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More than 700 migrant children currently in Border Patrol custody

migrant kid drawings
© Daily Mail
Drawings by migrant children
Border Patrol officials are holding more than 700 children who entered the U.S. unaccompanied, according to Axios, citing an internal Customs and Border Protection (CBP) document.

The document indicates that more than 200 of the children in question have been held in Border Patrol facilities for over 48 hours, while nine have been detained for over 72 hours, the limit agreed to under the Flores Settlement Agreement.

On Tuesday alone, more than 400 migrant children were referred to Department of Health and Human Services-run shelters, according to Axios, citing an administration official. At the height of the 2019 border crisis, the 30-day average was 294.

Detention of children and family separation under the Trump administration was a rallying cry for Democrats during the 2020 election. White House press secretary Jen Psaki has pushed back on the suggestion that the Biden administration's handling of unaccompanied minors is comparable. There have been no reports of family separations under the Biden administration.
"We have a couple of options: We can send them back home. ... We can quickly transfer them from CPB to these [Department of Health and Human Services]-run facilities. ... We can put them with families and sponsors without any vetting," Psaki said. "We've chosen the middle option."

Comment: There is no 'up' side to this situation for the migrants, nor the US.


Attention

Rat sightings on the rise in London due to lockdown

rats on rise
Rat catchers have said that said business in booming, with a 33% increase in turnover during the pandemic for one firm.

Rat sightings across London have soared during the pandemic, new data from the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) suggests.

In the first lockdown last spring, 51% of BPCA members reported a rise in rodent activity. By October, 78% of pest controllers were reporting more sightings.

Recent figures from pest.co.uk also show there were 30 million more rats in the country in 2020 than in 2019.

Comment: See also:


Newspaper

How long will it last? India, Pakistan agree to follow all ceasefire pacts

India-Pakistan
India and Pakistan have agreed to strictly observe all agreements on ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) and other sectors, according to a joint statement on Thursday.

The decision on ceasefire, effective since Wednesday midnight, was taken at a meeting between the Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan.

The DGMOs held discussions over the established mechanism of hotline contact and reviewed the situation along the Line of Control and all other sectors in a "free, frank and cordial atmosphere".

Comment:
Behind India-Pak breakthrough, months of secret back channel talks led by Doval

The joint statement issued by India and Pakistan on Thursday on the ceasefire agreement between their top military commanders may have surprised many but it comes months after National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval and his counterpart in Islamabad initiated back-channel conversations to ensure peace along the tense border, people aware of the matter said on condition of anonymity.

NSA Doval and Moeed W Yusuf, Prime Minister Imran Khan's special assistant on National Security Division and Strategic Policy Planning, have been in touch directly and via interlocutors from the intelligence community, one of these people confirmed.

The joint statement is the first outcome of these conversations that included at least one face-to-face meeting in a third country, the person cited above said, without naming the location
...
Late on Thursday evening, however, Yusuf tried to distance himself from the talks in a series of tweets. "No such talks have taken place between me and Mr. Doval...The welcome development on the LoC is a result of discussions through the established channel of DGMOs," he said.
...
To be sure, this is not the first time that the two top army officers have agreed to hold peace along the border. They signed off on a similar pact in 2018 when they pledged to strictly adhere to the terms of the ceasefire understanding of 2003 in letter and spirit. That wasn't to be, though. Officials said Thursday's joint statement could be the first of the many steps that the two countries take over the next few months to normalise relations, one step at a time.

National security planners said there were five developments over the last month or so that indicated a nuanced shift.
...



Pirates

Is the "variant" being used to scare people into getting vaccinated??

falling off cliff
In a recent front-page article, the New York Times reported that the new mutated version of the Coronavirus was likely to be more contagious or lethal than the original infection. According to the Times, this new iteration of the infection could resist conventional treatments and force lockdown nations to extend the timeline for lifting restrictions. But given that "daily Covid infections have declined by 77 percent since January" and the virus appears to be 'on its way out', the report in the Times seems particularly suspicious. Is this new mutation, called the "variant", really as deadly as it's cracked up to be or is the media conjuring up another Covid hobgoblin to scare the public into getting vaccinated? Check out this excerpt from the article:
"British government scientists are increasingly finding the coronavirus variant first detected in Britain to be linked to a higher risk of death than other versions of the virus, a devastating trend that highlights the serious risks and considerable uncertainties of this new phase of the pandemic.

The scientists said last month that there was a "realistic possibility" that the variant was not only more contagious than others, but also more lethal. Now, they say in a new document that it is "likely" that the variant is linked to an increased risk of hospitalization and death....

The reasons for an elevated death rate are not entirely clear. Some evidence suggests that people infected with the variant may have higher viral loads, a feature that could not only make the virus more contagious but also potentially undermine the effectiveness of certain treatments.

But scientists are also trying to understand how much of the increased risk of death may stem from the propensity of the variant to spread very easily through settings like nursing homes, where people are already vulnerable.

No matter the explanation, scientific advisers to the British government said on Saturday, the new findings laid bare the dangers of countries easing restrictions as the variant takes hold." ("Covid-19: U.K.-Based Variant Is Probably More Lethal, Scientists Say", New York Times)

Comment: The Covid-19 perception managers need to keep the fear alive somehow, but some are already calling BS on this new strain of propaganda:


Arrow Down

Conservative host Steven Crowder posts about his investigation into voter fraud claims, gets blocked, challenges Twitter to disprove his findings

Steven Crowder
© StevenCrowder/YouTube
BlazeTV host Steven Crowder had his Twitter account restricted after posting about a video investigative piece claiming numerous voter addresses in the 2020 presidential election were faked.

"DOZENS of voter names, addresses, and pictures proving they don't exist. Period. Today I'm tired of this s**t. Mass voter fraud is real and I can prove it," Crowder tweeted on Tuesday.

Twitter quickly restricted the tweet and did not allow anyone to like, retweet, or respond to it "due to a risk of violence." Twitter also temporarily locked Crowder's account for violating its rules on spreading misinformation, which the pundit revealed on Wednesday.

Comment: The full 'Louder with Crowder' episode:


See also:


USA

Ex-Capitol Police Chief: Intel indicated Antifa, Proud Boys, other groups would join on Jan. 6

capitol police national guard
© Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images
A Capitol Police officer stands with members of the National Guard behind a crowd control fence surrounding Capitol Hill a day after a group broke into the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Jan. 7, 2021.
Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund said that a pre-Jan. 6 intelligence assessment suggested that Antifa, Proud Boys, and extremist groups would partake in the Jan. 6 event in Washington.

"The assessment indicated that members of the Proud Boys, white supremacist groups, Antifa, and other extremist groups were expected to participate in the January 6th event and that they may be inclined to become violent," Sund said in a written statement (pdf) to the Senate.

It added that an "intelligence assessment indicated that the January 6th protests/rallies were 'expected to be similar to the previous Million MAGA March rallies in November and December 2020, which drew tens of thousands of participants," adding that faulty intelligence was to blame for the outmanned Capitol defenders' failure to anticipate the riots.

Comment: See also:


Stormtrooper

Covid fines surge in England and Wales as police adopt hardline approach

Police Liverpool
© Anthony Devlin/Getty Images
Police officers on patrol in Liverpool.
About 40% of all fines handed out by police for breaches of Covid-19 laws since the start of the pandemic in England and Wales were issued in the most recent four-week period as police adopted a more hardline approach and "fatigue" with the rules set in.

A total of 68,952 fixed penalty notices (FPNs) were issued by forces, including 63,201 in England and 5,751 in Wales, between 27 March last year and 14 February, data published by the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) revealed.

The NPCC said 26,277 were issued between 17 January and 14 February, 40% of the total since the pandemic began.

The NPCC chairman, Martin Hewitt, told reporters the surge in fines was a mix of tougher enforcement, targeted policing and weariness with the restrictions.

Comment: See also:


Eye 1

Not a single case of flu detected by Public Health England this year as Covid restrictions suppress virus

influenza, flu
Not a single case of influenza has been detected by public health officials in England for the past seven weeks, with infection rates at historic lows amid the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

The social restrictions brought in to curb transmission of coronavirus, combined with increased uptake of the flu vaccine, have both been credited with driving down infections.


Comment: The problem is you can't have it both ways. In the past flu vaccines didn't do much to prevent flu season. And the social restrictions haven't done anything to prevent transmission of coronavirus (and likely don't for the flu virus). More probable reasons for the drop in flu cases: Scientists baffled at disappearance of influenza...but is it really gone or just masked by Covid-19?.

See also: Objective:Health - Where Did the Flu Go?


Thousands of swab samples are processed and analysed by scientists at Public Health England (PHE) every week to survey the prevalence of different respiratory diseases in the population.

But of the 685,243 samples that have been reviewed at PHE's laboratories since the first week of January, not a single one has tested positive for influenza.

In the week up to 31 December 2020, just one case of flu was confirmed by laboratory analysis.

Comment: See also:


Violin

Social distance insanity: Band practice version

social distance music class
© Twitter
Clown world strikes again.

An image shows students at a school in Wenatchee, Washington State socially distanced inside what look like human tents as they perform in a band.

The picture appears to show two girls playing saxophones while trapped inside the awning-like structures, while others in the background play flute.

According to the article, "You can't see them smiling beneath the masks," but the kids are happy to be back at school.

Comment:


Stock Down

Chinese gov't figures show sharp decline in Xinjiang birth rate

uighurs
© La Priz via Flickr
Population statistics published by the Chinese government show a sharp decline in birth rates in Xinjiang amid reports of mass internment and population control of ethnic minorities in the region. The region's growth rate shrank by around two-thirds within two years, according to the figures which run up until 2019.

Between 2017 and 2019, the birth rate in Xinjiang almost halved, dropping from 15.88 per cent in 2017 to 8.14 in 2019, according to an annual report compiled by the National Bureau of Statistics of China.


Comment: 2017 was when China opened its involuntary "vocational" centers in Xinjiang.


China's national average rate, meanwhile, only decreased by around 2 per cent in the same period.

The same figures detailed in the China Statistical Yearbook show population growth rate in the region shrank by two-thirds from 2017 to 2019, dropping from 11.40 per cent to 6.13 in the first year, and to 3.69 per cent in the second.

The drop - noted and visualised by Twitter user John Stone - represents a marked change in Xinjiang's previous population growth rate, which held steady from 2010 to 2017, fluctuating between 10 and 11 per cent.


Comment: Don't worry: Uighur women in Xinjiang just needed a bit more "gender emancipation" than women in any other Chinese province.