2021-02-21: News Headlines

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.

Online News Editor (2021-02-21). Australia starts its Covid-19 vaccination campaign. laprensalatina.com Sydney, Australia, Feb 21 (efe-epa).- With the inoculation of an 84-year-old World War II survivor, Australia kicked off Sunday its Covid-19 vaccination campaign, with the Prime Minister Scott Morrison among the first to get the jab. "The vaccination program propels us on the way out of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021," Morrison said in a …

Online News Editor (2021-02-21). If you want to forget about Covid-19, visit Haiti. laprensalatina.com Port-au-Prince, Feb 21 (efe-epa).- A year into the coronavirus pandemic, it is impossible to get away from the constant inflow of information about Covid-19 and the virus is in everyone's thoughts almost constantly, but if someone really wants to forget about the whole thing they can go to Haiti. To start with, the incidence of …

Online News Editor (2021-02-21). Rise in coronavirus cases in several states worries India. laprensalatina.com New Delhi, Feb 21 (efe-epa).- The Indian government on Sunday issued alerts for several states amid an increase in the number of coronavirus cases, which has sparked fears of another wave in the country. India is the world's second-most affected country by the pandemic in absolute terms with almost 11 million infections and 156,000 deaths. …

news.un (2021-02-21). Lifeline for vulnerable Cambodians as poverty doubles during COVID-19 pandemic. news.un.org In Cambodia, the shrinking economy, hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, has affected all population groups, but particularly the most vulnerable. A first-of-its-kind government scheme, managed with digital tools supplied by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), is ensuring that the poorest receive a level of social protection.

_____ (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). '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…

_____ (2021-02-21). How A Black And Latinx Coalition Turned Utilities Back On In LaGrange. popularresistance.org Anton Flores thought it would be simple to help someone get their water turned back on. | "I had a single mom, who was undocumentable, whose utilities had been cut off, and she came to me," Flores, an immigration activist in the small Georgia city of LaGrange, said. He helped new immigrants navigate unfamiliar systems frequently. | He figured all they had to do was come up with the money—so they did. Together, they went down to the municipal utility office. But it turned out, getting utilities turned on in LaGrange was a lot more complicated than having the money to pay. | In fact, for the undocumented woma…

teleSUR (2021-02-21). Chancellor Arreaza Rejects Attack on Venezuelan Embassy in Lima. telesurenglish.net Venezuela's Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza on Sunday condemned the attack by dozens of protesters against his country's embassy in Peru. | RELATED: | "We demand Peru's authorities comply with the Vienna Convention and protect our diplomatic and consular mission in Lima. We demand respect for Venezuelan migrants in Peru, just as we do with the hundreds of thousands of Peruvians living in Venezuela," Arreaza stated on his offic…

teleSUR (2021-02-21). Peru: Seven Senior Officials Arrested Due To "Vacunagate" Case. telesurenglish.net Peru's anti-corruption prosecutor Yudith Villegas Espinoza on Sunday called for the arrest of seven former members of the Executive Multi-sectorial Commission, involved in the scandal over COVID-19 secret vaccination "Vacunagate." | RELATED: | Espinoza requested the arrest of the rector of Major National University of San Marcos' Rector Orestes Cachay Boza; Peruvian University Cayetano Heredia (UPCH) former Research Vice-Rector…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Online News Editor (2021-02-21). Israel eases coronavirus curbs after vaccine success. laprensalatina.com Jerusalem, Feb 21 (efe-epa).- Israel on Sunday allowed businesses to reopen and introduced incentives for citizens who have been vaccinated against Covid-19, in a further step to slowly ease nationwide restrictions. This step comes as 45 percent of the Israeli population have taken at least one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Israel has been the …

Online News Editor (2021-02-21). 20,000 doses of UAE-donated coronavirus vaccine enter Gaza. laprensalatina.com Gaza, Feb 21 (efe-epa).- Gaza received 20,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine donated by the United Arab Emirates on Sunday that, alongside 2,000 doses transferred from the West Bank, will allow local authorities to start immunizing healthcare workers and patients, the Strip's health ministry said. The delivery of the Russian vaccine, which entered the zone through …

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.

Peoples Dispatch (2021-02-21). Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on 'The Communist Manifesto'. peoplesdispatch.org As part of the international celebration of Red Books Day, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro discusses the importance of the document today and reads excerpts from the groundbreaking text…

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)…

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, …

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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 …

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). 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…

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). 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…

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…

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). '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). 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). 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). 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…

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

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…

_____ (2021-02-21). Charter Schools Invaded Our Neighborhoods Without Public Input. popularresistance.org East Los Angeles is a community rich in culture and a strong history of activism. Our youth led the student walkouts in the '60s fought against the Vietnam war during the Chicano Moratorium and have since filled the streets protesting the racist policies by the Trump administration. Still, we have been vastly left behind by our local, state, and federal leaders. Policies to protect our local environment, improve access to health care and make sure that our children are well educated have been inadequate. Charter schools swooped in claiming they could fill this void, but their promises were empty. Their presence b…

teleSUR (2021-02-21). Ecuador: Arauz Says Electoral Second Round in Danger. telesurenglish.net The candidate for the Presidency of Ecuador for the Union for Hope (Unes) coalition denounced this Sunday that the second electoral round in the South American country, scheduled for April 11, is in danger due to State entities' interference in the electoral process. | RELATED: | At a press conference, Arauz, winner of the first electoral round, rejected the "interference and grotesque meddling by other State institutions in t…

teleSUR (2021-02-21). Ecuador's Comptroller to Audit Electoral Computer System. telesurenglish.net On Sunday, Ecuador's presidential candidates Andres Arauz and Guillermo Lasso rejected the inspection on the National Electoral Council (CNE) computer system announced by Comptroller General Pablo Celi. | RELATED: | "Taking copies of the count and recount files is something normal, but taking the computer equipment and impeding the ballot is an attack on democracy," assured the candidate for the Movement for Hope (UNES)…

_____ (2021-02-21). Ecuador Election Vote Offers Hope Across Latin America. strategic-culture.org The hope of sunlight in Ecuador appears frail indeed, but let us be thankful for small mercies rather than none at all, Martin Sieff writes. | A shaft of still weak and vulnerable sunlight is piercing through the gloom that the new Biden administration in Washington has already spread over hopes for a revival of democracy across Latin America. | The first round of voting in Ecuador's elections on February 7 left the social democratic candidate as the clear frontrunner with 32 percent of the vote, guaranteeing that the vast fake-democratic U.S. liberal-Wall Street consensus pull out all the stops to prevent him wi…

The Canary (2021-02-21). Nearly £100bn in stimulus needed in Budget, says SNP. thecanary.co An economic stimulus of nearly £100bn is needed in the chancellor's forthcoming Budget, the SNP's Westminster leader has said. | Stimulating: | Ian Blackford said a £98bn investment, equal to 5% of the UK's GDP, would be needed to secure an economic recovery. He urged Rishi Sunak to extend the furlough scheme and provide further support. | In an article for Scotland on Sunday, Blackford said a "repeat of the Thatcher years" should be avoided. | He said: We know Covid restrictions will still be with us for some time, so it is crucial that the Chancellor extends the furlough scheme and plugs the…