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Two million guns sold during March as sales skyrocket to second highest level ever in US

gun shop
The pandemic is leading people to buy way, way more guns as some fear there will soon be civil unrest.

According to a new report from the New York Times, Americans bought nearly two million guns last month as the country slowly went into lockdown.

This was the second-highest sales numbers ever seen in the U.S. for firearms, surpassed only by the January after then U.S. President Barack Obama's re-election, which was also when the Sandy Hook shooting occurred. And while more guns were sold in January 2013, the numbers are actually extremely close — with roughly two million guns sold during each time period.


Barcelona converts car park into a temporary coronavirus morgue

© unknown
Coffins in car park in Barcelona, Spain
As Spanish health sector workers fight the Covid-19 pandemic, the funeral services are overrun and Madrid and Barcelona are having to enact emergency measures.

The coronavirus pandemic in Spain shows little sign of abating and as the country's hard-pressed health services battle valiantly to attend to the needs of the over 70,000 active cases nationwide the situation is worsening in terms of places to store those people who have lost their lives due to the ongoing crisis. There have now been more than 10,000 deaths directly related to the Covid-19 outbreak in Spain and funeral service sector workers are inundated, leading to the use of places other than morgues to try and alleviate the situation.

The main ice rink in Madrid, the Palacio de Hielo, has been turned into a temporary morgue during the pandemic and the IFEMA conference centre in the capital has been repurposed as a emergency isolation centre for coronavirus patients, in addition to military hospitals being set up on the outskirts of the city. In Barcelona, the situation has become so untenable that a three-storey car park attached to the Collserola de Barcelona funeral home has been converted into a temporary resting place for Covid-19 victims.

Eye 1

Virus vigilantes: 'My neighbour isn't self-isolating'

An Ottawa woman was outraged when she spotted social media posts from a neighbour who was supposed to be self-isolating but was out and about in the community. "I'm about to lose it on her!" she posted on Facebook.

The woman called the police to report her neighbour. The neighbour and other "ignorant assh**** who can't follow the rules are killing people," she posted.

Others chimed in on Facebook, harshly criticizing those who violate rules that public health authorities have put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


World-renowned Virologist: Coronavirus lockdown "useless, grotesque, collective suicide"

A world-renowned expert in medical microbiology, Professor Sucharit Bhakdi, has said that blaming the new coronavirus alone for deaths is 'wrong' and 'dangerously misleading'. There are other more important factors at play, he says, notably pre-existing health conditions and poor air quality in Chinese and northern Italian cities.

In the interview, Professor Bhakdi condemns the extreme and costly measures being taken around the world as 'grotesque', 'useless', 'self-destructive' and a 'collective suicide' that will shorten the lifespan of the elderly and should not be accepted by society.

His comments come as it emerges that the overall number of deaths in Europe during the outbreak so far, including in Italy, is no higher than usual for this time of year. In fact, it is lower.

Comment: See also:


Serbia: Russian military medics arrive to assist Covid-19 battle

Russia truck, plane
© Reuters/Alexey Ereshko
After providing coronavirus aid to Italy and the US, Russia has sent its military medics to Serbia. The first plane with virologists and equipment has already landed near Belgrade, with 10 more flights to come.

Eight teams of doctors and nurses with state-of-the-art equipment as well as a unit of nuclear, biological and chemical protection (NBC) troops to carry out disinfection have been assigned by the Defense Ministry for the mission.

The first Il-76 cargo plane took off from the Chkalovsky airfield outside Moscow and landed at Batajnica Airport near Belgrade.

The flight between the Russian capital and Serbia takes less than three hours, with the Russian planes expected to make 10 trips - four more on Friday and six on Saturday - to deliver all of the intended cargo. Besides the 87 servicemen, they'll be carrying 16 military vehicles and a batch of individual protective gear.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic had asked his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, for aid in tackling Covid-19 in late March, with his request now being fulfilled.


Chilling! Physicians send out 'do not resuscitate' forms, telling those like my disabled daughter to sign them

wheelchair person
© Getty Images/NurPhoto/Mehdi Taamallah
I get that Covid-19 means difficult medical decisions have to be made about who gets treatment and who doesn't. But telling the disabled and already sick to sign away their rights in advance is asking them to volunteer for death.

As the parent of a disabled child, you need to become an expert at juggling all the balls you must keep in the air if you want to become the parent of a disabled adult, as I am fortunate enough to be. In all my 18 years of helping to look after my lovely daughter Elvi, I've never been so scared for her future as I am in this Covid-19 pandemic. Drop one of those balls at this time, and I could be signing my child's death warrant.

It's not just because the virus could be significantly more lethal for her. It's also because some doctors may take the view that my daughter's life is much less worthy of medical care compared to able-bodied people.

It has emerged this week that some GPs around Britain have been sending out letters to patients with existing health issues asking them to sign Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) forms, in case they catch the coronavirus and their condition worsens.

So that's that, then. It's asking these people to volunteer for death.


Epstein's Hollywood pipeline had a straight-line connection to Harvey Weinstein

epstein maxwell weinstein graphic
© Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty
Jeffrey Epstein used his connections to Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein to impress young women, and even helped one victim land a role in a horror movie produced by a Weinstein-owned company, The Daily Beast has learned.

Chauntae Davies was recruited into Epstein's trafficking ring in 2001, when she was a 21-year-old massage-therapy student in California. She says the perverted financier groomed and sexually abused her for years before she escaped in 2005.

Davies' time in Epstein's world included a 2002 humanitarian trip to Africa with former President Bill Clinton on the money-manager's private jet. Actors Chris Tucker and Kevin Spacey were along for the ride.

Comment: On the elusive Ms. Maxwell who is unaccountably, still at large.

Arrow Down

Amazon had strategy to smear Staten Island strike organizer according to leaked memo

amazon protests staten island
Amazon had a strategy to smear the organizer of a worker walkout at the online retailing giant's Staten Island, New York, fulfillment center on Monday, according to leaked notes from a company meeting.

The notes, circulated as a memo within Amazon, and acquired by Vice News, addressed many issues about the company's planned actions during the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Amazon fired Chris Smalls, the organizer of the workplace walkout several hours after the event Monday.

In response to any regulatory or media query about Smalls, "we should spend the first part of our response strongly laying out the case for why the organizer's conduct was immoral, unacceptable, and arguably illegal, in detail, and only then follow with our usual talking points about worker safety," according to the memo, reportedly forwarded within Amazon by the company's general counsel David Zapolsky.

Comment: See also:

Stock Down

When will U.S. economy bottom? Economists hunt for the right view

© REUTERS/David Ryder
People practice social distancing while spending time outdoors in the West Seattle neighborhood during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Seattle, Washington, U.S. April 2, 2020.
The economic crisis spawned by the coronavirus pandemic has produced a wave of grim U.S. data, with likely more to come as millions lose jobs, businesses shutter and spending stops.

But at some point, the bottom will be reached.

Given how fast the situation has developed, judging when that happens in real time will prove challenging for economists who usually depend on monthly, quarterly or yearly trends in data to judge the state of the business cycle.

Comment: See also:


Russian Orthodox Church allows believers telecommunication confession during Covid-19 shutdown

russia orthodox
© Sputnik / Sergey Pyatakov
A novel way to administer some traditional sacraments, including confession, has been adopted by the Russian Orthodox Church as the country takes increasingly restrictive social distancing measures to combat coronavirus.

Strict home isolation rules adopted by authorities in most Russian regions have posed a challenge for Christians wanting to continue with their spiritual lives while the pandemic rages. With more 3,500 people infected nationwide, the Church's Patriarch, Kirill, has asked worshippers to stay away from chapels for the moment.

Instead, the Church has promptly come to the aid of its flock and offered them some rather unorthodox ways of participating in traditional sacraments. Most recently, Metropolitan Hilarion, the head of the Synodic Department for External Church Relations, told the faithful that they can use modern technology.

Comment: Back in 2017 Patriarch Kirill made this interesting prediction: 'End Times coming, so don't get all revolutionary!'