2020-03-25: News Headlines

RT (2020-03-25). 7.2-magnitude earthquake rocks Russia's Far East, sparks tsunami alert. rt.com A 7.2-magnitude quake has struck Russia's Far East region, striking off the Kuril Islands and prompting a tsunami warning for the sparsely populated region. | The quake was felt across the region on Wednesday afternoon local time, with a depth of 56.7km (35 miles). There are no reports of damage or casualties as of yet. | The earthquake triggered a tsunami alert in Hawaii, 5,600 kilometers away, but it was soon called off, with the US National Tsunami Warning Center concluding there was no danger to the small Pacific island chain. | Tsunami Info Stmt 2: M7.5 East Of Kuril Islands 1949PDT Mar 24: Tsunami NOT ex…

RT (2020-03-25). White House and US senators reach late night deal on massive coronavirus stimulus package after days of talks. rt.com US senators and the Trump administration have finally reached an agreement on a massive rescue plan to help stem the impact Covid-19 is having on the country's economy. | The compromise bill directs around $2 trillion to help keep the economy afloat amid the massive shutdown of businesses in a bid to curb the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. | Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called the proposal "the largest rescue package in American history." | Schumer said that the bill is "far from perfect, but we believe the legislation has been improved significantly to warrant its quick consideration…

RT (2020-03-25). Russia sends cargo ship with military ambulances toward Syria after virus outbreak — report. rt.com A cargo ship operated by the Russian Navy passed through Turkey's Bosphorus strait en route to Syria on Tuesday loaded with ambulances, Reuters said. | The Dvinitsa-50 ship, part of Russia's auxiliary fleet, was reportedly carrying at least three military ambulances along with a shipping container on its deck. | Russia operates a naval facility at Tartus in Syria and an airbase in Latakia. | The United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Tuesday that an immediate nationwide ceasefire is needed across Syria to enable an "all-out-effort" to stamp out the coronavirus and prevent it fr…

South Front (2020-03-25). Video: SDF Releases Tens of ISIS Members in Eastern Syria. Turkey, Russia Struggle with Idlib De-escalation. globalresearch.ca On March 23, Russian and Turkish forces carried out a second limited joint patrol in southern Idlib. The patrol involved six armoured vehicles and took place along a short chunk of the M4 highway west of the government-controlled town of …

Jack Rasmus (2020-03-25). US Senate's Final Stimulus Bill. zcomm.org Why It Won't Be Enough…

Ben Barbour (2020-03-25). How 'Defense' Contractors Lobbied for War in Yemen and Reaped the Profits from Death and Destruction. globalresearch.ca Lobbying firms like the McKeon Group, headed by lobbyist Buck McKeon (who was the former chairman of the House Armed Services Committee in the US Congress), represent both US defense contractors and countries such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE, …

yenisafak (2020-03-25). Turkey plants saplings in terror-freed Syrian city. yenisafak.com Syria's northern Tal Abyad city, liberated of terrorists by a Turkish cross-border operation last year, is set to become greener with Turkey's efforts to afforest the area.In a statement on Wednesday, the Regional Directorate of Forestry in Turkey's southeastern Sanliurfa province bordering Syria said a project to plant saplings in Tal Abyad was underway through the Syria Support and Coordination Center (SUDKOM), a division of the Sanliurfa governor's office.As part of the project, assigned teams are planting saplings along roadsides and in recreational areas for the public, according to the statement.The project…

sputniknews (2020-03-25). Coronavirus Legislation Deal Reached in Senate Moves Closer to US Workers – House Speaker Pelosi. sputniknews.com Earlier, US senators and the Trump administration reached an agreement on the coronavirus response bill.

RT (2020-03-25). Asian markets soar after US stocks' historic surge on $2 trillion rescue hopes. rt.com Key indices in Asia continued to rise on the news that the White House and US Senate reached a long-anticipated rescue plan to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on the economy. | Japan's benchmark Nikkei saw the biggest gains, jumping more than eight percent to close at the highest level in two weeks. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was up around three percent about an hour before the closing bell, while China's Shanghai Composite Index climbed over two percent. South Korea's Kospi closed over five percent higher. | Stocks in Australia added more than five percent, while India's key Mumbai Sensex jumped around 1.5 p…

Ramzy Baroud (2020-03-24). The Not-So-Shocking Report on Israeli Weapons Exports. dissidentvoice.org The Middle East region, battered by wars and adjoining humanitarian crises that have left millions of people stateless, hungry and diseased, is in urgent need for peace, security and reconstruction. Thanks to the US, Russian, French, Israeli and other weapons manufacturers, however, it is now the dumping ground for military hardware, an ominous sign for …

Mark Gruenberg (2020-03-24). After tugging, Congress and Trump agree on $2 trillion stimulus bill. peoplesworld.org WASHINGTON—After tugging and hauling, shouting matches on the Senate floor, and days of round-the-clock closed-door talks, congressional Democratic leaders and representatives of GOP President Donald Trump apparently reached an agreement at midday March 24 on a $2 trillion stimulus bill to try to counter the job losses, work shutdowns and other economic impacts of the …

Staff (2020-03-24). Economist Jeffrey Sachs: Trump "Understands Nothing, Listens to Nothing" as Pandemic Surges in U.S. democracynow.org As #NotDying4WallStreet trends on Twitter, President Trump defies his top scientists and soaring infection rate, saying he will ease restrictions soon to jumpstart the economy. We speak with economist Jeffrey Sachs about the stimulus package that failed to pass again Monday, as Democrats called the measure a slush fund for corporations. Sachs also led the WHO's Commission on Macroeconomics and Health from 2000 to 2001 and played a key role in conceiving and establishing the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which helped distribute new medicines to fight infectious diseases.

news.un (2020-03-24). Enable 'all out effort' to counter COVID-19 in war-ravaged Syria, urges top UN envoy. news.un.org The top United Nations envoy in Syria called on Tuesday for an immediate country-wide truce, allowing citizens to save lives and tackle the common threat presented by the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Fight Back (2020-03-24). Philippines: Resist Duterte's authoritarian powers in the guise of Covid-19 response. fightbacknews.org Fight Back News Service is circulating the following March 24 form the Communist Party of the Philippines. | The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) denounces the Senate and the House of Representatives for railroading last night the bill that grants authoritarian powers to Rodrigo Duterte in the guise of emergency response to the threat of a Covid-19 epidemic. | Duterte is unscrupulously and shamelessly using the rising public health emergency to further reinforce his tyranny. Instead of strengthening the public health infrastructure, and mobilizing health personnel, he has placed Luzon and other parts of…

Fight Back (2020-03-24). What the federal government needs to do as crisis deepens. fightbacknews.org San José, CA – The U.S. Senate has failed twice to pass a Republican-backed economic stimulus bill worth over a trillion dollars ($1,000,000,000,000). Opposition to the bill comes from its top-down (or in the 1930's Great Depression term, 'trickle down') approach. The bill would provide hundreds of billions of loans to corporations that would not have to be paid back, just as in the loans made to U.S. auto makers after the financial crisis in 2008. It would also give direct cash handouts, with almost half of all households getting half of what middle and higher income households would get. | But rather than baili…

Tom Conway (2020-03-24). Why lifting tariffs during the COVID-19 crisis is bad for America's long-term health. nationofchange.org Congress must leave the steel and aluminum tariffs in place and redouble efforts to find new uses for American products.

commondreams (2020-03-24). Congress Urged to Reject $400+ Billion Fossil Fuel Bailout. commondreams.org ______________________________…

commondreams (2020-03-24). 350.org Demands a People's Bailout from Congress. commondreams.org ______________________________…

pip.hinman (2020-03-24). Peace groups: Stop US troops from arriving in Darwin. greenleft.org.au

Darius Shahtahmasebi (2020-03-24). The UK Hasn't Bombed Iraq or Syria Since Last September. What Gives? mintpressnews.com Amid COVID-19, Brexit, and an ongoing economic crisis, the UK appears to be winding down its deadly Middle East bombing campaign. So where to next for the RAF?

Jessica Corbett, staff writer (2020-03-24). 500+ Groups Demand 'People's Bailout' to Counter Push for Wall Street-Friendly Coronavirus Response. commondreams.org Seven congressional Democrats have joined over 500 progressive groups in demanding that federal lawmakers respond to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic with a "People's Bailout" that prioritizes public health and economic relief for workers over corporations while taking steps to prevent future crises. | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files…

RT (2020-03-23). Pompeo to meet Taliban in Doha in bid to shore up faltering Afghanistan peace deal. rt.com US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is to meet with Taliban officials in Doha, Qatar, in an effort to revive the collapsing peace deal between the two parties, despite failure to reach a separate deal with the Afghan government. | Pompeo is set to sit down with chief Taliban negotiator Mullah Baradar and other officials from the militant group on Monday in order "to press the Taliban to continue to comply with the agreement signed last month," State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement. | While the US and Taliban reached an agreement last month to begin drawing down American forces in exchan…

RT (2020-03-23). Democrats block SECOND attempt to pass coronavirus stimulus in US Senate. rt.com Senate Democrats have blocked for the second time the procedural vote on the stimulus bill, intended to help the US workers and companies shut down over the Covid-19 pandemic. | The motion to invoke cloture — limiting the debate — failed to get the necessary three-fifths of the senators present to agree, with 49 votes for and 46 against on Monday afternoon. | Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell denounced the "absolutely mindless obstruction" by the Democrats, accusing them of "fiddling around with Senate procedure" while the economy floundered and businesses shut down due to pandemic lockdowns acr…

RT (2020-03-23). Reading the autocue has never looked so hard: Joe Biden emerges from 6 DAYS in hiding with stumbling video stream. rt.com Joe Biden has reemerged from an almost week-long disappearance to post a video on Twitter addressing the Trump administration's handling of the Covid-19 crisis, but his return has been greeted with mockery and concern. | Biden sounded tired and slow as he spoke while standing in front of what appeared to be a green screen with a set of bookshelves digitally imposed behind him. | He criticized US President Donald Trump and Senate leader Mitch McConnell for "trying to put a corporate bailout ahead of millions of families" and urged "aggressive measures" to help small US businesses, workers and communities suffer…

RT (2020-03-23). Justice Dept reassures Americans only judges can suspend their constitutional rights during coronavirus epidemic. rt.com The US Department of Justice has reassured Americans freaked out by a request to Congress for powers of indefinite detention without trial by explaining that only judges — not President Donald Trump — would be able to use it. | DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec lamented the "confusion" caused by a Politico report

news.un (2020-03-23). UNICEF sounds alarm over water cuts in Syria as efforts ramp up to prevent COVID-19 spread. news.un.org The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and its relief partners in Syria are warning that water disruptions in the country's war-battered north-east could exacerbate risks posed by the global coronavirus pandemic.

Staff (2020-03-23). Headlines for March 23, 2020. democracynow.org Global COVID-19 Death Toll Passes 15,000 as Italy Drafts Military to Enforce Lockdown, Angela Merkel to Self-Quarantine After Her Doctor Tests Positive for COVID-19, First COVID-19 Cases Reported in Occupied Gaza, War-Stricken Syria and Afghanistan | , Coronavirus Cases Mount Across Africa, Two Nigerians Overdose Self-Medicating with Chloroquine After Trump Praised Anti-Malaria Drug as Possible COVID-19 Treatment, Coronavirus Leads to Lockdowns, Travel Bans in Latin America, as a Colombian Prison Riot Turns Deadly | , Fate of Tokyo Olympics Still Unknown as Canada, Australia Refuse to Send Athletes | , India Lock…

news.un (2020-03-23). Reaching 'beyond the possible' in Hawaii to meet sustainability goals. news.un.org The people and government of the US state of Hawaii will reach "beyond the possible" to make the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) a reality; The SDGs are a set of targets agreed by countries around the world to reduce poverty, protect the planet and ensure peace and prosperity for all, by 2030. Hawaii introduced its own initiative, Sustainable Hawaii, in 2016 in support of the SDGs.

Graham Peebles (2020-03-23). Death of the "Usual": Economic Evolution and the Emergence of the New. dissidentvoice.org Humanity is faced with a series of self-made, interrelated crises, from the environmental catastrophe to poverty, inequality, the absence of peace and an unprecedented level of displaced persons, among other pressing issues. All have been brought about by the negative behaviour of mankind, by the pervasive modes of living, the corrosive values and ideologies that …

John Stanton (2020-03-23). US National Security Strategy is Meant to Protect Wall Street, Congress, the White House, and the Pentagon. dissidentvoice.org Our fundamental responsibility is to protect the American people, the homeland, and the American way of life. — National Security Strategy of the United States, 2017 (President Donald Trump) The United States government has no greater responsibility than protecting the American people. — National Security Strategy, 2015 (President Barack Obama) At home our most important …

Sonia Gill (2020-03-23). This is No Time to Play Politics with our Democracy. aclu.org To ensure elections proceed and eligible Americans can vote, any federal legislative package addressing the impact of COVID-19 on our elections must include an immediate, substantial infusion of federal funding and federal requirements for no-excuse mail-in absentee voting and early in-person voting. While the coronavirus pandemic should not be a political issue, with presidential primaries and the general election coming up, it could soon directly impact our politics. It is simply not an option for Congress to fail to act on these basic issues to protect American elections while the pandemic is ongoing. , , F…

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

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.

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 …

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 …

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. …

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…

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 …

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 …