Kurd murdered for refusing fighting in Libya


This 26 December 2019 video says about itself:

Libya is in a state of chaos as rival governments compete for power, human smuggling runs rampant, and black markets thrive with everything from oil to hard currency. The international community is backing the Government of National Accord, which maintains a tenuous hold on the capital. But the government’s survival depends on warring militias, many of whom are paid to police the smuggling they themselves are involved in.

VICE News’ Isobel Yeung travels across Libya to see how the Libyan revolution is failing.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Kurdish man found hanged after refusing to fight in Libya

A YOUNG Kurdish man was found hanged from a walnut tree in front of his house in Afrin, northern Syria, on Saturday.

Local sources said that he was killed for refusing to go to Libya to fight for Turkish-backed mercenaries.

Mihemed Mistefa Yusif, who was just 18, was found dead in the village of Merkan where his family had been forced to relocate after militia from the Liwa Samarkand brigade confiscated their home in Hec Qasim.

Slaughterhouses unsafe, veterinarians warn, bosses neglect COVID-19


This 18 June 2020 video says about itself:

Coronavirus: 657 new cases in German slaughterhouse

Company officials say the outbreak could be linked to a recent easing of travel restrictions. The new cluster of cases comes as hundreds of households in Berlin are back under quarantine after a spike in infections.

Read more here.

Since then, there have been many more infections with COVID-19 for workers of, and people living around that, Tönnies corporation slaughterhouse.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today, by Nynke de Zoeten:

During the coronavirus crisis, the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) responded indifferently and negligently to warnings that the situation in slaughterhouses was not safe. Employees were also insufficiently protected. This is evident from internal mails and documents by two veterinarians who work for the NVWA that Nieuwsuur TV program has.

From the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, NVWA’s own people warned about the situation in the slaughterhouses. But the vets Martien Scheepers and Jerome Stokkermans, who have to monitor animal welfare and food safety in the slaughterhouses, do not feel sufficiently heard and “let down” by the NVWA management.

Distressed NVWA employees also report to the FNV trade union federation, says executive member Mieke van Vliet. “They also wanted permanent services, and not moving from plant to plant, but that was not followed.” According to the NVWA, this is attempted, but it is not feasible within the roster. According to Scheepers and Stokkermans, an alternative timetable is not being considered.

Van Vliet says that there are guidelines from the NVWA, but that they prove unworkable in practice. Only after a number of major outbreaks in slaughterhouses does change take place.

MPs are shocked. “You can expect that an organization created to monitor compliance with rules will also itsel\f comply with the rules,” says D66 Member of Parliament Tjeerd de Groot. …

Party for the Animals MP Esther Ouwehand: “We can conclude that the minister has misinformed the House. Either she was misinformed by the NVWA bosses, or she deliberately sent the wrong information. Both are serious.”

Hygiene lock

Scheepers’ wife, who also works for the NVWA, also sent an urgent letter to her boss at the beginning of May. She was shocked by the so-called hygiene locks in the slaughterhouse where she works. “I didn’t know what I was seeing, people pushing each other away to wash hands quickly. There is a distance of 0 cm. I think this is a ticking time bomb.”

The manager replied that she will discuss it in “a few days”: “I don’t know if we can do anything about it if the corporation gives us the space. In addition, employees sit side by side in the working environment, canteen, transport and very they probably live close together. … ” On May 12, Scheepers’ wife developed corona-like symptoms. She was only tested after insistence and indeed proved to be positive. …

In early May, half of the vets said in an internal survey that they regularly cannot keep a meter and a half distance. Two-thirds say that keeping a distance in the meat sector is impossible. Nevertheless, Minister of Agriculture, Carola Schouten, replied to parliamentary questions: “inquiries at the NVWA did not show that the RIVM health authority guidelines are not being complied with on a large scale”.

There have been coronavirus outbreaks in at least five slaughterhouses and meat processing companies in the Netherlands. It has been clear to Scheepers and Stokkermans from the start that the RIVM guidelines are “not enforceable at all”. Stokkermans e-mails his supervisor: “For many years we have been working there under often miserable and unhealthy conditions … Conditions were already on the edge, but are completely unacceptable under the current coronavirus conditions.”

Deserted

The concerns in the Netherlands are still increasing. On March 22, an NL alert is issued: ‘keep your distance’. But that still doesn’t happen in the slaughterhouses. The most experienced NVWA supervisors, the ‘Senior Supervising Veterinarians’, send an angry email to the management.

“We work in places where sick people are working. Where insufficient protective equipment is available. We feel let down (in every possible way) by our management.” They email colleagues: “We keep on going as if there is no coronavirus.”

Coronavirus pandemic in Donald Trump’s USA


This 2 July 2020 video from the USA is called NATIVE AMERICAN PROTESTERS BLOCK THE ENTRANCE TO MOUNT RUSHMORE [Trump election rally].

As COVID-19 pandemic explodes out of control. Trump holds Mount Rushmore event in defiance of health experts. By Barry Grey, 4 July 2020. This criminally reckless action, virtually certain to result in a new eruption of infections and deaths, was carried out in defiance of warnings from members of Trump’s coronavirus task force.

Millions in the US face catastrophe as federal unemployment relief set to expire amid surging pandemic. By Kevin Reed, 4 July 2020. The combined economic impact of the raging pandemic and the imminent cutoff of $600 weekly federal assistance is leading to a social catastrophe for millions across the US.

Riverside, California: HCA nurses strike continues as coronavirus takes its toll. By Alex Johnson, 4 July 2020. According to health officials, the confirmed active case count in Riverside bloated to 10,059 on Thursday, compared to 9,532 on Wednesday. The number of deaths due to COVID-19 stands at 465.

Southeastern US continues to mark substantial rise in coronavirus cases. By Cordell Gascoigne, 4 July 2020. As with much of the country, cases continue to rise rapidly across the region as a result of the push to reopen the economy in the middle of the still-raging pandemic.

Meat processing plants spread the coronavirus in North Carolina. By Rosa Shahnazarian, 3 July 2020.

As auto corporations play down the health crisis, workers’ anger is at breaking point as they demand the plants be shut down for their safety: here.

“We are at our breaking point”. FCA Toledo Jeep workers support call for rank-and-file safety committees. By Marcus Day, 3 July 2020

As pandemic accelerates in US, young people made the scapegoat of ruling elite’s malicious return to work policy. By Benjamin Mateus, 3 July 2020.

Angela Davis on Black Lives Matter, election


This 3 July 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Angela Davis on Abolition, Calls to Defund Police, Toppled Racist Statues & Voting in 2020 Election

Amid a worldwide uprising against police brutality and racism, we discuss the historic moment with legendary scholar and activist Angela Davis. She also responds to the destruction and removal of racist monuments in cities across the United States, and the 2020 election.

Over 52,000 United States prisoners have COVID-19


This 27 April 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

‘We’re sitting ducks waiting to die’ – US prisoner on coronavirus crisis

The US has the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the world and also incarcerates the most people.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

The number of inmates in the United States infected with the coronavirus has risen to over 50,000. This is reported by news agency AP.

The counter stood at 52,649 infections at the end of June, 8 percent more than a week earlier. More than 35,000 people have recovered and at least 600 detainees have died from the effects of the coronavirus. Employees in U.S. prisons are known to have infected 11,180 people. The virus killed 43 prison officers.

There are concerns worldwide about the spread of corona in prisons. For this reason, prisoners were released temporarily in some countries.

RTV Oost Dutch Overijssel province broadcasting reported earlier today that the relaxation of the coronavirus measures is causing unrest among detainees. Detainees do not understand why they are only allowed to speak to their partners or family members with a plexiglass screen in between, as dozens of employees walk in and out of the building every day.

Post-coup Bolivia, COVID-19 dead bodies overload


This 13 June 2020 video says about itself:

Death toll from coronavirus mounts in Bolivia, families struggle to bury their dead

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Bolivia crematorium runs day and night, local residents concerned

In the Bolivian city of La Paz, the crematorium in the municipal cemetery is working overtime. According to Reuters news agency, the incinerators have been on day and night for months due to the higher number of coronavirus deaths. But the crematorium is in the middle of an inhabited area, and local residents are worried. “The smell is nauseating,” said one man to a Reuters journalist. “And the ashes blow into our houses.”

Residents have urged the municipality to move the crematorium …

In Bolivia, the number of coronavirus cases has been increasing rapidly recently, as in other countries in South America. More than 1,300 new cases were reported yesterday, the highest number to date in any one day. The total number of infections is now over 35,000; more than 1,200 people have died from the virus.

Racism and police in the USA


This 2 July 2020 video says about itself:

Cop called suspect a racial slur. See why he’s still on the job.

Police unions are facing backlash across the country and experts say in many cities their contracts protect police from being held accountable for bad behavior. CNN’s Drew Griffin reports.

CATHOLIC PRIEST SUSPENDED AFTER CALLING BLM PROTESTERS ‘MAGGOTS’ A Roman Catholic priest in Indiana was suspended from public ministry after calling Black Lives Matter organizers “maggots and parasites” in a message to his parishioners. The Rev. Theodore Rothrock, who was assigned to St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church in Carmel, Indiana, wrote a fiery bulletin post on Sunday that disparaged Black Lives Matters organizers for protesting what Rothrock called “alleged systemic racism.” Bishop Timothy L. Doherty of the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana issued the suspension from public ministry in the diocese. [HuffPost]

This is what racial trauma does to the body and brain.

DELAWARE’S LAST WHIPPING POST REMOVED A whipping post that had long stood outside the Old Sussex County Courthouse in Georgetown, Delaware, was finally removed. The post was taken to a storage facility by Delaware’s Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs (HCA), which indicated in a press release that the apparatus for corporal punishment was a remnant of the state’s past, which saw whipping “disproportionately applied to persons of color,” with “those sentenced to the whipping post … lashed up to 40 times for a single offense.” [HuffPost]

FAMILIES DEMAND JUSTICE IN CALIFORNIA KILLINGS OF LATINO MEN The families of two young Latino men, both fatally shot just days apart by law enforcement in the San Francisco Bay Area in June, are demanding justice, including legal consequences for the officers involved. On Wednesday, the sisters of Sean Monterrosa — a 22-year-old fatally shot by Vallejo police on June 2 — and Erik Salgado — a 23-year-old fatally shot by California Highway Patrol officers in Oakland on June 6 — rallied in Sacramento with other family members of police brutality victims. [HuffPost]

Billionaire sexual abuser Epstein’s accomplice Maxwell arrested


This 2 July 2020 video says about itself:

Jeffrey Epstein confidante Ghislaine Maxwell arrested by FBI

Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite who was accused by many women of helping procure underage sex partners for Jeffrey Epstein, was arrested in the United States on Thursday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has said.

Maxwell, who lived for years with Epstein, was taken into custody at about 8:30am local time in the state of New Hampshire, said FBI spokesman Marty Feely.

Epstein killed himself

Dear Al Jazeera: it is still not certain whether Epstein committed suicide, or that he was ‘suicided’, eg, to protect the reputations of one or more of the powerful people in Epstein’s network: Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, British Prince Andrew, etc. Reputations which might have suffered if Epstein would have gone on trial.

in a federal detention centre in New York last August while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

Maxwell has been accused by many women of recruiting them to give Epstein massages, during which they were pressured into sex. Those accusations, until now, never resulted in criminal charges.

Many of these accusations did not so far, indeed. However, he was convicted in 2008, though his punishment then was basically a slap on the wrist.

Coronavirus disaster, worldwide news


This 1 July 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

As COVID-19 Spikes, Trump Cuts Funding for Testing Sites, Moves to Dismantle ACA

The U.S. largely wasted time bought by COVID-19 lockdowns. Now what? By Jonathan Lambert, July 1, 2020.

Chile: COVID-19 outbreak in mining regions. By Mauricio Saavedra, 1 July 2020. Three mineworkers have died in the giant state-owned mining corporation Codelco, and some 2,528 are infected, according to the official figures of the Ministry of Mining.

Britain: Lockdown in Leicester amid surge in infections throughout UK. By Robert Stevens, 1 July 2020. Outbreaks at food factories, garment plants and schools attest to the criminality of Johnson government as it ditches a national lockdown.

Amazon workers in Germany strike against lack of coronavirus protection. By Marianne Arens, 30 June 2020. More than 2,000 Amazon workers are taking part in a 48-hour strike at six locations to protest the company’s refusal to provide adequate protection from the virus.

The poor in Germany have a higher risk of falling sick from COVID-19. By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 30 June 2020. The poorest people in Germany, including the long-term unemployed and recipients of Hartz IV social welfare, have an 84 percent higher risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19 and requiring hospitalization.

Dutch government exposed by disastrous handling of COVID-19 pandemic. By Harm Zonderland and Parwini Zora, 30 June 2020. When the pandemic hit the Netherlands, the Dutch government adopted a reckless wait-and-see posture, even when it was clear that COVID-19 was potentially fatal.

Pandemic rages across South Asia as total cases near 1 million. By our correspondents, 1 July 2020. The governments of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are rushing to “reopen” their economies even as COVID-19 cases and deaths are growing exponentially.

Reopening in the Philippines causes coronavirus surge. By Owen Howell, 30 June 2020. While overseeing a woefully inadequate response to the pandemic, the Duterte administration is expanding police-state measures to suppress mounting discontent.

Australian COVID-19 surge continues in Victoria. By Martin Scott, 30 June 2020. Almost 300 coronavirus cases have been detected in the state over the past seven days.

COVID-19 cases increase across Pacific Island states. By John Braddock, 1 July 2020. The WHO warning underscores that the pandemic continues to escalate in all parts of the world.

COVID-19 pandemic, United States update


This 1 July 2020 Reuters news agency video says about itself:

U.S. coronavirus cases hit new record

More than 47,000 new coronavirus cases were announced across the United States on Tuesday – the biggest one-day spike since the start of the pandemic.

That was yesterday. Today, 2 July, Reuters reports:

New U.S. COVID-19 cases rose by nearly 50,000 on Wednesday, according to a Reuters tally, marking the biggest one-day spike since the start of the pandemic.

As COVID-19 infections explode in the US, Fauci warns of 100,000 new cases a day. By Barry Grey, 1 July 2020. Fauci’s testimony underscored the grim reality that the pandemic in the US is now far more widespread than it was at its previous height in late March and early April.

Pandemic surpasses 10 million COVID-19 cases and over 500,000 deaths globally. By Benjamin Mateus, 29 June 2020. COVID-19 cases in the United States have careened out of control, with health care systems in Texas, Florida and Arizona nearing collapse.

“Back to work” campaign in the US has led to surge in COVID-19 : here.

The inequality pandemic: How American capitalism puts profits over lives. 2 July 2020. The resurgence of COVID-19 is the outcome of a policy, led by the Trump administration but supported by the entire political and media establishment, of subordinating society’s needs to the interests of the financial oligarchy: here.

“The company is taking risks with the lives of 5,000 workers”. As COVID-19 cases surge, Texas General Motors workers demand closure of factory. By Jerry White, 2 July 2020. Just days after Fiat Chrysler workers in Detroit halted production, GM workers in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area are demanding the closure of Arlington Assembly.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Tesla worker Branton Phillips talks about his six years working at the auto company on Fremont, California. Frontline assembly workers have a forced overtime schedule of 72 hours a week. Many of the workers also have many hours of commute time since they live in California’s Central Valley.

Branton also discusses his concern about the health and safety of Tesla workers in the time of Covid pandemic and how there are no Cal-OSHA investigators going into the plant to investigate the health and safety protocols. He reports that when he contacted Cal/OSHA they said he should go to the Alameda Department of Public Health.

He expressed concern over the possibility of contaminating his wife who is vulnerable due to health conditions.

This interview was done on 6/28/20.

Autoworkers initiate new wave of struggles in fight against COVID-19 pandemic: here.

Chrysler was telling everybody that it was safe to come back to work, and it’s not.” Autoworkers at FCA Trenton Engine call for rank-and-file safety committees to fight COVID-19. By Tim Rivers, 2 July 2020. Autoworkers at the FCA Trenton Engine Plant south of Detroit called on their co-workers to build rank-and-file safety committees to fight the spread of COVID-19 in factories and save lives.

“It’s up to workers to fight this virus”. Fiat Chrysler threatens to fire workers who stop production over COVID-19 concerns: here.

Workers in Germany express their solidarity with striking Fiat Chrysler workers. By our correspondents, 2 July 2020. The strikes at two Detroit Fiat Chrysler plants in Jefferson North and Sterling Heights against intolerable health and safety conditions for production workers have met with a powerful response from workers in Germany.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Kim Cordova, the president of UFCW Local 7 in Colorado talks about the deaths of 6 workers at the JBS meat butchering plant in Greeley, Colorado from Covid-19. A memorial for these six workers was being held on June 28, 2020 and the UFCW had placed billboards to memorialize the workers and their lives.

She also reports on the failure of OSHA to protect the workers and also the systemic racism against the Latinos and immigrant workforce at these meat butchering plants. President Trump while ordering the plants to continue production made only guidelines on the protection of the health and safety of workers that have been ignored by companies.

Cordova also talks about how the profits of the companies are being put ahead of the workers’ health and safety.

This interview was done by Steve Zeltzer on 6/28/20 for Pacifica Network.

“It’s back to the way it was before I made things public,” says whistleblower. As flights increase, airline workers face more COVID-19 dangers. By Steve Filips, 2 July 2020. Even as the pandemic continues to surge, airlines continue to push for increased flights. American Airlines has resumed booking its flights to capacity on July 1. United Airlines, which never blocked out seats or limited capacity, will be adding 25,000 flights in August.

Pandemic profiteering: Gilead Sciences cashes in on COVID-19. 1 July 2020. Gilead’s declaration that it will charge over $3,000 per patient for the drug remdesivir sends a clear message that pharmaceutical companies plan to use the COVID-19 crisis to make billions of dollars: here.

From the World Socialist Web Site, 30 July 2020:

Disneyland workers protest unsafe conditions for reopening theme park in virus-ridden California counties

A caravan of Disneyland Resort workers in cars drove around the company’s Anaheim, California complex June 27 to protest conditions under which the facility is to be reopened. Originally, the entertainment resort, owned by the Walt Disney Company, was slated to open July 17, but the date has been delayed while six of the 26 unions representing 17,000 workers are still in negotiations with the company.

Disney, which was already hurting financially from its acquisition of 21st Century Fox, has been further impacted by the shuttering of its facilities three months ago due to coronavirus. Overall, the company has seen a 37 percent drop in income from $3.8 billion last year to $2.4 billion in the current year. In addition, the company was forced to cancel a $1.6 billion semiannual dividend, due in July, and this no doubt is compelling it to reopen operations to recover profitability without concern to workers’ health.

According to press reports, the company has not agreed to minimal conditions requested by labor unions before opening, those being testing guidelines for COVID-19, higher staffing levels aimed at deep cleaning standards, electrostatic cleaning of rooms and acceptance of guidelines from the Center for Disease Control. Further, the state of California will not be unveiling its guidelines for the reopening of theme parks until after the 4th of July holiday.

Disney’s Anaheim complex is located within one hour of Los Angeles County, which currently has a mass of COVID-19 cases. Anaheim, located in Orange County, has the most cases in that county. Unemployment benefits for workers will run out in July, creating an economic cudgel to force workers to return to work under unsafe conditions.

Florida nursing home that denied cases of coronavirus despite workers’ warnings, now faces outbreak

The Florida Department of Health reported 34 cases of COVID-19 last week at a Fort Myers, Florida nursing home, giving it the highest total in Southwest Florida. Heritage Park Rehabilitation and Healthcare, which is owned by Consulate Healthcare, has not commented on the increase in coronavirus cases, but the outbreak is not surprising after nursing assistants reported in May their fears about coming to work after discovering management was concealing cases of COVID-19.

The United Healthcare Workers union filed complaints the same month with the state’s Healthcare Administration and the Occupational Safety Hazard Administration about workers’ concerns and a story published in Wink News brought the public’s attention to the outbreak, leading management to provide additional personal protective equipment.

According to a worker who spoke to Wink News, the nursing home’s executive director told staff there were no cases of coronavirus in the facility, but on April 22, workers found online data that revealed two residents and two staff members tested positive.

At the time, nursing assistants were requested to attend to patients in isolated rooms, but were not informed why residents were being isolated. While attending these patients, workers were not provided face shields or goggles to avoid infection.

COVID-19 cases surging rapidly in Florida. By Alex Johnson, 29 June 2020. The swelling of cases demonstrates the disastrous and homicidal nature of the back-to-work campaign and lifting of social distancing measures.

Arkansas continues to be ravaged by COVID-19. By Cordell Gascoigne, 29 June 2020. The state government has been pressing forward with reopening the economy at the expense of worker safety even as confirmed infections and deaths have been rising.

Arizona Department of Health Services activates plan to ration healthcare for COVID-19 patients. By Benjamin Mateus, 2 July 2020. As the pandemic surges throughout Arizona, the governor is seeking emergency support from the federal government to supplement the beleaguered hospital staff in hard-hit counties.

Respiratory therapist at New York’s Elmhurst Hospital describes horrors during COVID pandemic:. “The patients in March didn’t have to die like this, if we would have had more staff and better equipment to work with”. By Clara Weiss, 2 July 2020. At poor community hospitals like Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, patients were up to three times more likely to die from COVID-19 than they were in facilities in the richest parts of Manhattan.