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Wed, 30 Nov 2022
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Mental health issues plague youth in England

Mental health issues are increasing among children and teenagers in England, a new NHS Digital report shows. It demonstrated a particularly sharp increase in probable mental disorders in 2022 among 17- to 19-year-olds.

Published on Tuesday, the report found that one in four are now experiencing issues, including emotional or behavioral problems, compared to the one-in-six rate recorded in 2021. The survey sampled some 2,866 children and young people who are now aged between seven and 24.

Among those aged seven to 10, prevalence of a potential mental disorder was nearly twice as high in boys - 19.7% against 10.5% in girls. Among the older 17- to 24-year-old age group, the prevalence was much higher in young women - 31.2% compared to only 13.3% in men.

Teenagers of the both genders showed similar results, with the figure hovering around 20%.


Australia to withdraw tens of thousands of Covid-19 fines

New South Wales police officers
© AFP / David Gray
New South Wales police officers working outside a venue during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The authorities in Australia's largest state, New South Wales (NSW), have said that they will withdraw or refund tens of thousands of fines issued for violations of restrictions during the pandemic.

The move follows a defeat that the NSW government suffered in a court battle against free advocacy group Redfern Legal Centre on Tuesday.

The group launched a test case in July on behalf of three plaintiffs, arguing their fines of between AUS$1,000 ($673) to AUS$3,000 ($2,020) were invalid because the penalty notices didn't describe the offense sufficiently.

"It's not a big ask, if you're going to fine someone for an offense, to set out what the offense is in the notice," Katherine Richardson, the lawyer for the plaintiffs argued at the New South Wales Supreme Court, as cited by the Sydney Morning Herald.

Light Saber

Musk gains allies in "war on Apple" over free speech, scraps Twitter's Covid misinformation policy

elon musk twitter
Elon Musk has abandoned Twitter's COVID-19 misinformation policy after vowing to make the site a free speech champion. The Telegraph has the story.
"Effective November 23rd 2022, Twitter is no longer enforcing the COVID-19 misleading information policy," a notice on its website reads.

A page on Twitter's website titled "COVID-19 misleading information policy" now redirects users to Twitter's user help homepage.

That page previously said: "Content that is demonstrably false or misleading and may lead to significant risk of harm (such as increased exposure to the virus, or adverse effects on public health systems) may not be shared on Twitter."

Other, more generalised policies on posting deliberately false or misleading information on Twitter are still listed on the company's website and appear to be being enforced.

Comment: RT reports on Musk's revamping of Twitter's policy on Covid posts and banned users:
Twitter has said it will no longer enforce its coronavirus misinformation policy, according to an update on the platform's Covid-19 transparency page that went largely unnoticed since it was posted last week. The move came as its new owner Elon Musk announced a "general amnesty" for previously suspended accounts.

The misinformation policy was initially developed in 2020 amid the outbreak of Covid-19 and was meant to combat "harmful" misleading posts about the coronavirus, government policies aimed at curbing its spread, and related vaccines.

Users who violated the rule received strikes. After two or three strikes, their accounts were suspended for 12 hours. After four, they would be locked out for a week, while offenders with more than five strikes were permanently banned from the platform.

According to statistics published by Twitter itself, between January 2020 and September 2022, the platform's moderators challenged over 11.72 million accounts and suspended more than 11,000 for violating the rule. They also scrubbed nearly 100,000 pieces of content worldwide under the policy.

The extensive moderation policy became a topic of heated debate. Some called for more censorship of posts deemed to be harmful, while others argued this constituted suppression of free speech.

Since Musk acquired Twitter for $44 billion last month, he has made a number of dramatic changes at the company, including laying off nearly two-thirds of its staff and significantly cutting the site's moderation and management teams.

Ahead of Thanksgiving, the billionaire also vowed to extend a "general amnesty" to an unspecified number of suspended accounts after holding a Twitter poll, in which more than 72.4% out of 3.1 million respondents supported the move.

Critics have argued that the social networking service could soon become a hotbed for misinformation, right-wing extremism and hate speech. Musk, however, has insisted that he wants Twitter to become a level playing field and a bastion of free speech where people can peacefully exchange their views on a wide range of topics.
Fortnite is not alone in its complaints about Apple's app policies:


Ukrainian terror plot in Zaporozhye foiled - Moscow

© Wikipedia
Statue of Taras Shevchenko, Peremohy Square, Melitopol
Ukrainian authorities had planned to detonate a bomb at a market in the city of Melitopol in Russia's Zaporozhye Region, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) said in a statement on Monday. It added that the suspects have been detained and confessed to the plot.

According to the FSB, three Ukrainian nationals, including two with prior criminal convictions in Ukraine, were apprehended while driving to the site in order to plant an explosive. They were transported to Moscow and charged with terrorism and illegal weapons possession.

The FSB released a video of two men with their faces blurred, who said they had been recruited by Ukrainian special services. One man claimed that Ukrainian officials promised to "get him off the hook" for having committed a robbery if he would agree to travel to Melitopol and carry out "an explosion in a public place" there.

The detainee added that he was given the location of a weapons cache, from which he recovered two handguns, a grenade and "explosives with detonators." The second suspect stated he was told to make "a homemade explosive device." A third detainee, a woman who appeared in the video wearing a medical mask, said that she was driving the men to "a place where they wanted to plant [the bomb]."

Red Pill

Is the American pendulum swinging back to reason? Maybe, but it will be a long fight

matrix choice
It should be considered an embarrassment for the states and districts involved, but the 2022 midterm elections are still being counted as I write this. In some cases, ballot drop boxes, mail-in ballots and "malfunctioning" voting machines have created a suspicious fog of uncertainty, and the uncertainty always seems to work in the favor of the political left.

Needless to say, some kind of change needs to happen - The majority of Americans are aware that ongoing trends of national deconstruction cannot be allowed to continue. Even the people that refrain from voting are watching the elections, just to see if the momentum of the country has shifted even a little. And, many people who tend to refrain are on the independent/libertarian side of things.

Times change and circumstances evolve, even if some people are too bitter or jaded to see it. The old guard Neocons trained in the Chicago school by Leo Strauss along with the acolytes of Irving Kristol are losing favor among conservative voters and many are dying out. The era of Bush family politics is going extinct; they were never conservative anyway.

Eye 1

Pfizer lied, and people died: Pfizer's CEO rapped by regulator for making 'misleading' statements about children's vaccines

albert bourla
© Steven Ferdman/Getty Images
Dr Albert Bourla, the CEO of Pfizer, said Covid in schools was thriving and ‘there are kids that will have severe symptoms’
Pfizer's CEO has been rapped by the UK's pharmaceutical watchdog for making "misleading" statements about children's vaccines, The Telegraph can disclose.

Dr Albert Bourla used an interview with the BBC last December to claim that "there is no doubt in my mind that the benefits, completely, are in favour of" vaccinating youngsters aged five to 11 against Covid-19.

Comment: No doubt there are financial benefits.

He argued that "Covid in schools is thriving" adding: "This is disturbing, significantly, the educational system, and there are kids that will have severe symptoms."

Comment: See also:


Monkeypox to be renamed Mpox 'because of racism'

Monkeypox is to be rebranded as 'mpox' after global health experts said the name had racist connotations and could lead to stigmatisation. The Telegraph has the story.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said the term monkeypox would be phased out over the coming year.

It follows a forum in the summer in which two families of monkeypox - the Congo Basin and West African clades - were renamed as Clade I and Clade II.


Operation Desert Light: Europol take down massive cocaine 'super cartel'

europol drug bust
© Image source, Police handout
Spanish police made 13 arrests earlier this month as part of the two-year investigation
A drug "super cartel" that controlled about a third of Europe's cocaine supply has been dismantled, police have announced.

Dubbed Operation Desert Light, 49 people were arrested across six European countries, the EU's police agency, Europol, said.

They included a British national, who is suspected of heading the operation.

Comment: See also:


Elon Musk declares war on Apple

elon musk laser eyes
© Hannibal Hanschke/Pool via AP/Rebel News edit
"Chief Twit" and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has declared war on Apple for its attempted censorship of Twitter.

In a series of Tweets on Monday, Musk disclosed that the tech giant "mostly stopped advertising on Twitter," adding, "Do they hate free speech in America?"

Although Musk's remarks first appeared to be without context, many in the comments highlighted to others efforts by activists — notably driven by establishment media publications like the Associated Press, New York Times, and others — to get Apple and Google to pull Twitter from their mobile app stores.

Comment: To finish off the tweet series, Musk wrote:
More from Inc.com:
A battle has surely been brewing between Musk and Apple since long before Musk bought Twitter, at least as far back as some contentious and fruitless negotiations over whether Apple would actually buy Tesla, some years ago.

That was a non-starter. (Musk later tweeted that Tim Cook wouldn't take his call.)

Also, at least as far back as 2021, a year before he made his offer to buy Twitter, Musk was tweeting about Apple's 30 percent cut. (It's actually 30 percent of first-year revenues, and 15 percent afterward, but people seem to say "30 percent" as shorthand in any event.)

Meanwhile, Apple has been engaged in epic battles with other companies too over its commission, probably most notably over Fortnight and Netflix. And, there's a class action lawsuit about the 30 percent fee that has lasted more than a decade, making its way all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court and back, without actually reaching a verdict.

All of which finally brings us back to Twitter -- and the lesson I hope any other business person would take away from all of this. It's really about what's missing from the fight.

In short, if you go into battle with anyone, it usually makes sense to try to create a face-saving way for the other side to do whatever it is that you want them to do.

Here, there's no easy way out. There's no "emergency exit" that would allow deescalation and resolution.

We assume that Musk wants Apple to advertise on Twitter, and not to remove Twitter from the app store, and maybe even to work out some kind of deal to pay less than a 30 percent commission on his famed $8-a-month subscription idea.

But framing everything as Musk has, it becomes less and less possible for Apple -- and Cook specifically -- to agree to anything that even remotely looks like a concession to Twitter.

At the same time, by announcing to the world that this is "war" (deleted) and "a battle for the future of civilization" (not deleted), Musk makes it harder for Twitter to concede anything to Apple without looking like he's lost.

Look, I've followed Musk for many years. I even compiled a free, simple ebook about him, called Elon Musk Has Very Big Plans, yet just two years later, it reads more like an artifact of an earlier time.

At this point, I can't tell you whether Musk is truly playing some kind of nine-dimensional chess, or if he's simply manifesting a dangerous mix of brilliant thought and impulsive action.

Star of David

Kanye West (Ye) storms off Timcast IRL show after Tim Pool pushes back on antisemitic remarks

kanye west ye tim pool
Tim Pool invited infamous entertainer, fashion designer Kanye West onto his Timcast IRL on Monday night, only to have the celeb, along with his entourage, to storm out of the studio, and leave the premises when questioned about his antisemitism.

While Pool attempted to engage West in a discussion about his recent, controversial dinner with former President Donald Trump, West insisted on airing his grievances against the Jewish people, who he kept referring to as "they," and claiming that he was a vessel of God, and that his children would be okay because his ex-wife is rich.

When Pool pressed back, saying "they have been extremely unfair to you," Kanye asked "who is 'they' though?" Pool said plainly that he meant the corporate press, but for West, "they" was a specific reference to the Jewish people, who he blames for his own downfall.

Comment: Here's the full show: