2020-03-18: News Headlines

Kathy Kelly (2020-03-18). Stop Tightening the Thumb Screws: A Humanitarian Message. dissidentvoice.org Protester's sign decries sanctions, "a silent war" (Photo Credit: Campaign for Peace and Democracy, 2013) U.S. sanctions against Iran, cruelly strengthened in March of 2018, continue a collective punishment of extremely vulnerable people. Presently, the U.S. "maximum pressure" policy severely undermines Iranian efforts to cope with the ravages of COVID-19, causing hardship and tragedy while …

RT (2020-03-18). Russian senator calls for ALL unilateral SANCTIONS to be lifted to prevent coronavirus causing global economic crisis. rt.com The spread of Covid-19 may send the global economy into a lengthy recession, but lifting sanctions that aren't backed by the United Nations may help avoid a total catastrophe. That's according to a senior Russian senator. | The drop in energy demand, unstable currency exchange rates, and the threat to people's safety have put humanity at risk of a major economic crisis which "won't spare anybody," Konstantin Kosachev, the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Russian Senate, warned. | Developing vaccines and working towards new agreements on oil prices are good measures to deal with the difficult situa…

Dr. Binoy Kampmark (2020-03-18). The Taliban Scores a Coup. globalresearch.ca It threatened to disappear under the viral haze of COVID-19, but February 29 saw representatives from the US and Taliban, loftily acknowledged as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, sign the "Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan". After two decades of …

Susan Price (2020-03-18). Syria: Shaky ceasefire in Idlib. greenleft.org.au

The Canary (2020-03-17). Covid-19: Teachers' union accuses Government of creating 'chaos and confusion'. thecanary.co A lack of advice for schools amid the coronavirus pandemic is creating "chaos and confusion" and placing "intolerable pressure" on staff, a teachers' union has warned.The NASUWT, which represents teachers and head teachers, said there was a "rising sense of panic" as it called for a definitive decision on how to protect staff and pupils.Prime minister Boris Johnson stopped short of announcing school closures as he unveiled unprecedented peacetime measures to try to control the spread of Covid-19 on Monday.Although he added that the measures will remain under review, the union criticised Johnson for failing to giv…

Miri Wood (2020-03-17). Armed Terrorists Storm Syrian Arab Red Crescent Offices in Idlib, Attack Volunteers, Loot Humanitarian Aid. globalresearch.ca In coordinated attacks on Saturday 14 March, armed terrorists stormed the SARC office in Idlib and its sub-branch in Ariha. In both facilities, the savages beat up Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers, looted humanitarian aid, and vandalized that which they …

Whitney Webb (2020-03-17). Podcast: Vanessa Beeley Unpacks the Idlib Crisis and the Fight for Syria's Oil, Gas and Water. mintpressnews.com Vanessa Beeley weighs in on the crisis in Idlib, Syria, the geopolitical agendas at play and how civilians are scrambling for survival amid a fight for Syria's major oil, gas and water reserves.

Tony Cartalucci (2020-03-17). US Kills Iraqis for Demanding End of Illegal Occupation. globalresearch.ca The US has recently carried out deadly attacks across Iraq — targeting Iraqi state-sponsored militias including Kata'ib Hezbollah who were responsible for the defeat of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). | CNN in its article, "

South Front (2020-03-17). Video: New Syrian Army Offensive in Idlib Becoming Inevitable as Militants Sabotage Joint Turkish-Russian Patrols. globalresearch.ca On March 15, Russian and Turkish forces conducted a first joint patrol in Greater Idlib in the framework of the new de-escalation agreement reached in Moscow. The planned route of the patrol goes along the M4 highway, where a buffer …

Staff (2020-03-17). Headlines for March 17, 2020. democracynow.org More Countries Enact Travel Bans, Isolation Measures, as Coronavirus Cases Top 183,000 , U.S. Braces for Spread of Coronavirus as Trump Lauds Gov't Response Despite Severe Lack of Testing, Stock Market Plummets as Trump Acknowledges Economy "May" Be Headed Toward Recession , Fire Kills Young Girl at Refugee Camp in Lesbos, Netanyahu Rival Benny Gantz Asked to Form New Government , U.S. to Pull Out of Several Iraqi Bases After Recent Attacks | , Mitch McConnell Urging Conservative Judges to Retire While GOP Still Holds Senate & Presidency, Gunman Kills 5 People at Missouri Gas Station | , Maryland Senate Passes Bi…

teleSUR (2020-03-17). Brazil: Bolsonaro to Be Denounced for Risking the Population. telesurenglish.net The Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL) lawmaker Marcelo Freixo will denounce Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro before the World Health Organization (WHO) for putting the population at risk by promoting the concentration of people in a political act against of the National Congress and the Federal Supreme Court held in Brasilia on March 15. | RELATED: | At an event called by those who long for the return to a military regime, Bolso…

Staff (2020-03-17). The Senate Must Pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. truthout.org The coronavirus pandemic has laid bare how ill-prepared the U.S. is to address basic human needs. Unlike every other wealthy nation, the U.S. fails to provide access to health care for everyone, paid time off for workers who are sick, safety standards to protect health workers, adequate payment to caregivers for people with disabilities, or financial support for businesses in times of natural disasters or widespread illness. | The House of Representatives, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representative R…

Julia Conley, staff writer (2020-03-17). Labor Leader Sara Nelson Demands Stimulus Package That Bails Out Airline Industry Workers—Not Shareholders and CEOs. commondreams.org The union representing flight attendants called on Congress to ensure airline workers—not executives and shareholder profits—are at the center of the effort to shore up the industry. | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files…

news.un (2020-03-16). UN Population Fund sounds alarm over dire situation facing women and girls in Syria, as 10th year of war begins. news.un.org The UN sexual and reproductive health agency UNFPA, is expressing increasing concern about the women and girls trapped in Syria's dire and escalating humanitarian crisis, especially in the north-west, where hostilities have caused mass displacement, human suffering and damage to civilian facilities.

Staff (2020-03-16). Is the DNC Once Again Orchestrating the Defeat of a Socialist Candidate? truthout.org In 1944, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) ensured that socialist Henry Wallace would not succeed Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) as president. Is history repeating itself in 2020? | Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders received the most votes in the first three primary elections. After centrist Joe Biden scored his first primary win, the DNC consolidated the Democratic Party establishment around him. Candidates Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar immediately dropped out of the race and endorsed Bid…

Staff (2020-03-16). The Long Arm of the American Nazi Party Reaches the 2020 Illinois Primary. truthout.org Republicans voting on Tuesday in Illinois's 3rd congressional district primary will get to decide if they want Art Jones, a lifelong white supremacist, to be their candidate. The state's GOP is actively campaigning against him. They are still embarrassed that Jones was their 2018 candidate, after the party had forgotten to field a primary opponent to ensure that he wasn't their candidate in the general election in a strongly Democratic district. And later that year, despite ample publicity of hi…

Fight Back (2020-03-16). Federal Reserve hits panic button. fightbacknews.org San José, CA – On Sunday, March 15, the Federal Reserve bank hit the panic button, dropping interest rates by a full percentage point to near zero. The last time that Fed did this was in December 2008 during the financial crisis. The Federal Reserve also pledged to restart the Quantitative Easing or QE program of longer-term bond buying, first started in November 2008. Trump's Secretary of the Treasury Mnuchin also vowed to go to congress this coming week to restart emergency financial powers for the federal government in addition to the Fed's actions. | The stock market did not react well, seeing it as a confess…

Ali Salam (2020-03-15). Israeli Forces Shoot, Injure one Palestinian in Kufur Qaddoum. imemc.org A Palestinian young man suffered a shrapnel wound in his back, on Saturday, when the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) fired towards a peaceful group, marching in Kufur Qaddoum town, east of Qalqilia, a local official reported. Morad Eshteiwi, the coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Colonies, said …

news.un (2020-03-14). Syria: 'The tragedy is deepening' as UN figures reveal nearly 5 million children have known nothing but war. news.un.org Syria marks a grim milestone this weekend as the tenth year of war begins, prompting the UN Special Envoy to take stock of the incomprehensible scale of suffering there, noting that with nearly a million newly displaced in Idlib, "the tragedy is deepening".

news.un (2020-03-14). South Sudan: UN chief commends 'spirit of compromise and collaboration' as new cabinet is unveiled. news.un.org Following the unveiling of a new unity cabinet in South Sudan on Thursday, the UN Secretary-General has commended the "spirit of compromise and collaboration" shown by President Salva Kiir and rival-turned-top deputy, Riek Machar, on what has been a rocky road towards forging lasting peace.

news.un (2020-03-13). As Syrian conflict enters 10th year, 'brutal truth' is, there is little protection for families. news.un.org Although a fragile ceasefire agreed in northwest Syria is still holding, UN humanitarians on Friday warned of dire conditions for hundreds of thousands of civilians displaced by conflict, now in its tenth year.

Lilly Dragnev (2020-03-13). Latest U.S. Military Strikes Are as Reckless as they are Cruel. peaceaction.org Washington, D.C. — March 12, 2020 — In response to reports that the U.S. has carried out five airstrikes on Iranian-backed militia sites in Iraq, Jon Rainwater, Executive Director of Peace Action, released the following statement: "At a time of one of the greatest global challenges of our lifetimes, it is shocking that the Trump …

Staff (2020-03-12). Trump Calls COVID-19 "Foreign Virus" as Lack of Universal Healthcare Makes the Pandemic Worse. democracynow.org After downplaying the threat of coronavirus for days, President Donald Trump addressed the nation Wednesday from the Oval Office, calling COVID-19 a "foreign virus" and announcing an unprecedented travel ban from most of Europe to the U.S. He also said he will expand sick leave. This comes as Senate Republicans blocked paid sick leave legislation. Robert Pollin, distinguished university professor of economics and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, says the lack of universal healthcare in the U.S. is exacerbating the coronavirus crisis due to "the ab…

Staff (2020-03-12). Lack of Paid Sick Leave Makes It Difficult for Many Workers to Comply with CDC Advice to Stay Home. democracynow.org As the number of coronavirus cases in the United States passes 1,300 cases with 38 deaths, more than 30 million workers lack access to paid sick leave. President Trump addressed the nation Wednesday night, saying he will expand sick leave as part of emergency response to the virus. But the same day, Republican senators blocked an attempt by Senate Democrats to quickly pass legislation requiring employers to grant paid sick leave. Meanwhile, Democrats in the House of Representatives will debate a package of bills Thursday to give workers 14 days of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical…

news.un (2020-03-12). War in Syria: 'Carnage', flouting of rights and international law, must stop: Guterres. news.un.org UN agencies have underscored their commitment to continue supporting civilians affected by the war in Syria, which this month enters its tenth year. The Secretary-General issued a statement on Thursday, declaring that "we cannot allow the tenth year to result in the same carnage, the same flouting of human rights and international humanitarian law."

Paul Kawika Martin (2020-03-11). Congress Sends Bipartisan Bill to Trump Rebuking Iran War. peaceaction.org Washington, D.C. — March 11, 2020 — In response to the House 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: "Both chambers and …

Staff (2020-03-09). "It's a Real Mess": Afghan Rivals Both Claim Presidency as Ongoing Attacks Could Derail Peace Deal. democracynow.org Since last month's U.S.-Taliban peace plan, there have been nearly 80 attacks in Afghanistan. The violence could derail the deal that calls for U.S. troops to withdraw over the next 14 months. This comes as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and top political leader Abdullah Abdullah both claimed that they won the presidential election at dual inauguration ceremonies today in Kabul, and members of the Taliban and the Afghan government were set to start direct negotiations on Tuesday. We speak with Washington Post reporter Craig Whitlock, who recently won the George Polk Award for Military Reporting for his in-depth in…

pip.hinman (2020-03-06). Oil firm dumps plans to drill the Bight, but fight not over. greenleft.org.au

Medea Benjamin (2020-03-02). Can the World's Second Superpower Rise From the Ashes of Twenty Years of War? zcomm.org If there is a lesson for peace-loving Americans in the Obama and Trump presidencies, it is that we cannot just walk out of the voting booth and leave it to a champion in the White House to end our wars and bring us peace. In the final analysis, it really is up to us…

Jason Ditz (2020-02-20). Turkey Kills Over 50 Syrian Troops, Russian Warplanes Intervene to Halt Offensive. theantimedia.com Russia called the situation a "worst case scenario."

Paul Kawika Martin (2020-02-13). 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 …

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."

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.

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 …

Jon Rainwater (2020-01-31). House Votes to Rein in Trump's Iran War Powers While Ending Endless Wars. peaceaction.org Washington, D.C. — January 30, 2020 — In response to two high-profile war powers votes on the House floor today, Peace Action released the following statement: "Our nation's endless wars are on autopilot, with Trump fitfully grabbing the steering wheel until his attention wanders somewhere else. Today's votes are a step toward Congress reclaiming its …

Jon Rainwater (2020-01-08). In the ongoing crisis, Congress must rein in Trump's war powers. peaceaction.org As we feared, President Trump's reckless assassination of Iran's Gen. Soleimani resulted in escalation — direct Iranian missile attacks on two military bases in Iraq. It's painful to watch more violence in a country that has already suffered far too much from endless war. All parties in the US/Iran conflict must cease military action and …

Jon Rainwater (2019-11-07). Take Action — Some actual, SANE legislation. peaceaction.org Trump has plans to spend nearly $2 TRILLION over the next 30 years on unneeded and unnecessary nuclear weapons and delivery systems. This makes no sense. This is insane. That's nearly $100 million wasted every day for thirty years on weapons we are supposed to be getting rid of. To put that amount in perspective, …

Jon Rainwater (2019-09-25). Take Action to Avoid War with Iran. peaceaction.org photo credit Dear Groundswell Readers, We have to keep pushing Congress this week if we want to avoid war with Iran. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said recently that the U.K. might join a U.S.-led military effort in the Gulf. When other nations step up to join the "coalition of the willing" it's often a bad sign. …

Paul Kawika Martin (2019-07-18). Diplomacy Instead of a Disaster in Iran. peaceaction.org Washington, D.C. — July 18, 2019 — In response to reports of the U.S. shooting down an Iranian drone, Paul Kawika Martin, Senior Director for Policy and Political Affairs at Peace Action, released the following statement: "Because of the Trump administration's policy of maximum provocation towards Iran, America stands on the precipice of another blunderous …

Peace Action (2019-07-11). Peace Action Endorses 'the Squad' — Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Pressley and Tlaib for Congress. peaceaction.org Washington, D.C. — July 11, 2019 — Peace Action, the nation's largest grassroots peace organization, has endorsed four progressive champions for the House of Representatives in the 2020 election, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for New York's 14th district, Rep. Ilhan Omar for Minnesota's 5th district, Rep. Ayanna Pressley for Massachusetts' 7th district, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib …

Paul Kawika Martin (2019-06-28). Most Senators Oppose War with Iran Without Congressional Approval. peaceaction.org Washington, D.C. — June 28, 2019 — In response to the Senate voting 50-40 in favor of an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to block funding for military action against Iran without congressional approval, Paul Kawika Martin, Senior Director for Policy and Political Affairs at Peace Action, released the following statement: "Because …