2021-03-04: News Headlines

teleSUR (2021-03-04). UN Calls for Peaceful Subnational Elections in Bolivia. telesurenglish.net In order to consolidate the democratic process in Bolivia, the United Nations (UN) on Wednesday called for a peaceful and safe subnational electoral process, which is set to take place on March 7 | RELATED: | The multilateral institution highlighted that "important lessons" and "concrete progress" were observed in the 2020 presidential elections. Nevertheless, it pointed out that the subnational elections will be…

yenisafak (2021-03-04). Probe continues on deaths of 7 students in Bolivia. yenisafak.com Bolivia's police continue its investigation into Tuesday's horrific accident in Public University of El Alto (UPEA) that left seven people dead.The video of the accident, which went viral on social media, showed hundreds of students reportedly with Business Administration majors crammed into a narrow corridor to celebrate an assembly. Then, several of them fell when the metal railing collapsed. A total of 11 students fell from the fourth floor, 16.7 meters, and three out of seven students died at the scene. Three of the four injured students remain in intensive care.The deceased are four men and three women betwe…

Staff (2021-03-04). Marc Lamont Hill & Mitchell Plitnick on ICC Probe & the "Palestine Exception" in Progressive Politics. democracynow.org Israel and the United States blasted the International Criminal Court's decision to open a probe into Israeli war crimes in the Palestinian territories, as well as crimes committed by Palestinian militant groups. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted that the Biden administration "firmly opposes" an investigation. Mitchell Plitnick and Marc Lamont Hill, co-authors of "Except for Palestine," say it's an illustration of the "Palestine exception" that makes even supposedly progressive people unwilling to criticize Israel's human rights abuses and its ongoing occupation of Palestinian territories. "We are at…

Staff (2021-03-04). COVID Deaths Soar in Brazil as Bolsonaro Blasts Lockdowns. Experts Warn It Will "Get Worse." democracynow.org Brazil's COVID-19 death toll has now topped nearly 260,000, the world's second worst after the United States, as hospitals are overwhelmed with new cases. International concern is also growing about the P1 variant of the virus, which overwhelmed the Amazonian city of Manaus and caused its hospitals to run out of oxygen. Less than 4% of Brazil's population has been vaccinated. Marcia Castro, demography professor at Harvard University, says the crisis in Brazil is due to "a combination of inaction and also wrongdoing" by officials, including President Jair Bolsonaro, who has opposed lockdowns, masks and other publi…

Staff (2021-03-04). Vaccine Apartheid: Marc Lamont Hill, Mitchell Plitnick on Israel's "Indifference to Palestinian Health" democracynow.org Israel has had the fastest vaccination rollout in the entire world, with 40% of Israelis already fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but Palestinians in the Occupied Territories have received almost no doses — a situation critics call "vaccine apartheid." By one count, just 34,000 vaccine doses have been administered to Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, which has a population of over 4.5 million. "What we're seeing right now is a gross injustice," says Marc Lamont Hill, author and professor of media studies and urban education at Temple University. We also speak with Mitchell Plitnick, political anal…

RT (2021-03-04). House CANCELS March 4 session after Capitol Police cites 'possible plot' by militia. rt.com The US House of Representatives won't be in session on Thursday, after Capitol Police, the FBI, and Homeland Security said extremists were discussing possible threats to Congress. The Senate is not changing its schedule, however. | House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) moved to Wednesday evening the vote on a police reform bill that was scheduled for Thursday. Multiple media outlets reported that the March 4 session of the lower chamber was canceled altogether. | Earlier in the day, US Capitol Police announced it would bolster its security profile due to "intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach t…

RT (2021-03-04). WATCH: White House abruptly cuts live feed after Biden says 'happy to take questions' at virtual event. rt.com US President Joe Biden said he would be "happy" to field live questions at the tail-end of a virtual event, but was swiftly cut off when the White House inexplicably dropped the video feed, leaving some viewers bewildered. | "I'd be happy to take questions if that's what I'm supposed to do, Nance. Whatever you want me to do," Biden said to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the Democratic "Virtual Issues Conference" wrapped up on Wednesday night. But after a brief pause, the feed was brusquely taken offline. | The White House abruptly cuts the live video feed of a virtual event after President Biden said he was "ha…

teleSUR Desk (2021-03-04). Ecuador's leftist candidate ratified as first round winner. mronline.org Authorities officially confirmed that Andres Arauz and the banker Guillermo Lasso will compete for the presidency in the second round to be held on April 11.

Liberation Staff-Seattle (2021-03-04). In Renton, WA, unions, community come out to support 'Bamazon' union drive. liberationnews.org Despite the scattered showers and mid-30 ∞s weather close to 300 people showed up to voice their support.

Bruce Neuburger (2021-03-04). U.S. Agricultural System's Deadly Apartheid. counterpunch.org The NY Times of March 1, 2021 cited some chilling facts about agricultural workers and Covid 19: "In some areas, up to 40 percent of the workers tested for the virus had positive results. The Rev. Francisco Gómez at Our Lady of Soledad church in Coachella said his parish had been averaging 10 burials a

Shatha Hammad (2021-03-04). Covid-19: Palestinian Authority criticised for VIP vaccine distribution. middleeasteye.net Covid-19: Palestinian Authority criticised for VIP vaccine distribution | A significant proportion of the first batch of vaccines have gone to PA government figures and their allies
| Thu, 03/04/2021 – 14: 45 | An UNRWA employee prepares a shot of the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine for medical staff at UNRWA's al-Sheikh Redwan clinic in Gaza City, on 25 February 2021 (AFP) | Political and security…

Alan Macleod (2021-03-04). Aurora Police Killed Without Consequence, Now Their Protestors Face 48 Years for "Kidnapping" Cops. mintpressnews.com The cops and the district attorneys want people to see what we are going through — the conditions of our arrests, our experiences in jail, and our legal battle — and to think that this is what you risk when you stand up against them. – Lillian House, Aurora Activist and Defendant…

Alan MacLeod (2021-03-04). After years of propaganda, American views of Russia and China hit historic lows. mronline.org Both pro- and anti-war voices have stated that the U.S. is on the cusp of entering a second Cold War, and a new Gallup poll suggests that the groundwork for such a conflict has already been laid.

Eds. (2021-03-04). Cornel West: Palestine is a "taboo issue among certain circles in high places" mronline.org Activist and scholar says he is being denied tenure at Harvard University because of his views on Israeli occupation.

Jay August (2021-03-04). NYS politicians push bill to 'kill' rent cancellation movement, organizers fight back. liberationnews.org On Feb. 28, tenant organizers in New York City demonstrated outside the home of New York State Senator Brian Kavanaugh in Manhattan to protest his sponsorship of a bill which bails out landlords, not tenants.

teleSUR Desk (2021-03-04). Parliament rejects Moreno's privatization of Central Bank. mronline.org Parliament's Legislative Administration Council (CAL) reported that the project had 14 unconstitutional aspects. The bill presented 84 reforms to the Organic Monetary and Financial Code that would allow a $400 million loan from the International Monetary Fund.

Wayne Nealis (2021-03-04). Trial of Chauvin, George Floyd's murderer, pivotal to reforming racist policing. peoplesworld.org MINNEAPOLIS—The consensus among activists speaking at a recent press conference in Minneapolis is that it will take massive street protests to convict Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. Frank Chapman, a spokesperson for the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, which was founded in 1973, pointed to the national significance of the …

Don Fitz (2021-03-04). From the Murder of Berta Cáceres to Dam Disaster in Uttarakhand. mronline.org March 2, 2021 was the five year anniversary of the murder of Berta Cáceres, who opposed the Agua Zarca dam in Honduras. That date was less than one month after the deaths of dozens of people from Tehri Dam disaster in Uttarakhand, India. The two stories together tell us far more about consequences of the …

Beau Peters (2021-03-04). Creating a Safe Space at Work for Discussing Social Justice Topics. dissidentvoice.org Image Source: Pexels There's a lot going on in the world at the moment, which means there's a lot we need to talk about. It seems as though every day there is another incident that raises issues related to the socio-economic imbalances in our society, systemic racism, or the political decisions that shape our lives. …

Brian Tokar (2021-03-04). 25 Years of GMOs, and Some New Insights from Argentina. counterpunch.org n the winter of 1996, Monsanto and a few other companies first began to sell genetically engineered seeds to commercial growers, and also mounted a massive public relations effort to convince people of their supposed benefits. They hyped their new GMOs as the answer to world hunger, a way to help troubled farmers stay on the land, and as a technology that would bring higher quality, more nutritious food to all. Skeptics in many countries responded swiftly: Greenpeace blockaded shipments and planted symbols in farmers' fields, while decentralized networks of activists organized Global Days of Action. Saboteurs in…

The Conversation (2021-03-04). Pope's upcoming visit brings attention to the dwindling population of Christians in Iraq. juancole.com By Ramazan Kƒ±lƒ±nàß | — Pope Francis will arrive in Iraq on Friday in a first-ever papal visit to the country that is expected to raise awareness about the challenges facing Iraqi Christians — a majority of whom are Catholic. In the past two decades, the Christian population in Iraq has fallen by over 80%. …

Liberation Staff (2021-03-04). Texas winter storm crisis the fault of state leaders, big oil, protesters say. liberationnews.org Natural gas and fossil fuel executives, as well as officials in ERCOT and PUCT, should face criminal charges for their role in the deaths, injuries, and damages suffered during this crisis.

George Wuerthner (2021-03-04). Fire Suppression Hyperbole. counterpunch.org In almost all media reports about the recent fire seasons, one of the chief explanations given for the larger blazes is "fire suppression" and "fuel build-up." We hear that 100 years of fire suppression has contributed to the "unnatural" accumulation of fuels and is one of the primary reasons for large fires. The solution, we

David Rosen (2021-03-04). Electricity vs. Broadband: Does History Repeat Itself? counterpunch.org Americans take household electric for granted, but this was not always the case. Millions of U.S. households have access to electricity to power water heating, lighting, refrigeration, TV, telephone and other products. And yet, according to one estimate, about 15,000 families — 60,000 people — are not connected to the electric grid; many are located on Native American reservations. (In addition, about 18,000 families don't have running water in their house.) |

IndustriALL (2021-03-04). Myanmar military coup leaders target trade unions for destruction. peoplesworld.org For weeks, hundreds of thousands of people have been participating in peaceful mass demonstrations across Myanmar in the wake of a coup led by the Army. As the peaceful civil disobedience movement continues to protest against the military takeover, authorities are resorting to violence and cracking down civilians—including trade unions and their leaders. Police have issued …

Victor Grossman (2021-03-04). Germany's Linke (the Left Party) comes out of its convention united. peoplesworld.org BERLIN — Things worked out quite differently than many in the media here said they would at the congress of the LINKE, the country's left-wing party. The pandemic had forced postponements from June 2020 to October 2020 and from last October to last weekend, with most of the 580 delegates at home in front of …

Geoff Beckman (2021-03-04). Biden, Team D and the Dimming Prospects of Getting Anything Meaningful Through the Senate. counterpunch.org It's kinda touching that Team D imagines it will get anything through the Senate with: 1. A nominal 50-50 split, 2. Joe Manchin and Kysten Sinema enjoying the power that having a line-item veto provides, 3. Que Mala Harris's reluctance to do anything she thinks might jeopardize her chances at the presidency, 4. Crazy Uncle

Rosalind English (2021-03-04). Doctors acted unlawfully in deciding on eligibility for drug — Court of Appeal. ukhumanrightsblog.com Basma (suing by her mother and litigation friend Sara Basma) v Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust & Anr [2021] EWCA Civ 278 Sophie Basma ("Sophie") is 10. She suffers from Type 3 Spinal Muscular Atrophy ("SMA"). SMA is a rare, genetic, neuromuscular disease which progressively leads to sufferers being unable to walk or sit …

Phil Mattera (2021-03-04). The Decades-Long Struggle Over Big Corporations and Poverty Wages. counterpunch.org The Senate Parliamentarian has dealt a strong blow to the Fight for $15 movement by ruling that a federal minimum wage increase cannot be included in the stimulus bill. Senator Bernie Sanders is pushing back with an amendment to take tax deductions away from large, profitable corporations that do not pay at least $15 an

Jarvis Tyner (2021-03-04). 'We're Not Going Back': New York celebrates Black History Month. peoplesworld.org NEW YORK—Last Sunday night after watching Trump's recycled demagogy at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), I thankfully had the uplifting experience of viewing the "We're Not Going Back" celebration of the African American people's long march to freedom. We're Not Going Back is an annual event initiated by the New York Bureau of People's …

John Wojcik (2021-03-04). National Guard commander charges Pentagon delayed sending troops to Capitol Jan. 6. peoplesworld.org By the day, facts uncovered in the ongoing Senate hearings on the security failings connected to the Trumpite attack on the Capitol are raising concern that there may have been, at the least, advance knowledge and, possibly worse, collaboration involving officials on various levels. Testimony Wednesday added the Pentagon leadership to the list of top …

Thomas Knapp (2021-03-04). Biden's Foreign Policy: No Joy in Mudville. counterpunch.org Well, at least he hasn't started any NEW wars! | For four years, that was the excuse I got from anti-war Donald Trump supporters every time he escalated one of the several wars he inherited from George W. Bush and Barack Obama. I expect to start hearing it from anti-war Joseph Biden supporters soon.

Suadad al-Salhy (2021-03-04). Iraq's Nasiriyah calmed by Kadhimi for pope's visit – but violence likely to return. middleeasteye.net Iraq's Nasiriyah calmed by Kadhimi for pope's visit – but violence likely to return | With Francis set to lead an interfaith service 17km away at the ancient city of Ur, protests in Dhi Qar's capital threatened to derail visit | Thu, 03/04/2021 – 12: 44 | Anti-government protesters clash with riot police in front of the Dhi Qar Municipal council in Iraq's southern city of Nasiriyah on 27 Febr…

MEE, agencies (2021-03-04). Palestinian election: Israel 'intimidating Hamas supporters' to stop them running. middleeasteye.net Palestinian election: Israel 'intimidating Hamas supporters' to stop them running | Soldiers reportedly deliver Shin Bet message to Palestinian doorsteps, while others asked to report at stations for interrogation | Thu, 03/04/2021 – 16: 16 | An Israeli soldier gestures in front of a Palestinian man following a protest (AFP/file photo) | Israel's internal intelligence agency Shin Bet is in…

Rayhan Uddin (2021-03-04). Saudi youth take to social media to complain about unemployment. middleeasteye.net Saudi youth take to social media to complain about unemployment | Young Twitter users break the silence on lack of opportunities, as under 30s and university grads make up majority of kingdom's jobless | Thu, 03/04/2021 – 14: 50 | Saudi students take exams at a workshop in the Higher Institute for Plastics Fabrication in Riyadh (AFP/File photo) | Saudi youths, including many university graduates, have…

MEE, agencies (2021-03-04). Yemen's Houthis claim missile strike on Saudi Aramco plant in Jeddah. middleeasteye.net Yemen's Houthis claim missile strike on Saudi Aramco plant in Jeddah | Houthi military spokesman said attack took place at dawn using a winged Quds-2 missile and had struck its target | Thu, 03/04/2021 – 08: 26 | The Houthis, who control northern Yemen, have struck other Saudi energy assets in the past (Reuters) | Yemen's Houthi forces fired a cross-border missile at a Saudi Aramco facilit…

MEE staff (2021-03-04). Houthis call on Yemenis to donate funds for ballistic missile programme. middleeasteye.net Houthis call on Yemenis to donate funds for ballistic missile programme | Embassy of Yemen's internationally recognised government in Washington slams crowdfunding campaign as 'brazen' political move | Thu, 03/04/2021 – 16: 20 | A fighter loyal to Yemen's Houthi rebels guards a stack of bills in Sanaa on 24 September 2020 during ceremony to collect cash, food and other donations for fighters (AFP/File photo)…

MEE, agencies (2021-03-04). Yemen: Car bomb kills southern separatist fighters in Aden. middleeasteye.net Yemen: Car bomb kills southern separatist fighters in Aden | Southern Transitional Council forces said Brigadier General Mohsen al-Wali had survived an attack on a convoy | Thu, 03/04/2021 – 12: 37 | Video footage shared by STC activists on social media showed a white four-wheel-drive vehicle with extensive damage (Twitter) | A car bomb killed and injured a number of fighters travelling in…

Ragip Soylu (2021-03-04). Libya's Dbeibah made secret visit to Turkey. middleeasteye.net Libya's Dbeibah made secret visit to Turkey | Interim prime minister designate met Erdogan in Ankara days after his election in bid to maintain ties with the Turkish leadership | Thu, 03/04/2021 – 14: 00 | Libyan Prime Minister Dbeibah met Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on 11 February, 2020. This picture has been circulating on social media since 18 February (Twitter) | Libya's prime minister designate…

Areeb Ullah (2021-03-04). Smugglers threw scores of people into the sea en route to Yemen, UN says. middleeasteye.net Smugglers threw scores of people into the sea en route to Yemen, UN says | International Organisation of Migration says five bodies have been retrieved from Djibouti's Red Sea coast so far | Thu, 03/04/2021 – 11: 45 | Thousands risk their lives crossing the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea to reach Yemen to cross into Saudi Arabia for work. Wrecked ship on a beach in Obock in 2015 (AFP) | Smugglers threw sco…

MEE correspondent (2021-03-04). Iranian press review: Conservative media says pro-Iran fighters were behind Israeli boat attack. middleeasteye.net Iranian press review: Conservative media says pro-Iran fighters were behind Israeli boat attack | Meanwhile, Iranian analyst suggests Biden unlikely to reach out to Iran before elections, and school dropout rates increase sharply in Iran's poor regions | Thu, 03/04/2021 – 14: 37 | A view of the Israeli-owned Bahamian-flagged MV Helios Ray cargo ship docked in Dubai's Mina Rashid (Port R…

Paul Cochrane (2021-03-04). Red Sea cables: How UK and US spy agencies listen to the Middle East. middleeasteye.net Red Sea cables: How UK and US spy agencies listen to the Middle East | An expanding network of undersea fibre optic cables from the Mediterranean to the Gulf has made surveillance of regional communications easier than ever | Thu, 03/04/2021 – 23: 23 | A view of the Strait of Tiran from Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh in 2014. The Red Sea is an important route for undersea cables (AFP) | The growth of Midd…

Mustafa Abu Sneineh (2021-03-04). Saudi Arabia 'fears defeat of Netanyahu' in upcoming Israeli election. middleeasteye.net Saudi Arabia 'fears defeat of Netanyahu' in upcoming Israeli election | The kingdom sees prime minister as a 'spearhead' against Iran, Saudi sources tell an Israeli TV channel | Thu, 03/04/2021 – 14: 00 | Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (AFP/file photo)
| Saudi Arabia is concerned about a possible election defeat for Israeli…

RT (2021-03-04). 'Where's our restitution?' Ferguson activists & Mike Brown Sr. demand BLM cough up $20 MILLION, a fraction of its global donations. rt.com A Ferguson, Missouri activist group and Michael Brown Sr. are demanding that Black Lives Matter shell out $20 million to local organizers, accusing the org of abandoning "freedom fighters" while it basks in the public spotlight. | Tory Russell, who co-founded Ferguson's International Black Freedom Alliance, appeared in a video alongside the father of the late Michael Brown on Tuesday, calling on BLM's national leadership to send a cool $20 million to the IBFA and other community groups. | "Today, we hold Black Lives Matter accountable. The movement that has catapulted into the limelight has forgotten about Fer…

RT (2021-03-04). Mississippi school asks students to 'pretend to be slaves' for class assignment, gets roasted for 'whitewashing' slavery. rt.com A middle school in Purvis, Mississippi is under fire after students were asked to pen a letter from the perspective of a plantation slave, with the assignment condemned as "hurtful" and "tone deaf" by local activists. | As part of a class project, eighth graders at Purvis Middle School were told to "pretend like you are a slave working on a Mississippi plantation" and to imagine their day-to-day lives, their journey to the United States and the type of labor they were forced to perform, among other things. But a photo of the assignment making the rounds on Twitter on Wednesday has stoked outrage among some res…

RT (2021-03-04). US Capitol Police call for National Guard to be deployed for another TWO MONTHS, citing threats – media. rt.com A 60-day extension to the National Guard's deployment to the US Capitol is being reviewed by the Pentagon, the Associated Press has reported. Over 5,000 troops have been stationed there since January's Capitol riot. | Capitol Police made the request for the 60-day extension to the National Guard's deployment to Washington DC within the last 36 hours, Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Michigan) told the Associated Press on Thursday. The Guard is reportedly seeking volunteers to fill…

RT (2021-03-04). Alec Baldwin flees Twitter again, hounded by angry Gillian Anderson fans over his sly dig at her 'switching accents'. rt.com Alec Baldwin's attempt to defend his wife from accusations of faking Spanishness by invoking Gillian Anderson's flawless switching between accents backfired badly and forced him to quit Twitter for a second time this year. | In a lengthy 10-minute video posted to Instagram, the 62-year old actor explained that he was off Twitter again, since "you cannot do any irony in the US anymore because the US is such an uptight stressed-out place" and Twitter in particular was full of "a**holes." Baldwin went on to profess his love for his wife and children and say how good and fulfilling his life was now that he works l…

RT (2021-03-04). Election reform law passes House and heads to Senate, likely to be killed by filibuster. rt.com A sweeping reform of election rules has been re-approved by the House along party lines, with supporters celebrating it. But like its predecessor, the piece of legislation vehemently opposed by the GOP faces a Senate dead end. | The so-called 'For the People Act', also known as 'H.R. 1' after the designation of its House version, was approved in a 220-210 vote on Wednesday. Not a single Republican joined the Democrats in backing the bill, which the two parties see in a diametrically opposing light. | Supporters call the proposed reform the most significant improvement of the US democratic system since the Voti…

RT (2021-03-04). Texas power grid operator axes its CEO after deadly blackout caused by winter storm. rt.com The entity delivering power to most of Texas has decided to fire its CEO, as it faces criticism for failing to prepare the power grid for last month's winter storm and leaving millions without heat for days. | The board of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has given a 60-day notice to President and CEO Bill Magness, the non-profit company said in a statement after a meeting on Wednesday night. During the transition period, he will "work with state leaders and regulators on potential reforms," while the board looks for his replacement. | Magness has served as the head of ERCOT since 2016. In 201…

Rosalind English (2021-03-04). Doctors acted unlawfully in deciding on eligibility for drug — Court of Appeal. ukhumanrightsblog.com Basma (suing by her mother and litigation friend Sara Basma) v Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust & Anr [2021] EWCA Civ 278 Sophie Basma ("Sophie") is 10. She suffers from Type 3 Spinal Muscular Atrophy ("SMA"). SMA is a rare, genetic, neuromuscular disease which progressively leads to sufferers being unable to walk or sit …