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Mon, 16 Dec 2019
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'Unprecedented' rise in infant mortality in England linked to poverty

© pixabay
AN "UNPRECEDENTED" RISE in infant mortality in England is linked to poverty, according to new research.

An additional 570 infant deaths, compared to what would have been expected based on historical trends, were recorded in the country from 2014-2017.

About one-third of those deaths, which related to children under the age of one, were linked to rising poverty.

Rising infant mortality is unusual in high income countries, and international statistics show that infant mortality has continued to decline in most rich countries in recent years.

The results of a new study by researchers from the University of Liverpool, University of Leeds and Newcastle University, which analysed data from 2000-2017, have now been released.

Comment: And England just voted for another round of Dickensian era policies so the situation is likely to get even worse:


Merry Christmas And Season's Greetings to All Our Readers! Get Your 2020 SOTT Calendar Here!

© Sott.net
As the holiday season approaches and 2019 comes to a close, we'd like to take a moment to thank you, our readers, for your continued support of Sott.net. When we started out all those years ago, we settled on the name 'Signs of the Times' (SOTT) because the media just didn't seem to notice that momentous changes were happening, that those momentous changes were connected, and that if they were observed together in 'big picture' mode, one could literally observe the world transform. Little did we know then just how reality-changing things would become.

What a year 2019 has been. Open rebellion has erupted in many countries, terrorism and 'random atrocities' continue unabated, the weather has become more extreme than ever, government has become more corrupt and feckless than ever, anti-human social engineering madness has migrated from the universities to the workplace and into schools, and asteroids are whizzing by our little lost planet at an alarming rate.

Although it's been in the works for several years - particularly since the 'double surprise' of Trump's election and the Brexit referendum result - mass censorship took a big leap in 2019. Thanks to certain governments leaning on Big Tech companies, the very nature of the internet changed this year. Purges of dissenting voices like ours from search results and social media has substantially bleached the internet of truth and replaced it with the bullhorns of mainstream propaganda and extremist 'black or white' rhetoric.

As a result, our readership, which grew for most of the 18 year history of Sott.net, is way down again this year - by 37% over 2018. Since 2016, our unique visits have dropped by 55%! We could scream and shout about it, but we don't think that would do any good. In fact, there's too much screaming and shouting going on these days - about anything and everything - that is obviously not doing anyone any good. That's why we at Sott.net have been refocusing our efforts from 'waking people up' to deepening our connections with 'those who already see'.

In these times of monumental mendacity, surround-sound distraction, and full-on socio-political lunacy, the refuge of community is more important than ever. There is only so much 'community' you can partake in via your computer screen, of course, but no matter where you are or what predicament you find yourself in, remember always that what is important is WHO you are and what you SEE.


Indian military warns over spread of fake news as viral video on Assam protests found to depict 2017 mock drill

Protests Jamia Millia Islamia University India
© REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
A police officer fires a tear gas shell towards protestors during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill, outside the Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi, India, December 13, 2019.
The Indian military issued a warning about fake news spreading online amid ongoing CAB legislation protests. Earlier, a viral video showing police purportedly shooting at protesters in Assam was branded as fake by local media.

The Indian Army tweeted on Saturday that people should avoid "lies and propaganda being spread on social media by harmful elements," as troops were redeployed to the state of Assam, which is engulfed in protests against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).

Comment: More on the CAB legislation and protests:


London scuffles between police and angry anti-Brexit protesters in mass march on 10 Downing

© DW
Police and protesters clash in central London
Not content with the victorious Conservative leader's suggestion that it was time to "let the healing begin," an angry crowd of anti-Brexit protesters has taken to London streets, chanting "Boris Johnson - not our Prime Minister!"

Johnson's Conservatives scored a decisive win in Thursday's general election, winning an 80 seat majority in Parliament on the back of the PM's promise to "get Brexit done." However, droves of protesters turned out on Friday evening to dispute Johnson's victory.

Holding aloft signs saying "Defy Tory Rule" and "Stop Islamophobia," several hundred protesters assembled outside Johnson's residence at Downing Street, before marching to Trafalgar Square and onwards, with no clear end in sight.


State to pay $400K in kidnapping, sexual assault case

Everett Simpson
Vermont has settled a lawsuit brought by a New Hampshire woman police say was kidnapped along with her 4-year-old son and sexually assaulted by a man who believed to have run away from a Vermont addiction treatment center.

The woman sued the state of Vermont and the center for not doing enough after the man fled in February.

A spokesman for the Vermont State Police announced Friday that the victim will receive $300,000 and her son will get $100,000. The state has admitted no wrongdoing.


South Dakota upholds death sentence in 2000 torture killing

Briley Piper
The South Dakota Supreme Court upheld the sentence of the state's only death row inmate, an Alaska man who pleaded guilty to taking part in a 2000 torture killing.

The justices said the arguments from Briley Piper, 39, of Anchorage, were "untimely" and didn't contest his guilt, the Rapid City Journal reported. Piper was sentenced to death after pleading guilty in the slaying of Chester Allen Poage, of Spearfish.

Another man who pleaded guilty to taking part in the slaying, Elijah Page, has already been executed. A third man, Darrell Hoadley, was convicted at trial and sentenced to life in prison.

Piper argued in his latest appeal that his guilty pleas were not made voluntarily or intelligently, and he blamed his defense counsel for that.

Airplane Paper

Boeing refuses to compete for Pentagon's multibillion-dollar ICBM program

Minuteman III ICBM launch
© AFP / J.T.Armstrong
An unarmed Minuteman III ICBM launch
Boeing has decided not to participate in the Pentagon's program to replace the aging Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), leaving Northrop Grumman as the sole bidder for the massive contract.

Friday was the last day for the two companies, which were awarded with contracts for ICBM replacement by the US Air Force in 2017, to submit their bids. The winner is expected to grab $85 billion for the missile development project.

"Boeing is disappointed we were unable to submit a bid," Elizabeth Silva, a company spokeswoman, said in a statement as cited by media. "Boeing continues to support a change in acquisition strategy that would bring the best of industry to this national priority and demonstrate value for the American taxpayer."

The US Air Force said that it indeed received only one bid, stressing that it will proceed with "an aggressive and effective sole-source negotiation," according to Bloomberg, citing Air Force spokeswoman Cara Bousie.


Clint Eastwood hounded for 'sexist' movie, but is the director a misogynist or a master troll?

Clint Eastwood
© Reuters / Mario Anzuoni
Clint Eastwood at the 'Richard Jewell' premiere in Los Angeles
Clint Eastwood's 'Richard Jewell' tells the story of an innocent man whose life is ruined by a media witch hunt, featuring a reporter who sleeps with sources for gossip. To say journalists are offended is an understatement.

Journalists are used to movies that portray them as heroes. As champions of justice who speak truth to power, and against all odds reveal the crimes the powerful want to keep hidden. 'Spotlight' told the story of the Boston Globe's investigative unit revealing systemic child abuse by the Catholic Church. 'All the President's Men' recounted how Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein caught Richard Nixon bugging the Watergate Hotel. 'Veronica Guerin' showed viewers how one Irish journalist helped bring down the country's biggest crime kingpin in the 1990s.

Superman was a journalist in his day job, for crying out loud!

Clint Eastwood, one of Hollywood's last surviving Republicans, tells a different story in 'Richard Jewell'. The titular Jewell was a security guard who saved countless lives when he ushered crowds of people away from a pipe bomb during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. Initially hailed as a hero, Jewell later became a suspect in the FBI's investigation, a fact revealed by his hometown paper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Jewell was hounded by the media for several months, and portrayed as a disgruntled "lone bomber." He was eventually cleared of involvement that October, and issued an apology by US Attorney General Janet Reno a year later. He died of a heart attack in 2007, after suffering health problems his mother claims were brought about by the stress of his "trial by media."


Scientists warn against errors in digitisation of education

digital world
Some experts believe that the rapid digitisation of the world economy has several controversial social and cultural implications that require careful analysis.

A research group at the Federal Institute of Educational Development of the Russian Presidential Academy of the National Economy and Public Administration (FIRO RANEPA) has studied the risks and prospects of digital trends in education.

Digitisation Dictates the Rules

Researchers from the RANEPA Federal Institute of Educational Development have presented a project, "Didactics Concept of Digital Vocational Education and Training", which outlines ways of organising a personalised digital educational process based on a field of educational theory - Digital Didactics.

The authors of the study note that today the digital economy is the main "customer" for vocational education and training. The analysis of promising markets shows that within the next 3-5 years, graduates of various fields will need to master digital production technology.

Specialists are confident that as routine operations become more digitised, there will be a growing demand for "non-mechanical" competencies that involve setting goals for digital devices, expert analysis based on critical thinking, or complex communication, for example, in contracts and sales.

Comment: As more educational institutions 'go digital', it makes sense to take a closer look into updating current teaching methods. Although the 'traditional' way was never really intended to produce capable and free thinking people, it seems like the demand for people to do more in that respect might be necessitated by the rapid spread of digital technologies. See also:


Race baiting for fun and profit? Mere reality won't stop #Resistance from blaming 'white supremacy' for Jersey City shooting

white supremacy
© Reuters / Maranie Staab
Students rally against white supremacy at Syracuse University in New York.
Democratic congresswoman Rashida Tlaib may have been slapped down when she tried to pin responsibility for a mass shooting by a black couple on white supremacy, but while she disavowed her words, others doubled down.

"This is heartbreaking. White supremacy kills," Tlaib had tweeted on Thursday morning in response to a post memorializing Moshe Deutsch, one of the young Jewish victims of Tuesday's shooting at a kosher supermarket in Jersey City.

The backlash was immediate, with the tweeting masses pointing out that shooters David Anderson and Francine Graham were black, and the authorities were investigating the attack as a hate crime against Jews and police.