2020-02-19: News Headlines

Staff (2020-02-20). Passengers Leave Ship Docked Off Japan After Quarantine Ends. truthdig.com The two-week action failed to stop the spread of the new virus, with the Diamond Princess the site of the most infections outside of China.

RT (2020-02-20). 'Journalism is not a crime': Australian MP says charges against Assange must be dropped after visiting him in UK prison. rt.com Continued persecution of the WikiLeaks co-founder is a "crazy situation," Australian lawmaker George Christiansen told RT, adding that Julian Assange did not commit any crime aside from running afoul of US elites. | Christiansen, a member of the Liberal National Party of Queensland, questioned the integrity of the legal process against Assange, who is now facing the possibility of extradition to the US over "unlawfully obtaining and disclosing classified documents related to the national defense." | The journalist was hauled out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London after his asylum was revoked in April 2019, an…

teleSUR (2020-02-19). Russian Minister Accuses U.S. of Openly Plundering Syrian Oil. telesurenglish.net The United States openly controls and plunders the oil fields belonging to Syria and its people, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday. | RELATED: | "The Syrian oil fields, the territories where the precious substance is produced, are controlled by the United States. There is shameless plundering of the riches that belong to Syria and the Syrian people," denounced Russia's defense minister in Rome, Italy.

South Front (2020-02-19). Video: Towards The Liberation of Idlib City. globalresearch.ca Syrian government forces did not stop their operation in Greater Idlib with the success in the western countryside of Aleppo city, and continued making gains in the province. During the past 24 hours, they took control of over 10 settlements….

WSWS (2020-02-19). Washington backs Turkey as border clashes mount with Syria and Russia. wsws.org Washington is encouraging Turkish army operations inside Syria, risking a direct clash between the NATO alliance and the Syrian government's main allies, Russia and Iran.

teleSUR (2020-02-19). Spanish Parliament Rejects Juan Guaido as Venezuelan President. telesurenglish.net The National Executive in Spain rejected a motion to acknowledge Juan Guaido as the leader of Venezuela on Tuesday. The legal request faced the opposition of 190 parliamentary officials. | RELATED: | The left-wing parties, such as Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE) and Unidas Podemos, expressed their rejection of the motion, arguing that political parties like VOX, Ciudadanos, Foro Asturias and Navarra Suma, are usi…

Richard Falk (2020-02-19). Trump's Deal Is a Show Hiding the Real Problem: Ongoing Israeli Apartheid. globalresearch.ca It was always foolish to expect a balanced political compromise from the current American administration. | Since he was elected four years ago, US President Donald Trump has entrusted the Israel/Palestine portfolio to his inexperienced, Zionist son-in-law, Jared Kushner, aided …

Robert McChesney (2020-02-19). If Bloomberg Wants to Buy an Election, He Should Run as a Republican. zcomm.org The mega-billionaire should be running against Trump in the Republican primaries, not as a Democrat. If he actually cared about this country more than stroking his massive ego that is exactly what he would be doing…

Robert W. McChesney (2020-02-19). If Bloomberg wants to buy an election, he should run as a Republican against Trump—not sabotage Democrats. mronline.org The mega-billionaire should be running against Trump in the Republican primaries, not as a Democrat. If he actually cared about this country more than stroking his massive ego that is exactly what he would be doing. |

Mark Taliano (2020-02-19). NATO Wars Against Freedom, Justice and Humanity. globalresearch.ca NATO commits Supreme International War Crimes Against Peace as military doctrine. The criminality is normalized. Perceptions are inverted and Western populations are hypnotized to believe that NATO and its serial war crimes are making us safe. | . | . | Hidden from …

teleSUR (2020-02-19). China: Over 14 Thousand Patients Recover From Coronavirus. telesurenglish.net China's National Health Commission(NHC) reported that 14,376 patients have recovered from the coronavirus throughout the country. | RELATED: | In their latest report, Chinese health authorities informed that 74,279 people have been infected by the disease and 2007 persons have died so far. | Seen from a temporary perspective, however, the outbreak control is yielding the expected results. | For 15 consecutive days, the…

WSWS (2020-02-19). US evacuates Americans from quarantined cruise ship in Japan. wsws.org The US evacuated more than 300 Americans, including 14 confirmed infected with coronavirus, from a cruise ship in Yokohama harbor.

Paul Antonopoulos (2020-02-19). Russia Needs to Prioritize Greece as Relations Rift with Turkey. globalresearch.ca A revealing poll released earlier last week by the highly-reliable

John Pilger (2020-02-19). Julian Assange Must be Freed, Not Betrayed. globalresearch.ca On Saturday, there will be a march from Australia House in London to Parliament Square, the centre of British democracy. People will carry pictures of the Australian publisher and journalist Julian Assange who, on 24 February, faces a court that …

Prof. Marjorie Cohn (2020-02-19). Extradition of Assange Would Set a Dangerous Precedent. globalresearch.ca The Trump administration is seeking extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States for trial on charges carrying 175 years in prison. On February 24, a court in the U.K. will hold a hearing to determine whether to …

WSWS (2020-02-19). German politicians and cultural professionals demand release of Julian Assange. wsws.org Some 130 prominent initial signatories, including nine former federal ministers, are demanding the "immediate release of Julian Assange, on medical grounds as well on the basis of the rule of law."

Staff (2020-02-19). Assange Was Offered U.S. Pardon if He Cleared Russia, His Lawyer Says. truthdig.com Wikileaks founder will claim former Rep. Rohrabacher did so at behest of Trump in 2017 visit; president denies report through spokeswoman.

WSWS (2020-02-19). Assange defence team: "The empire calls it espionage. We call it journalism" wsws.org A packed press conference was addressed by WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson, lawyer Jennifer Robinson and Australian MPs Andrew Wilkie and George Christensen.

WSWS (2020-02-19). Australian MPs visit Julian Assange at Belmarsh Prison. wsws.org Andrew Wilkie and George Christensen said they agreed with UN official Nils Melzer's assessment that Assange is the victim of psychological torture.

Jonathan Cook (2020-02-19). UN List of Firms Aiding Israel's Settlements Was Dead on Arrival. globalresearch.ca After lengthy delays, the United Nations finally published a database last week of businesses that have been profiting from Israel's illegal settlement activity in the West Bank. | The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, announced that 112 …

Alan Macleod (2020-02-19). Michael Bloomberg Is Trying To take Down Bernie Sanders, Not Trump. mintpressnews.com Michael Bloomberg's campaign has called on the other "moderate" candidates, such as Amy Klobuchar, Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg, to step down and unite behind him as the only force that can stop Bernie Sanders, who, he warns, will soon have an insurmountable lead in delegates.

Andrew Korybko (2020-02-19). The Munich Security Conference: No, Pompeo, the West Isn't Winning. globalresearch.ca Secretary of State Pompeo boldly declared during his keynote speech at last weekend's Munich Security Conference that "the West is winning", which isn't true at all since it's actually facing unprecedented challenges from Russia and China, though that also shouldn't …

Staff (2020-02-19). Bernie Sanders' Campaign to Request Recount of Iowa Caucuses. truthdig.com The plans come after the results of a recanvass by state party officials show the Vermont senator and Pete Buttigieg in an effective tie.

Staff (2020-02-19). Sanders Calls Trump's Clemency for Corrupt Officials Proof of a Broken System. truthout.org Sen. Bernie Sanders said late Tuesday that President Donald Trump's "Tru…

Staff (2020-02-19). Trump Spreads Alarm About Green New Deal: "They Want to Kill Our Cows" truthout.org As the campaign of Bernie Sanders continues to gain (an albeit fragile) viability, along with the equally fragile yet increasingly necessary enactment of a Green New Deal, Donald Trump is inoculating his base. | "The Green New Deal … would crush our farms, destroy our wonderful cows," President Donald Trump

David Schultz (2020-02-19). Bernie Sanders and the Revenge of the Superdelegates. counterpunch.org Unless Bernie Sanders wins enough delegates to capture the Democratic Party nomination on the first ballot, he is not going to be the nominee. The reason will be that the superdelegates—those same people who were his wrath in 2016—will come back to deny him the nomination. The Democratic Party's superdelegates were a reaction to the

teleSUR (2020-02-19). Evo Morales Cannot Be a Candidate for Senator in Bolivia. telesurenglish.net After a debate that lasted until midnight Tuesday, Bolivia's Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) decided that RELATED: | Up to last Monday, the TSE had to verify the documentation submitted by the p…

Staff (2020-02-19). Permafrost Is Already Thawing. Will It Tip the Scales in the Climate Crisis? truthout.org Across vast swaths of the northern hemisphere's higher reaches, frozen ground holds billions of tonnes of carbon. | As global temperatures rise, this "permafrost" land is at increasing risk of thawing out, potentially releasing its long-held carbon into the atmosphere. | Abrupt permafrost thaw is one of the most frequently discussed "tipping points" that could be crossed in a warming world. However,

Eds. (2020-02-19). Inside Extinction Rebellion: War reporting a global human conflict. mronline.org Having our own media allows us to tell the stories that the millionaire press barons don't want to engage with and it gives us a space to debate and explore issues without the toxic influence of climate deniers. |

Tim Libretti (2020-02-19). To compete in global economy, Trump says workers' lives have to get worse. peoplesworld.org What if America competed with other nations to have the best universal healthcare system or the best public education system? If we competed to be the leader in creating a green economy to address climate change? If we competed to end poverty and inequality? Donald Trump wants America to compete in the global economy, but …

Diana Johnstone (2020-02-19). At the Annual Munich Security Conference: The West Displays Its "Insecurity Complex" globalresearch.ca "The West is winning!" U.S. leaders proclaimed at the high-level Annual Security Conference held in Munich last weekend. | Not everybody was quite so sure. | There was a lot of insecurity displayed at a conference billed as "the West's family meeting" …

John Perry (2020-02-19). While Nicaragua returns to peace, media and international NGOs conjure epidemic of violence with dubious reporting. thegrayzone.com Media bias against Nicaragua's Sandinista government is unremitting, and international NGOs are feeding it by misreporting a violent land dispute…

John Perry (2020-02-19). While Nicaragua returns to peace, media and international NGO's conjure epidemic of violence with dubious reporting. thegrayzone.com Media bias against Nicaragua's Sandinista government is unremitting, and international NGOs are feeding it by misreporting a violent land dispute…

Dr. Binoy Kampmark (2020-02-19). The Priorities of General Motors: Ditching Australia's Holden Cars. globalresearch.ca It seemed to be a case of grand misrepresentation. Holden cars, those great Australian acquisitions, along with home, lawnmower and nuclear family, gave the impression of indigenous pride, the home brand. It was also resoundingly masculine. But behind that image …

Colin Todhunter (2020-02-19). Apocalypse Now! Insects, Pesticide and a Public Health Crisis. globalresearch.ca In 2017, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Hilal Elver, and UN Special Rapporteur on Toxics, Baskut Tuncak, produced a

Staff (2020-02-19). Tonight's Debate in Nevada Is the Most Consequential Moment of the 2020 Race. truthout.org Thanks to the location of tonight's Democratic debate, we are all doomed to a common fate: the cringeworthy moment of hearing a pundit proclaim, "One thing's for sure: What happens in Vegas won't stay in Vegas." We will inevitably hear about candidates "putting all their chips on the table," and of candidates "going all in." For journalists in search of an easy metaphor, this is low-hanging fruit, and it will be inescapable. You have been warned. | Now that we have that unpleasantness out of t…

Ishmael Reed (2020-02-19). Social Media: The New Grapevine Telegraph. counterpunch.org During the weekend of February 9th, MSNBC regular Tiffany Cross blurted out the conditions under which MSNBC black pundits work. She said, "If I said a lot of the things that I really think, I would get filtered–we just can't say that, we have to filter our own voices." This explains why the black women on Joy Reid's show can weigh in on the stupid sexist brutish moves of some black athletes and entertainers, but can't discuss the effect of Michael Bloomberg's Stop and Frisk policy on black and brown women. They can't address the rampant sexism at NBC, where, according to journalist Ronan Farrow, wealthy white p…

Nick Licata (2020-02-19). The Rule of Law Under Trump. counterpunch.org William Galston, a Brookings Institution senior fellow, said that "we are a government of men and not law." It has no force until people enforce it. That is the underlying theme of Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig's A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America. The test is how far can one person,

Creede Newton (2020-02-19). The Unbreakable Bond of Ireland and Palestine. globalresearch.ca

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| In December, a wave of support for the recognition of a Palestinian state swept over Europe, culminating in the European Parliament's (EP) vote on a motion that expressed support for an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders and |

Telesur (2020-02-19). EU Nations Push for Bloc's Recognition of State of Palestine. globalresearch.ca A group of European Union (EU) countries led by Luxembourg is planning to present Monday to the EU's foreign affairs ministers, an initiative for the recognition of the state of Palestine by the bloc‚Äã‚Äã‚Äã‚Äã‚Äã, Haaretz reported Sunday. | Luxembourg's Foreign Affairs …

Tony Cartalucci (2020-02-19). US Middle East "Peace Deal" Designed to Perpetuate Conflict. globalresearch.ca A deal that is entirely unacceptable to one of its principal parties isn't a deal at all. In the case of the US-proposed "Middle East peace plan" — unsurprisingly endorsed by the US and Israel and few others — everything …

Staff (2020-02-19). U.N.: Thousands Fleeing Syrian Offensive, Kids Dying in the Cold. truthdig.com UNITED NATIONS — Hundreds of thousands of people fleeing a Russian-backed Syrian offensive are being squeezed into ever smaller areas near Turkey's border "under horrendous conditions" in freezing temperatures that are killing babies and young children, the U.N. humanitarian chief said Wednesday. | Mark Lowcock told the U.N. Security Council that "the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe" in northwest Idlib province, which is the last major rebel stronghold, has "overwhelmed" efforts to provide aid. | He said nearly 900,000 people have been displaced since Dec. 1 when the government offensive began, more than…

WSWS (2020-02-19). Russian state frame-up results in draconian prison sentences for left-wing youth. wsws.org Under conditions of staggering social inequality and rising class tensions, the harsh punishment is aimed at intimidating all opposition to the Russian state from the left.

Nino Pagliccia (2020-02-19). Guaido is a "Fake President". "Lima Group" to Meet in Canada: Open Letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. globalresearch.ca Re: "Lima Group" meeting of February 20, 2020 in Gatineau, Quebec | 18 February 2020 | Dear Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: | I am addressing you as a concerned Canadian regarding Canada's foreign policy position vis-à -vis Venezuela. | Your government has announced a …

Nino Pagliccia (2020-02-19). Open Letter to Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Lima Group Meeting. counterpunch.org Re: "Lima Group" meeting of February 20, 2020 in Gatineau, Quebec 18 February 2020 Dear Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: I am addressing you as a concerned Canadian regarding Canada's foreign policy position vis-à -vis Venezuela. Your government has announced a meeting of the so-called Lima Group on February 20, 2020 for the reported purpose of "build[ing]

Linda Pentz Gunter (2020-02-19). Hysteria Isn't Killing Nuclear Power. counterpunch.org Time was, that a woman suffering from menopause, pre-menstrual syndrome, a heightened libido or lack thereof, was labeled "hysterical." Her very real medical or psychological troubles were put down to an "emotional reaction." For a while these symptoms were even attributed to a "wandering womb." What? Yes, really. For years, if you were a woman

Howard Lisnoff (2020-02-19). The Wealth That's Killing Us Will Save Us: Politics Through the Looking-Glass. counterpunch.org The Bloomberg for President campaign office looks like a complete anachronism in the heart of Harlem in New York City. The office is located on Harlem's famous 125th Street near the Metro North commuter railway station. The Bloomberg campaign office, a space that has the depth of a bowling alley, has a few campaign staffers

Ed Rampell (2020-02-19). The things we do for love: Styx and Stones in new opera 'Eurydice'. peoplesworld.org LOS ANGELES—LA Opera's world premiere of composer Matthew Aucoin and librettist Sarah Ruhl's sublime Eurydice is an optically and aurally stunning reinterpretation of the ancient Greek myth about Orpheus (baritone Joshua Hopkins) and the title character (Danielle de Niese, but substituted on Feb. 14 by Erica Petrocelli). Like Romeo and Juliet, there have been many …

Eric A. Gordon (2020-02-19). Nevada: Democratic primary intensifies the debate over class divisions in America. peoplesworld.org In the lead-up to the statewide Democratic primary caucus on Saturday, Feb. 22, Nevada's early voters on Feb. 15, the first day, turned out in record numbers—more than 18,500 Democrats, almost twice the turnout on the first day of advance caucusing in 2016. Enthusiasm over this election is mounting, and the eyes of the nation …

Staff (2020-02-19). Organizers Work to Guide Deportees Toward Resources in Their Home Countries. truthout.org What happens to people after they are deported from the United States? And if they no longer have family in their countries of origin, how do they make their way in an unfamiliar place? | In 2014, Christina Zaldivar found herself pondering these questions with some fellow activists after she had accompanied one of them to an immigration check-in in Centennial, Colorado. That friend had been living without legal status in the U.S. for more than 30 years and had no family left in Mexico. | "We s…

Staff (2020-02-19). Bloomberg Gains in Primaries, But His History With Unions May Be a Roadblock. truthout.org We continue our conversation with Marcie Wells, activist and waitress who is a member of the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 in Nevada, and Hamilton Nolan, labor reporter with In These Times. Nolan says 2020 had been "the most promising election year for organized labor in a long time," with Democratic candidates releasing platforms with strong labor protections. But Michael Bloomberg's entry into the race threatens to upend the Democratic Party's pro-worker shift. The billionaire former mayor o…

John W. Whitehead (2020-02-19). Compliance 101: Gun-Toting Cops Endanger Students and Turn the Schools into Prisons. globalresearch.ca "Every day in communities across the United States, children and adolescents spend the majority of their waking hours in schools that have increasingly come to Just when you …

(2020-02-19). Lawsuit Launched Over Trump's Massive Rollback of Pollution Protections for Rivers, Wetlands. globalresearch.ca Conservation groups filed a formal notice of intent to

Shane Quinn (2020-02-19). The Rise of Sinn Féin: Dissecting Ireland's February 2020 General Election and the State of the Nation. globalresearch.ca In the Republic of Ireland, among the most notable outcome from last week's general election outcome was a substantial rise in popularity for the left-leaning party, Sinn Féin, whose standing rose by 10.7% as they gained 15 parliamentary seats …

Lucas Leiroz de Almeida (2020-02-19). Revising the History of World War II. globalresearch.ca Poland is encouraging the growth of historical revisionism of the World War II. Apparently, there is nothing necessarily wrong in revisiting the data referring to any past armed conflict, however, it is not the desire for the discovery of the …

Gideon Polya (2020-02-19). Methane Leakage Makes Australia a World Leading Per Capita Greenhouse Gas Polluter. globalresearch.ca Methane (CH4) is 85% of natural gas, leaks, and has a Global Warming Potential (GWP) 105 times that of the same mass of carbon dioxide (CO2) on a 20 year time frame with aerosol impacts included. Such considerations reveal that …

teleSUR (2020-02-19). Brazil Court Rules in Favor of Fired Petrobras Workers on Strike. telesurenglish.net Parana's regional labor court temporarily suspended Tuesday the lay-off of more than 1,000 workers of the fertilizer factory Fafen-PR until at least March 6, following a collective strike that RELATED: | The strike against the Petrobras executive board started in pro…

teleSUR (2020-02-19). South Korean Court Sentences Ex-President to 17 Years in Prison. telesurenglish.net A South Korean appellate court on Wednesday sentenced former President Lee Myung-bak to 17 years in jail over a set of corruptions, including bribery and embezzlement. | RELATED: | The Seoul High Court handed down the ruling on Lee, who served as the country's head of state for five years from early 2008, fining him 13 billion won (10.9 million U.S. dollars). | It was heavier than the verdict by the lower court, which sen…

teleSUR (2020-02-19). Mexico's Chamber of Deputies Increases Penalty for Femicides. telesurenglish.net The Chamber of Deputies of Mexico approved Tuesday to increase the maximum penalties of years in prison for femicide after the murder of a 7-year-old girl, whose body was found in a plastic bag in the capital. | RELATED: | The reformed law was approved with 415 votes in favor and one against. With this measure, the minimum penalty for those who commit feminicide in Mexico went from 40 to 45 years. | Likewise, the deputies a…

Staff (2020-02-19). Culinary Workers Union Member Would Trade Union Health Care for Medicare for All. truthout.org The third presidential contest of the primary season takes place Saturday in Nevada. One of the state's most coveted endorsements is from the Culinary Workers Union, which represents some 60,000 workers in the restaurant and hospitality industries in Las Vegas and Reno. Its membership is 54% Latinx. But last week they decided not to endorse any of the candidates. Nevada is a "right to work" state, and the Culinary Workers Union has attracted members by offering them health care. It has said…

WSWS (2020-02-19). China denounces US "lies" at the Munich Security Conference. wsws.org Beijing's blunt language is an attempt to counter Washington's relentless propaganda offensive and also to seek support from the European powers.

WSWS (2020-02-19). Sanders' surge in the polls triggers new provocations by media, Democratic establishment. wsws.org There are growing concerns within the party apparatus and much of the corporate elite that wins for Sanders in Nevada and South Carolina could make his nomination unstoppable.

Yves Engler (2020-02-19). Canada, Get Out of the Lima Group, Core Group and OAS. counterpunch.org "Qui se ressemble, s'assemble." The English saying is "birds of a feather flock together." Translated from Spanish: "Tell me who your friends are, and I'll tell you who you are." The folk wisdom that who we hang out with tells a lot about us is reflected in numerous proverbs. Whatever the language, who Ottawa chooses

Binoy Kampmark (2020-02-19). Corporate Occupations: The UN Business "Black List" and Israel's Settlements. counterpunch.org Mikhail Bakunin, in that charming anarchist tradition, regarded the state as an evil to be done away with. Such collective formations were criminal, oppressive, eviscerating to the individual. The corporation might be regarded as a similar collective, adopting and aping elements of the state with, in some cases, greater latitude to achieve its object. At

ANIS SHIVANI (2020-02-19). Bloomberg on Bloomberg: The Selected Sayings of the Much-Awaited Establishment Messiah. counterpunch.org Bloomberg on Legalizing Pot: "What are we going to say in 10 years when we see all these kids whose IQs are 5 to 10 points lower than they would have been? I couldn't feel more strongly about it, and my girlfriend says it's no different than alcohol. It is different than alcohol. This is one of the stupider things that's happening across our country."

RT (2020-02-19). 'Worst case scenario': Kremlin slams Turkey's threat of military operation against Syrian government in Idlib. rt.com Turkey sending troops to Syria to fight against the government would be the 'worst case scenario', Kremlin spokesman said after Ankara threatened that such an operation was imminent. | Turkey's President Erdogan said on Wednesday Ankara was prepared to launch a military incursion into Idlib to force the Syrian army out. Russia's reaction to such a development would depend on what goals the Turkish troops decide to pursue, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. | "If it will be an operation against terrorist forces in Idlib, that would certainly be within the spirit" of Russia's agreements with Turkey, he said.

RT (2020-02-19). Turkish military op in Idlib only 'matter of time', Erdogan warns Damascus. rt.com A new Turkish military incursion into Syria's Idlib governorate has been planned and may start at any moment, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned, ramping up a tense standoff with Damascus. | "As with all [previous] operations, we say 'we could suddenly come one night.' In other words, an Idlib operation is a matter of time," Erdogan said, referring to incursions into Syria conducted in 2016, 2018 and last year. | Ankara will not "leave Idlib to the Assad regime and its backers," Erdogan vowed, referring to the Syrian government and, apparently, to Russia and Iran. Speaking to lawmakers on Wednesday, he…

RT (2020-02-19). Last ones to leave: 130+ Indian crew members to remain quarantined for TWO MORE WEEKS on coronavirus-hit cruise ship. rt.com After the last passenger leaves the coronavirus-struck vessel, more than 100 Indian crew members, tending the quarantined guests, will be stuck on the Diamond Princess for another two weeks. | The Indian crew will not only be the last to disembark from the disease-hit luxury liner Diamond Princess, but will be quarantined for additional two weeks after all the passengers leave, the Times of India reported on Wednesday. | Passengers, who have tested negative for the virus began stepping ashore in the Port of Yokohama, Japan, earlier that day, after spending 14 days confined to the vessel. Indian personnel has b…

RT (2020-02-19). 2 Iranians die after testing positive for coronavirus. rt.com Two Iranians who were that country's first cases of coronavirus have died, health officials in Qom announced on Wednesday. | The deaths were also confirmed by health ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur in a The highly contagious novel coronavirus emerged in China in December 2019, with the death toll there exceeding 2,000 for the first time on…

RT (2020-02-19). Russia's tourism sector could lose $455 million if Chinese coronavirus crisis continues until summer – tour operators. rt.com Health concerns over the new COVID-19 coronavirus have led to strong measures in Russia. The Far Eastern border with China has been closed, and most Chinese visitors face restrictions. Now financial losses are being assessed. | Experts forecast that the country's tourism industry may lose almost 3 billion rubles ($47 million), in just the next two months. That's according to ATOR, the Association of Tour Operators of Russia. China is typically the largest single source of tourists to Russia: providing 1.5 million visitors in 2019. | While the situation is bad, it could get much worse. If Chinese holidaymakers…

RT (2020-02-19). Overseas investors increase holdings of Chinese bonds despite coronavirus uncertainty. rt.com Demonstrating confidence in China, international investors continued to invest in the country's economy. Net purchases of Chinese bonds were worth 43 billion yuan ($6.1 billion) after the Spring Festival, market data showed. | According to China Foreign Exchange Trade System, the country's bond market has become an important part of global asset allocation. It said, as cited by Xinhua News, that it will continue to improve overseas services and enhance financial infrastructure to facilitate bond trade. | Analysts largely expect growth to rebound after the containment on pent-up demand and production, the forei…

RT (2020-02-19). Iran confirms first 2 cases of new coronavirus — official. rt.com Tehran confirmed on Wednesday its first two cases of the new coronavirus shortly after reports that preliminary tests on two patients had come back positive. | "As we had promised to announce any confirmed cases, a few minutes ago the health minister confirmed the two cases of the new coronavirus in the city of Qom," Ali Rabiei, the government spokesman, tweeted. | The Health Ministry said earlier that the patients had been put in isolation. Rabiei did not give the nationality of the two people infected, but some reports suggested that they were Iranian nationals. | The death toll from the new coronavirus in m…

RT (2020-02-19). A year in jail & quarter million fine since, lawyers seek freedom for Chelsea Manning refusing to testify against WikiLeaks. rt.com Chelsea Manning's attorney has filed a new motion requesting her release from jail, where she has been for nearly a year for continuously refusing to testify before a grand jury against WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. | Manning's incarceration has "exceeded its lawful scope" by moving from being a coercive tactic to a criminal punishment, her lawyer Moira Meltzer-Cohen said in a Manning was jailed in March of 2019 for refusing to testify before a gran…

RT (2020-02-19). Russian cops bust banned radical Islamist group Tablighi Jamaat's 'training camp,' detain leaders & participants. rt.com Seven members of a hardline Islamic organization were arrested in Moscow on Wednesday, according to the Federal Security Service (FSB). They are charged with disseminating extremist propaganda and trying to recruit new supporters. | Tablighi Jamaat, which means the Outreach Society or the Society for Spreading Faith, is banned in Russia. Its philosophy is based around the idea that Muslims should revert to practicing their faith as it was done in the 7th century, when the Prophet Mohammed himself lived. It particularly focuses on styles of dress, personal behavior, and forms of ritual. | | Religious literatu…

RT (2020-02-19). 'Throat of fire' volcano signalling imminent, devastating COLLAPSE. rt.com Scientists are warning that the Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador is showing early signs of impending catastrophic collapse, after satellite data showed substantial internal damage from ongoing magma activity. | Tungurahua, has been persistently active since 1999 so wear and tear was inevitable, especially given that the 'Throat of fire,' or 'Black giant' as the Quechua indigenous people named it, has already collapsed twice before thousands of years ago. | | Tungurahua erupting on November 2nd, 1999. © US Geological Survey | "Using satellite data we have observed very rapid deformation of Tungurahua's west…

RT (2020-02-19). Erdogan slams EU plan to enforce Libya arms embargo. rt.com Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday criticized the European Union's decision to launch a maritime effort focused on enforcing the UN arms embargo around Libya, accusing the European states that have agreed to the operation of "interfering in the region." | Erdogan also hailed a decision by Libya's UN-supported government to withdraw from talks with rivals following an attack Tuesday on the sea port of the Libyan capital, Tripoli. The US called for the talks to be resumed "quickly." | EU foreign ministers agreed earlier this week to end 'Operation Sophia', the bloc's naval mission in the Mediter…

RT (2020-02-19). 'Impeached president says what?' Bloomberg hits back at Trump 'Mini Mike the pathetic debater' jibe. rt.com US President Donald Trump has lashed out at billionaire Democratic candidate Mike Bloomberg (again), this time calling him a "pathetic debater" with no respect for American farmers. Bloomberg hit back with some snark of his own. | Tweeting on Wednesday, Trump asked whether the "corrupt" Bloomberg News channel would admit that its owner "Mini Mike" was a pathetic debater. The tweet came ahead of the upcoming Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas — the first in which Bloomberg will take part. Trump previously bestowed the nickname 'Mini Mike' on the former New York mayor in reference to his short stat…

RT (2020-02-19). Foreign powers working against India as it moves to become global guru — defense minister. rt.com "Many foreign powers" are seeking to undermine the Indian government, fearful of the nation's rise to global prominence, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh has warned. | "Many foreign powers are trying to break our country. They do not want a stable government in India, because they can see our future — the country is not only on its way to becoming a global superpower, but also a universal teacher or master," the top defense official told a gathering in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh state. | Singh was a guest of honor during a three-day event hosted by Ekal Vidyalaya, an NGO dedicated to education an…

RT (2020-02-19). Albania's president calls on citizens 'to topple govt for violation of constitution'. rt.com Albania's President Ilir Meta on Wednesday called on the people to topple the left-wing government, which he accused of violating the constitution and of alleged links to organized crime, AP reported. | Meta said at a news conference that he hopes people will come to the capital Tirana on March 2, when he plans to sign the first decree against what he says is a 'coup d'etat' being carried out by the government through the justice system. | The Balkan nation of nearly 3 million has been enacting reforms in hopes of getting a green light to launch membership talks with the EU. The president said that justice sys…

RT (2020-02-19). Russian Defense Minister Shoigu discusses Libya with east forces' commander Haftar. rt.com Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu met with the commander of the Libyan National Army Khalifa Haftar on Wednesday to discuss the situation in Libya. | They discussed matters and "stressed the importance of talks held on January 13 in Moscow for establishing ceasefire and launching the process of normalizing the situation in the country," the Russian Defense Ministry said. | Shoigu and Haftar confirmed the need to fulfill the decisions made at the Berlin conference on Libya. | They also noted that there is no alternative to settling the domestic Libyan crisis by political means and confirmed commitment to L…

RT (2020-02-19). WATCH Aleppo intl airport receive FIRST flight ending years-long shutdown after Syrian troops clear recovering city of militants. rt.com A Syrian Air flight has landed at Aleppo International Airport for the first time in years, marking a milestone in the recovery of the city, which has been returning to normal life from the abyss of its civil war. | The commercial flight, carrying Syrian officials and journalists, landed in Aleppo on Wednesday, some 40 minutes after taking off from the capital, Damascus. The arrival of the Airbus A320 has become a symbolic message, marking the resumption of flights between Syria's two biggest cities. | Footage taken on the spot showed a crowd of people that came to the airport to welcome the first flight. Some…

RT (2020-02-19). Venezuela slams US sanctions on Russia's Rosneft as an attempt at grabbing control of global oil market. rt.com Russian oil giant Rosneft's investments and commercial activities in Venezuela are legal, says state energy firm PDVSA, pledging to provide the necessary support for the producer's "operational and commercial continuity." | The PDVSA statement follows Washington's blacklisting of a Rosneft subsidiary on Tuesday over its trade ties with Venezuela. The US accused the oil brokerage subsidiary of handling over 70 percent of Venezuela's exports, in circumvention of US sanctions. It has also given the companies doing business with Rosneft Trading 90 days to disentangle those arrangements. | COMUNICADO OFICIAL&#63743…

RT (2020-02-19). Arctic kiss: Two Russian nuclear icebreakers rendezvous in spectacular night-time DRONE FOOTAGE. rt.com Two Russian nuclear icebreakers have met up somewhere on the endless white plains of the Arctic Ocean, providing for a sight both spectacular and romantic. | The video, posted by Russia's nuclear agency Rosatom, showed its Taymyr and Vaygach icebreakers almost touching with their bows, before settling in to "cuddle" side by side. | With the after-dark "coupling" filmed from the air and edited to a smooth soundtrack, some internet users found the scene "erotic." | There were other interesting comparisons as well, with one commentator saying that the two massive ships positioned so close to each other resemb…

RT (2020-02-19). Clicks-hungry media warns Ireland of 'Russian ghost ship with CANNIBAL RATS,' but Twitter's not amused. rt.com An Irish news outlet has posted an alarming tweet warning that a cannibal rat-laden Russian 'ghost ship' is "heading for Ireland." Rather than spark concern, the clickbait tweet has merely generated eye-rolls from Twitter users. | Wednesday's tweet from the Irish Times shared a link to a feature about a couple of ghost ships currently at large somewhere on the high seas that could — maybe, possibly, in the right conditions — wind up washing ashore along Ireland's coast. And the vessel of most concern is apparently "an abandoned former Soviet cruise liner [called] Lyubov Orlova" which is apparently ma…

RT (2020-02-19). Russia may grant ex-presidents immunity from prosecution & ban ministers from holding foreign bank accounts. rt.com When Vladimir Putin announced his intention to amend Russia's Constitution, it drove the pundits and pontificators into a frenzy of speculation. Since then there's been a raft of proposals but two in particular stand out. | According to Pavel Krasheninnikov, co-chair of the working group set up to propose changes to the code, the idea of making former presidents exempt from subsequent criminal charges has been floated; along with a restriction on cabinet members from keeping money in financial institutions abroad. | Reports about Russian officials taking money out of the country have long aroused anger. Back i…

RT (2020-02-19). Houthi rebels block half of UN's aid delivery programs for Yemen — officials. rt.com Yemen's Houthi rebels have blocked half of the United Nations' aid delivery programs in the war-torn country, AP reported Wednesday, citing aid officials and internal documents. The rebels are trying to force the agency to give them greater control over the massive humanitarian campaign, along with a cut of billions of dollars in foreign assistance, according to the report. | The rebel group has made granting access to areas under their control contingent on a flurry of conditions that aid agencies reject. | For months, the Houthis demanded a 2 percent cut from the entire aid budget be given to them, a conditi…

RT (2020-02-19). 'We can't have Turkish laws on French ground': Macron vows to fight foreign imams preaching 'Islamist separatism'. rt.com Paris will clamp down on imams from Muslim countries that arrive in France to push worshipers into violating the law, the country's President Emmanuel Macron said, warning Turkey it can't "feed separatism" on French soil. | Macron promised to "gradually" end the program allowing Muslim countries to send imams and teachers to France in order to teach languages and culture unsupervised by the state. Speaking at the town of Mulhouse near the German border, he said that the influence of foreign imams leads some to "separate themselves from the Republic and therefore not respect its laws." | The French leader sing…

RT (2020-02-19). Oh ire of Scotland: US huntress who invoked online OUTRAGE for posing with dead animals in UK avoids prosecution. rt.com An American trophy hunter who claims she received death threats after posing with her kills in Scotland will reportedly face no criminal charges, despite a torrent of online abuse and outrage. | TV presenter Larysa Switlyk, 34, was reported for firearms offenses and 'wild goat trophy hunting' on Islay in September 2018 after posting photos of her smiling with a dead goat, a stag and a ram. | | © Instagram/ LarysaUnleashed | While it is legal to hunt feral goats in Scotland, as they are classed as an invasive species, many took issue with the American's brazen attitude towards Scottish wildlife and cultu…

RT (2020-02-19). Reddit experiences major outage as 1000s of reports come flooding in from around the world. rt.com Popular online news aggregator Reddit experienced a major outage Wednesday with thousands of users reporting issues around the world. | Almost 10,000 reports have been made on crowdsourcing website monitor DownDetector.com with a roughly 50/50 split of reports indicating outages on the app and website. | The majority of the reports about the social media platform meets meme workshop have come from the Eastern seaboard of the US and Western Europe. | | © Down Detector | Visitors to the site were met with a message reading: "Our CDN was unable to reach our servers". Reddit confirmed they are aware of the…

RT (2020-02-19). CNN reporter triggered by Fox interviewing InfoWars' 'Gun Girl' quickly reminded of own network's history with racists & criminals. rt.com In a case of pot calling the kettle black, Oliver Darcy fumed at Fox News describing Kaitlin Bennet as a "gun rights activist" after her tumultuous visit to a college campus. Twitter was quick to remind him of CNN's own sins.

RT (2020-02-19). 'Utter nonsense': UK Home Secretary Patel hits back at 'Dave' after British rapper calls BoJo a 'real racist' at music awards show. rt.com UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has lashed out at British rapper, Dave, after the musician used his performance at the BRIT music awards to brand PM Boris Johnson a racist. Patel called the accusation "utter nonsense." | The 21-year-old black rapper from Streatham in South London — who won album of the year at the prestigious awards show in the UK capital on Tuesday night — added a final verse to his performance of song 'Black,' in which he singled out Johnson. | It is racist whether or not it feels racist. The truth is our prime minister is a real racist. They say, you should be grateful we're the lea…

RT (2020-02-19). U-turn: Ex-Democratic candidate Andrew Yang joins CNN as political commentator. rt.com Fresh from abandoning his dreams of presidential glory, entrepreneur and failed presidential hopeful Andrew Yang has lowered his sights to the corridors of CNN's newsrooms instead, joining the network as a political commentator. | Yang announced he was ending his long-shot campaign following last week's New Hampshire primary in which he finished in eighth place. "I am not someone who wants to accept donations and support in a race that we will not win," he said graciously. | It wasn't long, however, before Yang had found another route to political stardom: a cushy commentator job with CNN. | I'm excited to joi…

RT (2020-02-19). Third time's the charm? Soros AGAIN accuses Facebook of helping Trump re-election, demands Zuckerberg & Sandberg exit. rt.com Billionaire speculator George Soros has once again called for the de-platforming of Facebook leadership, accusing them of collusion with US President Donald Trump, after CEO Mark Zuckerberg begged for more government regulation. | "It goes without saying that I support government regulation of social media platforms," Soros said in a letter to Financial Times published Tuesday, but added that Zuckerberg does not need government regulation to stop accepting all political advertising until after the November 2020 US election. | Facebook is unlikely to do so, the Paris-based oligarch wrote, accusing Zuckerberg of…

RT (2020-02-19). 'Unreasonable & unacceptable': Beijing slams Washington for press freedom hypocrisy after Chinese media branded 'foreign missions'. rt.com China has denounced Washington for advocating freedom of the press while obstructing media, after it tightened control over Beijing-run outlets operating in the US by equating them to diplomatic missions. | Washington's move against Chinese state media are "unreasonable and unacceptable," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang told reporters on Wednesday. | The United States has always advertised freedom of the press, but it interferes with and obstructs the normal operation of Chinese media in the United States. | Geng stated that Beijing reserves "the right to respond further to this matter." | The US Dep…

RT (2020-02-19). US attempts to hurt China & Huawei 'so badly' will only hurt itself, Huawei USA chief tells Boom Bust. rt.com US officials said recently they have evidence that the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei has backdoor access to mobile-phone networks around the world. | RT's Boom Bust welcomes Andy Purdy, chief security officer of Huawei Technologies USA, to discuss the growing tension in the 5G space and the company's role in international trade. | "We welcome the opportunity to see what the evidence is but we really have to look at this in a broader context of an ongoing geopolitical dynamic between the US and China," Purdy says. | The United States has "major issues with China and right now it wants to hurt China so badly…

RT (2020-02-19). Post-Brexit immigration plans would be 'devastating' for Scottish economy, Sturgeon says. rt.com Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has slammed new UK government immigration plans just weeks after calling for a 'Scottish visa' to give Holyrood's parliament powers to tackle a falling birth rate and ageing population. | In a tweet on Wednesday, Sturgeon branded London's plans "devastating" for Scotland's economy and said that demographics show the country will "need to keep attracting people" from abroad. She said having more control over immigration is "now a necessity" for future prosperity. | It is impossible to overstate how devastating this UK gov policy will be for Scotland's economy. Our demogra…

RT (2020-02-19). Saudi Arabia's oil exports dropped 11% in 2019. rt.com Saudi Arabia's oil exports dropped by 10.75 percent year on year in 2019, according to data from the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI), as carried by local news outlet Mubasher. | The total Saudi oil exports, including crude oil and petroleum products, averaged 8.339 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2019, down from an average 9.344 million bpd in total oil exports in 2018, according to JODI data quoted by Mubasher. | According to the data released by the JODI database, which collects self-reported figures from 114 countries, Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports in December remained unchanged month on mont…

Global Research News (2020-02-19). Selected Articles: The Truth About Assange. globalresearch.ca By The Trump administration is seeking extradition of WikiLeaks founderJulian Assange to the United States for trial on charges carrying 175 years in prison. …

sputniknews (2020-02-19). What's in a Name: Queen Elizabeth II Bans Meghan and Harry From Using Sussex Royal as Brand – Report. sputniknews.com The couple's bombshell statement on 8 January about their wish to step down from senior roles in the Royal Family shocked and polarised Britain. Particular focus was on the statement that the Duke and the Duchess of Sussex want to "work to become financially independent".

Dave Lindorff (2020-02-19). Truly Remaking Social Security is the Key to Having a Livable Society in the US. counterpunch.org Social Security is back in the news, as both Donald Trump and Michael Bloomberg, two emblematic one-percenter oligarchs, raise the issue of its future as part of their campaign strategy. Trump (a faux wannabe billionaire) has put Americans on notice that while he may have promised during his 2016 campaign "not to touch" the New