2020-02-21: News Headlines

RT (2020-02-21). 'Russians helping Sanders!' MSM take abrupt break from anti-Trump frenzy for a 'never Bernie' moment on the eve of Nevada caucus. rt.com As Bernie Sanders surges to the front of the pack for the Democratic nomination, the Washington Post has dropped an anonymous "bombshell" claiming that Moscow seeks to help him as well as its "puppet" US President Donald Trump. | On the word of "people familiar with the matter,"

Ilhan Omar (2020-02-21). 'Pathway to Peace' Would Revolutionize US Foreign Policy. zcomm.org The seven bills would steer US foreign policy towards international norms and remove support for human rights violators. While the chances are slim that these bills will pass, they outline a progressive foreign policy.

Staff (2020-02-21). Ilhan Omar Has a Plan to Revolutionize U.S. Foreign Policy. truthdig.com While her package of seven bills is unlikely to pass, it outlines a bold new progressive vision, argues Win Without War's Kate Kizer.

WSWS (2020-02-21). EU agrees to new military mission against Libya. wsws.org The foreign ministers of all 27 EU countries agreed on a new military mission in Libya on Monday.

RT (2020-02-21). Erdogan says Turkey will not withdraw from Syria's Idlib until attacks by Damascus stop. rt.com Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed not to remove Turkish troops from Syria's Idlib region and said that his upcoming phone call with Russian leader Vladimir Putin will help Ankara determine its policies. | A phone call between the two leaders to discuss Idlib is expected to take place on Friday evening. "The result of this conversation will determine our attitude" in the area, Erdogan said. The Turkish leader stated that Ankara will not pull its forces out of Idlib while operations by the Syrian government continue there. | Unless the regime [in Damascus] stops its attacks in Idlib, it is not possibl…

RT (2020-02-21). Turkey's Erdogan says will not withdraw from Syria's Idlib. rt.com Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed not to remove Turkish troops from Syria's Idlib region and said that his upcoming phone call with Russian leader Vladimir Putin will help Ankara determine its policies. | Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed not to remove Turkish troops from Syria's Idlib region until Damascus ends "violence". Exact policies will depend on the upcoming talk with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, he said. | DETAILS TO FOLLOW…

Dr. Leon Tressell (2020-02-21). Defend Journalist Julian Assange from Extradition to the United States. globalresearch.ca On Wednesday Wikileaks editor Julian Assange appeared at a Westminster court for his final case management hearing before his extradition hearing which begins on 24 February. | The U.S. government will present its case arguing for Assange's extradition to face 17 …

Alan Macleod (2020-02-21). Venezuelan Embassy in Washington Reopens Under Watch of Anti-Maduro Thugs. mintpressnews.com The new embassy is a microcosm of Juan Guaidó's attempted premiership; backed by the U.S. but existing only in theory, with the Maduro government still holding office.

Ramzy Baroud (2020-02-21). The Donald Trump I Know: Abbas' UN Speech and the Breakdown of Palestinian Politics. mintpressnews.com The real danger of Trump's 'Deal of the Century' is not the actual stipulations of the sinister plan, but the fact that Mahmoud Abbas will find a way to co-exist with them, writes Ramzy Baroud.

Ramzy Baroud (2020-02-21). 'The Donald Trump I know': Abbas' UN Speech and the Breakdown of Palestinian Politics. counterpunch.org A precious moment has been squandered, as Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, had the chance to right a historical wrong, by reinstating Palestinian national priorities at the United Nations Security Council on February 11, through a political discourse that is completely independent from Washington and its allies. For a long time, Abbas has been a

RT (2020-02-21). Russia has already quarantined 2,500 people to prevent spread of KILLER coronavirus infection – Moscow mayor. rt.com Despite its 4,000km border with China, Russia currently has no live reported domestic cases of the pathogen which has sent its neighbor into lock-down. Authorities clearly want to try and keep it that way. | Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin announced on Friday that over 2,500 people have already been ordered into quarantine due to the risk of the Covid-19 coronavirus. He also explained on his blog that all arrivals from China will have to undergo a physical and take a test for the infection. They then must isolate themselves. He added that if tests at the airport detect a temperature or other symptoms, the person…

RT (2020-02-21). 'Tough year for airlines': Global air traffic could fall for 1st time since 2003 due to coronavirus. rt.com The International Air Transport Authority (IATA) has warned that declining travel demand amid the Covid-19 virus outbreak could cost global carriers tens of billions of dollars in lost revenue. | The IATA's forecast assumes that the outbreak will remain mostly in China, which means airlines in Asia will be hit the hardest and could lose nearly $28 billion in revenue this year. Carriers outside the region are likely to suffer a smaller sales hit of $1.5 billion. | What is the estimated impact of

RT (2020-02-21). 'Tremendous public health threat': CDC confirms 34 coronavirus cases in US, prepares for 'very possible, even likely' pandemic. rt.com The CDC has warned that transmission of the deadly COVID-19 virus in the US is "very possible, even likely" and said its current goal is not to prevent but to slow down its spread and "buy more time" for US communities to prepare.

Andrew Korybko (2020-02-21). Russia Bans Most Chinese from Entry: 'Pure Racism' or 'Preventive Reaction'? globalresearch.ca Russia unexpectedly banned all Chinese except those with diplomatic, business, humanitarian, and transit visas from entering the country, but this unprecedented move was made as a preventive reaction against the spread of the coronavirus and not for racist purposes, though …

Joseph Thomas (2020-02-21). Coronavirus Tests China, Temps America: Devastating Economic Consequences. globalresearch.ca Biology has done what malicious US foreign policy aimed at China has failed to do for years; complicate China's relations along its peripheries (and the rest of the world for that matter), particularly in Southeast Asia. | In Thailand, contrary to …

teleSUR (2020-02-21). IMF's Georgieva: "Uncertainty Is Becoming the New Normal" telesurenglish.net The managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, warned in the emirate city of Dubai that the growth of the world economy, estimated at 3.3 percent by 2020, could be reduced between 0, 1 percent and 0.2% percent for the coronavirus outbreak. | RELATED: | Georgieva explained that the epidemic could have a negative effect on global growth depending on China's ability to avoid its sp…

RT (2020-02-21). 'Draw good from evil': France should use Coronavirus outbreak to reduce reliance on Chinese-supplied goods, minister says. rt.com French finance minister Bruno Le Maire has warned that the outbreak of the coronavirus should act as a catalyst for France to begin reducing its "dependence" on China for certain goods. | Meeting with business figures on Friday, Le Maire said the crisis would have a 0.1 percent impact on France's GDP growth in 2020, assuming the outbreak is reaching its peak. While the number seems small, it is significant considering the fact that yearly GDP growth is usually in the small single digits. | Le Maire announced a series of short-term measures to limit the impact of the slowdown caused by the epidemic. The ministr…

RT (2020-02-21). Italy locks down TEN towns after 1st coronavirus death as cases jump to 17. rt.com Public spaces across 10 Italian cities have been placed on lockdown, as the first Italian patient succumbed to the illness, amid a spate of new coronavirus cases — bringing the total in the country to 17 infections. | With 15 new cases confirmed on Friday in northern Italy's northern Lombardy region, health authorities have imposed restrictions on some 50,000 people across 10 towns, who have been asked to stay at home and avoid public places, including schools, bars, church gatherings and sporting events. | Five doctors are among the new patients, the first known cases of local transmission of the virus…

Paul Antonopoulos (2020-02-21). U.S. and Iran Increase Competition to Influence Afghanistan. globalresearch.ca United States officials have expressed concern over the so-called Iranian intervention in Afghanistan in recent days, claiming that Tehran is trying to challenge Washington's interests in Afghanistan through groups that it supports like the Taliban. General Kenneth Mckenzie, the …

Vijay Prashad (2020-02-21). You write injustice on the Earth; we will write revolution in the skies. mronline.org 'Scientists are wrong', the Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano said with a warm smile on his face. 'Human beings are not made of atoms; they are made of stories'. It is why we want to sing and draw, tell each other about our lives and our hopes, talk about the wonders in our lives and the […] |

Vijay Prashad (2020-02-21). Standing Up for Left Literature: In India, It Can Cost You Your Life. counterpunch.org On February 16, 2015, Govind and Uma Pansare went for a morning walk near their home in Pune (Maharashtra, India). Two men on a motorcycle stopped near them and asked for directions, but the Pansares could not help them; one of the men laughed, removed a gun, and shot the two. Uma Pansare was hit

Johanna Ross (2020-02-21). Did Trump Offer Assange A 'Quid Pro Quo' regarding "Russiagate" and the DNC Troves? globalresearch.ca A revelation in Westminster Magistrate's Court on Wednesday sent shockwaves through the mainstream media. It is being widely publicised that in 2017 US President Donald Trump offered Julian Assange a pardon if he was to declare that Russia had not …

Chris Agee (2020-02-21). Julian Assange's Attorney Speaks Out on the Hopes and Hazards of His Upcoming Trial in London on Feb. 24. globalresearch.ca Assange's legal advisor Renata Avila joins Gray Zone investigative reporter Max Blumenthal, Black Agenda Report founder Glen Ford, and Green Party presidential candidate Howie Hawkins in Randy Credico's acclaimed radio series, "Assange: Countdown to Freedom" — hosted by CovertAction Magazine …

Dr. Binoy Kampmark (2020-02-21). "Leave Our Bloke Alone": Australian Politicians, A Little Mission for Julian Assange. globalresearch.ca "I think that now it is time that the government I am a part of needs to be standing up and saying to both the UK and the US: 'enough is enough, leave our bloke alone and let him come …

WSWS (2020-02-21). Veteran "Four Corners" journalist Andrew Fowler denounces Australian government's refusal to defend Assange. wsws.org "The persecution of Assange is an attack on anyone who speaks out against the power and authority of the United States. It is a warning to every journalist: 'Pull your head in. Shut up. Don't question.'"

WSWS (2020-02-21). UK Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell visits Julian Assange in Belmarsh Prison. wsws.org McDonnell described the Assange case as "one of the most important and significant political trials of this generation," but made clear that his party will do nothing to mobilise the immense popular support that exists for the WikiLeaks publisher.

Elijah J. Magnier (2020-02-21). Is Iran Ill-advised to Finance Its Regional Allies While Under Sanctions? globalresearch.ca Many Iranians question the benefits of arming and financing Iran's many allies in the Middle East while Iran is suffering the harshest ever US "maximum pressure". Iran's allies are spread over Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. Is Iranian …

Staff (2020-02-21). U.S., Taliban Agree to Terms for Peace Deal, Troop Withdrawal. truthdig.com ISLAMABAD — The United States and the Taliban said Friday they have agreed to sign a peace deal next week aimed at ending 18 years of war in Afghanistan and bringing U.S. troops home, wrapping up America's longest-running conflict and fulfilling one of President Donald Trump's main campaign promises. | The planned Feb. 29 signing depends on the success of a week-long nationwide 'reduction in violence' agreement in which all sides have committed to end attacks. It is due to start at midnight Friday local time (1930 GMT, 2: 30 p.m. EST), according to an Afghan official who spoke on condition of anonymity becau…

RT (2020-02-21). Week-long 'reduction in violence' in Afghanistan to begin on Saturday. rt.com A week-long "reduction in violence" between the Taliban, the US, and Afghan security forces will commence at midnight (1930 GMT), officials said on Friday, ahead of the signing of a possible deal between Washington and the insurgents. "The reduction in violence will start from 22 February and will last for one week," according to Javed Faisal, Afghanistan's National Security Council spokesman. | Three senior Taliban leaders in Doha and Afghanistan confirmed to Reuters that they had agreed to reduce violence in Afghanistan for seven days from Friday night. | The agreement was struck during protracted negotiatio…

Jonathan Cook (2020-02-21). UN List of Firms Aiding Israel's Settlements was Dead on Arrival. counterpunch.org Nazareth. 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 major companies had been identified as operating in Israeli settlements in ways that violate human

Aaron Maté (2020-02-21). Turkey, US protect Al Qaeda in Idlib and worsen Syria's suffering. thegrayzone.com Why is Turkey, with US backing, protecting Al-Qaeda's largest affiliate in Idlib, Syria? Idlib is facing a humanitarian disaster as…

Ahmed Abdulkareem (2020-02-21). Yemen's Houthis Launch Fresh Missile and Drone Attacks on Saudi State Oil Facilities. mintpressnews.com A series of tit-for-tat attacks have culminated in a large-scale Houthi attack on Saudi state oil facilities on Friday. The United States has yet to blame Iran for the attack.

Alan Macleod (2020-02-21). As Media Amplifies Unrest in Venezuela and Beyond, Millions Are Quietly Revolting in Colombia. mintpressnews.com Despite protests of historic proportions fueled by anger over corruption and a brutal right-wing crackdown, the unrest in Colombia has garnered remarkably little international media attention compared to Venezuela.

Richard Moser (2020-02-21). One Winning Way to Build the Peace Movement and One Losing Way. counterpunch.org Q. What cloaks the empire and turns a mighty movement into a mirage? A. Narrow partisan politics. When anti-war activism plays second-fiddle to "follow the leader" the chosen champion and the opposing villian loom so large that they become the main focus of attention obscuring the empire and dumbing the movement down. But, build independent

Staff (2020-02-21). Malcolm X's Daughter Ilyasah Shabazz on Her Father's Legacy and New Docuseries. truthout.org Fifty-five years ago today, Malcolm X was assassinated. The civil rights leader was shot to death on February 21, 1965, at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City. He was only 39 years old. Details of his assassination remain disputed to this day. Earlier this month, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said he was considering reopening the investigation, just days after a new documentary series about the assassination was released on Netflix called Who Killed Malcolm X? It makes the case that…

Jefferson Morley (2020-02-21). On JFK, Tulsi Gabbard Keeps Very Respectable Company. counterpunch.org On Monday night in Fairfax, Virginia, Donald Jeffries, author and talk radio host, asked Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard about a book she was seen carrying, "JFK and the Unspeakable." Published in 2008, the book is a Catholic philosopher's meditation about the assassination of liberal president John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, one of

Staff (2020-02-21). Trump Would "Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out," Bernie Sanders Warns of Bloomberg. truthout.org Sen. Bernie Sanders said in a CBS "60 Minutes" Sanders, a Democratic presidential candidate, told Anderson Cooper that he wa…

Ted Rall (2020-02-21). Bernie Should Own the Socialist Label. counterpunch.org Bernie Sanders is currently the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination. He and everyone else knows exactly how the Republicans will attack him if and when he becomes the nominee: old-fashioned redbaiting. China became communist in name only during the 1980s, the Soviet Union shut its doors in 1991, the Cold War is dead, and

Aída Chávez (2020-02-21). Bernie Sanders's Secret to Attracting Latino Support: Talking to Them. zcomm.org The campaign, which has knocked on more than 200,000 doors in Nevada in the past 17 days, is also getting organizing help from two major Latino groups…

teleSUR (2020-02-21). Canada: 1,000 Rail Employees Laid-off Due to Railway Blockade. telesurenglish.net Canada's passenger train service company, Via Rail, temporarily laid off 1,000 employees, while indigenous groups continue to block roads in several parts of the country. | RELATED: | "The layoffs are due to the cancellation of services that have taken place in much of our passenger transportation network," the government company Via Rail reported Thursday. | Via Rail has also been forced to cancel 530 passenger tr…

teleSUR (2020-02-21). 18 Chilean Films to Compete for the 'Golden Bear' in Berlin. telesurenglish.net Chile became Thursday the first Latin American country to participate in the European Film Market (EFM), an event which is part of the celebration of the Berlin film festival, "the Berlinale." | RELATED: | The 70th edition of the prestigious international event, in which Chile will participate in the "Focus Country" section, is one of the best places to promote Latin American films. | One of them is Indigenous voi…

RT (2020-02-21). How dare you! Climate-sensitive snail named after Greta Thunberg. rt.com In addition to Time magazine's Person of the Year and a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg has received a new accolade from the scientific community, and it's something. | To mark all of her achievements, a team of researchers has decided to endow her with arguably the greatest honor of all: they… erm… named a snail after her. | The 'Craspedotropis gretathunbergae' is a new species of temperature-sensitive land snail discovered by Taxon expeditions in the forests of Borneo. | "The newly described snail belongs to the so-called caenogastropods, a group of land snai…

CounterSpin (2020-02-21). Paul Paz y Miño, Saqib Bhatti & Beverly Bell on Environmental Justice & Cross-National Solidarity. fair.org There will only be an increasing number of frontline struggles between extractive, climate-disrupting industry and those willing to stand up to it. Corporate media's inadequate attention, and unwillingness to truly call out the moneyed interests causing present and future harms, make them more often part of the problem than the solution.

RT (2020-02-21). Doomsday prophecies of ancient methane being released as temperatures rise are WRONG, say scientists. rt.com The climate change movement has long warned that, as global temperatures rise, we run the risk of releasing vast reserves of trapped methane into the atmosphere and bringing about the end of days. New research says: probably not. | Researchers at the University of Rochester in New York studied methane emissions from a period in Earth's history which bears many similarities to our current climate, examining ice cores taken from the last period of deglaciation some 8,000 to 15,000 years ago. | By closely examining air samples extracted from these frozen ice cores, the researchers found that even if the methane i…

WSWS (2020-02-21). Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos launches $10 billion climate change fund. wsws.org In response to growing opposition within Amazon, as well as society as a whole, to the growing climate crisis and the role of super-rich billionaires in it, Bezos, the world's richest person, has launched a new philanthropic fund.

Jessica Corbett (2020-02-21). 'Essential and Urgent Climate Action'. zcomm.org Over 570 Groups Endorse Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez's Fracking Ban Act…

Joshua Frank (2020-02-21). Bloomberg is a Climate Change Con Man. counterpunch.org It's an open secret in green circles that Michael Bloomberg is a climate change con man, and organizations like the Sierra Club that take hundreds of millions in donations from the former New York City mayor to fight coal, are complicit in his fraudulent scheme to coopt the climate change movement.

Hamzah Akhtar and Kay Glover (2020-02-21). Freedom of movement is a fundamental freedom and there is an alternative to borders. thecanary.co This is a guest post from Hamzah Akhtar and Kay Glover who are activists with Our Future Now and helped organise the Imagine if, through no fault of your own, you were no longer able to make a livelihood because of the destructive effects of climate change. Imagine if you weren't able to live a peaceful life because of conflict ravaging your country. Perhaps you were a farmer who could no longer have goats graze on the land because of the p…

Helena Hanson (2020-02-21). Greta Thunberg Is Urging Her Followers To Support Wet'suwet'en Pipeline Protests. zcomm.org For the second time in just two weeks, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has spoken publicly about the Wet'suwet'en solidarity protests in Canada…

teleSUR (2020-02-21). The 2020 Africa Climate Week to Face Paris Agreement Challenges. telesurenglish.net People from all over the world are expected to participate in the 2020 Africa Climate Week (ACW), which is to be held in Kampala, Uganda, to discuss ways to implement the Paris Agreement. | RELATED: | "We must show the world is capable of working together to tackle our most urgent challenges," the High-Level Champions for Climate Action participant Nigel Topping said. | The ACW seeks that representatives from the public and priv…

teleSUR (2020-02-21). Colombia: Teachers, Students, Truck Drivers on Demonstrations. telesurenglish.net Colombia's largest cities Friday are the scene of protests against RELATED: | Initially, truck drivers' claims were motivated by restrictions on vehicular traffic in Bogota, a city that limited the circulation of tr…

RT (2020-02-21). Another 'highly likely'-style accusation: Moscow brushes aside 'evidence-free' Georgia cyberattack. rt.com The US and its allies have claimed Russia's military intelligence defaced Georgian websites with an image of the country's former president. Moscow says the accusation is not backed by any evidence and is clearly just a PR stunt. | In late October last year, Georgia suffered what was described as the largest cyberattack in its history. Over 15,000 web pages — including those of government agencies, newspapers and banks — were defaced and later became inaccessible. The original content was replaced with a photo of former Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili, currently a fugitive from justice, with t…

Lucas Koerner (2020-02-21). EXCHANGE: Left Media and Venezuela. mronline.org The sociologist never levels the "authoritarian" charge against his own government, despite the United States' murderous lawlessness at home and abroad—mass deportations, illegal wars, serial police killings, etc.—all in the absence of any credible external threat. |

RT (2020-02-21). Half of Indians hate Trump's trade war policies, but increasingly trust him on other 'world affairs'. rt.com As US President Donald Trump nears the end of his first term in office, his popularity among Indians is soaring, but the same cannot be said about his protectionist trade policies, which enjoy little fanfare. | On the heels of Trump's first state visit to India early next week, the Pew polling firm has released new data on Indians' attitudes toward the US president, showing that while his confidence rating in the realm of world affairs has jumped over four-fold since he took office in 2016 — from 14 to 56 percent — Indians are increasingly skeptical about his aggressive approach to trade. | | &copy…

Derrick Broze (2020-02-21). Video: The 5G Trojan Horse. globalresearch.ca Transcript and Sources | My name is Derrick Broze. For the past 8 years I have worked as an independent freelance investigative journalist in Houston, Texas. Since 2012 I have covered a wide range of topics, from indigenous resistance at Standing …

John Clarke (2020-02-21). Indigenous Resistance Shakes the Canadian State. globalresearch.ca In early February, the RCMP, Canada's colonial police force, raided the land defender camps of the

Morning Star (2020-02-21). Business interests pressure Trudeau to crush Indigenous anti-pipeline protests. peoplesworld.org Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has resisted calls for a violent crackdown on Indigenous protesters resisting the construction of a gas pipeline through their lands. Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers have already forcibly cleared roadblocks set up by Wet'suwet'en First Nation hereditary chiefs in a bid to prevent work on the Coastal GasLink pipeline project. …

RT (2020-02-21). Iraq regime needs to be changed again, argues ex-aide for Cheney and Bolton… referring to something he helped to install. rt.com Baghdad's ruling class is beyond saving, so it's time to scrap it in its entirety, believes a neocon pundit who served in the Bush administration. What was the saying about doing the same thing and hoping for different results? | Things are really bad in Iraq these days. There are mass protests, where young people demand democracy, an end to corruption and that Iranians go back to their country. But Iranians have been "imperially usurping the authority of Iraq's elected leaders," and now "the rot of Iranian penetration" has rendered the entire Iraqi ruling class beyond saving. They need to go, and the US has t…

RT (2020-02-21). Pompeo meets with Oman's new ruler amid US-Iran tensions. rt.com US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with the new ruler of Oman on Friday. The Gulf Arab country has close ties with both Washington and Tehran, and has previously provided a back channel for talks between the adversaries. | Pompeo's stop in Oman to meet Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said is the highest-level US visit to the country since he was selected as successor to longtime ruler Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who died on January 10 after 50 years in power, AP reports. | Oman supported the Obama administration's nuclear agreement with Iran and world powers, from which the US withdrew under President Donald Trump.

RT (2020-02-21). Saudis 'intercept missiles fired from Yemen' as Pompeo tours kingdom with 'Iranian threat' show & promotes US air defenses (VIDEO). rt.com Several ballistic missiles fired from the direction of Yemen were allegedly intercepted by Saudi Arabia's air defenses, as the US secretary of state travels the country talking up the "Iranian threat" and the might of US weapons. | The missiles are said to have been launched from the direction of Yemen's capital, Sanaa and reportedly targeted an oil terminal near the city of Yanbu early on Friday morning local time, though few details about the attack have been confirmed. | "The Royal Saudi Air Defense intercepted ballistic missiles launched by the terrorist Iran-backed Houthi militia towards Saudi cities," th…

RT (2020-02-21). US sanctions on Iranian election watchdog signify 'failure, frustration & defeat' of pressure policy — Tehran. rt.com The latest anti-Iranian US sanctions have targeted the country's candidate-vetting body ahead of a parliamentary election. Tehran called the move a sign of desperation that highlights the failure of Washington's approach to Iran. | On Friday, Iranians are electing members of its 290-seat parliament — known as the Guardian Council — for a four-year term, with some 7,000 candidates running. A day before the polling stations opened, the US Treasury Department imposed new sanctions against three members of the Council. | The 12-member supervisory body consists of Islamic scholars appointed by Iran's supr…

Colin Todhunter (2020-02-21). Apocalypse Now! Insects, Pesticide and a Public Health Crisis. counterpunch.org In 2017, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Hilal Elver, and UN Special Rapporteur on Toxics, Baskut Tuncak, produced a report that called for a comprehensive new global treaty to regulate and phase out the use of dangerous pesticides in farming and move towards sustainable agricultural practices. In addition to the devastating impacts on human health,

teleSUR (2020-02-21). 'Fare Hikes Are Not on the Agenda', Argentina's Fernandez Says. telesurenglish.net Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez Thursday said that raising public services' fares is not currently a policy option to overcome the country's economic crisis. | RELATED: | "Increasing fares is not on the current agenda," Fernandez said regarding possible options to pay the country's debt. | "I'm going to take care of the Argentines' pockets until the last minute I am in government," he added. | Previously,…

Ian Cobain (2020-02-21). Revealed: The British Government's Covert Media Propaganda Campaign in Syria. globalresearch.ca The British government covertly established a network of citizen journalists across Syria during the early years of the country's civil war in an attempt to shape perceptions of the conflict, frequently recruiting people who were unaware that they were being …

RT (2020-02-21). Venezuela declares an energy emergency. rt.com Nicolas Maduro has declared an energy emergency in Venezuela in order to protect the nations oil and ensure energy security. | "I declare an emergency situation in the oil industry by constitutional and presidential decree in order to take urgent and necessary measures to ensure the country's energy security and protect the industry from imperialist aggression," Maduro said. | "Clause 2 creates a plenipotentiary presidential commission for the protection, restructuring and reorganization of the national oil industry." | Tomando como base la actual coyuntura geopolítica de permanente agresión contra Venezuela,…

RT (2020-02-21). 'Some people have too much money': Bloomberg trolled for Trump eats 'burnt steak' and 'cheats at golf' billboards. rt.com Michael Bloomberg's latest bid to get support is a series of Nevada billboards trolling Trump for everything from how he likes his steak cooked to how he plays golf, but folks aren't buying into the childish antics. | You can't say Bloomberg isn't trying. In his attempt to become the 2020 presidential nominee for the Democrat Party, the billionaire has spent hundreds of millions of dollars already and the 5'8″ former New York City mayor is even enduring perhaps President Donald Trump's most vicious nickname for a rival yet — Mini Mike. | lol… At first I thought this was a spoof… Alas, this is Bloomb…

Stephen Lendman (2020-02-21). Russia and Turkey, "Allies" Fighting One Another: On Opposite Sides of the War on Syria. globalresearch.ca US forever war in Syria shows no signs of ending because restoration of peace and stability to the country would be a major strategic blow to Washington's aim for controlling the Middle East — NATO and Israel serving as junior …

RT (2020-02-21). Fake email 'from outside the country' made Ukrainians throw stones at Wuhan evacuees, BuzzFeed report implies. rt.com Violent protests in Ukraine over the evacuation of its citizens from infection-stricken China was triggered by a foreign psyop, a report at BuzzFeed wants reader to believe. Well, what isn't Russia's fault? | On Thursday, local residents in a small Ukrainian town tried to stop buses carrying people evacuated from Wuhan, China. Panicked beyond all reason, they erected roadblocks, burned tires, and ultimately pelted the vehicles carrying evacuees with stones — a reaction that left many people in the country and elsewhere disgusted. | Sure, a woman shouting "we will torch [the hospital] with the sick people…

RT (2020-02-21). Libya ceasefire talks 'back on track' in Geneva — UN. rt.com The UN said on Friday ceasefire talks were back on track between the forces fighting over Libya's capital. The statement comes days after the internationally-recognized government pulled out of the talks as its foes shelled Tripoli's port. | However, there was no immediate comment from the Government of National Accord (GNA), which withdrew from the talks on Tuesday, Reuters said. | The rival Libyan National Army (LNA) Commander Khalifa Haftar was quoted by Russia's RIA Novosti as saying a ceasefire would only be possible if Turkish and Syrian fighters stopped supporting the GNA. Turkey has backed the GNA to f…

RT (2020-02-21). Withdrawal of mercenaries and Turkish troops from Libya is a condition for end of hostilities — General Haftar. rt.com Ankara and Libya's Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) have used the truce to deploy fresh troops and mercenaries from Syria, Libyan National Army Commander Khalifa Haftar said in an interview. | Haftar told Russia's RIA Novosti news agency that his forces will halt their advance towards Tripoli if Turkish troops and mercenaries leave Libya. The Libyan National Army has been closing in on the city, which is controlled by UN-backed GNA chief Fayez al-Sarraj. | Ankara and allied GNA have been deploying reinforcements to Tripoli during the ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey, Haftar said. | The…

Renee Parsons (2020-02-21). Why Renew the "Ultra Secret" Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court? globalresearch.ca As the emerging Quantum World continues to shake reality as we once knew it, it is no coincidence that the ultra-secret FISA Court has been unwittingly thrust into the public spotlight of the FBI Russiagate scandal — exactly where it …

RT (2020-02-21). 'Hoax!' Trump hits back at latest claims that Russia will 'aid' his 2020 campaign. rt.com US President Donald Trump has slammed the recently reported (but unsubstantiated) claims that Russia will interfere to help him win the 2020 presidential election, saying the rumors are just "another misinformation campaign." | The New York Times and other media reported on Thursday that Moscow is "aiding" Trump in the upcoming election, citing only anonymous intelligence officials. | Cable networks like MSNBC and CNN instantly amplified the unverified claims, setting in motion another round of 'Russiagate' conspiracy theorizing, almost eleven months after the two-year-long Mueller investigation found no evide…

RT (2020-02-21). A Russia-Ukraine team would be a powerhouse, so competitors will do anything to tear us apart — Putin. rt.com Efforts by some foreign actors to drive a wedge between Russia and Ukraine make sense, since the synergies coming from both countries working together would be of great mutual benefit, Vladimir Putin has said. | Russia and Ukraine have common historic roots and great potential for benefiting each other from joint efforts, so it's no surprise that hostile players put so much energy into preventing any rapprochement, the Russian president said in an interview. | "Since any integration of Russia and Ukraine, along with their capacities and competitive advantages would spell the emergence of a rival, a global riva…

RT (2020-02-21). Spain arrests Russian woman on business trip, possibly at US behest — Moscow. rt.com A Russian woman has been arrested in Spain, possibly following a request by the US, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday. It added that the embassy in Spain will do everything possible to provide assistance to Olesya Krasilova, who had arrived in Spain for a short business trip as part of an official delegation on February 14. | Krasilova was detained when she was departing from the Tenerife South Airport. The woman works for the All-Russian Center for Plant Quarantine, which is a subordinate of the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Supervision. | The Russian citizen is currently being he…

RT (2020-02-21). Shadow of war: What are the odds Turkey will start a full-scale offensive against Syria in Idlib? rt.com Tensions are boiling over between Ankara and Damascus as Turkey vowed to take matters into its own hands and openly intervene in Syria's Idlib province, where government forces are routing the Turkish-backed militants. | The troubled north-western province is the last major bastion of the militants in war-torn Syria. It saw another round of escalating violence on Thursday. Local armed groups seeking to push back the Syrian Army from the territories along the strategic highway it recently seized were counting on support from Turkish artillery, which only stood down after Russian forces in the area intervened.

RT (2020-02-21). Sanctions? Russia attracts $21 BILLION in foreign investments. rt.com Foreign investors poured billions of dollars into the Russian economy last year, according to research from global accounting firm KPMG. Investors appreciated the country's economic stability, it said. | Russia has managed to adapt to Western sanctions (introduced six years ago) and their consequences, KPMG analysts said as cited by business news outlet RBC. | The research showed that the largest increase in investments came from the Asia-Pacific region, with companies and funds pumping in $8.2 billion compared with $2.4 billion in 2018. US investors have also been very active, investing $3.4 billion last year…

Staff (2020-02-21). Intelligence Officials: Russia Is Boosting Trump Candidacy. truthdig.com WASHINGTON — Intelligence officials have warned lawmakers that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election campaign to help President Donald Trump get reelected, according to three officials familiar with the closed-door briefing. | Trump pushed back Friday accusing Democrats of launching a disinformation campaign. | "Another misinformation campaign is being launched by Democrats in Congress saying that Russia prefers me to any of the Do Nothing Democrat candidates who still have been unable to, after two weeks, count their votes in Iowa. Hoax number 7!" Trump tweeted. | Related Articles:

The Canary (2020-02-21). Britain First leader Paul Golding charged under the Terrorism Act. thecanary.co The leader of far-right political group Britain First has been charged with an offence under the Terrorism Act after refusing to give police access to his phone. | Paul Golding was stopped at Heathrow Airport in October on his way back from a trip to the Russian Parliament in Moscow by officers from the Met's Counter Terrorism Command. | He refused to give the pin codes for a number of his electronic devices. | Golding was later charged with refusing to comply with a duty under Schedule 7 of the act. | In a statement, Golding said he was not a terrorist and described the charges as "an abuse of legislation". | Sc…

WSWS (2020-02-21). Fighting mounts as Washington backs Turkish attack on Syria, Russia. wsws.org US-backed Turkish military operations targeting Syrian and Russian units in Syria could escalate into an all-out clash between Russia and the entire NATO alliance.

RT (2020-02-21). Reports of 'hundreds of thousands' of civilians heading to Turkish border because of hostilities in Idlib not true — Russian MoD. rt.com The Russian military has denied claims that scores of refugees are fleeing Syria's Idlib province and moving towards the Turkish border due to battles between the Syrian Army and terrorists in the area. | "There are no verifiable photos and videos, or any other data to confirm the statements that 'around a million' refugees are supposedly moving from the Idlib de-escalation zone," the head of Russia's Reconciliation Center for Syria, Rear Admiral Oleg Zhuravlyov, said in a statement. | The information alleging that 'hundreds of thousands' of civilians are heading for the Syrian-Turkish border because of battle…

RT (2020-02-21). Russia's most famous rocker enters politics: 'Leningrad' star Shnurov may RUN for SEAT in parliament. rt.com Some of the West's biggest rock stars, such as Bono and Chris Martin, have tried their hand at political activism. However, they've drawn the line at crossing the divide and standing for election themselves. | Russians, of course, do things differently and Moscow media is speculating that the country's own 'Rock God' Sergey Shnurov could soon be swapping concert stages for a seat in the national parliament (the Duma). On Thursday, he announced he was to become a member of the center-right Party of Growth, at a local Saint Petersburg party meeting. | It had long been rumored that Shnurov would enter the politic…

RT (2020-02-21). Zombie collusion? Clinton pounces on latest 'Russian meddling' report to rally the troops, because it worked so well in 2016. rt.com Hillary Clinton has seized upon the latest claim that Russia is 'interfering' in the 2020 election to renew her assault on US President Donald Trump, while a lack of evidence casts even the vague report into doubt. | Clinton crowed an 'I told you so' in response to an NBC reporter's tweet suggesting Trump had desperately wanted to keep the latest installment in the never-ending 'Russian meddling' soap opera under wraps. Accusing the president of "taking Russian help for himself," she exhorted her followers to keep "Putin's Puppet" from securing a second term. | Putin's Puppet is at it again, taking Russian hel…

South Front (2020-02-21). Video: Turkey's War on Syria. Bluff or Reality? globalresearch.ca Turkey will take the Idlib matter into its own hands and the military operation in northwestern Syria is simply a "matter of time", President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared on February 19. Erdogan said that Turkey is not satisfied with talks …

Staff (2020-02-21). Five Palestinian Detainees' Homes to be Demolished. imemc.org The Israeli Supreme Court today gave the go-ahead on Wednesday for the military to demolish the family homes of five Palestinian detainees allegedly involved in the killing of a settler in late August 2019. All five are from the Ramallah area, and are serving long terms in Israeli prison camps. …

news.un (2020-02-21). UN chief appeals for end to Syria's 'man-made humanitarian nightmare'. news.un.org In a tersely delivered statement on Friday, the UN Secretary-General appealed for an end to the "man-made humanitarian nightmare" currently unfolding in Syria, where ongoing military operations in the north-west have displaced hundreds of thousands amid bitter winter temperatures.

teleSUR (2020-02-21). Uruguay: Lacalle's Investiture Ceremony Alined With US Biases. telesurenglish.net Uruguay's President-elect Luis Lacalle decided not to invite the diplomatic representatives of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua to his investiture ceremony on March 1rst. | RELATED: | "We have taken the decision not to invite the governments of Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua to my inaugural ceremony. It's my decision," Lacalle said. | He alleged that those countries violate the Charter of the Organization of American States (OAS), which…

teleSUR (2020-02-21). Venezuelan Parliament Reinstates Committee to Choose New CNE. telesurenglish.net The deputies of the Bloque de la Patria and of the Venezuelan opposition in the National Assembly announced that the period of nominations for the Preliminary Commission that will choose the members of the new National Electoral Council (CNE) will soon be over. | RELATED: | The preliminary committee was installed last December, but the elections of the new directive of the National Assembly on January 5th and the refu…

Miko Peled (2020-02-21). The Government of Israel Has A Very Serious Antisemitism Problem. mintpressnews.com The government of Israel is engaged in what is perhaps the worst example of antisemitism in the world today, writes Miko Peled, and its aimed at its very own Orthodox Jewish community.

RT (2020-02-21). Between a rock and a hard place: UK trying to balance between China & US over Huawei's 5G rollout. rt.com America's top cyber-security official has asked Britain to reconsider its decision on Huawei's 5G access. Washington's behavior is "absolutely paternalistic," says Hilary Fordwich of the British-American Business Association. | She told Boom Bust that the "UK is trying to appease China, obviously, as a trade partner, and that is using Huawei in its nonessential sections of the UK telecommunications industry." | "And yet they are trying, also obviously, not to alienate Trump and the Trump administration," she said. | According to Fordwich, we are beginning to see a crack in the Five Eyes intelligence allianc…

RT (2020-02-21). 'They f****d us over!' Barcelona's emergency signing of Martin Braithwaite leaves boss of La Liga minnows Leganes FUMING. rt.com The boss of the relegation-threatened La Liga side who lost their top scorer to Barcelona has said the rule that allowed the Spanish giants to make the emergency move outside of the regulation transfer window has 'f***** us over'. | Javier Aguirre was helpless as Martin Braithwaite, the Denmark forward who has scored six goals for his Leganes team, departed in a surprise move earlier this week as a result of a Spanish FA loophole giving clubs special dispensation to replace players who are out injured for more than five months. | After proving that regular marksmen Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez will be long-…

RT (2020-02-21). 'I want to kill myself': Sports stars rally round as mother shares heartbreaking video of bullied son (VIDEO). rt.com A video of a nine-year-old boy has gone viral after an Australian mother shared the heartbreaking clip of her inconsolable son, who suffers from constant bullying due to his condition. | Quaden Bayles was born with Achondroplasia dwarfism, and gets bullied at school for his height, and he bullying has gotten so bad that the youngster has reached the point where he wants to take his own life. | In the powerful video, a distraught Quaden says, "Give me a knife. I want to kill myself." And later says, "I wish I could stab myself in the heart. I want someone to kill me." | His mother, Yarraka Bayles, shared the…

Evaggelos Vallianatos (2020-02-21). A New Solar Power Deal From California. counterpunch.org I met Devon Hartman a few years ago in Claremont, California, where I have been living since 2008. He is tall and lean, wearing glasses and a pointed small beard. He grew up in Kansas. And for thirty-five years, he presided over a successful architectural firm, building and renovating expensive houses with little awareness of

Staff (2020-02-21). Weinstein Jury Is Split on Most Serious Counts. truthdig.com NEW YORK — Jurors deliberating in Harvey Weinstein's rape trial indicated Friday that they are deadlocked on the most serious charges, but the judge told them to keep trying. | In a note sent to the judge during their lunch break, jurors asked if it were permissible for them to be hung on two counts of predatory sexual assault while reaching a unanimous verdict on other charges. | After consulting with prosecutors and Weinstein's lawyers, Judge James Burke told the jury of seven men and five women to keep working toward a unanimous verdict on all charges and sent them back to continue deliberating. | Re…

RT (2020-02-21). Pakistan remains on terrorism financing 'grey list' — global watchdog. rt.com Pakistan won an extra four months to meet international anti-terrorism financing norms on Friday after a global dirt money watchdog decided to keep the country off its blacklist for now. | Islamabad missed multiple previous deadlines, and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) said it was concerned that the country had again failed to complete an internationally agreed action plan. | "The FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by June 2020," the watchdog said after a meeting in Paris. "Otherwise, should significant and sustainable progress especially in prosecuting and penalizing…

RT (2020-02-21). German police to increase protection at mosques after 'racist' Hanau attacks — interior minister. rt.com The surveillance of Germany's mosques will be increased after mass shootings at two hookah bars this week, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has said, while naming right-wing terrorism as a major security threat. | "The security threat from right-wing extremism, anti-Semitism and racism is very high," Seehofer told reporters in Berlin on Friday, adding that right-wing terrorism was the "biggest" security issue facing the country. | The minister's comments come after a 43-year-old man with a suspected far-right background shot up two hookah bars in Hanau in the central state of Hesse. During his rampage on Wedne…

The Canary (2020-02-21). The Muslim prayer leader's response to his attacker is utterly beautiful. thecanary.co A Muslim prayer leader has said he forgives his attacker after returning to the mosque where he was stabbed.Raafat Maglad, who is in his 70s, told how he was left with a "very deep cut" to his neck after he was knifed from behind on Thursday afternoon.He was rushed to hospital but returned to the London Central Mosque in Regent's Park less than 24 hours later for Friday prayers. | A 29-year-old man is in custody after he was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after he was tackled by worshippers.With his right arm in a sling and a bandage over his wound, Maglad told reporters: "I forgive him. I feel very so…

Chauncey K. Robinson (2020-02-21). 'Who Killed Malcolm X?' seeks justice while showing leader's continued relevance. peoplesworld.org "There's no statute of limitations on murder… There is still a chance to get justice for Malcolm." — Abdur-Rahman Muhammad Fifty-five years ago, the world lost an iconic leader. Muslim minister and human rights activist Malcolm X was gunned down during a public appearance in New York City on Feb. 21, 1965. In his 39-year …

Martha Rosenberg (2020-02-21). A Trump Sentence Commutation Attorneys Generals Liked. counterpunch.org The year was 2008. Hundreds of ICE officers swooped down on Agriprocessors, the nation's largest kosher slaughterhouse located in Postville, Iowa, in the largest single-site raid to date in U.S. history. Half of the 800 person workforce was arrested. In addition to kosher brands, Agriprocessors meat was sold as Iowa Best Beef Brand in Albertson's, Kroger, Shop

RT (2020-02-21). Tunisian parliament to vote on new govt next week as moderate Islamist party backs lineup. rt.com Tunisia is set to hold a confidence vote on a new government on February 26, after more than four months of political wrangling following elections in the country, according to a parliamentary statement. | The parliament announced a date for the vote on Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh's government after the premier unveiled a revised cabinet lineup earlier this week. | An initial version of the list had been rejected by the Islamist-inspired party Ennahdha, which won the most seats in October's legislative election but fell far short of a majority in the 217-seat assembly. | The party won seven portfolios in the…

George Wuerthner (2020-02-21). 'Extremists,' Not Collaborators, Have Kept Wilderness Whole. counterpunch.org Recently there have been commentaries published advocating collaboration to "settle" wilderness designation issues. Collaboration proponents often criticize those who are unwilling to compromise about wildlands protection as "extremists." One of the most ardent and extreme wilderness advocates in Montana was a guy named Robert Marshall — better known as "Bob." In the 1930s, as chief