Daily Archives: February 21, 2021

2021-02-21: News Headlines

M.K. Bhadrakumar (2021-02-21). India's forever wars and forever warriors. mronline.org Looking ahead, pre-conditions now exist for a positive turn to the India-China bilateral relationship.

MEE and agencies (2021-02-21). Israel's beaches blackened by tar after offshore oil spill. middleeasteye.net Israel's beaches blackened by tar after offshore oil spill | Cleanup effort could take months or years, officials say, as slick hits Israel's 160km-long Mediterranean coast from Gaza to Lebanon | Sun, 02/21/2021 – 21: 20 | A sea turtle gets clean up at a rescue centre in Mikhmoret, north of Tel Aviv, after being discovered in tar washed ashore on an Israeli beach earlier this week (AFP)…

MEE and agencies (2021-02-21). Covid-19: Palestinian vaccine plan faces large funding gap, says World Bank. middleeasteye.net Covid-19: Palestinian vaccine plan faces large funding gap, says World Bank | Israel could consider donating surplus doses to the Palestinians to help accelerate a vaccine roll-out in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, a new World Bank report says | Sun, 02/21/2021 – 23: 02 | Palestinian health workers unload the first shipment of Russia's Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine at the Kerem Shalom borde…

_____ (2021-02-21). Reuters, BBC, and Bellingcat Participated in Covert UK Foreign Office-funded Programs to "Weaken Russia," leaked docs reveal. strategic-culture.org New leaked documents show Reuters' and the BBC's involvement in covert UK FCO programs to effect "attitudinal change" and "weaken the Russian state's influence," alongside intel contractors and Bellingcat. | By Max BLUMENTHAL | The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have sponsored Reuters and the BBC to conduct a series of covert programs aimed at promoting regime change inside Russia and undermining its government across Eastern Europe and Central Asia, according to a series of The leak…

RT (2021-02-21). Biden's press secretary ripped for sidestepping questions on Cuomo nursing home scandal — says WH to 'continue' working with him. rt.com White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has been accused by critics of blatantly dodging questions about NY Governor Andrew Cuomo's controversies, including a probe into whether nursing home deaths from Covid-19 were underreported. | On top of the accusations the New York governor underreported nursing home deaths for political purposes, he has also been accused by a state lawmaker of threatening to "destroy" him if he did not release a public statement supporting the governor. Recent months have also seen a sexual harassment allegation come forth. Cuomo has denied wrongdoing in all of these cases. | Before nume…

RT (2021-02-21). Keep that mask on: Fauci says face coverings could be needed even in 2022, as he defines new 'normality'. rt.com White House health adviser Anthony Fauci has triggered a fresh round of rage online by saying people in the US may be required to wear face masks to protect themselves and others from Covid-19 even in 2022. | Appearing on CNN, Fauci was asked on Sunday to define the "normality" he and President Joe Biden have promised towards the end of this year as more and more people are vaccinated. Pressed specifically as to whether masks would be an everyday part of life next year, Fauci declared himself open to the possibility. | "It is possible that that's the case," he said, "and it depends on what you mean by normalit…

MEE and agencies (2021-02-21). Covid-19: Israel begins reopening economy after vaccinating nearly half its population. middleeasteye.net Covid-19: Israel begins reopening economy after vaccinating nearly half its population | Move comes as criticism of government continues over its failure to vaccinate Palestinians living under its control | Sun, 02/21/2021 – 10: 53 | Israel has administered at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine to more than 46 percent of its nine million population, the health ministry says (Reuters) | I…

RT (2021-02-21). 'Are you here to apologize?' Gina Carano convicted of crimes against wokeness on SNL — where she can't fight back. rt.com Fresh from watching Gina Carano beat the cancel mob by landing a movie deal after being fired from 'The Mandalorian' TV series, leftists took solace in condemning a make-believe version of the actress on 'Saturday Night Live'. | The straw-man version of Carano was featured in a skit in which guests of a fictional talk show were brought on to apologize for wrongdoing. In this case, the alleged sin was one of the politically incorrect social media posts that got Carano fired from her Disney+ series — a warning likening the current demonization of Americans with conservative political views to the way German…

Jeffrey St. Clair (2021-02-21). Power Plays: the Bipartisan Origins of Energy Deregulation. counterpunch.org Shortly after Sen. John Kerry sewed up the delegates needed to seize the Democratic nomination for president in the spring of 2004, he huddled for two hours with James Hoffa, Jr., the boss of the Teamsters union. The topic was oil. The Teamsters wanted more of it at cheaper prices. They had suspicions about Kerry.

Janine Jackson (2021-02-21). 'The U.S. has been obstructionist in chief in Global climate talks'. mronline.org CounterSpin interview with Basav Sen on rejoining the Paris accords.

John McDevitt (2021-02-21). Angola inmates on hunger strike against unlawful extension of solitary confinement. liberationnews.org "The reason [for the strike is]…EVERYONE over here is between one month to six months past their initial disciplinary detention," according to communications from the inmates carrying out the hunger strike.

William Camacaro (2021-02-21). Lawfare threatens to derail the presidential election in Ecuador. mronline.org On February 7, the progressive presidential candidate for the Union of Hope Alliance (UNES) party, Andrés Arauz, won first place in Ecuador's presidential election; this is uncontested.

Eve Ottenberg (2021-02-21). Better News on the Climate. counterpunch.org The good news is the president takes the climate crisis seriously. The bad news is it's worse than ever. The climate catastrophe didn't stop because Trump ignored it. Forests didn't stop burning because he said it was a raking problem. The polar ice caps didn't stop melting because the U.S. acted as if that didn't

Jennifer Matsui (2021-02-21). Truth Telling or True Confessions? counterpunch.org Relating your own personal trauma to strengthen or expand existing laws dealing with sexual violence achieves little towards systemic change. As only individual perpetrators are targeted in these subjective and moralizing first person narratives of good vs evil, more pertinent factors addressing the material conditions underlying these situations are overlooked, while the causes of collectively

Eds. (2021-02-21). Cold truth: The Texas freeze is a catastrophe of the Free Market. mronline.org Texas's electricity market "reforms" made the current crisis inevitable.

Staff (2021-02-21). How Malcolm Little became Malcolm X. therealnews.com On the 56th anniversary of Malcolm X's assassination, we talk with Tamara Payne, co-author of "The Dead Are Arising," an award-winning biography—thirty years in the making—that offers a never-before-seen look into what molded Malcolm Little into Malcolm X.

Raul Diego (2021-02-21). Prisons prime testing ground for dehumanizing hi-tech "advances" mronline.org 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.

Intan Suwandi (2021-02-21). Neoliberalism and Imperialism: Interview with Intan Suwandi. mronline.org Recent cases of U.S. imperialism in Latin America, such as what happened in Bolivia, can serve as a striking example. International trade and financial institutions such as the Unholy Trinity (largely controlled by the North) also still play a major role in perpetuating imperialist relations between the South and the North.

Gideon Polya (2021-02-21). Murdoch's Australia Censors Google, Facebook, Science and Freedom of Speech. dissidentvoice.org The mendacious Australian Mainstream media, Coalition Government and Labor Opposition demand via a news media Bargaining Code that Google and Facebook pay Murdoch and Nine media huge sums for quoting Links to their "information" for free. Google seems to have surrendered to this Australian blackmail and negotiated a private deal to avoid damaging its core …

The Conversation (2021-02-21). How the Texas electricity system produced low-cost power but left residents out in the cold. juancole.com By Theodore J. Kury | — Americans often take electricity for granted — until the lights go out. The recent cold wave and storm in Texas have placed considerable focus on the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, the nonprofit corporation that manages the flow of electricity to more than 26 million Texans. Together, …

RT (2021-02-21). 'It won't simply be sanctions': Biden adviser threatens to punish Russia with 'tools seen & unseen' for SolarWinds hack. rt.com The Biden administration will soon deliver a sweeping response to SolarWinds breach, so that the usual suspect, Russia, understands where Washington draws the line on cyberattacks, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said. | During his The adv…

RT (2021-02-21). Harry Potter video game designer outed as 'far right YouTuber,' but cancel culture calls met with pushback. rt.com A lead designer for the Harry Potter video game 'Hogwarts Legacy' has found himself embroiled in controversy as past right-leaning videos have been uncovered by social justice warriors. | The designer, Troy Leavitt, is currently working with development studio Avalanche Software on the high anticipated video game, but many on social media appear to want him nowhere near the project now that his past has been put under the spotlight. | Leavitt's YouTube videos have included titles like "The Injustice of Social Justice," "In Praise of Cultural Appropriation," and "Are Thoughtcrimes Becoming Real?" First highligh…

RT (2021-02-21). Biden AG nominee Merrick Garland vows to use terror-fighting skills to prosecute Capitol rioters, ahead of confirmation hearing. rt.com Merrick Garland, Joe Biden's Attorney General nominee, wants to aggressively prosecute the pro-Trump crowd who stormed the Capitol, and the media is amplifying his description of the MAGA mob as "white supremacist" extremists. | Garland's hearing kicks off on Monday, and according to the opening statement he plans to deliver to the Senate, Garland will gladly help President Biden crack down on "domestic terrorism" and "white supremacy." | "From 1995 to 1997, I supervised the prosecution of the perpetrators of the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building, who sought to spark a revolution that would topple…

RT (2021-02-21). Deer developed HAIRY EYEBALLS due to rare, baffling condition. rt.com Residents in Farragut, Tennessee were utterly bemused when they witnessed a whitetail deer nonchalantly strutting through their town. Upon closer inspection, they discovered the animal had hair growing out of its eyeballs. | As confused townsfolk tried to capture the bold buck, they couldn't help but notice it had thick hair protruding from discs of flesh which had grown and covered over the buck's eyeballs. | As it turns out, the condition is known as corneal dermoids and has only been documented in one other whitetail deer, also in Tennessee. | www.facebook.com/deerassociation/posts/3959178984095071

RT (2021-02-21). 'I'll die of dehydration before I drink Dasani': Americans mock Coca-Cola for sending unpopular bottled water to Texas amid crisis. rt.com The Coca-Cola company donated several trucks worth of Dasani-branded water to Texans in need last week. Americans were quick to mock the move, however, as the water is often named one of the worst-tasting brands in the country. | According to

RT (2021-02-21). FIGHT TRAINING clip of kids sees journo lament Russians are being trained as 'YOUNG HOCKEY BEASTS' as Americans play video games. rt.com A controversial video of Russian youth hockey players being instructed in how to brawl was seemingly held up by a US outlet as an example of children learning toughness and competitiveness while American kids play video games. | Daily Caller writer David Hookstead posted an article about the viral video on Saturday, showing children in protective hockey gear trading heavy-gloved punches to the helmet as a coach yells instructions. At one point, the coach holds a student by the shirt and throws a slow-motion punch to the facemask to demonstrate the proper technique to the team. | – –æ—&A…

Staff (2021-02-21). US Workers Cried Out for More Masks. The Government Allowed N95 Exports Anyway. truthout.org In the midst of a national shortage of N95 masks, the U.S. government quietly granted an exception to its export ban on protective gear, allowing as many as 5 million of the masks per month to be shipped overseas. | The Federal Emergency Management Agency issued the waiver in the final moments of Donald Trump's presidency last month, allowing a Texas company to export its products after it failed to secure U.S. customers, according to the FEMA letter obtained by KHN. | National Nurses United…

Staff (2021-02-21). Prominent Trump Ally Illegally Supplied Libyan Warlord With Armed Mercenaries. truthout.org Erik Prince, the founder and former CEO of the mercenary firm Blackwater and a close ally of former President Donald Trump, sent weapons to a Libyan warlord in violation of a United Nations arms embargo, according to a confidential U.N. document The U.N. report, which investigators sent to the Security Council on Thursday, reportedly details how Prince sen…

MEE and agencies (2021-02-21). Turkish authorities launch probe against pro-Kurdish MP over militant links. middleeasteye.net Turkish authorities launch probe against pro-Kurdish MP over militant links | Peoples' Democratic Party's Dirayet Dilan Tasdemir says she will prove accusations against her are a 'giant lie and slander' | Sun, 02/21/2021 – 12: 46 | The move comes after a minister said Tasdemir had visited an area in northern Iraq where 13 Turks were killed earlier this month (Facebook) | Turkish authoritie…

MEE and agencies (2021-02-21). Iran: Plan to end UN nuclear inspections reversible if US lifts sanctions. middleeasteye.net Iran: Plan to end UN nuclear inspections reversible if US lifts sanctions | Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says ending inspections will not mean it has abandoned 2015 nuclear deal | Sun, 02/21/2021 – 09: 36 | Iranian President Hassan Rouhani inspects nuclear technology (AFP) | Iran's plans to end snap nuclear inspections by UN inspectors next week are reversible if the United States…

MEE and agencies (2021-02-21). Turkey-backed Libyan interior minister survives assassination attempt in Tripoli. middleeasteye.net Turkey-backed Libyan interior minister survives assassination attempt in Tripoli | Fathi Bashagha, one of Libya's most influential politicians, escaped unhurt after his motorcade was attacked by gunmen | Sun, 02/21/2021 – 15: 07 | Fathi Bashagha is credited with playing a key role as the capital came under attack from eastern Libya-based commander Khalifa Haftar's forces in 2019 (AFP) | On…

MEE and agencies (2021-02-21). White House says US in talks with Iran over detained Americans. middleeasteye.net White House says US in talks with Iran over detained Americans | Biden's security adviser calls Iran's detention of US citizens a 'complete outrage'. Meanwhile, IAEA says deal struck to continue 'necessary' atomic monitoring activities in Iran | Sun, 02/21/2021 – 20: 36 | Biden's security adviser Jake Sullivan: 'We will not accept a long-term proposition where they continue to hold America…

MEE and agencies (2021-02-21). Iran says plans to end snap UN nuclear inspections reversible if US lifts sanctions. middleeasteye.net Iran says plans to end snap UN nuclear inspections reversible if US lifts sanctions | Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says ending inspections will not mean it has abandoned 2015 nuclear deal | Sun, 02/21/2021 – 09: 36 | Iranian President Hassan Rouhani inspects nuclear technology (AFP) | Iran's plans to end snap nuclear inspections by UN inspectors next week are reversible if the Uni…

MEE and agencies (2021-02-21). Sudan risks high prices and angry backlash with radical currency change. middleeasteye.net Sudan risks high prices and angry backlash with radical currency change | Government to abandon longstanding fixed exchange rate in favour of a managed float as part of IMF reform programme | Sun, 02/21/2021 – 12: 17 | The prospect of higher prices comes as citizens are already grappling with an inflation rate that topped 300 percent last month (AFP) | Sudan announced radical changes to it…

Steve Topple (2021-02-21). Keir Starmer just rallied to protect snivelling Matt Hancock. thecanary.co Matt Hancock needn't have worried about the Labour leader savaging him on Sunday 21 February's political TV programmes. Because Keir Starmer completely let the embattled health secretary off the hook. | Hancock: flouting his 'legal obligations': | The Canary

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 …

Staff (2021-02-20). Cities Are Razing Homeless Encampments Despite Record Cold Weather and COVID. truthout.org The deadly spate of winter storms and frigid temperatures that swept across the country this week threw into relief the inhumane treatment of unhoused populations in the United States. In defiance of pandemic guidelines, city agencies and police across the country have refused to suspend the practice of demolishing encampments and driving out those who have sought to make shelter, potentially exposing vulnerable people to dangerous temperatures and worsening viral spread. | Municipalities inc…

Ralph Nader (2021-02-20). Why Didn't Speaker Pelosi Want Witnesses? commondreams.org As Republican strategist Kevin Philips noted years ago, the Republicans go for the jugular while the Democrats go for the capillaries. | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/cd_special_coverage/public/views-article/thumbs/pelosi_schumer_2_1.jpg

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 …

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…

RT (2021-02-20). France's health minister considering new restrictions & regional lockdowns as Covid-19 spread continues. rt.com France's accelerating spread of Covid-19 is likely to prompt it to impose new restrictions, including regional lockdowns, the country's health minister has said. The situation is especially bad in the southern resort city of Nice. | Health Minister Olivier Veran visited that city on Saturday, inspecting a local health center. Nice has experienced a major surge in coronavirus lately, becoming the worst-affected city in the country, with an infection rate of 751 cases per 100,000 people. | "There are a few cities and areas in France where the virus is circulating much more quickly than elsewhere and this may req…

RT (2021-02-20). Global Covid-19 cases plummet by 50% since January peak despite colder temperatures boosting transmission rates. rt.com According to a new tally, there has been a steep decline in new Covid-19 cases worldwide — a somewhat precipitous drop of 50 percent from the January peak, despite research indicating cooler temperatures improve transmissibility. | New global case numbers have reached their lowest levels in four months, dropping below 400,000 to roughly 362,000 new cases, according to the latest AFP tally, which noted that new infections worldwide are down 12 percent over the past week, from a high of 743,000 in January. | This constitutes the sharpest and most prolonged drop in new infections since the start of the pand…

RT (2021-02-20). Ireland says cluster of more contagious Brazilian Covid variant 'completely contained'. rt.com A cluster of three cases of Brazilian coronavirus variant in Ireland, which provoked alarming headlines in the Irish media, has been contained, a top medical official announced on Saturday. | The three infected individuals were recent arrivals from Brazil, the head of National Virus Reference Laboratory, Cillian de Gascun, told RTE radio. | The mutated virus was discovered in the three during a 14-day quarantine after their return to Ireland. | The cluster has now been "completely contained," de Gascun said. | The infections, which were announced by health officials on Friday, became the first cases of the Bra…

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). G7 states account for nearly HALF of all administered Covid-19 vaccine doses globally as WHO roots for fair & equal distribution. rt.com More than 200 million Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered across 107 countries and territories, AFP has reported, citing official data. Nearly a half of these have gone to the wealthy G7 club of nations. | Around 45 percent of injections were given in states belonging to the Group of Seven (G7), AFP said on Saturday. | The G7, which includes the US, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, accounts for just 10 percent of the world's population. | On Friday, the group promised to increase to $7.5 billion its collective support for the World Health Organization's (WHO) vaccine distribution pr…

Staff (2021-02-20). Ocasio-Cortez Backs Probe of Cuomo's Mishandling of Nursing Home COVID Deaths. truthout.org Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Friday joined a "I… stand with our local officials calling for a full investigation of the Cuomo administration's handling of nursing homes during Covid-19," the prominent Democratic lawmaker, who represents New Yo…

Staff (2021-02-20). Unprepared for COVID, Texas Women's Prison Was Equally Unprepared for Uri. truthout.org When Winter Storm Uri hit Texas, Holli Wrice — a woman incarcerated at a federal medical prison in the Dallas-Fort Worth area — had just gotten out of medical isolation after testing positive for COVID two weeks earlier. The storm, which hit over Presidents' Day weekend, wreaked havoc across the state, The fede…

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…

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…

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…