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Mon, 17 Jan 2022
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CDC encourages more Americans to consider N95 masks

N95 masks
© Reuters / Mike Segar
FILE PHOTO: Boxes of N95 protective masks seen at a New York State emergency center in New Rochelle, New York, March 17, 2020
U.S. health officials on Friday encouraged more Americans to wear the kind of N95 or KN95 masks used by health-care workers to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Those kinds of masks are considered better at filtering virus from the air. But they previously were in short supply, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials had said they should be prioritized for health care workers.

In updated guidance posted late Friday afternoon, CDC officials removed concerns related to supply shortages and more clearly said that properly fitted N95 and KN95 masks provide the most protection.

Comment: Surely, the N95 masks will offer the protection that the vaccines cannot.

Bad Guys

Singapore workers who refuse vaccination risk losing their jobs

© Bloomberg
Workers in Singapore who are not inoculated against Covid-19 may risk losing their jobs as new restrictions on office access take effect.

From Saturday, a prior concession that allowed unvaccinated employees who test negative to go to workplaces will be removed, according to a government advisory. Employers can redeploy those with no jabs to suitable jobs that can be done from home, place them on no-pay leave, or as a last resort, fire them if they can't perform their contracted work outside the office.

Singapore's inoculation rate is among the world's highest and it has adopted a strict nationwide approach against the unvaccinated. The nation bars them from restaurants and shopping malls in a push to prevent the risks of the virus spreading and over-burdening its healthcare system. At the same time, the country has stuck to a gradual reopening path, dropping its default work-from-home stance this month.


Fire breaks out at New Jersey chemical plant, nearby residents evacuated

fire passaic
© Ameer via Twitter
A massive fire broke out at a chemical plant in Passaic, New Jersey Friday evening.
About 200 New Jersey firefighters were on the scene in Passaic on Friday night as a massive fire broke out at a factory where products for swimming pools and spas are made, according to reports.

The fire at the Qualco facility reached 11 alarms by midnight Saturday, and forced officials to begin evacuating nearby residents, FOX 5 of New York City reported.

"By no means are we under control," Passaic fire Chief Patrick Trentacost told NJ.com shortly before 11 p.m. ET, "but we are doing everything we can to contain it." He added that firefighters were aware of chemicals at the site and were "watching very closely where this fire is going."

The building where the blaze began collapsed in on itself, the chief told NorthJersey.com. It was vacant but was being used to store plastics and chemicals, the report said.

Comment: See also: CCTV shows Brooklyn apartment building explode after neighbor reported smelling gas leak, fire engulfs building injuring 6

Bizarro Earth

Two New York carjackings caught on camera, violent incidents and crime spikes by 30% since 2020


In a short clip posted to Instagram Wednesday, a man could be seen chasing after his car as another man, armed with a knife, plows into a car in front of it in an effort to flee the scene
The NYPD has released dramatic body camera footage showing the moment a police sergeant jumped into an SUV driven by a Taser-wielding carjacker, who then plowed into traffic in Midtown Manhattan, before fleeing on foot.

The wild scene played out in broad daylight on Wednesday afternoon, less than an hour before police say the same suspect carjacked an Uber driver at knifepoint.

Police have released the first image of the wanted man, but no arrests have been announced as of Friday afternoon.

Body camera video released by the NYPD on Thursday shows a sergeant and an officer trying to prevent the unidentified carjacker from driving off in a stolen Audi SUV at 57th Street and Broadway, which he had stolen after threatening its owner with a Taser at around 4.30pm.

Comment: 21 months of rolling lockdowns has caused increased poverty, and spikes of unrest and crime are known to follow lockdowns. Despite this, for some odd reason certain states in the US - including San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago - are choosing to relax laws that demonstrably also result in a rise in brazen criminality.

It's a rather suspect sequence of events given how predictable the consequences are, and, whilst there are a number of possible outcomes, one of the more likely ones seems to be that, in order to prevent an all out descent into anarchy, citizens offer up their freedoms in exchange for the authorities to crack down on the criminals: Also check out SOTT radio's: NewsReal: New Year, Same 'New Normal': Mass Formation Psychosis & Crowd Psychology


YouTube suspends and demonetizes Dan Bongino over content questioning 'mask fascists'

Dan Bongino
© YouTube
Conservative commentator Dan Bongino has been suspended by YouTube for questioning "mask fascists." The Bongino Report announced on Twitter on Friday that the platform suspended Bongino for violating the site's COVID-19 misinformation policy.

"YouTube just suspended Dan's channel for daring to question the mask fascists. I guess they were waiting for an apology from us. But that's not quite how it worked out for them. Here's Dan's email to 'Coco' at YouTube telling them to plant a big wet kiss on his ass," The Bongino Report tweeted Friday.

Comment: What a great response from Bongino! See also:


More than 550 migrants have crossed English Channel in first two weeks of 2022

migrant crisis uk
© Mark White
The inside of the small boat a migrant attempted to cross the Channel in and drowned off the French coast.
More than 550 migrants have crossed the English Channel in small boats in the first two weeks of this year, GB News can confirm.

Today, around a hundred were intercepted in four small inflatables and taken to the makeshift Home Office processing centre in Dover harbour.

The latest arrivals came as authorities in France investigated the death of a migrant, who drowned when the small boat he was in got into difficulties off the French coast.

The man, believed to be in his 20s and from Sudan, was recovered from the water by French rescue services in the early hours of Friday.

Comment: See also:


'Prayers answered' after synagogue hostages rescued, suspect dead in Colleyville, Texas

synagogue hostage texas

A man took hostages at Beth Israel Synagogue in Colleyville, Texas on Jan. 15, 2022.
Hostages at a Texas synagogue were safely rescued, and the hostage-taker was dead Saturday night, after holding a rabbi and his congregants for nearly half a day with demands that US authorities release a convicted terrorist known as "Lady al-Qaeda."

"Prayers answered," Texas Gov. Greg Abbot tweeted at 9:30 p.m. to deliver the fortunate update, minutes after an elite FBI hostage rescue team that was flown in from Virginia entered the Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, FBI Special Agent Matt DeSarno said in a press conference.

It was unclear how the unidentified suspect — who claimed to have a bomb — died, but flashbangs and gunshots were heard as the SWAT team stormed the house of worship, more than 10 hours after the suspect took control of the house of worship.

Comment: More from RT:
The US military questioned the woman [Aafia Siddiqui] a day after she was arrested by Afghan authorities on July 17, 2008. The FBI claimed that Afghan forces discovered a number of handwritten notes on her that cited a "mass casualty attack" and mentioned an array of important locations around the US, including the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, as well as the Brooklyn Bridge. The FBI alleged that Siddiqui managed to grab a US officer's rifle while she was being held "unsecured, behind a curtain" in a room at an Afghan police compound as her interview was about to start. Siddiqui then allegedly fired at a US Army officer and several other servicemen before she was restrained. Siddiqui ended up being shot in the stomach by a soldier, while nobody else was hurt in the incident, which ultimately paved the way for her extradition to the US.

Siddiqui is also believed to have been married to Ammar Al-Baluchi, the nephew of accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. The US government alleged she had disappeared after he was brought into custody in 2003, prompting them to place her on the FBI's 'Most Wanted' list.

There has been an ongoing public campaign in Pakistan for the woman's return. In October, a crowd of protesters gathered outside the Pakistan Consulate in New York to demand her release, while calling her a "political prisoner" and an innocent victim of the US' War on Terror. Activists have also claimed Siddiqui is being mistreated in prison, having been attacked in July, resulting in burns and solitary confinement.

The Pakistani Senate passed a resolution calling her 'Daughter of the Nation' in 2018, while Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed support for her release and even reportedly discussed the issue with former US President Donald Trump.
Also from RT:
All four people who were held hostage at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas on Saturday are "alive" and "safe," the authorities said as media reported gunfire and sounds resembling that of an explosion at the scene.

Though one male hostage had been released unharmed earlier on Saturday, the three remaining hostages were not able to leave until an FBI rescue team which had flown in from Quantico, Virginia stormed the building following a 12-hour standoff with the suspect.

Shortly after CNN reported that "a loud bang, followed by a short blast of rapid gunfire" came from the synagogue, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that all of the hostages were now "out alive and safe."

Colleyville Chief of Police Michael Miller confirmed that the suspect was "deceased" at a press conference late on Saturday. Noting that the man did not harm hostages "in any way," Miller refused to identify him.

"We have identified the subject but we are not prepared to release his identity or confirm his identity at this time," he added.

The suspect at one point had reportedly threatened to kill the hostages if anyone entered the building and said he had planted bombs in several locations. However, he also reportedly said he did not want to hurt anyone, and subsequently let one of the hostages escape unscathed.


Russia makes vaccine passports policy change

russian vaccine passport
© RIA / Alexander Kryazhev
Officials say the proposed legislation is not suited to the current coronavirus situation.

Russian lawmakers have postponed consideration of a bill that would introduce a nationwide system of QR-code vaccine passes, saying that the law needs to be adapted to deal with the new Omicron variant of Covid-19.

Tatyana Golikova, the deputy prime minister for social policy, labor, health and pension provision, told journalists on Friday that government officials, together with leaders of ruling party United Russia, had decided the proposed legislation would need to be adjusted before it could be considered further. Originally, the law aimed to consolidate policies across different local governments, many of which require proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, bars, clubs, and mass events.

Comment: See also:


Thousands in Vienna protest over Europe's first mandatory vaccine plan

vienna vaccine protest
© Ruptly
Protesters take to the streets of Vienna to demonstrate against mandatory Covid-19 vaccination.
The Austrian government's plan to make vaccination against Covid-19 mandatory has sparked mass protests.

Thousands of Austrians took to the streets of Vienna to protest against an upcoming parliamentary vote to make Covid-19 vaccines mandatory, with demonstrators calling for the government to be replaced.

Protesters carried Austrian flags through the streets on Saturday as police in riot gear could be seen standing in a line nearby. "Face your guilt and turn back!" one banner read, while others accused Austria's right-wing ruling party - the Austrian People's Party (OVP) - of splitting the nation with its coronavirus policies.

Comment: See also:


Three players drop out of Australian Open with chest issues while Djokovic awaits his fate

Novak Djokovic
The stakes are high for the organizers who have been keeping tennis star Novak Djokovic as a prisoner according to his parents. The player has won the tournament nine times, including the past three years and is currently tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for most major victories of all time, namely 20.

Djokovic has been confined to a small room in a Melbourne hotel since the Australian authorities denied him entrance to the country, overriding his medical exemption. Australia has been living up to its history as a penitentiary with its farcical zero-Covid policy and skyrocketing number of infections.

Djokovic's visa was cancelled on arrival and 34-year-old Serb is now languishing in a Melbourne immigration detention facility in a bid to prevent his deportation.

Comment: More on Novak Djokovic from The Guardian:
Novak Djokovic's Australian visa has again been cancelled days before the start of the Australian Open on the basis his presence could "excite anti-vaccination sentiment".

So it's not a health issue. It's because the locals might get dangerous ideas.

On Friday, the Australian immigration minister, Alex Hawke, exercised a personal power to cancel Djokovic's visa, likely to result in the world No 1's deportation and putting him out of contention for the grand slam tournament barring an against-the-odds court victory. Djokovic is due to have an appeal heard in the federal court on Sunday.

The decision means that Djokovic could be effectively barred from re-entering Australia for three years unless he can show in future bids that compelling circumstances exist, such as compassionate or Australian national interest grounds.

In a statement, Hawke said he cancelled the visa "on health and good order grounds, [and] on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so".

At an urgent court directions hearing on Friday evening, Djokovic's counsel, Nicholas Wood, expressed concern at his safety and a potential "media circus" when he is taken into detention after an 8am Saturday interview with immigration officials.

Wood proposed a hearing to consider overturning the cancellation on Sunday, arguing that every minute before the start of the Australian Open was "precious" to his client.

Wood revealed that the basis for Hawke's decision was the potential for Djokovic to "excite anti-vax sentiment", based on his previous statements about vaccines.

He noted this was "radically different" from the reason for the first cancellation and arguing there was was "no rational basis" for the conclusion, in part because Hawke failed to consider the effect of Djokovic's removal.