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Mon, 06 Apr 2020
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Bad Guys

Taliban warn peace deal with US near breaking point

Taliban US officials
© AP Photo/Hussein Sayed
In this Feb. 29, 2020 file photo, U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, left, and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban group's top political leader sign a peace agreement between Taliban and U.S. officials in Doha, Qatar. The Taliban in a statement Sunday, April 5, 2020, said that a peace deal they signed with the United States is near breaking point accusing Washington of violations that included drone attacks on civilians, while chastising the Afghan government for dithering on the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners, promised in the agreement.
The Taliban in a statement Sunday said their peace deal with the United States was nearing a breaking point, accusing Washington of violations that included drone attacks on civilians, while also chastising the Afghan government for delaying the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners promised in the agreement.

The Taliban said they had restricted attacks against Afghan security forces to rural outposts, had not attacked international forces and had not attacked Afghan forces in cities or military installations. The Taliban said these limits on their attacks had not been specifically laid out in the agreement with the U.S. signed in February.

The Taliban warned of more violence if the U.S. and the Afghan government continue alleged violations of the deal.

Comment: The long and short of this is that the US is likely making deals with the Taliban with little Afghan partnership. The US does not see Afghanistan as an independent entity and they are pawns just as the Taliban are. By negotiating bad-faith deals, the US ensures ongoing conflict, which provides it for an excuse for continued control of the country.


COVID-19 lockdown: Man kills 5 people for 'talking loudly' in central Russia's Ryazan region

Russia's Ryazan
The crime scene in Russia's Ryazan
A man in central Russia shot and killed five people for talking noisily at night under his windows, investigators said Sunday.

The shootings took place in the Ryazan region during stay-at-home orders aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

A 32-year-old man from the small town of Yelatma opened fire on a group of four young men and a woman who "were talking loudly in the street under his windows" at around 10 p.m. on Saturday, investigators said.

Bad Guys

Hezbollah commander, allegedly close to slain Quds head Soleimani, assassinated in Lebanon

hezbollah troops lebanon
© Associated Press/ Mohammed Zaatari
Hezbollah fighters hold flags as they attend the memorial of their slain leader Sheik Abbas al-Mousawi, who was killed by an Israeli airstrike in 1992
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force head Qasem Soleimani was killed on 3 January, when the US military conducted a drone airstrike on Baghdad International Airport that had been authorised by President Donald Trump "aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans".

Iranian outlet Tasnim on Sunday reported that Hezbollah leader Ali Mohammed Younis was assassinated in southern Lebanon overnight.

According to reports, his body was found by the side of a road with stab and gunshot wounds between the towns of Qaqiyat al-Jisr and Zutar al-Gharbiya to the south of Nabatiyeh.


Arrow Up

Sanity returning? Georgia reopens beaches despite 'shelter-in-place' order, social-distancing to be enforced

Tybee Island Georgia USA
Gov. Brian Kemp reopened all of Georgia's beaches this week, even as he issued a "shelter-in-place" order to combat the coronavirus.

The order was signed on Thursday and went into effect on Friday. One of the main provisions was to suspend "any local ordinance or order adopted or issued since March 1, 2020," particularly with regard to any such orders that were related to coronavirus.

Many of those local ordinances were put in place by towns to close the beaches in an effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

In a statement to local news station WJCL, Josh Hildebrandt, director of public and governmental affairs, said that, yes, the beaches are now open.

Comment: You can disregard the published number of Georgia's so-called 'confirmed' cases and deaths - the metrics are completely unreliable:

Eye 1

Ankle monitors ordered for Kentucky residents refusing coronavirus quarantine

© iStock
Despite Governor Andy Beshear ordering all Kentucky residents to stay at home to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, some in Louisville are reportedly refusing to self-quarantine.

As a response, Jefferson Circuit Court judge Angela Bisig is ordering ankle monitors for those who were exposed to the coronavirus but who won't stay at home.

CNN reports that Bisig ordered an individual identified as D.L. to wear a global positioning device for the next two weeks. D.L is reportedly living with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus, as well as someone who is a presumptive case.

Bizarro Earth

In what sense do you think we are free?

Armoured police
© AFP via Getty Images
Armoured police personnel carriers
Here's a sensible question. If the mayor of the most notable metropolis in the country can openly suggest that the government has the right to permanently shutter the doors of a church if it refuses to comply with "social distancing" guidelines, or any other edict the government finds necessary in a given moment, then what can't the government do?

Just a few weeks ago, the threat of COVID-19 was considered by nearly everyone to be potentially far deadlier than it has yet proven to be. The fatality rates, hospitalization rates, and the predictions of American death tolls (once routinely touted as "over 2 million") associated with infection were all much higher three weeks ago than they are today. And yet, as the dire projections about the impact of infection has become considerably smaller with new data and improved medical readiness, the social restrictions placed upon the populace have become progressively more obstructive and draconian.

Eye 2

2 top French doctors say that coronavirus vaccines should be tested on poor Africans

africa coronavirus

Jean-Paul Mira and Camille Locht carried out the discussion on live French TV, leaving viewers including top African soccer players furious.
A discussion between two top French doctors on live TV left viewers horrified when they proposed that Africa should become a giant laboratory for coronavirus vaccine testing because the continent lacked the resources to defend against COVID-19.

In the segment broadcast on the French TV channel LCI, Jean-Paul Mira and Camille Locht raised the idea of testing new vaccines on impoverished African populations.

Mira is head of the intensive-care department at the Cochin Hospital in Paris, while Locht is the research director at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, known as Inserm.

Comment: Africans are understandably unimpressed:
Resist: Senator Wetangu'la calls on African leaders to reject COVID-19 vaccine test on continent

Africa coronavirus
© Moses Wetangula.
Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangu'la has called on African leaders to reject COVID-19 vaccine test on the continent.
Wetangula's objection came barely a day after French doctors suggested that Africa was the best continent for the samples to be used because it is "incapable of fighting COVID-19".

In a strongly worded statement, the FORD Kenya party leader called on African leaders to reject any attempt to use African people as "Guinea pigs".

"The epicenter of COVID-19(Coronavirus ) is China, Italy, Spain, France, US. Clinical trials on its possible cure must start there and not in any African country. African leaders must resist any attempt to use our people as Guinea pigs. Resist," he tweeted.

Why must any nation be subject to trials when it's a) less deadly than the seasonal flu and b) there are already numerous well tested drugs that have been shown to cure Covid-19?

The proposal has irked many people on the continent with majority of Kenyans trooping to social media sites to slam European nations and scientists for attempting to use Africans as "lab rats".

Globally, there are over 1 million COVID-19 infections and a total of 59, 172 deaths recorded so far.

Out of these numbers, the United States (US) has the highest number of infections currently standing at 277,467 and the third-highest number of deaths at 7, 402.

Italy has the highest number of deaths standing at 14, 681 and second-highest number of infections currently at 119,827.

Spain has 119, 199 infections and a total of 11, 198 fatalities, being the second-highest number of deaths after Italy. Germany has 91, 159 COVID-19 infections and 1,275 deaths while China, where the disease began, has 81, 639 infections and 3, 326 fatalities.

Africa as a whole has so far confirmed 212 deaths with most countries recording less than 1000 infection cases apart from South Africa whose case has hit 1, 505.

Kenya has 122 COVID-19 infections which have so far resulted in four deaths.
Using the world's poor instead of lab rats is nothing new: New oral polio vaccine to BYPASS key clinical trials as vaccine caused outbreaks overtake wild polio


Did Bill Gates just reveal the reason behind the lock-downs?

Bill Gates
On March 24 Bill Gates gave a highly revelatory 50-minute interview (above) to Chris Anderson. Anderson is the Curator of TED, the non-profit that runs the TED Talks.

The Gates interview is the second in a new series of daily 'Ted Connects' interviews focused on COVID-19. The series's website says that:
TED Connects: Community and Hope is a free, live, daily conversation series featuring experts whose ideas can help us reflect and work through this uncertain time with a sense of responsibility, compassion and wisdom."
Anderson asked Gates at 3:49 in the video of the interview - which is quickly climbing to three million views - about a 'Perspective' article by Gates that was published February 28 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

"You wrote that this could be the once-in-a-century pandemic that people have been fearing. Is that how you think of it, still?" queried Anderson.

"Well, it's awful to say this but, we could have a respiratory virus whose case fatality rate was even higher. If this was something like smallpox, that kills 30 percent of people. So this is horrific," responded Gates.

"But, in fact, most people even who get the COVID disease are able to survive. So in that, it's quite infectious - way more infectious than MERS [Middle East Respiratory Syndrome] or SARS [Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome] were. [But] it's not as fatal as they were. And yet the disruption we're seeing in order to knock it down is really completely unprecedented."

Comment: See also:

Red Pill

Comedian and influential cultural commentator Joe Rogan: I'd vote for Trump over Biden

joe rogan
© Getty Images/Alex Trautwig
Comedian Joe Rogan said on Friday's edition of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast that he would rather vote for President Donald Trump over former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democrat nominee, in a hypothetical general election match-up.

Rogan made the remark when his wide-ranging conversation with guest Eric Weinstein, managing director of Thiel Capital and host of the podcast The Portal, took a turn into the current state of 2020 politics.

Arrow Down

What pandemic? Sarasota Memorial Hospital furloughs employees due to 'drastic drop in patient volumes'

The coronavirus pandemic has forced the Sarasota Memorial Health Care System to make tough decisions.

On Friday, Sarasota Memorial Hospital announced it will furlough some workers and reduce hours for others due to a "sudden and drastic drop in patient volumes and revenues."

"This was an extremely difficult decision, and one that we did not make lightly," CEO David Verinder said in a letter to employees. "Staff have gone above and beyond to care for our patients throughout this crisis, even as they have been anxious about the health and well-being of themselves and their families.

The hospital also implemented a hiring freeze as a result of the drop in revenues.

According to officials, Sarasota Memoria Hospital experienced a $16 million reduction in revenue in March. After non-emergency procedures were canceled due to the pandemic, surgery cases fell by more than 50 percent and the hospital saw a 30-percent drop on the number of inpatients, according to the press release.