2021-02-18: News Headlines

Staff (2021-02-18). Stop blaming the Green New Deal for Texas blackouts. therealnews.com Republican politicians like Texas Gov. Greg Abbott have cynically used overblown and patently false claims that renewable energy failures are responsible for millions losing power and heat during deadly Winter Storm Uri. Critics around the country are calling "BS."

Norman Solomon (2021-02-18). Cuomo and Newsom Symbolize the Rot of Corporate Democrats and the Dire Need for Progressive Populism. counterpunch.org The governors of New York and California — the most populous states led by Democrats — now symbolize how slick liberal images are no substitute for genuinely progressive priorities. After 10 years as New York's governor, Andrew Cuomo is facing an uproar over revelations that his administration intentionally and drastically undercounted the deaths from COVID in nursing homes. Meanwhile,

_____ (2021-02-18). How the Gates Foundation seeded America's COVID-19 policy catastrophes. strategic-culture.org The nursing home death warrants were signed by panicked governors using Gates-funded forecasting. | By Jordan SCHACHTEL | New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is finally facing the heat for his botched and criminally negligent coronavirus response policies, yet no one seems to be asking why Cuomo and select governors made the fateful decisions that led to the excess deaths — and the coverup campaigns — of tens of thousands of senior citizens in New York and elsewhere across the United States. | After being awarded an Emmy and writing a book on his supposedly heroic response to the pandemic, Cuomo is finally…

Jonathan Cook (2021-02-18). Why Politicians and Doctors Keep Ignoring the Medical Research on Vitamin D and Covid. counterpunch.org It is probably not a good idea to write while in the grip of anger. But I am struggling to suppress my emotions about a wasted year, during which politicians and many doctors have ignored a growing body of evidence suggesting that Vitamin D can play a critically important role in the prevention and treatment

Sam Pizzigati (2021-02-18). Rising Inequality: the 'Pre-Existing Condition' That Doomed the U.S. COVID Response. counterpunch.org Back in April 2017, only a few months after Donald Trump's inauguration, one of world's most prestigious medical journals, the London-based Lancet, established a special commission to keep tabs on "Public Policy and Health in the Trump Era." The panel's 33 commissioners — medical professionals of all sorts, along with assorted notables in legal and

Staff (2021-02-18). COVID Deaths in the US Lead to Biggest Drop in Life Expectancy Since WWII. truthout.org Life expectancy in the United States has dropped by a full year, according to new figures released on Thursday. | The current life expectancy of an individual in the U.S. While there have been drops in life expectancy in recent years due to increases in drug overdoses, the decline over the past year, in large part due to the coronavirus pandemic, is the biggest drop i…

Staff (2021-02-18). How to Wear a Mask & When to Wear Two to Reduce COVID Transmission & Increase Vaccine Effectiveness. democracynow.org While COVID-19 infection rates and hospitalizations appear to be waning, the United States has a long way to go before people can safely return to everyday life without masks. Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease physician and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, says it's vital to stay vigilant even as vaccinations ramp up. "If we can get our transmission down as low as possible, that is actually going to make the vaccines more effective."

MEE correspondent (2021-02-18). Iranian press review: Iran plans to export Covid-19 vaccine to the world. middleeasteye.net Iranian press review: Iran plans to export Covid-19 vaccine to the world | Meanwhile, Tehran indicates readiness for Qatar to play mediator role in nuclear talks, and, as the pandemic spreads, the number of Iranians working without a contract rises to seven million | Thu, 02/18/2021 – 10: 58 | A member of the Imam Khomeini Hospital medical personnel receives a dose of Russia's Sputnik V…

RT (2021-02-18). Asking Russia for Sputnik and getting ANAL SWABS in China: US diplomats vent over State Department's Covid-19 vaccine roll-out. rt.com Even though the State Department received almost enough US-made Covid-19 vaccines for every employee, some diplomats have had to ask host countries for jabs and suffered indignities such as anal tests in China, a new report says. | The State Department has received "roughly" 73,000 doses of the US-made Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, but "declined to say" how many of its estimated 75,000 employees it has vaccinated, the Washington Post reported. | Some of the diplomats stationed in Moscow have asked Russia for its Sputnik V vaccine, after Foggy Bottom "could not promise delivery" of American vaccines "in the near…

RT (2021-02-18). Pfizer, BioNTech launch global trials of their Covid-19 vaccine in pregnant women. rt.com US pharma giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech have kicked off an international study into the safety and effectiveness of their coronavirus vaccine in pregnant women, with 4,000 volunteers from nine countries taking part. | Healthy pregnant women in the US have already received their first shots of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab as part of the research, the companies announced on Thursday. They'll soon be joined by fellow test subjects in Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mozambique, South Africa, the UK and Spain. | Women aged 18 and older are to be inoculated during weeks 24-34 of gestation, the later stag…

Online News Editor (2021-02-18). Russia admits to lacking capacity to meet Sputnik V vaccine demand abroad. laprensalatina.com Moscow, Feb 18 (efe-epa).- Russia does not have the capacity to meet international demand for the Sputnik V Covid vaccine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday. "The demand for the Russian vaccine abroad is very high. It is so high that it considerably exceeds production capacity," he said at his daily press conference. The Russian …

Prof Michel Chossudovsky (2021-02-18). Video: The 2020 Worldwide Corona Crisis. globalresearch.ca We bring to the attention of our readers, the English version of this PANGEA TV program which was broadcast live in several regions of Italy. | Maya Nogradi of PANGEA TV interviews Prof. Michel Chossudovsky pertaining to his E-Book entitled: | |

Ramzy Baroud (2021-02-18). "Leaving Aside" International Law: Why Democrats are as Dangerous as Republicans to a Just Peace in Palestine. dissidentvoice.org Motivated by their justifiable aversion to former US President Donald Trump, many analysts have rashly painted a rosy picture of how Democrats could quickly erase the bleak trajectory of the previous Republican administration. This naivety is particularly pronounced in the current spin on the Palestinian-Israeli discourse, which is promoting, again, the illusion that Democrats will …

Ramzy Baroud (2021-02-18). 'Leaving Aside' International Law: Democrats are as Dangerous as Republicans to Peace in Palestine. mintpressnews.com It's easy to discredit the foreign policy agenda of Trump, Pompeo, and other Republicans as their aggressive, dismissive language and action are unmistakably objectionable. The Democratic discourse, however, cannot be as easily censured,…

PAI (2021-02-18). West Virginia workers keep pressure on Manchin for $15 wage. peoplesworld.org CHARLESTON, W. VA. (PAI)—Pam Garrison, of Fayette County, W. Va., has toiled at minimum wage jobs her whole life. She calls it "getting us for slave wages." The minimum wage is "the only thing that hasn't doubled and tripled" since she first started working years ago, says Garrison, co-chair of the New Poor People's Campaign …

Dennis Broe (2021-02-18). 'The Mandalorian' season two: Not cancel but carnivore culture. peoplesworld.org One of the surprise hits of the contemporary streaming era is The Mandalorian, the first original series on Disney+. A surprise not because it was a hit—any Star Wars spinoff is guaranteed to have a wide audience—but because of the magnitude of its popularity and the way it has penetrated the culture. This space Western …

PAI (2021-02-18). Fast food workers forced to walk out again for $15 and a union. peoplesworld.org ST. LOUIS (PAI)—For 40 years as a Black pastor in St. Louis, the Rev. Darryl Gray has seen the impact of low-wage jobs not just on his congregants, but on their kids. That's why he and a wide-ranging ministers' coalition support the Fight for $15 and a Union movement—and raising the federal minimum wage to …

Marilyn Bechtel (2021-02-18). Surge of Anti-Asian hate crimes spurs communities to action. peoplesworld.org OAKLAND, Calif.—As the start of the Lunar New Year approached last week, concern was growing over a surge in hate crimes being experienced by Asian Americans in the San Francisco Bay Area, including several victims who were over 60 years of age. One attack last month in San Francisco was widely publicized when a local …

Eds. (2021-02-18). Role of NGOs in promoting neo-Colonialism. mronline.org There are literally thousands of NGOs, the better known being Oxfam, Greenpeace, and Amnesty International.

Tim Wheeler (2021-02-18). Famed Black journalist Joe Walker's fateful meeting with Malcolm X. peoplesworld.org Joe Walker was already a widely admired African-American journalist when he got a surprising invitation and an offer to become the New York editor of Muhammad Speaks, the Nation of Islam's newspaper. He was summoned to the Harlem Mosque of the Black Muslims for a private meeting. And who was the meeting with? Malcolm X. …

IMEMC News (2021-02-18). Palestinian Woman Dies Of Heart Attack After Soldiers Stormed Her Home. imemc.org A Palestinian woman suffered a fatal heart attack, on Wednesday at dawn, when Israeli soldiers stormed into her home in Abu Njeim village, east of Bethlehem, south of occupied Jerusalem in the West Bank. Medical sources said the woman, identified as Rahma Khalil Abu 'Ahour, 67, suffered a heart attack when the soldiers invaded her …

Eds. (2021-02-18). 'Only the strong will survive': Texas city mayor resigns for lashing out at residents asking for help during deadly storm. mronline.org The now former mayor of Colorado City, Texas, Tim Boyd, has resigned after two Facebook posts telling people needing help and without electricity that they are on their own.

Raúl Zibechi (2021-02-18). China avanza desde el mar de Sur hasta Medio Oriente y Europa. globalizacion.ca La disputa por el Mar del Sur de China se sigue intensificando, pero el Dragón va colocando sus fichas de forma gradual, implacable e incontenible, como lo muestran los recientes desarrollos de una estrategia largamente diseñada, que parece estar poniendo…

Joe Piette (2021-02-18). 'Release Mumia NOW!' was the cry in Philadelphia. workers.org Pam Africa (right), speaking at rally, Feb. 15. Philadelphia On less than 24 hours' notice, more than 40 people came out on Feb. 15 to show their opposition to a Feb. 3 legal brief by Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, a so-called "progressive." It denies Mumia Abu-Jamal the right to . . . |

IMEMC News (2021-02-18). Soldiers Abduct Two Palestinian In Jerusalem. imemc.org Israeli soldiers abducted, on Wednesday night after midnight, two young Palestinian men in Shu'fat town, in the occupied Palestinian capital, Jerusalem. Local sources said the two young men were walking near the main road of Shu'fat when the soldiers stopped them and took them to an interrogation facility in Neve Yaakov illegal colony. They added …

Monica Moorehead (2021-02-18). L.D. Barkley — A leader in the Attica uprising. workers.org L.D. Barkley, second from the right, and other Attica rebellion leaders negotiating with prison officials, Sept. 1971. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Attica Prison Uprising. The following slightly edited excerpt is from the book "A Time To Die: The Attica Prison Revolt" by the late New York . . . |

The Socialist Program (2021-02-18). Capitalism in Crisis: An Absurd & Deadly System. liberationnews.org This interview is an episode of The Socialist Program with Brian Becker, a podcast providing news and views about the world for those who want to change it. You can follow the show on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Brian and Prof. Wolff discuss how deeply dependent big banks and corporations are on government assistance, the …

Thomas Klikauer — Norman Simms (2021-02-18). What is Digital Fascism? counterpunch.org At least since the great Italian author Umberto Eco's description of the fourteen points that define classical fascism, many readers know what fascism is — at least in theory. New research describes Italo-German fascism (1920s—1940s) as classical fascism. It contrasts classical fascism with a new variant, digital fascism.

Judy Greenspan (2021-02-18). Leonard Peltier Defense Committee urgently needs support. workers.org The International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee has launched an urgent appeal for funds to support legal efforts to free this Native political prisoner, who has been held in U.S. dungeons for nearly 45 years. Peltier is a leader of the American Indian Movement, who was framed and jailed for the . . . |

Jim Soliz, Antonio García (2021-02-18). Proponen manifestaciones en Santa Clarita, Lancaster, Bakersfield contra Trumpistas en Congreso. peoplesworld.org Se escala la oposición contra el dirigente Republicano congresista Kevin McCarthy del Distrito Congressional 23 y su co-representante Mike Garcia en el Distrito 25. Esto viene a consecuencia en que estos representantes se oponen a denunciar a Donald Trump por el atentado golpe de estado contra el electo presidente Joe Biden y la violencia ocurrida …

Peoples Dispatch (2021-02-18). Colombian students demand free higher-education for 2021. peoplesdispatch.org Students from different public universities of Colombia have been demonstrating to demand that the national and municipal governments guarantee free tuition for all students across the country this year…

John Perry (2021-02-18). If It Were a Narco Lab, It Would be Working. counterpunch.org On the day he was inaugurated, Joe Biden halted the construction of Trump's Mexican border wall. A few days earlier, 1500 miles to the south, a new 'caravan' of at least eight thousand Honduran migrants had set off northwards, partly in the hope that by the time they tried to cross into Texas, Biden's promised softening of immigration policy might have taken effect.

Melvin Goodman (2021-02-18). George Shultz's Character Study of Robert Gates. counterpunch.org In January 1986, Shultz told Gates that he had no "confidence in the intelligence community" and that he "wouldn't trust anything you guys said about Iran no matter what." Shultz charged Gates with "trying to manipulate me" and accused him of trying to create an "alternate State Department with its own strong policy views." Shultz conceded that his department made mistakes, but that Gates' "assaults are almost joyful."

Raul Diego (2021-02-18). Prisons Prime Testing Ground for Dehumanizing Hi-Tech "Advances" mintpressnews.com A new form of exploitation, known as "stakeholder capitalism," is already being tested in many places around the world and prisons are among the main targets for its implementation, as they provide an ideal and literally captive market for its proof of concept.

Melvin Goodman (2021-02-18). George Schultz's Character Study of Robert Gates. counterpunch.org In January 1986, Shultz told Gates that he had no "confidence in the intelligence community" and that he "wouldn't trust anything you guys said about Iran no matter what." Shultz charged Gates with "trying to manipulate me" and accused him of trying to create an "alternate State Department with its own strong policy views." Shultz conceded that his department made mistakes, but that Gates' "assaults are almost joyful."

Jim Soliz, Antonio García (2021-02-18). California Republicans Kevin McCarthy and Mike Garcia face opposition. peoplesworld.org SANTA CLARITA, Calif.—From the 'burbs of Los Angeles County to the sandy hills of Antelope Valley to Bakersfield, the fightback against the Congressional Republican leader Kevin McCarthy of the 23rd Congressional District and his colleague Mike Garcia, Representative from California's 25th C.D., continues to escalate. Fed by the refusal of McCarthy and Garcia to meet …

The Conversation (2021-02-18). Nonviolent Noncooperation: Why Indian farmers' protests are being called a 'satyagraha' — which means 'embracing the truth'. juancole.com By Sumit Ganguly | — For the past few months, farmers protesting in India's capital, New Delhi, have been demanding the repeal of three farm laws that were passed last year. These largely peaceful protests have been referred to as a "satyagraha" by many in the Indian media, politicians and activists. As a political scientist …

Gloria La Riva (2021-02-18). In Texas disaster, low-income people hit hardest. liberationnews.org Eyewitness: In the midst of the massive Texas storm, last night I was fortunate to stay in a shelter in Sealy, Texas, one hour west of Houston.

Staff (2021-02-18). Henry Louis Gates Jr. (Pt.2) — The Black Church. therealnews.com In the second part of our conversation, Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. further explores his new documentary "The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song." The new series reveals the broad history and culture of the Black church and explores African American faith communities on the front lines of hope and change.

Media Lens (2021-02-18). "Our Indifference To Ourselves": Beyond The "Virtue" Of Self-Sacrifice (Part 2). dissidentvoice.org As we saw in Part 1, in 1914 and again in 1939, millions of men and women welcomed war. Arnold Ridley and his pals did make this choice, but in reality the choice had been made for them by decades and centuries of the relentless 'patriotic' propaganda described by Tolstoy, which most people were powerless …

Workers World Party (2021-02-18). PDF of February 18 issue. workers.org Download the PDF. Alabama — Roll the union on! Solidarity with Amazon organizing; Class struggle then and now. BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Tribute to George Jackson L.D. Barkley, martyred in Attica uprising A fighting union leader: Karen Lewis ALSO: Care workers dare to strike; $1K per hour union busters; Electric vehicles . . . |

Eds. (2021-02-18). Taxes on the rich: One-sixth of what they used to be. mronline.org A new IPS briefing paper highlights the unique role of tax policy in wealth concentration.

Global Research News (2021-02-18). Selected Articles: Pandemic Revelations. globalresearch.ca By We bring to the attention of our readers, this important international statement by health professionals, medical doctors and scientists,…

Staff (2021-02-18). "Not Doing This Is a Choice": Biden Drags His Feet on Canceling Student Debt Despite Campaign Pledge. democracynow.org Students, campaigners and top Democrats have been pushing President Joe Biden to use executive authority to cancel at least $50,000 in student loan debt per person. Student loan debt in the U.S. stands at $1.7 trillion, with some 45 million people owing money. Filmmaker and organizer Astra Taylor, an author, documentary director and organizer with the Debt Collective, says Biden has clear legal authority to cancel student debt. "Not doing this is a choice," she says. We also speak with Braxton Brewington, a digital strategist with the Debt Collective, who says student debt cancellation is also politically smart.

Staff (2021-02-18). "No Hate! No Fear!" Democracy Now! Co-Host Nermeen Shaikh Celebrates 10 Years Covering War & Peace. democracynow.org As Democracy Now! prepares to mark 25 years on air, we celebrate Nermeen Shaikh's 10th anniversary as a Democracy Now! co-host and feature a report she filed from protests at New York's JFK Airport against the Trump administration's Muslim ban, one of the many highlights from her time on the program.

Staff (2021-02-18). Failed State: Texas Power Grid Collapse Impacts Millions. Black & Brown Communities Are Worst Hit. democracynow.org Millions of people in Texas were plunged into freezing cold and darkness as a major winter storm overwhelmed the state's power grid. More than 12 million Texans face water disruptions and have been ordered to boil tap water for safe consumption, and some parts of the state have no running water at all. The state is also running out of food as the storms disrupt key supply chains. Leading Republicans, including Texas Governor Greg Abbott, falsely blamed renewable energy sources for the state's blackouts, warning against a shift to more green energy, but the state's own energy department said the outages were prima…

RT (2021-02-18). Texas halts natural gas exports as states scrambles to end power outages. rt.com Texas Governor Greg Abbott has ordered energy companies to temporarily suspend out-of-state sales of natural gas, amid ongoing power outages triggered by a deadly winter storm. | Read more | | The governor announced during a media briefing on Wednesday that he had issued a decree forbidding gas producers from selling to clients outside the state through February 21. | Citing the current weather crisis that has crippled the sta…

RT (2021-02-18). 'My family freezing, my senator is in Cancun': Twitter explodes as Ted Cruz accused of traveling out of storm-hit Texas. rt.com Anger has been spilling on Twitter over photos that purportedly show Texas Senator Ted Cruz boarding a plane to Cancun, Mexico. People criticized him for "fleeing" when his state has been badly hit with extreme cold. | Several photos that have been circulating on social media since Wednesday appear to show Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and his family arriving at the airport and then boarding a flight — allegedly heading to Cancun, Mexico. | It appears in the middle of the worst energy crisis in the history of Texas,

RT (2021-02-18). Stomachs churn after Portland police face-off with crowd picking through mountain of food… tossed during power outage (PHOTOS). rt.com Portland, Oregon has made headlines after police were called in to stop people from rummaging through a dumpster full of food that allegedly spoiled due to a power outage. Social media users found the incident hard to stomach. | A power outage caused by a winter storm that has wreaked havoc on multiple US states prompted a supermarket to discard perishable items deemed unsafe due to lack of proper refrigeration. After two dumpsters were filled with meat, dairy and other items, a small group of people began to form in the store's parking lot, apparently angry that so much food was being discarded. Photographs s…

Anand Naidoo (2021-02-18). The Heat: South Africa's Challenges. america.cgtn.com As South Africa battles COVID-19, it is also dealing with a series of challenges on several fronts including the economy and jobs.

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