2020-02-17: News Headlines

Evelyn Leopold (2020-02-17). How the UN's Middle East Peace Plan Was Trounced by Its Own Members. counterpunch.org Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has delivered a dramatic condemnation of the U.S.-drafted Middle East peace plan. No country, except Israel, has approved of the proposals at any public forum. Still, several nations around the world want the Palestinians to use the plan as a means of reopening negotiations with Israel by presenting its own vision.

RT (2020-02-17). Turkey trying to 'CONQUER' Libya, not to bring peace, says top Tripoli govt diplomat visiting Moscow. rt.com While Ankara claims to be supporting Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), its foreign minister on Monday outright rejected the Turkish presence in Libya, blasting it as an "aggression." | Commenting on the role of external players, such as Russia and Turkey, in bringing to an end the protracted Libyan civil war, minister Abdul Hadi Al-Hweij was particularly candid. | "When we talk about peace, we don't have [Turkey's President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan in mind," Al-Hweij said. "Among all the involved political figures, he's the farthest from a peaceful settlement." | Al-Hweij was speaking at the…

RT (2020-02-17). Russia will support Syria's fight against terrorism in Idlib despite Trump's calls to stop it — Kremlin. rt.com Moscow has vowed to continue its fight against terrorism in Syria's Idlib province alongside Damascus, even though this doesn't fit with Washington's vision for resolving the crisis. | Both the Russian Armed Forces and the country's advisers will "support the Syrian Arab Republic armed forces in their fight against terrorism," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said in a briefing on February 17. | Referring to escalating terrorist attacks in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, he said that the Russian government "still regrets that these terrorists have revitalized in Idlib." | The statement follows US…

Staff (2020-02-17). Assad Predicts Victory After Gains in Northern Syria. truthdig.com DAMASCUS, Syria — Syrian President Bashar Assad congratulated his forces Monday for recent gains in northwestern Syria that led to his troops consolidating control over Aleppo province, pledging to press ahead with a military campaign to achieve complete victory "sooner or later." | Assad, who rarely appears in public, said in a televised address that the onetime economic hub of Aleppo, the provincial capital, will "return stronger than it was before." | "This liberation does not mean the end of the war, and does not mean the end of the schemes nor the end of terrorism or the surrender of enemies," Assad sa…

RT (2020-02-17). Danish troops to return to Iraq air base for anti-ISIS campaign in March. rt.com Denmark said it will send military personnel back to the Iraqi Al-Asad base on March 1 to restart training of Iraqi security forces in the fight against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). | The NATO member-state last month removed most of the 130 military personnel it had stationed at the Al-Asad base, due to security concerns in the wake of an Iranian missile attack on the facility on January 8. Denmark's forces at the base are part of the international coalition fighting IS in Iraq and Syria. | The Danish defense ministry said on Monday the security situation was now no different than before the attack,…

South Front (2020-02-17). Video: Turkey Supports Al Qaeda Against Syrian Forces in Idlib. globalresearch.ca In Turkey, it is by now a good tradition to threaten Syria with a war every time when luckless Idlib rebels suffer another military defeat from the Syrian Army. This week was no exception. Recept Tayip Erdogan spearheaded the choir …

Arabi Souri (2020-02-17). Syrian Forces Secure Aleppo City Completely. globalresearch.ca Against all odds, and in the very difficult weather conditions the SAA cleaned all of Jamiyat Zahraa western Aleppo after taking control of the Llayramon and cleaned the two cities of Hreitan and Anadan in Aleppo's northwestern countryside. | Hayyan, Bayanon, …

Eric Margolis (2020-02-17). Wake Up Senators! New bipartisan War Powers Act to Constrain Military Action against Iran. globalresearch.ca The US Senate, long the lap dog of the man who would be king, President Donald Trump, appears to have finally remembered its proper constitutional role. | Last week, the Senate voted 55/45 for a new bipartisan War Powers Act to …

James Risen (2020-02-17). Senate Acquittal Gave Trump a Blank Check. zcomm.org With Roger Stone's Sentencing, the President's Crime Syndicate Is Cashing In…

Staff (2020-02-17). Trump's Budget Would Slash Support for Low-Income Students. truthout.org As the presidential election campaign picks up, almost every top candidate has released a plan for higher education that addresses college affordability and student debt issues. But there's only one candidate who's already in the White House — Donald Trump — and last week he released his plan in the form of a If Congress were to approve it, some higher education ex…

Miko Peled (2020-02-17). How Trump's "Peace" Plan Will Redraw Israel's Borders to Exclude to Non-Jews. globalresearch.ca Trump's new Middle East "Peace" Plan will redraw Israeli borders to exclude towns with large populations of Arab citizens, an attempt, writes Miko Peled, to force them down the totem pole to a place where their rights will be even …

sputniknews (2020-02-17). Former Arab League Secretary General: Syria's Return is Close. sputniknews.com The international organisation suspended Syria's membership in 2011 after violent protests turned into a full-scale civil war. Recent reports, however, show that many countries are ready to re-establish ties with Damascus as the Syrian government restores control over the country.

yenisafak (2020-02-17). Lavrov says Russian, Turkish forces in contact on Idlib. yenisafak.com Russia said on Monday that its military representatives in Idlib were in constant contact with their Turkish counterparts on developments on the ground in Syria's northwestern province.Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters in Munich, Germany that Moscow would host a fresh round of talks between "interdepartmental delegations" of Russia and Turkey, in the hopes of de-escalating tensions."All the facts are on the table. Military representatives of both the Russian Federation and Turkey, who are on the ground in Syria, in the province of Idlib, examine the changes in the situation in constant contact…

yenisafak (2020-02-17). Russian airstrikes target two hospitals in Syria's Aleppo. yenisafak.com Russian warplanes struck two hospitals, as well as residential areas, in Syria's northern Aleppo province, an official said on Monday.According to Syria Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets, airstrikes hit the hospitals in the northern town of Darat Izza near the Turkish border, wounding civilians and forcing the medical facilities to close.According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over half of the country's health facilities have been damaged or destroyed since the start of the civil war in 2011.Russian aircraft also targeted villages in the northwestern Idlib province, a stronghold of oppositi…

yenisafak (2020-02-17). EU divided over naval mission in Mediterranean. yenisafak.com The EU states are divided over the continuation of a naval mission meant to monitor the arms embargo in Libya, EU's top diplomat said Monday.Josep Borrell was referring to Operation Sophia, whose relaunch was put back on the agenda in January with a focus on Libya.It was initially launched in 2015 to block irregular migration in the Mediterranean Sea but was suspended a year ago when the Italian government refused to embark Operation Sophia's vessels, citing they were offloading refugees in their country.Borrell said the Libyan peace process was still ongoing, but admitted that EU member states have some "discrep…

Staff (2020-02-17). Headlines for February 17, 2020. democracynow.org Americans Aboard Cruise Ship Repatriated as 71,000 Global Cases of Coronavirus Confirmed, 1,100+ Ex-DOJ Staff Call on Attorney General Barr to Resign, Sen. Klobuchar Can't Say Name of Mexican President, Sen. Sanders Calls Out Bloomberg on Campaign Trail, Bloomberg's Company Faced Years of Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Lawsuits, LGBT Activists of Color Call Out Pete Buttigieg for Ties to Big Money, Conservative Positions, Airstrikes Kill 31 People, Including Children, in Yemen, Intensifying Syrian Gov't Offensive Has Displaced 800,000 Civilians Since December, Airstrike Kills 8 Civilians in Afghanistan as U…

RT (2020-02-16). Can Moscow finish Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline despite US sanctions? 'Never say never' says Gazprom. rt.com Russia's $10 billion Nord Stream 2 pipeline – which will pump gas more than 1,200 km to Germany – has been sanctioned by Washington, with US officials claiming Moscow can't finish the project. "Never say never," Gazprom replied. | The Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a joint project between Russian energy giant Gazprom and five European firms, was sanctioned by the US Congress in December. The State Department followed this with an ultimatum to the European firms working on the project: "immediately cease construction-related activity." | The warning was enough to scare away Swiss pipelaying firm Allseas Group SA, and…

RT (2020-02-16). Syrian army takes control over all villages around Aleppo, eliminating threat of terrorist shelling. rt.com The Syrian military has established full control of all areas surrounding Aleppo for the first time since 2012, putting an end to the terrorist shelling of the country's second-largest city. | A total of 23 villages to the west and north of the city were liberated, as fighters from the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham group (formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra) fled from their positions, state broadcaster SANA reported. | The news prompted large-scale celebrations in Aleppo. Residents took to the streets after dark waving Syrian national flags, and drivers honked their car horns. | Aleppo was freed in 2016 in a joint ope…

William Kaufman (2020-02-16). Tulsi Gabbard: A Political Postmortem. dissidentvoice.org The all-or-nothing New Hampshire gamble of Tulsi Gabbard has come up snake eyes. As I write, with 98 percent of the vote tallied, she is in seventh place, with a meager 3.3 percent of the vote, behind Tom Steyer. It is hard to imagine any path forward for her. And, frankly, one must acknowledge that …

teleSUR (2020-02-16). South Sudan: President Kiir, Opponent Marchar in a New Deadlock. telesurenglish.net Former South Sudanese rebel chief Riek Machar said Sunday in a statement that he is not satisfied with a peace offering presented by President Salva Kiir, and aimed at preparing the formation of a transitional government of national unity. | RELATED: | Hopes of an end to the South Sudanese deadlock were raised Saturday after Kiir agreed to a key demand from the opposition and reduced the number of states from the…

teleSUR (2020-02-16). Yemen's Warring Sides to Exchange Thousands of Prisoners. telesurenglish.net Yemen's warring sides agreed to exchange thousands of prisoners at the start of critical peace talks sponsored by the United Nations (U.N.) and started Thursday morning in the locality of Rimbo, north of Sweden's capital Stockholm. | RELATED: | The announcement was made Sunday by the U.N. which said in a statement that both sides decided to "immediately begin with exchanging the lists for the upcoming release" of prisoners. | "Today…

Ralph Nader (2020-02-15). "Democratic Socialism" — Bring it on Corporate Socialists! commondreams.org Vice President Henry Wallace (left) with President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Our government today is of, by, and for the dominant corporations. Such private power dominating our government in so many reported ways was called "fascism" in 1938 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in a formal message to Congress. (Photo: Library of Congress) | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files…

Rawan Elhalaby (2020-02-15). Banking is Changing. Its Lack of Diversity Must Change, Too, and Congress Can Help. commondreams.org In Nicetown, a North Philadelphia neighborhood that was redlined in the 1930s, banks and mortgage brokers largely stay away. Lenders have been particularly stingy when it comes to home improvement loans. CREDIT: SARAH BLESENER FOR REVEAL NEWS | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files…

Mark Gruenberg (2020-02-14). Senate follows House in banning money for Trump war on Iran. peoplesworld.org WASHINGTON—By a bipartisan 55-45 vote on Feb. 13, the GOP-run Senate followed the Democratic-run House and barred saber-rattling Donald Trump from spending any military money to make war on Iran. Eight Republicans joined all 45 Democrats and both independents in voting against Trump and against war on Iran. One of the eight, Maine's Susan Collins, …

Staff (2020-02-14). Rep. Rashida Tlaib: Trump's "Racist" Plan Would Legalize the Theft of Palestinian Land. democracynow.org We continue our conversation with Congressmember Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, the first Palestinian-American woman elected to Congress. She responds to President Trump's Middle East plan, under which Israel would gain sovereignty over large areas of the occupied West Bank, Jerusalem would be under total Israeli control, and all Jewish settlers in the occupied territory would be allowed to remain in their homes. Tlaib says the plan was formulated with a "racist lens" that ignores Palestinian lives and aspirations. Tlaib says she wants people "to know what the human impact is of taking people's land, taking people's…

news.un (2020-02-14). Vital Idlib aid deliveries resume after 'heavy bombing' – WFP. news.un.org Urgently-needed aid deliveries to embattled civilians in north-west Syria have started again after a day-long break in distributions caused by escalating hostilities, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday.

Staff (2020-02-14). Headlines for February 14, 2020. democracynow.org Senate Passes Resolution Limiting Trump's War Powers Authority, Attorney General William Barr Criticizes Trump's Tweets, Bloomberg Criticized for Falsely Blaming 2008 Crisis on End of Redlining, Top Wall Street Executives on Biden Guest List for Manhattan Fundraiser, Ex-Ohio State Wrestler Says Rep. Jim Jordan Begged Him to Cover Up Sexual Abuse, Last Month Was Hottest January on Record, Indigenous Anti-Pipeline Blockades Cripple Canada's Rail Transportation, Intercept: Canadian Fossil Fuel Company "Bought" Oregon Sheriff Department Unit, Judge Temporarily Blocks Microsoft-Pentagon Contract After Amazon Lawsuit,…

John Nichols (2020-02-14). The Senate Rejects Outsourcing War Powers to Trump. thenation.com The Senate Rejects Outsourcing War Powers to Trump…

news.un (2020-02-14). Guinea-Bissau: Swearing-in of new President unlikely to bring stability, says UN representative. news.un.org Political discord in Guinea-Bissau could hamper the first-ever peaceful transfer of power to a democratically elected leader, the top UN official in the West African country told the Security Council on Friday.

Fight Back (2020-02-14). Major anti-war groups join the Coalition to March on the DNC. fightbacknews.org Milwaukee, WI – As the July 13 start of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) draws closer, the Coalition to March on the DNC has risen to the occasion. Since the start of the new year, the coalition has seen tremendous gains. | Between leading a 2000-person demonstration against Donald Trump when he visited Milwaukee on January 14 and butting heads with the city while trying to host a press conference to announce a lawsuit for our right to protest, traffic to the Facebook page has increased dramatically, including numerous inquiries about how people can get more involved. | Perhaps the most significant indica…

Jonathan Kissam (2020-02-14). The distinct perspective of a "Little Leftist Union" mronline.org In 1949, the UE national convention voted to withhold per capita payments to the Congress of Industrial Organizations until the CIO, of which UE was the third-largest affiliate at the time, took steps to stop other CIO unions from raiding the UE. The CIO responded by expelling UE, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and […] |

RT (2020-02-13). US Senate strikes symbolic blow against Trump by limiting war powers toward Iran with new resolution. rt.com The US Senate has passed a resolution limiting President Donald Trump's war powers in the case of Iran. The measure would only allow the president authority to strike in the case of self-defense or an imminent attack. | Eight Republicans joined Democrats in voting for the measure, which was passed 55-45. The resolution fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to override a presidential veto, meaning this resolution is more symbolic than anything. | The president made his feelings on the War Powers Resolution clear on Wednesday when he tweeted that Iran would "have a field day" if his hands "were tied" due…

Paul Kawika Martin (2020-02-13). Peace Action: Senate Reclaims War Powers to Thwart Iran War. peaceaction.org Washington, D.C. — February 13, 2020 — In response to the Senate passing the bipartisan bill — S.J.Res.68 — that would thwart President Trump from going to war with Iran and end any current hostilities, Paul Kawika Martin, Senior Director for Policy and Political Affairs at Peace Action, released the following statement: "It's about time …

news.un (2020-02-13). Year-old peace agreement must be implemented for 'lasting peace' in Central African Republic. news.un.org Following a visit to the Central African Republic, a UN independent expert said that everyone must take all measures necessary to effectively implement the peace agreement that was signed in Bangui a year ago.

news.un (2020-02-13). Transitional justice processes critical to lasting peace, Security Council hears. news.un.org For countries to move forward after conflict or mass atrocities, suffering must be acknowledged and justice served, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights told the Security Council on Thursday.

RT (2020-02-12). What about stopping endless wars? Trump urges GOP to vote down Iran war resolution because it's a partisan ploy by Democrats. rt.com US President Donald Trump says the resolution that would block him from using force against Iran is a partisan trick by Democrats, even though he campaigned on a peace platform and some of his closest allies support the proposal. | "We are doing very well with Iran and this is not the time to show weakness," Trump tweeted on Wednesday, adding that Tehran would "have a field day" if his hands were tied. | "The Democrats are only doing this as an attempt to embarrass the Republican Party. Don't let it happen!" he urged the GOP majority. ….If my hands were tied, Iran would have a field day. Sends a very bad s…

Whitney Webb (2020-02-12). Scuffle Between Syrian Civilians and US Soldiers Reflects Increasing Hostility to US Troops. mintpressnews.com Though today's incident in Qamishli is a rare occurrence, it is likely a harbinger of the region-wide push that has seen countries like Syria and Iraq take a firmer posture towards the presence of US troops in their countries.

Yashica Robinson, MD (2020-02-12). Congress Should Outlaw State Attacks on Abortion Access. aclu.org Before I finished | high school, I learned I was pregnant. As a result of fear and a lack of | resources, by the time I confided in my mother and grandmother, I had no choice | — I was going to be a mother. Becoming a parent as a teenager came with many | harsh realities. I love my children with all my heart, but I know that everyone | should be able to make the decision to parent for themselves. | This personal | experience, along with my passion for young people, is how I came to my work at | the Alabama Women's Center. As a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist and medical | director of a Huntsvil…

Neema Singh Guliani (2020-02-12). Deadline Looming, Strongest Surveillance Reform Bill Yet Emerges. aclu.org Congress has just five weeks to decide the fate of key foreign | intelligence surveillance powers — forcing a showdown between surveillance | reformers and defenders. And now, a group of Republicans and Democrats have | unveiled the strongest comprehensive reform proposal that we have seen | yet. | The Safeguarding Americans' Private Records Act of 2020, introduced by a

Staff (2020-02-12). Headlines for February 12, 2020. democracynow.org Bernie Sanders Wins New Hampshire Primary, Andrew Yang and Michael Bennet Drop Out of Presidential Race, Federal Prosecutors Quit Roger Stone Case Amid Fight with DOJ Officials, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Rejects Trump's Middle East Plan in U.N. Speech, Trump Conditionally Approves Peace Deal with the Taliban, WHO Warns Coronavirus Poses "Grave Threat" to World, Opposition Leader Juan Guaidó Heckled and Protested Upon Return to Venezuela, Report: 40% of Guatemalan, Honduran & Salvadoran Migrants Fled After Relatives Killed, WSJ: ICE & CPB Use Cellphone Location Data from Games, Apps to Arrest Immigrants,…

news.un (2020-02-12). 'We must all do more' to protect children in armed conflict: UN chief. news.un.org On the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers, UN Secretary-General António Guterres emphasized the need to integrate child protection into peace processes during a high-level Security Council briefing on Wednesday.

news.un (2020-02-12). Foreign fighters: 'One of the most serious dimensions' in global counter-terrorism struggle. news.un.org Over the past few years, ISIL and Al-Qaida terrorist fighters have posed an "unprecedented threat to international peace and security", the UN counter-terrorism chief said on Wednesday in Vienna, at the close of a joint UN- Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) regional conference on addressing challenges posed by terrorists who have gone to fight overseas.

Aaron Maté (2020-02-11). Exclusive: New leaks shatter OPCW's attacks on Douma whistleblowers. thegrayzone.com Facing accusations that it issued a doctored report alleging a chemical attack in Syria, the OPCW has released an inquiry…

Staff (2020-02-11). Headlines for February 11, 2020. democracynow.org New Hampshire Voters Head to Polls for First Primary of 2020, Coronavirus Death Toll Tops 1,000, with Over 42,000 Confirmed Cases, Chuck Schumer Calls for Investigation into Trump's Retaliation-Motivated Firings, DOJ Reviewing Ukraine Info from Giuliani, DOJ Charges 4 Chinese Military Hackers in 2017 Equifax Breach, El Salvador President Bukele and Armed Officers Confront Lawmakers over Military Funding, Fears Mount for 5 Activists Detained in Philippines, Sinn Féin Scores Major Victory in Ireland, Syrian and Turkish Forces Step Up Attacks as 100,000s Face Humanitarian Disaster, Massive Locust Swarms Threaten Cro…

Staff (2020-02-10). "Our Very Existence Is the Resistance": An Hour w/ AOC, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib & Ilhan Omar. democracynow.org On Friday, Democracy Now! co-host Nermeen Shaikh sat down for a rare joint interview with the Squad, the group of four freshmen Democratic congresswomen who have taken Capitol Hill by storm: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. Omar and Tlaib are the first Muslim women elected to Congress. Omar is a former refugee from Somalia, and Tlaib is the first female Palestinian-American member of Congress. Ayanna Pressley is the first African-American woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts. Ocasio-Cortez was just 29 years old w…

Strategic Culture (2020-02-08). US Deploys 'Mini-Nukes' in Deplorable Threat to World Peace. theantimedia.com These so-called "mini-nukes" represent—despite the diminutive-sounding name—an increased risk of nuclear war.

Middle East Eye (2020-02-07). Russia Says Israel Used Civilian Plane as Human Shield During Syria Strikes. theantimedia.com Russia accused Israel of "making a total mockery of the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians."

Aaron Maté (2020-02-07). Iowa debacle fueled by anti-Bernie billionaires, Russiagate hucksters, failed DNC elites. thegrayzone.com Max Blumenthal breaks down the shadowy network of billionaires, Democratic elites, and Russiagate profiteers behind the Shadow app that ruined…

splcenter (2020-02-07). SPLC Testifies Before Congress on Alarming Incidents of White Supremacy in the Military. splcenter.org

Middle East Eye (2020-02-06). Turkey Gives Assad Deadline to Pull Back or Face Military Action. theantimedia.com Turkey has given the Syrian government until the end of this month to withdraw from recently seized territory in Idlib province.