Pieter Bruegel the Elder Dulle Griet, also known as Mad Meg 1563
When both Vanity Fair and Newsweek come out with in-depth articles about the very same topic (in this case how the DRASTIC group reported the lab leak theory), at the very same moment, that makes me nervous.
What also makes me nervous is the one-dimensional attention for Fauci. Much as I dislike the man, it starts to feel as if others are hiding behind him.
“Ivermectin is an off-patent drug that is one of the most widely used drugs in the world, and we know it is able to reduce Covid-19 symptoms at any stage of the disease by about 90%, so there is no need for vaccines.”
– Michael Yeadon, former CSO of Pfizer
“The idea of a lab leak first came to NSC officials not from hawkish Trumpists but from Chinese social media users..”
• Inside the Fight to Uncover COVID-19’s Origins (Vanity Fair)
The idea of a lab leak first came to NSC officials not from hawkish Trumpists but from Chinese social media users, who began sharing their suspicions as early as January 2020. Then, in February, a research paper coauthored by two Chinese scientists, based at separate Wuhan universities, appeared online as a preprint. It tackled a fundamental question: How did a novel bat coronavirus get to a major metropolis of 11 million people in central China, in the dead of winter when most bats were hibernating, and turn a market where bats weren’t sold into the epicenter of an outbreak? The paper offered an answer: “We screened the area around the seafood market and identified two laboratories conducting research on bat coronavirus.”
The first was the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which sat just 280 meters from the Huanan market and had been known to collect hundreds of bat samples. The second, the researchers wrote, was the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The paper came to a staggeringly blunt conclusion about COVID-19: “the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan…. Regulations may be taken to relocate these laboratories far away from city center and other densely populated places.” Almost as soon as the paper appeared on the internet, it disappeared, but not before U.S. government officials took note.
By then, Matthew Pottinger had approved a COVID-19 origins team, run by the NSC directorate that oversaw issues related to weapons of mass destruction. A longtime Asia expert and former journalist, Pottinger purposefully kept the team small, because there were so many people within the government “wholly discounting the possibility of a lab leak, who were predisposed that it was impossible,” said Pottinger. In addition, many leading experts had either received or approved funding for gain-of-function research. Their “conflicted” status, said Pottinger, “played a profound role in muddying the waters and contaminating the shot at having an impartial inquiry.”
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The bat lady returns.
• How Amateur Sleuths Broke the Wuhan Lab Story and Embarrassed the Media (NW)
If there is a moment when the DRASTIC team coalesced into something more than its disparate parts, it would be this thread. In real time, for all the world to see, they worked through the data, tested various hypotheses, corrected each other, and scored some direct hits. The key facts quickly came together. The genetic sequence for RaTG13 perfectly matched a small piece of genetic code posted as part of a paper written by Shi Zhengli years earlier, but never mentioned again. The code came from a virus the WIV had found in a Yunnan bat. Connecting key details in the two papers with old news stories, the DRASTIC team determined that RaTG13 had come from a mineshaft in Mojiang County, in Yunnan Province, where six men shoveling bat guano in 2012 had developed pneumonia. Three of them died.
DRASTIC wondered if that event marked the first cases of human beings being infected with a precursor of SARS-CoV-2—perhaps RaTG13 or something like it. In a profile in Scientific American, Shi Zhengli acknowledged working in a mineshaft in Mojiang County where miners had died. But she avoided connecting it to RaTG13 (an omission she had made in her scientific papers as well), claiming that a fungus in the cave had killed the miners.
[..] One of those scientists was Alina Chan, a molecular biologist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard who recognized the value of the information DRASTIC was producing and began to interpret it for scientists and nonscientists alike in crisp explainers on Twitter that made her a star science communicator. Chan acknowledged the group’s accomplishments in a long thread on Twitter. “Without the work done by the DRASTIC team, I don’t really know where we would be today with the origins of covid-19,” she wrote, adding, “The work of these outsiders…has had a measurable impact on the scientific discourse.” That scientific discourse jumped tracks on January 6, 2021, when the University of Washington virologist Jesse Bloom, one of the country’s most respected COVID-19 researchers, became the first major scientific figure to publicly legitimize DRASTIC’s contributions.
“Yes, I follow the work,” he tweeted, sending tremors through the scientific establishment. “I don’t agree [with] all of it, but some parts seem important & correct.” Bloom singled out Mona Rahalkar’s paper on the Mojiang mine, then added that in the early days of the pandemic, “I thought lab escape very unlikely. Based on subsequent work, I now say quite plausible.” Other scientists pressured Bloom to reconsider, but he held his ground, and the wall of silence began to crumble. In May, 17 scientists from Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford, and other leading institutions, including Chan, joined Bloom in a letter in Science calling for a thorough investigation of the Wuhan lab. On nearly the same day, The Seeker struck again. Visiting a database hosted by China’s Ministry of Science and Technology, he searched for all theses supervised by Shi Zhengli. Boom. Three hits. “I got it on my first try,” he says. “Not sure why no one else thought of this before, but I guess no one was looking.”
If there had been any remaining doubt about the WIV’s pattern of deception, these new theses put it to rest. They indicated that the WIV researchers had never believed a fungus had killed the Mojiang miners, contradicting Shi’s remarks in Scientific American and elsewhere. In fact, WIV researchers had been so concerned about a new SARS-like outbreak that they’d tested the blood of neighboring villagers for other cases. And they had known the genetic sequences for the eight other SARS-like viruses from the mine—which could have helped researchers to understand more about SARS-CoV-2 in the early days —long before the pandemic started, and had kept the information to themselves, until DRASTIC called them out.
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THIS should be investigated. Fauci as a state within a state.
• Fauci Kept Funding Daszak’s Experiments after Trump Canceled Grant (NF)
Peter Daszak, who studied controversial “gain of function” experiments on coronavirus elements in Wuhan, received $7.5 million from Anthony Fauci after Trump cancelled his grant. Last April, reports emerged that the EcoHealth Alliance, an organization run by one Peter Daszak, was involved in funding and collaborating with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where researchers were examining coronaviruses extremely similar to the one behind the COVID-19 outbreak, and allegedly engaging in “gain of function” research relating to them. In an April 17th press conference, President Trump confirmed that a grant worth around $3.7 million since 2015 given to Daszak’s group by the National Institute for Health would be ended “very quickly” following the reports.
Only one week later on April 24th, all future funding for the EHA was cut, and they were ordered to stop spending the $369,819 remaining from its 2020 grant. “At this time, NIH does not believe that the current project outcomes align with the program goals and agency priorities,” Michael Lauer, the agency’s deputy director for extramural research, wrote in a letter to EcoHealth Alliance officials. From within the treasure trove of 3,200 pages of emails obtained from Anthony Fauci, one email can be found from Daszak, who thanked Fauci for dismissing the lab leak theory as being simply conspiratorial the day after President Trump announced the funding would be cut.
[..] Only a few months later in August, Fauci, who along with being put in charge of America’s response to COVID-19, is the director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, which is part of the NIH, helped confirm that Daszak’s organization would receive a new grant of $7.5 million to study coronaviruses as part of a new network. The CREID network, which contains 11 institutions including the EHA, “coincidentally” will continue to study the emergence of coronaviruses in Southeast Asia. Fauci said that the network will help “enable early warnings of emerging diseases wherever they occur, which will be critical to rapid responses,” while Daszak boasted that they will be working in rural hospitals, according to a statement, “in remote parts of Malaysia and Thailand to get to the front line of where the next pandemic is going to start.”
Video of Anthony Fauci announcing “NIH Lifts Funding Pause on Gain-Of-Function Research” at a NIAID Advisory Council meeting on January 29, 2018.
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That train has passed.
• Fauci Defends China, Doubles Down On Animal Origins Of Covid (DM)
Dr. Anthony Fauci doubled down on claims that the coronavirus likely originated from an animal then was transmitted to humans in a Thursday morning interview on CNN, despite increasing speculation that it leaked from a China lab. Fauci, who served under former President Trump and President Joe Biden, continues to fight the idea that he downplayed theories that the virus originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology after a trove of emails exchange at the beginning of the pandemic revealed he was warned about a potential lab leak. ‘I have always said and will say today to you … that I still believe the most likely origin is from an animal species to a human,’ Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Thursday on CNN.
Although he said he’s keeping an open mind about the possibility of a lab leak, Fauci said it was ‘far-fetched’ to think the Chinese would kill their own people. ‘The idea, I think, is quite far-fetched that the Chinese deliberately engineered something so that they could kill themselves, as well as other people. I think that’s a bit far out.’ In a separate Thursday morning interview on MSNBC, Fauci said they want to definitively find the cause of the coronavirus pandemic – whatever that origin is – but pointing the finger at China isn’t going to help. ‘It’s in China’s interest to find out exactly what it is,’ Fauci said. ‘Obviously, you want openness and cooperation. One of the ways to get it is not to be accusatory. Try to get a forensic, scientific and investigational approach. I think the accusatory part about it is only going to make (China) pull back more.’
Fauci was asked during the MSNBC interview if he thought it was in China’s best interest to hide information if the origin was a lab leak or if it was designing a weapon. He sidestepped, saying no matter what he says, ‘it will be taken completely out of context,’ which he said has already happened after more than 3,200 of his emails from January to June 2020 were obtained and published by Buzzfeed on Tuesday. The emails showed leading virus experts warned him COVID-19 may have been created in a lab while he publicly played such claims down.
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“The former director of the Centers for Disease Control received death threats from fellow scientists..”
• Ex-CDC Director Threatened For Saying Covid-19 Likely Originated In A Lab (DM)
The former director of the Centers for Disease Control received death threats from fellow scientists after he said during a TV interview that he believed COVID-19 originated in a lab, according to an interview released Thursday. Robert Redfield, who served as the CDC director under Donald Trump when the pandemic began, told CNN on March 26 that he thought the most likely ‘etiology of this pathogen in Wuhan was from a laboratory – you know, escaped.’ He said he wasn’t insinuating that there was ill intent, but that was his opinion. After that 10-second sound bite, he told Vanity Fair he was ‘threatened and ostracized because I proposed another hypothesis.’ At the time, the Wuhan lab leak was widely considered a ‘fringe theory’ at best, in favor of transmission from an animal to a human.
The Vanity Fair article said ‘death threats flooded his inbox’ from strangers who said he was being racist to prominent scientists, even some he considered friends. One told him to ‘wither and die,’ Vanity Fair reported. ‘I expected it from politicians. I didn’t expect it from science,’ Redfield said. Stephen Goldstein, an evolutionary virologist at the University of Utah, wrote an opinion piece on Webpagetoday on April 5 shooting down Redfield’s assertions on CNN. ‘Questions are undoubtedly going to persist about the origin of SARS-CoV-2 until, and if, a definitive answer is uncovered (and perhaps beyond),’ Goldstein wrote. ‘Until then, it’s imperative that leaders in science, public health, and government continue to call for rigorous study and stick to the science of viral evolution and viral ecology in their public commentary. ‘One of the fundamental principles of a life in science is to admit what you don’t know, and never be afraid to look it up. That’s where Redfield falls short, unfortunately on a big stage.’
[..] The magazine outlined the first moments Redfield heard about a mysterious new pneumonia affecting people in a Wuhan market from Dr. George Fu Gao, head of the Chinese CDC, on January 3, 2020. Redfield told Vanity Fair that he thought it was odd that family clusters were getting sick, and Gao later told Redfield that many cases had nothing to do with the market. That’s when it became apparent the virus was jumping from person to person, and Redfield told Vanity Fair he immediately thought of the Wuhan Institute of Virology. He wanted to send researchers to the facility to rule it out, but the Chinese didn’t allow it, Vanity Fair reported. ‘A team could rule it out as a source of the outbreak in just a few weeks, by testing researchers there for antibodies,’ according to Vanity Fair.
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“All you need is for an entire profession involved in some very dangerous research to realize that they ****ed up and believe that through their ****up one percent or more of the population in their nation is about to die..”
• Where’s The Tar and Feathers? (Denninger)
The so-called “MSM” isn’t even debating these parts of the email dump — they’re playing Ostrich instead, hoping they can bury it by “touting” all the “pressure” that was seen in the trove while ignoring that the archive damns not one man but entire professions including the vaccine/pharma connection. Yes, there is even evidence that the intentional refusal to look at and use existing drugs and the “decision” on how they were going to deal with this goes back that far, before the first American died. Bluntly put these people didn’t just ignore the evidence that accumulated by the summer months they literally ignored it all the way back to the start and thus it can be reasonably argued they are personally responsible for all of the deaths. If you want to know how you generate international hysteria you don’t need some cabal pulling a puppet string.
All you need is for an entire profession involved in some very dangerous research to realize that they ****ed up and believe that through their ****up one percent or more of the population in their nation is about to die with nothing they can do about it, and if it gets pinned on them as it should since they caused it every one of them deserves to be swinging from a rope. Oh, incidentally, Fauci also knew that masks in the general population were worthless. He pointed this out directly; that the virus was too small and would go right though it. His own words folks, as I’ve repeatedly pointed out but cannot say as “it’s against the consensus of experts”, according to Google, Facebook, Twitter and others, without being de-monetized, having videos pulled and risking being banhammered.
Now we know factually that Fauci stated this himself, so now the media and other “tech companies” are enforcing a position that the so-called “expert” generated with an intentional lie and they’ve maintained and forced that intentional lie for a year and are continuing to do so to this day. Now you know how the hysteria, cover-ups and outright lying happened. Now contaminate that with pharma money and you get what we’re doing now.
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This reads like a vaccine ad. “..the virus really is under control, nationwide and in every state, thanks almost entirely to the vaccines.”
But remember this graph, and remember they refused to use HCQ and ivermectin.
• Covid-19 Cases Hit Lowest Point In US Since Pandemic Began (Axios)
The U.S. has brought new coronavirus infections down to the lowest level since March 2020, when the pandemic began. Nearly every week for the past 56 weeks, Axios has tracked the change — more often than not, the increase — in new COVID-19 infections. Those case counts are now so low, the virus is so well contained, that this will be our final weekly map. The U.S. averaged roughly 16,500 new cases per day over the past week, a 30% improvement over the week before. New cases declined in 43 states and held steady in the other seven. The official case counts haven’t been this low since Americans went into lockdown in March last year — when the pandemic was still new, no one knew how long this would go on, and inadequate testing meant that cases were undercounted.
Overall, roughly 33 million Americans — about 10% of the population — have tested positive for COVID-19. About 595,000 people have died from the virus in the U.S., making it deadlier for Americans than the past 80 years of wars and other armed military conflicts combined, including World War II. The U.S. largely failed to contain the virus until the vaccines arrived. Cities and businesses began shutting down last March. From there, the virus rolled into a second wave last summer, when cases climbed to over 65,000 per day, on average, and hospitals in many parts of the country said they were overwhelmed. That failure was then eclipsed in the winter, when hundreds of thousands of people per day were contracting the virus and deaths climbed over 3,000 per day for about a month.
But now, the virus really is under control, nationwide and in every state, thanks almost entirely to the vaccines. Just over half of American adults are now fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. Cases and deaths are still soaring around the world, especially in the developing world, and the Biden administration is facing consistently mounting pressure to export more vaccines, now that the U.S. has contained the virus. The U.S. was never able to control the virus without vaccines, and it still can’t. The risk is still about as high as it’s ever been for unvaccinated people, as the Washington Post recently reported. An average of about 500 Americans per day are still dying from COVID-19, almost all of them unvaccinated.
There will still be some localized outbreaks in the U.S., especially in areas where relatively few people are vaccinated. But they will likely be small, and vaccinated people will be protected. Over time, the immunity from vaccines will likely wane, which, together with new variants of the virus, will likely require booster shots to stay ahead of another outbreak. For now, though, the U.S. has finally gotten the virus down to a level that just about every expert agrees is safe. Fewer than 20,000 cases per day, spread across the U.S. population of 331.5 million people, is a relatively low number of cases, and that number continues to improve across the board.
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Why not simply get ivermectin? Too cheap?
• EU Purchases Its First Monoclonal Antibodies Cocktail For Covid-19 (RT)
The European Union has announced the purchase of 55,000 doses of the Roche-Regeneron Covid-19 drug, marking its first foray into potential treatments involving a cocktail of monoclonal antibodies. The EU announced it secured the shipment of the doses on Wednesday, as the bloc seeks to expand its portfolio of drugs and explores potentially promising treatments that can help in the fight against the virus. The deal was agreed earlier this year but the details were only confirmed on Thursday by an EU spokesperson, who said 55,000 doses of the single-shot treatment had been purchased. Roche stated that the company’s contract will cover 37 countries in Europe, including the UK and other non-EU nations. The cost of the shipment has not been made public by the EU or the pharmaceutical companies.
While the deal agreed between the companies and the EU is for the drug’s infusion version, there is also a shot that has been tested and developed. The Roche-Regeneron treatment is still awaiting formal approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) before the shipment is dispatched, with formal authorization expected between August and October 2021. The EMA is currently in the process of conducting a rolling review of preliminary data. The Roche-Regeneron Covid-19 treatment has already been granted emergency US approval for patients with mild to moderate symptoms, with Washington ordering 1.5 million doses. The monoclonal antibodies treatment seeks to replicate or boost the body’s natural immune response, helping to support Covid-19 patients who are at high risk of developing severe disease.
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Google translate. Holland closed schools not to protect children, but to make parents stay home. Think about how crazy that is.
• The Netherlands Used Children As A Weapon In The Fight Against Corona (AD)
Due to the Dutch corona policy to close schools and thus keep parents at home, children have been used as a means to fight the epidemic. Our cabinet receives that hard slap on the fingers today in the annual worldwide children’s rights report, the KidsRights Index. According to the makers, the Netherlands has set a very bad example internationally, by not even trying to keep schools open safely. With all the consequences that entails for the mental health of our youth. The corona guidelines from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child have also been neglected. Youth has not been given any priority in Dutch policy, it sounds.
Statements by corona minister Hugo de Jonge, dated mid-December 2020, are presented as proof. Then De Jonge indeed mentioned on television as the reason why the cabinet decided to close the schools, that parents with children sitting at home will therefore start working from home more quickly. When parents take their children to school, that is another moment of contact, De Jonge explained at the time. “And we also learned from the first wave, when the schools were also closed, that the fact that primary education does not provide physical education also ensures that parents adhere better to another advice, namely: work from home as much as possible. ”, said the minister at the time.
“Children’s rights have been put in second place by the cabinet during corona time,” Marc Dullaert, founder of the international children’s rights organization KidsRights, now told this site. “They were the ankle bracelet for parents. These had to be kept at home in order to effectively fight the epidemic. At the expense of their mental health.” In the first phase, when everyone was looking for the right approach, this was understandable according to Dullaert. ,,But De Jonge’s statements came at a time when it was really no longer acceptable, in the second phase. And other countries – such as Belgium and Sweden – have done everything they can to keep the schools open, so there were alternatives on the table.”
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“..it has a fatality rate of around 54%..”
• Delhi Reports Over 1,000 Cases Of ‘Black Fungus’ Amid Shortage Of Drugs (RT)
The number of cases of so-called black fungus, or mucormycosis, has almost doubled in Delhi over the past seven days, reaching 1,044 infections, the local health minister has said. The disease has particularly affected India’s Covid patients. A further 440 people have been diagnosed in the city since last week, when the number of afflicted patients stood at 600. Health minister Satyendra Jain said on Thursday that 89 people had succumbed to the disease in Delhi to date, while 92 others had recovered. The shortage of drugs to treat mucormycosis still remained a problem for the city of 29 million, the minister added. Cases of black fungus have been on the rise in India during the harsh second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
As of May 25, the country saw 11,700 infections, which prompted several states to declare mucormycosis an epidemic. It also soon became clear that the health authorities didn’t have sufficient quantities of the antifungal drug Amphotericin B for the number of patients. Capitalizing on the weakened immune system in Covid sufferers, the fungi most commonly enter the human body through the nose and mouth before spreading to the lungs, heart, or brain. Its symptoms include facial swelling and black lesions – hence its name – and it has a fatality rate of around 54%. The spike in black fungus incidences among Indian coronavirus patients has been largely linked to the steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed during their treatment for Covid-19.
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The US did this to Ukraine.
• Nord Stream 2 To Cost Kiev $3 Billion In Transit Fees A Year – Zelensky (RT)
The completion of the controversial Nord Stream 2 project will deprive Ukraine of about $3 billion annually, with the country’s pipelines no longer necessary for the transportation of Russian gas to Western Europe. That’s according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who told a delegation from the US Congress that America should do what it can to prevent Nord Stream 2 from being completed. Once finished, the pipeline will connect Germany directly to Russia via the Baltic Sea. It aims to protect Berlin’s energy security and make the process less reliant on third countries transiting gas, thereby lowering the price. As things stand, according to Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, around 100km remains to be completed, which should be achieved by the end of 2021.
“Only the United States and the administration of President Joe Biden can prevent the completion and commissioning of Nord Stream 2,” Zelensky explained. “Nord Stream 2 will disconnect Ukraine from gas supplies, which means ‘disconnecting’ us from at least $3 billion a year… We will have nothing to pay for the Ukrainian Army.” According to the Ukrainian leader, without this money, the country will no longer have a “powerful and well-supplied army” to continue “defending Europe and European values.” The construction of Nord Stream 2 has been significantly hindered by US sanctions, with Washington imposing numerous packages of measures against companies involved in the building, maintenance, insurance, and certification of the project. The American authorities have claimed that its completion would “undermine Europe’s overall energy security and stability.” However, some have accused the Americans of opposing the pipeline for economic reasons, as the country looks to increase its exports of liquefied natural gas to the continent.
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They’ll move into gold.
• Russia’s $186 Billion Sovereign Wealth Fund Dumps All Dollar Assets (ZH)
Following a series of corporate cyberattacks that American intelligence agencies have blamed on Russian actors, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund (officially the National Wellbeing Fund) has decided to dump all of its dollars and dollar-denominated assets in favor of those denominated in euros, yuan – or simply buying precious metals like gold, which Russia’s central bank has increasingly favored for its own reserves. Finance Minister Anton Siluanov made the announcement Thursday morning at the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. “We can make this change rather quickly, within a month,” Siluanov told reporters Thursday.
He explained that the Kremlin is moving to reduce exposure to US assets as President Biden threatens more economic sanctions against Russia following the latest ransomware attacks. The transfer will affect $119 billion in liquid assets, Bloomberg reported, but the sales will largely be executed through the Russian Central bank and its massive reserves, limiting the market impact and reducing visibility on what exactly the sovereign wealth fund will be buying. “The central bank can make these changes to the Wellbeing Fund without resorting to market operations,” said Sofya Donets, economist at Renaissance Capital in Moscow. “This in some sense a technical thing.”
Jordan Rochester, currency strategist at Nomura International PLC, said, “This is a transfer of euros from the central bank to the wealth fund, we’ll then see the central bank the holder of the USDs and it’s up to them to manage it. No initial market impact.” The news isn’t a complete surprise: The Bank of Russia, Russia’s central bank, has steadily reduced its dollar holdings over the last few years amid increasing sanctions pressure from the US and Europe. That trend continued through President Trump’s term. Just a few days ago, we reported that the Russian parliament had just authorized the sovereign wealth fund to buy gold through the central bank. However, the central bank reports its holdings with a six-month lag, making it impossible to determine its current holdings.
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Brilliant Ali on how he wants to be remembered.
The red train, Landwasserviadukt, Switzerland. Drone photo by Sebastianmzh
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