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Would You Patent the Sun? Polio Vaccine Inventor Jonas Salk's Son Urges More Access to COVID Vaccine
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 08:41:17 -0500
The total number of deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. is set to top 400,000 before Joe Biden's inauguration on January 20, but rollout of coronavirus vaccines has been slow, with many describing a vexing amount of red tape standing between them and the shot. We look at the development and distribution of another vaccine during the polio epidemic in the 1950s with Dr. Peter Salk, a physician and professor of infectious diseases and microbiology at the University of Pittsburgh, whose father, Dr. Jonas Salk, developed the first polio vaccine and famously declined to patent his invention. "The rest of the world and the countries that are less able to afford vaccines need consideration, as well," says Dr. Salk. "There needs to be a creative cooperation among all of us, including the businesses, in order to find ways to satisfy the needs of these other countries."

From Charlottesville to the Capitol: Trump Fueled Right-Wing Violence. It May Soon Get Even Worse
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 08:18:44 -0500
As security is ramped up in Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the U.S., the FBI is warning of more potential violence in the lead-up to Joe Biden's inauguration on January 20. Federal authorities have arrested over 100 people who took part in last week's deadly insurrection at the Capitol, and The Washington Post reports that dozens of people on a terrorist watch list — including many white supremacists — were in Washington on the day of the insurrection. "This was something that had been coming for a long time," ProPublica reporter A.C. Thompson, who covers right-wing extremism, says of the January 6 riot. "If you looked at the rhetoric online ... it was all about revolution, it was all about death to tyrants, it was all about civil war."

Headlines for January 15, 2021
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 08:00:00 -0500
Joe Biden Unveils $1.9 Trillion Coronavirus and Economic Relief Package, U.S. on Pace to Top 400,000 COVID-19 Deaths by Inauguration Day as Unemployment Surges, Dozens of Capitol Rioters Were on FBI Terrorism Watch List, QAnon Insurrectionist Jacob Chansley, Who Threatened VP Pence, Seeks Trump Pardon, NY Rep. Adriano Espaillat Tests Positive for Coronavirus After Receiving 2nd Dose of Vaccine, Hospitals in Brazil's Amazonas Run Out of Oxygen as Fears of Variant Trigger Travel Bans, 2020 Was Hottest Year on Earth, Bringing Record Fires, Heat Waves and Extreme Weather, Yemen's Humanitarian Disaster Set to Worsen as U.S. Moves to Label Houthis as Terrorists, Michigan Ex-Gov. Rick Snyder, 8 Top Ex-Officials Charged over Flint Water Crisis, DOJ Inspector General Report Details How Trump and Allies Pushed to Separate Families, ICE's Acting Director Resigns After Two Weeks on Job, Caravan Departs Honduras, Fleeing Economic Crises and Hurricane Devastation, Report Says ICE Failed to Provide Basic Coronavirus Protections, Threatened Prisoners, New York Attorney General Sues NYPD for Abuses During 2020's BLM Uprising, The Intercept Co-Founder & Oscar Winner Laura Poitras Says She Was Fired by First Look Media

Dr. Ali Khan: U.S. Needs to Quickly Ramp Up Vaccinations as COVID Kills Over 4,000 in Single Day
Thu, 14 Jan 2021 08:50:35 -0500
As the United States breaks all records for coronavirus cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns another 92,000 could die in the next three weeks as complaints grow over the slow distribution of COVID vaccines. Across the country, hospitals are overflowing, and ICU beds are in short supply. In Los Angeles County, an epicenter of the outbreak, a staggering one in three residents has gotten the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, according to new data. For more on the pandemic, we speak with epidemiologist Dr. Ali Khan, dean of the University of Nebraska Medical Center's College of Public Health and the former director of the CDC's Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, where he oversaw the Strategic National Stockpile. He says that despite the grim statistics in the United States, other countries with more proactive pandemic responses have shown that it is possible to bring the virus under control and largely return to normal life. "We can do that same thing here in the United States if we use good science," he says.

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor: Impeachment Is Late Attempt to Curb Violence & Racism at Heart of Trump Era
Thu, 14 Jan 2021 08:26:47 -0500
We look at the fight for accountability after a white supremacist mob attacked the U.S. Capitol and as President Trump is impeached for a historic second time for his incitement of violence. Supporters who took part in the January 6 attack — including current police officers — have been arrested across the U.S. for their involvement in the insurrection. Ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration, the FBI is warning police chiefs around the country to be on high alert for right-wing domestic terror attacks. The Pentagon said it's increasing the number of National Guard soldiers deployed to the nation's capital to 20,000 — twice the combined number of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan — in stark contrast to the response to last week's riot. "The impeachment yesterday is a culmination of sorts of the kind of violence and racism that has been at the heart of the Trump administration that finally boiled over," says Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, assistant professor of African American studies at Princeton University and contributing writer at The New Yorker magazine. "We have a government that has completely spun out of control at the hands of Donald Trump."

Constitutional Lawyer: Trump Is a Clear & Present Danger, a Senate Impeachment Trial Is Needed Now
Thu, 14 Jan 2021 08:14:50 -0500
The House of Representatives has voted to impeach President Donald Trump for inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in a bid to overturn Joe Biden's Electoral College victory, and Trump will end his term in office with the distinction of being the first U.S. president to be impeached twice. Ten Republicans joined Democrats in the 232-197 vote to impeach, and Trump now faces a trial in the Senate. Constitutional attorney John Bonifaz says the House "did its duty" and that the Senate must move quickly to take up impeachment proceedings. "Those who did not vote to convict last time are responsible, in part, for allowing this president to stay in office, someone who has clearly abused his power time and time again, leading to this violent attack on the U.S. Capitol," says Bonifaz, co-founder and president of Free Speech for People.

Headlines for January 14, 2021
Thu, 14 Jan 2021 08:00:00 -0500
Donald Trump Impeached for Second Time After Inciting Insurrection at U.S. Capitol, More Capitol Insurrectionists Arrested as FBI Warns of Continued Domestic Terror Threat, 20,000 National Guard Troops Deploy to Washington, D.C., for Inauguration, Democrats Demand Probe into Whether GOP Lawmakers Helped Rioters Scope Out Capitol, Trump Claims to Oppose Violence, One Week After Telling Insurrectionists "We Love You", Trump Tells Aides Not to Pay Giuliani's Legal Fees as Bid to Overturn Election Fails, Trump and Allies Sanctioned by Growing List of Corporations, J&J Vaccine Trials Show Promise as CDC Predicts 92,000 More U.S. Deaths in Next 3 Weeks, Husbands of Reps. Jayapal and Pressley Test Positive for COVID-19 After Capitol Siege, WHO Officials Arrive in Wuhan; Switzerland to Vote on Restrictions; Peru Health Workers Strike, U.S. Bans Cotton and Tomatoes from Xinjiang Citing Forced Uyghur Labor, Hong Kong Arrests 11 More People as HRW Blasts Rights Violations in China and U.S., Ugandans Go to Polls Amid Violence and Crackdown on Opposition, Census Bureau Stops Separately Counting Undocumented People, Ending Trump's Racist Policy, SCOTUS Makes It Harder to Get Abortion Pill During Pandemic

As COVID Surges in L.A., Hard-Hit Indigenous Communities Fight to Preserve Life, Culture & Language
Wed, 13 Jan 2021 08:43:54 -0500
As Los Angeles County reports record COVID-19 infections, overflowing hospitals and record death tolls, we look at how Indigenous communities there are among the hardest hit in working-class neighborhoods, where many are essential workers. "Indigenous people, we don't have the privilege to stay home and not go to work," says Odilia Romero, co-founder and executive director of Indigenous Communities in Leadership, or CIELO, an Indigenous women-led nonprofit organization in Los Angeles. Romero also laments "the loss of knowledge" that comes with the devastation of COVID-19. "Some of the elders have passed away, and there goes a whole worldview," she says. CIELO recently published a book documenting the stories of undocumented Indigenous women from Mexico and Guatemala living in Los Angeles in the midst of the pandemic.

"American Abyss": Fascism Historian Tim Snyder on Trump's Coup Attempt, Impeachment & What's Next
Wed, 13 Jan 2021 08:17:51 -0500
As the House votes to impeach President Trump, the FBI warns there could be a repeat of the violent insurrection he encouraged on January 6, with Trump loyalists planning to hold armed protests nationwide ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration. We speak with Timothy Snyder, a historian of fascism, who says the riot at the U.S. Capitol was "completely and utterly predictable" given President Trump's record of stoking extremism and undermining democratic institutions. "The American republic is hanging by a thread because the president of the United States has sought to use violence to stay in power and essentially to overthrow our constitutional system," says Snyder.

Headlines for January 13, 2021
Wed, 13 Jan 2021 08:00:00 -0500
House to Impeach Trump as GOP Shows Signs of Backing Removal, FBI Warned of "War" Ahead of U.S. Capitol Assault as Military Issues Joint Condemnation, 3rd Lawmaker Tests Positive for COVID-19 After Insurrection as Dems Call Out GOP Links to Riot, Law Enforcement Probes Officers Involved in Capitol Riot as FBI Warns of Armed Action in Coming Days, U.S. Gov't Executes Lisa Montgomery After SCOTUS Sides with Trump, CDC Expands Vaccine Eligibility, Will Start Requiring International Travelers to Test COVID-Negative, India Delivers Vaccine; Malaysia Suspends Parliament; Israel Won't Vaccinate Medical Workers in OPT, Mike Pompeo Claims al-Qaeda's New Home Base Is Iran, Offers No Evidence, India's Top Court Stays Controversial Farm Laws Which Spurred Historic Protests, Irish Report Finds 9,000 Babies and Children Died in Homes Run by Catholic Church Amid Mass Abuse, Nigerian Authorities Release Activist Omoyele Sowore After Arrest at Peaceful Protest, Former Alibaba Delivery Driver Who Set Himself on Fire Fuels Criticism of Gig Economy in China, SEIU and Ride-Hailing Drivers Petition CA Supreme Court to Overturn Prop 22, Michigan Ex-Governor Charged over Flint Water Crisis, Billionaire Casino Magnate, Republican Party and Israel Megadonor Sheldon Adelson Dies

Will Lisa Montgomery Die Tonight? Sister Helen Prejean Calls for Trump to Halt Execution Spree
Tue, 12 Jan 2021 08:44:42 -0500
A federal judge has granted a stay of execution for Lisa Montgomery, who was set to become the first woman executed by the federal government in 67 years, but the Trump administration is appealing the decision. Two men are also scheduled to die this week. Since July, when the Trump administration revived the federal death penalty, the U.S. government has executed 10 people — more than in any presidency since 1896. "Time is running out for the Trump administration to go through with these three executions, and they know that, which is why they're very insistent that they happen this week and not after January 20," says Isaac Arnsdorf, a reporter at ProPublica. We also speak with Sister Helen Prejean, Catholic nun and one of the world's leading death penalty opponents, who says Trump embarked on his late killing spree simply because "he has the power to do it." "The death penalty needs to be abolished completely, and you have to take the power out of individuals' hands," she says.

America Has Entered the Weimar Era: Walden Bello on How Neoliberalism Fueled Trump & Violent Right
Tue, 12 Jan 2021 08:17:37 -0500
Democrats in Congress are pushing ahead with impeachment following the violent insurrection that killed five people at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. The single article of impeachment against President Trump cites his incitement of insurrection and accuses him of subverting and obstructing the certification of the 2020 election. This comes as authorities are warning of more right-wing violence around Joe Biden's inauguration on January 20, with possible armed far-right protests planned at all 50 state capitols as well as the U.S. Capitol. We speak with Walden Bello, an acclaimed sociologist, academic, environmentalist and activist, whose latest column argues the United States has entered a "Weimar Era," in which democratic elections are increasingly delegitimized as street violence becomes the norm. "This is not something that's unusual that has happened in the Capitol. Right-wing groups, when they begin to lose electorally, ... they resort to the streets and to violence in order to stop that process," says Bello.

Headlines for January 12, 2021
Tue, 12 Jan 2021 08:00:00 -0500
House Prepares 2nd Impeachment of Donald Trump Unless Pence Removes Him from Power, FBI Warns of "Armed Protests" in All 50 States and at Biden's Inauguration, WaPo: Trump, Busy Watching TV for Hours, Ignored Pleas to Call Off Mob During Capitol Assault, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Resigns Amid Warnings over Domestic Terror Threats, Capitol Hill Pipe Bomb Case Remains Unsolved as Capitol Police Suspend Officers Who Supported Attackers, U.S. COVID-19 Deaths Average More Than 3,000 Per Day, Lawmakers Catch COVID-19 After Sheltering in Room Where GOP Reps Refused Masks, Pfizer to Boost COVID-19 Vaccine Output as WHO Warns of Vaccination Inequality, COVID-19 Surges in Southern Africa; Portugal's President Tests Positive for Coronavirus, Trump Administration Puts Cuba Back on List of State Sponsors of Terrorism, Guantánamo Bay Prison Starts 20th Year of Indefinite Detentions, B'Tselem Blasts "Apartheid Regime" as Israel Greenlights Construction of More Illegal Settlements, South Korean Court Orders Japan to Compensate Women Forced into Sex Slavery, Federal Court Halts Execution of Lisa Montgomery, Only Woman on Federal Death Row, Colorado AG Opens Grand Jury Probe of Police Killing of Elijah McClain, Asylum Seekers Shelter in Abandoned Bosnian Buildings Amid Severe Winter Cold

Is Big Tech Too Powerful? Chris Hedges & Ramesh Srinivasan Debate Twitter & Facebook Banning Trump
Mon, 11 Jan 2021 08:38:48 -0500
Twitter, Facebook and other social media companies have removed President Trump from their platforms, after years of debate about the disinformation he shared to millions of followers from his accounts. While many are applauding the bans, author Chris Hedges warns they could backfire. "To allow these companies to essentially function as de facto platforms for censorship and manipulation ... harkens back to the way civil liberties were eviscerated in the wake of 9/11," says Hedges. "It's always, in the end, the left that pays for this kind of censorship." We also speak with UCLA professor Ramesh Srinivasan, director of the Digital Cultures Lab, who says Big Tech allowed right-wing extremism to flourish for years before acting and that lawmakers need to enact robust regulation. "All of these technology platforms, powered by their hidden algorithms that are indeed opaque, thrive on the amplification of polarization," says Srinivasan. "It is incredible how much power we have given to a very small number of people who are essentially mediating pretty much every aspect of our lives."

Fascism Scholar: Strongman Trump Radicalized His Supporters; Turning This Back Will Be Very Hard
Mon, 11 Jan 2021 08:18:15 -0500
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is threatening to begin new impeachment hearings against President Trump if Vice President Mike Pence doesn't invoke the 25th Amendment of the Constitution to remove Trump from office for inciting his supporters to storm the Capitol. Calls are also growing for Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley to be expelled or to resign for supporting Trump's effort to overturn the election and fanning the flames ahead of last week's insurrection, and authorities are warning about more right-wing violence ahead of Inauguration Day on January 20. Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a New York University historian whose work focuses on fascism, authoritarian leaders and propaganda, says the storming of the Capitol was "a logical result" of Trump's legitimization and encouragement of right-wing extremism since 2016. "The threat to democracy is not outside our institutions only. It's coming from inside," Ben-Ghiat says.

Headlines for January 11, 2021
Mon, 11 Jan 2021 08:00:00 -0500
House Democrats Set to Impeach Trump If Mike Pence Refuses to Invoke 25th Amendment, Twitter Permanently Bans Trump's Account as Big Tech Distances Itself from Trump, Far Right, Authorities Make More Arrests Following Domestic Terror Attack at U.S. Capitol, Brian Sicknick, Capitol Police Officer Killed in Coup Attempt, Was Antiwar Trump Supporter, U.S. Records Highest Daily COVID-19 Case Count as Biden Vows to Release All Available Vaccines, Global Cases Surge as London Declares Major Incident, Japan IDs New Variant, and Iran Bans U.S., U.K. Vaccines, U.S. Prosecutors Say Honduran President Hernández Took Bribes from Drug Traffickers, Over 60 People Feared Dead After Indonesia Plane Crash, U.S. to Designate Yemen's Houthis as Terrorist Group, Sadyr Japarov Wins Kyrgyz Election, Months After He Was Sprung Free from Jail, Women Accounted for All of 140,000 Net Jobs Shed by U.S. Economy in December, Biden to Nominate William Burns, Who Helped Negotiate Iran Nuclear Deal, as CIA Chief, New Details Emerge of Trump's Attempts to Overturn Georgia Election Results, Death Penalty Opponents Fight to Halt Trump's Killing Spree in Final Days of Presidency

COVID Scientist Rebekah Jones Condemns Armed Police Raid on Her Home & Florida's Pandemic Response
Fri, 08 Jan 2021 08:47:55 -0500
As Florida sets new records for daily coronavirus cases, we speak with a whistleblower who was fired in May from the Florida Department of Health after she refused to censor information about the state's COVID-19 outbreak. Rebekah Jones is a data scientist who helped build Florida's coronavirus tracking dashboard, and she says her termination came after she refused to manipulate data to support the state's reopening. In December, police raided Jones's home in Tallahassee, seizing her computer and phone and holding her family at gunpoint, as part of an alleged investigation into a hacking of the Florida Health Department's website. Jones says she had not had access to the website for many months and that the raid was in retaliation for speaking out. "The state has been dodging releasing information at every opportunity," says Jones, who now runs the independent coronavirus data portal Florida COVID Action.

Survival of the Fittest? Florida Seniors Forced to Camp Overnight in Cars, Hoping for Vaccine
Fri, 08 Jan 2021 08:43:50 -0500
As the United States reports record COVID-19 deaths, Florida broke the record for the highest single-day increase in new cases Thursday. Across the state, long lines to get vaccinations against COVID-19 left senior citizens camping in their cars overnight in cold weather, after Governor Ron DeSantis lowered the priority age to 65, 10 years below the CDC recommended age of 75. Those aged 79 and older are reportedly four times as likely to die from COVID. We speak with John and Maria Luisa Schoch, aged 79 and 80, as they enter their second day in line waiting for shots.

"A Troubling History": Biden's AG Pick Merrick Garland Has Record of Not Holding Cops Accountable
Fri, 08 Jan 2021 08:30:32 -0500
Joe Biden has formally nominated Merrick Garland for attorney general. Garland has served on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals for over two decades and previously worked at the Justice Department, where he prosecuted the Oklahoma City bombing case. President Obama nominated Garland in 2016 to serve on the Supreme Court, but the nomination stalled after Republican senators refused to put it up for a vote. Elie Mystal, justice correspondent for The Nation, says Garland is an "underwhelming" pick, given his judicial record. "People need to remember that Garland was picked for the Supreme Court because he was a compromise candidate," says Mystal. "This is a centrist jurist who has a history — a troubling history, to me — of being deferential to police and being unwilling to hold police accountable for acts of brutality and misconduct."

Rep. Ro Khanna: Republicans Should Back Impeachment After Trump Incited Mob Violence Against Them
Fri, 08 Jan 2021 08:13:10 -0500
Calls are growing for President Trump to resign or be removed from office after he incited supporters to storm the Capitol in an act of insurrection to disrupt the counting of Electoral College votes. The unrest left five people dead, including a Capitol Police officer who was reportedly struck in the head by a fire extinguisher. Trump is losing support from his inner circle, with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao both resigning before the end of Trump's term. The chief of the Capitol Police is also expected to resign next week, as multiple reports reveal police officers aiding rioters, from removing barricades to giving out direction to the offices of specific lawmakers. Democratic Congressmember Ro Khanna says Republicans must support efforts to remove Trump, especially as much of Trump's incitement targeted Republican lawmakers who refused to back his false claims of election fraud. "This was not an attack just on Democratic lawmakers. If anything, it was an incitement of violence against Republican lawmakers," says Khanna.

Headlines for January 8, 2021
Fri, 08 Jan 2021 08:00:00 -0500
U.S. COVID-19 Deaths Top 4,000 in New Daily World Record, Trump Pledges Orderly Transition of Power, One Day After Inciting Insurrection at Capitol, Nancy Pelosi Says House May Vote on Impeachment Unless VP Pence Removes Trump from Power, Mob Unleashed by Trump Kills Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick , Federal Prosecutor Won't Rule Out Charges Against Trump for Inciting Riot at U.S. Capitol, Violent Mob of Trump Supporters Attacks Black Woman in Los Angeles, Public Health Officials Warn Insurrection in D.C. Was Likely Superspreader Event, South Africa Overwhelmed by COVID-19 Surge; Brazil Deaths Top 200,000; Japan Declares Emergency , Iraqi Court Issues Arrest Warrant for Trump over Killing of Top Militia Chief, Biden Taps Marty Walsh for Labor Sec, Gina Raimondo for Commerce, Isabel Guzman for Small Business Admin, Elaine Chao and Betsy DeVos Join Other Trump Allies in Resigning Following Storming of Capitol, Boeing Reaches $2.5 Billion Settlement in Federal Investigation into Two 737 MAX Crashes , Ex-Security Head of Canadian Mine in Guatemala Convicted of Murdering Indigenous Leader Adolfo Ich

"Americans Are Now Getting a Mild Taste of Their Own Medicine" of Disrupting Democracy Elsewhere
Thu, 07 Jan 2021 08:47:40 -0500
World leaders reacted in horror over the storming of the U.S. Capitol, with the U.N. secretary-general calling on political leaders to demand their followers refrain from violence. Leaders of the U.K., New Zealand, Australia, Canada, India, Japan, France, Germany, NATO and the European Council called for a peaceful transfer of power to Joe Biden. Investigative journalist Allan Nairn looks at what steps Trump may take next, and says despite protestations from President-elect Joe Biden and others that the insurrection was "not who we are," the U.S. has a long track record of disrupting democratic processes elsewhere. "What has shaken the U.S. population so badly, this assault on the Capitol yesterday, is really nothing by comparison to what U.S. operations have done in Latin America, in Asia, in Africa, in the Middle East, to other democratic movements and elected governments over the years," says Nairn.

Historian: White Terrorist Groups Attacked Democracy During Reconstruction, They Are Doing It Again
Thu, 07 Jan 2021 08:34:47 -0500
As Washington reels from the storming of the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob intent on overturning the 2020 election results, lawmakers are considering new impeachment proceedings against President Trump for fomenting the insurrection. Civil War and Reconstruction historian Manisha Sinha says this isn't the first attempt to disrupt the democratic process by right-wing white domestic terrorists, citing the 1898 Wilmington coup and other efforts before that throughout the Southern states. "These groups today remind me of those people," says Sinha. In response to the call to invoke the 25th Amendment against Donald Trump, she argues, "This is an awful portent for our democracy, and we need to respond forcefully to it."

White Supremacy in Action: Police Stand Down as Trump Mob Storms Capitol to Disrupt Election Vote
Thu, 07 Jan 2021 08:18:44 -0500
The U.S. Congress has certified President-elect Joe Biden's victory, hours after a violent, right-wing mob incited by President Trump interrupted proceedings and stormed the U.S. Capitol. Four people died during the chaos, which has been described as an attempted coup. The insurrection was the culmination of months of lies by President Trump, widely repeated in right-wing media and on social media platforms, that the 2020 presidential election was rigged for Joe Biden. At a rally Wednesday, Trump urged supporters to head to the Capitol, who later broke through barriers and lines of police outside the Capitol and made their way inside, where they ransacked offices and sent lawmakers scrambling. Bree Newsome Bass, an antiracist activist, artist and housing rights advocate arrested in 2015 after she tore down the Confederate flag at the South Carolina state Capitol, says it's impossible not to note "the obvious difference in terms of how police have a coordinated, overtly militarized response to any kind of protest that is challenging racism in policing or racism in the government versus what we witnessed yesterday" in Washington, D.C. "It is very clear that the primary function of police forces in the United States is to enforce racism above enforcing public safety."

Headlines for January 7, 2021
Thu, 07 Jan 2021 08:00:00 -0500
Violent Mob Incited by Trump Launches Failed Coup at U.S. Capitol, Capitol Police Fail to Stop Insurrection as Video Shows Officers Stepping Aside, Posing for Selfies, Joe Biden's Presidential Win Certified Over Objections of 127 Republican Lawmakers, House Lawmakers Seek Immediate Removal of Trump from Office, String of White House Resignations Follow Violent Storming of U.S. Capitol, Twitter and Facebook Temporarily Lock Trump's Accounts After Assault on Capitol, World Looks On in Horror at Trump-Incited Coup Attempt; Leaders Call for Peaceful Transition, Jon Ossoff Vows to Fight to End the Pandemic as Democrats Sweep Georgia Elections, U.S. Hospitalizations Hit New High as Nearly 4,000 Die of COVID-19 on Wednesday, Joe Biden Nominates Merrick Garland for Attorney General, Louisville Police Formally Terminate Two Officers Involved in Breonna Taylor's Killing, Governor Pritzker Condemns Illinois GOP Rep. Mary Miller for Praising Hitler, D.C. Police Chief Warns GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert Against Carrying Her Gun to Congress, LeBron James May Buy WNBA's Atlanta Dream from Outgoing Sen. Kelly Loeffler

"Miscarriage of Justice": No Charges Against White Kenosha Officer Who Shot & Paralyzed Jacob Blake
Wed, 06 Jan 2021 08:50:47 -0500
In Kenosha, Wisconsin, District Attorney Michael Graveley has announced that no charges will be filed against the white police officer who fired seven shots at Jacob Blake, paralyzing the 29-year-old Black man in August. Officer Rusten Sheskey fired the shots at point-blank range into Blake's back as he leaned into his car, with his three children, aged 3, 5 and 8, inside the vehicle. Prosecutors maintain the shooting was in self-defense because Blake had a small knife in the car. Video of Blake's shooting sparked an uprising in Kenosha in August against systemic racism and police brutality. Blake's family denounced the ruling. "In this situation, again, we see a miscarriage of justice," says Wisconsin state Representative David Bowen. "We do not see a DA that is able to charge an officer who uses his discretion to put seven shots in the back of a Black man."

"Unprecedented Moment": Far-Right Forces Swarm D.C. to Back Overturning Election, Egged On by Trump
Wed, 06 Jan 2021 08:36:46 -0500
Thousands who refuse to accept President Trump's 2020 election loss to Joe Biden are protesting in Washington, D.C., as Congress meets to count the Electoral College votes and certify the results. Mayor Muriel Bowser has called in the National Guard ahead of the protests, after anti-democracy protesters clashed with police near Black Lives Matter Plaza. Police arrested six people on charges that include bringing illegal guns to the city. National security reporter William Arkin says it is "an unprecedented moment," with the sitting president actively encouraging the unrest. We also speak with Jason Wilson, an investigative journalist who tracks the political right and extremist movements, who says the Trump presidency has seen a startling merger of the GOP with the far right. "There's not really a sharp dividing line between violent, far-right street activists and the supporters of the president in Congress," says Wilson.

Georgia Turning Blue? In Victory for Grassroots Organizers, Warnock Wins Senate Runoff; Ossoff Leads
Wed, 06 Jan 2021 08:12:32 -0500
Democrats appear on the brink of taking control of the U.S. Senate after Reverend Raphael Warnock won a special election over Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, while Democrat Jon Ossoff has a slim lead in his runoff against Republican Senator David Perdue. If Ossoff wins his race, the Senate will be split 50-50, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris serving as the tie-breaking vote, giving Democrats more power to pass President-elect Joe Biden's legislative agenda. Reverend Warnock, the pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, which was the spiritual home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will become the first Black Democrat to ever represent a Southern state, as well as the first Black senator from Georgia and just the 11th Black senator in U.S. history. We speak with Anoa Changa, an Atlanta-based journalist who covers electoral justice and voting rights, who says the Democratic victory in the state is down to grassroots organizers. "Organizing and the amazing work that has been done by a broad coalition of multiracial, mutliethnic organizers across the entire state, from rural to urban to suburban communities, really is the true story of what has been happening in Georgia," says Changa.

Headlines for January 6, 2021
Wed, 06 Jan 2021 08:00:00 -0500
Senate Control Within Democrats' Reach as Rev. Warnock Beats Loeffler, Jon Ossoff Leads Over Perdue, Congress to Certify Biden's Win as GOP Plans Challenges, Delay to Proceedings, U.S. Records Record Death Toll as States Ramp Up Vaccination Plans, Nebraska Gov. Ricketts Under Fire for Racist Exclusion of Undocumented Workers in Vaccine Rollout, Up to 1 in 50 U.K. Residents Likely Have the Coronavirus, U.K. Judge Denies Bail for Julian Assange, Days After Rejecting U.S. Extradition Bid, Officials Will Not Charge White Officer Who Shot Jacob Blake in Back, Leaving Him Paralyzed, Iran Issues Interpol Arrest Warrant Request for Trump Amid Mounting Tensions, Hong Kong Arrests 50+ Pro-Democracy Figures in Massive Sweep, Qatar Reestablishes Ties with Saudi Arabia and Other Arab Nations, Ending 3-Year Embargo, EPA Limits Science That Can Be Used in Public Health Policies as Interior Dept. Weakens Bird Protections, Trump Admin Starts Selling Drilling Rights in Pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, DOJ Seeks to Roll Back Protections Against Civil Rights Discrimination, PA GOP State Senators Create Chaos as They Refuse to Seat Elected Democratic Lawmaker, 140 ICE Prisoners on Hunger Strike in NJ, Activists Demand Joe Biden Cancel Student Debt: "We Will No Longer Be Shackled"

"Medical Apartheid": Israeli Vaccine Drive Excludes Millions of Palestinians in Occupied Territories
Tue, 05 Jan 2021 08:46:45 -0500
Israel has administered COVID-19 vaccines faster than any country in the world, with more than 14% of Israelis receiving vaccines so far. Despite the fast rollout, human rights groups are expressing alarm over Israel's decision not to vaccinate Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, where about 1,500 people have died during the pandemic. Israel has defended its actions citing the Oslo Peace Accords, which put Palestinian authorities in charge of healthcare in the West Bank and Gaza. Palestinian officials are facing a number of hurdles in launching their own vaccine campaign, including a shortage of money, lack of access to vaccines and lack of infrastructure to distribute a vaccine. "Israel actually is violating international law because it is denying its responsibility as an occupying power," says Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, a physician, member of the Palestinian Parliament and head of the Palestinian Medical Relief Society. "Israelis are getting the vaccines, and Palestinians are getting nothing."

"This Is Voter Suppression": 198,000 Georgia Residents Were Illegally Purged from Voter Rolls
Tue, 05 Jan 2021 08:29:58 -0500
As voters in Georgia cast their ballots in two key runoff races that will determine control of the U.S. Senate, voting rights activists fear many eligible voters will be turned away at the polls. Georgia has been called "ground zero" for Republican voter suppression efforts in the U.S., and in September the ACLU of Georgia revealed 198,000 voters had been wrongly purged from the voting rolls. We air a report into voting in Georgia by investigative journalist Greg Palast, narrated by the actress Debra Messing, and speak with voting rights activist LaTosha Brown, co-founder of the Black Voters Matter Fund. "I think it's quite interesting and coincidental ... that many of them on that list are African American voters," says Brown. "This is voter suppression."

Ahead of Pro-Trump Protest, Proud Boys Leader Arrested for Burning BLM Banner at Black Church
Tue, 05 Jan 2021 08:21:08 -0500
As thousands are expected to descend on Washington, D.C., to join far-right protests over the election results Wednesday, the leader of the Proud Boys hate group, Enrique Tarrio, was arrested on property destruction charges for burning a Black Lives Matter banner off a historically Black church during similar protests last month. Many churches have requested extra protection, and the Metropolitan AME Church is suing the Proud Boys. "Sadly, our nation has a very dark and sordid history of targeting historically Black churches," says Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, who represents the church in its lawsuit. "We will use civil rights law as a way of sending a message to extremists that they are not above the law and will be held accountable for their dangerous, toxic and dark actions."

"Unethical and Anti-Democratic": GOP Lawmakers & Trump Continue Push to Overturn Election Results
Tue, 05 Jan 2021 08:11:54 -0500
At a campaign rally for the two critical Senate runoff races in Georgia, President Trump used much of the time to focus on himself and again dispute the outcome of November's presidential election. In a rambling speech, Trump cited the same conspiracy theories he used to pressure Georgia's secretary of state in a recorded telephone call to "find" him enough votes to overturn the state's certified election results. Democrats say Trump could be prosecuted for illegally trying to pressure Georgia officials to commit voter fraud, while some Republicans are defending the call. "It is most unfortunate that there are members of Congress in both the House and Senate that are planning to ... do grandstanding, frankly, to continue this kind of false and baseless claim that there was something wrong with the 2020 election," says Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. She says that for lawmakers to "perpetuate this mythology about irregularities in our election is incredibly un-American."

Headlines for January 5, 2021
Tue, 05 Jan 2021 08:00:00 -0500
Medics Ordered to Ration Oxygen as COVID-19 Overwhelms L.A. Hospitals, FDA Recommends U.S. Residents Get 2 Full Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine, U.K. Orders Third Nationwide Lockdown Amid Fears of New Coronavirus Variant, Polls Open in Georgia Special Election with Control of U.S. Senate at Stake, House Democrats Prepare to Censure Trump over Attempt to Overturn Election Results, D.C. Mayor Calls Out National Guard as Trump Supporters Plan Anti-Democracy Rally, Proud Boys Leader Arrested for Illegal Weapons, Destroying Black Lives Matter Banner, Iran Begins Enriching Uranium Beyond Limits of Nuclear Deal Trump Withdrew From, Newly Unionized Workers Demand Google Promote Social & Economic Justice, Some Chicago Teachers Refuse to Return to Classrooms over Coronavirus Safety Fears, Western Shoshone Environmental & Land Rights Activist Carrie Dann Dies at 88

"Find 11,780 Votes": Trump Pushes Georgia to Overturn Election in Move to Disenfranchise Millions
Mon, 04 Jan 2021 08:45:10 -0500
In an hour-long phone call, President Trump pressured Georgia's Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find" enough votes to overturn Joe Biden's victory in the state's 2020 election. He made the call nearly two weeks before he is due to leave office and just two days before the runoff elections in Georgia that will determine control of the Senate. The Washington Post obtained a recording of the phone call of Trump both berating and begging Raffensperger, and even threatening him with criminal charges if he refused to investigate false claims of voter fraud and change the certified election results. "It's astounding," says Nsé Ufot, CEO of New Georgia Project and New Georgia Project Action Fund, organizations that played a key role in mobilizing voters for the 2020 election, and again for Tuesday's runoff elections. "This has to be criminal."

"Victory for Julian": U.K. Blocks WikiLeaks Founder Assange Extradition to U.S. on Espionage Charges
Mon, 04 Jan 2021 08:19:04 -0500
In a stunning decision, a British judge has blocked the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States, saying he would not be safe in a U.S. prison due to his deteriorated mental state. In 2019, Assange was indicted in the United States on 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act related to the publication of classified documents exposing U.S. war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. The United States has already announced plans to appeal the ruling. Press freedom advocates have campaigned against Assange's prosecution for years, arguing it would set a dangerous precedent for prosecuting journalists. The blocked extradition due to concern over prison safety rather than press freedom shows that "this is not the end of the road," says Assange legal adviser Jennifer Robinson. "This is still a terrible precedent." We also speak with Jameel Jaffer, founding director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, who says that while the decision is a "very significant victory" for Assange, the judge has largely sided with the U.S. prosecution.

Headlines for January 4, 2021
Mon, 04 Jan 2021 08:00:00 -0500
U.K. Blocks Extradition of Julian Assange to U.S. Due to Mental Health Concerns, Trump Attempts to Pressure Georgia's Top Election Official into Changing Results of Vote, GOP Lawmakers to Challenge Certification of Biden's Win in Last-Ditch Effort to Overturn Election, 117th Congress Sworn In Amid Pandemic, Pelosi Reelected as House Speaker, U.S. COVID Cases Soar as New Spikes Expected After Holidays and Detection of More Contagious Variant, India Approves 2 Vaccines as U.K. Starts Administering Oxford-AstraZeneca Shot, Israel Vaccinates Over One-Tenth of Population, But Palestinians in Occupied Territories Left Out of Rollout, Massive Blast at Yemen's Aden Airport Kills at Least 26 People, Fifth Afghan Media Worker Killed in Under Two Months, Islamic State Claims Responsibility for Attack on Miners in Balochistan Region of Pakistan, Iraqis Protest on Anniversary of Soleimani's Assassination as Iran Warns U.S. May Be Planning Attack, Journalist and Activist Omoyele Sowore Beaten and Arrested in Nigeria After Peaceful Protest, Police Killing of Somali American Dolal Idd Prompts New Black Lives Matter Protests in Minneapolis, Court Reinstates Jan. 12 Execution of Lisa Montgomery, the Only Woman on Federal Death Row, "Most Prolific Serial Killer in U.S. History," Who Targeted Poor and Marginalized Black Women, Dies, Two Female U.S. Army Soldiers Found Dead in Texas, Census Bureau Misses Deadline, Upending Trump's Plans to Exclude Immigrants from 2020 Count

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