Daily Archives: February 22, 2021

2021-02-22: News Headlines

Staff (2021-02-22). Fossil Fuel Shock Doctrine: Naomi Klein on Deadly Deregulation & Why Texas Needs the Green New Deal. democracynow.org Millions of Texans are still suffering after severe winter weather devastated the state's energy and water systems. About 8 million Texans remain under orders to boil water, and 30,000 homes still have no power. Around 70 deaths have now been linked to the winter storms, including at least 12 people who died inside their homes after losing heat. Republican lawmakers in Texas are facing increasing criticism for their handling of the crisis, their decades-long push to deregulate the state's energy system, and their unfounded attacks on renewable energy and the Green New Deal. Naomi Klein, senior correspondent at Th…

Staff (2021-02-22). No Heat or Water, Overflowing Toilets, Disgusting Food: Texas Prisons Went "from Bad to Dire" in Storm. democracynow.org As winter storms overwhelmed Texas, many incarcerated people in the state went days without heat and water, making already grim conditions behind bars even more intolerable for thousands of people. Officials say 33 prisons across the state lost power and 20 had water shortages after the state's electrical grid failed. Staff shortages compounded the problems, and some incarcerated people report not being provided with blankets to keep warm in their freezing cells and being served inedible food. "Texas prison conditions have gone from bad to dire," says Marshall Project reporter Keri Blakinger. "Prisons didn't real…

Staff (2021-02-22). This Is What Deregulation Looks Like: Some Texans Face $10K+ in Electric Bills, Others Still in Dark. democracynow.org When millions of Texans lost power during extreme winter weather, some who were fortunate enough to keep the lights on now face astronomically high energy bills, with people being charged thousands of dollars for just a few days of energy use. The skyrocketing bills are a result of the state's years-long push to deregulate its energy market, says Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen's Energy Program. "We are seeing in these deregulated environments unscrupulous companies preying on their assumption that households will not understand or read the fine print," says Slocum. We also speak with Texas resident Akil…

_____ (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…

Ben Cowles (2021-02-22). NGO refugee rescue ship left waiting on European help that never came. peoplesworld.org An NGO refugee rescue ship in the central Mediterranean waited hours today for help from the Maltese and Italian coastguards that never came after the vessel saved the lives of 148 people, 28 more than it is legally allowed to carry. Basque charity Humanitarian Maritime Rescue (SMH) announced in the morning that the Aita Mari …

MEE staff (2021-02-22). Covid-19: Former Israeli minister urges denial of vaccine to Palestinians in Gaza. middleeasteye.net Covid-19: Former Israeli minister urges denial of vaccine to Palestinians in Gaza | Ayelet Shaked argued humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the besieged territory should be blocked over bodies of two Israeli soldiers held by Hamas | Mon, 02/22/2021 – 14: 57 | A Palestinian health worker holds swab samples collected to test for Covid-19 in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on 16 February 2021 (AFP) | Former Isr…

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…

Margaret Flowers (2021-02-22). Global Solidarity Is Needed During The Pandemic To End Medical Apartheid. dissidentvoice.org Some of the truths the COVID-19 pandemic is exposing about the United States are its racial disparities in health and access to health care. Black and Indigenous people are more likely to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 than white people. They are two to three times more likely to be hospitalized and …

Ralph Nader (2021-02-22). Why Didn't Speaker Pelosi Want Witnesses? counterpunch.org Democratic leaders told the House managers to huddle privately with Trump's defense lawyers to strike a deal. They did. They would place a mere statement from Rep. Beutler into the trial record and call no witnesses. The Republicans couldn't have been more delighted, knowing that the Democratic leadership wanted the trial over that day before Congress went on a week-long vacation.

Howard Lisnoff (2021-02-22). One Flew Over the US. counterpunch.org On the best route (also the route that the Metro North Railroad follows) to New York City from western Massachusetts, stands the remnants of a long-abandoned state psychiatric facility (Harlem Valley State Hospital) in upstate New York. The many buildings that housed mentally ill people, like others in many states, have the appearance of brick military-style

M. G. Piety (2021-02-22). Saving the Classics from Blindness. counterpunch.org Dan-el Padilla Peralta, a classics professor at Princeton, was the subject of a recent article in the New York Times Magazine entitled "He Wants to Save the Classics From Whiteness. Can the Field Survive?" Padilla, according to the article, believes classics, as an academic discipline, "has been instrumental to the invention of 'whiteness' and its continued domination." I won't argue with that. I don't know enough about classics as an academic discipline. I do know something about academic disciplines more generally, though, and I have to say that, in my experience, most are characterized by at least unconscious,…

Jordan Woll (2021-02-22). Will Biden scrap Afghanistan withdrawal? liberationnews.org To the extent that the administration is still considering following through on the withdrawal, it is an expression of the military failure of the United States over the long course of the war.

George Ochenski (2021-02-22). Who Messed with Texas? counterpunch.org Texans like to brag endlessly about how great their state is, its "independence," and warn, "don't mess with Texas." But as millions of Texans now huddle freezing in the dark of this self-proclaimed "energy capital of the world," it might be worth thinking about how this tragedy happened, who and what caused it, and why Republican politicians are trying to blame renewable energy for a problem caused by poorly built and maintained fossil fuel generation facilities and the predatory capitalism of its deregulated energy system.

Prensa Latina (2021-02-22). Cuba en vicepresidencia del Comité de ONU sobre Descolonización. peoplesworld.org Naciones Unidas, 18 feb (Prensa Latina) Cuba fue electa hoy para la vicepresidencia del Comité Especial de Descolonización de la ONU, cargo que asume con el compromiso de seguir luchando para erradicar el colonialismo en cualquiera de sus manifestaciones. Así expresó el representante permanente del país caribeño ante Naciones Unidas, Pedro Luis Pedroso, al asumir …

Peoples Dispatch (2021-02-22). Red Books Day celebrated internationally to mark 173 years since the publication of 'The Communist Manifesto'. peoplesdispatch.org On February 21, 1948 the Manifesto of the Communist Party written by Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels was first published in the UK. The book is recognized as one of the most influential in the history of humankind and it has been translated in almost all languages in the world.

Yves Engler (2021-02-22). Haitian Official stashes Wealth in Montréal. dissidentvoice.org Recent media reports of a Haitian official stashing wealth in Montréal property ignore a key element of the story: Canada's contribution to enabling Haitian corruption. As a neo-Duvalierist regime becomes ever more dictatorial it's also worth revisiting Canada's history in facilitating fraud and money laundering in the hemisphere's most impoverished nation. Recently La Presse reported …

Erik Molvar (2021-02-22). "Apocalypse Cow:" Point Reyes National Seashore Launches a Propaganda War Targeting Independent Journalism. counterpunch.org Grab your popcorn: The battle over livestock destruction of natural ecosystems at Point Reyes National Seashore is heating up. For years, conservationists have pointed out the ecologically catastrophic toll that beef and dairy ranching has been having on native coastal prairies, the wildlife that depend on these places, and public health and safety. As the

Sonali Kolhatkar (2021-02-22). GOP Offers Preview of Brutal Climate Policies in Texas. counterpunch.org As Texas battles a severe snowstorm and mass power outages this winter, Tim Boyd, the now-former Republican mayor of Colorado City, revealed his party's plan for the deadly extreme temperatures linked to climate change. In a lengthy Facebook post that was deleted soon after it went viral, then-Mayor Boyd told his residents that they were entirely on their own as the brutal winter weather caused mayhem and deaths across the Lone Star state.

Hugo Murphy (2021-02-22). The Weekly Round-up: Free Speech: Chilling Effects or Phantom Threats? ukhumanrightsblog.com A number of legal developments put free speech under the spotlight this week. First, media commentators disputed the significance of the Duchess of Sussex's successful privacy claim against Associated Newspaper Limited, covered in last week's round-up. A leader in The Times issued the grave warning that 'Mr Justice Warby's judgment creates a precedent that will have a chilling effect on …

Peoples Dispatch (2021-02-22). Protests continue in Haiti against the dictatorship and imperialism. peoplesdispatch.org Another round of massive protests took place on February 21 calling for an end to the dictatorship of Jovenel MoàØse whose term was supposed to end on February 7…

The Conversation (2021-02-22). WHO Busts Wuhan Myths: Pandemic started with wild Animal, not Lab, and Wet Market wasn't Ground Zero. juancole.com By Dominic Dwyer | — As I write, I am in hotel quarantine in Sydney, after returning from Wuhan, China. There, I was the Australian representative on the international World Health Organization's (WHO) investigation into the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Much has been said of the politics surrounding the mission to investigate the viral …

PAI (2021-02-22). Impeachment manager Raskin's last word on Trump: He's 'a traitor'. peoplesworld.org WASHINGTON (PAI)—Unveiling a key word he never uttered during Donald Trump's impeachment trial in mid-February, chief House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., has labeled former White House Republican denizen Trump a "traitor." Raskin, a longtime constitutional law professor, delivered that verdict at the opening of a short Zoom video speech to the Government Employees …

Brian W. Major (2021-02-22). 'Judas and the Black Messiah,' the story of revolutionary Black Panther Fred Hampton. peoplesworld.org In the summer of 2020, the United States, as in much of the world, experienced an uptick in activism around the issue of racial oppression. The recent increase in police killings of Black people, exemplified by George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, was answered by the militancy of those who have simply had too much. Black …

Staff (2021-02-22). Nathan Robinson speaks about losing his Guardian column after criticizing Israel. therealnews.com Current Affairs Editor-in-Chief Nathan Robinson tweeted a joke satirizing U.S. support of Israel, and The Guardian newspaper cancelled his regular op-ed column. Now he speaks with TRNN about facing accusations of anti-Semitism for criticizing Israeli power on Capitol Hill.

Orinoco Tribune (2021-02-22). New European Union sanctions on democratic elections: 30 Venezuelan politicians to be sanctioned. mronline.org The European Union (EU) announced this Friday, February 19, that the body will sanction about thirty Venezuelan leaders for participating in the legislative elections last December, reported Europa Press, alluding to a "high ranked official" of the community bloc.

Brett Wilkins (2021-02-22). Texas refineries used storm to hide release of tons of pollutants. peoplesworld.org Editor's note: This article has been reprinted from EcoWatch. Texas oil refineries released hundreds of thousands of pounds of pollutants including benzene, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, and sulfur dioxide into the air as they scrambled to shut down during last week's deadly winter storm, Reuters reported Sunday. Winter storm Uri, which killed dozens of people …

Eds. (2021-02-22). Partners: China and Cuba. mronline.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.

_____ (2021-02-22). Beyond Oil: How the UAE's HOPE Mars Mission Is Breaking the Arab World Out of the Crisis of Scarcity. strategic-culture.org The Emiratis understand that their economy, primarily based in oil revenue, though presently lucrative, is a short-term prosperity. A future that is Something truly remarkable happened on Feb. 9th, 2021, which I fear has not been fully comprehended by most of the Western hemisphere in terms of its massive implications as a game-changer in geopolit…

_____ (2021-02-22). Prisons Prime Testing Ground for Dehumanizing Hi-Tech 'Advances'. strategic-culture.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. | By Raul DIEGO | Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is coming under fire again from Democratic lawmakers, as well as from the American Postal Workers Union, who are calling for President Joe Biden to pave the way for DeJoy's removal after the Trump-appointee

_____ (2021-02-22). Biden's Great School Reset — Is It a Time for Change? strategic-culture.org The door is open to think about how we can change our 1800's education to meet up with or fight against the demands of this upcoming new industrial revolution, Tim Kirby writes. | It is hard to say exactly why, but political change of a grand sweeping nature simply does not occur without some sort of crisis to demand it. A catalyst is always needed. For years it has been obvious that many office jobs could simply be done from home without wasting employees' time and earnings on a commute and workspace. If it were not for the Coronavirus, driving over an hour to work on an inferior computer in a beige cubicle surr…

Jennifer Wilson (2021-02-22). Elena Ferrante's Class Dramas. thenation.com Her latest novel, The Lying Life of Adults, mines the contradictions of class identity.

Peoples Dispatch (2021-02-22). Antonio Guterres criticizes unequal global access to COVID-19 vaccines, calls it 'wildly unfair'. mronline.org The UN secretary general pointed out that 75% of all vaccinations so far have been administered in just 10 rich countries, whereas 130 mostly poor countries have not received a single dose of vaccine.

Jomo Kwame Sundaram (2021-02-22). IP, vaccine imperialism cause death and suffering, delay recovery. mronline.org Vaccine developers' refusal to share publicly funded vaccine research findings is stalling broader, affordable vaccinations which would more rapidly contain COVID-19 contagion. The pandemic had infected at least 109 million people worldwide, causing over 2.4 million deaths as of mid-February.

Staff (2021-02-22). The pandemics of racism and COVID-19 are a deadly mix. therealnews.com A century of racist public policy laid the foundation for deep racial inequities in employment and vaccination rates in the U.S. pandemic response.

Dana Taib Menmy (2021-02-22). Iraq: Alarm raised over free speech in Kurdistan after jailing of journalists. middleeasteye.net Iraq: Alarm raised over free speech in Kurdistan after jailing of journalists | At his trial, Kurdish journalist Sherwan Sherwani repeatedly alleged that authorities had threatened to rape his wife if he did not sign a confession | Mon, 02/22/2021 – 16: 00 | Sherwan Sherwani was arrested in October last year following his coverage of anti-government protests in Dohuk and Erbil provinces (Soci…

Shatha Hammad (2021-02-22). 'They destroyed our dreams': Israel's bulldozers target Palestinian women farmers. middleeasteye.net 'They destroyed our dreams': Israel's bulldozers target Palestinian women farmers | The Palestinian women workforce faces a 'direct threat', as Israeli forces raze their agricultural lands | Mon, 02/22/2021 – 11: 05 | On 6 December 2020, Israeli bulldozers carried out one of the largest tree uprooting operations to date in the West Bank, destroying 3,400 olive trees in one day (Social media/Daoud A…

Ragip Soylu (2021-02-22). Greece to install long-range cameras and radars along border with Turkey: Report. middleeasteye.net Greece to install long-range cameras and radars along border with Turkey: Report | Athens continues to tighten border security in a bid to discourage undocumented migration | Mon, 02/22/2021 – 10: 48 | Migrants near the fence of the Turkey-Greece border buffer zone in Edirne, Turkey, 7 March 2020 (AFP) | Greece will position radars and cameras with a range of up to 15km along its land border with Turkey…

Areeb Ullah (2021-02-22). Saudi Arabia arms deals: UK 'prolonging' Yemen war with weapon sales. middleeasteye.net Saudi Arabia arms deals: UK 'prolonging' Yemen war with weapon sales | UK issued open licences for bombs, missiles and rockets worth £1.36bn in 2020, as well as equipment to help air-to-air refuelling of Saudi jets | Mon, 02/22/2021 – 12: 34 | Workers in the Yemeni capital Sanaa search through debris at a warehouse after it was reportedly hit in an air strike by the Saudi-led coalition on 2 July 20…

Alex Ewing (2021-02-22). Victims of human trafficking: can they be criminals as well? ukhumanrightsblog.com V.C.L. and A.N. v the United Kingdom (16 February 2021) Human trafficking is internationally recognised as threatening human rights and the fundamental values of democratic societies. States have taken action to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking and to provide support to victims of what is the third largest illicit money-making venture in the world. But …

Aaliyah Harris (2021-02-22). LGBT+ History Month: 36 brilliant resources for Queer Black, Asian, Ethnic Minority and POC. thecanary.co @SinkT…

Daniel Hemel — Bob Lord (2021-02-22). Jeffrey Epstein's Billionaire Tax Avoidance Assistance Business. counterpunch.org The sex-trafficking scandal surrounding the late Jeffrey Epstein already has tarnished the reputations of prominent politicians, businessmen, and the British royal family. Now it's casting a dark shadow on an estate tax-avoidance strategy popular among Wall Street CEOs and tech entrepreneurs. The strategy exploits a loophole that Congress unintentionally left open when it passed provisions

RT (2021-02-22). 'I'm not going down WITHOUT A FIGHT': Actress Gina Carano vows to overcome cancel mob & 'Disney bullies'. rt.com Actress Gina Carano said she was motivated to fight back against cancel culture and Hollywood bullying because she wanted to make it safe for others to freely speak their minds in a world of increasing left-wing intolerance. | The former MMA fighter, who was fired from the Disney+ TV series 'The Mandalorian' earlier this month because of her social media posts, said she couldn't back down and issue a disingenuous apology after watching other actors steamrolled for politically incorrect views. She anticipated her firing, after months of attacks from the cancel mob, and decided to "go down swinging." | "My body'

RT (2021-02-22). US woman died after receiving coronavirus-infected lungs during organ transplant, study reveals. rt.com A Michigan woman died of Covid-19 last year after getting a double-lung transplant from a donor who turned out to be infected with the virus, according to a medical study describing the first such case in the US. | The unnamed organ recipient had chronic obstructive lung disease, while her donor was another woman, who succumbed to a severe brain injury after a car crash, a The surgery took place at the University Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan in mid-2020…

RT (2021-02-22). 'Thank you,' says MyPillow's Mike Lindell as he's finally sued by Dominion after months of begging. rt.com Dominion Voting Systems has filed a lawsuit against MyPillow CEO and vocal Donald Trump supporter Mike Lindell over his election fraud claims, saying "the lie sells pillows." | Lindell is only the latest person to be legally targeted by Dominion over election fraud conspiracy theories. The company filed suit last month against Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, accusing him of pushing election conspiracies to "financially enrich himself." | Dominion is now suing Lindell for defamation, seeking $1.3 billion in damages. | "MyPillow's defamatory marketing campaign — with promo codes like 'FightforTrump', '45', 'P…

RT (2021-02-22). 'Why would anyone get the jab after this?': AP criticized for saying Covid vaccination WON'T bring life back to normal. rt.com Mainstream US media is under fire for publishing an article telling Americans that life won't go back to normal even after they've been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 — and critics argue the message discourages vaccination. | In an AP

RT (2021-02-22). 'Everything has improved': Chelsea skipper Azpilicueta backs Tuchel takeover after Blues languished under Lampard's leadership. rt.com Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta has thrown his weight behind Roman Abramovich's decision to replace club legend Frank Lampard with German boss Thomas Tuchel, admitting that the team had underperformed under their former coach. | The Chelsea hierarchy bit the bullet last month, drawing the curtains on their 18-month Lampard experiment at the West London club after a prolonged spell of poor performances. | Abramovich moved quickly to install the highly-rated former Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain manager in the Stamford Bridge dugout — and Tuchel has rewarded the Russian owner by staying unbeate…

The Canary (2021-02-22). After one month underground anti-HS2 activist decides 'I'm coming out'. thecanary.co An environmental activist who spent almost a month underground in protest at the HS2 railway line has come out from a tunnel near London's Euston Station. Geography lecturer Larch Maxey, 48, had his belongings confiscated by bailiffs on Monday and said in a video he "feels fine", but that medics have persuaded him to go to hospital to "be on the safe side". | "I'm coming out": | The subterranean system was created in secret by protesters who object to the redevelopment of Euston Square Gardens as part of the high-speed railway line. | In a video posted on Monday, Dr Maxey said: I've basically met my match,…

MEE and agencies (2021-02-22). British businesswoman helped in failed plot to aid Libya's Haftar, says UN report. middleeasteye.net British businesswoman helped in failed plot to aid Libya's Haftar, says UN report | Three British citizens have been listed as part of security contractor Erik Prince's ill-fated attempt to back the Libyan military commander | Mon, 02/22/2021 – 10: 45 | Libyan general Khalifa Haftar at his desk in Benghazi, Libya on 8 September 2020. (AFP) | British citizens, including a Dubai-based busine…

MEE and agencies (2021-02-22). Yemen: Warring parties fail to agree prisoner swap deal, says UN. middleeasteye.net Yemen: Warring parties fail to agree prisoner swap deal, says UN | UN envoy Martin Griffiths said he was 'disappointed' there had been no success from the month-long talks | Mon, 02/22/2021 – 08: 31 | Members of the Yemeni pro-government forces who were reportedly detained by Houthi rebels gesture during a prisoners swap in Taiz on 19 December 2019 (AFP) | Warring parties in Yemen failed t…

Staff (2021-02-22). Headlines for February 22, 2021. democracynow.org Biden Declares Major Disaster in TX as Tragic Stories Emerge, Residents Hit with Soaring Power Bills, U.S. to Top 500,000 COVID Deaths as Democrats Advance $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Package, U.K. Eases Lockdown; Iranian Vaccine Shows Promising Results; Bolivia Health Workers Launch Strike, Protests Intensify in Burma After 3 Demonstrators Die Amid Violent Crackdown, Thailand Anti-Government Protests Continue After PM Survives No-Confidence Vote, Conservative Guillermo Lasso Advances to 2nd Round of Ecuadorian Presidential Election, Uber Drivers in U.K. Win Legal Battle to Be Recognized as Company Employees, Pentagon…