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Wed, 19 Feb 2020
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Commercial pig farm in China said it jammed drone signal to combat swine fever blackmailers

Pig farm
© Abdelrahman Younis / Reuters
One of China's biggest animal feed producers said it had used a radio transmitter to combat crooks using drones to drop pork products contaminated with African swine fever on its pig farms, as part of a racket to profit from the health scare.

In July, China's agriculture ministry said criminal gangs were faking outbreaks of swine fever on farms and forcing farmers to sell their healthy pigs at sharply lower prices.

And on Thursday, a state-backed news website, The Paper, reported that a pig farming unit of Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group Co Ltd had run foul of the regional aviation authority, as its transmitter had disrupted the GPS signal in the area.

Comment: Maybe more of an excuse to crack down on civilian access to drones?


Dr. Liu Zhiming, hospital director in Wuhan, succumbs to coronavirus

Dr. Liu Zhiming wuhan coronavirus

Dr. Liu Zhiming, director of Wuchang Hospital in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
The head of the Chinese hospital at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak has become one of the latest victims — dying Tuesday despite "all-out" attempts to save him, officials confirmed.

As director of Wuchang Hospital, Dr. Liu Zhiming led the fight to try to contain COVID-19, dedicating the hospital to treating the thousands of patients arriving every day. It ultimately cost him his life, with Wuhan's health bureau confirming that he died at 10:54 a.m. Tuesday. He was 51.

Announcing his death, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said Liu had taken part in the battle against the virus from the start and had made "important contributions in the work of fighting and controlling" the virus.

Comment: Dr. Zhiming's death is a tragedy, as it was due to his dedication to his patients to the point of exhaustion. It is sad that he will not see this outbreak diminish as the COVID-19 virus burns out. His patients will remember him with gratitude.


Russia experiences a 20.5% jump in tourism, e-visa liberalization planned for 2021

Russian street
© Sputnik / Valery Melnikov
It may be the world's largest country and bursting with visitor attractions, but Russia has long punched below its weight in the tourism sector. Now, signs suggest this is beginning to change.

In 2019, 5.1 million people came to the country as tourists - a 20.5 percent increase on the previous year, during which the FIFA World Cup was staged in 11 Russian cities. That's according to brand-new figures released by the Association of Tour Operators of Russia.

At the top of the leaderboard for visitors is China. In 2019, 1.5 million Chinese crossed the border for the purposes of tourism, a rise of almost 19 percent. The vast majority of Chinese citizens visited through the visa-free scheme, which makes it easier for tourist groups to travel.

Of course, these figures may drop in 2020, following the outbreak of the new coronavirus.

Overall, the top five countries sending tourists to Russia have not changed: Germany, South Korea, the USA and Israel making up the rest of the quintet, with the most significant growth coming from France, at 32.4 percent.Tourism from all areas of the globe increased in 2019, with the exception of Latin America. This is probably due to inflated 2018 numbers as the World Cup attracted so many football fans from this region.


Teen accused of killing mother, brother arrested in North Carolina

Fauquier County house
© Moriah Balingit/The Washington Post
The Fauquier County house where 17-year-old Levi Norwood is accused of killing his mother and 6-year-old brother and then shooting and wounding his father.
The Virginia teen was allegedly trying to steal hair dye, a change of clothes and a backpack from a store in Durham, N.C., when police arrested him Saturday evening.

But Levi H. Norwood, a 17-year-old high school junior, is accused of a far more disturbing crime than shoplifting. He has been charged with two counts of murder in the shooting deaths of his mother, Jennifer L. Norwood, 34, and his brother Wyatt Norwood, 6.

At a news conference Sunday, Fauquier County Sheriff Robert P. Mosier said investigators have yet to recover any guns used.

The victims were discovered by Levi Norwood's father, Joshua H. Norwood, when he arrived home Friday evening shortly after 6 p.m. Some time after that, authorities said, Levi Norwood shot and injured his father, who ran outside and phoned 911.

Joshua Norwood was later hospitalized and in stable condition as of Saturday, though Mosier would not give an update on his status Sunday. Mosier also declined to discuss possible motives for the shooting, though he noted there were no previous reports of 911 calls made from the Norwoods' home while the family lived there.

Arrow Down

Carnage as brawl erupts at England youth boxing championships

boxing brawl
© Twitter @wayBsmith
There were terrifying scenes as a man with blood gushing from his head was seen wielding an axe at a junior boxing event in England this weekend as mass violence broke out among the crowd.

Four people were hospitalized following the clashes at the England Boxing National Youth Championships, during which chairs were launched and one man was seen setting off a fire extinguisher before hurling it.

A trail of destruction was also seen outside the Sports Connexion venue in Coventry, where police were called to the scene before the event was called off.

There are reports that the violence - which was described by local police as "terrifying" - was sparked by rival families in attendance.

Comment: See also: Mass brawl and stabbing at London's Euston tube station


Gangster-climate ally? Greta gets flamed for posing with crime-glamorizing rapper

rapper 1.cuz
© Instagram / @1.cuz
Rapper 1.Cuz and climate activist Greta Thunberg
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has exposed herself to intense internet mockery after posing with a controversial Swedish rapper who purportedly spent several years in prison.

The musical artist, 1.Cuz, performed at Thunberg's recent "Fridays for Future" rally in central Stockholm. Known for always wearing a mask and keeping his real identity a secret, 1.Cuz raps about crime, drugs and his hatred of the cops.

In a recent interview with Swedish media, the rapper reportedly revealed that he had served two years in prison for a "serious" crime - but did not go into specifics. According to local media reports, the rapper was invited to perform at the rally in the hope of bolstering attendance.

Comment: Being an extremist herself, it is not all that strange for her to befriend questionable characters. See also:


John Pilger: Julian Assange must be freed, not betrayed

Assange stencil wall art
On Saturday, there will be a march from Australia House in London to Parliament Square, the centre of British democracy. People will carry pictures of the Australian publisher and journalist Julian Assange who, on 24 February, faces a court that will decide whether or not he is to be extradited to the United States and a living death.

I know Australia House well. As an Australian myself, I used to go there in my early days in London to read the newspapers from home. Opened by King George V over a century ago, its vastness of marble and stone, chandeliers and solemn portraits, imported from Australia when Australian soldiers were dying in the slaughter of the First World War, have ensured its landmark as an imperial pile of monumental servility.

As one of the oldest "diplomatic missions" in the United Kingdom, this relic of empire provides a pleasurable sinecure for Antipodean politicians: a "mate" rewarded or a troublemaker exiled.

Comment: See also:


Gunman kills one at Thai shopping mall, follows horrific mass shooting 10 days ago

Thai shopping mall
© Global Look Press
The shooting comes in the wake of a mass killing at a Thai shopping mall, file photo.
A gunman has opened fire in a Bangkok shopping mall, killing at least one person and injuring another on Tuesday afternoon. The incident comes just 10 days after a Thai soldier went on a shooting rampage that left 30 dead.

The shooting reportedly took place outside a beauty clinic inside Century Movie Plaza, close to the city's Victory Monument.

The deceased victim is believed to be an employee of the clinic. Police have yet to identify the suspect and it is unclear whether they have been detained or not.

Comment: On 8th February: 'He went mad': Soldier livestreams his rampage through shopping mall in Thailand, killing 30, injuring 58

These seemingly random and violent attacks appear to be occurring everywhere with an increasing frequency. Here's a selection of some that have happened in just the last few months:


The internet has an addiction to hate: The hounding of Jordan Peterson

Jordan Peterson Australia

The doctor is in vogue: Jordan Peterson ponders his primordial self in Sydney in 2019.
If you have ever visited the internet, you likely noticed it is rife with hyperbole and lacking in nuance. All jokes are to be taken literally, and responded to with long, academic-sounding threads that explain why the joke, in fact, amounts to violence. Everyone we don't like is a fascist. Those who disagree with our ideologies are murderers, and political differences are cause for excommunication. The response to foibles or disagreements is a days-long hounding of the guilty party, leading them to get down on their knees and beg for forgiveness or simply disappear. The best way to make the world a better place, according to social media, is by destroying someone else.

I have been told to kill myself, drink bleach, and die in a fire more times than I can count. False sentimentality is common currency on social media. Charity and empathy are rare. But while many are critical of such behavior when directed our way, the tables turn when the target is not One Of Us, but One of Them.

Last week, it was reported that Jordan Peterson, who has been struggling with addiction issues and other health problems, was suicidal, had been near death, and sought treatment in Russia.

Comment: Well said.

See also:

Arrow Up

Ohio conservatives announce bill banning medical treatment for transitioning transgender kids

ohio house
© Jo Ingles / Ohio Public Radio
Backers of the bill that would block doctors from prescribing drugs or performing surgery to change the gender of a child, Rep Ron Hood (R-Ashville), Rep Bill Dean (R-Xenia), Aaron Baer, President of Citizens for Community Values.
A new bill in the Ohio House would prevent doctors from prescribing drugs to delay puberty or perform surgery to change a child's gender. The bill is similar to ones proposed in at least eight other states.

The bill, which is still being drafted, is sponsored by state Reps. Bill Dean (R-Xenia) and Ron Hood (R-Ashville).

A group of parents spoke at the Ohio Statehouse this week in favor of the legislation. Maria — who doesn't want to use her full name — says doctors told her that her child was transgender. She says she believes medical professionals are experimenting with drugs and surgery on children like hers and forcing their parents into silence.

Comment: All of these individuals in all of these pro-trans groups should be held liable for every single kid out there who transitions at their insistence and ends up regretting their decision. We'll see how enthusiastic these people are about butchering children when the chickens come home to roost.

See also: