2021-02-16: News Headlines

F. William Engdahl (2021-02-16). The Reshaping of Global Agriculture: The WEF Agenda Behind India's Modi Government's "Farm Reform" globalresearch.ca For more than 12 years the WEF has pushed a corporate model in Africa, Latin America and Asia. The "big target" has been India, where resistance to corporate takeover of agriculture has been fierce ever since the failed 1960's Green Revolution of the Rockefeller Foundation.

Ariel Dorfman (2021-02-16). How Spanish Can Help Us Survive Viral Times. counterpunch.org "Una nación bajo Diós, indivisible, con libertad y justicia para todos." When Jennifer López shouted out that last line of the Pledge of Allegiance in Spanish during Joe Biden's inauguration ceremony, like so many Spanish-speaking Latinos in the United States I felt a sense of pride, a sense of arrival. It was a joy to hear my

Online News Editor (2021-02-16). Militias remain Libya's main problem one decade after Gaddafi toppling. laprensalatina.com Tripoli, Feb 16 (efe-epa).- Ten years after the uprising broke out to oust Muammar Gaddafi, Libya still struggles with armed groups, impunity and foreign militias, the Amnesty International has said. "A decade after the overthrow of Muammar al-Gaddafi, justice has yet to be delivered to victims of war crimes and serious human rights violations including …

Online News Editor (2021-02-16). Germany eases border restrictions after criticism. laprensalatina.com Berlin, Feb 16 (efe-epa).- Germany has relaxed border restrictions for freight drivers to ease long traffic jams on the borders with Austria and the Czech Republic after criticism from those countries and the European Union. The controls, aimed at slowing the spread of the virus, on Sunday caused long queues of trucks from Austria's Tyrol …

Online News Editor (2021-02-16). Palestinians wait as Israel debates permission of Covid-19 vaccines for Gaza. laprensalatina.com Jerusalem, Feb 16 (efe-epa).- Palestinians in the Gaza Strip continued Tuesday to wait for the arrival of the first Covid-19 vaccines from the West Bank, as Israel is yet to authorize permission for the shipment to enter the coastal enclave. Israeli security officials told Efe that the National Security Council, a body that belongs to …

Tanya Wadhwa (2021-02-16). What is happening in Latin America with vaccine roll-out? peoplesdispatch.org In Latin American and the Carribean region, so far, nine countries have begun inoculating their populations against COVID-19 and all of them are providing free vaccination to all citizens…

Venezuela Analysis (2021-02-16). UN Special Rapporteur blasts 'devastating' and 'illegal' US and EU sanctions against Venezuela. peoplesdispatch.org The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights has visited Venezuela and blasted Washington's sanctions regime. | Alena Douhan, who was in Venezuela from February 1-12, published her

Zach Conti (2021-02-16). Puerto Rico and US Religious Leaders Urge Biden on Jobs, Disaster Aid and SSI. indybay.org Administration Legal Move Could Release $2.3 Billion for Vulnerable Puerto Ricans, Say Faith Leaders…

RT (2021-02-16). Biden supports 9/11-style commission to 'investigate' US Capitol riot, as suggested by Pelosi, Graham, & others. rt.com White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has said President Joe Biden "would support" Congress creating a 9/11-style commission panel to investigate the January 6 US Capitol riot, as numerous lawmakers have suggested. | A commission has been recommended by both Democrats and Republicans in the wake of the Senate acquitting Donald Trump on the article of impeachment that accused him of "inciting an insurrection" and directly inspiring the storming of the Capitol. | "We need a 9/11 commission to find out what happened and make sure it never happens again, and I want to make sure that the Capitol footprint can be be…

Staff (2021-02-16). The Case for Prosecuting Trump: Elie Mystal on Why Criminal Charges Are Still Possible — and Needed. democracynow.org Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she has authorized a 9/11-style commission to further investigate the January 6 insurrection and the actions that led up to it, as calls grow for the criminal prosecution of former President Donald Trump after his acquittal in his second Senate impeachment trial. The Nation's justice correspondent Elie Mystal says House impeachment managers presented "a fairly compelling case for criminal liability" for Donald Trump over the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. "I think there's a case for indictment. I think we should at least try," he says.

Ramzy Baroud (2021-02-16). Europe Will Redefine Itself Despite Political Shift in the US. dissidentvoice.org Despite the long-awaited political change in Washington as Democratic President, Joe Biden, has officially become the 46th President of the United States, Europe is unlikely to resume its previously unhindered reliance on its trans-Atlantic partner. The four years of Donald Trump were rife with tension and strife between the US and Europe — in fact, …

Walter Smolarek (2021-02-16). Impeachment fiasco: Trumpism gets new lease on life. liberationnews.org Because of the approach adopted by the Democratic Party in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack, Trump's acquittal was essentially a forgone conclusion.

_____ (2021-02-16). US, OAS, Colombia Try To Steal Ecuador's election. popularresistance.org Guayaquil, Ecuador – A popular socialist candidate, Andrés Arauz, won the first round of Ecuador's historic presidential election by a landslide on February 7. The leftist's overwhelming victory prompted the US State Department, the right-wing government of neighboring Colombia, and the Organization of American States (OAS) to mobilize to prevent him from entering office. | Arauz won the first round of the election with 33 percent of the vote, a full 13 percent greater than the second-place candidate, conservative banker Guillermo Lasso. His opponents are now seeking to force a vote recount under the supervision…

Marc Norton (2021-02-16). Super Bowl for Sports Team Billionaires: SF Giants owner rakes in $815 million during the pandemic. dissidentvoice.org Oracle Park The assets of Charles Johnson, the controversial chief owner of the San Francisco Giants, increased by $815 million during the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, his net worth was a mere $4.2 billion dollars. By January 2021 he commanded a fortune of $5.015 billion, an increase just short of 20%. Workers at Oracle …

Will Weissert, Alexandra Jaffe (2021-02-16). Workers press Biden to fight for $15 minimum wage. peoplesworld.org WASHINGTON (AP)—Union activist Terrence Wise recalls being laughed at when he began pushing for a national $15 per hour minimum wage almost a decade ago. Nearly a year into the pandemic, the idea isn't so funny. The coronavirus has renewed focus on challenges facing hourly employees who have continued working in grocery stores, gas stations, …

Medea Benjamin, Nicolas J. S. Davies (2021-02-16). Is Biden Committing Diplomatic Suicide Over the Iran Nuclear Agreement? counterpunch.org As Congress still struggles to pass a COVID relief bill, the rest of the world is nervously reserving judgment on America's new president and his foreign policy, after successive U.S. administrations have delivered unexpected and damaging shocks to the world and the international system. Cautious international optimism toward Biden is very much based on his

Binoy Kampmark (2021-02-16). Trouble in Vaccine Land: The Wiliness of South Africa's Coronavirus Variant. counterpunch.org It began as a shudder through the scientific and public health establishments. A new variant of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 had been found, mutating in South African climes, potentially outwitting human responses to it. Vaccines such as Oxford-AstraZeneca's would have to be brushed up. Rollouts would have to be reconsidered. The South African variant has been

Eds. (2021-02-16). States have no inherent 'right to exist'—but it's a media fixation on Israel/Palestine. mronline.org No state has an intrinsic "right to exist." As international relations scholar Scott Burchill points out, there is no abstract "right to exist" in international law, or in "any serious theory of international relations."

Peoples Dispatch (2021-02-16). Police arrest Spanish rapper Pablo Hasel. peoplesdispatch.org The Spanish national court served a notice to rapper Pablo Hasel in January asking him to surrender within ten days to face imprisonment. Hasel was convicted on charges of "glorifying terrorism, insulting the crown and state institutions" and faces a two-year prison term.

Phelan Acheson (2021-02-16). Catastrophe Capitalism in America. realprogressives.org What is the meaning of "catastrophic" anyways? The sheer amount of death, suffering and misery caused by the neoliberal world order serving the whims of transnational capital is unending. It's so normalized that most people don't even consider the depravity; most people can't, since it's too much to handle. But is It catastrophic? | We're told, "communism killed 100,000,000 in a century" whenever the conversation about making things remotely better or changing our system comes up. Even if that claim, which comes from thinkers and historians diametrically opposed to communism, were true, capitalism kills 20,000…

Eds. (2021-02-16). Biden's first directive to the war machine. mronline.org In his first presidential visit to the Pentagon yesterday, Joe Biden announced the creation of an anti-China task force.

Otis Grotewohl (2021-02-16). Karen Lewis, 1953-2021: Lessons from a teacher, leader and courageous fighter. workers.org The global working-class, Black liberation and labor movements lost a courageous fighter when Karen Lewis — former president of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), who famously led a militant, seven-day strike in 2012 — passed away Feb. 7 after a long battle with cancer. Karen Lewis. Credit: John W. Iwanski . . . |

Olivia Rosane (2021-02-16). Child slavery lawsuit targets Hershey, Nestlé, Mars and other chocolate giants. peoplesworld.org Many people give chocolates as a symbol of love on Valentine's Day, but for some, the popular candy is more bitter than sweet. A human rights group filed a lawsuit Friday on behalf of eight Malian men who say they were trafficked across the border to the Cote D'Ivoire and forced to harvest cocoa for …

Alethea Redfern (2021-02-16). The Weekly Round-up: Phase 2 of the Grenfell Inquiry. ukhumanrightsblog.com In the News: Having been temporarily suspended in early January as a result of an increase in COVID-19 cases, the Grenfell Tower Inquiry hearings resumed on 8 February 2021. The fire killed 72 people. The hearings are being conducted remotely using a Zoom-based video platform, which the Inquiry describes as "a temporary measure to be …

Karl Grossman (2021-02-16). Nuclear Rockets to Mars? counterpunch.org A report advocating rocket propulsion by nuclear power for U.S. missions to Mars, written by a committee packed with individuals deeply involved in nuclear power, was issued last week by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. | The 104-page report also lays out "synergies" in space nuclear activities between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the U.S. military, something not advanced explicitly since the founding of NASA as a civilian agency supposedly in 1958.

John Bachtell (2021-02-16). Bill Davis—beloved labor and peace activist, Communist leader—lost to COVID. peoplesworld.org Bill Davis, a long-time trade union and peace activist and Communist Party USA leader, died Jan. 23 in New York while in hospice with COVID-19. He was 78 years old. Davis was a caseworker for the New York City Department of Welfare (later Social Services) and a fixture in the trade union movement. As an …

Moira Casados Cassidy (2021-02-16). Karen Lewis and the class-conscious union. liberationnews.org In a moment of crisis, Karen Lewis and the CORE caucus reinvigorated class consciousness in teachers' unions.

Eds. (2021-02-16). Immigration enforcement and the afterlife of the slave ship. mronline.org Coast Guard techniques for blocking Haitian asylum seekers have their roots in the slave trade. Understanding these connections can help us disentangle immigration policy from white nationalism.

Jill Marlowe (2021-02-16). Gulf Coast faces high eviction rates, despite CDC moratorium. liberationnews.org Eviction rates in the Southeast region are exceeding national levels.

Bernard Nicolas (2021-02-16). We Need to Talk About Judas. counterpunch.org The new film, Judas and the Black Messiah, is worth seeing, talking about and analyzing with a variety of historical lenses. The historical lenses include the history of Black Cinema, revolutionary cinema, African American history and the history of political repression in the US in general. Every once in a while, an important political film

Joe Piette (2021-02-16). Philadelphians demand COVID safety. workers.org Several dozen teachers, parents and community activists protested outside Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenny's home on Feb 12. They were demanding city officials not reopen schools for in-person teaching — until all teachers are vaccinated and all schools are properly ventilated. Educators continue to teach virtually until an arbitrator rules on . . . |

Mark Gruenberg (2021-02-16). Overcoming company hurdles, 6,000 Amazon workers start union recognition vote. peoplesworld.org BESSEMER, Ala. (PAI)—Overcoming one final company-crafted hurdle, almost 6,000 workers—most of them Black in a 70% Black city—at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., are now voting by mail on whether to unionize. Final results of the balloting, on whether the workers will join the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU), a sector of …

Gary Leupp (2021-02-16). The Trump Cult and Its Future. counterpunch.org I am quite sure the majority of Trump supporters do not embrace the "theory" that the Democratic leaders are pedophile cannibal satanists whom Trump sought to destroy, to protect the children. An amazing minority do, constituting a robust and vital idiot stratum within the Trump coalition. (It is not clear however what QAnon will play

Lyn Neeley (2021-02-16). Oregon care workers dare to strike. workers.org In Springfield, Ore., essential health workers at The Rawlin at Riverbend Memory Care facility have set a Feb. 16 strike deadline to demand union recognition in order to improve staffing, training and turnover — and save residents' lives. They are leading the way for workers throughout their community and the . . . |

Mark Engler, Paul Engler (2021-02-16). It's a Myth that Presidents Welcome Movement Pressure — and Biden is No Different. counterpunch.org In early 2009, as Barack Obama prepared to move into the White House, a particular historical anecdote rapidly gained in popularity, repeated in dozens of talks and articles as a parable for how supporters should respond to the new president taking office. The story related a New Deal-era encounter between Franklin Delano Roosevelt and a group of activists, usually said to have been led by A. Philip Randolph of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. In the meeting, the advocates laid out a vision of bold action for change that the president could advance with his bully pulpit and his executive power. FDR listen…

Steve Sweeney (2021-02-16). Scientists on WHO mission to Wuhan accuse media of biased reportage. mronline.org The U.S. government and many media outlets have queried WHO findings that do not corroborate theories promoted by Washington, such as the virus escaping from a Chinese laboratory.

G. Dunkel (2021-02-16). Haiti: The masses are still in the streets. workers.org A twitter post showed hundreds of students taking to the streets of Delmas, near Port-au-Prince, on the morning of Feb. 13, some carrying pictures of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. They were demanding President Jovenel MoàØse, a U.S. puppet, leave office, especially since his term was over Feb. 7. A much . . . |

Jeremiah Smith (2021-02-16). Mississippi laws threaten protesters with jail. liberationnews.org In Mississippi, the first of these anti-protest laws was passed in June. The law threatens individuals who protest oil and gas pipelines or other "critical infrastructure" projects with up to 7 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Len Yannielli (2021-02-16). Naugatuck, Conn. students keep Black Lives Matter fight going. peoplesworld.org NAUGATUCK, Conn.—What do the police killing of George Floyd and Naugatuck, Conn., have in common? Plenty. In June 2020, there was a March of 1,100 people in Naugatuck in solidarity with the many George Floyd protests and Black Lives Matter (BLM) marches across the country. It gave birth to the peace and solidarity group Naugatuck …

Eric A. Gordon (2021-02-16). 'Agent Sonya,' a biography of intrepid antifa spy Ursula Kuczynski. peoplesworld.org Ben MacIntyre, a British writer for The London Times, is known to spy thriller fans as the author of meticulously researched biographies of famous 20th-century spies. The latest in his series is a comprehensive biography of Jewish German-born Ursula Kuczynski, later also known as Ursula Hamburger, Ursula Beurton, and Ruth Werner. Born in 1907, Ursula …

RT (2021-02-16). Russian-made Sputnik V and EpiVacCorona vaccines are effective against UK variant of coronavirus — watchdog. rt.com Russia's Sputnik V and EpiVacCorona vaccines have been proven to be effective against the UK variant of the coronavirus, a government agency has said. | Serum obtained from people who took the Sputnik V and EpiVacCorona vaccines and had antibodies to the novel coronavirus, demonstrated a "protective effect" against the UK variant, Russia's consumer protection agency, Rospotrebnadzor, said in a statement to the media. | It added that the vaccines have shown to be just as good against the British strain as they are against the ordinary SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19. | The research was carried out by th…

RT (2021-02-16). Sicily's Mount Etna ejects lava & massive ash column in another stunning eruption (PHOTOS, VIDEOS). rt.com Mount Etna in Sicily, Europe's tallest volcano and one of its most active, has erupted for the second time in as many days, with a stream of molten rock and a massive ash cloud tinged red by the sun captured in remarkable footage.

RT (2021-02-16). 'I am going to be MMA's biggest star': Bellator brawler Valerie Loureda shares snap with 50 Cent as she promises to dominate sport. rt.com Bellator newcomer Valerie Loureda, whose reputation for scantily-clad snaps and regular updates has seen her amass more than 754,000 followers on Instagram, has said she will be "the most respected and honored woman of all time". | Describing her debut win over Colby Fletcher on a Bellator card in the US in 2019 as "the moment my life changed", the hugely popular flyweight shared photos of her locker room, walking into the octagon with her name and face in lights and posing with superstar rapper and celebrity 50 Cent having "quickly transformed back to myself" by donning a dress afterwards. | Demonstrating the…

RT (2021-02-16). Lincoln Project leadership knew about harassment accusations against co-founder since March — media. rt.com Despite denying knowledge of allegations that colleague John Weaver was sexually harassing young men, a new report suggests Lincoln Project co-founders Steve Schmidt and Reed Galen were aware for nearly a year. | Schmidt, who stepped away from the group on Monday, said he was not aware of any wrongdoings by Weaver until the first public reports began surfacing in January. | According to a report from The 19th, however, multiple sources have now revealed that Schmidt is among the leadership in the organization to have known about allegations against Weaver for months. In Schmidt and Galen's case, they could hav…

RT (2021-02-16). Trump remains unchallenged frontrunner among potential 2024 Republican presidential candidates – poll. rt.com Despite the former US president's tumultuous exit from the Oval Office as the first to be impeached – and acquitted – twice, Donald Trump remains the top pick of the majority of Republican voters for president in 2024. | Trump would be a clear favorite to win the Republican primary were it held today, according to a Politico-Morning Consult poll published on Tuesday. Nearly three fifths — 59 percent — of Republican voters want Trump to play a major role in the party going forward, and 54 percent would vote for the ex-president in the primary, the survey revealed. | The former president was acquitted…

RT (2021-02-16). Charges dropped against Amy Cooper, aka 'Central Park Karen', after she was made to attend 'racial equality psychoeducation'. rt.com Amy Cooper, the New Yorker branded 'Central Park Karen' by the media following a dispute with a black birdwatcher, has had misdemeanor charges against her dropped after being made to attend "psychoeducation" for "racial equality." | Cooper had been charged with making a false police report after she dramatically called 911 on birdwatcher Christian Cooper and claimed he was "threatening" her "life" during a heated dispute, after he had told her to leash her dog in Central Park's Ramble area — where dogs are required to be leashed — on May 25 last year. | A judge on Tuesday "granted Manhattan prosecuto…

RT (2021-02-16). After being cancelled, Gina Carano's 'Mandalorian' figure sells for big bucks as thousands demand she be rehired by Disney. rt.com Following her firing from Disney's 'The Mandalorian' over conservative social media posts, Gina Carano's support appears to only be growing as her character's action figure is going for hundreds now that it has been discontinued. | Hasbro has announced it will no longer produce figures for Carano's Cara Dune character from the popular Disney Plus series and even revealed this week plans for another production run were scrapped in the wake of her firing. | "Due to recent events, Hasbro was no longer approved to produce any more of this figure," a rep for retailer BigBadToyStore told The Hollywood Reporter. Hasb…

RT (2021-02-16). Spanish police fire rubber bullets after Barcelona protest demanding rapper's release descends into riots (VIDEOS). rt.com Clashes erupted between protesters and riot police during demonstrations in Catalonia against the arrest of rapper Pablo Hasel, convicted for calling the former Spanish king a thief, with cops in Barcelona firing rubber bullets. | Hasel, whose real name is Pablo Rivadulla Duro, was

RT (2021-02-16). Iran informs UN nuclear watchdog of end to surprise nuclear site inspections this month to enforce act of parliament. rt.com Tehran has notified the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of its parliamentary-approved plan to limit inspections of its nuclear sites from February 23, despite some vocal government opposition to the move. | "Iran informed the IAEA on 15 February that the country will stop implementing voluntary transparency measures under the JCPOA as of 23 February, including the Additional Protocol," the IAEA said in a statement on Tuesday. | At the time the legislation was passed, the government said they did not support the parliamentary decision to terminate surprise inspections and boost enrichment, and called…

Fight Back (2021-02-16). Philippines: Oppressors of the Lumads will be made to pay. fightbacknews.org Fight Back News Service is circulating the following February 15 statement from the Communist Party of the Philippines. | The Party adds its voice to the widespread denunciation of the horrific police raid earlier today against the Lumad bakwit school in the University of San Carlos (USC) Talamban Campus in Cebu City where 21 Lumad students, two Lumad elders and two teachers were manhandled and forcibly taken by the Duterte regime's fascist thugs. | The CPP condemns Philippines National Police (PNP) P for trampling on the Lumad children's rights with utter contempt of the sanctuary provided them by the…