Cuomo Announces Partnership with Bill Gates to “Revolutionize” NY Schools in Wake of Coronavirus – Activist Post

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07-05-20 04:23:00,

Op-Ed by Alan MacLeod

Taking time off from mismanaging a pandemic and turning lifesaving masks sent from all over the country into an art installation, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared yesterday that he would use the deadly COVID-19 virus as an opportunity to “revolutionize” the state’s school system, inviting Microsoft founder Bill Gates to implement his controversial ideas about education statewide. Cuomo did not divulge many details of what his imagined education revolution would look like but did mention virtual education and remote learning. However, Gates is best known for one thing in education: charter schools.

“Bill Gates is a visionary in many ways and his ideas and thoughts on technology and education he’s spoken about for years but I now think we have a moment in history where we can incorporate and advance those ideas,” Cuomo said. “When does change come to a society?…[when] we get moments in history” he added, “I think this is one of those moments.”

One of only two centibillionaires in history, Gates is the world’s most popular businessman according to polling company YouGov, enjoying a 54 percent positive and only nine percent negative opinion rating. Nevertheless, Cuomo’s announcement was met with consternation by many. “Right-wing Wall Street puppet Cuomo is going to work with billionaire capitalist Bill Gates, one of the richest human beings in history, to privatize public education. “Philanthropy” is a scam. The Gates Foundation’s goal is to privatize everything so billionaires can profit,” wrote journalist Ben Norton.

Gates is one of the most important driving forces leading the assault on the American public education system through the promotion of charter schools. Charter schools effectively privatize the public school system, where the public continues to foot the bill for the school, but has no influence or say in how it is run. While very popular with both the private sector and the religious right, the large majority of unionized public school teachers oppose them.

Thus, Cuomo’s attempt to push through what he promises to be a massive overhaul of the state’s entire education network is a perfect example of what writer Naomi Klein called “disaster capitalism.” In her seminal book,

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Jordan’s govt announces a 48-hour nationwide curfew

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09-04-20 09:58:00,

Jordan announced a 48-hour sweeping nationwide curfew that started from Thursday midnight, in a stepped-up bid to stem the spread of the coronavirus, according to the government spokesman.

The government two weeks ago relaxed a tight curfew that allowed people to go on foot during day time to buy groceries to ease daily life for the nearly 10 million inhabitants.

Last Thursday, the kingdom imposed a 24-hour curfew to allow medical staff unimpeded entry to areas they suspect the virus is spreading in, a move which brought public life to a complete standstill, Reuters said.

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IMF Head Announces $50 Billion Aid Program For Covid-19 Relief

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05-03-20 08:39:00,

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told CNBC’s “Squawk Ally” Wednesday that it would launch a $50 billion aid package “immediately” dedicated to combating Covid-19 outbreaks in emerging market countries. This announcement comes after the World Bank said it would fund a $12 billion program on Tuesday to fight the virus that threatens to plunge the global economy into recession. 

Georgieva told CNBC’s Sara Eisen that the aid program would be interest-free and for countries that don’t have a pre-existing program with the IMF.

“The $40 billion is for countries that are middle income, and they can approach us and receive the funding immediately. More important is the $10 billion that are accessible for low-income countries. Because most of this money is interest-free. We have signaled to the membership and what we are doing right now is reviewing country by country what are the financial needs and engaging with these countries to make sure that they are aware of this resource and we can immediately respond to them. So, we are in an early stage of engagement. But I can assure you that we will attack very quickly as requests come. What the countries would use the money for, we would like very much to see them prioritizing first and foremost, urgently beefing up their health service capacity so lives are saved, and suffering is reduced. And secondly, to use it for fiscal measures that are well targeted to households, businesses that are most directly impacted by the crisis,” Georgieva said. 

Eisen asked the managing director if fiscal measures, such as stimulus, would be needed in the US to combat virus impacts on the economy. Georgieva responded: 

“We believe that all countries should look seriously into the urgency to beef up health systems response. And, yes, that would be money very well spent everywhere. And we also think it is now the time to put in place precautionary measures should the outbreak become more severe. In other words, do we have credit lines for SMEs? Are we thinking of funding workers that cannot go to work because their kids are at home? And these are not measures that we should come with later, we should be prepared now.” 

Eisen referenced an earlier interview Georgieva had with reporters on Wednesday,

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US announces more support for ‘heroic’ White Helmets in Syria

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15-03-19 09:06:00,

The Trump administration is doubling down on backing the White Helmets, the self-proclaimed civil defense group with often controversial activity in militant-held areas of Syria, pledging a $5 million donation at a conference.

The contribution was announced by ambassador James Jeffrey, US special envoy to the anti-Islamic State (IS, formerly known as ISIS) coalition, at the third Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region, held in Brussels.

The $5 million will fund both the “vital, life-saving operations” by the White Helmets and the work of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM), a UN body created in late 2016 to investigate – but not prosecute – alleged atrocities in Syria after 2011.

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White Helmets stealing children for ‘chemical attack’ theater in Idlib

As justification for the support, State Department spokesman Robert Palladino claimed the “heroic first responders” of the White Helmets have saved “more than 114,000” lives since the Syrian conflict began, including victims of “vicious chemical weapons attacks” the US is blaming on the Syrian government. Palladino’s statement, however, acknowledged that the group operates solely “in areas outside of the control of the regime.”

Though the Trump administration announced it would stop funding the White Helmets back in May 2018, it reversed course just a month later, sending $6.8 million to the group.

The Syrian government has repeatedly accused the White Helmets of being part of various Islamist rebel groups, while Russia has accused the group of staging alleged chemical attacks in order to provide pretexts for US military intervention in Syria.

Evidence of White Helmet involvement with anti-government militants and other abuses, such as organ harvesting and endangering children, was presented to the UN in December.

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Trump Announces Withdrawal — Hollywood Liberal Heads Explode

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21-12-18 09:40:00,

These hysterical entitled people think Syria is their property

The announcement by President Trump that US troops would be leaving Syria has been met with anger not just by neocons, but by Hollywood ‘liberals’ too. Aren’t progressives supposed to oppose wars and illegal occupations?

Of course, we have to be cautious. Trump’s announcement of a troop withdrawal from Syria, for now at least, is just words. We need to see evidence of soldiers leaving before we start to celebrate. We need to read the small print with a large Sherlock Holmes-style magnifying glass.

Even so, it’s a positive development as it marks a further winding down of the conflict. Some though don’t see it that way.

We knew neocons would be upset by the news. They want the US to be in Syria forever. We knew Britain and France – who have invested so much in trying to bring down the Assad government – wouldn’t be happy either. But it’s the reaction of Hollywood liberals which is the interesting thing.

I’m old enough to remember when liberals hummed Pete Seeger songs and marched against wars and illegal occupations of global south countries. When they denounced imperialism and the racist attitudes which underpinned it.

Today, they seem to support imperialism, war and military occupations.

They’ve gone from being anti-war to anti anti-war. The bogus doctrine of ‘humanitarian interventionism’, promoted by warmongers to sell old fashioned wars of plunder, and rampant Russophobia, which blames the ‘Evil Putin’ for just about everything, have clearly addled quite a few brains.  

Mia Farrow is worried that a US exit from Syria “benefits Russia, ISIS-still active, Iran and Assad’ and is also concerned that the Donald did not “consult the Pentagon.

Would she have had such complaints if the US president had ordered an immediate withdrawal from Vietnam in 1968?

For good measure Mia also retweets hard-right neocon South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham who calls withdrawal of US troops from Syria, a “huge Obama-like mistake” and a “stain on the honour of the United States”. I can think of quite a few things in recent years which have been a ‘stain on the honour of the United States’: removing troops from Syria is not one of them.

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Taliban Announces Death Of Notorious Terrorist Jalaluddin Haqqani

Taliban Announces Death Of Notorious Terrorist Jalaluddin Haqqani

05-09-18 07:58:00,

He was head of a terror network that’s been called “the Sopranos of the Afghanistan War” which has been a lead group behind the most feared guerrilla warfare insurgency of the past thirty years in central Asia. 

Jalaluddin Haqqani’s death was announced by the Taliban early Monday; however, it is unclear when exactly he died as prior death claims have been a matter of intense speculation since at least 2007, which is the year that some Afghan sources claim it actually happened. 

According to a Taliban statement Haqqani died after a long illness, but further details weren’t given. He’s one of the most notable and controversial figures ever confirmed to have been trained by the CIA. 

Jalaluddin Haqqani was friends with Osama Bin Laden, but Haqqani’s group goes back further and is more deeply rooted in central Asia than al-Qaeda. 

The ‘Haqqani network’ has close ties to al-Qaeda and operates largely independently under the Taliban umbrella, and is based in the tribal Pakistani border area of Waziristan. Its roots go back to the 1970’s and the group was among the most effective mujahideen organizations to be trained and sponsored by the CIA in the US war against the Soviets in central Asia. 

Their favored tactic, as CNN reports, citing war studies is “bold and complex suicide bombings, including high-profile attacks on US and foreign personnel and assassinations of high level people in Kabul and northern Afghanistan”. 

Fox News reporting of his death describes that he “was considered a prized CIA asset” and a previous LA Times profile of his group says “The network is believed to be financed by some Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, and by the Pakistani establishment”.

Taliban announces death of Jalaluddin Haqqani, founder of the Haqqani network #Taliban #Haqqani pic.twitter.com/VbJmnHxA4l

— China Daily (@ChinaDailyUSA) September 4, 2018

Indeed when the Trump White House first announced earlier this year that the US would be cutting $300 million in military aid to Pakistan over its failure or refusal to root out Islamist militants, the Haqqani network was precisely one of the groups named. 

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