2021-03-05: News Headlines

A Guest Author (2021-03-05). Gulf Coast says: Support #BAmazon Union! workers.org By Sean Miller Members of Black Voters Matter, Workers World Party-Central Gulf Coast branch and others hosted a Feb. 20 rally in downtown Pensacola, Fla., in support of the Bessemer, Ala., Amazon workers union drive. Joining over 50 other cities in a Day of Solidarity actions, they spoke out for . . . |

A Guest Author (2021-03-05). #LettersToBessemer: Black Workers Matter. workers.org From People's Power Assembly NYC and Workers Assembly Against Racism: Since early February 2021, a Black women-led unionizing struggle has been happening in a Bessemer, Ala., Amazon warehouse. They've organized in response to dangerous working conditions including: 1) dangerously inadequate COVID-19 protocols; 2) no hazard pay, even as essential workers . . . |

Staff (2021-03-05). "We Do This 'Til We Free Us": Mariame Kaba on Abolishing Police, Prisons & Moving Toward Justice. democracynow.org Outrage over police brutality and the mass incarceration of Black and Brown people has generated calls to defund and abolish the police. Longtime organizer Mariame Kaba's new book, titled "We Do This 'Til We Free Us: Abolitionist Organizing and Transforming Justice," brings together collected essays, interviews and other writings that she and numerous collaborators produced between 2014 — the year of the uprisings in Ferguson, Missouri, over the police killing of Michael Brown — and today. Kaba says the book grapples with "the fact that so many people around the country recognize the complete and utte…

Staff (2021-03-05). New York Congressmember Mondaire Jones: Israel Should Ensure Palestinians Have Access to COVID Vaccine. democracynow.org Israel has failed to make COVID-19 vaccines available to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, despite its responsibility under the Geneva Conventions. Critics in the United States say this "vaccine apartheid" is another example of Israeli human rights abuses going unpunished, even as the country receives billions in U.S. aid each year. Congressmember Mondaire Jones of New York says Israel must ensure that Palestinians are vaccinated. "There's no question about that," he says. "I don't think that anyone can argue otherwise in good conscience."

Staff (2021-03-05). Rep. Mondaire Jones: Voting Rights Bill H.R. 1 Is of "Foundational Importance" to U.S. Democracy. democracynow.org The House of Representatives has approved sweeping legislation protecting the right to vote with the For the People Act, which has been described as the most sweeping pro-democracy bill in decades. The legislation is aimed at improving voter registration and access to voting, ending partisan and racial gerrymandering, forcing the disclosure of dark money donors, increasing public funding for candidates, and imposing strict ethical and reporting standards on members of Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court. The bill, which comes amid a nationwide attack on voting rights in courthouses and statehouses, is heading to…

Staff (2021-03-05). Rev. William Barber to Democrats: Overrule the Senate Parliamentarian & Pass the $15 Minimum Wage. democracynow.org The Senate has voted to open debate on President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. The legislation has widespread support from voters, with one new poll showing 77% of Americans support the bill, including nearly 60% of Republicans. But the Senate bill has some key differences from the package approved by the House, including a reduction in the number of people eligible for direct stimulus checks and no provision to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. However, the Fight for 15 continues, with the Senate considering an amendment by Senator Bernie Sanders to raise the minimum wage fro…

Eve Ottenberg (2021-03-05). What the Ecuadoran Elections Mean for the U.S. counterpunch.org The pink tide is coming back in — much to the chagrin of many in the U.S. government. With leftist governments in Bolivia, Venezuela, Argentina, Nicaragua, Mexico and Cuba, the prospect of yet another, this time in Ecuador, doubtless keeps regime changers, right-wing think tankers and other assorted Washington imperialists up at night. All those leftists the U.S. had murdered over the years, all the death squads the U.S. gave the nod to, all those dictators the North American empire supported — for what? After generations of slaughter, the victims' heirs keep taking over. The U.S. sponsored the exterm…

Miko Peled (2021-03-05). Israel: Orthodox Religious Parties Shaken by Supreme Court Ruling on Law of Return. mintpressnews.com The Israeli Supreme Court ruling on the application of the Law of Return threatens ultimate dilution of the political power of Israel's Orthodox religious parties, and thus has the potential to shake up the upcoming election's dynamics.

Jeffrey St. Clair (2021-03-05). Roaming Charges: No Neanderthal Ever Bombed Syria. counterpunch.org + There were many reasons to vote against Trump, starting with the fact that he was the incumbent running for reelection. All incumbent presidents should be voted against as matter of principle, because they almost certainly started committing war crimes within weeks of taking office, a truism Biden has now reconfirmed with his bombing of

RT (2021-03-05). Covid-19 has been 'really good' for CNN's ratings, WarnerMedia CEO says at Morgan Stanley conference. rt.com While Covid-19 has claimed more than 2.5 million lives worldwide, the chief executive at CNN's parent firm is looking on the bright side, telling a virtual audience the pandemic has been "really good" for the outlet's ratings. | Jason Kilar — the CEO of WarnerMedia, which owns the cable network — appeared at Morgan Stanley's 'Technology, Media and Telecom' virtual conference on Thursday, where he was asked about CNN and whether it could keep up its current momentum. | "I'd say that it turns out that pandemic is a pretty big part of the news cycle, and that's not going away anytime soon," he replied,…

Medea Benjamin, Nicolas J. S. Davies (2021-03-05). Trump and Biden's Secret Bombing Wars. dissidentvoice.org Credit: The Intercept: U.S.-led coalition airstrike — Mosul, Iraq on November 7, 2016 On February 25th, President Biden ordered U.S. air forces to drop seven 500-pound bombs on Iraqi forces in Syria, reportedly killing 22 people. The U.S. airstrike has predictably failed to halt rocket attacks on deeply unpopular U.S. bases in Iraq, which the …

Medea Benjamin, Nicolas J. S. Davies (2021-03-05). Trump and Biden's Secret Bombing Wars. counterpunch.org On February 25, President Biden ordered U.S. air forces to drop seven 500-pound bombs on Iraqi forces in Syria, reportedly killing 22 people. The U.S. airstrike has predictably failed to halt rocket attacks on deeply unpopular U.S. bases in Iraq, which the Iraqi National Assembly passed a resolution to close over a year ago. The

RT (2021-03-05). Republican senator forces clerks to read Biden's Covid bill for TEN HOURS, in last-ditch effort to block. rt.com Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) has infuriated Democrats by demanding that Senate clerks read each and every page of Joe Biden's $2 trillion Covid-19 relief bill aloud. To some Dems, bills are better passed with no debate. | President Joe Biden's Covid-19 relief bill, which passed the House of Representatives last week, weighs in at a whopping 628 pages. It offers relief checks of $1,400 to eligible Americans, though more than three quarters of its $1.9 trillion

Betsey Piette (2021-03-05). Mumia has COVID-19 — the only treatment is his freedom! workers.org Word has come that Pennsylvania political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal has tested positive for COVID-19. Supporters learned of the diagnosis March 3, as they were gathered in front of the office of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner to call for Abu-Jamal's release and that of all incarcerated people over 50, who . . . |

Anya Parampil (2021-03-05). US 'Virtual Ambassador' to Venezuela Hosts Insurrectionist Summit Ahead of Biden's Guaidó Recognition. globalresearch.ca A closed-door Bogotá summit of fugitive Venezuelan insurrectionists highlighted James Story's …

Paul Street (2021-03-05). Killer Kim Reynolds and the Fascist State of Iowa. counterpunch.org The affluent and older white male "leftists" who minimize the threat posed by the ever more fascistic Republican Party tend to live in big "blue" cities where the Amerikaner Republivolk are a distinct minority. Some of these privileged urbanites might want to spend some time in a pandemo-fascist white-supremacist state like Iowa, which sent Steve

Mohammad Ayesh (2021-03-05). Arabic press review: Palestine slams Washington's 'lack of understanding' of ICC jurisdiction. middleeasteye.net Arabic press review: Palestine slams Washington's 'lack of understanding' of ICC jurisdiction | Meanwhile, British ambassador in Jordan says her country is committed to the two-state solution, and Iraq imposes curfew during Pope's visit | Fri, 03/05/2021 – 17: 07 | US Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers remarks about priorities for administration of President Joe Biden in the Ben Franklin…

Mustafa Abu Sneineh (2021-03-05). Tens of thousands of Palestinians protest against Israeli police violence and inaction. middleeasteye.net Tens of thousands of Palestinians protest against Israeli police violence and inaction | Demonstration held on eighth Friday in a row and said to be the largest in 20 years | Fri, 03/05/2021 – 11: 04 | Palestinians take part in a protest against a wave of crime and violence in their communities, amid tensions with Israeli police who the protesters say are unwilling to deal with th…

Richard Becker (2021-03-05). Top Pentagon commander requests astronomical sum of money to prepare for war with China. liberationnews.org The funding increase that Davidson is seeking for his command — not the total allocation — is greater than the entire budget of the whole armed forces of Brazil.

Caleb Granger (2021-03-05). Houston demonstration demands, "Fix our broken pipes, no more airstrikes!" liberationnews.org Texans were told to drink pool water while Biden prioritized bombing Syria.

Don Fitz (2021-03-05). From the Murder of Berta Cáceres to the Dam Disaster in Uttarakhand. counterpunch.org March 2, 2021 was the five year anniversary of the murder of Berta Cáceres, who opposed the Agua Zarca dam in Honduras. That date was less than one month after the deaths of dozens of people from Tehri Dam disaster in Uttarakhand, India. The two stories together tell us far more about consequences of the insatiable greed of capitalism for more energy than either narrative does by itself.

Rob Urie (2021-03-05). Economic Growth is the Cause of Climate Change, Not the Solution to It. counterpunch.org Through 2019, the last year for which data is available, greenhouse gas emissions and global GDP growth remained as highly correlated as they have been for the last half century. What this means is that despite the rhetorical back-and-forth over technological innovation and government policies as potential solutions to climate change, the role of economic

Joe Lee-Cullin (2021-03-05). Michigan high school students fight racism. liberationnews.org "It can be scary to be Black in America. [Our kids] shouldn't have to be scared at school."

Zac Vecellio, Brianna Griffith (2021-03-05). Abbott forces Texas "OPEN 100%" just weeks after deadly storm. liberationnews.org Abbott has billed the new order as a victory for "freedom," even as he undermines cities' freedom to protect their own populations with mask mandates and protective measures.

Don Fitz (2021-03-05). From the Murder of Berta Cáceres to Dam Disaster in Uttarakhand. dissidentvoice.org March 2, 2021 was the five year anniversary of the murder of Berta Cáceres, who opposed the Agua Zarca dam in Honduras. That date was less than one month after the deaths of dozens of people from Tehri Dam disaster in Uttarakhand, India. The two stories together tell us far more about consequences of the …

Juni Hannah (2021-03-05). A fight for free speech in Selah, Wash. liberationnews.org In a small, conservative town in central Washington, sidewalk chalk has become a highly contentious issue between residents and the City Council.

Magnificent Mndebele (2021-03-05). ArcelorMittal is 'slowly becoming a burial site'. peoplesdispatch.org Three ArcelorMittal workers were trapped in a control room in the early hours of Wednesday 17 February when the room collapsed after a stack structure fell on it, following an explosion. Workers who witnessed the scene at the company's plant in Vanderbijlpark in south Gauteng paint a grim picture. But the company denies an explosion occurred, despite no managers being there at the time. | The workers say the flames from the batteries were unusual that day, resembling an explosion, with large flames in the ovens. Gas escaped to the stack structure adjacent to the control room, where Thami Molefe, 53, Lesenyeho Mof…

John P. Geyman (2021-03-05). The Private Health Insurance Industry: Should It Be Eliminated? counterpunch.org Many Americans assume that the private health insurance industry is an unmovable fixture in the U. S. health care system, but there is a growing need to re-examine that premise. Over recent decades, its performance has been increasingly profit-driven to the point of now becoming unaffordable for patients, their families, employers and taxpayers. The time

National Lawyers Guild (2021-03-05). The case for abolition, for skeptics. mronline.org In the final piece of the series, NLG Anti-Racism Committee Co-Chair and one of the proponents of the 2020 policing resolution Kira Kelley makes the case for the abolition of policing and offers examples of individuals and projects taking power and resources away from police and prisons to create non-carceral, non-punitive alternatives.

John Feffer (2021-03-05). The Odyssey of An Wei, the Forest Gump of China. counterpunch.org The story of An Wei overlaps almost perfectly with the story of Communist China. Born in a small village some distance from the northwestern city of Xian, An Wei was seven years old when Mao took control of the country in 1949. As the son of peasants, he was part of the first generation of

Monica Johnson, Leela Anand (2021-03-05). Atlanta DA refuses to prosecute killer cop in Rayshard Brooks' murder. liberationnews.org Although nearing a year since the murder of Rayshard Brooks, Fulton County officials have yet to prosecute the two killer cops of the Atlanta Police Department. Brooks was killed by officers Garret Rolfe and Devin Brosnan on the night of June 12, 2020, outside a Wendy's restaurant near Atlanta's Pittsburgh neighborhood. Brooks was shot twice …

William J. Astore (2021-03-05). Failing Upward: Pentagon's more and more Expensive Boondoggles (that don't even work). juancole.com ( Tomdispatch.com) — Cancel culture is a common, almost viral, term in political and social discourse these days. Basically, somebody expresses views considered to be outrageous or vile or racist or otherwise insensitive and inappropriate. In response, that person is "canceled," perhaps losing a job or otherwise sidelined and silenced. In being deplatformed by Twitter, …

PAI (2021-03-05). PRO Act, biggest labor law reform in decades, headed for House vote. peoplesworld.org WASHINGTON—The narrowly Democratic U.S. House will vote during the week of March 8 on the nation's most wide-ranging, pro-worker labor law reform in decades, the PRO (Protecting the Right to Organize). Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced the scheduled vote on March 3. His schedule statement comes as unions, led by the AFL-CIO, are stepping …

John Bachtell (2021-03-05). GOP, Senate filibuster in way of 'next great Civil Rights bill'. peoplesworld.org The Democratic-led House of Representatives is responding to the largest assault on voting rights since Reconstruction with the For the People Act (H.R. 1). The measure passed in the lower chamber on March 3. The fight to win final adoption of the bill now passes to the nearly evenly divided Senate. But passage in the …

MEE correspondent (2021-03-05). Egypt: Toddler traumatised after two years in detention with mother. middleeasteye.net Egypt: Toddler traumatised after two years in detention with mother | Amnesty International says a 27-year-old woman and her baby were 'forcibly disappeared' by Egyptian security services | Fri, 03/05/2021 – 15: 40 | Manar Adel Abu el-Naga and her husband Omar Abdelhamid Abu el-Naga | Egyptian authorities have been urged to fully investigate the two-year-long "enforced disappearance" of…

MEE, agencies (2021-03-05). 'Baba al-Vatican': Pope Francis arrives in Iraq for historic visit. middleeasteye.net 'Baba al-Vatican': Pope Francis arrives in Iraq for historic visit | Head of Catholic Church greeted by dancing and dignitaries for Iraq's first ever papal visit | Fri, 03/05/2021 – 13: 21 | Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi welcomed Pope Francis at Baghdad International Airport (Reuters) | Pope Francis said he was "happy" to land in Iraq for the first ever papal visit to the country…

Azhar Al-Rubaie (2021-03-05). What is Ur, the 'birthplace' of Abraham? middleeasteye.net What is Ur, the 'birthplace' of Abraham? | Pope Francis is due to lead an interfaith service at the ancient Iraqi city where the patriarch of Judaism, Christianity and Islam is thought to have lived | Fri, 03/05/2021 – 13: 14 | The ziggurat at Ur was a temple to the moon god Nannar, and has been dated to the second millennium BC (Reuters) | On Saturday, Pope Francis will hold an inter-faith s…

Nadda Osman (2021-03-05). Algeria: Bill to revoke citizenship met with anger and fear among activists. middleeasteye.net Algeria: Bill to revoke citizenship met with anger and fear among activists | The proposed law would target people deemed detrimental to the state, in a move condemned as dangerous and vague | Fri, 03/05/2021 – 14: 22 | Demonstrators carry the national flag on a march in Algiers to demand political change (Reuters) | A new bill being considered by the Algerian government, which could see people have thei…

Malek Bachir (2021-03-05). Germany-Morocco tensions: Why is Rabat so upset with Berlin? middleeasteye.net Germany-Morocco tensions: Why is Rabat so upset with Berlin? | Western Sahara, Libya negotiations, German organisations… the suspension of contact between Rabat and the German embassy in Morocco has been attributed to 'an accumulation of grudges'
| Fri, 03/05/2021 – 13: 17 | German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomes Morocco's Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita in Berlin in November 2019 (AFP) | A d…

MEE, agencies (2021-03-05). Princess Latifa: UN 'still waiting' for evidence from UAE that she is alive. middleeasteye.net Princess Latifa: UN 'still waiting' for evidence from UAE that she is alive | Recent footage showed the daughter of Dubai's ruler saying she was being held captive by her father | Fri, 03/05/2021 – 11: 27 | Friends of Princess Latifa say she has had little medical care and went over a year without a toothbrush (Screengrab/Sky News) | The United Nations has said it is still waiting for proo…

MEE, agencies (2021-03-05). Harris reaffirms US opposition to ICC probe of Israel in call to Netanyahu. middleeasteye.net Harris reaffirms US opposition to ICC probe of Israel in call to Netanyahu | US vice president also 'emphasized the United States' unwavering commitment to Israel's security' | Fri, 03/05/2021 – 08: 26 | The call was the first between Harris and Netanyahu since she became US vice president in January (AFP) | US Vice President Kamala Harris, in a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Ne…

Areeb Ullah (2021-03-05). UN expert warns counter-terror policies led to 'further stigmatisation' of Muslims. middleeasteye.net UN expert warns counter-terror policies led to 'further stigmatisation' of Muslims | UN Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed said Islamophobia has reached 'epidemic proportions' across the world | Fri, 03/05/2021 – 16: 21 | UN expert Ahmed Shaheed said Muslim women face the triple threat of discrimination due to their gender, ethnicity, and religion (AFP) | A United Nations expert has warned that counter-ter…

Staff (2021-03-05). Police hijack helicopter ambulance for aerial surveillance. therealnews.com Documents obtained by PAR reveal how an air ambulance service has been used repeatedly to fly surveillance missions over the city of Baltimore, raising troubling questions about the consequences of law enforcement's growing civic influence.

RT (2021-03-05). 'It's the Cuomo way': MORE aides describe 'cult' workplace as top NY Democrat says governor should quit if new accusers speak out. rt.com Numerous former staffers for Andrew Cuomo have described the toxic and cult-like work environment they worked under amidst the governor's multiple worsening scandals, including three accusations of sexual harassment. | "There's no right or wrong way. It's the Cuomo way," one staffer told the Gothamist about a warning she received when interviewing for a job in the Cuomo administration. "He wants people who are literally going to fall on the sword for him, and they all will." | Another described being told to wear stiletto heels because she was blonde and the governor "likes blondes" in stiletto heels. Her desk…

RT (2021-03-05). California's Newsom doubles down (literally) on mask-wearing as he says Texas made 'terrible mistake' in lifting mandate. rt.com California Governor Gavin Newsom has urged state residents to double up on their mask-wearing, issuing new guidelines calling for two face coverings in public after condemning Texas and other states for easing their restrictions. | Asking Californians to "get the most out of masking," the state's

Joe Lee-Cullin (2021-03-05). Michigan high school students fight racism. liberationnews.org "It can be scary to be Black in America. [Our kids] shouldn't have to be scared at school."

WSWS (2021-03-05). Biden renews US "state of emergency" against Venezuela. wsws.org The Biden administration is continuing the policy of its predecessors, maintaining a draconian sanctions regime and recognizing the right-wing puppet Guaidó as "interim president."