Reader’s Links for February 25, 2021

Each day at just after midnight Eastern, a post like this one is created for contributors and readers of this site to upload news links and video links on the issues that concern this site. Most notably, Islam and its effects on Classical Civilization, and various forms of leftism from Soviet era communism, to postmodernism and all the flavours of galloping statism and totalitarianism such as Nazism and Fascism which are increasingly snuffing out the classical liberalism which created our near, miraculous civilization the West has been building since the time of Socrates.

This document was written around the time this site was created, for those who wish to understand what this site is about. And while our understanding of the world and events has grown since then, the basic ideas remain sound and true to the purpose.

So please post all links, thoughts and ideas that you feel will benefit the readers of this site to the comments under this post each day. And thank you all for your contributions.

This is the new Samizdat. We must use it while we can.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

115 Replies to “Reader’s Links for February 25, 2021”

    • Comrades at Twitter lack sense of humor so will censor this not. Thanks to glorious Soviet history of humor, we have gift to make joke with hide truth .
      Things become worse, we have butterfly meme from Comrades in China : express dissent using photos of nature. Maybe Canadians find new way to fool censor when tell truth. Fiddlesticks and hockey sticks nonsense.


    Just when you run out of “boggles” the lunatic Left pull another woke stool out the sewer of their “minds”. I guess their historical knowledge is as reliable as is their logic.

    Cambridge University Panel: Winston Churchill A “White Supremacist” Leading Empire “Worse Than The Nazis”
    ‘Academics’ label Britain’s past ‘morally poorer than the Third Reich’


    Is the loss of the concept of honesty the integral part of being Left? That and the acceptance of “Any Means too an End”?

    Fact: Science Shows Polar Bears Are Thriving Despite Sea-Ice Loss
    Facebook now an expert on polar bear conservation status? Apparently, they have decreed themselves the last word for online content.
    There is a plan afoot to label anything that says polar bears are not being harmed by recent sea ice declines as ‘disinformation’ – but on whose authority?
    A new section of the Climate Science Information Center, launching alongside the labeling trial, debunks common myths such as the false claim that polar bear populations are not suffering due to global heating, or the widespread belief that excess carbon emissions help plant life.
    Facebook is working with climate communication experts from around the world, including at the University of Cambridge, to produce the content.

    Ah, they’re consulting ‘climate communication experts‘! Those experts surely must be up on all the latest papers and not trusting the word of obviously biased conservations organizations like the WWF or PBI whose real reason for existence is the generation of as much money in donations as possible?


    Just wait until they have Chinese owners of their supply.
    As ye vote so shall ye receive(assuming non existent electoral honesty).

    Texans say energy companies are on a power trip.

    Electric bills in the Lone Star State skyrocketed to as high as $17,000 per month after a historic storm and power outage sparked a high demand for heat, according to reports Friday.

    Dallas-area resident Ty Williams was hit with sticker shock when his monthly bill soared from $600 last month to nearly $17,000 so far this month, according to the local station WFAA.

    “How in the world can anyone pay that? I mean you go from a couple hundred dollars a month…there’s absolutely no way‚ it makes no sense,” Williams, who said he received the bill from the energy firm Griddy.

  4. BREAKING: U.S. Federal Reserve system down; banks unable to make e-transfers

    he Federal Reserve’s system that allows financial institutions to send money back and forth electronically went down Wednesday afternoon.

    The interruption impacted multiple Fed services, including its pivotal automated clearinghouse system, which connects depository and related institutions send electronic credit and debt transfers.

    Along with the Fed ACH service, other systems impacted included the Check 21, FedCash, Fedwire and the national settlement service.

    “The Federal Reserve Bank staff is currently investigating a disruption to multiple services. We will continue to provide updates as soon as they are available,” the Fed said in a statement.


    M This is koranic style indoctrination of children to accept second class status. IMO whoever is behind this deserves death. I worked in Africa and observed their tribal “justice” in action and it was brutal.

    In their new curriculum, the Buffalo Public Schools claim that “all white people” perpetuate systemic racism. The curriculum makes kindergarteners watch a disturbing video of dead black children, warning them about the danger of being killed by “racist police and state-sanctioned violence.” The school district’s diversity czar, who developed this new “antiracism” curriculum, tells teachers they must become “woke” and achieve “critical consciousness,” a Marxist pedagogical concept.

    In a presentation to teachers, diversity czar Fatima Morell claimed that America “is built on racism” and that “America’s sickness” leads some whites to believe that black people are “not human,” which makes it “easier to shoot [them] in the back seven times if you feel like it.” The school district’s mandatory Black Lives Matter curriculum requires schools to commit to “dismantling cisgender privilege,” creating “queer-affirming network[s],” and accelerating “the disruption of Western nuclear family dynamics.”

    Bufffalo’s new lesson plans are racially divisive and inflammatory. In middle school, students are told that “all white people play a part in perpetuating systemic racism” and that “white elites work to perpetuate racism through politics, law, education, and the media.” Whites derive their wealth from slavery and are “unfairly rich,” Buffalo claims.

    In high school, students must begin “confronting whiteness in [their] classrooms,” with teachers asking white students to atone for their “white privilege” and to “use their voices” to eliminate it. Students also are taught the supposed difference between white and African systems of justice: whites created a “retributive,” “merit-based” justice system, with harsh punishments, Buffalo claims; while traditional Africans relied on “restorative” justice focused on healing. (In reality, traditional African justice was often brutal: vast numbers of people in Africa “were enslaved for petty debts or minor criminal or religious offenses,” while countless others were executed).

  6. One of the classical Hollywood scenarios that occurs in many movies(Safe House, Bourne movies etc.) is the heroic protagonist who is hunted by the corrupt bureaucracy(CIA/FBI/MI6/etc) for crimes he did not commit and who obtains the necessary evidence to prove this. He then invokes the Hollywood “Deus ex Machina” by passing it on to the MSM who publish it and he is cleared while the villains all stand trial and go to gaol.
    While hospitalized for no little time the TV had a channel that showed old movies (and kept me sane)and a common theme of many 1940s/ 1950s movies was the intrepid, honest reporter who always saved the day without super powers.
    It is sad to realize that both of the above are now, and probably always were, fantasies as “journos” now are regarded with absolute contempt while NO woke newspaper would ever post/print anything that disproves the current narrative. 1984 has been alive and well for far longer than we thought. Just think! When as the last time an MSM article gaoled members of the government or the bureaucracy? I exclude the conservative witch hunt maintained by the Left.

  7. “A Social Progress Index (SPI) is the extent to which a country is involved in the provision of the socio-environmental needs to its people.”

    “The SPI combines three dimensions namely basic needs, the foundation of well-being, and opportunity.”

    “The SPI defines social progress as the ability of society to cater for the people’s basic needs, create the building blocks which allow its people to improve and maintain the quality of life and create relevant conditions for all citizens to achieve their full potential. The SPI is published by a non-profit Social Progress Imperative which is US based and was formed in 2012. The SPI bases its work on the works of economists Douglass North, Joseph Stiglitz, and Amartya Sen.”

    “I really don’t like indices, particularly those that claim to measure what are termed “social issues”. And they seem to be everywhere”

  8. Live Updates: Situation in Armenia After Military Demands That Prime Minister Resign (sputniknews, Feb 25, 2021)

    Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan Accuses Military of Attempted Coup After Demand to Leave Post (sputniknews, Feb 25, 2021)

    “Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan said that there is an attempted military coup in the country. He has called on supporters to gather in Yerevan, adding that he is preparing a televised address to the nation.

    “I consider the statement of the General Staff an attempt at a military coup. I invite all of our supporters to the Republic Square. I will soon address the nation live,” Pashinyan wrote on Facebook.

    Pashinyan later said he dismissed the Chief of Armenian armed forces’ General Staff after his resignation demands.

    Armenian armed forces earlier demanded the resignation of Pashinyan and his government in a statement on Thursday…”

  9. Swedish Report Reveals Seething Anti-Semitism With Roots in Middle East in Schools (sputniknews, Feb 25, 2021)

    “The Jewish community in Sweden’s third-largest city has dwidled to only 387 members from about 2,500 during its heday in the 1970s amid reports of attacks, hate crimes and everyday anti-Semitism. By contrast, the Middle-Eastern community has grown due to mass immigration.

    A recent report has documented a rise of anti-Semitism in the schools of Malmö, Sweden’s third-largest city. What it considers remarkable is that the hatred of Jewish students mainly comes from their peers from the Middle East.

    The report, called “Schoolyard racism, conspiracy theories and exclusion” based on interviews and questionnaires, noted anti-Semitic attitudes not only from Arab students with links to Palestinian territories, but also pupils with roots in the Middle East in general and even school staff.

    “A couple of the informants also related specific stories about anti-Semitic jargon used by the staff group,” the report’s author Mirjam Katzin, a researcher at Lund University and an elected representative of the Left Party in Malmö, wrote.

    The report indicated a “a widespread tolerance for anti-Semitic expressions”, including the word “Jew” being used to denote a greedy and egoistic person, alongside numerous slurs.

    “A key problem, which recurs in interviews with both school staff and students, is the use of the word ‘Jew’ in derogatory terms and jokes at the expense of Jews or about the Holocaust,” the report said, noting the popularity of swastikas and Adolf Hitler among Arab students.

    Among others, local Jews are being held responsible for Israeli policy in the Israel-Palestine conflict, which reportedly plays a key role in today’s anti-Semitism.

    “The times when it gets extra uneasy in Israel/Palestine, then we notice this too. It affects emotionally, of course, as many have relatives and family and so on in the area and then the conflict stirs up emotions. And they have an extremely difficult time separating Israel and Jews. So a Jew in Malmö is the enemy. All Jews are the great enemy,” one of the teachers interviewed said.

    According to the report, there is an informal list of schools within Malmö’s Jewish community where Jewish students cannot go.
    “Jews stay away from certain schools because they don’t feel safe going there. There is a list of schools that are okay for Jews and those that are not. Actually, all high schools are blacklisted except a few, it’s just like that. You know that this with Israel/Palestine, you will get a lot of s**t for it at other schools, it’s such a shame that it should be like that,” one student said in the report.

    “Anti-Semitism in Malmö is a real problem, with clear victims,” the report concluded.

    At about 330,000 inhabitants, Malmö is often touted as Sweden’s most multicultural city. It is home to dozens of peoples from across the globe, including a burgeoning Middle-Eastern community, with Syria, Lebanon and Iran providing some of the largest diasporas.

    Meanwhile, Malmö’s Jewish diaspora has shrunk dramatically over the past several decades and is facing extinction, the Jewish community warned in a letter to city hall. The Jewish community has dwindled to only 387 members from about 2,500 during its heyday in the 1970s amid reports of attacks, hate crimes and everyday anti-Semitism.”

  10. Men – Not Women – Discriminated Against When Looking for a Job, Swedish Study Finds (sputniknews, Feb 25, 2021)–not-women–discriminated-against-when-looking-for-a-job-swedish-study-finds/

    “A research crew has discovered discrimination against men in fields such as nursing, child care, preschool education and, above all, janitorial work. By contrast, no similar discrimination was observed for female applicants vying for jobs like vehicle mechanic, truck driver, IT developer and warehouse worker, traditionally seen as “manly”.

    A broad study led by researchers at Sweden’s Linköping University has disclosed discrimination in the labour market against men, especially those trying to enter female-dominated professions.

    By contrast, the study revealed no opposite bias against women in male-dominated jobs.

    “We see that there are obstacles for men to enter certain parts of the labour market. In the application process, we see no discrimination against women who want to enter male-dominated professions. But we find considerable discrimination against men in female-dominated professions,” Mark Granberg, a doctoral student in economics at Linköping University, said in a statement.
    The researchers sent out approximately 3,200 fictitious applications to employers around Sweden. For each application, the researchers then noted whether the made-up applicants received an answer and, if so, which.

    During the course of the study, the research crew noted discrimination against men applying to be nurses, childminders, preschool teachers and, above all, janitors. By contrast, no similar discrimination was observed thwarting female applicants seeking to become vehicle mechanics, truck drivers, IT developers or warehouse workers, which have been traditionally seen as “manly” or are dominated by men.

    Overall positive employer response rates were higher for women than men by almost 5 percent points. The gap was largely driven by employer responses in female-dominated occupations. Male applicants proved to be about half as likely as female applicants to receive a positive employer response in female-dominated occupations.

    “Hiring discrimination is one demand-side explanation for very skewed gender ratios in some occupations, which remains a barrier to gender equality,” the study concluded.

    “The fact that men’s applications – not women’s – are sieved out in the application process is interesting. We already know that women are disadvantaged in the labour market in terms of pay and promotion. The follow-up question then becomes, what happens on the road? It would be interesting to look at, but there is nothing our study can clarify,” Mark Granberg mused.
    According to Statistics Sweden, labour force participation rates for women as of 2019 stood at 82.3 percent, slightly lower than that of men at 85.9 percent.

    Previous research attributed part of the existing wage gap to differences in occupation structures. Some occupations such as vehicle mechanic and truck driver are overwhelmingly male, whereas nurses and preschool teachers are overwhelmingly female. Hiring discrimination and resulting gender disparity is often seen as something that hinders more equal wages.

    Experimental studies such as those performed by Linköping University are a common and useful tool to discover discrimination and biases, yet they can capture its very existence and scope only at the very first stage of the application process.”

  11. India, Pakistan Agree to Stop Cross-Border Fire in Kashmir After 2 Record Years of Violations (sputniknews, Feb 25, 2021)

    “The two countries had been accusing each other of a record number of ceasefire violations since the Narendra Modi government revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s temporary special status in August 2019. However, several surprise statements were made from Pakistan’s establishment earlier this month, indicating thaw in bitterness over the Kashmir dispute.

    The Director Generals of Military Operations of India and Pakistan have agreed to completely stop the firing along the border, including the Line of Control, from Thursday. The announcement has been made in a joint statement, which is also a strong indication that no divergence exists over the agreed-upon points between the two armies.

    “Both sides have agreed to the strict observance of all agreements, understandings and cease firing along the Line of Control and all other sectors with effect from midnight 24/25 Feb 2021,” read the joint statement, which was issued after the two armies held discussions over the established mechanism of using a hotline contact on Thursday.
    The two sides reviewed the situation along the Line of Control and all other sectors in “a free, frank and cordial atmosphere”.

    “In the interest of achieving mutually beneficial and sustainable peace along the borders, the two DGsMO agreed to address each other’s core issues and concerns, which have propensity to disturb peace and lead to violence,” the joint statement reads.

    The decision comes after Indian and Pakistani troops traded small arms fire and mortars more than 5,000 times during 2020, the worst year in the two decades since the two nuclear-armed nations had agreed for a ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir (J-K) in 2003.

    India’s Ministry of Home Affairs told the parliament in first week of this month that 5,133 incidents of ceasefire violations were recorded in 2020 in which twenty-two civilians were killed and seventy-one were injured. Pakistan had also accused India of a record number of firings by the Indian forces along the border.

    The decision to strictly abide by the ceasefire agreements comes a day after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said that “better sense will prevail” and the Kashmir issue will be solved through dialogue.

    The dispute over Jammu and Kashmir has been ongoing since 1947. New Delhi claims sovereignty over the entirety of the Jammu and Kashmir region, currently divided by the Line of Control (LoC) between India and Pakistan.

    Both sides have reiterated that existing mechanisms of hotline contact and border flag meetings will be utilised to resolve any unforeseen situation or misunderstandings.”

  12. Fury over ‘woke propaganda’ NHS guidance asking medics to add pronouns to their email signatures like he, she or they to avoid ‘misgendering’ people (dailymail, Feb 25, 2021)

    “The NHS is facing a backlash over ‘woke propaganda’ messages urging people to be more aware of ‘misgendering’ and add pronouns to their email signatures.

    NHS Health Education England tweeted a message to mark LGBT month, telling followers it would be ‘focusing on misgendering, which is one of the most common unintentional blunders made by cisgender people.’

    It encouraged people to, ‘add your pronouns to your email signature, which provides clarity and encourages others to do the same.’

    But the move has sparked anger among social media users, who said the NHS ‘was not a lobby group for an ideology.’…”

  13. Orban: EU’s Permissive Stance on Migration Has ‘Turned the Mediterranean Into a Cemetery’ (breibart, Feb 25, 2021)

    “Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has defended his strong stance against mass migration, saying the European Union’s relaxed attitude towards illegal border crossings “has turned the Mediterranean into a cemetery”.

    The national conservative leader offered his characteristically robust take on EU immigration policy in an interview with the German news outlet FOCUS, a translation of which has been seen by Breitbart London.

    “The main point of conflict between you and the EU is immigration. Why are you so opposed to the distribution of immigrants among EU member-states?” asked his interviewer, in reference to the EU policy of compulsory quotas for migrant redistribution which several conservative-leaning countries led by Hungary have been resisting.

    “Because it’s based on a wrong-headed concept,” Orbán explained.

    “We must take help to where the problems are, not bring those problems to Europe. The EU is creating illusions in the minds of people living in poorer countries. This is why we established the ‘Hungary Helps’ programme,” he said, referencing the Hungarian aid programme which helps Middle Eastern Christians, in particular, to rebuild their lives and communities in their historic homes.

    “[Migrants] want a European life and they believe that here they’ll be welcomed with open arms, but in fact they’ll end up in the hands of people-smugglers. Europe’s wrong-headed policies have generated a pull factor that has turned the Mediterranean into a cemetery,” he said.

    Indeed, the EU Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex, has previously admitted that EU- and NGO-backed “rescue” missions in the Mediterranean Sea have “strengthened the business model” of people-smugglers by making crossings more viable, leading to more attempts to reach Europe and more drownings…”

  14. Slovenia Rescues 13 Migrants From Suffocating in People Smuggler’s Truck (breitbart, Feb 25, 2021)

    “Police in Slovenia have discovered 13 migrants from Iraq, including two children, who were hidden in a cargo truck, suffering from dehydration and a lack of oxygen.
    Some of the migrants needed medical attention after they were found on Tuesday during a routine check at the border with Croatia, police in Novo Mesto said Wednesday.

    The group had traveled for several hours from Bosnia and through Croatia, crammed in an airless, secret compartment inside a truck bearing Bosnian license plates, the police statement said.

    The migrants were dehydrated and scared and some were already losing consciousness. They were given first aid on the spot while two people had to be taken to a nearby hospital.

    The incident highlights dangers migrants face while trying to reach Western Europe, often with the help of ruthless smugglers. Thousands of people fleeing war and poverty in their countries have been stuck in Bosnia and the rest of the Balkans while seeking to move west.

    The Slovenian police statement said the children in the truck were 11 and 6 years old. Police have detained the Bosnian truck driver and another person who was also in the truck.”

  15. Attacks On French Police Officers Have Doubled in 20 Years (breitbart, Feb 25, 2021)

    “Attacks on French police officers have more than doubled in 20 years, with an average of 85 incidents against public authority officials recorded every day.

    The statistical services of the French Ministry of the Interior have recorded a 2.3-times increase in the number of attacks in the last twenty years and Interior Minister Gerald Darmamin stated that the development should not be “trivialised.”

    Jean-François Papineau, a 37-year police veteran and head of public security in Northern France, noted how much more violent the attacks have become saying, “it is no longer hostility but a call to murder.” French newspaper Le Monde reports.

    According to the report, the French regions with the highest levels of assaults on officers are Paris, the notorious Parisian no-go-zone suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis, and finally, the densely populated judicial area département du Nord that contains the city of Lille, on the Belgian border.

    Police boss Papineau commented on an incident earlier this month in Villeneuve-d’Ascq in which a police officer in his region had been attacked by a gang of minors and required twelve stitches to his face as a result of the attack.

    “This is a fundamental trend, which involves an active minority attacking the symbol of authority through police officers, who embody the permanent link between the state and the population. We are no longer just in a territorial challenge to the control of drug trafficking, but in questioning the very role of the institutions,” he said.

    The estimates of 85 incidents per day on average may actually be an underestimate according to Le Monde, which states that many lesser attacks which do not result in injuries to officers are not reported at all.

    Lawyer Virgile Reynaud, who specialises in defending police officers, said that other police may not report the incidents in fear of being taken off active duty.

    “These officers see their mission as to be on the street, in contact with offenders, and they want to stay there. On the other hand, they also want justice to punish their attackers,” Reynaud said.

    As anti-police violence continues in France, some have called on the government to create a new department within the riot police, the Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité (CRS), to specifically handle incidents of urban violence.

    Others, such as police in Nantes, have decried the light punishments for those who attack police, particularly far-left Antifa black bloc militants who target officers at protests.”

  16. USA – FEB 24 2021 – White House Press Briefing

    Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki, Deputy Director of the National Economic Council Sameera Fazili, and Senior Director for International Economics and Competitiveness Peter Harrell

    go to =======> 4 min 35

    • Israel in Talks to Establish Four-Nation Defense Alliance With Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Bahrain

      Jerusalem is currently in talks with the kingdoms of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates on establishing a four-nation defense alliance, according to an exclusive i24 News report.

      While Jerusalem does not have official diplomatic relations with Riyadh, foreign media report that the two countries have long-standing clandestine ties.

      However, the UAE and Bahrain signed a historic normalization deal with Israel in September 2020 known as the Abraham Accords.

      The reported defense alliance talks likely come in response to the “growing Iranian threat” in the region, specifically regarding its budding nuclear program along with its expanding influence in the Middle East with countries like Syria and Iraq.

      News of the reported talks comes as the Biden administration sends signals to Tehran and world powers that it is ready to rejoin the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, brokered by former President Barack Obama, which Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vehemently opposed at the time.

  17. Germany: Maas calls for readiness to respond to POSSIBLE FUTURE PANDEMICS with ‘one health’ approach

    German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called for a ‘one health’ approach to respond to possible future pandemics, on the sidelines of the Alliance for Multilateralism virtual meeting, Berlin, Wednesday.

    He stressed that “in the future, we will need to see how to learn from the pandemic and how to be better prepared for what is possible to come someday. We must arm ourselves against the risks that might emerge from the interaction between people, animals, and the environment. We are therefore encouraging that scientists and international organisations increasingly work along on a ‘one health’ approach.”

    The approach means a collaborative and global implementation of programmes locally and internationally to attain optimal health for all.

    He also touched upon an Iranian nuclear deal, saying, that he encourages to resort to a diplomatic offer being ‘on the table,’ and encouraged partners to ‘broaden the dialogue’ on the topic.

    SOT, Heiko Maas, German Foreign Minister (German): “We’re all aware that we need to vaccinate quickly worldwide to overcome the crisis together and solidary. Many countries have developed alongside the World Economic Outlook (WEO) a platform for a fair worldwide access to vaccines and pharmaceuticals. This is followed by the good news that today the first 600,000 vaccine doses from the COVAX platform will reach Ghana in West Africa. With this, we are opening a new chapter in the fight against pandemics.”

    SOT, Heiko Maas, German Foreign Minister (German): “In the future, we will need to see how to learn from the pandemic and how to be better prepared for what is possible to come someday. We must arm ourselves against the risks that might emerge from the interaction between people, animals and the environment. We are therefore encouraging that scientists and international organisations increasingly work along on a ‘one health’ approach.”

    SOT, Heiko Maas, German Foreign Minister (German): “Pandemic times also show how important the free press and the faithful representation are for educating people. Fake news can cost lives, hate speech on the internet can kill and we want to fight together against the disinformation and solidify the maintenance of the many-voiced press. The fact that human rights are to be protected also in the digital space concerns us not only as users but in the first place when it comes to the work of the journalists. It is clear, human rights need to be validated offline as well as online and users are no beings without rights, unrelated from what technologies are being used.”

    SOT, Heiko Maas, German Foreign Minister (German): “This is the first meeting of the alliance since the inauguration of the US President Biden. And for the multilateral system is the change in Washington more than just a welcome reinforcement. This is especially true today, as the US have announced to take again an active roll in the UN human rights council and we’re all welcoming this step from the bottom of our hearts.”

    SOT, Heiko Maas, German Foreign Minister (German): “Iran needs to understand that it reached the escalation and that it should take the diplomatic offer that is on the table, also from the side of the US. That is why we’ll further support the director-general and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in all the efforts to adhere step by step to transparency obligation. In the following three months, it won’t be possible to the extent as it was agreed upon. Still, we would like to use these three months together with other partners of the nuclear deal to broaden the dialogue on this topic.”

  18. Bosnian court sentences former IS fighter to 6 years in jail (abcnews, Feb 25, 2021)

    “A Bosnian court on Thursday sentenced a man to six years in prison on charges that he fought for the Islamic State group in Syria.

    Jasmin Keserovic, a Bosniak who has spent nearly seven years in Syria, was also charged with inciting others to take part in terrorist activities.

    Bosniaks are one of the three main ethnicities living in the Balkan state. The others are Bosnian Serbs and Bosnian Croats. Bosniaks are primarily Muslims.

    Judges said that by publicly calling on Muslims to kill Christian soldiers and civilians alike, the defendant “demonstrated specific ruthlessness.”

    Hudges rejected defense claims that Keserovic was in Syria for charity work to help the local population amid the war.

    He was part of a group of seven Bosniak men flown back to Bosnia from Syria on a U.S. Air Force flight in December 2019 along with 18 women and children.

    In 2014, Bosnia became the first country in Europe to introduce prison terms for its citizens who fought abroad. Fighters who have since returned to the country were tried and, in most cases, sentenced to prison.”

  19. Germany: “We need to learn together how to live with this virus” – Health Min Spahn

    German Health Minister Jens Spahn assessed the situation with the spread of the coronavirus in the country, in Berlin on Wednesday.

    “Corona doesn’t give up easily, the virus doesn’t give up easily, but day after day we have more means, more possibilities to handle it and to earn back a piece of normality and tests play an important role for that,” he said.

    Spahn also added that “the idea is to find the right balance, where health protection has more weight than other aspects, but not utterly. And that’s why an incidence of zero is, in my opinion, not reachable without closing down the country. We need to learn together how to live with this virus.”

    Germany has registered 2,405,263 cases of the coronavirus with 68,785 deaths related to the disease, according to data complied by Johns Hopkins University.

    SOT, Jens Spahn, Minister of Health (German): “An incidence of zero can’t be reached long-term unless we build a wall around this country. And that isn’t our politics and our approach anyway. We are a country in the middle of a continent. I, personally, come from a region bordering the Netherlands, with an active cross-border exchange. We are a country, which is looking for a balance between the best possible infection-protection but also life, freedom and normality as far as possible. If everyone should just be locked up at home, then we would perhaps reach the zero incidence, and then nothing else happens, that is correct. But that is also not life.”

    SOT, Jens Spahn, Minister of Health (German): “This is why the idea is to find the right balance, where health protection has more weight than other aspects, but not utterly. And that’s why an incidence of zero is, in my opinion, not reachable without closing down the country. We need to learn together how to live with this virus.”

    SOT, Jens Spahn, Minister of Health (German): “We have now clearly more tests available, rapid tests, such as the last tests approved starting today – the self-tests. Considerably more available than for the last two or three months. And that gives us a chance to use this and cope with this phase of the pandemic with more security.”

    SOT, Jens Spahn, Minister of Health (German): “That’s the perspective. I would like to point out that, of course, they won’t be immediately available everywhere starting this afternoon, right after the first three tests have been approved. But I am confident that we will see further approvals, our authorities have been examining the documents. I’m very confident that day after day, week after week, we will have significantly more tests available since those are products that can be easier scalable than the vaccines, which is why we will have considerably more tests available.”

    SOT, Jens Spahn, Minister of Health (German): “Corona doesn’t give up easily, the virus doesn’t give up easily, but day after day we have more means, more possibilities to tackle it and to win back a piece of normality and tests play an important role in that.”

  20. German police raid suspected Islamic extremists in Berlin (abcnews, Feb 25, 2021)

    “Hundreds of German police officers conducted coordinated raids early Thursday in Berlin and the surrounding state of Brandenburg in the investigation of an organization banned over allegations of Islamic extremism.

    Some 850 police, including SWAT teams, were involved in the raids of apartments linked to members of the organization known as Jama’atu Berlin, the state Interior Ministry said.

    The organization, whose name translates literally as the “Berlin Group,” was banned by Berlin’s state Interior Minister Andreas Geisel ahead of the raids on the grounds it was a “very radical” group that followed the Islamic State group’s ideology.

    “The ban is another clear signal to all religious extremists,” Geisel said. “We will fight the roots of terror. We will tolerate no place where terror is preached and the so-called Islamic State is glorified.”

    Authorities said the organization espoused an anti-Semitic ideology and advocated “armed jihad and terrorist attacks on civilians.” The raids were meant to secure its assets and look for evidence, authorities said, and no arrests were announced.

    The organization consisted of two groups — one of women and one of men — who would meet regularly in private homes and parks, and spread their ideology over the internet and with flyers in public spaces, authorities said.”

    • Germany: Police search apartments of alleged Islamist extremists in Berlin

      Police raided the apartments of alleged supporters of an Islamist extremist group in Berlin on Thursday.

      ”Since today in the morning, 06:00, the Berlin police is on duty, in places such as Reinickendorf and Neukolln, it is regarding a banned group,” said Martin Strahlo from the Berlin police.

      “The investigations are targeted towards two groups, that can be classified under the Islamist scene,” he added.

      Strahlo said that around 800 Berlin police members have been deployed and that the operation is supported by federal police forces. He also noted that ”in such operations, due to the special circumstances, special forces of the state criminal investigation office are also called in.”

      The spokesperson added that investigations were also underway in Hamburg and said the press conference of the interior senator would provide more details.

      SOT, Martin Strahlo, Berlin police spokesperson (German): ”Since today in the morning, at 06:00, the Berlin police is on duty, in places such as Reinickendorf and Neukolln, it is regarding a banned group. There is an official request for assistance from the interior ministry. The search is about finding evidence to get reassurance. The investigations are targeted towards two groups, that can be classified under the Islamist scene.”

      SOT, Martin Strahlo, Berlin police spokesperson (German): ”The Berlin police is on duty with around 800 colleagues and is supported by the federal police. There are also investigations happening in Hamburg.”

      SOT, Martin Strahlo, Berlin police spokesperson (German): ”In such operations, due to the special circumstances, special forces of the state criminal investigation office are also called in.”

      SOT, Martin Strahlo, Berlin police spokesperson (German): ”I would like to direct (you) to the press conference of the interior senator, there will be more details provided.”

  21. Zoom era sees pandemic increase in US plastic surgeries

    US plastic surgeons have registered a significant increase of people seeking cosmetic surgery, as virtual meetings and lockdown life have become the new normal for many due to Covid-19.

    DC resident Hudson Young was displeased with the appearance of his face on Zoom calls, and had a face and neck lift as well as an eyelid surgery to improve his looks.

    Being able to work from home led Ana Caceres to opt for a breast reconstruction and lift and schedule an arms liposuction, while recovering from her procedures at her parents’ house in Maryland.

    Her plastic surgeon Dr. Catherine Hannan, whose clientele almost doubled during the pandemic, notices that overall “patients have more frown lines, because they’ve been so stressed for the last year.”

  22. CBC – The Dissident documentary sheds light on Saudi Arabia’s dark tactics

    A new documentary, The Dissident, aims to shed light on Saudi Arabia’s role in murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the danger some of his allies, including those in Canada, still face.

    Khashoggi’s fiance, Hatice Cengiz, talks to Adrienne Arsenault about her frustration over the lack of accountability for his death.

  23. CBC – COVID-19 vaccines don’t mean quick return to normal, experts say

    Canadians still need to err on the side of caution and keep their guard up awhile longer, whether vaccinated against COVID-19 or not, to protect those around them, experts say.

  24. SKY News – Far-right extremism: Is there a solution?

    Caleb Cain knows too well what it’s like in the world of far-right media.

    He was in that world himself – consuming messages of white supremacy.

    But now he’s chosen to step away – and to document and research the people who make up the far-right and find out why they have gained such a foothold in America.

  25. (Richard: I don’t know anything about this channel except the woman is sticking to the facts.)

    China’s Secret Camps | Philippines, Australia, Canada, USA, etc.

  26. the guardian – Why is the Gates foundation investing in GM giant Monsanto?

    The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s investments in Monsanto and Cargill have come under heavy criticism. Is it time for the foundation to come clean on its visions for agriculture in developing countries?

    The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is sponsoring the Guardian’s Global development site is being heavily criticised in Africa and the US for getting into bed not just with notorious GM company Monsanto, but also with agribusiness commodity giant Cargill.

    Trouble began when a US financial website published the foundation’s annual investment portfolio, which showed it had bought 500,000 Monsanto shares worth around $23m. This was a substantial increase in the last six months and while it is just small change for Bill and Melinda, it has been enough to let loose their fiercest critics.

    Seattle-based Agra Watch – a project of the Community Alliance for Global Justice – was outraged. “Monsanto has a history of blatant disregard for the interests and well being of small farmers around the world… [This] casts serious doubt on the foundation’s heavy funding of agricultural development in Africa,” it thundered.

    But it got worse. South Africa-based watchdog the African Centre for Biosafety then found that the foundation was teaming up with Cargill in a $10m project to “develop the soya value chain” in Mozambique and elsewhere. Who knows what this corporate-speak really means, but in all probability it heralds the big time introduction of GM soya in southern Africa.

    The two incidents raise a host of questions for the foundation. Few people doubt that GM has a place in Africa, but is Gates being hopelessly naïve by backing two of the world’s most aggressive agri-giants? There is, after all, genuine concern at governmental and community level that the United State’s model of extensive hi-tech farming is inappropriate for most of Africa and should not be foist on the poorest farmers in the name of “feeding the world”.

    The fact is that Cargill is a faceless agri-giant that controls most of the world’s food commodities and Monsanto has been blundering around poor Asian countries for a decade giving itself and the US a lousy name for corporate bullying. Does Gates know it is in danger of being caught up in their reputations, or does the foundation actually share their corporate vision of farming and intend to work with them more in future?

    The foundation has never been upfront about its vision for agriculture in the world’s poorest countries, nor the role of controversial technologies like GM. But perhaps it could start the debate here?

    In the meantime, it could tell us how many of its senior agricultural staff used to work for Monsanto or Cargill?


    4 Coronavirus Vaccine Stocks the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Is Betting On

    No one has to tell Bill Gates to put his money where his mouth is. The billionaire Microsoft cofounder and his wife Melinda have been vocal proponents of fighting infectious diseases for decades. They’ve donated over $45 billion to charitable organizations since 1994, with much of that amount going to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

    The Gates Foundation has been instrumental this year in funding coronavirus vaccine programs. But the foundation hasn’t just handed money over to drugmakers; it’s also invested in a few of them. Here are four coronavirus vaccine stocks that the Gates Foundation is betting on.

    Bill Gates recently stated that he views Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) as the leader in the coronavirus vaccine race. In a CNBC interview, he said, “The only vaccine that, if everything went perfectly, might seek the emergency use license by the end of October, would be Pfizer.”

    The Gates Foundation also owns shares of the big drugmaker. However, this investment wasn’t initiated because of Pfizer’s coronavirus program. Actually, the foundation first bought a stake in Pfizer back in 2002 with the stated intention of “expand[ing] access to the pharmaceutical company’s all-in-one injectable contraceptive, Sayana Press, giving women in the developing world an affordable option.”

    Gates is probably correct in assessing Pfizer as the coronavirus vaccine leader. The company expects to report initial results next month from a late-stage study of BNT162b2, the COVID-19 vaccine candidate that it’s developing with BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX). If all goes well, BNT162b2 could very well become the first coronavirus vaccine available to Americans.

    It’s not surprising that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation also owns shares of BioNTech. Again, though, the nonprofit foundation didn’t invest in the German biotech stock because of its coronavirus program.

    The Gates Foundation first bought a position in BioNTech in September 2019, well before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. It invested $55 million in the biotech, with the potential for total funding to reach $100 million. The foundation’s goal with this investment was to work with BioNTech to develop vaccines and immunotherapies for preventing HIV and tuberculosis (TB) infection.

    BioNTech began developing its BNT162 COVID-19 vaccine program earlier this year. It had already made significant progress with this program when it announced a partnership with Pfizer in March.

    BioNTech wasn’t the first German biotech to attract the attention of the Gates Foundation. In 2015, the foundation committed to investing $52 million in CureVac (NASDAQ:CVAC). In addition, the Gates Foundation agreed to provide separate funding for several projects to develop vaccines based on CureVac’s messenger RNA (mRNA) platform.

    CureVac listed its shares on the Nasdaq stock exchange in August 2020. The company is currently evaluating its mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in early stage clinical studies.

    Vir Biotechnology
    The Gates Foundation was one of the lead investors in Vir Biotechnology (NASDAQ:VIR) at the biotech’s launch in late 2016 and early 2017. The foundation’s goal with its position in Vir was to “support the development of affordable and accessible HIV and TB prophylactic vaccine programs, and support the development of a new partner in the infectious disease space.”

    Vir’s pipeline now includes several coronavirus-focused programs. The company recently began a phase 2/3 clinical study with its partner, GlaxoSmithKline, evaluating an antibody therapy targeting COVID-19. Vir expects to initiate a phase 2 study of another COVID-19 antibody therapy, VIR-7832, later this year. VIR-7832 could potentially be used to treat COVID-19 and as a vaccine to prevent infection. In addition, the biotech is conducting preclinical studies of an inhaled therapy targeting COVID-19.

    Best bets?
    All four of these coronavirus vaccine stocks owned by the Gates Foundation could be winners over the long term. However, my view is that the best bets for investors among the group are Pfizer and BioNTech. The two companies are farther along in clinical testing with their coronavirus vaccine program than CureVac and Vir.

    For investors who are more risk-averse, Pfizer is the best pick. Though a COVID-19 vaccine could certainly boost Pfizer’s fortunes, the big drugmaker’s future success doesn’t depend on it.

  27. the baltimore sun – What do we ethically owe those who refuse the COVID-19 vaccine? | COMMENTARY

    As an emergency room physician, I was fortunate to receive my first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine within days of its approval. And for this I am grateful. But as long as vaccines remain in short supply, I feel an obligation to continue to engage in measures to protect those who stand further down the immunization line: masking in public, social distancing, not hosting large indoor gatherings. But sooner or later — by the autumn, if we are fortunate — enough free vaccine will be available for any Americans willing to roll up their sleeves. That raises a question that many in the vaccine line are beginning to ask themselves: What ethical duties will we have, if any, to those who refuse to be vaccinated?

    This dilemma stems from an increasingly likely scenario. Evidence suggests that both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines will largely eliminate the risk of life-threatening illness among recipients and that those few who do become ill will suffer mild symptoms. At the same time, while the vaccines may reduce transmission — the verdict is still out — they will not lead to so-called “sterilizing immunity”; in other words, even those who are vaccinated may be able to spread lethal disease to those who are not. If, as Dr. Anthony Fauci recently predicted, 70% to 90% of Americans will have to be immune for herd immunity to take effect, COVID-19 may remain a threat to the unvaccinated for years. Meanwhile, vaccinated Americans will want to get back to the business of congregating in groups, hosting long-delayed weddings and journeying gratuitously for leisure.

    We will once again face a choice, individually and collectively, between saving lives and preserving freedoms. Only, for many, the tables will be turned. Individuals who reject public health measures, including vaccines, in the name of liberty will soon face an ongoing risk of fatal disease as those who are vaccinated assert their own rights to gather and travel. The only difference is that, unlike with masks or social distancing, the unvaccinated will be able to protect themselves fully with a shot that is both safe and free.
    In fact, the willfully unvaccinated may continue to threaten the health of the vaccinated by requiring hospital space for COVID-19 care, as well as health care resources that might be spent otherwise, such as upon developing cures for cancer.
    Of course, some Americans may have more understandable reasons for doubting vaccination than others. African-Americans, for instance, may be hesitant to trust a public health community that so recently treated them as guinea pigs. Fortunately, by the time the vaccine is fully available, tens of millions of Americans will likely have been vaccinated safely. Waiting for additional evidence of efficacy, as recently suggested by singer Dionne Warwick, may not be ideal, but doing so is far different from outright refusal.

    A more complicated challenge are those rare individuals who, for underlying medical reasons, might not be able to tolerate vaccination through no fault of their own. Society has a duty to accommodate these individuals in some way — but not by imposing drastic restrictions on others until herd immunity is achieved. By analogy, airlines often ban peanuts on flights to protect passengers with severe peanut allergies, but nobody has suggested that peanuts be removed from store shelves. How to protect these “unvaccinatables,” to the degree they exist, will prove a quandary, and might justify widespread compulsory vaccination. Travel abroad may also raise concerns about our duties in nations where free vaccines are not fully available.

    Some asks are easy — for example: Wear a mask. Even those who are vaccinated may be willing to do so indefinitely. In contrast, once vaccines are fully available, those who accept them are likely going to refuse to postpone their family celebrations or curtail their business endeavors any further. The past 10 months have displayed how difficult it is to generate solidarity in a country divided not only by politics, but by values, science and facts.
    In another 10 months, many vaccinated Americans may have a clear answer to what they owe the unvaccinated: absolutely nothing at all.


    Jacob M. Appel ([email protected]) is director of Ethics Education in Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He is the author of “Who Says You’re Dead?” a collection of ethical conundrums

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