"Millions of Lives Are at Stake": Pressure Grows on Biden to Back WTO Waiver on Vaccine Technology

Pressure is growing on the Biden administration to support a temporary waiver on intellectual property rights for COVID-related medicines and vaccines at the World Trade Organization. India and South Africa first proposed the waiver in October, but it was blocked by the United States and other wealthy members of the WTO. Big Pharma has also come out against the proposal and has lobbied Washington to preserve its monopoly control. More than 100 countries have supported the waiver, which they say is critical to ramp up production of vaccines, treatments and diagnostic tests in the Global South. Ahead of the kickoff of two days of WTO important meetings in…

0 Comments

“Rejection of the Neoliberal Framework”: Biden Proposes Trillions in New Spending, Taxes on the Rich

On the eve of his 100th day in office, President Joe Biden gave his first speech to a joint session of Congress and proposed trillions of dollars in new economic measures. He unveiled his $1.8 trillion American Families Plan, which includes $1 trillion in new spending and $800 billion in tax credits aimed at expanding access to education and child care. He also called on lawmakers to support his plan to invest heavily in the country’s infrastructure and to expand the social safety net in part by funding it with $4 trillion in taxes on the rich and corporations. Economist Jayati Ghosh says Biden’s spending plans are “unexpected”…

0 Comments

Biden Recognizes Armenian Genocide of 1915, Despite Decades of Lobbying & Denialism by Turkey

As President Joe Biden makes history by explicitly describing the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as a “genocide,” we speak with Peter Balakian, Pulitzer Prize-winning Armenian American poet and professor at Colgate University. On April 24, 1915, the Ottoman Empire began a systematic, premeditated campaign targeting the Armenian people, an unarmed Christian minority living under Turkish rule. More than a million Armenians were exterminated through direct killing, starvation, torture and forced death marches. Another million Armenian people fled into permanent exile. “It’s an important statement,” responds Balakian to Biden’s decision. “The plan was systematic,” he says of the genocide. “It involved the implementation of parliamentary acts,…

0 Comments

Biden Vows to Cut Emissions, But U.S. Continues to Subsidize Fossil Fuels Amid Climate Crisis

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The Quarantine Report. I’m Amy Goodman. Sign up for our daily news digest email by texting “democracynow” — one word, no space — to 66866 today. Well, the White House is continuing to host virtual summit on the climate crisis today with 40 leaders representing the world’s major economies, including China. On Thursday, President Biden pledged to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in half, below 2005 levels, by the end of the decade — that’s nearly double the target set by the Obama administration six years ago. PRESIDENT JOE…

0 Comments

Biden Sanctions Russia for Cyber Espionage While Remaining Silent over Israeli Cyberattack on Iran

The United States has imposed new sanctions on Russia and expelled 10 Russian diplomats after the Biden administration accused Moscow of being involved in major cyberattacks. The Treasury Department claimed Russia interfered in the 2020 election and was behind the SolarWinds hack, which compromised the computer systems of nine U.S. government agencies and scores of private companies. The sanctions target 32 Russian entities and individuals and bar U.S. banks from purchasing Russian government debt. Russia vowed to retaliate against the new sanctions and accused the Biden administration of degrading bilateral relations. “The most dangerous aspect of this is it introduces something new into international relations, because despite the…

0 Comments

Afghanistan: Biden Vows to End Nation’s Longest War by 9/11 After Decades of Bloodshed & Destruction

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.AMY GOODMAN: The Biden administration has unveiled plans to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 11th, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Biden will formally outline his plan today during a speech in the Treaty Room at the White House — the same room where President George W. Bush announced the start of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan nearly 20 years ago, beginning what’s become the longest war in U.S. history. The war killed more than 100,000 Afghan civilians and over 2,300 U.S. servicemembers. It also cost the U.S. trillions of dollars. NATO forces…

0 Comments

Biden Calls U.S. Gun Violence an “International Embarrassment.” Will Congress Finally Act?

President Joe Biden has ordered a series of executive actions on gun control in the wake of mass shootings in Georgia, Colorado and elsewhere, calling gun violence in the U.S. an “epidemic” and an “international embarrassment.” The most significant executive order aims to crack down on so-called ghost guns — easily assembled firearms bought over the internet without serial numbers, which account for about a third of guns recovered at crime scenes. Biden has also nominated gun control advocate David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, but acknowledged this week that major new gun control measures, like an assault weapons ban and universal…

0 Comments

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Jody Williams Slams Biden Admin for Claiming Landmines Are a “Vital Tool”

The Biden administration is facing criticism from human rights groups after it announced this week it will leave in place a Trump-era policy to allow military commanders to use landmines across the globe. A Pentagon spokesperson described landmines as a “vital tool in conventional warfare” and said restricting their use would put American lives at risk, despite Biden’s campaign promise to promptly roll back Trump’s policy. Jody Williams, recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for her work with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, says landmines were invented “in order to maim people” and have a devastating impact on children, women and the elderly around the world.…

0 Comments

“Shameful”: Amid Border Emergency, Immigrant Rights Advocates Urge Biden to Stop Detaining Children

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.AMY GOODMAN: Photos released Monday show migrant children crowded into holding areas separated by plastic sheeting at a temporary processing center near the U.S.-Mexico border in Donna, Texas. There is no social distancing in effect as the children huddle on plastic mattresses, covered with foil sheets. The photos were shared by Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar of Texas with the news site Axios. Cuellar said eight pods that were meant to house 260 children were packed beyond capacity, with one pod housing over 400 boys. He said Customs and Border Patrol agents were, quote, “not equipped to…

0 Comments

Vijay Prashad Warns Biden Is “Doubling Down” on Trump’s Anti-China Cold War Policy

Beijing has accused the U.S. of perpetuating a Cold War mentality as President Joe Biden and senior administration officials shore up alliances in the Pacific region to counter China’s growing influence and increasingly describe the country as a geopolitical threat. Vijay Prashad, director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, says the “bellicose” tone out of Washington is not because the U.S. sees China as a military threat, but because China threatens U.S. dominance in the scientific, technological and diplomatic spheres. “It’s very chilling what the U.S. government is doing in ramping up this cold war,” says Prashad. Source link

0 Comments