2020-07-31: News Headlines

RT (2020-07-31). War IS a game? US House rejects AOC's amendment to bar Pentagon from recruiting on Twitch as over 100 Dems side with GOP. rt.com Congress has voted to kill an amendment that would have blocked the military from recruiting through streaming platforms like Twitch, with nearly half of Democrats in the House joining the effort to strike down the measure. | A House vote of 196-292 easily quashed the appropriations bill

Tim Shorrock (2020-07-31). 'We Need to Move From a Wartime Mentality to a Peacetime Mentality'. thenation.com 'We Need to Move From a Wartime Mentality to a Peacetime Mentality'

sputniknews (2020-07-31). Sushant's Family Forcing Me to Testify Against Rhea: B-wood Actor's Friend Writes to Mumbai Police. sputniknews.com New Delhi (Sputnik): Budding young Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput, who was said to be battling depression, allegedly committed suicide in mid-June in Mumbai. The incident has triggered a nationwide debate on nepotism in the film industry and the case has taken several new turns, with the controversy refusing to die down.

RT (2020-07-30). Ilhan Omar roasted for idea to replace police at schools with mental care workers; What if there's a shooting? people online ask. rt.com US Democratic Party Congresswoman Ilhan Omar was blasted on Twitter for proposing that police officers be swapped with mental health staff at schools. Many argued online that the idea would make the schools even less safe. | Omar tweeted that "over-policing doesn't make them safer — it criminalizes Black and brown students." Along with fellow Representative Ayanna Pressley, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Chris Murphy, she proposed a bill to replace police officers at schools with mental health professionals. | Over-policing our schools doesn't make them safer — it criminalizes Black and brown student…

Juan Cole (2020-07-30). US Bases in Qatar, UAE Go on Alert as Iran Fires Ballistic Missiles at Mock-Up of US Aircraft Carrier. commondreams.org There are some 11,000 US Air Force personnel at al-Udeid, which has been a major launching point for missions against the Taliban in Afghanistan and ISIL in Iraq and Syria. (Photo: Al-Udeid Air Base, Qatar. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Alex Brandon) | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files…

C.J. Atkins (2020-07-30). Trump's call to delay election is the opening act of a coup. peoplesworld.org Donald Trump's proposal to postpone the 2020 election is nothing less than the opening act of a coup. The aim is not to actually delay the vote, as only Congress has that authority. Rather, this move is aimed at undermining confidence in the legitimacy of the results should Trump lose on November 3rd and, further, …

Subodh Varma (2020-07-30). Why is govt. unable to control COVID-19 surge in India. peoplesdispatch.org More testing but weak contact tracing, and no protection to workers is causing the surge but the Indian government led by prime minister Narendra Modi is living in la-la land…

RT (2020-07-30). Trump can't & shouldn't move election date, head of US election commission says after president muses about delay. rt.com Donald Trump's suggestion of delaying the upcoming presidential election was given short shrift by the head of the Federal Election Commission (FEC), who said the president has no power to do so. | Ellen Weintraub responded to a tweet from Trump on Thursday in which the president floated a possible delay to the vote due to mail-in voting fraud concerns. "No. You don't have the power to move the election. Nor should it be moved," she said. | No, Mr. President. No. You don't have the power to move the election. Nor should it be moved. States and localities are asking you and Congress for funds so they can proper…

RT (2020-07-30). Big Tech hearing: Much posturing, no meaningful answers for the American public. rt.com While a much-awaited antitrust hearing was billed as an Inquisition for Big Tech kingpins, the CEOs were largely able to skirt questions and talk circles around lawmakers looking to bring web platforms under partisan control. | Wednesday's House antitrust subcommittee hearing saw representatives face down the billionaire heads of four tech giants — Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Apple's Tim Cook, Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Alphabet's Sundar Pichai — who fielded questions in nearly six hours of virtual testimony. Though countless empty slogans and assurances were offered in that time, little was actually sa…

RT (2020-07-30). Obama turns John Lewis funeral into DNC event, wants automatic voter registration, end to 'Jim Crow relic' filibuster. rt.com It did not take long for the funeral of John Lewis to turn political as former President Barack Obama's eulogy evolved into a campaign speech, where he recommended ending the Senate filibuster and blasted voter ID laws. | Watching Obama speak at Thursday's funeral, it would be easy to think you were watching a campaign speech as opposed to a eulogy. | He urged the Senate and Congress to pass the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act, legislation that would make it harder for states to enact things like voter ID laws, which Democrats have long called restrictive and racially motivated. It would give the federal gover…

RT (2020-07-30). 'A momentary lapse of honesty?' WATCH US Defense Secretary Esper saying NATO must 'avoid PEACE in Europe'. rt.com US Defense Secretary Mark Esper seemingly mistook the word 'peace' for 'war' when he made a gaffe in the middle of a speech on the relocation of American troops in Europe. | Esper was delivering important news to reporters: the Pentagon has laid out a plan to withdraw nearly 12,000 American soldiers from its NATO ally Germany. | The blunder occurred just when Esper was arguing that Germany, as the "wealthiest country in Europe," can and should boost its defense spending. | I've said that very publicly, I've said that very privately to my counterparts as well — about the importance of NATO, any alliance, s…

RT (2020-07-30). We closed this 'den of spies' consulate: Pompeo takes hard stance on China during Senate hearing. rt.com The US secretary of state has taken a tough line on Beijing as he testified in the Senate by calling China nothing less than a "central threat of our times" and slamming the Chinese Houston consulate the US closed as a spies' den.

RT (2020-07-30). Italian senators vote to lift ex-minister Salvini's immunity, open way for trial over migrant ship. rt.com The Italian Senate voted on Thursday to lift right-wing leader Matteo Salvini's immunity. The move clears the way for possible charges against the former interior minister for refusing to allow 164 migrants to get off a ship in Sicily last August. | The case from last August is the third involving a rescue ship standoff in which Italian prosecutors have sought kidnapping charges against Salvini. | During his 14 months as interior minister, Salvini repeatedly denied ships carrying rescued migrants access to Italy's ports. The policy resulted in numerous standoffs, leaving migrants stuck at sea for long weeks.

WSWS (2020-07-30). Louisiana voters: Put the Socialist Equality Party on the ballot! wsws.org The SEP needs eight electors in Louisiana—one from each of the state's six congressional districts plus two at-large—to gain ballot status.

Charles Pierson (2020-07-30). How Bad is the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act? counterpunch.org Somehow, Congress couldn't find the time last week to renew extended unemployment benefits or the federal moratorium on evictions. Congress had something more pressing to think about than 30 million unemployed Americans: the Pentagon budget. On July 21 and 23, the House of Representatives and the Senate approved their versions of the Pentagon's annual spending

commondreams (2020-07-30). Over 500 Faith Leaders Urge Congress to Issue National Moratorium on Utility Shutoffs. commondreams.org ______________________________…

WSWS (2020-07-30). India set to surpass two million COVID-19 cases within days. wsws.org While the government claims that it is mounting a "successful battle," the virus is rampaging across the India, with half a million new infections in the past 12 days.

Matthew Ehret-Kump (2020-07-30). China and Iran to Sign Comprehensive Economic and Security Deal. Reviving Atoms for Peace. globalresearch.ca With the new revelations of an impending

John Lewis (2020-07-30). Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation. commondreams.org So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide. (Photo: At the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. AP photo) | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files…

Lawrence Davidson (2020-07-30). An Attack on Edward Said's Legacy. counterpunch.org I traveled to Israel and the Occupied Territories in the early 2000s with the progressive group Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace. We made an effort to gain insight into most of the players in the conflict, and so a series of interviews was arranged with members of the Israeli right wing. I remember that one of

Matt Sedlar (2020-07-30). Stimulus Checks in Next Coronavirus Package Shouldn't Penalize One-Parent Households. cepr.net Both the HEROES Act passed by the House in May and Senate Republicans' HEALS Act announced this week would provide a new round of stimulus in the form of one-time cash payments to most Americans, but with some major differences. One of these differences is in how the bills treat one-parent households with children, the …

_____ (2020-07-30). Human Rights Fraud From Ukraine To Nicaragua. popularresistance.org Current Western human rights industry practice has nothing to do with establishing the truth. Increasingly in recent years, US and allied elites have sought to legitimize illegal aggression by exploiting human rights motifs in their attempts to recolonize the majority world. | In any given crisis, human rights NGOs funded by the US and allied corporate elites and governments deploy sensationalist false claims, for example of police murdering peaceful protestors, so as to create a cognitive limbo of doubt and suspicion aimed at disabling opposition to the West's recolonization campaigns. Over the medium and long t…

yenisafak (2020-07-30). Canada's Trudeau to make rare testimony to parliamentary committee amid ethics probe. yenisafak.com Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will make a rare appearance before a parliamentary committee on Thursday amid questions over a government decision to task a charity with ties to his family to administer a major student grant program.Testimony by a Canadian prime minister before a parliamentary committee is very unusual. It last happened in 2006 when then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper appeared at one to speak about Senate reform.Trudeau is scheduled to appear at 3 p.m. (1900 GMT), while his chief of staff, Katie Telford, is to follow him at 4: 15 p.m. The committee voted late Wednesday to extend Trudeau's te…

sputniknews (2020-07-30). US House Passes Measure to Cut Funding for Deployment of Federal Agents to Cities. sputniknews.com WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The House of Representatives has added an amendment to a package of appropriations bills that would cut funding to the Department of Jusrice's (DOJ) operations to send federal agents to US cities to quell violence, Congressman Ted Lieu's office said in a press release on Thursday.

sputniknews (2020-07-30). Border Tensions: Why India Won't Become Washington's Bulwark Against China. sputniknews.com The US foreign policy establishment is deluding itself if it plans to use the India-China border conflict to pit New Delhi against Beijing while the US State Department is ramping up tensions with the People's Republic, says Suvam Pal, a Beijing-based Indian journalist and author.

sputniknews (2020-07-30). 'She Handled This Very Well': 105-Year-Old Indian Woman Recovers From COVID-19 in 9 Days. sputniknews.com COVID-19 is considered to be particularly dangerous for the elderly, who are seen as one of the high-risk groups and are advised to be particularly cautious, sticking to enhanced social distancing guidelines and even self-imposed quarantines.

sputniknews (2020-07-30). Smuggled 10th Century Statue of Lord Shiva to Return to India From the UK After 22 Years. sputniknews.com New Delhi (Sputnik): The exquisite statue of Lord Natesh Shiva, the king of dancers, was in the possession of a private collector in London, who returned the idol to the High Commission of India in the UK in 2005. It was stolen in February 1998 from India's Ghateshwar Temple in Baroli, Rajasthan state.

sputniknews (2020-07-30). 'China Not Strategic Threat to India', Beijing's Ambassador to New Delhi Assures. sputniknews.com New Delhi (Sputnik): Bilateral relations between India and China have touched a new low after a violent face-off between the armies of the two countries on 15 June, resulting in the death of 20 Indian soldiers.

sputniknews (2020-07-30). Italy's Matteo Salvini Could Face Jail After Senate Votes to Strip Him of Immunity. sputniknews.com The coronavirus pandemic has seen a collapse in the support base for the nationalist Lega Nord party and now its leader, Matteo Salvini, is facing legal problems after being stripped of political immunity. The former government minister could, however, potentially benefit from being put back in the limelight.

Staff (2020-07-30). Lawmakers Warn New USPS Loan Terms "Could Accelerate Demise of Postal Service" truthout.org Leading congressional Democrats are warning that an emergency loan agreement

Eoin Higgins (2020-07-30). Six Mayors Demand Congress Block Federal Agents From US Cities. indybay.org Six mayors from around the country sent a letter to Congress Monday calling for legislation to block President Donald Trump from continuing to deploy federal agents to U.S. cities, calling the administration's use of force "unacceptable, un-American, and unconstitutional." "This provocation is resulting in direct physical harm to our communities and must end," the letter reads.

Leon Kunstenaar (2020-07-30). Facebook Protest Billboard Tours San Francisco. indybay.org Billboard reading "Don't Let Facebook ZUCK UP Our Elections" and other messages tours San Francisco and the Peninsula one day before Mark Zuckerberg testifies in Congress…

Alan Macleod (2020-07-29). A "Brazen Giveaway" GOP HEALS Act is a $30 Billion Bonanza for the Pentagon. mintpressnews.com On Monday the Senate GOP released their

Staff (2020-07-29). AG Bill Barr Grilled by House Lawmakers on Protest Crackdown, Voter Suppression & Pandemic Failures. democracynow.org We play highlights from Attorney General William Barr's grilling by the House Judiciary Committee over how he sent militarized federal forces to confront Black Lives Matter protesters, and his opposition to voting by mail, and get response from a close friend of Congressmember John Lewis who is now running for Senate. "In spite of the machinations of Donald Trump and those who do his bidding, including the attorney general, the good news is that we're seeing a multiracial coalition of people pouring out into American streets," responds Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock, "saying that we're concerned about the soul of our d…

Staff (2020-07-29). Rev. Warnock of Ebenezer Baptist Church on Legacy of John Lewis & Ongoing Fight for Voting Rights. democracynow.org We look at the life and legacy of late civil rights icon and Georgia Congressmember John Lewis, who is being mourned across the U.S. and who became the first Black politician to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. "The irony of this moment is that even as we celebrate and honor John Lewis, the patron saint of voting rights, he hailed from the state which in many instances is ground zero for voter suppression," says Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock, who serves as senior pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, was with Lewis in the final days of his life and will preside over his memorial service. "In recen…

Staff (2020-07-29). Civil Rights Icon Bernard Lafayette on His Friend John Lewis, Freedom Rides & Practicing Nonviolence. democracynow.org We revisit civil rights leader and Congressmember John Lewis's early years of activism with Bernard Lafayette, one of Lewis's closest friends and collaborators. Lafayette participated with Lewis in the first Freedom Rides of 1961 as they attempted to integrate buses and faced brutal beatings by white mobs, and was a fellow leader in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Lewis "knew how to relate to people who were different from him and who had different orientations, different values, different philosophies, and that's why he was such a great leader," Lafayette says. "He found a way to make a way."

Staff (2020-07-29). Headlines for July 29, 2020. democracynow.org U.S. Records Highest One-Day Coronavirus Death Toll Since May, Trump Retweets Doctor Who Warned of Sex with Demons and "Alien DNA", Twitter Suspends Donald Trump Jr. for Spreading COVID-19 Misinformation, Progressives Say GOP Coronavirus Bill Would Bring "Mass Poverty and Mass Hunger", Teachers' Union Prepared to Strike If Schools Aren't Made Safe from Coronavirus, World Health Organization Warns Summer Weather Isn't Slowing Coronavirus, Argentina Reports Record COVID-19 Death Toll as Guatemala Reopens Economy, Attorney General Barr Grilled over Police Violence Against Peaceful Protesters, Portland Demonstrators…

Eva Bartlett (2020-07-29). Impressions From An Informal Meeting With Asma al-Assad, Syria. thealtworld.com I had been sitting in a small entrance room for what seemed less than a minute when the door opened and Syria's first lady, Her Excellency Asma al-Assad, greeted me with a warm smile, welcoming me inside a slightly larger sitting room. In official meetings I had had over the years in Syria, I was accustomed to a secretary or assistant escorting me into the meeting room. Asma al-Assad, however, does things up close and personal. | Over the years in Syria, I had heard from people I encountered that she and President Assad routinely meet with their fellow Syrians in crowded venues, mixing and engaging with the peopl…

Editor (2020-07-29). Impasse in Congress over CARES 2. workers.org As COVID-19 spreads exponentially in most of the United States where the ruling class has rushed to "open" the capitalist economy, unemployment has again exploded. Personal economic disaster looms for most working people. Congress must pass new emergency measures to aid the tens of millions of workers — disproportionately Black, . . . |

Quell Nessuno (2020-07-29). U.S. 'war games' threaten COVID spread in Hawaii. workers.org RIMPAC, the World's largest Naval war practice that with COVID endangers Hawaii and the world. Despite the ongoing global pandemic, the U.S. military has no plans to cancel RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific Exercise), the largest international military exercise in the world. Beginning in 1971, and held every two years . . . |

Melvin Goodman (2020-07-29). Trump's War on the Environment and Its Inhabitants. counterpunch.org Trump's climate denial has made the United States an environmental "pariah state" in a global community committed to addressing the problem of climate change. Trump's withdrawal from the Paris accord made the United States the only nation in the world to reject the climate accord. The two original outliers—Syria and Nicaragua—have joined, and Nicaragua stayed out initially because the agreement didn't go far enough. Trump has undermined the rich legacy of the Obama administration in the environmental field, which included getting the world's other major polluters—particularly China and India[mda…

RT (2020-07-29). Barr directs agencies to 'significantly increase resources' in Cleveland, Detroit, and Milwaukee to combat uptick in violent crime. rt.com After a tense congressional hearing where Democrats excoriated the US Attorney General for deploying federal agents to cities like Portland, Bill Barr announced an expansion of a program to tackle rising violent crime in the US. | The FBI, US Marshals Service, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have all been directed to "significantly increase resources" in Cleveland, Detroit, and Milwaukee — three cities newly added as part of an expansion of Operation Legend, which launched on July 8. | Operation Legend — named after four-year-old Le…

RT (2020-07-29). Zuckerberg admits Facebook suppresses 'hate speech' BEFORE it's seen by anyone. rt.com Facebook censors almost 90 percent of 'hate speech' before it's allowed to circulate, CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Congress at Wednesday's Big Tech hearing, responding to pressure from Democrats to submit to the advertiser boycott. | "We're able to proactively identify 89 percent of the hate speech that we take down before, I think, it's even seen by other people," Zuckerberg told the Antitrust Subcommittee of the US House of Representatives on Wednesday. | The statement was in response to Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland) pressuring Facebook to "join the civil rights movement" by submitting to the demands of the Sto…

RT (2020-07-29). Ok, boomer: Congressman demands Facebook's Zuckerberg explain why Donald Trump Jr's TWITTER ACCOUNT was suspended. rt.com Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin) gaffed his way to meme status after grilling Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg about Donald Trump Jr.'s Twitter suspension, forcing the CEO to explain the platforms are, in fact, different. | "If I may ask a specific of you: it was reported that Donald Trump Jr. got taken down for a period of time… why did that happen?" the rep asked during a House antitrust hearing on Wednesday. | "Congressman, well first, to be clear, I think what you might be referring to happened on Twitter, so it's hard for me to speak to that," Zuckerberg replied politely, adding "but I could tal…

RT (2020-07-29). Trump demands Congress 'bring fairness to Big Tech' or he'll do it himself, ahead of antitrust hearing with four CEOs. rt.com US President Donald Trump has threatened executive orders to "bring fairness" to major social media platforms, minutes ahead of a congressional hearing featuring the bosses of Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google. | Shortly after noon on Wednesday, as the hearing was about to start, Trump blasted Congress for being "all talk and no action for years," and said he would use his executive powers to deal with the tech giants if the lawmakers once again fail to do so. | If Congress doesn't bring fairness to Big Tech, which they should have done years ago, I will do it myself with Executive Orders. In Washington, it h…

RT (2020-07-29). Police quit agreements to provide security at DNC convention over tear gas & pepper spray ban as mass protests are feared — report. rt.com Democrats who have been clamoring to defund police and "reimagine" the force may soon get a small taste of what they're asking for, after scores of law enforcement agencies reportedly refused to protect their convention. | At least 100 law enforcement agencies around Wisconsin are reportedly canceling agreements to help provide security at next month's Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, raising concerns over whether forces will be adequate to deal with potential protests. | At issue is a new policy banning Milwaukee police from using tear gas or pepper spray during protests, which was ordered last we…

RT (2020-07-29). India to allow foreign universities to open campuses in country. rt.com India on Wednesday approved a plan to allow foreign universities to open campuses in the country. The move is part of efforts to boost education to strengthen the economy as it struggles with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. | Politicians affiliated with the left as well as PM Narendra Modi's ruling party have opposed several attempts by previous administrations to open up the sector to overseas institutions. However, many government officials have been pushing the move as more than 750,000 Indian students study abroad. | The country will allow "entry of top world ranked universities to open campuses in…

RT (2020-07-29). 'They never tell you there WERE people there': Seth Rogen stirs hornet's nest after saying Israel 'makes no sense'. rt.com Jewish actor Seth Rogen has courted controversy after saying that Israel's existence "doesn't make sense," and that young Jews are misled to believe the state was created peacefully, without displacing thousands of Palestinians. | "If it is truly for the preservation of Jewish people, it makes no sense, because again, you don't keep something you're trying to preserve all in one place especially when that place has proven to be… pretty volatile," Rogen told comedian Mark Maron on his 'WTF' podcast on Monday. | Rogen — who has been promoting his upcoming movie, 'An American Pickle,' a comedy-drama which…

sputniknews (2020-07-29). GOP Functioning as 'Mouthpiece of Business' Amid US' Dangerous Push for Jobs, School Openings. sputniknews.com Professor Richard Wolff of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, tells Sputnik that despite the US being far from containing the spread of COVID-19, the struggles of the nation's economy and business sectors appear to be more of a concern for Republicans in Congress than the health and well-being of their actual constituents.

Stephen Lendman (2020-07-29). Iranian Military Exercises Prepare to Counter Aggression if Occurs. globalresearch.ca Iran is the leading Middle East proponent of peace, stability, and cooperative relations with other countries. | It hasn't attacked another nation in centuries, threatening none now except in retaliation against aggression by a foreign power if occurs — the right …