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UK lockdown: Supermarkets in Wales to remove 'non-essential items', Scotland told to prepare for 'digital Christmas'

supermarket

Wales lockdown: Supermarkets told to sell only essential items
Supermarkets will be unable to sell items like clothes during the 17-day Covid firebreak lockdown in Wales.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said it would be "made clear" to them they are only able to open parts of their business that sell "essential goods".

Many retailers will be forced to shut but food shops, off-licences and pharmacies can stay open when lockdown begins on Friday at 18:00 BST.

Retailers said they had not been given a definition of what was essential.

The Association of Convenience Stores and the Welsh Retail Consortium have written urgently to the first minister, expressing alarm over the new regulations.

Comment: Meanwhile in Dublin:

And so as we enter our dystopian future it is essential that people realise what this is really all about: Also check out SOTT radio's:


X

Then they came for the LEFT? Facebook 'mistakenly' deletes account of biologist & Big Tech critic Bret Weinstein

Bret Weinstein
© YouTube
Bret Weinstein, shown in a screenshot from his DarkHorse podcast, has warned of Big Tech's impact on free speech.
Facebook has been accused of trying to silence biology professor Bret Weinstein, after his account was deleted without explanation. Following an internet outcry, it restored his account, claiming it had been removed in error.

Weinstein, who rose to national prominence when he opposed a 2017 event at Washington's Evergreen State College banning white people from campus for one day, said on Thursday on Twitter that he had been "evicted" from Facebook. "No explanation, no appeal."


Comment: See also:


Bullseye

Great VIRAL Debate: Round 2: Dr Rancourt's Second Response

great viral debate rancourt
The gong sounds for Round Two of The Great VIRAL Debate. Track this debate's progress in our Coronavirus Debate Section. Dr Piers Robinson is our chair. Off-Guardian is your host. The proposition under debate is:
SARS-COV-2 merits suppression measures in order to combat the virus rather than the herd/community immunity approach
Dr Rancourt, arguing against the proposition, responds to Tim Anderson's first response from 17 Oct:

Tim spins a narrative about COVID-19, which is primarily intended to validate the state practice of medicine in select socialist jurisdictions ("China, Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela, Syria"), while invalidating the state practice of medicine in select neo-liberal jurisdictions ("UK, USA, Sweden, Brazil").

Tim is focussed on political doctrine, and thus unable or unwilling to address my criticisms of his partisan views about COVID-19. I reiterate my criticisms below.

Likewise, it appears that Tim (who is in Australia) is significantly mistaken in terms of what actually occurred in Syria, according to a report by on-site investigative journalist Eva Bartlett.[1] Are Tim's interpretations of the actual events for other countries also mistaken?

Comment: See also:


Syringe

Lockdown till a Covid vaccine comes? It's too long to wait, and there's no guarantee it will be effective anyway

Vaccination
© Getty Images / Marcelo Hernandez
If you're pinning your hopes on a vaccine for Covid-19 bringing back 'normal life', think again. We won't see one until next year, not everyone will get it and it may not even stop transmission.

Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are all heading into lockdown in one form or another, and restrictions are being cranked up in England and Scotland. Cheerleaders for lockdowns say that we need to keep cases low until a vaccine arrives. But it is becoming increasingly apparent that such a policy would cost millions of jobs, discourage or prevent people from seeking treatment for other conditions and destroy basic freedoms long before mass vaccination is available.

The popular perception is that vaccination is a panacea. We get given a jab and, hey presto, we're immune from disease. But that doesn't really accord with reality in many cases. In an article for the Guardian, David Salisbury, the former head of immunisation for the Department of Health, says that the seasonal influenza vaccinations are only about 75 percent effective. On top of that, not everyone will get the jab. Salisbury notes that the seasonal flu vaccinations only reach 75 percent of over-65s. Doing the maths, 75 percent of 75 percent means that just 56 percent of that target group will actually get protected.

Moreover, as Salisbury points out, targeting the most vulnerable means that transmission won't be reduced much. For a vaccine to do that, we would need high levels of vaccination across all age groups, a far bigger task. He concludes, "We need to communicate the clear message that although targeted vaccination may offer some protection, it will not simply deliver 'life as we used to know it.'"

Comment: See also:


Attention

Experts suggest that up to 90% of Canadian COVID cases could be false positives

An investigative piece by the New York Times has raised questions about the validity of the PCR type COVID mass-testing used in countries all around the world to identify COVID cases and to subsequently make policy decisions. This has sparked debate in the US, the UK, and Israel but so far not in Canada, even though we face the same issue.

covid test
So, how does Canada's PCR testing regime compare to America's? All indications say, not much better.

Over a two-week investigation, Westphalian Times has queried provincial health authorities and public health labs and found that in Canada the majority of COVID-19 test diagnostic standards may be too sensitive to reliably identify people currently suffering from COVID and thus detect and isolate those who are infectious.

The Westphalian Times has found that according to prominent epidemiology experts in the US and the UK, up to 90% of the Canadian COVID-19 cases could be false positives and that Canadians and their doctors are not given the important cycle threshold statistic when they get a positive result on a COVID test.

We contacted provincial health authorities and governments in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, and New Brunswick to determine the level of sensitivity used in their PCR testing for COVID.

Comment: See also:


Bulb

It's time to take a focused approach to COVID-19 protection and stop acting rashly

protest covid-19 usa
We have watched, with surprise and dismay, as mandates and policies designed to contain the spread of COVID-19 increasingly depart from the actual data and science. As a result, those most vulnerable to the disease continue to die, while the least vulnerable continue to suffer the mental, emotional and financial impacts of the lockdown.

We support the Great Barrington Declaration and its strategy of focused protection of the vulnerable and freedom to choose individual levels of protection for others. The declaration has been signed by leading epidemiologists, scientists and medical professionals. This internationally endorsed, nonpartisan, scientifically based strategy of how to respond to the pandemic and its subsequent policy responses is based on the most current COVID-19 data.

The declaration's description of the focused protection strategy states: "Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal" while "adopting measures to protect the vulnerable should be the central aim of public health responses." An informed individual and the freedom to choose is at the heart of our response.

Pistol

Nigerian troops open fire at anti-police brutality protesters in Lagos as 24-hour curfew kicks in

Lagos demonstrators
© Reuters/Temilade Adelaja
Demonstrators gesture during a protest over alleged police brutality in Lagos.
Soldiers have reportedly opened fire at people protesting against police brutality in Lagos, Nigeria, shortly after a 24-hour curfew was imposed in the city over the escalating demonstrations.

Gunfire and sirens were heard in the Lekki district of Nigeria's financial capital, witnesses told Reuters.

Though there have been no official reports of fatalities or injuries, some locals shared graphic footage on social media of blood-soaked garments and flags.

"They started firing ammunition toward the crowd. They were firing into the crowd. I saw the bullet hit one or two persons," one local security officer said. A photographer, who worked at the scene, reported seeing two people being shot.

Earlier on Tuesday, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu introduced a 24-hour curfew for an indefinite period after a police station was set alight, saying that the two-week-long protests in the city have "degenerated into a monster that is threatening the well-being of our society."

Comment: A mob sets fire to television station in Lagos when security forces reportedly gun down droves of protesters:
As TVC's Your View aired on Wednesday morning, host Morayo Afolabi-Brown was interrupted by the sound of shouting in the studio. "I think you should just find a way to take cover. They're already at the gates."

The broadcast cut out, and shortly afterwards, the station was on fire. Videos shared to social media showed the building engulfed in flames and smoke, as several cars parked outside burned.

"Every car has been burned down. They're burning everything."
The president sent out an appeal:
Buhari
© Reuters/Nigeria Presidency
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari
Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari said: "The Presidency appeals for understanding and calm across the nation, as the implementation of the reforms, gathers pace at Federal and State levels."

It did not address the previous day's shooting at protesters and focused largely on to the establishment of judicial panels to address issues of police brutality across the country. Buhari's office said the dissolution of the SARS was "the first step" in a set of reforms that "will deliver a police system accountable to the Nigerian people." At least 25 were being treated in hospitals as a result of police firing at protesters.

The shooting occurred at the Lekki Toll Plaza in Lagos, where a small group of protesters had gathered in defiance of the curfew. Witnesses to the event posted graphic videos online as well as photos of blood-soaked garments and flags.

According to local media, the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, a coalition of over 70 civil society organizations, has called on the National Assembly leadership to urgently summon President Muhammadu Buhari and the inspector general of police, Mohammed Adamu, to explain the circumstances that led to widespread killings in the country.

Protests have been taking place in Nigeria for over two weeks, with demonstrators actively using the social media hashtag #EndSars to gain attention. The SARS unit was abolished earlier this month by the inspector general of police "in response to the yearning of the Nigerian people."



Arrow Up

PM confirms Covid tier 3 restrictions for Greater Manchester as talks fail and Johnson refuses specification on regional support

graffiti Manchester
© Oli Scariff/AFP/Getty Images
Graffiti in Greater Manchester as leaders are told to adopt experimental lockdown strategy.
Greater Manchester will be moved into the highest tier of coronavirus restrictions from midnight on Thursday, Boris Johnson has confirmed as he refused to say whether a £60m offer of support for the region remains on the table following failed negotiations.

Speaking at a Downing Street press conference, the prime minister did not specify how much support the region would get. Andy Burnham, the Greater Manchester mayor, had sought £90m in support for businesses and staff affected by the measures, dropping the request to £65m, but ministers offered £60m and ended the talks without a deal.

Johnson said only that Greater Manchester would receive £22m, but this is believed to be for extra local test-and-trace measures. It is understood that talks will continue over the extra support amid reports No 10 might now reduce the £60m offer.


Comment: Sheffield mayor commented on the new lockdown designation for his city and others:
South Yorkshire becomes the fourth region in England to be plunged into a tier-three lockdown, following Liverpool and Merseyside, Lancashire, and Greater Manchester. The move will see pubs, bars, casinos, and gyms shut along with a ban on socializing indoors and further tough restrictions on household mixing.
Scotland, as well, is extending restrictions:
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that Scotland's two-week circuit breaking restrictions will be extended by a further seven days as advisers warn against reopening the hospitality sector on Monday.

The hospitality industry has been shut since October 9 and was intended to reopen on October 25. Under the new plans, pubs, bars and restaurants won't be able to reopen until November 2 at the earliest. The restriction against gathering in homes will also be extended by one week.

The first minister claimed there was reason for "cautious optimism". On Tuesday, 1,739 new Covid-19 infections were registered, with an additional 28 deaths - the highest daily number since May. Sturgeon will be publishing a tiered system of restrictions as well, replacing the current arrangement in the populated territory that includes Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Back on the continent, Madrid becomes the focus for Spain's restrictions:
Health Minister Salvador Illa explained that 21 days of "very strict" measures in Madrid have already brought down the number of coronavirus cases in the region, but a curfew is under consideration. Spain's Covid-19 death toll stands at 33,992, while there have been 974,449 confirmed infections in total, according to official government data on Monday. The Community of Madrid's President Isabel Díaz Ayuso has backed curfews across Spain, but said that she did not want another state of alarm. The region has been the worst affected in the country, with 281,388 confirmed Covid-19 cases as of Monday.
Czech Republic receives warning of a health system 'collapse':
The Czech government has ordered most shops to close, in a bid to prevent the country's health system from collapsing in November under the pressure of Covid-19. The new restrictions, in place from 6am on October 22 until November 3, will force all retail outlets to shut, apart from essential services such as supermarkets and pharmacies. Group sizes outdoors will also be limited to two people, with the exception of households or colleagues.

This fresh wave of measures comes as the Czech Republic is now suffering Europe's fastest-growing Covid-19 infection rate. On Tuesday the Ministry of Health reported a record 11,984 new cases of the virus, the country's highest daily total since the pandemic began. It was only on October 9 that more than 8,000 cases were registered in a single day for the first time.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis apologized for the effect of the measures on people's lives, but issued a stark warning that the health system was nearing breaking point. Measures would not be relaxed until the 'R' (reproduction) value decreases to 0.8, and said that a review of an extension to the country's state of emergency - currently in force until November 3 - would be held by October 30.
And for the good news: Poland is facing a restriction upgrade but no lockdown - according to its prime minister:
Poland registered a record in new confirmed COVID-19 infections. Mateusz Morawiecki said he would like the current "red zones" to be extended nationwide, starting Saturday. The capital, Warsaw, and other major cities are already designated "red zones," as are some 150 of Poland's 400 counties.

Morawiecki said earlier in the day that his government would pursue a "middle of the road" strategy of defending people's health and lives while also protecting the economy and jobs, but avoiding a full lockdown.

"Our strategy is to structure social and economic life in a way that will allow us to continue to learn, work and live without locking down the economy, but at the same time to break the transmission belt of infection."

With the return to schools and universities being linked with the recent sharp spike in infections, the government wants all primary schools to switch to remote learning, and plans to adopt a mixed system for older students.

Fourteen among Poland's more than 130 Roman Catholic bishops have been reported as infected.
There is overwhelming evidence that the coronavirus restrictions are increasing the rates of infection, versus containment and abatement. Protocols of 'rinse and repeat' guarantee brainwashed officials are unable to assimilate and utilize new information.


Bizarro Earth

Two women arrested for racially aggravated knife attack near Paris' Eiffel Tower

Eiffel
© Global Look Press / Alexis Sciard
FILE PHOTO: Three police officers pass in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Two Muslim women were seriously injured in an apparent racially motivated attack near the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The two female suspects arrested over the incident have been charged with attempted murder.

The victims, identified as French women with an Algerian background, were walking in a group of five adults and four children when they were approached by two dogs off their leashes. When they asked the owners to restrain the animals, they were attacked in a vicious assault.

The women were stabbed repeatedly by two other women of "European appearance," who reportedly shouted "dirty Arabs" and "Go home to your own country" during the attack.

One victim was stabbed six times, suffering a punctured lung and injuries to her hands which required surgical intervention.

Comment: See also:


Eye 2

Four babies die after Melbourne's lockdown leads to them being denied urgent medical care

baby
© Zoonar GmbH/AlamyAustralian Associated Press
A newborn baby in hospital. Adelaide is Australia's only mainland capital where paediatric cardiac surgery is not performed, state MPs have heard.
A lack of cardiac surgery facilities may have contributed to the deaths of four babies at Adelaide's Women's and Children's hospital over the past month, a South Australian parliamentary committee has been told, prompting calls for an inquiry.

The obstetrician John Svigos told the committee on Tuesday that Adelaide was the only mainland capital where paediatric cardiac surgery was not available, which meant critically ill infants and children had to be transferred interstate.

He was aware of three deaths in the past four weeks, he said, while the Salaried Medical Officers Association industrial officer Bernadette Mulholland said there had been another death last week.

Comment: RT provides reports that Victoria's premier, Daniel Andrews, is attempting to deflect the blame:
Victoria's Premier Daniel Andrews has denied claims that his Covid-19 restrictions played a role in the tragic deaths of four newborns who failed to receive urgent medical care, contradicting testimony from a government inquiry.

Four babies died in Adelaide, South Australia in the past four weeks after they could not be airlifted to Melbourne's Royal Children's hospital, purportedly due to the draconian measures imposed on the city by Andrews. The four newborns needed emergency heart surgery that they apparently couldn't receive treatment for locally.

The South Australian parliament's public health services committee held an inquiry on Tuesday to determine why the babies didn't receive the care they needed. A professor who testified at the hearing said that due to Melbourne's coronavirus restrictions, transporting patients to the hospital was "no longer tenable." One of the four deaths was reported to the committee shortly after the inquest.

The Australian newspaper reported the families of the infants were told that their children were not permitted to enter Victoria for the operations under the state's strict stage-four lockdown rules.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Andrews deflected blame for the newborns' deaths. He said that his government's health authorities told him that they did not prevent the children from being transported to Melbourne.

"I don't think it is a matter of restrictions," he said, claiming "there was a choice not at our end, but the other end for them not to be sent."

Adelaide's Women's and Children's Hospital said in a statement that its pediatric cardiac surgery services are currently under review, and promised that "South Australian children will always have access to the health services they need."

The deaths of the four newborns have sparked outrage across Australia. In an on-air screed, Sky News Australia host Paul Murray lashed out at the "failures of South Australian government" and the "incompetence of the Victorian government," and said it was "outrageous" that a developed country such as Australia was incapable of saving the children's lives.


Melbourne has endured one of the world's longest lockdowns, with residents prohibited from traveling more than 25km (15.5 miles) to carry out essential activities such as grocery shopping. Stay-at-home orders in place until November 2 place tight limitations on permitted reasons to go out.

Earlier this month, 500 doctors in Australia penned a letter urging the Victorian government to reconsider the stringent measures, describing them as "disproportionate and unscientific."

With a population of 6.3 million people, Victoria registered three new positive coronavirus tests in the past twenty-four hours, with the total number of cases standing at 20,323. No new deaths were reported.
The evidence coming in from countries all over the world is that lockdowns are killing a great many more people than even the exaggerated government figures claim died from Covid-19: And check out SOTT radio's: