Daily Archives: March 17, 2021

2021-03-17: News Headlines

Joel Wendland-Liu (2021-03-17). 'Making it' in America as pure fantasy: Ayad Akhtar's 'Homeland Elegies: A Novel'. peoplesworld.org The book jacket describes Homeland Elegies as "art family drama, part social essay, part picaresque novel." The decision to confuse these genres is both tantalizing and frustrating. Its subtitle identifies it as "a novel." This pre-pandemic text refers often to real-life events, such as to his own plays and to main actors in those plays …

RT (2021-03-17). CNN ripped for article admitting anti-lockdown Florida is 'booming' but implying Gov. DeSantis shouldn't be 'taking credit'. rt.com Critics are accusing CNN of playing politics and spinning the success of 'booming' Florida, which defied typical Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, as having nothing to do with Gov. Ron DeSantis. | "Everyone told me I was wrong," DeSantis said this week at a fundraiser about pandemic lockdowns. "I faced continued pressure from radical Democrats and the liberal media, but I refused to back down. It's clear: Florida got it right." | While many states are just beginning the process of reopening businesses and rolling back pandemic-era restrictions, Florida has been open for the better part of the last year — an…

Staff (2021-03-17). Spain Plans to Begin Experimenting With a Four-Day Workweek. truthout.org As the coronavirus pandemic changes the way societies around the world view work, Spain has announced it will begin a limited trial of a four-day workweek in a bid to boost productivity, mental health, and the environment. | The Guardian

Guest Contributor (2021-03-17). Pandemic NHS workers should be granted indefinite leave to remain — Aaron Gates-Lincoln. ukhumanrightsblog.com Migrant workers have been essential to the operations of the NHS ever since its inception in 1948. Over the decades, many programmes have been used to encourage and find overseas workers and help them migrate to the UK to be employed in the healthcare system, demonstrating our governments acknowledgment of how important they are. As …

Staff (2021-03-17). Jackson Mayor Demands Help After Month-Long Water Crisis Amid Pandemic, Racism, Broken Infrastructure. democracynow.org Residents in Jackson, Mississippi, have been facing a water crisis over the last five weeks, with many people lacking reliable access to clean drinking water after deadly February winter storms caused pipes and water mains to burst. While water delivery has largely been restored, "boil water" orders remain in effect for most people. The city estimates it could cost $2 billion to fix the city's water system. The crisis in Jackson, which is 82% Black, highlights how climate catastrophe threatens much of the nation's aging infrastructure. Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba says while the city "contributes millions of dollar…

RT (2021-03-17). False alarm or malicious rumor? Twitter account claiming to be Ecuadorian FM falsely announces death of Julian Assange. rt.com A Twitter account purporting to belong to Ecuador's newly promoted foreign minister has falsely reported Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's death, acknowledging the news is "unconfirmed." It's not clear who's behind the report. | A recently created Twitter account supposedly belonging to Ecuadorian FM Manuel Mejía Dalmau posted an "URGENT" message on Wednesday declaring "diplomatic sources in London" had reported "the news of the death of Julian Assange," the Wikileaks founder's partner Stella Moris revealed on Wednesday, posting a screenshot of the tweet that noted the report was "unconfirmed." | pic.t…

Ramzy Baroud (2021-03-17). The Ongoing Calamity: US Collective Punishment of the Venezuelan People Must End. dissidentvoice.org Recent statements made by US officials suggest that Washington will continue to pursue a hardline policy on Venezuela. The new Biden Administration, however, needs to urgently rethink its approach. US State Department spokesperson, Ned Price, remarked on February 3 that he "certainly" does not "expect this administration to be engaging directly with (President) Maduro." Namely, …

Ellis Cose (2021-03-17). Racial Justice and Civil Liberties: An Inseparable History at the ACLU. aclu.org After World War I, it quickly became clear that the war to make the world "safe for democracy" had not made America safe for equality. Anti-Black race riots ripped through Chicago, New York, Washington D.C., and even Elaine, Arkansas. In October 1919, after Black sharecroppers in Elaine convened a union meeting, newspapers labeled the effort a "Negro uprising." The state mobilized troops and mobs to quell the rebellion. The result was "possibly the bloodiest racial conflict in the history of the United States," concluded the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. | The American Civil Liberties Union's origin…

Eds. (2021-03-17). Magellan, inquisition and globalisation. mronline.org MR Online

Media Lens (2021-03-17). The Impossible Peter Oborne. dissidentvoice.org On the face of it, Peter Oborne is impossible. It's not possible to be educated at Sherborne independent school, at Cambridge University, to work as political editor of the Spectator, as chief political commentator of The Daily Telegraph, as a journalist at the Evening Standard, as a commentator at the Express, to make nearly 30 …

Judy Greenspan (2021-03-17). California rally: 'Union busting is disgusting!'. workers.org San Francisco, March 12 San Francisco March 12 — Labor union and community members rallied today in front of the offices of Morgan Lewis, a law firm with offices in 31 cities around the world with a sordid history of union busting. Morgan Lewis was recently hired by Amazon to . . . |

Climate Nexus (2021-03-17). Environmentalists seek climate action in U.S. infrastructure bill. peoplesworld.org Environmental groups are launching a $10 million push for Congress to make climate change central to infrastructure legislation. "The Great American Build" campaign, a joint effort of Climate Power, the League of Conservation Voters and Potential Energy Coalition, will pressure lawmakers to include funding for climate action as part of the emerging infrastructure package. "Americans elected pro-climate …

Martha Grevatt (2021-03-17). Bust the filibuster! Pass the PRO Act! workers.org On March 9 the House of Representatives passed the Protect the Right to Organize Act, the most sweeping amendment to the 1935 National Labor Relations Act since the notorious, union-busting Taft-Hartley Act of 1947. Unions are now demanding the Senate pass the PRO Act, which undoes parts of Taft-Hartley and . . . |

Eds. (2021-03-17). The watchdogs of imperialism and the Uyghur genocide slander. mronline.org MR Online

Chauncey K. Robinson (2021-03-17). One year later: Don't forget about Breonna Taylor. peoplesworld.org Her death sparked a movement for change. Hundreds of thousands took to the streets to demand accountability for months following the killing of Breonna Taylor and other African Americans at the hands of police. On the one-year anniversary of Taylor's death, there is still justice to be fought for. The fight goes beyond a trending …

Binoy Kampmark (2021-03-17). The University Deception: Rankings and Academic Freedom. counterpunch.org Forget the global university rankings of any list. The global university promotion exercise is filled with snake oil and perfumed refuse, an effort to corrupt the unknowing and steal from the gullible. The aim here is to convince parents, potential students and academics that their institutions of white collar crime are appealing enough to warrant

Parth M.N. (2021-03-17). India's Farm Crisis: "How Long Will the Lies Work?" counterpunch.org If it weren't for the violent blows of police lathi s, the farmers protesting in Uttar Pradesh's Baghpat district would not have left their protest site on January 27. "The protest had been going on for 40 days," says Brijpal Singh, 52, a sugarcane farmer from Baraut town, where the sit-in was held. "It was not

Editor (2021-03-17). Defend voting rights! workers.org The former Republican president may be absent from the corporate media these days, but his racist and pro-rich ideas live on in all reactionary political institutions and organizations. This ideology flourishes in the Republican Party's current assault on the universal right to vote. We are well aware of the limitations . . . |

Tomdispatch (2021-03-17). On January 6th, the U.S. Became a Foreign Country. juancole.com By Kevin Tillman | — ( Tomdispatch.com) — Just about everyone was shocked by what happened at the Capitol building on January 6th. But as a former soldier in America's forever wars, horrifying as the scenes were, I also found what happened strangely familiar, almost inevitable. I thought that, if only we had taken our …

G. Dunkel (2021-03-17). Greek unions say 'No!' to police violence. workers.org The banner of the Federation of Construction Workers (member of the All Workers Militant Front — PAME) at an anti-police violence march in Greece, March 9. Behind the union banner of the Federation of Construction Workers of Greece bearing the slogan "Money for health and education! No to repression and . . . |

Dianne Mathiowetz (2021-03-17). Killings of Korean women reflects U.S. misogyny and racism. workers.org Demonstrators at "Love Our Communities: Build Collective Power" rally to raise awareness of anti-Asian violence in Los Angeles, March 13. Atlanta Beginning at 5 p.m., March 16, the first horrific news of the murders of four people and the wounding of a fifth at Young's Asian Massage in Acworth, a . . . |

Eds. (2021-03-17). Trigger words and the duty of revolutionaries in the Internet era. mronline.org MR Online

Alan Macleod (2021-03-17). Twitter Deletes QAnon to Protect US from Upheaval; Russia May Delete Twitter for the Same Reason. mintpressnews.com With American social media companies increasingly controlled by the national security state, Russia is considering bans on the likes of Twitter and YouTube.

John Wojcik, C.J. Atkins (2021-03-17). Biden administration 'tackling' difficult border situation, progressives say step up the pace. peoplesworld.org In its attempts to deal with rising numbers of immigrants at the southwest border, the Biden administration is facing strong criticism from many different sources, some of it legitimate but much of it outrageously hypocritical. The administration's head of Homeland Security insisted yesterday that the situation is "under control." He made that assertion during a …

The Conversation (2021-03-17). Every day is war' — a decade of slow suffering and destruction in Syria. juancole.com By Ammar Azzouz | — Abduljalil sent me a photo of his ruined home in Homs, Syria. "It is the third floor", he told me over WhatsApp. The building still stands but it looks like an empty skeleton. Most of its facade has been destroyed, while piles of debris surround it. Residents have not been …

Andrew Bankson (2021-03-17). Pittsburgh's city budget works for the police but not for the people. liberationnews.org The Pittsburgh city budget is a further entrenchment of the same capitalist status quo…

M. G. Piety (2021-03-17). Diversity and False Dichotomies at Smith College. counterpunch.org Can exchanges between individuals always unproblematically be characterized as either racist or not racist? Bret Stephens appears to think so. Smith College hired an independent law firm to investigate what a student argued was a racist incident on campus back in 2018. The investigation ended with a finding of "no persuasive evidence of bias." This

Mark Gruenberg (2021-03-17). Columbia University forces TAs, RAs to strike, again. peoplesworld.org NEW YORK—For the second time in four years, Columbia University's intransigent bosses' refusal to meaningfully bargain for a contract with their more than 2,000 teaching assistants and resident assistants forced those workers to strike. The walkout began on March 16, even though a three-and-a-half-hour bargaining session was scheduled for that afternoon. The two sides are …

Kathy Durkin (2021-03-17). Philippine activists demand: 'Stop the killings and arrests!'. workers.org "Kill them all!" ordered Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, addressing the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines on March 5. Two days later, state forces following the dictator's edict carried out a deadly attack on progressive activists in the Southern Tagalog region. Protest against the March 7 massacre . . . |

Walden Bello (2021-03-17). John Locke and the Roots of White Supremacy in the US. counterpunch.org Ideas count — sometimes, they are even stronger than material interests. This is the case with the legacy of 17th century philosopher John Locke in the United States, which is central to explaining why class solidarity is so weak while white racial solidarity is so strong. Recent events have confirmed the unfortunate fact that there

Tina Ngo, Wai Lee Chin Feman, Bethie Wang (2021-03-17). Why are hate crimes against Asian Americans on the rise? liberationnews.org Over the past year, we have seen an alarming surge in racist violence directed toward Asian Americans.

Mark Gruenberg (2021-03-17). OSHA targets coronavirus inspections to health care, meatpacking firms. peoplesworld.org WASHINGTON—Carrying out Democratic President Joe Biden's executive order, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's inspectors will put health care firms—including hospitals and nursing homes—and meat and poultry packers at the top of its inspections and enforcement list in the war against the coronavirus. It's especially going to focus its ire on employers who retaliate against …

Nomi Prins (2021-03-17). Infrastructure Should Be the Great Economic Equalizer. counterpunch.org During the Trump years, the phrase "Infrastructure Week" rang out as a sort of Groundhog Day-style punchline. What began in June 2017 as a failed effort by The Donald's White House and a Republican Senate to focus on the desperately needed rebuilding of American infrastructure morphed into a meme and a running joke in Washington.

Umar A Farooq (2021-03-17). Pro-Palestinian groups urge Canada to cancel purchase of Israeli drone. middleeasteye.net Pro-Palestinian groups urge Canada to cancel purchase of Israeli drone | Canadian NGO says Ottawa's recent purchase of civilian version of military drone implicitly rewards Israel | Wed, 03/17/2021 – 14: 24 | Canada first announced its purchase of Israeli-made drone last December (AFP) | Pro-Palestinian groups are urging the Canadian government to cancel a $36m purchase of an Israeli-made civilian…

Staff (2021-03-17). Time to Call Mitch McConnell's Bluff on the Filibuster. truthout.org Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell indulged himself on Tuesday in some

RT (2021-03-17). 8 killed in string of shootings at THREE different spas across metro Atlanta, Georgia. rt.com A series of shootings at three different spas in the Atlanta, Georgia area has left at least eight people dead and several others injured. A 21-year-old suspect was taken into custody following an intense manhunt. | Police responded to reports of a shooting at Young's Asian Massage near Acworth, Georgia — a suburb of Atlanta — on Tuesday, finding five suffering from gunshot wounds when they arrived, Cherokee County Sheriff's spokesperson Howard Baker told local media. Two were pronounced dead at the scene, while two more victims succumbed to their injuries after being transported to a hospital for tr…

RT (2021-03-17). With US immigration crisis escalating, Biden administration attempts to ban Border Patrol agents from talking to media — reports. rt.com One of President Joe Biden's latest tactics in dealing with a growing flood of illegal aliens — especially unaccompanied child migrants — is reportedly to muzzle Border Patrol agents, banning them from speaking to reporters. | Biden's administration has verbally passed down an unofficial

RT (2021-03-17). Georgia mass shooting suspect charged with murder & assault, may have had 'SEX ADDICTION'. rt.com The suspect behind a string of shootings at massage parlors in Georgia has been charged with four counts of murder and one count of assault, according to authorities. | Robert Aaron Long, 21, told police he was trying to eliminate the temptation of the spas, which he allegedly visited, and claimed he had an addiction to sex. | "He gave indications that he has some issues, potentially sexual addiction," Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds told reporters on Wednesday, adding that Long "may have frequented some of these places in the past" and could have been "lashing out." | The Cherokee County sheriff's offi…

RT (2021-03-17). US intel report claims Russia 'probably' tried to sway 2020 election (as well as Iran, Venezuela & Cuba… but not China). rt.com The Joe Biden administration is reportedly preparing new sanctions against Russia after an intelligence assessment claimed to find attempts at interference by Moscow, Tehran and other usual suspects in the 2020 presidential race. | A

Staff (2021-03-17). With First Native Interior Secretary, Deb Haaland, Hope Grows U.S. Will Confront Toxic Uranium Legacy. democracynow.org Deb Haaland, a tribal citizen of the Laguna Pueblo, is being sworn in as secretary of the interior and will be the first Native American ever to serve in a U.S. presidential cabinet. Just four Republicans joined Democrats in voting to confirm Haaland, who will manage 500 million acres of federal and tribal land. Haaland will also oversee government relations with 574 federally recognized tribal nations and is expected to address the legacy of uranium mining on Indigenous land and other areas. Leona Morgan, a Diné anti-nuclear activist and community organizer, says that while it's "impossible to expect one person…

RT (2021-03-17). Biden tells migrants 'Don't come over,' downplays own DHS chief's warning of biggest immigration surge in 2 decades & blames Trump. rt.com US President Joe Biden has urged migrants and refugees to stay home, telling them not to attempt to cross the US border, even as his own officials sound alarms over what they say is the largest influx of immigrants in two decades.

RT (2021-03-17). US road safety regulator sides with GM after widower's lawsuit over deadly car crash. rt.com The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has refused to open a formal investigation into GM after a lawsuit alleged that a defective steering sensor from the company had led to a car crash that killed his wife. | Lance Cooper's 42-year-old wife died after her 2007 Chevrolet Trailblazer SUV crashed, with the lawsuit alleging it was caused by a defective steering sensor issue that GM was aware of but failed to warn drivers about. | The NHTSA was informed of Cooper's concerns in February 2020, when he contacted the regulator, asking them to investigate the car company over the issue, to identify…

RT (2021-03-17). With Trump gone & despite 'BLAME RUSSIA' remaining MSM's favorite rallying cry, Americans perceive China as nation's top adversary. rt.com Russia is no longer the No. 1 geopolitical bogeyman in the eyes of Americans, falling from that spot for the first time in three years, as a new Gallup poll shows people are far more concerned about the threat posed by China.

RT (2021-03-17). Georgia mass shooting suspect may have 'SEX ADDICTION' and wanted to 'eliminate temptation' at massage parlors — police. rt.com The suspect behind a string of shootings at massage parlors in Georgia has told police he wanted to "eliminate" sexual temptation and the massacre was not racially motivated. | Robert Aaron Long, 21, told police he was trying to eliminate the temptation of the spas, which he allegedly visited, and claimed he had an addiction to sex. | "He gave indications that he has some issues, potentially sexual addiction," Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds told reporters, adding that Long "may have frequented some of these places in the past" and could have been "lashing out." | Eight people were killed in the shootin…

RT (2021-03-17). With Trump gone & despite 'BLAME RUSSIA' still MSM's favorite rallying cry, Americans perceive China as nation's top adversary. rt.com Russia is no longer the No. 1 geopolitical bogeyman in the eyes of Americans, falling from that spot for the first time in three years, as a new Gallup poll shows people are far more concerned about the threats posed by China.

RT (2021-03-17). 'White supremacist' propaganda incidents nearly DOUBLED across US in 2020 — report. rt.com The US saw a major spike in white supremacist and anti-LGBTQ propaganda last year, hitting a record level, a report by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has said. | Last year, the country saw a record number of incidents related to dissemination of such propaganda, with the group registering 5,125 cases. The new The figure turned out to be nearly two times higher than in 2019, when some 2,700 such incidents were registered. At the sa…

A Guest Author (2021-03-17). Federación mundial del trabajo respalda a sindicato #Bamazon. workers.org La Federación Sindical Mundial (FSM) emitió el siguiente comunicado el 3 de marzo. EE.UU.: FSM en solidaridad con los trabajadores de almacén de Amazon en Alabama La Federación Sindical Mundial, que es la voz militante de 105 millones de trabajadores de 132 países de todo el mundo, extiende su solidaridad . . . |

A Guest Author (2021-03-17). Trial of cop who murdered George Floyd: Day One protest demands conviction. workers.org By Linden Gawboy From FightBack! News Minneapolis Large protest March 8 demands justice for George Floyd, conviction of killer cop. More than 1,000 protested March 8 outside the Hennepin County Government Center in downtown Minneapolis, as the trial of Derek Chauvin, the disgraced ex-police officer who murdered George Floyd on . . . |

Staff (2021-03-17). Amazon Is Hiring Aggressive Firms to Bust Union Efforts. truthout.org Since the start of the year, Amazon has subjected its almost 6,000 warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama, to a relentless and

Staff (2021-03-17). Wisconsin GOP Rejects Black History Month Resolution But Honors Rush Limbaugh. truthout.org The Wisconsin State Senate refused this week to take up a resolution that would honor a number of Black figures in recognition of Black History Month, but within the same session also voted in favor of a resolution giving honors to the late talk show host Rush Limbaugh. | Ostensibly, Republicans said they did not want to pass the Black History Month resolution, authored by Black lawmakers in the Wisconsin legislature, because it was too specific and included figures they deemed to be controv…