Daily Archives: February 20, 2021

2021-02-20: News Headlines

Juan Cole (2021-02-20). Number of residential solar batteries increases by 50% in Germany. juancole.com By Sà∂ren Amelang | — The number of battery storage systems linked to a residential solar pv array rose by around 50 percent in Germany in 2020 for the third year in a row. The country's solar association BSW estimates there were 88,000 new residential installations, taking the total number of solar batteries in Germany …

RT (2021-02-20). Texas police looking for more than 100 illegal immigrants who fled smuggling truck amid winter freeze. rt.com Texas authorities are seeking a group of more than 100 illegal immigrants wandering through the freezing, storm-hammered state. They fled a packed smuggling truck, in which they were being transported in suffocating conditions. | Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar told reporters on Thursday that his department received a call from a truckload of illegal immigrants in San Antonio that evening. Their smugglers had sealed up the refrigerated truck and blocked air holes, and the migrants feared that they would suffocate inside. | Deputies in the area noticed movement around a truck parked at a gas station, and sa…

Margaret Flowers (2021-02-20). Urgent Solidarity with Haiti is Needed. dissidentvoice.org A long-brewing crisis in Haiti, created through intervention by the United States, United Nations and allied western imperialist countries, has now come to a head. The Biden administration is openly backing a violent, corrupt and fraudulent leader, Jovenel MoàØse, and maintaining the policies of previous presidents, including Donald Trump, in Haiti. Activists in Haiti have …

Gareth Porter (2021-02-20). US State Department Accusation of China "Genocide" Is Garbage Reliant on Data Abuse and Fraudulent Claims. anti-empire.com Both President Joe Biden and his Secretary of State Anthony Blinken have endorsed former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's last-minute accusation of The US government's accusation of genocide against China stems from a single sour…

Fernando Buen Abad Domínguez (2021-02-20). Estados Unidos contra Cuba: El bloqueo es un crimen de lesa humanidad. globalizacion.ca Según la ONU, son crímenes contra la humanidad los que constituyen ataques generalizados o sistemáticos a la población civil. Son "crímenes de lesa humanidad" los exterminios, la esclavitud, la deportación o expulsión forzosa, la privación de la libertad física e…

Godfree Roberts (2021-02-20). How Democratic is China? dissidentvoice.org Like America, China is a republic and, like America, says it is democratic, but how democratic is China? A glance at history is always a good starting point The People are supreme, the state is secondary and the Ruler is the least important: only those who please the people can rule. Mencius1 In Roman politics, …

Donald Canton (2021-02-20). Partners: China and Cuba. dissidentvoice.org In the 1960s, the main forms of the Chinese assistance offered to Cuba were preferential trade and interest-free loans. From 1961 to 1965, China gave Cuba an interest-free loan of 60 million U.S. dollars. The two sides signed the China-Cuba Economic Cooperation Agreement, Trade and Payment Agreement, and Technology Cooperation Protocol. According to the agreement, …

Ali Salam (2021-02-20). Israeli Troops Attack Non-Violent Palestinian Rallies in Kufur Qaddoum, Beit Dajan. imemc.org Israeli forces attacked the weekly non-violent protest marches and rallies in several parts of the West Bank Friday, injuring three Palestinians with rubber-coated steel bullets and causing dozens to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation. In Kufur Qaddoum, in the northern West Bank, two Palestinian protesters were taken to the hospital with severe injuries …

Yanis Iqbal (2021-02-20). Madagascar: A Nation of Hunger. dissidentvoice.org Madagascar is in great pain. Theodore Mbainaissem, the head of the World Food Programme (WFP) sub-office in Ambovombe, southern Madagascar, says: "Seeing the physical condition of people extremely affected by hunger who can no longer stand…children who are completely emaciated, the elderly who are skin and bone…these images are unbearable… People are eating white clay …

Devin Cole (2021-02-20). Pensacola State College faculty demand protection. workers.org Occupied Muscogee Creek land On Feb. 16, over 30 drivers circled the Pensacola State College-Warrington Campus buildings for half an hour, laying on their horns. Signs saying "High Risk" and "Betrayal" were taped to their vehicles. This action was led by the Pensacola State College Faculty Association, a chapter of . . . |

MEE staff (2021-02-20). Mercenaries boss Erik Prince violated Libya weapons embargo: UN report. middleeasteye.net Mercenaries boss Erik Prince violated Libya weapons embargo: UN report | US media say the accusations against founder of security firm Blackwater could potentially lead to him facing sanctions | Sat, 02/20/2021 – 09: 39 | Erik Prince did not cooperate with the UN inquiry and his lawyer declined to comment to the New York Times (AFP) | Mercenaries boss Erik Prince pumped $80m in weapons and fighters into easter…

MEE and agencies (2021-02-20). Saudi Arabia to invest $20bn in domestic arms industry. middleeasteye.net Saudi Arabia to invest $20bn in domestic arms industry | Kingdom wants to shift towards manufacturing much of its own weapons over the next decade after US sales ban | Sat, 02/20/2021 – 15: 49 | Saudi Arabia wants to spend at least half of its military budget locally by 2030 (AFP) | Saudi Arabia has announced plans to pump $20bn into producing more of its own weapons and military systems o…

MEE and agencies (2021-02-20). Iraq: Rockets target airbase north of Baghdad after clashes with IS. middleeasteye.net Iraq: Rockets target airbase north of Baghdad after clashes with IS | Attack on Al-Balad base injures a contractor and came hours after Iraqi security forces raided a nearby Islamic State hideout amid increasing tensions | Sat, 02/20/2021 – 19: 31 | A doctor treats a man wounded in a rocket attack on US forces at Erbil airport, northern Iraq, on 15 February (Reuters) | Four rockets hit the…

MEE and agencies (2021-02-20). Russian air strikes 'kill 21 Islamic State fighters' in Syrian desert. middleeasteye.net Russian air strikes 'kill 21 Islamic State fighters' in Syrian desert | Russian jets launched 130 air strikes over 24 hours according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights | Sat, 02/20/2021 – 11: 01 | Russian air power has backed Syrian forces clashing with Islamic State fighters (AFP) | Russia launched at least 130 air strikes in Syria over the past 24 hours, killing at least 21 Isla…

MEE and agencies (2021-02-20). Turkey's Erdogan seeks 'win-win' relationship with US. middleeasteye.net Turkey's Erdogan seeks 'win-win' relationship with US | Turkish president reaches out to Biden administrations and says 'common interests of Turkey and the United States outweigh the differences' | Sat, 02/20/2021 – 21: 46 | Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Earlier this week, Turkey had accused the US of supporting PKK 'terrorists' (AFP) | Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said…

MEE and agencies (2021-02-20). Algeria releases dozens of jailed pro-democracy activists after presidential pardons. middleeasteye.net Algeria releases dozens of jailed pro-democracy activists after presidential pardons | Pardons issued by President Tebboune ahead of second anniversary of Hirak uprising, with prominent journalist Khaled Drareni among those freed | Sat, 02/20/2021 – 20: 26 | Algerian journalist Khaled Drareni is greeted by supporters upon his release from Kolea prison, west of the capital Algiers, on 19 Fe…

Aaliyah Harris (2021-02-20). Student loans continue to discriminate against Muslim students. thecanary.co To be Muslim in Britain means to be a part of a population of Interest is forbidden: | For young people venturing from college or sixth form into university, accepting a monstrous educational debt will always be a tricky decision. But for Muslims, deciding to take out a Student Finance Loan — or for that matter any loan which requires repayment with…

MEE and agencies (2021-02-20). Israel purchased Russian Covid vaccine for Syria in exchange for captive: Reports. middleeasteye.net Israel purchased Russian Covid vaccine for Syria in exchange for captive: Reports | Order said to be part of a deal which freed an Israeli woman who crossed into Syria through Quneitra a few weeks ago | Sat, 02/20/2021 – 13: 45 | The Ynet news site reported on Saturday that Israel purchased more than $1m worth of doses of the Sputnik V vaccine (AFP) | Israel is said to have agreed to purch…

A Guest Author (2021-02-20). Letter from an incarcerated worker on the struggle in Alabama. workers.org The following letter from an incarcerated worker in the Pennsylvania prison system was sent by email on Feb. 17 to Joe Piette, a member of the Prisoners Solidarity Committee of Workers World Party. From SCI Pine Grove: Nina Simone famously said: "Alabama got me so upset; Tennessee made me lose . . . |

Mike Walter (2021-02-20). The Heat: G7 leaders' pledge on COVID-19 vaccines. america.cgtn.com Leaders from the Group of Seven Nations vow to work together to improve global access to COVID-19 vaccines.

RT (2021-02-20). Biden declares 'major disaster' in Texas as state continues to battle power outages amid extreme cold. rt.com President Joe Biden has declared that "a major disaster" status is in effect in Texas, unlocking federal money for counties that have been suffering from an unusual and deadly cold wave. | His action allows for federal funding to dozens of Texan counties affected by the cold, the White House said. The money may be used for temporary housing, home repairs, low-cost loans and other assistance to residents and business owners. | Also on rt.com | | Bide…

RT (2021-02-20). Beleaguered Texans forced to flee burning hotel as sprinkler system fails due to frozen pipes (PHOTOS, VIDEOS). rt.com Guests at a four-story hotel in Texas were forced to flee into the freezing cold as a fire engulfed the entire building when the sprinkler system failed due to frozen pipes. | The fire broke out at the Hilton Garden Inn near Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas shortly before 9pm local time. The hotel had been serving as emergency accommodation for many stricken local residents, including several soldiers from the nearby Eyewitness footage from the scene purports to show the fire as it ripped through the hotel…

RT (2021-02-20). 'DEATH TO THE PATRIARCHY': Madonna lashes out at shadowy cabal of men attempting to 'cut off her life force'. rt.com Pop icon Madonna has complained that a conniving cadre of scheming men has prevented her from reaching her full potential, but some believe that the obscenely wealthy and successful entertainer may be overreacting. | "The Patriarchy continues to try to crush my neck with their heavy boots, cut off my life force and take away my voice—Even those who call themselves artists…………..You know who you are!!! DEATH TO THE PATRIARCHY! Now and Forever," Madonna tweeted, including a photograph of herself wearing a glittering tiara. | The Patriarchy continues to try to crush my neck with their heavy boots, cu…

RT (2021-02-20). 'DEATH TO THE PATRIARCHY': Madonna lashes out at shadowy cabal of men attempting to 'cut off her life force'. rt.com Pop icon Madonna has complained that a conniving cadre of scheming men has prevented her from reaching her full potential, but some believe that the obscenely wealthy and successful entertainer may be overreacting. | "The Patriarchy continues to try to crush my neck with their heavy boots, cut off my life force and take away my voice—Even those who call themselves artists…………..You know who you are!!! DEATH TO THE PATRIARCHY! Now and Forever," Madonna tweeted, including a photograph of herself wearing a glittering tiara. | #riskwhatyouvalue RT (2021-02-20). Outage outrage: Texans see power bills as high as $17,000 after brutal storm pummels grid & leaves millions without electricity. rt.com In the wake of a fierce winter storm that knocked out power for millions of Texans, some residents are reporting colossal spikes in their electricity bills, with some asked to pay more than $17,000 for just a few weeks of service.

RT (2021-02-20). Google fires ANOTHER AI ethics researcher amid row over 'censorship & racism,' as team member accuses company of 'smear campaign'. rt.com Google has terminated the head researcher on its AI ethics team over what the tech giant deemed a violation of its "code of conduct," as the company faces an internal revolt over a previous firing of a black data scientist. | Margaret Mitchell, who led Google's Ethical AI unit, announced her termination in a brief tweet on Friday, saying only "I'm fired" without offering further detail. | I'm fired.— MMitchell (@mmitchell_ai) Google's own statement on the matter was also somewhat vague, confi…

RT (2021-02-20). Not very PC? Chelsea Clinton-funded 'trans' app urges transitioning people to budget their money & be nice to cops. rt.com A mobile app marketed at trans people that received funding from former first daughter Chelsea Clinton has been slammed by the internet as overtly patronizing. Even worse, the app urges users to be polite to the police. | Created in 2019, Euphoria has been billed as an app designed to help individuals navigate gender transition, as well as provide people with support once they complete the procedure. | Read more | | The platform hos…

Daniel Horowitz (2021-02-20). With No Compulsory Muzzling and Schools Open, Florida Ranks 11th Lowest in COVID Deaths per Capita Among Seniors. anti-empire.com There's a reason why the Biden regime is Dr. F…

C.J. Atkins (2021-02-19). Why the Alabama Amazon struggle matters to workers everywhere. peoplesworld.org Sometimes a fight at one particular workplace can be so important that workers and their allies everywhere need to take notice. The struggle going on right now at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, is one of those fights. From now until March 29, nearly 6,000 employees at the Amazon order fulfillment and processing center …

PAI (2021-02-19). New York sues Amazon for not protecting workers against COVID, firing whistleblowers. peoplesworld.org NEW YORK (PAI)—Donald Trump isn't Letitia "Tish" James's only big legal target. Neither is the notorious radical right-wing U.S. gun lobby. Now she's taking on Amazon. James, New York state's Attorney General, is probing Trump's financial crimes committed through his private foundation. Last year, she sued the National Rifle Association and its top officers for …

Sam Gindin (2021-02-19). Living Socialism Today: Remembering Leo Panitch. socialistproject.ca Standing outside a conference with a group of devotees, a famous political scientist brags that there's only two people in the world he's afraid of: his mother and Leo Panitch. To anyone who knows Leo, this revelation elicits knowing smiles and an affirmative nodding of heads. But it also poses a question. Those with an …

IMEMC News (2021-02-19). Army Abducts Four Palestinians Playing In Snow In Hebron. imemc.org Israeli soldiers abducted, on Thursday evening, four young Palestinian men while playing in the snow in the Old City of Hebron, in southern West Bank. Eyewitnesses said the soldiers abducted the four young men while playing in snow, which covered most of occupied Palestine, and were building snowmen and throwing snowballs at each other. They …

Ramzy Baroud (2021-02-19). 'Leaving Aside' International Law: Why Democrats are as Dangerous as Republicans to a Just Peace in Palestine. counterpunch.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

Aseel Jundi (2021-02-19). For this Palestinian family, living next to Al-Aqsa Mosque comes with a heavy price. middleeasteye.net For this Palestinian family, living next to Al-Aqsa Mosque comes with a heavy price | For years, the Bashiti family has lived in a never-ending cycle of Israeli harassment for refusing to abandon their strategically located home | Fri, 02/19/2021 – 11: 22 | Mohammed Bashiti and his wife, Binar, look towards Al-Aqsa Mosque in the yard of their home in the Old City of Jerusalem (Assel Jundi) | Mohamm…

PAI (2021-02-19). Pandemic's 1-2 punch: Unemployment up, life expectancy down. peoplesworld.org WASHINGTON (PAI)—The ongoing coronavirus pandemic packed a one-two punch against the nation's workers, federal agencies reported, as almost 1.38 million more people sought federal or state jobless aid in the week ending Feb. 13. Meanwhile, U.S. life expectancy dropped by a year in the first half of 2020, another federal report showed. And that second …

Mariah Denman and Caleb Kennedy (2021-02-19). Portland, OR power outages affect 300K residents after ice storm. liberationnews.org In a pandemic winter, when the risk of spreading COVID-19 between households is high, neighbors have had to take the risk to help each other by sharing generators, firewood, food, cooking equipment, clean water and more.

David Rosen (2021-02-19). The Culture Wars Continue: Biden Takes on Abortion. counterpunch.org Joe Biden is moving aggressively to redress many of the conditions left by Donald Trump's administration, notably the Covid-19 pandemic, the economic recession and white nationalism. However, the most intractable challenge that he will face may be the resistance of the culture wars, particularly a woman's right to an abortion. The culture wars long anchored

RT (2021-02-19). 'What is this, 1998?' Twitter users astonished that Tony Blair is opining on Covid roadmap… and MEDIA COVERS IT as 'news'. rt.com Brits may have wondered if they woke up in the right century after seeing ex-prime minister Tony Blair giving his policy prescription for the Covid-19 pandemic — and being cited as an authority on the topic by major media outlets. | The former Labour Party leader on Friday published his own "roadmap" out of the UK's Covid-19 lockdown, complete with a "traffic light system" dictating data-based parameters for opening and closing decisions. Mainstream media outlets jumped on the report as big news, with some portraying it as influential in setting the current government's policy. | We believe a credible lo…

Bruce E. Levine (2021-02-19). Politics & Science: Rahm Emanuel, Mike Pence, Homosexuality, Pandemics, Masks, Vaccines. counterpunch.org Aside from their icy-mobster visages, Rahm Emanuel and Mike Pence have something else in common. Both, as members of presidential administrations, tried to rewrite Centers for Disease Control (CDC) pandemic guidance for political purposes. The reason why one was successful and the other was not has nothing to do with courageous CDC scientists threatening to resign in protest; instead, the different outcomes had to do with politics.

RT (2021-02-19). Almost all Spanish nursing home residents have received two Covid doses as Madrid says state on track with vaccine rollout. rt.com Health authorities in Spain have said they are close to vaccinating all elderly nursing-home residents with the requisite two doses of Covid-19 vaccines as Madrid says it's on course to inoculate 20 million by the end of June. | The Federacion Empresarial de Asistencia a la Dependencia (FED), Spain's care home association, said 97 percent of elderly residents have received both jabs — positive news in a health sector that has suffered a high number of deaths in the pandemic. | Officials believe 20,000 people died of Covid-19 or suspected Covid-19 in nursing homes during the first wave alone, from March to…

Staff (2021-02-19). Amid G7 Meeting, Pressure Mounts for Biden to Remove Global Barriers to Vaccines. truthout.org President Joe Biden is meeting with the G7 leaders of other wealthy nations Friday to discuss global plans to defeat COVID. Meanwhile, the United States is under growing international pressure to reverse course from the Trump administration and lead the world toward ending massive global disparities in vaccine and treatment access that threaten to stretch the deadly pandemic out for years. | Hanging in the balance are an untold number of human lives — and the profit margins of privat…

RT (2021-02-19). Pandemic will be with us until EVERYONE on earth given Covid-19 vaccine, says Merkel after G7 summit. rt.com The coronavirus pandemic can only be considered beaten once everyone in the world has been immunized against Covid-19, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel said, after she'd met with the G7 leaders at a virtual summit on Friday. | Speaking to reporters, Merkel said she had stressed in her remarks to the group that the "pandemic is not over until all people in the world have been vaccinated," adding: "Everyone must participate." | "The [coronavirus] pandemic in particular has shown how much we are diverging from one another, worldwide." | On Friday the head of the EU's executive body, Ursula von der Leyen, said t…

The Global Research Team (2021-02-19). Selected Articles: The Covid Deception Serves An Undeclared Agenda. globalresearch.ca By There is no scientific basis for the measures in place to deal with the alleged Covid Pandemic. Among experts the support for these measures …

RT (2021-02-19). UK govt acted 'unlawfully' by not disclosing lucrative Covid-19 contracts for PPE in time for public scrutiny, High Court rules. rt.com The UK government acted unlawfully by not being transparent about contracts it awarded for millions of pounds worth of PPE, face masks, and medical gowns to help fight Covid-19, a High Court judge ruled on Friday. | Health Secretary Matt Hancock was ruled to have breached his legal obligation to disclose details of contracts the government had awarded within 30 days of decisions being made. | The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), which Hancock heads, argued that it could not publish its contract award notices on time, given the emergency nature of government actions during the pandemic. | The legal…

RT (2021-02-19). Left & right alike fume over Dems' bill to ban 'twice-impeached presidents' from burial at Arlington, any honoring of their names. rt.com House Democrats have apparently found time to plot more ways to punish Donald Trump — even as a pandemic and other troubles devastate their constituents — angering Americans of virtually all political persuasions. | The '

RT (2021-02-19). Pandemic put US back on track to meet Paris climate goals, report finds, but at huge human cost. rt.com In what researchers have dubbed a "remarkable" reversal of fortunes, pandemic-induced lockdowns across the US have brought the country back on track to meet targets in the Paris climate accord, but at a grim human cost. | According to an independent report released Thursday, US renewable energy capacity broke new deployment records in 2020, thanks to numerous tax incentives and initiatives, while coal consumption dropped concurrently. | The proportion of electricity generated by renewables hit a record 20 percent of overall capacity, eclipsing coal, which dipped to 19 percent. Emissions from electricity use al…

RT (2021-02-19). 'Idea of Sacrifice a complete nonstarter in US culture before Covid': Pandemic spurred major shift in American values, study finds. rt.com Researchers from UCLA and Harvard University analyzed internet activity, namely online searches and social media posts, and found a significant return to more traditional, rural American values emerged as the pandemic took hold. | The team In their analysis, they used Google searches as one metric to reflect societal mood and attitudes w…

OCHA (2021-02-19). OCHA: Protection of Civilians Report Feb. 2 — 15, 2021. imemc.org The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Occupied Palestinian Territory (oPt) | Protection of Civilians report. Summary from February 2 — 15, 2021 On 5 February, an Israeli settler shot and killed a 34-year-old Palestinian near a newly-constructed settlement outpost next to the village of Ras Karkar (Ramallah); Israeli military sources …

W. T. Whitney Jr. (2021-02-19). UN report slams U.S. economic sanctions against Venezuela. peoplesworld.org Editor's Note: A group of 27 U.S. senators and representatives on Feb. 11 urged President Joe Biden to "consider the humanitarian impacts of sanctions." They did not name specific countries, but at the top of the list of countries currently on the receiving end of U.S. sanctions is Venezuela. The country was the target of …

Chauncey K. Robinson (2021-02-19). Man-made disaster: Capitalism and Republicans failed the people of Texas. peoplesworld.org Winter storms, freezing temperatures, and a failed power grid have left millions of Texans fighting for their lives this week. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz being caught attempting a family vacation to the warmth of Cancun, Mexico, while his constituents faced a humanitarian disaster is the epitome of an unequal system at work. The tragedy in …