Saturday, January 15, 2022

The Guardian UK:
"Cuba’s vaccine success story sails past mark set by rich world’s Covid efforts. This downtrodden island struggles to keep the lights on, but has now vaccinated more of its citizens against Covid-19 than any of the world’s major nations.

More than 90% of the population has been vaccinated with at least one dose of Cuba’s homegrown vaccines, while 83% have been fully inoculated. ... 'Cuba is a victim of magical realism,' said John Kirk, professor emeritus of Latin American studies at Dalhousie University, Canada. 'The idea that Cuba, with only 11 million people, and limited income, could be a biotech power, might be incomprehensible for someone working at Pfizer, but for Cuba it is possible.'

Like most Latin American countries, Cuba knew it would struggle to buy vaccines on the international market. So in March 2020, with foreign exchange reserves plummeting due to the loss of tourism revenue and ferocious new US sanctions, the island’s scientists got to work. The gamble paid off: this spring Cuba became the smallest country in the world to successfully develop and produce its own Covid vaccines."

-->Sadly, to read this story, one must go to the UK. Anything that puts Cuba in a good light is off limits to our major newspapers, including the NYT. In fact, news about Cuba is one of the best ways to understand the failings of our US media, perpetually addicted to reporting Pentagon propaganda. And what if the NYT had reported that it was Castro who decided to spend a billion on developing Cuba's biotech industry when the Soviet Union fell? Would the Pentagon have pulled the plug on its long time escort, the "Grey Lady"?


"This was the deadliest year for Palestinian children since 2014. Instead of holding perpetrators accountable, Israel is criminalizing the work that organizations like mine are doing to protect Palestinian children's rights.

This year was unlike any other I can remember from my decades of defending Palestinian children’s rights. Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip in May, amidst a mass youth-led uprising across historic Palestine, sparked an outcry around the world, with more people than ever demanding Israel be held accountable for its violence toward Palestinians and calling for an end to its apartheid regime. ...

As of December 14, 86 Palestinian children have been killed in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International – Palestine, where I serve as General Director. Israeli forces and armed Israeli civilians killed 78 of those Palestinian children. ... Under international law, intentional lethal force is only justified in circumstances where there is a direct threat to life or a threat of serious injury. However, evidence collected in DCIP’s investigations suggests that Israeli forces regularly use lethal force against Palestinian children in a manner that may amount to extrajudicial or willful killings."

-->Stories like this rarely make it into the NYT, which much prefers articles like last week's pro-Israel propaganda piece entitled, "Is That a Burning Bush? Is This Mt. Sinai?" News about Palestinian human rights rarely makes it into our supposed "Newspaper of Record."


Common Dreams:
"The Guardian has published an important eulogy to the late Desmond Tutu by Chris McGreal, saying what so many in the Palestinian solidarity community are saying: After fighting apartheid in South Africa, Tutu used his stature to call out apartheid in Israel and Palestine, and he paid a large price for doing so.

Indeed, opposing apartheid in Palestine was one of Tutu's salient achievements. And yet the American media are—no surprise—playing that angle down in memorializing Tutu as a great moral leader. They seem embarrassed by this aspect of Tutu's legacy.

The PBS News Hour gave the Anglican archbishop's work on Palestine one line in a lengthy obit, between his visiting Rwanda after the genocide and his opposition to the Iraq war. 'He weighed in on the Israeli Palestinian conflict, at times likening Israeli actions to apartheid era South Africa,' the News Hour said simply.

National Public Radio repeatedly failed to mention Tutu's stand on Palestine in coverage here, here and here—even as its correspondents discussed the ways that Tutu 'used his reputation" since the fall of apartheid by speaking "truth to power.' "

-->This well researched article is by Philip Weiss, co-editor of Mondoweiss. Check them out at 

Celebrity Talker:
"Jeffrey Epstein Pilot Lists Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Prince Andrew, & More As Passengers On ‘Lolita Express’

More information about Jeffrey Epstein, the deceased 'billionaire pedophile,' is expected to emerge in the sex trafficking trial against Maxwell, his closest confidant. The proceedings began on Monday, and included testimony from the pilot of Epstein’s private plane dubbed 'Lolita Express,' Larry Visoski. Vioski began working for Epstein in 1991 and was employed by him for decades. ...

High-profile passengers he did remember included former presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, as well as billionaire Bill Gates. He also recalled flying Prince Andrew, Kevin Spacey, Maine Sen. George Mitchell, Ohio Sen. John Glenn, and billionaire Les Wexler."

-->Why would we use the Celebrity Talker? There is no place in the mainstream media that really tries to explore who was on the "Lolita Express" and what they were up to. There are bits of disconnected information, like Maxwell's connection to Israeli intelligence, the secret video cameras that were installed in Epstein's several mansions, and the endless list of powerful political figures that were obviously involved in the sex trafficking of children. It is no wonder that Americans are so ready to believe conspiracy theories. Epstein's story is a lesson in how the rich and powerful can get away with just about anything. There are stories that the mainstream media will simply not touch. 


The New York Times:

"Is That a Burning Bush? Is This Mt. Sinai? Solstice Bolsters a Claim On the year’s shortest day, hundreds of Israelis ventured deep into the desert to witness a strange natural phenomenon atop an ancient pilgrimage site that some argue is where God spoke to Moses."

-->This is a typical Isabel Kershner article. Her husband writes Zionist propaganda for the state of Israel. She has relatives in the IDF and her son served in the Israeli military. There is nothing "balanced" in her reporting about Israel/Palestine for the NYT. This story has the familiar failings. There is no mention that the invasion, occupation and settlement of this area are war crimes condemned by any number of UN resolutions. According to the publication Mondoweiss, "The Times has Jewish ownership, the Sulzberger family, which maintained a policy in the 1950s and 60s of only assigning non-Jewish reporters to Jerusalem lest the paper might appear to be exercising bias in favor of the Jewish state. That policy was reversed in the 1970s..." I guess the NYT has long since stopped worrying about bias in favor of the Jewish apartheid state. 


Common Dreams:

"Pressure Grows on Biden to Shut Down Trump-Era Medicare Privatization Scheme. Calls are mounting for President Joe Biden to terminate an under-the-radar Trump-era pilot program that—if allowed to run its course—could result in the complete privatization of traditional Medicare by the end of the decade.

A petition recently launched by Physicians for a National Program (PNHP) has garnered more than 10,000 signatures as doctors and other advocates work to raise public awareness of the Medicare Direct Contracting program, which the Trump administration rolled out during its final months in power.

'Under this model,' the petition warns, 'the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) could move more than 30 million traditional Medicare beneficiaries into mostly commercial, for-profit plans called Direct Contracting Entities (DCE) without the enrollees' understanding or consent.' "

-->The mainstream media, including the NYT hasn't said a word about this threat to Medicare. Perhaps there just too much money behind this effort to privatize one of the few social programs left for the American public. Clinton and Obama tried to get rid of Social Security, so this isn't much a difference in political parties either. And the very rich, owners of most of our national media, hate Medicare.