2020-03-22: News Headlines

RT (2020-03-22). Russian world breaststroke champ Efimova keeps fit with quarantine press-ups, delights fans with topless beach snap (PHOTOS). rt.com Russian world champion swimmer Yulia Efimova may be largely confined to home like millions of others around the world during the Covid-19 outbreak but she's at least managing to stay in shape. | Six-time world breaststroke queen Efimova is currently in sun-kissed Hawaii training for the summer Olympics, although like her fellow athletes around the world faces an anxious wait over whether the Games in Tokyo will even go ahead as the Covid-19 chaos rages on. | Likes millions of others, Efimova at least appears to be following the 'stay at home' advice, but that has not stopped her working out. | The Russian s…

RT (2020-03-22). War-ravaged Syria suffers its FIRST case of Covid-19 — state media. rt.com Syria's health minister has confirmed that the first case of coronavirus, which has already reached pandemic levels, has been reported in the country. | The person person in question came from abroad, it was announced. Meanwhile, Health Minister Nizar al-Yaziji told SANA state news agency that the "necessary measures" have been taken to deal with the case. | Earlier on Sunday, the official said that the nation — suffering from years-long civil war and a terrorist surge — was actively preparing for a potential coronavirus outbreak on its territory. | Medical authorities in Aleppo already established a…

RT (2020-03-22). 'Nobody knew Covid-19 would take off like it did': Mnuchin says coronavirus looks like 10 to 12 week scenario. rt.com The US treasury secretary has assured US citizens that the coronavirus is unlikely to last very long, but defended the Trump administration by saying no one could have predicted how bad things would really get. | Amid panic surrounding the coronavirus and a spiraling economy, Mnuchin has announced he believes the coronavirus is a 10- to 12-week situation, and US citizens and businesses should be expecting relief very soon. | Speaking to Fox News, Mnuchin revealed that the much-talked-about economic coronavirus package is expected to move through Congress on Monday, as details are currently being finalized. | I…

RT (2020-03-22). Rand Paul becomes first US senator to test POSITIVE for coronavirus. rt.com Senator Rand Paul has tested positive for coronavirus and is in quarantine, the Kentucky Republican is the first member of the upper chamber of Congress to contract the virus. | The politician revealed the news on his official Twitter account, announcing that he is "feeling fine" and has not displayed any symptoms of the Covid-19 illness. The Twitter statement said that he was tested "out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events". | Senator Rand Paul has tested positive for COVID-19. He is feeling fine and is in quarantine. He is asymptomatic and was tested out of an abundance of cauti…

South Front (2020-03-22). Video: 'Moderate Rebels' Bite Hand that Feeds Them. 2 Turkish Soldiers Killed in Idlib. globalresearch.ca Syria entered the second half of the week with a new spike of tensions in Greater Idlib. This escalation has been widely expected because militant groups are sabotaging key parts of the Russian-Turkish agreement on de-escalation in the area. | Radicals …

Stephen Lendman (2020-03-22). US Senators Dump Stocks with COVID-19 "Inside Information" globalresearch.ca Following a closed-door briefing on the threat of spreading COVID-19 infections — before markets began crashing — at least five US senators cashed in based on inside information unavailable to the public. | The quintet includes Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard …

RT (2020-03-21). German public broadcaster ARD sends birthday greetings to Russian FM Lavrov — for tetchy tabloid Bild, this was too much to bear. rt.com Congratulating someone on their birthday is the polite thing to do, but apparently not when anti-Russian hysteria comes into play. The German public broadcaster ARD has just learned this the hard way. | Sergey Lavrov, who has been Russia's foreign minister since 2004 and one of the most recognizable figures on the international political scene, turned 70 on Saturday. From the landmark Iran Nuclear Deal to settling the conflict in Syria, he was directly involved in the most high-profile global events of the last 16 years. | A diplomat with such a scoresheet surely deserves a few words of appreciation on his big…

The Lancet (2020-03-21). [Editorial] Peace and health in Afghanistan. thelancet.com After years of war and political instability, Afghanistan is at a potentially historic crossroads. On Feb 29, 2020, a peace deal was agreed between the Taliban and the USA. The anticipated resumption of talks between the Afghan Government and the Taliban could signal a new phase, but what this means for the Afghan people is unclear. Weak health systems and disrupted access to health care have left many in poor health for decades, but since the fall of the Taliban some extraordinary gains in health have occurred.

Susan Price (2020-03-21). The geopolitics of COVID-19. greenleft.org.au

RT (2020-03-20). US military 'successfully' test-launches hypersonic glide body — Pentagon (VIDEO). rt.com The Pentagon has announced that it has successfully tested a hypersonic glide body, saying that the launch will play an important role in future hypersonic technology development. | The US Navy released a clip of the projectile's launch, which was carried out in cooperation with the Army. | The hypersonic glider was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii on Thursday night, yet confirmation came only on Friday. Its flight was tracked by the Missile Defense Agency, which will use the flight data to improve its own hypersonic defense systems. | This improvement is seen as crucial, as Washin…

Nick Turse (2020-03-20). America's Commandos Deployed to 141 Countries and "Criminal Misconduct" Followed. counterpunch.org Last October, a group of eight Apache attack and CH-47 Chinook helicopters carrying U.S. commandos roared out of an airfield in Iraq. They raced through Turkish airspace and across the Syrian border, coming in low as they approached a village just north of Idlib Province where Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, his bodyguards, and

Ramzy Baroud (2020-03-20). Death at the Greek Border: Syrian Refugees Should Not Be Used as Political Pawns. counterpunch.org In a surprising move, Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, announced on February 29 that he will be re-opening his country's border to Europe, thus allowing tens of thousands of mostly Syrian refugees into Greece and other European countries. Expectedly, over 100,000 people rushed to the Ipsala border point in the Edirne province separating Turkey from

RT (2020-03-20). Senator Burr enabled Russiagaters for years; now they're accusing him of insider trading & coronavirus lies. rt.com Richard Burr, chair of the US Senate Intelligence Committee, has been accused of deceiving the public about the coronavirus outbreak and seeking to profit from it by dumping stocks that are crashing due to the pandemic. | Burr (R-North Carolina) found himself under attack from two directions on Thursday. Early in the day, National Public Radio ran a story based on "secret recordings" from a speech he gave in North Carolina in late February, when he gave oddly specific warnings about Covid-19 to an elite group of donors, while keeping the rest of the American public in the dark. | SCOOP: Secret recording obtain…

John Bachtell (2020-03-20). Marie Newman rides winds of change to victory in Illinois. peoplesworld.org CHICAGO — The political winds of change blew through Illinois on March 17 when Marie Newman defeated incumbent Rep. Dan Lipinski in the 3rd Congressional District Democratic Primary. Newman won 47% to 44%. Newman's victory put an abrupt end to the 40-year lock the Lipinski family has had on the seat and struck a blow …

Stephen Lendman (2020-03-20). Biden v. Trump in November, Tulsi and Bernie Drop Out… globalresearch.ca Tulsi and Bernie dropped out. | On March 19, she made it official, shaming herself and disappointing supporters by endorsing Biden. See below. | *** | So will Sanders officially in the coming days (dropping out and endorsing Biden). | He likely privately informed …

South Front (2020-03-20). Video: ISIS Threat Revives in Eastern Syria. Idlib Militants Kill Each Other Over Security Zone Deal Contradictions. globalresearch.ca ISIS cells are once again active in eastern Syria. Late on March 17, the Syrian Army and the National Defense Forces repelled an ISIS attack in the area between the town of al-Sukhna and the T3 station. The attack involved …

Ali Salam (2020-03-20). PLO Official Applauds US Congress Efforts Against Israeli Policy of Home Demolitions. imemc.org Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) welcomed, on Friday, the letter signed by 64 US lawmakers concerning the Israeli crime of home demolition, systematically perpetrated against Palestinian families, the Palestinian WAFA News Agency reported. Dr.

Staff (2020-03-20). It's Been Open Season on Voting Rights Since SCOTUS Gutted Voting Rights Act. truthout.org Election protection is increasingly seen as a critical issue in the US. Since the gutting of the Voting Rights Act by the Supreme Court, there have been problems with voter purging, voter ID laws, what some call modern-day 'poll taxes', precinct closures, and difficulties with voting machines. Congress has noted serious attempts to hack into voting systems in the US based in partisan politics. Women Rising Radio joins two election protection activists to talk about threats to the U.S. electoral p…

Lilly Dragnev (2020-03-20). Peace Action Supports Wyden-Klobuchar Bill to Protect Democracy and Ensure Safe Elections. peaceaction.org Statement of Jon Rainwater, Executive Director, Peace Action, on the introduction of the Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act (NDEBA) by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). This bill would help ensure that elections can take place in a safe and secure way throughout the pandemic and beyond. March 19, 2020 Peace Action …

news.un (2020-03-20). UN rights chief urges South Sudan authorities to address inter-communal violence. news.un.org Authorities in South Sudan must address intercommunal violence if the nation is to achieve lasting peace, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Friday, in response to a recent escalation in fighting in the east and central parts of the country.

news.un (2020-03-20). FIRST PERSON: The 'inseparable bond' between Hawaiian culture and native plants. news.un.org The 17 goals agreed by the global community to reduce poverty and create a sustainable planet are the responsibility of all people, wherever they are in the world, according to the United Nations. The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs represent a boundary-pushing blueprint for the future of the Earth and it's anticipated they will be realized by 2030. UN News joined the International Labour Organization on a visit to Hawaii where many people are already living aspects of the goals in their everyday work.

Staff (2020-03-20). Senator Dumped Up to $1.7 Million of Stock After Reassuring Public About Coronavirus Preparedness. truthdig.com Soon after he offered public assurances that the government was ready to battle the coronavirus, the powerful chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr, sold off a significant percentage of his stocks, unloading between $628,000 and $1.72 million of his holdings on Feb. 13 in 33 separate transactions. As the head of the intelligence …

commondreams (2020-03-20). Senate Republicans' Rushed Stimulus Proposal Has a $150 Billion Loophole for Oil and Gas Companies. commondreams.org ______________________________…

Jessica Corbett, staff writer (2020-03-20). Coronavirus Crisis, Says Coalition, Must Force Wall Street to Finally Recognize Perils of Climate Shocks 'Barreling Towards Us'. commondreams.org Stop the Money Pipeline, a coalition that aims to end Wall Street's funding of climate destruction, is calling on Congress to hold the line against the financial industry—and give it no special deregulatory treatment—as the federal government responds to the economic fallout from the coronavirus. | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files…

RT (2020-03-19). What about ending endless wars? Tulsi Gabbard drops out of presidential race and backs …Biden. rt.com Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has suspended her presidential campaign and endorsed Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden, citing the establishment favorite's primary victories and the coronavirus as her reasons. | Gabbard made the surprise announcement on Thursday in a video posted to her Twitter account, explaining she was dropping out to focus on dealing with the coronavirus epidemic in Hawaii and potentially serving in her National Guard capacity should she be called to action. | The endorsement of Biden came as a particular surprise, given Gabbard's opposition to "regime change wars," a central plank of he…

Ramzy Baroud (2020-03-19). Death at the Border: Syrian Refugees Should Not Be Used as Political Pawns. mintpressnews.com Turkey's use of Syrian refugees as political pawns was one of the most tragic, heart-rendering episodes of the Syrian war and subsequent refugee crisis saga.

Staff (2020-03-19). The Dem Primary is Over, and We Need Bernie Sanders to Lead on Health Care From the Senate. truthdig.com On Tuesday, I cast a joyless vote for the very much politically doomed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Illinois primary, in an elementary school where hushed whispers and fearful glances had replaced the normal din of an election day. There was no one standing just outside the perimeter hustling me to vote for this …

Staff (2020-03-19). These Are the 51 GOP Senators Who Just Voted Against Expanding Paid Sick Leave to Protect Americans. truthdig.com Republican senators on Wednesday teamed up to kill an amendment introduced by Democratic Sen. Patty Murray that would have expanded paid sick leave to millions of U.S. workers left out of a bipartisan coronavirus relief package. Every Republican present for the vote, 51 in total, voted against the amendment while every Senate Democrat voted in favor. …

Ramzy Baroud (2020-03-18). Death at the Greek Border. dissidentvoice.org In a surprising move, Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, announced on February 29 that he will be re-opening his country's border to Europe, thus allowing tens of thousands of mostly Syrian refugees into Greece and other European countries. Expectedly, over 100,000 people rushed to the Ipsala border point in the Edirne province separating Turkey from …

Staff (2020-03-18). "It's Inadequate": Rep. Ro Khanna Says White House Stimulus Plan Helps Big Business, Not Workers. democracynow.org Amid concerns over the spread of coronavirus at polling places, many Americans stayed home. Nearly one in five households have already experienced a layoff or a reduction in work due to the pandemic. Trump wants to inject more than $1 trillion into the economy and send a $1,000 check to everyone. This comes as the Senate is set to consider a multibillion-dollar package bill passed by the Democrat-led House Monday night that includes significantly weakened paid sick leave measures. We get response from California Congressmember Ro Khanna, who has also co-sponsored a bill for an emergency Earned Income Tax Credit t…

news.un (2020-03-18). Women plough the way to peace in South Sudan resettlement project. news.un.org Women who had been displaced by fighting in South Sudan are sowing seeds of peace, with support from the UN mission in the country, UNMISS.

Kevin Gosztola (2020-03-18). The Coronavirus Primaries Were Illegitimate Elections. Here's Why. mintpressnews.com Multiple states postponed their primaries due to the coronavirus risk. Rather than respect the fact that states were trying to protect the health of voters and poll workers, the DNC decided to threaten them instead.

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

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.

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…

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…

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 …

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. …