2020-01-03: News Headlines

Staff (2020-01-04). McConnell and Pelosi Give No Signs of Budging on Impeachment. truthdig.com WASHINGTON — Congress opened the new year with the Senate deadlocked over President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, leaving the proceedings deeply in flux as Republicans refuse to bend to Democratic demands for new witnesses. | Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell showed no signs Friday of negotiating with the Democrats as he aims for Trump's swift acquittal. At the same time, the Republican leader acknowledged the Senate cannot begin the historic undertaking until House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivers the articles of impeachment — which she i…

RT (2020-01-03). 'Undeniable role in defeating ISIS': Russian MOD says Iran's Soleimani organized anti-terrorist fight 'long before US was there'. rt.com Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a US airstrike, had played a vital role in fighting terrorists in Syria and Iraq, the Russian Defense Ministry said, adding that his death would harm international security. | The ministry slammed the assassination of the Iranian general, carried out on orders from Washington, calling it a "short-sighted" move that would lead to a "rapid escalation" of tensions in the Middle East. It also described Soleimani as a talented and experienced commander, who enjoyed "well-earned authority" throughout the Middle East. | It was under Soleimani's direct command that…

RT (2020-01-03). Killing of Iran's Quds Force chief Soleimani by US 'MOST LIKELY violates international law' — UN Rapporteur. rt.com The UN's top expert on extrajudicial executions said that Washington's decision to assassinate the commander of the Iranian elite Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, cannot be justified under international law. | Major-General Soleimani and the second-in-command of the Iran-backed Iraqi paramilitary Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, were killed (along with others) in a US airstrike at Baghdad's airport on Friday morning. | The "targeted killings" of both men "most likely violate international law incl[uding] human rights law," the UN's Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary…

Jefferson Morley (2020-01-03). After Mossad Targeted Soleimani, Trump Pulled the Trigger. counterpunch.org Last October Yossi Cohen, head of Israel's Mossad, spoke openly about assassinating Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, the head of the elite Quds Force in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. "He knows very well that his assassination is not impossible," Cohen said in an interview. Soleimani had boasted that the Israel's tried to assassinate him in 2006 and failed. More

Staff (2020-01-03). Iran Vows 'Harsh' Response to U.S. Killing of Top General. truthdig.com BAGHDAD — Iran vowed "harsh retaliation" for a U.S. airstrike near Baghdad's airport that killed a top Iranian general who had been the architect of its interventions across the Middle East, as tensions soared in the wake of the targeted killing. | The killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, marks a major escalation in the standoff between Washington and Iran, which has careened from one crisis to another since President Donald Trump withdrew from…

RT (2020-01-03). Corbyn calls on UK govt to 'stand up to the belligerent actions' of US after assassination of Iran's Quds chief Soleimani. rt.com Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has hit out at the US after they claimed responsibility for the killing of Iran's Quds Force Major-General Qassem Soleimani, and urged the UK government to "stand up" to their key western ally. | The outgoing leader warned on Friday that Iran and the US must de-escalate tensions, otherwise the Middle East will see yet more conflict that would "bring further misery to the region, 17 years on from the disastrous invasion of Iraq." | Corby…

RT (2020-01-03). Pompeo in Iran damage control? US 'committed to de-escalation,' Soleimani killing 'saved American lives'. rt.com US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo assured everyone that Washington wants to ease the tensions in the Middle East, while defending the killing of Iranian elite Quds Force commander as "defensive action." | Pompeo made his remarks after speaking over the phone with British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Yang Jiechi, the head of the Chinese ruling Communist Party's Foreign Affairs Commission. | "The US remains committed to de-escalation," Pompeo said. | A US drone strike killed Major General Qassem Soleimani at Baghdad's airport on Friday morning. The Pentagon later reveale…

Whitney Webb (2020-01-03). A Dubious Official Story Masks the True Motives Behind the Soleimani Assassination. mintpressnews.com Behind the official yet dubious justifications for the U.S. airstrike that killed a top Iranian general on Friday lies a confluence of factors — some decades in the making, others more recent — that are pushing the U.S. towards yet another catastrophic war in the Middle East.

Staff (2020-01-03). U.S. Assassination of Soleimani Could Spark "Another Round of Civil War" in Iraq. democracynow.org After the United States assassinated Iranian commander Major General Qassem Soleimani in a major escalation of the conflict between Iran and the United States, which now threatens to engulf Iraq and the Middle East, we get response from Iraqi journalist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, who says the U.S. killing of Soleimani was reckless. "Did anyone consult Iraqis about the assassination of Qassem Soleimani on Iraqi soil?" he asks. "We don't want another round of civil war."

Staff (2020-01-03). 'A More Dangerous World': Iran Killing Triggers Global Alarm. truthdig.com PARIS — Global powers warned Friday that the world became a more dangerous place after the U.S. assassinated Iran's top general, urging restraint on all sides. Britain and Germany also suggested that Iran shared some blame for provoking the targeted killing that dramatically ratcheted up tensions in the Mideast. | China, Russia and France, all permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, took a dim view of the U.S. airstrike near Baghdad's airport early Friday that killed Ge…

RT (2020-01-03). 'A just struggle': Netanyahu backs Soleimani's killing as US 'self-defense,' says Quds head planned more attacks. rt.com Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the US assassination of a top Iranian commander a justified act of self-defense and said Donald Trump should be credited for "acting swiftly, forcefully and decisively." | The Israeli leader said his country "stands with the United States in its just struggle for peace, security and self-defense," accusing Soleimani of having staged and planned attacks against "American citizens and many other innocent people." | PM Netanyahu: | President Trump deserves all the credit for acting swiftly, forcefully and decisively. | Israel stands with the United States in it…

RT (2020-01-03). 3,000 more US troops headed to Middle East after Baghdad strike that killed Soleimani. rt.com Another 3,000 US airborne troops will be deploying to Kuwait, to join the 750 already there, even as Washington warned Americans to leave Iraq after the airstrike that assassinated a top Iranian general. | The entire 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division is now headed to the US base in Kuwait, multiple outlets reported, citing anonymous Pentagon officials on Friday. The deployment does not appear to be directly in response to the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani, however, but rather part of the build-up set in motion on Tuesday, following the siege of the US embassy in Baghdad. | Also…

RT (2020-01-03). No war or regime change, Trump assures Iran after praising the killing of '#1 terrorist' — ISIS-fighting general Soleimani. rt.com US President Donald Trump described the Iranian general who fought Islamic State as "number one terrorist" in the world and said the decision to kill him was made "to stop a war," rather than start regime change in Tehran. | Addressing the media at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Friday, Trump said General Qassem Soleimani was "plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel" when the US "terminated" him. | "We take comfort in knowing that his reign of terror is over," he said of Soleimani, who led the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force before his assass…

Mark Gruenberg (2020-01-03). Democratic lawmakers score Trump for drone strike killing of Suleimani. peoplesworld.org WASHINGTON—Many congressional Democrats—along with party presidential hopefuls Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and Elizabeth Warren—are warning that President Donald Trump's targeted drone assassination strike in Iraq that killed top Iranian military leader Gen. Qassim Suleimani will trigger Iranian retaliation, a regional war in the Middle East, or both. And experts in the region add Trump ordered …

RT (2020-01-03). US killing of Iranian commander on Iraqi soil violates terms of US stationing troops in the country — Iraqi PM. rt.com The interim prime minister of Iraq has condemned the US assassination of a senior Iranian commander, calling it an act of aggression against his country. Qassem Soleimani was killed at Baghdad airport. | Soleimani, the commander of the elite Quds Force, was killed after his convoy was hit by US missiles. A deputy commander of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), the Iraqi militia collective backed by Iran, was killed in the same airstrike. | In a statement on Friday, the caretaker leader of Iraq's protest-challenged government, Adil Abdul Mahdi, said the US assassination operation was a "flagrant violation o…

RT (2020-01-03). All bets are off: Trump brings conflict with Iran to unprecedented level, just a step short of all-out war. rt.com The assassination of a popular Iranian general in Baghdad is a game-changer in the conflict between Washington and Tehran, which had remained restricted to cloak-and-dagger shenanigans and proxy hostilities, analysts have told RT. | The Trump administration escalated its standoff with Iran to a whole new level on Friday by ordering a targeted assassination of Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran's Quds Force. The Iranian general was blown up along with 11 other people, including a senior commander of an Iraqi militia backed by Tehran, when their motorcade was hit by US guided missiles just outside Baghdad I…

RT (2020-01-03). Oil prices surge 4 percent on news of Soleimani killing. rt.com Two major oil price benchmarks jumped in the early hours of Friday after news broke that Iran's second most powerful public figure, Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, had been killed in a US airstrike in Baghdad. | Both WTI and Brent jumped by over four percent on the news to $63.80 and $69.19 per barrel respectively. | Also on rt.com | | US killing of Iranian commander on Iraqi soil violates terms of US stationing troops in the country — Iraqi PM | Prices had been rising steadily since their October 2019 lows on rising tension across the…

Staff (2020-01-03). Rep. Ro Khanna on Qassem Soleimani Assassination: Trump's Actions Are Unconstitutional. democracynow.org We continue our discussion of the U.S. assassination of Iranian commander Major General Qassem Soleimani with Democratic Congressmember Ro Khanna of California. Khanna says he believes the assassination was planned for some time and that Congress has failed to hold the Trump administration accountable. "I believe that the president's policies are putting us in tremendous danger, and the motives are almost not relevant. What's relevant is that he acted in a way that's unconstitutional," Khanna says.

RT (2020-01-03). 'De facto state of war': DeBlasio warns New Yorkers of 'new reality' in wake of the killing of Iran's Soleimani. rt.com New York mayor Bill de Blasio warned the city that attempted terrorist attacks may follow the US strike on Iranian commander Soleimani, anticipating never-before-seen threats would be unleashed — but told citizens not to panic. | After the strike on Baghdad airport "we are dealing with a different reality," de Blasio told a press conference on Friday, admitting that "none of us know how this will play out," as it has been decades since the US confronted "the reality of a war with the government of a large country with an international terror network at its behest." Previous terror attacks on New York, he…

ANSWER Coalition (2020-01-03). BREAKING: Trump starts war on Iran — ALL OUT Sat. Jan. 4 National Day of Action. liberationnews.org The Trump administration and Pentagon have moved to start a war with Iran by assassinating Qassem Soleimani, the top military leader of that country.

RT (2020-01-03). 'We urge all parties to de-escalate': British foreign sec Raab calls for calm after US assassination of Iranian commander. rt.com British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has urged "all parties to de-escalate" after Iran's Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani was killed in a US military airstrike near Baghdad International airport on Thursday night. | In a statement on Friday morning, Raab insisted that the UK government "recognised the aggressive threat posed by the Iranian Quds force led by Qassem Soleimani." However, he called on "all parties to de-escalate," and claimed that "further conflict is in none of our interests." | US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed via Twitter that he and Raab had discussed the incident and suggested…

RT (2020-01-03). 'Please don't kill us': Rose McGowan apologizes to Iran for Soleimani death, backpedals, still gets roasted. rt.com The #MeToo advocate and 'Grindhouse' actress Rose McGowan joined Hollywood celebs like John Cusack to condemn the killing of Qassem Soleimani, but this only inspired Twitter to question her sobriety and her loyalty to the US. | Much of Hollywood's most politically active celebrities were not happy with the US assassination of Iran's Quds Force chief Qassem Soleimani, but none were as broken up about it as actress Rose McGowan. | The author and 'Charmed' actress took to Twitter to apologize on behalf of the US and to beg Iran "not to kill us." | "Dear #Iran, The USA has disrespected your country, your flag, you…

RT (2020-01-03). VIDEO shows US strike that killed Iranian general Soleimani in Baghdad. rt.com A security camera video, purporting to show the US air strike that killed Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani and several leaders of the Iraqi Shia militia outside the Baghdad airport, has surfaced online. | The 11-second clip, first posted by the Iraqi TV station Ahad, shows an explosion ripping through the parking lot outside the Baghdad International Airport on Thursday evening. | pic.twitter.com/vbBmAonbV5— ŸÇŸÜÿßÿ© ÿߟÑÿπŸáÿØ (@AhadTv) RT (2020-01-03). Thousands march in Tehran to mourn 'beloved' military commander Soleimani, killed by US drone strike. rt.com Protesters dressed in black have marched in Tehran and other cities, decrying the killing on Thursday night of the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, Major General Qassem Soleimani, which was ordered by Washington. | People flooded the streets of Tehran after Friday prayers in honor of Soleimani and other officials killed during a US airstrike in Iraq's capital. | The mostly black-clad protesters were chanting traditional anti-American slogans like "Down with the US!" while also praising Soleimani as a "hero" of the nation. Many were carrying photos of the killed Quds commander and banners suggesting that the vi…

RT (2020-01-03). Trump tweets after Quds chief killing: 'Iran never won a war, but never lost a negotiation!'. rt.com Following the US assassination of Iran's Quds Force chief Qassem Soleimani, President Donald Trump took to Twitter, issuing a quite cryptic message that Iran has "never won a war, but never lost a negotiation." | The commander of the elite Quds Force was killed overnight in Baghdad International Airport, alongside with several other high-ranking officials from local pro-Iranian militias. | The assassination was carried out on the personal "direction" of Trump, the US military has said, claiming it was acting to protect America and its citizens. Soleimani was blamed for "the deaths of hundreds of American and c…

Staff (2020-01-03). Pentagon: U.S. Airstrike Kills Powerful Iranian General. truthdig.com BAGHDAD — The Pentagon said Thursday that the U.S. military has killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, at the direction of President Donald Trump. | An airstrike killed Soleimani, architect of Iran's regional security apparatus, at Baghdad's international airport Friday, Iranian state television and three Iraqi officials said, an attack that's expected to draw severe Iranian retaliation against Israel and American interests. | The Defense Department said Soleimani "was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region." I…

RT (2020-01-03). Killing of Quds commander is another sign of US frustration and weakness in the region — Iran's Rouhani. rt.com Washington's assassination of a top Iranian commander is a "cowardly act" that confirms "the weakness of the United States in the region," President Hassan Rouhani said. | Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the elite Quds Force, was killed in a US airstrike near Baghdad along with several commanders of Iran-backed militias. Washington considers the entire Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), to which Quds belongs, to be a terrorist organization and holds it responsible for recent riots at the US embassy compound in the Iraqi capital. | "Soleimani's martyrdom will make Iran more decisive to resist America'

RT (2020-01-03). Iran's Khamenei appoints Soleimani's deputy as new head of Quds Forces. rt.com Brigadier General Esmail Ghaani was appointed to lead Iran's elite Quds Force after its previous commander, Major General Qassem Soleimani, was killed in a US airstrike on Friday. | The unit's program "will stay exactly the same" as it was under Soleimani, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said, as quoted by Tasnim News Agency. | Ghaani has served as Soleimani's second-in-command. | Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khamenei on Friday appointed General Esmail Qa'ani as new Commander of Islamic Revolution Guards Corps ( #IRGC) Qu…

RT (2020-01-03). Soleimani assassination by US 'an adventurous move' that will flare up tensions in Middle East — Moscow. rt.com The US airstrike that killed a senior Iranian commander near Baghdad will exacerbate tensions throughout the Middle East, the Russian foreign ministry has warned. | Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran's Quds Force, was killed in a US operation at Baghdad International Airport on Friday morning. Moscow considers the operation "an adventurous move that will lead to an escalation of tension throughout the region," the ministry said. | "Soleimani served devotedly the cause of defending the national interests of Iran. We express our sincere condolences to the Iranian people," the short statement said. | Also on…

RT (2020-01-03). Arch-hawk Bolton celebrates slaying of Quds commander as 'first step to regime change in Tehran'. rt.com While there was no shortage of triumphant voices coming from Washington DC on Friday after the targeted assassination of a senior Iranian general, that of John Bolton seemed especially cheerful. | The former national security adviser in the Donald Trump administration took to Twitter to congratulate "all involved in eliminating Qassem Soleimani," the commander of Iran's elite Quds Force. | Congratulations to all involved in eliminating Qassem Soleimani. Long in the making, this was a decisive blow against Iran's malign Quds Force activities worldwide. Hope this is the first step to regime change in Tehran.[mda…

Matthew Hoh (2020-01-03). The Killing of General Soleimani: Hail Mars! Hail Pluto! counterpunch.org If it is true the United States killed Iranian Quds Forces Commander General Qassam Soleimani in Iraq yesterday, unverified by the Iranians as I write this, then there is no hyperbole or exaggeration too great to encapsulate what may befall tens of millions of families. The equivalent of the killing of General Soleimani would be More

RT (2020-01-03). US State Dept tells Americans to leave Iraq 'immediately' after assassination of Soleimani. rt.com The US State Department is calling on all US citizens to "depart Iraq immediately" in advice issued on Friday, in the wake of the US killing of key Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani. | "US citizens should depart via airline while possible, and failing that, to other countries via land," the State Department advised. "Due to Iranian-backed militia attacks at the US Embassy compound [in Baghdad], all public consular operations are suspended until further notice." | The advisory comes in the immediate aftermath of the US assassination of Soleimani, commander of Iran's elite Quds Force, along with senior leaders…

RT (2020-01-03). Pentagon says Trump 'directed' assassination of Iran's Quds Force chief Soleimani to 'deter future Iranian attacks'. rt.com US President Donald Trump authorized a US military strike near Baghdad's airport which resulted in the death of Iran's Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, the Pentagon confirmed in a statement on Thursday. | "At the direction of the president, the US military has taken decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani," the Pentagon said in a statement. | "This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans. The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and interests wherever they are around the world." | The Pentagon said tha…

RT (2020-01-03). 'Trump just threw a dynamite stick into a tinderbox': US Democrats savage US strike that killed Iranian Quds chief Soleimani. rt.com High-ranking US Democrats have warned that the killing of Iran's elite Quds Force chief, Qassem Soleimani, will invite retaliatory attacks from Tehran and bring the two nations to the brink of a major war in the Middle East. | Former vice president and one of the top Democrat contenders in the 2020 presidential race Joe Biden called the airstrike in Iraq "a hugely escalatory move in an already dangerous region" that will likely provoke "future attacks by Iran" instead of deterring them. | President Trump just tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox… We could be on the brink of a major conflict in the Mid…

Medea Benjamin, Nicolas J. S. Davies (2020-01-03). A New Year and a New Trump Foreign Policy Blunder in Iraq. counterpunch.org It's a new year, and the U.S. has found a new enemy—an Iraqi militia called Kata'ib Hezbollah. How tragically predictable was that? So who or what is Kata'ib Hezbollah? Why are U.S. forces attacking it? And where will this lead? Kata'ib Hezbollah is one of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) that were recruited to fight More

RT (2020-01-03). US media cites CMG president to call out western media's prejudice. rt.com U.S. Commerce News, an online media website dedicated to serving the overseas Chinese communities in the U.S., published a report on Wednesday, citing China Media Group (CMG) President Shen Haixiong's New Year message to caution the western media to adhere to reporting ethics. | "I regret to see that some sections of the western media have seemed to suffer from 'selective blindness' when covering some events related to China. Some have even published hearsay and rumors as news, resulting in distortions and inaccuracies," Shen was quoted as saying in the news report. | According to the report, Shen highlighted…

Nithin Coca (2020-01-03). China's Secret Weapon Abroad: Tourists. thenation.com Unsuspecting tourists play a key role in China's plans for economic coercion.

Albert Bender (2020-01-03). Outlaw Añez regime in Bolivia targets Indigenous for more terror. peoplesworld.org Bolivia is greatly ignored by the corporate media, but the news reports that do filter out indicate state terror reigns. In November, President Evo Morales and other top leaders were, in effect, pushed out by a coup, as military and police leaders withdrew their support from his elected government. The replacement leader, Jeanine Añez, comes …

RT (2020-01-03). Passenger who covered pregnant woman in falling Kazakh plane gets award as terrifying VIDEO of crash-landing emerges. rt.com Kazakh police has awarded a passenger of the Bek Air jet that crashed in December, after he covered a pregnant woman with his body to protect her during the horrific incident shown on a CCTV footage recently leaked to the net.

RT (2020-01-03). Hollywood director gets smacked down for Trump slam, even by his own actress. rt.com Ron Howard, director of 'Solo: A Star Wars Story,' tried for some easy points on Twitter by slamming US President Donald Trump, but he got a rude awakening… including from one of his past actresses. | If you're an artist in modern Hollywood and you're looking to score some easy brownie points with fellow celebrities and the mainstream entertainment press, a pretty good bet is to call out Trump. It's easy, low-hanging fruit and it seems to work for C-list celebs like Alyssa Milano and Bette Midler, so why not? | Howard, a former c…

John Kendall Hawkins (2020-01-03). The Fall or Dive of Sydney Gottlieb and Company. counterpunch.org "Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life." — from The Manchurian Candidate (1959), by Richard Condon When you think about it, after 9/11, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush did Americans a favor by "taking off the gloves," so that we could wring More

RT (2020-01-03). Passenger who covered pregnant woman in falling Kazakh plane gets award as VIDEO of crash-landing emerges. rt.com Kazakh police has awarded a passenger of the Bek Air jet that crashed in December, after he covered a pregnant woman with his body to protect her during the horrific incident shown on a CCTV footage recently leaked to the net.

RT (2020-01-03). Hockey trick shots: Watch NHL all-stars Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn perform INCREDIBLE shots with YouTubers Dude Perfect (VIDEO). rt.com YouTube stars Dude Perfect have made their channel one of the most-watched sports channels in the world with their mind-bending trick shots, and they enlisted the help of a pair of NHL stars for their latest spectacular video. | Dallas Stars duo Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn have proved their worth on the ice as two of the best forwards in the NHL, with both men named NHL All-Stars. | READ MORE: Optical illusions and surprise twists: These mind-bending trick shots aren't what they seem (VIDEO) | And they teamed up w…

Ahmed Abdulkareem (2020-01-03). Why Saudi Arabia's Bloody US-Backed War in Yemen Will Likely Escalate in 2020. mintpressnews.com This is Yemen in 2020. A dirty war with no sign of ending and a brutal siege on a forgotten people subsisting in unlivable conditions.

Ramzy Baroud (2020-01-03). Who is Archbishop Atallah Hanna, and Why Israel Hates him. counterpunch.org "They will run and not grow weary," is a quote from the Bible (Isaiah, 40: 41) that adorns the homepage of Kairos Palestine. This important document, which parallels a similar initiative emanating from South Africa during the anti-apartheid struggle years, has come to represent the unified voice of the Palestinian Christian community everywhere. One of the More

Paul Street (2020-01-03). The Democratic Party's Campaign to Re-Elect President Trump. counterpunch.org Anyone who hoped that the terrible experience of a neofascistic presidency might jolt the Democratic Party media and politics establishment into embracing the basic lesson of the 2016 election — that running a dismal, dollar-drenched centrist well to the right of the citizenry for president just guarantees right-wing control of the United States' executive branch More

Carolyn Coe (2020-01-03). Work of Necessity, Work of Choice. counterpunch.org At age 11, Saabir Gulmadin began chopping wood to support his family. Now 18, he earns about $1.50 US (120 Afghanis) for every 56 kg of wood he splits. It takes him 2 to 3 hours. "Is the work hard on your body?" I ask. "Ohhh, yes," he says, without hesitation. "Where does it hurt?" More

Rob Urie (2020-01-03). Neoliberalism and the End of Politics. counterpunch.org Much of what passes for left commentary in the U.S. emerged from…

W. T. Whitney (2020-01-03). U.S. Encirclement Endangers Cuba's Economy, Provokes Response. counterpunch.org Closing a session of Cuba's National Assembly on December 21, President Miguel Díaz-Canel declared that, "The 61st year of the Revolution has indeed been difficult and challenging." He blamed these troubles on the "brutal" and "demented" U.S. blockade. Dangers have mounted for Cuba's socialist revolution, and the government there is responding. Carlos Fernández de Cossio, More

RT (2020-01-03). Greece, Israel & Cyprus ink EastMed gas pipeline deal amid Turkish outcry. rt.com Cyprus, Greece and Israel have signed a deal to construct a natural gas pipeline between the Eastern Mediterranean and Europe, drawing Turkey's ire as it pursues a foothold in the energy-rich region. | The agreement, signed on Thursday, kicks off plans for a 1,900km (1,180 mile) pipeline expected to carry some 10 billion cubic meters of gas into Europe yearly, set to be completed by 2025, after the parties to the deal agree on a final investment plan. | The Turkish Foreign Ministry wasted little time in protesting against the agreement, issuing a harsh statement predicting doom for the $7 billion venture soon…

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