2021-03-01: News Headlines

RT (2021-03-01). 'He'll be gone in the spring': Belarusian opposition figurehead Tikhanovskaya says Lukashenko will be removed from office in 2021. rt.com Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko will leave his post this year, maybe even before spring ends. That's according to former presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who says peaceful protest will soon reap rewards. | Speaking to the German weekend newspaper Bild am Sonntag, Tikhanovskaya revealed her belief that both external and internal pressure on the long-time leader will lead to his replacement. | "We hope for a strong alliance with the new US administration and the EU. Pressure will increase day by day, and at some point, it will become too much for Lukashenko, and he will leave," she said.

Staff (2021-03-01). U.S. Says Saudi Crown Prince MBS Approved Assassination of Khashoggi, But He Avoids Any Sanctions. democracynow.org The Biden administration has released a declassified report that finds Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, responsible for the assassination of Saudi dissident and Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. But the U.S. does not plan to sanction the crown prince, though the administration has announced travel restrictions to dozens of other Saudi officials. The decision is being criticized by human rights groups and friends of the late Khashoggi. "It's important to not point fingers but also to sanction MBS … and to treat him as the pariah he is, like Biden promised during…

MEE, agencies (2021-03-01). Khashoggi murder: Fiancee demands punishment for Saudi prince 'without delay'. middleeasteye.net Khashoggi murder: Fiancee demands punishment for Saudi prince 'without delay' | A CIA report has accused Mohammed bin Salman of approving Khashoggi's murder, but Washington stopped short of sanctioning him | Mon, 03/01/2021 – 08: 36 | Hatice Cengiz says 'there is no longer any political legitimacy' for Mohammed bin Salman after US intelligence report concluded he authorised the murder of J…

sputniknews (2021-03-01). Tehran Says US Should Lift Anti-Iranian Sanctions Before Talks on Restoring Nuclear Deal. sputniknews.com Washington previously stated that the US is "ready to reengage in meaningful diplomacy to achieve a mutual return to compliance with [the deal's] commitments".

_____ (2021-03-01). Biden's Reckless Syria Bombing Is Not The Diplomacy He Promised. popularresistance.org The February 25 U.S. bombing of Syria immediately puts the policies of the newly-formed Biden administration into sharp relief. Why is this administration bombing the sovereign nation of Syria? Why is it bombing "Iranian-backed militias" who pose absolutely no threat to the United States and are actually involved in fighting ISIS? If this is about getting more leverage vis-a-vis Iran, why hasn't the Biden administration just done what it said it would do: rejoin the Iran nuclear deal and de-escalate the Middle East conflicts? | According to the Pentagon, the U.S. strike was in response to the February 15 rocket a…

Staff (2021-03-01). Biden "Illegally" Bombs Iranian-Backed Militias in Syria, Jeopardizing Nuclear Talks with Tehran. democracynow.org The Biden administration is facing intense criticism from U.S. progressives after carrying out airstrikes on eastern Syria said to be targeting Iranian-backed militia groups. The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports at least 22 people died. The Pentagon called the assault a response to recent rocket attacks on U.S. forces in northern Iraq. Those attacks came more than a year after Iraq's parliament voted to expel U.S. troops — an order ignored by both the Trump and Biden administrations. "Very quickly the Biden administration is falling into the same old patterns of before, of responding…

sputniknews (2021-03-01). London Ready to Review Proposals on Nuclear Arms Treaty, UK Envoy to UN Says. sputniknews.com UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) – The United Kingdom is ready to consider any proposals on a nuclear arms reduction treaty but believes that it meets all its obligations in the area, the UK permanent representative to the United Nations, Barbara Woodward, told Ria Novosti.

sputniknews (2021-03-01). Ex-Soviet Leader Gorbachev: Entire World Must Tackle Nuclear Issue. sputniknews.com MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev believes the whole world should now act to tackle the nuclear problem without falling into hopelessness.

Marina Wheeler QC (2021-03-01). Supreme Court: Shamima Begum may be barred from UK. ukhumanrightsblog.com Special Immigration Appeals Commission and Secretary of State for the Home Department v R (Begum) [2021] UKSC 7 Since 2019 when Shamima Begum was found in a camp in north Syria, her hopes of returning to the UK have ebbed and flowed (see here and here). Stripped of her British citizenship, she brought three sets …

Chuck Collins — Omar Ocampo (2021-03-01). Financial Reserves and the Racial Wealth Gap. counterpunch.org Why is it that the wealthiest country on earth has the highest death toll of any nation in the world? And why are Black and Latino people among those experiencing the greatest mortality and hardship during the pandemic? There is excellent research on how the Black-white wealth gap left Black households more vulnerable (see resources

Staff (2021-03-01). Rep. Ro Khanna: Democrats Should Ignore the Senate Parliamentarian and Pass $15 Minimum Wage Hike. democracynow.org The House of Representatives has voted to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package that includes an increase to the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour, which could now be stripped out in the final bill after the unelected Senate parliamentarian found it does not comply with budget rules. Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have also said they'll oppose the measure. Congressmember Ro Khanna of California says the parliamentarian "misruled" in this case and that Democrats should pass the wage hike anyway. "I don't know any part of this count…

RT (2021-03-01). Beijing accused of using Covid pandemic to control journalists — foreign media group report. rt.com The Foreign Correspondents' Club of China (FCCC) has accused Beijing of using Covid-19 as "yet another way to control journalists," curbing visas and surveilling reporters. China says it's protecting its citizens from the virus. | The FCCC, which is the professional association of Beijing-based journalists reporting on China, has argued that 2020 had seen a "rapid decline in media freedom," implemented under the cover of measures that were used to combat the spread of coronavirus. | In its annual report released on Monday the press group claimed these restrictions were placed on journalists to prevent them fro…

sputniknews (2021-03-01). Russian Vaccines Effective Against COVID Mutations 'Scaring Everyone in Europe', Putin Says. sputniknews.com The mutated variants of the virus resulted in the tightening of pandemic restrictions in Europe, with the highly-virulent British strain forcing the UK to go into national lockdown, while many nations suspended travel to and from Britain, to curb the pandemic.

RT (2021-03-01). It's always Putin! Russian president engineered coup in Armenia because Pashinyan insulted Moscow's missiles, Western media claims. rt.com Not content with fixing US elections and making sure your favorite sports team loses, Vladimir Putin's shadowy hand is now behind a power struggle in Yerevan, after a row over rockets. At least, that's according to American media. | In an article by journalist Anna Nemtsova published on Friday, New York-based outlet The Daily Beast

M.K. Bhadrakumar (2021-03-01). U.S. exceptionalism surges again. Will it fly? mronline.org In a statement marking the "return" of the United States to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Wednesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken disclosed that the Biden Administration is placing democracy and human rights at the centre of American foreign policy.

Peoples Dispatch (2021-03-01). Persecution of communists in Russia draws widespread criticism. peoplesdispatch.org On February 26, the Communist Party of Russian Federation (KPRF) slammed the persecution of communist leader Yevgeny Ulyanov by the Karelian regional authorities. Ulyanov has been accused of organizing a gathering on February 23 at the center of Petrozavodsk near the Lenin monument, defying the ban imposed by the authorities. | Adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols, gatherings were organized across Russia on February 23 under the leadership of the KPRF and the Leninist Komsomol to commemorate the 103rd foundation anniversary of the Soviet Red Army. The day is also an official state holiday. Authorities have tried…

RT (2021-03-01). NHS Providers calls for urgent review into 'insufficient' critical care capacity. rt.com NHS Providers has called for a review into "insufficient" critical care capacity in England, citing three regions as being of key concern, at a time when the NHS found itself overwhelmed by Covid-19 cases earlier this year. | The organisation, which includes NHS hospital, mental health, community and ambulance services, called on the government to conduct an investigation into failings in the current system after an analysis showed the UK has the lowest number of critical care beds per head in Europe. | The analysis by NHS Providers uncovered that, per 100,000 people, the UK only has 7.3 critical care beds, co…

RT (2021-03-01). New Zealand PM urges public to 'call out' family & friends who break Covid-19 rules, who let down 'team of five million'. rt.com New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has urged obedient members of the public to call out violators of coronavirus rules, as it emerged people have been concealing Covid-19 contacts. | Speaking on Monday about recent Covid-19 cases that are linked to breaches of anti-coronavirus restrictions, Ardern aimed mighty jabs at rule breakers. | Even with the full understanding of human fallibility, it is not appropriate, and it is not okay for members of a team of five million to let the rest of us down. | Ruling out punishments for the violators handed out directly by the government, and citing the separation…

RT (2021-03-01). EU-wide Covid-19 vaccine passport proposals to be brought forward by Brussels, says von der Leyen. rt.com The European Commission president has said Brussels will launch a proposal for the introduction of digital vaccine passports for use across the bloc in March, after the German chancellor said it should be ready by the summer. | "As for the question of what the digital green passport could look like, we will submit a legislative proposal in March," Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told German conservative lawmakers on Monday. | Von der Leyen's remarks came after German Chancellor Angela Merkel claimed that the vaccine passport would be ready in time for the summer, with a number of southern European st…

RT (2021-03-01). Indian PM Modi receives domestic coronavirus vaccine as country expands inoculation program to seniors. rt.com Indian PM Narendra Modi has received his first shot of the country's domestically produced Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin, kicking off the second stage of the nation's massive inoculation drive, which is now focused on the elderly. | India entered its next stage of the mass-vaccination campaign on Monday, expanding the drive to include people aged over 60 and those over 45 who have chronic illnesses. The 70-year-old prime minister became the first person to get the jab at Delhi's AIIMS hospital. | "Remarkable how our doctors and scientists have worked in quick time to strengthen the global fight against Covid-19,"

RT (2021-03-01). Family with young child rescued, warned after camping on CLIFF EDGE known for landslides (PHOTO). rt.com Police and coastguard officers responded to a call after a couple were spotted camping on a cliff edge with their young child, in contravention of lockdown rules and, arguably, common sense. | Rescue teams from Staithes and Whitby coastguard agencies, along with responding police officers, happened upon the couple's tent on Cleveland Way in North Yorkshire on Saturday. | www.facebook.com/staithes.coastguard/posts/1857131324439338 | The police were called as the family had breached Covid restrictions, though it is unclear whether or not they received a fine. Overnight stays away from a person's primary…

RT (2021-03-01). Covid-19 virus didn't originate naturally but is actually a BIOWEAPON, most Russians believe, according to explosive new poll. rt.com The world has been savaged by a killer virus that escaped a top-secret lab or was unleashed by shadowy forces. It might sound like the plot of a Hollywood film, but a new poll has found it's also how most Russians see Covid-19.

RT (2021-03-01). UK authorities' plea for mystery person infected with 'Brazilian' Covid-19 strain to come forward. rt.com Health officials in England are looking for an unidentified person who was infected with a mutated 'Brazilian variant' of SARS-CoV-19 and slipped under the radar. They are one of six known cases in the UK. | The P1 strain was first detected in people coming to Japan from the Brazilian city of Manus and resembles the so-called South African variant, which is more infectious than 'regular' variants of the virus. Samples collected from six individuals were sequenced as part of the UK's national research of Covid-19 mutations. Public Health England (PHE) could not determine who provided one of them, the organisati…

RT (2021-03-01). Virus reduces fitness of former Covid-19 patients aged 45 to level of 80-year-olds, Israeli researchers discover. rt.com One of Israel's top medical centers has published a worrying study about the long-term effects of the coronavirus, revealing that 45-year-old former patients performed during physical tests as if they were aged 80. | Some 30 people aged 45, on average, took part in the survey carried out by the Beilinson Medical Center in Petah Tikva, the Times of Israel Three months after they had been officially cleared of the disease, the former Covid-19…

RT (2021-03-01). Macron says France's Covid curfew in place for another '4 to 6 weeks' as contagious UK variant accounts for more half of all cases. rt.com French President Emmanuel Macron has called on the nation to "hold out" for at least another month before the country can think about easing Covid-induced restrictions and the current 6pm curfew. | Speaking with a group of industrial trade trainees on Monday, Macron dismissed, with a smile, the request of a young man to relax France's 6pm curfew. The president told the students that the nation's curfew would need to remain in place for another four to six weeks, amid indicators the epidemic is on the rise again in France. | Further measures may be brought in across the 20 departments in France which have alrea…

RT (2021-03-01). Discovery of Brazilian variant in UK won't derail plans to ease Covid lockdown in England, PM Johnson says. rt.com UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that the discovery of the highly contagious 'P1' Brazilian variant of Covid-19 will not derail his government's plans to ease lockdown restrictions in England in the coming weeks. | The PM said there is currently no reason to change plans to start reopening England after three months of a third national lockdown. Schools and colleges are set to return to in-person learning from March 8, with restrictions on shops and businesses, pubs and gatherings being eased over the next three months — infection rates permitting. | Earlier on Monday, Prof Graham Medley, who head…

RT (2021-03-01). Deep 'psychological pain': Japan urges China to stop subjecting its citizens to Covid-19 ANAL SWABS. rt.com Tokyo has requested Beijing stop subjecting Japanese nationals in China to anal swab testing for Covid-19, urging it use alternative methods instead. The procedure is said to inflict "great psychological pain" on test subjects. | The coronavirus testing issue was brought up by Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato during a press conference on Monday. | Some Japanese reported to our embassy in China that they received anal swab tests, which caused a great psychological pain. | Japan has already requested Beijing halt the controversial testing, sticking to other methods instead. So far, China has not re…

RT (2021-03-01). Chinese investment in Australia plunges to RECORD LOW amid escalating trade row. rt.com New data from the Australian National University (ANU) showed Chinese investment in Australia dropped by more than 61 percent in 2020, to just over a billion Australian dollars (US$780 million) — the lowest in the past six years. | According to figures from the Chinese Investment in Australia Database (CHIIA), the drop followed a 47 percent fall in 2019, when Chinese investment totaled US$1.57 billion. It was also well short of the peak of US$12.7 billion recorded in 2016. | "It reflects the effects of Covid, but also more scrutiny of foreign investment by the Australian government, particularly that fro…

RT (2021-03-01). Fauci brushes off critique after South Dakota Governor Noem says Biden's Covid czar 'IS WRONG A LOT' to standing ovation at CPAC. rt.com White House adviser Anthony Fauci and his media allies have joined forces in rebuking Kristi Noem after the lockdown-skeptic South Dakota governor had the temerity to criticize the Covid czar's forecast she said hadn't come true. | Noem on Saturday took on Fauci's lockdown advice while making her case at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for conservative values and respecting individual liberties. | "He told me that on my worst day, I'd have 10,000 patients in the hospital," Noem said. "On our worst day, we had a little over 600. Now, I don't know if you agree with me, but Dr. Fauci is wrong…

RT (2021-03-01). Prague deploys troops on Czech streets to enforce severe new Covid rules amid record infection rate, spike in hospitalizations. rt.com Some 30,000 police and soldiers have been deployed across the Czech Republic and at 500 security checkpoints set up in a bid to enforce toughened coronavirus rules, as the country battles the world's worst infection rate. | The new measures, introduced on Monday, ban Czechs from leaving their district except for essential reasons, like caring for vulnerable people or working. | Officers are allowed to conduct random spot checks and people are required to produce personal documentation on request, with fines of up to 20,000 Czech koruna ($920) for rule-breakers. | Higher-grade face masks are also now mandatory…

sputniknews (2021-03-01). Russia Working on COVID-19 Vaccine That Develops Cellular Immunity. sputniknews.com According to the head of the Russian Federal Medical‚ÄëBiological Agency, Veronika Skvortsova, the developers hope to start the clinical testing of the novel inoculation closer to July.

sputniknews (2021-03-01). Russia; Armenia; Scottish National Party; Coronavirus & Lockdown. sputniknews.com Join George Galloway on the new home for the Mother of All Talk Shows – this week we talk about Russia, Armenia, Scottish National Party, and all about lockdown & Covid-19…

Staff (2021-03-01). Burmese Scholar: Military Junta Using Terror Against "Entire Population" to Keep Power After Coup. democracynow.org In Burma, mass protests continue after at least 18 people were killed in anti-coup protests, marking the deadliest day since the February 1 military coup which deposed and detained de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Police fired live ammunition into crowds as Burmese forces steadily escalated their crackdown. One local group says 1,000 people were arrested, including journalists and medical professionals. "The coup group and the entire security sector … have essentially terrorized the entire population," says Maung Zarni, a Burmese scholar, dissident and human rights activist. "I have seen absolutely nothing lik…

Rosalind English (2021-03-01). Parent company owes duty of care in transnational cases — Hague Court of Appeal. ukhumanrightsblog.com The Hague Court of Appeal has recently handed down a ruling that is of profound importance to environmental lawyers. It is not only the first case at the appellate level in Europe that has resulted in a victory on the merits for the victims, but also the first case to hold that a parent company …

William Craig Cohen (2021-03-01). The Weekly Round-Up: Unconventional Harm Reduction and Shamima Begum's Final Appeal. ukhumanrightsblog.com In the news: The UK has seen an increasingly falling rate in arrests and prosecutions for cannabis possession over recent years, as police forces no longer see the point in enforcement. The Liberal Democrats have campaigned for its legalisation since 2016, and the first medically-prescribed cannabis was permitted in the UK in 2018. However, crucial …

Ed Rampell (2021-03-01). 'Hollywood's Architect: The Paul R. Williams Story' at PAFF. peoplesworld.org Co-directors Royal Kennedy Rodgers and Kathy McCampbell Vance's Hollywood's Architect: The Paul R. Williams Story is a nonfiction biopic about the African-American talent who rose to become the so-called "Architect of the Stars" when Jim Crow was still the scourge of the land. Born 1894 in L.A., Paul Revere Williams's real-life story of overcoming adversity …

Eds. (2021-03-01). Ecosocialism versus degrowth: a false dilemma. mronline.org Ecosocialists and degrowthers need to map the many overlaps of their views to improve the effectiveness of their shared struggle for an ecologically-sound and socially-fair world free from patriarchal, racial and colonial legacy.

Eds. (2021-03-01). BJP begins to pay political price as farmers struggle completes three months. mronline.org IN the week before the historic nationwide farmers' struggle completed three months on February 26, the BJP has begun to pay a heavy political price for its pro-corporate adamancy.

Rosalind English (2021-03-01). Law Pod UK: AI and the Law. ukhumanrightsblog.com In the latest episode of Law Pod UK Rosalind English talks to Matt Hervey, co-editor with Matthew Lavy of a new practitioner's text book on Artificial Intelligence. Matt is Head of Artificial Intelligence at Gowling WLG., and advises on all aspects of AI and Intellectual Property, particularly in relation to the life sciences, automotive, aviation, …

Stephen F. Eisenman (2021-03-01). A Modest Proposal for Establishing a Strategic Toddler Reserve. counterpunch.org For the purpose of maintaining adult friendships, protecting household pets, saving monkeys, and benefiting biomedical research — prompted by a recent, reckless article in the NYTimes (With Apologies to Jonathan Swift) How many times have we had the unfortunate experience of visiting the home of a dear friend or colleague, only to discover everything changed.

Fred Gardner (2021-03-01). The Villain Leshner. counterpunch.org I don't know which chemicals are released in which parts of the brain, but there's a pleasurable rush when you find yourself in agreement with someone who has been observing the same scene from a completely different angle. Civilians who opposed US intervention in Vietnam in the 1960s will remember how affirming it was to see

Oorna Raut — Riya Behl (2021-03-01). Pushing the Tempo at Mumbai's Farmer Sit-In. counterpunch.org Navshya Kuvra had just finished playing his dhumsi (drum) for about 40 protestors dancing at south Mumbai's Azad Maidan. Just as he sat down to rest, around 11 at night, three man approached him. "Is it a wedding? What date?" asked Navshya. They conversed, phone numbers were exchanged, and the three moved away. Navshya turned

Terry Bisson (2021-03-01). The "Murder" of John Hunt Morgan: "You Have Just Killed the Best Man in the Confederacy!" counterpunch.org John Hunt Morgan, the "Kentucky Cavalier," readily embraced the role he was born into. Raised in wealthy Lexington, a scion of Bluegrass planter aristocrats, famously expelled from Transylvania College for dueling, he had eagerly enlisted in the 1848 invasion of Mexico, where he had performed with honor and the requisite gallantry. After that that brief, one-sided conflict he had returned to Lexington, traded in slaves, hemp and wool, and unerringly faithful to the ideal of the Southern gentleman, gambled, drank, raced horses, hunted squirrels, charmed the ladies and defended his honor from rivals both real and i…

Dave Clennon (2021-03-01). Hollywood's New Blackface. counterpunch.org Many more black faces on your movie screen. Same old shuck and jive from finance capital. AND . . . why are so many foreign Blacks impersonating African-Americans? I saw "Selma" six years ago. I could feel earnest sincerity radiating from the screen. It was pretty clear the filmmakers were trying to do justice to

Michael Berkowitz (2021-03-01). 'Nomadland': Moving on with America's homeless van dwellers. peoplesworld.org Fern stands forlorn, surveying the desert before her. She is a small figure looking out over the beautiful, austere, infinite landscape. The desert is her own world writ large. She navigates that world in "Vanguard," her turtle shell van remodeled to carry her few possessions on her back. She drifts toward temporary jobs as low-skill …

The Conversation (2021-03-01). Where does the 10 Million Tons of Plastic we put into the Oceans Annually actually go? juancole.com By Bruce Sutherland, Michelle DiBenedetto and Ton van den Bremer | — Of the hundreds of millions of tonnes of plastic waste we produce each year, it's estimated that around ten million tonnes enters the ocean. Roughly half of the plastics produced are less dense than water, and so they float. But scientists estimate that …

Ramzy Baroud (2021-03-01). Coup Leaders, Aung San Suu Kyi Betrayed Democracy in Burma. dissidentvoice.org What is taking place in Burma right now is a military coup. There can be no other description for such an unwarranted action as the dismissal of the government by military decree and the imposition of Min Aung Hlaing, the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, as an unelected ruler. However, despite the endless talk about democratization, …

Ramzy Baroud (2021-03-01). Coup Leaders, Aung San Suu Kyi Betrayed Democracy in Burma. counterpunch.org What is taking place in Burma right now is a military coup. There can be no other description for such an unwarranted action as the dismissal of the government by military decree and the imposition of Min Aung Hlaing, the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, as an unelected ruler.

Gareth Porter (2021-03-01). U.S. State Department accusation of China 'genocide' relied on data abuse and baseless claims by far-right ideologue. mronline.org The Trump and Biden administrations have relied on the work of a right-wing religious extremist, Adrian Zenz, for their "genocide" accusation against China. A close review of Zenz's research reveals flagrant data abuse and outright falsehoods.

sputniknews (2021-03-01). Russia 'Responsible for Navalny's Poisoning', UN Special Rapporteur Claims. sputniknews.com Earlier in the day, the Russian Foreign Ministry warned it would respond to the new EU sanctions on Navalny, while adding that the ECHR ruling related to his case was 'interference' in Russia's internal affairs.

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