2021-02-25: News Headlines

_____ (2021-02-25). Letter: On The Matter Of Assange's Lawyers Considering A Cross Appeal. popularresistance.org Julian Assange's lawyers are considering bringing a cross appeal to the High Court in London disputing parts of District Judge Vanessa Baraitser's Jan. 4 judgment not to extradite Assange to the United States, according to a report by journalist Tareq Haddad. | Baraitser refused the U.S. request on narrow grounds, saying Assange's extradition would put his life and health at risk. But Baraitser sided with the U.S. on every other point of law and fact, making it clear that in the absence of the life and health issues she would have granted the U.S. request. | That opens the way for the U.S. government to seek the…

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?>

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 …

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…

RT (2021-02-25). 700+ children remain in detention at US border, 200 for over 48 hours, amid spike in unaccompanied crossings — media. rt.com Hundreds of unaccompanied minors have been held at the US border waiting to be processed, Axios reported. Almost a third of them have been lingering in detention for more than two days, as the backlog piles up. | Around 700 minors who crossed into the US on their own were kept in Border Patrol Custody as of Sunday, Axios By that time, around 200 children had already been held up for over 48 hours, a…

RT (2021-02-25). EU declares head of Venezuela's diplomatic mission 'persona non grata' in tit-for-tat after expulsion of European envoy. rt.com The European Union has declared Venezuela's chief diplomat at the bloc "persona non grata," calling the move retaliation after Caracas expelled the EU's ambassador in protest over a new round of sanctions from Brussels. | "The Council today agreed that the head of the Mission of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the European Union be declared persona non grata," the European Council said in a

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.

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).

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.

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 …

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). 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…

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.

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

_____ (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…

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 . . . |

Workers World Party (2021-02-25). PDF of February 25 issue. workers.org Download the PDF. Texas freeze: Rich get richer, workers suffer 50+ actions: Solidarity with #BAmazon workers BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Washerwomen Strike Steelworker resistance ALSO: Free Mumia! UAW in crisis Police repel hungry people U.S. life expectancy drops Vaccine patents = profits Editorial: Whole world is watching GLOBAL: Who is Navalny? . . . |

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 . . . |

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 . . . |

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 …

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 …

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 . . . |

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.

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.

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).

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

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

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…

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 . . . |

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.

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

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, …

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.

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, …

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

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. . . . |

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). 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."

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. …

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 …

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, …

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

A Guest Author (2021-02-26). Denver protest: 'No war on Iran!'. workers.org By Vivian Weinstein 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 . . . |

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 . . . |

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.