2021-02-05: News Headlines

Dave Lindorff (2021-02-05). Back to Cold War 2.0. counterpunch.org A fawning liberal media and a passel of well-endowed 'peace' organizations like Plowshares and Council for a Livable World and self-described "progressive" organizations like MoveOn have been hailing Biden's cabinet picks, many of them veterans of the Obama administration, claiming they will steer the US in a new direction under which diplomacy, not bluster and

David Swanson (2021-02-05). U.S. Should Pay Iran Reparations. counterpunch.org Why would I say such an outrageous, treasonous, delusional, OBVIOUSLY-funded-by-Putin thing? Am I hoping to enrage war-crazed sadists who've seen too much television "news"? Not at all. I want them to still be around when I say that it would actually be preferable for the United States to pay reparations to the entire rest of

Conn Hallinan (2021-02-05). China's Sea of Conflict. counterpunch.org Biden 's administration faces a host of difficult problems, but in foreign policy its thornist will be its relations with the People's Republic of China (PRC). How it handles issues of trade, security and human rights will either allow both countries to hammer out a working relationship or pull the US into an expensive–and unwinnable–cold war that will shelve existential threats like climate change and nuclear war.

Eve Ottenberg (2021-02-05). About Those Executive Orders… counterpunch.org A strange stasis now characterizes U.S. foreign affairs, while on the domestic front, Biden roars ahead. As of January 29, he had signed 42 executive orders. Not one addresses what the U.S. does abroad. True, Biden made the superb move of resuming negotiations over the START nuclear treaty with Russia, and he rejoined the Paris Accords and the World Health Organization. But otherwise, quiet blankets the foreign policy landscape.

Ralph Nader (2021-02-05). The Struggle Inside Senator Mitch McConnell's Brain. counterpunch.org Since 2015, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell has ruled the Senate with an iron hand, describing himself as "the Guardian of Gridlock." He was Senator "NO," except for confirming over 200 mostly corporatist federal judges. Now comes a new challenge for Mitch McConnell as he leads 49 other Republican Senators, twenty of whom are up

RT (2021-02-05). 'America is back!' Biden talks 'tough' on Russia and China, vows to reclaim 'moral leadership & defend democracy'. rt.com In his first major foreign policy address, President Joe Biden vowed to confront the enemies of 'democracy' globally, while seeking to reclaim America's 'moral credibility' and leadership in LGBT and climate change issues. | Speaking at the State Department headquarters in the nation's capital on Thursday, Biden outlined his foreign policy vision in a 20-minute address, laying out a sprawling list of priorities for his administration, among them countering supposed US "adversaries." | "American leadership must meet this new moment of advancing authoritarianism, including the growing ambitions of China to rival…

Conn M. Hallinan (2021-02-05). Biden's Top Foreign Policy Challenge: Avoiding a Cold War with China. juancole.com Taiwan and the South China Sea are the likeliest points of conflict — but conflict is not an option. ( Foreign Policy in Focus) — President Joe Biden's administration faces a host of difficult problems, but in foreign policy its thorniest will be its relations with the People's Republic of China. How the new administration …

RT (2021-02-04). Ukraine appeals to Belarus for emergency electricity, as Lithuania admits it still imports energy from embargoed nuclear reactor. rt.com A Belarusian power station, once dubbed 'Chernobyl II' due to reported safety concerns, is set to do a roaring trade on the European energy market as neighboring countries increasingly find themselves in need of cheap energy. | Lithuania's minister for energy, Dainius Kreivys, told local media on Thursday that, despite efforts to cut the controversial plant out of its grid, the country was still importing significant amounts of its energy. | According to the politician, around 77 million kWh of electricity has been flowing into the Baltic nation at a cost of €4 million ($4.8 million) since the plant began…

Anand Naidoo (2021-02-04). The Heat: Russia politics. america.cgtn.com Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny sentenced to jail in a move criticized by western nations. How will his arrest impact U.S.-Russia relations?>

Dave DeCamp (2021-02-04). NATO Supreme Allied Commander Says West Is Concerned With China-Russia Ties. anti-empire.com On Wednesday, the top general of NATO Gen. Tod Wolters, who currently serves as the head of US European Command and as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, told reporters that the increased ties between Beijing and Moscow "really does suggest an emergence of a partnership of convenience." | Welters said the partnership seeks to advance the mutual…

Andrei Martyanov (2021-02-04). Russia's Zircon Missile Relegates Carriers to Bombing Small Poor Countries. anti-empire.com Judging by the stream of the news re: latest launch by Admiral Gorshkov of 3M22 Zircon, tests are very successful

teleSUR (2021-02-04). EU Open To Use of Approved COVID-19 Vaccines. telesurenglish.net European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday said that COVID-19 vaccines from Russia and China could be approved for use in the European Union (EU) if their full information is submitted. | RELATED: | If Chinese producers "show all the data… then they could get… a conditional market authorization like the other ones," von der Leyen said. | One of the criteria for the EU contracts for vaccines…

MEE correspondent (2021-02-04). Iranian press review: Health officials reject Russia's Covid-19 vaccine. middleeasteye.net Iranian press review: Health officials reject Russia's Covid-19 vaccine | Meanwhile, Tehran hosts Taliban to talk about US-brokered Afghan peace deal, and the Islamic Republic is said to be eying the Caucasus to bypass US sanctions | Thu, 02/04/2021 – 11: 22 | A woman receives an injection during the first trial phase of a locally-made vaccine for Covid-19 in Iran's capital Tehran on 29…

RT (2021-02-04). Putin's approval rating drops slightly to 64%, while Navalny overtakes Communist Party leader in new opinion poll. rt.com Despite recent street protests and the Covid-19 pandemic, almost two in three Russians say they approve of Vladimir Putin's record as president, according to a new poll, representing a slight drop since late last year. | New research, conducted by the Levada Center — a registered foreign polling company that has received Western funding in the past —

RT (2021-02-04). Moscow officials deny conditions at post-protest detention centers are overcrowded as journalist live-blogs time behind bars. rt.com A row has broken out over conditions in Russian jails as facilities struggle to accommodate the large number of arrests made at protests earlier this week in support of imprisoned opposition figure Alexey Navalny. | A series of photographs published on Thursday, purportedly taken by detainees at the Sakharovo immigration detention center in the Moscow Region, which has been co-opted to house arrested demonstrators, show them sleeping two to a bunkbed, or resting at picnic tables. One cell, equipped with four metal beds without mattresses, reportedly housed 28 people. The scenes sparked concern for the wellbein…

RT (2021-02-04). 'I hope it's not in vain': Umar Nurmagomedov stokes hopes of quick UFC turnaround as he plots course to Las Vegas. rt.com The latest undefeated fighter from the Nurmagomedov assembly line, Khabib's cousin Umar, has signaled he is flying to Las Vegas amid talk that the Russian standout could be set to make his sophomore UFC appearance next month. | Umar improved his career record to an impressive 13-0 when he emerged from his UFC debut on "Fight Island" last month with second-round submission win against the gritty Kazakh Sergey Morozov. | Also on rt.com | | Umar's entry…

Susan Price (2021-02-04). We can't give up on a world free from nuclear weapons. greenleft.org.au The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons became international law on January 22 for the 122 states who signed the agreement in July 2017, writes Vijay Prashad.

Kamal Iranidoost (2021-02-04). US sending signals of readiness to return to JCPOA: Russia. en.mehrnews.com TEHRAN, Feb. 04 (MNA) — The Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman has said that the United States new administration is sending signals of principled readiness to return to the JCPOA.

Kamal Iranidoost (2021-02-04). Entry of Russian Sputnik V into Iran. en.mehrnews.com TEHRAN, Feb. 04 (MNA) — The first batch of the Russian V vaccine to immunize against the coronavirus arrived at Tehran Imam Khomeini Airport on Thursday.

Mehr News Agency (2021-02-04). US,E3 foreign ministers expected to discuss Iran soon: report. en.mehrnews.com TEHRAN, Feb. 05 (MNA) — The US, British, French and German foreign ministers are expected to have a conversation soon to discuss how to revive the Iran nuclear deal, four sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Kamal Iranidoost (2021-02-04). Borrell calls for using "maximum diplomacy" towards Iran. en.mehrnews.com TEHRAN, Feb. 04 (MNA) — The EU Foreign Policy Chief Joseph Borrell has called for intensifying efforts to save the Iran nuclear deal, calling for moving from the US maximum Pressure towards "maximum diplomacy."

sputniknews (2021-02-04). Iran May Reverse Religious Ruling Banning Nukes if Israel, US Act Aggressively – Ex-Diplomat. sputniknews.com In 2018, the United States unilaterally withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on Iran. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has stated that the US would reciprocate Iran's resumed compliance with the nuclear deal but would seek a broader agreement that also covers the country's missile program.

teleSUR (2021-02-04). Vaccination of Palestinians To Begin with Russia's Sputnik V. telesurenglish.net This batch consists of 10,000 doses of the prophylactic preparation and should arrive this Thursday, said the expert, who said that the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) also purchased two million doses of other formulations, which will be enough to vaccinate one million citizens. | The vaccines will arrive here between February 14 and 20, said Alkaila, quoted by the Wafa news agency. | RELATED: | The health minister said that the P…

_____ (2021-02-04). Putin Explains Why We Need New Economic Policies. popularresistance.org The President of Russia Vladimir Putin has given a great speech to the Davos 2021 online forum organized by the World Economic Forum. As usual it created little echo in the 'western' media. | Putin sees a new danger of large international conflicts. Economic imbalances have caused socio-political problems in many countries which, when externalized, can lead to international conflicts. | To solve this one has to reject the laissez faire doctrines that caused the economic imbalances. The nation states must intervene more in their economies. The people must be seen as the ends, not the means of such economic policy.

teleSUR (2021-02-04). Cuba Appoints Ambassador To the Eurasian Economic Union. telesurenglish.net Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla on Thursday appointed a permanent Ambassador to the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). | RELATED: | The appointment was preceded by the acceptance of Cuba as an observer member on last Dec. 11, which proved that the country's application was positively received by the EEU countries. | Russian President Vladimir Putin considered Cuba's designation a very positive develop…

Dave DeCamp (2021-02-04). US Dismisses Iran's Offer to Coordinate Return to Nuclear Deal. globalresearch.ca All Global Research articles can be read in 27 languages by activating the "Translate Website" drop down menu on the top banner of our home page (Desktop version). | *** | The US State Department dismissed an idea floated by Iranian Foreign …

Scott Ritter (2021-02-04). Why the Biden Administration Has Set Itself Up for Failure on the Iran Nuclear Deal. globalresearch.ca All Global Research articles can be read in 27 languages by activating the "Translate Website" drop down menu on the top banner of our home page (Desktop version). | *** | By laying out unrealistic demands to Iran and engaging in fearmongering …

Elijah Magnier (2021-02-04). Is the US prepared to come down from the tree and return to the Iranian Nuclear Deal? thealtworld.com The US administration intensified its contacts with its allies in the Middle East to de-escalate the tension Donald Trump created in his last weeks in office. Indirect messages have reached Iran from Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and most recently from Iraq saying that the US has the intention of honouring its commitment and wishes to return to the 2015 deal that was revoked by Trump in 2018 (- it had already responded "positively" last year by rejecting Trump's attempt to strike a deal in his final days of office). Iran did receive the messages and Tehran also responded by sending positive signals to US President Biden vi…

Abdel Bari Atwan (2021-02-04). Reviving the Iran nuclear deal. thealtworld.com Tehran doesn't trust US commitments any longer, it wants to see concrete steps | Direct talks may not have officially started between Iran and the Biden administration about reviving the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal. But negotiations are well underway through the media and statements from both sides intended to convey coded messages to the other. Their substance is not hard for seasoned observers to decipher. | The big question being addressed at present is which side will flinch first in the escalating diplomatic standoff. Will Iran make the opening move by submitting to US demands to resume compliance with the JCPOA…

(2021-02-03). The Threat of Nuclear Weapons with Noam Chomsky. theanalysis.news As the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons enters into force on January 22, join the world-renowned intellectual for "The Threat of Nuclear Weapons: Why Canada Should Sign the UN Nuclear Ban Treaty" Presented by the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute.

Staff (2021-02-03). Jeff Bezos to Quit as CEO, But Amazon's "Predatory Business Model" Will Continue Unless Lawmakers Act. democracynow.org Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has announced he will step down as CEO and move into a new role as executive chairman later this year, giving up the reins after nearly three decades during which he grew Amazon from an online book retailer into a sprawling business empire and became one of the world's richest people in the process. Andy Jassy, the head of the company's cloud computing division, is set to take over the top job, but Bezos will continue to be the largest Amazon shareholder and remain on the board of directors. The news comes as calls continue to mount for lawmakers to break up Amazon and other tech giants.

John Feffer (2021-02-03). What Explains COVID's East-West Divide? counterpunch.org COVID-19 has been ruthless in choosing winners and losers around the world. The obvious "losers" have been those countries led by right-wing nationalists: Brazil, India, Russia, the United Kingdom, and (until recently) the United States. These five countries are responsible for more than half of the world's coronavirus infections and nearly half the deaths. Just

John Vandiver (2021-02-03). Russian Strike Jet Flies Low Past US Destroyer in the Black Sea. anti-empire.com A Russian warplane conducted a low pass near the USS Donald Cook on Sunday in the Black Sea, where the Navy has dispatched three ships for exercises. | The Sukhoi Su-24 fighter-bomber screeched past the U.S. destroyer while it was operating in international waters, the U.S. Navy's 6th Fleet said in a statement. | The Navy said it operates in the Black Sea to reassure allies in the region and "ensure security and stability." | USS Donald Cook is operating alongside the destroyer USS Porter and USNS Laramie, which is refueling the warships during operations. | Refueling at sea is fundamental for the Navy, but doing…

RT (2021-02-03). Western media smeared Moscow's Covid-19 vaccine efforts but new trial data now has countries queuing for Sputnik V Covid-19 jab. rt.com Clinical trial data published in The Lancet medical journal this week shows the Russian-made Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine works for more than nine in 10 people, making it among the most efficacious jabs available. | The formula has been at the center of a fierce information war, with a number of commentators casting aspersions on the evidence that underpinned Russia's decision to urgently register it in August last year. However, it appears that the final word on subject lies with the scientists who published their results on Tuesday. | More than 91 percent of those given the vaccine were estimated to have de…

Peoples Dispatch (2021-02-03). Iran reiterates its commitment to JCPOA, proposes US return to the deal. peoplesdispatch.org Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif, in an interview with CNN, said that talks about nuclear weapons in the western media is baseless speculation aimed at directing public opinion against the country…

Paul Jay (2021-02-03). Where is Biden's Foreign Policy Headed? — Phyllis Bennis and Larry Wilkerson. theanalysis.news Biden has appointed many old guard interventionists and new Cold Warriors, but there is some hope for a better Iran policy. Watch out for attempts by Israel to scuttle the nuclear deal. A wide-ranging discussion with Phyllis Bennis and Larry Wilkerson on theAnalysis.news with Paul Jay.

RT (2021-02-03). Washington joins crusade against free speech, backs Ukrainian crackdown on opposition media as EU & Zelensky's dad voice concerns. rt.com The US has waded into a row over media censorship in Ukraine, backing a ban on opposition TV channels as both the EU and President Volodymyr Zelensky's own father expressed grave concerns over the impact on free speech. | In a statement issued on Twitter Wednesday, the American embassy in Kiev wrote that it "supports efforts yesterday to counter Russia's malign influence." It described the shuttering of broadcasters as "in line with [Ukrainian law], in defense of its sovereignty and territorial integrity." | The US supports üá∫üᶠefforts yesterday to counter Ru…

RT (2021-02-03). Italy 'eagerly waiting' for EU to register Sputnik V vaccine, head of group promoting Russian-Italian ties tells RT. rt.com Italy is interested in the swift approval of Sputnik V by the EU and may not only purchase but could also produce the Russian vaccine, Antonio Fallico, the head of the Conoscere Eurasia Association, told RT. | "We're eagerly waiting for [the European Medicines Agency] to register [the Russian vaccine against the coronavirus]," Fallico said on Wednesday. Moscow lodged its application with the EU watchdog in late January. | Earlier, Undersecretary of Italy's Health Ministry Sandra Zampa

MEE staff (2021-02-03). 'Victory': Iran hails UN court decision to hear case over US sanctions. middleeasteye.net 'Victory': Iran hails UN court decision to hear case over US sanctions | International Court of Justice says it has jurisdiction to take on Iran's case against US over Trump-era sanctions | Wed, 02/03/2021 – 16: 36 | Zarif asked the European Union to coordinate a synchronised return of Washington and Tehran to the nuclear deal (AFP) | Iran's foreign minister hailed a decision by the UN's top court on Wednesday…

Marco Carnelos (2021-02-03). Time is running out for US to rejoin Iran nuclear deal. thealtworld.com As the Biden administration prevaricates, Tehran has issued an ultimatum that could move it closer to a nuclear weapon | US President Joe Biden's political agenda will be monopolised by internal issues for some time, but hotspots around the world will not adjust to his priorities. Given that Biden believes the US should Fortunately, the new president and his advisers seem aware that the best way for…

MEE staff (2021-02-03). 'Victory': Iran hails UN court decision to hear case against US sanctions. middleeasteye.net 'Victory': Iran hails UN court decision to hear case against US sanctions | International Court of Justice says it has jurisdiction to take on Iran's case challenging US over Trump-era sanctions | Wed, 02/03/2021 – 16: 36 | Zarif asked European Union to coordinate synchronised return of Washington and Tehran to nuclear deal (AFP) | Iran's foreign minister hailed a decision by the UN's top court on Wednesday th…

RT (2021-02-03). Russian journalist Sergey Smirnov jailed for 25 days on charges of inciting people to attend pro-Navalny protests. rt.com The editor of Moscow-based news website Mediazona, founded by members of the Pussy Riot punk band, has been handed 25 days behind bars for promoting demonstrations in support of imprisoned opposition figure Alexey Navalny. | On Wednesday, the Tverskoy Court in Moscow read out the sentence for charges relating to repeated violation of a ban on holding mass events. Protests and other unauthorized public gatherings are banned in the capital, and many other Russian regions, under rules aimed at slowing the spread of Covid-19. The charges could have carried up to 30 days in prison. | Mediazona claims that Smirnov w…

RT (2021-02-03). Canadian government designates 'Proud Boys' as terrorist group. rt.com Canada has designated the group 'Proud Boys' as a terrorist entity, following a parliamentary resolution blaming the "white supremacist" group of organizing the January 6 riot at the US Capitol. | 'Proud Boys' were among the thirteen groups designated on Wednesday by Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, under the category of "ideologically motivated violent extremism." | No matter their ideological motivation, these groups are "all hateful, intolerant… and dangerous," Blair said. | The Proud Boys were listed alongside Atomwaffen Division, The Base, the "Russian Imperial Movement," five Islamic State (IS, forme…

Ralph Nader (2021-02-03). The Struggle Inside Senator Mitch McConnell's Brain. commondreams.org Allowing the Trumpian half of his brain to overpower his judgment and vote to acquit Dangerous Donald would spell disaster for the Republican Party (assuming the Democratic Party doesn't go to sleep as it did after Obama's win in 2008). | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/cd_special_coverage/public/views-article/thumbs/mcconnell_biden_0.jpg

sputniknews (2021-02-03). 'It's Just Hard to Understand': Head of US Space Force Complains Not Many Realize Its Purpose. sputniknews.com Ever since former President Trump started talking about it early on during his time in office, the Space Force has gained the attention of many Americans, while lawmakers in both parties see it as integral to ensuring that the military gives space the priority it requires in order to fight China and Russia.

sputniknews (2021-02-03). Russia Urges New UNSC Members to Objectively View Syrian Chemical Dossier, Envoy to UN Says. sputniknews.com UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) – Russia called on the five new UN Security Council member states to objectively treat the Syrian chemical dossier and note the country's readiness to cooperate with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia said.

news.un (2021-02-03). Russia: UN rights office 'deeply dismayed' by Navalny sentencing. news.un.org The UN human rights office, OHCHR, expressed dismay on Wednesday over the sentencing of Russian opposition politician and activist Aleksei Navalny, and urged the authorities to release scores of his supporters arrested during rallies protesting his detention.

Kenny Stancil, staff writer (2021-02-03). 'Makes Us All Safer': Biden Admin Announces Five-Year Extension of New START Nuclear Treaty With Russia. commondreams.org "This welcome step is the start of our efforts to pursue effective arms control that lowers the risks of war and helps prevent arms races," said Secretary of State Antony Blinken. | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/cd_special_coverage/public/headline/thumbs/blinken_2.jpg

commondreams (2021-02-03). U.S. and Russia Extension of Nuclear Weapons Treaty Makes Everyone Safer; What About the Exploding Nuclear Weapons Budget? commondreams.org ______________________________…

Online News Editor (2021-02-03). Over 1,400 arrested after Putin critic Navalny jailed in Russia. laprensalatina.com Moscow, Feb 3 (efe-epa).- Russian police have arrested more than 1,400 people from various places during overnight protests to support jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny, a rights monitoring group said on Wednesday. The OVD-Info that keeps track of political persecutions in Russia said the police detained 1,145 protesters from Moscow streets. Nearly 250 were arrested …

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