Welcome to Sott.net
Sat, 19 Sep 2020
The World for People who Think

Society's Child


Hong Kong priest 'ready to head to Taiwan' to discuss surrender of murder suspect after border reopens - inspiration for failed extradition bill

Chan Tong-kai
© Stand News
Chan Tong-kai is released from prison on October 23.
A Hong Kong priest says he is ready to fly to Taiwan to discuss the surrender of a fugitive murder suspect whose case helped trigger last year's extradition bill crisis and mass protests.

Chan Tong-kai is accused of murdering his girlfriend Amber Poon during their holiday on the island in 2018, when he was aged 19, before flying back to Hong Kong.

Because Taiwan and Hong Kong have no extradition treaty Chan could not be returned to the country and could only be tried in Hong Kong for money-laundering over money and valuables he took from his girlfriend. He has been free since his release on October 23 last year after serving 18 months in jail.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam cited Chan's case when pushing last year to pass a controversial extradition bill, which would also have allowed extradition to mainland China. Mass protests against the bill turned into a city-wide pro-democracy campaign and convulsed Hong Kong for months.

The priest, Reverend Peter Koon, has said he will head to Taiwan as soon as coronavirus travel restrictions are lifted to discuss details of Chan's surrender. Chan has admitted the killing.

Koon said Chan had always intended to turn himself in but the plan was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Taiwan has imposed border restrictions since March and only allows the entry of business travellers.

Comment: As noted, Chan's case was the pretext behind Lam's failed extradition bill. Hong Kong does not have an extradition agreement with either mainland China or Taiwan, and the bill proposed to allow both. (Note that China itself doesn't have an extradition treaty with Taiwan.) Hong Kongers naturally saw through the pretext and managed to get the bill cancelled after massive protests that drew nearly a quarter of the population into the streets. But the victory was pyrrhic. China flexed their executive privilege with the national security law, making the issue a moot point now that those arrested under it can be sent to the mainland - no extradition treaty necessary.

2 + 2 = 4

Dept. of Education launches probe after Princeton president acknowledges systemic racism

Princeton University
© Princeton University
The U.S. Department of Education has launched an investigation into Princeton University after its president acknowledged that systemic racism is "embedded" in the university's structures.

The department informed Princeton of the investigation in a letter Wednesday, citing Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber's open letter earlier this month discussing the school's efforts to address systemic racism.

Officials said the university "repeatedly represented and warranted to" the department that it was complying with nondiscrimination mandates under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but asserted that Eisgruber in his letter had admitted the university is "racist."

The Department of Education expressed concern that the university has received tens of millions of dollars in federal funds despite the potential lack of compliance.

"Based on its admitted racism, the U.S. Department of Education ('Department') is concerned Princeton's nondiscrimination and equal opportunity assurances in its Program Participation Agreements from at least 2013 to the present may have been false," the letter added. "The Department is further concerned Princeton perhaps knew, or should have known, these assurances were false at the time they were made."

The Trump administration requested several documents and interviews under oath from the university as it moves forward with the probe, specifically into whether Princeton misrepresented itself to the department and the public.

Comment: Genius. Since it is woke to admit that you're racist (because everyone is racist, except those who are not, but who can also be racist), and since racism in various forms is illegal in the States, many of these self-admitted racists open themselves to prosecution. This is what is called shooting oneself in the foot. Couldn't happen to more deserving folks!


Sweden nearing herd immunity, Covid-19 "may be finished" there says Danish professor

Malmo coronavirus
© Reuters / Johan Nilsson
FILE PHOTO: An information sign recommends people to keep social distance at a beach in Malmo, Sweden, June 25, 2020
With much of Europe struggling to contain a second wave of coronavirus infections, a Danish professor has claimed that the pandemic "may be finished" in Sweden, thanks to herd immunity.

Sweden recorded 224 cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, a number roughly on par with daily new infections for the last two months. No patients died. However, the situation throughout much of Europe is different. 300,000 new cases were recorded across the continent last week, with the World Health Organization calling the spike in infections a "wake-up call." Even Sweden's neighbor, Denmark, saw an average of 61 cases per million people throughout the week, compared to Sweden's relatively modest 23.

Kim Sneppen, a professor of biocomplexity at Copenhagen's Niels Bohr Institute, believes that the Swedes are finally developing 'herd immunity' to the deadly virus.

Comment: See also: No second-wave of coronavirus in Russia, head of Genomic Engineering Lab in Moscow explains why


A second lockdown for Britain? The evidence simply doesn't justify it

coronavirus protest uk
© REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
FILE PHOTO: People demonstrate against the lockdown and use of face masks in Trafalgar Square, London, Britain, August 29, 2020.
With few people dying, or even being hospitalised, from Covid-19, why are the UK's governments seemingly so desperate to slap ever more restrictions on our most basic liberties?

On Monday, the 'rule of six' came into effect in the UK. With slight variations across the four nations, it meant that no more than six people can now meet socially, indoors or outdoors. Ministers are deadly serious about it, too, suggesting we snitch on our neighbours if they break the rules.

Worse was to come, however, with more local lockdowns. From Friday, in areas of the northeast of England covering nearly two million people, it will be illegal to meet anyone outside your own household or 'support bubble', with exceptions including work and education. It will be possible to meet others at a pub or restaurant, but this is being strongly discouraged.

Other parts of the UK are already under similar measures, including Birmingham and Bolton, with around 11 million people facing lockdown measures currently or very soon.

Comment: The totalitarian measures that are so nonsensical that they cannot be justified by those in charge reflect the obvious suspicion that perhaps the ministers aren't the ones calling the shots and this is not, nor never was, about a virus that is harmless for the vast majority:


Dems laud Michigan court ruling that eases restrictions on mail balloting

voting fraud protest
© WSJ.com
A Michigan court ruled that voters there have until the day before Election Day to postmark their mail-in ballots and ordered that they be counted as long as they arrive within 14 days of the Nov. 3 general election, a decision that could delay the call of the presidential contest.

The Friday ruling from the Michigan Court of Claims was lauded by Democratic groups that have urged states to loosen restrictions on mail-in balloting and take extra steps to ensure that votes cast through the mail are counted. More voters than usual plan to vote by mail because of concerns that pulling the lever in person might expose them to the coronavirus, a development that could delay the results of the election for days or even weeks.

"We have won yet another important victory for voters in the state of Michigan," Guy Cecil, chairman of the liberal group Priorities USA, said in a statement. Priorities USA, which funded the lawsuit that led to the ruling, is the designated outside group for Democratic nominee Joe Biden's presidential campaign.

Comment: Tulsi Gabbard remains the voice of reason. She introduces a bipartisan bill to defer fraud with mail-in ballots:
Former Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, branded a "Russian asset" by Hillary Clinton for her anti-war views, is again refusing to blindly follow her party's talking points - this time over fears of election fraud.

Gabbard joined Thursday with Illinois Republican Congressman Rodney Davis to introduce a bill that would block federal funding to states that allow ballot harvesting - letting paid activists canvass neighborhoods to gather mail-ballots and turn them in on behalf of voters.

But Gabbard is running afoul of the Democratic Party's position on election fraud. The Democrat-controlled House has blocked all efforts to ban ballot harvesting, while party leaders and their mainstream media allies have argued repeatedly that major voter fraud is a myth and that President Donald Trump's attacks on the susceptibility of mail-in voting to foul play are unfounded. Gabbard directly contradicted that message in her tweet.

Another Twitter user mocked Democrats' use of the Russia crutch, saying, "Uh-oh, Russia's foot soldier is being puppeteered again. Remember, kids, by doing something that objectively helps protect voting, if it's inconvenient for Democrats, you're actually a threat to democracy."


Indiana racial justice activist admits being white, 'used blackness' for own gain

Satchuel Cole passing black
© WRTV Indianapolis/Video screenshot/YouTube
Satchuel Cole
A leading activist for racial equality in Indianapolis, Indiana apologized for misleading people about her race for years in order to grow in prominence.

Satchuel Cole has been highly a visible racial justice activist in Indianapolis, has worked with the local Black Lives Matter chapter and was even the spokesperson for the family of Aaron Bailey who was killed by police during a June 2017 traffic stop, according to The Indy Star. Her apology, which she posted Wednesday on Facebook, came after Black Indy LIVE published an article detailing Cole's family history.

"I have taken up space as a Black person while knowing I am white," Cole said in her social media post. "I have used Blackness when it was not mine to use."



Melbourne anti-lockdown protesters arrested and chased by police on horseback, UK contemplates second lockdown

melbourne protest
© James Ross Australia and New Zealand Out/EPA
Anti-lockdown protesters run from Victoria Police following protest in Melbourne, Australia.
Police have arrested 16 anti-lockdown protesters and fined 21 others during "chaotic" scenes in Melbourne's south-east in which demonstrators were chased by police on horseback.

About 50 to 100 demonstrators began protesting at the State Library but moved to Elsternwick Park where they were pursued by police.

Photographers from Australian Associated Press who were at the scene said the protest was "chaotic".

There was "a lot of running and not much protesting", one photographer said.

One arrested man said he was within five kilometres of his house, had "done nothing wrong" and police would have to "answer to the Lord Jesus Christ".

Some protesters ended up marching along Elwood Beach in a loose formation before they were again dispersed by police, resulting in several arrests on Ormond Esplanade.

Comment: London mayor Khan too is saying it's increasingly likely London will face tougher lockdown measures. He's eager to implement them, against all common sense and all data showing that lockdown measures don't have any positive effect! He has already banned New Year's Eve celebrations, because he's a mindless authoritarian idiot. Luckily there are still a few Brits who can think. They're already protesting:
"Covid is a hoax," "Plandemic," "This is now tyranny," some of the signs read. They also blasted the UK press for its coverage of the pandemic, proposing "media distancing" instead of social distancing.

At one point, the crowd started advancing on the police, who were trying to maintain order at the event. They chanted: "Choose your side," demanding the officers decide if they are with the people who are suffering under the Covid measures, or the authorities who are imposing the restrictions.

Footage from RT's Ruptly video agency shows the officers and demonstrators shoving and pushing each other. When the police tried to make arrests, the protesters locked hands to prevent anyone from being extracted from the crowd.


Students adore Trump's second term agenda...when they think it's Biden's

student interview
© Campus Reform
Florida Campus Correspondent Ophelie Jacobson spoke to students about President Trump's recently released agenda for his second term, building off the administration's first-term accomplishments.

Campus Reform asked students about some of the initiatives listed on the agenda, without telling them they were part of Trump's agenda. Instead, students were told the agenda was Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's.

The students seemed to like the ideas listed, which included stopping endless wars and bringing our troops home, wiping out global terrorists who threaten to harm Americans and dismantling human trafficking networks.

Comment: And there is the problem in a nutshell. There is precious little of factual reporting on the day to day actions of the Trump administration.


Stephen F. Cohen, pre-eminent contemporary American scholar of Russia & USSR, friend of Gorbachev & advisor to Bush, dies at 81

Prof. Stephen F. Cohen  Russia scholar
© Getty Images via AFP / Eugene Gologursky
Prof. Stephen F. Cohen
Stephen F. Cohen, the leading American Russia expert of his generation and a celebrated historian of Russia and the Soviet Union, who became a vocal critic of Washington's "new Cold War" with Moscow, has died at the age of 81.

Cohen succumbed to lung cancer at his home in Manhattan, on Friday, according to his wife Katrina vanden Heuvel, who is also the part-owner and publisher of The Nation magazine, where he worked as a contributing editor.

A native of Kentucky, he was a prolific and prominent scholar in his field, serving as a professor emeritus of Russian studies at Princeton University and New York University. As a frequent visitor to Russia, Cohen became well-connected among leading Soviet dissidents, politicians and thinkers in the 1980s, even befriending Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev.

Comment: The world has lost a voice of sanity regarding US-Russian relations. Rest in peace, Professor Cohen. Thank you for your efforts in promoting real peace and understanding.


Caitlin Johnstone: RBG death means two-headed uniparty will threaten Americans with removal of civil rights

Ruth Bader Ginsberg
© Reuters/Andrew Kelly
An image of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is projected onto the New York State Civil Supreme Court building in Manhattan, New York City.
US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died, which means the US election is going to revolve around abortion and other civil rights for the foreseeable future.

Which won't change much, since this presidential race hasn't really been about anything since the end of the Democratic primaries.

The opportunistic galvanization process has already begun before Ginsburg's body is even cold, with liberal influencers calling on Democrats to rally to a November win for "the notorious RBG," and Trump supporters dropping their faux anti-establishment schtick and metamorphosing into a bunch of mini-Mitch McConnells. Leftists are being shrieked at by mainstream Dems that they need to fall in line and support Biden or they're personally responsible for every civil right that is taken away by Ginsburg's replacement.

I'm not here to tell Americans how to vote in November. I'd just like to quickly point out, once again, that an establishment which threatens to remove your civil rights if you don't support it is an establishment that doesn't deserve to exist.