Sep 082023
 
 September 8, 2023  Posted by at 9:32 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  49 Responses »


Claude Monet Woman with a Parasol – Madame Monet and Her Son Dec 31 1874

 

US’ ‘Rigged Election’ To Blame For Ukraine Conflict – Trump (RT)
Musk ‘The Last Adequate Mind’ In America – Medvedev (RT)
The EU’s Best Weapon Against Free Speech Isn’t Working (Marsden)
Ukraine’s ‘Biggest Arms Supplier’ Orchestrated 2014 Maidan Massacre (GZ)
Zelensky Issues Ultimatum To EU Over Grain Ban (RT)
Ukraine ‘Has Never Been Closer’ To NATO Membership – Stoltenberg (RT)
Not Legally Possible’ for US to Transfer Seized Russian Assets to Ukraine (Sp.)
G20 Set To Expand (RT)
Leaked: CIA Front Preparing Color Revolution In Indonesia (MPN)
Germany Faces End Of Decades-Long Economic Boom – El Pais (RT)
General: NATO, US Intend To Open Front Against Russia In Caucasus (RT)
Pentagon Nixes Test of First-Ever US Long-Range c Weapon (Sp.)
House: ‘Evidence of Collusion’ Between Joe Biden and Hunter’s Partners (Sp.)
A Hunter Biden Indictment Could Bring a Surprising Challenge (Turley)
Special Counsel May Indict Hunter Biden by End of September (Sp.)
FDA Refuses to Provide COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Data to US Senator (ET)

 

 

RFK DNC

 

 

RFK Fauci

 

 

 

 

NYC Mayor Adams

 

 

 

 

Megyn Kelly

 

 

Orban Soros
https://twitter.com/i/status/1699770247081865247

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

Nixon Ritter

 

 

 

 

“it’s good to get along.”

US’ ‘Rigged Election’ To Blame For Ukraine Conflict – Trump (RT)

Former president Donald Trump has claimed that the ongoing Ukraine conflict would never have begun if the 2020 US elections hadn’t been “rigged” and Joe Biden hadn’t replaced him and taken office. In an interview with American radio host Hugh Hewitt on Wednesday, Trump insisted that Russia would have never launched its military operation in Ukraine if he were still in the White House. “Ukraine is so sad,” Trump said. “[Putin] would have never done it if the election weren’t rigged, our election. It was rigged and stolen. If that election wasn’t rigged, if I were president, you would right now have millions of people living that are dead,” a transcript of the former president’s interview reads.

Trump went on to also claim that, if he were still president, “Taiwan would never be talked about right now,” and that he’d maintained close contact with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping, even though they “were not close to him.” He also criticized the policies of Joe Biden, who he described as “the most corrupt and incompetent president” and warned that his leadership could lead the world to a nuclear war that’s going to result in World War III. “This man doesn’t have a clue,” Trump said. Last month, the former president also claimed in an op-ed published by Newsweek that the Ukraine conflict was influenced in part by the infamous Russiagate investigation – an FBI probe into Trump’s ties with Russia that was launched over allegations that he’d colluded with Moscow during his 2016 presidential campaign.

A report by special counsel John Durham earlier this year found that the FBI should have never launched the probe, as it was based on biased sources. Trump said the probe came “at a critical moment when we should have been reducing tensions with Russia” and instead undermined relations with Moscow and ultimately stoked a “mass hysteria”that pushed Washington to launch a “proxy war” against Moscow. In July, the former president suggested that that the US is in a “very stupid, dangerous position right now” because it does not have as many nuclear weapons as Russia. He insisted Washington should improve its relations with Moscow, claiming that “it’s good to get along.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1699807844420194319

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“Or, at the very least, in gender-neutral America, he is the one with the balls..”

Musk ‘The Last Adequate Mind’ In America – Medvedev (RT)

Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has praised billionaire Elon Musk for refusing to allow Ukraine to use his Starlink satellite communications network for attacks on a Russian naval base in Crimea. The statement came after CNN published excerpts from Walter Isaacson’s book about Musk, where he detailed the rationale behind the businessman’s decision. “If what Isaacson has written in his book is true, then it looks like Musk is the last adequate mind in North America,” Medvedev, who is currently deputy chair of Russia’s Security Council, wrote on his English-language account on X (formerly known as Twitter) on Thursday. “Or, at the very least, in gender-neutral America, he is the one with the balls,” the official added. According to excerpts from Isaacson’s book, quoted by CNN, Musk secretly ordered his engineers to disable Starlink service near Crimea last year to sabotage a planned Ukrainian attack on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.

“Starlink was not meant to be involved in wars. It was so people can watch Netflix and chill and get online for school and do good peaceful things, not drone strikes,” Musk reportedly said. After the CNN story appeared online, Musk took to X to explain that he had denied Kiev’s “emergency request” to activate Starlink all the way to the port city of Sevastopol, which hosts a Russian naval base. “If I had agreed to their request, then SpaceX would be explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation,” Musk wrote. The businessman donated around 20,000 Starlink kits to Ukraine after Russia launched its military operation in the neighboring state in February 2022. Musk has since advocated for a peaceful resolution of the conflict, drawing ire from both Ukrainian and Western officials.

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“Musk should play along and take notes about the kind of censorship requests that are made of him by Brussels. Then he should publish them on Twitter..”

The EU’s Best Weapon Against Free Speech Isn’t Working (Marsden)

The European Commission has concluded in a new report that despite making pinky-promises to “mitigate the reach and influence of Kremlin-sponsored disinformation,” large social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook were “unsuccessful” in doing so. What a shocker that this research by oversight advocates has ended up advocating in favor of more oversight. Russia just happens to be the most convenient scapegoat. Using the same kind of smear tactics that the bloc has used previously – like when it included Russia alongside Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) in previous security and threat reports – this time it involved conflating “pro-Kremlin” social media accounts with those that it considers to be “Kremlin-aligned” or “Kremlin-backed.”

[..] In a line that just begs to be read repeatedly out of sheer incredulity that someone could be so tone-deaf, the report notes that so-called Kremlin disinfo efforts are “designed to foment political and social instability among its adversaries by stoking ethnic conflict, promoting isolationism, and distracting public attention away from Ukraine and onto domestic affairs.” How dare the people of Europe insist that their leaders focus on the considerable problems faced by their own country and citizens, which have long been exacerbated by misguided national and EU-level policies, rather than riveting their attention to Ukraine! Indeed, if it wasn’t for those meddling Russians, Europe would be a utopia of sunshine and rainbows, everyone holding hands and singing Kumbaya, with nothing else for citizens to concern themselves with besides what’s happening in Ukraine.

The EU laments that “the Kremlin and its proxies captured growing audiences with highly produced propaganda content, and steered users to unregulated online spaces, where democratic norms have eroded and hate and lies could spread with impunity.” They have it all backwards. People wanting to engage in debate and discussion of topics and viewpoints that the EU — in all its arrogance as the self-appointed arbiter of truth — is keen to censor, have been driven to other platforms specifically because they support free speech in all its glory and imperfection.

“Over the course of 2022, the audience and reach of Kremlin-aligned social media accounts increased substantially all over Europe,” according to the report, adding that “the reach and influence of Kremlin-backed accounts has grown further in the first half of 2023, driven in particular by the dismantling of Twitter’s safety standards.” In other words, Elon Musk, who considershimself a “free speech absolutist,” came along and bought Twitter, leveled the playing field by opening up debate and reducing censorship, and what ended up happening is that people flooded to the platform as a refreshing alternative to the curated and censored Western establishment narrative that they’re spoon-fed elsewhere.

So what’s the EU going to do about it now? Well, mandatory compliance with its Digital Services Act is now in effect as of last month. This means that, theoretically, all the major social media platforms are obligated to work with the EU’s handpicked “civil society” actors to moderate and censor content – no doubt in alignment with the EU’s narrative. Musk should play along and take notes about the kind of censorship requests that are made of him by Brussels. Then he should publish them on Twitter in the interest of radical transparency and the kind of uncompromising defense of democracy to which the EU is constantly paying lip service as a pretext for its crackdowns on our fundamental freedoms.

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“European and American officials are loath to discuss Mr. Pashinsky, for fear of playing into Russia’s narrative that Ukraine’s government is hopelessly corrupt..”

Ukraine’s ‘Biggest Arms Supplier’ Orchestrated 2014 Maidan Massacre (GZ)

Years before emerging as Kiev’s top private weapons trafficker, ex-legislator Serhiy Pashinsky played a key role in the 2014 US-backed coup which toppled Ukraine’s democratically-elected president and set the stage for a devastating civil war. Though the notoriously corrupt former Ukrainian parliamentarian was condemned by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as a “criminal” as recently as 2019, a lengthy exposé by the New York Times has now identified Pashinsky as the Ukrainian government’s “biggest private arms supplier.” Perhaps predictably, the report makes no mention of evidence implicating Pashinsky in the 2014 massacre of 70 anti-government protesters in Kiev’s Maidan Square, an incident which pro-Western forces used to consummate their coup d’etat against then-President Viktor Yanukovych.

In an August 12 report on Ukraine’s new weapons-sourcing strategy, the New York Times alleged that “out of desperation,” Kiev had no option but to adopt increasingly amoral tactics. The shift, they say, has driven up prices of lethal imports at an exponential rate, “and added layer upon layer of profit-making” for the benefit of unscrupulous speculators like Pashinsky. According to the Times, the strategy is simple: Pashinksy “buys and sells grenades, artillery shells and rockets through a trans-European network of middlemen,” then “sells them, then buys them again and sells them once more”: “With each transaction, prices rise – as do the profits of Mr. Pashinsky’s associates – until the final buyer, Ukraine’s military, pays the most,” the Times explained, adding that while using multiple brokers may technically be legal, “it is a time-tested way to inflate profits.”

As the seemingly endless supply of cash from Western taxpayers provides a bonanza for arms manufacturers such as Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, it similarly benefits war profiteers like Pashinsky. His company, Ukrainian Armored Technology, “reported its best year ever last year, with sales totaling more than $350 million” — a whopping 12,500% increase from its $2.8 million in sales the year before the war. Pashinsky is not the only racketeer benefitting from the elimination of anti-corruption measures in wartime Ukraine. Several suppliers previously placed on an official blacklist after they “ripped off the military” are now free to sell again, according to the Times investigation. The outlet downplayed this as an unfortunate, but ultimately necessary measure.

“In the name of rushing weapons to the front line, leaders have resurrected figures from Ukraine’s rough-and-tumble past and undone, at least temporarily, years of anticorruption [sic] policies,” the Times asserted, describing “the re-emergence of figures like Mr. Pashinsky” as “one reason the American and British governments are buying ammunition for Ukraine rather than simply handing over money”: “European and American officials are loath to discuss Mr. Pashinsky, for fear of playing into Russia’s narrative that Ukraine’s government is hopelessly corrupt and must be replaced.”

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“Zelensky expressed hope that Ukraine and Brussels will avoid a legal battle and that “unity will win. That truth will win.”

Zelensky Issues Ultimatum To EU Over Grain Ban (RT)

Kiev will go to an international arbitration court if the EU decides to prolong its ban on Ukrainian grain beyond September 15, Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky has warned. The curbs on deliveries of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed, and sunflower seeds to Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Slovakia, which had been introduced in May, are set to expire next week. But the five EU members are now pushing for the ban to be extended at least until the end of the year, citing the need to protect their agricultural industries. “Ukraine is strongly against any further restrictions on the export of our grain,” Zelensky pointed out in an address published on his website on Wednesday. “We calmly watch as our grain becomes a source of good income for various European countries that process our agricultural products and make money on logistics,” he said.

“But how can we not-calmly accept the violation of the promises given to us, the violation of the Association Agreement, the violation of free market conditions,” he added, directly addressing the European Commission. During the conflict with Russia, Ukraine is “fighting for life and for our common European values” on land, at sea, in the air, and in cyberspace, the president claimed. “But if we have to fight for Ukraine and the foundations of our common Europe in arbitration, we will fight. We don’t want to, but we will fight in arbitration. If we need to fight on the platforms of international organizations, we will fight there as well,” he warned. However, Zelensky expressed hope that Ukraine and Brussels will avoid a legal battle and that “unity will win. That truth will win.” He also addressed the leaders of Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Slovakia, arguing that “any restrictions against Ukrainian exports now are a scaling-up of the destruction” caused by the fighting between Kiev and Moscow.

Politico reported on Wednesday that during a meeting with the European Commission earlier the same day, the ambassadors from other EU countries “either openly opposed the idea of extending the restrictions [on Ukrainian grain] or remained deeply skeptical” about such a move. France and Germany have been among the nations most critical of prolonging the curbs, it said. EU diplomats reportedly told the outlet that many countries understood the concerns of Warsaw, Budapest, Bucharest, Sofia, and Bratislava but wanted the European Commission to find alternative means to resolve the issue. Poland, which vigorously opposes the deliveries of Ukrainian grain despite being one of Kiev’s prime backers amid the conflict with Russia, and Hungary have already said they’ll come up with unilateral restrictions if the EU refuses to prolong the ban.

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aka they’re as far away as ever.

Ukraine ‘Has Never Been Closer’ To NATO Membership – Stoltenberg (RT)

Ukraine is closer than ever to joining NATO, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has claimed, adding that Russia “cannot veto” Kiev’s future membership. The NATO chief made the comments on Thursday at the European Parliament, where he briefed MEPs on cooperation between the US-led military bloc and the EU. Stoltenberg insisted that the two sides “share the same values [and] the same challenges.” Part of his address was dedicated to what NATO offered Ukraine at a recent summit in Lithuania. Kiev was not provided the roadmap to membership that it had requested, but was promised more military aid, representation through a newly created council, and an opportunity to skip a step that NATO candidates typically have to pass.

“And these three things, the interoperability, the NATO-Ukraine Council and removal of the requirement for Membership Action Plan for Ukraine, demonstrate that Ukraine has never been closer to a membership in NATO than now,” Stoltenberg declared. US President Joe Biden said ahead of the July summit that Ukraine would have to meet certain conditions before its bid was accepted. NATO member states have also ruled out Ukraine joining before the conflict with Russia is resolved. After the 2014 Western-backed coup in Kiev, Ukraine declared membership of the EU and NATO as its foreign policy priorities, enshrining these aspirations in its constitution. sThat stance helped fuel tensions with Russia, which considers NATO a hostile organization and has for decades objected to its expansion in Europe.

The bloc first promised that Ukraine would eventually become a member during a 2008 summit in Bucharest. Russia has requested that Ukraine be a neutral nation that does not host foreign military forces. In 2021, Moscow attempted to negotiate a security arrangement that would have addressed its concerns, calling on NATO to withdraw its military infrastructure from the Russian border and cease its expansion. The proposal, however, was rejected. Russian President Vladimir Putin cited NATO’s involvement in Ukraine as among the key reasons when Moscow began its military operation against Kiev last year. Speaking to MEPs, Stoltenberg reiterated NATO’s position that “Russia cannot veto membership for any sovereign independent state in Europe.”

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Highway robbery..

Not Legally Possible for US to Transfer Seized Russian Assets to Ukraine (Sp.)

The US said it would transfer the seized assets of Russian businessmen to veterans of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on Thursday. The announcement was made by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a press conference with his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, in Kiev, who indicated the amount transferred would be $5.4 million. Blinken, however, did not elaborate on the precise sum, from which accounts the money would be taken or when exactly the transfer would occur. Since the launch of Russia’s special operation in Ukraine in February 2022, Western powers have initiated several rounds of seizures of property and freezing of assets belonging to both Russian nationals and state institutions located in the West. The US has long asserted it would seek to transfer these assets to Ukrainian control, but has so far not attempted to do so.

Christopher C. Black, an international criminal lawyer with 20 years of experience in war crimes and international relations told Sputnik it was “not legally possible” to do what Blinken declared the US was doing. “It seems to me that the statements declaring their intentions to use seized assets to fund the Ukraine regime are more for propaganda purposes than for real economic effect. They make these announcements from time to time to try to humiliate Russia and show Russia who’s boss, or so they think,” Black told Sputnik, adding that such moves were aimed at harming Russian prestige. “But the opposite occurs. It is their [US] reputation and prestige that is undermined, their claimed adherence to the rule of law, to the right to property, to justice.

They reveal themselves for what they are and the consequence is that citizens and national governments will be reluctant to have any type of assets placed in those nations if they can be seized on any pretext. So it ends up harming their own economies and the world economic system.” “The issue of the use of illegally seized assets, whether cash or property or financial securities such as stocks, bonds is important to expose the nature of the governments involved,” Black said. “They continually talk about their ‘values’ and we see with this that one of their values is to raise theft and piracy to a standard practice.” “It is not legally possible to use such assets to provide Ukraine with funds to carry on the war against Russia,” Black asserted.

“The Canadian government has stated that they will sell the Russian aircraft that they illegally seized to give the money from the sale to Ukraine. The US and EU countries have promised to use other seized assets for the same purpose. But again, all of this is illegal, since the assets were simply ordered to be seized by government fiat, by-passing proper legal procedures and without any means for the owners to object,” the legal expert explained. “Assets can only be seized normally if a debt is owed and the creditor goes to court to get compensation and a court orders certain assets to be handed over to satisfy the debt, but no debts were involved. The NATO governments have just stolen these assets ignoring all legalities,” he said.

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G20 desperately seeks relevance..

G20 Set To Expand (RT)

Leaders of the G20 group of advanced economies have agreed to grant the African Union permanent membership of the organization, according to multiple media reports ahead of this week’s summit in New Delhi. The bloc of 55 African countries, which is currently classified as an “invited international organization” by the G20, would have the same status as the European Union within the group. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose nation currently holds the rotating G20 presidency, reportedly urged other leaders to accept the African Union into the group in a letter in June. “This will be a right step towards a just, fair, more inclusive and representative global architecture and governance,” the media quoted the document as saying.

“[The] prime minister is a strong believer in having a greater voice of the Global South countries on international platforms, particularly of African countries.” South Africa is currently the sole permanent G20 member representing the continent. Egypt and Mauritius – located in North Africa and off its eastern coast, respectively – are “invitees.” The African Union’s upcoming accession was confirmed by The Times of India newspaper, Bloomberg news agency, and Russia’s Vedomosti daily. The latter cited Svetlana Lukash, a Russian G20 sherpa, as its source. She noted that Moscow was among the first to support the candidacy after it was formally proposed last year by President of Senegal Macky Sall, who was also the chair of the African Union at the time.

The Senegalese dignitary argued earlier this year that the G20 would undo a great “injustice” by accepting the union into its ranks. African nations collectively hold eighth place in the world in terms of GDP, he told an economic event in France. Bloomberg said the US and its European allies intend to use the G20 leaders’ summit in India, which is scheduled for this weekend, to woo nations that have good relations with Moscow and Beijing. Russian President Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping will not be attending in person, opening a window of opportunity. The Europeans, in particular, see their support for the African Union’s bid as giving them clout among the nations of the continent, the outlet explained.

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Include Indonesia in BRICS ASAP.

Leaked: CIA Front Preparing Color Revolution In Indonesia (MPN)

Documents passed anonymously to MintPress News reveal the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a notorious CIA front, is laying the foundations for a color revolution in Indonesia. In February 2024, citizens will elect their President, Vice President, and both legislative chambers. Current maverick leader Joko Widodo, widely beloved by Indonesians, is ineligible for a third term, and NED is preparing to seize power in the wake of his departure. This operation is conducted despite the leaks indicating Jakarta’s foremost intelligence agency has expressly warned U.S. officials to stay put. The paper trail is a stunning insight into how NED operates behind the scenes, from which obvious inferences can be drawn about its activities elsewhere, past and present.

By the organization’s own reckoning, it operates in over 100 countries and disperses in excess of 2,000 grants every year. In Indonesia, these sums have helped extend the Endowment’s tendrils into various NGOs, civil society groups, and, most crucially, political parties and candidates across the ideological spectrum. This broad spread bet goes some way to ensuring U.S. assets, one way or another, will emerge victorious next February. However, a veritable army of NED operatives on the ground is also primed to challenge, if not overturn, the results should the wrong people win. Personal grants – in other words, bribes – from the Endowment have already secretly been distributed to Indonesians for staging anti-government protests. What skullduggery NED has in store for election day isn’t certain, although sparks are assured to fly. At the very least, these documents amply reinforce what Endowment cofounder Allen Weinstein openly admitted in 1991: A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”

Joko Widodo – popularly known as Jokowi – is something of a rockstar. The first Indonesian leader not drawn from the country’s established political or military elite since its hard-won independence from the Dutch in 1949, he was born and raised in a riverside slum in Surakarta. From there, he fought to become mayor of his hometown in 2005, then governor of Jakarta in 2012, then President two years later. Every step of the way, Widodo has battled bureaucracy and corruption while pursuing programs to deliver universal healthcare, economic growth, radical infrastructure development, and material improvements to the lives of average citizens. Such is his domestic popularity that analysts routinely speak of the “Jokowi Effect.” After the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle named him their presidential candidate in 2014, their vote share leaped 30% in that year’s legislative election.

Widodo’s candidacy also reportedly stimulated Indonesia’s stock market and Rupiah currency due to his sparkling political and economic record. One might think burnishing the country’s finances to such a degree through sheer force of personality would make him an ideal leader from Washington’s perspective. Yet, the President has also prioritized “protecting Indonesia’s sovereignty” and limiting overseas influence in Jakarta. Moreover, he pursues an intensely independent foreign policy, much to the U.S. Empire’s chagrin. Widodo has encouraged leaders of Muslim states to reconcile and pushed for Palestinian independence. His Foreign Minister visits Palestine but refuses to establish diplomatic relations with Israel. He has also distributed sizable aid to oppressed Muslims abroad. Most egregiously, since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he flew to both countries and urged their leaders to seek peace. When Jakarta hosted the G20 Summit that year, he invited not only Zelensky but Putin to attend despite fierce Western criticism.

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“The German model hinges on cost competitiveness, technological leadership in industry, and geopolitical stability, and “all of them are gone..”

Germany Faces End Of Decades-Long Economic Boom – El Pais (RT)

Germany’s decades of prosperity, which propelled it to become one of the world’s biggest economies, are coming to an end, Spanish daily El Pais claimed earlier this week, citing analysts. According to figures released by the International Monetary Fund in July, Germany is forecast to be the only major economy not to grow this year, with its GDP expected to decline by 0.3%. The German model hinges on cost competitiveness, technological leadership in industry, and geopolitical stability, and “all of them are gone,” according to journalist Wolfgang Munchau, as cited by the newspaper. “What has now emerged is an energy price crisis, new geopolitical divisions and technological shocks that pose existential questions about the future of the model,” Munchau said, adding that the world around Germany has completely changed.

Since the early 2000s the country has enjoyed continual strong growth driven by high employment rates and foreign demand from fast-growing economies such as China. Germany’s manufacturing sector, the mainstay of the economy, has been flourishing since 2003, fuelled by cheap energy from Russia and low-cost labor from Eastern Europe. Germany is expected to further rely on a massive level of exports and imports, “but the industries that were successful in the last two decades, namely the chemical and automotive ones, will not perform the same role in the future,” Clemens Fuest, director of the Leibniz Institute for Economic Research (IFO), told El Pais.

According to Carsten Brzeski, the ING chief for Germany and the Eurozone, China – while still importing German products – has also become a strong rival. The expert added that pandemic-related challenges along with geo-political tensions have changed the world, but that Germany has also failed to invest and implement new reforms in time. Moreover, Fuest noted, public and private investments are hampered by overly complex planning procedures, restrictive regulations and bureaucracy that should be simplified by the government.

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Armenia.

General: NATO, US Intend To Open Front Against Russia In Caucasus (RT)

NATO and the US intend to open a front against Russia in the Caucasus, the former military attache of the Turkish Embassy in Azerbaijan, General Yucel Karauz told Report. Commenting on the post of Gunther Fehlinger, Chair of the European Committee for NATO Enlargement, on his X account calling Armenia to join NATO, the General noted that the Alliance wants to measure the reaction of Russia and the countries of the region with this statement: “Because Russia calls the Caucasus its backyard. Earlier, they took the initiative in the direction of Georgia joining NATO together with Ukraine. However, even after many years, Georgia could not become a member of NATO. This time, they made this call for Armenia.”

Karauz said he has received information that such a call will be made for Azerbaijan as well. According to him, the United States will also support this call and this means that NATO’s move is not against Azerbaijan: “Azerbaijan is a country with developed relations with NATO. Türkiye will definitely not allow any step against Azerbaijan. Armenia cannot become a NATO member without solving its problem with Azerbaijan, without complying with the conditions of the tripartite declaration signed between the leaders of Azerbaijan, Russia, and Armenia on November 10, without showing clean behavior towards Türkiye and Azerbaijan, and without removing the statements aimed at the territorial integrity of Türkiye from its constitution.”

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Years behind.

Pentagon Nixes Test of First-Ever US Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (Sp.)

Seeking to catch up to Russia and China, the Pentagon’s Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon has a reported range of over 1,725 miles and travels at roughly five times the speed of sound. The US military scrapped a test of what was meant to be the army’s first hypersonic long-range missile in its arsenal. The Pentagon did not specify the reasons for the cancellation. The Western media pointed out that this decision raises concerns whether the US will be able to compete in hypersonic warfare with Russia and China. Hypersonic LRMs have the ability to surmount traditional air defenses and can be armed with nuclear warheads.

The US Defense Intelligence Agency said in March that the US is losing the hypersonic race to China, and emphasized that this raises alarm bells concerning national security. According to media reports, the Army’s 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Washington is going to operate the first battery of eight LRHW missiles when they are fielded. In theory, the Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon consists of a ground-launched missile equipped with a hypersonic glide body and associated transport, support, and fire control equipment.

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“Joe Biden “never built an ‘absolute wall’ between his family’s business dealings and his official government work — his office doors were wide open to Hunter Biden’s associates.”

House: ‘Evidence of Collusion’ Between Joe Biden and Hunter’s Partners (Sp.)

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, who is leading Republican probes into Biden family finances, has expanded his request of the National Archives to seek more emails and documents from when Joe Biden served as vice president (VP) under Barack Obama. In particular, Comer asked for unredacted emails involving communications between the then-VP and business associates of his son Hunter’s now-dissolved firm Rosemont Seneca Partners and Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings. The House Oversight Committee chairman noted in a statement that Joe Biden “never built an ‘absolute wall’ between his family’s business dealings and his official government work — his office doors were wide open to Hunter Biden’s associates.”

Comer claimed that “[t]here is evidence of collusion in the efforts to spin media stories about Burisma’s corruption while Vice President Biden was publicly pushing an anti-corruption agenda in Ukraine.” “Suspiciously, Hunter Biden’s associate had a media statement on Burisma approved by Vice President Biden himself the same day Hunter Biden ‘called D.C.’ for help with the government pressure facing Burisma. Americans demand accountability for this abuse of government office for the benefit of the Biden family. The Oversight Committee will continue to pursue all evidence to provide much-needed transparency to the American people,” the GOP lawmaker added. The remarks come a week after Comer said that the National Archives has thousands of emails and records linked to a pseudonym allegedly used by POTUS to discuss foreign business with his son Hunter Biden.

“The National Archives has admitted to possessing 5,400 emails and records connected to then-VP Biden’s ‘Robert L. Peters’ email account,” Comer wrote on social media late last month. Comer’s House committee earlier requested information from the National Archives on the Robert Peters email address, which Joe purportedly used as a pseudonymous means of communication. This followed the House panel chair revealing a third batch of financial documents that showed evidence that the Biden family received millions of dollars from foreign businessmen during Joe’s vice presidency in 2014. Two previous packages of financial documents were released in March and May. They highlighted Biden’s family use of the Robinson Walker LLC bank account to receive money from a certain Chinese entity and dealings in Romania.

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“..the President may not be quite ready for his son to join actual hunters in advocating for sweeping gun rights protections, including drug users.”

A Hunter Biden Indictment Could Bring a Surprising Challenge (Turley)

After the spectacular collapse of his sweetheart deal with the Justice Department in court, Hunter Biden’s lawyer angrily told the prosecutors in open court to “just rip it up.” It appears, however, that the defense team does not want to shred one part of the deal: the diversion agreement to avoid any charge over his false statement to obtain a gun permit. The defense is now arguing that, since the two sides signed the agreement before the implosion in court, it is final and complete. The Justice Department thinks otherwise. It is arguing that neither the probation officer nor the Court agreed to the plea agreement to finalize it. Indeed, it was the sweeping immunity language buried in the gun charge section that led the Court to throw a flag on the play. Accordingly, the Justice Department is now pledging to indict Hunter by the end of the month.

Hunter, however, is insisting that the Justice Department will have to pry the agreement from his cold, dead fingers. Indeed, the President’s son may be channeling more from the National Rifle Association (NRA) than its catchline. If the court rejects the diversion agreement as executed, Hunter could be making an argument that will leave the Biden White House in something of a pickle. One obvious attack against a charge is to argue that the underlying law itself is unconstitutional. Under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3), anyone who is an “unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance,” including marijuana, is barred from possessing a gun and can face up to 10 years in prison.

However, recently the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled the law violated the Second Amendment in United States v. Daniels. The case involved a man who was arrested in possession of marijuana and two loaded firearms. The Fifth Circuit relief on the Supreme Court’s decision in Bruen v. New York Rifle & Pistol Association, which established that firearms laws must conform with the nation’s “historical tradition of firearm regulation.” President Biden denounced Bruen as a virtual abomination and has been a vocal supporter of the underlying law. Hunter, however, may now find himself in strange company in seeking to avoid any federal charge. In the appellate opinion, Judge Jerry E. Smith wrote that “Our history and tradition may support some limits on an intoxicated person’s right to carry a weapon, but it does not justify disarming a sober citizen based exclusively on his past drug usage.”

That sounds tantalizingly familiar, but is it enough for Hunter to go full Wayne LaPierre? If so, this would not be the first time that Hunter followed a path that his father has previously condemned in others. For example, for decades, Joe Biden has railed against “deadbeat dads” despite his son’s long effort to avoid paying child support to Lunden Alexis Roberts. Hunter spent years fighting support for his daughter Navy, even after a court confirmed that he was her father. Joe Biden himself only recently acknowledged the existence of Navy after routinely excluding her from the list of his grandchildren. Yet, the President may not be quite ready for his son to join actual hunters in advocating for sweeping gun rights protections, including drug users.

Read more …

Little reason to have faith in the special counsel.

Curious: The lawyers argue that Hunter’s plea deal is valid, even after the judge threw it out.

Special Counsel May Indict Hunter Biden by End of September (Sp.)

The development follows the appointment of David Weiss by US Attorney General Merrick Garland, who tasked Weiss with investigating Hunter Biden after a plea deal between Hunter and federal prosecutors fell apart, pushing the case closer to trial. Special counsel David Weiss is planning to bring an indictment against Hunter Biden by the end of September, court documents filed on Wednesday have revealed. The three-age filing comes in response to a gun possession case that saw Hunter accused of lying on a federal firearm form in which he indicated that he was not using drugs at the time. Officials did not outline which charges they intend to file in the case. The form dates back to 2018, and comes in addition to an ongoing investigation into the Biden family’s business dealings, which allegedly include a pay-to-play scheme involving both Hunter and his father, US President Joe Biden.

Prosecutors are arguing that officials must obtain a grand jury indictment by September 29, 2023, in line with the Speedy Trial Act. The looming indictment comes weeks after an earlier plea deal in which Hunter Biden was allowed to completely avoid prison time collapsed in July. The agreement allowed the Biden son to also plead guilty to misdemeanor tax charges in exchange for being placed on probation. Additionally, he agreed to a pretrial diversion on a separate gun charge, with the charge set to be dropped if he met certain conditions. Hunter Biden’s legal team has contended that prosecutors cannot file additional charges in the case, arguing that both sides had already come to an understanding through the since-trashed plea deal agreement that prosecutors cleared.

Weiss’ team maintains that a probation officer’s signature is necessary for ratification, which they claim did not occur in this case. Biden attorney Abbe Lowell, however, asserts that the signed and filed diversion agreement remains valid, and that Hunter has continued abide by the terms. “Mr. Biden has been following and will continue to follow the conditions of that Agreement, which the U.S. Attorney’s Office agreed and signed and informed the Court on July 20, 2023 that the Probation Office had agreed to and had recommended be put into effect,” Hunter Biden’s lawyers wrote in response to the special counsel’s filing.

Read more …

Who runs this country? Not Congress, it seems..

“FDA is unable to comment on pending litigation..”

Just let it pend until after the election?!

FDA Refuses to Provide COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Data to US Senator (ET)

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the results of analyses on data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System in January. The request came after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said none of the safety signals it identified for the COVID-19 vaccines were “unexpected.” The two agencies have run different types of analyses on the system’s reports, which are primarily made by health care professionals. The CDC ran Proportional Reporting Ratio analyses, which involve comparing the number of reported adverse events to the number of adverse events reported after vaccination with other vaccines. The first time the agency ran analyses using the method for the COVID-19 vaccines, in 2022, hundreds of signals were triggered, files obtained by The Epoch Times show.

The FDA in 2021 started a different type of analysis, called Empirical Bayesian (EB) data mining. The Proportional Reporting Ratio results “were generally consistent with EB data mining, revealing no additional unexpected safety signals,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC’s director at the time, told Mr. Johnson previously. Mr. Johnson demanded answers on that claim, prompting the CDC to point him to the FDA. The FDA recently responded to Mr. Johnson, telling him that it cannot provide the information he seeks. “FDA’s EB data mining analyses of adverse events contained in VAERS reports for COVID-19 vaccines are currently the subject of pending FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] litigation. FDA is unable to comment on pending litigation or provide information or data that is currently being considered in pending litigation,” the agency told the senator.

Mr. Johnson in a new letter told FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf that the claim was wrong. “As you are well aware, Congress has a right to information contained at U.S. federal agencies as it conducts its constitutional oversight responsibilities,” Mr. Johnson said. “It is outrageous that FDA would assert that pending litigation, and particularly FOIA litigation, would allow your agency to obstruct my congressional oversight,” he added. “Any pending litigation FDA may have relating to its EB data mining records has no bearing on its responsibility to comply with a congressional request.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Plimer

 

 

 

 

Vit. D

 

 

 

 

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May 012023
 
 May 1, 2023  Posted by at 6:30 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  5 Responses »


Edgar Degas Self Portrait 1862

Andrew Korybko:

 

The US is shaping the Asia-Pacific in preparation of a conventional conflict with China, to which end it unveiled the AUKUS alliance in late 2021. This platform is intended to form the core of a NATO-like military structure for containing the People’s Republic, and it’ll replace whatever related role American policymakers initially envisaged the Quad playing. This makes AUKUS extremely dangerous, especially as other regional countries tacitly expand their cooperation with its American leader.

South Korea’s recent decision to let US nuclear-armed submarines dock at its ports for the first time in decades, which was made during President Yoon’s trip to DC last week, signals its interest in de facto integrating into this anti-Chinese bloc. Nearby Japan can already be regarded as an informal member of that alliance after Prime Minister Kishida reaffirmed his country’s commitment to the US’ regional goals in January and implied that it’ll rapidly remilitarize in the coming future in order to contain China.

Taken together and paired with the recent Japanese-Korean rapprochement, it can therefore be concluded that the US has strengthened its alliance network in Northeast Asia in order to facilitate the region’s unofficial integration into AUKUS+. At the same time, it’s also doing something similar with the Philippines in Southeast Asia, whose president visits the US this week. He’s expected to also de facto integrate his country into AUKUS+ too exactly as his South Korean counterpart just did.

The Philippines’ northernmost core island of Luzon is much closer to Taiwan than the Japanese Home Islands are, thus making it an ideal staging post for any American military intervention in that Chinese province. Although President Marcos just denied that his country intends to facilitate anyone’s regional military plans, it was recently revealed that the four new bases that he agreed to let America use are located on that island, thus casting serious doubts on the sincerity of his claim.

Three other recent developments bode ill for peace in this part of Asia. CNN published a lengthy analysis in mid-April arguing that the US should maximally stockpile weapons in Taiwan in order to help its ally’s forces survive in the event that China blockades the island prior to launching a special operation there. Curiously, such resupply challenges were then confirmed a few days later during an anti-Chinese congressional committee’s wargame of precisely that scenario.

The second development concerned top EU diplomat Borrell’s suggestion that the bloc’s navies patrol the Taiwan Strait. This came just several weeks after NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg declared that “We are now stepping up our cooperation with our partners in the Indo-Pacific: Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia.” The indisputable trend is that the US’ European partners are poised to play a larger military role in the region, including a provocative one if they end up patrolling the Taiwan Strait.

And lastly, it was reported last weekend that US special forces carried out their first-ever drills simulating what they’d do if their country went to war with China over Taiwan, thus removing any so-called “strategic ambiguity” about how Washington would respond to that scenario. It can no longer claim any pretense to neutrality after literally preparing its most highly trained forces for infiltrating into Taiwan to kill whatever Chinese forces might eventually enter that island.

These three developments prove that the US is rounding up allies in both the Asia-Pacific and Europe ahead of a possible war with China, but there are two important players that either won’t participate in this plot or have yet to decide, with these being India and Indonesia respectively. The influential Council on Foreign Relations’ official magazine just published a piece about why India won’t get involved, while Indonesia is being pressured to allow American and Australian forces to transit through its territory.

Even without those two, the US’ emerging anti-Chinese containment coalition is still very formidable and represents its success in getting a multitude of countries to converge around AUKUS. South Korea will serve as an intelligence and missile outpost, Japan’s Ryukyu Islands and the Philippines’ Luzon are complementary staging points for facilitating a US intervention in Taiwan, and NATO will provide back-end support all across the region as well as possibly provoke China by patrolling the Taiwan Strait.

Amidst the solidification of the Asia-Pacific’s NATO-like military structure, the US and its allies will likely fill Taiwan to the brim with weapons exactly as CNN suggested and an anti-Chinese congressional committee curiously confirmed should be a top priority just a couple days later. These interconnected trends represent extremely pressing challenges for China’s objective national security interests, which are being threatened ever more by the day as it holds off on launching a special operation in Taiwan.

There are justifiable reasons for China’s stance, especially since its leadership would truly prefer to peacefully reunify with their country’s wayward region and thus want to completely exhaust all related possibilities before resorting to military means. This moral approach is predicated on their reluctance to be the first to initiate what would be a fratricidal conflict, which is commendable, but it comes at the expense of military interests in the event that a war over that island is inevitable.

No one knows whether it is or not, but the US is doing its utmost to be in the best position possible should that scenario unfold, which thus complicates China’s own position in that event. If the US feels that it’s obtained a decisive edge over China through the crystallization of AUKUS+ and upon maximally stockpiling weapons in Taiwan, then it might even seek to provoke a conflict that wargamers convinced themselves Beijing would lose, which is a frightening scenario that can’t be ruled out.

 

 

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Mar 222023
 
 March 22, 2023  Posted by at 8:50 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  52 Responses »


Rene Magritte Memory 1948

 

Ukraine Planning Major Attack On New Russian Territories – Bild (RT)
Republicans Demand Cluster Munitions For Ukraine (RT)
Putin Warns UK Against Plan To Supply Depleted Uranium To Ukraine (RT)
Russia Urges OPCW To Heed Info On Chemical Weapons At Kramatorsk – Envoy (TASS)
Ukraine Afraid To Criticize China – Politico (RT)
United States Trying To Paint Russia As An Enemy – Patrushev (TASS)
Direct Conflict Between NATO, Russia To Lead To World War – Hungary FM (TASS)
Hungary Blocks Joint EU Statement On Putin’s ICC Arrest Warrant (RT)
Hungary Gives Ukraine EU, NATO Membership Ultimatum (RT)
US/Russia/China Standoff Big Opportunity For Second-tier Powers (Bordachev)
US Does Not Let Ukraine Even Consider Negotiating – Moscow (RT)
Russia Ready To Switch To Yuan In Foreign Trade – Putin (RT)
Switzerland Risks Becoming ‘Financial Banana Republic’ – Industry Expert (RT)
Indonesia To Ditch Visa And Mastercard (RT)
Alvin Bragg Prepares the Ultimate Frankenstein Indictment (Turley)
Alvin Bragg Caught Hiding Nearly 600 Pages Of Exculpatory Evidence (GP)
Trump to Be Indicted Wednesday, Arraignment Next Week (GP)

 

 

 

 

Nap McGovern

 

 

 

 

Kirby
https://twitter.com/i/status/1638236804905070602

 

 

 

 

Debt

 

 

Djokovic

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..Kiev’s backers are reportedly providing it with intelligence data as well as training, logistical support and weapons..”

Ukraine Planning Major Attack On New Russian Territories – Bild (RT)

Russia and Ukraine and are approaching a decisive period in their conflict, with Kiev aiming to sever the Russian land bridge to Crimea this spring, Germany’s Bild newspaper has reported. The tabloid cited an anonymous NATO source who claimed the bloc is providing Ukraine with everything it needs to retake its former territories. In a report on Tuesday, Bild quoted a “leading” NATO official as stating that the alliance’s analysts expect the conflict to reach a climax in the spring and summer. The official expressed confidence that heavy weaponry being delivered to Ukraine will be brought to bear in several counteroffensives as early as May. “The coming six months will be a key period in the war not only for Ukraine, but also for the allies,” the unnamed source predicted.

While refusing to go into detail regarding planned operations, the official asserted that Ukrainian forces will focus their efforts on the regions of Zaporozhye and Lugansk. The main objective of the offensives will be to “sever the land bridge to Crimea,” the NATO source added. The official claimed that Ukraine is likely to mount counteroffensives in other regions as well, which will either be genuine or merely serve as distractions to preoccupy the Russian military. According to the Bild report, NATO is not ruling out a scenario in which Ukraine would attempt to retake Crimea, which joined Russia in 2014 following a referendum. “Kiev has the right to recapture all Ukrainian territory,” the official insisted.

In an effort to ensure the new offensives are successful, Kiev’s backers are reportedly providing it with intelligence data as well as training, logistical support and weapons. Speaking to the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita on Monday, Czech President Petr Pavel said that the “window of opportunity” for Ukraine would only be open until the end of this year. The former general, who served as chair of the NATO Military Committee until 2018, argued that with elections approaching in the US in 2024, Washington is likely to reduce defense aid to Ukraine. Pavel said he expected European nations to follow suit. “Ukraine will only have one attempt to launch a major counteroffensive,” the Czech president claimed, adding that should this effort fail, “it will be extremely difficult to obtain funds for the next one.”

Read more …

Cluster munitions and depleted uranium. What is wrong with us?

Republicans Demand Cluster Munitions For Ukraine (RT)

Four Republican congressmen have entreated US President Joe Biden to send cluster munitions, a controversial weapon banned in 110 countries, to Ukraine, dismissing concerns about escalating the conflict as misplaced in a letter to the White House on Tuesday. The Biden administration shouldn’t hesitate to send cluster munitions – specifically dual purpose improved conventional munitions (DPICM) – because of “vague concerns about the reaction of allies and partners and unfounded fears of ‘escalation’,” Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho), Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Alabama) wrote in their letter. After all, they said, other countries have already sent such weapons without triggering Russian retaliation.

Acknowledging the weapons’ horrific effects, the signatories argued that while Ukrainian leaders are “aware of the risks to non-combatants,” the “existential threat posed by Russia’s invasion and daily acts of barbarity” is more important. Additionally, they claimed, “d,” US DPICM are equipped with “technologically advanced measures” that limit collateral damage. A 2008 UN treaty banned cluster munitions in 110 countries, including three-quarters of NATO member nations. It has been signed by another 13 countries, though neither Russia, Ukraine, nor the US are on that list. Ukraine is the only country where the deadly devices are currently in use, and both sides have been accused of deploying them in the conflict.

Aside from one attack in Yemen in 2009, the US has not used cluster munitions since it invaded Iraq in 2003 and has not produced any since 2016. Central Command has admitted the hundreds of smaller bombs they contain are often left unexploded across the strike area, posing risks similar to landmines to anyone – especially children – who encounter the odd-looking little “petal mines.” While the White House initially balked at Kiev’s request for DPICMs in December, it stopped short of a hard “no,” and the issue is reportedly still under consideration if the US runs out of available ammunition to ship overseas.

In April, 27 members of Congress denounced Russia’s alleged use of cluster munitions, calling them “barbaric and indiscriminate weapons” and urging Biden to join the UN convention. The current policy, they said, was “wholly unacceptable given what we know about the immediate and long-term damage done to societies on which they are deployed.” While the Republican Party’s 2022 campaign platform stressed curtailing the Biden administration’s blank check to Kiev, the Pentagon announced another $350 million in weapons just this week, to be drawn from the US’ own stockpiles.

Read more …

Opening the door to radioactive material.

Putin Warns UK Against Plan To Supply Depleted Uranium To Ukraine (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned London against the planned delivery of depleted uranium (DU) armor-piercing tank rounds to Ukraine, saying the weapons will be treated by Moscow as containing “nuclear components.” Putin commented on British plans to include DU munitions in a forthcoming delivery of Challenger 2 main battle tanks as he spoke alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping following talks in Moscow on Tuesday. “I would like to note that if this happens, then Russia will be forced to react accordingly, bearing in mind that the collective West has already started to use weapons with a nuclear component,” he stated. A similar warning was issued by Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu on the sidelines of the Russia-China talks, who said the move would bring the world yet another step closer to a nuclear disaster.

“Another step has been taken, and there are fewer and fewer left,” Shoigu told reporters. The looming delivery was announced on Monday by Annabel Goldie, the UK minister of state at the Ministry of Defence, as she responded to a written inquiry on the matter. She confirmed the plans to deliver DU rounds to Kiev, lauding them as a highly effective weapon. “Alongside our granting of a squadron of Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine, we will be providing ammunition including armor-piercing rounds which contain depleted uranium. Such rounds are highly effective in defeating modern tanks and armored vehicles,” Goldie said. The DU munitions have long been the subject of international controversy, with critics of their use highlighting the toxicity and radioactivity of the material. Depleted uranium is used to make the hardened cores of armor-piercing rounds, excelling in this role due its high density. The round’s core evaporates on impact, turning into aerosol and contaminating the environment with uranium.

The UN has already expressed alarm over the UK plans. Farhan Haq, a spokesman for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, told a media briefing that the international body had long voiced concerns about the consequences of DU use, as well as about those who supply such weaponry. These munitions were actively used by NATO during the First Gulf War, as well as during the bloc’s aggression against former Yugoslavia, both in the form of tank and aircraft artillery shells. The use of the munitions was acknowledged by NATO in a 2000 report, with the US-led bloc revealing that it had used some 10 metric tons of the material in Yugoslavia – and 300 metric tons in Iraq. The report acknowledged that the material poses a threat due to its toxicity in an “aerosol form,” but insisted the DU was not “particularly highly radioactive.”

Putin DU
https://twitter.com/i/status/1638213480787456002

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The OPCW has shown which side it’s on.

Russia Urges OPCW To Heed Info On Chemical Weapons At Kramatorsk – Envoy (TASS)

Russia urged member states of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to pay serious attention to the information on Ukrainian Neo-Nazis plotting a provocation with chemical weapons in Kramatorsk, Russia’s Permanent Representative at the OPCW and Ambassador to the Netherlands Alexander Shulgin told an online briefing on Tuesday. “Much attention [at the OPCW Executive Council’s session] was paid to the issue of the threat of a chemical provocation in Ukraine. We fully used the materials of the briefing by Chief of the [Russian] Radiation, Chemical and Biological Protection Troops Igor Kirillov and reported about Ukrainian nationalists’ preparations for chemical provocations at the factory in the area of the city of Kramatorsk on Ukrainian territory,” the envoy said.


The report pointed to “hazardous chemicals and actually the US Army’s service weapons BZ of psychotropic effect,” Shulgin said. “We called on the member states to pay serious attention to this information and make relevant conclusions,” he said. The Americans together with their allies denied all these facts and “tried to present the situation in a way that allegedly Russia was on the point of using chemical weapons,” the envoy pointed out. The Russian side responded by rejecting all these accusations, he said. “We cited facts to show that the Americans can hardly teach us how to treat the chemical convention. We gave a long list of wrongdoings by the Americans who themselves breach the chemical convention,” Shulgin stressed, recalling that the United States had “secretly destroyed chemical munitions from the arsenals of Saddam Hussein in Iraq” and citing other facts.

Read more …

“Beijing criticized Russia for sending troops into Ukraine, but also blamed the US and NATO’s expansion in Europe for triggering the crisis.”

Ukraine Afraid To Criticize China – Politico (RT)

Ukraine has refrained from criticizing China over its close ties with Russia in the hope of attracting future investment from Beijing, Politico has claimed. This stance comes in stark contrast to the angry tirades that Kiev has directed at the likes of Hungary and Germany for their perceived lack of anti-Russian zeal, according to the media outlet. In an article on Tuesday, Politico reported that besides the desire for Chinese investment, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky is seeking to maintain lucrative trade relations with the Asian economic powerhouse, and is eyeing Beijing as a potential mediator in the conflict with Russia.

The media outlet quoted Aleksandr Merezhko, the head of the Ukrainian parliament’s foreign policy committee, as explaining: “There is fear that if we start criticizing China more harshly, Beijing will use it as an excuse to strengthen its aid to Russia, and even start providing military aid.” Beijing has consistently rejected claims that it intends to offer lethal aid to Moscow, and has accused Washington of “spreading false information” by alleging that China is weighing up weapons deliveries. Last month, China put forward its own peace proposal on the first anniversary of the conflict in Ukraine. Politico noted that Zelensky reacted to Beijing’s 12-point plan by saying that his country “can work on it with China.”

This response was in marked contrast to the way Ukraine’s Western backers dismissed the proposal out of hand, according to the media outlet. Merezhko argued that Zelensky’s current strategy toward Beijing is prudent, though he holds out “little hope of real help from China.” At present, relations between Kiev and Beijing have reached crisis point, the official told Politico. Merezhko cited China’s consistent refusal to distance itself from Russia, as well as the fact that Ukraine “has clearly chosen the path of Euro-Atlantic integration.” This effectively pits Kiev against Beijing, Merezhko argued.[..] Beijing criticized Russia for sending troops into Ukraine, but also blamed the US and NATO’s expansion in Europe for triggering the crisis.

Xi 100 years
https://twitter.com/i/status/1638254349817114662

Read more …

Trying?!

United States Trying To Paint Russia As An Enemy – Patrushev (TASS)

The United States and its minions are trying to turn the world against Russia by sowing hatred against the country and attempting to discredit it, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev said on Tuesday. Patrushev noted that an independent Russia, which defends the interests of a multipolar and just world, “does not suit the United States, which hides behind its own made-up theory of American exceptionalism, as it has gotten used to toying with the norms of international law, dictating to and imposing its own values and terms on the rest of the world, to have vassals instead of partners.” “That is why, by painting Russia as the enemy, the United States and its minions are sowing hatred towards our country and its people, are trying to discredit the Russian world and force the international community into a confrontation with our country,” he added.

“Toward that end, all manner of dirty, vile methods for conducting information warfare are being utilized: bald-faced lies, baseless and unsubstantiated accusations, and staged incidents, such as, for example, those in Bucha, Mariupol and Kramatorsk. Moscow was even initially accused of blowing up the Nord Stream pipelines,” he said. “All of this is directed at forcing neoliberal values on us in place of traditional Russian spiritual and moral values that have stood the test of time over many centuries, to deprive our people of pride in their own country and its centuries-long history, as well as to undermine the social cohesion that was a crucial element in defeating fascism in 1945,” Patrushev continued.

He pointed out that those now proclaimed as the winners of World War II were the same countries that waited to open a second front until June 1944, when the Red Army was already “within a stone’s throw from Berlin.” Ukraine and a number of other European countries are tearing down monuments and memorials to heroes of the Great Patriotic War, while at the same time glorifying Nazi collaborators, Patrushev continued. “By encouraging neo-fascism, the collective West is seeking to consign all of the terror and misery wrought by the Nazi ideology to oblivion. Tomorrow will mark 80 years since the tragedy in Khatyn, where fascists burned all the residents of that village alive, including 75 children. We will never forget this,” Patrushev concluded.

Read more …

“Hungary refused to participate in the joint funding of ammunition supplies to the Ukrainian army.”

Direct Conflict Between NATO, Russia To Lead To World War – Hungary FM (TASS)

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has warned NATO countries against engaging in a direct conflict with Russia following a meeting with the bloc’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels on Tuesday. “According to the current arrangement, NATO is not engaged in the war in our vicinity. This is how it is now. A direct conflict between NATO and Russia would lead to another world war,” Szijjarto wrote on Facebook (banned in Russia as it is owned by Meta Corporation designated as extremist by the Russian authorities). Hungary’s government said after the start of the conflict in Ukraine that it would not send weapons to Kiev, and also called for resolving the issue solely by peaceful means. On Monday, Szijjarto reiterated this position at an EU foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels. He added that Hungary refused to participate in the joint funding of ammunition supplies to the Ukrainian army.

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“Budapest’s position is likely to come up when EU leaders meet for a summit in Brussels this week..”

Hungary Blocks Joint EU Statement On Putin’s ICC Arrest Warrant (RT)

Hungary has blocked European Union member states from issuing a joint statement about an international arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to people familiar with the matter, Report informs referring to Bloomberg. Budapest’s veto meant that the EU’s chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, instead released a statement in his own name “taking note” of the decision by the International Criminal Court. “The EU sees the decision by the ICC as a beginning of the process of accountability and holding Russian leaders to account for the crimes and atrocities they are ordering, enabling or committing in Ukraine,” Borrell said in the statement published on Sunday evening. EU justice ministers issued their own statement supporting the ICC decision on March 20, which Hungary did not sign.


The ICC issued arrest warrants for Putin and his commissioner for children’s rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, for alleged war crimes relating to the abduction of children from Ukraine. Officials in Kyiv are investigating more than 16,000 suspected cases of forced deportation of minors, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said last week, and so far only around 300 have been brought home. The warrants are mostly symbolic for now, and Moscow has dismissed the move. Budapest’s position is likely to come up when EU leaders meet for a summit in Brussels this week. Draft conclusions seen by Bloomberg currently state that the leaders’ council “takes note of the arrest warrants recently issued by the ICC, against Russia’s president and his commissioner for children’s rights, for the war crime of unlawful deportation and transfer of Ukrainian children from occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia.” That’s similar to the wording Borrell used.

Read more …

150,000 ethnic Hungarians live in modern Ukraine’s Transcarpathian Region..

Hungary Gives Ukraine EU, NATO Membership Ultimatum (RT)

Ukraine will not be allowed to join the EU or NATO until it restores the rights of ethnic Hungarians living in its Transcarpathian Region, Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Tuesday. Speaking at a press conference in Brussels, Szijjarto added that the US-led military bloc was violating its own rules by pushing ahead with a set of meetings involving the Kiev government despite Budapest’s objections. “I would like to say that we will not support any significant integration movement of Ukraine towards the EU or NATO until the rights of the Hungarian ethnic community that it had prior to 2015 are restored in Ukraine,” the foreign minister told reporters.

Around 150,000 ethnic Hungarians live in modern Ukraine’s Transcarpathian Region, just across the border from Hungary. Budapest will not give up on them “under any circumstances,”despite pressure from both sides of the Atlantic to do so, Szijjarto added. He also objected to the convening of the NATO-Ukraine Committee on ministerial level despite Budapest’s objections. “This decision violates NATO’s unity and procedures for the unity of will,”Hungarian government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said on Tuesday, referring to the bloc’s consensus requirement.

Szijjarto has voiced his objections to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, but agreed to attend the April 4 meeting for the “opportunity to discuss minority protections.” Hungary became a member of NATO in 1999 and joined the EU in 2004. In recent months, Brussels has withheld funding from Budapest in an attempt to compel the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban to implement a set of policies championed by the bloc, which he has rejected as harmful. Hungary has consistently argued for a negotiated end to the hostilities in Ukraine. Budapest continues to prohibit any transit of weapons or ammunition through Hungarian territory, and has not agreed to supply Kiev with arms or ammunition.

Read more …

“..the West believes that, if it succeeds against its main adversaries, Russia and China, it can easily regain control over everyone else..”

US/Russia/China Standoff Big Opportunity For Second-tier Powers (Bordachev)

We are currently dealing with a confrontation in which the opposing sides are comparable military powers – Russia and the United States, although the latter is acting through intermediaries. Russia is also a major player in the global markets for energy, food and a range of other commodities for which demand is stable. Standing behind Russia is China, which, like Moscow, is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and wields considerable influence in the world. In other words, we have a unique example of a struggle in which the forces of the adversaries are roughly comparable, although the superiority of the West, in many areas, is considerable. And we do not know how the countries of the world majority would behave if the US and Europe launched an offensive against a weaker opponent – Iran or another country of comparable size, for example.

It is therefore impossible to speculate on the extent to which the assertiveness of those countries which ignore US orders now would have manifested itself in a different situation. This could be important in the future, as new conflicts involving a major nuclear power cannot be ruled out. In general, it is difficult to determine how much of the behavior of most countries is restrained by their own capabilities. It is generally accepted that this has become the main determinant of the actions of a wide range of states, from the wealthy monarchies of the Gulf to those of Southeast Asia. But there is no denying that their degree of dependence on the infrastructure of the outgoing liberal world order, led by the United States, remains very high.

Undoubtedly, the dramatic events of 2022 have set in motion the aspirations of many medium and small powers to gain practical tools for their autonomy. But they still have a long way to go. Perhaps this is why the West believes that, if it succeeds against its main adversaries, Russia and China, it can easily regain control over everyone else. And until the comparative individual capabilities of small and medium-sized states become serious enough to allow them to be truly self-reliant, Western self-confidence will continue to push the US and Western Europe into confrontational behavior. At the moment, the majority of the world’s countries are seeking short-term gains from the general turmoil caused by the struggle between the great powers. But the extent to which such tactical gains can form the basis of a long-term strategy is unknown.

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“We’re always for peace and dialogue, and we firmly stand on the right side of history,” Xi stated.”

US Does Not Let Ukraine Even Consider Negotiating – Moscow (RT)

Ukraine’s Western backers – and the US in particular – are doing their best to prevent Kiev from entering into any negotiations with Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said. The official made the remarks on the sidelines of the talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in Moscow on Tuesday. Peskov was asked to comment on recent statements by senior Western officials, who said any peace initiative for Ukraine, should it arise from the Russia-China talks, would be “unacceptable.” US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, for example, claimed any ceasefire in the current situation would only “ratify Russia’s conquest to date” rather than contribute to peace.

“Washington, European capitals, but first of all, Washington is filled with the desire not to let, under any pretext, [Kiev] enter into peace negotiations. They simply do not let Kiev even think about it,” Peskov said. Asked whether it was now ‘normal’ to incite war rather than call for peace, the spokesman responded affirmatively. “Now, when the masks are off, everyone shows off their bestial grin. Except for us and China.” During the talks, Russian and Chinese leaders discussed the 12-point roadmap for peace in Ukraine that was recently proposed by China. Putin has lauded the initiative, expressing his readiness to discuss and build upon it, while also reiterating Moscow’s desire to seek a diplomatic solution to the hostilities, which have been dragging on for over a year.

“We believe that many of the provisions of the peace plan put forward by China are consonant with the Russian stance and can be taken as a foundation for a peaceful settlement when they are ready for it in the West and in Kiev. However, so far we have not observed such readiness on their part,” Putin said after the meeting. The Chinese president has insisted that Beijing continues to maintain its position on the conflict and has urged both sides to stick to diplomacy and engage in dialogue. “We’re always for peace and dialogue, and we firmly stand on the right side of history,” Xi stated.

Read more …

Reason enough for the US to go to war.

Russia Ready To Switch To Yuan In Foreign Trade – Putin (RT)

Russia is ready to increase settlements in yuan in its foreign trade, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday during talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, who is in Moscow on a three-day official visit. “We are for the use of Chinese yuan in settlements between Russia and the countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. I am sure that these forms of settlements in yuan will be developed between Russian partners and their counterparts in third countries,” Putin said. Two thirds of current trade between Moscow and Beijing is carried out in national currencies – the yuan and the ruble, the Russian president noted. China’s trade with Russia hit a record high in 2022, growing by nearly a third amid Western sanctions against Moscow. Bilateral trade is on pace to hit over $200 billion this year.


The latest data from the Bank of Russia shows the yuan has become a major player in Russia’s foreign trade, with its share in the country’s import settlements jumping to 23% by the end of last year from only 4% in January 2022. The yuan’s share in export settlements also surged, from 0.5% to 16%. “It is important that national currencies are increasingly used in mutual trade. This practice should be further encouraged, and the mutual presence of financial and banking structures in the markets of our countries should be expanded,” Putin added. Meanwhile, the share of the US dollar and euro in Russia’s export settlements last year dropped substantially, from 65% in January 2022 to 46% in December. In February, the Chinese currency overtook the dollar as the most traded currency on the Russian stock market for the first time ever, according to data from the Moscow Exchange.

Max Keiser
https://twitter.com/i/status/1638312091399471104

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“..A countrywide reputation with prudent financial management, sound regulatory oversight and, frankly, for being somewhat dour and boring regarding investments, has been wiped away..”

Switzerland Risks Becoming ‘Financial Banana Republic’ – Industry Expert (RT)

The troubles of once-major Swiss investment bank Credit Suisse is undermining Switzerland’s reputation as a global financial hub, says Opimas CEO Octavio Marenzi, as cited by CNBC on Tuesday. His warning follows a historic takeover of Credit Suisse by the UBS Group, its domestic rival. On Sunday the two banking giants announced a Swiss-government-brokered deal aimed at shoring up public confidence in the Western financial system and at averting a global crisis. UBS agreed to acquire the embattled bank for three billion Swiss francs ($3.2 billion) as part of a cut-price deal. “Switzerland’s standing as a financial center is shattered,” Marenzi reportedly said, adding that “The country will now be viewed as a financial banana republic.” “The Credit Suisse debacle will have serious ramifications for other Swiss financial institutions. A countrywide reputation with prudent financial management, sound regulatory oversight and, frankly, for being somewhat dour and boring regarding investments, has been wiped away,” Marenzi stated.


The landmark merger, which may well turn UBS into the world’s largest wealth manager, with more than $5 trillion in total invested assets, has nevertheless sparked concerns about the health of the acquired assets. Investors have been also raising fears about the write-off of $17 billion worth of Credit Suisse’s AT1 bonds, which was part of the merger deal. The move angered many debt-holders, who have been left empty-handed, and has revealed yet another banking-sector risk. Former European Central Bank vice president Vítor Constâncio has called the write-off decision a “mistake with consequences and potentially a host of court cases.” There are also concerns about the long-term benefits of the merger and the outlook for other banks in Switzerland, which has previously been viewed as a role model of sound banking.

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“..citing sanctions on Russia..”

Indonesia To Ditch Visa And Mastercard (RT)

The Bank of Indonesia is preparing to phase out Visa and Mastercard while introducing its own domestic payment system, Antara news agency reported on Monday, citing the regulator. Last week, Indonesian President Joko Widodo urged regional authorities to wean themselves away from foreign payment systems and start using cards issued by local banks. He argued that Indonesia needed to shield itself from geopolitical disruptions, citing the sanctions targeting Russia’s financial sector from the US, EU, and their allies over the conflict in Ukraine.“Be very careful. We must remember the sanctions imposed by the US on Russia. Visa and Mastercard could be a problem,” he said. Commenting on the initiative, the central bank’s spokesperson, Erwin Haryono, said that the regulator was in talks with local businesses “and the progress is about 90%,” adding that domestic cards will have many advantages, including lower fees.


Also, according to him, “offshore settlements and dependence on foreign payment networks such as US Visa or Mastercard will no longer be necessary.” Board member of the Indonesian Credit Cards Association (AKKI), Dodit Proboyakti, told RIA Novosti that Indonesia would apply the experience of Russia and its Mir payment system to promote the domestic financial network. Indonesia’s interbank system, GPN, currently supports only local debit cards and requires some adjustments to properly serve credit cards and international transactions, according to AKKI executive director Steve Marta. Moscow rolled out its own national card system, Mir, soon after the US first targeted the country with sanctions in 2014, and created the domestic National Payment Card System (NSPK) to smoothly take over all Visa and Mastercard transactions should the US-based companies pull the plug.

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“Not only did Bragg’s predecessor, Cyrus Vance, not bring this case, but Bragg himself stopped the prosecution..”

Alvin Bragg Prepares the Ultimate Frankenstein Indictment (Turley)

The scene from the 1931 movie “Frankenstein” came to mind this week as Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg prepared an indictment of former President Donald Trump. It is the ultimate gravedigger charge, where Bragg unearthed a case from 2016 and, through a series of novel steps, is seeking to bring it back to life. Of course, like the good doctor, Bragg shows little concern over what he has created in his Frankenstein indictment. Bragg is combining parts from both state and federal codes.He is reportedly going to convert a misdemeanor for falsifying financial records into a prosecution of a federal crime. The federal crime is reportedly the failure to report a payment of $130,000 to former porn star Stormy Daniels to hush up an affair. That was just before the presidential election and Bragg is alleging that it was an effective campaign donation.

Bragg is attempting something that many lawyers think is as improbable as the reanimation of the dead. The Justice Department itself declined this prosecution and both the former chair of the Federal Election Commission and various election law experts have thrown shade on the theory. Not only did Bragg’s predecessor, Cyrus Vance, not bring this case, but Bragg himself stopped the prosecution. It was after one of Bragg’s lead prosecutors resigned and wrote a book on prosecuting Trump that pressure became too much for the district attorney, who grabbed his shovel and went to work. There are serious challenges to this prosecution, including an argument that time has expired under the statute of limitations.

The limit is two years for a misdemeanor and, even if he can convert this into a felony, it is not clear if he can meet the longer five-year limitation. Bragg will have to convince a court that Trump paid the hush money for the sole purpose of the election. As a married man and television celebrity, Trump had other reasons to try to avoid a scandal. That is precisely why such cases (like one against former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards) failed in prior prosecutions. However, the greater danger may come if he succeeds in moving this case to trial.

Costello Tucker

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“Wait a minute. You don’t have the hundreds of pages I handed over to Alvin Bragg over here? You only have six cherry-picked documents?”

Alvin Bragg Caught Hiding Nearly 600 Pages Of Exculpatory Evidence (GP)

Attorney Robert Costello, the former legal adviser to Michael Cohen, spoke to Tucker Carlson on Monday night after he testified to the Manhattan Grand Jury investigating President Donald Trump. Costello told the FOX News audience that he testified for two hours in front of Alvin Bragg’s Manhattan Grand Jury. Robert Costello told Tucker Carlson, “I spoke to the jury for two hours… It was clear to me the Manhattan Grand Jury did not want to get to the truth.” And it now is being reported that New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg was HIDING exculpatory evidence from the Grand Jury! According to FOX News legal mind Gregg Jarrett, Soros-funded DA Alvin Bragg HID nearly 600 pages of exculpatory evidence to the New York Grand Jury investigating President Trump.


Gregg Jarrett: I mentioned it yesterday, I think, when Bob Costello got into that Grand Jury room and told them, “Wait a minute. You don’t have the hundreds of pages I handed over to Alvin Bragg over here? You only have six cherry-picked documents?” You know, hiding from grand juries exculpatory information is reprehensible and unconscionable. And the conduct of Alvin Bragg and his henchman Mark Pomeranz, who specifically says in his book, “We’re targeting zombies because we don’t like his beliefs,” those guys should face disbarment proceedings. Once again the REAL crooks reveal themselves. And Jarrett is right. If there was a real justice system in the country, they should be disbarred. Via Hannity:

Read more …

Groundhog Day.

Trump to Be Indicted Wednesday, Arraignment Next Week (GP)

Former President Donald Trump will be indicted on Wednesday and asked to surrender for arraignment in New York next week, according to a new report. “There will be no arraignment this week,” an unnamed source, said to be familiar with the proceeding, told the Daily Mail on Tuesday. The Mail reports that “the former president, who is currently in Florida, is expected to be formally charged tomorrow, after which the Manhattan District Attorney’s office will reach out to Trump and his Secret Service detail to make arrangements for his surrender.” After being flown to New York, he will be fingerprinted, arrested, and a mug shot will be taken.

Harmeet Dhillon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1637975259163885571

On Tuesday, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office responded to a letter sent by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan demanding that he testify before Congress about his “unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority.” The prosecutor’s office said that they will not be “intimidated” out of filing charges. “We will not be intimidated by attempts to undermine the justice process, nor will we let baseless accusations deter us from fairly applying the law,” a spokesperson for Bragg’s office told Fox News on Tuesday. “In every prosecution, we follow the law without fear or favor to uncover the truth. Our skilled, honest and dedicated lawyers remain hard at work,” the spokesperson added.


On Monday, Jordan had sent a letter to Bragg’s office saying, “in light of the serious consequences of your actions, we expect that you will testify about what plainly appears to be a politically motivated prosecutorial decision.” “Dear Mr. Bragg,” the letter began. “You are about to engage in an unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority: the indictment of a former President of the United States and current declared candidate for that office. This indictment comes after years of your office searching for a basis — any basis — on which to bring charges, ultimately settling on a novel legal theory untested anywhere in the country and one that federal authorities declined to pursue. If these reports are accurate, your actions will erode confidence in the evenhanded application of justice and unalterably interfere in the court of the 2024 presidential election.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Redfield

 

 

Kory IVM
https://twitter.com/i/status/1638247355139911697

 

 

 

 

RFK
https://twitter.com/i/status/1638271365072445440

 

 

Ibex

 

 

 

 

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Nov 122021
 
 November 12, 2021  Posted by at 9:37 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , ,  101 Responses »


Winslow Homer Cloud shadows 1890

 

Is Europe Getting Crushed By Variant Completely Immune To Covid Shots? (Blaze)
VAERS: 100s Of Serious Adverse Events The CDC And FDA Kept Hidden (Kirsch)
EU Lists Rare Spinal Condition As Side-effect Of J&J Covid-19 Shot (R.)
New Vax Science Shows Mandates Unwise (McCaughey)
Austria Province To Place Millions Of Unvaxxed In Covid Lockdown (G.)
Asean Reported Over 30,000 New Covid-19 Cases On Wednesday (NT)
Long Covid Doesn’t Exist, Volume One Zillion (Berenson)
Missouri Governor Seeks Benefits For Those Who Defy Federal Vaxx Mandates (JTN)
Moderna To Test Covid-19 Vaccine On Infants As Young As 6 Months Old (Blaze)
FDA Recalls Millions Of Covid Test Kits Over False Positives (RT)
UK Vaccine Mandate May Force 123,000 out of Health Care Sector (ET)

 

 

 

 

“Isn’t it amazing that HCQ, IVM, and Pfizer’s PAXLOVID ($72per pill) all inhibit the same SARS 3CLpro enzyme to inhibit replication? Weird that two are “snake oil” and the expensive one will get EUA.”

 

 

This sort of analysis is entirely meaningless if you don’t also look at vaccine effects. As is, pure speculation.

Is Europe Getting Crushed By Variant Completely Immune To Covid Shots? (Blaze)

With a 62.7% vaccination rate, Austria not only has a higher rate than the U.S., but most of the population has been vaccinated relatively recently, which should give those people better protection. Yet the country is experiencing its most prolific outbreak ever, as we are seeing across the globe, with a near-perfect inverse relationship between vaccination rates and COVID case rates. Now, Austria and other European countries are staring down the barrel of a completely new mutation, which German researchers believe might be completely immune to the vaccine-mediated antibodies. According to Our World in Data, the Central European countries and the Baltic states currently have the highest case rates per capita in the world.

Most of them have higher case rates per million people than the U.S. ever had, but nearly all of them have recently been vaccinated. Slovenia now has over 1,300 cases per million, more than six times the rate in the U.S. Its vaccination rate is comparable to ours, except that most people were more recently vaccinated, which, if anything, should give them more immunity. Other Central and Eastern European states getting hammered have lower vaccination rates, but the Baltic states have higher rates. Then, of course, there is Ireland, with the highest vaccination rate in the EU, yet cases are surging, particularly in the parts of the country that have near 100% vaccination among adults. We already know from the U.K. data, the most granular and continuous of all world data, that the vaccine has negative efficacy against cases and increasingly low efficacy against critical illness, as over 82% of all deaths are among the vaccinated, according to the most recent weekly report from the U.K. Health Security Agency data.

Now, according to a new study, Europe is likely experiencing a wave of a new variant that is completely immune to all the shots, a wave that will make anyone in the U.S. who has not experienced prior infection and does not have a plan for early treatment susceptible to serious illness. Trial Site News is reporting on a study from German and Czech researchers who conducted genomic analysis from samples in the border region between Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic. They found that the predominant strain is no longer Delta. It is, in fact, a sublineage of the U.K.’s Alpha SARS-CoV-2 variant, known as B.1.1.7, and is likely responsible for the rapid surge throughout Europe. They believe it is the predominant strain in the Czech Republic, Austria, and Slovakia and that this mutant is “3.2 fold less sensitive to vaccine-elicited antibodies as compared to other B.1.1.7 variants tested, indicating potential for immune evasion.”

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“They can’t admit that they missed the signals now because that would be an admission they missed them before.”

VAERS: 100s Of Serious Adverse Events The CDC And FDA Kept Hidden (Kirsch)

In a brand new VAERS data analysis performed by our friend Albert Benavides (aka WelcomeTheEagle88), we found hundreds of serious adverse events that were completely missed by the CDC that should have been mentioned in the informed consent document that are given to patients. And we found over 200 symptoms that occur at a higher relative rate than myocarditis (relative to all previous vaccines over the last 5 years). All together, there were over 4,000 VAERS adverse event codes that were elevated by these vaccines by a factor of 10 or more over baseline that the CDC should have warned people about.

As of November 1, 2021, there have been more adverse events reported for the COVID vaccines than for all 70+ vaccines combined since they started tracking adverse events 30 years ago. That’s a stunning statistic, nobody can deny it, but nobody in the mainstream medical community (or mainstream media) seems to care much. It’s not even worth noting in passing. Wow. Here’s what the evidence shows:

• The COVID vaccines are the most dangerous vaccines in human history. They are 800 times more deadly than the smallpox vaccine which was the previous record holder. The vaccines have killed over 150,000 Americans and permanently disabled even more. They don’t make sense for anyone of any age. The younger you are, the worse it gets. For kids, it is estimated that we kill 117 kids for every COVID death we prevent. •The Pfizer 6 month trial showed the drug can save 1 life for every 22,000 people vaccinated. It also appeared from the trial that the drug killed more people than it saved (there were 20 deaths in the treatment group vs. 14 in placebo after unblinding). So we are “saving” fewer than 10,000 lives at the expense of over 150,000 deaths. In short, we kill 15 people to save 1. That’s incredibly stupid. But nobody in the Biden administration wants to meet with our team. They basically don’t want to hear the truth. Instead, they focus on deplatforming and censoring us which are techniques that are effective when the data doesn’t work out for you.

• Both the FDA and CDC have proven inept in spotting safety signals. They can’t even compute the VAERS URF which is a number that is required for any serious risk-benefit analysis. So the FDA and CDC outside committee members are all flying blind in approving the vaccines. Even after this deficiency is pointed out in the public comments by yours truly (and direct emails to the committee members), it makes no difference. We are ignored. The CDC safety monitoring is so bad that they even admitted at the last ACIP meeting that it was the DoD that spotted the myocarditis signal. So the FDA and CDC have basically been batting .000 in terms of spotting safety signals that have been sitting in plain sight the entire time.

• They can’t admit that they missed the signals now because that would be an admission they missed them before. So they will try to discredit this article with ad hominem attacks (this is a technique used to win an argument when you cannot win on the evidence). • The serious events we highlight below are all consistent with the mechanism of action that Robert Malone and I first described in the Darkhorse podcast. Namely, that the spike protein that is produced in response to the delivery of the mRNA is cytotoxic and results in blood clots, inflammation and scarring throughout your body which then creates a wider range of severe adverse events than any vaccine in human history.

• The medical community is trained by the CDC to believe the vaccines are safe, so they interpret all the adverse events as not vaccine related. But if it wasn’t the vaccine that caused all these events, what was it? What’s worse is they tell their patients, “this is all in your head” or that “your baby died because you had a genetic defect.” • In general, patients believe their doctors and never figure out where to get a cytokine panel to discover that they are vaccine injured (go to www.covidlonghaulers.com to get the cytokine panel and IncellDx to get the spike protein assay). So people never learn how to rid their body of the spike protein either (see my article on vaccine treatment for the drugs they use to do this) which is the first step in the road to recovery.

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100s and 1.

EU Lists Rare Spinal Condition As Side-effect Of J&J Covid-19 Shot (R.)

Europe’s drug regulator on Thursday recommended adding a rare type of spinal inflammation called transverse myelitis as a side-effect of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine. Reports of this serious neurological illness was also at the heart of trial halts in the early stages of development for both AstraZeneca and J&J’s shots, which are based on similar technology. Giving updates on the safety of all coronavirus shots, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said it was assessing reports of a rare blood condition known as capillary leak syndrome (CLS) following inoculation with Moderna’s MRNA.O vaccine.


The EMA said it had recorded six cases of CLS and was assessing all data, but it was not yet clear if there was a causal association between the reports and the vaccine. In CLS, fluids leak from the smallest blood vessels causing swelling and a drop in blood pressure. The condition has also been studied with vaccines from AstraZeneca and J&J. The EMA said there was currently not enough evidence of a possible link between rare cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS) and mRNA-based vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The regulator is reviewing if approved coronavirus vaccines could cause MIS. The syndrome is a serious but rare condition in which different body parts become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.

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“The vaccinated had just as much viral load in their upper respiratory tract, making them just as contagious.”

New Vax Science Shows Mandates Unwise (McCaughey)

New scientific findings in the prestigious Lancet Infectious Diseases journal blow a hole in the argument that workers need to get vaccinated to protect those around them. The findings prove the foolishness of forcing police and other public employees to get jabbed or lose their pay. And President Joe Biden should retract his order to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to compel large employers to mandate vaccines. The journal reported Thursday that COVID-19 vaccines have “minimal” impact on preventing transmission of the delta strain. Delta is the COVID strain currently causing over 99% of U.S. cases. Vaccines protect the people getting the shots from serious illness, but they don’t stop the delta variant from spreading to others.

Don’t get me wrong. Americans should choose to get vaccinated. The key word is “choose.” Though shots are no guarantee against getting infected and spreading it to others, they provide significant protection (90% or more) against hospitalization and death. I’m triple jabbed. Choosing not to get vaccinated is choosing to risk your own life. The health risk to others is minimal. Most vaccines — against polio, smallpox, measles and other diseases — prevent infection and spread. But not COVID-19 vaccines. Now that the battle is against the delta variant, they’ve become disease-tamers rather than infection preventers. Governors and mayors from Maine to Los Angeles are demanding that public employees, and even nurses and doctors, hailed just months ago as heroes, get vaxxed or go without a job.

Just as politicians don’t read the bills before voting on them, they don’t keep up with science but still want to tell the rest of us what to do. The groundbreaking findings in Lancet show that fully vaccinated people who came down with COVID infected others in their household at the same rate (about 25%) as unvaccinated people did (about 23%). The vaccinated had just as much viral load in their upper respiratory tract, making them just as contagious.

Read more …

Think the Austrians don’t know this? “The vaccinated had just as much viral load in their upper respiratory tract, making them just as contagious.”

Austria Province To Place Millions Of Unvaxxed In Covid Lockdown (G.)

Austria is set to place millions of people not fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in lockdown in a matter of days as infections soar to record highs and intensive care units face an increasing strain. The country’s worst-affected province of Upper Austria plans to introduce a lockdown for the unvaccinated from Monday next week following recommendations from medical experts. Europe is once again “at the epicentre” of the pandemic with Covid cases at or surpassing record levels due to uneven vaccine coverage and a relaxation of preventive measures, the World Health Organization said last week, adding that 500,000 more deaths are forecast in the region by February. Coronavirus deaths rose by 10% across the continent over the past week, making it the only world region where both Covid-19 cases and deaths are steadily increasing, according to a WHO report.


Austrian regional governor Thomas Stelzer described the situation as “dramatic” and said a lockdown would be introduced “provided there is a legal green light from the federal government or the federal government creates the legal basis”, the Austria Press Agency reports. The province has the lowest vaccination rate and the highest infection rate of Austria’s nine provinces, according to government data. Austria has the lowest vaccination rate of any western European country apart from Liechtenstein, according to data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Those who are not vaccinated will have restrictions placed on their daily movements, including bans from restaurants, hotels, hairdressing salons and large public events.

Read more …

Yeah, we really need Bolsonaro as the voice of reason. Thanks, guys.

Bolsonaro Confronts WHO Chief: ‘People Are Dying After the Second Dose’

A new clip has emerged of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro confronting WHO head Tedros Adhanom about COVID-19 restrictions and asking why people are still dying of COVID after the second dose of the vaccine. The discussion took place during the recent G20 summit of global leaders in Rome. Challenging Adhanom on vaccine passports, Bolsonaro asserted that, “All over the world, there are people who need to work to feed themselves.” He added that lockdown measures have destabilized the global economy, warning that if it continues, “the economy will collapse.” Adhanom said he didn’t want more lockdowns and agreed that the vaccine passport scheme was “discrimination,” but only while vaccine rates in some countries were still low.

“In Brazil, many who get the second dose are getting COVID,” said Bolsonaro, to which the WHO head responded by saying the vaccine doesn’t stop the spread of COVID but reduces the risk of serious illness and death. “In Brazil, many who got the second dose are dying,” Bolsonaro clarified, to which Adhanom responded by saying underlying diseases were to blame. Bolsonaro then decried his inability to stop mandatory vaccinations for children, to which Adhanom responded by saying the WHO doesn’t support giving the vaccine to children. The Brazilian President then lamented how whenever he asks questions about the vaccine, he is accused of putting out “fake news.” “Our hands are tied, the lives of our children are at stake,” said Bolsonaro. When he asked Adhanom about the origin of COVID-19, Adhanom laughed and said, “We are still studying it.”

Bolsonaro has long been skeptical of the vaccine and COVID-19 lockdown measures. After arriving for the UN General Assembly in September, he was forced to eat pizza on the sidewalk because he is not vaccinated and therefore banned from indoor dining in New York. Bolsonaro has repeatedly championed the drug hydroxychloroquine, asserting that, “If hydroxychloroquine hadn’t been politicized, a lot more lives could have been saved.” The Brazilian President caught coronavirus himself in July 2020, but said he was able to recover quickly thanks to his past as an “athlete” in the army. He also pointed to hydroxychloroquine as having aided his swift recovery.

Read more …

Just wanted to point out Indonesia: 227 million people, 480 new cases, 14 deaths, widespread use of ivermectin.

Asean Reported Over 30,000 New Covid-19 Cases On Wednesday (NT)

The number of Covid-19 cases crossed 13.48 million across Southeast Asia, with 30,200 new cases reported on Wednesday (November 10), higher than Tuesday’s tally at 27,613. New deaths are at 370, increasing from Tuesday’s number of 310. Total Covid-19 deaths in Asean are now at 282,675. Malaysia’s Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department reported that about 1.8 per cent of civil servants, or about 29,000 people from the total 1.6 million people, have yet to be vaccinated against Covid-19 despite a mandate issued by the Public Service Department. However, as of November 10, ten days after the mandate was issued, no disciplinary actions have been taken.


Meanwhile, Singapore’s Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS) said on Wednesday that the African lion at the Singapore Zoo which showed signs of sickness on Monday has tested positive for Covid-19. It is the fifth lion in Singapore to be infected with the coronavirus, after four Asiatic lions at the Night Safari tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday. A Mandai Wildlife Group spokesman said in a statement on Wednesday that all its lions that have been unwell are “bright, alert and active for now”.

Read more …

Double blind?!

“..the illness is a group of squishy (if painful and difficult) symptoms looking for a name – and more importantly a billing code.”

Long Covid Doesn’t Exist, Volume One Zillion (Berenson)

The Journal of the American Medical Association has another stunning paper out, this one on post-Covid symptoms in almost 27,000 French adults. Researchers asked people to report whether they had had Covid and whether they had any of 18 lasting symptoms like insomnia, fatigue, or cough. They found that self-reported Covid was very strongly associated with nearly every symptom. But the scientists then went a step further. They also had Sars-Cov-2 antibody test results for the people they had surveyed, so they didn’t have to depend on self-reported Covid. They knew who really had had Covid and who had not. They then compared self-reported symptoms in people with antibodies – that is, people who had actually been infected and recovered from Covid – to the general population.

And they found no difference in almost any symptom. Covid was not a risk factor for chest pain, or breathing difficulties, or trouble focusing, or stomach pain, or any of the many, many other complaints that long Covid “patients” and interest groups say are real. There was one interesting exception; people with Covid antibodies did have a much higher rate of anosmia, losing one’s sense of smell. Because anosmia is a known and lasting side effect, it serves as a useful control of sorts. The researchers also found that almost 60 percent of the people with antibodies HAD NO IDEA THEY HAD EVEN HAD COVID AT ALL. Meanwhile, while more than half the people who said they had had Covid had no antibodies. (Welcome to the plague so severe most halfway healthy adults don’t even know they’ve had it.)

The study strongly suggests that many people are using previous Covid diagnoses – either real or imagined – to help explain away common physical symptoms such as joint pain or cough. It also suggests that actually being infected Covid is far less risky than thinking you have been infected with Covid for many people. The researchers concluded by explaining that people who claim they have long Covid may need help “to identify cognitive and behavioral mechanisms that may be targeted to relieve the symptoms.” Which is a very polite way of putting the truth. This study should slow, if not stop, the rush to medicalize long Covid. It is yet more proof that the illness is a group of squishy (if painful and difficult) symptoms looking for a name – and more importantly a billing code.

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Godspeed.

Missouri Governor Seeks Benefits For Those Who Defy Federal Vaxx Mandates (JTN)

If a worker is fired for not getting a federally mandated COVID-19 vaccination, Missouri Republican Gov. Mike Parson wants to help them. “You see what Iowa just did,” Parson said Thursday in an interview with The Center Square. “I think we want to make sure civil rights or civil liberties are being exercised. If somebody has religious conviction, we want to make sure that’s upheld – whatever that takes. And if it’s for health reasons, we want to include that, too.” On Oct. 29, Iowa Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law a bill allowing the state’s workers to seek medical and religious exemptions from the vaccine mandate and guarantees unemployment benefits for those fired for refusing to get vaccinated. The Iowa legislature passed the bill during a one-day special session scheduled to approve the state’s redistricting maps.

Missouri Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed three lawsuits during the last two weeks to stop federal vaccine mandates. They include halting required vaccinations for federal contractors and federally contracted employees, for private employers with 100 or more employees operating under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and for health care facilities serving Medicare and Medicaid patients. “We’ve been in contact with the Attorney General’s office and we were waiting for the OSHA guidelines to come out,” Parson said. “We wanted to see where the federal government was going to see what kind of lawsuits to file.”

The New Orleans-based Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Nov. 6 temporarily halted the OSHA order after Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and others filed a similar lawsuit in that jurisdiction. While Parson stopped short of wanting to guarantee unemployment benefits for those losing their jobs for declining vaccinations, he said his administration is planning for the possibility of federal mandates.“If those people are going to lose their jobs, which I don’t think they should… but evidently there’s a little bit of a problem as to what everybody’s view is on those civil rights issues,” Parson said. “So we want to be prepared for that if they go down that road.

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How is this not criminal? Testing on babies!

Moderna To Test Covid-19 Vaccine On Infants As Young As 6 Months Old (Blaze)

Biotechnology company Moderna Therapeutics will soon begin large-scale testing of its COVID-19 vaccine on infants. The vaccine clinical trial, called KidCOVE, is being carried out at 79 locations across 13 states and will involve roughly 13,275 participants between the ages of 6 months and 11 years old in its entirety. The first phase — which has already been completed — involved children between the ages of 6 years to less than 12 years old. The study is now reportedly in its second phase, during which children between the ages of 2 years to less than 6 years old will undergo testing. The third and final stage will test the vaccine on children ages 6 months to less than 2 years old. In August, trial administrators reportedly amassed all the participants they needed for each stage.


Participants in the clinical trial are given two injections in the upper arm about 28 days apart and are then asked to return with their guardian to the study site for at least four follow-up appointments over the next 13 months, according to KidCOVE. “The primary purpose of the KidCOVE Study is to test the safety and effectiveness of the study vaccine, called mRNA-1273, that may protect children between the ages of 6 months to < 12 years from getting sick if they come into contact with SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19,” KidCOVE’s website states.

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Home testing.

FDA Recalls Millions Of Covid Test Kits Over False Positives (RT)

The US Food and Drug Administration has issued “the most serious type of recall” for popular home testing kits that show if one is infected with coronavirus. At least 2.2 million products may have been showing false positives. Some 2,212,335 kits produced by the Australian-based biotech company Ellume and distributed in the US potentially show false positive SARS-CoV-2 test results, the public health agency said in a statement on Thursday. The FDA warned that the use of faulty kits “may cause serious adverse health consequences or death,” identifying the case as a ‘Class I recall.’ The antigen test, which detects coronavirus proteins, was authorized for emergency use by the FDA last year. It is available without a prescription for both adults and children aged two and older, and uses swab samples taken from a nose to detect if one has Covid.


Some “specific lots,” manufactured between February and August this year, are now being recalled in the US, with the company saying it has worked with the authorities to voluntarily remove the affected tests from the market. The company has offered its apologies “for any stress or difficulties [customers] may have experienced because of a false positive result.” The “higher-than-acceptable” false results, showing that a person has coronavirus when in reality they do not, have been reported to the FDA in at least 35 cases. No false negative results have been detected. However, the inaccurate diagnostic could have life-threatening consequences. A person might receive wrong or unnecessary treatment, including with antiviral and antibody therapy, and suffer additional trauma over having to isolate from family members and friends. It might also lead to people disregarding precautions, including getting vaccinated against Covid-19, the FDA has said.

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But not before April 1. Really, the gov’t lost. That’s the story here.

UK Vaccine Mandate May Force 123,000 out of Health Care Sector (ET)

The UK’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for front-line health and social care staff in England may force more than 120,000 people to leave the sector, according to government estimates. Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced on Tuesday that all those working in the National Health Service (NHS) and social care must get fully vaccinated to continue in their jobs from April 1, 2022. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said the mandate will apply to health and social care workers who have “direct, face-to-face contact” with patients—such as doctors, nurses, dentists, and domiciliary care workers, unless they are exempt. The rule will also apply to porters or receptionists who may have social contact with patients.

The policy is intended to “avoid preventable harm and protect patients in the NHS, protect colleagues in the NHS, and of course protect the NHS itself,” Javid told the House of Commons on Tuesday. In an impact assessment (pdf), also published on Tuesday, the government estimated that around 54,000 medical and social care staff will take up the offer of a jab as a result of the vaccine mandate. But it admitted that the policy could have a “significant impact” on the health and care workforce and could result in as many as 123,000 staff members leaving their jobs. The government’s impact statement estimates that by the end of the grace period around 88,000 health workers, including 73,000 NHS staff, and 35,000 social care workers will remain unvaccinated.

The statement warned that “any reduction in the numbers of health and social care staff may lead to reduced or delayed services” at a time when the UK health system is “stretched with an elective waiting list of 5.72 million and high levels of vacancies.” The impact report also estimates that the “cost of replacing unvaccinated workers is £270 million ($365 million).” The main opposition Labour party said it wants to see NHS staff vaccinated but advised the government to “proceed with caution” given possible staff shortages. Shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth said on Tuesday that NHS trusts are concerned that the policy “could exacerbate some of these chronic understaffing problems,” adding “we simply cannot afford to lose thousands of NHS staff overnight.” [..]the Welsh and Scottish governments are not planning to introduce mandated vaccines for health and social care staff.

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Jul 152021
 


Utagawa Hiroshige Sudden Evening Shower on the Great Bridge near Atake 1857

 

Are Recovered Covid Patients More Protected Than The Vaccinated? (ToI)
4,450 Breakthrough Cases, 79 Deaths Among Fully Vaccinated In Massachusetts (CBS)
Indonesia Regulator Allows Ivermectin Use For Covid Treatment (ZH)
Bayesian Meta Analysis of Ivermectin Effectiveness in Treating Covid-19 (RG)
Prior SARS-CoV-2 Infection Rescues B And T Cell Responses To Variants (SciMag)
Yep *******s, And It’s About DAMNED TIME (Denninger)
Canada Clinic Network to Track COVID-19 Vaccine Adverse Events (TSN)
The Approaching Storm (CJ Hopkins)
Which Would You Rather Have? (Denninger)
Merkel Rejects Calls For Compulsory Vaccination Of Key Workers (IT)
Mass Protests In Greece As Unvaccinated Banned From Indoor Public Spaces (RT)
Assange May Never Recover From ‘Torture’ At Belmarsh – Doctor (RT)

 

 

“FOI request to the Scottish Government regarding deaths after vaccination, I received my reply, it stated from December 17th 2020 to June 21st 2021, just 6 months;

5,522 people have died within 28 days of receiving a covid vaccination”

Note Ilargi: Scotland population is about 5.5 million, so 1 in 1,000 died from vaccination. Remember, these are just the ones that are registered as such. Of course, people die from other causes after vaccination, but that distortion is more than made up for by the distortion of not filling in vaccination as cause of death. We need openness, but we’re not going to get it.

Do the math for your own country. And yes, it means 60,000 British deaths, and 320,000 Americans. From vaccination.

 

 

Did this really turn from a fact into a question just because Fauci said vaccine protection is superior?

Are Recovered Covid Patients More Protected Than The Vaccinated? (ToI)

Citing very preliminary data, Channel 13 reports that those who recovered from COVID-19 may be better protected from reinfection than those who received the vaccine. Since May 1, 72 people who previously had COVID were infected again, accounting for 1 percent of confirmed new cases, while 3,000 who were vaccinated have been infected — 40% of confirmed new cases. Some experts conclude that those who had COVID are relatively safe from reinfection. But other health officials counter that the data does not take into account that new outbreaks did not spread in areas that previously saw massive outbreaks during the pandemic, such as in the ultra-Orthodox community, reports Channel 13

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See if you can find the numbers near you. Then multiply them by 10 or 100.

4,450 Breakthrough Cases, 79 Deaths Among Fully Vaccinated In Massachusetts (CBS)

According to new numbers from the Massachusetts Department of Health, there are 4,450 breakthrough COVID cases and 79 deaths among the fully vaccinated population in the state. As of July 10, only 0.1 percent of the 4,195,844 fully vaccinated people in Massachusetts tested positive for the virus after getting the vaccine. The number of vaccinated people includes those who have been administered both doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Among the 4,450 cases, there were 4,124 people who did not need hospitalization. There were also 247 people that were hospitalized, but did not die.


“All available data continue to support that all 3 vaccines used in the US are highly protective against severe disease and death from all known variants of COVID-19,” the Department of Public Health said. “People who are unvaccinated should continue to wear masks, especially indoors. And individuals who are feeling ill, should get tested for COVID-19.”

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“..greatly hated by the establishment due to its low price and its ability to eradicate the covid plague which the establishment desperately needs to perpetuate a state of constant near-panic..”

Indonesia Regulator Allows Ivermectin Use For Covid Treatment (ZH)

Merely mentioning the name of the vaccine-busting drug Ivermectin in the US is enough to get you carted off for “questioning” to the nearest illegal CIA blacksite, have the NSA leak all your private information to MSNBC, WaPo and the NYT and quietly shipped off to Guantanamo for permanent re-education under the daily auspices of Critical Race Theory. But not in the “banana republic” of Indonesia, where on Thursday, Ivermectin was officially approved for covid treatment in a vicious blow to the “buy my vaccine” pharmaceutical lobby around the world. According to Bloomberg, Indonesia’s food and drug regulator, known as BPOM, has issued a letter approving the distribution of Ivermectin, Remdesivir, Favipiravir, Oseltamivir, immunoglobulin, Tocilizumab, Azithromycin and Dexametason to be used in treatment of Covid-19, according to a statement from the agency. The latter, Bloomberg adds, was issued as guidance for distributors of the drugs.

The startling development – if only to the anti-Ivermectin oligarchs in “developed” Western nations – takes place two weeks after eight hospitals in Indonesia began conducting clinical trials on Ivermectin, an anti-parasitic medicine that has appeared to be a potential Covid-19 medication and which is greatly hated by the establishment due to its low price and its ability to eradicate the covid plague which the establishment desperately needs to perpetuate a state of constant near-panic not to mention enabling trillions in fiscal and monetary stimulus, following a permit issued by the national agency of drug and food control. BPOM’s head Penny K. Lukito said at a press conference on Monday (June 28) that global data and guidelines from the WHO show that Ivermectin, previously used for deworming, can also be used for Covid-19 treatment.

However, while the BOMP said on June 28 that data are still being collected and the results are not conclusive, it appears that two weeks later it has found enough conclusive data to formally approve Ivermectin for covid treatment. Indonesia is scrambling to contain the covid pandemic, having overnight surpassed India’s daily Covid-19 case numbers, and becoming Asia’s new virus epicenter as the spread of the highly-contagious delta variant drives up infections in Southeast Asia’s largest economy The country has seen its daily case count cross 40,000 for three straight days — including a record high of 54,517 on Wednesday — up from less than 10,000 a month ago. Officials are concerned that the more transmissible new variant is now spreading outside of the country’s main island, Java, and could exhaust hospital workers and supplies of oxygen and medication. That said, Indonesia’s current numbers are still far from India’s peak of 400,000 daily cases in May, and its total outbreak of 2.7 million is barely a tenth of the Asian giant’s 30.9 million.

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Neil and Norman Fenton Risk Information and Management Research School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, Queen Mary University of London.

Bayesian Meta Analysis of Ivermectin Effectiveness in Treating Covid-19 (RG)

Abstract – A recent peer reviewed meta-analysis evaluating ivermectin (Bryant et al, 2021) concluded that this antiparasitic drug is a cheap and effective treatment for reducing Covid-19 deaths. These conclusions were in stark contrast to those of a later study (Roman et al, 2021). Although (Roman et al, 2021) applied the same classical statistical approach to meta-analysis, and produced similar results based on a subset of the same trials data used by (Bryant et al), they claimed there was insufficient quality of evidence to support the conclusion Ivermectin was effective. This paper applies a Bayesian approach, to a subset of the same trial data, to test several causal hypotheses linking Covid-19 severity and ivermectin to mortality and produce an alternative analysis to the classical approach.


Applying diverse alternative analysis methods which reach the same conclusions should increase overall confidence in the result. We show that there is overwhelming evidence to support a causal link between ivermectin, Covid-19 severity and mortality, and: i) for severe Covid-19 there is a 90.7% probability the risk ratio favours ivermectin; ii) for mild/moderate Covid-19 there is an 84.1% probability the risk ratio favours ivermectin. Also, from the Bayesian meta-analysis for patients with severe Covid-19, the mean probability of death without ivermectin treatment is 22.9%, whilst with the application of ivermectin treatment it is 11.7%. The paper also highlights advantages of using Bayesian methods over classical statistical methods for meta-analysis.

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Vaccines are destroying T cells?

Prior SARS-CoV-2 Infection Rescues B And T Cell Responses To Variants (SciMag)

During clinical trials of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 vaccines, no one who had survived infection with the virus was tested. A year after the pandemic was declared, vaccination of previously infected persons is a reality. Reynolds et al. address the knowledge gap in a cohort of UK health care workers given the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in which half of the participants had experienced natural virus infections early in the pandemic (see the Perspective by Crotty). Genotyping indicated that a genetic component underlies heterogeneity in immune responses to vaccine and to natural infection.


After vaccination, naïve individuals developed antibody responses similar to those seen in naturally infected persons, but T cell responses were more limited and sometimes absent. However, antibody and memory responses in individuals vaccinated after infection were substantially boosted to the extent that a single vaccine dose is likely to protect against the more aggressive B.1.1.7 variant. It is possible that the messenger RNA vaccine has an adjuvant effect, biasing responses toward antibody generation.

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“..no state agency has the right to coerce, cajole or lead minors to do something that is demonstrably stupid on the arithmetic and stick the parents with the cost when the bet goes bad.”

Yep *******s, And It’s About DAMNED TIME (Denninger)

Oh look, backlash. “On June 25th, Fiscus asked about reminder postcards that were scheduled to go out to teens who had received a first dose of the COVID vaccine and were due to receive a second. State epidemiologist Dr. John Dunn answered: “Hold all program communications about immunizations until further notice.” Do you know why? Because Fiscus decided to trumpet the so-called mature minor doctrine and thus not require minors to obtain parental consent to get the Tard Shot. She also had TNDOH running paid Twitter ads aimed directly at minors which is a wildly inappropriate act. Problem: Said minor, if they had an adverse event, obligated their parents to pay for the adverse event up to and including permanently obligating them to care for said person for the rest of their lives.

This could trivially destroy said adults both personally (through loss of their child) and financially without them having any input into the process. An adult, of course, is free to make such a decision and eat the consequences, up to and including death or permanent disability. Given that Johns Hopkins now publishes an online calculator and has since December of 2020 that makes clear the risk of death from Covid-19 is lower than that of the jabs by a factor of 10 or more for people who are not seriously compromised medically as an adult if you decide to get jabbed and lose the bet that’s your problem. Yes, the odds are low but when the odds are 10x lower you’ll get killed by the infection itself, with zero long-term data on those risks which are in addition to immediate, short-term death on nothing more than mathematics taking the jab is stupid.

Further, it is now clear on data from Israel that if you were previously infected you have nearly seven times less risk of being re-infected than if you get vaccinated. This in turn means the shots are worthless in previously-infected persons, wildly unethical and administering one constitutes gross malpractice because there is no possible benefit and only risk. Any medical treatment of any sort which cannot confer benefit but has, as do all treatments, risk is by definition of both ethics and law improper and under long-standing law is cause for termination of one’s medical license. You have the right, as an adult, to engage in behavior that might seriously injure or kill you. You can cave-dive. You can skydive. You can have unprotected anal sex. You can bicycle without a helmet.

You can make medical decisions that are irrational on a cold, statistical basis of mathematical risk assessment when you have other alternative courses of action available to you because you are scared or because you are stupid, just like you have the right to do all manner of other things and potentially ruin your life. That freedom — and the consequences, for good or bad, is what being an adult is. But no state agency has the right to coerce, cajole or lead minors to do something that is demonstrably stupid on the arithmetic and stick the parents with the cost when the bet goes bad. State agencies, when it comes to mandates, coercion or cajoling people, especially minors where the person in question is neither personally or financially responsible for outcomes, have a duty to NOT engage in pressure campaigns where the underlying statistical risk of harm calculation for the person in question is negative, as is clearly the case for Covid-19 vaccines in virtually all minors.

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First thing they say: “The COVID-19 vaccines authorized by Health Canada have been incredibly safe..”

Can you be more biased? Maybe someone else should do the tracking.

Canada Clinic Network to Track COVID-19 Vaccine Adverse Events (TSN)

The Canadian government’s COVID-19 Immunity Task Force (CITF) and Vaccine Surveillance Reference Group (VSRG) announced an $800,000 investment as part of a quest to better understand how to improve Canada’s identification and response to the adverse events people may experience following COVID-19 vaccination across 10 provinces. This is an extension of an existing vaccine safety initiative that was set up to offer public health information about adverse events following immunization for all vaccines authorized for use in adults and children in the nation. The funding propels a study forward, allowing a more methodical and systematic tracking of adverse events associated with the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in Canada.

Although it may not seem like big news, this announcement is tacit recognition of mounting safety reports associated with vaccines that at least in America, are still considered investigational—that is, they are not formally approved or registered but authorized under emergency use in the nation to the south. In Canada, Dr. Karina Top, Principal Investigator (PI) for this initiative as well as lead investigator of the Canadian Immunization Research Network’s (CIRN) Special Immunization Clinic (SIC) Network, which conducts the study, commented, “While the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccination continue to outweigh the risks, when a patient develops an unexpected or serious adverse event that requires medical attention, it is important we determine the possible role of the vaccine and the safety of giving future vaccine doses to this specific person or to people with similar adverse events.”

[..] Of course, it makes sense to have a surveillance study like this—it’s to be applauded. But the investigators involved must be mindful of each and every word uttered. Dr. Scott Halperin, the Vaccine Surveillance Reference Group (VSRG) Co-Chair, is a case in point. He also serves as co-investigator on this study and PI of CIRN. Dr. Halperin declared, “The COVID-19 vaccines authorized by Health Canada have been incredibly safe, especially considering the millions of people worldwide who have received a vaccine and the small number of adverse events to date.”

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“NO FREEDOM FOR THE UNVACCINATED!”

The Approaching Storm (CJ Hopkins)

Brainwashing the masses is all fine and good, but, at some point, you need to goad the people who are resisting your new totalitarian “reality” into getting unruly, so you can crack down on them, and transform them into official enemies, which appears to be what is happening currently. GloboCap is dialing up the totalitarianism, and they are rubbing it in our faces. Here in New Normal Germany, prominent health officials are openly barking out Goebbelsian slogans like “NO FREEDOM FOR THE UNVACCINATED!” and “THE UNVACCINATED ARE A DANGER TO SOCIETY!” All over Europe, including the UK, where “Freedom Day” is fast approaching, pseudo-medical social-segregation systems are being implemented. In France, Greece, and many other countries, people who refuse to be “vaccinated” are being stripped of their jobs and otherwise punished.

In the USA, where the Unvaccinated are also being segregated, New Normal goon squads are going door-to-door, bullying “vaccine hesitant” families into conforming to the new official ideology. And so on … I’m tired of citing the facts. They do not make the slightest difference to the vast majority of New Normals, anyway. As I’ve noted in several previous columns, these people have surrendered their rationality, and have been subsumed into a totalitarian movement, which has become their perceptual and social “reality,” which their “sanity” now depends upon defending, so the facts mean absolutely nothing to them. And you already know the facts. Yes, you. Us. The others. The Unvaccinated. The “Covid deniers.”

You don’t really think any hardcore New Normals have made it this far into this column, do you? They haven’t. If they stumbled into it on the Internet and accidentally started to read it, their brains switched off in the opening paragraph … literally, neurologically, switched off. They recognized it as a threat to their “reality” and instantly erased it from their consciousness, or they reported it to the proper authorities, perhaps the FBI, the Bundesnachrichtendienst, or Facebook, or some other global corporation. This is what it has come to, folks … people are reporting other people’s “thoughtcrimes” to global corporations and the law enforcement agencies of “democratic” governments in the hopes of destroying or damaging their lives, or, at the very least, getting them censored, or otherwise erased from public view.

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“..that statement was a bald-faced lie intended to induce you to do something that was, on-balance, known to be dangerous simply because we deliberately did not take the time to find out.”

Which Would You Rather Have? (Denninger)

You have two choices:

• Risk Covid-19 infection. Do what you can to blunt and prevent it up front. You may be resistant (80% of the population was and is) by cross-reaction, but there is no cheap and available way to know, nor to quantify how resistant; it could range from “immune” to “will get sniffles” to “will get a mild flu.” If you get infected anyway then choose to either (1) tough it out and do nothing or (2) hit it immediately with drugs that we have decades of data on — they may do nothing or they may help but the odds are overwhelming that they will not kill you. Either way, once you get infected you have a measure of immunity. This is what everyone has done with every respiratory pandemic in history up until this one, except that until the last 30 or 40 years there were no early treatments at all, so “tough it out” it was.

• Take a lightly-tested shot. With that option you get some measure of immunity. However, the usual testing for adverse effects was truncated severely. There was no, for example, sample group of 1,000 where everyone got blood drawn and a panoply of tests run every few days for a couple of months to gauge immediate adverse effect impact. The usual dose-ranging studies were truncated, so whether you really needed the “full dose” or a quarter of it would do the same thing is unknown, and whether the adverse effects were more-severe with a higher dose is also unknown. Pharmacological distribution studies, also part of the usual testing paradigm for a drug, were either not done at all or not published, so where the shot accumulates along with its products were…. unknown (now known due to a leak of a paper out of Japan, and it’s not good.)

The claim, made without evidence, was that the immunity provided by the second choice was at least as good if not better than that provided by the first choice. There was zero scientific evidence for this; that statement was a bald-faced lie intended to induce you to do something that was, on-balance, known to be dangerous simply because we deliberately did not take the time to find out.

There is now evidence emerging that the second choice is wildly dangerous. Emerging evidence is that six in ten jab recipients in a small study have elevated clotting indications. For comparison in healthy adults about 1 in 10 has an elevated level in this test without showing pathology. It is very likely this is not harmless but at present we have exactly zero data on how dangerous that elevation will prove over time. I note that clotting disorders of any sort are the kind of thing that produce both heart attacks and strokes, and if you are diagnosed with this under ordinary circumstances doctors get real worried about what might happen either immediately or in the foreseeable future. We didn’t know this up front because we did not look but it correlates with the examples of sudden stroke and heart attack that are being occasionally reported soon after getting the jabs. Is the risk immediate and then over? We don’t know.

Myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle, is a serious condition now associated with these jabs. It occasionally shows up in people as a result of viral infection. It is now showing up at a significantly elevated rate after taking the jabs, especially in young men. We do not know why. We do not know why because, once again, we did not do the work early on to detect troponin and d-Dimer elevation during the early tests. This work was not done because it takes time and it was most-important for TRUMP and BIDEN to both start jabbing people immediately and then for both, along with Governors and State Health Department officials, to coerce people by lying to them about safety and claiming that these jabs were in fact tested and known to be safe. So-called “private entities” including businesses and colleges jumped on the bandwagon. Note that neither private firms or colleges are immune from suit for getting it wrong; the drug companies are but not educational institutions or employers, including medical employers.

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Imagine living on the -wrong side of the- French-German border.

Merkel Rejects Calls For Compulsory Vaccination Of Key Workers (IT)

German chancellor Angela Merkel has dismissed calls for compulsory vaccinations among key workers, and urged citizens to get their jabs against Covid-19 jabs – and lobby friends and family to do the same. Dr Merkel said Germany was determined to avoid a fourth wave but, as cases involving the Delta virus variant rise, it would not follow France and Greece and require healthcare and other workers to be vaccinated. “The more people are vaccinated, the more free we will be again, the more freely we will be able to live again,” she said. “We are in the phase where we are still promoting vaccines voluntarily, and my request to you all is to make the case for the vaccine, everywhere there are people who know and trust each other.”

She was speaking after visiting the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany’s infectious diseases body which has co-ordinated the pandemic response. It says some 43 per cent of German residents have been fully vaccinated while just under 60 per cent have received one shot. RKI officials say they will need a vaccination quota of at least 85-90 per cent to protect the population through so-called herd immunity. “We are seeing only a very small section of the populace where . . . they won’t let themselves be vaccinated,” said Dr Lothar Wieler, RKI president, placing their number at under 10 per cent. Germany’s federal health minister Jens Spahn said that, unlike the early days of the vaccination programme, there were no vaccine supply problems any more and thus “no excuses”.

“Whoever doesn’t let themselves be vaccinated today cannot complain tomorrow that he isn’t invited to a party,” said Mr Spahn, predicting growing social pressure on the unvaccinated. He is calling on German sports and culture clubs to boost the vaccination drive by arranging vaccination evenings with a local doctor. From Friday, drive-in vaccinations will be available at a Berlin Ikea furniture store. With an eye on the new school term, however, some advisers to the government are demanding greater efforts to protect schoolchildren, who have yet to be vaccinated. “We need mandatory vaccination for personnel in schools and nurseries,” said Prof Wolfram Henn, a geneticist and member of the German Ethics Council. “Anyone who chooses of their own free will to work with vulnerable people takes on a special professional responsibility.”

Recent weeks have seen Germany’s seven-day incidence rate notch upward but, at 6.5 cases per 100,000 people over seven days, it is a long way from the rates above 170 seen in the springtime third wave.

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Still a society drenched in totalitarianism, and the kind of reaction that comes with that.

Mass Protests In Greece As Unvaccinated Banned From Indoor Public Spaces (RT)

Thousands took the streets in two of Greece’s largest cities to protest new health mandates – which bar the unvaccinated from many public spaces and require medical staff to take the shot – as well as plans to immunize teenagers. Large crowds of demonstrators were seen in Athens and Thessaloniki on Wednesday, numbered in the thousands according to the Associated Press, some reportedly chanting “Hands off our kids!” while others hoisted banners reading “We say no to vaccine poison.” The protests come on the heels of several new pandemic measures, one of which effectively closes all indoor public places to the unvaccinated, including bars, restaurants, theaters and other entertainment venues.

The policy takes effect on Friday and will remain at least until the end of August, part of an effort to curb transmission at crowded bars and clubs, which the government has blamed for a recent surge in cases. “After a year and a half, no one can claim ignorance about the coronavirus anymore,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said earlier this week. “The country will not shut down again due to attitudes adopted by certain people … It’s not Greece that’s a danger, but unvaccinated Greeks.” Nursing home staff will also be required to be vaccinated starting on August 16, facing suspension without pay if they fail to take the shot. A similar rule will come into force in September for workers at all public and private hospitals.

Clinics that flout the new restriction could be slapped with a 50,000-euro fine. In another controversial move set to begin on Thursday, the government will also allow teens as young as 15 to receive the coronavirus vaccine with the consent of a parent or guardian. Despite their size and energy, Wednesday’s protests appeared to remain peaceful. While helmeted riot police were seen in some images, the law enforcement presence was not apparent in much of the footage circulating online. No clashes were reported.

Read more …

In your name.

Assange May Never Recover From ‘Torture’ At Belmarsh – Doctor (RT)

A doctor who has joined other medical professionals in calling for Julian Assange’s release from prison told RT that the WikiLeaks co-founder’s arbitrary and cruel detention continues to put him at risk of suicide. The same concerns about Assange’s mental health that led to the High Court in London blocking his extradition to the US in January are still relevant, perhaps even more so, today, Dr. William Hogan, a specialist in internal medicine and professor of biomedical informatics at the University of Florida’s College of Medicine, said. Hogan was among more than 200 medical experts who signed an open letter published last month in the respected medical journal The Lancet, which demanded an end to the “torture and medical neglect” faced by the Australian journalist as he languishes in London’s maximum-security Belmarsh Prison.


Speaking to RT, the American doctor and academic cited expert testimony suggesting that Assange suffers from “severe signs of mental illness and mental stress,” including auditory hallucinations that are “persecutory” in nature. Securing Assange’s release would be the first step in trying to mend the extensive psychological damage, Hogan explained. While stressing that he was not a psychologist, the doctor said Assange would require “intensive treatment” and that some aspects of the trauma would likely be “permanent.” The problem is potentially life-threatening, Hogan claimed, pointing to Belmarsh’s high suicide rate and noting that an inmate had recently taken his own life after just two days in the prison. Assange has endured some eight months without visitors due to Covid restrictions, and was only recently able to see his fiancée.

Read more …

 

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Jul 052021
 


Paul Gauguin We hail thee Mary 1891

 

“Asymptomatic Covid Spread” Used To Shut Down The Economy Was A Lie (TSN)
New Research Suggests Ivermectin Works (HART)
Indonesia to Produce Ivermectin Starting in July (Tempo)
‘Perverse Incentives’ in the Vaccine Rollout and the Censorship of Science (ET)
Lancet Accused Of Doing China’s Dirty Work Denouncing Lab Leak Theory (DM)
Daszak Refuses House Request For Wuhan Docs, Democrats Fail To Subpoena (JTN) /span>
Fauci Doubles Back To Masks – For the Vaccinated (JTN)
Retraction Of Paper On Vaccine Deaths Spurs Call For More Scrutiny (JTN)
OPEC On Verge Of Collapse After Saudis, UAE Refuse To Budge (ZH)
No, We Weren’t All Born Yesterday (David Stockman)
HSBC in Big Trouble in its Biggest Market, China (WS)

 

 

 

 

FLCCC’s Dr. Marik is asked how he would end the pandemic in a month. “I would do a mass distribution program of ivermectin together with melatonin and aspirin. We should’ve done this months ago.” Simple. Safe.

 

 

Mike Yeadon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1411596825103155201

Mike Yeadon variants

 

 

Paul Elias Alexander, PhD, Former COVID Pandemic consultant/advisor to WHO-PAHO and former COVID pandemic advisor to Health and Human Services (HHS), United States; Parvez Dara, MD, MBA; Howard Tenenbaum, DDS, PhD

“Asymptomatic Covid Spread” Used To Shut Down The Economy Was A Lie (TSN)

There was no credibility to ‘asymptomatic spread’ or transmission in COVID-19 as a key driver of the pandemic nor even as a driver of minimal infection. This is not only our hypothesis, we feel strongly that asymptomatic spread was bogus from the start and was used to underpin the lockdowns and had and has still today, no basis. This was part of pandemic corruption. We have looked at the evidence gathered across the last 16 months and can safely say this was a false narrative along with masking, lockdowns, social distancing, and school closure polices that visited crushing harms on the society and hurt the US and the world immensely. That the US Pandemic Task Force and these illogical, irrational, unscientific medical experts could use this falsehood and shutter the society and cost so much destruction of life, wealth and property is a scandal, shameful, and unforgiveable.

This was all about corruption, this pandemic response, and there certainly were ingredients other than science at play throughout. There are members of the US Task Force that some of us here got the pleasure of working with and some of them are incredibly smart, good people. Decent god-fearing people. But they were and are flat wrong! Have been on everything COVID. Every policy was based on their input and guidance and they created disaster. Many thousands of people died due to them! Their policies! Never has a President been as ill-served as by these Task Force members. They misled and undercut President Trump at each turn and one continues to mislead the current administration.

Who knows, maybe the combination caused a chaotic frenetic collaboration, so maybe the combination doomed them from the start. But on a day-to-day basis, we were watching a clown car in the daily briefings! Their hypothesis cannot be borne out on asymptomatic spread, and we have decided once and for all, to lay out the evidence on asymptomatic spread and give our view. This should have never been about supposition, speculation, assumptions or even whimsy by them. This is not evidence-based research, that is not science. Speculation and assumption is not science. They failed catastrophically and must not be allowed to re-write their history.

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All serious research says the same thing.

New Research Suggests Ivermectin Works (HART)

Another conundrum is whether many more lives could have been saved by the early adoption of ivermectin, a repurposed drug, with a long track record of safety for use in parasitic diseases but also shown to have antiviral properties. In the specific case of COVID-19, the mode of action appears to be two-fold: it acts by docking to the SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-binding domain bound with ACE2 (thus blocking the virus from entering cells), and also acts as an anticoagulant, which protects against the clotting associated with the viral spike protein. Numerous articles summarised by the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance have reported successful use both in treatment and prevention of COVID-19 but have been criticised for lack of peer reviewed RCT data.


Last week Dr Tess Lawrie from the Evidence-Based Medicine Consultancy and colleagues published a peer reviewed systematic review and meta-analysis in the American Journal of Therapeutics that showed moderate-certainty evidence of large reductions in COVID-19 deaths. ‘Moderate-certainty’ may sound like an ‘average’ result, but it in fact represents one of the highest certainties possible and the stringent data filters used in this kind of meta-analysis mean that only the most robust RCT data are included. With mild to moderate disease, ivermectin reaches the threshold for ‘high certainty’ of efficacy meaning it appears to be of immense benefit in both the treatment and prevention of COVID-19. Being out of patent, it is incredibly cheap (cost of production is around 3 cents a tablet) and very safe, particularly in comparison to COVID-19 vaccines:

In relation to the above table, it should be noted that around 4 billion doses of ivermectin have been given to humans since reporting started. Real world experience has been enormous and largely censored — something Dr Lawrie has also been subject to, having been removed from Twitter and had articles deleted from LinkedIn. HART has previously highlighted YouTube’s ‘COVID-19 medical misinformation policy’ which outlaws any claims that ivermectin is an effective treatment for the disease. Unfortunately, the influence of pharmaceutical lobbying in preventing the early adoption of ivermectin is evident and it is the sick and dying who inevitably suffer in a system where profit is a huge driver in dictating what does and does not reach the market. There is a point at which enough evidence of efficacy of a medicine has been provided and anything beyond that is deemed ‘unnecessary’.

Read more …

13 million per month. Good start, but 260 million people.

Indonesia to Produce Ivermectin Starting in July (Tempo)

State-owned pharmaceutical firm PT Indofarma on Friday spoke about Ivermectin that has recently claimed popularity after a number of public figures claimed the drug’s effectiveness against COVID-19. Asked by Tempo about the price for one pack, Indofarma management stated in a written release on Friday, July 2, that they “established the price for [Ivermectin] at Rp123 thousand.” The product they sell includes 20 tablets of 12 mg per botol. The highest retail price that includes the added-value tax (PPN) is set at Rp157,700 (US$10 in current exchange). Based on Tempo’s observation across online and physical stores the drug is sold at an average price of Rp200,000 (US$13.7) with the highest retail price at Rp256,000 (US$ 17). Ivermectin, as of June 20, has obtained marketing authorization from the Food and Drugs Monitoring Agency (BPOM). Indofarma stated the production of the drug would kickstart in early July, and that it aimed at producing 13.8 million tablets until August 2021.

Read more …

Interview with Bret Weinstein.

‘Perverse Incentives’ in the Vaccine Rollout and the Censorship of Science (ET)

You mentioned two areas. One is repurposed drugs therapeutics for COVID, another one is of course, vaccine safety. So what are you seeing? Well, let’s pick one. Let’s go into the vaccine safety first. Dr. Weinstein: Well, I’m not sure that there is even a way to do one without the other. The two appear to be the same story viewed from two different sides. And I think what people need to track is the fact that in order for the vaccines to be administered, they had to get an Emergency Use Authorization. And one of the requirements for the Emergency Use Authorization is that there’d be no safe and effective treatments available. So if the repurposed drugs are as good as some people believe they are, then the vaccines would not be available at all. They would still be in testing.

Add to that the fact that the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture these vaccines have been granted immunity from liability. And these two things in combination, I believe, have created a headlong rush to administering the vaccines to everyone irrespective of medical or epidemiological need. [..] I’ve seen a piece of the censorship on YouTube. YouTube has in their community guidelines, a provision that actually forbids the discussion of ivermectin if the discussion involves the claim that it works. And the problem is that there is substantial evidence that it works. And works doesn’t mean one thing, it actually means two distinct things.

There is strong evidence that ivermectin works for the treatment of COVID, especially if it is given early in the course of disease. It is also apparently highly effective as a prophylactic. And these things are clearly visible in the recent meta-analysis that have been released that show a clear pattern. So somehow on YouTube, the discussion of evidence that has been peer-reviewed and delivered within the scientific literature is forbidden because it contradicts the CDC’s view, which is that ivermectin does not work or that there is no evidence that it works. [..] I learned this from Robert Malone, who is the inventor of mRNA vaccine technology, and he is also somebody who has been involved in a professional capacity inside the regulatory apparatus.

And what he said is that at the point that the Emergency Use Authorizations for the vaccines were granted, there was the opportunity to require extra data to be collected to find out what the impact of these vaccines was on the people who received them. And a choice was made not to collect the data, which I find quite alarming in light of the fact that the process of establishing the safety of these vaccines was necessarily truncated in order to bring them to the public so quickly. [..] the ramifications of it are that we are exposing a huge fraction of the population to what is in effect, a scientific experiment, except that it isn’t a scientific experiment because we are deliberately avoiding collecting data that would allow us to evaluate the impact.

And I find that shocking. It is one thing to argue that we have no choice that COVID-19 is an emergency and we have to make shortcuts that we would not ordinarily consider. I accept that argument. I also accept that these vaccines appear to work at least in the short term. But the right thing to do in order to make proper medically justified decisions and epidemiologically justified decisions is to collect the data on what happens after administration. These are brand new technologies. They have many different ways in which they could fail, and it is our obligation, especially to the people who receive these vaccines, that we collect the data on what happened. And to not do so means that we are very likely to put people in danger in the future with no justification for it.

Read more …

Yup, it’s Daszak.

Lancet Accused Of Doing China’s Dirty Work Denouncing Lab Leak Theory (DM)

The Lancet letter, signed by 27 experts, played a key part in silencing scientific, political and media discussion of any idea that this pandemic might have begun with a lab incident rather than spilling over naturally from animals. It was even reportedly used by Facebook to flag articles exploring the lab leak hypothesis as ‘false information’ before the social media giant dramatically changed tack last month. Yet it emerged later that The Lancet statement was covertly drafted by British scientist Peter Daszak – a long-term collaborator with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which was carrying out high-risk research on bat coronaviruses and had known safety issues.

Daszak is the £300,000-a-year president of EcoHealth Alliance, a New York-based charity that funnelled funds to his friend Shi Zhengli, the Wuhan virologist known as ‘Batwoman’ for her work in collecting samples from bats. Four months later, The Lancet set up a ‘Covid-19 Commission’ to assist governments and scrutinise the origins. It was led by Jeffrey Sachs, the celebrity economist and author who campaigns on aid with rock star Bono. Sachs recently dismissed claims that China is committing genocide on the Uighurs, adopting Beijing’s line that it is confronting Islamic militancy. Incredibly, he backed Daszak to lead his commission’s 12-person taskforce investigating Covid’s origins – joined by five fellow signatories to The Lancet statement.

Daszak’s conflicts of interest were exposed by this newspaper six months ago. Last week The Lancet finally ‘recused’ him from its commission and published an ‘addendum’ to its statement detailing some of his Chinese links. Yet critics say the journal has still failed to admit that six more signatories to that February statement have ties to Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance as directors or partners. ‘It would have been better for The Lancet to have stated that Daszak’s and other signers’ previous declarations were untruthful and to have attached an editorial expression of concern,’ said Richard Ebright, a bio-security expert and professor of chemical biology at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Now The Mail on Sunday has learned that The Lancet is set to publish a second statement by these signatories that presses the case that Covid probably emerged through natural ‘zoonotic’ transmission from animals to humans. ‘We consider that it seems more likely a transmission through an intermediate mammalian host, although other possibilities can’t be fully excluded,’ said one, adding that they were still ‘missing some signatures’. Four of The Lancet’s original experts seem to have since shifted their position, including Charles Calisher, a Colorado virologist. He admits ‘there is too much coincidence’ to ignore the lab leak hypothesis and that ‘it is more likely that it came out of that lab’.

Read more …

And Daszak again.

Daszak Refuses House Request For Wuhan Docs, Democrats Fail To Subpoena (JTN)

Amajor conduit of federal research funding to the Chinese coronavirus lab at the center of ongoing speculation over the origins of the SARS-Cov-2 virus is not complying with a months-old request from House Republicans for documentation related to his work with that lab, while Democrats in the House have failed to issue a subpoena to compel that evidence. Peter Daszak, the president of the U.S. nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance, has been the subject of growing scrutiny over the last several months regarding his role in the funding of the Wuhan Institute of Virology. For several years leading up to the pandemic, EcoHealth Alliance funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal research grants to the WIV for the study of potential pandemic coronaviruses at the Wuhan lab.

As government investigators and journalists dig to uncover the full scope of Daszak’s links to the WIV, Daszak is continuing to spurn a congressional request for that information. In April, Republicans on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce sent Daszak a letter directing him to submit, among many other documents, “all letters, emails, and other communications between [EcoHealth] and [the WIV] related to terms of agreements, bat coronaviruses, genome or genetic sequencing, SARS-CoV-2, and/or laboratory safety practices” pursuant to key NIH research funding through EcoHealth to the Wuhan lab as a grant sub-recipient.

Yet Daszak himself has not cooperated with the request. An aide with the Energy and Commerce Committee confirmed to Just the News this week that the committee has “received no response still from EcoHealth Alliance and Peter Daszak to the April 16th letter from Leaders Rodgers, Guthrie, and Griffith.” Washington GOP Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers has also publicly noted Daszak’s refusal to cooperate with the request made roughly two and a half months ago. “We have asked Daszak to provide information we know he has that sheds light on the origins of this pandemic,” Rodgers said during a House subcommittee hearing this week. “But he refuses to cooperate.” “Dr. Daszak, you received American funds you used to conduct research on bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” Rodgers continued. “You owe it to the American people to be transparent.”

[..] The committee itself could subpoena Daszak for the materials; both House and Senate committees enjoy subpoena powers pursuant to investigations within their congressional purviews, something that has been upheld by the Supreme Court several times. Yet subpoena power in both chambers is controlled by whichever party is in the majority. Democrats still hold a slim majority in the House, meaning the ultimate authority to compel Daszak to produce the documentation rests with that party, specifically in this case with Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone.

Read more …

“DOES ANY SANE PERSON CARE WHAT LITTLE NAPOLEON SAYS?”

Fauci Doubles Back To Masks – For the Vaccinated (JTN)

Less than two months after the government eased its COVID-19 mask requirements, the nation’s chief infectious disease specialist suggested Sunday that vaccinated Americans “go the extra mile” and begin wearing them again in low vaccinated areas. Dr. Anthony Fauci’s recommendation led to howls by many on Twitter, who noted recently released emails from the NIH doctor suggested masks provided little protection. “DOES ANY SANE PERSON CARE WHAT LITTLE NAPOLEON SAYS?,” a woman with the Twitter handle Conservative Gal tweeted Sunday afternoon. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on May 13 eased mask restrictions as vaccinations grew quickly.


Fauci made the rounds on the Sunday shows to address the new, contagious COVID-19 delta variant and slowing vaccination rates, offering his changed advice on masks. “If you put yourself in an environment in which you have a high level of viral dynamics and a very low level of vaccine, you might want to go the extra step and say ‘When I’m in that area where there’s a considerable degree of viral circulation, I might want to go the extra mile to be cautious enough to make sure that I get the extra added level of protection, even though the vaccines themselves are highly effective,’” Fauci told NBC’s “Meet The Press.” Some blue cities like Los Angeles and St. Louis have already reinstated a mask advisory for vaccinated and unvaccinated citizens as the delta variant has spread.

Read more …

The things that nobody wants to know.

Retraction Of Paper On Vaccine Deaths Spurs Call For More Scrutiny (JTN)

Should public health authorities scrutinize deaths attributed to COVID-19 as closely as they scrutinize deaths attributed to COVID-19 vaccines? Defenders of a controversial study on the risk-benefit ratio of COVID-19 vaccines are calling hypocrisy on a medical journal for retracting the paper a week after publishing it, following the resignations of several journal editors in protest. In a Friday retraction notice in the journal Vaccines, the editor in chief and “several” editorial board members said the paper’s authors were not able to “satisfactorily” answer claims that they conflated correlation with causation. Analyzing data from the Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Centre, known as LAREB, the paper’s authors estimated COVID-19 vaccines take two lives for every three they save. The country leads Europe in vaccine adverse-reaction reporting.

Authors Harald Walach, Rainer Klement and Wouter Aukema challenged criticism from Eugene van Puijenbroek, who leads LAREB’s scientific department, that they had misused its data. “This starts a long-overdue debate on how to gauge the safety of COVID-19 vaccines,” they wrote in a statement provided to Retraction Watch Thursday. “Currently we only have association, we agree, and we never said anything else. But the same is true with fatalities as consequences of SARS-CoV2-infections [sic],” which are “rarely vetted by autopsy or second opinion” to confirm they were caused by the novel coronavirus, rather than incidental to infection. Brown University epidemiologist Andrew Bostom wasn’t impressed by the journal’s “baloney” explanation for the retraction, either.

“The [vaccine] deaths are as causally related as C19 deaths which allow for any positive test within 30-60 days of a death from any cause to be tallied as a C19 death,” he wrote in a Twitter message to Just the News. Bostom pointed to a June study, not yet peer-reviewed, of a sample of deaths in the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System reported through April. The sample was limited to people who got early vaccinations, primarily elderly or those with “significant health conditions.” Researchers at the University of London and New Zealand’s Massey University found that they could rule out “vaccine reaction” as a contributing factor in just 14% of deaths. “Contrary to claims that most of these reports are made by lay-people and are hence clinically unreliable, we identified health service employees as the reporter in at least 67%,” they wrote.

Read more …

They’re always on the verge of collapse?!

OPEC On Verge Of Collapse After Saudis, UAE Refuse To Budge (ZH)

Is the world about to go through another 2014 Thanksgiving massacre when OPEC collapsed sending the price of oil crashing and unleashing a brief if catastrophic wave of destruction across the US shale sector? That’s what commodity traders are wondering this long weekend when just two days after the UAE refused to fall inline with the rest of OPEC+, late on Sunday, in a Bloomberg TV interview, Saudi Prince Abdulaziz said that “we have to extend,” referring to the deal agreed upon by all but the UAE on Friday, according to which oil production would be increased by 400kbd over the next few months, while also extending the broader production quota agreement until the end of 2022 for the sake of stability: “the extension puts lots people in their comfort zone” said the Saudi, adding that Abu Dhabi was isolated within the OPEC+ alliance.

“It’s the whole group versus one country, which is sad to me but this is the reality”, the Saudi summarized the potentially explosive situation, which has seen Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates crank up the tension in their OPEC standoff which as Bloomberg summarizes, has left the global economy guessing how much oil it will get next month. The bitter clash between the Saudis and UAE has forced OPEC+ to halt talks twice already, with the next meeting scheduled for Monday, putting markets in limbo as oil continues its inflationary surge above $75 a barrel. With the cartel discussing its production policy not only for the rest of the year, but also into 2022, the solution to the standoff will shape the market and industry into next year.

While traditionally the oil cartel has been shy of publicity, keeping its spats behind close doors, on Sunday the fight between the two key producers broke into public view with both countries, which typically keep their grievances within the walls of the royal palaces, airing their differences on television, with Riyadh insisting on its plan, backed by other OPEC+ members including Russia, that the group should both increase production over the next few months, while also extending the broader agreement reached in the aftermath of the oil price collapse of 2020 until the end of 2022 to avoid a production glut. Just hours earlier, the Emirati energy minister, Suhail al-Mazrouei, again rejected the Saudi-proposed deal extension, supporting only a short-term increase and demanding better terms for itself for 2022. “The UAE is for an unconditional increase of production, which the market requires,” Al-Mazrouei told Bloomberg Television earlier on Sunday. Yet the decision to extend the deal until the end of 2022 is “unnecessary to take now.”

Read more …

“..only 73% of the state-imposed shrinkage of hours worked has been recovered as of June 2021.”

No, We Weren’t All Born Yesterday (David Stockman)

According to the mainstream narrative, we were all born yesterday. There is no such thing as context, history or critical analysis – just cherry-picked short-term data-deltas, which are held to be either awesome or at least much improved from last time. That’s why we predictably got this headline from the Wall Street Journal with reference to today’s June employment release, which allegedly showed “employers added 850,000 jobs last month”: Stocks Tick Higher With Strong Jobs Report Well, no, it wasn’t and they (employers) didn’t. In fact, total hours worked in June actually declined from the May level, and, far more importantly, were still down 4.4% from the pre-Covid peak in February 2020.

When expressed in total hours, there is absolutely nothing “strong” at all about the numbers. To wit, at the end of Q2 2021 total hours employed in the nonfarm economy were still down 8 billion hours from the Q4 2019 level. That’s right. Eight billion worker hours are MIA, yet the lazy shills at the WSJ, Bloomberg, Reuters et. al. keep pumping out bilge about an awesome economic rebound! Actually, what has never been noted notwithstanding the fact that it sits there in plain sight on the BLS website is that Dr. Fauci and his economy wreckers dug a far deeper hole in the main street labor market last spring than the narrative led you to believe. At the pre-Covid peak in Q4 2019, the nonfarm economy utilized 257.2 billion labor hours at an annualized rate, but that plunged by nearly -12% to just 227.6 billion hours in Q2 2020.

So doing, Fauci & Co wiped out all of the aggregate nonfarm labor hours gain since Q4 2011. That is to say, it obliterated the awesome gains that had been contained in 102 monthly Jobs Friday reports in the interim. And now, after $4 trillion of freshly printed fiat cash and $6 trillion of stimmies and other bailouts and free stuff only 73% of the state-imposed shrinkage of hours worked has been recovered as of June 2021.

Read more …

By some measures, still the world’s biggest bank.

HSBC in Big Trouble in its Biggest Market, China (WS)

HSBC, headquartered in the UK, is first and foremost an Asian bank. The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited cut its teeth in the 19th century in Greater China. In 2020, its Mainland and Hong Kong operations accounted for 39% of its annual $50 billion in revenue, while the United Kingdom, its second largest market, brought in 28%. The bank is now selling off its retail banking units in France and the United States and scaling back its presence in some emerging markets in order to accelerate its eastward pivot. But there’s a problem with this plan: Its success rests largely on the bank’s ability to maintain good relations with the Chinese government. And that is proving to be a tough proposition.

Relations have soured significantly over the past two years after it was revealed in 2019 that HSBC had ratted out Chinese telecom giant Huawei to the U.S. Department of Justice for breaching U.S. sanctions on Iran. The information provided by HSBC led to the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer and daughter of the company’s founder, in Vancouver in 2018. As geopolitical tensions have escalated between the US and China, HSBC has had to walk a tightrope in its relations with China on the one hand and Washington and London on the other. The lenders’ travails reveal a core challenge for multinational firms operating in China: the market is vital to their growth prospects, but Western firms doing business there increasingly risk being mired in the ratcheting tensions between Beijing and the West.

But given the size and growth of the market, many big global banks have decided to continue expanding in China, whether organically or through acquisitions. HSBC Holdings PLC, Standard Chartered PLC and Citigroup Inc. have all unveiled plans to beef up their wealth management operations in China, targeting the growing middle class. But with net profits for foreign lenders falling precipitously and Beijing demanding that foreign companies toe the line as the US ramps up sanctions on China, it’s getting more and more complicated.

Read more …

 

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Luciferase

 

 

 

 

No jab no dinner

 

 

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Mar 022020
 


John Vachon Big Four Cafe, Cairo, Illinois 1940

 

China Leaves Asymptomatic Patients off Coronavirus Infection Tally (Caixin)
Epidemic Won’t Spark Financial Crisis In China (Global Times)
CDC Retesting Patient After Testing Negative, Being Released (KSAT)
CDC Testing Limits May Have Delayed Coronavirus Response (HP)
US Agency Investigating Production Of Faulty Coronavirus Test Kits (R.)
Murder Probe Sought For South Korea Sect At Center Of Coronavirus Outbreak (R.)
China Gives Relief to Shield Trillions of Yuan in Bad Debt (BBG)
Australia Warns It Can’t Stop The Spread Of Coronavirus From Overseas (R.)
Indonesia Confirms First Cases, Linked To Japanese Citizen In Malaysia (SCMP)
Japan’s Factory Activity Shrinks At Fastest Pace Since 2016 (R.)
Buttigieg Drops Out Of Democratic Race Two Days Before Super Tuesday (R.)
Klobuchar Cancels Campaign Rally After Protests (Hill)
Tulsi Gabbard Urges Trump: Don’t Drag Us Into War With Russia (ZH)
Assange Enters The Kangaroo Court (MStar)
EU Accepts Greek Demand For Emergency Foreign Affairs Council (K.)

 

 

 

Cases 89,248 (+ 1,616 from yesterday’s 87,632)

Deaths 3,058 (+ 64 from yesterday’s 2,994)

 

Everyone just dances on. China pretends it’s fine, and the Global Times assures us there will be no financial crisis. As the US CDC is found painfully wanting on multiple fronts. As Super Tuesday draws near, Trump will be criticized heavily for the US response to COVID19, especially now the first US deaths are on the tally. But though he certainly stumbles his way awkwardly through, the CDC would be what it is no matter which party is in charge.

And while western governments, along with China, have no strong desire to perform the best testing they can, because it can only make them look worse, “newly infected” countries like Nigeria (190 million) and Indonesia (260 million), don’t have the desire, and not the means either. This will keep official infection numbers low(er), but does that mean we can all go visit without any worries?

 

From SCMP:

 

 

From Worldometer (Note: mortality rate fell to 6%):

 

 

A more complete pic of COVID2019.app:

 

 

 

 

“If you don’t have symptoms, it’s not an illness,” he said. “There’s no need to announce it.”

And at the same time, the first lung transplant:

Twitter: “Oh gosh – first lung transplant done for a #COVID19 patient. Hope only a fraction of the 20% severe cases ever need this. Though there is currently 50% 28-day mortality if someone enters ICU (based on China data). But what % or total infected will need ICU? Unclear.”

China Leaves Asymptomatic Patients off Coronavirus Infection Tally (Caixin)

China’s decision to exclude individuals who carry the new coronavirus but show no symptoms from the country’s public tally of infections has drawn debate over whether this approach obscures the scope of the epidemic, with a document received by Caixin showing a significant proportion of one province’s cases show no symptoms. Since early February, the National Health Commission (NHC) has concluded that “asymptomatic infected individuals” can infect others and demanded local authorities to report those cases. However, the commission has also decided not to include these people in its statistics for “confirmed cases” or indeed to release data on asymptomatic cases.

On Feb. 25, in Northeast China’s Heilongjiang province there were 104 asymptomatic infected individuals, according to a Feb. 26 Heilongjiang Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention document obtained by Caixin. That same day the province said it had 480 “confirmed cases,” a tally which did not include the 104 asymptomatic cases. In its Jan. 28 virus prevention and control plan, the NHC demanded the prompt detection and reporting of those with light or no symptoms. According to a document obtained by Caixin, the Heilongjiang CDC confirmed its first asymptomatic individual on Feb. 1 and asked the NHC for permission to leave the case off its public list of confirmed cases.

[..] two days after the fourth edition of the NHC’s Covid-19 guidelines released on Feb. 7 said asymptomatic cases should be reported separately and excluded from the confirmed case tally, Heilongjiang removed 13 asymptomatic infected individuals from its tally of “confirmed cases.” However, multiple studies from both Chinese and overseas researchers have been published, suggesting that individuals infected with Covid-19 can be contagious even if they do not feel ill.

In earlier guidelines, asymptomatic individuals were supposed to be observed and treated at home. But by the fifth edition of the NHC guidlines released Feb. 21, they had to undergo a 14-day quarantine as well as test negative in two separate nucleic acid tests before being released. Health authorities have also developed criteria to determine whether an asymptomatic individual is the source of infection in any given cluster. Nevertheless, at a Feb. 14 press conference, NHC deputy director Zeng Yixin said that the country would only publicize “suspected” and “confirmed cases.” “If you don’t have symptoms, it’s not an illness,” he said. “There’s no need to announce it.”

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The Party speaks. It’s not feeling well.

Epidemic Won’t Spark Financial Crisis In China (Global Times)

China is not facing a financial system crisis, despite mounting pressure from the coronavirus epidemic on the economy and global stock market routs, but further macro stabilizing measures, including more liquidity injections, might be necessary, analysts said on Sunday. Ominous signals have begun to suggest that the epidemic might have hit the Chinese economy harder than some had expected, which in turn has fueled speculation that China might face a financial crisis. On Saturday, official data showed that China’s manufacturing sector may have experienced a sharp downturn in February worse than during the global financial crisis in 2008.

The official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) dropped to 35.7 in February, the lowest level on record, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The non-manufacturing PMI plunged to 29.6, deep in contraction territory. The downbeat data followed hefty losses in the Chinese A-share market on Friday amid a worldwide stock market rout due to concerns over the coronavirus epidemic. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index plummeted 3.71 percent on Friday to drop below the psychologically important level of 3,000. The index lost 4.87 percent for the week. Although the Chinese stock market fared better than Wall Street, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 12 percent last week, concerns over a potential downtrend in the A-share market or even a broader financial crisis grew.

“Suggestions that China is facing risk of a financial crisis are just absurd,” Dong Dengxin, director of the Finance and Securities Institute at the Wuhan University of Science and Technology, told the Global Times on Sunday. “If anything, China’s A-share market is facing an upward trajectory given the fact that it has been at its historic lows and that the economic fundamentals have not changed.” [..] In light of moves by China’ s central bank to inject liquidity and local governments to support businesses, some argue the potential risks of a spike in non-performing loans among local governments could cause a financial crisis.

But Dong said that China’s government debt level remains significantly lower than those of developed countries and banks are among the world’s biggest and most regulated. “Everything is very much under control,” he said. China’s A-share market might be at the start of a bull run, according to Yang Delong, chief economist at Shenzhen-based First Seafront Fund. “US stocks have reached its top, whereas the A-share market is bottoming out. Therefore I think the A-share market will increase by 20 percent this year,” he wrote in a note sent to the Global Times on Sunday.

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The CDC is being exposed as a pretty incompetent entiry.

CDC Retesting Patient After Testing Negative, Being Released (KSAT)

A patient released from isolation in San Antonio on Saturday is being retested for the coronavirus at a local health facility, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Officials say the patient met the criteria for release after testing negative for the virus twice. Both of the tests were administered more than 24 hours apart. However, the patient later returned to isolation after a pending lab test came up positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, according to the CDC. The patient was isolated when they were treated at the local medical facility for several weeks after returning from Wuhan, China, on a State Department chartered flight, the CDC says. Out of caution, the CDC says the individual was brought back into isolation at a local medical facility and is getting retested.


The patient did have contact with others while outside of isolation, and health officials are working to trace others that may have been exposed. Metro Health is working to track where the patient went, who they interacted with, the time frames they spent outside of the quarantined facility and who may have been exposed, officials say.“This is an unfolding situation with many unknowns. CDC is making decisions on a case-by-case basis using the best available science at the time. CDC’s priority is to protect both patients and communities,” said the CDC in part, in a press release. Several Texas officials are speaking out after the CDC’s announcement that a patient was released into San Antonio with possible coronavirus exposure. Mayor Ron Nirenberg says it’s unacceptable that CDC officials released the patient and allowed the public exposure.

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You could be minutes from death, but if you didn’t visit China or French kiss with someone who did, no tests for you.

CDC Testing Limits May Have Delayed Coronavirus Response (HP)

Genetic sequencing of two cases of the novel coronavirus in Washington suggests the disease had been circulating in the state for six weeks — but went undetected because of strict testing restrictions set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a scientist who compared the genetic fingerprints. The study of the coronavirus contracted by a high school student in Snohomish County north of Seattle links the illness to the very first COVID-19 case in the nation, a man who tested positive Jan. 19 after returning to his home in Snohomish county from China. He has since recovered, but the illness was passed on, undetected, via community transmission for “the past six weeks,” noted Trevor Bedford, an associate professor at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington.

He attributed the lack of earlier detection of an “already substantial outbreak” to the CDC’s “narrow case definition requiring direct travel to China” (or contact with someone known to be ill with coronavirus) before people could be tested. [..] Besides restrictions until recently on when it could be used, the test created by the CDC in early February initially only worked predictably in a handful of labs. Early detection is critical so that people can begin treatment and be isolated before passing on the virus to someone else. As of Friday, fewer than 500 people had been tested in the U.S., according to the CDC, compared with countries like South Korea, where 65,000 have been tested.

[..] Dr. Jeff Duchin, public health officer for Seattle and King County, complained about the testing system Saturday when addressing the first coronavirus death in the nation in Kirkland, Washington. “Testing capacity is so limited,” he said at a press conference. The state public health lab only began testing for COVID-19 on Friday, but officials hope soon to be able to also rely on commercial and university labs. “If we had the ability to test earlier, I’m sure we would have identified patients earlier,” said Duchin. [..] To ease the testing logjam, the FDA announced Saturday that labs and hospitals across the nation will now be able to conduct the test for COVID-19 and won’t have to wait for results from the CDC.

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You can always export them to Africa.

US Agency Investigating Production Of Faulty Coronavirus Test Kits (R.)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services confirmed on Sunday that it is investigating a manufacturing defect in some initial coronavirus test kits that prompted some states to seek emergency approval to use their own test kits. On Saturday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said his state would immediately begin using its own test kit developed in-state after asking the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday for permission to do so. The FDA said on Saturday it would allow some laboratories to immediately use tests they have developed and validated to achieve more rapid testing capacity for the coronavirus. On Sunday, New York confirmed its first case of coronavirus.


FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said in a statement on Sunday that “upon learning about the test issue from CDC (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), FDA worked with CDC to determine that problems with certain test components were due to a manufacturing issue. We worked hand in hand with CDC to resolve the issues with manufacturing.” Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday the United States has 75,000 test kits on hand “and over the next week that will expand radically.” He said over 3,600 people in the United States have been tested to date. Hahn added that the “FDA has confidence in the design and current manufacturing of the test that already have and are continuing to be distributed. These tests have passed extensive quality control procedures.”

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Also for Chinese government, western governments? They also hid facts.

As for Seoul, they tested only a few 1000 of the 317,320 Shincheonji members and “trainees”..

Murder Probe Sought For South Korea Sect At Center Of Coronavirus Outbreak (R.)

The government of Seoul asked for a murder investigation into leaders of a Christian sect at the center of the country’s deadly coronavirus outbreak, saying the church was liable for its refusal to cooperate with efforts to stop the disease. A large majority of the more than 4,000 confirmed cases of the South Korean outbreak, the largest outside China and still growing, have been linked to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a secretive movement that reveres founder Lee Man-hee. Park Won-soon, mayor of Seoul, said if Lee and other leaders of the church had cooperated, effective preventive measures could have saved those who later died of the virus. “The situation is this serious and urgent, but where are the leaders of the Shincheonji, including Lee Man-hee, the chief director of this crisis?” Park said in a post on his Facebook page late on Sunday.


Seoul’s city government said in a separate statement that it had filed a criminal complaint with the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office, asking for an investigation of Lee and 12 others on charges of murder and disease control act violations. The prosecutors’ office said it had received the complaint and was reviewing it. Health authorities said the vast majority of the 3,000 cases confirmed in Daegu, another Korean city, were linked to a branch of the church there, where a person who had tested positive in February attended services twice. [..] Health authorities said they have obtained a list of 317,320 Shincheonji members and “trainees”, but have been told by some local governments that it was not exhaustive.

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When money is your only answer to all questions.

China Gives Relief to Shield Trillions of Yuan in Bad Debt (BBG)

China’s financial regulators will allow the nation’s lenders to delay recognizing bad loans from smaller businesses reeling from the deadly coronavirus outbreak, giving temporary reprieve to trillions of yuan of debt. Qualified small- and medium-sized businesses nationwide with principal or interest due between Jan. 25 and June 30 can apply for a delay to the end of the second quarter, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory said in a joint statement with the central bank on Sunday. In Hubei province, the center of the outbreak, the waiver applies to all companies, including large firms, according to the statement. Chinese banks are taking extraordinary steps to avoid recognizing bad loans, seeking to protect themselves and cash-strapped borrowers from the economic fallout of the epidemic, as Bloomberg News reported last week.


Regulators told lenders not to downgrade loans with missed payments or report delinquencies to the country’s centralized credit-scoring system before the end of June, according to the statement. The push by banks and regulators to ease the wave of debt going bad is part of a broader effort by President Xi Jinping’s government to shore up the Chinese economy, which some forecasters predict may suffer a rare quarter-on-quarter contraction to start 2020. Gross domestic product may shrink by 2.5% in the first quarter, Nomura Holdings Inc. economists led by Lu Ting said in a report on Saturday, after the country’s manufacturing sector reported record-low activity in February. In addition to pumping billions of yuan into the banking system to make it easier for lenders to extend credit, authorities have cut interest rates, reduced taxes and pledged to adopt more “proactive” fiscal policies.

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It’s a choice, a trade-off. Close the borders OR get infected.

Australia Warns It Can’t Stop The Spread Of Coronavirus From Overseas (R.)

Australia’s chief medical officer said on Monday it was no longer possible to completely prevent people with the coronavirus from entering the country, citing concerns about outbreaks in Japan and South Korea. Australia, one of the first countries to put restrictions on its borders in a bid to limit the spread of the virus, confirmed its first death from the disease on Sunday. “It is no longer possible to absolutely prevent new cases coming in,” Brendan Murphy, Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, told reporters in Canberra. “We have got concerns about Japan and South Korea. They are working hard to control their outbreaks but we are still concerned that people in those countries and other high risk countries may present with an infection.”


The chief medical officer’s comments came as Australian officials confirmed the country’s 30th case of coronavirus, a 40-year old man who arrived in Australia’s second most populated city, Melbourne from Iran. He later travelled to Tasmania. Meanwhile, Australia named the 78-year old man who became the country’s first person to die from coronavirus as James Kwan. He was a passenger on the Diamond Princess ship that was held off Japan’s coast for weeks. Kwan and his wife, who also has the virus, were transferred back to Australia for treatment. Australia barred entry from Feb. 1 to any foreigners who had travelled through China in the two weeks prior to arriving in Australia. It extended that ban to Iran on Sunday. Both bans are in force until at least March 7. Australian citizens and permanent residents are exempted.

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That country of 260 million with a very sparse health care system. That has neither the desire nor the means to count its victims.

Indonesia Confirms First Cases, Linked To Japanese Citizen In Malaysia (SCMP)

Two Indonesians have tested positive for the coronavirus after being in contact with an infected Japanese national, Indonesian President Joko Widodo revealed on Monday, marking the first confirmed cases in the world’s fourth most populous country. The two had been hospitalised in Jakarta, Widodo told reporters at the presidential palace in the capital. The president said a 64-year-old woman and her 31-year-old daughter had tested positive after being in contact with a Japanese national who lived in Malaysia and was found to have the virus after returning from a trip to Indonesia. Widodo said an Indonesian medical team had traced the movements of the Japanese visitor before uncovering the cases.


“After checks, they were in a sick state. This morning I got a report that the mother and the daughter tested positive for coronavirus,” said Widodo, who said they were being treated at Jakarta’s Sulianti Saroso infectious diseases hospital. Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto told reporters the Japanese visitor was a friend of the two women’s family and had visited their house. He said authorities were checking who else the Japanese visitor may have come into contact with. The confirmation of the first cases of coronavirus came after authorities had defended their screening processes, with some medical experts raising concerns of a lack of vigilance and a risk of undetected cases in the Southeast Asian country of more than 260 million people.

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Who could have predicted that?

Japan’s Factory Activity Shrinks At Fastest Pace Since 2016 (R.)

Japan’s factory activity was hit by its sharpest contraction in nearly four years in February, raising a red flag over manufacturing in the world’s third-largest economy as the impact from the coronavirus outbreak spreads. The manufacturing slowdown offers the clearest evidence yet of the epidemic’s damaging effects on global growth and businesses and is likely to ramp up pressure on Japanese policymakers to boost growth. The au Jibun Bank Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) slipped to a seasonally-adjusted 47.8 from a final 48.8 in the previous month. The February reading was its lowest since May 2016.


The index stayed below the 50.0 threshold that separates contraction from expansion for a 10th month, marking the longest stretch since a 16-month run to June 2009 during the global financial crisis. “Near-term prospects for Japan’s industrial sector appear very bleak,” said Joe Hayes, economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey. “Weakness was driven by the demand-side in a broad-based fashion. Consumer, intermediate and capital goods producers recorded faster declines in demand and overall order books fell at the sharpest rate in over seven years.” The pressure on the world’s third-largest economy has built rapidly during the past weeks as the virus outbreak is dealing a sharp blow to China’s economy, Asia’s biggest.

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Good DNC boy. All against Bernie.

Buttigieg Drops Out Of Democratic Race Two Days Before Super Tuesday (R.)

Pete Buttigieg dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination on Sunday, saying he no longer saw a chance of winning, the day after fellow moderate Joe Biden won a big victory in South Carolina. The move shook up the Democratic contest to pick a candidate to take on Republican President Donald Trump in November’s election and came two days before the 14-state Super Tuesday nominating contests that will offer the biggest electoral prize so far. Buttigieg, a 38-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who gained early momentum after he narrowly won the Iowa caucuses last month and finished a close second in New Hampshire, had sought to unite Democrats, independents and moderate Republican voters.


But he finished a distant third in Nevada and fourth in South Carolina. “Today is a moment of truth … the truth is that the path has narrowed to a close for our candidacy if not for our cause,” Buttigieg told supporters in South Bend on Sunday night. “Our goal has always been to unify Americans to help defeat Donald Trump and to win the era for our values.” [..] An adviser told Reuters that Buttigieg was dropping out to avoid helping the odds of front-runner Bernie Sanders, a senator from Vermont and self-described democratic socialist. “Pete was not going to play the role of spoiler,” said the adviser, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “Could he have went through Super Tuesday and beyond? Sure. But this was not a vanity exercise.”

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Klobuchar out today? Place your bets. She has zero chance, but can take away votes from Sleepy Joe. They’ll keep Warren in, so she can dig into Bernie’s support.

And as all the TV clowns talk about Bernie’s support among black voters, check this:

“Klobuchar was the lead attorney in the county at the time of his initial trial, and she later denied a request for him to attend his mother’s funeral after he was imprisoned.”

Klobuchar Cancels Campaign Rally After Protests (Hill)

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) canceled a campaign rally in St. Louis Park, Minn., on Sunday after protesters reportedly affiliated with Black Lives Matter and other civil rights groups took the stage at her event for over an hour. In a statement obtained by The New York Times, Klobuchar’s campaign said the senator offered to meet with demonstrators in exchange for them exiting the stage and allowing her rally to proceed, adding that the protesters initially agreed to such terms before reportedly backing out and refusing to leave the stage.

“The campaign offered a meeting with the senator if they would leave the stage after being on the stage for more than an hour,” a spokesperson for the Klobuchar campaign told the Times. “After initially agreeing, the group backed out, and we are now canceling the event.” The campaign did not immediately return a request for further comment from The Hill. Klobuchar has faced calls to suspend her campaign from Black Lives Matter and NAACP activists over her role in the criminal prosecution of Myon Burrell, an African American man who was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison while still a teenager. Klobuchar was the lead attorney in the county at the time of his initial trial, and she later denied a request for him to attend his mother’s funeral after he was imprisoned.

Burrell’s case has become a point of criticism for Klobuchar’s campaign, as many including the victim’s father believe he may have been wrongfully convicted. “What I need people to understand is this isn’t about partisanship and this isn’t about politics,” said Leslie Redmond, president of the Minneapolis NAACP, in January. “This is about justice. … This isn’t just a situation that happened to the Central Park Five alone. This is a situation that happens all around America. This is a situation that happens right here in Minnesota.” “Young people, young adults were given life sentences to rot away in prison,” he added at the time. “This benefits no one. However, it does benefit politicians who use the criminal justice system to benefit their political careers. Enough is enough.”

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But Tulsi is still running.

Tulsi Gabbard Urges Trump: Don’t Drag Us Into War With Russia (ZH)

Tulsi Gabbard has once again gone on the offensive, skewering Washington mainstream foreign policy and the Trump administration’s refusal to stand up to “dictator” Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Trump reportedly told Erdogan in a phone call last week as the Idlib crisis escalates, now in an open state of war between the Turkish and Syrian armies, and with Russia supporting the latter, that the US “reaffirmed” its support for Turkey in Idlib. Ankara is now demanding greater support from NATO as well, after Russian jets were widely believed behind last Thursday’s massive air strike which killed 33 Turkish soldiers.


Congresswoman and Democratic presidential hopeful Gabbard attacked this stance in a weekend video statement, urging Trump instead to make clear that “the United States will not be dragged into a war with Russia by the aggressive Islamist expansionist dictator of Turkey via NATO.” She also slammed the mainstream media’s efforts to renew holding up al-Qaeda terrorists on the ground in Idlib as mere “rebels” and “freedom fighters” — saying it’s a disgrace to men and women in uniform who signed up to fight terrorists in the wake of 9/11. “Turkey’s been supporting ISIS and al-Qaeda terrorists from behind the scenes for years,” she pointed out. “Turkey’s Erdogan wants to create an Islamist caliphate in Syria, reestablish the Islamist Ottoman Empire, and is working with al-Qaeda and other terrorists to achieve his goal.” “He wants to be the caliph,” she added, explaining further he’s not a “friend” of America, but remains one of the most dangerous dictators in the world.

https://twitter.com/TulsiGabbard/status/1233740452182024193

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A kangaroo court in a banana republic.

Assange Enters The Kangaroo Court (MStar)

The most visually striking aspect of the Woolwich courtroom is where Assange sits — in a box covered by bullet-proof glass. This obviously unnecessary “security” measure was aimed at portraying Assange as a dangerous, violent terrorist who must be restrained at all times. Not only was the bullet-proof box dehumanising and degrading, it also made it impossible for Assange to participate in his own defence — a basic principle of due process. Assange could barely even hear the proceedings, let alone communicate with his legal team. Any communications that did occur in the box were not confidential since he was flanked at all times by at least one security guard. On Wednesday, Assange finally had enough. He stood up and began to address the judge, requesting he be permitted to properly communicate with his own lawyers.

The judge cut him off and sent the court into recess rather than allow him to speak. When the court reconvened, Assange’s lawyer formally requested Assange be permitted to sit with his legal team — a position that astonishingly was supported by the lawyer for the prosecution, who apparently found the whole set-up so gross as to discredit the entire proceeding. Yet still, the judge would not relent and Assange remained caged like an animal. However the abuse in the courtroom pales in comparison to the abuse behind closed doors in Belmarsh prison. The night after the trial opened, prison authorities relentlessly harassed Assange. He was shuffled from room to room all night, stripped naked and handcuffed multiple times throughout the ordeal. His legal papers were also confiscated.

When the defence lawyers complained the following day in court, the judge shrugged her shoulders and said that she had no authority over the prison administration who subjected him to such humiliation. The years of suffering Assange has endured while being persecuted by the US, British and other governments is evident simply from his physical appearance. Assange was clearly exhausted in the courtroom, sometimes slumped over. Even before being subjected to nearly a year of HMP Belmarsh, Assange had to deal with the psychological torment of nearly seven years’ confinement in the Ecuadorian Embassy. At the same time it is clear he still has the will to fight and has not compromised his principles an inch. The trial resumes in May, and will likely be followed by an extensive series of appeals.

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The pace the EU moves at. As Greece’s borders are being overrun. Erdogan is to visit Putin on Thursday.

Greece swears it won’t let the “migrants” enter, which Erdogan has selected for women and children (photo-ops) and militant youth (severity).

EU Accepts Greek Demand For Emergency Foreign Affairs Council (K.)

Josep Borrell Fontelles, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, has convened an extraordinary Foreign Council for next week on developments in Syria and the ensuing migration emergency, at the request of Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias. Dendias had formally requested an extraordinary meeting Saturday. In his statement, Borrell says that the EU-Turkey agreement on repatriation of refugees needs to be upheld and confirms EU supports Greece and Bulgaria in addressing the migration issue. Borrell’s statement:


“The ongoing renewed fighting in and around Idlib represents a serious threat to international peace and security. It is causing an untold human suffering among the population, and having a grave impact on the region and beyond. The European Union needs to redouble efforts to address this terrible human crisis with all the means at its disposal. I am therefore calling for an extraordinary meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council next week to discuss the unfolding situation, in particular at the request of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece. Over the past days, I have been in contact with key actors. I have called for an immediate de-escalation and for a lasting ceasefire, deplored the loss of lives, and offered EU support to mitigate the consequences of the crisis. There is only a political solution to this crisis.

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If you read us, please support us. It’s the only way the Automatic Earth can survive. Donate on Paypal and Patreon.

 

Mar 012020
 


Arthur Rothstein Accident on US 40 between Hagerstown and Cumberland, Maryland 1936

 

 

 

HK Coronavirus Outbreak Not At Peak: Gabriel Leung (RTHK)
Indonesia’s Frontline Hospital Defends Policies To Tackle Coronavirus (R.)
Don’t Test, Don’t Tell! (Ben Hunt)
Markets Expected To Fall Further As Coronavirus Hits China’s Economy (G.)
China Pollution Clear Amid Coronavirus Slowdown (BBC)
Bernie Sanders Looks To Blow Away Rivals On Super Tuesday (G.)
US and Taliban Ink Afghanistan Peace Agreement (RT)
‘Get Out Of The Way, Let Us Deal With Assad’, Erdogan Says He Told Putin (RT)
Threat Of Russia-Turkey-NATO Hot War A Godsend For US Foreign Policy (RT)
Greece Vetoes NATO Communique Intended to Support Turkey in Syria (GR)
Turkey Minister: 76,358 Migrants Headed To Border With Greece (K.)

 

Cases 85,683 (+ 1,950 from yesterday’s 83,733)

Deaths 2,933 (+ 73 from yesterday’s 2,860)

 

• First cases: Armenia, Ireland, Luxembourg

• First deaths: US, Australia, Thailand

• China 79,824 cases, 593 new, total deaths 2,870, 41,625 recovered, 2 more doctors die
– new Hubei cases rise, 565 in the provincial capital Wuhan

• South Korea 3,736, 1023 new cases, but :
– estimates of 4,200 infections among Shincheonji church members
– that’s 80% of those tested, there are 210,000 church members, some of whom visited Wuhan

• Italy 1,178 (up 31%!), 29 deaths

• Iran 593, 43 deaths
– Twitter: “The country is imploding – law and order to disappear in the next days.”

• Japan 241 cases, 2 deaths

Singapore 102 cases
France 100
Hong Kong 95, 2 deaths
US 71, 1 death
Thailand 42 cases, 1 death
Bahrain 38
UK 23
Switzerland 18
Norway 15
Iraq 13
Lebanon 7
Holland 7
Pakistan 4
Mexico 4

59 countries affected

 

From SCMP:

 

 

From Worldometer

 

 

I added a third counter, from COVID2019.app, a project where 70 people -and counting- work together

 

 

 

 

Leung is behind some of the most dire predictions. But not for his homebase HK.

HK Coronavirus Outbreak Not At Peak: Gabriel Leung (RTHK)

The Dean of the University of Hong Kong’s Faculty of Medicine, Professor Gabriel Leung, on Sunday warned that the coronavirus outbreak in Hong Kong had not yet reached its peak, saying it was too early to tell when it would be over and people should not let their guard down against the respiratory disease. As of Saturday, Hong Kong had reported 95 confirmed cases of the virus, known as Covid-19, and two deaths. But speaking after a radio programme, Professor Leung said the overall decline in new cases on the mainland did show that the first wave of the outbreak there was largely under control, except in Hubei province, where the disease appears to have originated.

On Sunday, the mainland reported 573 new Covid-19 infections, up from the 427 on Saturday and the highest for a week, although much lower than earlier in the month. The mainland’s National Health Commission also reported 35 deaths, fewer than the 47 on Saturday, which took the death toll to 2,870. All but one of Sunday’s deaths – and all but three of its new cases – were in Hubei. The total number of cases on the mainland is now approaching 80,000. Professor Leung said the rest of the world was now only seeing the beginning of the outbreak and this would make containing the spread of the virus in Hong Kong more difficult. However, he said Hong Kong had actually been doing well at virus control.

“The rest of the world actually views Hong Kong, along with Singapore, as the gold standard in epidemic control,” he said. “If you look at these two places, we have very similar absolute numbers of confirmed cases, yet we have a population that is one third bigger then Singapore, so – on a per capita basis – we’re not doing too badly.”


Corona timeline develops in very similar ways in various locations

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Over 260 million people, 141 tests. It’s almost like the US.

Indonesia’s Frontline Hospital Defends Policies To Tackle Coronavirus (R.)

Indonesia has the resources to cope with a coronavirus outbreak, the director of its leading infectious diseases hospital said, defending detection procedures in the Southeast Asian nation of more than 260 million, where no cases have been reported. The world’s fourth most populous nation has tested 141 suspected cases, a small figure for its population, sparking concern among some medical professionals of a lack of vigilance and a risk of undetected cases. Neighboring Malaysia has reportedly run about 1,000 tests, and Britain more than 10,000. “We can’t doubt our skills and the facts we gather,” said Muhammad Syahril, director of the Sulianti Saroso hospital in Jakarta, the capital, when asked why Indonesia had detected no cases.

“If we don’t have cases, we don’t have cases,” he said in an interview at the hospital on Friday. “Why would we cover it up?” [..] The hospital was ready to tackle any outbreak, armed with experience gained in handling disease such as the 2003-2004 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), he said. A health ministry official previously told Reuters that some hospitals, particularly in eastern Indonesia, had smaller capacity to handle virus cases. But even in Jakarta not all best practices appear to be followed and a recent visit to another hospital revealed some nurses without masks, despite attending to a patient with fever.

Fuelling concern about Indonesia’s vulnerability, four infections were confirmed in travelers who had spent time there, including a Japanese national living in Malaysia and one returning to New Zealand from Iran via the resort island of Bali. Indonesian physician Shela Putri Sundawa worries that screening could miss potential carriers without symptoms. “When people have travel or contact history, but they only have issues with coughing or minor fever, they’ll just be monitored,” she said, calling for tighter surveillance. Tests were run when doctors determined that symptoms pointed “to that direction”, Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto saidlast week. “Imagine if everybody who had a cough or flu was checked, then millions would be checked,” he said, adding that it was “a blessing from the Almighty” that no cases had been found.

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Now repeat this in dozens of other countries.

Don’t Test, Don’t Tell! (Ben Hunt)

Patient comes in from another hospital on Wednesday, Feb. 19 – this is one week ago – already intubated and on a ventilator, and the doctors at UC Davis – who have treated other COVID-19 cases – IMMEDIATELY suspect COVID-19. But the CDC refuses to test for COVID-19. Why? Because it didn’t fit their “criteria” for testing. They didn’t know for sure that the patient was in mainland China within the past 14 days, and they didn’t know for sure that the patient was in close contact with another confirmed case, so BY DEFINITION this patient can’t possibly have COVID-19. No test for you! This is “Don’t Test, Don’t Tell” and it is the single most incompetent, corrupt public health policy of my lifetime. And it’s happening all over the country.

[..] the update: 83 people are in self-quarantine at home, where they are supposed to “check their temperature” daily. Don’t have a thermometer? Not to worry! The Nassau County Health Commission will provide one for you! Who are the 83 in self-quarantine? Why, they’re everyone that Homeland Security says should be in self-quarantine, based on “current guidelines” of someone who was in mainland China within the past 14 days. Has it been 15 days since your mainland China visit? Have you been to Northern Italy in past 14 days? Have you been to Iran in past 14 days? Have you been to South Korea in past 14 days? Well, no self-quarantine for you! You’re fine!

And here’s the kicker. Not only is there ZERO tracking or monitoring of anyone who has been swimming in the coronavirus stew of South Korea, Northern Italy and Iran, but let’s say that you have in fact been to one of those areas recently and now you’re feeling sick. You go to the doctor and you tell her the whole story. Both of you suspect it might be COVID-19. You’re trying to do the right thing here. You call the county health authority. You call the state health authority. You call the CDC. And then you learn the awful truth of Don’t Test, Don’t Tell. It’s not that testing is not available…It’s that testing is not ALLOWED. [..] here’s the other quote from the UC Davis email that I’d like you to pay close attention to:

“When the patient arrived [Wednesday], the patient had already been intubated, was on a ventilator, and given droplet protection orders because of an undiagnosed and suspected viral condition. … On Sunday, the CDC ordered COVID-19 testing of the patient and the patient was put on airborne precautions and strict contact precautions.” Translation: for four days, every healthcare professional treating this patient at UC Davis was exposed to airborne transmission of COVID-19. And so was every healthcare professional at the hospital before UC Davis. Because the CDC refused to test this patient for COVID-19 in a timely manner, the doctors and nurses and technicians caring for this patient were put at risk.

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But!: “The most horrible week for the Dow since the GFC in 2008 is hardly visible on the long-term chart.”

Imagine what would need to happen to make it visible.

Markets Expected To Fall Further As Coronavirus Hits China’s Economy (G.)

It is likely the fresh data, which measures the economic impact of Beijing’s efforts to clamp down on the virus, will further spook investors who sent global markets tumbling 11% last week in the worst seven-day period for stocks since the 2008 financial crash. With factories forced to remain closed after the traditional lunar new year holiday shutdown, China’s official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a widely watched measure of economic activity, fell further in February than at any time in the last 12 years, China’s National Bureau of Statistics said. The bureau found a significant collapse in domestic and export orders and a contraction of the country’s burgeoning service sector.

Similar surveys expected next month covering Japan and South Korea, both seriously affected by the coronavirus outbreak, could prolong the rout on global stock markets, analysts said. The outbreak has already disrupted supplies to factories in Europe, where companies have struggled to access vital components sourced from east Asia. Investors expect to find out in the next few days whether the outbreak is accelerating in the US, the world’s biggest economy, and how far central banks and governments are prepared to go to deal with an epidemic. “Right now the market is saying that this is unbounded. We don’t know what the limits are and we don’t know where it’s going to peak,” said Graham Tanaka, the chief investment officer at New York-based Tanaka Capital. Stock markets globally lost about $5tn of value last week, as measured by the MSCI all-country index.

Last weekend China’s president, Xi Jinping, told local officials that low-risk areas should “resume full production and normal life”. The government reported that larger factories reached 85.6% of their capacity by the middle of last week. Analysts at ING said: “This isn’t as positive as it sounds. Even if China‘s factory production can recover in March, it will still face the risk of a low level of export orders. This is because the supply chain will continue to be broken, this time in South Korea, Japan, Europe, and the US, where Covid-19 has begun to spread.” Unofficial reports show that factories outside Hubei province, where the virus started, could be working at no more than 75% of their capacity and many nearer 25% to 50% while millions of workers remain trapped in their home province, unable to travel back to their place of work.

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Silver linings are everywhere.

China Pollution Clear Amid Coronavirus Slowdown (BBC)

Satellite images have shown a dramatic decline in pollution levels over China, which is “at least partly” due to an economic slowdown prompted by the coronavirus, US space agency Nasa says. Nasa maps show falling levels of nitrogen dioxide this year. It comes amid record declines in China’s factory activity as manufacturers stop work in a bid to contain coronavirus. [..] Nasa scientists said the reduction in levels of nitrogen dioxide – a noxious gas emitted by motor vehicles and industrial facilities – was first apparent near the source of the outbreak in Wuhan city but then spread across the country.

Nasa compared the first two months of 2019 with the same period this year. The space agency noted that the decline in air pollution levels coincided with restriction imposed on transportation and business activities, and as millions of people went into quarantine. “This is the first time I have seen such a dramatic drop-off over such a wide area for a specific event,” Fei Liu, an air quality researcher at Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said in a statement. She added that she had observed a decline in nitrogen dioxide levels during the economic recession in 2008, but said that decrease was more gradual. Nasa noted that China’s Lunar New Year celebrations in late January and early February have been linked to decreases in pollution levels in the past. But it said they normally increase once the celebrations are over.

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Oh ye of little faith in the DNC.

Bernie Sanders Looks To Blow Away Rivals On Super Tuesday (G.)

Bernie Sanders doesn’t do things by half measures. As he vies to become the 46th president of the United States he is looking to shatter no fewer than three historic records. President Sanders would be the first Jewish incumbent of the most powerful office on Earth. Aged 79 on inauguration day, he would become the oldest president in US history having unseated the current record-holder, Donald Trump, 73. Most striking of all, he would be the first American commander-in-chief describing himself as a “democratic socialist”. Judging by recent attacks from his detractors – Democratic ones, not Trump supporters – that is the political equivalent of carrying the coronavirus.

“I’ll tell you what it adds up to,” said Pete Buttigieg, his rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, at this week’s TV debate ahead of Saturday’s primary in South Carolina. Buttigieg referenced Sanders’ “radical” policies of universal tax-funded healthcare, debt-free college tuition and a Green New Deal to tackle the climate crisis, then said: “It adds up to four more years of Donald Trump.” On Tuesday Sanders has the chance to take his political insurgency and wipe it across the nation. In the 2020 cycle, Super Tuesday is even more super-charged than usual, providing him with an opportunity to take his already impressive lead over Buttigieg and six other Democratic rivals and virtually blast them out of the water.

In Iowa he finished a splinter-thin second to Buttigieg. In New Hampshire he won. In Nevada he sealed his frontrunner status with a slam-dunk victory. Now Super Tuesday promises to project him to all-but invincible heights. Fourteen states go to the polls on 3 March, between them commanding two-thirds of the 1991 delegates he needs to win outright.

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At least it sounds good.

If only because John Bolton said on Twitter:

Signing this agreement with Taliban is an unacceptable risk to America’s civilian population. This is an Obama-style deal. Legitimizing Taliban sends the wrong signal to ISIS and al Qaeda terrorists, and to America’s enemies generally.”

US and Taliban Ink Afghanistan Peace Agreement (RT)

Washington and the Taliban movement have signed a deal that lays out conditions for the withdrawal of US and NATO troops from Afghanistan. The agreement was signed by US peace envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad and one of the Taliban’s senior leaders, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, in Qatar’s capital Doha on Saturday. The deal will see Washington and its allies withdrawing their troops from five bases in Afghanistan within the next 135 days. The remaining American soldiers will leave the country in 14 months if the Taliban fulfills its commitments. The document lays the groundwork for future negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government, aimed at bringing a lasting peace to the country.


The US has agreed to facilitate the talks and lift sanctions from Taliban members by August, provided the negotiations commence as planned. Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada called on all of his fighters to honor and abide by the agreement. The US and Afghan governments said earlier that the peace agreement will include guarantees that Afghan territory will not be used by terrorist groups to target the US and its allies. Also, Washington and Kabul agreed on a prisoner exchange with the Taliban by March 10, vowing to release up to 5,000 and 1,000 people respectively. Calling the deal “a decisive step toward real peace in Afghanistan,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke about the victories against Al-Qaeda, the group behind the 9/11 attacks. “Al-Qaeda today is a shadow of its former self. We have decimated its leadership, and now we have the Taliban agreeing that Al-Qaeda must never again find safe haven in Afghanistan,” he said.

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Seeing 33 of his troops killed didn’t bring home Putin’s message to Erdogan. Whose claims are for domestic purposes only, until someone dares him.

‘Get Out Of The Way, Let Us Deal With Assad’, Erdogan Says He Told Putin (RT)

As tensions in Idlib province reach the boiling point, Turkey has asked Russia to let it fight the Syrian government face-to-face, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan revealed. Erdogan asked Putin “to get out of the way” and let the Turkish troops deal with Syrian President Bashar Assad, the Turkish leader told his AK Party on Saturday. Erdogan was explaining to lawmakers his government’s handling of the escalation in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, where Turkish and Syrian troops have engaged in several clashes over the past weeks. The hostilities have all but ruined Turkey’s 2018 agreement with Russia on de-escalating the violence in the area, which remains the last major stronghold of anti-government forces in Syria.

Describing his phone conversation with Putin, Erdogan said if Russia’s interest in Syria was to keep a military presence there, Turkey, a NATO member, does not object to it. I asked Mr Putin: What’s your business there? If you establish a base, do so but get out of our way and leave us face to face with the regime. Moscow intervened in the Syrian conflict in 2015 to help Damascus fight against jihadist groups. Moscow said helping the Syrian government prevented future attacks launched by this would-be entity against other nations, including Russia. Erdogan said Ankara now considers Syrian government troops a legitimate target for its attacks, claiming Damascus lost over 2,100 soldiers in Idlib.

It was not immediately clear if the casualty number only represents Syrian troops killed directly by the Turkish military or includes those killed by Turkish-backed armed groups. Erdogan added that “seven warehouses with chemicals” were also destroyed in Syria, but did not offer any details or evidence regarding whether Syria still had chemical weapons in its possession. The Turkish leader said fighting against the Syrian government is necessary to prevent a humanitarian disaster in Idlib, which would cause a new influx of refugees into Turkey across the border. Part of the Turkish response to the situation was opening the border with Europe to asylum-seekers. Erdogan said the EU failed to support Turkey, which already hosts over 3,6 million refugees from Syria and faces as many as 4 million new arrivals now.

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Does NATO Article 5 apply to members invading the sovereign soil of other nations?

Threat Of Russia-Turkey-NATO Hot War A Godsend For US Foreign Policy (RT)

Turkey is calling for NATO’s protection after 33 of its soldiers were killed in an apparent Syrian airstrike in Idlib, allegedly while fighting in terrorist ranks. In the regional chaos that ensues, only one player stands to gain.
Speculation over what’s to come next has seen #article 5 trending on Twitter in the hours following the attacks, after Omer Celik, spokesman for Turkey’s ruling AKP party, indicated to reporters in Ankara that he was looking at requesting formal NATO protection against Damascus and, by proxy, the Russian air force. “We call on NATO to [start] consultations. This is not [an attack] on Turkey only, it is an attack on the international community. A common reaction is needed. The attack was also against NATO,” Celik told Turkish media.

Article 5 of the NATO treaty says an attack on one member is an attack on them all. The US State Department also condemned the attack, stating that it stands by its “NATO ally Turkey.” It further stated that it continues to “call for an immediate end to this despicable offensive by the Assad regime, Russia and Iranian-backed forces.” Never one to let us down, the US envoy to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchinson also told journalists that “everything is on the table.” However, it is unclear if NATO has the stamina to back Turkey in any meaningful way in a war against a Syrian government which is backed by Russian air power. It is also unclear if Article 5 extends to NATO allies when they have effectively invaded a foreign entity. In fact, even if no corporate media entity would willingly admit it, the nation defending itself in this specific set of facts is Syria – not Turkey.

That being said, Ankara has found a way to ensure that European nations do not flat-out ignore the situation. Just recently, Turkey reportedly opened up the Idlib border to allow an influx of Syrian refugees to flee to Europe, which will surely magnify regional tensions to a significant extent. Moscow has responded to the situation by highlighting Ankara’s relationship with the various jihadist entities in Syria. According to Russia’s Defense Ministry, the airstrike was carried out when the Syrian Army was repelling an offensive by Syria’s official al-Qaeda offshoot, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, inside the Idlib “de-escalation zone.” Of course, anyone who has been paying attention to the war in Syria can appreciate that Ankara’s material and financial support for terrorist groups in Syria, including and especially Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), has long been documented.

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Erdogan buys Russian anti-rocket systems, then asks NATO for support with air defense.

Greece Vetoes NATO Communique Intended to Support Turkey in Syria (GR)

Greece blocked the issuance of a joint communique from NATO on Friday night, intended to support Turkey in its war inside Syrian territory. According to Greece’s Kathimerini daily, which quotes Greek Foreign Ministry officials, Athens decided to block the joint NATO declaration because several of its members denied Greece’s demand to add a paragraph, which would have mentioned the issue of refugee and migrant influx from Turkey to Greece. According to this report, the USA, the UK, France, and Germany disagreed with Greece’s demand.


Meanwhile, Turkey asked NATO for additional support, particularly in its air defense in Syria. Most of the members of the North Atlantic alliance see this situation as an opportunity to bring Turkey closer to its allies in the West, pausing Ankara’s flirt with Russia. This was the reason why most of NATO’s ”big” players did not want to anger Turkey, by adding a clause that would mention immigration, particularly at a time when Ankara declares its inability to deal with approximately 4 million refugees and migrants currently in its territory.

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Greece has sent in the army to hold of some 13,000 migrants at the border. Either the EU acts now, or people are going to be killed.

Turkey Minister: 76,358 Migrants Headed To Border With Greece (K.)

Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu claims, in a Twitter post, that 76,358 migrants had passed through the border city of Edirne by Sunday morning on their way to the border crossing with Greece. “As of 09.55 hours, the number of immigrants leaving our country via Edirne is 76 thousand 358,” said Soylu, according to the Demiroren News Agency. Turkey has opened its borders for migrants to cross into the EU and has aided them by providing buses to Edirne.

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Jun 072018
 


Ivan Aivazovsky Stormy Night at Sea 1850

 

Is Draghi Risking Everything To Teach Rome A Lesson? (ZH)
The Next Economic Crisis Begins in the European Union (Bruno)
David Stockman: Stocks Will Plunge 50% In This ‘Daredevil Market’ (CNBC)
Euro Recovers On Rising Bets ECB May Unwind Stimulus (R.)
Indonesia Joins India In Begging Fed To Stop Shrinking Its Balance Sheet (ZH)
Fed Clambers Back To Positive Real Rates, Now Debate Is When To Stop (R.)
Social Security To Tap Into Trust Fund For First Time In 36 Years (MW)
Opioids Are Responsible For 20% Of US Millennial Deaths (ZH)
The ‘Doomsday Brexit Plan’ Document Should Frighten Us All (TP)
Nearly 4 Million UK Adults Forced To Use Food Banks (Ind.)
How We Created The Anthropocene (BBC)

 

 

“..watch as the EUR and bond yields tumble, and the dollar resumes its relentless push higher.”

Is Draghi Risking Everything To Teach Rome A Lesson? (ZH)

[..] as Bloomberg’s Lisa Abramowicz said in a podcast today, it was the ECB “basically just giving the finger to Italy.” Confirming as much, Anne Mathias, Global Rates and FX strategist for Vanguard, responded that “part of the vocal nature of the ‘talking about the talking about’ [the end of QE] probably has something to do with Italy, especially as they’ve been paring their purchases of Italian debt. What the ECB is trying to say is hey, “this is our party, and you’re welcome to it, but if you’re going to leave it’s not going to be easy for you.” The ECB is trying to show Italy a future without the ECB as backstop.”

A spot-on follow up question from Pimm Fox asked if this is “a situation in which the ECB is cutting off its nose to spite its face, because you can stick to rules for the sake of sticking to rules, but when you have a potential crisis, why wait for it to be a real crisis such as Italy, which the new government has pledged to spend a lot of money, to lower taxes, while they still have a huge government deficit. Why would the ECB do this.” The brief answer is that yes, it is, because sending the Euro and yields higher on ECB debt monetization concerns, only tends to destabilize the market, and sends a message to investors that the happy days are ending, in the process slamming confidence in asset returns, a process which usually translates into a sharp economic slowdown and eventually recession, or even depression if the adverse stimulus is large enough.

As for the punchline, it came from Abramowicz, who doubled down on Pimm Fox’ question and asked if the “European economy can withstand the shock” of the ECB’s QE reversal, which would send trillions in debt from negative to positive yields. While the answer is clearly no, what is curious is that the ECB is actually tempting fate with the current “tightening” scare, which may send the Euro and bond yields far higher over the next few days, perhaps even to a point where Italy finds itself in dire need of a bailout… from the ECB. Then again, don’t be surprised if during next Thursday’s ECB press conference, Mario Draghi says that after discussing the end of QE, no decision has been made or will be made for a long time. At that moment, watch as the EUR and bond yields tumble, and the dollar resumes its relentless push higher.

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Downsize Germany or else.

The Next Economic Crisis Begins in the European Union (Bruno)

Mercantilism is a practice of conducting economic affairs that Europe practiced especially during the period between the 16th and 17th centuries. It’s the progenitor of colonialism and favors the idea that a state’s—or nation’s—power increases in direct proportion to its ability to export. The more a nation exports, producing a trade surplus, the stronger it becomes. The current “imperfection” of the euro stems from this concept. Germany has become a mercantilist power within a union of nation states (the EU) that had agreed to pursue common as well as national interests. The result has not only been an imbalance of trade; rather, it’s been a complete political and economic disparity.

Some EU countries, of which Germany represents the best example, have also used their surplus to lower their inflation rate below the eurozone-accepted two-percent standard. Indeed, Germany’s trade surplus formula was predicated on a minimal increase in salaries—and reduced government spending on infrastructure and other public services. The result has been the accumulation of significant competitive advantages. Ironically, whenever the euro drops in value, Germany gains with respect to the PIGS. The products that make up the core of its surplus become even more competitive within and beyond the EU.

That explains President Donald Trump’s ever more vociferous suggestions to ban the import of German cars in the United States. It’s no accident that Trump launched a literal trade war, focusing on Germany and China, just days before the start of the G7 Summit in Canada. Germany’s accumulated gains from the low inflation and the more competitive conditions allow it to literally “colonize” (financially speaking) the so-called less virtuous or “deficit” nations. Germany can buy up their best businesses and services. In the meantime, Germany has also acquired a political dominance to match its surplus within the EU itself.

It can control the rules of the EU economy and influence their evolution. That’s why there are few options for the PIGS. And that’s why society and political discourse have deteriorated. The rise of the so-called populist—I prefer the term “protest”—parties, Left or Right, in countries like Italy is a trend destined to expand throughout the EU and cause irreparable fissures. If the EU does not change (and by change, I mean a downsizing of Germany’s stature), the fissures will be irreparable, and one or more states will leave, breaking the union.

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“It’s all risk and very little reward in the path ahead..”

David Stockman: Stocks Will Plunge 50% In This ‘Daredevil Market’ (CNBC)

David Stockman is intensifying his bear case. President Ronald Reagan’s Office of Management and Budget director blames a bull market that’s getting longer in the tooth — paired with headwinds ranging from President Donald Trump’s leadership to fiscal policy decisions to questionable earnings. “I call this a daredevil market. It’s all risk and very little reward in the path ahead,” Stockman said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Futures Now.” “This market is just way, way over-priced for reality.” His thoughts came as the Nasdaq was reaching all-time highs again, while S&P 500 rose slightly but the Dow failed to extend its win streak to three days in a row.

“The S&P 500 could easily drop to 1,600 because earnings could drop to $75 a share the next time we have a recession,” Stockman warned. “We’re about eight or nine years into this expansion. Everything is crazily priced. I mean the S&P 500 at 24 times at the end, tippy top of a business cycle.” One of his biggest gripes with the bulls is the notion that President Donald Trump’s tax cuts are providing a fundamental lift to stocks. “These tax cuts are going to add to the deficit in the 10th year of an expansion. It’s just irresponsible crazy,” he said. “It’s all going to stock buybacks and M&A deals anyway. That doesn’t cause the economy to grow. It’s just a short-term boost to the stock market that doesn’t last.”

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All it takes is some hollow words.

Euro Recovers On Rising Bets ECB May Unwind Stimulus (R.)

The euro stayed near two-week highs against many of its rivals on Thursday, on rising bets the ECB may soon announce it will start winding down its massive bond purchase program. Jens Weidmann, the head of Germany’s central bank, said expectations the ECB would taper its bond-buying program by the end of this year were plausible while his Dutch counterpart, Klaas Knot, said there was no reason to continue a quantitative easing program. The trio of comments drove the euro to a two-week high of $1.1800 sharp. The common currency last traded at $1.1781, extending its gains so far this week to 1.15%.

“In the near term, we are likely to see event-driven trading on the euro. We should expect the euro to jump 100 pips (one cent) quite easily on comments from key officials,” said Kyosuke Suzuki, director of forex at Societe Generale. The ECB has been debating whether to end the unprecedented 2.55 trillion euro ($2.99 trillion) bond purchase program this year as the threat of deflation has passed. Still many market players were surprised by the flurry of comments as they had thought uncertainty caused by a political crisis in Italy could make policymakers cautious about indicating an end to stimulus at its policy meeting on June 14.

Indeed, the yield spread of Italian debt to German Bunds widened on Wednesday as Italian bonds are seen as the biggest beneficiary of the ECB’s buying. “This euro buying is essentially short-term trade. People don’t know when Italian debt problems will be solved but they do know when the ECB might announce an exit from stimulus,” said Mitsuo Imaizumi, chief currency strategist at Daiwa Securities.

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But then Europe and Japan signal they’ll do the same.

Indonesia Joins India In Begging Fed To Stop Shrinking Its Balance Sheet (ZH)

On the same day that the governor of Malaysia’s central bank quit, and just days after Urjit Patel, governor of the Reserve Bank of India, took the unprecedented step of writing an oped to the Federal Reserve, begging the US central bank to step tightening monetary conditions, and shrinking its balance sheet, thereby creating a global dollar shortage which has slammed emerging markets (and forced India into an unexpected rate hike overnight), Indonesia’s new central bank chief joined his Indian counterpart in calling on the Federal Reserve to be “more mindful” of the global repercussions of policy tightening amid the ongoing rout in emerging markets.

As Bloomberg reports, in his first interview with international media since he took office two weeks ago, Bank Indonesia Governor Perry Warjiyo echoed what Patel said just days earlier, namely that the pace of the Fed’s balance sheet reduction was a key issue for central bankers across emerging markets. As a reminder, the RBI Governor made exactly the same comments earlier this week, arguing that slowing the pace of stimulus withdrawal at a time when the US Treasury is doubling down on debt issuance, would support global growth, as the alternative would be an emerging markets crisis that would spill over into developed markets.

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Get the hell out. Take their powers away.

Fed Clambers Back To Positive Real Rates, Now Debate Is When To Stop (R.)

The Federal Reserve will likely raise its target interest rate to above the rate of inflation for the first time in a decade next week, igniting a new debate: when to stop. The Fed has been gradually hiking rates since late 2015 with little sign of tighter conditions hampering economic recovery. The expected June increase will raise the stakes as the Fed seeks to sustain the second-longest U.S. expansion on record while continuing to edge rates higher. With inflation still tame, policymakers are aiming for a “neutral” rate that neither slows nor speeds economic growth. But estimates of neutral are imprecise, and as interest rates top inflation and enter positive “real” territory, analysts feel the Fed is at higher risk of going too far and actually crimping the recovery.

The Fed is “gradually entering a new world when rates are at 2 percent,” nearing zero on a real basis and approaching where they are no longer felt to be stimulating economic activity, said Thomas Costerg, senior U.S. economist at Pictet Wealth Management. The last time rates moved into positive real territory on a sustained basis was the spring of 2005 when the Fed began tightening rapidly after a period of arguably too-lax monetary policy, ending just months before the start of the 2007-2009 financial crisis. The debate over the current cycle’s end point “came earlier than I expected,” Costerg said, with the Fed facing imminent calls on where the neutral rate of interest lies.

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Opaque topic, but this is obviously not good.

Social Security To Tap Into Trust Fund For First Time In 36 Years (MW)

Medicare’s finances were downgraded in a new report from the program’s trustees Tuesday, while the projection for Social Security’s stayed the same as last year. Medicare’s hospital insurance fund will be depleted in 2026, said the trustees who oversee the benefit program in an annual report. That is three years earlier than projected last year. This year, like last year, Social Security’s trustees said the program’s two trust funds would be depleted in 2034. For the first time since 1982, Social Security has to dip into the trust fund to pay for the program this year. It should be stressed that the reports don’t indicate that benefits disappear in those years.

After 2034, Social Security’s trustees said tax income would be sufficient to pay about three-quarters of retirees’ benefits. Congress could at any time choose to pay for the benefits through the general fund. Medicare beneficiaries also wouldn’t face an immediate cut after the trust fund is depleted in 2026. The trustees said the share of benefits that can be paid from revenues will decline to 78% in 2039. That share rises again to 85% in 2092. The hospital fund is financed mainly through payroll taxes. Social Security trustees said that reserves for the fund that pays disability benefits would be exhausted in 2032. Combined with the fund that pays benefits to retirees, all Social Security reserves would be exhausted by 2034, they said.

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Better start acting.

Opioids Are Responsible For 20% Of US Millennial Deaths (ZH)

The opioid crisis has become a significant public health emergency for many Americans, especially for millennials, so much so that one out of every five deaths among young adults is related to opioids, suggested a new report. The study is called “The Burden of Opioid-Related Mortality in the United States,” published Friday in JAMA. Researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, found that all opiate deaths — which accounts for natural opiates, semi-synthetic/ humanmade opioids, and fully synthetic/ humanmade opioids — have increased a mindboggling 292% from 2001 through 2016, with one in every 65 deaths related to opioids by 2016. Men represented 70% of all opioid-related deaths by 2016, and the number was astronomically higher for millennials (24 and 35 years of age).

According to the study, one out of every five deaths among millennials in the United States is related to opioids. In contrast, opioid-related deaths for the same cohort accounted for 4% of all deaths in 2001. Moreover, it gets worse; the second most impacted group was 15 to 24-year-olds, which suggests, the opioid epidemic is now ripping through Generation Z (born after 1995). In 2016, nearly 12.4% of all deaths in this age group were attributed to opioids. “Despite the amount of attention that has been placed on this public health issue, we are increasingly seeing the devastating impact that early loss of life from opioids is having across the United States,” said Dr. Tara Gomes, a scientist in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s.

“In the absence of a multidisciplinary approach to this issue that combines access to treatment, harm reduction and education, this crisis will impact the U.S. for generations,” she added. Over the 15-year period, more than 335,000 opioid-related deaths were recorded in the United States that met the study’s criteria. Researchers said this number is an increase of 345% from 9,489 in 2001 (33.3 deaths per million population) to 42, 245 in 2016 (130.7 deaths per million population).

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“At what stage of their hapless fiddling, constant arguing and pitiful attempts to administer the kiss of life to the corpse that Brexit has turned out to be, does a politician officially earn the title of – stupid idiot?”

The ‘Doomsday Brexit Plan’ Document Should Frighten Us All (TP)

This is the first paragraph of The Times article (paywall) regarding Britain’s now famous Doomsday Brexit plan. “Britain would be hit with shortages of medicine, fuel and food within a fortnight if the UK tries to leave the European Union without a deal, according to a Doomsday Brexit scenario drawn up by senior civil servants for David Davis.” The Times confirms that the port of Dover will collapse “on day one” if Britain crashes out of the EU, leading to critical shortages of supplies. This was the middle of three scenarios put forward by senior advisors. A type of best guestimate if you like. You simply do not want to know the outcome of the worst of those three scenarios. Indeed, we have been spared from such details.

The article states that the RAF would have to be deployed to ferry supplies around Britain. And yes, we’re still on the middle scenario here. “You would have to medevac medicine into Britain, and at the end of week two we would be running out of petrol as well,” a contributing source said. The report continues to describe matters such as cross-channel disruption for heavy goods vehicles, which would also be catastrophic. Massive carparks will be required. A senior official said in the ‘Doomsday’ Brexit plan: “We are entirely dependent on Europe reciprocating our posture that we will do nothing to impede the flow of goods into the UK. If for whatever reason, Europe decides to slow that supply down, then we’re screwed.”

Let’s not worry about the fact that French borders are often left in chaos due to the all too familiar strikes that appear almost monthly during holiday season for one reason or another. Home secretary Sajid Javid makes an unconvincing comment stating he’s ‘confident’ a deal will be done. That’s hardly the type of assurance we need is it? UK officials emphasised that the June EU summit due on the 28th was heading for a “car crash” because “no progress has been made since March” to devise plans for a long-term deal. If your confidence in Brexit is starting to wane, don’t worry, half the nation are not just anxious but downright fearful – mainly because, neither in or out has given any concreate evidence of likely outcomes. This is probably because Brexit hasn’t been done before – and was designed that way. Deliberately.

At what stage of their hapless fiddling, constant arguing and pitiful attempts to administer the kiss of life to the corpse that Brexit has turned out to be, does a politician officially earn the title of – stupid idiot? “Just bloody get on with it” shout the Brexiteers, except both they and the UK government still can’t decide what ‘it’ is.

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I’ve asked it before: where will Britain be 10 years from now?

Nearly 4 Million UK Adults Forced To Use Food Banks (Ind.)

Nearly 4 million adults in the UK have been forced to use food banks due to ”shocking” levels of deprivation, figures have revealed for the first time. An exclusive poll commissioned by The Independent reveals one in 14 Britons has had to use a food bank, with similar numbers also forced to skip meals and borrow money as austerity measures leave them “penniless with nowhere to turn”. The findings come as a major report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) shows more than 1.5 million people were destitute in the UK last year alone, a figure higher than the populations of Liverpool and Birmingham combined. This includes 365,000 children, with experts warning that social security policy changes under the Tory government were leading to “destitution by design”.

Destitution is defined as people lacking two “essential needs”, such as food or housing. The polling on food poverty, from a representative sample of 1,050 UK adults carried out for The Independent by D-CYFOR, suggests that 7 per cent of the adult population – or 3.7 million people – have used a food bank to receive a meal. A million people have decreased the portion size of their child’s meal due to financial constraints, the survey says. The results come after it emerged in April that the number of emergency meals handed out at food banks had risen at a higher rate than ever, soaring by 13 per cent in a year, with more than 1.3 million three-day emergency food supplies given to people in crisis in the 12 months to March.

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I haven’t read the book -and it’s not out yet- but this seems, let’s say, naive. If you figure that a constant increase in energy use is the culprit, how can you say renewable nergy is the solution, and not call for using less energy?

How We Created The Anthropocene (BBC)

Factories and farming remove as much nitrogen from the atmosphere as all of Earth’s natural processes, and the climate is changing fast because of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel use. Beyond these grim statistics, the critical question is: will today’s interconnected mega-civilisation that allows 7.5 billion people to lead physically healthier and longer lives than at any time in our history continue from strength to strength? Or will we keep using more and more resources until human civilisation collapses? To answer this, we re-interpret human history using the tools of modern science, to provide a clearer view of the future.

Tracing the ever-greater environmental impacts of different human societies since our march out of Africa, we found that there are just five broad types that have spread worldwide. Our original hunter-gatherer societies were followed by the agricultural revolution and new types of society beginning some 10,500 years ago. The next shift resulted from the formation of the first global economy, after Europeans arrived in the Americas in 1492, which was followed in the late 1700s by the new societies following the Industrial Revolution. The final type is today’s high-production consumer capitalist mode of living that emerged after WWII.

A careful analysis shows that each successive mode of living is reliant on greater energy use, greater information and knowledge availability, and an increase in the human population, which together increase our collective agency. These insights help us think about avoiding the coming crash as our massive global economy doubles in size every 25 years, and on to the possibilities of a new and more sustainable sixth mode of living to replace consumer capitalism. Seen in this way, renewable energy for all takes on an importance beyond stopping climate breakdown; likewise free education and the internet for all has a significance beyond access to social media – as they empower women, which helps stabilise the population.

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