2020-01-17: News Headlines

Karin Leukefeld (2020-01-17). Sanctions harm reconstruction in Syria's Homs province. workers.org Published in Junge Welt, Dec. 16. Translation by John Catalinotto. According to Gov. Talal Barasi, about half a million people fled from Homs province, the largest in Syria, during the war. Some 2.3 million people had lived in Homs before the war, Barasi explained in an interview with Junge Welt. . . . | Continue reading Sanctions harm reconstruction in Syria's Homs province at Workers.org

RT (2020-01-17). 'We don't have political problems with India': Iran's Zarif urges Delhi to defy US sanctions & resume buying Iranian oil. rt.com Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has called on India to shirk Washington's "maximum pressure" sanctions campaign and continue sourcing its energy from the Islamic Republic, arguing it's in the country's best interest. | While on a four-day visit to India, Zarif insisted Iran could best meet New Delhi's oil needs, assuring that his country would keep politics out of its business dealings and remain a reliable partner. | "For India's economic growth you need more and more energy and energy security, which has been an area of concern," Zarif said at a meeting of the Federation of Indian Export Organi…

John Catalinotto (2020-01-17). In Venezuela, reactionary Guaidó humiliated by assembly defeat. workers.org The self-appointed "interim president" of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, received a humiliating setback in that country's National Assembly vote on Jan. 5. He was deposed as leader of the parliamentary body. Throughout 2019, Guaidó served as the designated puppet of U.S. imperialism in Venezuela. He made five attempts with a reactionary, . . . | Continue reading In Venezuela, reactionary Guaidó humiliated by assembly defeat at Workers.org

Eds. (2020-01-17). In Commune: Altos de Lídice. mronline.org This video was made recently about the Altos de Lidice Commune in Caracas. We were there. | Source

Whitney Webb (2020-01-17). How a Hidden Parliamentary Session Revealed Trump's True Motives in Iraq. mintpressnews.com The U.S. is adamant that its assassination of Qassem Soleimani and refusal to leave Iraq is about protecting Americans, but a little known Iraqi parliamentary session reveals how China increasingly strong ties to Baghdad may be shaping America's new Mideast strategy.

Jessicah Pierre (2020-01-17). MLK's final campaign lives on: The war against racism and poverty. peoplesworld.org As we celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., it's natural to remember his courageous advocacy for racial equity. But before he was assassinated, King had also begun to broaden his efforts to unify the movement around economic justice. That's worth remembering today. In December 1967, King, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and other …

(2020-01-17). San Francisco Labor Council Resolution: "Support the rising anti-war and pro-peace movement" workers.org The following resolution was adopted Jan. 13 by unanimous vote of the San Francisco Labor Council. Whereas, President Trump has placed the whole world on alert and brought the United States closer to war due to the irresponsible assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani; and Whereas, President Trump has threatened . . . | Continue reading San Francisco Labor Council Resolution: "Support the rising anti-war and pro-peace movement" at Workers.org

RT (2020-01-17). 737 MAX crisis could cost Boeing $20 billion, Wall Street analyst says. rt.com The US aerospace giant Boeing's costs are likely to rise substantially, analysts say, as airlines continue to push back MAX 737's from their schedules. The company's best-selling planes have now been grounded for 11 months. | The worldwide grounding saw airlines lose more than $1 billion in revenue, and Boeing more than $7 billion. The company, which took a $5.6 billion pretax charge in July to compensate airlines and other customers for the grounding, is to report full-year and fourth-quarter earnings on January 29. Some Wall Street analysts expect it to take additional charges related to the troubled airplan…

Eds. (2020-01-17). The climate-migration-industrial complex. mronline.org Thirty years ago there were fifteen border walls around the world. Now there are seventy walls and over one billion national and international migrants. International migrants alone may even double in the next forty years due to global warming. | Source

RT (2020-01-17). Putin to take part in Libya peace conference in Berlin — Kremlin. rt.com Russia's President Vladimir Putin will be participating in the conference on a peaceful settlement in Libya, to take place in Germany's capital, Berlin, on Sunday, the Kremlin has said. | The Berlin summit will become the continuation of the peace effort that started in Moscow earlier this month when the warring parties set behind the table for the first time. | The Sunday's conference will bring together the Government of National Accord (GNA) of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and the Libyan National Army (LNA), headed by general Khalifa Haftar, as well as representatives of Germany, Algeria, Great Britain, E…

RT (2020-01-17). Pompeo to join Libya conference in Berlin, Greece threatens to veto any solution after Tripoli-Ankara deal. rt.com US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will take part in this weekend's Libya peace conference in Germany and voice support for truce efforts, the State Department has said. | Pompeo will call for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from the war-ravaged nation, and a resumption of the UN-backed peace process, AFP quoted a US official as saying on Thursday. | On Thursday, Commander of eastern Libyan forces Khalifa Haftar paid a surprise visit to Athens, which is angered that it was not invited to Berlin and is engaged in a dispute with Turkey over energy claims involving Libya. | PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis vowed on Thu…

RT (2020-01-17). It's a step forward that ceasefire in Libya is holding, even though rival leaders 'not ready' for direct talks — Russian FM. rt.com The warring sides in Libya are sticking to their truce, though their leaders haven't yet begun direct talks, Sergey Lavrov confirmed. It's crucial, he added, that they don't set additional demands after a peace summit in Berlin. | The ceasefire between the Libyan National Army (LNA) and the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) "is nevertheless respected," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a news conference in Moscow, describing it as "a definite step forward." | General Khalifa Haftar, who leads the LNA, and Fayez al-Sarraj, the GNA prime minister, failed to reach an agreement at recent talk…

RT (2020-01-17). Greek offer to send peacekeeping troops to Libya could spark 'indirect' conflict between Ankara and Athens. rt.com Greece's proposal to send forces to observe a fragile truce in Libya could lead to an indirect conflict between Ankara and Athens, analysts told RT, warning that the NATO allies could soon lock horns over the issue. | Nikos Dendias, the Greek foreign minister, announced that his government was willing to deploy forces to the war-torn North African nation in order to monitor the ceasefire between the Libyan National Army (LNA) and the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA). The offer was put forward after Dendias met with LNA leader General Khalifa Haftar, who has been fighting forces loyal to Tripol…

Staff (2020-01-17). Interpretation Crisis at the Border Leads to Deportation of Mayan-Language Speakers Seeking Refuge. democracynow.org As the U.S. continues to use hostile policies to stop people from seeking refuge and asylum in the United States, we look at a key problem that is preventing migrants from getting due process, and in many cases getting them deported: inadequate interpretation for indigenous asylum seekers who speak Mayan languages. Guatemala has a population of 15 million people, and at least 40% of them are indigenous. In the past year, a quarter of a million Guatemalan migrants have been apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border. At least half of them are Mayan. Many speak little or no Spanish. This is the focus of a new report in…

(2020-01-17). San Francisco Labor Council opposes the coup in Bolivia. workers.org The following resolution was passed by unanimous vote of the San Francisco Labor Council on Jan. 13. Whereas Evo Morales, running for his fourth term of office as President of Bolivia, had the highest vote count in the unofficial and official vote results, leading by over 10% his nearest rival . . . | Continue reading San Francisco Labor Council opposes the coup in Bolivia at Workers.org

RT (2020-01-17). 'Remember the past & honor the dead': Former president Walesa slams Poland's failure to commemorate Warsaw's WWII liberation. rt.com While the anniversary of Warsaw's liberation is largely overlooked in modern-day Poland, it's worth paying respect to the sacrifice of the Red Army, former president and democracy hero Lech Walesa acknowledged on RT. | It's been exactly 75 years since the Soviet Union's 1st Byelorussian Front and the allied Polish 1st Army defeated the last remaining pocket of Nazi resistance, ending the five-year occupation of Warsaw. But the milestone event, in which 22,000 Soviet and 3,100 Polish soldiers lost their lives, is no longer an occasion for Poland to celebrate, it seems. | While local press maintained a deafening…

Sonali Kolhatkar (2020-01-17). Three Reasons Trump Ordered Soleimani's Killing. truthdig.com The president may not want war with Iran, but he does want to push the regime into submission and tout U.S. military dominance to his base.

Vijay Prashad (2020-01-17). Your arrow can pierce the sky, but ours has gone into orbit. mronline.org On Wednesday, 15 January, China and the United States agreed to suspend their full-scale trade war. From February 2018, the United States placed tariffs on Chinese goods that entered the US market, and then China retaliated. This tit-for-tat game continued for almost two years, causing massive disruption in the global value chain. | Source

RT (2020-01-17). Digital dollar? RT's Boom Bust explores 'Crypto Dad's' push to digitize the greenback. rt.com Former US financial regulator J. Christopher Giancarlo, also known as 'Crypto Dad' for his support of cryptocurrencies, has announced the launch of a think tank to push the idea of digitizing the US dollar. | Boom Bust talks to international regulatory attorney Myles Edwards about the possibility of converting the greenback into a fully electronic currency using blockchain technology. | "There are tremendous hurdles," he says, explaining that "60 percent of the world's transactions happen based on the US dollar, so 21 million outstanding bitcoins cannot in any way replace paper currency or US currency itself."

Staff (2020-01-17). Bernie Sanders Leads in New Post-Debate National Poll. truthdig.com Amid a series of endorsements in key primary states, the Vermont senator pulls ahead of Joe Biden for the first time this election cycle.

RT (2020-01-17). Polish Senate rejects govt's judicial reform bill allowing politicians to fire judges. rt.com The opposition-dominated Senate in Poland on Friday rejected a new law that would allow judges who criticize the government's judicial reforms to be disciplined. Warsaw and the EU are at loggerheads over the reforms, and the opposition is trying to use its control of the Senate to highlight the dispute, Reuters said. | The 100-member Senate voted by 51 to 48 to reject the law. The lower house, controlled by the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS), still has the power to make the bill law, assuming that President Andrzej Duda, an ally of the PiS, signs it. | The PiS says the bill, which has been passed by the lo…

RT (2020-01-17). 'We wanted to be Red Army soldiers': Polish veterans recall childhood memories of Warsaw's liberation. rt.com It is often said that truth is the first casualty of war — and, indeed, when the bombs have stopped falling, the blood has been shed and the troops have stood down, another kind of war begins: A war of memories.

RT (2020-01-17). Migrant entries from Turkey to Europe on the rise, Frontex chief says. rt.com The number of migrants entering Europe from Turkey rose significantly last year as people fleeing Syria and Afghanistan flooded into the country and then set out for Greece, the head of the EU's border agency said on Friday. | More than 82,000 migrants tried to enter Europe without authorization in 2019, an increase of 46 percent over the previous year, Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri said in Brussels. | "This was mainly due to the situation in Syria, but also instability in Afghanistan, and changing policies towards Afghan nationals by Iranian and Pakistani authorities," Leggeri said. He refused to…

Robert Hunziker (2020-01-17). The Rumbling Methane Enigma. counterpunch.org The northern continental shelves of Russia, inclusive of the Barents Sea, Kara Sea, Laptev Sea and East Siberian Sea (ESAS) are some of the least researched yet most controversial subjects in climate science today. It's the one region that has the biggest potential to trigger runaway global warming because of sizeable subsea methane deposits, thereby More

RT (2020-01-17). US military says 11 troops injured & flown out of Iraq for medical checks after Iranian strike on base. rt.com US Central Command has revealed that 11 personnel stationed at an Iraqi airbase which incurred a retaliatory attack by Tehran earlier in January had to be sent out of the country after displaying concussion symptoms. | "While no US service members were killed in the January 8 Iranian attack on Al Asad airbase, several were treated for concussion symptoms from the blast and are still being assessed," Navy Captain Bill Urban said in a statement on Thursday. | Upon initial examination, eight troops were flown out of the war-ravaged country to a medical facility in Germany for further checks, while three others we…

Staff (2020-01-17). Trump Vastly Overestimates America's Readiness for War. truthdig.com A series of recent accidents suggests that the U.S. military is not as prepared for a conflict in the Middle East as the president insists.

Staff (2020-01-17). Joe Biden Can't Outrun His Record on Social Security. truthdig.com As a senator of Delaware, he repeatedly tried to freeze federal spending. Democrats would be suicidal to nominate him against Donald Trump.

Yves Engler (2020-01-17). Canada's Dark History vis-à -vis Iran. dissidentvoice.org To understand where you are, it is necessary to know where you have been. To understand current Canadian policy towards the 18th most populous country in the world, it is necessary to look at the history of Ottawa's relations with Iran. For the first 75 years after Confederation Canada's foreign policy was largely shaped by …

RT (2020-01-17). 'Nobody in Poland cares about WWII anymore': Warsaw ignores 75th anniversary of its liberation from fascism. rt.com The Polish people aren't interested in the events of the past, being fully consumed by their daily hassles, and the country's authorities are using this to their advantage, freely rewriting WWII history, academics told RT. | Warsaw was taken from the Nazis on January 17, 1945, after a large-scale offensive by the Red Army and the Polish forces. The 75th anniversary of the historic victory is marked on Friday, but the capital of Poland isn't preparing for any celebrations. | The fact that the USSR liberated Warsaw from the Nazis is "diminished" in schoolbooks and ignored by Polish media "because we live in coun…

Norman Solomon (2020-01-17). Not Bernie, Us. Not Warren, Us. Their Clash Underscores the Need for Grassroots Wisdom. counterpunch.org The dismal conflict that erupted this week between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren should never have happened. But now that it has, supporters must provide grassroots leadership to mitigate the dangerous mess. The argument that broke out between Warren and Sanders last weekend and escalated in recent days is already history that threatens to foreshadow More

RT (2020-01-17). Mixed signals? Beijing says it closely monitored US warship sent to Taiwan Strait after US & China inked trade deal. rt.com China has claimed that it kept a close eye on a US Navy vessel that sailed through the Taiwan Strait. The naval maneuver occurred shortly after Beijing and Washington agreed to 'phase one' of a trade deal. | The Chinese military closely followed and monitored the USS Shiloh, a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser, during its transit, foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Friday. He called on the United States to honor Beijing's 'one China' principle and approach Taiwan-related matters in a way that does not harm US-China bilateral relations. | The US Navy described the warship's passage as "routin…

Victor Grossman (2020-01-17). The bombs of the last war and preparations for the next rattle Germany. peoplesworld.org BERLIN—"ALARM! Twelve thousand residents must immediately leave their homes! All hospital clinics must be evacuated! No exceptions! Hasten!" Not in burning Australia nor a besieged town in Syria or Afghanistan were those words heard, but rather on Jan. 12, 2020 in the otherwise peaceful if no longer prosperous Dortmund, in Germany's Ruhr Valley. Once again, unexploded …

John V. Walsh (2020-01-17). China, Number One Economic Power for Half Decade, Dashes on. dissidentvoice.org The recent China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai attracted little attention in the Western press but it is one more reminder that China is an economic and trading powerhouse that has surpassed the US. That is right, the word is "surpassed." The CIIE also serves to remind us that China's economic power now stands on four …

Alan Macleod (2020-01-17). While Some Battle to Save Australia's Ecosystems, Others Blame Gov't for Climate Change Denial. mintpressnews.com "This fire season has been a devastating wake-up call for many Australians. People who may have thought climate change was a vague, distant threat are now breathing bushfire smoke and reeling from the lives lost."

RT (2020-01-17). UN envoy for Syria Pedersen to visit Russia next week. rt.com UN Secretary-General's special envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen will visit Russia next week, acting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday. | Pedersen also plans to visit Damascus, Lavrov said. "I expect that these talks and his upcoming trips and contacts with the Syrian leadership will help us determine the further schedule of the [Syrian] Constitutional Committee," TASS quoted him as saying. | The minister also said that Syria should return to the Arab League after its exclusion in 2011. "Syria needs to return to the Arab family," he added.

RT (2020-01-17). Manned Mars mission isn't science fiction & could have 'reconciliatory' effect on the world — Russian cosmonaut Ryazansky. rt.com Sending humans to Mars isn't as far-fetched as it might sound, Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryazansky told RT, noting that a joint mission to the Red Planet would serve as a unifying triumph for people of all nations. | In an interview with SophieCo, the Russian cosmonaut and biochemist explained that manned space travel to Mars probably wouldn't be any more dangerous, from a health perspective, than current space missions. He pointed out that "the total amount of radiation an astronaut gets these days exceeds what a Mars mission crew would get," while stressing that more research on the matter was needed. | Ryaza…

Ted Rall (2020-01-17). America's Long History of Meddling in Russia. counterpunch.org Russia — OK, not the actual Russian government but a private click-farm company located in Russia — bought $100,000 worth of political ads on Facebook designed to change the outcome of the 2016 election. Except that only a small fraction of those ads were political. Also except that that small fraction was divvied up between More

RT (2020-01-17). DOJ investigating Comey over role in classified leaks during Clinton email drama — report. rt.com The US Department of Justice has opened a probe into whether former FBI Director James Comey leaked details about classified intelligence to reporters covering the Hillary Clinton email server scandal. | Led by federal prosecutors, the inquiry is focused on two 2017 news stories for which Comey is suspected to have been a source, divulging the contents of a classified intelligence document, according to a Thursday New York Times report. | The pair of stories, published in the Times and the Washington Post in 2017, cited an alleged Russian intelligence document obtained by Dutch security services, which earlier…

RT (2020-01-17). Ruble strong, stocks surge after Russian government reshuffle. rt.com The appointment of a new prime minister has boosted the Russian stock market to new record highs on Friday, with the national currency holding on to gains reached over the past 18 months. | The ruble continued gaining against major currencies on Friday, after accelerating growth on the news of the appointment of Mikhail Mishustin as Russia's new prime minister earlier in the week. | It was up 0.2 percent against the US dollar at 61.39 rubles, while gaining slightly on the euro at 68.29 rubles.The stock market posted solid gains at the beginning of the trading session. The dollar-denominated RTS index added mor…

RT (2020-01-17). Eighty-six Pakistani Islamists handed decades in prison for role in violent rallies over Christian woman's blasphemy acquittal. rt.com A Pakistani court has sentenced 86 members of a radical Islamist group to 55-year prison terms each for instigating violent protests against the acquittal of a Christian woman who had been accused of insulting Islam. | The decision was announced on Thursday by the court in Rawalpindi, a city near Islamabad. A leader of the radical Tehreek-e-Labbaik party, whose members were among the defendants, said that they would appeal the ruling. | The 86 were accused of damaging public property, assault and disrupting public order, as part of their unruly protest against the acquittal of Asia Bibi. The Christian woman wa…

Frank Joyce (2020-01-17). Will the Constitution Fail Again? counterpunch.org Extreme worship of the Constitution is a feature of U.S. life. It's been that way for a long time. Even so, the zeal with which it has been deployed throughout the current impeachment process is a wonder to behold. More

RT (2020-01-17). 'Rigging election again': Trump says impeachment all a ploy to… shaft Bernie Sanders. rt.com The impeachment trial against Donald Trump is not just a "witch hunt," but a ploy to "rig" the Democratic nomination against Bernie Sanders and in favor of Joe Biden, the US president has claimed. | "They are rigging the election again against Bernie Sanders, just like last time, only even more obviously," Trump tweeted on Friday. | They are rigging the election again against Bernie Sanders, just like last time, only even more obviously. They are bringing him out of so important Iowa in order that, as a Senator, he sit through the Impeachment Hoax Trial. Crazy Nancy thereby gives the strong edge to Sleepy…[m…

PAI (2020-01-17). Senate approves 'New NAFTA' legislation; Sanders and Machinists union still opposed. peoplesworld.org WASHINGTON (PAI)—By an overwhelming, bipartisan vote, the GOP-run Senate pushed the "New NAFTA" over the line when it passed legislation, HR5430, on Jan. 16 to allow the "free trade" pact to take effect. Trump will sign it. The vote that morning preceded the official start of Trump's impeachment trial in the Upper Chamber, as Chief …

Staff (2020-01-17). "They Must Conduct a Full and Fair Trial": Senators Sworn In for Historic Trump Impeachment Trial. democracynow.org For just the third time in history, the U.S. Senate has opened a trial to determine if a sitting president should be removed from office. The Senate trial comes a month after the House impeached President Trump for pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rival Joe Biden. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who will preside over the impeachment trial in the Senate, later swore in senators who will serve as jurors when the trial officially begins on Tuesday. This comes as more information is coming to light about the actions of President Trump and his associates. On Thursday, the nonpartisan Governmen…

Al Neal (2020-01-17). A Trump impeachment trial primer—How it will proceed (or not). peoplesworld.org The seven prosecutors—Democratic House members who will serve as impeachment managers—have been selected, and all of them are experienced litigators to one degree or another. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has taken the oath as trial adjudicator, and all 100 U.S. Senators have been sworn in as jurors for the impeachment trial of …

RT (2020-01-17). 'Leo has everything, he didn't need anything from me' — Ronaldinho on Lionel Messi. rt.com Barcelona and Brazil icon Ronaldinho has revealed how members of the Nou Camp squad told coach Frank Rijkaard to let Lionel Messi train with the senior side for the first time. | Ronaldinho scooped the ball over a defender before watching Messi – then a 17-year-old – score the first of his 619 goals for Barcelona with a typically brilliant lob before leaping onto his teammate's back in the closing minutes of a home win over Albacete in 2005. | Messi would replace Ronaldinho as Barca's creative catalyst three seasons later, with club president Joan Laporta's assertion that the 28-year-old needed "a new challeng…

RT (2020-01-17). Neymar 'opens discussions' with PSG but HUGE new deal could hinge on Champions League success. rt.com Neymar is discussing a new deal worth more than $40 million a year to stay at Paris Saint-Germain, according to reports in France, suggesting the Brazil striker could reverse his decision to quit the Ligue 1 giants. | The 27-year-old was booed by his own fans at the Parc des Princes after missing the first five matches of PSG's season in an apparent attempt to engineer a move to Barcelona, who he has been continuously linked with a return to this season. | His world-record move from the Camp Nou to Paris for €222 million (US$245 million) in 2017 symbolized the French champions' ambition to win the Champio…

Vijay Prashad (2020-01-17). Not an Inch: Indian Students Stand Against the Far Right. counterpunch.org With her head bandaged and her arm in a sling, university student Aishe Ghosh went before the cameras to say that the students of the university she attends in New Delhi would move "not an inch back." The students would continue to agitate to defend Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and its union, and to fight More

RT (2020-01-17). 'F***ing disgusting': Backlash as rapper Eminem 'jokes' about Manchester Arena bombing in new track. rt.com US rapper Eminem has provoked outrage on social media after releasing a track that appears to make light of the Manchester Arena bombing at an Ariana Grande concert, featuring the lyrics "bombs away." | Hours after releasing his new album 'Music To Be Murdered By' on Twitter, Eminem faced an angry backlash regarding one particular song titled, 'Unaccommodating,' in which he addresses his feud with fellow US rapper Machine Gun Kelly. | It features the line: "But I'm contemplating yelling 'Bombs away' on the game/Like I'm outside of an Ariana Grande concert waiting," against a backdrop of bomb sounds. | YALL LIS…

RT (2020-01-17). 'Biased & agenda-driven': PM Modi's party takes aim at Bezos-owned WaPo as Indian shopkeepers rise up against Amazon. rt.com The Washington Post has taken heat from India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, whose official lamented its coverage as local traders voiced outrage over perceived aggression by another Bezos venture, Amazon. | There's "a lot of problems" in how the newspaper is reporting from India, Vijay Chauthaiwale, chief of the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) foreign affairs department, told Reuters. | "The Washington Post's editorial policy is highl…

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