2020-12-30: News Headlines

Aaron Maté (2020-12-30). Stephen F. Cohen on Russia's democratization and how US meddling undermines it. thegrayzone.com Pushback rounds out 2020 by airing an unpublished interview with Stephen F. Cohen, the eminent Russia historian and scholar who passed away in September at the age of 81. In an interview recorded one year before his death, Stephen F. Cohen discusses local elections and protests in Russia; opposition leader Alexei Navalny; as well as the state of Russia's post-Soviet democratization and how US meddling undermines it. Guest: Stephen F. Cohen. Professor emeritus of Russian studies at New York University …

South Front (2020-12-30). Video: Russia Suffers Casualties in Greater Idlib. Israeli Air Force Strikes Damascus Countryside. globalresearch.ca On the morning of December 30th, warplanes of the Israeli Air Force once again carried out strikes on alleged Iranian targets in the countryside of Damascus. According to reports one person was killed and 3 others injured in the attack….

Karl Grossman (2020-12-30). Inviting Nuclear Disaster. counterpunch.org Nuclear power plants when they began being constructed were not seen as running for more than 40 years because of radioactivity embrittling metal parts and otherwise causing safety problems. But in recent decades, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has extended the operating licenses of nuclear power plants from 40 years to 60 years and then 80 years, and is now considering 100 years.

Karl Grossman (2020-12-30). Inviting Nuclear Disaster. counterpunch.org Nuclear power plants when they began being constructed were not seen as running for more than 40 years because of radioactivity embrittling metal parts and otherwise causing safety problems. But in recent decades, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has extended the operating licenses of nuclear power plants from 40 years to 60 years and then

RT (2020-12-30). Bolivia signs contract to purchase 2.6mn doses of Russia's Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine. rt.com Bolivia has become the third Latin American nation to strike an agreement with Russia's Direct Investment Fund for supplies of its Sputnik V vaccine against Covid-19. Under the deal, Bolivia will receive 2.6 million doses. | The contract between the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Bolivia's Health Supply Center (CEASS) was signed during a videoconference, which was also attended by Bolivian President Luis Arce. | The president praised Sputnik V in a Twitter

WSWS (2020-12-30). Excess deaths in Russia spike. wsws.org While Russia's official death toll from coronavirus stands at just over 55,000, the real number of COVID-19 victims is likely at least double or triple those officially reported.

Online News Editor (2020-12-30). Biden blasts Trump for delays on vaccine distribution. laprensalatina.com Washington, Dec 29 (efe-epa).- President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday lambasted President Donald Trump for delays in the distribution of the vaccine against Covid-19 and promised that, when he takes office on Jan. 20, 2021, he will use a law dating back to the Cold War to force the private sector to accelerate the process. "The …

Online News Editor (2020-12-30). Coronavirus vaccination gets under way in Argentina. laprensalatina.com Buenos Aires, Dec 29 (efe-epa).- Health care workers were at the head of the line Tuesday as Argentina began Covid-19 vaccination using Sputnik V, developed by Russia's Gamaleya Research Institute, amid concerns about a second wave of infections in the South American country that has already lost nearly 43,000 lives to Covid-19. "It is a …

Ulson Gunnar (2020-12-30). Russia-China Civilian Aviation Production Challenges Boeing-Airbus Dominance. globalresearch.ca For decades US-based Boeing and European aerospace giant, Airbus, have dominated global civilian aviation in what many in the industry describe as a duopoly. But as is the case in so many other industries as of late, China's economic and …

Mehr News Agency (2020-12-30). US has a lot to do to remedy its reputation of foreign policy. en.mehrnews.com TEHRAN, Dec. 30 (MNA) — Russia's Permanent Representative to International Organizations in Vienna says the US has a lot to do to remedy to a certain extent the reputation of US foreign policy.

Ralph Nader (2020-12-29). Recidivist Criminal and Constitutional Outlaw Trump Rushes to Pardon Criminal Lawbreakers. counterpunch.org Serial lawbreaker Donald J. Trump is embarking on the most sordid presidential pardon spree in American history. He has already pardoned convicted crooks, thieves, and violent outlaws. Trump's pardon lawyers are frantically assembling more MAGA besotted individuals and groups to be pardoned wholesale. The number may climb into the hundreds. The queue is long. Trump

Ben Carroll (2020-12-29). After massive cyberattack, imperialist U.S. blames Russia — and China. workers.org U.S. officials and cybersecurity experts are calling it perhaps the most extensive and costly "cyberattack" in modern history. Revelations have come to light that in mid-December numerous U.S. government agencies and some of the world's largest corporations discovered they had been hacked over the course of several preceding months. U.S. . . . |

RT (2020-12-29). Argentina launches Covid-19 immunization campaign using Russia's Sputnik V vaccine. rt.com Argentina has launched a nationwide campaign to vaccinate the public against Covid-19, deploying 300,000 doses of Russia's pioneering Sputnik V vaccine. Medics are the primary recipients. | The first shipment of the vaccine arrived in Argentina last Thursday. On Tuesday, it commenced vaccinations in 23 provinces and in the city of Buenos Aires, local media reported. Most of the doses are meant for frontline workers — doctors and nurses working with Covid-19 patients in hospitals. Dr. Francisco Traverso, who works at the Posadas Hospital in the capital was the first to get the vaccine to the applause of hi…

MEE staff (2020-12-29). Russia and Turkey to continue military cooperation despite US sanctions. middleeasteye.net Russia and Turkey to continue military cooperation despite US sanctions | Russian foreign minister says Moscow and Ankara will not be deterred by US sanctions over acquisition of S-400 missile system | Tue, 12/29/2020 – 16: 13 | Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu meets with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov (AFP) | Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said military cooperation with Turkey would no…

RT (2020-12-29). Russia's FSB dismantles international drug smuggling ring, seizes $13.6 million worth of drugs in joint operation with US (VIDEO). rt.com In a rare collaborative effort, elite Russian and American law enforcement officials have busted a transnational criminal gang smuggling cocaine from South America to Europe, seizing 330 kilograms of the illegal drug. | The drug smuggling chain was busted as a result of a "months-long multi-stage international operation," Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said in a statement on Tuesday, adding that the first members of the gang were detained as early as in May. The operation was conducted together with the US Justice Department's Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section (NDDS). | "In close cooperation with in…

RT (2020-12-29). Russia's FSB dismantles international drug smuggling ring, seizes $13.6mn worth of drugs in joint operation with US (VIDEO). rt.com In a rare collaborative effort, Russian and American law enforcement officials have busted a transnational criminal gang smuggling cocaine from South America to Europe, seizing 330 kilograms of the drug. | The drug smuggling chain was busted as a result of a "months-long multi-stage international operation," Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said in a statement on Tuesday, adding that the first members of the gang were detained as early as in May. The operation was conducted together with the US Justice Department's Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section (NDDS). | "In close cooperation with international pa…

teleSUR (2020-12-29). Argentina Kicks off COVID-19 National Vaccination Campaign. telesurenglish.net Argentina's COVID-19 vaccination campaign began on Monday, following a national operation to distribute 300,000 doses of the Russian vaccine across the country. | RELATED: | Subnational governments offered details on the vaccination plan in each district. In Buenos Aires, the Sputnik V vaccine will be applied to health personnel at 110 hospitals in 89 municipalities. | "After so many months of the pandemic, we…

Online News Editor (2020-12-29). Argentina prepares to roll out Sputnik Covid-19 vaccine. laprensalatina.com Buenos Aires, Dec 28 (efe-epa).- Argentina mobilized Monday to distribute 300,000 doses of Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine to hospitals in each of the 34 provinces amid concerns about a second wave of infections in the South American country that has already lost nearly 43,000 lives to Covid-19. The operation was on track "to initiate …

Peoples Dispatch (2020-12-29). Argentina starts nationwide COVID-19 vaccinations. peoplesdispatch.org On December 24, the South American nation received the first 300,000 doses out of a total order of over 10 million doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. In the first round it has prioritized the health workers for the administration of the vaccine.

teleSUR (2020-12-29). Venezuela Signs Agreement for Mass Vaccination With Sputnik V. telesurenglish.net On Tuesday, Venezuela signed a contract with Russia to begin mass vaccination of its citizens with the Sputnik V vaccine. | RELATED: | "In the first stage of the coronavirus vaccination campaign, 10 million people will get the Russian medicine," Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said, although she did not inform about the start date of the campaign. | Health Minister Carlos Alvarado, Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arre…

Mehr News Agency (2020-12-29). Iran, Russia defense coop. based on Intl. law. en.mehrnews.com TEHRAN, Dec. 29 (MNA) — Russian Foreign Minister said that Moscow's defense cooperation with Iran is in accordance with international law.

John Kendall Hawkins (2020-12-28). Doomsday ex Machina: Daniel Ellsberg and the Nuclear Gang. counterpunch.org You hide in your mansion While the young people's blood Flows out of their bodies And is buried in the mud You've thrown the worst fear That can ever be hurled Fear to bring children Into the world — Bob Dylan, "Masters of War" (1963) October 15, 1969. That's the day the world might have

RT (2020-12-28). Former Miss Ekaterinburg fights back New York mugger with one simple tactic — swearing at him in Russian. rt.com Ever wondered what you'd do if someone tried to rob you on the street? Well, one Russian model in New York managed to get away scot-free with a straightforward tactic: she swore at him in her native tongue. | Writing on her Instagram, Anna Lesun explained how a "very well dressed young man" had asked her for some money, and then threw a fist at her when she said no. According to the model, the would-be mugger also threatened her dog, Misha. | "I pushed him back and started cursing him in Russian," Lesun wrote on her Instagram. "I could see he didn't expect any resistance so he called me a bitch and, thank god,…

Paul Antonopoulos (2020-12-28). Serbia Becomes Hub for Russia's Gas Distribution in the Balkans. globalresearch.ca With the TurkStream gas pipeline now running through Serbia, the Balkan country will enjoy numerous benefits when exports begin, such as energy stability, the opportunity to get cheaper gas, and additional tax revenue. On December 25, Serbia successfully tested the …

teleSUR (2020-12-28). Argentina To Start National COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign. telesurenglish.net Argentina will begin its national COVID-19 vaccination campaign on December 29 as local governments and hospitals already received the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. | RELATED: | The authorities reported that the vaccination will take place as of 9: 00 AM local time simultaneously in all provinces as each city has received a part of the first shipment with 300,000 doses. | Nonetheless, the Minister of Health Ginés Go…

Andrew Korybko (2020-12-28). Political Instability in the Central African Republic, The Role of China-Russia Cooperation. globalresearch.ca The Chinese-Russian strategic partnership could be leveraged to stabilize the CAR after this Sunday's elections and might eventually become a model for them to apply towards their other African partners too. | The Central African Republic (CAR) has once again attracted …

Damelya Aitkhozhina (2020-12-28). Russia Is Cracking Down on Political Performance Art, Again. Why It Should Listen, Not Lash Out. counterpunch.org Performances by artists and activists on political topics have been a sensitive spot for the Russian authorities for years. But as the authorities' crackdown on civil society intensifies, so does the creative non-violent response exposing and drawing attention to it. This in turn increases the pressure authorities exert on the artists and activists in efforts

RT (2020-12-27). Absolute 'cowboys!' Kremlin compares US attempts to sink Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to 'raider attack' as construction continues. rt.com Russia has lashed out at Washington's attempts to shoot down plans for the world's largest gas pipeline, in the Baltic Sea, arguing that America is trying to lasso the European energy market for its own corporate giants. | Speaking to journalists on Sunday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the Rossiya 1 news channel that the new wave of sanctions against companies involved in the construction are "an absolutely naked, cowboy-like raider attack." | While many European firms had been anticipating a gold rush as a result of the $18 billion project, they have since found themselves held at pistol-point by the…

RT (2020-12-27). Putin ready to take Russian-made Covid-19 vaccine as regulators approve extension of Sputnik V rollout to all age groups – Kremlin. rt.com The Kremlin said on Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely to soon receive the country's pioneering coronavirus vaccine. The comments came as eligibility for Sputnik V was broadened to those over the age of 60. | Speaking to the Rossiya 1 news channel, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin was poised to announce his intention to get the jab. "We can expect to hear from the president himself about the decision in the near future," he said, adding that "he has actually previously said he would definitely take it." | In a conversation with South Korean President Moon Jae-in earlier this…

RT (2020-12-27). Russia can refuse to pay $50 billion bill to Yukos oligarchs, country's top court rules, as international legal battle rages on. rt.com Moscow is set for a showdown with Western judges and 1990s Russian oligarchs, over a new ruling enabling the country to refuse to pay what is considered to be the biggest legal settlement in history, over a collapsed oil empire. | The Constitutional Court, one of Russia's highest judicial authorities, ruled on Friday that the decision of an international tribunal in the long-running dispute over the now-dissolved energy giant Yukos is incompatible with Russian law. The case has been heard by a court in The Hague, which claims jurisdiction under the terms of the Energy Charter Treaty, and awarded the company's…

teleSUR, CE (2020-12-27). Venezuela's State Airline: A Symbol of Sovereignty in 2020. telesurenglish.net Venezuela's state airline Conviasa transported 1,300,000 kilos of air cargo in 2020, flying distances as far as China and Russia to bring medical supplies and equipment for the public health system and other necessary items whose acquisition and transport are made complicated under the criminal US-led blockade. | RELATED: | In December alone, the airline repatriated hundreds of Venezuelans from around Latin Amer…

Askiah Adam (2020-12-27). Is Iran Contemplating Vengeance in Regards to the Murder of Its Two Prominent Leaders? globalresearch.ca Brigadier General Mohsen Fakhrizadeh of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Command (IRGC) and Iran's most important nuclear scientist was assassinated not too far from Tehran recently. Iran immediately accused Israel , an allegation confirmed by a senior Washington official soon after. …

Alena Peryshkina (2020-12-27). Multicultural Cooperation between BRICS Member States: Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa. globalresearch.ca In this interview, Alena Peryshkina, Co-Chair of the BRICS Civil Forum, Director of the AIDS Infoshare Foundation, Co-Chair of the BRICS and G20 CSOs Working Group, discusses some aspects of multicultural dimensions, especially the need to institutionalize cultural ties and …

Mehr News Agency (2020-12-27). Russia warns of pulling out of Open Skies Treaty. en.mehrnews.com TEHRAN, Dec. 27 (MNA) — Russia may pull out of the Open Skies Treaty if other signatories refuse to pledge they won't share data with the US, the Russian media reported.

sputniknews (2020-12-27). Russia Calls for De-Escalation of Tensions in Syria's Ayn Issa, Reconciliation Centre Says. sputniknews.com MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russian officials are calling on all parties to cease shelling near the Syrian town of Ayn Issa, Rear Adm. Vyacheslav Sytnik, the deputy head of the Russian Defence Ministry's centre for Syrian reconciliation, said on Sunday.

Aaron Maté (2020-12-26). Veteran diplomat: US confronts China to protect supremacy, not security. thegrayzone.com Veteran US diplomat Chas Freeman says that despite talk of a New Cold War between the US and China, the US in reality is reacting aggressively to a rising Chinese power whose economic gains threaten US global supremacy. "We've become accustomed over the past 75 years to be the overlord in East Asia," Freeman says. Chas Freeman, who served in top State Department positions and as Richard Nixon's chief interpreter on his historic 1972 visit to China, discusses the state …

RT (2020-12-26). Russian Orthodox Church has 'soft & flexible' stance on abortion & does not demand practice be made illegal, spokesman reveals. rt.com The Russian Orthodox Church is not proposing a blanket ban on abortion and its official position is actually "more flexible" than a complete prohibition. That's according to Vladimir Legoyda, the institution's main spokesperson. | Speaking on Saturday to RTVI, a New York-based Russian-language channel aimed at expats, Legoyda revealed that the Church is not entirely against the termination of pregnancy being legal. | "We are taking a softer and more flexible position in this case: we demand [abortion] be withdrawn from the compulsory health insurance fund," he said. The Compulsory Medical Insurance Fund is a t…

Mehr News Agency (2020-12-26). Moscow backs amb. comments on Israeli-Palestinian conflict. en.mehrnews.com TEHRAN, Dec. 26 (MNA) — Moscow said it is surprised by the Israeli regime's aggravated reaction to the issues raised by Russian Ambassador Anatoly Viktorov on West Asia's issues, adding that it backs his comments on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Mehr News Agency (2020-12-26). Four ISIL terrorists arrested in Republic of Dagestan. en.mehrnews.com TEHRAN, Dec. 26 (MNA) — Federal security Service (FSB) of Russian Federation revealed the arrest of four ISIL terrorists in the Republic of Dagestan before carrying out a terrorist operation.

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