2021-02-20: News Headlines

Juan Cole (2021-02-20). Number of residential solar batteries increases by 50% in Germany. juancole.com By Sà∂ren Amelang | — The number of battery storage systems linked to a residential solar pv array rose by around 50 percent in Germany in 2020 for the third year in a row. The country's solar association BSW estimates there were 88,000 new residential installations, taking the total number of solar batteries in Germany …

Mike Walter (2021-02-20). The Heat: G7 leaders' pledge on COVID-19 vaccines. america.cgtn.com Leaders from the Group of Seven Nations vow to work together to improve global access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Daniel Horowitz (2021-02-20). With No Compulsory Muzzling and Schools Open, Florida Ranks 11th Lowest in COVID Deaths per Capita Among Seniors. anti-empire.com There's a reason why the Biden regime is Dr. F…

MEE and agencies (2021-02-20). Israel purchased Russian Covid vaccine for Syria in exchange for captive: Reports. middleeasteye.net Israel purchased Russian Covid vaccine for Syria in exchange for captive: Reports | Order said to be part of a deal which freed an Israeli woman who crossed into Syria through Quneitra a few weeks ago | Sat, 02/20/2021 – 13: 45 | The Ynet news site reported on Saturday that Israel purchased more than $1m worth of doses of the Sputnik V vaccine (AFP) | Israel is said to have agreed to purch…

RT (2021-02-20). Texas police looking for more than 100 illegal immigrants who fled smuggling truck amid winter freeze. rt.com Texas authorities are seeking a group of more than 100 illegal immigrants wandering through the freezing, storm-hammered state. They fled a packed smuggling truck, in which they were being transported in suffocating conditions. | Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar told reporters on Thursday that his department received a call from a truckload of illegal immigrants in San Antonio that evening. Their smugglers had sealed up the refrigerated truck and blocked air holes, and the migrants feared that they would suffocate inside. | Deputies in the area noticed movement around a truck parked at a gas station, and sa…

Ali Salam (2021-02-20). Israeli Troops Attack Non-Violent Palestinian Rallies in Kufur Qaddoum, Beit Dajan. imemc.org Israeli forces attacked the weekly non-violent protest marches and rallies in several parts of the West Bank Friday, injuring three Palestinians with rubber-coated steel bullets and causing dozens to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation. In Kufur Qaddoum, in the northern West Bank, two Palestinian protesters were taken to the hospital with severe injuries …

Fernando Buen Abad Domínguez (2021-02-20). Estados Unidos contra Cuba: El bloqueo es un crimen de lesa humanidad. globalizacion.ca Según la ONU, son crímenes contra la humanidad los que constituyen ataques generalizados o sistemáticos a la población civil. Son "crímenes de lesa humanidad" los exterminios, la esclavitud, la deportación o expulsión forzosa, la privación de la libertad física e…

Yanis Iqbal (2021-02-20). Madagascar: A Nation of Hunger. dissidentvoice.org Madagascar is in great pain. Theodore Mbainaissem, the head of the World Food Programme (WFP) sub-office in Ambovombe, southern Madagascar, says: "Seeing the physical condition of people extremely affected by hunger who can no longer stand…children who are completely emaciated, the elderly who are skin and bone…these images are unbearable… People are eating white clay …

Margaret Flowers (2021-02-20). Urgent Solidarity with Haiti is Needed. dissidentvoice.org A long-brewing crisis in Haiti, created through intervention by the United States, United Nations and allied western imperialist countries, has now come to a head. The Biden administration is openly backing a violent, corrupt and fraudulent leader, Jovenel MoàØse, and maintaining the policies of previous presidents, including Donald Trump, in Haiti. Activists in Haiti have …

Devin Cole (2021-02-20). Pensacola State College faculty demand protection. workers.org Occupied Muscogee Creek land On Feb. 16, over 30 drivers circled the Pensacola State College-Warrington Campus buildings for half an hour, laying on their horns. Signs saying "High Risk" and "Betrayal" were taped to their vehicles. This action was led by the Pensacola State College Faculty Association, a chapter of . . . |

A Guest Author (2021-02-20). Letter from an incarcerated worker on the struggle in Alabama. workers.org The following letter from an incarcerated worker in the Pennsylvania prison system was sent by email on Feb. 17 to Joe Piette, a member of the Prisoners Solidarity Committee of Workers World Party. From SCI Pine Grove: Nina Simone famously said: "Alabama got me so upset; Tennessee made me lose . . . |

Gareth Porter (2021-02-20). US State Department Accusation of China "Genocide" Is Garbage Reliant on Data Abuse and Fraudulent Claims. anti-empire.com Both President Joe Biden and his Secretary of State Anthony Blinken have endorsed former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's last-minute accusation of The US government's accusation of genocide against China stems from a single sour…

Aaliyah Harris (2021-02-20). Student loans continue to discriminate against Muslim students. thecanary.co To be Muslim in Britain means to be a part of a population of Interest is forbidden: | For young people venturing from college or sixth form into university, accepting a monstrous educational debt will always be a tricky decision. But for Muslims, deciding to take out a Student Finance Loan — or for that matter any loan which requires repayment with…

MEE and agencies (2021-02-20). Saudi Arabia to invest $20bn in domestic arms industry. middleeasteye.net Saudi Arabia to invest $20bn in domestic arms industry | Kingdom wants to shift towards manufacturing much of its own weapons over the next decade after US sales ban | Sat, 02/20/2021 – 15: 49 | Saudi Arabia wants to spend at least half of its military budget locally by 2030 (AFP) | Saudi Arabia has announced plans to pump $20bn into producing more of its own weapons and military systems o…

MEE and agencies (2021-02-20). Russian air strikes 'kill 21 Islamic State fighters' in Syrian desert. middleeasteye.net Russian air strikes 'kill 21 Islamic State fighters' in Syrian desert | Russian jets launched 130 air strikes over 24 hours according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights | Sat, 02/20/2021 – 11: 01 | Russian air power has backed Syrian forces clashing with Islamic State fighters (AFP) | Russia launched at least 130 air strikes in Syria over the past 24 hours, killing at least 21 Isla…

MEE and agencies (2021-02-20). Algeria releases dozens of jailed pro-democracy activists after presidential pardons. middleeasteye.net Algeria releases dozens of jailed pro-democracy activists after presidential pardons | Pardons issued by President Tebboune ahead of second anniversary of Hirak uprising, with prominent journalist Khaled Drareni among those freed | Sat, 02/20/2021 – 20: 26 | Algerian journalist Khaled Drareni is greeted by supporters upon his release from Kolea prison, west of the capital Algiers, on 19 Fe…

MEE and agencies (2021-02-20). Iraq: Rockets target airbase north of Baghdad after clashes with IS. middleeasteye.net Iraq: Rockets target airbase north of Baghdad after clashes with IS | Attack on Al-Balad base injures a contractor and came hours after Iraqi security forces raided a nearby Islamic State hideout amid increasing tensions | Sat, 02/20/2021 – 19: 31 | A doctor treats a man wounded in a rocket attack on US forces at Erbil airport, northern Iraq, on 15 February (Reuters) | Four rockets hit the…

MEE staff (2021-02-20). Mercenaries boss Erik Prince violated Libya weapons embargo: UN report. middleeasteye.net Mercenaries boss Erik Prince violated Libya weapons embargo: UN report | US media say the accusations against founder of security firm Blackwater could potentially lead to him facing sanctions | Sat, 02/20/2021 – 09: 39 | Erik Prince did not cooperate with the UN inquiry and his lawyer declined to comment to the New York Times (AFP) | Mercenaries boss Erik Prince pumped $80m in weapons and fighters into easter…

MEE and agencies (2021-02-20). Turkey's Erdogan seeks 'win-win' relationship with US. middleeasteye.net Turkey's Erdogan seeks 'win-win' relationship with US | Turkish president reaches out to Biden administrations and says 'common interests of Turkey and the United States outweigh the differences' | Sat, 02/20/2021 – 21: 46 | Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Earlier this week, Turkey had accused the US of supporting PKK 'terrorists' (AFP) | Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said…

RT (2021-02-20). Beleaguered Texans forced to flee burning hotel as sprinkler system fails due to frozen pipes (PHOTOS, VIDEOS). rt.com Guests at a four-story hotel in Texas were forced to flee into the freezing cold as a fire engulfed the entire building when the sprinkler system failed due to frozen pipes. | The fire broke out at the Hilton Garden Inn near Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas shortly before 9pm local time. The hotel had been serving as emergency accommodation for many stricken local residents, including several soldiers from the nearby Eyewitness footage from the scene purports to show the fire as it ripped through the hotel…

RT (2021-02-20). 'DEATH TO THE PATRIARCHY': Madonna lashes out at shadowy cabal of men attempting to 'cut off her life force'. rt.com Pop icon Madonna has complained that a conniving cadre of scheming men has prevented her from reaching her full potential, but some believe that the obscenely wealthy and successful entertainer may be overreacting. | "The Patriarchy continues to try to crush my neck with their heavy boots, cut off my life force and take away my voice—Even those who call themselves artists…………..You know who you are!!! DEATH TO THE PATRIARCHY! Now and Forever," Madonna tweeted, including a photograph of herself wearing a glittering tiara. | The Patriarchy continues to try to crush my neck with their heavy boots, cu…

RT (2021-02-20). PLANE DEBRIS rain from the sky as United jet makes emergency landing in Denver with engine on FIRE (VIDEOS). rt.com A United Airlines Boeing 777 suffered a major engine failure in midair and was forced to make an emergency landing at Denver International Airport, while scattering debris across several neighborhoods. | The shocking incident happened shortly after United Flight 328 took off from Denver for Honolulu, forcing the crew to perform an emergency landing with one of the engines on fire and large chunks of it missing. | Flight 328

RT (2021-02-20). 3 killed, 2 injured after man opens fire at gun store in New Orleans, gets neutralized by other customers. rt.com Several people have been killed in New Orleans, after an armed man got into a heated argument with a gun store clerk and opened fire, before he was confronted and shot dead by other armed customers. | The incident took place at the Jefferson Gun Outlet — a firearms store and a shooting range — in Metairie, Louisiana, around 3pm, resulting in at least three deaths. |

RT (2021-02-20). Google fires ANOTHER AI ethics researcher amid row over 'censorship & racism,' as team member accuses company of 'smear campaign'. rt.com Google has terminated the head researcher on its AI ethics team over what the tech giant deemed a violation of its "code of conduct," as the company faces an internal revolt over a previous firing of a black data scientist. | Margaret Mitchell, who led Google's Ethical AI unit, announced her termination in a brief tweet on Friday, saying only "I'm fired" without offering further detail. | I'm fired.— MMitchell (@mmitchell_ai) Google's own statement on the matter was also somewhat vague, confi…

RT (2021-02-20). Biden declares 'major disaster' in Texas as state continues to battle power outages amid extreme cold. rt.com President Joe Biden has declared that "a major disaster" status is in effect in Texas, unlocking federal money for counties that have been suffering from an unusual and deadly cold wave. | His action allows for federal funding to dozens of Texan counties affected by the cold, the White House said. The money may be used for temporary housing, home repairs, low-cost loans and other assistance to residents and business owners. | Also on rt.com | | Bide…

RT (2021-02-20). Not very PC? Chelsea Clinton-funded 'trans' app urges transitioning people to budget their money & be nice to cops. rt.com A mobile app marketed at trans people that received funding from former first daughter Chelsea Clinton has been slammed by the internet as overtly patronizing. Even worse, the app urges users to be polite to the police. | Created in 2019, Euphoria has been billed as an app designed to help individuals navigate gender transition, as well as provide people with support once they complete the procedure. | Read more | | The platform hos…

RT (2021-02-20). Outage outrage: Texans see power bills as high as $17,000 after brutal storm pummels grid & leaves millions without electricity. rt.com In the wake of a fierce winter storm that knocked out power for millions of Texans, some residents are reporting colossal spikes in their electricity bills, with some asked to pay more than $17,000 for just a few weeks of service.

_____ (2021-02-20). The Need for Accountability Over Impunity in Chile. strategic-culture.org With a new constitution, Chilean state actors should be held accountable to the people's demands for democratic changes in the country, otherwise Chile's long-standing democratic tradition risks being lost to the dynamics of state violence. | While Chileans are still awaiting the process of a new constitution to end Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship legacy in the country, police brutality is in the spotlight for two reasons — the increase in violence since the start of the protests in 2019, which turned into organised social demonstrations clamouring for change, and the calls to dissolve the Carabineros. | Ea…

Eve Ottenberg (2021-02-19). The Atrocious Prosecution of Julian Assange. counterpunch.org What do Biden and Trump have in common? (Aside from jerking Iran around over the nuclear treaty, proclaiming support for a phony, unelected pretender to the Venezuelan presidency, Juan Guaido, and posturing aggressively toward China?) Both Biden and Trump support the utterly baseless Espionage Act case against journalist and publisher Julian Assange. Make no mistake,

Mariah Denman and Caleb Kennedy (2021-02-19). Portland, OR power outages affect 300K residents after ice storm. liberationnews.org In a pandemic winter, when the risk of spreading COVID-19 between households is high, neighbors have had to take the risk to help each other by sharing generators, firewood, food, cooking equipment, clean water and more.

PAI (2021-02-19). New York sues Amazon for not protecting workers against COVID, firing whistleblowers. peoplesworld.org NEW YORK (PAI)—Donald Trump isn't Letitia "Tish" James's only big legal target. Neither is the notorious radical right-wing U.S. gun lobby. Now she's taking on Amazon. James, New York state's Attorney General, is probing Trump's financial crimes committed through his private foundation. Last year, she sued the National Rifle Association and its top officers for …

David Rosen (2021-02-19). The Culture Wars Continue: Biden Takes on Abortion. counterpunch.org Joe Biden is moving aggressively to redress many of the conditions left by Donald Trump's administration, notably the Covid-19 pandemic, the economic recession and white nationalism. However, the most intractable challenge that he will face may be the resistance of the culture wars, particularly a woman's right to an abortion. The culture wars long anchored

_____ (2021-02-19). Scheer Intelligence: The Clearest Example Of Israeli Apartheid Yet. popularresistance.org As Israel's COVID-19 vaccination program got underway in recent months, reports in Western media, including the New York Times, lauded the country's speedy inoculation efforts to vaccinate every Israeli over the age of 16. What many news reports failed to immediately note in detail, however, was that as the Middle Eastern nation was rapidly vaccinating its citizens against the deadly virus that turned the whole world upside down, it showed no signs of inoculating the approximately 5 million Palestinians whose land Israel occupies in the Gaza strip and the West Bank. After a global outcry ensued over the immoralit…

Staff (2021-02-19). Battleground Baltimore: The battle continues for more COVID-19 vaccine doses. therealnews.com In this week's round-up of Baltimore news: Leaders examine the way doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are being distributed, Mayor Brandon Scott releases his administration's transition report, remembering musician Jimmy Jones, and more.

a guest author (2021-02-19). COVID vaccines are big business and a political weapon. workers.org By Manuel Raposo Manuel Raposo is editor of jornalmudardevida.net in Portugal, where this article was published Feb. 14. Translation: John Catalinotto. It has often been said that so-called "natural" disasters, including unforeseeable catastrophes, lay bare the weaknesses of the societies they strike. The health, social and economic crisis the coronavirus . . . |

Staff (2021-02-19). Amid G7 Meeting, Pressure Mounts for Biden to Remove Global Barriers to Vaccines. truthout.org President Joe Biden is meeting with the G7 leaders of other wealthy nations Friday to discuss global plans to defeat COVID. Meanwhile, the United States is under growing international pressure to reverse course from the Trump administration and lead the world toward ending massive global disparities in vaccine and treatment access that threaten to stretch the deadly pandemic out for years. | Hanging in the balance are an untold number of human lives — and the profit margins of privat…

Staff (2021-02-19). Essential Farmworkers Deserve Protections From Pesticide Exposure. truthout.org COVID-19 is having

RT (2021-02-19). Pandemic will be with us until EVERYONE on earth given Covid-19 vaccine, says Merkel after G7 summit. rt.com The coronavirus pandemic can only be considered beaten once everyone in the world has been immunized against Covid-19, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel said, after she'd met with the G7 leaders at a virtual summit on Friday. | Speaking to reporters, Merkel said she had stressed in her remarks to the group that the "pandemic is not over until all people in the world have been vaccinated," adding: "Everyone must participate." | "The [coronavirus] pandemic in particular has shown how much we are diverging from one another, worldwide." | On Friday the head of the EU's executive body, Ursula von der Leyen, said t…

RT (2021-02-19). 'Idea of Sacrifice a complete nonstarter in US culture before Covid': Pandemic spurred major shift in American values, study finds. rt.com Researchers from UCLA and Harvard University analyzed internet activity, namely online searches and social media posts, and found a significant return to more traditional, rural American values emerged as the pandemic took hold. | The team In their analysis, they used Google searches as one metric to reflect societal mood and attitudes w…

RT (2021-02-19). UK govt acted 'unlawfully' by not disclosing lucrative Covid-19 contracts for PPE in time for public scrutiny, High Court rules. rt.com The UK government acted unlawfully by not being transparent about contracts it awarded for millions of pounds worth of PPE, face masks, and medical gowns to help fight Covid-19, a High Court judge ruled on Friday. | Health Secretary Matt Hancock was ruled to have breached his legal obligation to disclose details of contracts the government had awarded within 30 days of decisions being made. | The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), which Hancock heads, argued that it could not publish its contract award notices on time, given the emergency nature of government actions during the pandemic. | The legal…

RT (2021-02-19). Johnson & Johnson submits its single-shot Covid-19 vaccine to WHO for emergency use. rt.com Pharma giant Johnson & Johnson has submitted data on its coronavirus vaccine to the World Health Organization (WHO) as it seeks the agency's greenlight for emergency use. Unlike other shots, this one comes in a single dose. | The emergency-use approval is a prerequisite for the vaccine joining the WHO-led COVAX watchdog program, J&J said in a statement on Friday, revealing it had submitted its paperwork to the UN health body. | Unlike vaccine competitors already in the Covid-fighting market, the J&J offering comes in a single-dose form, which would make its distribution considerably easier. Moreover, it can be…

RT (2021-02-19). Almost all Spanish nursing home residents have received two Covid doses as Madrid says state on track with vaccine rollout. rt.com Health authorities in Spain have said they are close to vaccinating all elderly nursing-home residents with the requisite two doses of Covid-19 vaccines as Madrid says it's on course to inoculate 20 million by the end of June. | The Federacion Empresarial de Asistencia a la Dependencia (FED), Spain's care home association, said 97 percent of elderly residents have received both jabs — positive news in a health sector that has suffered a high number of deaths in the pandemic. | Officials believe 20,000 people died of Covid-19 or suspected Covid-19 in nursing homes during the first wave alone, from March to…

RT (2021-02-19). 'What is this, 1998?' Twitter users astonished that Tony Blair is opining on Covid roadmap… and MEDIA COVERS IT as 'news'. rt.com Brits may have wondered if they woke up in the right century after seeing ex-prime minister Tony Blair giving his policy prescription for the Covid-19 pandemic — and being cited as an authority on the topic by major media outlets. | The former Labour Party leader on Friday published his own "roadmap" out of the UK's Covid-19 lockdown, complete with a "traffic light system" dictating data-based parameters for opening and closing decisions. Mainstream media outlets jumped on the report as big news, with some portraying it as influential in setting the current government's policy. | We believe a credible lo…

RT (2021-02-19). Paris beefs up police patrols and Lyon bans booze as French authorities fear warm weather will spark Covid rule-breaking. rt.com The French government has announced it will strengthen its police patrols ahead of predicted warm weather this weekend in a bid to make sure the rise in temperatures isn't matched by a surge in Covid-19 cases. | Officials in numerous parts of the country fear a combination of pleasant spring weather and the break-up of some schools for holidays could encourage people to gather in groups, thus risking the increased spread of the virus. | Police chiefs in the capital will launch a "large-scale" operation involving 4,000 officers from Saturday to enforce the country's strict 6pm to 6am curfews, imposed to stem th…

RT (2021-02-19). Dutch curfew extended by emergency bill as government shuns court ruling of Covid lockdown 'illegality'. rt.com Dutch senators have voted overwhelmingly to pass an emergency act to continue a nationwide curfew, disregarding a judge's ruling this week that the restriction violates the law as well as the rights of citizens. | The emergency bill passed in a 45-13 vote on Friday evening, While a lower court

The Global Research Team (2021-02-19). Selected Articles: The Covid Deception Serves An Undeclared Agenda. globalresearch.ca By There is no scientific basis for the measures in place to deal with the alleged Covid Pandemic. Among experts the support for these measures …

Staff (2021-02-19). Immigration Activists Welcome Reform Bill But Warn of Long Fight Ahead. truthout.org Migrant justice activists and organizations welcomed the introduction of the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 this week but are warning that the bill faces a long and uphill battle before becoming law. | At the center of the comprehensive bill, which was introduced by Sen. Bob Menendez and Rep. Linda Sánchez, is a path to citizenship for nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States. The bill also includes key provisions that migrant justice activists have been demanding for dec…

IMEMC News (2021-02-19). Army Abducts Four Palestinians Playing In Snow In Hebron. imemc.org Israeli soldiers abducted, on Thursday evening, four young Palestinian men while playing in the snow in the Old City of Hebron, in southern West Bank. Eyewitnesses said the soldiers abducted the four young men while playing in snow, which covered most of occupied Palestine, and were building snowmen and throwing snowballs at each other. They …

Ramzy Baroud (2021-02-19). 'Leaving Aside' International Law: Why Democrats are as Dangerous as Republicans to a Just Peace in Palestine. counterpunch.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

Aseel Jundi (2021-02-19). For this Palestinian family, living next to Al-Aqsa Mosque comes with a heavy price. middleeasteye.net For this Palestinian family, living next to Al-Aqsa Mosque comes with a heavy price | For years, the Bashiti family has lived in a never-ending cycle of Israeli harassment for refusing to abandon their strategically located home | Fri, 02/19/2021 – 11: 22 | Mohammed Bashiti and his wife, Binar, look towards Al-Aqsa Mosque in the yard of their home in the Old City of Jerusalem (Assel Jundi) | Mohamm…