Sep 262021
 
 September 26, 2021  Posted by at 8:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  43 Responses »


Salvador Dali Spain 1936-38

 

A Pandemic of Undertreatment (GlobalCovidSummit)
Why Won’t FDA, CDC Advisory Panel Members Debate COVID Vaccine Safety? (Kirsch)
Meeting of COVID-19 Giants Geert Vanden Bossche and Robert Malone MD (Vejon)
You Think Medical Care Won’t Go Here? (Denninger)
Thousands More Than Usual Are Dying – But Not From COVID (21CW)
England’s Cancer Treatment Backlog Could Take ‘Decades’ To Clear (RT)
Upstate NY Hospital Shuts ORs, Blames Vaccine Mandate For Staff Shortage (S.)
Nurses Are In Short Supply. Vaccine Mandate Could Make It Worse (NPR)
Federal Workers Sue Biden Admin Over COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates (ET)
Dutch Junior Minister Sacked After Criticizing ‘Illogical’ Vaxx Passports (RT)
Black Lives Matter NYC Leader Promises “Uprising” Against Vaccine Passports (ET)
The True Believers Backing Ivermectin (AFR)
A Daily Pill To Treat Covid Could Be Just Months Away (PBS)
The Lab-Leak Debate Just Got Even Messier (Atl.)
‘You Can’t Win That One’: Trump Suggests Fauci Was Unfireable (RT)

 

 

 

 

Montagnier

 

 

 

 

Worse than ADE?!

 

 

The best definition.

A Pandemic of Undertreatment (GlobalCovidSummit)

On a balmy night on the outskirts of San Juan, Puerto Rico, a panel of doctors and scientists convened for the first Conversation on Covid, hosted by media startup Roundtable. While the conversation was far-ranging, it often hit on controversial topics around the causes, prevention strategies, and treatments for Covid. “We are in a pandemic of undertreatment,” said intensive care specialist, Pierre Kory, M.D., Former Director of the Center for Trauma and Life Support at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and winner of the British Medical Association’s President’s Choice Award. What drives him and the other doctors and scientists attending is the overarching principle to “first, do no harm”.

“Everything else that we’ve discovered, everything that’s in our protocols is because we have used good clinical sense, lots of experience, and we’ve used trial and error using our best judgments of risks and benefits.” For him, undertreatment and nontreatment is harm. In his view, long-haul Covid and hospitalizations are caused by undertreatment and a lack of an effective prevention strategy. [..] Not one of the doctors downplayed the seriousness and deadly nature of the Covid pandemic. “I’ve never, ever walked into an ICU that’s full of every patient on a ventilator with the same disease,” Kory noted from last year when he responded to the call for help at his old ICU in New York City.

“It was wicked back then,” he recalled. “We’re not in that catastrophic phase. But this is the most complex and most violent disease that I have seen and the most difficult to treat in the ICU.” Kory’s solution is to avoid getting to the ICU in the first place. The notion of early treatment was a common theme among the doctors. “The key to everything is early treatment,” said Dr. Kory. “If you institute systematically early treatment upon first symptoms,” he explained, “the amount of people who would require hospital would go away. The amount of transmissions would go away.” He firmly believes we can control the pandemic through effective early treatment.

The one-size-fits-all approach that everyone get a vaccine doesn’t work at all for Urso. “The Covid-recovered, which is over 30 percent of the population, has no reason to get the vaccine,” he plainly stated. “They have a near zero chance of getting reinfected. And they have a significant risk of harm.” Although many of the doctors on the panel have been censored and criticized on both social media and mainstream media—McDonald noting he was taken down on Twitter ten days earlier simply for summarizing Dr. Kory’s position on early treatment—many have received strong positive recognition in the medical community prior to expressing their views around the pandemic.

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• The vaccines have killed over 150,000 Americans. I verified this 7 different ways.
• The vaccines kill more people than they save for all age groups

Why Won’t FDA, CDC Advisory Panel Members Debate COVID Vaccine Safety? (Kirsch)

Fast forward to September 17, 2021. I spoke out about the vaccines in the public input section of the FDA advisory meeting. I said that everyone was avoiding the elephant in the room: that the vaccines kill more people than they save. Nobody on the panel was paying attention to my talk. This is pretty typical. I wasn’t offended. But the public was listening and I got millions of impressions on my talk. No one in the mainstream media contacted me to challenge my statement. New results show two stopping conditions were triggered After the meeting, I did some additional research (summarized here) and I discovered that two stopping conditions have been triggered:

• The vaccines have killed over 150,000 Americans. I verified this 7 different ways.
• The vaccines kill more people than they save for all age groups

The most troubling thing to the panel members is that both stopping conditions are now validated in the peer reviewed scientific literature. I have attempted to point this out to the panel in multiple emails which I’ve posted to my Gab account. I offered to share the original research. No interest. I offered to share the studies published in peer-reviewed medical journals backing up what I found. No interest. Next, I offered to donate to their research if they would debate a team of scientists on the two stopping conditions. They could name any donation amount they wanted to make it worth their time. No interest. I pointed out that 100% of the hundreds of people I surveyed wanted to see an open debate on this as soon as possible (and not see the debate happen in slow motion in the scientific literature). No interest. America wants a debate ASAP. The CDC and FDA committee members refuse to discuss this. They won’t debate my team under any conditions.

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Haven’t had time to watch this yet. Put your review in the comments if you have.

Meeting of COVID-19 Giants Geert Vanden Bossche and Robert Malone MD (Vejon)

Tremendous privilege for me to host the first live discussion between two stalwarts in the COVID-19 pandemic. Both men have taken an ethical stand to focus on science and not be afraid to share their expertise. The world now stands at a crossroads again. Where do we plant our next step?


Geert Vanden Bossche – Expert vaccine developer (Belgium)
Robert Malone MD – Inventor of mRNA vaccines (USA)

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“They don’t have to shoot or gas you anymore. They just kill you in a nursing home or hospital when you get too expensive.”

You Think Medical Care Won’t Go Here? (Denninger)

The number of people calling for unvaxxed folks to be denied medical care, even doctors, is stunning. Do you have any idea where this leads? Let me put this up again for you: The right two columns are the Medicare spend from October 1st, 2019 to date of the report in 2020 (July, I believe). Which, I remind you, included a nasty Covid-19 spike in the spring. The next two columns left are the same spend from October 1st, 2020 to the same date in 2021. Which included the hideous, and much-worse, spike during the winter of 2020. Notice anything about those two sets of numbers?

The government’s policies had one focus, and it was achieved: Saving money. Your Grandmother was expendable, as was anyone else. Yes, most of that accrued to people >65, but don’t kid yourself — that was the goal. May I point out that some four hundred billion, last time I looked (and that was nearly half a decade ago!) was spent by CMS (Medicare and Medicaid) on one disease: Type II diabetes. That was, at the time, roughly one quarter of all Medicare and Medicaid spending. A voluntary disease in virtually every case. Stop eating carbohydrates, it disappears or is greatly attenuated. So is your body mass at the same time. Do you think the government doesn’t know this? Do you think your employer doesn’t know this? That spending can be cut to zero: Deny any benefit payouts if you have a BMI >25.

Oh, they’d never do that, you say? You just advocated for it. If someone won’t take a jab in the arm, no medical care for you! Ok. If someone won’t stop stuffing their face, no medical care for you! Think they won’t do it? Maybe you should think about what you cheer on, and what you tolerate eh? Because not only will the government do it, they already have without a peep out of your mouth. I warned of this more than 10 years ago and have been since. This instance was a “soft” one, “only” $50 billion out of $350 billion — and nobody noticed, did they? They all blame the “unclean” today, just like people blamed the Jews before WWII in Germany. Why, they were “impure” and the source of all the problems. Uh huh. Sure they were.

They don’t have to shoot or gas you anymore. They just kill you in a nursing home or hospital when you get too expensive. What happens if VEI shows up and being vaccinated makes you subject to more-severe disease? Do you think the government, being prodded by you, won’t do the same thing to you they did to Granny when doing so will save them hundreds of billions they don’t have? What if it’s happening right now and they’re trying to hide it? You’re not quite that stupid, are you?

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Health care has become a sideshow.

Thousands More Than Usual Are Dying – But Not From COVID (21CW)

As it turns out, this latest surge in non-COVID deaths is a direct result of the reactionary pandemic policies, driven by mass-panic in the mainstream media and by draconian measures put into place by government and medical institutions. The Telegraph reports… While focus remains firmly fixed on Covid-19, a second health crisis is quietly emerging in Britain. Since the beginning of July, there have been thousands of excess deaths that were not caused by coronavirus. According to health experts, this is highly unusual for the summer. Although excess deaths are expected during the winter months, when cold weather and seasonal infections combine to place pressure on the NHS, summer generally sees a lull. This year is a worrying outlier.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), since July 2 there have been 9,619 excess deaths in England and Wales, of which 48 per cent (4,635) were not caused by Covid-19. So if all these extra people are not dying from coronavirus, what is killing them? Data from Public Health England (PHE) shows that during that period there were 2,103 extra death registrations with ischemic heart disease, 1,552 with heart failure, as well as an extra 760 deaths with cerebrovascular diseases such as stroke and aneurysm and 3,915 with other circulatory diseases. Acute and chronic respiratory infections were also up with 3,416 more mentions on death certificates than expected since the start of July, while there have been 1,234 extra urinary system disease deaths, 324 with cirrhosis and liver disease and 1,905 with diabetes.

Alarmingly, many of these conditions saw the biggest drops in diagnosis in 2020, as the NHS struggled to cope with the pandemic. A report released last week by the Government detailing the direct and indirect health impacts of the pandemic reported that there were an estimated 23 million fewer GP consultations – both in-person and online, in 2020 compared with 2019. Diagnosis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) fell by 51 per cent, atrial fibrillation 26 per cent, heart failure 20 per cent, diabetes 19 per cent, coronary heart disease, 17 per cent and stroke and transient ischemic attack by 16 per cent.

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“..the funds announced so far were “just about enough to keep the health service afloat..”

England’s Cancer Treatment Backlog Could Take ‘Decades’ To Clear (RT)

The cancer treatment backlog in England could “take decades to address” after the Covid pandemic caused the health service to “collapse rapidly”, according to a new report from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).
In the research, released on Friday, the independent progressive think tank warned of the impact of the pandemic on cancer treatment, urging officials to take steps to prevent potentially “severe” consequences that will require “considerable catch-up” work to be done. While the UK government has announced a three-year funding proposal to address issues that have emerged in the NHS during the pandemic, the IPPR said there was “more to be done” if Britain is to “build back better”, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised.

Highlighting how the impact of coronavirus had caused the health service to “collapse rapidly”, the think tank said the crisis had forced the NHS to take “unthinkable steps like cancelling cancer treatments”, leaving an estimated 19,500 people with undiagnosed cancers. Examining the ways to clear the backlog, the study warned that it would take until 2033 before hospitals, already “stretched” to capacity, could clear the backlog, even if treatment interventions were increased by 5%. If they rose by 15%, it could potentially be cleared by next year. However, if the NHS didn’t boost cancer treatments, the backlog “could take decades to address”, the researchers said.

The IPPR’s report urges the government to implement greater funding as a matter of urgency, as the funds announced so far were “just about enough to keep the health service afloat”, it said, given that data showed that, before the pandemic, the cancer survival rate in the UK already lagged “far behind most similar countries”.

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“..will temporarily close 22 of its 35 operating rooms starting Monday..”

Upstate NY Hospital Shuts ORs, Blames Vaccine Mandate For Staff Shortage (S.)

Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse will temporarily close 22 of its 35 operating rooms starting Monday in anticipation of a growing staff shortage due to New York’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate. The hospital had already postponed elective surgeries as a result of chronic staff shortages during the coronavirus pandemic. Now, priority will be given to surgeries that are medically necessary, time sensitive or involve critical-care trauma cases, the hospital announced Friday. Those surgeries will be consolidated into the 13 open operating rooms. Earlier in the day, the hospital warned employees who cannot prove that they’ve been vaccinated against Covid-19 by 5 p.m. Monday will not be allowed to work Tuesday. The warning sent in an email to hospital workers said unvaccinated employees will likely be suspended without pay.


Employees had been given a month to comply with the order from New York state that requires all healthcare workers to be vaccinated by Monday, Sept. 27. The vaccine requirement includes staff at hospitals and long-term care facilities like nursing homes, adult care sites and other congregate care settings. Upstate Medical University said in a statement Friday that it hopes to resume its full surgical schedule as soon as possible. “While Upstate University Hospital continues to ensure the best care for our patients, we are proactively taking temporary measures to focus on COVID cases, as well as safely meet the critical care needs of the community,” the statement said.

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“I’d have no one to take care of the patients, and there’s nowhere to send the patients.”

Nurses Are In Short Supply. Vaccine Mandate Could Make It Worse (NPR)

Health care workers had priority access to the COVID-19 vaccine back in December 2020, but nine months later, many are still reluctant to get the shots. Vaccination rates remain low in some states and among some subgroups of health care workers such as nursing assistants. As part of his push to get more Americans vaccinated, Biden has essentially told 17 million health care workers: Get vaccinated or get out. He has not offered them the testing option he’s given workers in most other industries. Details about how the federal vaccine mandate will be enforced have yet to be released, but already protests have become regular events outside hospitals, and employers are warning they could see large numbers of workers quit just when they’re needed the most.

It’s hard to predict how many people will actually quit their jobs over the vaccine mandate. In June, after a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by health care workers at Houston Methodist Hospital over its vaccine mandate, more than 150 workers quit or were fired. Lewis County General Hospital in upstate New York said it would stop delivering babies this month after six people in the maternity department quit over New York’s vaccine mandate. In Maine, where the governor announced a vaccine mandate for health care workers in mid-August, hospitals are so far reporting only a handful of resignations, but enforcement of the mandate is still more than a month away.

“I can’t afford to lose anyone,” says Ted LeNeave, CEO of Accura HealthCare, which operates 34 nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota. Because of staffing shortages, they’ve had to limit admissions, turning down patients coming from hospitals. With about 1,000 of his employees — 38% of his workforce — unvaccinated, LeNeave is calling on the federal government to provide a testing option for health care workers. He’s proposed that those who remain unvaccinated would undergo regular testing and wear full PPE, arguing that it’s a safer alternative to losing a lot of workers. “I just don’t see how I can lay off a thousand people,” says LeNeave. “I’d have no one to take care of the patients, and there’s nowhere to send the patients.”

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Freedom.

Federal Workers Sue Biden Admin Over COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates (ET)

A group of federal workers and contractors filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government over COVID-19 vaccination mandates that were announced earlier this month by President Joe Biden. The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Washington district court, is asking a court to declare unlawful Biden’s executive order and a Department of Defense memorandum in August mandating all military members get the vaccine. Lawyers argue that members of the Christian faith are required “to refuse a medical intervention, including a vaccination, if his or her informed conscience comes to this sure judgment,” and it further stipulates that “naturally acquired immunity provides greater protection than vaccines.”

One of the plaintiffs, U.S. Foreign Service Officer Daniel Jackson has a faith that “also instructs him that vaccination is not morally obligatory in principle and therefore must be voluntary” and that there is “a general moral duty to refuse the use of medical products, including certain vaccines, that are produced using human cells lines derived from direct abortions.” Another plaintiff was identified as Secret Service agent Lionel Klein. The lawsuit stipulates that because Klein had already contracted COVID-19 and survived, he has enough antibodies to ward against future infection and doesn’t need the vaccine.

“The human body knows how to develop immunity to new viruses. The adaptive immune system consists of an enormously diverse repertoire of B cells—precursors of antibody-secreting plasma cells—and T cells with a nearly unlimited capacity to recognize and ‘adapt’ to previously unseen pathogens,” the suit reads. The lawsuit also lists federal contractor Zachary Amigone, who works for 3M, as a plaintiff and says he has “a personal and family history of severe vaccine reactions and has been determined to be medically exempt from vaccination by a licensed physician.”

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Herd mentality. Danger ahead.

Dutch Junior Minister Sacked After Criticizing ‘Illogical’ Vaxx Passports (RT)

Junior Economic Affairs Minister Mona Keijzer has been fired by Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Her crime? Suggesting that the country’s vaccine passport scheme is “illogical” and the Netherlands should “go back to the old normal.” As of Sunday, people hoping to visit bars, cafés, restaurants, and other venues will have to show proof of vaccination against Covid-19 or the results of a recent negative test. The pass system was introduced despite recent mass protests in Amsterdam, and demonstrations against the now-compulsory vaccine passports took place again on Sunday.

Criticism of the scheme has come from both the public and workers in the hospitality sector, but also from within the government. In an interview with the Telegraaf newspaper on Saturday, Keijzer had said it was “inexplicable” that the pass was required, even though the wholesale reopening of schools and universities in August had not led to a surge in hospitalizations. “You can participate in the marathon without a [vaccine pass], but if you are going to eat a pastry in the lunchroom you must have it,” she stated, adding that she could “no longer explain it logically.” If we end up in a society where we have to be afraid of each other unless we can show proof, then you really have to scratch your head and ask yourself: ‘Is this the direction we want to go?’

Keijzer’s comments earned her a swift dismissal from Rutte’s cabinet. After consulting with his deputies and senior economy minister, he announced on Saturday that Keijzer would be fired “with immediate effect.” Her comments, he said, were “not compatible with decisions recently taken by the cabinet.” The Algemeen Dagblad (AD) newspaper reported that Rutte and his team had learnt of Keijzer’s interview only late on Friday night, and, being aware of the stance she would take, immediately agreed to fire her. Roughly 82% of eligible adults in the country have now been fully vaccinated, and cases of Covid-19 have been falling steadily since July. In her interview, Keizer pointed to the high vaccination take-up, as well as the rarity of serious symptoms at present, as proof that the vaccine passports should be scrapped. “We have to go back to the old normal,” she said.

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“85 percent of black residents have not received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine”

Black Lives Matter NYC Leader Promises “Uprising” Against Vaccine Passports (ET)

One of the leaders of a Black Lives Matter group in New York City promised an “uprising” against the city’s COVID-19 vaccine passports, decrying the system as racist. According to data provided by New York state, about 85 percent of black residents have not received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Data provided by New York City shows that 64 percent of black people between the ages of 18 and 44 are not fully vaccinated while 56 percent have received one shot. Hawk Newsome, the co-founder of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, told the Washington Examiner that “I think, in a perfect world, [vaccine requirements] should be business by business. But it could be a slippery slope, so the mandate should be removed completely.”

He added: “It’s not gonna be white men in suits on Wall Street who are gonna get stopped. There’s such hypocrisy in this thing.” Newsome said he believes that black Americans “have a natural distrust of the vaccine,” citing the Tuskegee Syphilis Study in the 20th century for a reason why. “How dare they remove religious exemptions? It’s the most disrespectful thing I’ve ever seen,” Newsome said, adding that he believes that most vaccine mandates don’t allow religious exemption. “Now the government has decided your God doesn’t matter? I love God.” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, argued in a court filing this week that the state has no constitutional obligation to grant religious exemptions to COVID-19 vaccines for healthcare workers.

Religious exemptions to the vaccines most commonly center on objections on how aborted fetal cells were used in the manufacturing and testing process. Medical exemptions usually include a doctor’s recommendation that a person not get the vaccine due to an underlying medical condition. Another member of the group promised an “uprising” in New York City over the vaccine mandate. “We’re putting this city on notice that your mandate will not be another racist social distance practice,” Chivona Newsome, a leader of the group, told fellow protesters during a demonstration in Manhattan in front of Carmine’s restaurant on Monday. “Black people are not going to stand by, or you will see another uprising. And that is not a threat. That is a promise.” “The vaccination passport is not a free passport to racism,” she added.

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From the Australian Financial Review, of all places.

The True Believers Backing Ivermectin (AFR)

Anthony Jolly has done his homework and believes the controversial drug ivermectin is the best way to defend the 150 people he employs in Phu Ly, north Vietnam, from COVID-19. The country is in the grip of a fierce wave of delta infections but Jolly’s business, Midway Metals Marine, a specialist company that puts “the bling on boats” all over the world, has barely missed a beat. It’s blessed in its location, away from big cities where the virus is rife. Jolly believes ivermectin will also help keep the illness at bay. The Australian is firmly on one side of an increasingly heated debate around ivermectin, a drug that has long been approved for use in humans to treat infections caused by parasites and is also used by vets to treat animals.

[..] Jolly is not going to stop. He has read and circulated information to his staff on what he describes as “successful protocols involving ivermectin, vitamin D, vitamin C and zinc” to treat early stage COVID-19 and to prevent onset. “I’ve done a lot of independent research, making sure of the data and following the science,” Jolly tells AFR Weekend. He obtained sufficient quantities of the drug to give all of his workforce two doses over the last two weeks and says he’s had 100 per cent buy in. “I’m not a conspiracy guy. I’m just a guy who has a bunch of 150 families I have to protect. I’ve reviewed probably 40 different research papers and this is a protocol that has been used successfully throughout the United States and elsewhere. I am trying to do the best thing for my people,” Jolly says.

[..] Sydney-based Professor Thomas Borody [..] does, however, believe ivermectin-combination therapy can change the course of this pandemic. He and a group of other doctors have treated over 500 COVID-19 patients in Australia with a triple therapy consisting of ivermectin, doxycycline and zinc – without any deaths. The TGA ruling means they can no longer prescribe this combination. They are likely to substitute another off-patent drug, fluvoxamine, developed originally as an antidepressant. “You have to do things in a process that is acceptable. You have to do it right,” says Borody. The group plans to seek a provisional application from the TGA for the ivermectin triple therapy using a literature-based submission with supportive evidence from patients treated. “We are doing it properly.”

He is confident the ivermectin triple therapy will be approved. In the 1980s, Borody discovered a drug cocktail that stopped over 900 people dying yearly from peptic ulcers. “We terminated that pandemic. From seeing three ulcers once a day, I see them once every six months now.” This is an analogous situation, he says, in that a triple therapy is again required. Professor Thomas Borody believes an ivermectin triple therapy could be a game changer. Supplied “Our aim is to prevent hospitalisation from COVID-19 and vaccination alone won’t achieve that.”

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IVM 2.0. 1000x more expensive.

A Daily Pill To Treat Covid Could Be Just Months Away (PBS)

“Oral antivirals have the potential to not only curtail the duration of one’s COVID-19 syndrome, but also have the potential to limit transmission to people in your household if you are sick,” said Timothy Sheahan, a virologist at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill who has helped pioneer these therapies. Antivirals are already essential treatments for other viral infections, including hepatitis C and HIV. One of the best known is Tamiflu, the widely prescribed pill that can shorten the duration of influenza and reduce the risk of hospitalization if given quickly. The medications, developed to treat and prevent viral infections in people and animals, work differently depending on the type. But they can be engineered to boost the immune system to fight infection, block receptors so viruses can’t enter healthy cells, or lower the amount of active virus in the body.

At least three promising antivirals for COVID are being tested in clinical trials, with results expected as soon as late fall or winter, said Carl Dieffenbach, director of the Division of AIDS at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who is overseeing antiviral development. “I think that we will have answers as to what these pills are capable of within the next several months,” Dieffenbach said. The top contender is a medication from Merck & Co. and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics called molnupiravir, Dieffenbach said. This is the product being tested in the Kellys’ Seattle trial. Two others include a candidate from Pfizer, known as PF-07321332, and AT-527, an antiviral produced by Roche and Atea Pharmaceuticals.

They work by interfering with the virus’s ability to replicate in human cells. In the case of molnupiravir, the enzyme that copies the viral genetic material is forced to make so many mistakes that the virus can’t reproduce. That, in turn, reduces the patient’s viral load, shortening infection time and preventing the kind of dangerous immune response that can cause serious illness or death. So far, only one antiviral drug, remdesivir, has been approved to treat COVID. But it is given intravenously to patients ill enough to be hospitalized, and is not intended for early, widespread use. By contrast, the top contenders under study can be packaged as pills.

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What? “Even as a natural origin remains the most plausible explanation ..”

The Lab-Leak Debate Just Got Even Messier (Atl.)

In May 2020, only a few months into the pandemic, EcoHealth’s Peter Daszak ridiculed discussions of the furin cleavage site and whether it might be bioengineered as the ranting of conspiracy theorists. Six months later, Daszak was involved in two major, international investigations into the pandemic’s origins, organized by the World Health Organization and the British medical journal The Lancet. Now it appears that, just a few years earlier, he’d delivered a detailed grant proposal to the U.S. government, with himself as principal investigator, that described doing exactly that bioengineering work. “It’s just shocking,” Chan said. The pattern here is unmistakable: At every turn, what could be important information has been withheld.

Two weeks ago, The Intercept published 528 pages of documents, obtained only after a litigated FOIA request to the National Institutes of Health and a 12-month delay, that describe experiments on hybrid coronaviruses that some experts consider risky, carried out in Wuhan with the support of EcoHealth and the U.S. government. (These experiments could not have led directly to the pandemic. A spokesperson for the NIH told The Intercept that the agency had reviewed data from the experiments and determined that they were not dangerous.) In June, Bloom, the Seattle computational biologist, discovered that several hundred genetic sequences drawn from very early COVID-19 patients had been mysteriously deleted from a public database. (They’ve since been restored.) Other facts that could be relevant to the origins debate have trickled out from obscure student work and other surprising sources.

Even as a natural origin remains the most plausible explanation, these discoveries, taken as a whole, demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that good-faith investigations of these matters have proceeded in the face of a toxic shroud of secrecy. Vaughn Cooper, who studies pathogen evolution at the University of Pittsburgh, told us that he hasn’t changed his view that SARS-CoV-2 is extremely unlikely to have been created in a lab—but the lack of candor is “really concerning.” The DARPA proposal doesn’t “mean that much for our understanding of the origins of the pandemic,” he said, “but it does diminish the trustworthiness of the research groups involved.” “I find it disappointing and disturbing that something like this is coming out in the form of a leak,” Bloom said. “If there’s information that is relevant or informative to this discussion—anything that people could conceivably think is relevant—it needs to be made available.” Until that happens, or unless that happens, the mess will only spread.

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“But Fauci, Trump concluded at one point, “is a better promoter than he is a doctor.”

‘You Can’t Win That One’: Trump Suggests Fauci Was Unfireable (RT)

Former US president Donald Trump has said that, with regard to firing health adviser Anthony Fauci, he couldn’t “win,” though he proudly stated he had done the “opposite” of what the infectious-diseases expert had recommended. Appearing on ‘The Water Cooler’ on Real America’s Voice this week, Trump was asked if he had regretted not firing Fauci – something his supporters had called for numerous times. “Well, you know, David, he was there for like 40 years or something, right?” the former president told host David Brody, referring to Fauci’s long-standing position at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “He was a part of the furniture. But if you think about it, I really did pretty much the opposite of whatever he said.”

Though Trump said he “got along” with Fauci, the two publicly disagreed and even feuded, with Trump often criticizing Fauci for his mask policies and pandemic-era restrictions, and Fauci criticizing Trump for not taking Covid-19 seriously enough. As for firing Fauci, Trump said, “you can’t win that one.” “If I would’ve done it, I would’ve taken heat. If I didn’t do it, you know, it’s the same story. But I did what I wanted to do, and I made the correct decisions,” he said. If Fauci continues to serve in his position as health adviser to the White House, he and Trump could find themselves working together once again, should the Republican decide to run in 2024, something he continued to tease during his ‘Water Cooler’ interview. But Fauci, Trump concluded at one point, “is a better promoter than he is a doctor.”

According to Trump, key decisions early in the pandemic were made by him and resisted by Fauci, including closing America’s borders to arrivals from China. “He didn’t want to close our country to China. I did it immediately. I didn’t even hesitate. And he said three months later that I saved thousands of lives by doing it,” Trump said. “He didn’t want to close our country to Europe, and I did it.”He also accused Fauci of having become a “radical masker,” having first actively advised Americans not to mask up – a contradiction the expert’s critics have mentioned in light of his shifting stance on protecting public health. Asked what might prevent him from running again in 2024, Trump replied, “Well… I guess a bad call from a doctor or something, right?”

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Australia has fallen
https://twitter.com/i/status/1441768323532816390

 

 

 

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Sep 212021
 
 September 21, 2021  Posted by at 9:05 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  70 Responses »


Salvador Dali The burning giraffe 1937
Dali: “The only difference between immortal Greece and our era is Sigmund Freud who discovered that the human body, which in Greek times was merely neoplatonical, is now filled with secret drawers only to be opened through psychoanalysis.”

 

Is A Covid Jab For Five-year-olds Next? (DM)
Baylor Gets Restraining Order Against COVID Vaccine Skeptic Doc (MS)
And Then Everything Happens at Once (Kunstler)
DELIBERATE Ignorance And Death by ‘Health Care’ (Denninger)
Alabama Hospital Ends COVID Vaccine Requirement for Staff (WJ)
1000s of Navy SEALS Told They Won’t Be Deployed If They Refuse Vaccine (JTN)
Louisiana State University Begins Disenrolling Unvaxxed Students (CR)
Biden Vaccine Mandate For Only Half The Nation’s Teachers? (Hill)
Victoria To Shut Down Construction Industry For Two Weeks (Sky)
New Zealand Covid Quarantine Waiting List Hits 30,000 (G.)
Two Men Arrested Trying To Enter Auckland With ‘Large Amount’ Of KFC (G.)
How Evergrande Became Too Big To Fail (ZH)

 

 

Veritas

 

 

IVM

 

 

 

 

NZ adverse events

 

 

What more can we say?

Is A Covid Jab For Five-year-olds Next? (DM)

Pfizer will push for its Covid vaccine to be approved for children as young as five, the company announced today — as Britain began injecting healthy 12 to 15-year-olds with the jab for the first time. The pharmaceutical giant said its trial of around 2,000 children aged five to 11 found a low dose of the vaccine generated a strong immune response and threw up no safety concerns. American officials are set to review the data in the coming weeks and decide whether to roll out the vaccine to pre-teens in October, with Pfizer also planning to seek authorisation in Europe and the UK. Pfizer’s trial looked at antibody levels in the blood of primary school-aged children to estimate their immune response, unlike larger trials of older participants which compared Covid cases in the vaccine and control groups.


A spokesperson said the company may later disclose vaccine efficacy from the trial but there had not been enough infections yet among the volunteers. Pfizer is also trialling its vaccines on babies as young as six months and expects the results of that study to be available by winter, in a move likely to cause international controversy. While the US is expected to open the vaccination programme to younger groups, at this stage the jab is unlikely to see the same sweeping approval in the UK, which only today started immunising healthy children aged 12 and above. Dr David Elliman, a consultant paediatrician at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, said he ‘cannot imagine’ the jab is approved for primary school-aged children in Britain. A single dose of Pfizer’s vaccine is currently being used on Britons aged 12 to 15 in the hope that the roll-out will prevent further disruptions to their education, even though UK officials say the direct health benefits are only ‘marginal’.

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McCullough.

Baylor Gets Restraining Order Against COVID Vaccine Skeptic Doc (MS)

Although McCullough does not appear to have any personal social media accounts, his broadcast and podcast interviews are tweeted by thousands daily around the world and featured on Facebook pages like “Pandemic Debate.” Some Facebook posts with McCullough’s pronouncements have been labeled as misinformation or removed. Some of his videos remain on YouTube, where they are posted by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a group that believes McCullough is “under fierce attack for speaking out about COVID-19 early treatment and vaccine safety.” McCullough’s March 2021 testimony to the Texas Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee — in which he claimed that COVID-19 patients are being denied what he called proven treatments like hydroxychloroquine — has been viewed more than 3.7 million times on YouTube. The appearance has also been tweeted repeatedly.

Most of McCullough’s interviews and presentations are aggregated on Rumble, an alternative to YouTube. In interviews, McCullough promotes the use of zinc, hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, doxycycline, favipiravir, prednisone, and ivermectin as COVID-19 treatments — based on an outpatient treatment algorithm published in August 2020 in The American Journal of Medicine. The cardiologist was the lead author of that paper, which proposed treating people with COVID-like symptoms whether or not they had confirmed infection. McCullough and his colleagues published a follow-up paper that added colchicine to the mix in Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine. McCullough is editor-in-chief of the journal, but this was not noted in the disclosures.

Similarly, McCullough has not disclosed in his COVID-19 publications or any interviews that he has received consulting fees from a host of pharmaceutical manufacturers that produce COVID-19 drugs and vaccines, including AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. According to CMS’ Open Payments database, McCullough was paid about $300,000 annually by drug companies from 2014 to 2019, mostly for consulting on cardiovascular and diabetes medications. His payments dropped to $169,406.06 in 2020. McCullough appeared on “The Ingraham Angle” on Fox News in December 2020, claiming that sequential, early treatment with “anti-infectives, corticosteroids, and then antithrombotics” could “reduce [COVID-19] hospitalizations by 85% and cut mortality in half.”

He repeated the claim on the Ingraham show in July and agreed with host Laura Ingraham that the vast majority of healthy people would do fine if they got COVID. He also made the claim that 84% of the COVID-19 cases in Israel were in people who had been vaccinated. “So it’s clear, we can’t vaccinate our way out of this,” he said. An Associated Press “fact check” report has pushed back on similar assertions about vaccine data from Israel. In a separate interview posted in June, McCullough called the pandemic the first phase of a bioterrorism event, which was “all about keeping the population in fear and in isolation and preparing them to accept the vaccine, which appears to be phase two of a bioterrorism operation.” In addition, he said, “good doctors are doing unthinkable things like injecting biologically active messenger RNA that produces this pathogenic spike protein into pregnant women.”

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“..with the number of people vaccinated, you have a population supposedly way beyond herd immunity. Who’s getting sick now? Mostly people who are all vaxed up.”

And Then Everything Happens at Once (Kunstler)

This is a very nervous country, and for a good reason: the collective sense of reality has commenced a momentous shift, the compass is spinning wildly, things are shaking loose in the national brain-pan, the gaslight has lost its sheen, and the once-solid narrative is turning to vapor, starting with the unspooling riddles of Covid-19. The numbers don’t add up, starting with the fact that when you combine the official registered Covid cases (people with acquired natural immunity) with the people who already had some kind of immunity from previous life-long coronavirus encounters, with the number of people vaccinated, you have a population supposedly way beyond herd immunity. Who’s getting sick now? Mostly people who are all vaxed up.

Contrary to the behavior and statements of public health officials and politicians, the news is out that the spike proteins produced by the vax’s mRNA genetic reprogramming are toxic agents that create disorder in the major organs and blood vessels. The news is also out, despite strenuous suppression, that early treatment of Covid-19 with a kit of cheap drugs defeats the disease. People must conclude that there is a malevolent purpose behind the suppression of early treatment. They may also conclude that the vaxes are poison. Mandating the vaxes was an easily-predicted tactical blunder. Did “Joe Biden” and company not realize that threatening the livelihoods of a hundred million people might generate a whole lot of anger and resentment? Especially since those people have good reasons to believe the vax is harmful to them? Last week, an FDA advisory panel ruled against distributing mRNA booster shots among the general population over age 16 — with exceptions for the vaguely-defined “high risk” individuals over 65.

In spite of that, Covid czar Dr. Anthony Fauci keeps pushing for boosters. On Sunday, he told NBC’s Jake Tapper: “We’re waiting for data on natural immunity. We know that if you have natural immunity and also get the shot, immunity dramatically increases.” Oh, really? Even though it’s known for sure (i.e., established in science) that natural immunity is way more potent, comprehensive, and permanent than anything the vaccine pretends to offer, while it is becoming clear that the vaxes disable people’s immune system — hence, the impressive number of the vaxed getting sick. Is Dr. Fauci desperate or just plain crazy? The question may be moot, because it looks like he’s out of running-room on his whole crusade, Covid-19, vaxes, authoritative bullshit, and all. The story has fallen apart. It looks an awful lot like the government is trying to harm people health-wise, while it destroys jobs and small business and ruins households financially, and that counter-story is spreading faster now than Covid-19. It’s fair to ask whether all that has destroyed the legitimacy of the people in charge — but that is only one of several issues converging to detonate the people’s faith in their own government.

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“..what sort of possible reason would there be to not autopsy some representative sample of those who die..”

DELIBERATE Ignorance And Death by ‘Health Care’ (Denninger)

Do we have a bunch of people dying of secondary bacterial pneumonia and not Covid-19 at all yet again, nobody is looking because there is a playbook and it does not include looking for and treating anything else if the person has a positive Covid-19 test? The use of steroids is shown to help dampen inflammatory response (and thus is common and helpful in hospitalized Covid patients) but systemic steroids also set up the potential for bacterial colonization by suppressing immune response. Is “The magic PCR 8-ball” saying “POSITIVE!” a barrier to looking for anything else that may be going on? Since nobody is doing autopsies you will never get caught if you don’t bother looking — is that why all these people are dying?

What the hell is going on here? Is it simply that we were stupid with our jabs because we couldn’t come up with a sterilizing vaccine for a coronavirus as there has never been a successful one before so the do something, even if it might harm in the interests of “Warp Speed” won and now we’re screwed and yet nobody can sue over that which, objectively examined, was STUPID? This sort of bull**** would never work absent the PREP Act’s liability shield and the actions of HHS in the first weeks of the pandemic that specifically exempted hospitals, physicians and others from liability provided they use drugs and protocols the FDA and CDC list as approved whether under regular order or EUA — and nothing else. I remind you that not only did Trump’s HHS do that but Biden has refused to rescind it — and he has the power to do so immediately by direct order.

But for that liability shield the relatives of the deceased would order an autopsy be performed and if in fact evidence was present Remedesivir and not Covid-19 killed Granny, or the hospital refused to look for anything else once the PCR test came back positive and in fact she died of bacterial pneumonia they didn’t look for and did not treat everyone involved would be sued to beyond the orbit of Mars. Would we have even gotten beyond publication of the SOLIDARITY trial when it was conclusively demonstrated across a very large data set that statistically speaking it did not keep anyone from dying before that the thrice-failed drug was labeled a four time loser and binned?

Given what we know about this drug and the history of using dangerous and net-harmful pharmaceuticals that our “wonderful” health care system, regulators and others all the way down to doctors and nurses running around with virtue-signaling bull**** on their T-shirts promote and even demand go into patients what sort of possible reason would there be to not autopsy some representative sample of those who die and find out with reasonably medical certainty what’s going on, especially when death rates for those hospitalized in certain areas have more than doubled in the last couple of months?

Other than “health care professionals” being made more self-absorbed in their virtue signaling while the hospital and drug company collects $3,000 per corpse for a drug that actually may have killed them, that is. The math on this is nasty, the basic biological functionality of the kidneys and this drug’s known harm to same strongly suggests serious trouble and yet I cannot find one hospital that has sought to discover the truth via autopsy and either prove or disprove that this drug is in fact killing and killed a huge percentage of those who died in the hospital with Covid-19 — or whether something other than the virus was responsible for their death. If you have said study and autopsies let’s see them. I’ve looked and can’t find any evidence they exist.

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Got a business to run.

Alabama Hospital Ends COVID Vaccine Requirement for Staff (WJ)

Bowing to the threat of legal action against it, one Alabama hospital has rescinded its requirement that all staff be vaccinated against the coronavirus. UAB Hospital in Birmingham said it will wait to learn how the federal vaccine mandates announced by President Joe Biden play out before imposing any requirement, according to WBRC-TV. Last week, the Alabama Center for Law and Liberty said the hospital was violating state law, according to Al.com. The letter said the state’s ban on vaccine passports means government entities cannot require anyone to disclose vaccine information. “As the Supreme Court of Alabama has recognized, UAB Hospital is a state-run hospital,” the letter said.

“Consequently, UAB Hospital may not require its employees to disclose whether they have been vaccinated or not. Likewise, the Alabama Attorney General has examined the law and concluded that ‘no government, school, or business in Alabama may demand that a constituent, or customer, respectively, be vaccinated for COVID-19 or show proof of his or her vaccination for COVID-19,’” the letter said. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall also questioned the legality of the Biden administration mandate, saying he had received complaints about privacy violations, according to the Alabama Political Reporter.

“The Attorney General’s Office has received complaints from healthcare employees who believe their COVID-19 immunization status was obtained by their employers through the ImmPRINT registry for the purpose of verifying compliance with the employer’s immunization requirement,” Marshall said, referring to a statewide immunization database. “In several of those cases, a shared employer specifically acknowledged accessing the state immunization database for this purpose. This privacy violation is unlawful,” he said. Marshall said other health care providers should also take note and not be asking employees about their immunization status.

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Take out the hospitals, take out the army.. Nice going.

1000s of Navy SEALS Told They Won’t Be Deployed If They Refuse Vaccine (JTN)

Several hundred elite Navy SEALs are in danger of being blocked from deploying with their special operator teams by the Pentagon after failing to get a mandatory COVID vaccine, according to a lawyer and pastor counseling them. The number involved in the dispute with the Pentagon amounts to as many as a quarter or more of all active duty SEALs, a loss that could impact military readiness since SEAL teams play an outsized role in modern military operations, their advocates told Just the News. Some SEALS were given a deadline this week for the vaccine and have sought a religious exemption. “My clients include several Navy SEALs who are a small part of a large group of SEALs and other military members who are being asked to choose between their faith and their ability to serve our nation,” said R. Davis Younts, a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force reserves and a JAG lawyer who is representing several of the special operators as a private lawyer.

“They have been told that if they seek a religious accommodation, they likely will no longer be able to serve our country as Navy SEALs and been given an arbitrary deadline to comply with the vaccine mandate. “My clients need time, and we are seeking at least a 90-day extension to vaccine mandate compliance deadline they have been given.” Younts said the Pentagon has put its threat in writing that unvaccinated SEALs, including those who get a religious exemption or already have natural immunity, will be forbidden from deploying with their teams, all but ending their special operator careers. Some were given a deadline of this week, he said. Pastor Jeff Durbin, a prominent anti-abortion activist and evangelical pastor from Arizona who has been ministering to the special operators for several weeks as they navigated the decision, said between a quarter to a third of all active-duty SEALS are involved in the dispute with the Pentagon, including some who already have COVID-19 immunity because they recovered from the disease.

“There are hundreds of Navy SEALs who have not been vaccinated, do not want to take the vaccine, or who have had and recovered from COVID and have the benefit of natural immunity,” Durbin told Just the News. “A large number of SEALS that I am speaking on behalf of are facing the very difficult decision that even with a legitimate religious exemption that is based upon their commitments to Christ, the Gospel, God’s Law, and the Constitution, they will no longer be Navy SEALs.

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Perfectly legal.

Louisiana State University Begins Disenrolling Unvaxxed Students (CR)

Louisiana State University has begun unenrolling students who failed to comply with COVID-19 regulations. As Fox 23 reports, seventy-eight students were told that they had been “resigned” from the school and would be refunded 50 percent of their fees. Louisiana State media relations director Ernie Ballard confirmed on Twitter that the students are “being contacted that they are being unenrolled from the university.” “As a student, you were sent numerous notifications regarding the Entry Test Requirement and reminders to comply,” read an email sent to the students. “Should you want to re-enroll at the university, you must complete the Entry Test Verification Survey. You will then need to email the Office of Academic Affairs… stating your desire to be reinstated and added back to your courses.”

The university’s website states that all students had to “meet entry protocols” before September 10 in order to remain enrolled. The protocols included providing a negative COVID-19 test result no more than five days prior to arrival on campus, proof of a COVID-19 vaccination, or proof of a positive COVID-19 test result no more than 90 days prior to arrival. On Wednesday, Louisiana State University announced that its president, William Tate, was invited by the Biden administration to discuss the school’s COVID-19 regulations. Executives from Disney, Microsoft, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and other organizations were also present.

“It is an honor to present our successful COVID mitigation strategies to President Biden and the COVID Response Team, and we are proud that our multi-tiered approach to protecting our students, faculty and staff has been recognized at such an incredibly high level,” said Tate in the release. “Our strategies have worked, with more than 81 percent of our student body currently vaccinated, a monthly testing protocol that monitors the presence of the virus on our campus, wastewater testing that allows us to intervene before an outbreak occurs, and a vaccine/testing mandate at Tiger Stadium to keep our fans safe, too.”

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“..even if bizarre technicalities of the agency’s authority across states drastically limits coverage for schools.”

Biden Vaccine Mandate For Only Half The Nation’s Teachers? (Hill)

Biden recently announced forthcoming federal safety regulations mandating vaccines against COVID-19, or weekly testing, for an estimated 100 million Americans. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will draft the regulations over the coming weeks, which apply to employers with more than 100 employees. For one key group, the nation’s 3.5 million public school teachers, Biden’s vaccine mandate will cover only half. Why half? Because Biden’s only politically feasible path forward for this mandate was through OSHA, even if bizarre technicalities of the agency’s authority across states drastically limits coverage for schools. Counterintuitively, the way OSHA laws define “employer” means the new regulations will only apply to school districts with more than 100 employees in states that are not subject to direct oversight by OSHA.

Within the 24 states under OSHA’s direct jurisdiction, the term “employer” explicitly excludes state and local government employees, including public school teachers and staff. State and local government employees in those states — including 47 percent of the nation’s public school staff — would be subject to state-issued mandates only. State and local government employees in the remaining 26 states are outside of OSHA’s direct enforcement authority because they have OSHA-approved state occupational safety and health plans. However, those states’ plans must be “at least as effective” as OSHA standards, and they must include all state and local government employees. Ironically, it will be these states that, on paper, have direct control over their own health and safety regulations that will be subject to the forthcoming federal mandate.

How far reaching will this mandate be for public schools? Very far reaching, or not at all, depending on the state. Individual schools often have fewer than 100 employees, but teachers and staff are employees of school districts. In the 26 states covered by “state plans,” over 95 percent of public school employees work for districts with more than 100 employees. Half of the nation’s teachers work in those states, and will be required to get vaccinated or submit to weekly testing. The mandate would cover no public school teachers in the remaining 24 states. Biden’s OSHA mandate will almost certainly be challenged in the courts, but chances are good that it will stand. The Federal legislation that created OSHA gives the Department of Labor authority to issue an “emergency temporary standard” (ETS), and the Biden administration issued one this June aimed at protecting healthcare workers from COVID. So far, that rule has withstood opposition.

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This ain’t over.

“The closure is estimated to cost the industry $455 million a day with the two-week shut down meaning the sector will lose $6.3 billion in revenue.”

Victoria To Shut Down Construction Industry For Two Weeks (Sky)

The Victorian construction industry will be shut down for two weeks, in what has been described as a “rest”, following the protests over mandatory vaccination on Monday. Work sites across Melbourne, Ballarat, Geelong, Mitchell Shire and the Surf Coast were closed from midnight on Monday in a bid to slow COVID-19 transmission, reduce movement and allow time for the industry to adapt to new changes. There will be minimal tradies permitted on sites for safety with only some projects given an exemption to continue work. Discussions went well into the night, with more details to be provided during Tuesday’s COVID-19 press conference. State Treasurer Tim Pallas confirmed the news about two hours before the shutdown came into force, citing “multiple outbreaks linked to work sites” and non-compliance within the sector.


“We’ve been clear: if you don’t follow the rules, we won’t hesitate to take action – we have seen widespread noncompliance across the industry and that’s why we’re taking necessary steps to protect every single Victorian,” he said. “We put the industry on notice just a week ago, we have seen appalling behaviour on site and on our streets, and now we’re acting decisively and without hesitation.” The government will work with the industry in the coming weeks to make sure workplaces are COVID-safe and to ensure workers have had at least one COVID-19 vaccine. The closure is estimated to cost the industry $455 million a day with the two-week shut down meaning the sector will lose $6.3 billion in revenue.

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Want to go home? Try next year.

New Zealand Covid Quarantine Waiting List Hits 30,000 (G.)

Overseas New Zealanders trying to return home are facing a queue tens of thousands of people long, as the country reopens bookings to cross the border. The country’s borders have been strictly controlled since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic – only citizens, permanent residents and a handful of essential workers can enter, and all of them must make a booking to spend two weeks in government-controlled quarantine (MIQ). Demand for those spaces has vastly outpaced demand, with some hopeful returnees spending weeks refreshing the site, employing “MIQ assistants” or using bots to assist them secure a space. The scale of the problem facing those trapped overseas has now been revealed for the first time, as the government opened a “lobby” system for booking quarantine spaces, showing where people are in the queue.


Many took to social media to express their frustration posting screenshots showing thousands of people ahead of them. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment confirmed that 31,800 people were in the queue on Monday, and 5,364 of them secured vouchers for rooms. The vouchers were released at 9am and all were gone within two and a half hours. “I know many thousands of people missed out on vouchers in today’s release,” the joint head of MIQ, Megan Main, said in a statement. “I want to reassure people that there are still several thousand vouchers still to be released through to the end of the year. They will get other chances. There will be another large release of a few thousand vouchers early next week and there may also be another smaller one later this week.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1438355670680539144

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“a car boot-full of Kentucky fried chicken”
“at least three buckets of chicken”

“..up to 10 tubs of coleslaw..”

Two Men Arrested Trying To Enter Auckland With ‘Large Amount’ Of KFC (G.)

Two men have been arrested after police said they found them with a car boot-full of Kentucky fried chicken and over $100,000 in cash as they tried to cross the border into Auckland despite New Zealand’s strict Covid-19 lockdown. The men were arrested after allegedly trying to flee from police near the Auckland border. When their car was searched, police said they found a large quantity of KFC, as well as the cash and a number of empty ounce bags. The arrest struck a chord with New Zealanders – especially Aucklanders, who have spent a month in a strict level four lockdown that does not allow restaurants to open or residents to order takeaway food.


In such an environment, fast food can take on the aura of a high-value illicit substance. Last week, a man was charged by police after posting a social media video of crossing the Auckland boundary in search of McDonald’s. After the KFC arrest, a police spokesperson said “officers noticed a suspicious looking vehicle travelling on a gravel road, and upon seeing the police car, the vehicle did a U-turn and sped off trying to evade police. “The vehicle was searched and police located the cash, alongside empty ounce bags and a large amount of takeaways.” Close examination of the police evidence photos revealed at least three buckets of chicken, up to 10 tubs of coleslaw, and an undisclosed quantity of fries.

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Pon Zi.

How Evergrande Became Too Big To Fail (ZH)

For the past two months, hundreds of people have been gathering at the 43-floor Zhuoyue Houhai Center in Shenzhen, where China Evergrande Group’s headquarters occupy 20 floors. They held banners demanding repayment of overdue loans and financial products. Police with riot shields had to be on site to keep things under control. The demonstrators are construction workers at the property developer’s housing projects, suppliers providing construction materials and investors in the company’s wealth management products (WMPs). From paint suppliers to decoration and construction companies, Evergrande owes more than 800 billion yuan ($124 billion) due within one year, while it has only a 10th of that amount of cash on hand. As of the end of June, Evergrande had nearly 2 trillion yuan ($309 billion) of debts on its books, plus an unknown amount of off-books debt.

The property giant is on the verge of a dramatic debt restructuring or even bankruptcy, many institutions believe. A bankruptcy would amount to a financial tsunami, or as some analysts put it, “China’s Lehman Brothers.” The venerable American investment bank’s 2008 collapse helped trigger a global financial crisis. Certainly Evergrande, one of China’s three biggest developers, has a giant footprint in China. Its liabilities are equivalent to about 2% of China’s GDP. It has more than 200,000 employees, who themselves and many of their families have invested billions of yuan in the company’s WMPs. The company has more than 800 projects under construction, more than half of them halted due to its cash crunch. There are thousands of upstream and downstream companies that rely on Evergrande for business, creating more than 3.8 million jobs every year.

[..] Over the years, Evergrande has faced liquidity pressure several times, but every time it dodged the bullet. This time, the crisis of cash flow and trust is unprecedented. Evergrande shares in Hong Kong plummeted to a 10-year low. Its onshore bonds fell to what investors call defaulted bond level. All three global credit rating companies and one domestic rating company have downgraded Evergrande’s debt. For many years, Chinese developers were driven by the “three carriages” — high turnover, high gross profit and high leverage. Developers use borrowed money to acquire land, collect presale cash before projects even start, and then borrow more money to invest in new projects. In 2018, Evergrande reported record profit of 72 billion yuan, more than double the previous year’s net. But behind that, it spent more than 100 billion yuan a year on interest.

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Josh Steimle
@joshsteimle

Speaking with nurses at the hospital I’m at in AZ. They’re not worried about covid, they’re worried about what happens when half the nurses at this hospital quit in a few days when their vaccine mandate goes into effect. None of the nurses are blaming the unvaccinated.

 

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime; donate with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

Feb 212020
 


Jack Delano Cafe at truck drivers’ service station on U.S. 1, Washington DC 1940

 

Coronavirus Kills Young Wuhan Doctor, 100s Infected In China’s Prisons (G.)
Whopping Rise In Infections At Beijing Hospital Puts Capital On Alert (GT)
South Korea Coronavirus Cases Jump To 156 (SCMP)
South Korea Designates Daegu, Cheongdo As ‘Special Care Zones’ (Yonhap)
Woman Returning From Iran 6th Case Of COVID19 in British Columbia (NP)
Australia Cruise Evacuees Test Positive Only After Arriving Home (G.)
China Says January-February Trade To Take Sharp Hit From Virus Outbreak (R.)
China Supply Chains Pummelled From All Sides (SCMP)
NYT Secret Sources Claim Russia Backing Trump Re-Election (ZH)
‘Disgusted’ Judge Jails Roger Stone (BBC)
Defense Lawyers Say They Will Seek French Asylum For Assange (AP)
Parts Of UK Have One Airbnb Listing For Every Four Properties (G.)

 

 

The virus has started spreading in places other than Wuhan and Hubei. Clusters are forming. It looks like a perfectly normal pattern.

Cases 76,790 (+ 1,033 from yesterday’s 75,757).

Yesterday’s increase was “only” 560

Deaths 2,247 (+ 117 from yesterday)

• Large increase in South Korea cases. Cities of Chengdo, Daegu under quarantine (“special care”)

• Large increase in cases in Chinese prisons (or did they start testing just now?)

• Positive case in British Columbia, visited only Iran

• Positive cases in Australia from cruise ship, confirmed only after arrival

 

 

From Worldometer:

 

 

A second graph from Worldometer:

 

 

 

 

Groups of people in close proximity. What’s the alternative in the case of prisons and hospitals?

Coronavirus Kills Young Wuhan Doctor, 100s Infected In China’s Prisons (G.)

A 29-year-old doctor in Wuhan has become the latest victim of the coronavirus as China reported infections in prisons in three provinces, as well as clusters in Beijing. Wuhan health authorities said Peng Yinhua, who worked in respiratory and critical care at Jiangxia district’s First People’s Hospital, had contracted the infection while working on the “front line”. Peng, who had been featured in state media previously for delaying his wedding to continue working, was admitted to hospital on 25 January. His condition dramatically worsened by 30 January, when he was sent to the Jinyintan hospital in Wuhan for emergency treatment. He died on Thursday at 9.50pm, according to a statement from his hospital.

[..] more than 500 cases have been confirmed in prisons across China. On Friday, Hubei province revised its number of newly confirmed cases to add 220 infections from the province’s prison system. Officials did not say when those infections took place but said that a total of 271 cases, of which 51 had already been counted, had been diagnosed. Of those, 230 were in Wuhan’s women’s prison. The head of the women’s prison has been dismissed. In Rencheng prison in the eastern province of Shandong, 200 prisoners and seven guards tested positive as of Thursday, after infections among correctional officers were first detected last week.

At Shilifeng prison in the southern province of Zhejiang, a total of 34 prisoners have been confirmed to have contracted the virus, including 27 new cases as of Thursday. According to state media, two prison officials have been fired over the incident in Shilifeng. In Shandong, seven prison officials as well as the party secretary for the province’s department of justice have been removed. Officials said 2,077 people in Rencheng prison had now been tested. Authorities said they were setting up a specialist hospital and sending inspection teams to other prisons and detention centres.

Meanwhile in Beijing, 36 people at Fuxing hospital have tested positive for the virus, prompting renewed anxiety about the virus as residents in the capital were slowly returning to work. The hospital had already been partly under lockdown after cases there were confirmed earlier this month. At another hospital, Peking University People’s Hospital, three people were confirmed to have contracted the virus, according to state media. The three patients are family members. One had been hospitalised for kidney problems and may have contracted the illness when her daughter and son-in-law, who had recently travelled to Xinjiang, visited her in hospital.

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Global Times is an “official” paper. So this is the news that’s allowed to spread.

Whopping Rise In Infections At Beijing Hospital Puts Capital On Alert (GT)

A central Beijing hospital reported 36 novel coronavirus cases as of Thursday, a sharp increase from nine cases from two weeks earlier, leading many to fear a potential explosion of infection numbers in the capital. Among the infected at Fuxing Hospital in Xicheng district were eight medical workers, nine cleaning staff and 19 patients along with their families, the Beijing government’s leading group for COVID-19 prevention and control work said at a press conference on Thursday. “Considering 36 confirmed cases were found in Fuxing Hospital, it is more about one case of multiple infections rather than an epidemic of the whole area,” Wang Guangfa, director of the department of respiratory and critical care medicine at Peking University First Hospital, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Another major hospital, Peking University People’s Hospital, on Thursday for the first time reported confirmed cases of infection. Three patients at the hospital were confirmed to have the novel coronavirus on February 17 and were sent to designated medical institutions for treatment, authorities at the press conference said. A total of 164 people including medical staff at Peo-ple’s Hospital who have had close contact with the patients have been put under close medical observation. The hospital also conducted coronavirus tests on 251 personnel and nine environments, and the results were all negative. The hospital has sterilized places that the patients may have touched, and hemodialysis rooms were sterilized when each shift was completed.


The three patients are from one family. Tian, a patient in the geriatrics department, had been hospitalized for six months for a kidney illness and had to undergo hemodialysis regularly. After her daughter and son-in-law came back from Xinjiang, they visited Tian separately. The couple became infected on February 17.

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Clusters ‘R’ Us. Cruise ships, prisons, hospitals, and cults.

South Korea Coronavirus Cases Jump To 156 (SCMP)

South Korea confirmed 52 more cases of novel coronavirus infection on Friday as the number of infections linked to a religious sect in Daegu spiked, making it the worst-infected country outside China. Thirty-nine of the new cases were linked to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in the southern city of Daegu, the Korean Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said, taking the country’s overall figure to 156. More than 80 members of Shincheonji have now been infected, starting with a 61-year-old woman who developed a fever on February 10 but attended at least four church services before being diagnosed.


The mayor of Daegu – South Korea’s fourth-biggest city, with a population of over 2.5 million – has advised residents to stay indoors, while access to a major US base in the area has been restricted. Residents wore masks to go about their daily activities on Friday, but the streets remained active. Outside the Shincheonji church in the city, Seo Dong-min, 24, said: “With so many confirmed cases here I’m worried that Daegu will become the second Wuhan,” referring to the Chinese city where the virus first emerged. Shincheonji is often accused of being a cult and claims its founder, Lee Man-hee, has donned the mantle of Jesus Christ and will take 144,000 people with him to heaven on the day of judgment.

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There’s a new term in town. Quarantine sounds so negative, we’ll go for “Special Care” instead.

South Korea Designates Daegu, Cheongdo As ‘Special Care Zones’ (Yonhap)

South Korea designated the southeastern cities of Daegu and Cheongdo as “special care zones” over infectious disease Friday, as a cluster of new coronavirus cases has been reported there in recent days. Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun vowed government efforts to take “strong and swift” measures to prevent further spread of the virus, calling the latest development an “emergency” situation. “The government will take special measures by declaring the Daegu and Cheongdo areas as special care zones as a sudden rise in confirmed cases was reported there,” Chung said at the start of a pan-government meeting over the virus.


The country confirmed its first death of a COVID-19 patient in Cheongdo on Thursday, with the total number of confirmed cases in the country surpassing 100 since its first outbreak on Jan. 20. Concerns about community spread have mounted as 70 new cases were reported this week in Daegu, the country’s fourth-largest city and home to 2.4 million people, and its surrounding North Gyeongsang Province. “It is urgent to find people who have contacted infected people and cure patients,” Chung said. He said the government is ready to “fully” support necessary resources, including sickbeds, health workers and equipment. The government has so far focused on curbing infections coming from outside the country. From now on, the government will further prioritize preventing the virus from spreading locally,” Chung said.

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She travelled only to Iran. Which announced its first cases yesterday. But how many are there really?

Woman Returning From Iran 6th Case Of COVID19 in British Columbia (NP)

A sixth case of the novel coronavirus has been diagnosed in British Columbia after a woman in her 30s returned to the province this week from travel in Iran. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Thursday the woman’s presumptive case is relatively mild and a number of her close contacts have already been put in isolation. She said health officials are working on a detailed investigation of the woman’s travel and when her symptoms started to help determine if they need to notify those who travelled with her on the same aircraft. Henry said the woman lives in the Fraser Health region, which is located east of Vancouver.

“This one, clearly, is a bit unusual in that the travel to Iran is something new,” she told a news conference at the B.C. legislature. “Iran has recently started reporting cases and we’ll be working with our national and international colleagues to better understand where she may have been exposed to this virus prior to her return to Canada.” It is a presumptive case of the virus until positive test results come back from samples sent to the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg. Henry said the woman went to a local hospital concerned about influenza-like symptoms. She was examined and released, Henry added. “My understanding, from initial discussions with the clinician who saw her as well as the patient herself, was they did think it was influenza,” Henry said.


She said the woman’s novel coronavirus diagnosis was surprising, primarily because of her travel only to Iran. “That could be an indicator there’s more widespread transmission,” said Henry. “This is what we call an indicator or sentinel event. A sentinel event means it’s a marker that something many be going on broader than what we expect. She said B.C. has reported the case to the Public Health Agency of Canada and it will also be reported to the WHO. Henry said the diagnosis shows B.C. has a robust system for identifying people who have the virus. “We still believe the risk in Canada and here in B.C. is low,” she said.

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As I said: false negatives is the big story going forward. We need to know more about the tests. Are they all the same? Is there an international standard? The topic is far too vague so far.

Australia Cruise Evacuees Test Positive Only After Arriving Home (G.)

Two Australians evacuated from the coronavirus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise liner in Japan have tested positive to the disease in Darwin. The two, one young person and one elderly, remain well and are being housed in a separate isolation unit inside the Manigurr-ma village outside Darwin, Australia’s chief medical officer said Friday morning. Public health authorities from their home states were organising medical transfers for the patients and their partners. Australia’s chief medical officer, Prof Brendan Murphy, said all of the 164 Australian citizens and permanent residents evacuated from the Diamond Princess on Thursday, and flown to Darwin, were health screened before boarding the Qantas flight out of Japan. None of those allowed to board returned positive tests or displayed any symptoms of the disease.


The passengers were screened again when they landed in Darwin and six showed minor respiratory symptoms and fevers. They were isolated from others in the group. Four of those patients have returned negative tests. “Given there was continued evidence of spread of infection on board the Diamond Princess in recent days, the development of some positive cases after return to Australia is not unexpected, despite all of the health screening before departure.” Murphy said. “Fellow passengers and crew on the Qantas flight which returned people trapped on the Diamond Princess can be assured all measures were taken to ensure their protection.” Murphy said there was no public health risk from the new infections. “This development poses no risk to the broader community.”

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How about we call it zero percent?

China Says January-February Trade To Take Sharp Hit From Virus Outbreak (R.)

China’s exports and imports will fall sharply in January and February as the coronavirus outbreak severely disrupts activity in the world’s second-largest economy, the commerce ministry said on Friday, adding more measures are being studied to support companies. “The outbreak has posed severe challenges to China’s current foreign trade development,” Li Xingqian, director of the ministry’s foreign trade department, told a news conference that was held online. “We expect January-February import and export growth to decline sharply,” he said, citing delays in business reopenings and logistics issues in addition to seasonal holiday factors.

With transport restrictions still in place in many parts of the country to contain the spread of the virus, many companies are struggling to resume production due to a shortage of workers and raw materials, while others can’t get their finished products out. Parts shortages are starting to cascade through supply chains worldwide. China is the world’s largest exporter of goods, with shipments accounting for nearly 20% of China’s gross domestic product (GDP). Analysts forecast the supply and demand shocks from the crisis could cut first-quarter GDP growth by up to half from 6% in the previous quarter. The outbreak has also brought considerable pressure on the country’s services trade, especially in the tourism and transport sectors, said Xian Guoyi, director of the ministry’s department of trade in services and commercial services.


To cushion the impact on companies, the ministry is speeding up a study of new fiscal, tax, financial, insurance measures to further support companies with other government entities, said Chu Shijia, director of the ministry’s comprehensive department. He did not give details. The ministry expects foreign companies in most parts of the country to resume production by the end of February. It has advised 32 South Korean auto parts companies in eastern Shandong province to fully resume work before Feb. 15, said Zong Changqing, director of the ministry’s department for foreign investment.

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It’s the entire economy, not just supply chains.

China Supply Chains Pummelled From All Sides (SCMP)

Choked off from suppliers, workers, and logistics networks, China’s manufacturing base is facing a multitude of unprecedented challenges, as coronavirus containment efforts hamper factories’ efforts to reopen. Many of those that have been granted permission to resume operations face critical shortages of staff, with huge swathes of China still under lockdown and some local workers afraid to leave their homes. Others cannot access the materials needed to make their products, and even if they could, the shutdown of shops and marketplaces around China means demand has been sapped. Those who manage to assail the challenges, meanwhile, have found that trucking, shipping and freight services are thin on the ground, as China’s famed logistical machine also struggles to find workers and navigate provincial border checkpoints that have popped up across the country.

“It really is death by a thousand cuts,” said John Evans, managing director of Tractus Asia, a company that has 20 years’ experience helping firms move to China, but which over the past two has had more enquiries from businesses looking to leave. “This is a black swan event and I don’t think we’ve seen anything like it in recent history, in terms of the economic and supply chain impact in China and across the globe.” Australian company B&R Enclosures, which makes units for protecting industrial equipment, said the outbreak has cut it off from suppliers and delayed the return of its migrant workers from their hometowns, following the extended Lunar New Year break. Only 15 per cent have come back, B&R China general manager Marko Dimitrijevic said.


“All supply chains are having trouble, it’s very serious,” he said. “Even if we declare force majeure [to avoid paying hefty damages for late deliveries], we will not be delivering and that means many of us will risk losing our customers. For many companies, this could mean bankruptcy.” Dimitrijevic said he had to charter special buses to transport his workers from other parts of China back to Suzhou, a city west of Shanghai. When they returned, he had to book hotel rooms to house them for another 14 days in quarantine as their neighbours “will not let them go home”. He was paying about 350 yuan (US$50) in accommodation for each employee. [..] Based on the Baidu Migration Index, analysts at Nomura estimated that only 25.6 per cent of migrant workers had returned to work across 15 sample cities by February 19, compared to 101.3 per cent a year earlier.

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Is this America’s own virus, or is it just Groundhog Day? The damage done to the country by this entirely false narrative will take a very long time to heal.

And it’s cross-platform, everyone’s in on the delusion.

NYT Secret Sources Claim Russia Backing Trump Re-Election (ZH)

The New York Times would like everyone to know that if Trump is re-elected in November, it wasn’t because of his accomplishments, the economy, or packed stadiums full of dedicated supporters. Nope – Putin’s at it again! In an unbelievable Thursday report, the Times claims that five anonymous sources leaked the details of a Feb. 13 briefing to House Lawmakers by intelligence officials warning that Russia has already been interfering in the 2020 election. So – the Kremlin wants the president who, according to political analyst Ian Bremmer, has been tough on Russia – instead of, say, Bernie Sanders – the Democratic socialist who honeymooned in Moscow and would likely crash the US economy, thus weakening it, with his draconian socialist policies.

The Times report gets better; the House briefing reportedly angered President Trump so much that he berated outgoing director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, and that he was particularly irritated that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) was included in the session. The report implies that Maguire was replaced with pro-Trump ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, as a result of the incident.

“During the briefing to the House Intelligence Committee, Mr. Trump’s allies challenged the conclusions, arguing that Mr. Trump has been tough on Russia and strengthened European security. Some intelligence officials viewed the briefing as a tactical error, saying that had the official who delivered the conclusion spoken less pointedly or left it out, they would have avoided angering the Republicans. That intelligence official, Shelby Pierson, is an aide to Mr. Maguire who has a reputation of delivering intelligence in somewhat blunt terms. The president announced on Wednesday that he was replacing Mr. Maguire with Richard Grenell, the ambassador to Germany and long an aggressively vocal Trump supporter”. -New York Times

Moments after the Times report was published, CNN immediately picked it up for their dozens of viewers.

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“US intelligence officials have concluded the messages were stolen by Russian hackers.”

It’s all based on a big fat lie. The lies Stone told about it vanish in comparison. He’s being used to keep a false narrative alive.

Is it normal for a judge to be “disgusted”, or is this just a way to avoid talking about what actually happened?

Also, she sentences him pending a new trial request. that she has to decide on?!

‘Disgusted’ Judge Jails Roger Stone (BBC)

A judge has expressed “disgust” at US President Donald Trump’s former adviser Roger Stone, as she sentenced him to 40 months in prison. Stone, 67, was found guilty in November on seven counts of lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering. The judge said Stone threatened her, but Mr Trump said he should be cleared. He is the sixth Trump aide convicted on charges linked to a justice department inquiry that found Russian attempts to boost Mr Trump’s 2016 campaign. Stone was found guilty of lying to the House Intelligence Committee about his attempts to contact Wikileaks, the website that released damaging emails about Mr Trump’s 2016 Democratic election rival Hillary Clinton. US intelligence officials have concluded the messages were stolen by Russian hackers.


Stone will serve two years’ probation after his custodial sentence. He has also been fined $20,000 and must serve 250 hours of community service. He will not have to report to prison until the judge rules on a pending defence appeal. Stone’s sentence fell short of an initial seven- to nine-year recommendation from prosecutors. Speaking in her Washington DC court on Thursday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Stone had engaged in “threatening and intimidating conduct” towards her. She said Stone “knew exactly what he was doing” when he posted an image on social media last year of a gun’s crosshairs next to her head.

Stone had claimed he thought the crosshairs were a Celtic cross. “This is intolerable to the rule of justice,” she said. “The court cannot just sit idly by and say ‘that’s just Roger being Roger.'” Judge Jackson also said Stone “was not prosecuted for standing up for the president, he was prosecuted for covering up for the president”. She continued: “The dismay and disgust at the defendant’s belligerence should transcend party.” “At his core, Mr Stone is an insecure person who craves and recklessly pursues attention.” She said the politics surrounding the case did not inform her ultimate decision. “The truth still exists. The truth still matters,” she said.

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Interesting twist. They must have had at least some communication with Paris before going public with this.

Defense Lawyers Say They Will Seek French Asylum For Assange (AP)

Julian Assange’s European defense team said Thursday it will try to seek asylum in France for the Wikileaks founder, whose full hearings for extradition to the United States on spying charges start next week in London. French team member Eric Dupont-Moretti said Assange’s case placed at stake “the fate and the status of all journalists. “We consider the situation is sufficiently serious that our duty is to talk about it” with French President Emmanuel Macron, the lawyer said. He was one of a team of lawyers lined up at a Paris news conference to explain why they view the case against Assange as unfair, citing his poor health and alleged violations of his rights while in jail in London.

French members of the team said they have been working on a “concrete demand” for Macron to grant Assange asylum in France, where he has children and where Wikileaks was present at its founding. “It is not an ordinary demand,” lawyer Antoine Vey said, noting that Assange is not on French soil. Baltasar Garzon, the Spanish coordinator of Assange’s team, reiterated his client’s plan to claim that the Trump administration offered him a pardon. The alleged condition was that Assange must agree to say that Russia was not involved in leaking Democratic National Committee emails during the 2016 U.S. election campaign. Garzon insisted that Assange was “pressured by the Trump administration” but resisted and “the order was given to demand the extradition of Julian Assange,” he said.


The White House has firmly denied the claim. However, Garzon said that both testimony and “documentary proof” of the claim will be offered to the court at the full hearing that opens Monday. [..] Assange, who is Australian, has received backing from numerous quarters. The council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights, Dunja Mijatovic, added a voice of opposition Thursday, citing both concerns over Assange’s eventual treatment in a U.S. prison and the impact on press freedoms were he to be extradited. “I think this is one of the most important and significant political trials of this generation, in fact longer,’ senior Labour Party official John McDonnell said in London. The father of Assange, an Australian, insisted at the Paris news conference that his son was not a criminal. “I can’t for the life of me understand why he’s still in prison,” said John Shipton.

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Airbnb kills cities and communities. And we just let them. Homes are for people to live in. Any other us comes far far behind that.

Parts Of UK Have One Airbnb Listing For Every Four Properties (G.)

Airbnb has become so prevalent in Great Britain that some parts of the country now have one listing for every four properties, prompting concern that the rapid expansion in short-term lets is “out of control” and depriving communities of much-needed homes. Exclusive analysis by the Guardian identified Airbnb hotspots in both rural areas and inner-city neighbourhoods, where the ratio of active Airbnb listings to homes was more than 20 times higher than the average across England, Scotland and Wales. The highest incidence of Airbnbs was in Edinburgh Old Town, where there were 29 active listings for every 100 properties.


The north-west of Skye had the second-highest concentration, at 25 listings per 100 properties, including a seafront bothy (£50 a night), a modern cottage clad in corrugated tin (£190) and an isolated cottage with ocean and mountain views (£160). In England, the area with the highest rate of Airbnb lets was Woolacombe, Georgeham and Croyde, in Devon, with 23 listings for every 100 properties. In one area of the Lake District: Windermere North, Ambleside and Langdales, there were 19 listings per 100 properties. Local MP Tim Farron described the growth of Airbnb in an area already dominated by second home owners as “a really disturbing issue”.

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Jan 242020
 


John Vachon Window in home of unemployed steelworker, Ambridge, PA 1941

 

Chinese Hospitals In Chaos As Lockdown Spreads To Affect 33m People (G.)
Four ‘Generations’ Of Spread Seen With Virus In China (STAT)
Cases of China’s Viral Pneumonia Surge Exponentially (ET)
Wuhan Virus Will Shape China’s Smart City Vision (R.)
Doomsday Clock Moves Within 100 Seconds Of Midnight (NPR)
The House Impeachment Case Vs The Law of Attempts (Turley)
Fed’s Repos Drop to Oct Level, T-Bills Surge, But MBS Fall (WS)
Turkey Demands Greece “Demilitarize” 16 Aegean Islands (ZH)
Assange May Not Get First Amendment Protection (AAP)
Go to Gaza and Cry ‘Never Again’ (Haaretz)
America’s Radioactive Secret (Rolling Stone)

 

 

Today is the first day of the Lunar New Year. 450 million Chinese plan to travel to see family. 41 million are now under lockdown. 850 cases of “coronavirus” have been confirmed. 26 people have died, the elderly and vulnerable. But there are many reports of actual numbers being much higher.

Only 23.8% of Chinese doctors have a bachelor degree or higher. There are 60,000 licensed general practitioners in a country of 1.3 billion people.

Meanwhile, the Chinese “eat everything on four legs except for the table”.

“..the race to build a new 1,000-bed hospital in just six days began on Thursday night..”

Chinese Hospitals In Chaos As Lockdown Spreads To Affect 33m People (G.)

Hospitals in the Chinese city of Wuhan have been thrown into chaos and the movement of about 33 million people has been restricted by an unprecedented and indefinite lockdown imposed to halt the spread of the deadly new coronavirus. At least ten cities in central Hubei province have been shut down in an effort to stop the virus, which by Friday had killed 26 people across China and affected more than 800. The World Health Organisation described the outbreak as an emergency for China, but stopped short of declaring it to be a public health emergency of international concern.

In the city of Wuhan, where most cases have occurred, the race to build a new 1,000-bed hospital in just six days began on Thursday night. Diggers and bulldozers beginning work on the site of a holiday complex once intended for local workers, according to Chinese media. The hospital, which is due to open next week, is similar to those established in Beijing in 2003, when the city faced a Sars outbreak that killed almost 800 people and reached nearly 30 countries. During that crisis, 7,000 workers in Beijing built the Xiaotangshan hospital in its northern suburbs in just a week. Within two months, it treated one-seventh of all the country’s Sars patients, the Changjiang Daily said.

“It created a miracle in the history of medical science,” the paper added. It said the new Wuhan hospital “is to solve the shortage of existing medical resources”. People who sought treatment in Wuhan this week told the Guardian they had been turned away from hospitals, which have been inundated with patients. Facilities are reportedly running out of beds and diagnostic kits for patients who present with fever-like symptoms. [..] A series of additional measures were announced on Friday to prevent the spread of the virus, including a call from The People’s Daily, the Chinese Communist party’s main newspaper, for people who have recently been to Wuhan to isolate themselves at home, even if they don’t have symptoms. The cities of Wuhan, Ezhou, Huanggang, Chibi, Qianjiang, Zhijiang, Jingmen and Xiantao have all been placed under lockdown.

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It’s advanced up to a point where it can no longer be ignored. That’s China for you.

Four ‘Generations’ Of Spread Seen With Virus In China (STAT)

Emerging data on the new virus circulating in China adds to evidence there is sustained human-to-human transmission in the city of Wuhan, and that a single case was able to ignite a chain of other infections. The World Health Organization reported Thursday that there have been at least four generations of spread of the new virus, provisionally called 2019-nCoV, meaning a person who contracted the virus from a non-human source — presumably an animal — has infected a person, who infected another person, who then infected another person. It’s not clear from a WHO statement whether transmission petered out after that point, or whether further generations of cases from those chains are still to come.

The WHO said the current estimate of the reproductive rate of the virus — the number of people, on average, that each infected person infects — is between 1.4 and 2.5. To stop an outbreak, the reproduction number has to be brought below one. “That gives me no comfort at all that anything that’s happening right now is going to bring this under control any time soon,” Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, said of the data the WHO released. “And I think that as long as the virus is circulating in China as it appears to be, the rest of the world is going to be constantly pinged with it, as a result of people traveling to and from China in the near future,” he said.

To date, nine other countries, including the United States, have diagnosed cases of this new illness in tourists who traveled to Wuhan or residents who returned from there. Dr. Allison McGeer, who has firsthand experience with outbreaks caused by coronaviruses — the family to which 2019-nCoV belongs — also expressed concern about prospects for containing the outbreak. McGeer, a researcher at the Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, noted that the city’s SARS outbreak took off when fourth-generation cases were infected in the city’s hospitals. McGeer contracted SARS during that outbreak.

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No place in the hospital.

Cases of China’s Viral Pneumonia Surge Exponentially (ET)

It started with a light cough. He burped constantly, and complained of shortness of breath. Family members thought it was no big deal. The doctor said he seemed to have heart problems and suggested him to stay in the hospital. He appeared healthy except for a minor infection in one lung area. Two weeks later, he was dead, with both lungs infected and organ failure. His doctors at the Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital determined the cause of death as “unknown pneumonia.” It was days before Chinese health authorities identified the cause of the new viral pneumonia as 2019-nCoV, a coronavirus that first emerged in December in the commercial city of Wuhan, his home city.

As of press time, the virus has since sickened more than 540 people across China and around the world, with confirmed cases in South Korea, Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United States. Much remains unclear about the virus that has sparked fear around the world and cast a cloud over the upcoming Lunar New Year festivities, a major traditional holiday when millions of Chinese travel to their hometowns or go on vacations abroad. Experts say the mass movement of people could accelerate the disease’s spread. The virus has already spread across the country to 17 provinces and regions.

To the man’s family, his death is far from the end of their sorrows. Among his relatives, five have fallen ill: one is under emergency rescue at a Wuhan hospital; his niece and nephew-in-law also have lung infections but doctors turned them away, saying there’s no space for them at the hospital; two others are also experiencing pneumonia-like symptoms. Buying one dose of medicine means waiting for hours in line. His sister, currently in Norway, told The Epoch Times that she was being “silenced” by Chinese authorities and not allowed to post anything about his death. The man is not listed on the authorities’ official death toll, because he did not show any signs of fever, his sister said. She has requested anonymity for fear of reprisal.

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Never let a good crisis go to waste. Surveillance is good for you!

Wuhan Virus Will Shape China’s Smart City Vision (R.)

An epidemic will shape China’s vision of intelligent cities. The metropolis of Wuhan, with a population of 11 million, is under unprecedented quarantine as a deadly virus, believed to have originated there, spreads around the world ahead of the Lunar New Year when hundreds of millions of Chinese travel. Big investments in healthcare, artificial intelligence, and even surveillance could help curb future pandemics and cushion some institutional weaknesses. [..] The future may be less grim: President Xi Jinping has pushed to upgrade the country’s rickety healthcare system, enlisting technology giants including $474 billion Tencent and insurance group Ping An.

A unit of the latter has partnered with local governments in Shenzhen and Chongqing to develop an algorithm it claims can predict the transmission of influenza and other infectious diseases with 90%-plus accuracy. Elsewhere, the likes of $50 billion video-surveillance specialist, Hikvision, are helping Beijing develop high-tech, digitally-connected urban areas. More than 500 so-called smart cities are already being built across China, according to government figures, equipped with sensors, cameras, and other gadgets that can crunch data on everything from traffic and pollution, to public health and security.

That market could top 103 billion yuan ($15 billion) in revenue by 2023, according to research commissioned by facial-recognition startup Megvii. Until now the push has focused on automating political surveillance, including ugly applications in restive ethnic minority regions like Xinjiang, with little regard to human rights or privacy concerns. But there’s a potential public good if the tech can be re-deployed to detect unusual numbers of feverish people in train stations, for example, while simultaneously cross-referencing healthcare history, travel records and weather patterns. After Wuhan, the pressure to deliver health security, not just political security, will be higher.

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Meat for sale in China (without the bats used for soup):



Doesn’t feel like that for me.

Doomsday Clock Moves Within 100 Seconds Of Midnight (NPR)

In 1953, months after the U.S. tested its first hydrogen bomb and as the Soviet Union was about to do the same, the Doomsday Clock was also set within two minutes of midnight. The minute hand was moved back gradually as nuclear arms control agreements reduced the threat of global catastrophe. By the time the Soviet Union collapsed and the Cold War ended in 1991, the clock was set at an unprecedented 17 minutes to midnight. It has moved closer ever since. “What you’re hearing,” said former California Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, who appeared at the event as the Bulletin’s new executive chairman, “is really the voices of the prophets of doom. Speaking of danger and destruction is never very easy — if you speak the truth, people will not want to listen, because it’s too awful and it makes you sound like a crackpot.”

The clock’s minute hand was moved forward after the August 2019 collapse of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty between the U.S. and Russia. The demise of the pact frees both nations to deploy land-based missiles over ranges that leave little time for a response. There were also growing signs in 2019 that the Trump administration was aiming to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty, which allows the U.S. and Russia to observe one another’s military installations through closely monitored overflights. And Iran increased its stockpile of low-enriched uranium and added new and improved centrifuges last year in the aftermath of the U.S. withdrawing from a multination nuclear pact with Iran that was forged during the Obama administration.

“I have to admit [that] we set the clock in November,” said George Washington University research professor Sharon Squassoni. “This was before recent military actions by the U.S. and Iran, Iran’s statement or threat that it might leave the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and North Korea’s abandonment of talks with the United States.” A growing number of disasters linked to global climate change resulting from the continued consumption of fossil fuels was another factor cited for moving the clock even closer to midnight. “We’re in it, it’s dire, but we’re not there yet,” said Brown. “We can still pull back from the brink, but we have to do what we’re not doing. Whatever we’ve done to date, it is totally inadequate.”

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Close to thought crime.

The House Impeachment Case Vs The Law of Attempts (Turley)

With the start of the impeachment trial, the Senate (and the country) will soon be faced with what the late Yale professor Arthur Leff described as one of the law’s most “lovely, knotty problems.” Leff was speaking of what is loosely called “the law of attempts,” a category of crimes where someone is accused of contemplating, but not actually carrying out, an unlawful act. The Trump trial could be the first time the Senate considers charges that amount to allegedly conceiving, but then abandoning, an abuse of power. While it is certainly true that there was a temporary act of “nonfeasance” in withholding the aid to Ukraine, it was ultimately released over two weeks before the deadline under federal law.

The Trump administration will argue that there was no quid pro quo between the president of the United States and the president of Ukraine; that the military aid to Kyiv, though authorized by Congress, was never withheld; and that the White House always intended to release the aid by the end of September. (It was released on Sept. 11, two days after a whistleblower complaint about the alleged bargain sparked congressional inquiries and, according to critics, was the reason that Trump decided to release the aid.) The question for the Senate is whether an attempt to cut the deal qualifies as a high crime or misdemeanor. The law of attempts has long been debated, and has often favored defendants in securing lesser punishments or outright acquittals.

When, in 1879, an Alaska man sent an order for 100 gallons of whiskey from California, he was charged with illegally attempting to “introduce spirituous liquors” into Alaska. A court dismissed the charge, writing, “There are a class of acts which may be fairly said to be done in pursuance of or in combination with an intent to commit a crime, but are not, in a legal sense, a part of it, and therefore do not, with such intent, constitute an indictable attempt.” That helps explain why such attempted crimes are generally punished less severely. The California Penal Code Section 664 stipulates, for example, that most attempted offenses are punishable, at most, at a level half that for a completed offense. Of course, the Senate cannot “half-remove” a president. But one of the more knotty problems facing the Senate is whether a president can be saved by what Leff called the “luck” of an alleged plan that never actually played out.

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Can be restarted in a heartbeat. By killing the markets, the Fed has made itself a prisoner.

Fed’s Repos Drop to Oct Level, T-Bills Surge, But MBS Fall (WS)

The Fed had doused the market with $410 billion in liquidity between September and January 1 through its repo operations and its T-bill purchases. Market hype had expected this blistering pace of money-printing to continue, but wait… While T-bill purchases continue, the repos on the Fed’s balance sheet are getting unwound, its mortgage-backed securities (MBS) continue to fall, and total assets on its balance sheet fell to the lowest level since mid-December. Under these repurchase agreements, the Fed offers to buy Treasury securities, MBS, and agency securities from counterparties with an agreement to sell those securities back to the counterparties at a set price on a specific date, such as the next day (overnight repos) or in 14 days or some other period (term repos).

When a repurchase agreement matures, the Fed takes back the money it had handed out and returns the securities to the counterparties. This zeros out that particular repo on the Fed’s balance sheet. When the Fed buys securities under a repurchase agreement, the amount it pays adds liquidity to the market. When that repo unwinds, and the Fed gets its cash back and returns the securities, it drains this liquidity from the market. Every day, old repos unwind. And every day, the Fed offers new repos. This is a constant in-and-out. The balance changes every day, but it has been on an uneven decline since the peak on January 1.

The total amount of repos on the Fed’s weekly balance sheet as of January 22, released this afternoon, has now fallen by $70 billion from the peak on January 1 ($256 billion), to $186 billion. This is below where it had first been on October 16. The $43-billion drop in repos over the past seven days was largely due to a 32-day $50-billion repo, dating from December 16, that unwound on January 17. It was not replaced by another 30-day repo, and there are no more 30-day repos on the Fed’s repo schedule or balance sheet.

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Erdogan wants to redo the 1923 Lausanne Treaty. He has little to lose, and much to gain domestically. But he has Putin against him.

Turkey Demands Greece “Demilitarize” 16 Aegean Islands (ZH)

At a moment tensions are soaring over Turkey’s expansive East Mediterranean claims, and after starting early last summer it began sending oil and gas exploration and drilling ships off Cyprus’ coast, Ankara is demanding that Greece “demilitarize” its islands in the Aegean Sea, reports Bloomberg. The demand from Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, who formally requested Greece move to withdraw armed forces and weaponry from 16 Aegean islands near Turkey on Wednesday, is rich given it’s Turkey that’s been provocatively sending warships and military jets to accompany illegal gas drilling in the area, something lately condemned by the EU.

“Greece, arming 16 out of 23 islands with non-military status, in violation of agreements in the Aegean sea, should act in accordance with international law,” said Defense Minister Akar, cited in state-run Anadolu Agency. “We expect Greece to act in line with international law and the agreements it has signed,” he added. Though becoming increasingly internationally isolated over the drilling issue in EU-member Cyrpus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Turkey has remained unmoved and at times is positively boastful about it.

Not shying away from admitting Turkish maritime claims now stretch from Cypriot waters all the way to Libya (based on a controversial recent maritime boundary ‘deal’ signed with the Tripoli Government of National Accord), Akar further had this to say according to state media: In addition to the fight against terrorism, Turkey’s activities are ongoing in the Aegean, Eastern Mediterranean, off Cyprus, and Libya, Akar said, adding that they are carried out in accordance with international law and the territorial integrity of the countries. Turkey is a guarantor country for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and is committed to fulfilling its responsibilities, he said.

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Let’s see a few countries apply this to Americans.

Assange May Not Get First Amendment Protection (AAP)

Julian Assange faces the prospect of being denied press protections under US law if he goes to trial there, WikiLeaks says, citing evidence submitted for his London extradition case. The 48-year-old WikiLeaks founder is set to face trial in the UK next month to determine whether he should be extradited to the US, where he has been charged with 17 counts of spying and one count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion. The charges related to allegations Assange tried to help former US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning protect her digital identity as she accessed classified Pentagon files on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. WikiLeaks helped publish thousands of those files, including some that revealed US war crimes in both countries.

His case is widely viewed as a litmus test for the protection of journalists’ sources. WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson says a new affidavit provided by US government lawyers this week for Assange’s upcoming extradition trial states that foreign nationals, like Assange, are not entitled to press protections under the US Constitution’s First Amendment. Mr Hrafnsson revealed the development outside Assange’s case management hearing at London’s Westminster Magistrates Court on Thursday. “On the one hand they have decided that they can go after journalists wherever they are residing in the world, they have universal jurisdiction, and demand extradition like they are doing by trying to get an Australian national from the UK for publishing that took place outside US borders,” he told AAP.

“But then at the same time they are not granting any foreign journalist the protection of the First Amendment. “That’s extremely serious. That’s of grave concern to all journalists. “We are seeing this incremental approach, a darkness flowing over journalism from that country, and it’s about time that journalists really united in resisting this.” Assange appeared by video link from prison at Thursday’s hearing, and did not speak except to say his name and birthdate for the court. Judge Vanessa Baraitser reluctantly agreed to split his trial into two segments with the first week to begin on February 24 and the final three weeks to be held from May 18.

Her ruling came after prosecutors flagged timetabling issues and the defence pleaded for more time to deal with an ever-expanding pile of evidence coming from the US. Mr Hrafnsson says the delay may give Assange and his legal team more time to review mounting evidence, as they have only been permitted four hours together since his arrest on April 11. But he admitted it would also further extend Assange’s time behind bars. “A maximum security prison for a non-violent person like Julian, who is a free man basically, who is on remand, is outrageous,” Mr Hrafnsson told AAP. “It’s totally unacceptable.”

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Commemorations vs political games.

Go to Gaza and Cry ‘Never Again’ (Haaretz)

It’s very important to remember the past; no less important is to be cognizant of the present without shutting one’s eyes. The dozens of statesmen who arrived in Israel yesterday may remember the past, but they’re blurring the present. In their silence, in their disregard of reality while lining up unconditionally alongside Israel, they not only betray their roles, they also betray the memory of the past in the name of which they came here. To be the guests of Israel without mentioning its crimes; to commemorate the Holocaust while ignoring its lessons; to visit Jerusalem without traveling to the Gaza ghetto on International Holocaust Remembrance Day – one can barely think of any greater hypocrisy.

It’s good that kings, presidents and other notables came here in honor of this remembrance day. It’s deplorable that they’re ignoring what the victims of the Holocaust are inflicting on another nation. The city of Yerevan will never witness such an impressive gathering to commemorate the Armenian holocaust. World leaders will never come to Kigali to mark the genocide that happened in Rwanda. The Holocaust was indeed the greatest crime ever against humanity, but it was not the only one. But Jews and the state of Israel know well how to sanctify its memory as well as using it for their own purposes.

On this International Holocaust Remembrance Day, world leaders are the guests of an Israeli prime minister who, on the eve of their visit, called for sanctions – believe it or not – on the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which is a legacy of the courts that were set up to judge the crimes of World War II. On this Remembrance Day, world leaders are coming to a prime minister who is trying to incite them against the court in The Hague. It’s hard to think of a more galling use of the Holocaust, it’s hard to conceive of a bigger betrayal of its memory than the attempt to undermine the court in The Hague only because it wishes to fulfill its role and investigate Jerusalem. The guests will hold their silence on this issue as well. Some of them may be persuaded that the problem is in The Hague, not in Jerusalem. Sanctions on the court instead of on the occupying state.

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“Ten or 15 years down the road, if I get sick, I want to be able to prove this.”

America’s Radioactive Secret (Rolling Stone)

In 2014, a muscular, middle-aged Ohio man named Peter took a job trucking waste for the oil-and-gas industry. The hours were long — he was out the door by 3 a.m. every morning and not home until well after dark — but the steady $16-an-hour pay was appealing, says Peter, who asked to use a pseudonym. “This is a poverty area,” he says of his home in the state’s rural southeast corner. “Throw a little money at us and by God we’ll jump and take it.” In a squat rig fitted with a 5,000-gallon tank, Peter crisscrosses the expanse of farms and woods near the Ohio/West Virginia/Pennsylvania border, the heart of a region that produces close to one-third of America’s natural gas.

He hauls a salty substance called “brine,” a naturally occurring waste product that gushes out of America’s oil-and-gas wells to the tune of nearly 1 trillion gallons a year, enough to flood Manhattan, almost shin-high, every single day. At most wells, far more brine is produced than oil or gas, as much as 10 times more. It collects in tanks, and like an oil-and-gas garbage man, Peter picks it up and hauls it off to treatment plants or injection wells, where it’s disposed of by being shot back into the earth. One day in 2017, Peter pulled up to an injection well in Cambridge, Ohio. A worker walked around his truck with a hand-held radiation detector, he says, and told him he was carrying one of the “hottest loads” he’d ever seen. It was the first time Peter had heard any mention of the brine being radioactive.

The Earth’s crust is in fact peppered with radioactive elements that concentrate deep underground in oil-and-gas-bearing layers. This radioactivity is often pulled to the surface when oil and gas is extracted — carried largely in the brine. In the popular imagination, radioactivity conjures images of nuclear meltdowns, but radiation is emitted from many common natural substances, usually presenting a fairly minor risk. Many industry representatives like to say the radioactivity in brine is so insignificant as to be on par with what would be found in a banana or a granite countertop, so when Peter demanded his supervisor tell him what he was being exposed to, his concerns were brushed off; the liquid in his truck was no more radioactive than “any room of your home,” he was told. But Peter wasn’t so sure. “A lot of guys are coming up with cancer, or sores and skin lesions that take months to heal,” he says. Peter experiences regular headaches and nausea, numbness in his fingertips and face, and “joint pain like fire.”

He says he wasn’t given any safety instructions on radioactivity, and while he is required to wear steel-toe boots, safety glasses, a hard hat, and clothes with a flash-resistant coating, he isn’t required to wear a respirator or a dosimeter to measure his radioactivity exposure — and the rest of the uniform hardly offers protection from brine. “It’s all over your hands, and inside your boots, and on the cuticles of your toes, and any cuts you have — you’re soaked,” he says. So Peter started quietly taking samples of the brine he hauled, filling up old antifreeze containers or soda bottles. Eventually, he packed a shed in his backyard with more than 40 samples. He worried about further contamination but says, for him, “the damage is already done.” He wanted answers. “I cover my ass,” he says. “Ten or 15 years down the road, if I get sick, I want to be able to prove this.”

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From Suzie Dawson:

 

 

 

Include the Automatic Earth in your 2020 charity list. Support us on Paypal and Patreon.

 

May 252018
 


Wassily Kandinsky Moscow Red Square 1916

 

Riskiest Junk Bonds Still Blissful in La-La Land, High-Grade Bonds Bleed (WS)
When Rates Go Up, Stuff Blows Up (Dillian)
Where America’s Debt Slaves Are the Most Vulnerable (WS)
North Korea Says Still Open To Talks After Trump Cancels Summit (R.)
Brilliant Strategy Of Offering North Korea “The Libya Model” Falls Through (CJ)
About $1.2 Billion In Cryptocurrency Stolen Since 2017 (R.)
Zuckerberg Set Up Fraudulent Scheme To ‘Weaponise’ Data, Court Case Alleges (G.)
Facebook Accused Of Conducting Mass Surveillance Through Its Apps (G.)
EU Officials Tear Into UK’s ‘Fantasy’ Brexit Negotiating Strategy (Ind.)
Italy’s Belligerent New Coalition Is Bad News For The EU (Marsili)
Greece’s Post-Bailout Program Contains At Least 20 Milestones For 2018-2022 (K.)
How Rural America Became A Hospital Desert (G.)

 

 

Perhaps not a good time to chase yield?

Riskiest Junk Bonds Still Blissful in La-La Land, High-Grade Bonds Bleed (WS)

High-grade corporate bonds have had a hard time. Yields have surged as prices have fallen. The S&P bond index for AA-rated corporate bonds is down 3.2% so far this year. Losses are concentrated on bonds with maturities of 15 years and over. They’re down 7%, according to Bloomberg. As prices have declined, yields have surged, with the average AA yield now at 3.47%, up from around 2.2% in mid to late-2016:

In the chart above of the ICE BofAML US AA Effective Yield Index, I marked some key events, in terms of the bond yield:
• The election in November 2016, after which the yield spiked.
• In December 2016, the Fed’s second rate hike in this cycle. This was when the Fed got serious and added an increasingly more hawkish – or less dovish – tone. But the market blew it off, yield fell again, and bonds returned to la-la-land.
• In September 2017, the Fed announced details of its QE unwind, and yields began to rise again and then started spiking in late-2017. This was when the bond market got serious.

But at the riskiest end of the spectrum, with corporate bonds rated CCC or below (deep into junk), there is no such pain. In fact, the S&P bond index for CCC rated bonds is up 4.3% so far this year. They’ve had a blistering 82%-run since February 2016, when Wall Street decided that the oil bust was over and plowed new money into junk-rated energy companies. The average yield of bonds rated CCC or lower is now at 9.78%, down from 12.5% in December 2016, when the Fed got serious, and down from 22% during the peak of the oil bust:

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Looking for the third victim.

When Rates Go Up, Stuff Blows Up (Dillian)

When rates go up sharply, stuff blows up, because lots of people are negatively exposed to higher rates. Households, corporates, and governments are all negatively exposed to higher rates, in different degrees. Back in 1994, we found that it was Mexico, Procter & Gamble, and Orange County, California who all suffered because of higher interest rates. Where does the risk live today? We will soon find out. There is a playbook for when interest rates go up. Rising interest rates do not necessarily cause a recession per se, but they are usually found at the scene of the crime. There was no recession in 1994, but the financial world shivered. Today, we have rising rates and a more-hawkish Fed which has shown no signs of letting up.

As usual, emerging markets are puking their guts out. I was in Argentina last week and saw the carnage first-hand. The Argentine peso declined a smooth 20% in a week. Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Erdogan is calling himself an “enemy of interest rates.” He is an FX trader’s dream. Of course, there are idiosyncratic things going on in Argentina and Turkey, but all EM currencies and stock markets have been getting hit hard. Emerging markets was a consensus pick at the beginning of 2018, so it is making some people look a bit foolish.

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“..the ratio of non-housing consumer debt to disposable income – the burden these consumers carry on the backs in relationship to their incomes – is higher than ever..”

Where America’s Debt Slaves Are the Most Vulnerable (WS)

Many consumers are debt free and have lots of money and good jobs. Other consumers have large amounts of debt, lousy jobs or no jobs, and are paying for groceries by charging them on their credit cards. Credit problems always involve the most vulnerable consumers. During the mortgage crisis, the delinquency rate peaked at 11.5% in 2010. It wasn’t the 60% of homeowners that had significantly payed down their mortgages or owed no money on their homes who triggered that event. It was the financial mayhem among the smaller portion of the most exposed and most vulnerable. For a different view of the burden of debt, let’s look at non-housing consumer debt, because this is where the music is playing right now.

To eliminate for a moment the impact of interest rates, let’s look at the amount of debt – not the monthly payments – as percent of disposable income. And suddenly, the risks emerge a little more clearly. At year-end 2017, the ratio of non-housing debt – revolving credit such as credit card balances, plus auto loans and student loans – to disposable income reached a new record of 26.3%, up from 23% at the end of 2010, and up from 24% in 2007, the peak before it all came apart during the Great Recession:

So the ratio of non-housing consumer debt to disposable income – the burden these consumers carry on the backs in relationship to their incomes – is higher than ever, and only historically low interest rates have kept it manageable. But interest rates are now rising, and many of these consumer debts have variable rates. This explains a phenomenon that is already appearing: How this toxic mix – rising interest rates and record high consumer debt in relationship to disposable income – has now started to bite the most vulnerable consumers once again. And for them, debt service is getting very difficult. In Q1, the delinquency rate on credit card debt at banks other than the largest 100 – so at the 4,788 smaller banks – spiked to 5.9%, higher than at the peak during the Financial Crisis, and the credit-card charge-off rate spiked to 8%.

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They seem more than open.

North Korea Says Still Open To Talks After Trump Cancels Summit (R.)

North Korea responded on Friday with measured tones to U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to call off a historic summit with leader Kim Jong Un scheduled for next month, saying Pyongyang hoped for a “Trump formula” to resolve the standoff over its nuclear weapons program. On Thursday, Trump wrote a letter to Kim to announce his withdrawal from what would have been the first-ever meeting between a serving U.S. president and a North Korean leader in Singapore on June 12. “Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it would be inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” Trump wrote.

Trump’s announcement came after repeated threats by North Korea to pull out of the summit over what it saw as confrontational remarks by U.S. officials. Friday’s response by North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan was more conciliatory, specifically praising Trump’s efforts. “We have inwardly highly appreciated President Trump for having made the bold decision, which any other U.S. presidents dared not, and made efforts for such a crucial event as the summit,” Kim said in a statement carried by state media. “We even inwardly hoped that what is called “Trump formula” would help clear both sides of their worries and comply with the requirements of our side and would be a wise way of substantial effect for settling the issue,” he said, without elaborating.

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Caitlin: “..Pence blathered something about it being “a fact”, not a threat, but that is because he is a fake plastic doll manufactured by Raytheon. ..”

Brilliant Strategy Of Offering North Korea “The Libya Model” Falls Through (CJ)

Three days before President Trump announced him as the new National Security Advisor, deranged mutant death walrus John Bolton appeared on Radio Free Asia and said of negotiations with North Korea, “I think we should insist that if this meeting is going to take place, it will be similar to discussions we had with Libya 13 or 14 years ago.” Bolton has been loudly and publicly advocating “the Libya model” with the DPRK ever since. “I think we’re looking at the Libya model of 2003, 2004,” Bolton said on Face the Nation last month, and said the same on Fox News Sunday in case anyone failed to get the message.

Bolton never bothered to refine his message by saying, for example, “Without the part where we betray and invade them and get their leader mutilated to death in the streets.” He just said they’re doing Libya again. This was what John Bolton was saying before he was hired, and this was what John Bolton continued to say after he was hired. This was what John Bolton was hired to do. He was hired to sabotage peace and facilitate death and destruction. That is what he does. That is what he is for. Can openers open cans, John Bolton starts wars. You don’t buy a can opener to rotate your tires, and you don’t hire John Bolton to facilitate peace. It should have surprised no one, then, when the administration saw Bolton’s Libya comments and raised him a canceled peace talk.

“You know, there were some talk about the Libya model last week,” Vice President Pence told Fox News on Saturday. “And you know, as the president made clear, you know, this will only end like the Libya model ended if Kim Jong-un doesn’t make a deal.” “Some people saw that as a threat,” Fox’s Martha MacCallum replied, because there is no other way it could possibly be interpreted. Pence blathered something about it being “a fact”, not a threat, but that is because he is a fake plastic doll manufactured by Raytheon.

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The comments here on GDPR are at least as interesting.

About $1.2 Billion In Cryptocurrency Stolen Since 2017 (R.)

Criminals have stolen about $1.2 billion in cryptocurrencies since the beginning of 2017, as bitcoin’s popularity and the emergence of more than 1,500 digital tokens have put the spotlight on the unregulated sector, according to estimates from the Anti-Phishing Working Group released on Thursday. The estimates were part of the non-profit group’s research on cryptocurrency and include reported and unreported theft. “One problem that we’re seeing in addition to the criminal activity like drug trafficking and money laundering using cryptocurrencies is the theft of these tokens by bad guys,” Dave Jevans, chief executive officer of cryptocurrency security firm CipherTrace, told Reuters in an interview. Jevans is also chairman of APWG.

Of the $1.2 billion, Jevans estimates that only about 20 percent or less has been recovered, noting that global law enforcement agencies have their hands full tracking down these criminals. Their investigations of criminal activity will likely take a step back with the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation, which takes effect on Friday. “GDPR will negatively impact the overall security of the internet and will also inadvertently aid cybercriminals,” said Jevans. “By restricting access to critical information, the new law will significantly hinder investigations into cybercrime, cryptocurrency theft, phishing, ransomware, malware, fraud and crypto-jacking,” he added.

GDPR, which passed in 2016, aims to simplify and consolidate rules that companies need to follow in order to protect their data and to return control of personal information to EU citizens and residents. The implementation of GDPR means that most European domain data in WHOIS, the internet’s database of record, will no longer be published publicly after May 25. WHOIS contains the names, addresses and email addresses of those who register domain names for websites.

WHOIS data is a fundamental resource for investigators and law enforcement officials who work to prevent thefts, Jevans said. He noted that WHOIS data is crucial in performing investigations that allow for the recovery of stolen funds, identifying the persons involved and providing vital information for law enforcement to arrest and prosecute criminals. “So what we’re going to see is that not only the European market goes dark for all of us; so all the bad guys will flow to Europe because you can actually access the world from Europe and there’s no way you can get the data anymore,” Jevans said.

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Facebook makes contradictory claims: First, it says it’s a neutral platform. But then it also wants full freedom to edit.

Interesting court case: the claim is Facebook stiffed 40,000 (!) companies. Reason why? It completely missed the shift to smartphones, and its ads were not ready for that at all.

Zuckerberg Set Up Fraudulent Scheme To ‘Weaponise’ Data, Court Case Alleges (G.)

Mark Zuckerberg faces allegations that he developed a “malicious and fraudulent scheme” to exploit vast amounts of private data to earn Facebook billions and force rivals out of business. A company suing Facebook in a California court claims the social network’s chief executive “weaponised” the ability to access data from any user’s network of friends – the feature at the heart of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.A legal motion filed last week in the superior court of San Mateo draws upon extensive confidential emails and messages between Facebook senior executives including Mark Zuckerberg. He is named individually in the case and, it is claimed, had personal oversight of the scheme.

Facebook rejects all claims, and has made a motion to have the case dismissed using a free speech defence. It claims the first amendment protects its right to make “editorial decisions” as it sees fit. Zuckerberg and other senior executives have asserted that Facebook is a platform not a publisher, most recently in testimony to Congress. Heather Whitney, a legal scholar who has written about social media companies for the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, said, in her opinion, this exposed a potential tension for Facebook. “Facebook’s claims in court that it is an editor for first amendment purposes and thus free to censor and alter the content available on its site is in tension with their, especially recent, claims before the public and US Congress to be neutral platforms.”

The company that has filed the case, a former startup called Six4Three, is now trying to stop Facebook from having the case thrown out and has submitted legal arguments that draw on thousands of emails, the details of which are currently redacted. Facebook has until next Tuesday to file a motion requesting that the evidence remains sealed, otherwise the documents will be made public.

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Somewhat oddly similar to the article above, also Guardian. Facebook is up against people who actually DO understand the field.

Facebook Accused Of Conducting Mass Surveillance Through Its Apps (G.)

Facebook used its apps to gather information about users and their friends, including some who had not signed up to the social network, reading their text messages, tracking their locations and accessing photos on their phones, a court case in California alleges. The claims of what would amount to mass surveillance are part of a lawsuit brought against the company by the former startup Six4Three, listed in legal documents filed at the superior court in San Mateo as part of a court case that has been ongoing for more than two years. A Facebook spokesperson said that Six4Three’s “claims have no merit, and we will continue to defend ourselves vigorously”. Facebook did not directly respond to questions about surveillance.

Documents filed in the court last week draw upon extensive confidential emails and messages between Facebook senior executives, which are currently sealed. Facebook has deployed a feature of California law, designed to protect freedom of speech, to argue that the case should be dismissed. Six4Three is opposing that motion. The allegations about surveillance appear in a January filing, the fifth amended complaint made by Six4Three. It alleges that Facebook used a range of methods, some adapted to the different phones that users carried, to collect information it could use for commercial purposes.

“Facebook continued to explore and implement ways to track users’ location, to track and read their texts, to access and record their microphones on their phones, to track and monitor their usage of competitive apps on their phones, and to track and monitor their calls,” one court document says.

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All over the place.

EU Officials Tear Into UK’s ‘Fantasy’ Brexit Negotiating Strategy (Ind.)

Brexit negotiations have begun to dramatically sour after months of deadlock, with exasperated EU officials tearing into Britain’s “fantasy” negotiating strategy and warning that Theresa May’s latest customs plan would ruin any chance of progress. This week’s latest meetings are understood to have produced no progress on the core issues of the Northern Ireland border and customs, with last year’s business-like start to discussions having given way to bitter behind-the-scenes briefings. One senior EU official said the UK still lacked negotiating positions on a wide variety of issues and that in others it was “chasing the fantasy of denying the consequences of Brexit in a given policy area” – while a UK government source accused Brussels of trying to “insult” the British negotiating team.

Another Brussels official close to talks told The Independent they had been warned internally that there would probably be no progress by the June meeting of the European Council – which would throw off the timetable and raise the risk of a disastrous “no deal”. News that Theresa May wants to align the whole UK with the customs union and single market on a time-limited basis until 2023 as a backstop to solve the Irish border issue was particularly poorly received in Brussels. The Prime Minister is due to actually announce the new policy in the comings weeks, but people familiar with the talks confirmed it had already been raised by UK negotiators. The European Commission’s negotiators have already rejected the plan before its public announcement

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Then agan, Tsipras folded too…

Italy’s Belligerent New Coalition Is Bad News For The EU (Marsili)

As Giuseppe Conte is asked to form Italy’s next government, I walk out of a screening of Loro, the controversial portrayal of Silvio Berlusconi by Oscar-winning director Paolo Sorrentino. With images of drug-fuelled sex parties still in my mind, the uproar that accompanies the announcement about Conte appears odd. Italy has endured more than 30 years of dreadful governments. For much of the last two decades the country was led by a convicted tax fraudster. Before that, it was led by Bettino Craxi, a politician so corrupt that he ended his days as a fugitive in Tunisia. Why worry now? Part of the answer lies in the outsider nature of the new governing parties. Italian elites have traditionally been very adept at assimilating political newcomers.

Who, in turn, have been willingly co-opted by the system. But the new coalition of the Five Star Movement and far-right League appears peculiarly unconnected to Italy’s high establishment: the risk of loss of influence is real enough. Previous governments were quick to guarantee policy continuity, maintaining a neoliberal economic stance, overall respect for EU obligations, and a US-aligned foreign policy. The coalition promises to break away from this consensus, ushering in an era of fiscal expansion, resentment at Italy’s eurozone membership and closer ties to Russia. The key question now is: will the new government abandon its fiery stance or stick to it? Both alternatives are unfortunately dreadful.

The capitulation scenario is a familiar one. Just like Alexis Tsipras, who turned into a reliable implementer of austerity measures in Greece, so Conte’s government might decide to set aside its promises. The gulf is wide: the coalition programme contains at least €60bn of additional yearly expenses, or 3.5% of Italy’s GDP, while the EU is demanding a 0.6% deficit reduction for 2018. A bargain might look strikingly similar to what Matteo Renzi has achieved in recent years: a moderate loosening of deficit targets allowing for an insignificant fiscal expansion. In other words: business as usual.

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Cuts, cuts, cuts, taxes and sell-offs.

Greece’s Post-Bailout Program Contains At Least 20 Milestones For 2018-2022 (K.)

The sweeping agreement for the conclusion of the fourth bailout review, publicized early on Thursday by the European Commission, contains binding commitments for Greece until 2022. It more or less constitutes an extension to the bailout agreement for another four years, but without the inflow of money, while rendering the coalition government’s rhetoric regarding a “clean exit” and its so-called “holistic plan for growth” irrelevant. The text uploaded by the Commission on its website leaves open the possibility for the income tax discount reduction to be brought forward by 12 months to January 2019, and provides for the monitoring of the deal’s implementation in the context of the enhanced surveillance to be agreed in the next Eurogroup meeting on June 21.

Besides the almost 90 milestones that need to be implemented in the next three weeks for the completion of the program, the government is undertaking at least 20 post-program obligations to be applied by 2022. The post-program milestones start from the fiscal side: Apart from the well-known primary budget surplus of 3.5% of GDP, the adjusted bailout agreement calls for additional interventions should any court decisions annul any austerity measures in place.

The text also contains the reduction of pensions from 2019 to save 1% of GDP, the full abolition of the EKAS benefit for people on low pensions, the completion of the National Cadaster by June 2021, the implementation of privatizations such as the gas network operator (DESFA), the 17% stake in PPC, and the Elliniko development, among others, and ceilings on civil servant employment and salaries by 2022. The document further refers to the need to improve labor mediation to avert recourse to arbitration, the completion of the process for hiring general and special secretaries for ministries, and the immediate transfer of railway property company GAIAOSE and the company managing the Olympic Sports Center of Athens to the privatizations hyperfund.

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Don’t let accountants run your health care.

How Rural America Became A Hospital Desert (G.)

It makes sense to sell this old place now, but he can’t bring himself to leave her ashes. Barry Gibbs lives alone in a single-story home among the loblollies of Hyde County in eastern North Carolina. The army veteran collects a small disability check after he tore tendons in his shoulder during a fall at his maintenance job at the local school. He winces every time he stands up. He’s 64 years old and the closest hospital is more than an hour away, a distance he came to understand too damn well on the day she needed help. Their wedding portrait still hangs on the living room wall. It’s one of those 1980s shots with the laser beam backgrounds, her hair big and his mustache combed, his hand on her shoulder.

The interior of the house is almost as she left it four years ago: white oak floors, paintings of black bears, family Christmas photos on end tables. Outside along the driveway, a line of cypress trees shades a headstone that marks where Barry cut a ditch and spread Portia’s ashes, right where she asked to be. Everybody called her Po. She was picking up sticks from the yard on 7 July 2014, five days shy of her 49th birthday, when she felt a sharp pain in her chest. Six days earlier, their community hospital had closed. Pungo district hospital was 47 miles west of their house, in Belhaven, and had served the county since 1949, back when crab-picking plants and lumber mills kept these small waterfront communities working.

If you’re an accountant, hospitals are only as good as the number of paying patients. Belhaven’s population is about half what it was then. And Hyde county is now the fifth-sparsest county on the east coast, with nine people per square mile. This spongy stretch of North Carolina’s inner banks represents the suffering side of a modern migration pattern in which southern cities are flourishing, but rural areas are shrinking and losing healthcare options. Since 2010, 53 rural hospitals have closed in 11 southern states, compared with 30 in the other 39 states.

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Apr 242015
 
 April 24, 2015  Posted by at 3:13 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  5 Responses »


Jack Delano Female freight handler at AT&SF depot, Kansas CIty 1943

This is an open letter I received from a group of 57 Greek intellectuals, addressed to the EU and America, concerning the waves of refugees (migrants, immigrants) that ‘wash ashore’ on Greek territory in increasing numbers.

We all know by now to what extent Europe has dropped the ball on the issue, and I’ll have much more to say on that soon. I thought it would be a good and respectful idea to let this letter stand on its own, and on its own merit.

The number of refugees trying to make it to Greece was estimated at 30,000 in 2014. It’s certain to be a multiple of that this year. The EU may quote numbers like 150,000 for all of southern Europe for 2015, but in real life it will easily be over 500,000.

The EU has no idea what it’s doing, what it’s up against, or what to do next. Brussels figured if it would just close its eyes, the problem would go away. And even today, after almost 1000 victims drowned last weekend, passing the buck to its weakest member nations is apparently still too tempting an opportunity to resist.

Greece Can No Longer Withstand The Waves Of Desperate People Arriving From War Zones:

Your Immediate Action Is Imperative
 

To:
• The Leaders of all European countries
• All Members of the European Parliament
• President Obama and All Members of the United States Congress


Greece, April 2015

The conflicts in many Middle-Eastern and African countries have devastated life in these regions and made survival uncertain. While the world has been witnessing the horrific decapitations and burning alive of human beings, large scale events are also occurring that can change the history and the fate of the affected countries and the world. Thousands of people, Christians and Muslims, are fleeing the war zones in any way they can; entire families jump into boats hoping to reach Europe, if they do not drown on the way.

Southern Europe is the most accessible, and particularly Greece and Italy. Tragedies in the Mediterranean Sea, with desperate people drowning on the way to Europe, have been happening for a few years by now. But only recently this news reached the United States (US) and every part of the world, due to the extensive loss of human lives, while it is hardly in the news that Greece and Italy have been left essentially with no help to deal with these tragedies.

Greece has now close to a 27% unemployment rate and is struggling to convince her lenders of the obvious: that the economy will not recover by more cuts in salaries and pensions, more mass layoffs, and the sell-off of public assets. Signs of the crisis are everywhere. An increasing number of Greeks are being fed by their local churches. Illegal immigrants already fill the streets of Athens and try to survive by searching the garbage or turn to criminal activities. Hospitals struggle to provide care to all of Greece’s inhabitants. Against this background, the waves of hungry and sick people from war zones arriving at Greece’s ports and islands are growing.

Others arrive by crossing the borders with Turkey, whose government seems to turn a blind eye to this situation, giving the human traffickers free rein. Greece, a small country with a population of only about 10 million, already has an estimated one and a half million immigrants (legal and illegal), and the number of refugees has been increasing dramatically in recent months.

Even hospitable Greeks cannot take care of the refugees. They simply cannot feed and provide shelter in the short-term, or employment in the long-term. Greece is akin to a boat where those aboard are trying to prevent it from sinking, while people who are desperate to avoid drowning appear all around the boat and try to jump in. The fate of such a boat and all of those aboard is sadly predictable.

The European Union (EU) and the US cannot remain observers to this externally-inflicted Greek drama. Steps that must be taken immediately include:

1) Efforts to resolve the conflicts in the Middle East and Africa must intensify. Success will not be achieved if lessons from past mistakes are not heeded. The words “dictator” and dictatorship” do not sound good to our “democratic ears”, but if one has to choose between favoring on one hand, a dictatorship under which Christians and all Muslims live peacefully side and side, and on the other hand complete chaos and devastation, the choice is obvious.

2) The Dublin Regulation, according to which the Member State through which an asylum seeker first enters the EU is responsible for the care of the refugee who must be returned to the “Member State of Origin” if caught in another European country must be cancelled or modified. Among other serious shortcomings, it places excessive pressure on South Europe, and particularly on Greece and Italy.

Who can honestly say that such a regulation is in accordance with the spirit of fair share of the burden among the EU countries? The Dublin regulation has been criticized by the European Council of Refugees and Exiles, as well as by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. It is high time for changes to this regulation, which will be beneficial to all concerned.

3) A number of good proposals have been offered by Ms. Federica Mogherini (European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy) and Mr. Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs, and Citizenship. Such are the transfer of Syrian Refugees to Northern Europe and the creation of safe zones within the regions of conflict, where asylum cases and other refugee issues can be resolved.

These proposals must move from the discussion to the implementation phase immediately. Additionally, the US should accept her fair share of these refugees.

The EU and US need to hear the pleas coming from the southern European countries, as well as those of the refugees. The humanitarian catastrophe has reached large scale, with profound and irreversible consequences. Greece is paying a disproportionately high price, although Greece played no role in triggering this catastrophe. The EU and the US have the moral obligation, which is also consistent with their long-term interests, to take the necessary steps to put an end to the suffering of those in war zones, while at the same time preventing Greece’s collapse under the mounting pressure of refugees.
 

Signatories:

  1. Anagnostopoulos Stavros A., Emeritus Professor, University of Patras, Chief Editor (Europe), Earthquakes and Structures GREECE.
  2. Anastassopoulou Jane, PhD, Privatdozent, Professor, National Technical University of Athens, GREECE
  3. Andreatos S. Antonios, Prof. of Comp. Engineering, Hellenic Air Force Academy, GREECE.
  4. Angelides Demos, Ph.D., P.E., Professor Emeritus of Marine Structures, Department of Civil Engineering Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 54124, GREECE
  5. Angelides Chr. Odysseas, DIC, CEng, MIET, Chartered Engineer, CYPRUS
  6. Argyropoulos, Yiannis, Ph.D., Principal Member of Technical Staff, AT&T Labs, USA.
  7. Arkas Evangelos  Ph.D. Physics & Th.D. CEO. PHOS Solar Technologies Ltd London, UK.
  8. Aroniadou-Anderjaska, Vassiliki, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor, Maryland, USA.
  9. Baloglou George, retired SUNY Professor of Mathematics, GREECE . 
  10. Blytas, George C. Ph.D. Physical Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Research Consultant, Royal Dutch-Shell; President, GCB Separations Technology, Founder and Conductor:  The Houston Sinfonietta. Author, The First Victory, Greece in the Second World War, 2009. USA.
  11. Christakis Christofi, General of Cyprus Army (Ret.), CYPRUS.
  12. Cefalas Alkiviadis-Constantinos, Director of Research, National Hellenic Research Foundation, Theoretical and Physical Chemistry Institute, GREECE.
  13. Christou Theodora, PhD in Law from Queen Mary University of London, UK
  14. Dokos Socrates, PhD, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, UNSW, 2052, AUSTRALIA
  15. Economidis Alexandros, Engineer, GREECE.
  16. Eleftheriades George Savva, OAM, GCSCG, CETr, JP, Retired Academician, Australia.
  17. Eleftheriadou Eugenia, CLETr, CSH, Retired Academician, AUSTRALIA.
  18. Eleftheriou Panicos, Bank customer service officer, GREECE
  19. Euthymiou Pavlos N., Emeritus Professor, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, GREECE
  20. Evangeliou, Christos C., Professor of Philosophy, Towson University, Maryland, USA.
  21. Foutsitzis George, PhD. Ecole Superieure Robert De Sorbon, FRANCE.
  22. Fytrolakis Nikolaos, Emeritus Professor, National Technical University of Athens, GREECE.
  23. Gatzoulis, Nina, Professor, University of New Hampshire, USA.
  24. Georgiadis Georgios, Maj. General (Ret.), GREECE.
  25. Georgiadis Sotirios, Admiral (Ret.), GREECE.
  26. Giannoukos Stamatios, Ph.D., University of Liverpool, UK.
  27. Gryspolakis Joachim, Professor Emeritus, Technical University of Crete, 73100 Chania, GREECE.
  28. Ioannides Panos, Lawyer-Industrialist, Nicosia, CYPRUS.
  29. Ioannou Petros, Professor, Electrical Engineering Systems, University of Southern California, Director Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies, Associate Director for Research METRANS, Director of Financial Engineering Masters Program, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  30. Kakouli-Duarte, Thomais, PhD., Lecturer, Institute of Technology Carlow, Past President Hellenic Community of Ireland, Trustee Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation in Dublin, Patron and Director at Phoenix Project Ireland, IRELAND.
  31. Kaloy, Dr. Nicolas,  Ph.D.(Philosophy), Geneva, SWITZERLAND.
  32. Katsifarakis Kostas, Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, GREECE.
  33. Kostas/ Konstantatos Demosthenes Ph.D,MSc, MBA, Greenwich CT USA
  34. Kostopoulos K. Dimitra, LLB.,LLM (International Law of the Sea), GREECE.
  35. Kostopoulos S. Konstantinos, B.A., M.Sc. (Transport Economics), GREECE.
  36. Koumakis Leonidas, Jurist, Author, GREECE.
  37. Kyriakou Georgios, Professor, Democritus University of Thrace, GREECE.
  38. Kyratzopoulos S Vassilios, System Analyst, Voula, Attica, GREECE.
  39. Lazaridis Anastasios, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Widener University, Chester, PA, USA.
  40. Magliveras Spyros S., Ph.D., Professor of Mathematics, Florida Atlantic University, and Assoc. Director CCIS.
  41. Mermigas Lefteris, Pathology SUNYAB, USA.
  42. Moraitis L. Nicholaos, Ph.D., International relations-Comparative politics. University of california, U.S.A.
  43. Negreponti-Delivanis, Maria, Former Rector and Professor in the University of Macedonia, President of Delivanis’ Foundation, GREECE.
  44. Papagiannis Grigorios, Dr. Phil., Associate Professor, Democritus University of Thrace, GREECE.
  45. Papadopoulos Nikolaos, Th., Ph.D., FEBO Emeritus Professor of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, GREECE.
  46. Papadopoulos A.P. Tom, Senior Research Scientist and Adjunct Professor, Windsor, Ontario, CANADA
  47. Papadopoulou Maria, Civil Engineer, Ph.D. Candidate, Author, Director of the Institute for the Preservation of Hellenic Culture, GREECE.
  48. Papakostas Stefanos, MBA (Univ. of Texas at El Paso), Ex Professor of the American Colleges in Athens, Southeastern College, Deree College, Univ. of Indianapolis, GREECE.
  49. Pavlos Georgios, Associate Professor, Democritus Technological University of Thrace, GREECE. 
  50. Phufas-Jousma Ellene, Professor, SUNY ERIE, Buffalo NY USA.
  51. Rigos, Capt. Evangelos, Master Mariner, BBA Pace University of New York, GREECE.
  52. Salemi Christina, MSc, Mechanical Engineering, GREECE.
  53. Stampoliadis, Elias, Professor, Technological University of Crete, GREECE.
  54. Tjimopoulou Fryni, Chemist, University of Athens, GREECE.
  55. Vallianatos Evaggelos, Ph.D. Scholar and Writer, USA.
  56. Vamvakousis Georgios, PhD. Engineer, University of Paul Sabatier, FRANCE
  57. Yannopoulos Panayotis, Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Patras, GREECE.