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Fri, 30 Jul 2021
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Sydney's lockdown to last MONTHS, apartment block under police guard after just six residents 'test positive'

Aussie protesters
© AAP/Mick Tsikas/Reuters
Anti-lockdown protesters clash with mounted police in Sydney, Australia, July 24, 2021
New South Wales reported a record high number of covid cases on Tuesday despite more than four weeks of lockdown for the Sydney region, with signs tough measures could extend until September.

"Vaccination is the key to our freedom. Getting jabs in arms is a key part of our strategy," said state premier Gladys Berejiklian.

Comment: Can't get much more Orwellian than that, and there's stiff competition, with New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern at the top of the leader board.

"I want August to be the month where everyone comes forward to get the jab. That is key to us being able to see what September looks like. I don't think anyone can deny that the vaccination rate is absolutely key to how we live life in NSW."

Comment: Numerous experts can refute the need to suffer an experimental vaccine for the relatively harmless coronavirus; moreover, anyone, regardless of whether they are an expert or not, can refuse to participate in this already provably dangerous medical trial.

The lockdown had been due to end on Saturday but with less than 13% of the state's population fully vaccinated, curbs in some form were expected to remain.

Comment: Meaning that the state will enforce lockdown until they've coerced enough citizens into being vaccinated.

Comment: See also: And check out SOTT radio's:

Quenelle - Golden

Investigation opened into giant Macron-Hitler billboard comparing France's Covid policy to Nazi regime

Comment: Update 29 July 2021: It's actually the French president himself who is suing the poster's creator, who is a billboard business owner!

From Euronews:
Michel-Ange Flori, who owns about 400 billboards in the southern département of the Var, wrote on Twitter on Wednesday: "I have just learnt that I will be heard at the Toulon police station tomorrow following a complaint by the president of the Republic."

"So in Macronia you can make fun of the prophet's ass, that's satire, but to make the president look like a dictator is blasphemy," he added.

billboard macron hitler vaccines
© Twitter / @stephane_ulrich
"Obey - get vaccinated"
The Toulon prosecutor's office has opened an investigation into a defamatory poster which conflates images of French President Emmanuel Macron and Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, amid criticism of ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

A billboard seen on the outskirts of Toulon and La Seyne-sur-Mer, displaying an image of French President Emmanuel Macron dressed in a Nazi uniform and sporting Adolf Hitler's trademark toothbrush moustache, has caught the attention of the city's prosecutor, according to local media reports.

Comment: Let's take another close-up view of the poster: In the meantime, the grounds for imposing mandatory vaccination is being prepared:
"We have entered a fourth wave of the virus," government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Monday. Though the daily number of new cases remains around four times lower than in April, Attal said that the rate of increase is picking up.

"We are starting from the bottom but this wave can go up very quickly and it can go up very high," he said, noting that the current incidence rate of 86 cases per 100,000 people represents an increase of 125% over last week.

Attal spoke after France's Council of Ministers voted to adopt a bill extending the country's health pass and implementing mandatory vaccination for certain workers, for example those in the healthcare sector. The health pass, which records vaccination status or a recent negative test result, is currently needed to enter leisure venues with more than 60 people, and will be necessary from next month to enter bars and restaurants or travel on trains.

The measures, announced last week by President Emmanuel Macron, have proven unpopular. Protesters took to the streets of French cities last week to decry the "vaccine passports," with rioting and arson breaking out at some locations.

In his address last week announcing these measures, Macron said that if inoculation rates do not pick up, he will "ask the question of compulsory vaccination for all French people."

2 + 2 = 4

DeSantis blasts CDC for K-12 mask recommendation: 'It isn't based in science'

desantis florida
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' office sharply rebuked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for urging that all children, regardless of vaccination status, be required to wear masks when school returns in the fall.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky on Tuesday cited an increase in COVID-19 cases from the delta variant for the changes, which also recommend some vaccinated individuals to resume wearing masks in certain situations to protect against COVID-19.

"It isn't based in science. There is no indication that areas with mask mandates have performed any better than areas without mask mandates. In fact, this policy could actually backfire," DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw told Fox News.

"Mandating masks for vaccinated people erodes public trust and confidence in the effectiveness of the vaccines. To me it appears that the government wants to be perceived as 'doing something' during a seasonal infection surge, even if their policy does not necessarily make people safer."

Comment: DeSantis is right, as usual.

DeSantis has been a vocal opponent of requiring schoolchildren to wear masks. The governor on Monday reiterated his opposition to mask requirements for children during a roundtable with experts on Monday.

"I think our fear is is that seeing some of those rumblings, that there be an attempt from the federal level or even some of these organizations to try to push for mandatory masking of school children. And so our view is that this should absolutely not be imposed. It should not be mandated," the governor said.


Texas governor issues executive order restricting transportation of migrants due to COVID-19

Greg Abbott
© Gov. Greg Abbott's Office/WhatsApp-Image
Texas Governor Greg Abbott
Texas Governor Greg Abbott today issued an Executive Order restricting ground transportation of migrants who pose a risk of carrying COVID-19 into Texas communities. The Executive Order also directed the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to stop any vehicle upon reasonable suspicion of such violation and reroute such vehicles back to its point of origin or a port of entry. DPS also has the authority to impound a vehicle that violates the Executive Order.

Governor Abbott stated:
"The dramatic rise in unlawful border crossings has also led to a dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases among unlawful migrants who have made their way into our state, and we must do more to protect Texans from this virus and reduce the burden on our communities. This Executive Order will reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure in our communities."

Comment: Governor Abbott also gives National Guard orders to assist local law enforcement with migrant arrests:
Governor Abbott on Tuesday sent his request for more "manpower" to mitigate border crossings in a letter to Maj. Gen. Tracy R. Norris of the Texas Military Department, according to The Texas Tribune.
"To respond to this disaster and secure the rule of law at our Southern border, more manpower is needed — in addition to the troopers from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and soldiers from the Texas National Guard I have already deployed there — and DPS needs help in arresting those who are violating state law," the letter stated, according to the news outlet. "I hereby order that the Texas National Guard assist DPS in enforcing Texas law by arresting lawbreakers at the border."
National guardsmen deployed under state orders are legally allowed to conduct law enforcement.

Abbott has repeatedly slammed President Biden for his handling of increased border crossings, with Tuesday's move marking his latest attempt to counteract it. Officials at the border have reportedly apprehended thousands of migrants attempting to enter the United States.
See also: Biden's border crisis gets worse; surge of illegal juveniles, fentanyl and migrant deaths


Canada border officers vote to strike, warn of supply chain disruption

Canada port
© Canada Border Services Agency
A strike by CBSA officers could impact operations at Canadian ports
Thousands of Canada Border Services Agency personnel have overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike - something that could throw a wrench into port, cross-border trucking, airfreight and international parcel operations.

The strike could happen as early as Aug. 6, the Public Service Alliance of Canada and its Customs and Immigration Union said on Tuesday. The union represents some 8,500 CBSA employees, including officers serving at ports of entry across the country.

The threat of a strike comes as Canada prepares to reopen its land border to nonessential travel for the first time since March 2020. The timing wasn't lost on the union, which warned that a strike could lead to "significant disruption to the flow of goods."

The impacts could bring delays to commercial vehicle traffic and impact parcel deliveries and duties collection, the union said.


St. Louis County Council votes 5-2 to rescind mask mandate, throwing rule into limbo

Public meeting
© Laurie Skrivan/lskrivan@post-dispatch.com
Public reaction to 5-2 council vote to repeal mask mandate.
The St. Louis County Council moved to end the county's new mask mandate Tuesday, throwing the order into legal limbo.

After hearing dozens of people rail against the mandate and County Executive Sam Page, council members voted 5-2 to end the order and rebuke Page for failing to consult them before issuing it, which they say was required under a new state law. Councilman Ernie Trakas, R-6th District, said:
"Too many American men and women have given the last full measure of devotion for us to be cavalier with the very liberty they fought and died to provide. I will not abide any measures that seek to compromise or erode our liberty and freedom."
Trakas was joined by council members Tim Fitch, R-3rd District, Mark Harder, R-7th District, Rita Heard Days, D-1st District, and Shalonda Webb, D-4th District. Councilwomen Kelli Dunaway, D-2nd District, and Lisa Clancy, D-5th District, dissented.

Page dismissed the vote as meaningless and continued to tout the mandate's benefits in remarks after the vote.
"We as elected officials cannot stand by and let the delta variant rack up more and more victims each and every day. Masks will help slow the spread of the virus while we continue to vaccinate as many people as we can."
Whether those masks will be mandatory is likely now a question for the courts. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican, has filed suit challenging the order. In the meantime, county residents will have to choose which of their leaders they want to believe as the highly infectious delta variant continues to spread.


Trans scholar writes essay threatening violence against women, gets featured by prominent university

Matt Thompson
© London School of Economics
A paper presented by a student at the London School of Economics in the gender studies department calls for direct and sustained violence against women, specifically those who hold gender critical views. The paper was presented first in April 2021 and then again in June at a conference in the Department of Gender Studies, which is organized by doctoral students.

Author of the paper Matt A. Thompson read from his work:
"We go unnoticed, right up until the moment they scream for mercy. Am I a threat to you? Do I send chills down your spine? Picture this, I hold a knife to your throat and spit my transness into your ear. Does that turn you on? Are you scared? I sure fucking hope so

The work was done as part of a course called Transnational Sexual Politics, taught by Dr. Jacob Breslow and Professor Clare Hemmings. The session, called "No Time, No TERFs, No Norms," featured four papers:
  • "Trans* Endemics: Embodying Viral and Monstrous Threat in Times of Pandemic,"
  • "Nationalism's Cannon Fodder: the Birth of Transpatriots,"
  • "Is Letting Trans Children Die "Common Sense"?, and
  • "Vomit and Time"


Moscow police raid apartment of The Insider's editor, Bellingcat & British intel-linked outlet is subject of MH17 defamation case

© Sputnik
FILE PHOTO. Roman Dobrokhotov, leader of the "We" movement, takes part in opposition protest in the mini park on Kudrinskaya Square, Moscow.
Police in Moscow have raided the home of Roman Dobrokhotov, editor-in-chief of Russian investigative outlet The Insider, in connection to a defamation case. His publication has been accused of lying about a Dutch researcher.

The search comes less than a week after the website he founded was labeled a 'foreign agent' by the authorities.

Comment: Lest we forget it was the US that began this whole business of defining government funded news outlets as 'foreign agents': 'Smeared, shut out & shadow-banned': The inside story of how RT was branded a 'foreign agent' by free press-loving US officials

Dobrokhotov revealed on social media early on Wednesday morning that police officers had come to his flat.

Comment: Bellingcat is accused of having ties to British intelligence, and any Russian agency in the UK would be subject to similar, and likely worse, treatment. Taken together with other incidents, it seems that Russia's tolerance for those who appear to be working towards destabalizing peace in the country, and abroad, is waning:


UK watchdog slaps Advanz pharma company with massive fine over 6,000% price hike on essential thyroid drug

liothyronine tablets
© AFP / Loic Venance
The competition watchdog has fined a pharmaceutical company and its private equity backers more than £100m for inflating the price of crucial NHS medication, marking the second crackdown on a drug maker in less than a month.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it wanted to send a "clear message to the pharma sector that breaking the law will not be tolerated" as it fined Advanz for increasing the price of tablets used to treat thyroid hormone deficiency by 1,110pc over eight years.

Packs of generic liothryonine pills increased from £20 in 2009 to £248 in 2017. The CMA said the prices were "excessive and unfair".

Liothyronine tablets are off patent and should, in theory, be cheaper than branded drugs. Advanz was able to increase the price of the pills because there was no competition from rival suppliers in the UK market.


Black Lives Matter-backing mayor of Washington, DC now wants to FUND the police, citing spike in murders

capitol police
© Reuters / Mike Theiler
Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, who had 'Black Lives Matter' painted on the street that leads to the White House, now wants to hire more police officers and reopen the courts, citing an increase in homicides in the US capital.

Slashing the police budget for 2021 by $15 million hurt recruitment, resulting in only 42 new hires as opposed to 250 in a normal year, Bowser said on Wednesday. She called for another $11 million to hire and train 20 more officers in the current fiscal year, and 150 in 2022. The proposal is unlikely to be approved by the city council, however.

Bowser and Chief Robert Contee of the Metropolitan Police Department also complained that federal prosecutors - who have jurisdiction in the capital - still haven't pressed charges in more than 2,000 cases, and the courts, closed due to the pandemic, still haven't fully reopened.

"No matter how you look at it, the system is not working at full capacity, and that means justice is delayed," she said.