2020-01-07: News Headlines

Olivia Arigho-Stiles (2020-01-07). Period of Calm Obscures Deepening Crisis of Democracy in Bolivia. counterpunch.org La Paz, Bolivia After the coup in November in which ex-President Evo Morales was forcibly removed from power, the political situation in Bolivia has now settled into what appears to be, a period of calm. Mass protests in the street have ceased, and so have the state killings. But this superficial tranquility belies developments which More

Karin Leukefeld (2020-01-07). Otro tipo de guerra: sanciones económicas unilaterales dañan a Siria. workers.org A principios de diciembre, la Conferencia de Ministros del Interior del Estado de Alemania extendió la prohibición de deportaciones a Siria sin restricciones hasta al menos en junio de 2020. Originalmente, los ministros del Interior en su reunión de otoño en Làºbeck planearon relajar la prohibición y permitir las deportaciones . . . | Continue reading Otro tipo de guerra: sanciones económicas unilaterales dañan a Siria at Workers.org

RT (2020-01-07). Putin makes surprise visit to Syria, holds talks with Assad — Kremlin. rt.com Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a surprise visit to Syria, holding talks with his counterpart, Bashar Assad, at the Russian military command center. | Putin "rode through the streets of Damascus" on his way to the command center, where he headed after landing at the city's airport, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov revealed. | The Russian president met with Assad there as the two leaders listened to reports by military officials on the conditions on the ground in various regions of the country. Russia has been assisting Syria in the fight against terrorists since 2014. | | © Syrian Preside…

Norman Solomon (2020-01-07). The Democratic Party's Militarism Rears Its Ugly Head. truthdig.com There's nothing like an illegal and utterly reckless U.S. act of war to illuminate the political character of presidential candidates. In the days since the assassination of Iran's top military official, two of the highest-polling Democratic contenders have displayed the kind of moral cowardice that got the United States into—and kept it in —horrific wars from Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq. | Eager to hedge their bets, Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg have offered merely tactical critiques of President Trump's decision to kill Qassim Suleimani. In sharp contrast to Elizabeth Warren and especially Bernie…

Robert Fisk (2020-01-07). Trump is Starting a War With Iran, Whether by Accident or Design. counterpunch.org Is this war by accident or war by design? We've all said that a major war in the Middle East could start by accident. But no one thought Donald Trump would go for the jugular quite like this. To kill General Qassem Soleimani is a sword at the heart of Iran, without doubt. And on whose behalf? More

RT (2020-01-07). Roman Abramovich plowed $325 MILLION into Chelsea last season in show of commitment — but $35 million went on Conte sacking. rt.com Details of Chelsea's 2018-19 accounts have revealed billionaire Russian owner Roman Abramovich pumped £247million (US$325 million) into the club for the period — but paid out over £26 million in the sacking of Antonio Conte. | The Blues recently revealed that they had made a loss of almost £100 million during the last financial year (ending June 30, 2019). | READ MORE: Chelsea post $130 million loss — but insist they WILL stay within Financial Fair Play limits | More details o…

RT (2020-01-07). FURmula 1: Driver races bear on highway near Sochi (VIDEO). rt.com Bears walking the streets in Russian cities may be a stereotype. But the beasts do like to jog along the country's highways and sometimes race passing cars as this footage proves. | The unusual encounter took place in the early hours near the village of Krasnaya Polyana at the Black Sea resort of Sochi. | The driver stumbled upon a bear after making a sharp corner on a spiraling mountainous road. The car and the animal than traveled side by side for some time, with the man filming the running beast in its full glory from a very close range. High speeds were involved as a brown bear is capable of making 50 kilo…

John Bachtell (2020-01-07). Climate change: The race for survival requires global cooperation. peoplesworld.org Humanity faces a planetary emergency, and survival of all life is at stake. Four years ago, the Paris Climate Accords were adopted. The Accords, signed by 197 nations including the U.S. under the Obama administration, marked an unprecedented level of global cooperation to fight the climate crisis. Despite the agreement, the climate and ecological crises …

RT (2020-01-07). WATCH Elon Musk bust HOT MOVES on stage as he rejoices at launch of Tesla car in Shanghai (VIDEO). rt.com The avid entrepreneur broke into an awkward dance during a Tesla event in China, garnering cheers from local staff and igniting an avalanche of tongue-in-cheek comments on social media. | Elon Musk showcased his little-known dance talent as he rejoiced at the official launch of his company's Model 3 electric cars in Shanghai, right in front of the city mayor and top-tier officials. | As some song was turned on, the eccentric billionaire started to boogie away on the stage, busting out somewhat awkward dance moves. | He gave out high fives, even throwing his jacket off as the beats got more energetic. | | &co…

RT (2020-01-07). Is Beijing backpedaling on key issue of US-China trade deal? rt.com China's annual quotas for corn, wheat and rice will remain unchanged, the country's senior agriculture official has reportedly said. The news comes days before the first part of the US-China trade agreement is due to be signed. | "They are quotas for the whole world. We will not change them just for one country," Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Han Jun told Chinese news outlet Caixin. | Read more | | The good, the bad & the ugly about US-China trade breakthrough | As part of the breakthrough trade deal reached between the two sides last…

RT (2020-01-07). Evidence? What evidence? Pompeo shows no proof of 'imminent' Soleimani attacks. rt.com The US says that Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was plotting "imminent and sinister" attacks against its diplomats and military personnel. But when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was pressed for evidence of this, he gave none. | Soleimani, commander of the Iranian military's Quds Force, was assassinated in a drone strike in Baghdad, Iraq, on Friday. Before the strike, President Donald Trump implicated Iran in a fatal rocket attack on an American base in Iraq in December, and in the storming of the American embassy in Baghdad by protesters last week. Afterwards, he said that Soleimani was killed to prevent "i…

Jesse Jackson (2020-01-07). Trump is leading U.S. toward war without end in the Middle East. peoplesworld.org It has come to this. An impeached president—still pending trial in the Senate—orders the assassination of a leading Iranian general as he is meeting with the leader of Iraq, a supposed ally. He does so without consultation, much less approval, of Congress. Besieged at home, he lashes out abroad. This president ran on the promise …

Steve Sweeney (2020-01-07). Iraqi prime minister: Trump used diplomatic cover to lure Soleimani to his death. peoplesworld.org President Donald Trump has been accused of committing a war crime after claims that Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was lured to Iraq, where he was assassinated by a U.S. drone strike on Friday. Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi stated that he was due to meet the elite Quds force commander after he landed in Baghdad …

RT (2020-01-07). Trump follows Pentagon and State Department lead, says he wants US troops out of Iraq eventually — but not just yet. rt.com While he would like to bring the US troops home at some point, President Donald Trump ruled out leaving Iraq at this time, claiming most Iraqis support ongoing US presence and that pulling out would lead to an Iranian takeover. | "It's something ultimately that I want to see, we can't be there forever," Trump said Tuesday, asked if he would pull out troops from Iraq. "Eventually, we want to be able to let Iraq run its own affairs… but this isn't the right point," he quickly added. | If we leave, that means Iran would have a much bigger foothold. | The president's words echoed the rhetoric coming from the Pen…

RT (2020-01-07). US denies Iran's FM Zarif visa to address Security Council in violation of UN treaty. rt.com Washington has refused to issue a visa to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, even though, as the host of the United Nations headquarters, the US is obliged to allow foreign officials into the country. | The visa request was filed several weeks ago, before the latest escalation, and would give the top Iranian diplomat a stage to speak out following last Thursday's drone strike assassination of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Qassem Soleimani, along with senior Iraqi militia leaders. | "They fear that someone comes to the US and reveals realities," Zarif said after being denied a v…

Kathy Kelly (2020-01-07). An Eyewitness to the Horrors of the US 'Forever Wars' Speaks Out. counterpunch.org The 2003 "shock and awe" bombing of Iraq had finally stopped. From the balcony of my room in Baghdad's Al Fanar Hotel, I watched U.S. Marines moving between their jeeps, armored personnel carriers, and Humvees. They had occupied the street immediately in front of the small, family-owned hotel where our Iraq Peace Team had been More

Sara Flounders (2020-01-07). Bagdad da un mensaje de Año Nuevo: EE.UU. intensifica la agresión. workers.org Jan. 3 — La arrogancia del imperialismo estadounidense no tiene límites. Y en ninguna parte ha sido más destructivo en las últimas décadas que en los países de la zona denominados Oriente Medio. Manifestantes iraquíes asaltan embajada de Estados Unidos en Bagdad, 31 de diciembre. Se envió un mensaje humillante . . . | Continue reading Bagdad da un mensaje de Año Nuevo: EE.UU. intensifica la agresión at Workers.org

RT (2020-01-07). Iraqi militias threaten to send US troops home in coffins & target civilians if they re-elect Trump. rt.com The US public must persuade Donald Trump to withdraw American troops from Iraq or become the target of retaliation, Iraqi militias, whose commander was killed in the airstrike on Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, warned. | The deputy commander of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, was among the Iranian and Iraqi officials killed in a US operation in Baghdad on Friday. | And PMF, which unites some 40 militias and has around 150,000 members, promised that they won't let American "criminals" get away with murder. | "All retaliation options are on the table… no red lines shall hinde…

RT (2020-01-07). Germany to withdraw part of its military forces from Iraq. rt.com Germany will pull out some of its troops from Iraq, following an Iraqi parliamentary resolution calling on all foreign military forces to leave the country. | Some of Germany's small contingent of troops in Iraq will be moved to neighboring Jordan and Kuwait, the German government said on Tuesday. German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas wrote to lawmakers that the troops stationed in Baghdad and Taji would be "temporarily thinned out." | Thirty out of an estimated 120 German soldiers are set to be redeployed. The German government says they could be moved back if the…

RT (2020-01-07). Iraq asks US to clarify after letters with different messages on troop withdrawal received. rt.com The government of Iraq has asked Washington for clarification, after Baghdad received Arabic and English-language letters on troop withdrawal containing different messages. | Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi acknowledged receiving a letter from the US military containing an outline for the withdrawal of American troops from his country. However, the Iraqi leader said that the English and Arabic versions of the letter were not identical, and that he has requested clarification, Reuters reported on Tuesday. | One day earlier, a copy of a letter announcing the US withdrawal was circulated online, and confir…

RT (2020-01-07). US deploys 6 B-52 strategic bombers to Indian Ocean base amid drastic spike in tensions with Iran — report. rt.com The US Air Force is sending six B-52 Stratofortress long-range bombers to Diego Garcia, a secretive military outpost in the Indian Ocean, as tension soars in the wake of a US assassination strike on a top Iranian general. | The bombers will be "available for operations against Iran if ordered," CNN's Barbara Starr reported Monday, citing an unnamed US official, though the reporter noted the new deployment "does not signal that operations have been ordered." | Pentagon to begin sending 6 B-52s to Diego Garcia: US official. B-52s will be available for operations against Iran if ordered, the official said. But th…

RT (2020-01-07). Netanyahu backs away from Soleimani assassination, warns ministers to 'stay out' of purely 'American event'. rt.com Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly warned his cabinet not to get too involved in the US murder of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, lest Tel Aviv gets dragged into the escalating conflict between Washington and Tehran. | "The assassination of Soleimani isn't an Israeli event but an American event. We were not involved and should not be dragged into it," Netanyahu reportedly told his security cabinet during a meeting on Monday, as cited by Israel's Channel 13. He advised ministers to avoid speaking to the media about Thursday's targeted assassination beyond supporting the US' right to defend itself, s…

David Price (2020-01-07). 52 Pick-Up: Trump's Deranged Threats to Bomb the Past. counterpunch.org On January 4th, President Trump tweeted that his military response to any Iranian military reactions to his assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani could include attacks on "52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD." For an administration whose acts in the present routinely require Orwellian carpet-bombing campaigns on the past (consider Mike Pence's lie this week that Iran was involved in the 9/11 attacks), t…

Staff (2020-01-07). Is This the End of U.S. Interference in the Middle East? truthdig.com However Iran chooses to respond to the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, America's influence in the region is guaranteed to deteriorate.

RT (2020-01-07). Burial of slain Iranian general Soleimani delayed due to huge crowds, STAMPEDE kills 50 — state media. rt.com The burial of assassinated Iranian commander General Qassem Soleimani has been postponed due to a deadly stampede which erupted on Tuesday during the funeral procession, state media reported. | Iranians poured into the streets of Soleimani's hometown of Kerman on Tuesday to pay their final respects. Photographs of the funeral procession show throngs of mourners dressed in black. Some carried flags and portraits of the slain Quds Force leader as they slowly moved through the town. Local media estimated that several million people attended the funeral. | | Iranian mourners gather around a vehicle carrying the…

RT (2020-01-07). Burial of slain Iranian general Soleimani delayed due to huge crowds, STAMPEDE kills 40 — state media. rt.com The burial of assassinated Iranian commander General Qassem Soleimani has been postponed due to a stampede which erupted on Tuesday during the funeral procession, state media reported. | Iranians poured into the streets of Soleimani's hometown of Kerman on Tuesday to pay their final respects. Photographs of the funeral procession show throngs of mourners dressed in black. Some carried flags and portraits of the slain Quds Force leader as they slowly moved through the town. Local media estimated that several million people attended the funeral. | | Iranian mourners gather around a vehicle carrying the coffin…

RT (2020-01-07). Americans approve of Trump's assassination of Soleimani… even though 60% had never heard of him — poll. rt.com A new poll has found that Americans doubt Donald Trump has a clear Iran policy, but nonetheless they support the decision to kill Qassem Soleimani — who, remarkably, had been an unknown entity for the majority of respondents. | Forty-three percent of Americans said they approved of the US drone strike that killed the Iranian commander last week in Baghdad, while 38% disapproved and 19% said they were unsure, according to the results of a HuffPost/YouGov survey. | The somewhat…

Nyla Ali Khan (2020-01-07). Seeking Solomon's Wisdom: Reflections of a Daughter of Kashmir from the Land of Oklahoma. counterpunch.org This generation of Kashmiris is war-weary, embittered, and despondent. I would venture to say that we crave a world in which social justice, political enfranchisement, cultural pride, and self-realization are the order of the day. I yearn for a world in which the living tradition of legends, myths, fables of yore, is resuscitated, reviving the More

RT (2020-01-07). S. Korea moves Patriot missile unit to Seoul amid growing uncertainty over denuclearization talks with Pyongyang — report. rt.com South Korea has deployed a Patriot missile unit to central Seoul, state media has reported, as part of an effort to safeguard the country from its nuclear-armed northern neighbor. | The unit, previously stationed in the southeastern region of North Gyeongsang Province, was moved to a former military installation located behind the presidential office compound, Yonhap news agency reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. The redeployment was reportedly carried out earlier this month. | It is also mentioned in the report that the unit is believed to be equipped with missiles capable of intercepting an a…

RT (2020-01-07). Iran 'not interested' in having nukes, will stick to JCPOA once given benefits in return — UN envoy. rt.com Prohibited by the supreme leader's decree, nuclear weapons are inconsistent with Iran's defensive doctrine, the country's UN envoy said after Tehran announced the suspension of limits under the 2015 deal. | Iran's decision to lift restrictions on uranium enrichment — after a US drone strike killed General Qassem Soleimani near Baghdad International Airport — made headlines in Western media, with some speculating that the Islamic Republic could be seeking nuclear weapons. | However, Iran's ambassador to the UN, Majid Takht-Ravanchi, reassured the public that this is not the case — even though the…

Staff (2020-01-07). McConnell Says He'll Start Impeachment Trial, Delay Decision on Witnesses. truthdig.com The trial is expected to begin as soon as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sends the articles of impeachment to the Senate.

NationAction (2020-01-07). Take Action Now: No War With Iran. thenation.com Protest endless war, learn about the situation in Iran, and work towards peace at home and abroad.

Jack Rasmus (2020-01-07). Trump vs. Iran: Has the US Crossed the Escalation to War Rubicon? counterpunch.org Wars occur when ideologues and/or reckless leaders in position of power are willing to engage in high risk brinksmanship in foreign policy military adventures—often as a distraction from their growing domestic problems. Their megolomania often leads them to misread the potential response of their targeted adversary, setting off a process of unavoidable tit for tat More

Raouf Halaby (2020-01-07). Yes, Kay, The Life of Nature is Beautiful and A Palestine Flashback. counterpunch.org Among the dozen or so positive responses to my Christmas Day CP Posting (Bethlehem Scarred by Brutal Israeli Occupation, While the World Acquiesces, 12/25/2019), I received responses from dear friend and acclaimed poet Jack Butler (California) and Kay Weir, editor of "Pacific Ecology," a Wellington, New Zealand-based scholarly journal whose mission is to "strengthen the More

RT (2020-01-07). 'Keep out of Libya!' Gruesome videos of Tripoli military academy strike emerge as UN envoy decries foreign meddling. rt.com Shocking videos have emerged online, showing what appears to be a drone strike on a Libyan military academy — instantly killing dozens of cadets and wounding just as many — as well as its bloody aftermath. | At least 30 trainees were killed and another 33 injured in the Saturday strike, health officials of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) said, noting the total death toll could still increase. | In one video circulating online, somewhat grainy and taken from a distance, a column of trainees is briefly seen in marching formation before it is obliterated by a direct hit that come…

RT (2020-01-07). Ms. Ocasio-Cortez Goes to Washington: AOC shamed into un-liking antiwar journalist's tweet, apologizing for wrongthink. rt.com New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez learned the hard way about the phalanx of thought-police waiting to pounce on politicians' 'wrongthink' when she was shamed into un-liking a tweet from an antiwar journalist. | Ocasio-Cortez (AOC, for short) stepped a little too far outside the mainstream when she clicked 'like' on a tweet by journalist Rania Khalek about US fears of Iranian retaliation over the killing of General Qassem Soleimani. An army of blue-checks and their enforcers quickly encircled her to point out the error of her ways, gloating when she finally knuckled under and apologized. | Last ni…

John Wojcik (2020-01-07). Sanders criticizes Biden's record on the Mideast. peoplesworld.org The Trump-ordered killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Iran's second in command, has made its way into the 2020 presidential campaign, with Bernie Sanders, on national television yesterday, stepping up his sharp criticism of former Vice President Joe Biden. Sanders singled out Biden's record on foreign policy for special condemnation, saying Biden was not the person …

Staff (2020-01-07). Trump's Apologists on the Left Never Had an Excuse. truthdig.com As a candidate in 2016, he praised war crimes and expressed a desire to commit some of his own. No one can claim surprise or betrayal now.

RT (2020-01-07). Exchange firm Travelex resorts to hard copies after ransomware attack. rt.com Foreign currency exchange firm Travelex has been forced to resort to recording transactions with pen and paper after falling victim to a ransomware attack by hackers on New Year's Eve. Police are investigating. | The company has released a statement on their website saying that some of its services were "compromised" and so, as a precaution, "immediately took all our systems offline [in order] to protect data and prevent the spread of the virus." | The firm claims that "no personal or customer data has been compromised." | | Screenshot of Travelex website. | However, Sky News is reporting that individuals cl…

RT (2020-01-07). 'Fiery conditions': Nike changes Australian Open outfit ad after bushfire backlash. rt.com Sportswear giant Nike was forced to change its newly-released Australian Open outfit ad after receiving a widespread backlash over a promise to help players battle "fiery conditions" on the court. | Nike's new knee-length bodysuit is aimed at helping female athletes combat Australia's enervating heat, however, the wording used in the ad sparked outrage on social media. | READ MORE: Australia's cricketing 'King of Spin' Shane Warne sells prized Baggy Green cap for bushfire victims | "Melbourne also tra…

Staff (2020-01-07). Trump's Trade War Is Crushing Small Business. truthdig.com ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they're published. | Mike Elrod voted for Donald Trump in 2016, hoping for a break from tight government oversight that his business had endured for years, which he often found unreasonable. | "There was a time when every day I dreaded opening the mail," said Elrod, who founded a small firm in South Carolina called Eccotemp that makes energy-efficient, tankless water heaters. "The Department of Energy would put in an arbitrary rule and then…

Staff (2020-01-07). Propaganda Machine: The Military Roots of Cambridge Analytica's Psychological Manipulation of Voters. democracynow.org We continue our discussion of data harvesting, targeted advertising and voter manipulation — practices used by firms like Cambridge Analytica. The secretive data firm collapsed in May 2018 after The Observer newspaper revealed the company had harvested some 87 million Facebook profiles without the users' knowledge or consent to sway voters to support Trump during the 2016 campaign. A new trove of internal Cambridge Analytica documents and emails are being posted on Twitter detailing the company's operations, including its work with President Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton. We speak wit…

Staff (2020-01-07). Activist Faces Jail for Resisting Massachusetts Sheriff's Collaboration With ICE. truthout.org For 30-year-old Sherrie Andre, who has family and close friends that are undocumented, the politics of immigration hits close to home. | "I have a Southeast Asian identity and a mixed status family and Southeast Asian people are being deported at a pretty rapid rate right now," said Andre, a co-founder of the FANG Collective, an organization that has been working to raise public awareness of th…

Tracy Keeling (2020-01-07). Ilhan Omar just pointed out one really f**ked up detail about Trump's war on Iran. thecanary.co Donald Trump effectively started a war with Iran on 3 January by assassinating one of the country's top generals. As would be the case with virtually any other regional power, Iran has vowed to respond. | Congresswoman Ilhan Omar took to Twitter on 6 January and pointed out one sobering, maddening, and…

Don't Extradite Assange (2020-01-07). GLOBAL PROTEST CALL MONDAY 24 FEB To Demand Freedom Of Julian Assange. indybay.org Belmarsh Prison, London and UK embassies and consulates around the world…

WSWS (2020-01-07). Sri Lanka: SEP meeting in Colombo demands release of Assange and Manning. wsws.org Afterwards, a University of Colombo student, declared: "I agree with the point made in this meeting that the fight for the freedom of Assange is so crucial for the defence of democratic rights internationally."

Ben Norton (2020-01-07). Iranian and Hezbollah leaders oppose attacking civilians as Trump threatens to bomb cultural sites. thegrayzone.com Washington's top bogeymen, Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei and Hezbollah leader Nasrallah, called to protect civilians and only hit military targets. Meanwhile,…

Ben Norton (2020-01-07). Iranian and Hezbollah leaders condemn attacking civilians as Trump threatens to bomb cultural sites. thegrayzone.com Washington's top bogeymen, Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei and Hezbollah leader Nasrallah, called to protect civilians and only hit military targets. Meanwhile,…

Prof Michel Chossudovsky (2020-01-07). America, An Empire on its Last Leg: To be Kicked Out from the Middle East? globalresearch.ca America's hegemonic military agenda in the Middle East has reached a dangerous threshold. | The assassination of IRGC General Soleimani ordered by the President of the United States on January 3, 2020 is tantamount to an Act of War against Iran….

All the Same Lie (2020-01-07). From 9/11 Inside Job to Political Assassinations. indybay.org From the 9/11 Inside Job, the American Reichstag Fire perpetrated by Bush on 9/11/01 to the Assassination of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani who was delivering a peace proposal to Saudi Arabia in Iraq, the motive is the same: perpetrate war and fascism to maximize profits, the greatest profits being in oil and munitions. See thegrayzone.com/2020/01/06/soleimani-peace-mission-assassinated-trump-lie-imminent-attacks/

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