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Tue, 22 Sep 2020
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Almost half of Russians say they don't want to be vaccinated against Covid-19 & 43% believe dangers of coronavirus are exaggerated

russian vaccine
© Sputnik / Press service AFK "Sistema"
Just under half (45.6 percent) of surveyed Russians don't want to be vaccinated against coronavirus, regardless of where the vaccine comes from, according to a new study by Moscow's Higher School of Economics (HSE).

The research revealed that just 13.2 percent of those questioned want to get vaccinated as soon as possible, with a further 4.6 percent wishing to wait a few months. Of those who refuse to be immunized, almost a quarter (24.6 percent) still intend to monitor the results of mass vaccination, with another quarter (25 percent) saying they're entirely opposed to all vaccines.

Part of the country's lack of enthusiasm for a vaccine may be explained by the belief that Covid-19 isn't so serious. 43.4 percent of respondents believe that the danger of the epidemic is exaggerated or invented by "interested parties." This is a considerable rise from a similar survey taken in May, which discovered that just a third (32.8 percent) of the country were coronavirus skeptics.

The data revealed that the lowest percentage of non-believers is in Moscow (34.7 percent), with almost one in three Muscovites believing the capital is already "at the beginning of the second wave."

Speaking to Russian daily newspaper RBK, Moscow International Medical Cluster (MIMC) CEO Yaroslav Ashikhin explained that Russians now perceive Covid-19 as "a less dangerous threat."

"Scientists can't yet clearly explain to people why there was no coronavirus explosion after the opening of the borders," he said. "There are also no overcrowded clinics, so skepticism has increased."

Star of David

Some lives are more equal than others: An Israeli soldier murdered their son, and got three months of community service

Ahmad Manasra palestinian killed
© Social media
Ahmad Manasra, 23, was killed while attempting to help victims of a car crash.
Jamal Manasra's son, Ahmad, was someone he could always count on. When Jamal needed him, Ahmad was there, always ready to help — it was, and still is something that Jamal prides himself on to this day.

In March 2019, 23-year-old Ahmad Manasra was doing just that, helping someone in need after a car accident, when he was shot and killed by an Israeli soldier at an intersection south of Bethlehem city, near the village of al-Khader in the southern occupied West Bank.

Now, one and a half years after his death, the Israeli soldier responsible for killing Ahmad, who was completely innocent of any crimes or violations when he was shot, has been sentenced by an Israeli court to three months of community service on charges of "negligent homicide."

Black Magic

Trans footballer's 'CIS folks challenge' is a hackneyed step-by-step guide to woke indoctrination, policing pronouns & SJW propaganda

Rebecca Quinn
© Rebecca Quinn / Instagram; Getty Images / MB Media; Instagram / Alok Vaid-Menon
Rebecca Quinn and Instagrammer Alok Vaid-Menon
Footballer Rebecca Quinn's recent 'challenge to CIS folks' upon coming out as transgender is merely a thinly-veiled, step-by-step guide to woke indoctrination through policing pronouns and pushing toxic SJW narratives.

When Candian Women's National Team player Rebecca Quinn came out publicly as a transgender male on Wednesday, the reaction was one of the usual admiration and adulation for an athlete in a professional arena which segregates by gender making the brave step to announce to the world their identity.

"Coming out is HARD (and kinda bs). I know for me it's something I'll be doing over again for the rest of my life," the 25-year-old wrote on Instagram. "As I've lived as an openly trans person with the people I love most for many years, I did always wonder when I'd come out publicly.

Bad Guys

Slavery is not America's original sin

african slaves africa engraving
© Everett Collection/Shutterstock
African slaves driven by African slavers, 1859 wood engraving.
Despite what the New York Times will try to tell you, American slavery was just one small part of a long, horrible history

You've probably heard it said that slavery is America's "original sin." Perhaps you've said it yourself. I know I have. In a sense, it's plainly true. The bondage of millions of dark-skinned people — first Amerindians and then Africans — was a practice that was not only blessed by the American Constitution but one that, as The New York Times notes in their Pulitzer Prize-winning series on the legacy of slavery, the 1619 Project, predated the birth of the nation itself, stretching back to the first European settlements on the North American continent.

"The extremity of the violence was a symptom of the psychological mechanism necessary to absolve white Americans of their country's original sin," Nikole Hannah-Jones writes in the Project's lead essay. Even in our highly secular age, we often still reach for religious language when we put our moral concerns into words. You don't have to be a skeptic of climate science to notice how frequently environmentalists annex religious motifs to make points about the destruction of the natural world, talking about the earth as though it were a paradise despoiled by man, and prognosticating a coming apocalypse, complete with famines, flames, and boiling seas.


Russian Union of Journalists awards its Solidarity prize to Julian Assange

© Reuters
Founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange
Assange decided to donate the monetary part of the prize to families of killed journalists

The Russian Union of Journalists awarded WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with its Solidarity prize, the union's head Vladimir Solovyev told TASS on Tuesday.
"The International Day of Journalists' Solidarity is marked worldwide on September 8. The second phase of Julian Assange's extradition trial began in London. Our colleague, a journalist, sacrificed his whole life to fight for truth and freedom of speech. Because of that, he is suffering and is being kept in prison. Moreover, in case he is handed over to the United States, his extradition might be equal to life imprisonment or death penalty.

"We had no doubts about who should receive this prize. We decided that it should go to Julian Assange, a true fighter for the freedom of speech."
In his words, Assange has already been informed about the award. He made the decision to donate the monetary part of his prize to families of killed journalists.

The Solidarity award is bestowed on journalists who demonstrated courage and devotion to their profession while defending the freedom of speech.


A farewell letter from an independent restaurant owner

the Mermaid Inn
© Photo courtesy of the Mermaid Inn Instagram page
As Danny Abrams and Cindy Smith shutter their original location of The Mermaid Inn, they reflect on the pandemic's impact on neighborhood restaurants and hope for better days in the future.

Danny Abrams opened a restaurant six blocks from the World Trade Center site six weeks after 9/11.

Even during that difficult time, the restaurant was welcomed by the city with more than 100 covers a night for the first year.

"But this is very different," Abrams said. "It's hard to compare."

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Many mainstream film critics have come out in defense of 'Cuties.' Here's why their arguments are wrong

© Manuel Romano/NurPhoto via Getty Images
The child-sexualizing "Cuties" on Netflix has prompted enormous backlash from the public, but the media and mainstream critics have circled their wagons around the film. The enormous chasm between the audience and critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes — 3% vs. 88% fresh, respectively — highlights this severe clash of perspectives.

I already covered some of the rather desperate excuses and rationalizations being offered for the film's sake. But the most common pro-"Cuties" talking point, put forward most stridently by Washington Post critic Alyssa Rosenburg, warrants a more thorough response. Saying that the "freak out" over the movie "bothers" and "deeply disturbs" her, Rosenburg chided the film's detractors for not having taken the time to actually watch it. According to Rosenburg and many other mainstream media defenders of the film, the hypersexualized content involving pubescent children is appropriate and morally sound because it all leads to a positive message. In her piece titled "The people freaking out about 'Cuties' should try it. They might find a lot to like," Rosenburg argues:

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Search autocomplete rejigged by Google for political queries, as tech giants become the election meddlers they claim to fight

hey google billboard
© AFP / Robyn Beck
'Hey Google, who do you want me to vote for?'
Google is tightening its autocomplete feature on searches, vowing to remove predictions that support or oppose any political party, and any voting info - even if true. If anyone else did this, it would be called election meddling.

The tech behemoth is clamping down on election-related searches, announcing in a blog post on Thursday it will remove all autocomplete entries that "could be interpreted as claims for or against any candidate or political party." Statements about "voting methods, requirements, or the status of voting locations" will also be axed - even if they're 100 percent accurate.

Appearing to grow weary of its self-appointed role as reality's fact-checker, Google explained that "predictions like 'you can vote by phone' as well as 'you can't vote by phone,' or a prediction that says 'donate to' any party or candidate," will not appear in autocomplete at all - regardless of their veracity.

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Top Australian cop compares anti-lockdown rally to 'dog eating own vomit'

Melbourne lockdown protest
© AFP / William WEST
FILE PHOTO: Anti-lockdown protesters confront police at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne
A top Victoria police officer minced no words when reminding Melbournians that joining this weekend's anti-quarantine rally is unlawful and "selfish." It comes as an alleged leader of the upcoming action was arrested again.

"As I've previously said, as was repeatedly said, it is at the moment unlawful to leave home to engage in protest activity," Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius told the media earlier on Friday - one day ahead of a demonstration against Melbourne's strict Covid-19 lockdown rules.

Hundreds of defiant residents reportedly declared they will attend the 'freedom walk' at the Royal Botanic Gardens' Tan track this Saturday, subscribing to a now-deleted Facebook page.

Comment: The tyrannical actions perpetrated by Australia's authorities, against people even thinking of attending these rallies, doesn't seem to have dissuaded everyone: 'Full-blown fascism': PREGNANT woman handcuffed & charged with inciting anti-lockdown event on Facebook

Comment: What's happening in Australia should be considered a warning:


#CancelNetflix trends after 'Cuties' release, as media critics dismiss outrage at child sexualization as 'right-wing campaign' UPDATE: Netflix doubles down

cuties still image
© Netflix
Still from 'Cuties' Dir. Maïmouna Doucouré (2020).
The debut of 'Cuties' on Netflix has sparked renewed accusations that the streaming giant is sexualizing kids — but the New Yorker seems unbothered, sparking backlash after calling the anger over the movie a "right-wing campaign."

'Cuties,' which debuted on Netflix on Wednesday, previously inspired controversy over a poster featuring pre-pubescent girls posing provocatively. The synopsis accompanying the photo didn't help either, describing an 11-year-old who begins to "explore her femininity" as she tries to join a "twerking dance crew."

Netflix apologized for the "inappropriate artwork" used to promote the French film, but now footage from the movie itself has critics branding it "soft core child pornography" and deeming those behind it criminals.

Comment: The director is either lying or completely deluded. How can she not realize sexual depictions of pre-pubescent girls is not a means of decrying the objectification of women and, more importantly, children? This isn't the first time Netflix has courted controversy as a result of sexualizing children. The company likes to skate the line of what's acceptable (or help to push the Overton window) for the sake of lining their pockets. But in this case, they're so far beyond the line it's hard to believe they're even aware of it.

Netflix breaks silence on 'Cuties' after massive backlash over sexualization of children, defends movie as 'powerful story'
11 Sep, 2020 04:59

Netflix has addressed a wave of condemnation directed at its new release 'Cuties,' defending the film as a "powerful" social commentary while hitting back at irate critics who say the movie sexualizes young girls.

Released on the platform internationally earlier this week, the movie immediately stoked controversy, sending #CancelNetflix into the trends on Twitter as thousands denounced the film for wildly inappropriate depictions of children. After days of silence, Netflix attempted to speak to the criticism on Thursday, urging detractors to give the film a chance.

"Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children," the company said in a statement to Fox News. "It's an award winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up - and we'd encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie."

Though the film has been panned in the harshest terms by critics, it also found a number of defenders among movie connoisseurs in the media, such as the New Yorker's Richard Brody, who deemed the work "extraordinary" and chalked up the negative reaction to a "right-wing campaign."

Other supporters online argued that those up in arms over the movie were missing the point, saying the film explicitly attacks the sexualization of children, though many remained unconvinced.

...Some critics went well beyond the #CancelNetflix proposal, calling on Congress, the FBI and state attorneys general to investigate the platform and the film's creators for potential "violations of child exploitation and child pornography laws."

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