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Thu, 09 Apr 2020
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Bad Guys

California county fining resident $1,000 for not wearing face masks in public

face masks
Residents in Riverside County, California, are now required to wear face coverings and could face a fine of $1,000 per violation per day if the mandate, which went into effect Sunday, is ignored.

Recent data from the Riverside University Health System indicated 946 confirmed positive cases of coronavirus within the county with 25 deaths attributable to the illness.

"While more and more Riverside County residents are getting COVID-19, not everybody's getting the message," said Riverside County public health officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser in a statement Saturday. "It started with staying home, social distance and covering your face. But now we change from saying that you should to saying that you must."

Comment: How about just making this 'egregious crime' punishable by death? Shooting people on site for not wearing a mask seems the natural next step following the logic they have used up to this point.


Former police officer arrested in park for throwing ball with daughter due to coronavirus social distancing rules

Matt Mooney
© Kirby Wallin
Matt Mooney, 33, says he was handcuffed in front of his 6-year-old daughter
In an incident caught on video, a former Colorado State Patrol trooper said he was handcuffed in front of his 6-year old daughter on a near-empty softball field Sunday by Brighton police officers enforcing social distancing rules. The department apologized Tuesday afternoon, calling the incident an "overreach by our police officers."

Matt Mooney, 33, told ABC News he walked with his wife and daughter from their home to a nearby park Sunday to play softball.

"We're just having a good time, not near anybody else. The next closest person is at least 15 feet away from me and my daughter at this point," Mooney told ABC News.

Comment: When you give police the power to go around questioning anybody for being outside, this is the kind of stuff that ends up happening. It's why every police officer should refuse to enforce such draconian measures.


Rally for secretive Islamist group Tablighi Jamaat exploded Covid-19 in India - but is that the most dangerous thing about this movement?

© Global Look Press / Monirul Alam
One in three people who have tested positive for the Covid-19 virus in India have contracted it at a common source: a gathering of a massive and mysterious Islamic organisation named Tablighi Jamaat (TJ).

Of the total 5,734 confirmed cases in the country, a huge 1,445 were infected during an event of the Tablighis at Delhi's densely populated Nizamuddin area, the Indian health ministry said on Monday. The lethal virus has killed 166 people in India so far — and incredibly nearly 65 percent of new cases originate from the TJ event.

It's not just India where the TJ has been a major source of the spread. Similar situations have been seen in Pakistan and Malaysia, too. The first two cases of Covid-19 in Gaza had been imported from an event hosted by the religious outfit in Raiwind, Pakistan. Pakistan quarantined 20,000 TJ worshippers who flouted government advice and attended a gathering in Lahore in mid-March — and is trying to track down tens of thousands more.

Star of David

Pandemic strips bare Israel's systemic racism

Israeli street encounter
© Ziv Koren/Polaris
Israel's Ultra-Orthodox communities widely flout government restrictions to combat coronavirus pandemic, but Palestinians feel the brunt of emergency legislation.
As I sit in my house in Haifa, quarantined, like others around the world, I cannot help but recall a previous experience under Israeli-imposed curfew.

Eighteen years ago, during March and April of 2002, the Israeli army re-invaded the West Bank, including the city in which I was residing at the time, Ramallah. For months, we remained under lockdown as Israeli tanks, jeeps and soldiers terrorized our streets and homes.

We spent the days hearing about the rising death toll and worried about what the future would hold. While the initial action was met with international condemnation, soon the lockdown - and the terror of Israel's army - became "normal." Few raised their voices at Israel's collective punishment of Palestinians and all of the accompanying land confiscations and home demolitions undertaken by the army.

Today is no different. While the world is rightfully focused on "flattening curves" and "physical distancing," with coping under a halted economy and worrying about loved ones, Israel's occupation and systemic racism continue to guide policy - just as they have throughout history.


UK EEAS: EU accusations 'problematic'; no Covid-19 fake news on RT

RT Newsroom
© Unknown
Claims by the EU diplomatic service that RT is spreading fake news about the coronavirus pandemic are misleading and based on bad methodology, according to a duo of Manchester researchers focused on monitoring the channel.

In their crosshairs was the alarming report by the European External Action Service (EEAS) - specifically, its public relations shop EastStratCom - published last month. Mainstream Western media outlets uncritically parroted EEAS allegations, such as that "Russian pro-Kremlin media" were conducting a "significant disinformation campaign" to stoke "confusion, panic and fear" in the West and "aggravate the coronavirus pandemic crisis."

Not so, say Stephen Hutchings and Vera Tolz, professors of Russian Studies at the University of Manchester who run 'Reframing Russia,' a "research project analyzing the post-Cold War global media environment" that is basically an in-depth study of RT and its coverage.

In two reports published on Monday, Hutchings and Tolz address both the accusations against RT specifically, and Russian media in general, and find EastStratCom and its EUvsDisinfo research shop repeatedly coming up short in methodology, objectivity, and accuracy.

Comment: Reports from EEAS and critiques, like those from EastStratCom and its EUvsDisinfo, are what they are paid to think and propagate. Everything is for sale including integrity. Creating the lie is worth more than validating the truth.

Arrow Up

US weekly unemployment claims jump by 6.6 million, bringing 3-week total to more than 16 million

unemployment line, social distancing
© Reuters / Nick Oxford
People who lost their jobs wait in line to file for unemployment benefits, following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Arkansas Workforce Center in Fort Smith, Arkansas, U.S. April 6, 2020.
The US Labor Department reported on Thursday that the jobless rolls continued to grow due to the Covid-19 lockdown, with 6.6 million Americans filing first-time unemployment claims in the week ending April 4.

The figure nearly matches the jump registered in the previous week when 6.87 million people filed initial claims and brings the total jobless claims for the last three weeks to more than 16 million.

The ongoing surge in filings for unemployment insurance has been aggravated by the expansion of those who are allowed to file claims. The CARES Act has expanded the group to include the self-employed and independent contractors.

Comment: From Fort Russ:
The fallout from the coronavirus outbreak that has killed around 90,000 people and wreaked havoc on economies around the world could push around half a billion people into poverty, Oxfam stated on Thursday.

The report released by the Nairobi-based charity ahead of next week's International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank annual meeting calculated the impact of the crisis on global poverty due to shrinking household incomes or consumption, FRANCE24 reported.
"The economic crisis that is rapidly unfolding is deeper than the 2008 global financial crisis," the report found.

"The estimates show that, regardless of the scenario, global poverty could increase for the first time since 1990," it said, adding that this could throw some countries back to poverty levels last seen some three decades ago.

To help mitigate the impact, Oxfam proposed a six-point action plan that would deliver cash grants and bailouts to people and businesses in need, and also called for debt cancellation, more IMF support, and increased aid. Taxing wealth, extraordinary profits, and speculative financial products would help raise the funds needed, Oxfam added.

Calls for debt relief have increased in recent weeks as the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has roiled developing nations around the world. In total, governments around the world would need to mobilize at least $2.5 trillion to support developing nations.
"Rich countries have shown that at this time of crisis they can mobilize trillions of dollars to support their own economies," the report said, adding, "Yet unless developing countries are also able to fight the health and economic impacts the crisis will continue and it will inflict even greater harm on all countries, rich and poor."


Tired of social distancing? Experts warn we could be stuck with it for two years

social distancing guides
© Global Look Press / Xinhua / Tim Ireland
Extreme measures to tackle the coronavirus pandemic have many people questioning how long lockdown will last. Now, a new study estimates that social distancing efforts will need to continue in some form for a year - or more.

Toronto-based public health researchers modeled Covid-19 transmission in Ontario to determine which measures would help flatten the curve of the virus' spread. The key focus of their study was preventing the healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed by an escalating influx of coronavirus patients, while also enabling a relative return to normal life.

Their results, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, outlined a number of scenarios, including one in which more than half of the population would become infected, resulting in 107,000 hospital admissions and 55,000 cases in intensive care units.

Comment: It will be interesting to see if these lockdown measures persist and how the populace responds with the increasing awareness that the numbers are being inflated and the hospitals aren't being overwhelmed.

Bad Guys

Paris bans daytime outdoor exercise

paris exercise
© Getty Images
Paris residents face further restrictions on exercise
Authorities in Paris have banned exercise outside during the day, as deaths from coronavirus continue to rise in France daily.

The new rules are in force between 10:00 and 19:00 local time, and come into effect on Wednesday.

The death toll in France has risen above 10,000 - the fourth-highest figure after Italy, Spain and the US.

The toll in French hospitals - not counting care homes - was 607 for the past 24 hours, health officials said.

Comment: Did anyone ever imagine seeing a headline like the above? So much has changed over the course of the past few months to make something like this acceptable.

One of the reasons the 'outbreak' is likely slowing is because the coronaviruses are remarkably vulnerable to temperature. They require cool temperatures like lungs and nasal passages to survive. By keeping people inside during sunny day, authorities are doing nothing but inflicting anti-human policies in the false name of 'public health'.


ISIS claims responsibility for rocket attack on US base in Afghanistan

Bagram afghanistan
© U.S. Army photo/James Dansie
This photo shows a mountain view near Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Jan. 12, 2019.
ISIS claimed responsibility for a rocket attack on Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan early Thursday morning.

The five rockets launched at the base in Kabul did not cause any injuries, the military said in a tweet. A military official told Fox News there was no damage to the base, which is the U.S.'s largest in the country.

The attack came a day after the Afghan government released 100 Taliban prisoners after weeks of delay as part of a U.S.-Taliban peace deal.


Stock Down

World-famous Bolshoi Theater could go bust due to Covid-19 lockdown

Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow ballet
© Sputnik / Vadim Alexeyev
'Swan Lake' ballet performance at Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow
Russia has a long list of venerable institutions, the Hermitage Museum, Tretyakov Gallery, and Moscow State University comprise a selection of national icons that any country would be proud to call their own.

However, despite their centuries of history, it seems these esteemed establishments are NOT resistant to the turmoil of Covid-19. In an interview with Moscow daily newspaper Kommersant, Bolshoi Theater general director Vladimir Urin warned that the distinguished ballet and opera house may close for good if the city's strict self-isolation regime doesn't end by September. As it currently stands, every performance has been canceled until April 30.

"Judging by the way the situation is developing, I am almost sure that performances won't be possible before the end of June or even July," he said, "if we don't open in September, it's scary to even predict what might happen — up to the destruction of the theater. Not the buildings, of course."