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Fri, 21 Jan 2022
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German police pepper-spraying 'violent hooligans' at anti-lockdown march

german protest anti-lockdown
Authorities say officers used the irritant after being pelted with cobblestones and bottles.

Protests broke out across the German state of Saxony on Monday night, with three officers in the city of Bautzen sustaining injuries after the anti-lockdown demonstrators bombarded police with cobblestones and bottles.

The violence in Bautzen escalated when law enforcement attempted to break up a march, with approximately 600 protesters taking to the city streets to vent their anger at Covid restriction measures.

Comment: See also:


Dollar

Tax the unvaxxed! Quebec wants to tax people unvaccinated against COVID-19

François Legault

Quebec Premier François Legault
Quebec's plan to impose a tax on adults who choose to remain unvaccinated against COVID-19 is already being called "constitutionally vulnerable" by critics — but experts say the province is well within its rights, and challenges are likely to fail.

Details about the proposed tax are slim, but Premier Francois Legault said Tuesday the penalty would be "significant." Those with a medical exemption would be exempt from the tax.

Legal experts say provinces have a constitutional authority to levy direct taxes in order to pay for services like health care, and that it makes sense from a fairness perspective to force those who pose the most burden on the health care system to pay more for it.

Comment: Canada has a long history of punitive taxes as a means of affecting public behavior. Taxes on cigarettes and alcohol are some of the highest around (never mind that it's quite likely that the taxes don't work to alter behavior). In other words, it would seem that Canada generally doesn't see anything morally wrong with ham-fisted attempts at altering their citizens rights to live as they see fit. Liberal authoritarianism, anyone?

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TV

CNN wonders whether media is 'out of touch'

CNN host Brian Stelter
© Getty Images / Kevin Mazur
CNN host Brian Stelter is shown at the network's "CNN Heroes" event last month in New York City.
The network's hosts lament that people are ignoring mainstream messaging on Covid-19 and 'living their lives'

CNN has turned introspective, apparently discovering that most Americans have tuned out its coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic, reflecting a disconnect between legacy media outlets and the general public.

Host Brian Stelter broached the subject on Monday, asking whether the media is "out of touch with the public about Covid." CNN's senior media reporter Oliver Darcy replied that based on what he's seen in his travels, much of the press is "very out of touch" with the populace.
"If you travel the country, people are not really living in the same bubble that it seems that most of the media is messaging toward," Darcy said. "And so, I think this is an issue because if people are tuning out what's going on in cable news, if we're not messaging toward the general population, they're just ignoring everything and living their lives, and we're not really getting the information that they need to them."

Comment: They are just like big babies, crying when people don't give them any attention when they lie and spread fake news. What were they expecting? People are not that stupid. They know when someone is lying and manipulating them.

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Airplane

FAA briefly halted some U.S. West Coast flights around time of N.Korea launch

Southwest Airline
© REUTERS/Mike Blake
A Southwest Airlines plane approaches to land at San Diego International Airport in San Diego, California, U.S., January 6, 2022.
Washington - The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Tuesday said it briefly halted departures at some West Coast airports on Monday around the time of reports that North Korea had launched a ballistic missile.

A U.S. official told Reuters the FAA paused some West Coast operations for less than 15 minutes "due to initial reports of events in the Indo-Pacific region," without directly tying it to the missile launch. Earlier on Tuesday, the United States condemned North Korea for a ballistic missile launch, saying it violates multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions and poses a threat to its neighbors and the world.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) did not issue any warning following the launch, a spokesperson said.

Question

China locks down 3 cities after coronavirus detected, 14 million residents to be tested

china beijing
© AP Photo/Andy Wong
Commuters waiting for their buses as they head to work during the morning rush hour in Beijing, Monday, Jan. 10, 2022.
The numbers are small, but the major port of Tianjin may be facing China's first local outbreak of omicron of any size, less than a month before the Winter Olympics open in nearby Beijing.

State broadcaster CCTV said the government has divided Tianjin and its 14 million residents into three levels of restrictions, starting with lockdown areas where people are not allowed to leave their homes at all. In control areas, each household is allowed to have one family member leave to buy groceries every other day, while in prevention areas, people must remain inside their immediate neighborhoods.

Buses and trains from Tianjin to Beijing have been suspended and people are being told not to leave the city unless they have pressing business.

Comment: One wonders why China continues with its zero-Covid policy when it's clearly impossible? More so considering it's hosting the Olympics in less than a month's time.


Yellow Vest

Inside newly-founded British anti-vax group 'Alpha Men Assemble'

alpha men paramilitary england goup
© The Daily Mail
Alpha Men Assemble teams practice boxing techniques at the training day in Chase Water Country Park, Staffordshire on January 8, 2022
A group of hardline anti- vaxxers is running military-style training sessions in preparation for a 'war' on the Government.

Alpha Men Assemble is threatening to target jab centres, schools and the police, with volunteers drilled by former members of the Armed Forces.

A Daily Mail reporter infiltrated the group's preparations at a park in Staffordshire as the mostly middle-aged and white male crowd readied itself for direct action. Danny Glass, a former Royal Fusilier, called on those present to 'take it to the Old Bill' and warned the fight was 'not for the faint-hearted'.

Comment: The Mail dutifully follows the party line with it's dismissive portrayal of the group, while completely ignoring the issues that brought them together. Still, one might wonder if Alpha Men Assemble isn't a Brit-style government honeypot, similar to the Oathkeeper and 3%-er groups in the U.S. What better way to flush out malcontents than to give them some hope of agency for change?


Mr. Potato

Heathrow demands testing to be dropped for vaxxed passengers after 600,000 passengers cancelled Christmas flights

APP/Heathrow
© Iain Masterton/Alamy/Henry Nicholls/Reuters
Covid Passport App • Heathrow Airport London, Britain
Heathrow Airport has called for all coronavirus testing to be dropped for fully-vaccinated people while revealing that "at least" 600,000 passengers cancelled flights during the key holiday month of December.

The UK's largest airport said "swiftly imposed" action during the month to tackle the Omicron variant in the run-up to the festive season prompted uncertainty among travellers who faced additional bills for costly PCR tests.

It added that there was now significant doubt on when demand would return despite the subsequent lifting of UK rules last week governing pre-departure coronavirus testing for people arriving in the country.

Arrow Down

Judge dismisses LA officers' challenge to vaccine mandate

judge
A federal judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit by 13 Los Angeles police officers challenging the city's COVID-19 vaccination mandate, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The officers argued the mandate violated their constitutional rights to privacy and due process and protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner rejected the claims but said that the officers could reassert claims of religious discrimination if they had supporting evidence, adding such complaints would "not necessarily be futile."

Klausner noted that the officers had not yet offered evidence of religious discrimination.

V

Anti-lockdown group decries new restrictions warning

Copenhagen protest
© Reuters
Demonstrators hold a banner during a protest in Copenhagen.
Black-clad activists marched through Denmark's capital Copenhagen on Sunday, decrying anti-Covid rules. The protest took place after the prime minister warned of new restrictions.

Protesters from the activist group Men in Black marched through central Copenhagen exactly one year after they held their first official demonstration in the city. The group promoted the march on social media as "democratic resistance to the epidemic law and the government's attack on our freedoms."

The activists carried a large banner reading "No to the epidemic law," referring to the legislation that regulates Covid restrictions.


People 2

Thousands attend massive anti-lockdown protest in Brussels

Brussels anti-lockdown protest
© AFP / Belga / Nicolas Maeterlinck
A massive crowd flooded the streets of the Belgian capital, with demonstrators calling for "freedom" and demanding that authorities abolish the Covid-19 health pass required to enter various venues.

The large-scale protest, which was joined by thousands of people, was organized by an umbrella group, "Samen Voor Vrijheid" ('Together for Freedom'). The crowd, chanting "Liberty!" and "Freedom!" and holding placards denouncing what they called the government's "vaccine dictatorship," marched through the city center from the Gare du Nord railway station to the Parc du Cinquantenaire to the east.

The demonstration attracted several public figures and politicians, including even some European Parliament members. "We are asking for our rights, freedom and our liberty back," a Romanian MEP Cristian Terhes, from the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, told Politico.