2020-02-03: News Headlines

Lisa Mascaro, Eric Tucker (2020-02-03). Trump trial closing arguments focus on voters, history. peoplesworld.org WASHINGTON (AP) — Closing arguments in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial unfolded Monday more for history than to sway votes, one final chance to influence public opinion and set the record ahead of his expected acquittal in the Republican-led Senate. The House Democratic prosecutors drew on history, the Founding Fathers and common sense to urge …

Staff (2020-02-03). "A Grand Tragedy": Democrats Slam Republican Stonewalling in Senate Impeachment Trial. democracynow.org The Republican-controlled Senate appears poised to acquit President Trump in just the third impeachment trial in U.S. history, with a final vote on the two articles of impeachment scheduled for Wednesday. On Friday, the Senate voted 51 to 49 against calling witnesses to the Senate trial. Just two Republican senators supported calling for witnesses and collecting new evidence: Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine. Without new witnesses, Republicans have cleared the biggest hurdle in their drive to acquit President Trump on the two impeachment charges, which relate to his withholding of military aid to Uk…

Chris Hedges (2020-02-03). America: Land of Make-Believe. truthdig.com If what happens in courtrooms across the country to poor people of color is justice, what is happening in the Senate is a trial. If the blood-drenched debacles and endless quagmires in the Middle East are victories in the war on terror, our military is the greatest on earth. If the wholesale government surveillance of the public, the revoking of due process and having the world's largest prison population are liberty, we are the land of the free. If the president, an inept, vulgar and corrupt con artist, is the leader of the free world, we are a beacon for democracy and our enemies hate us for our values. If Jesu…

Staff (2020-02-03). As Bernie Sanders Surges Ahead of Iowa Caucus, DNC Under Fire For Changing Rules to Help Bloomberg. democracynow.org The Iowa caucuses take place today, kicking off the official start of the 2020 presidential election season. Democratic presidential candidates spent the weekend making last-minute pitches to voters at rallies across Iowa. Meanwhile, the Democratic National Committee is facing criticism for overhauling its rules, opening the door for billionaire former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who is running a self-funded campaign, to take part in the next debate. This comes as fear is growing among some Democrats that Bernie Sanders might win the nomination. Politico reports a small group of DNC members have begun discussi…

RT (2020-02-03). Warring Libya sides sit down for Geneva talks agreed in Berlin. rt.com The two major warring parties in the Libyan civil war have for the first time sat down for commission-level talks in Geneva. The meeting was agreed at the Libya summit in Berlin, after a peace process started by Russia and Turkey.

RT (2020-02-03). Organization of Islamic Cooperation rejects Trump's 'deal of the century' peace plan for Middle East. rt.com The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which consists of more than 50 Muslim-majority countries, has asked member states not to cooperate in any way with US President Donald Trump's peace plan for Israel and Palestine. | During a special session in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Monday, the OIC's executive committee called on all member states "not to engage with [Trump's] plan or to cooperate with the US administration in implementing it in any form." The body also asked members to refrain from any actions that "do not adhere to the inalienable rights of Palestinians." | OIC Secretary General Yousef Al-Othai…

RT (2020-02-03). 'They will understand their mistake': Erdogan vows to continue military ops in Idlib after 6 Turkish soldiers killed. rt.com Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised to continue retaliating heavily to any attacks against Turkish forces in Syria's Idlib Province, after six Turkish soldiers were killed. | "We have responded in kind to these attacks and will continue to do so, whether it is with our artillery or mortars," Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul on Monday, adding that a military operation in Syria's northwestern Idlib Province is ongoing. | He said that the Turkish heavy howitzers and F-16 jets hit around 40 targets, "neutralizing" between 30 and 35 Syrian government soldiers. Sources told the Daily Sabah that Ankara…

RT (2020-02-03). Turkey says 6 troops killed in shelling in Syria's Idlib, points finger at Damascus. rt.com Ankara has claimed that six Turkish soldiers were killed and several others injured after they came under heavy shelling in the rebel-held province of Idlib, while blaming Syrian Army forces for the attack. | In a statement on Monday, the Turkish Defense Ministry said that its forces came under "intense artillery fire" in the northwest Syrian province. It initially said four troops were killed and nine injured, including one seriously. The death toll was later updated to six. | The ministry said that the Turkish forces retaliated by destroying unspecified targets in the region. It also claimed that Ankara had…

RT (2020-02-03). Turkey failed to notify of convoy movements in Syria's Idlib before getting shelled by Damascus troops — Russian military. rt.com A shelling incident in Syria in which Ankara said six of its soldiers were killed may have been caused by the failure of the Turkish side to warn about the movement of their convoy, the Russian military said. | "Units of the Turkish military conducted movement within the Idlib de-escalation zone during the nighttime from February 2 to February 3 without informing the Russian side and came under fire by the Syrian government troops, which were targeting terrorists west of Saraqib," the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation said on Monday. | The statement stressed that there are established lines of communica…

Staff (2020-02-03). ACLU: Trump Is Expanding His Racist Travel Ban, This Time Targeting Africans. democracynow.org The Trump administration has expanded its contested travel ban to six additional countries — most of which are African nations. Under the new restrictions, nationals of Nigeria, Eritrea, Myanmar and Kyrgyzstan will no longer be able to obtain visas to live and work in the U.S., while Sudan and Tanzania will no longer be able to participate in the diversity visa lottery program. The ban, commonly referred to as the "Muslim ban," already affects citizens from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Venezuela and North Korea. The expansion is expected to affect more than 350 million people. Democrats say they will…

RT (2020-02-03). Russian military shoots down drone approaching Khmeimim Air Base from Med Sea. rt.com An unidentified drone has been intercepted near Russian Khmeimim airbase in Syria. The UAV approached the compound from the Mediterranean Sea and was shot down by the base's anti-air defenses. | The flying object came close to the military facility late on Monday, Russia's Defence Ministry has said. The drone was shot down by a Pantsir-S anti-aircraft system before it reached the premises of the base and it did not inflict any materiel damage or casualties. The origin of the drone has not been established yet. | Earlier in the day, Syrian state media reported that at least two drones, launched by the anti-gove…

Staff (2020-02-03). Headlines for February 3, 2020. democracynow.org GOP Refuses to Call Witnesses in Impeachment Trial, Paving Way for Trump's Acquittal, Iowa Caucuses Kick Off 2020 Elections as DNC Loosens Rules to Let Bloomberg into Debates, Trump Expands Racist, Anti-Muslim Travel Ban, Coronavirus Claims First Victim Outside of China as Death Toll Tops 360, Hospitals in Syria Targeted as 100,000s of Civilians Forced to Flee, Palestinian Authority Cuts Ties with U.S. and Israel over Trump Middle East Plan, Iraqi Protesters Slam Appointment of Establishment Prime Minister-Designate, Dept. of Defense: U.S. Dropped 7,500 Bombs on Afghanistan in 2019, 6 Indigenous Leaders Killed in…

Staff (2020-02-03). Trump Is Expanding His Racist Travel Ban, This Time Targeting Africans. truthout.org The Trump administration has expanded its contested travel ban to six additional countries — most of which are African nations. Under the new restrictions, nationals of Nigeria, Eritrea, Myanmar and Kyrgyzstan will no longer be able to obtain visas to live and work in the U.S., while Sudan and Tanzania will no longer be able to participate in the diversity visa lottery program. The ban, commonly referred to as the "Muslim ban," already affects citizens from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia,…

Arabi Souri (2020-02-03). Video: Turkey's Madman Erdogan Sends NATO Troops to Defend al-Qaeda Terrorists in Idlib. globalresearch.ca Erdogan lost his mind and sends NATO troops into the Syrian province of Idlib to establish military checkpoints in front of the advancing Syrian Arab Army from the south to protect his defeated and collapsing al-Qaeda terrorists. | Even someone like …

South Front (2020-02-03). Video: Syrian Army Offensive in Greater Idlib. globalresearch.ca The last week of January turned badly for Idlib militants. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda), the Turkish-backed National Front for Liberation and their allies appeared to be unable to contain the offensive of the Syrian Army, …

teleSUR (2020-02-03). Erdogan Says Turkey Bombed Syrian Troops in Idlib. telesurenglish.net Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Turkey has been retaliating against the Syrian forces' attack on its soldiers in the northern Syrian region of Idlib. | RELATED: | "Our artillery and F-16 (warplanes) are all operating in the field," Erdogan said in a televised speech. | "We have soldiers martyred, and it is not possible for us to remain silent," he added. | Turkish forces have identified about 4…

Staff (2020-02-03). Democrats Slam Republican Stonewalling in Senate Impeachment Trial. truthout.org The Republican-controlled Senate appears poised to acquit President Trump in just the third impeachment trial in U.S. history, with a final vote on the two articles of impeachment scheduled for Wednesday. On Friday, the Senate voted 51 to 49 against calling witnesses to the Senate trial. Just two Republican senators supported calling for witnesses and collecting new evidence: Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine. Without new witnesses, Republicans have cleared the biggest hurdle in their drive t…

Reverend William Barber (2020-02-03). Democracy Is Fragile. Civil Rights Activists Already Know That. zcomm.org Mitch McConnell's conduct of Trump's Senate trial recalls the baleful history of southern racial injustice in the civil rights era…

Staff (2020-02-03). Financial Transactions Taxes Are No Longer a "Fringe" Idea. truthout.org I have been a proponent of financial transactions taxes (FTT) since I first came to Washington more than a quarter-century ago. Back then, the idea of taxing Wall Street was considered pretty ridiculous. Among elected members of Congress, only then-Rep. Bernie Sanders and a few other progressive types were willing to publicly get behind the idea. | Things have changed. Most of the candidates in the race for the Democratic nomination, including all three of the leading contenders, have made FTT part of their agen…

Alan Macleod (2020-02-03). As Bernie Sanders Surges, DNC Launches "Troll Army" Ahead of Iowa Caucus. mintpressnews.com Nell Thomas, the only member of the cyber task force willing to make their participation public, was previously employed with the online arm of Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign.

Register Peace & Freedom or Green (2020-02-03). 2019 Cal Tax Table and Most Tax Forms Not Online. indybay.org For 2019, unlike all previous years, we have to Email the Franchise Tax Board for the California Tax Table and most tax forms, except the 540, because they are not online. We cannot complete the 540 without this crucial table. The Email cannot be read or downloaded on many computers so one must then look to the email on your cell phone and get the magnifier to highlight the line you need for your tax due. This insanity and inefficiency is brought to us by Democratic Gov Newsom and his supermajority Democratic legislature.

The Global Research Team (2020-02-03). Towards a World Without War? Global Research Needs Your Support. globalresearch.ca Dear Readers, | Global Research is a small team that believes in the power of information and analysis to bring about far-reaching societal change including a world without war. We are as committed as ever to the struggle for Peace, but …

Craig Murray (2020-02-03). Trump's "peace deal" for Israel, and it is breathtaking. globalresearch.ca I have read through the

Party for Socialism and Liberation (2020-02-03). Forum – Eyewitness Venezuela Report & Analysis of Palestine "Peace Plan" indybay.org 2969 Mission St. near 26th…

sputniknews (2020-02-03). Trump's Peace Plan; Brexit. sputniknews.com Join George Galloway on the new home for the Mother of All Talk Shows – this week we discuss Trump's peace deal, US election, Brexit, and we meet comedian Chris McGlade.

yenisafak (2020-02-03). Turkey's opposition leader slams Syrian regime attacks. yenisafak.com Turkey's opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader reiterated that diplomatic and military responds are required to a Monday regime attack on Turkish troops in Syria."Using our political and diplomatic initiatives as well as our military deterrence to this end, we should make the life miserable for the enemies in Idlib and the surrounding area," Devlet Bahceli said in a statement.At least five Turkish soldiers, and one civil servant were martyred, while seven others injured in an intense shelling by forces of Bashar al-Assad regime in Idlib, northwestern Syria early Monday."The security of the observatio…

yenisafak (2020-02-03). Turkey informed Russia of developments in Syria's Idlib. yenisafak.com Turkey informed Russia of developments in Syria's Idlib region, a spokesman for President Tayyip Erdogan's AK Party said on Monday, denying Moscow's assertion that it was not informed of movements before six Turkish troops were killed by Syrian shelling.Russia, which supports Syrian government forces, later said the Turkish personnel came under fire because it was not warned about Turkey's operations in Idlib beforehand."The statement that Russia was not informed is not correct. Turkey is providing regular and instant information to Russia. It also informed them in this latest event. It is not true to say informa…

yenisafak (2020-02-03). Turkish DefMin heading to Syria border amid Idlib attack. yenisafak.com Turkey's defense minister is heading to the Syria border in the wake of a regime attack on Turkish troops in Idlib on Monday.Hulusi Akar had been scheduled to accompany President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his official visit to Ukraine, however, he abandoned the delegation due to an attack on Turkish troops in Idlib, northwestern Syria, which left six Turkish army personnel martyred.Akar departed Ankara to visit Turkey's Syria border.The attack by the forces of Bashar al-Assad regime also wounded at least 7 others.

Bob Burnett (2020-02-02). This is the Way it Ends, Not with a Bang but a Whimper. commondreams.org Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) walk through the U.S. Capitol on February 8, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files…

James Lamont (2020-02-02). Generals, Princes, and Black Snakes. dissidentvoice.org Damn The Man, Damn The Empire (January 16th) In 2012 Barack Obama was reelected following the disastrous US-led war on Libya that he began without approval from Congress, and two years after the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, without trial, inside a sovereign nation. In 2011 Obama also came out with this progressive chestnut: "Unlike …

John Nichols (2020-02-02). The DNC's Move to Accommodate Bloomberg Stirs Outrage in Iowa. thenation.com The DNC's Move to Accommodate Bloomberg Stirs Outrage in Iowa…

Fight Back (2020-02-02). Minneapolis protests anti Palestine "Deal of Century," racist travel bans. fightbacknews.org Minneapolis, MN – On January 31, 40 people protested at the Minneapolis Federal Building to stand in solidarity with Palestine. The MN Anti-War Committee and Women Against Military Madness called this emergency response protest after President Trump's announcement of his 'peace' plan which he wants to impose on Palestine. The protest's message was clear: the "Deal of the Century" proposed by Trump and Netanyahu is a sham and part of an expanding apartheid against the Palestinian people. There can be no deal without the Palestinian right to return, the Palestinian right to exist, and the return of Jerusalem to Pal…

Staff (2020-02-02). In Wake of Trump-Netanyahu Proposal, Palestinian Authority Cuts Ties With US. truthout.org The Palestinian Authority, which governs the occupied West Bank, announced on Saturday that it would act immediately to cut ties with the U.S. after President Donald Trump unveiled a so-called peace plan that effectively allows Israel carte blanche to continue the occupation and theft of Palestinian land. | "We've informed the Israeli side … that there will be no relations at all with them and the United States including security ties," Authority president Mahmoud Abbas told members of the A…

IMEMC & Agencies (2020-02-02). Euromed: Peace Plan Strips Palestinians of Their Rights and Protects Israel From Accountability. imemc.org The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor followed the US President Donald Trump's announcement of a plan to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict entitled "Peace for Prosperity" which was celebrated by Israel and rejected by the Palestinians. The Geneva-based Euro-Med Monitor highlighted in a press statement, on Wednesday, the American plan, which calls …

Ahmed Abu Artema (2020-02-02). Trapped and Voiceless: The Palestinians Depicted in Trump's Plan. commondreams.org Peace is not something the victims of occupation, displacement and oppression can initiate. (Photo: Screen shot /Twitter) | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files…

RT (2020-02-01). Object-lesson in ruling class privilege? Democrats ditch donor threshold for primary debates so Bloomberg can participate. rt.com The Democratic National Committee is loosening its debate qualifying criteria, opening the door to billionaire establishment darling Michael Bloomberg and angering candidates that had been excluded from prior events. | The same DNC that has held fast to its rules while one candidate after another complained about the seemingly arbitrary means of deciding which polls would count toward a qualifying threshold has opted to discard its individual donor requirement starting with the February debate. The rule had prevented former New York Mayor and billionaire media mogul Bloomberg from joining the previous forums.

Eric Walberg (2020-02-01). Western Imperialism Stokes Resistance. dissidentvoice.org Tim Anderson's Axis of Resistance: Towards an Independent Middle East takes on the leftist position of 'a plague on all your houses'. Yassin Al-Haj Saleh, 'the intellectual voice of the Syrian revolution' (for westerners), presents a bleak portrait of "three monsters … treading on Syria's corpse": (1) the Assad regime and its allies, (2) DAESH/ISIS …

news.un (2020-02-01). UN chief 'deeply concerned' by military escalation in northwest Syria. news.un.org The UN Secretary-General has called for an immediate cessation of hostilities in northwest Syria.

WSWS (2020-02-01). Senate rejects witnesses in Trump impeachment trial, setting the stage for acquittal. wsws.org The Democrats, refusing to oppose Trump on the basis of his real crimes, sought to use impeachment to settle differences over foreign policy.

Randall Amster (2020-02-01). Trump and Subservient GOP Expose Failure of American Exceptionalism. commondreams.org Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill after returning from the White House on January 02, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images) | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files…

Tom Weis (2020-02-01). DNC Showing Its True Colors (Again). commondreams.org Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, speaks during an event to open a campaign office at Eastern Market in Detroit, Michigan, on December 21, 2019. (Photo: Jeff Kowalski/AFP via Getty Images) | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files…

Staff (2020-02-01). DNC Insiders Plot Return of Superdelegates to Stop Sanders at Convention. truthout.org As the first contests of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary draw near and Sen. Bernie Sanders continues to rise in polling, a small group of party insiders are considering making a bid to reverse a rule change won by progressives and allow the establishment to pick a candidate. | That's according to reporting from Politico Friday night which claims a cadre of Democratic National Committee (DNC) insiders are plotting to return superdelegates—unelected party officials and elites—t…

IMEMC & Agencies (2020-02-01). UN Expert Says US Deal "a One and a Half State Solution" imemc.org UN Special Rapporteur on the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, Michael Lynk said, on Friday, that the US plan is "lopsided" and will only entrench occupation, according to the United Nations. US President, Donald Trump, announced his administration's 'Vision for Peace, Prosperity and a Brighter Future' at the White …

IMEMC & Agencies (2020-02-01). Analysis: Palestinians Have Indeed 'Missed an Opportunity' — to Surrender to Zionism. imemc.org By Joseph Massad for Middle East Eye Western and Israeli propaganda never tire of telling the world of the age-old Israeli quest for peace, and how much Israel longs to be accepted by Palestinians and the rest of the Arab peoples as a Jewish state — an oasis of European …

Staff (2020-01-31). Inappropriate, Not Impeachable: Key GOP Senator's "Astonishing" Statement Clears Way for Acquittal. democracynow.org The Republican-led Senate appears poised to acquit President Trump as early as today in his historic impeachment trial. On Thursday night, Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee announced he would vote against calling witnesses. Alexander said it was "inappropriate" for Trump to ask a foreign leader to investigate a political rival, but he went on to say "there is no need for more evidence to prove something that has already been proven and that does not meet the United States Constitution's high bar for an impeachable offense." Democrats need four Republican senators to support calling for witnesses, bu…

RT (2020-01-31). Senate votes down Democrats' witness demand in Trump impeachment trial. rt.com The Republican-majority Senate has rejected Democrats' demand for additional witnesses in the impeachment trial of US President Donald Trump, paving the way for the likely acquittal verdict expected sometime next week. | Senators voted 51-49 not to call on more witnesses beyond the 18 that testified in the proceedings led by the House Democrats last year. | Two Republicans, Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah), joined the Democrats in calling for additional witnesses — such as former national security adviser John Bolton. The rest of the GOP sided with the president's lawyers, who argued that…

John Wojcik (2020-01-31). Senate "trial" with no documents or witnesses — a national embarrassment. peoplesworld.org President Donald Trump's acquittal was a certainty well before Sen. Lamar Alexander's decision last night to hang tight with his long-time pal Mitch McConnell and oppose efforts by the Dems to call more witnesses and keep the trial going an extra week. The 51-member GOP majority was never expected to put principle before party. Their …

Kathleen Wallace (2020-01-31). Do Not Light That Fuse DNC. counterpunch.org Recent leaked audio indicates that Donald Trump feared Hillary Clinton opting for Bernie Sanders as her VP choice in the last election cycle. This alone should create a situation that would cause the DNC to realize the viability of a Sanders candidacy this time around, but obviously a win for their "team" is not the

Eds. (2020-01-31). Palestinians around the world reject Trump's 'fraud of the century'. mronline.org Palestinians have responded to US President Donald Trump's peace plan with a resounding "no," expressing their frustrations with what they have dubbed as the "fraud of the century." From social media to the streets, Palestinians in the occupied territory and in the diaspora have rejected Trump's vision for the region, criticizing the plan for granting […] |

CounterSpin (2020-01-31). Omar Baddar on Israel/Palestine 'Peace' Plan, Rainey Reitman on Greenwald Persecution. fair.org MP3 Link This week on CounterSpin: It is strange to think that you could create a plan to shape the relationship between two entities, in consultation with one but not the other, and then not just declare it, yourself, a "win-win," but also say to the unconsulted party, "You better take it, or else." Yet …