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Thu, 27 Feb 2020
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UK: Hospitals to deny care to "racist" or "homophobic" patients

ambulance UK
Patients deemed to be "racist" or "homophobic" will be denied care in NHS Trust hospitals under new rules set to take effect in April.

"Currently, staff can refuse to treat non-critical patients who are verbally aggressive or physically violent towards them," reports Sky News. "But these protections will extend to any harassment, bullying or discrimination, including homophobic, sexist or racist remarks."

Police will also be given new powers to prosecute "hate crimes" committed against NHS staff.

Arrow Up

Death toll surpasses 2,000 in China coronavirus outbreak, with over 75,000 confirmed cases globally

woman wearing mask
© Reuters / Aly Song
A woman wearing a face mask and raincoat sits in the Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station on the last day of the Spring Festival travel rush, as China is hit by an outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
The viral outbreak gripping China has claimed over 2,000 lives - the vast majority in Hubei province, the epicenter of the illness - according to the latest official tally. More than 75,000 people have been infected to date.

Health officials in Hubei reported 132 new fatalities on Tuesday, a significant increase from the 93 confirmed the day prior. However even as the death and disease tolls continue to climb in China and elsewhere, over 13,000 patients have recovered from the contagion, including some 8,000 in Hubei.

While the two confirmed coronavirus patients in Russia, both Chinese citizens, have recovered and were recently discharged from the hospital, Moscow on Tuesday announced a travel ban on Chinese nationals looking to enter Russia for work, tourism or other private purposes. The restriction will come into force later this week.

Comment: A later report finds 2 passengers on the cruise have died from the illness:
An elderly couple aboard Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Japan, where over 620 cases of coronavirus were confirmed, has succumbed to the illness. The fatalities come as Tokyo allows hundreds of passengers to return home.

Both passengers were in their 80s, according to public broadcaster NHK, and are the first on board the ship to die of the virus, which has spread to more than 75,000 people and killed over 2,100 worldwide since last December. So far, the majority of fatalities have involved elderly patients with preexisting conditions.
And in Iran, another 2 reported deaths:
Two Iranian patients infected with the new COVID-19 virus have died in a hospital in the holy Shi'ite city of Qom, the head of the city's University of Medical Sciences told the Mehr news agency on February 19.

The official said the two "died of respiratory illness" after previously testing positive for the virus.

Their deaths were confirmed by Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpour on Twitter.

Earlier in the day, the ISNA news agency quoted Jahanpour as saying that "some suspected cases of the new coronavirus were found" over the past two days.

He said the two confirmed cases were detected in the central province of Qom where the recent fatalities took place.
See also:


Extinction Rebellion Cambridge activists dig up Trinity College lawn

extinction rebellion digging lawn cambridge
© Keith Heppell (29432294)
Extinction Rebellion dig up the lawn at Trinity College.
Extinction Rebellion activists are digging up the lawn outside Trinity College this morning (Monday, February 17).

Campaigners have taken to the lawn around Newton's Apple Tree and are digging up the ground with spades. One protester has chained themselves to the tree.

Grass and soil dug up from the Trinity College lawn was then dumped on the floor inside Barclays Bank on St Andrew's Street.

Comment: See also:


Scandal-ridden OPCW now using Twitter's "hide replies" function to silence dissent

hide replies twitter
When Twitter first implemented its "hide replies" function last year I published an article warning that it could be used by establishment narrative managers to marginalize dissident voices and diminish the relatively egalitarian nature of the platform. When I wrote it I was imagining the function being used by overt manipulators like cable TV pundits and Washington Post columnists, and think tank operatives like Neera Tanden who vocally supported the implementation of the function.

What I absolutely was not expecting, as paranoid and conspiracy-minded as I am, was a highly regarded UN-associated international chemical watchdog group using the function for that purpose.


Syria: Aleppo intl airport receive first flight ending 8 years long shutdown

Aleppo First flight 2020
© SANA via AP
In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian officials and journalists disembark a Syrian commercial plane after it landed at Aleppo Airport, Syria, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020. The Syrian commercial flight on Wednesday from Damascus, marked the resumption of internal flights between Syria's two largest cities for the first time since 2012.
A Syrian Air flight has landed at Aleppo International Airport for the first time in years, marking a milestone in the recovery of the city, which has been returning to normal life from the abyss of its civil war.

The commercial flight, carrying Syrian officials and journalists, landed in Aleppo on Wednesday, some 40 minutes after taking off from the capital, Damascus. The arrival of the Airbus A320 has become a symbolic message, marking the resumption of flights between Syria's two biggest cities.

Footage taken on the spot showed a crowd of people that came to the airport to welcome the first flight. Some cheered and waved Syrian national flags, others held placards with portraits of President Bashar Assad.

Comment: See also:

Heart - Black

Australia: Four people dead after mid-air plane collision north of Melbourne

Managalore,Australia Crash2
© ABC News
Both aircraft were carrying two people.
Four people are dead after two twin-engine planes collided mid-air at Mangalore, about 120 kilometres north of Melbourne.

One of the planes was carrying a trainee pilot and instructor who had taken off from Mangalore airfield shortly before the collision, which happened about 11:25am.

The other aircraft had taken off from a different airport, Victoria Police Inspector Peter Koger said.


South African university transforms into a flaming battleground as protests turn ugly

South African university transforms into a flaming battleground
Students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in South Africa set up flaming barricades and pelted police with various missiles as demonstrations against fees spiralled into violence.

The skirmishes broke out as students staged protests against paying 15 percent of historic debt accrued by the university, as well as perceived financial exclusion.

People 2

Teen detransitioners are telling their stories on YouTube

teen detransition
"Detransitioning" is a touchy topic for the trans community. Individuals who medically transition only to figure out later that they were never truly trans are a probably unsurprising phenomenon. It's only common sense that a certain number of people who take the leap into hormone treatments or cosmetic surgery may end up having a change of heart.

In the last few years, there has been a huge statistical rise in young people identifying as transgender. According to The Children's Gender Service at the Tavistock in Britain, there were just 77 trans children at their clinic in 2010. By 2019, there were 2,950 patients with 3,000 more on the waiting list to be treated.

Many young adults are turning to vlogging their detransition experiences and stories on YouTube. As a trans woman myself, I remember these stories being rarer in the past. A few years ago, there were a few detransitioners on Youtube talking about their experiences, but not many. Now, there appears to be almost as many people talking about their transition failures as there are people talking about their transition successes.

What's the explanation for this? I have a few theories, the first being the overdiagnosis of mental disorders in children today. Now more than ever in history, we're quick to throw a kid who's disruptive in class or rowdy during recess on medication. As hormone replacement therapy becomes more commonplace, specifically for teens, it only makes sense that a certain number of those being over-diagnosed will end up on it.

Comment: Blaire White is right, transgenderism has become a fad. But that might be too imprecise a description. What's actually going on seems more along the lines of a social contagion, similar to what happened over a century ago with "hysteria", and the bulimia crisis in the 90s, not to mention the recurring examples of suicide clusters. For more, see SOTT's discussion of this phenomenon on the Truth Perspective (now MindMatters): See also:


A year in jail & quarter million fine since, lawyers seek freedom for Chelsea Manning refusing to testify against WikiLeaks

© REUTERS/Ford Fischer/News2Share
Chelsea Manning's attorney has filed a new motion requesting her release from jail, where she has been for nearly a year for continuously refusing to testify before a grand jury against WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.

Manning's incarceration has "exceeded its lawful scope" by moving from being a coercive tactic to a criminal punishment, her lawyer Moira Meltzer-Cohen said in a motion requesting her release filed on Friday.

Manning was jailed in March of 2019 for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks. She has been held at the Alexandria Detention Center in Virginia since then and fined $1,000 a day for refusing to cooperate. Her fines now total $230,000.

Comment: See also:


Clickbait-hungry media warns Ireland of 'Russian ghost ship with CANNIBAL RATS,' but Twitter's not amused

Rat eating potatoe
© GlobalLookPress / Arco Images GmbH / Esch, J.
File photo of a domestic rat, possibly preparing to pop his comrades into a casserole.
An Irish news outlet has posted an alarming tweet warning that a cannibal rat-laden Russian 'ghost ship' is "heading for Ireland." Rather than spark concern, the clickbait tweet has merely generated eye-rolls from Twitter users.

Wednesday's tweet from the Irish Times shared a link to a feature about a couple of ghost ships currently at large somewhere on the high seas that could - maybe, possibly, in the right conditions - wind up washing ashore along Ireland's coast. And the vessel of most concern is apparently "an abandoned former Soviet cruise liner [called] Lyubov Orlova" which is apparently manned only by rats who have a taste for their own.

The article even admits that the Irish Coast Guard believes the vessel has probably already sunk to the watery depths.