2021-02-16: News Headlines

Len Yannielli (2021-02-16). Naugatuck, Conn. students keep Black Lives Matter fight going. peoplesworld.org NAUGATUCK, Conn.—What do the police killing of George Floyd and Naugatuck, Conn., have in common? Plenty. In June 2020, there was a March of 1,100 people in Naugatuck in solidarity with the many George Floyd protests and Black Lives Matter (BLM) marches across the country. It gave birth to the peace and solidarity group Naugatuck …

John Bachtell (2021-02-16). Bill Davis—beloved labor and peace activist, Communist leader—lost to COVID. peoplesworld.org Bill Davis, a long-time trade union and peace activist and Communist Party USA leader, died Jan. 23 in New York while in hospice with COVID-19. He was 78 years old. Davis was a caseworker for the New York City Department of Welfare (later Social Services) and a fixture in the trade union movement. As an …

_____ (2021-02-16). For Peace With North Korea, End The US-South Korea Military Exercises. popularresistance.org One of the thorniest foreign policy challenges the Biden administration will need to face is a nuclear-armed North Korea. Talks between the U.S. and North Korea have been stalled since 2019, and North Korea has continued to develop its weapons arsenal, recently unveiling what appears to be its largest intercontinental ballistic missile. | As a retired U.S. Army Colonel and U.S. diplomat with 40 years of experience, I know all too well how actions by the U.S. military can exacerbate tensions that lead to war. That's why the organization I am a member of, Veterans for Peace, is one of several hundred civil society…

MEE staff (2021-02-16). US urges Yemen's Houthis to join peace talks, stop assault on government stronghold. middleeasteye.net US urges Yemen's Houthis to join peace talks, stop assault on government stronghold | State Department strongly urges Houthi movement to stop its attacks on oil-rich Marib, where deadly offensive threatens lives of millions of civilians | Tue, 02/16/2021 – 16: 31 | Forces loyal to Yemen's Saudi-backed government get into position during clashes with Houthi rebel fighters, northwest of Marib in central Yemen on…

MEE staff (2021-02-16). Israel court rules to expel six Palestinian families from East Jerusalem homes. middleeasteye.net Israel court rules to expel six Palestinian families from East Jerusalem homes | The eviction affects 27 people, in a decision NGO Peace Now says is aimed at dispossessing the Palestinian community of Sheikh Jarrah in favour of settlers | Tue, 02/16/2021 – 14: 04 | Protesters near the house of a Palestinian family, which an Israeli court had ordered to be evicted while declaring Israeli settlers to be the lega…

yenisafak (2021-02-16). Iranians expect Biden to lift sanctions on Tehran. yenisafak.com Suffering for years under tough economic conditions, the Iranian people hope to see the US sanctions against their country lifted by the Joe Biden administration, while appealing to the Tehran government to take a step for the resolution of the problem. | The dispute between Washington and Tehran about the sanctions, Iran's missile program, the 2015 nuclear agreement and regional issues have not subsided. | Biden ruled out on Feb.7 the prospects of lifting sanctions on Iran until Tehran stops enriching uranium. | In his first interview since taking office last month, Biden said his administration would not ease s…

MEE staff (2021-02-16). Israel threatens to forge own path on Iran if US revives nuclear deal. middleeasteye.net Israel threatens to forge own path on Iran if US revives nuclear deal | Ambassador Gilad Erdan says if US were to lift 'crippling' sanctions, Iran will have 'no real incentive to negotiate' | Tue, 02/16/2021 – 15: 23 | Israeli Ambassador Gilad Erdan (R) stressed that without sanctions and a 'credible military threat', Iran will have no motive to negotiate over its nuclear programme (AFP/File photo) | The Israe…

Karl Grossman (2021-02-16). Nuclear Rockets to Mars? counterpunch.org A report advocating rocket propulsion by nuclear power for U.S. missions to Mars, written by a committee packed with individuals deeply involved in nuclear power, was issued last week by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. | The 104-page report also lays out "synergies" in space nuclear activities between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the U.S. military, something not advanced explicitly since the founding of NASA as a civilian agency supposedly in 1958.

Medea Benjamin, Nicolas J. S. Davies (2021-02-16). Is Biden Committing Diplomatic Suicide Over the Iran Nuclear Agreement? counterpunch.org As Congress still struggles to pass a COVID relief bill, the rest of the world is nervously reserving judgment on America's new president and his foreign policy, after successive U.S. administrations have delivered unexpected and damaging shocks to the world and the international system. Cautious international optimism toward Biden is very much based on his

repost (2021-02-16). Petition For Reinstatement Of Fired Namibian Mineworkers Union Rossing Leaders. indybay.org An international petition has been launched to call on the reinstatement of the leaders of the Namibia Mineworkers Union Rossing branch who were illegally fired by the China National Nuclear Corporation CNNC.

Mehr News Agency (2021-02-16). Renegotiating on JCPOA is 'impossible': Pres. Rouhani. en.mehrnews.com TEHRAN, Feb. 16 (MNA) — Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that renegotiation on Iran's nuclear deal, JCPOA, is 'impossible', stating that the ball is in the US court.

RT (2021-02-16). Iran informs UN nuclear watchdog of end to surprise nuclear site inspections this month to enforce act of parliament. rt.com Tehran has notified the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of its parliamentary-approved plan to limit inspections of its nuclear sites from February 23, despite some vocal government opposition to the move. | "Iran informed the IAEA on 15 February that the country will stop implementing voluntary transparency measures under the JCPOA as of 23 February, including the Additional Protocol," the IAEA said in a statement on Tuesday. | At the time the legislation was passed, the government said they did not support the parliamentary decision to terminate surprise inspections and boost enrichment, and called…

_____ (2021-02-16). Nuclear Rockets to Mars? strategic-culture.org By Karl GROSSMAN | A report advocating rocket propulsion by nuclear power for U.S. missions to Mars, written by a committee packed with individuals deeply involved in nuclear power, was issued last week by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. | The 104-page report also lays out "synergies" in space nuclear activities between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the U.S. military, something not advanced explicitly since the founding of NASA as a civilian agency supposedly in 1958. | The report states: "Space nuclear propulsion and power systems have the potential to provid…

_____ (2021-02-16). Washington's Energetic Generals and the Emphasis on Preparation for Nuclear War. strategic-culture.org The Pentagon's energetic generals are beating their war drums and the President has as yet done nothing to rein them in, Brian Cloughley writes. | Some senior generals and admirals in and around Washington have been very busy recently, and their activities, while aggressive, have not been associated with directing current combat operations. Rather, they have been directed at attempting to influence the Administration of newly-elected President Joe Biden to restructure military forces, expand the nuclear arsenal and magnify specific warfighting capabilities. All of this is what might be expected of those whose bu…

Ramzy Baroud (2021-02-16). Europe Will Redefine Itself Despite Political Shift in the US. dissidentvoice.org Despite the long-awaited political change in Washington as Democratic President, Joe Biden, has officially become the 46th President of the United States, Europe is unlikely to resume its previously unhindered reliance on its trans-Atlantic partner. The four years of Donald Trump were rife with tension and strife between the US and Europe — in fact, …

Staff (2021-02-16). Andrés Arauz: Ecuador's Presidential Front-Runner on COVID, Austerity & Ending U.S. Interference. democracynow.org Ecuador's presidential front-runner says the country is facing a "double crisis" of COVID-19 and austerity. "We need a renewal in our politics," Andrés Arauz tells Democracy Now! The left-wing economist secured nearly 33% of the vote in the first round of Ecuador's presidential election on February 7 but fell short of the 40% needed to win outright. He will face right-wing banker Guillermo Lasso or Indigenous candidate Yaku Pérez in a runoff election on April 11, depending on the results of a recount after both candidates secured just over 19% of the vote. Arauz has pledged to end austerity measures imposed by Ec…

Staff (2021-02-16). The Case for Prosecuting Trump: Elie Mystal on Why Criminal Charges Are Still Possible — and Needed. democracynow.org Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she has authorized a 9/11-style commission to further investigate the January 6 insurrection and the actions that led up to it, as calls grow for the criminal prosecution of former President Donald Trump after his acquittal in his second Senate impeachment trial. The Nation's justice correspondent Elie Mystal says House impeachment managers presented "a fairly compelling case for criminal liability" for Donald Trump over the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. "I think there's a case for indictment. I think we should at least try," he says.

RT (2021-02-16). Biden supports 9/11-style commission to 'investigate' US Capitol riot, as suggested by Pelosi, Graham, & others. rt.com White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has said President Joe Biden "would support" Congress creating a 9/11-style commission panel to investigate the January 6 US Capitol riot, as numerous lawmakers have suggested. | A commission has been recommended by both Democrats and Republicans in the wake of the Senate acquitting Donald Trump on the article of impeachment that accused him of "inciting an insurrection" and directly inspiring the storming of the Capitol. | "We need a 9/11 commission to find out what happened and make sure it never happens again, and I want to make sure that the Capitol footprint can be be…

Eds. (2021-02-16). States have no inherent 'right to exist'—but it's a media fixation on Israel/Palestine. mronline.org No state has an intrinsic "right to exist." As international relations scholar Scott Burchill points out, there is no abstract "right to exist" in international law, or in "any serious theory of international relations."

Juan Cole (2021-02-16). Israel stops Palestinians of Gaza from getting 2K doses of Russian Coronavirus Vaccine. juancole.com Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) — According to AFP Arabic, Palestinian Minister of Health Dr. Mai Al-Kilah announced Monday that Israeli authorities halted a shipment of the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine sent to the Palestinian Gaza Strip by the Palestine Authority that is based in Ramallah in the Palestinian West Bank. Israel has subjected the …

yenisafak (2021-02-16). Palestine condemns Israel's blocking of vaccine to Gaza. yenisafak.com The Palestinian government on Tuesday condemned Israel's blocking of coronavirus vaccines into the blockaded Gaza Strip. | "Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called on the WHO to stand by its obligations and work towards the entry of the vaccines into the Gaza Strip," government spokesman Ibrahim Melhem told a press conference. | Health Minister Mai al-Kaila, for her part, said her ministry sent 2,000 doses of the Russian Sputnik-V vaccine to Gaza. | "The [Israeli] occupation, however, refused to let the vaccines into the coastal enclave," al-Kaila said in statements cited by the official Wafa news agency. | Al-Ka…

Binoy Kampmark (2021-02-16). Trouble in Vaccine Land: The Wiliness of South Africa's Coronavirus Variant. counterpunch.org It began as a shudder through the scientific and public health establishments. A new variant of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 had been found, mutating in South African climes, potentially outwitting human responses to it. Vaccines such as Oxford-AstraZeneca's would have to be brushed up. Rollouts would have to be reconsidered. The South African variant has been

Walter Smolarek (2021-02-16). Impeachment fiasco: Trumpism gets new lease on life. liberationnews.org Because of the approach adopted by the Democratic Party in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack, Trump's acquittal was essentially a forgone conclusion.

Bernard Nicolas (2021-02-16). We Need to Talk About Judas. counterpunch.org The new film, Judas and the Black Messiah, is worth seeing, talking about and analyzing with a variety of historical lenses. The historical lenses include the history of Black Cinema, revolutionary cinema, African American history and the history of political repression in the US in general. Every once in a while, an important political film

Steve Sweeney (2021-02-16). Scientists on WHO mission to Wuhan accuse media of biased reportage. mronline.org The U.S. government and many media outlets have queried WHO findings that do not corroborate theories promoted by Washington, such as the virus escaping from a Chinese laboratory.

Mark Gruenberg (2021-02-16). Overcoming company hurdles, 6,000 Amazon workers start union recognition vote. peoplesworld.org BESSEMER, Ala. (PAI)—Overcoming one final company-crafted hurdle, almost 6,000 workers—most of them Black in a 70% Black city—at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., are now voting by mail on whether to unionize. Final results of the balloting, on whether the workers will join the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU), a sector of …

Jill Marlowe (2021-02-16). Gulf Coast faces high eviction rates, despite CDC moratorium. liberationnews.org Eviction rates in the Southeast region are exceeding national levels.

Jeremiah Smith (2021-02-16). Mississippi laws threaten protesters with jail. liberationnews.org In Mississippi, the first of these anti-protest laws was passed in June. The law threatens individuals who protest oil and gas pipelines or other "critical infrastructure" projects with up to 7 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Phelan Acheson (2021-02-16). Catastrophe Capitalism in America. realprogressives.org What is the meaning of "catastrophic" anyways? The sheer amount of death, suffering and misery caused by the neoliberal world order serving the whims of transnational capital is unending. It's so normalized that most people don't even consider the depravity; most people can't, since it's too much to handle. But is It catastrophic? | We're told, "communism killed 100,000,000 in a century" whenever the conversation about making things remotely better or changing our system comes up. Even if that claim, which comes from thinkers and historians diametrically opposed to communism, were true, capitalism kills 20,000…

Olivia Rosane (2021-02-16). Child slavery lawsuit targets Hershey, Nestlé, Mars and other chocolate giants. peoplesworld.org Many people give chocolates as a symbol of love on Valentine's Day, but for some, the popular candy is more bitter than sweet. A human rights group filed a lawsuit Friday on behalf of eight Malian men who say they were trafficked across the border to the Cote D'Ivoire and forced to harvest cocoa for …

Alethea Redfern (2021-02-16). The Weekly Round-up: Phase 2 of the Grenfell Inquiry. ukhumanrightsblog.com In the News: Having been temporarily suspended in early January as a result of an increase in COVID-19 cases, the Grenfell Tower Inquiry hearings resumed on 8 February 2021. The fire killed 72 people. The hearings are being conducted remotely using a Zoom-based video platform, which the Inquiry describes as "a temporary measure to be …

G. Dunkel (2021-02-16). Haiti: The masses are still in the streets. workers.org A twitter post showed hundreds of students taking to the streets of Delmas, near Port-au-Prince, on the morning of Feb. 13, some carrying pictures of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. They were demanding President Jovenel MoàØse, a U.S. puppet, leave office, especially since his term was over Feb. 7. A much . . . |

Ariel Dorfman (2021-02-16). How Spanish Can Help Us Survive Viral Times. counterpunch.org "Una nación bajo Diós, indivisible, con libertad y justicia para todos." When Jennifer López shouted out that last line of the Pledge of Allegiance in Spanish during Joe Biden's inauguration ceremony, like so many Spanish-speaking Latinos in the United States I felt a sense of pride, a sense of arrival. It was a joy to hear my

Marc Norton (2021-02-16). Super Bowl for Sports Team Billionaires: SF Giants owner rakes in $815 million during the pandemic. dissidentvoice.org Oracle Park The assets of Charles Johnson, the controversial chief owner of the San Francisco Giants, increased by $815 million during the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, his net worth was a mere $4.2 billion dollars. By January 2021 he commanded a fortune of $5.015 billion, an increase just short of 20%. Workers at Oracle …

Moira Casados Cassidy (2021-02-16). Karen Lewis and the class-conscious union. liberationnews.org In a moment of crisis, Karen Lewis and the CORE caucus reinvigorated class consciousness in teachers' unions.

Otis Grotewohl (2021-02-16). Karen Lewis, 1953-2021: Lessons from a teacher, leader and courageous fighter. workers.org The global working-class, Black liberation and labor movements lost a courageous fighter when Karen Lewis — former president of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), who famously led a militant, seven-day strike in 2012 — passed away Feb. 7 after a long battle with cancer. Karen Lewis. Credit: John W. Iwanski . . . |

Joe Piette (2021-02-16). Philadelphians demand COVID safety. workers.org Several dozen teachers, parents and community activists protested outside Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenny's home on Feb 12. They were demanding city officials not reopen schools for in-person teaching — until all teachers are vaccinated and all schools are properly ventilated. Educators continue to teach virtually until an arbitrator rules on . . . |

Lyn Neeley (2021-02-16). Oregon care workers dare to strike. workers.org In Springfield, Ore., essential health workers at The Rawlin at Riverbend Memory Care facility have set a Feb. 16 strike deadline to demand union recognition in order to improve staffing, training and turnover — and save residents' lives. They are leading the way for workers throughout their community and the . . . |

Mark Engler, Paul Engler (2021-02-16). It's a Myth that Presidents Welcome Movement Pressure — and Biden is No Different. counterpunch.org In early 2009, as Barack Obama prepared to move into the White House, a particular historical anecdote rapidly gained in popularity, repeated in dozens of talks and articles as a parable for how supporters should respond to the new president taking office. The story related a New Deal-era encounter between Franklin Delano Roosevelt and a group of activists, usually said to have been led by A. Philip Randolph of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. In the meeting, the advocates laid out a vision of bold action for change that the president could advance with his bully pulpit and his executive power. FDR listen…

Peoples Dispatch (2021-02-16). Police arrest Spanish rapper Pablo Hasel. peoplesdispatch.org The Spanish national court served a notice to rapper Pablo Hasel in January asking him to surrender within ten days to face imprisonment. Hasel was convicted on charges of "glorifying terrorism, insulting the crown and state institutions" and faces a two-year prison term.

Eds. (2021-02-16). Biden's first directive to the war machine. mronline.org In his first presidential visit to the Pentagon yesterday, Joe Biden announced the creation of an anti-China task force.

Will Weissert, Alexandra Jaffe (2021-02-16). Workers press Biden to fight for $15 minimum wage. peoplesworld.org WASHINGTON (AP)—Union activist Terrence Wise recalls being laughed at when he began pushing for a national $15 per hour minimum wage almost a decade ago. Nearly a year into the pandemic, the idea isn't so funny. The coronavirus has renewed focus on challenges facing hourly employees who have continued working in grocery stores, gas stations, …

Eds. (2021-02-16). Immigration enforcement and the afterlife of the slave ship. mronline.org Coast Guard techniques for blocking Haitian asylum seekers have their roots in the slave trade. Understanding these connections can help us disentangle immigration policy from white nationalism.

Gary Leupp (2021-02-16). The Trump Cult and Its Future. counterpunch.org I am quite sure the majority of Trump supporters do not embrace the "theory" that the Democratic leaders are pedophile cannibal satanists whom Trump sought to destroy, to protect the children. An amazing minority do, constituting a robust and vital idiot stratum within the Trump coalition. (It is not clear however what QAnon will play

Global Research News (2021-02-16). Selected Articles: The Reshaping of Global Agriculture. globalresearch.ca By Western countries, including Canada, are using experimental mRNA injections in nursing homes, on the most vulnerable of people. …

CP Editor (2021-02-16). Is Solitary Confinement a Form of Torture? Q&A with journalist James Ridgeway. counterpunch.org

RT (2021-02-16). Kamala Harris, not Joe Biden, makes some of the latest calls to world leaders, White House readouts reveal. rt.com While US President Joe Biden was taking a break at Camp David to play video games with his grandchildren, his VP Kamala Harris phoned the president of France to discuss bilateral relations, in a somewhat unusual turn of events. | According to the White House

RT (2021-02-16). After being cancelled, Gina Carano's 'Mandalorian' figure sells for big bucks as thousands demand she be rehired by Disney. rt.com Following her firing from Disney's 'The Mandalorian' over conservative social media posts, Gina Carano's support appears to only be growing as her character's action figure is going for hundreds now that it has been discontinued. | Hasbro has announced it will no longer produce figures for Carano's Cara Dune character from the popular Disney Plus series and even revealed this week plans for another production run were scrapped in the wake of her firing. | "Due to recent events, Hasbro was no longer approved to produce any more of this figure," a rep for retailer BigBadToyStore told The Hollywood Reporter. Hasb…

RT (2021-02-16). Charges dropped against Amy Cooper, aka 'Central Park Karen', after she was made to attend 'racial equality psychoeducation'. rt.com Amy Cooper, the New Yorker branded 'Central Park Karen' by the media following a dispute with a black birdwatcher, has had misdemeanor charges against her dropped after being made to attend "psychoeducation" for "racial equality." | Cooper had been charged with making a false police report after she dramatically called 911 on birdwatcher Christian Cooper and claimed he was "threatening" her "life" during a heated dispute, after he had told her to leash her dog in Central Park's Ramble area — where dogs are required to be leashed — on May 25 last year. | A judge on Tuesday "granted Manhattan prosecuto…

_____ (2021-02-16). Local Resolution Campaign To Shift Money From Military To Human Needs. popularresistance.org Passing local resolutions in favor of moving funding from militarism to human and environmental needs is useful each and every year for the forseeable future. The template below has been used to pass variations on a resolution in numerous locations each year since 2017. It can be varied by country and locality. In 2017, together with our allies, including U.S. Peace Council, Code Pink, and others, we passed resolutions in numerous localities. Then we got resolutions that had been passed by Ithaca and New Haven as well as a third focusing on nuclear weapons to also be passed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors on Jun…

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