Somalia: Regime postpones election again

Source: Digital Journal [Canada]

“Somalia has postponed elections that were due to start on Sunday after months of delays in the deeply unstable Horn of Africa country, officials told AFP. Indirect parliamentary and presidential polls were due to open on July 25 with four days of voting for the upper house by state delegates. The election cycle was due to end with a presidential poll on October 10. ‘Even though the plan was the upper house election to start around the various states today, there is a delay, the election may not take place as planned,’ a member of the electoral commission told AFP on condition of anonymity. The delay was due to the fact that federal regions were neither able to submit candidates’ lists in time, nor to form local committees to cast the ballots, the source added.” (07/25/21)

Feds won’t probe three state regimes’ killings of nursing home patients

Source: Newsday

“The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division on Friday said it will not open an investigation into any New York public nursing homes for ‘unlawful conditions’ after the state ordered them to accept residents that had been treated for COVID-19. In letters to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and three other governors who had ordered nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients, the division said it would not pursue public nursing home investigations in New York and two other states. But the letter said it had opened a probe of two public nursing homes in New Jersey.” (07/23/21)

SpaceX will launch NASA’s Europa Clipper mission to Jupiter’s moon

Source: Engadget

“A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will be launching NASA’s long-awaited mission to Europa, Jupiter’s icy moon that may have the conditions to support life. The agency has been planning to send a probe to the Jovian moon for years and finalized its plans in 2019. In its announcement, NASA said the Europa Clipper spacecraft is scheduled to launch in October 2024 on top of a Falcon Heavy rocket from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A. It has also revealed that the contract will cost the agency approximately $178 million — a bargain, compared to what it would’ve cost to launch the mission on top of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket. As Ars Technica notes, Congress originally urged NASA to use the SLS to launch the Europa Clipper. At the time, though, the White House estimated a single SLS launch to cost a whopping $2 billion.” (07/24/21)

Iraq: US occupiers to to revise mission, withdrawing combat troops, retaining advisers

Source: United Press International

“The United States and Iraq are preparing a statement on plans to reduce the role of U.S. troops in Iraq to a purely advisory role by the end of 2021, officials of both nations said this week. The announcement is expected on Monday when Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi visits U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington, the Wall Street Journal, Politico and Al-Monitor reported, citing U.S. officials and others involved in the decision. A U.S. official said the plan calls for redefining the role of the approximately 2,500 U.S. troops in the country, instead of withdrawing them.” (07/23/21)

Afghanistan: Supposedly withdrawing US forces launch overnight airstrikes on Taliban

Source: CNBC

“The United States launched overnight airstrikes against the Taliban in Afghanistan, a move that reflects Washington’s intentions to continue supporting Afghan forces with combat aircraft until U.S. forces withdraw next month. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby on Thursday would not provide further details about the strikes, including what type of aircraft was used. The strikes are the first known since Army Gen. Scott Miller, America’s last four-star commander to serve on the ground in Afghanistan, stepped down from his role and returned to the United States. In April, Biden ordered the full withdrawal of approximately 3,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11 [four months after the date specified in the peace agreement], effectively ending America’s longest [sic — the Korean War is 70 years old and remains un-ended] war. Last week, Biden gave an updated timeline and said that the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan will end by Aug. 31.” (07/22/21)

India: Tax thugs raid newspaper that took on Modi over pandemic

Source: CNN Business

“Tax authorities in India raided several offices of one of the world’s biggest-selling newspapers on Thursday, a move journalists and leading opposition politicians described as an attack on press freedom. The newspaper, Dainik Bhaskar, said that tax inspectors visited its offices in the capital New Delhi and the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan in the early morning. The paper shocked India with its reporting of dead bodies in the river Ganges during the brutal second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic this spring. It criticized authorities for under-reporting Covid-19 deaths and challenged state officials and the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over their handling of the crisis. … A spokesperson for the Central Board of Direct Taxes did not respond to a request for comment from CNN Business. But several top opposition politicians said that the paper was being punished for publishing critical reports about Modi’s handling of the second wave.” (07/22/21)

Pelosi: Capitol riot exploitation project will proceed despite GOP “antics”

Source: Fox News

“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Thursday said the Jan. 6 committee will continue to seek the truth [sic] about the cause of the deadly Capitol attack …. ‘It’s my responsibility as Speaker of the House to make sure we get to the truth on this, and we will not let their antics stand in the way of that,’ Pelosi said Thursday during a news conference at the Capitol. Pelosi on Wednesday blocked two of McCarthy’s five appointments from serving on the committee (Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Jim Banks, R-Ind.), citing their statements that she said dismissed the seriousness of the attack and undermined the integrity of the committee’s work. McCarthy responded by boycotting the committee and not allowing his three Pelosi-approved picks from serving on the panel.” [editor’s note: So blocking anyone who is at all skeptical about your own predetermined conclusions (i.e., that Trump must pay!) is “seeking the truth?” – SAT] [additional editor’s note: Jordan and Banks aren’t “skeptical,” nor are they “seeking the truth” any more than Pelosi is. They’re all politicians playing politics – TLK] (07/22/21)

Clapton refuses to play venues requiring vaccines for concertgoers

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“British rock icon Eric Clapton has said he will not perform at venues that require concertgoers to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said proof of vaccination must be shown at clubs and venues from September. Clapton said he will not perform anywhere there is a ‘discriminated audience present.’ His announcement came through the social media accounts of an outspoken anti-vaccine activist. The guitarist said he felt ‘honour bound’ to make the statement, which was posted on Wednesday to the accounts of Italian architect and film producer Robin Monotti. In May, Clapton said he had experienced a ‘severe’ reaction to the AstraZeneca vaccine. In a letter to Mr Monotti, he blamed ‘propaganda’ for overstating the safety of the vaccine. He added that he feared the ‘disastrous’ reaction would leave him unable to play music again.” (07/22/21)

Belarus: Lukashenko vows to continue raids on NGOs, media outlets

Source: WAVY News 10

“The longtime leader of Belarus vowed Thursday to continue a crackdown on civil society activists he regards as ‘bandits and foreign agents.’ President Alexander Lukashenko chided officials in his administration for allowing the operation of non-governmental organizations that he called ‘harmful to the state.’ ‘A mopping-up operation is going on,’ Lukashenko said. ‘Do you think it’s easy? There are thousands of our people working for them, and their brains are distorted and brainwashed with foreign money.’ Belarusian authorities have ramped up raids and arrests of independent journalists and civil society activists in recent weeks. The Viasna human rights center said the country’s law enforcement agencies have conducted more than 200 searches of offices and apartments of journalists and activists so far this month. The center said authorities detained 11 activists Thursday.” (07/22/21)

US Senate braces for debt ceiling fight

Source: The Hill

“Republicans are digging in on the federal debt limit, warning Democrats that it will be up to them to avoid a default as President Biden pushes for trillions more in spending. GOP senators are taking a firm line as Democrats plot a path for their $3.5 trillion spending measure, which the party plans to pass with budget reconciliation rules that will prevent the GOP from blocking it with a filibuster. Given those plans, GOP senators say they won’t lift a finger to help Democrats raise the debt ceiling. [US Senator John Thune (R-SD) said] that if Democrats are going to use a go-it-alone approach to push through a sweeping spending package, which is expected to include other priorities like immigration reform, then Republicans believe ‘the debt limit can ride on it and they can own it all.'” (07/22/21)