03:44 GMT24 January 2021
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    US Rollout of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Begins

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    Sandra Lindsay, a critical care nurse at New York's Long Island Jewish Medical Center, was among the first Americans to receive the initial dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine Monday morning, multiple outlets reported.

    Dr. Jehan "GiGi" El-Bayoumi, professor of medicine and founding director of the Rodham Institute at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences; and Dr. Yolandra Hancock, a board-certified pediatrician and obesity medicine specialist, come together to discuss health care workers throughout the US getting the country's first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine outside of clinical trials on Monday. The vaccine, developed by Pfizer and BioNTech and the first to be approved for use in the US, was shipped out in vials Sunday, with nursing home residents slated to be amongst those first in line to receive doses. The vaccination campaign is reported to be the biggest since polio shots were distributed in the 1950s.

    Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst and co-founder of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, joins us to discuss the latest version of Russiagate. The Washington Post is blaming Russian hackers for a "broad espionage campaign" that has allegedly "compromised" US agencies, including the Treasury and Commerce Departments. On Sunday, the Russian Embassy in Washington, DC, responded to the allegations, calling them "baseless.  Once again, no evidence to support the accusations has been provided.

    James Carey, editor and co-owner of Geopolitics Alert, joins us to weigh in on last week's Grayzone article outlining leaks from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) regarding Syria. According to the report, the OPCW executives "privately criticized the manipulation of a Syria chemical weapons probe, and supported a dissenting veteran inspector," exposing "the public whitewash of the Douma cover-up, and [undermining] the ongoing attacks on the whistleblowers who challenged it."

    Charles Simmons, international fellow at Columbia University, professor emeritus of journalism at Eastern Michigan University and co-director of the Hush House Museum & Cultural Center in Detroit, Michigan, joins us to discuss the Electoral College activities. Members of the Electoral College meet Monday across the country to formally vote for Joe Biden as the country's next president. Charles also talks about Michigan's legislative offices being closed down on Monday due to credible threats of violence. According to Amber McCann, a spokeswoman for Republican state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, the Senate shuttered its facilities "based on recommendations from law enforcement."

    Elisabeth Myers, lawyer, former editor-in-chief of Inside Arabia and democracy lead for Democrats Abroad, joins us to discuss a Sunday article in Haaretz, entitled "Morocco Agrees to Normalize Ties With Israel in exchange for US Recognition of Western Sahara Sovereignty." According to the report, the deal "will include direct flights between the two countries." It was also noted that Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi learned about the agreement from Americans, not Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    Mark Sleboda, Moscow-based international relations security analyst, returns to discuss the reports that the construction of Russia's Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, which has been halted for a year, has resumed. On Friday, "Germany's Authority of Waterways and Shipping Management published a notice to seafarers on the resumption of building works on the final few kilometers of the pipeline," according to AFP. The resumption of construction to complete the final section of the project comes despite US protests and was halted for over a year following Washington's imposition of sanctions on the companies involved with the pipeline. 

    Author and activist Miko Peled joins us to talk about a recent report issued by several human rights groups in Palestinian National Authority that detailed 413 Palestinian abductions by Israeli soldiers in the month of November. Details included "that the number of Palestinian detainees imprisoned by Israel is about 4400, including 41 women, 170 children, and 380 who are held under the arbitrary Administrative Detention orders, without charges or trial," according to the International Middle East Media Center.

    George Koo, journalist, social activist, international business consultant and chemical engineer; joins Teri Mattson, activist and writer for Code Pink, to discuss a Reuters investigation published earlier Monday, outlining China's increased control over areas "once seen as the United States' political backyard." The research, "including interviews with current and former officials and advisers, and analysis of trade data, found that under [US President Donald] Trump, China has left the United States trailing in terms of power and influence across most of Latin America."

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    China, Palestine, Nord Stream 2, Israel, US Electoral College, Syria, Russiagate, SARS coronavirus, COVID-19
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