2021-02-17: News Headlines

Eds. (2021-02-17). Vulture Funds plan to use the Pandemic to pillage the Global Economy. mronline.org Before the pandemic, private equity had amassed $2.5 trillion—more than the GDP of Italy—in 'dry powder,' waiting for distressed assets to plunder. Covid-19 provided them with the perfect opportunity.

Real Progressives (2021-02-17). COVID-19 Has Made Americans Lonelier Than Ever — Here's how AI can Help. realprogressives.org "How does that make you feel?" | In the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are missing a sympathetic ear. Would a response like that make you feel heard, less alone, even if it were a machine writing back to you? | The pandemic has contributed to

Matt Sedlar (2021-02-17). Pandemic-Related Drop in College Enrollment Reveals Inequities in Access to Higher Ed. cepr.net Introduction The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on college enrollments this fall. Based on preliminary estimates, fall 2020 enrollments were down 2.5 percent, resulting in a rate of decline greater than twice that of 2019, and a net decrease of 400,000 students in higher education. The bulk of the decline was concentrated at …

Milo Inglehart (2021-02-17). The Expiration of the CARES Act Could Force Thousands Back into Federal Prisons. aclu.org The Trump Department of Justice spent its final days putting thousands of people at greater risk of catching COVID-19 during the height of the pandemic. On Jan. 15, the DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel issued a memo arguing the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) will be legally obligated to return thousands of people released on home confinement back to federal prisons while the pandemic still ravages correctional facilities. With the memo's March return date growing closer — and public health officials indicating that we will not be out of the pandemic woods by then — the Biden administration must take swift actio…

Staff (2021-02-17). "David vs. Goliath": Warehouse Workers in Alabama Fight Amazon for the Right to Unionize. democracynow.org Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama, are continuing to vote on whether to become the first unionized Amazon warehouse in the United States. Their demands include stronger COVID-19 safety measures and relief from impossibly high productivity standards that leave many unable to take bathroom breaks. "We want to be heard. We want to be treated like people and not ignored when we have issues," says Jennifer Bates, a worker at Amazon's BHM1 facility who has been part of the union drive from the beginning. We also speak with Michael Foster, a poultry plant worker, union member and member-organizer with RWDSU. "Amazon h…

John Bachtell (2021-02-17). For the sake of democracy, kill off the Senate filibuster. peoplesworld.org The nation's economic outlook is worsening, and new, more contagious COVID-19 variants worry public health officials. In response, the Democratic-led House and Senate are moving quickly to pass President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan (ARP) through the process of budget reconciliation. This process requires a simple majority vote in the U.S. Senate. Budget reconciliation is …

Online News Editor (2021-02-17). New Zealand ends Auckland lockdown despite new infections. laprensalatina.com Sydney, Australia, Feb 17 (efe-epa).- New Zealand announced Wednesday an end to the three-day confinement decreed in Auckland, home to 1.7 million people and the most populous city in the country, despite confirming three new Covid-19 positives. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at a press conference that the transmission "is contained," although some …

Rafael Figueroa (2021-02-17). Tennessee to Begin COVID-19 Vaccination of Adults Age 65 and Older, Teachers. laprensalatina.com NASHVILLE, TN (THD) — Tennessee will begin registering Tennesseans aged 65 and older and those in Phase 1b of the state's COVID-19 Vaccination Plan COVID-19 for vaccinations on Feb. 22. Phase 1b includes staff members of kindergarten through 12th grade schools and childcare facilities. TDH has launched a new online scheduling tool that allows users …

Staff (2021-02-17). 'We're not a charity case, we're under occupation'. therealnews.com Telling Israel to be a kinder occupying force does nothing to address the structural violence of Israeli occupation, which has been laid bare during the COVID-19 pandemic.

teleSUR (2021-02-17). Paraguay to Receive First Batch of Sputnik V Vaccines. telesurenglish.net Paraguay's President Mario Abdo on Wednesday thanked Russia's President Vladimir Putin for supplying his country with Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines. | RELATED: | "I hold an excellent telephone conversation with President Putin. We agreed to push for a shipment schedule for more COVID-19 vaccine batches as soon as possible," Abdo tweeted. | The first 4,000 Sputnik V doses should arrive in this South American country early Friday mo…

teleSUR (2021-02-17). Venezuela to Launch Its COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign. telesurenglish.net Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro Wednesday informed his country will start its vaccination campaign with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine this Thursday. | RELATED: | "We will begin immunizing health workers with the 100,000 doses that arrived in the country on Feb. 15," he said, adding that the government will guarantee the health and lives of the people "thanks to cooperation between Russia and Venezuela." | Law enforcemen…

Online News Editor (2021-02-17). Mexico's vaccine rollout reaching seniors in remote areas. laprensalatina.com By Jose de Jesus Cortes Cuicatlan, Mexico, Feb 17 (efe-epa).- Mostly hopeful but also dealing with a certain degree of anxiety, senior citizens in this small town in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca are being administered their first doses of a long-awaited Covid-19 vaccine. Accompanied by his daughter and clutching a wooden cane, Eustaquio …

RT (2021-02-17). 'Breathing is optional': Internet groans after NYC requires double-masking inside federal court buildings. rt.com Two masks will now be required for those who want to enter a federal court building in Manhattan — but the new Covid-19 guidance has provoked more mockery than applause on social media. | The Southern District of New York

RT (2021-02-17). Biden promises vaccines available to all Americans by end of July, 'significantly' less social distancing & masks a year from now. rt.com President Biden has predicted a "very different circumstance" for the US' Covid-19 outbreak by Christmas, saying some 600 million vaccine doses will be ready by July while noting that he's been advised against 'over-promising.' | Biden waxed optimistic about the ongoing viral outbreak during a CNN town hall event on Tuesday, declaring that "by next Christmas, I think we'll be in a very different circumstance, God willing, than we are today." He said the improvement would be further helped along if an inoculation developed by Johnson & Johnson receives FDA approval, as it is expected to sometime this month. | "

RT (2021-02-17). 'Verbal stumble' or blatant lie? Biden says US had no vaccine when he took office as new admin criticizes Trump's jab rollout. rt.com Joe Biden, who was fully vaccinated before his inauguration, has been accused of playing loose with the facts after stating that there was no Covid-19 shot when he entered office. But some insist it was a harmless verbal slip. | Read more | | Speaking with CNN's Anderson Cooper at a town hall event on Tuesday, the US president explained in a rather disjointed way that the United States lacked both vaccines and health workers capable of administering…

news.un (2021-02-17). COVID infections drop 16% worldwide in one week: WHO. news.un.org In its latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that although the number of global infections have fallen by 16 per cent in a week — 500,000 fewer cases — regions, including Europe, are still in the grip of the virus whose variants are spreading.

news.un (2021-02-17). Strengthen 'One Health approach' to prevent future pandemics — WHO chief. news.un.org The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates "intimate" linkages between the health of humans, animals and ecosystems, as zoonotic diseases spread between animals and people, the World Health Organization (WHO) chief said on Wednesday.

news.un (2021-02-17). COVID infections drop 16% worldwide in one week: WHO. news.un.org In its latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that although the number of gobal infections have fallen by 16 per cent in a week — 500,000 fewer cases — regions, including Europe, are still in the grip of the virus whose variants are spreading.

news.un (2021-02-17). COVID-19 vaccination 'wildly uneven and unfair': UN Secretary-General. news.un.org International partners working to achieve equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines appealed on Wednesday for the UN Security Council to ensure people caught in conflict have access to these lifesaving treatments.

Life Site News (2021-02-17). 46 Residents in Spanish Nursing Home Die after Receiving COVID-19 Vaccine. globalresearch.ca All Global Research articles can be read in 27 languages by activating the "Translate Website" drop down menu on the top banner of our home page (Desktop version). | *** | Forty-six nursing home residents who had received their first dose of …

imperial.ac.uk (2021-02-17). Call for volunteers for world's first coronavirus human challenge study. imperial.ac.uk The UK will be the first country to run a Covid-19 human challenge study, following a favourable opinion from the UK's clinical trials ethics body.

imperial.ac.uk (2021-02-17). COVID-19 vaccine Q&A – latest news, antibody tests and tackling new variants. imperial.ac.uk Professor Robin Shattock, head of the Imperial COVID-19 vaccine project, and Dr Katrina Pollock, clinical lead, discuss latest developments.

Online News Editor (2021-02-17). Japan begins Covid-19 vaccination drive with healthcare workers. laprensalatina.com Tokyo, Feb 17 (efe-epa).- Japan began its vaccination campaign against Covid-19 on Wednesday, in a first phase in which it aims to inoculate 40,000 healthcare workers. The first doses of the vaccine developed by Pfizer/BioNTech, the only one approved so far in Japan, were administered at a public hospital in Tokyo and will be expanded …

yenisafak (2021-02-17). South Africa starts COVID-19 vaccination. yenisafak.com South Africa on Wednesday started vaccinating health workers against the coronavirus.President Cyril Ramaphosa, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize and a group of health workers were the first recipients of the vaccine."Taking the vaccine was quick, easy and not so painful. I urge all our healthcare workers to register to receive their vaccinations as they are our first line of defense against the coronavirus pandemic," Ramaphosa said shortly after receiving his jab at the Khayelitsha District Hospital in Cape Town this afternoon.South Africa received its first batch of the Johnson Johnson vaccine Tuesday night, two we…

MEE correspondent (2021-02-17). Covid-19: Mass medic migration leaves Iran in pandemic panic. middleeasteye.net Covid-19: Mass medic migration leaves Iran in pandemic panic | The pandemic has driven Iran's doctors and nurses to foreign countries that offer better financial and workplace incentives, as well as respect for the healthcare profession | Wed, 02/17/2021 – 14: 42 | As Iran struggles with the coronavirus outbreak, many Iranian doctors and nurses have chosen to emigrate for better pay and…

Mehr News Agency (2021-02-17). One year into the pandemic, Iran's achievements. en.mehrnews.com TEHRAN, Feb. 17 (MNA) — Iran has made great efforts to combat the Covid-19 through boosting production of medical items, forming volunteer groups, and implementing different schemes, and the most precious of which was the medical staff's dedication.

Mehr News Agency (2021-02-17). WHO urges Iran to share Covid-19 experiences with world. en.mehrnews.com TEHRAN, Feb. 15 (MNA) — The Regional Director of the WHO, Ahmed bin Salem, Al-Manzari said the international body will support Iran to share its experiences in the fight against Covid-19 with world countries.

Juan Cole (2021-02-17). From Covid to Power outages in Ice Storms, the Texas Republican Party has created a Failed State. juancole.com Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) — The Republican Party has had a lock on Texas politics for over two decades, and has reduced it to a failed state. Even Texans like Beto O'Rourke are making this observation. Millions are without electricity in the midst of one of the state's worse winter storms ever. This massive failure …

Online News Editor (2021-02-17). Thousand-year old Chinese dance tradition struggles amid Covid restrictions. laprensalatina.com Bangkok, Feb 17 (efe-epa).- The Lion Dance is a form of tradition originating in China dating back thousands of years, which is usually performed during Lunar New Year celebrations to bring good fortune for the year ahead. This year, however, most troupes have seen bookings for their performances disappear because of restrictions to slow the …

Online News Editor (2021-02-17). Tokio Olympics organizers express 'full confidence' in anti-Covid measures. laprensalatina.com Tokyo, Feb 17 (efe-epa).- The organizers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games on Wednesday highlighted the positive reception of the anti-Covid measures outlined in the first version of their playbooks — guides — for participants. "The publication of the playbooks has had an extraordinary impact on everyone. (…) The overwhelming result was total …

Jonathan Cook (2021-02-17). Why politicians and doctors keep ignoring the medical research on Vitamin D and Covid. zcomm.org The only sane response to the Vitamin D medical studies showing dramatic benefits for those hospitalised with Covid is to demand urgent government funding of further research…

Children's Health Defense (2021-02-17). What VAERS Data Reveal About Cardiac-Related Reactions to COVID Vaccines. globalresearch.ca All Global Research articles can be read in 27 languages by activating the "Translate Website" drop down menu on the top banner of our home page (Desktop version). | *** | We are exactly two months into the

Adam Bychawski (2021-02-17). Former Downing Street Chief of Staff Lobbied for 'Friends' to Get Fat Contract for COVID Focus Groups. globalresearch.ca All Global Research articles can be read in 27 languages by activating the "Translate Website" drop down menu on the top banner of our home page (Desktop version). | *** | Dominic Cummings pushed for a government contract to be awarded without …

Bryce Covert (2021-02-17). In Some States, Child Care Workers Won't Get the Covid Vaccine for Months. thenation.com In Some States, Child Care Workers Won't Get the Covid Vaccine for Months…

David Hajdu (2021-02-17). The Music We Made in Lockdown. thenation.com The Music We Made in Lockdown…

Staff (2021-02-17). Teacher Unions: We Want to Reopen Schools as Well, But We Need Vaccines & Resources to Do It Safely. democracynow.org As school districts across the U.S. debate how to safely bring children into the classroom, we speak with two leaders of the teachers' union movement on what's at stake as schools reopen. Stacy Davis Gates, executive vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union, says years of underfunding and privatization have left many school districts ill-equipped to meet the needs of students, as well as educators. "It's not just the context of opening schools. It's reopening schools safely with the resources that are necessary to keep people safe," she tells Democracy Now! We also speak with Randi Weingarten, president of th…

Online News Editor (2021-02-17). An order of tuna sashimi, please. Have the robot bring it to me! laprensalatina.com By Marc Arcas Rohnert Park, California, Feb 16 (efe-epa).- "An order of tuna sashimi. And have the robot bring it to me, please!" Minutes later, a cylinder about a meter (3.3 feet) high with trays inside slides toward the table bearing the Japanese delicacy. It's the restauranteurs' new assistant during these Covid times. At the …

_____ (2021-02-17). Is Biden Committing Diplomatic Suicide Over The Iran Nuclear Agreement? popularresistance.org As Congress still struggles to pass a COVID relief bill, the rest of the world is nervously reserving judgment on America's new president and his foreign policy, after successive U.S. administrations have delivered unexpected and damaging shocks to the world and the international system. | Cautious international optimism toward President Biden is very much based on his commitment to Obama's signature diplomatic achievement, the JCPOA or nuclear agreement with Iran. Biden and the Democrats excoriated Trump for withdrawing from it and promised to promptly rejoin the deal if elected. But Biden now appears to be hedg…

Ander Jiménez Carva (2021-02-17). Lenguaje de guerra para tiempos de coronavirus. globalizacion.ca Hay palabras que, por lo que sea, de pronto aparecen y se instalan en el vocabulario político cotidiano, nadie sabe cómo ha sido, pero es como si de pronto fuéramos incapaces de definir determinados acontecimientos sin utilizarlas. También ocurre a…

Ander Jiménez Carva (2021-02-17). Lenguaje de guerra para tiempos de coronavirus. globalizacion.ca Hay palabras que, por lo que sea, de pronto aparecen y se instalan en el vocabulario político cotidiano, nadie sabe cómo ha sido, pero es como si de pronto fuéramos incapaces de definir determinados acontecimientos sin utilizarlas. También ocurre a…

Online News Editor (2021-02-17). Argentine kids return to class after almost a year of remote learning. laprensalatina.com By Rodrigo Garcia Melero Buenos Aires, Feb 17 (efe-epa).- In-person classes will once again be held in Buenor Aires and various Argentine provinces after almost a year with only virtual classes available due to the coronavirus pandemic at the start of a program being criticized by assorted groups and unions because of the danger of …

Online News Editor (2021-02-17). Israel allows first 1,000 coronavirus vaccines to enter Gaza. laprensalatina.com Jerusalem, Feb 17 (efe-epa).- Israel permitted the entry of an initial batch of 1,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine into the Gaza Strip from the West Bank on Wednesday, an Israeli security official confirmed to Efe Wednesday, after the country had delayed the transfer earlier this week. "The shipment of the vaccines is on the …

RT (2021-02-17). Small businesses saved? Biden helped struggling firms 'first & foremost' with female nominee, press sec Psaki says. rt.com White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki kicked off a wave of criticism after suggesting the Joe Biden administration was helping out struggling companies "first and foremost" by tapping a woman to lead the Small Business Administration. | Psaki was asked what the president intended to do to assist small business during a virtual Q&A on Tuesday, as many independent companies continue to languish under a raft of state-level shutdown policies and other restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic. | "First and foremost, he nominated a woman to lead the Small Business Administration, who formerly worked there," Psaki said…

Matthew G. Andersson (2021-02-17). At the Crossroads of the Corona Crisis: The "Chicago School". What It Really Is and Why It Matters. globalresearch.ca All Global Research articles can be read in 27 languages by activating the "Translate Website" drop down menu on the top banner of our home page (Desktop version). | *** | return to normalcy will require subduing radical factions that agitate …

imperial.ac.uk (2021-02-17). Podcast: Coronavirus on the tube, virus variants and matters of the heart. imperial.ac.uk In this edition: What testing on transport says about coronavirus transmission, how new virus variants are emerging, and chatting to a cardiologist.

yenisafak (2021-02-17). Coronavirus: UK variant gains ground in Germany. yenisafak.com A new and more contagious UK variant of the coronavirus is continuing to gain ground in Germany, Health Minister Jens Spahn said Wednesday.Spahn said the new variant, B.1.1.7, first identified late last year in the UK, now represents more than 22% of new infections in Germany."As we have seen in other countries, number of infections with this new variant is doubling almost every week," he said at a press conference where he noted that two weeks ago, the percentage of the UK variant found in Germany was just 6%.Spahn warned against complacency and urged Germans to strictly observe hygiene and safety measures becau…

Liz Theoharis (2021-02-17). Whose Rights Matter in Pandemic America? Not Those of Poor Americans, That's For Sure. juancole.com By Liz Theoharis | — ( Tomdispatch.com ) — In June 1990, future South African President Nelson Mandela addressed a joint session of Congress only months after being released from 27 years in a South African apartheid prison. He reminded the political leadership of the United States that "to deny people their human rights is …

WDPGWR (2021-02-17). Wednesday 2/17: San Francisco Car Caravan Protest for Gig Drivers' Pandemic Health & Safety. indybay.org Meet at SAFEWAY, 2300 16th St, San Francisco 94103; then we'll car caravan to Uber Headquarters at 1455 Market St. | MASKS AND SAFETY-DISTANCING REQUIRED…

Ed Rampell (2021-02-17). Panther Gunfight at a Not-So-O.K. Corral. counterpunch.org Undaunted, the pandemic can't stop the Pan African Film Festival and in that immortal show biz tradition, the show must go on! Albeit virtually, as this year in order to stay cinematically safe, America's largest and best annual Black-themed filmfest since 1992 is moving online and starting later than usual, kicking off on the last

Staff (2021-02-17). Headlines for February 17, 2021. democracynow.org Severe Winter Storm Kills 23 People, Cuts Power to Millions as Texas Energy System Fails, Storm Creates Havoc for COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout as Biden Seeks Support from Public for Stimulus, NAACP Files Lawsuit Against Trump, Giuliani over Jan. 6 Insurrection, French Assembly Approves Bill Accused of Targeting Muslim Communities, Chad Sending Troops to Sahel, France Will Maintain Military Presence, as Conflict Claims More Lives, Protests Erupt over Spanish Rapper Arrested for Anti-Monarchy Lyrics and Tweets, Biden Directs DHS to Stop Using Word "Alien" to Refer to Immigrants and Asylum Seekers, Biden Received $5 Mil…