2019-02-17: News Headlines

Shared by Jocelyn Dombroski (2019-02-17). Warsaw Conference's War with Iran Agenda, Met with Low Level Delegations from European Allies. therealnews.com Pompeo, Netanyahu urged Arab leaders to consolidate and prepare for war with Iran at Warsaw Conference. Europe sent low level delegations. A leaked video from the conference reveals that Arab leaders are ready to abandon solidarity with Palestinians. We speak with Vijay Prashad for analysis.

Shared by Cherise (2019-02-17). What It Really Takes to Secure Peace in Afghanistan. truthout.org Hossein, a member of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, (APV), which hosted my recent visit to Afghanistan, rolled up his sleeve to show me a still-healing three-inch wound. Thieves had broken into his family home in Kabul. When they were discovered, one of the robbers stabbed Hossein. | An APV coordinator, Zekerullah, was robbed and beaten by assailants in broad daylight. Ata Khan lost his camera and mobile phone to a gang of young thieves who accosted him and eight other people in a public park during the daytime. Habib, a recent young graduate of the APV Street Kids School program, suffered blows from several att…

Fight Back (2019-02-17). Islamophobia has no place in La Crosse, WI. fightbacknews.org La Crosse, WI. – The thermometer read zero on the afternoon of February 15, but that didn't prevent upwards of 100 people from coming out and showing their support for the local Muslims. | The rally was held to protest an act of vandalism in which a slur for a Middle-Eastern or Muslim person was spray-painted on the garage door of the Bullet Cab Company, a local business owned by Mian "Mike" Ahmad, who is Muslim. As of this time no suspects have been identified for this hate crime. | Speakers led chants espousing the need for equality, and "freedom and justice for all!" After the speakers had their say Ahmad was…

Shared by Hezvo Mpunga (2019-02-17). How Kleptocracy Impoverishes Angola, Cà¥te d'Ivoire, and South Africa. therealnews.com Léonce Ndikumana discusses his newest research on capital flight from Angola, Cà¥te d'Ivoire and South Africa between 1975 and 2015. 290 Billion dollars were funneled out of these countries over this period through misinvoicing and circumventing regulation and taxation. Most of that money ended up in corporations in the global north

STAFF (2019-02-17). The Most Dangerous Weapon Ever Rolls Off the Nuclear Assembly Line. truthdig.com Last month, the National Nuclear Security Administration (formerly the Atomic Energy Commission) announced that the first of a new generation of strategic nuclear weapons had rolled off the assembly line at its Pantex nuclear weapons plant in the panhandle of Texas. That warhead, the W76-2, is designed to be fitted to a submarine-launched Trident missile, a weapon with a range of more than 7,500 miles. By September, an undisclosed number of warheads w…

unitedEditor (2019-02-17). Can Turkey and Syria actually come to an agreement? uwidata.com Ankara, who is now shifting away from the USA and towards the regional powers, is expected to begin negotiations with Damascus. Of course right now a low level exterior politics is underway with Syria. At this situation, intelligence agencies cannot just say "We execute whatever our leader orders.". Many times leaders are off the grid, […]

STAFF (2019-02-17). Abu Dhabi Arms Fair Opens Amid Yemen War Carnage. truthdig.com The United Arab Emirates ink $1.3 billion in weapon deals as U.S. officials say arms smuggling is fueling a conflict that has killed 60,000.

Debbie Weingarten (2019-02-17). They Used To Hold Hands Through the Wall. Now, There's Razor Wire. commondreams.org "We could follow barbed wire backward in time and find it present during our worst moments as a nation." (Photo: @JeffersonsNotes/Twitter) | www.commondreams.org/sites/defau…

Bill Blum (2019-02-17). Brett Kavanaugh's War on Roe v. Wade. truthdig.com This article was originally published at The Progressive. | On September 4, at the outset of his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Brett Kavanaugh pledged that if he became the 114th Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, he would serve as a fair decider of the law. | "A good judge must be an umpire—a neutral and impartial arbiter w…

Hank Edson (2019-02-17). Setting Necessary Boundaries on Trump's Misconduct. commondreams.org Yesterday, in anticipation of Trump's false declaration of a national emergency, Nancy Pelosi warned that such behavior set a bad precedent and invoked the possibility that, once a Democratic president is elected, he or she could declare a national emergency over gun violence. This was not the proper response.

Dean Baker (2019-02-17). When Politicians Say "Free Trade," They Mean Upward Redistribution. zcomm.org In Washington policy circles, being a supporter of free trade is pretty much comparable to saying you believe in evolution. All reasonable people say they accept the doctrine and agree that tariffs and other forms of protectionism are evil and dirty. While there are good arguments for free trade as an economic policy, in the Read more…

Eric Margolis (2019-02-17). Hate-Fest in Warsaw. commondreams.org Vice President Pence visited Warsaw, Poland this week. (Photo: ABCWorldNews/Twitter) | www.commondreams.org/sites/defau…

STAFF (2019-02-17). Aurora Shooting Victims Ranged From Intern to Plant Manager. truthdig.com CHICAGO—The victims of a disgruntled employee who opened fire at a suburban Chicago industrial warehouse Friday were co-workers ranging from an intern to the plant manager. A look at the victims: | TREVOR WEHNER | The 21-year-old Northern Illinois University student was on his first day as an intern in human resources at Henry Pratt Co. in Aurora and attended the fateful meeting where the gunman was fired and then started shooting. | Jay Wehner said his nephew grew up about 30 miles (50 kilometers) south of Aurora in Sheridan and was expected to graduate from Northern Illinois University in May with a degre…

Mark Bray (2019-02-17). Is Trump's National Emergency a Step Toward Fascism? zcomm.org President Trump has now declared a national emergency to fund his long-sought border wall. It is no surprise that when a fascistic president like Trump starts throwing around the idea of a national emergency, media outlets like Esquire start asking whether "it might be time to start fireproofing the Reichstag," a clear allusion to Hitler's Read more…

STAFF (2019-02-17). Trump's Grand Coalition Against Iran Is Completely Falling Apart. truthdig.com Not only has the U.S. president failed to rally Europe to his crusade, but even the anti-Iran states of the Gulf have split.

Repost (2019-02-17). U.S. Military Invasion of Venezuela is Escalating. indybay.org With the support of Democrats and Republicans, e.g. Pelosi & Trump, the pending invasion of oil-rich Venezuela is escalating, all at taxpayer expense. There are forces opposing it. See www.globalresearch.ca/hands-off-…. Cuba has provided a detailed description below.

Jason Ditz (2019-02-17). US Investigators Probing Years of WikiLeaks Activities. theantimedia.com (ANTIWAR.COM) — Officially, the US government has barely conceded that there is an investigation into WikiLeaks at all. Yet after years of efforts to quietly vilify the whistleblower for its publications. The efforts to overtly criminalize the group are picking up pace. The government has accidentally admitted to charges against Assange, at least in secret, and WikiLeaks is …

Nuclear Free Olympic Games 2020 (2019-02-17). International Campaign "Tokyo 2020 – The Radioactive Olympics" indybay.org There is an international campaign against having part of the Olympic games only 50 km from the Fukushima nuclear plants and opposing all nuclear plants in Japan and throughout the world.

Astrid Essed (2019-02-17). Israeli occupation and Palestinian rights/Letter to Dutch parliament. indybay.org It's an utter scandal, shame and disgrace, that after 52 years, Israel is still | occupying the Palestinian territories, suppressing and terrorizing the Palestinians, | committing warcrimes and crimes against humanity with impunity without any | serious sanctions of the international community. Therefore I have written | the members of Dutch parliament to take action!!

Middle East Eye (2019-02-17). Rouhani Says Iran is Ready for Improved Relations with Gulf States. theantimedia.com (MEE) — Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that Tehran wants to co-operate with its Gulf neighbors, after decades of hostility and proxy wars, even as the commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard hit out at the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. "Iran is ready to work with regional states to preserve security in the Middle …

RT (2019-02-17). Thousands support petition to sell 'useless' state of Montana to Canada. rt.com Around 6,000 people have signed a petition to sell the "useless" state of Montana to Canada for a whopping $1 trillion to "eliminate the national debt" — which is actually well over $22 trillion.

Tyler Durden (2019-02-17). Trump Tells Europe to "Take Back" 800 ISIS Fighters or He "Will Be Forced to Release Them" theantimedia.com (ZH) — Late Saturday evening President Trump lashed out at allies Britain, France, and Germany via twitter related to the United States' Syria withdrawal. He urged European nations to take responsibility for their own captured foreign fighters in Syria by repatriating and prosecuting them; otherwise, Trump warned, the terrorists could "permeate Europe" upon their release. "The Caliphate is ready to fall," Trump tweeted. "The …

RT (2019-02-17). ISIS-supporting group threatens US attacks with chilling photoshop of LA explosion. rt.com An Islamic State-supporting group shared a chilling photoshopped image to social media on Friday which appears to threaten a terrorist attack on a skyscraper in downtown Los Angeles.

Julia Conley, staff writer (2019-02-17). Slamming President for Jeopardizing Disaster Funds, States Prepare Legal Challenge to Trump's Emergency Declaration. commondreams.org At least five states are preparing a legal challenge to President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration, which he made on Friday to secure funding for a border wall after congressional Democrats refused to approve $5.7 billion in funds for the project. | www.commondreams.org/sites/defau…

reenvia Red Latina sin fronteras (2019-02-17). Venezuela: la "ayuda humanitaria" prepara la invasión militar. indybay.org Venezuela: la ayuda humanitaria prepara la invasión militar | Marcelo Colussi…

Zoe Pepper-Cunningham (2019-02-16). Defying U.S.-led pressure, people across the world stand up for Venezuela's sovereignty. mronline.org While international media creates a spectacle around "humanitarian aid", strong mobilizations in support of Nicolás Maduro and the Bolivarian Revolution continue within Venezuela and across the world. | Source

Marjorie Cohn (2019-02-16). Trump Moves the World Closer to "Doomsday" zcomm.org It is incumbent upon all of us to resist the inexorable march toward nuclear winter…

Shared by Jocelyn Dombroski (2019-02-16). Does Recognition of Parallel Gov't in Venezuela Violate International Law? therealnews.com A recent study conducted by the German parliament's independent scientific research service found that international recognition of the self-proclaimed "interim president" Juan Guaidó probably constitutes a violation of international law. We discuss the study's implications with Andrej Hunko, who commissioned the study

CP Editor (2019-02-16). Beachwood Sparks — Hearts On Fire. counterpunch.org

Brianna Cea (2019-02-16). A Showdown on the Census Citizenship Question Is Coming to the Supreme Court. commondreams.org Today, the Supreme Court announced that it will hear oral arguments on the Trump administration's decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The addition of such a question would likely depress census turnout, skew the allocation of congressional seats, and change how billions of dollars in federal funding are distributed to the states.

STAFF (2019-02-16). How the New York Amazon Deal Fell Apart. truthdig.com NEW YORK—In early November, word began to leak that Amazon was serious about choosing New York to build a giant new campus. The city was eager to lure the company and its thousands of high-paying tech jobs, offering billions in tax incentives and lighting the Empire State Building in Amazon orange. | Even Governor Andrew Cuomo got in on the action: "I'll change my name to Amazon Cuomo if that's what it takes," he joked at the time. | Then Amazon made it official: It chose the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens to build a $2.5 billion campus that could house 25,000 workers, in addition to new offices pl…

Peoples Dispatch (2019-02-16). Organizations from across the world call for solidarity with people of Yemen. peoplesdispatch.org Over 50 organizations expressed grave concern over the acute humanitarian crisis affecting Yemen. 14 million people or more are at risk of famine, and 22 million are in constant need of humanitarian aid

Gustavo Petro (2019-02-16). Why We in Colombia and Elsewhere Reject US Intervention in Venezuela. commondreams.org A supporter of the government of Nicol√°s Maduro holds a sign against the U.S.-backed intervention in Venezuela during the summit to discuss diplomatic actions to address the Venezuelan crisis on February 7, 2019 in Montevideo, Uruguay. Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Netherlands, UK and Sweden will be joining Bolivia, Costa Rica and Ecuador on the summit proposed by Mexico and Uruguay. (Photo: Santiago Mazzarovich/Getty Images) | www.commondreams.org/sites/defau…

Cira Pascual Marquina — Venezuelanalysis (2019-02-16). Venezuela's Missile Crisis: A Conversation with Juan Contreras. venezuelanalysis.com A grassroots leader from the 23 de Enero barrio in Caracas looks at the historical forces operating behind the showdown unfolding right now in the Bolivarian Republic.

The Real News Network (2019-02-16). Venezuela's Foreign Minister: "Washington hijacked Guaidó" peoplesdispatch.org In an exclusive interview with The Real News Network, Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza says Guaido has not accepted the Pope's offer to negotiate since he is being directed by Washington

Shared by britney (2019-02-16). Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's War on Credit Scores Is a Big Deal. truthout.org Credit scores: Everyone's got one, even if they don't know it — and these numbers can have a profound impact on the trajectory of your life. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez knows this firsthand, thanks to a false claim circulating about her credit score. | Recently, she put financial services firm Equifax on blast, calling the credit scoring system " broken." | AOC's comment is a timely one; as a member of the House Finance…

John Atcheson (2019-02-16). The Real Danger to the Green New Deal—and the Planet—Comes From Neoliberal Democrats. commondreams.org The "realists" and "pragmatists" who are advocating caution and warning that embracing the GND will result in Trump winning in 2020 have it exactly wrong. (Photo: AP) | www.commondreams.org/sites/defau…

Shared by Cherise (2019-02-16). Teacher Strikes Are Rattling Washington. truthout.org As Denver public school teachers head back to school, ending their first labor stoppage in 25 years, it's hard to dismiss the impact the nation-wide teacher strikes have had on American politics. As Democratic presidential candidates rush to voice support for the Colorado educators, Denver's strike marks the ninth major teacher uprising in the last twelve months, with the anniversary of the very first—West Virginia's—coming up next week. | Survey after survey has shown the striking teachers h…

Fight Back (2019-02-16). Response underway to Trump's National Emergency to fund wall. fightbacknews.org Washington, D.C. — Progressive organizations around the country are taking a stand against Trump's declaration of a State of Emergency, which would divert federal funds towards building a wall on the border with Mexico. | Many groups have signed on to a call initiated by the Legalization for All Network, that read in part, "To get the funding for his racist wall, Trump is taking it a step further by threatening to declare a state of emergency. With already thousands of U.S. troops mobilized to the border, a State of Emergency would heighten the tension of armed troops and border agents who already unleashed…

unitedEditor (2019-02-16). Why Did The Iran Hostage Crisis Happen? uwidata.com The Islamic Republic of Iran recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, a revolution which turned an American ally to an American enemy. Some still try to analyze the reasons why Iranian students attacked the US embassy at the beginning during the revolution and created a dispute which not only led to a […]

WSWS (2019-02-16). Award-winning journalist Chris Hedges endorses Free Assange demonstrations in Australia. wsws.org "It is imperative that we pressure the Australian government to make sure its citizen, Julian Assange, is protected from the lawlessness of the American empire."

WSWS (2019-02-16). No agreement on US-China trade with talks to continue. wsws.org The next round will be virtually the last chance to reach a formal agreement before March 1, after which the US will increase tariffs—from 10 to 25 percent—on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

WSWS (2019-02-16). The State, Business and Education: How rapacious corporations are dismantling public education globally. wsws.org Billionaires, global tech companies and national governments are imposing a profit-driven, user-pays system.

WSWS (2019-02-16). No More Deaths volunteers prosecuted for providing humanitarian aid to migrants. wsws.org The targeting of humanitarian aid groups is a warning that no one will be spared in the administration's fascistic attack on immigrants.

The Mind Unleashed (2019-02-16). Hackers Can Turn Sex Robots Into Killing Machines, Security Expert Warns. theantimedia.com (TMU) — According to Nicholas Patterson, a cybersecurity lecturer at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, humanoid sex robots that have recently hit the market could potentially be hacked and turned into killing machines. Patterson gave this warning in a string of interviews with various UK publications: "Hackers can hack into a robot or a robotic device …

WSWS (2019-02-16). Nationwide public sector strike hits Portugal. wsws.org Leading union officials have issued warnings to the government that its actions could trigger "uncontrollable" struggles by workers that they cannot prevent.

WSWS (2019-02-16). German defence minister advocates German-European war policy. wsws.org Almost 75 years after the end of World War II, the imperialist powers are openly preparing for a new round of military conflicts.

Jason Ditz (2019-02-16). Trump Sends US Military Aircraft to Deliver 'Aid' to Venezuela's Border. theantimedia.com (ANTIWAR.COM) — The Trump Administration has announced Friday, along with a new round of sanctions against members of the Venezuelan government, that they are dispatching US military aircraft carrying aid to the Venezuelan border. The aid can't get into Venezuela directly, as it is being sent to opposition leader Juan Guaido and with an eye specifically toward endorsing …

Sam Cowie (2019-02-16). Jair Bolsonaro Praised the Genocide of Indigenous People. Now He's Emboldening Attackers of Brazil's Amazonian Communities. theintercept.com "The Brazilian cavalry was very incompetent. Competent, yes, was the American cavalry that decimated its Indians in the past and nowadays does not have this problem in their country." That's the opinion of Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, expressed on the floor of Congress in 1998. His views appear to have changed little since then; in a video message to supporters 18 years later, he promised to revoke the protected status of an Indigenous reserve in 2…

Fight Back (2019-02-16). Portland ditches the Joint Terrorism Task Force. fightbacknews.org Portland, OR – City council members voted to leave the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) on February 13. After months of town halls and rallies organized by councilwoman Jo Ann Hardesty and activist groups in Portland, the amendment passed in a three to two vote. Mayor Ted Wheeler was one of the two voting to remain in the task force. | Before the vote, 150 community members gathered outside city hall to rally. Demonstrators help signs that read, "Immigrants are not terrorists" and "No JTTF." Council members heard testimonies from 40 community leaders and activists before announcing their votes. Only four were in…

WSWS (2019-02-16). Australian university sacks academic critical of Israeli and US wars. wsws.org The University of Sydney has carried out a serious attack on academic freedom, aimed at intimidating growing opposition to militarism and war.

WSWS (2019-02-16). A step towards presidential dictatorship. wsws.org No American president has so flagrantly usurped the constitutional prerogative of Congress to decide how public funds are to be spent.

RT (2019-02-16). Chicago PD releases 'persons of interest' in shady Jussie Smollett attack case. rt.com Fueling suspicions that the 'racist, homophobic' attack on actor Jussie Smollett was a hoax, Chicago police have released the two Nigerians arrested as "persons of interest" without charges, claiming they have more work to do.

Middle East Eye (2019-02-16). US Leaders Call on Allies to Send Troops to Syria as it Withdrawals. theantimedia.com (MEE) — Senior United States lawmakers and military officials have urged the country's allies to send hundreds of troops into Syria, as the US plans its withdrawal from the war-torn country, a top US official said. Speaking on a panel at the Munich Security Conference on Friday, US Senator Lindsey Graham said the US would consider keeping some troops in …

Democracy Now! (2019-02-15). Immigrant Activists: Democrats Are Capitulating to Trump by Approving Border, DHS Funding. democracynow.org President Trump is expected to declare a national emergency today to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border despite opposition from Congress, after he signs the latest spending bill, which includes nearly $1.4 billion to build 55 miles of new border barriers out of steel, far less than the $5.7 billion he requested. Congressmembers Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib issued a statement that they voted against the bill because it gives more funding to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "That is the right thing to do. We've been pushing for Democrats to do the right thing, t…

Dana E. Abizaid (2019-02-15). On Candace Owens's Praise of Hitler. counterpunch.org Any public figure should understand that making a positive reference to Hitler is political suicide. This fact was lost on the young Republican political activist Candace Owens, who recently said, "If Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, Ok, fine." The statement was as insulting as it was horrible. Though Owens More

Kathy Kelly (2019-02-15). What it Really Takes to Secure Peace in Afghanistan. counterpunch.org Constant military surveillance of Afghans yields almost no real intelligence about the problems they face each day. An unusual group of volunteers uses a far different approach. Hossein, a member of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, (APV), which hosted my recent visit to Afghanistan, rolled up his sleeve to show me a still-healing three-inch wound. Thieves More

Daniel Costa (2019-02-15). Trump's national emergency declaration not justified by the facts. peoplesworld.org Where, exactly, is the national emergency? Both houses of Congress have now passed appropriations legislation to fund the government for the fiscal year, and it's become clear they will not provide President Donald Trump with the full $5.7 billion he requested to fund construction of a wall on the southern border. Trump has been so …

Democracy Now! (2019-02-15). Headlines for February 15, 2019. democracynow.org Trump to Use National Emergency Declaration to Build Border Wall, "It's Incredible": Rep. Ocasio-Cortez on Amazon Scrapping NYC Project After Grassroots Protests, Report: Amazon to Pay No Federal Taxes Despite Making $11 Billion in Reported Profits, Denver Teachers Declare Victory After 3-Day Strike, More U.S. Workers Went on Strike in 2018 Than in Any Year in Three Decades, Parkland Shooting Survivor Emma González: "We Fight Our Trauma by Fighting Against Gun Violence", William Barr Sworn In as Attorney General After Senate Confirmation, Former Deputy FBI Director Speaks Out on Launching Counterintelligence Prob…

Whitney Webb (2019-02-15). Rep. Amash Calls Out Dangerous Loopholes in Yemen War Bill and Offers Remedy. mintpressnews.com Though it is similar to H.J. Res 37, Amash's new bill contains neither dubious loopholes nor implicit expansions of the executive branch's power to wage war unilaterally without express congressional approval.

Paul Street (2019-02-15). Someone Needs to Teach These As$#oles a Lesson. counterpunch.org "Someone," my Finnish-American socialist great-aunt Mary used to say in the late 1960s, "ought to teach these assholes a lesson." By "these assholes," she meant the people who own and run the United States. Mary died many years ago. I thought about her the other night while watching Donald Trump lie about crime and border walls More

Jeffrey St. Clair (2019-02-15). Roaming Charges: Third Rail-Roaded. counterpunch.org + The Third Rail of American politics used to be social security. If you even suggested cutting it, your career was fried. But Clinton & Obama legitimized such talk. Now the Third Rail is Israel, where even mentioning its power over the Hill gets you the political death penalty. + What horrible thing is it More

Ramzy Baroud (2019-02-15). Enough Western Meddling and Interventions: Let the Venezuelan People Decide. counterpunch.org American politicians from the two main parties have finally found something to agree upon: more intervention in Venezuela. "Now, despite (President Nicolas) Maduro, there is hope (in Venezuela)", wrote Democratic Senator, Dick Durbin, in USA Today. "These events (meaning the current political instability in the country) are a welcome development of Latin American nations defending More

David Swanson (2019-02-15). Will the U.S. Senate Let the People of Yemen Live? counterpunch.org In 1973 the War Powers Resolution weakened the U.S. Constitution's placement of the power to start and end wars with the first branch of the U.S. government, the Congress. The new law carved out exceptions to allow presidents to start wars. However, it also created procedures by which a single member or group of members More

Greg Palast (2019-02-15). In Venezuela, white supremacy is a key driver of the Coup. mronline.org The coup is, at it heart, a furious backlash of whiter and wealthier Venezuelans against the mixed race and Black majority. | Source

Dave Lindorff (2019-02-15). Using Students, Teachers, Journalists and other Professionals as Spies Puts Everyone in Jeopardy. counterpunch.org The US is accusing China of using college students studying in the US to spy for China, but that, even if true (there hasn't been a trial yet), would be only half the story. The US, at great risk to those of us who work and travel abroad, also tries to enlist seemingly innocent Americans More

ZeroHedge (2019-02-15). BBC Producer Says Syria Douma Chemical Attack Footage "Was Staged" mintpressnews.com Well-known BBC Syria producer Riam Dalati shocked his nearly 20,000 twitter followers by stating that after a "six-month investigation" he has concluded, "I can prove without a doubt that the Douma Hospital scene was staged."

Alexander Rubinstein (2019-02-15). The Lawlessness of William Barr, America's New Top Law Enforcement Official. mintpressnews.com The relatively small amount of scrutiny William Barr fell under from Congress and Beltway thought leaders speaks to a conformity of their ideologies. But to understand what America's new top law enforcement official really signifies as a veteran swamp creature, it is necessary to revisit Cold War history.

Ariel Fornari (2019-02-15). Hispaniola Rising: How the US Coup in Venezuela Is Taking Root in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. mintpressnews.com For more than a decade Venezuela has aided the governments of Haiti and the Dominican Republic through a preferential system known as Petrocaribe, and the people of those nations are not taking their governments' support for the US coup in Venezuela lightly.

Mnar Muhawesh (2019-02-15). As Yemeni Fishermen Risk Their Lives to Feed Their Nation, Saudis Use Them for Target Practice. mintpressnews.com With neither its farmers nor fishermen safe from Saudi coalition attacks, famine has become a massive crisis in Yemen, further exacerbated by the coalition's blockade of the country which largely prevents food from being imported into the troubled nation.

Democracy Now! (2019-02-15). Public Citizen: Trump's National Emergency Declaration Paves Way for Sweeping Authoritarianism. democracynow.org With one day left to pass a government spending bill before today's midnight deadline to avert another government shutdown, both the House and Senate passed the measure Thursday that came out of the bipartisan conference committee earlier this week. The bill includes nearly $1.4 billion to build 55 miles of new border barriers out of steel, far less than the $5.7 billion requested by President Trump. Democrats quickly condemned the news, and consumer rights nonprofit Public Citizen vowed legal action against him. We speak with Public Citizen President Robert Weissman.

Associated Press (2019-02-15). Olympic volunteers: One-time chance, or exploitation? peoplesworld.org TOKYO (AP) — Unpaid Olympic volunteers do almost everything: guide athletes around, greet dignitaries and translate for lost fans. IOC officials acknowledge the games couldn't be held without them; invariably smiling, helpful and praised by presidents, prime ministers, and monarchs. The billion-dollar Olympics are awash with cash. But volunteers work for free. That's the case …

Mark Gruenberg, John Wojcik (2019-02-15). Opponents move to stop Trump's "national emergency" power grab. peoplesworld.org WASHINGTON—Donald Trump wants to use the pretext of a "national emergency" to grab billions of federal dollars to build his Mexican Wall. Xavier Becerra, California's attorney general, and Sens. Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders were among those who immediately came out to say they will try to stop him. Even two Republican senators, Sens. Rand …

Shared by Hezvo Mpunga (2019-02-15). Canciller de Venezuela: "Los EEUU está adelante del intento golpista, no detrás" therealnews.com Entrevista — en español con subtítulos en inglés — con canciller venezolano Jorge Arreaza, quien habla de las posibilidades de guerra con los EEUU, los impactos de los sanciones, y la salida al conflicto entre los EEUU y sus aliados en la oposición y en la región

Ron Jacobs (2019-02-15). Maduro, Guaidó and American Exceptionalism. counterpunch.org In the weeks since Jose Guaidó declared to a crowd of supporters in Venezuela that he was the new president of Venezuela a lot has happened and very little has happened. Washington, Brazil and Colombia—three of the most right-wing governments in the Americas—unsurprisingly declared their support of Guaidó. Others followed. Indeed, it is more than More

Shared by Hezvo Mpunga (2019-02-15). How Haiti's Spontaneous Uprising is Connected to Venezuelan Solidarity (2/2). therealnews.com Kim Ives of Haiti Liberté unravels how the new Haitian revolt entangles Duvalier style corruption of money stolen from Venezuela's PetroCaribe program and subtle US intervention

Jim Kavanagh (2019-02-15). The Siege of Venezuela and the Travails of Empire. counterpunch.org Here's the bullet-point version: + It's imperialism. + It's American imperialism, a bipartisan national project. + American imperialism is the global management of capitalist class power. + It's a binary situation in which one side or the other will win via the use and threat of armed force. + It's trouble for Venezuela and for imperialism. More

Eds. (2019-02-15). Rep. Ilhan Omar grills Elliott Abrams over his shady past. mronline.org Rep. Ilhan Omar spoke truth to power on Wednesday when she grilled Elliott Abrams over his support for violent regime change policies and history of lying to Congress. | Source

Shared by Hezvo Mpunga (2019-02-15). How Haiti's Spontaneous Uprising is Connected to Venezuelan Solidarity (1/2). therealnews.com Kim Ives of Haiti Liberté unravels how the new Haitian revolt entangles Duvalier style corruption of money stolen from Venezuela's PetroCaribe program and subtle US intervention

Shared by Hezvo Mpunga (2019-02-15). Venezuela's Foreign Minister: "The US is in Front of the Coup Attempt, not Behind it" therealnews.com Interview — in Spanish with English subtitles — with Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, who speaks about the likelihood of war with the US, the impact of the sanctions, and the way out of the conflict between Venezuela and the US and its allies in the opposition and in the region

Nicolás Maduro Moros (2019-02-15). An open letter to the people of the United States. mronline.org Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro calls on U.S. society to denounce its government ¥s threats of war. | Source

Cameron Orr (2019-02-15). Militarization and interference in affairs of others impedes Green New Deal. peoplesworld.org Fighting for a Green New Deal in the United States will require uniting all popular forces against the main barriers to social and ecological progress. The Sunrise Movement, which has brought the Green New Deal to the forefront of conversations about the environment, has identified fossil fuel interests as a main barrier to a green …

Rob Urie (2019-02-15). The Green New Deal, Capitalism and the State. counterpunch.org The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created by Richard Nixon in 1970 as the official response to the nascent environmental movement. As laid out in the recently released Poison Papers, it was structured to be dependent on research from private firms that were paid by the chemical producers it regulates. Given the limited market for this research, these firms either produced research conducive to the interests of their customers or they went out of business. More

Chris Floyd (2019-02-15). Pence and the Benjamins: An Eternity of Anti-Semitism. counterpunch.org There has been much throwing about of brains on the subject of anti-Semitism lately. But in the ceaseless and almost entirely cynical media-political imbroglio that has followed the "Benjamins" tweet of Rep. Ilhan Omar, I've seen nothing said about perhaps the most intense and thoroughgoing form of anti-Semitism in America today: an anti-Semitism that is not only prevalent but dominant in the halls of power at the moment. More

CP Editor (2019-02-15). Frank Lloyd Wright on Arrogance. counterpunch.org

unitedEditor (2019-02-15). Can Turkey change its status of non-nuclear weapons status? uwidata.com On the background of the US and Russia's withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), one can hear increasingly often that Turkey might change its status in the emerging new international layout and change its status of a non-nuclear weapons state. Herein we'll consider the possibility of a step of this kind. It is […]

Dean Baker (2019-02-15). CBS's Horror Stories on National Debt Aren't Actually All That Scary. fair.org CBS News ( 2/14/19) | CBS News had a piece warning its audience about the problems of large government debt. It noted projections of rising US government debt, commenting: The only countries with a higher debt load than the US are Portugal, Italy, Greece and Japan. The first three have become synonymous with profligate spending and economic woes post—Great Recession, while Japan's "lost decade" of economic stagnation is a mai…

Democracy Now! (2019-02-15). Ibram X. Kendi on Surviving Cancer & His Anti-Racist Reading List for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. democracynow.org As we celebrate the remarkable life and legacy of Frederick Douglass on his 201st birthday, we are joined by Ibram X. Kendi, a professor of history and international relations and founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. Kendi spoke Thursday night at the Library of Congress at an event honoring Frederick Douglass. He is the National Book Award-winning author of "Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America" and a contributing editor at The Atlantic.

CounterSpin (2019-02-15). Phyllis Bennis on Afghanistan Armistice? fair.org Media…

Brian Cloughley (2019-02-15). In Libya, "We Came, We Saw, He Died." Now, Maduro? counterpunch.org "Now it is time for every other nation to pick a side. No more delays, no more games. Either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you're in league with Maduro and his mayhem." — US Secretary of State Pompeo addresses the UN Security Council on January 26, 2019. Libya is in a state of anarchic More

ACLU (2019-02-15). There Is No 'National Emergency' at the Border, and Trump's Declaration Is Illegal. aclu.org President Donald Trump admits he's making his move because he didn't get his way with Congress, and in the process, he hurts American communities. | After more than a month of threats, a government shutdown, and bipartisan action by Congress, President Trump has finally declared a national emergency to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on his border wall obsession. In response, the ACLU will file a lawsuit early next week challenging this blatantly illegal executive action. | Let's get something straight upfront: There is no em…

Justin Podur (2019-02-15). Inside the neoliberal laboratory preparing for the theft of Venezuela's economy. peoplesdispatch.org Among the academics pushing hard for regime change in Venezuela is Ricardo Hausmann, now an adviser to Juan Guaido, who has "already drafted a plan to rebuild the nation, from economy to energy."

Joyce Nelson (2019-02-15). Venezuela & The Mighty Wurlitzer. counterpunch.org On February 11, Bloomberg News published an astonishing piece about the unfolding Venezuelan turmoil. It was apparently the result of a major investigative effort involving three reporters and five others providing "assistance". You'll notice I haven't called it a piece of news (although that's what it looks like), but I'm not sure what to call More

Consortiumnews (2019-02-15). How Much of Venezuela's Crisis is Really Maduro's Fault? consortiumnews.com There are several factors for Venezuela's economic crisis, but you wouldn't know it by listening to U.S. leaders or following corporate media, writes Steve Ellner. By Steve Ellner Special to Consortium News The recognition by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi… Read more →

Jon Rynn (2019-02-15). What a Green New Deal Should Look Like: Filling in the Details. counterpunch.org Now that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and Senator Markey have introduced their nonbinding Green New Deal resolution, the right-wing snowflakes are melting down while respectable centrists are calling the idea "crazy". On one side, global political and economic elites are doing almost nothing to stop climate change from running out of control, and on the other More

Robert Fantina (2019-02-15). Congress, Israel and the Politics of "Righteous Indignation" counterpunch.org It is a rare day that some member of Congress doesn't expose him or herself as a hypocrite of the first order. This week, we have seen this done in spades. On February 10, Representative Ilhan Omar (D- MN) said that U.S. Congressional support for Israel is "…all about the Benjamins…", a reference to the More

Gary Leupp (2019-02-15). "It's All About the Benjamins, Baby" counterpunch.org Wait. Let me get this straight. First GOP leader Kevin McCarthy threatened two recently elected Muslim women members of Congress with punishment for holding views critical of Israel. On Feb. 11 he stated: "If they [the Democrats] do not take action I think you'll see action from myself. This [criticism of Israel] cannot sustain itself. More

Raouf Halaby (2019-02-15). 'Tiz Kosher for Elected Jewish U.S. Officials to Malign. counterpunch.org When it comes to Muslim, Arab, or Palestinian elected officials, 'tiz Kosher for elected Jewish U.S. officials (and others) to criticize, malign, denigrate, and conjure every stereotype and racist label in the by-now accepted lexicon of hateful rhetoric spewed by the Zeldins, Taubs, Gellers, Spencers, Pipes, Kings, Gaffneys, Trumps, and others. Yet, for stating the More

John Laforge (2019-02-15). Nuclear Power Can't Survive, Much Less Slow Climate Disruption. counterpunch.org Donald Trump: "America will never be a socialist country." Too late. We already have socialism for the rich, with the nuclear power industry as a prime example. On a level playing field, nuclear power would go bust. Those owners get financial supports or subsidies that safe renewables like solar power, geothermal, and wind power don't More

Jonathan Cook (2019-02-15). In Hebron, Israel Removes the Last Restraint on Its Settlers' Reign of Terror. counterpunch.org Nazareth. You might imagine that a report by a multinational observer force documenting a 20-year reign of terror by Israeli soldiers and Jewish settlers against Palestinians, in a city under occupation, would provoke condemnation from European and US politicians. But you would be wrong. The leaking in December of the report on conditions in the More

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