Marjorie Taylor Greene dodges GOP punishment; Dems to weigh in – National & International News – THU 4Feb2021

Marjorie Taylor Greene Billboard NEMiss.news
An LED billboard in Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's home state of Georgia calls on the QAnon-supporting lawmaker to resign.

 

Greene dodges GOP punishment; Dems to weigh in. House probes 100s of meat-packing deaths. US, Iran edge towards reviving 2015 nuke deal.

NATIONAL NEWS

Marjorie Taylor Greene dodges GOP punishment; now Dems will weigh in

In a closed-door session yesterday, House GOP leadership decided against any sort of punishment for new Republican lawmaker Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA). Since the Capitol riot, Greene and other far-right lawmakers have been under fire for past comments that encourage violence against Democratic officials.

Today, House Democrats will vote whether to strip Greene of two high-profile committee assignments in light of her past comments and more recent rhetoric.

What did Greene say?

In 2019 (before her run for office), Greene said in a social media post that “a bullet would be quicker” to remove House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from office. She also liked comments about executing FBI agents. Greene subscribed to the QAnon conspiracy theory, which viewed the FBI as part of the “deep state” working against President Trump.

In a 2018 post, Greene wrote about Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. A commenter asked, “Now do we get to hang them ?? Meaning H & O ???,” referring to President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Greene responded, “Stage is being set. Players are being put in place. We must be patient. This must be done perfectly or liberal judges would let them off”.

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House to probe 100s of COVID meatpacking deaths

The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis is launching an  investigation into hundreds of COVID deaths among meatpackers in 2020. More than 50,000 meatpacking workers have contracted COVID with at least 250 dying as a result.

Citing court papers and multiple news reports, the committee will address allegations that  meat-processing firms showed “a callous disregard for workers’ health” and “refused to take basic precautions” to protect workers against COVID. The probe will target JBS, Smithfield Foods and Tyson Foods, three of the biggest meat-processing firms in the US.

The committee will also looking to the failure of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to ensure workers’ health after they were drafted back to work by Trump’s enactment of the Defense Production Act. The committee says that OSHA’s lack of urgency in investigating multiple complaints from workers resulted in “preventable infections and deaths”.

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Myanmar military blocks Facebook as protests gain steam

Following the military’s detention of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and hundreds of lawmakers, Myanmar’s citizens are fearing a return to the bad old days. Prior to 2008, the country suffered 5 decades of brutal dictatorship. Civilian rights were severely curtailed and brutal and deadly punishments could be meted out for even minor infractions.

More than have of Myanmar’s 53 million people are on Facebook. Since Monday’s coup, Facebook has become a major platform for organizing opposition. Earlier today, Myanmar’s new military government followed suit with many totalitarian regimes in banning Facebook and other related social media platforms.

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Biden, Iran take baby steps towards reviving nuke deal

Since taking office, the Biden administration and the Iranian government have been playing a mutual game of hard-to-get with regard to reinstating the 2015 nuclear deal. Each side has been insisting the other make the first move. Tehran says the US must reverse Trump-era sanctions before it dials back its steadily escalating uranium-enrichment programs. Meanwhile, Washington has said it will only ease sanctions once Tehran takes steps towards compliance.

The reality is that, if Biden wishes to get the deal back on track, time is not on his side. Last year, Iran’s hardline nationalists trounced the moderates in parliamentary elections. New elections in June this year will decide the fate of the presidency and, consequently, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, which has the final say on nuclear matters. Biden must have a deal in place by then, and hope that whoever comes to power in June finds it in their best interests to honor it.

Last week, Biden appointed Robert Malley, one of the architects of the 2015 deal, as his Iran envoy. This won some good-faith points with Tehran, and the two sides are now inching closer to deal for a simultaneous drawdown of sanctions and nuclear ambition.

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