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Best of the Web: EU orders 40 million bird flu vaccines for 15 countries, Finland to start injecting 'select groups'

bird flu
© CDC and NIAIDH5N1 bird flu particles
The EU will sign a contract on Tuesday to secure over 40 million doses of a preventative avian flu vaccine for 15 countries with the first shipments heading to Finland, EU officials said on Monday.

The deal secures up to 665,000 doses from vaccine manufacturer CSL Seqirus and includes an option for a further 40 million vaccines for a maximum of four years. The vaccines will be jointly procured by the Commission's emergency health arm HERA and 15 countries in the EU and the European Economic Area.

The doses are intended for those most exposed to the virus, such as poultry farm workers and veterinarians. The United States, Canada and Britain are also in the process of securing preventative vaccine doses.

Comment: One presumes, as was the case with the Covid injections, that shedding could be an issue, and so one would expect that traveling veterinarians could end up infecting flocks that were previously clear.

Comment: Whether this is a relative of Disease X that the WEF and friends have been threatening the world with for a few years now remains to be seen. Either way, it would seem that the authorities response to a perceived outbreak could, yet again, be the primary source of suffering. And, in this instance, both the food supply and people appear to be the targets. Which is all the more concerning considering how a great many people's immune systems are already under strain after suffering multiple, experimental covid jabs.

As for the injection itself, it's not clear whether this EU version is the life-threatening mRNA technology - but MIT recently reported that it's in development, and appears to be the preferred type: Stat News reports:
Finland to offer bird flu vaccine to select groups of people, a possible global first

The vaccine campaign will be limited, with doses set to be available to groups including poultry farmers, veterinarians, scientists who study the virus, and people who work on fur farms housing animals like mink and fox and where there have been outbreaks.

Flashbacks to the contrived coronavirus crisis where they culled millions of mink, and contaminated the local water table.

In an email, Mia Kontio, a health security official at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, told STAT the country was waiting for 20,000 doses to arrive, but planned to administer them "as soon as the vaccines are in the country."

The decision to start providing vaccines reflects fears that people in close contact with infected animals could contract the H5N1 virus themselves. The virus is, for now, not particularly adept at infecting humans or, more importantly, spreading among them. But scientists worry that as the virus infects more mammalian species, and if it encounters more human cells, then the higher the chances are that it evolves to become more of a threat to people.

What are the chances that this rollout will actually hasten the viruses adaptation?

The Finnish campaign also comes as the U.S. faces an H5N1 outbreak among dairy cattle — previously a species scientists thought wasn't susceptible to the virus. Three dairy workers have had confirmed infections tied to the outbreak, and although the infections were all mild and there were no signs of forward transmission to other people, the cases underscored the risk to people who have contact with infected animals.

"The concern here is about the animal-human interface," said Marc Lacey, the global executive director for pandemic at CSL Seqirus, the maker of several H5 vaccines, including the one Finland is planning on using.

Other countries are discussing deploying H5 vaccines or are working to secure supplies, Lacey said. The U.S., for example, last week hired CSL Seqirus to build up the number of H5 flu vaccine doses it has available. But Finland was the first country he knew of that actually planned to use the vaccine, at least in recent years outside research studies.

So it's basically untested. Meanwhile there was an outbreak on a 'fully vaccinated' duck farm in France.

The vaccine to be administered in Finland is designed off a different avian influenza virus called H5N8, but researchers say the shot should still confer protection against H5N1. It's the hemagglutinin component of the vaccine — the H part — that's the main target. The vaccine also includes an adjuvant, a component that deepens the generated immune response.

European regulators authorized the vaccine, which is known as Zoonotic influenza vaccine Seqirus, based on a number of studies showing that it elicited immune responses that scientists think would be protective against avian influenza. Researchers can't run traditional efficacy trials with such products because the virus isn't circulating among people, so they're typically approved based on these immunogenicity studies. The immunization is approved as a two-dose vaccine, with doses given at least three weeks apart.

So it's likely that the studies are seriously flawed at best, or, like the Covid jab studies, utterly corrupt.

Isabella Eckerle, a virologist at the Geneva Centre for Emerging Viral Diseases, said that vaccinating people at high risk of exposure to the virus could protect them, but she said the world should not rely on human vaccination to prevent the H5N1 situation from worsening. Instead, health officials should work to limit transmission broadly, including among animals. Such efforts could include improving the use of personal protective equipment, or PPE, on farms, she said.

(In the U.S., health officials have made PPE available to dairy farms, but few have taken them up on the offer. Milking parlors can be hot and humid, meaning it's not particularly pleasant to wear goggles, gowns, and masks.)

"The most important thing would be not to have this virus circulating," particularly in mammals, Eckerle said.

She added that other flu vaccines can't always halt transmission, even if they reduce the risk of serious illness. It's possible then these vaccines will perform similarly.

"They might prevent symptoms or disease, but we don't know if they prevent infection," she said.

Does that mean people could be infected and contagious but because they're asymptomatic they won't be aware?

Scientists have worried H5N1 could pose a pandemic threat since its discovery nearly 30 years ago. But in just the past few years, the virus has expanded its global footprint and its list of victims, spreading to just about every corner of the world and sickening and killing scores of wild and domesticated birds. It's also found its way to an increasing number of mammals. The dairy cow outbreak — which thus far has only been seen in the U.S. — is the latest twist in its history.

The majority of animals that have died, were culled. Some experts have noted that this is actually preventing birds from developing immunity to the virus.

Finland, in particular, has been dealing with H5N1 outbreaks not just among birds, but on its fur farms, with at least 71 farms having cases last year. While most of the farms housed foxes, it's the spread of the virus in mink in particular that heightens concerns. The receptors the virus uses to infiltrate their cells are thought to be similar to ours, possibly providing the virus with a training ground to become better at infecting our cells. Moreover, mink can be infected by avian and human flu viruses simultaneously, which could allow the viruses to swap genes and for the resulting pathogen to become more adept at spreading among people.

Last month, Finnish authorities announced expanded surveillance measures for the virus on the country's fur farms; those measures will be in place through the end of September, a stretch when officials said the risk of transmission to the farm animals from wild birds was at its highest. But officials noted that Europe has documented fewer infections in wild bird populations this year than have been seen in the recent past.


The 'digitine' is the latest form of cancel culture — 'out of touch' celebs and influencers beware

© TikTok/@haleyybayleeCelebrities and influencers who aren't vocal enough when it comes to popular social causes reportedly risk facing the "digitine," or a mass exodus of followers.
Off with their virtual heads!

Being cancelled is so last year. Prominent figures deemed "out of touch" are now being sentenced by online activists to a punishment even more severe, known as the "digitine."

An extreme class of cancellation, the so-called "digitine," short for "digital guillotine," involves blocking or otherwise going after influential figures, from A-listers to content creators, who fail to throw their wealth and power behind various causes du jour — such as economic inequality, or the conflict in Gaza.

Comment: See also: Let Them Eat Cake - The 2024 Met Gala


Explosion rocks arms plant in Poland which supplies Ukraine, PM claims no evidence 'external forces' responsible

Jacek Siewiera
© CopyrightJacek Siewiera: The blast and resulting fire reportedly killed one worker and injured two others at the Mesko factory's rocket fuel center
One person has died and two others have been injured after an explosion and fire at an arms factory in Poland which produces ammunition for Ukraine, the outlet RMF24 reported on Monday.

The blast at the Mesko plant in the southeastern Polish city of Skarzysko Kamienna occurred at its rocket fuel center, the broadcaster said on its website, citing a company official.

According to the report, a 59-year-old worker was killed when an explosion occurred in a warehouse at the center. Two other employees survived, one of whom was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries after inhaling smoke, local authorities said.

Comment: Nexta reports below that Poland's PM claims there's no evidence "external forces" were responsible for the blast.

This is a rather curious statement at such an early stage of the investigations. More so considering that this is at least the 3rd Western weapons factory to suffer an explosion in just the last few months. And Europe's leaders have been claiming there's an increased likelihood of sabotage. However, strangely, even after the explosions at the US and UK arms plants, they focus on threats to shopping locations, like Ikea, or other incidents like anti-semitic graffiti.

One would think the West would be eager to blame Russia - regardless of who's actually responsible - so what's stopping them?
Poland's prime minister says no "external forces" were involved in the explosion at the Mesko arms factory

So far there are no grounds to assume that behind the explosion at the Mesko factory in the town of Skarzysko-Kamienna "was some external force."

This was stated by Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk. According to him, he received information about the incident from Polish Interior Minister and the city administration. The relevant services are on the spot and "will check every detail," Tusk said.


Complex coalition talks loom in Belgium after Flemish nationalist parties win federal election

© Sylvain Plazy/APVoters in Brussels, June 9, 2024 as polling stations opened up in 20 EU countries.
Flemish nationalist parties dominated general elections in Belgium on Sunday as Prime minister Alexander De Croo's liberal party took a hit, with difficult coalition talks to form a new government now looming.

Despite polls predicting that the far-right, anti-immigration Vlaams Belang party would become the main political force in the country with 11.5 million inhabitants, the right-wing nationalist New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) retained its first spot, with an expected 22% of the votes, according to provisional results provided by the Interior ministry.

The Vlaams Belang came in second position, with a share of 17.5%, ahead of the Socialist Voruit party, which garnered about 10.5% of the votes.

De Croo's party managed less than 7% of the votes, lagging well behind the far-left.

"This is a very difficult evening for us, we have lost," De Croo said. "From tomorrow I will be the outgoing prime minister. But we liberals are strong, and we will be back."
© Jean-Francois Badias/APBelgium PM Alexander De Croo speaking at the European Parliament • Strasbourg, France • January 16, 2024


Soros: Democrats must keep repeating the line "Trump is a convicted felon"

alex soros
Alex Soros, the son of globalist billionaire George Soros, has urged Democrats to refer to Donald Trump as a "convicted felon," and to keep repeating the phrase over and over to drill it into the public consciousness.

While Democrats and Joe Biden have continually claimed that the trial against Trump was not political, this serves as a perfect example that it is completely political.

If you repeat the lie long enough and loud enough...

Cardboard Box

Is there a financial crisis bubbling under the surface?

cauldron under city
When the Federal Reserve started raising rates, it precipitated a financial crisis. The central bank managed to paper over the problem with a bailout program, but the crisis continues to bubble and percolate under the surface.

According to the latest data from the FDIC, the U.S. banking system is sitting on $517 billion in unrealized losses due to deteriorating bond portfolios.

Unrealized losses triggered the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, and First Republic Bank in 2023.

According to the FDIC, unrealized losses on available-for-sale and held-to-maturity securities increased by $39 billion in the first quarter. That's an 8.1 percent increase.

It was the ninth straight quarter of "unusually high" unrealized losses corresponding with Fed monetary tightening that started in 2022.

Unrealized losses amount to 9.4 percent of the $5.47 trillion in securities held by commercial banks.


The ultra-wealthy families who control much of the food system in the US and Australia

hog pig food monopoly wealthy families
© Reuters: Daniel AckerFrom pig farming to grain transportation, Austin Frerick has been examining the intersection of food production and monopolies.
Austin Frerick's interest in mega-rich farmers began in 2018, while he was perched on a stool in a hipster dive bar in Iowa during a competitive local political campaign.

The author got chatting to someone in the bar who told him the biggest campaign contributors were a couple of Iowa hog farmers named Jeff and Deb Hansen.

Frerick was struck by this and what these farmers symbolised.

"The most politically powerful person right now in the state is a hog farmer," Frerick tells ABC RN's Late Night Live.

And he wondered how one farmer could come to amass and sell more than 5 million pigs each year.



'Stop playing with fire' on Ukraine - German left-wing icon (VIDEO)

Sahra Wagenknecht
© Global Look Press / IMAGO / Martin MüllerGerman veteran politician, Sahra Wagenknecht
Sahra Wagenknecht has lashed out at Berlin's decision to allow Kiev to strike deep into Russia during a campaign rally

Germany is helping to fan the flames of the Ukraine conflict by allowing Kiev to launch long-range strikes into Russia, veteran left-wing politician Sahra Wagenknecht has said.

Wagenknecht made the remarks at a rally in Berlin on Thursday ahead of European Parliament elections. The theme of the Ukraine conflict featured prominently at the demonstration, which was attended by hundreds of the politician's supporters carrying banners bearing Wagenknecht's face and the words "War or peace? It's your choice now."

The firebrand, who earlier this year split from the Left Party to form the Sahra Wagenknecht Alliance (BSW) - a party that is left-leaning on economic issues but closer to the far-right on several hot-button issues such as immigration - blasted German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's government over its Ukraine policy.

Comment: From the same source:
7 Jun, 2024 10:38
Most Germans disagree with Berlin on Russia policy - Bismarck descendant on RT panel
Ordinary Germans don't trust the political elite and mainstream news outlets when forming an opinion, Alexander von Bismarck says

The Western mainstream media is distorting reality regarding Russia and doesn't reflect what people really think of the country and its actions, German politician Alexander von Bismarck, great nephew of his nation's first chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, has claimed.

Speaking during an RT panel discussion titled 'The Empire of Evil: Has the West Successfully Demonized Russia?' at the 2024 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on Friday, the politician argued that the media toeing the line drawn by Western governments regarding Russia and the Ukraine conflict.

Berlin and its Western partners sided with Kiev when the conflict began in 2022, and has been instrumental in supporting Ukraine's military effort with financial aid and sanctions against Moscow. Bismarck, however, said ordinary Germans are not fooled by the anti-Russian narrative.

"[The view of] the German political elite on Russia is very different to the rest of Germany. 80% don't believe what our government does and says... The mainstream media want to push the people, they want to give another picture, but most young people look not at the mainstream - they look at the social media and [...] the thinking of the young people is other than the political elite," he stressed.

Bismarck also stated that the policy of painting Russia in an unfavorable light dates back to the days of the Cold War, when the US wanted to promote the idea of "the crazy Russian people" in West Germany. The general opinion of those living in East Germany always focused on separating people from politics when forming opinions on Russia and Russians, he added.

The politician signaled that his renowned ancestor, who at one point served as an envoy to Russia, would not have approved of the current state of relations between Moscow and Berlin.

"[Otto] used to say: if Russia and Germany go together and be friends together, then Europe will be well," he stated.

He added that he has faith in the younger generation, which has an opportunity to communicate globally through social media and form opinions without the influence of political agendas, to change Berlin's policies. Otherwise, Bismarck warned, Germany may find itself "the biggest loser" in the Ukraine conflict by continuing to act on orders from Washington.

"The younger generation... they look to many countries and say: yes, America does bad things, they only think about themselves for money, and Europe pays for this conflict, and Germany is the biggest loser in the whole of Europe," he stated.

RT's panel discussion was dedicated to the West's attempts to cultivate a negative image of Russia amid the Ukraine conflict, and featured several high-profile speakers, including former UN Special Commission weapons inspector Scott Ritter, Tara Reade, who worked as an aide to Joe Biden, and former Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl.

According to available information, not final results, the two German parties, the AfD and BSW, that have argued against more German weapons to Ukraine, received 16 % and 6 %, respectively. This means that about 3/4 of the German population still support the current policy.


Palestinian fired over Gaza censorship sues Meta

© Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesFacebook headquarters sign
Ferras Hamad has accused Mark Zuckerberg's company of bias and discrimination...

A former engineer has accused Meta - the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp - of being biased against Palestinians, according to Reuters.

Ferras Hamad filed a lawsuit in California on Tuesday, alleging discrimination and wrongful termination. He had been an engineer on Meta's machine learning team from 2021 until February.

Meta was deleting internal employee messages by Palestinian-Amerians that mentioned the deaths of their relatives in Gaza and investigated their use of Palestinian flag emojis, Hamad alleged. By contrast, no such investigations were launched into employees using Israeli or Ukrainian flags, he said.

According to Hamad, he was fired after pointing out irregularities with an emergency procedure for handling "site events" (SEV), when it resulted in restrictions on Instagram posts by Palestinian personalities. In one case, he said in the complaint, a short video by photojournalist Motaz Azaiza showed a destroyed building in Gaza, but Meta had labeled it as pornographic.


DOJ indicts doctor who exposed the barbarism of 'Gender-affirming care'

© commons.wikimedia.comTexas Children's Hospital • Houston, Texas
Eithan Haim blew the whistle on Texas Children's Hospital's illegal child sex-change program. Now he's being prosecuted.

A few years ago, Texas Children's Hospital made no secret of its support for transgender medicine. Its doctors proudly administered puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and other medical interventions to children who self-identified as "trans."

Then the tone shifted. In the face of public pressure, CEO Mark Wallace announced that he was shutting down the child gender clinic. But doctors at the hospital, including Richard Ogden Roberts, David Paul, and Kristy Rialon, never stopped.

The public would not have known if not for a courageous surgeon, Eithan Haim, who felt morally obligated to expose the subterfuge. He contacted me about how the hospital had lied about terminating the transgender medicine program, and that doctors were, in fact, continuing to perform sex-change procedures on children as young as 11.

Comment: Haim threatened to shut down a surging source of illegal income.