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Mon, 13 Jul 2020
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BLM protest at Oregon courthouse continues as arrests, injuries mount: Reports of burning barricades, 'sound weapon'

BLM portland courthouse burning
© Twitter / @PortlandPolice
Skirmishes between BLM and Portland police are continuing
The now-nightly standoff between BLM protesters and officers guarding the courthouse in downtown Portland remains intense. On Saturday, activists attempted to block the area, and accused their opponents of using a 'sound weapon.'

The Hatfield Federal Courthouse in Portland, Oregon has been in the focus of protests against racism and police brutality for more than 40 days, with tension escalating into violence on numerous occasions. On Saturday night, the demonstrators used benches to block streets around the courthouse and lit several small fires.


Bad Guys

Medical expert now saying he 'never had' coronavirus after NBC documented his recovery

Dr. Joseph Fair fake coronavirus
© NBC News
Dr. Joseph Fair interviewed by NBC
An NBC medical expert who was brought on air nearly a dozen times to detail his struggle with COVID-19 never had the virus, he revealed this week.

After believing he had the coronavirus in spite of getting negative tests, virologist and NBC News science contributor Dr. Joseph Fair tweeted Tuesday that he had tested negative for the antibodies and that the illness that hospitalized him in May "remains an undiagnosed mystery." Steve Krakauer reported on the developments for his Fourth Watch newsletter.

Comment: From the Fourth Watch newsletter of July 9, referenced above:
In 2014, Fair was profiled in the Washington Post, under the headline "A virus hunter faces the big one: Ebola." It began: "Joseph Fair hunts viruses. That's his thing. The 37-year-old American loves chasing dangerous pathogens, studying them in secure labs or searching for them in jungles where the microbes lurk." The whole story details Dr. Fair's work with Ebola - no mention of the supposed near-death experience from 2006, however.

And now we know Dr. Fair never had coronavirus, despite nearly a dozen appearances on NBC and MSNBC where he talked about having it or recovering from it. In the end, NBC's viewers were left with two very alarming - and false - impressions. First, that an expert virologist can take every precaution but can still catch COVID-19 through his eyes. False. Second, that tests can be so untrustworthy that you can have multiple negative tests and still have coronavirus. Craig Melvin described them as "false negative tests" in that initial report on May 14. Hoda Kotb said, "every time it came back negative, but clearly you have it." False. Anti-science. And truly damaging.

In articles and TV segments, millions of NBC readers and viewers are today left with the impression that Dr. Joseph Fair, a 42-year-old "virus hunter" (with the handle @CureFinder on Twitter) came down with a case of COVID-19 through his eyes that was so severe he was hospitalized in ICU for several days and that at least five "false negative" tests couldn't trace it. This pandemic is scary enough without this false storyline introduced into the news picture.

So what really happened? We don't know. I asked several medical experts, and it's unclear what the story really is. In one later MSNBC appearance, Fair discussed having a "panic attack" right before going to the hospital. But we don't know. Fair did not respond to repeated requests for comment. NBC has declined to comment on the record throughout the past month.

Fair has been regularly appearing on NBC and MSNBC, but has not been on the air since his tweet revealing the antibody test results on Tuesday. Shortly after I began making inquiries related to this story, Fair appeared on the Today show June 17 and was described as having recovered from a "possible covid-19 related illness." In that appearance, he said he would "absolutely" keep viewers posted on the results of the antibody test.

So far, there have been no on-air corrections. Or online -this NBC News story is still uncorrected, for example. The Today show website wrote a brief story, where they now describe what he had as a "severe illness."


On-line videos emerge allegedly showing US military convoy ablaze in southern Iraq

US military covoy attacked Iraq
© Twitter
Flamea allegedly consuming US trucks in Iraq on July 11, 2020
A logistics supply convoy including four trucks came under attack by unknown assailants on Saturday night on the Samawah-Diwaniya highway in the south of the Middle Eastern country.

Videos and photos emerged online showing flames consuming three vehicles from the attacked US military convoy.


Seattle police union leader: 'Socialist' city council holding 'reasonable majority' hostage

Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best
© AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best
Solan says defunding police by 50 percent would plague city with crime

"Socialists" on Seattle's City Council are holding a "reasonable majority" of residents hostage by threatening to slash police spending by 50 percent, a union leader said Saturday.

"It's absolutely a travesty," said Seattle Police Officers Guild President Michael Solan, appearing on "Fox & Friends Weekend."

Comment: See also:


'Couldn't they have hired a black photographer?' Social justice warriors pick holes in Simone Biles' Vogue cover shoot

Simone Biles, Annie Leibovitz
© Instagram @voguemagazine / Reuters
US gymnast Simone Biles on the cover of the August edition of Vogue magazine and photographer Annie Leibovitz.
US Olympic gymnastics legend Simone Biles has been praised for looking "incredible" as she graced the cover of Vogue magazine, but it seems some people are just never satisfied in these times of uber-twitchy justice warriors.

At the age of just 23, Biles is already a four-time Olympic champion and has a staggering tally of 30 Olympic and World Championship medals to her name, establishing herself as among America's most decorated athletes of all time.

Her popularity has been further burnished by her appearance on the cover of the August edition of fashion bible Vogue, in which Biles has also been praised for opening up about the sexual assault scandal involving disgraced US team doctor Larry Nassar.


Young white mother killed by Black Lives Matter mob for allegedly saying 'All Lives Matter,' national media fully ignores

Jessica Doty Whitaker
A 24-year-old mother was killed by a Black Lives Matter mob in Indianapolis last week, allegedly for saying "All Lives Matter."

Unlike Charlottesville, or any violence from the right, this killing was reported so quietly that barely anyone even noticed.

Jessica Doty Whitaker was shot and killed following an altercation with Black Lives Matter thugs who were upset that she and her fiance had said "All Lives Matter" last Sunday.

Brick Wall

What's the true cost of lockdown?

stay home sand sculpture
© Getty Images
Mental health has always been the pauper when it came to medical provision and its sufferers long stigmatised. Some well-meaning campaigns have been undertaken in recent years to break taboos and stereotypes and help alleviate the suffering of those with mental health conditions. But the fallout from coronavirus and the climate of fear which continues to trouble so many people has almost certainly undone much of this work.

Many people are - whether they are at a high risk of falling seriously ill from coronavirus or not - still terrified. People are afraid of venturing back into the outside world. Those who do keep their distance from others. Masks are everywhere, and are compulsory on public transport. The result is a reminder that this 'new normal' is utterly unlike what we are used to. Even to those who don't suffer from mental health problems it's a depressing and dispiriting sight. And I fear this ongoing state of stress and anxiety is doing profound damage to people's psychological wellbeing.

In the distant past (pre-March) we could escape life's trials with once-pleasurable activities. Retail therapy anyone? Shopping has now taken on all the fun of a visit to an outpatient department in hospital. A trip to the pub or barbers with no small talk allowed? No thanks. Totally silent and forgotten, an increasing number of people are simply dropping out of life as we once knew it. When, or will, they return?

Comment: See also:


Unprecedented rally in Far East Russia after Khabarovsk governor is arrested for murder


Khabarovsk governor jailed for two months on suspicion of organizing murders
Thousands of residents of Khabarovsk, the largest city in Russia's Far East, took to the streets on Saturday to protest about the arrest of Sergey Furgal, the regional governor, earlier this week.

Furgal, a member of the nationalist LDPR party, was arrested by Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) on Thursday, on suspicion of organizing the murder of two business rivals, and the attempted murder of another. The incidents occurred between 2004 and 2005 in Khabarovsk and its neighboring Amur region.

At around noon on Saturday, a large crowd gathered in the city's central Lenin Square in support of the governor. Estimates suggest between 20,000 and 25,000 people took part, chanting "Freedom for Furgal!" and "Furgal is our choice!" Groups of protesters also chanted anti-Putin slogans and spoke of their right to choose their own leaders.

Comment: See also: Luongo: Russia's political stability ensured while the West sinks

Yellow Vest

Serbians protest for 4th day over reimposed lockdown and Kosovo recognition, President denounces it as "pure terrorism"

Serbia lockdown protest

Protesters throw flares at riot police outside the parliament building in Belgrade, Serbia, July 10, 2020
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has said the 'terrorists' fueling violence in Belgrade will be arrested and held accountable, after a fourth day of protests saw more tear gas and clashes with riot police.

"I am proud of Serbia for enduring this," Vucic said on Friday from Paris, where he was meeting with French and German leaders to discuss negotiations with the breakaway province of Kosovo. He denounced the violence and chaos as "pure terrorism."

A mass of protesters, mostly young men and women, gathered outside the Serbian parliament again on Friday, chanting slogans against Vucic, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, and the entire Progessive Party government.

Comment: RT further reports that the Serbian police arrest 71 protesters, including Brit:
Serbia's government and police have accused "foreign factors" of instigating unrest.

"Among those arrested are many foreign nationals from Bosnia, Montenegro but also from Great Britain and Tunisia," Rebic added. Local reports indicate that the Briton is 24 years old and the Tunisian is 54.

Rebic displayed the men's passports at the press conference, holding them up as an example of the "foreign factors" supposedly influencing the protests.

"Serbia welcomed them hoping that they would come to have a good time with us, but they came to destroy and attack the police," he said.

The protests are a multifaceted affair, and kicked off on Tuesday when Vucic announced the return of strict lockdown measures, in a bid to clamp down on the country's rising rate of coronavirus infections. Vucic brought in the lockdown immediately before departing for Paris, where he met with French and German leaders to discuss negotiations with the breakaway province of Kosovo.

Nationalists accused him of conspiring with the West to recognize Kosovo, and their presence on the streets was soon met with a cohort of pro-western protesters, who shouted down anyone waving the Serbian flag or chanting nationalist slogans.

Serbia's defense minister called the protests and riots a "coup attempt," aimed at provoking "a civil war in Serbia."

Some 14 police officers were injured in Friday night's clashes, bringing the total number of injured cops to 130 since Tuesday, Rebic said. The police chief did not say how many protesters were hurt.

Bizarro Earth

Child malnutrition cases in England double in last 6 months - 2,500 admitted to hospital

school dinners
© Alamy
Since lockdown many children have been missing out on school dinners.
Almost 2,500 children have been admitted to hospital with malnutrition in the first six months of the year - double the number over the same period last year - prompting fresh concern that families are struggling to afford to feed themselves and that the pandemic has intensified the problem.

Freedom of information responses from almost 50 trusts in England, representing 150 hospitals, show that more than 11,500 children have been admitted to hospital with malnutrition since 2015.

Almost 1,000 under-16s with malnutrition were admitted as inpatients to Cambridge University hospitals NHS foundation trust alone, suggesting the affluent city has wide disparities in wealth.

Comment: See also: