World News

The Swedish Government Didn’t Enforce Social Distancing — and Now It’s Paying the Price

May 27, 2020 by Source

by Blake Fleetwood / Washington Monthly / May 26, 2020

In late March, when every other European country was in a lockdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Sweden remained the outlier. Instead of imposing strict shelter-in-place orders, officials decided that Swedes could be relied upon to follow sanitation guidelines themselves. Restaurants, shops, and recreational spots stayed open.

After all, Sweden has an excellent national health care system that ranks third in the world (the U.S. clocks in at a dismal 44). And with the Swedes’ low levels of obesity and diabetes, their generally good health and ample supply of hospital beds offer far better odds against COVID-19. But even with these advantages, many Swedes did not stay at home. Sweden’s experiment in waging a lax battle against COVID-19 cost the country dearly.

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How Did We Get From Earth Day To Trump?

April 22, 2020 by Source

Fifty years after the first Earth Day, the connection between the environment and human health has never been more obvious.

By David Helvarg / HuffPost / April 22, 2020

Twenty million people rallied, marched and staged clean-ups across the country on April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day. Many carried signs that read “Mother Nature Bats Last.”
But who knew there would be actual bats involved?

Fifty years later, the COVID-19 pandemic is the starkest example of natural disasters foretold but not prepared for.

The destruction of unique habitats, logging of rainforests and consumption of displaced wildlife such as bats, chimps and endangered pangolins has led to most of our recent viral outbreaks, from AIDS and Ebola to the coronavirus. This only confirms the scientific consensus that human health and prosperity depend on a healthy environment.

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Queen Elizabeth’s Model of Leadership Amid Coronavirus Contrasts Sharply With Trump’s

April 8, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor / Times of San Diego / April 8, 2020

The British went to bed proud on Sunday night. We Americans woke up sad, again, on Monday.

Why? Because of the stark, contrasting coronavirus appearances, over the weekend, by President Trump and Queen Elizabeth II. Trump in his repetitive daily briefing; Elizabeth in a rare public address.

One was full of blame, accusations, impatience, falsehoods and bravado. The other was full of gratitude, praise and encouragement.

The Queen’s address was broadcast just hours before Prime Minister Boris Johnson was hospitalized with COVID-19 and less than a week after her son, the Prince of Wales, finished quarantine following his own coronavirus diagnosis.

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A Warning From a Friend in Italy

March 12, 2020 by Source

Editordude: A good friend of the Widder Curry who lives in Italy wrote her to share what was really going on. We are not certain when it was written, so the dates mentioned are hazy.

To Judi Curry

I am writing to you from Bergamo, Italy, at the heart of the coronavirus crisis.

The news media in the US has not captured the severity of what is happening here. I am writing this post because each of you, today, not the government, not the school district, not the mayor, each individual citizen has the chance, today to take actions that will deter the Italian situation from becoming your own country’s reality.

The only way to stop this virus is to limit contagion. And the only way to limit contagion is for millions of people to change their behavior today. If you are in Europe or the US you are weeks away from where we are today in Italy.

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‘I’m a stranger in my own city’: Prague Takes on Airbnb to Block Flood of Tourists

February 5, 2020 by Source

By Robert Tait / The Guardian / Feb. 1, 2020

For decades, its mesmerizing blend of baroque and Gothic beauty was closed to mass tourism by the iron curtain that divided the communist east from the capitalist west during the cold war.

Now Prague, which has gained an unenviable reputation as a destination for stag nights and pub crawls, has become the latest European city to propose a radical assault on Airbnb and other short-term letting platforms as over-tourism threatens to overwhelm it and drive out residents.

Under plans pushed by the city’s liberal mayor, Zdenek Hrib, property owners would be barred from leasing out entire flats except when it was their own home and they were temporarily vacating it.

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Europe Leads the Way in Nuclear Shutdowns

February 3, 2020 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News February 2020

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear industry in the US and beyond, and highlightss the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free world.

By Michael Steinberg

On December 30 Oil Price.com reported “Germany Aims To Close All Nuclear Plants By 2022.” It shut down its 40 year old Philipsburg nuke plant, which had started up in 1979, on the last day of 2019.

The report added that the country was “going forward with its plan to phase out its (two remaining) nuclear plants by 2022.”
In addition it announced it would be shutting down “all 84 of its coal-fired plants by 2038.”

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Trump Threatens War Crimes Against Iran. Congress Must Stop Him.

January 9, 2020 by Source

By Marjorie Cohn

Trump has already committed the crime of aggression against Iran, and he is now threatening to commit a war crime if he carries through on his January 4 promise to target Iran’s cultural sites. The United States has violated the United Nations Charter’s prohibition on the use of military force. This is the time to raise our voices and demand that our congressional representatives put a halt to Trump’s illegal war-making.

It should be clear to any legal analyst that Donald Trump’s catastrophic decision to order the illegal assassination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani and Iraqi senior military leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis constituted the crime of aggression and violated both the United Nations Charter and the U.S. War Powers Resolution.

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US Is Again Complicit in an Illegal Coup, This Time in Bolivia

December 5, 2019 by Source

By Marjorie Cohn / TruthOut / Nov. 28, 2019

Once again, the United States is complicit in an illegal coup d’état in Latin America, this time in Bolivia. On November 10, a right-wing, anti-Indigenous group seized power after the Bolivian military’s removal of President Evo Morales, who had declared victory in the October 20 presidential election.

The United States’ fingerprints are all over the coup. Advisers from the U.S. Southern Command have been stationed on Bolivia’s border with Argentina, Ivanka Trump made a surprising visit to an Argentine province near the Bolivian border in September, the pro-U.S. Organization of American States (OAS) cast unfounded doubt on Morales’s election victory, and the U.S.’s National Endowment for Democracy provided suspicious grants to Bolivia.

At least 32 people have been killed and hundreds injured since the coup began.

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As Trump Aids and Abets Turkey’s War Crimes, the UN Must Act

October 24, 2019 by Source

By Marjorie Cohn / Truthout / Oct. 23, 2019

Nearly two weeks have passed since Turkey launched its ground and air attack on Rojava, the autonomous region of northeast Syria, following Trump’s sudden removal of 1,000 U.S. troops from the area.

While the United States and Turkey reached a “ceasefire” agreement on October 17, there are ongoing reports of violations of the deal. A U.S. official told CNN that Turkish-backed forces broke the ceasefire on its first day, saying that they were either acting beyond the scope of Turkish control or Turkey “didn’t care what they did.” Two U.S. officials said the ceasefire “is not holding.”

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Turning Greenhouse Gas into Pure Liquid Fuel

September 6, 2019 by Source

Lab’s ‘green’ invention reduces carbon dioxide into valuable fuels

Rice University / Science Daily / September 3, 2019

Summary:

An electrocatalysis reactor built at Rice University recycles carbon dioxide to produce pure liquid fuel solutions using electricity. The scientists behind the invention hope it will become an efficient and profitable way to reuse the greenhouse gas and keep it out of the atmosphere.

A common greenhouse gas could be repurposed in an efficient and environmentally friendly way with an electrolyzer that uses renewable electricity to produce pure liquid fuels.

The catalytic reactor developed by the Rice University lab of chemical and biomolecular engineer Haotian Wang uses carbon dioxide as its feedstock and, in its latest prototype, produces highly purified and high concentrations of formic acid.

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We Had the Bronze Age, We Had the Iron Age – Now, We Have the Plastic Age, Say Scientists

September 5, 2019 by Source

The Guardian
Plastic pollution is being deposited into the fossil record, research has found, with contamination increasing exponentially since 1945.

Scientists suggest the plastic layers could be used to mark the start of the Anthropocene, the proposed geological epoch in which human activities have come to dominate the planet. They say after the bronze and iron ages, the current period may become known as the plastic age.

The study, the first detailed analysis of the rise in plastic pollution in sediments, examined annual layers off the coast of California back to 1834. They discovered the plastic in the layers mirrors precisely the exponential rise in plastic production over the past 70 years

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Asteroid ‘Out of Nowhere’ Flew By Only 45,000 Miles From Earth

August 5, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

On July 25 a hunk of space rock named Asteroid 2019 flew uncomfortably close to Earth. And no one seemed aware it was coming.

The rock was about 187 to 427 feet wide and it moved on a course that brought it within 45,000 miles of the Earth’s surface. That’s one-fifth of the distance to the moon. One scientist stated: “It’s probably the largest asteroid to pass this close to Earth in quite a number of years.”

As the Washington Post reported:

This asteroid wasn’t one that scientists had long been tracking, and it had seemingly appeared from “out of nowhere,”

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Native Hawaiians and Supporters Enter Second Week of Blockade of Work on Giant Telescope on Mauna Kea- ‘The Rock’ Joins Them

July 26, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Protesters blocking the construction of a giant telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii’s tallest mountain, are about to enter their second week of the civil disobedient demonstration. They were joined on Wednesday, July 24 by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson who came to show support.

Johnson – the actor and former wrestler – joined the protesters during their 10th day of the blockade of the construction road leading up to the planned site of the observatory. Native Hawaiian groups say the mountain, which already hosts 13 telescopes, is sacred, and another observatory will further desecrate the mountain on the Big Island.

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OB Resister Sisters Remember Bastille Day

July 15, 2019 by Staff

Sunday, July 14 was Bastille Day, the national holiday in France commemorating the 1789 storming of the Bastille, the fortress-like prison in Paris.

The Resister Sisters of Ocean Beach hung this sign Sunday over the I-5 in downtown San Diego.

Vive La Resistance!

Oh, you don’t recall what happened on Bastille Day?

See this:

July 14th: Viva Bastille Day! Viva la France! Viva Revolution! Viva the modern world!

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Iraq Vows to Stand With Iran if Iran Is Attacked by U.S.

May 29, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

It’s a little-known story that’s not breaking through U.S. mainstream media, but something that Americans need to know:

Iraq’s leaders are vowing to stand with Iran if Iran is attacked by the United States.

Period. Now just grok that for a moment. Iraq will stand with Iran if Trump moves on Iran militarily.

Iraq’s Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali al-Hakim made the pledge following talks with his Iranian counterpart.

Hakim said:

“We stand by our neighbor Iran, and economic sanctions are unnecessary and cause great suffering to the Iranian people.”

This is all in the midst of the US government ramping up its rhetoric against what it calls the Iranian threat.

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9 Easy Propaganda Steps to War With Iran

May 16, 2019 by Source

By Juan Cole / Reader Supported News / May 16, 2019

he Trump administration is now in full disinformation mode, using all the classical techniques of propaganda to put the gullible US public on a war footing with Iran. Here is how it is done.

1. Iran warmongers like National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pretend to speak for US interests instead of for the narrow and sectarian interests that want a war. Bolton has taken big bucks from the Iranian expatriate People’s Jihadis (MEK), which the State Department for long listed as a terrorist organization. NBC news at one point linked it to Israeli intelligence, and others have suggested a Saudi link. Pompeo is a Kansas oil man and we all know what oil men do to the Middle East (think Bush and Cheney).

2. Having hidden behind the flag, the latter-day Goebbelses then invent an emergency. The favored propaganda talking point at the moment is that US troops and diplomats are in danger. US troops and diplomats are always in danger. It is their job to be in danger. If we don’t want them in danger we should bring them home from dangerous places like Iraq.

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Once Again, Mainstream Media Get It Wrong on Venezuela

May 3, 2019 by Source

News outlets, dutifully supporting Trump administration calls for regime change, reported that a widespread uprising was underway, even though Juan Guaidó’s coup attempt had little support.

By Michael Fox / Nation Magazine / May 2, 2019

Caracas—It began with a tweet.

In it, Venezuela’s self-declared president, Juan Guaidó, stands in front of a line of military vehicles and rows of Venezuelan soldiers in green uniforms. Beside them is opposition leader Leopoldo López, whom they have freed from house arrest, which stemmed from his role in the 2014 guarimba street protests in which dozens of people were killed.

Guaidó, dressed in a black suit and a white shirt, talks to the camera. “Today, the armed forces are clearly with the people,” he says. “The time is now.” He calls on the military to rise up and says they are in the streets. He insinuates that they have taken the Carlota military base in eastern Caracas.

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Trump Administration Takes Illegal and Dangerous Actions toward Regime Change in Venezuela

April 10, 2019 by Source

By Marjorie Cohn / TruthOut / April 8, 2019

The United States is taking illegal and dangerous actions to execute regime change in Venezuela. In January, Juan Guaidó declared himself “interim president,” in a strategy orchestrated by the United States to seize power from President Nicolás Maduro.

In March, Guaidó announced that “Operation Freedom,” an organization established to overthrow the Maduro government, would take certain “tactical actions” beginning on April 6. Part of the plan anticipates that the Venezuelan military will turn against Maduro.

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‘Standing With Our Muslim Brothers and Sisters’

March 18, 2019 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray – Posted on March 15, 2019 on Facebook

I had no idea
when I opened my eyes
on this beautiful day
that I would,
a bit later,
at midday,
be standing with a number
of loving peace seeking folks,
shaking our heads,
pledging, in our sadness,
to stay the course
against the madness
that brought us together
on this ill fated day:
our Muslim brothers and sisters
in New Zealand

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A ‘Lost Colony’ of Monarch Butterflies Found in Mexico

February 22, 2019 by Source

Long-sought hidden monarchs’ colony was found in December

From Mexico News Daily/ February 18, 2019

Owners of communal land located near the Nevado de Toluca volcano in México state have discovered a monarch butterfly colony long searched for by park rangers and conservationists.

A small group of ejidatarios, or communal landowners, was carrying out a routine patrol of their forested land within the Nevado de Toluca National Park just before Christmas when they found the butterflies hanging in massive clumps from the branches of Oyamel fir trees on a steep mountainside.

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Hey Trump! Hands Off Venezuela! – San Diego Protest – Friday, Feb. 22 at 4:30-6 pm

February 22, 2019 by Staff

There’s a “Hands Off Venezeula” demonstration this Friday, February 22, 2019 at 4:30 – 6 PM – at the San Diego Federal Courthouse in downtown San Diego.

Protest Trump’s efforts to get his regime change in Venezuela.

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What’s Really Going On in Venezuela

February 6, 2019 by Source

By Marc Ash / Reader Supported News / Feb. 06 2019

What the US corporate media is not telling you about the situation in Venezuela is why the Venezuelan economy is in such trouble.

Since 1999, the US has waged economic warfare against Venezuela in an attempt to destabilize and deconstruct the Socialist Revolution started by former Venezuelan president and close Fidel Castro ally Hugo Chavez.

The US wants Venezuela, with its rich oil reserves, to be a compliant client-state. That was what motivated the Cuban Revolution and that is what drives anti-colonialist sentiment in Venezuela today.

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Team Trump Is Orchestrating a Coup in Venezuela In Plain Sight

February 5, 2019 by Source

By Marjorie Cohn / TruthOut / Feb. 2, 2019

As Venezuela’s second president, Simon Bolivar, noted in the 19th century, the US government continues to “plague Latin America with misery in the name of liberty.”

From engineering coups in Chile and Guatemala, to choreographing a troop landing at the Bay of Pigs intended to establish an exile government in Cuba, to training Latin American strongmen at the School of the Americas in torture techniques to control their people, the United States has meddled, interfered, intervened and undermined the democracies it claims to protect.

Now, Vice President Mike Pence, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) and the infamous Elliott Abrams are working with opposition groups in Venezuela to carry out a coup d’état.

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World Health Organization Calls for Removal of Cannabis from Narcotics Scheduling

February 5, 2019 by Source

Cannabis Rescheduling Could Change Its Status on Global Scale

By David Mangone / Americans for Safe Access / February 01, 2019

On February 1st, the World Health Organization (WHO) made an announcement that has the potential to change the status of medical cannabis globally. The WHO has determined that cannabis and cannabis resin should be removed from Schedule IV of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (which is different than the U.S. Controlled Substances Act scheduling) and divided into more specific categories in lower schedules. For, example compound pharmaceutical preparations containing THC would be placed in Schedule III and CBD preparations would be removed from scheduling entirely.

If these recommendations are adopted by the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs this would effectively nullify the excuse of violating international treaty which many governments use as an excuse to block medical cannabis reform in their country.

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50 Years Ago Today – October 2, 1968: Massacre in Mexico City

October 2, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Troops opened fire on protesters in La Plaza de las Tres Culturas - APWhen I traveled in Mexico in the late 1970s, I would often come across political graffiti that read “gobierno asesino” with ‘remember October 2’ inscribed on walls or fences. These referred to the huge massacre in Mexico City of protesters on October 2, 1968, right around the time of the Summer Olympics in that city.

Fifty years ago today. Thousands were killed by the bullets of soldiers and police in an unbelievable display of authoritarian might in our southern neighbor. This mass murder came down at the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Tlatelolco . The protests in Mexico City mirrored upheavals around the world that explosive year – in Paris, in Prague, in Chicago. Yet no where else, did a government simply murder so many of its own citizens as in Mexico City.

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Today All of Palestine Is On Strike.

May 15, 2018 by Source

By Cathy

Today all of Palestine is on strike. No schools, no business as usual…all in solidarity with the people of Gaza. Words truly fail us today, but we are safe and together. The streets are eerily quiet.

When we visited Balata Refugee Camp last week a person on the delegation asked Ibrahim from Balata what he told his children about his life. He had been shot by the Israeli police at a demonstration and had been thought dead.

He told us that he never talked about this with his young children. That he talked with them about the need for a good education and that he wanted them to have hope.

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Recent Visit to Iran Dispels American Myths – Author Finds a Complex Country and Friendly People

July 26, 2017 by Source

By Beau Grosscup

With American claims abound both in the media and during the recent Presidential campaign that Iran is the de-stabilizing force in the Middle East (unchallenged by any presidential candidate) in mind, I recently accepted an invitation to speak at Tehran University’s Human Rights Conference.

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Reflections on the Syrian Nerve Gas Bombing and the US Bombing Response

April 18, 2017 by Source

My Reflections on the Syrian Nerve Gas Bombing of April 4th, 2017, the April 7th U.S. Bombing of the Syrian Airbase, and Possibilities for the future!

by Peter Bohmer, April 15, 2017

The evidence has continued to mount that the Syrian air force dropped Sarin gas on Khan Shaykhun in Idlib province in Syria on April 4th, 2017 killing at least 80 people and seriously wounding hundreds. Evidence includes eyewitness accounts, statements by doctors and other medical personnel in Turkey who treated the wounded, statements by various scientific organizations that it was Sarin gas dropped from the air, the past use of Sarin by the Assad regime in 2013 gas and the implausibility and obvious falsehoods of the Russians and Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad about the attack.

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Russian Bots and Bernie Lovers

March 22, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Last Tuesday night on MSNBC, Rachel Maddow did an extensive report on how Russians used information warfare during the 2016 presidential campaign to undermine the Hillary Clinton campaign. And, she said, they are still using those cyber tactics to this day.

One of the main ways the Russians worked to throw sand on the Clinton electoral machine, was to sow discord among Bernie Sanders supporters and divide them from pivoting after the Primary to give Clinton their donations and volunteer hours.

The primary example Maddow used when she was drawing attention to the Russian information warfare effort against the United States was a fake Bernie Sanders supporters Facebook page that appears to be part of the Russian game plan. It’s called Bernie Sanders Lovers, and despite what the home page says about it being from Vermont, it’s actually out of Albania.

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Nuclear Shutdown News – February 2017

March 1, 2017 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and abroad, and highlights the efforts of those who are working for a nuclear free world. Here is out February 2017 report:

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

1. Fire and explosion at French nuclear plant.

Various media outlets reported that on February 9, a fire and explosion happened at the Flamanville nuclear plant, forcing the shutdown of one of its two reactors there. The nuke is located in Normandy on that country’s northwest coast, facing the English Channel.

The BBC reported: “The explosion and fire happened in the turbine room.”

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