the book "A Time To Die: The Attica Prison Revolt" by the late New York . . . |

Eds. (2021-02-18). Role of NGOs in promoting neo-Colonialism. mronline.org There are literally thousands of NGOs, the better known being Oxfam, Greenpeace, and Amnesty International.

Marilyn Bechtel (2021-02-18). Surge of Anti-Asian hate crimes spurs communities to action. peoplesworld.org OAKLAND, Calif.—As the start of the Lunar New Year approached last week, concern was growing over a surge in hate crimes being experienced by Asian Americans in the San Francisco Bay Area, including several victims who were over 60 years of age. One attack last month in San Francisco was widely publicized when a local …

Jim Soliz, Antonio García (2021-02-18). California Republicans Kevin McCarthy and Mike Garcia face opposition. peoplesworld.org SANTA CLARITA, Calif.—From the 'burbs of Los Angeles County to the sandy hills of Antelope Valley to Bakersfield, the fightback against the Congressional Republican leader Kevin McCarthy of the 23rd Congressional District and his colleague Mike Garcia, Representative from California's 25th C.D., continues to escalate. Fed by the refusal of McCarthy and Garcia to meet …

Staff (2021-02-18). Henry Louis Gates Jr. (Pt.2) — The Black Church. therealnews.com In the second part of our conversation, Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. further explores his new documentary "The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song." The new series reveals the broad history and culture of the Black church and explores African American faith communities on the front lines of hope and change.

Gloria La Riva (2021-02-18). In Texas disaster, low-income people hit hardest. liberationnews.org Eyewitness: In the midst of the massive Texas storm, last night I was fortunate to stay in a shelter in Sealy, Texas, one hour west of Houston.

IMEMC News (2021-02-18). Soldiers Abduct Two Palestinian In Jerusalem. imemc.org Israeli soldiers abducted, on Wednesday night after midnight, two young Palestinian men in Shu'fat town, in the occupied Palestinian capital, Jerusalem. Local sources said the two young men were walking near the main road of Shu'fat when the soldiers stopped them and took them to an interrogation facility in Neve Yaakov illegal colony. They added …

Tim Wheeler (2021-02-18). Famed Black journalist Joe Walker's fateful meeting with Malcolm X. peoplesworld.org Joe Walker was already a widely admired African-American journalist when he got a surprising invitation and an offer to become the New York editor of Muhammad Speaks, the Nation of Islam's newspaper. He was summoned to the Harlem Mosque of the Black Muslims for a private meeting. And who was the meeting with? Malcolm X. …

RT (2021-02-18). Asking Russia for Sputnik and getting ANAL SWABS in China: US diplomats vent over State Department's Covid-19 vaccine roll-out. rt.com Even though the State Department received almost enough US-made Covid-19 vaccines for every employee, some diplomats have had to ask host countries for jabs and suffered indignities such as anal tests in China, a new report says. | The State Department has received "roughly" 73,000 doses of the US-made Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, but "declined to say" how many of its estimated 75,000 employees it has vaccinated, the Washington Post reported. | Some of the diplomats stationed in Moscow have asked Russia for its Sputnik V vaccine, after Foggy Bottom "could not promise delivery" of American vaccines "in the near…