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China locks down city of four million over Covid cases

Line for testing
© China OUT/AFP
Residents undergo nucleic acid tests for the Covid-19 in Gansu province.
China placed a city of four million people under lockdown on Tuesday, ordering them not to leave home except in emergencies, in a bid to eradicate a Covid cluster of just a few dozen confirmed cases.

Beijing imposed strict border controls after the coronavirus was first detected in China in late 2019, slowing the number of cases to a trickle and allowing the economy to bounce back. But as the rest of the world opens up and tries to find ways to live with the virus, China has maintained a zero-Covid approach that has seen harsh local lockdowns imposed over handfuls of cases.

Tuesday's fresh restrictions came as China reported 29 new domestic infections — including six in Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu province in the country's northwest.

The latest outbreak has been linked to the highly contagious Delta variant, with the tally hitting 198 cases since October 17. Thirty-nine have been in Lanzhou.

Arrow Down

Alibaba's value plummets by over $340B as China cracks down on tech monopolies

Alibaba
© Getty Images/SOPA Images
Chinese internet giant Alibaba has lost $344.4 billion in market capitalization over the past year, amid Beijing's efforts to rein in the country's massive tech sector to stop monopolistic practices.

The company's shares collapsed gradually but steadily throughout the year. After reaching an all-time high of $317.14 per share in October 2020, they hit a historic low of $139.63 per share on October 4, 2021. Although they have shown a slight growth in the past week, they are still 44% below their 2020 peak.

The sharp collapse began last year, when regulators suspended the planned IPO of Alibaba's technology subsidiary Ant Group, which was set to become the largest in the history of the entire stock market. In addition, an antitrust investigation was launched against the tech giant, as a result of which the company was fined a record $2.8 billion. Beijing then tightened its control over the firm's activities and demanded it reorganize its fintech business.

Display

Hack against Iran's heavily subsidized gasoline pumps causes widespread disruptions ahead of fuel protest anniversary

iran gas station

FILE PHOTO: A man fills up his car's tank at a petrol station, after fuel price increased in Tehran
A cyberattack disrupted the sale of heavily subsidised gasoline in Iran on Tuesday, state media reported, causing long queues at gas stations across the country weeks before the anniversary of 2019 street protests that followed fuel price hikes.

Iran says it is on high alert for online assaults, which it has blamed in the past on its arch-foes United States and Israel. The United States and other Western powers meanwhile have accused Iran of trying to disrupt and break into their networks.

"The disruption at the refuelling system of gas stations ... in the past few hours, was caused by a cyberattack," state broadcaster IRIB said. "Technical experts are fixing the problem and soon the refuelling process...will return to normal."

Comment: It certainly would be a reasonable assumption that the hack may have come from forces in Israel and/or the US: Also check out SOTT radio's: NewsReal: World on the Brink - Mass Acceptance of Tyranny Augurs Doom




Syringe

Judge rules Southwest can order pilots to be vaccinated against COVID-19 (but will they?)

Southwest Airlines
A federal judge says Southwest Airlines can require its 9,000 pilots to be vaccinated against COVID-19, rejecting an appeal for a temporary restraining order to halt compliance.

The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association wanted U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn to stop the airline's plan to require vaccines for all its employees, including pilots who argued that the mandate needed to be negotiated as part of its collective bargaining agreement. The judge dismissed the restraining order request Tuesday.

Comment: Perhaps the judge missed this: Sleepy Joe's vaccine mandate for private companies doesn't exist. It's just a press release

The pilots hold the aces, as do all essential workers. Will they have the courage to play them?


Magnify

Prince Andrew given deadline to face questions in Virginia Giuffre case

Prince Andrew
© Liam McBurney/PA
Prince Andrew must make himself available to answer questions under oath by 14 July next year in a civil lawsuit brought by a woman who has accused him of sexually abusing her when she was a teenager.

While not specified in the court papers, the Duke of York and his accuser, Virginia Giuffre, are both expected to answer questions under oath. Depositions must be completed on or before 14 July, said the district judge Lewis Kaplan, who serves in the southern district of New York.

The Queen's platinum jubilee celebrations will take place in June, potentially setting up a clash with the duke's legal issues over the summer.

Andrew vehemently denies allegations he sexually assaulted Giuffre when she was a teenager. She is seeking unspecified damages from the 61-year-old, whose lawyer has dismissed the accusations as "baseless".

Snakes in Suits

Internal documents show Facebook knew it was used to incite violence in Ethiopia

zuckerberg
© REUTERS / Erin Scott
Documents shared with CNN as part of a US Securities and Exchange Commission investigation show that Facebook knew it was being used to incite violence in Ethiopia and did little to combat it.

According to the documents, Facebook employees repeatedly raised concerns over the company's failure to stop the proliferation of misinformation and violence-inciting posts in Ethiopia and other at-risk countries. Facebook, through a spokesperson, insists it has done enough to curb violence on the platform, while rights groups and whistleblowers argue their efforts are underfunded and quasi-performative.

Ethiopia has been gripped by a civil war over the past year, and militias have made use of Facebook to make calls for violence against ethnic minorities. Politicians have also used the platform to spark divisiveness. Facebook has come under similar fire for its role in Myanmar's genocide of Rohingyans.

While Facebook's efforts to police hate speech in America have been criticized, its efforts in the rest of the world are likely far worse. According to Facebook, the platform has 1.84 billion daily users and 2.8 billion monthly users. Close to three-fourths of all its users are outside of North America and Europe.

Red Pill

Democrats are right to be scared of backlash against critical race theory

critical race theory
In Virginia, parents have realized what's at stake.

Public school enrollment in Fairfax County, one of the wealthiest in the country, continues to drop, even though schools have returned to in-person learning full-time. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe is rapidly losing support, especially among voters with K-12 children. And that's because concerns about public education and the backlash against leftist efforts to keep parents out of it are organic, no matter how much Democrats would like them not to be.

Fairfax officials reported a total of 178,595 students in classes on Sept. 30, well below the 189,010 students who attended class during the 2019-20 school year before the pandemic. Some of this was to be expected, as Fairfax took off a year of in-person learning. But enrollment has not picked up since the return to the classroom, and it shows no sign of doing so. This means that a large number of Fairfax parents have finally realized that their children are better off in a private or charter school or at home.

Bad Guys

Judge rules Loudoun County teen sexually assaulted female student in girls' bathroom

Loudoun County School Board meeting
© REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein
Shelley Slebrch and other angry parents and community members protest after a Loudoun County School Board meeting was halted by the school board because the crowd refused to quiet down, in Ashburn, Virginia, June 22, 2021.
Ruling on a the case that has seized national attention and reinvigorated debate over parental rights in public education, a Virginia juvenile court judge concluded Monday that a transgender teenager sexually assaulted a female student in a Loudoun County high school in May.

Chief Judge Pamela L. Brooks found there was sufficient evidence to determine the individual guilty of sexual assault.

The decision comes after the Daily Wire spoke to the victim's father, who said the male student forcibly sodomized his ninth-grade daughter in a school bathroom while wearing a skirt. When the father attempted to describe and protest the incident at a local school-board meeting, he was arrested for disorderly conduct, allowing the sexual abuse to stay underground for months.

After the assault, the perpetrator was transferred to another school where he allegedly assaulted a second female student in early October.

Comment:


X

'Playing with our free speech': Chart-topping author of anti-Biden rap 'Let's Go Brandon' censored by YouTube

bryson gray
© L) Bryson Gray. RT; (R) kworb.net/charts/itunes/us
One can't find Bryson Gray's 'Let's Go Brandon' on YouTube or Instagram, but the rap track using the meme phrase to criticize US President Joe Biden has surged past Adele's new single to become the most popular on iTunes.

"I don't even curse, and I'm the most censored rapper in the world. How is that possible?" Gray told RT on Monday, commenting on the fact that YouTube deleted his song. The Google-owned video platform claims his lyrics contain "medical misinformation" about the coronavirus pandemic. Gray calls it censorship.

Bizarro Earth

China to start vaccinating children as young as 3 in at least 5 provinces amid 'outbreak' of 35 new cases

China vaccine coronavirus
© Xinhua
China has been vaccinating children aged 12 and older, and now governments in at least five provinces have said those aged three to 11 will need to get the jab.
Children as young as three will start receiving Covid-19 vaccines in China, where 76 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated and authorities are maintaining a zero-tolerance policy towards outbreaks.

Local city and provincial-level governments in at least five provinces issued notices in recent days announcing that children aged from three to eleven will be required to get vaccinated.


Comment: It's little concession, but at least it's not yet a national roll out.


The expansion of the vaccination campaign comes as parts of China take new clampdown measures to try to stamp out small outbreaks. Gansu, a northwestern province heavily dependent on tourism, closed all tourist sites on Monday after finding new Covid-19 cases. Residents in parts of Inner Mongolia have been ordered to stay indoors due to an outbreak there.

Comment: One can only conclude that, like the lockdowns and vaccine mandates, this push to vaccinate children is driven partly by nefarious external forces but also by fear and corruption, because numerous expert groups, even those biased towards vaccinations as a solution, do not recommend injecting children for a disease they can safely develop natural, and superior, immunity for. And so it seems that, whilst China is able to avoid some aspects of the globalist agenda, such as with the BRI, there are some aspects it is apparently unable to avoid: Also check out SOTT radio's: NewsReal: World on the Brink - Mass Acceptance of Tyranny Augurs Doom