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HeadlinesFebruary 24, 2020

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Bernie Sanders Wins Nevada Caucuses by a Landslide

Feb 24, 2020

Bernie Sanders won the Nevada caucuses by a landslide, earning just over 47% of the vote, with 88% of precincts reporting. He more than doubled Joe Biden’s vote count, who came in second at 21%. Pete Buttigieg came in third with close to 14%, and Senator Elizabeth Warren placed fourth with 10% of the vote. Entrance polls showed Sanders picking up the most votes across many demographic categories, in particular among Latinx voters, where he received over 50% of the vote. Senator Sanders addressed his supporters at a victory speech in San Antonio, Texas, Saturday night.

Sen. Bernie Sanders: “In Nevada, we have just put together a multigenerational, multiracial coalition, which is going to not only win in Nevada, it’s going to sweep this country.”

Earlier on Saturday, Sanders visited the memorial outside the El Paso Walmart where 22 people were killed and dozens wounded in a mass shooting in August.

Former presidential candidate Marianne Williamson endorsed Bernie Sanders following his Nevada win. She wrote of her decision, “A 40-year-old trend of capitalism without conscience — corporate elites and their errand boys in government — have created the inevitable blowback in the form of a political revolution. That revolution is the one that Bernie Sanders now leads.” Williamson previously endorsed Sanders’s 2016 presidential bid.

Seven presidential hopefuls will square off in another debate Tuesday in South Carolina, ahead of the state’s primary on Saturday. Two billionaires will appear on stage: former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, whose rising numbers in the state’s polls appear to be eroding Joe Biden’s support.

Calls for MSNBC’s Chris Matthews to Resign After He Likens Sanders’s NV Win to Nazi Takeover of France

Feb 24, 2020

Calls are mounting for MSNBC host Chris Matthews to resign following his remarks comparing Senator Sanders’s Nevada victory to Nazi Germany’s takeover of France.

Chris Matthews: “I’m reading last night about the fall of France in the summer of 1940. And the general, Reynaud, calls up Churchill and says, ’It’s over.’ And Churchill says, 'How can it be? You've got the greatest army in Europe. How can it be over?’ He said, ’It’s over.’ So I had that suppressed feeling. I can’t be as wild as Carvill, but he is damn smart, and I think he’s damn right on this one.”

Bernie Sanders’s communications director, Mike Casca, responded to Matthews’s comment on Twitter, saying, “never thought part of my job would be pleading with a national news network to stop likening the campaign of a jewish presidential candidate whose family was wiped out by the nazis to the third reich. but here we are.”

Global Coronavirus Cases Surge

Feb 24, 2020

In China, President Xi Jinping described the coronavirus outbreak as the “largest public health emergency” since the founding of communist China, as the government delayed the meeting of the National People’s Congress for the first time in decades.

Worldwide, the number of infections is nearing 80,000, with over 2,600 deaths. South Korea has issued the highest level of alert as six people have now died from the disease, with over 800 people infected. In Italy, 150 cases have now been confirmed, including three deaths. Ten Italian towns are now on lockdown, and the Venice Carnival was cut short. In Iran, eight deaths have been reported, prompting border closures with Afghanistan and Turkey. Cases have also been identified in Lebanon, Israel, Kuwait and Afghanistan.

Back in the United States, the Trump administration has backed off plans to house patients from the Diamond Princess cruise ship at a base in Alabama, after local officials threatened a lawsuit over the planned move.

Trump Touts Defense Deal, Praises Modi at Massive Indian Rally

Feb 24, 2020

President Trump arrived in India today, where he appeared at a massive rally with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Gujarat. A reported 100,000 people packed a massive cricket stadium where Trump touted a $3.5 billion U.S.-India defense deal, as he delivered a speech under the banner of “Namaste Trump.” Some rally goers reportedly started to leave the event because his remarks were not being translated. Trump also claimed, “India is a country that proudly embraces freedom, liberty, individual rights,” despite the brutal government crackdown on Muslim Indians as it enacts its controversial new citizenship law and the ongoing repression in Kashmir.

In Afghanistan, U.S. and Taliban Start Partial Truce

Feb 24, 2020

In Afghanistan, the U.S. military and the Taliban have begun a week-long partial truce ahead of the expected, long-anticipated peace deal. The U.N. said in a report released Saturday that over 10,000 civilians were killed or injured from the ongoing conflict in 2019, and over 100,000 civilians have been killed or injured over the past 10 years.

Iran: Conservatives Pick Up Bulk of Parliament Seats After 1,000s of Candidates Barred from Running

Feb 24, 2020

In Iran, conservative candidates affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards picked up the majority of parliamentary seats in an election that saw the lowest voter turnout since the 1979 revolution. Over 7,000 possible candidates were disqualified ahead of the elections — the first since the U.S. resumed harsh sanctions against Iran. Turnout in Tehran was just 25%, with Ayatollah Khamenei loyalists winning all available seats.

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Outrage After Video Shows Israeli Bulldozer Removing Body of Killed Palestinian

Feb 24, 2020

In Gaza, a Palestinian man was killed Sunday by Israeli forces, prompting international outcry after a video went viral showing an Israeli bulldozer scraping up his body. The incident was followed by rocket fire from Gaza and Israeli airstrikes. Elsewhere in the occupied Palestinian territories, Israeli police shot dead a man in East Jerusalem on Saturday. The police say he was attempting a stabbing.

Meanwhile, Senator Bernie Sanders has said he will not attend the annual AIPAC conference again this year — that’s the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. He tweeted, “The Israeli people have the right to live in peace and security. So do the Palestinian people. I remain concerned about the platform AIPAC provides for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights. For that reason I will not attend their conference.”

Teck Resources Withdraws Application for Contested Alberta Oil Sands After Sustained Protests

Feb 24, 2020

In Canada, Teck Resources has withdrawn its application for the $15.5 billion Alberta oil sands Frontier mine, days before the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was to announce whether it would allow the project to go ahead. It would have been the largest-ever open-pit mine and was expected to pump around 260,000 barrels of oil per day, producing 4.1 megatons of emissions each year. Indigenous and environmental groups have been sounding the alarm over the proposed mine. Last week, a group of Nobel Prize winners called on Trudeau to stop the Teck Frontier mine. Indigenous Climate Action, which led the grassroots campaign against the project celebrated the announcement, writing, “Our communities need a just transition, not more fossil fuel resource extraction. We need to be in charge of our own futures, lands, and job opportunities that work to solve the climate crisis, address inequality, and respect our rights and sovereignty as Indigenous Peoples.”

Reports: Trump Admin Out to Purge Disloyal Staffers

Feb 24, 2020

President Trump’s new personnel chief, John McEntee, is reportedly directing agency heads to identify and purge anti-Trump staffers. Trump has tasked his former body man to rid agencies of the “bad people” and “Deep State.” Trump also reportedly referred to anti-Trump employees as “snakes.” Twenty-nine-year-old John McEntee was fired in 2018 by then-Chief of Staff John Kelly because he was under investigation by Homeland Security for financial crimes, but he was recently rehired to head the personnel office.

Meanwhile, Axios is reporting the Trump administration has been gathering lists of disloyal government officials that they plan to kick out and replace with Trump loyalists. A network of Trump allies, including Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, was reportedly charged with creating the lists. One of those targeted is former U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu, whom Trump withdrew from consideration for a top Treasury role earlier this month. Liu’s memo reportedly mentions her signing the sentencing filing requesting jail time for Michael Flynn, as well as holding a leadership role in a women’s lawyers’ group that is “pro-choice and anti-Alito.”

Justice Sotomayor Slams SCOTUS Ruling on Trump’s Hard-Line Immigration Policies

Feb 24, 2020

The Supreme Court voted 5 to 4 Friday to allow Trump’s so-called public charge rule to go ahead, by lifting a lower court injunction on the rule in Illinois. The measure seeks to severely limit the number of low-income immigrants by denying green cards and visas to anyone who may seek benefits, such as Medicaid, food stamps and housing vouchers. The Supreme Court lifted a nation-wide injunction on the rule last month.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor delivered a scathing dissent, writing, “Claiming one emergency after another, the government has recently sought stays in an unprecedented number of cases, demanding immediate attention and consuming limited court resources in each. And with each successive application … its cries of urgency ring increasingly hollow. … The Court … has been all too quick to grant the Government’s 'reflexive' requests. But make no mistake: Such a shift in the Court’s own behavior comes at a cost.”

34-Year-Old Mexican Man Dies in ICE Custody

Feb 24, 2020

BuzzFeed reports a 34-year-old Mexican man has died while in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, at a hospital in Ohio. His death marks the seventh death of an immigrant while in ICE custody during the 2020 fiscal year.

Thousands Protest Suspension of Municipal Elections in Dominican Republic

Feb 24, 2020

In New York City, thousands of people from the Dominican community took to the streets of Washington Heights Saturday to protest the suspension of local elections in the Dominican Republic earlier this month. Anti-government protests have been ongoing since last week, after the Dominican Central Electoral Board blocked municipal elections, alleging there was a “technical glitch” in the electronic ballot machines. Voters say it’s part of an attempt by the ruling political party to hold onto power. These are voices from Saturday’s protest in Washington Heights.

Yolis Pérez: “I’m a professional who had to migrate from my country in search of a better future for my daughter. My daughter’s generation needs us to truly wake up and that we clean up our country for them.”

Laura Gómez: “I believe that the elections brought a conclusion to a series of events. This was the last drop in a country that has endured too many abuses and corruption.”

The last voice was actress Laura Gómez of “Orange Is the New Black.” Dominican Republic officials are reportedly investigating the alleged ballot machine glitches and have rescheduled the municipal elections for March 15.

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