Daily Archives: February 20, 2021

2021-02-20: News Headlines

Aude Maio-Coliche (2021-02-20). Las vacunas, una lucha contra el tiempo. globalizacion.ca Desde el principio de la crisis, la Unión Europea (UE) y sus Estados Miembros se han comprometido a adoptar un enfoque multilateral para hacer frente a la pandemia de Covid-19, basado en la premisa de que todo el que necesite…

teleSUR (2021-02-20). Brazilians Back to the Streets Against Bolsonaro. telesurenglish.net Brazilians backed the streets on Saturday demanding impeachment for President Jair Bolsonaro as well as the COVID-19 immunization campaign. | RELATED: | Demonstrators mobilized in at least 70 cities holding rallies to demand an immediate and free COVID-19 vaccination for the entire population. The far-right president has dismissed the scope of the pandemic since its beginning as the death toll rises to over 244 00…

John Stanton (2021-02-20). Post-Pandemic American Society Must Not Return to its Industrial Capitalist Roots. dissidentvoice.org Our mace shaped COVID-19 enemy and its mutations merrily popping up around the United States, ironically has opened up new possibilities for inching beyond the grimy confines of industrial capitalism to new modes of work, learning and being that were initially promised by technocrats at the dawn of the Internet/World Wide Web. Indeed, the Pandemic …

WSWS (2021-02-20). Stop the deadly reopening of Philadelphia Schools! wsws.org Our committee unequivocally demands a stop to the drive to reopen the Philadelphia public school system amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Online News Editor (2021-02-20). New York's pharaonic Hudson Yards struggles in pandemic. laprensalatina.com By Jairo Mejia New York, Feb 20 (efe-epa).- The $25 billion Hudson Yards housing, office and retail complex was supposed to spur economic development in New York, but the promise of a bright future has given way to a bleak present dominated by the impact of Covid-19. Last month, the site's main tourist attraction, a …

_____ (2021-02-20). Biden's Health Plan Shifts Even More Public Dollars Into Private Hands. popularresistance.org As the American Rescue Plan (ARP) winds its way through Congress, some progressives are hailing its health provisions as the greatest expansion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 10 years, while conservatives are claiming that it is a slippery slope to a national Medicare for All system. Democrats have decided to forego seeking Republican support for President Biden's $1.9 trillion promise of relief to those suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic and recession by using the budget reconciliation process. This has Republicans worried the legislation will be used to advance the progressive agenda to expand government…

Nnenaya A Mmonu, Angela Aifah, Deborah Onakomaiya, Gbenga Ogedegbe (2021-02-20). [Correspondence] Why the global health community should support the EndSARS movement in Nigeria. thelancet.com In the past year, more Nigerians have been killed by state-sanctioned security forces than by COVID-19, according to data on the Nigeria Security Tracker and Worldometers.1 Formed in 1992, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) has become the public threat the squad was created to prevent. Killings of young adults by the SARS has spurred peaceful demonstrations across Nigeria calling for disbandment of the SARS.2 On Oct 20, 2020, peaceful protesters were murdered by state-sanctioned forces at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, Nigeria's most populous city.

Geoff Watts (2021-02-20). [Obituary] Gordon John McVie. thelancet.com Oncologist and tireless champion of cancer research. He was born in Glasgow, UK, on Jan 13, 1945, and died in Bristol, UK, with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and COVID-19 on Jan 20, 2021, aged 76 years.

yenisafak (2021-02-20). Tanzanian president tells public to 'pray away' coronavirus. yenisafak.com Tanzanian President John Magufuli, who fueled confusion and conspiracies by denying the very existence of the coronavirus pandemic, urged the country's 56 million citizens to pray for three days to defeat unnamed "respiratory diseases," once again disregarding the warnings of scientists and experts.Tanzanians mourned the death of two authority figures who died on Thursday, Chief Secretary John Kijazi and Zanzibar's First Vice President Seif Sharif Hamad."Maybe we have wronged God somewhere… let us all repent," the populist Covid-19-denying leader told mourners on Friday at a funeral for his chief secretary, acc…

yenisafak (2021-02-20). Iraq says virus lockdown won't affect Pope Francis' trip. yenisafak.com Iraq said Saturday that restrictions imposed by the government to curb the spread of coronavirus will not affect Pope Francis' visit to the country on March 5.On Thursday, the Iraqi government declared a two-week partial curfew across the country with the exception of the Kurdish region in an effort to contain a sudden surge in COVID-19 infections. The measures include suspending attending to schools, sports activities, and closure of mosques and parks.The restrictions are scheduled to be lifted on March 4, amid reports that the precautionary measures may be extended.Speaking to the official Iraqi News Agency, Is…

yenisafak (2021-02-20). Concerns grow in India over COVID-19 resurgence. yenisafak.com After days of steady decline, several states in India are seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases, the country's Health Ministry said on Saturday."There has been a rise in daily cases in Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh," read a ministry statement.The western state of Maharashtra, one of India's most populous regions, recorded 6,112 new cases over the past day."In the past week, Maharashtra has exhibited a spike in the number of daily new cases, accounting for the highest number of daily new cases in the country today," the Health Ministry said.In a bid to stem the alarming spike, the Maharas…

Mike Walter (2021-02-20). The Heat: G7 leaders' pledge on COVID-19 vaccines. america.cgtn.com Leaders from the Group of Seven Nations vow to work together to improve global access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Online News Editor (2021-02-20). New Zealand rolls out Covid-19 vaccination campaign. laprensalatina.com Sydney, Australia, Feb 20 (efe-epa).- New Zealand, one of the best countries worldwide in terms of managing the new coronavirus pandemic, on Saturday officially kicked off its anti-Covid vaccination campaign by administering the vaccine developed by American pharma company Pfizer to its frontline workers. "And our COVID 19 vaccination programme begins! We're starting with our …

yenisafak (2021-02-20). Russia registers its 3rd COVID-19 vaccine. yenisafak.com Russia has registered and its Health Ministry approved a third coronavirus vaccine for public use, the country's prime minister announced on Saturday.The vaccine, called CoviVac, was developed by the Chumakov Center for Research and Development of Immunobiological Drugs, Mikhail Mishustin said at a meeting with the government in Moscow."I want to start with some very good news: today, the third vaccine, CoviVac, was registered," he said, adding that by mid-March, "the first 120,000 doses will be launched into civil circulation."Strict controls will ensure that stepped-up production will in no case affect the vacc…

Nayanah Siva (2021-02-20). [World Report] Severe mental illness: reassessing COVID-19 vaccine priorities. thelancet.com As evidence mounts that patients with severe mental illness are at increased risk of severe COVID-19, some countries are reassessing their vaccine priority strategies. Nayanah Siva reports.

Rob Hyde (2021-02-20). [World Report] von der Leyen admits to COVID-19 vaccine failures. thelancet.com EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen's comments come after much scrutiny of the EU vaccination programme. Rob Hyde reports.

The Canary (2021-02-20). High Court rules the Government acted unlawfully by failing to disclose Covid contracts. thecanary.co The Government unlawfully failed to publish details of billions of pounds' worth of coronavirus-related contracts, the High Court has ruled. | The Good Law Project took legal action against the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) for its "wholesale failure" to disclose details of contracts agreed during the Covid-19 pandemic. | The Government is required by law to publish a "contract award notice" within 30 days of the award of any contracts for public goods or services worth more than £120,000. | At a hearing earlier this month, the Good Law Project and three MPs — Labour's Debbie Abrahams, t…

Fight Back (2021-02-20). Michigan solidarity with Amazon union in Alabama. fightbacknews.org Grand Rapids, MI – Outside the stagehands union IATSE Local 26 headquarters in Grand Rapids, union members and youth activists attached big signs to their cars saying "Amazon needs a union!" and "Solidarity with Amazon!" They gathered in the freezing cold on February 19 for a press conference and car caravan to three Amazon centers, including a giant new one promising to employ 1000 workers. | Josh Roskamp, IATSE26 business agent, said, "Working conditions at Amazon are harsh. They refuse to universally adopt measures that protect workers from COVID 19, and the work and lifting can be back-breaking. That is why…

Climate Action Campaign and allies (2021-02-20). Wednesday 2/24: #TimeToAct on Climate: New Day Digital Rally for Climate, Economic & COVID Justice. indybay.org Virtual rally…

Poor People's Campaign and union partners (2021-02-20). Monday 2/22: San Francisco Speakout & Digitial Rally: $15 Fair Wage & COVID Relief Now! w/ PPC. indybay.org SF: sidewalk outside office of Sen. Dianne Feinstein @ 1 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94104 | Masks & Social Distancing Required at All Times | Online: www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/livestream/

_____ (2021-02-20). Covid Karma: U.S. Lockdown Kings Gavin Newsom and Andrew Cuomo Suffer Political Fallout. strategic-culture.org The draconian lockdowns imposed by dozens of Democratic leaders, did very little to halt the outbreak of Covid, Robert Bridge writes. | Gavin Newsom and Andrew Cuomo, the governors of California and New York, respectively, appear to be struggling for their political lives over their bungled handling of the pandemic. Is the tide finally turning against the lockdown mentality? | The groundswell of public animosity currently being directed at the Democratic state leaders disproves the adage that 'all publicity is good publicity'. Just ask New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Despite a fawning media that only shows its fa…

Daniel Horowitz (2021-02-20). With No Compulsory Muzzling and Schools Open, Florida Ranks 11th Lowest in COVID Deaths per Capita Among Seniors. anti-empire.com There's a reason why the Biden regime is Dr. F…

MEE and agencies (2021-02-20). Israel purchased Russian Covid vaccine for Syria in exchange for captive: Reports. middleeasteye.net Israel purchased Russian Covid vaccine for Syria in exchange for captive: Reports | Order said to be part of a deal which freed an Israeli woman who crossed into Syria through Quneitra a few weeks ago | Sat, 02/20/2021 – 13: 45 | The Ynet news site reported on Saturday that Israel purchased more than $1m worth of doses of the Sputnik V vaccine (AFP) | Israel is said to have agreed to purch…

yenisafak (2021-02-20). Turkey says to begin easing coronavirus restrictions starting March 1. yenisafak.com Turkey will start to gradually normalize from coronavirus restrictions as of March 1, Turkey's health minister said on Saturday.Underlining that they are working carefully on normalization steps, Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter that the process will start with provincial public health councils dealing with four risk levels in line with Health Ministry criteria.Announcing earlier this week an easing of restrictions starting in March, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said provinces will be categorized as low, medium, high, or very high risk based on infection rates and the vaccination process.Turkey on Friday reported…

_____ (2021-02-20). The Global South Faces A 'Vaccine Apartheid'. popularresistance.org The coronavirus crisis in South Africa is far from over despite falling case numbers in recent weeks. The virus has claimed more than of 50,000 lives, and many health experts predict a devastating third wave. Complicating matters is a new coronavirus mutation known as n501, which threatens to upend South Africa's vaccination plans. | Unprecedented scientific collaboration has expedited the development of the new vaccine candidates, but patents protecting the bottom lines of the pharmaceutical companies have hampered efforts to manufacture vaccines at scale. Meanwhile, the United States and Western Europe have hoa…

_____ (2021-02-20). FCC Must Expand The E-Rate Program To Connect Students During Pandemic. popularresistance.org Yesterday, Public Knowledge joined Access Humboldt, Benton Institute for Broadband and Society, Consumer Reports, and New America's Open Technology Institute in filing comments in response to the Federal Communications Commission's Public Notice on the use of E-Rate funds to enable remote learning. Public Knowledge supports "off-campus" use of E-Rate funds to help students studying at home access the broadband they need to stay connected to classes, student services, and their families during the pandemic. | The following can be attributed to Greg Guice, Director of Government Affairs at Public Knowledge: | "As t…

Brian Wakamo (2021-02-20). The Pandemic is Sparking a Wave of Union Drives on College Campuses. zcomm.org In Arizona, two universities are spearheading an effort to unionize the entire state's higher education workforce…

Maureen Clare Murphy (2021-02-20). Fauci champions Israeli medical apartheid. zcomm.org Israel is refusing to distribute vaccines to millions of people living under its single system of unequal rule…

Grigorios Christidis, Frank Lammert, Marcin Krawczyk (2021-02-20). [Clinical Picture] Amiodarone and hypothyroidism. thelancet.com A 65-year-old man attended our outpatient clinic for diagnostic evaluation of abnormal blood tests detected during a routine check requested by his cardiologist. The investigations showed a raised serum gamma-glutamyl transferase (406 U/L; normal <60) and a raised serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) concentration of 99 ∑20 ŒºIU/mL (normal 0 ∑27—4 ∑20). The patient's free thyroxine and free tri-iodothyronine were low at 0 ∑67 ng/dL (normal 0 ∑93—1 ∑70) and 1 ∑5 pg/mL (normal 2 ∑0—4 ∑4) respectively. Anti-thyroid antibodies—including thyroid...

Joan Simon (2021-02-20). Saturday 2/27: Health Justice Dialogue. indybay.org Webinar Online…

Michael Marmot (2021-02-20). [Perspectives] Healthy because you deserve it, unhealthy because you don't? thelancet.com "Men at some time are masters of their fates;/ The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,/But in ourselves, that we are underlings." We have only ourselves to blame for being "petty men", explains Cassius to Brutus in William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. By contrast, Julius Caesar has someone remind him that he is mortal. His hubris comes at the expense of others' humiliation.

Tiago S Jesus, Michel D Landry (2021-02-20). [Correspondence] Global need: including rehabilitation in health system strengthening. thelancet.com We read with great enthusiasm Alarcos Cieza and colleagues'1 analysis of data from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2019 to estimate that 2 ∑41 billion people (95% uncertainty interval 2 ∑34—2 ∑50 billion) worldwide would benefit from rehabilitation services. This comprehensive work quantifies an increasing burden of non-fatal health losses potentially addressed by rehabilitation services. Cieza and colleagues' work complements findings from our series of secondary analyses of GBD 2017,2—4 in which we focused on an extensive set of health conditions tha…

Pamela Das (2021-02-20). [Perspectives] Sharrelle Barber: at the intersection of place, race, and health. thelancet.com Sharrelle Barber's research focuses on the intersection of place, race, and health. As Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the Urban Health Collaborative at Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health in Philadelphia, PA, USA, her work has been crucial in assessing the impact of structural racism on racial health inequities among Black people in the USA and Brazil. She sees segregation as a symbol of the economic, social, political, and racial divide in a city: "From Jackson, Mississippi, to Rio de Janeiro, segregation is one of the most visible manif…

Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard, Sally C Davies (2021-02-20). [Correspondence] The Health Index for England. thelancet.com In the Chief Medical Officer for England's 2018 independent annual report, we called for the development of a composite health index.1,2 We are delighted that the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) has developed and published a beta version of such an index,3 alongside a useful Health Index Explorer tool.

The Canary (2021-02-20). Offshore workers back 'landmark' agreement on terms and conditions. thecanary.co Offshore workers have backed a "landmark" agreement their union said will lead to better terms and conditions. | Union power: | Members of the GMB working for North Sea oil and gas companies endorsed the Energy Services Agreement (ESA), described as a groundbreaking new collective agreement for thousands of engineering and maintenance workers. The union described it as a landmark deal, saying it will benefit North Sea workers by providing an equal footing to negotiate pay, terms and conditions, and health, safety and welfare standards. | Ross Murdoch, GMB national officer, said: This new agreement marks th…

Devin Cole (2021-02-20). Pensacola State College faculty demand protection. workers.org Occupied Muscogee Creek land On Feb. 16, over 30 drivers circled the Pensacola State College-Warrington Campus buildings for half an hour, laying on their horns. Signs saying "High Risk" and "Betrayal" were taped to their vehicles. This action was led by the Pensacola State College Faculty Association, a chapter of . . . |

Margaret Flowers (2021-02-20). Urgent Solidarity with Haiti is Needed. dissidentvoice.org A long-brewing crisis in Haiti, created through intervention by the United States, United Nations and allied western imperialist countries, has now come to a head. The Biden administration is openly backing a violent, corrupt and fraudulent leader, Jovenel MoàØse, and maintaining the policies of previous presidents, including Donald Trump, in Haiti. Activists in Haiti have …

Ali Salam (2021-02-20). Israeli Troops Attack Non-Violent Palestinian Rallies in Kufur Qaddoum, Beit Dajan. imemc.org Israeli forces attacked the weekly non-violent protest marches and rallies in several parts of the West Bank Friday, injuring three Palestinians with rubber-coated steel bullets and causing dozens to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation. In Kufur Qaddoum, in the northern West Bank, two Palestinian protesters were taken to the hospital with severe injuries …

Juan Cole (2021-02-20). Number of residential solar batteries increases by 50% in Germany. juancole.com By Sà∂ren Amelang | — The number of battery storage systems linked to a residential solar pv array rose by around 50 percent in Germany in 2020 for the third year in a row. The country's solar association BSW estimates there were 88,000 new residential installations, taking the total number of solar batteries in Germany …

Fernando Buen Abad Domínguez (2021-02-20). Estados Unidos contra Cuba: El bloqueo es un crimen de lesa humanidad. globalizacion.ca Según la ONU, son crímenes contra la humanidad los que constituyen ataques generalizados o sistemáticos a la población civil. Son "crímenes de lesa humanidad" los exterminios, la esclavitud, la deportación o expulsión forzosa, la privación de la libertad física e…

Yanis Iqbal (2021-02-20). Madagascar: A Nation of Hunger. dissidentvoice.org Madagascar is in great pain. Theodore Mbainaissem, the head of the World Food Programme (WFP) sub-office in Ambovombe, southern Madagascar, says: "Seeing the physical condition of people extremely affected by hunger who can no longer stand…children who are completely emaciated, the elderly who are skin and bone…these images are unbearable… People are eating white clay …

MEE staff (2021-02-20). Mercenaries boss Erik Prince violated Libya weapons embargo: UN report. middleeasteye.net Mercenaries boss Erik Prince violated Libya weapons embargo: UN report | US media say the accusations against founder of security firm Blackwater could potentially lead to him facing sanctions | Sat, 02/20/2021 – 09: 39 | Erik Prince did not cooperate with the UN inquiry and his lawyer declined to comment to the New York Times (AFP) | Mercenaries boss Erik Prince pumped $80m in weapons and fighters into easter…

Aaliyah Harris (2021-02-20). Student loans continue to discriminate against Muslim students. thecanary.co To be Muslim in Britain means to be a part of a population of Interest is forbidden: | For young people venturing from college or sixth form into university, accepting a monstrous educational debt will always be a tricky decision. But for Muslims, deciding to take out a Student Finance Loan — or for that matter any loan which requires repayment with…

MEE and agencies (2021-02-20). Turkey's Erdogan seeks 'win-win' relationship with US. middleeasteye.net Turkey's Erdogan seeks 'win-win' relationship with US | Turkish president reaches out to Biden administrations and says 'common interests of Turkey and the United States outweigh the differences' | Sat, 02/20/2021 – 21: 46 | Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Earlier this week, Turkey had accused the US of supporting PKK 'terrorists' (AFP) | Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said…

MEE and agencies (2021-02-20). Algeria releases dozens of jailed pro-democracy activists after presidential pardons. middleeasteye.net Algeria releases dozens of jailed pro-democracy activists after presidential pardons | Pardons issued by President Tebboune ahead of second anniversary of Hirak uprising, with prominent journalist Khaled Drareni among those freed | Sat, 02/20/2021 – 20: 26 | Algerian journalist Khaled Drareni is greeted by supporters upon his release from Kolea prison, west of the capital Algiers, on 19 Fe…

MEE and agencies (2021-02-20). Saudi Arabia to invest $20bn in domestic arms industry. middleeasteye.net Saudi Arabia to invest $20bn in domestic arms industry | Kingdom wants to shift towards manufacturing much of its own weapons over the next decade after US sales ban | Sat, 02/20/2021 – 15: 49 | Saudi Arabia wants to spend at least half of its military budget locally by 2030 (AFP) | Saudi Arabia has announced plans to pump $20bn into producing more of its own weapons and military systems o…

MEE and agencies (2021-02-20). Russian air strikes 'kill 21 Islamic State fighters' in Syrian desert. middleeasteye.net Russian air strikes 'kill 21 Islamic State fighters' in Syrian desert | Russian jets launched 130 air strikes over 24 hours according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights | Sat, 02/20/2021 – 11: 01 | Russian air power has backed Syrian forces clashing with Islamic State fighters (AFP) | Russia launched at least 130 air strikes in Syria over the past 24 hours, killing at least 21 Isla…

MEE and agencies (2021-02-20). Iraq: Rockets target airbase north of Baghdad after clashes with IS. middleeasteye.net Iraq: Rockets target airbase north of Baghdad after clashes with IS | Attack on Al-Balad base injures a contractor and came hours after Iraqi security forces raided a nearby Islamic State hideout amid increasing tensions | Sat, 02/20/2021 – 19: 31 | A doctor treats a man wounded in a rocket attack on US forces at Erbil airport, northern Iraq, on 15 February (Reuters) | Four rockets hit the…

Gareth Porter (2021-02-20). US State Department Accusation of China "Genocide" Is Garbage Reliant on Data Abuse and Fraudulent Claims. anti-empire.com Both President Joe Biden and his Secretary of State Anthony Blinken have endorsed former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's last-minute accusation of The US government's accusation of genocide against China stems from a single sour…

Richard Horton (2021-02-20). [Comment] Offline: What is the UK for? thelancet.com The UK Government this year hosts two important events—the G7 (June 11—13) and COP26 (Nov 1—12). The priorities set out by Prime Minister Boris Johnson for his G7 presidency are four-fold: fighting against and recovering from COVID-19; climate action; free and fair trade; and shared values as open societies. Global health will indeed be a concern for the US, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, and Italy. Some G7 countries have performed poorly in responding to the pandemic. What should be the UK's approach to global health? Last week, Lord Nigel Crisp convened the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Gl…