A simple timeline shows how the Trump administration failed to prepare for the global pandemic

On March 20, just after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global pandemic on March 11, the U.S. National Security Council (NSC) sent a cable to U.S. State Department instructing officials how they should speak about China and the novel coronavirus, according to the Daily Beast, which obtained the cable. One section of the cable is called “NSC Top Lines: PRC [People’s Republic of China] Propaganda and Disinformation on the Wuhan Virus Pandemic.” The cable says, “Chinese Communist Party officials in Wuhan and Beijing had a special responsibility to inform the Chinese people and the world of the threat, since they were the first to learn of it.”

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Here are 6 things to expect from Turkey’s coming invasion of Syria

U.S. President Donald Trump told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday, October 6, that the United States troops inside Syria would not defend the Syrian Democratic Forces, which have built an enclave inside Syria along a section of the Turkish border. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are made up largely of Kurdish factions, who set up this armed force to defend the mainly Kurdish enclave in northern Syria. When the U.S. began its attack on the Islamic State (ISIS), the SDF became the ground forces beneath the U.S. bombers. Now, the U.S. has decided to betray the sacrifice of the SDF.
Turkey has previously threatened to attack the SDF and other Kurdish groups inside Syria east of the River Euphrates. In 2014 and 2015, Turkey signaled that it would invade Syria. In August 2016, the Turkish military crossed the border with U.S. air cover. Erdogan said — at that time — that Turkey was going to attack both ISIS and the Kurdish militia group, People’s Protection Units (YPG). This operation, which was largely around the Syrian town of Jarabulus along the Syria-Turkey border, was known as Operation Euphrates Shield. The 2016 intervention opened the door to two further interventions in northern Idlib (2017) and in Afrin (2018), the last operation with an Orwellian name — Operation Olive Branch. These were targeted attacks and not an all-out war on the SDF and other Syrian forces.

Now, Erdogan’s government is preparing to enter Syria for a major military operation against the SDF. The U.S. forces have already left the observation posts at Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ain—both key places where the U.S. monitored Turkish troops and shielded the SDF from Turkish attacks. That shield has now been removed. U.S. forces remain in the region, but there is every indication that they will remove themselves from the main hubs of the SDF.

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How Trump backed the US into a corner with his farcical 'diplomacy'

Word of U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to sanction Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif did not seem to rattle the government in Iran. Zarif’s own reaction—that the U.S. is “isolating itself”—suggested the tone. Iran would not be intimidated.

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Burnt workers are the newest wave of climate casualty

News slips in from here and there in the northern hemisphere of outlandish temperatures. Records have been set; thermometers seem to need re-calibration. Relief comes from the drop of a few degrees and from rainfall. But this is momentary. People are aware that the weather is more and more erratic, the heat of the summer much more brutal.

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Trump's Venezuela playbook is disturbingly familiar: Here's the 12-step American method for regime change

On September 15, 1970, U.S. President Richard Nixon and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger authorized the U.S. government to do everything possible to undermine the incoming government of the socialist president of Chile, Salvador Allende. Nixon and Kissinger, according to the notes kept by CIA Director Richard Helms, wanted to “make the economy scream” in Chile; they were “not concerned [about the] risks involved.” War was acceptable to them as long as Allende’s government was removed from power. The CIA started Project FUBELT, with $10 million as a first installment to begin the covert destabilization of the country.

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Here's how a right-wing political party devolves into murder and assault when it doesn’t get its way

These stories are hard to write about. There are too many of them, and there is too much to say about them.

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Why it's just bonkers to compare fascists to the activists trying to stop them

For my sins, I recently read the Washington Post essay by Marc Theissen, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. The essay is titled – ‘Yes, antifa is the moral equivalent of neo-Nazis’. Theissen wrote speeches for George W. Bush. His experience with anti-fascism appears to be negligible. He did, however, use his Washington Post column in 2015 to ask candidates in the US presidential election to stop calling Donald Trump a ‘fascist’ or to compare him to Hitler. And, Theissen did start his political career at the feet of Senator Jesse Helms, who was closely aligned with the variant of American fascism that opposed the civil rights movement. So this, now, is the person that the Washington Post turns to in its quest to disparage the upsurge against American fascism.

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Saudi Arabia is suddenly facing a serious catastrophe -- here's why

Saudi Arabia is in serious trouble. The Binladin Group, the kingdom’s largest construction company, has terminated the employment of fifty thousand foreign workers. They have been issued exit visas, which they have refused to honor. These workers will not leave without being paid back wages. Angry with their employer, some of the workers set fire to seven of the company’s buses.

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