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Sat, 22 Jan 2022
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Austria poised to mandate COVID-19 vaccine for all adults

protests COVID-19 vaccination Austria
© AP Photo/Lisa Leutner
A man protests on the street against the compulsory COVID-19 vaccination that will be decided in the parliament today in Vienna, Austria, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022.
Austria said Thursday it would try to entice COVID-19 vaccine holdouts with a prize lottery, a move to sweeten perspectives around the shots before parliament approves a national vaccine mandate.

The lottery offers a ticket for each shot an Austrian has received — a boosted person would get three — and every 10th ticket will come with a 500 euro ($568) voucher that can be used in "retail, tourism, hospitality, services, culture and sport," Chancellor Karl Nehammer said.

The chancellor is trying to soften attitudes before lawmakers make the shots compulsory.

Under the plan, the vaccine will be mandatory for all adults, with exceptions for pregnant women and people who cannot get the shots for medical reasons. An earlier draft called for making the vaccine mandatory for those 14 and older but it was revised to 18 and up.

Comment: RT reports:
An overwhelming majority of Austrian MPs voted on Thursday to force their citizens to get vaccinated against Covid-19, with those who refuse facing fines of up to 3,600 euros ($4,000).

After 137 MPs voted for compulsory vaccination and only 33 opposed, the bill now heads to the upper house to be debated and approved. As Austria's governing parties - a coalition of the center-right People's Party and the Greens - hold a majority in this chamber, its passage is virtually guaranteed.

The right-wing Freedom Party was the only party to oppose the mandate in parliament.

[...]

The law will empower authorities to keep a database of every citizen's vaccination status and the expiry date of said status, which can be searched by officials. The law is to remain in place until 2024.

Compulsory vaccination was first proposed by the Austrian government back in November, and the announcement triggered mass protests. At the time, Austria had one of the lowest vaccination rates in Europe, which has since climbed to above the EU average. At present, just over 70% of Austrians are fully vaccinated, according to figures from the World Health Organization.



Light Saber

Foiled again: Texas judge blocks Biden federal worker vaccine mandate

Texas protest vaccine
A U.S. judge in Texas issued a nationwide injunction on Friday barring the federal government from enforcing President Joe Biden's requirement that federal workers without qualifying medical or religious exemptions be vaccinated for COVID-19.

Judge Jeffrey Brown, who was appointed to the District Court for the Southern District of Texas by then-President Donald Trump, ruled that opponents of Biden's vaccination mandate for federal employees were likely to succeed at trial and blocked the government from enforcing the requirement.

Comment: Other states have taken notice:




Bad Guys

Unsettling: Study finds autocracies more trusted than democracies

autocracy dictionary
© iStock
Public confidence in democratic governments has fallen amid the pandemic

A global survey has found that autocracies have become increasingly trusted, while confidence in democracies has fallen. One of the reasons given is the alleged poor management of the Covid-19 pandemic in democratic states.

In a study published this week, the Edelman Trust Barometer, a communications group that has polled thousands of people over two decades, said its most recent survey showed a concerning lack of trust in democratically elected governments.

The group, which interviewed over 36,000 respondents in 28 countries between November 1-24, found German institutions were the biggest losers, as their trust rating was down seven points on the previous year to 46.

Bullseye

Joe Rogan and James Lindsay point out how the leftist tactic of smearing everyone they disagree with as 'alt-right'

joe rogan james lindsay
© The Joe Rogan Experience
Joe Rogan and James Lindsay
On the latest episode of his podcast, Joe Rogan spoke with James Lindsay about why so many people are deemed alt-right by the left.

On Thursday, Joe Rogan released the latest episode of his podcast. Sitting across the table this time was academic and fellow podcaster James Lindsay, who along with Peter Boghossian and Helen Pluckrose gained notoriety for exposing academia in the now infamous grievance study affair.

Rogan and Lindsay touched on many topics throughout the interview, including the left's desire to label more and more people "alt-right."

Comment: More on James Lindsay:


Attention

Immense explosion rocks western Ghana, dozens feared dead

explosion ghana
© Joseph Kabenlah Amihere via Reuters
A screengrab of the crater after the blast. The blast, which flattened hundreds of buildings and killed at least 17 people, was the result of a mining explosive vehicle colliding with a motorcycle
Dozens of people are feared dead after a truck carrying mining explosives collided with a motorcycle in western Ghana, sparking an explosion that has left hundreds of buildings destroyed.

The accident happened around noon in Apiate, near the mining city of Bogoso, 300km (180 miles) west of the West African country's capital, Accra.

A large crater was left following the explosion, after a truck that was travelling between two goldmines in the mineral-rich region hit a motorcycle.

The exact number of casualties has not been officially confirmed, but the head of the Prestea Huni-Valley municipal government where the explosion took place, Isaac Dsamani, told local media that officials had counted "about 17 dead bodies" so far.

Comment: Although perhaps not related, it does bring to mind the incident in Akure, Nigeria, in 2020: Massive explosion leaves giant crater in Akure, Nigeria, dozens of buildings damaged - UPDATE: Expert suspects METEOR IMPACT

Other explosions in the news in just the last few months:


Boat

Side hustle: China rewards fishermen for capturing 'foreign' spy drones

china fisherman drone capture
© Nantong TV
Footage from a Chinese TV report shows the national security authority displaying pictures of the seven alleged espionage devices, which were said to have been found off the eastern coast
Authorities reward over a dozen individuals for capturing 10 suspicious devices since 2020

Eleven fishermen and five "related personnel" reaped the rewards of their vigilance on Monday - quite literally - with authorities in China's Jiangsu Province remunerating them generously for capturing a total of 10 "suspicious foreign devices with spying functions in Chinese territorial waters since 2020." According to China's state-affiliated Global Times outlet, upon technical investigation all 10 drones turned out be foreign-made and "posing a threat to national security."

There have been a number of similar cases in recent years. In fact, Jiangsu Province, where the latest monetary rewards were handed out, has been holding annual conferences since 2016, aimed at both increasing residents' awareness and praising those who have intercepted suspicious devices.

People 2

'F*** Dr. Phil': Leftists freak out about Matt Walsh appearing on 'Dr. Phil' to discuss radical gender theory

matt walsh dr. phil
© Courtesy Of Matt Walsh
"And f*** [Dr. Phil] for having Matt Walsh on his show and giving him a platform..."

Leftists are incensed this week at Dr. Phil for daring to have a conservative, Daily Wire host and author Matt Walsh, on his show to offer a differing opinion on pervasive radical left-wing gender theory.

The general outrage was aimed at Walsh, who was smeared as a bigot for stating biological realities and defending women-only spaces, but also at Dr. Phil for "platforming" Walsh, who holds an opinion shared by most Americans.

Pistol

Texas synagogue hostage taker explains his actions prior to death

Malik Faisal Akram texas hostage synagogue
© OurCalling, LLC via AP
Malik Faisal Akram
Malik Faisal Akram promised to martyr himself.

In an expletive-laden phone call, the brother of Malik Faisal Akram urged the 42-year-old to surrender as he held four people hostage in a synagogue in Texas on Saturday.

The chilling phone call, obtained and published by the Jewish Chronicle on Wednesday evening, captures the last conversation between Akram and his brother, Gulbar Akram, who spoke to him from a police station in Blackburn.

Comment: See also:


Oscar

'Simpsons' moment comes to life as Biden turns to Tom Hanks to sell first year 'progress'

tom hanks simpsons
© 20th Century Fox
Still from 'The Simpsons Movie' Dir. David Silverman (2007).
The new video suggests Joe Biden's got a friend in the Hollywood actor.

President Joe Biden's presidential inaugural committee is marking his first year in office by blasting out an ad featuring Academy Award winner Tom Hanks. It was paid for with millions in leftover inaugural funds, according to a Thursday report from Axios.

In a statement to the outlet, the inaugural committee said it felt it was important to "celebrate the strength and perseverance of the American people" one year into Biden's presidency.

Comment: Maybe they should have gone with Morgan Freeman.

See also:


Attention

Government Announces End of Pandemic Restrictions - Including Mask Mandate From January 26th

Boris Johnson
As Boris Johnson's premiership unravels following the backlash from the 'partygate' revelations of illicit Downing Street lockdown shindigs, the Prime Minister has announced not only the end of Plan B measures from January 26th - including vaccine passports, work-from-home guidance and face masks - but his intention to end the remaining measures as well. He told the Commons:
Today's latest ONS data show clearly that infection levels are falling in England and while there are some places where cases are likely to continue rising, including in primary schools, our scientists believe it is likely that the omicron wave has now peaked nationally.

There remain, of course, significant pressures on the NHS across our country, and especially in the North East and North West, but hospital admissions which were doubling every nine days just two weeks ago have now stabilised, with admissions in London even falling. The numbers in intensive care not only remain low but are actually also falling.

So, this morning, the Cabinet concluded that because of the extraordinary booster campaign, together with the way the public have responded to the Plan B measures, we can return to Plan A in England and allow Plan B regulations to expire.

As a result, from the start of Thursday next week mandatory certification will end. Organisations can, of course, choose to use the NHS Covid pass voluntarily but we will end the compulsory use of Covid status certification in England.

Comment: While the UK is easing its austerity measures, some other countries like Austria and Australia are tightening even more the authoritarian grip over their population.

Is there any malicious and hidden game behind this, or just another experiment?

See also: