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(Video) Free Iran 2021: Another Uprising Looming Following Sham Elections

Tens of thousands of Iranians will echo the message of the nationwide boycott of the regime’s election during the three-day Free Iran World Summit on July 10.

The ongoing strikes and protests are sending this message to the regime and the international community that Iranian people do not want this regime and demand regime change.”
— NCRI

PARIS, FRANCE, July 3, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — In May, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (Iran) held a press conference intended to bring international attention to the unique circumstances surrounding the Iranian regime’s presidential election. In the conference, NCRI Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Mohammad Mohaddessin highlighted a growing electoral boycott movement and predicted that its success would be an especially clear sign of a “looming nationwide uprising waiting in the wings,” the outbreak of which would be “far more intense and widespread” than even the November 2019 uprising that encompassed nearly 200 Iranian cities and towns.On June 18, the first part of the NCRI’s prediction came true when even the regime’s authorities recorded historically low voter turnout. The very next day was marked by new protests which underscored the population’s certainty that a change of presidential administration would do nothing to address any of the crises plaguing the economy, public health, and so on. That sentiment had previously been expressed through numerous protests in the run-up to the election, each featuring slogans that endorsed the electoral boycott movement that was being promoted by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

For two months in advance of the election, “Resistance Units” affiliated with the MEK staged public demonstrations and posted text and images in public spaces promoting the electoral boycott as a means of “voting for regime change.” Meanwhile, blue-collar worker, pensioners, and middle-class investors all staged their own protests and declared their intentions never to engage in the political process again for as long as it is run by the same tyrannical, theocratic system. “We have seen no justice,” many of those protesters explained, adding, “We will not vote anymore.”

For countless protesters, this message was certainly intended to deny political legitimacy to the regime’s next president, Ebrahim Raisi. The current judiciary chief’s election on June 18 was never in doubt, thanks to the tight control over political proceedings wielded by unelected authorities including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Early on, Khamenei made it clear that Raisi was his choice to take over the presidency after the conclusion of Hassan Rouhani’s second term. As a result, the Guardian Council, a 12-member body empowered to vet legislation and candidates to high office, excluded virtually all other high-profile figures from the race for the presidency, thereby making the voting process even more of a mere formality than usual.

The Iranian regime has attempted to preserve a modicum of legitimacy for the latest election and for the regime itself by claiming that nearly fifty percent of eligible voters cast ballots in spite of the push for a mass boycott. But the MEK and the NCRI have rejected that claim, citing the testimony of 1,200 journalists from 400 localities as evidence that the actual rate of voter participation was less than ten percent. Thousands of video clips from June 18 show polling places that were empty or nearly empty and these images have only been contradicted by state media outlets that broadcast staged scenes of crowded activity at a polling place used by many government officials.

The NCRI would echo the message of the nationwide boycott of the regime’s election between July 10 and 12 when it holds its Free Iran World Summit. The event represents a revised approach to the annual gathering of Iranian expatriates and political supporters that was held in person near Paris prior to 2019, and at the MEK’s compound in Albania during the final summer before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Free Iran World Summit will presumably reiterate the message delivered to the international community by Mr. Mohaddessin in May, while also pointing to ongoing developments inside Iran as further evidence that his prediction is on the verge of being fulfilled.

Among the protests that broke out immediately following Raisi’s election, many have continued to grow and expand in the ensuing days, including labor strikes that now comprise thousands of workers in 60 companies representing the nation’s oil and petrochemical industries alone. On Saturday, Mrs. Rajavi issued a statement to the Iranian activist community, making particular reference to the youth and urging them to “support the striking workers” and reassert “the Iranian people’s general will to overthrow the anti-labor clerical regime.”

These strikes are in line with the major Iran protests that spread across Iran in 2018 and 2019. These strikes and protests are sending this message to the regime and the international community that Iranian people do not want this regime.

This was the core message that ultimately set the stage for the follow-up nationwide uprising in November 2019, as well as the mass boycott of the electoral process not just during the 2021 presidential election farce but also during the previous year’s parliamentary election. Each of these developments also served to reinforce the Iranian regime’s anxiety over the continuous challenges it is facing from an organized Resistance movement.

During the initial uprising in 2018, the regime’s Supreme Leader Khamenei acknowledged – begrudgingly and for the first time in decades – that the MEK enjoyed powerful social influence and was capable of organizing mass demonstrations in favor of a change of government in Tehran.

With unrest currently ramping up among Iranian laborers and activists, it is highly likely that circumstances will be downright explosive and that the next nationwide uprising will be “looming” closer, in accordance with the NCRI’s prior prediction. If that is indeed the case, then various Western powers and non-governmental organizations will soon face the opportunity to help a beleaguered population to throw off the clerical dictatorship that has been depriving them of basic freedoms for more than 40 years. Furthermore, with that regime now being represented on the world stage by Raisi, a well-known human rights violator, it should be easy for those same powers to agree on a strategy of economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation in order to simultaneously hold him accountable for past crimes while signaling to the Iranian people that they have support in their fight against tyranny.

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Call for Supporting Iran’s People and Opposition Against the Religious Fascism

Author: Aalto University
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Rising From Pandemic, New York Seeks a New Mayor to Face Looming Crises

The New York City mayor’s race began in the throes of a pandemic, in a shuttered city convulsed by a public health catastrophe, economic devastation and widespread protests over police brutality.

Now, with voters heading to the primary polls on Tuesday, New York finds itself in a very different place. As the city roars back to life, its residents are at once buoyed by optimism around reopenings, but also anxious about public safety, affordable housing, jobs — and the very character of the nation’s largest city.

The primary election marks the end of an extraordinary chapter in New York’s history and the start of another, an inflection point that will play a defining role in shaping the post-pandemic future of the city. The leading mayoral candidates have promoted starkly divergent visions for confronting a series of overlapping crises, making this primary, which will almost certainly determine the next mayor, the most significant city election in a generation.

Public polling and interviews with elected officials, voters and party strategists suggest that on the cusp of Tuesday’s election, Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, is the front-runner, fueled by his focus on public safety issues and his ability to connect in working- and middle-class communities of color.

Yet even on the last weekend of the race, the contest to succeed Mayor Bill de Blasio appears fluid and unpredictable, and credible polling remains sparse.

Two other leading candidates, Andrew Yang and Kathryn Garcia, campaigned together on Saturday in Queens and Manhattan, a show of unity that also injected ugly clashes over race into the final hours of the election, as Mr. Adams accused his rivals of coming together “in the last three days” and “saying, ‘We can’t trust a person of color to be the mayor of the City of New York.’”

Mr. Yang, at a later event, noted that he had been “Asian my entire life.” (Mr. Adams later clarified that he meant that Mr. Yang and Ms. Garcia were trying to prevent a Black or Latino candidate from becoming mayor.)

The primary election will ultimately offer a clear sense of Democratic attitudes around confronting crime, a major national issue that has become the most urgent matter in the mayoral primary.

The outcome will also show whether New Yorkers wanted a political outsider eager to shake up City Hall bureaucracy, like Mr. Yang, or a seasoned government veteran like Ms. Garcia to navigate staggering challenges from issues of education to evictions to economic revival.

And it will reveal whether Democrats are in the mood to “reimagine” a far more equitable city through transformational progressive policies, as Maya D. Wiley is promising, or if they are more focused on everyday municipal problems.

In recent polls and last-minute fund-raising, Ms. Garcia, the city’s former sanitation commissioner, and Ms. Wiley, a former counsel to Mr. de Blasio, seem to be gaining late traction, while Mr. Yang, a former presidential candidate, remains a serious contender even amid signs that his momentum may have stalled.

But other factors may muddy the outcome.

For the first time in New York City, the mayoral nominee will be determined by ranked-choice voting, which allows New Yorkers to rank up to five candidates in order of preference. Some New Yorkers remain undecided about how to rank their choices, and whether to rank at all.

And with many New Yorkers accustomed to a primary that usually takes place in September, it is not at all clear what the composition of a post-pandemic June electorate will look like.

For such a high-stakes election, the contest has felt at once endless and rushed. For months, it was a low-key affair, defined by dutiful Zoom forums and a distracted city.

But if there has been one constant in the last month, it has been the centrality of crime and policing to the contest.

“Public safety has clearly emerged as a significant issue,” said Representative Hakeem Jeffries, New York’s highest-ranking House member, when asked to name the defining issue of the mayor’s race. “How to balance that aspiration with fair, respectful policing, I think has been critical throughout the balance of this campaign.”

Six months ago, few would have predicted that public safety would be the top issue of the race, only a year after the“defund the police” movement took hold in the city. Crime rates are far lower than in earlier eras, and residents are confronting a long list of challenges as the city emerges from the pandemic.

But amid a rise this spring in shootings, jarring episodes of violence on the subways, bias attacks against Asian Americans and Jews — and heavy coverage of crime on local television — virtually every public poll shows public safety has become the biggest concern among Democratic voters.

Mr. Adams, Ms. Garcia, Mr. Yang and Raymond J. McGuire, a former Citi executive, vigorously disagree with the “defund the police” movement. But no one has been more vocal about public safety issues than Mr. Adams, a former police captain who has declared safety the “prerequisite” to prosperity.

Mr. Adams, who had a complex career at the Police Department and battled police misconduct as a leader of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, an advocacy group, says that he was once a victim of police brutality himself, and argues that he is well equipped to manage both police reform and spikes in violence.

In recent weeks, however, Mr. Adams has come under growing scrutiny over questions of transparency and ethics tied to taxes and disclosures around real estate holdings. That dynamic may fuel doubts about his candidacy in the final days, as his opponents have sharply questioned his judgment and integrity.

If he wins, it will be in part because of his significant institutional support, as a veteran politician with union backing and relationships with key constituencies — but also because his message connects at a visceral level in some neighborhoods across the city.

“Mr. Adams! You got my vote!” Blanca Soto, who turns 60 on Monday, cried out as she walked by an Adams event in Harlem on Thursday.

“I am rooting for him because he’s not going to take away from the police officers,” said Ms. Soto, a health aide, who called safety her top issue. “I do want to see more police, especially in the subways. We had them there before. I don’t know what happened, but everything was good when that was going on.”

Mr. Stringer, the city comptroller; Shaun Donovan, a former federal housing secretary; Ms. Morales, a former nonprofit executive; and Ms. Wiley have taken a starkly different view on several policing matters. They support varying degrees of cuts to the Police Department’s budget, arguing for investments in communities instead. The department’s operating budget has been about $ 6 billion. Ms. Wiley, Mr. Stringer and Ms. Morales have also been skeptical of adding more police officers to patrol the subway.

Ms. Wiley argues that the best way to stop violence is often to invest in the social safety net, including in mental health professionals, violence interrupters and in schools.

Ms. Wiley, who has been endorsed by some of the most prominent left-wing leaders in the country, including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, is seeking to build a coalition that includes white progressives as well as voters of color across the ideological spectrum.

Rival campaigns have long believed that she has the potential to build perhaps the broadest coalition of voters in the race, but polls suggest that she has not yet done so in a meaningful way.

Mr. Jeffries, who has endorsed Ms. Wiley and campaigned with her, said that she offers change from the status quo, “a fresh face” who is both prepared “and is offering a compelling vision for investing in those communities that have traditionally been left behind.”

Mr. Jeffries has said that he is ranking Mr. Adams second, and that if Mr. Adams were to win, it would be on the strength of Black and Latino communities “who have increasingly felt excluded from the promises of New York City, as it has become increasingly expensive.”

A number of campaigns and political strategists see Latino voters as the crucial, late-breaking swing vote, and the leading candidates all see opportunities with slices of that diverse constituency, with candidates including Mr. Adams and Ms. Wiley airing new Spanish-language ads in recent days — an Adams spot criticizes Ms. Garcia in Spanish — and Mr. Yang spending Thursday in the Bronx, home to the city’s largest Latino population.

Mr. Yang, who would be the city’s first Asian American mayor, is betting that he can reshape the electorate by engaging more young, Asian American and Latino voters as he casts himself as a “change” candidate.

Mr. Yang was a front-runner in the race for months, boosted by his strong name identification and air of celebrity, as well as a hopeful message about New York’s potential and an energetic in-person campaign schedule.

But as New York reopened and crime became a bigger issue in voters’ minds — and as Mr. Yang faced growing scrutiny over gaffes and gaps in his municipal knowledge — he has lost ground.

His tone in the homestretch is a striking departure from the exuberant pitch that defined his early message, as he sharpens his criticism of Mr. Adams and tries to cut into his advantage on public safety issues. Mr. Yang, who has no city government experience, has also sought to use that outsider standing to deliver searing indictments of the political class.

Ms. Garcia has moderate instincts — she was one of the few leading mayoral candidates to favor President Biden as her first choice in the presidential primary — but she is primarily running as a pragmatic technocrat steeped in municipal knowledge.

She has been endorsed by the editorial boards of The New York Times and The New York Daily News, among others, and has generated palpable traction in politically engaged, highly educated corners of the city, like the Upper West Side, even as Mr. Stringer and Mr. Donovan have also vied for the government experience mantle.

“I don’t think New York does that well, as progressive as I am, with a series of progressives who think that we should spend more time dealing with those kinds of issues rather than actual stuff that needs to be done,” said William Pinzler, 74, as he prepared to vote for Ms. Garcia at Lincoln Center. “Kathryn Garcia picked up the garbage.”

But Ms. Garcia, who has struggled to deliver a standout moment during several televised debates, is in many ways still introducing herself, and it is not yet clear whether she can attract the same kind of support citywide.

Asked what lessons national Democrats may take from the results of Tuesday’s contest, Representative Grace Meng, who has endorsed Mr. Yang as her first choice and Ms. Garcia as her second, and appeared with them on Saturday, pointed to questions of both personal characteristics and policy visions.

“How much people prioritize a leader with experience or vision to get us out of the pandemic, but also to address issues like public safety and education — I think that it’ll kind of be a filter through which we see the next round of elections nationally,” she said. “Wherever they may be.”

Author: Katie Glueck
This post originally appeared on NYT > Top Stories

US could default on national debt with ‘X Date’ looming, think tank warns

The US federal government is likely to run out of borrowing room and breach the debt limit after October 1, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC).

“Treasury’s updated guidance means that the ‘X Date’ will likely arrive after the start of fiscal year 2022,” said Shai Akabas, director of economic policy at BPC, a Washington, DC-based think tank. Akabas was referring to the date when the federal government will no longer be able to pay its bills in full and on time.

“That would realistically allow Congress to address the debt limit as part of an appropriations package and potentially pair that move with a longer-term reform of the statute to eliminate financial risk from these recurring episodes,” he said.

Akabas also cautioned that the unique fiscal environment of a pandemic adds unprecedented uncertainty to any debt limit forecast.
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“While uncertainty is perhaps greater than ever before, the way to minimize short-term financial risk remains the same: acting on the debt limit soon,” he said.

The forecast comes as the US Treasury Department warned on Wednesday that its fiscal tools to keep the national debt from breaching its congressionally mandated limit may fail to last as long as in prior years.

It said that “In light of the substantial Covid-related uncertainty about receipts and outlays in the coming months, it is very difficult to predict how long extraordinary measures might last,” adding that extraordinary measures could be exhausted much more quickly than in prior debt limit episodes.
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As part of a two-year budget deal passed by Congress in August 2019, the federal debt limit was suspended through July 31, 2021. In case lawmakers can’t reach another agreement before then, the ceiling would automatically be reinstated on August 1 and the US Treasury wouldn’t be able to raise additional cash from the sale of government securities.

The US national debt subject to the limit currently stands at a record $ 28.1 trillion, with that amount covering debt the government owes to itself in the form of commitments to Social Security and other government trust funds. The amount of the debt that is held by the public totals $ 22.1 trillion, which is slightly higher than 100% of the entire economy and stands at a height not seen since the huge borrowing the government did in the 1940s to fight in World War II.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

Author: RT
This post originally appeared on RT Business News

Turnout becomes focus in Austin's Prop B battle with early voting deadline looming

Author: Tahera Rahman
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — You have one more day to cast your ballots early for the May 1 election. The narrowing window has some city of Austin officials making a final push to get out the vote.

It may be working. On Monday, more than 17,000 voted by mail or in-person — the best day, so far.

Much of the effort is focused on Prop B, which would reinstate the ban on camping in undesignated areas.

“This is an important election, it’s not one people should be sitting out,” says Austin Mayor Steve Adler.

That’s why he tweeted Monday evening, urging Austinites to vote. In the tweet, Adler expressed support toward a ‘no’ vote on Prop B.

He also claimed those who have cast their votes are not representative of all residents.

“We know it is older, more Republican electorate, voting now by a significant multiple,” Adler says.

Adler told KXAN he got the data from Mark Littlefield, a political consultant.

Littlefield told KXAN he looks at Travis County’s nightly voter turnout, their ages and which party primaries they’ve voted for in the past.

Data available from the clerk’s office that KXAN looked at on Monday afternoon showed voting centers near Mopac and Highway 183 had some of the highest turnout, so far.

“This is a bipartisan message: Independents, Democrats…” says Cleo Petricek, Save Austin Now political action committee co-founder.

Save Austin Now supports Prop B.

Petricek says their own polling shows support across the political spectrum. She says it is why they were able to raise over a million dollars.

“We all want a safe community, and we all know the homeless are not being served in unregulated encampments,” she says.

KXAN reached out to the Travis County Clerk to see if she could verify Littlefield’s data. We have not yet heard back.

Currently, more than 77,000 people have voted early, that’s more than 10% of registered voters.

Election day is May 1.

‘Catastrophic consequences for people’s lives’: Debt crisis looming for developing world due to Covid response, UN chief warns

The world faces severe problems of debt sustainability in the wake of the coronavirus crisis that have not been properly understood or addressed, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the Financial Times.

“The response to Covid and to the financial aspects [of the crisis] has been fragmented, and geopolitical divides are not helping,” Guterres said, adding “It has been too limited in scope and too late.” 

According to him, the fact that only six countries defaulted on their foreign debts last year – Argentina, Belize, Ecuador, Lebanon, Suriname and Zambia – created the “illusion” of stability and a “misperception of the seriousness of the situation.” 

The UN chief pointed out that large, middle-income developing countries such as Brazil and South Africa had borrowed heavily from domestic lenders rather than from foreign investors, at interest rates much higher than those available to rich countries. This makes the dangers less visible than in previous emerging market debt crises, he said. 
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In failing to address debt sustainability, “the risk is that we compromise the recovery of the economies of the developing world with catastrophic consequences for people’s lives, with an increase in hunger and poverty and dramatic problems with health and education systems, in many cases leading to instability, social unrest and, at the limit, conflict. Everything is now interlinked,” said Guterres.

READ MORE: Covid pandemic could push more than a BILLION people worldwide into extreme poverty, UN warns

According to the World Bank estimates, around 120 million people have been pushed into poverty by the Covid-19 crisis, with the majority of the “new poor” in middle-income countries. The UN previously warned that over 200 million people could be driven into extreme poverty by the severe long-term impact of the coronavirus pandemic, bringing the total number to more than one billion by 2030.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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