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Mon, 08 Mar 2021
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No jab, no Hajj: Saudi says all Muslims will need to have Covid vaccine before they can perform annual pilgrimage to Mecca

© Reuters / Ahmad Masood
The annual Hajj rituals normally attract 2 million pilgrims to Mecca.
Health authorities in Saudi Arabia have said that any Muslim wanting to perform the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca will first need to be provide proof that they've been vaccinated against Covid-19.

Saudi Arabia's Health Ministry confirmed the decision in a statement on Tuesday, saying that vaccination would be "the main condition for participation," after Health Minister Tawfiq Al Rabiah said "compulsory vaccination" would be required for all pilgrims.

Comment: See also:

Life Preserver

New variant scare tactics are an own goal

© MATT DUNHAM/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
I used to really like Van-Tam’s homespun analogies but now I find them disingenuous and borderline unforgivable.
Our vaccine programme is world-beating and Covid-19 cases are plummeting, so why does the Deputy Chief Medical Officer keep sparking fear?

Another week, another Covid variant on the loose. Watch out! I refer, of course, to the deeply worrying Whitehall variant.

The Whitehall variant is rapidly transmitted by scientific advisers whenever there is encouraging news. The better the news, the more aggressive the variant.


7 students fall to their deaths after balcony railing snaps at Bolivian college

© Reuters / David Mercado
A couple wait for information about the UPEA (El Alto Public University) accident, where a balcony railing collapsed and students fell, in El Alto outskirts of La Paz, Bolivia, March 2, 2021.
Seven Bolivian college students were killed and five others injured after an indoor balcony railing broke and sent them plummeting, some as far as four floors, to the ground.

As a large number of students crowded into a fourth-floor hallway at the Public University of El Alto near the Bolivian capital on Tuesday morning, the balcony railing apparently buckled and gave way. Several students lost their balance and fell to the ground 17 meters (55 feet) below.


YouTube REMOVES video of Trump's CPAC speech from RT channels - yet it's OK with the SAME video posted by Western outlets

trump cpac speech
© REUTERS/Joe Skipper
Having a video of former US President Donald Trump's speech at CPAC may get you warnings and a deletion from YouTube, but apparently only if you're RT, as the platform seems to selectively apply its arbitrary and capricious rules.

UPDATE: In the hours following the publication of this article, some of the other outlets mentioned in it have also had their videos of Trump's CPAC speech removed.

On Tuesday, RT and its German-language channel RT DE got a notice from YouTube that the video of Trump speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Florida on Sunday was being flagged for a "strike" under the platform's rules on "supporting the 2020 US presidential election" announced in December.

Comment: See also:


Attempt at civil discourse on 'Wokeism' ends in Clubhouse room 'coup,' Jewish prof shut down as 'SPICY WHITE' & demands for CASH

refund the community
© REUTERS/Leah Millis
Evolutionary biologist Bret Weinstein had to relive his Evergreen College moment when he was attacked from all sides in a Clubhouse room hijacked by hostile "anti-racist" mob aghast at the idea of white people discussing "wokeism."

The room, dubbed "Is Clubhouse Obsessed with 'Wokeism'?" was created by independent journalist Michael Tracey, who said he thought the Clubhouse chats "almost inevitably evolve into a discussion of 'woke-ism'... but there's seldom anyone in the room who identifies enough with the ideology to give a defense of it."

His attempt to create a safe space for a civil discourse and let both 'woke' and 'anti-woke' understand each other better was successful at first, with Tracey tweeting that it expanded into a "large multi-racial discussion." Little did he know that the title of the room was more like a foreshadowing of things to come.

Comment: While Clubhouse is an app that has been touted as having some potential, it sounds like they have some bugs to work out if conversations you start can seemingly quickly be taken over by crazed ideologues. It's amazing Weinstein lasted as long as he did.

See also:


Head of French church child abuse probe says there may be 10,000 victims

Jean-Marc Sauve France church abuse
© Jacques Demarthon, AFP
(From L) Members of the French Independent Commission on sexual abuse in church (Commission independante sur les abus sexuels dans l'Eglise - CIASE), psychanalyst Jean-Pierre Winter, judge Antoine Garapon, former State Council deputy-president and CIASE president Jean-Marc Sauve and CIASE general secretary Sylvette Toche pose for a photograph as they attend their first meeting on February 8, 2018, in Paris.
The head of an independent enquiry investigating church child abuse in France said Tuesday that there might have been up to 10,000 victims since 1950.

Jean-Marc Sauve, head of a commission set up by the Catholic church, said that a previous estimate in June last year of 3,000 victims "is certainly an underestimate."

"It's possible that the figure is at least 10,000," he added at a press conference where he delivered an update on the commission's work.

Comment: Sexual child abuse in the Catholic church (and any other organized religion) is happening constantly all over the world. Top positions in organized religions are very attractive for people with psychopathological traits because from these positions they can control and manipulate people. Cases of child sex abuse should be prosecuted in courts, as any other criminal case, and not dealt within the church bureaucracy itself.

See also:


'I'd rather be called a b**ch': Twitch unites commenters in disgust with tweet celebrating 'Womxn's History Month'

trust womxn
© Wikipedia
'Womxn' march in Seattle, 2018.
Streaming platform Twitch is so woke that it managed to enrage women, conservatives and the transgender, all in a bid to celebrate "Womxn's History Month."

UPDATE: Twitch reverts back to 'women' after tweet celebrating 'Womxn's History Month' savaged online

March is Women's History Month, and Twitch wants its users to celebrate. It's putting female streamers on its front page, showcasing female musicians, and dishing out thousand-dollar grants to deserving female students and entrepreneurs. Oh, and it's also spelling "Women's History Month" as "Womxn's History Month."

Unlike women, who have been around as long as men, the word "womxn" has been around for 10 years or so, with the "x" denoting transgender, non-binary and other deviations from the standard "woman." Its predecessor, "womyn," is a word cooked up by radical feminists in the 1970s to eliminate the words "man" and "men" from their gender.

Comment: Update: After getting savaged online, Twitch has reverted back to 'women'. From RT:
Streaming platform Twitch has returned to the conventional spelling for "women" after its social media post hailing "Womxn's History Month" - avoiding any "gender-binary language" - backfired and angered critics on all sides.

Though the company took to Twitter on Monday to inform users that "March is Womxn's History Month," using an alternative styling of "women" in a bid to include non-binary gender identities, it made an abrupt about-face just a few hours later, announcing that it would revert back to the standard spelling.

"While we originally wanted to use a word that acknowledges the shortcoming of gender-binary language, after hearing directly from you, including members of the LGBTQIA+ community on Twitch, we will be using the spelling 'women' moving forward," the platform said in a tweet, adding that the company is "still learning."

It isn't clear what prompted the sudden reversal, but the company's initial, now-deleted post quickly triggered backlash, including from those identifying as transgender. Some argued that few actually refer to themselves as "womxn" and that the term instead makes "most trans women feel othered" rather than included.

"No one who's a woman wants to be called a womxn just like no Latinos want to be called Latinx. White liberals know what's best for us tho," wrote trans YouTuber Blaire White, referring to another attempt to de-genderize the words "Latino" and "Latina" favored by many American progressives.

Star of David

Freedom? Israel launches Covid-tracking 'FREEDOM BRACELET' as alternative to quarantine

covid tracking bracelet israel
© Reuters / Amir Cohen
A traveler shows off an electronic bracelet as Israel introduces them to enforce Covid-19 quarantines, at Ben Gurion international airport near Tel Aviv, Israel March 1, 2021
While courts reins in spy agency' Shin Bet contact tracing

Israel has unveiled a coronavirus-tracking bracelet as an alternative to a two-week quarantine for incoming travelers, sparking privacy concerns as a top court moved to curb the Shin Bet spy agency's role in contact tracing.

A pilot program for the tracking bracelet kicked off at Ben Gurion Airport on Monday, where 100 devices were doled out to arriving travelers as a way to avoid a stay at a military-administered quarantine hotel. Instead, those opting for the bracelet system - which features the electronic wristband, a smartphone app and a wall-mounted tracking device - will be free to return home to wait out the two-week isolation period.

While the device will alert authorities if participants venture too far from the wall-mounted tracker, Ordan Trabelsi, the CEO of SuperCom, the company behind the bracelet, said it does not collect any other information, insisting the tech is minimally intrusive.



Texas Governor Abbot announces end of mask mandate, state to be '100% open' March 10

texas lockdown protest

The governor agrees
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday he is lifting business capacity limits and the state's mask mandate starting next week.

Abbott made the announcement at a news conference in Lubbock.

"Every business that wants to open should be open," Abbott said.

Abbott said that county judges can institute coronavirus-mitigation measures in their counties if the hospitalization rate rises above 15% for seven consecutive days. However, he said no one can be jailed for failing to follow those protocols or be penalized for not wearing a mask.

Comment: Less than an hour later, the governor of Mississippi, Tate Reeves, announced similarly for his state.
"Starting tomorrow, we are lifting all of our county mask mandates and businesses will be able to operate at full capacity without any state-imposed rules," Reeves said in a tweet on Tuesday.
Our hospitalizations and case numbers have plummeted, and the vaccine is being rapidly distributed. It is time!
The governor said he signed "what I expect will be one of my last executive orders regarding Covid-19" on Tuesday, which will replace the restrictions currently in place with "recommendations" starting Wednesday, with the exception of a rule limiting indoor arenas to 50-percent capacity, as well as restrictions on K-12 schools.

Reeves nonetheless urged Mississippians to practice social distancing, wear masks and follow other health guidelines amid the pandemic, while State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs said the health department is still "strongly recommending" that those aged 65 and older avoid social gatherings until they receive a vaccine.
Divergent realities! Mississippi has quickly followed Texas in fully reopening. Smells like coordination! Though not literal secession, there's a world of difference between life in, say, Florida vs California - effectively splitting the USA into two.


CBP sends reinforcements to US-Mexico border amid surge in migrants; 'not a crisis' says Homeland Security chief

© AP/Andrew Harnik
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas • White House on March 1, 2021
US Customs and Border Protection is sending additional agents to the Mexican border in response to a mounting migration crisis.

The agency, which includes the Border Patrol, said in a Monday statement that the agents will be arriving to help address a spike in apprehensions, including of unaccompanied children. The agency said in a statement:
"Due to fluctuations along the Southwest Border, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is deploying additional Border Patrol agents to the Rio Grande Valley Sector area of operation."
Hundreds of agents may be redeployed from assignments along the US coasts and the northern border with Canada, the New York Times reported.

The Biden administration is dealing with a significant uptick in border apprehensions, with Republicans accusing President Biden of sparking the surge by relaxing some of former President Donald Trump's policies.

In January, which featured the final weeks of Trump's term and the start of Biden's, CBP detained nearly 78,000 people, up from 36,679 in January 2020. About 2,200 unaccompanied children crossed the border each week in February.

Comment: Biden's migration stance borders on insanity. Calling it something else does not make it so.