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Drug deaths in England & Wales highest since records began, Scotland's per capita rate is even higher

© SelectPhoto/AlamySarah Marsh and Severin Carrell
Charities warn of a public health emergency after data shows 4,561 deaths in 2020 - up 3.8% on previous year
Deaths from drug poisoning in England and Wales have reached a record high, with a growing number of people dying after using cocaine and opiates, data shows.

Charities said the figures showed there was a public health emergency, with the pandemic negatively affecting those with addiction problems. In 2020, 4,561 people died from drug poisoning - the equivalent of 79.5 deaths per million people. This is 3.8% higher than figures for 2019 and the highest number since records began in 1993.

Two-thirds (2,996) of drug poisoning deaths in 2020 were related to drug misuse, accounting for 52.3 deaths per million people.

Comment: Deaths of despair were already on the rise, but the lockdowns have accelerated many people's descent into misery: Also check out SOTT radio's: NewsReal: The Terrible Toll of Lockdowns


Portland police can't find recruits for revived gun violence division

Portland police officer
As Portland's homicide rate climbs from historic lows, a special police division within the department dedicated to combatting gun violence is having a hard time finding recruits.

The Gun Violence Reduction Team, which the City Council voted to disband last year amid social justice protests and criticisms that it disproportionately targeted people of color, has been reborn and rebranded as the Focused Initiative Team. The new unit aims to reduce violent crime while working with a citizen-advisory board comprised of eleven community members to "identify and dismantle institutional and systemic racism in the bureau's responses to gun violence."

Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler unveiled the team in March, and said the community-driven committee would be responsible for overseeing its direction.


Australia tightens COVID curbs as Brisbane extends lockdown, army patrols Sydney

Aussie soldiers
© Matrix News/Daily Mail Australia
Soldiers to enforce COVID rules and restrictions
Australia's Queensland state on Monday extended a COVID-19 lockdown in Brisbane, while soldiers began patrolling Sydney to enforce stay-at-home rules as Australia struggles to stop the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus spreading.

Queensland said it had detected 13 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours - the biggest one-day rise the state has recorded in a year. The lockdown of Brisbane, Australia's third-biggest city, was due to end on Tuesday but will now stay in place until late on Sunday.

"It's starting to become clear that the initial lockdown will be insufficient for the outbreak," Queensland state Deputy Premier Steven Miles told reporters in Brisbane.

Queensland has yet to establish how a school child acquired the virus, but has forced students at several schools and their families, including that of Australia's Defence Minister Peter Dutton, to stay home. Dutton said on Monday he would miss two weeks of parliament after he was told he must quarantine at home for 14 days as his two sons attend a school linked to the outbreak.

Comment: A six-week military deployment has been initiated to knock on thousands of doors, to babysit the populace, contact trace and assure maximum vaccination compliance. Those in charge predict: "The public will be grateful."


Probe finds Governor Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, violated federal and state law

© AP
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Gov. Andrew Cuomo violated federal and state laws by sexually harassing multiple women — including current and former state employees — through actions that included touching their "intimate body parts" without consent, officials said Tuesday.

Cuomo also allegedly retaliated against some of the victims and created a "toxic" and hostile work environment in the Executive Chamber, officials said.

The blockbuster announcements came during a news conference at which state Attorney General Letitia James said an independent probe she commissioned had found that Cuomo engaged in "unwanted groping, kissing, hugging and making inappropriate comments."

James called it "a sad day for New York" and said it was up to Cuomo to decide whether to resign, as has been demanded by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Comment: To view the Report of Investigation..., go to Scribd.

See also:

Arrow Down

Florida district drops mask mandate after DeSantis threatens funding cut

© Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/AP
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
A Florida school district has dropped its mask mandate for schools after Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) issued an executive order that would cut off funding to schools that did so.

Broward County Public Schools said Monday it "intends to comply with the Governor's latest Executive Order" but that it will "strongly encourage" people in its schools to wear masks and advocate for all eligible students to get vaccinated. Children 12 years and older can get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The Broward County Public School Board voted last week to require students, staff and visitors to wear masks inside its schools.

Two days later, DeSantis signed an executive order to "protect parents' freedom to choose" if their children should wear masks at schools, a direct rebuke to districts that imposed mask mandates despite his public attitude against the measures. The order gave the Florida commissioner of education the power to withhold state funds from schools that do not comply with the new policy.

Comment: See also:


An Olympic Censorship Slip

Olympic Rings monument Japan
© Image by RuinDig available at Wikimedia Commons
The Olympic Rings monument, in front of Japan Olympic Museum.
Users of livestreaming services topped 600 million in China in 2020, and live streamers have become a powerful force driving the growth of e-commerce in the country. But live streaming has also prompted concern from internet regulators, who see immense potential for a range of abuses in the fast-growing medium - from the marketing of low-quality and counterfeit goods and concerns over standards of basic decency, to violations of political discipline.

When the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the country's chief internet regulatory and control body, issued new regulations on live-streaming back in February this year, concerns over the protection of youth and over data security were topped by language about "enhancing mainstream value leadership" (提升主流价值引领), code for the need for platforms to enforce the values of the CCP. The rules also talked about the need for "positive energy" (正能量) to permeate livestreams and the internet generally - this being a term closely associated with the suppression of criticism of the leadership.

But while enforcing censorship guidelines may sound like a rather straight-forward business, it can actually be a messy process for the authorities and internet companies alike. In some cases, enforcement can backfire, achieving the opposite of the intended effect.

Bad Guys

Politico and selective attention: Eruption of 'terrorist propaganda' on Gettr thrills Trump haters - except it's on Twitter & Facebook, too

trump Gifct terrorism watch dog
© Reuters / Jonathan Ernst
Former US President Donald Trump tours the Global Center for Combatting Extremist Ideology in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 21, 2017
The nascent pro-Trump social network Gettr has been inundated by material sympathetic to Islamic State, according to a Politico analysis of its content, which eventually admits Twitter and Facebook are dealing with the same issue.

Wallowing in schadenfreude as it describes the purported IS (formerly ISIS) terrorist organization's sympathizers who've supposedly found a home on the pro-Trump social network that recently sprung up following the ex-president's exile from Twitter, Politico notes that Gettr's "'free speech' policy" will "purportedly... allow users to fully express themselves without the censorship of tech giants."

Which sounds great until the "MAGA exodus to fringe social networks that champion unfettered speech" catches the "attention of supporters of Islamic State and other jihadist groups," the outlet continues, citing "extremism experts."

Comment: The Deep State-approved platforms lost no time in trying to squelch the latest effort to give conservatives and Donald Trump a voice.

Pro-Trump social media app briefly hacked hours after launch


Sheikh Jarrah families refuse 'protected tenants' deal offered by Israeli Supreme Court: 'Ownership is ours'

palestinians court sheik jarrah evictions
© REUTERS / Ronen Zvulun
Protesters take part in a demonstration to show their support for Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood facing eviction during a court hearing, outside the Israeli Supreme Court, in Jerusalem August 2, 2021
Protests against an Israeli court's ruling against Palestinian Sheikh Jarrah residents in May coincided with violence elsewhere in Jerusalem during Ramadan, including the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli police, which together helped set off 11 days of rocket bombardments by Hamas and airstrikes in Gaza by the Israeli Air Force.

On Monday, the Israeli Supreme Court postponed its ruling on an appeal to a lower court's decision to allow four Palestinian families to be evicted from their homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, saying it had not sufficiently heard arguments from both sides of the case.

Comment: The residents of Sheik Jarrah have decades of evidence that Israel has no intentions of sticking to any deal they might "agree" to. Here, for instance, is Benjamin Netanyahu boasting about how he will exploit loopholes in the 1993 Oslo Agreement to continue to push Palestinians off their land. Why would today's Palestinians expect anything different?

Bad Guys

My own country of Canada just kicked me out because my Covid immunity was acquired naturally and not from a vaccine

Public Health Agency of Canada staff airport, vaccine passport

Public Health Agency of Canada staff stand at their positions at Vancouver International Airport
I went home to visit my mother. Canada tried to force me into a Covid detention facility threatening fines and police action as they don't recognize my natural immunity. I had no choice but to immediately fly back to Europe.

At the time of writing, I'm at an altitude of exactly 11,277m, 5,230km away from Vancouver, Canada, and 3,159km from my stopover in Munich, Germany, en route back to Paris, France. Where I really should be is relaxing on the backyard patio or in the jacuzzi at my home near Vancouver with a cold drink on a hot summer day. Instead, I'm on a Lufthansa flight heading back to Paris - just a few hours after arriving across the ocean on a 10-hour flight - because my own country's officials kicked me out. All because I committed the apparent violation of trying to re-enter my own country with proof of naturally acquired Covid-19 antibodies made by my own immune system post-recovery rather than those generated by the manmade Covid-19 vaccine about which much is still to be learned.

Daily life for a Covid-19 survivor with natural immunity from the disease is not for the faint of heart. As someone with a high level of laboratory tested antibodies whose levels have yet to drop even after several months post-illness, my doctor has advised against vaccination. Much is obviously still to be learned about the Covid jabs, still in stage 3 of clinical trials and considered experimental by health authorities - particularly with reports abounding of breakthrough cases of vaccinated people catching and spreading Covid.


Radical wokeness: Dove & BBC demonstrate that brands will destroy own reputation to support the destruction of women's sport

laurel Hubbard transgender athlete
© Getty Images / Wally Skalij
Laurel Hubbard
If the race to be 'wokest' was an Olympic sport, big brands and global media would be leading the field with their destruction of their own reputations to support the downfall of women's sport in the name of social justice.

A rare breed of radical woke one-upmanship has emerged among big brands and global media who seem hell-bent on destroying their own reputations and relationships with loyal customers to posture as the most politically correct.

Toiletries giant Dove's lack of social media tact sparked fury among female customers when celebrating born-male athlete Laurel Hubbard's inclusion at Tokyo 2020 and promoting further repeats of women's sport being obliterated in favor of a physically stronger athlete with an unfair advantage.

Comment: The wallet-vote will wake them up soon enough. The next financial quarter for these companies may be an eye-opener.