India affected by Corona

Whilst China, which had last week been reporting almost no new cases, now sees people coming from Europe bringing in the disease again, the best they can do is barring most foreigners from coming into the country.

Having a huge amount of people who often travel by overfull trains, we can only fear that a greater disaster than China and Europe shall hit India. At least there the government is not shutting their eyes like Donald Trump and certain governors do in the U.S.A..

In India, the massive feeding program aims to reach some 800 million people affected by the lockdown. In that country, millions have suddenly lost their jobs because of the pandemic. It is estimated that more than 750 million people in the country survive on their daily wages — buy their food each day with what they earned that same day. A government feeding program is the only way they’ll be able to survive.

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Preceding

In denial, Donald Trump continues to insist that nothing serious is at hand and everything is in control

President Trump shall have to recognise that Immigrant Workers Are Vital to the U.S.A.

Making deeper cuts than some terrorist attacks of the near past

The unseen enemy

++

Additional reading

  1. Using fears of the deadly coronavirus
  2. Europe in Chaos for a Pandemic
  3. CoViD-19 warnings
  4. Anxiety Management During Pandemic Days~
  5. Hope on the Horizon: Pandemic Anxiety Management II~
  6. Pandemic Anxiety Busters~
Posted in Crisis, News and Politics, Welfare and Health, World | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

In denial, Donald Trump continues to insist that nothing serious is at hand and everything is in control

Americans are increasingly worried they or a loved one will be infected with coronavirus, whilst their President says nobody should fear.

Donald Trump in his habitual way keeps continuing to insist that his country is the best and safest country of all the world where the “Chinese disease” shall not be able to hit, neither to kill many Americans.

At the moment when the worldwide death toll climbed to more than 24,000 the 45th president of the U.S.A. asks his citizens not to be afraid of that Chinese disease that has also hit Europe but shall not master America. He insists that America shall not follow Europe in having those “ridiculous measures” of social distancing and wants them back to work at the very moment that the U.S. tops the world in the number of coronavirus infections.

He does not seem to have a clear eye on what happened the previous months in Asia and why China and Singapore, are now having to close their borders because after the CoViD-19 pandemic seemed under control, they are seeing new cases related to people coming in from outside.

On the world front, meanwhile, India has locked down its entire country and, in an example to the world, has launched the biggest feeding program ever embarked upon. Millions are being fed through a massive and unprecedented government-run food distribution program.

He also seems to forget that in Spain, Italy, France and Belgium it are not just the elderly being infected or dying from it. Young people, in addition to the older people, are vulnerable to the virus too and should come to see and understand the seriousness of the measures taken by our EU governments. There is an AP report that in France, a 16-year-old student became the youngest person in the country to die from the virus. Her sister said she was admitted to hospital on Monday after developing a “slight cough” last week, and she died on Tuesday in Paris.

No one is invincible against this mutant virus. In Belgium yesterday the first cat discovered to be infected by the virus (from her owner) recovered after nine days of illness.

In France, some 29,000 are infected with more than 1,600 dead. Death rates are hard to determine in part because of inadequate testing, but they seem to range between 1% and 8%, depending upon the country filing the reports.

The American leader may think high placed persons are untouchable, but should know that Prince Charles and Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the U.K., also have tested positive for the coronavirus, making that last one the third world leader now leading their countries from quarantine. The others are Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, both of whom are in voluntary quarantine because they have been in contact with infected people, not because they are confirmed positive.

Donald Trump is hot to trot on doing what he calls a

“county by county risk assessment”

to determine allegedly

“unaffected areas of the country”

that can loosen social distancing policies. The problem with that approach, health officials say almost unanimously, is that there is woefully inadequate testing to be able to identify or classify counties that way. And even when there is, no plan exists for how county to county traffic could or would be controlled.

Health officials warned yesterday that within the U.S. there are disturbing signs that the horror unfolding in New York is about to be visited upon Chicago, Detroit, and other cities and counties. Strangely enough, there is an American coronavirus task force to chich Mr. Trump has no ears. Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the president’s coronavirus task force, talked about the danger to Detroit and Chicago and surrounding counties at yesterday’s briefing by the task force.

According to news coming from the U.S.A. it seems that New Orleans, which has been totally ignored at those task force briefings, is now experiencing the fastest spread of the virus anywhere in the world.

Meanwhile, echoing Trump’s inaction, is the governor of Mississippi, which is right next door to hard-hit Louisiana. The Mississippi governor has said,

“Mississippi is not China”

and has actually overturned stay-at-home orders in individual cities and towns in his state.

In the European Union all church services take not place any more in gatherings in church, but most churches have them by internet meetings. In the States lots of churches are still open and have their members socialising. In the small Arkansas town of Greers Ferry, 34 people who attended a children’s event at an Assembly of God church contracted the virus, with one of those already dead.

In Europe the governments are taking economic measures to avoid another disaster, bringing the countries down. The latest reports on how the virus is tightening its hold on the planet as a whole came as the House gets ready today to approve a $2.2 trillion dollar emergency aid bill.

As the House got ready for that vote, reports coming from around the world show that the number of infections is skyrocketing, including in countries from which we have not gotten much information until now. Russia, Indonesia, and South Africa are now reporting more than 1,000 infections each. The South African government has locked down the entire country.

Particularly worrisome in this regard are remarks yesterday by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading health expert on the U.S. response team. He noted that southern hemisphere countries where there have been less infections are now approaching their winter season and are seeing a surge in cases. The implication is that even if the virus is brought under control in the U.S. in the summer, it could come back with a vengeance next fall and winter. This makes the struggle to develop a vaccine even more important, Fauci said.

A child cries as he waits in line to board a plane for Beijing at the airport in Hong Kong on Feb. 9, 2020. | Ng Han Guan/AP

It all goes to show there is much to learn about this virus and the last person who is likely to have figured everything out is Donald Trump.

Doctors are horrified at remarks by Trump last night that he doesn’t believe that

“a hospital that normally only needs two ventilators suddenly needs thousands.”

The president, said,

“I don’t believe it.”

We in Europe see press conferences where the president tells there is no shortage and the country is coping with everything, whilst pictures from reporters in the different states show us the difficulties the doctors have to cope with, without having enough protection material.

Doctors are already reporting they have to deny access to ventilators to very sick patients in order to try to save those who are less sick. Doctors note that sharing of a ventilator by two patients, which the president has also suggested, can increase the possibility of death for both patients.

The U.S. reported today more than 85,000 infections, at least 3,000 more than in China. The U.S., Italy, and China account for almost half the world’s infections.

Health experts have warned that all the official figures are probably very low. Belgian virologists even say those cyphers might be multiplied by 10. Also Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a top health advisor to the Obama administration, has said that the figures likely represent only one-tenth of those actually infected ten days ago. That figure, he said, has as much as doubled every few days since then. The best experts can do is guess about the real figures in the U.S. because of the inadequate testing.

In Spain, the official number of cases increased by 7,800 today to a total of 64,059. There were a total of 4,858 deaths, 769 more than yesterday. Spain is second behind Italy in Europe and fourth in the world in the number of infections.

Andrew Cuomo by Pat Arnow cropped.jpeg

Andrew Mark Cuomo, lawyer serving as the 56th governor of New York since 2011.

There were 100 deaths in one day in New York state, the epicentre of the outbreak in the U.S. Gov. Andrew Mark Cuomo said the number of deaths will continue to increase as critically ill patients succumb.

Cuomo said schools in his state will remain closed until at least April 15. When he first shut them, it was until April 1.

He says the apex of need in hospital capacity may be highest in 21 days, when they will need 140,000 beds. They now have only 40,000. Hospitals have been ordered to increase capacity by at least 50%. Four Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hospitals are under construction now, and Cuomo is asking Trump for four additional FEMA hospitals. The Army Corps of Engineers says all the proposed sites are feasible. All they need now is the green light from a president in denial.

A doctor at New York’s Bronx Medical Center, Kamini Booday, spoke to MSNBC reporters this morning, describing some of the deaths now occurring in New York hospitals.

“They die alone, in isolation,”

she said on the phone.

“They can’t have a relative or a loved one in with them, comforting them. And I cry and their loved ones cry when we have to tell them over the phone what happened.”

At the Flemish television, we also got to see a doctor who said they could not keep it under control and had to see patients dying in the corridor or even before they got from the entrance to a sick-bay. The pictures we got to see from Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, New York, where not what we would ever think possible in a developed country. Nurses also complained and could not understand that in such high-ranked wealthy country could be so many health problems and people having not survival chances because of their unprotected financial status. A large refrigerated semi-truck sits outside this hospital in Queens, because there is not enough room in the hospital morgue for the bodies of those who have succumbed to the virus.

Washington, D.C., reports 267 people infected and has been placed under a state of emergency.

In China, which had last week been reporting almost no new cases, there are now reports of 55 new ones, explaining the decision to close up borders. China is barring most foreigners from coming into the country.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping told Donald Trump in a phone call that China

“understands the United States’ current predicament over the COVID-19 outbreak and stands ready to provide support within its capacity.”

+

Preceding

President Trump shall have to recognise that Immigrant Workers Are Vital to the U.S.A.

Making deeper cuts than some terrorist attacks of the near past

The unseen enemy

++

Additional reading

  1. Using fears of the deadly coronavirus
  2. Europe in Chaos for a Pandemic
  3. CoViD-19 warnings
  4. Anxiety Management During Pandemic Days~
  5. Hope on the Horizon: Pandemic Anxiety Management II~
  6. Pandemic Anxiety Busters~

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Posted in Crisis, Economy, News and Politics, Religion, Welfare and Health, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

President Trump shall have to recognise that Immigrant Workers Are Vital to the U.S.A.

Immigrant Workers Are Vital to the U.S. Coronavirus Pandemic Response, But Disproportionately Vulnerable

Six million immigrant workers are at the frontlines of keeping U.S. residents healthy, safe and fed during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Migration Policy Institute (MPI) analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data issued today.
While the foreign born represented 17 percent of the 156 million civilians working in 2018, they account for larger shares in pandemic-response frontline occupations: 29 percent of all physicians in the United States, 38 percent of home health aides and 23 percent of retail-store pharmacists, for example.

They also represent significant shares of workers cleaning hospital rooms, staffing grocery stores and producing and transporting food across the country, as detailed in MPI’s latest fact sheet, Immigrant Workers: Vital to the U.S. COVID-19 Response, Disproportionately Vulnerable. The immigrant population spans naturalized citizens, legal permanent residents (aka green card holders), those on temporary visas and the unauthorized.

Beyond working in frontline industries in significant numbers, immigrant workers are also over-represented in sectors that are being most immediately devastated by mass layoffs: Restaurants and hotels, cleaning services for now-shuttered office buildings and personal services such as in-home child care, among them. All told, another 6 million immigrants work in industries that MPI has identified as some of the hardest hit, meaning that collectively 12 million foreign-born workers are at the leading edge of the response to and impacts from the pandemic.

In just the first week of serious social distancing measures across the country, some 3.3 million new unemployment claims were filed by U.S. workers — a rate that while unprecedented is likely only the tip of the iceberg. As dramatic economic contraction brings hardship to tens of millions of Americans in the coming weeks and months, the difficulties will be exacerbated for many immigrant workers because of limited access to safety-net systems and to federal relief, both for those who are unauthorized and some who are legally present.

The estimated $2 trillion pandemic aid package that passed the Senate on Wednesday and the House earlier today makes many immigrants eligible for cash relief payments. But unauthorized immigrants without Social Security numbers and most U.S.-citizen or legal immigrant spouses who file taxes jointly with such unauthorized immigrants will not be eligible.

And noncitizens—who represent more than half of workers in the hardest-hit industries profiled by MPI—face restricted access to existing safety-net programs, ineligible for some, eligible for others. For example, a sizable number of noncitizen workers, including green-card holders, those on a temporary work visa and individuals with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), can access unemployment insurance. And U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has made clear that unemployment benefits do not count in a public-charge test. On the other hand, most noncitizens — including many of those who obtained green cards within the past five years, temporary workers and unauthorized immigrants — cannot access the federal, means-tested benefits that other workers turn to in times of need.

Beyond more limited access to new and existing safety-net programs, immigrant workers face additional vulnerabilities. Those in the hardest-hit industries profiled by MPI are more likely to have lower incomes than their U.S.-born peers, with 38 percent in households with income below 200 percent of the federal poverty line, compared to 30 percent of their U.S.-born counterparts. Twenty-eight percent lack health insurance coverage, which is twice the rate of similar U.S.-born workers. And 38 percent of these immigrant workers have a minor child at home, compared to 23 percent of the U.S.-born workers.

“The pandemic presents serious questions about the impacts of restricting public health insurance and safety-net programs to some of the most vulnerable immigrants, at a time when it is imperative to prevent all residents from becoming ill and transmitting the virus to others,”

writes MPI Senior Policy Analyst Julia Gelatt.

“How deeply the coronavirus hits communities and how quickly the United States can recover, medically and economically, will depend partly on how the country treats its most vulnerable families, immigrant and U.S. born alike, in this moment of peril.”

Read the fact sheet here: www.migrationpolicy.org/research/immigrant-workers-us-covid-19-response.

And for all of MPI’s research, analysis and commentary on the COVID-19 pandemic, visit: www.migrationpolicy.org/coronavirus.

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Preceding

Making deeper cuts than some terrorist attacks of the near past

The unseen enemy

++

Additional reading

  1. Using fears of the deadly coronavirus
  2. Europe in Chaos for a Pandemic
  3. CoViD-19 warnings
  4. Anxiety Management During Pandemic Days~
  5. Hope on the Horizon: Pandemic Anxiety Management II~
  6. Pandemic Anxiety Busters~
Posted in News and Politics, Welfare and Health, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The unseen enemy

For manhood, it is very difficult to cope with something they can not see. A lot of people do not believe in Jehovah God, because no man can see that Spirit God.

“ and I will take away my hand, and thou shalt see my back; but my face shall not be seen.” (Ex 33:23 ASV)

“ No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” (Joh 1:18 ASV)

“ Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (1Ti 1:17 ASV)

Because God is an unseen Being, many have made themselves a god in which they want to put their hope. Some have done that in natural phenomena others in a human being seen by several people, which they came to call Jesus or god the son. They often forget that that son of God did not know everything whilst the God of the Bible does know everything. But also that seems to be very difficult for human beings to cope with, that there could be some sort of extraterrestrial Supernatural Being that would be so much more different than they and of which they would have no control.

The last few weeks man is caught again by something they do not seem to see nor to master. Because, it is an invisible thing many do not believe in it. Between last October until January there were  Chinese voices who accused the United States to have infected them with a virus. But from February that virus seemed not to have any borders and soon the whole world came to know the new Coronavirus as something very dangerous.

In case the U.S.A. would have used a chemical weapon and would have brought a virus in China they would have to see now how dangerous viral or biological warfare is going to be for mankind. At regular intervals the present American president ridiculed the treat and kept calling it the Chinese virus, not going to be able to be a treat for America, which is the greatest country ever.

EM of influenza virus.jpg

Flu, the flu, Grippe – Influenza virus, magnified approximately 100,000 times

We in Europe, soon came to see how this new Coronavirus was much more dangerous than CoViD02 and CoViD16. It took not long before the coronavirus CoViD19 got spread in several European countries. Ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV), the world this time got to face a novel coronavirus (nCoV) (or medium-sized RNA virus) with a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.  This new coronavirus CoViD19 after some weeks started creating a lot of panics all over the world. At first most people said it would not be so bad, but when the death toll in Italy and Spain became worse, the alarm bell was sounded in many countries. The Netherlands and Great-Britain thought their population and their health system to be strong enough to cope with such another sort of flue. Most countries here are used to the always-changing sorts of influenza which come over Europe every Winter, so many thought they could cope with this one too.

In January 2001, a 71-year-old man who had recently returned from Shen-zhen, China, a previously SARS-endemic area, presented in Hong Kong with a fever and productive cough. Although his SARS screening was negative, a novel group II coronavirus sequence was amplified by RT-PCR from his respiratory specimen with the use of primers that targeted conserved regions of the viral replicase gene. {Woo PC, Lau SK, Chu CM, et al. Characterization and complete genome sequence of a novel coronavirus, coronavirus HKU1, from patients with pneumonia. J Virol. 2005;79:884–895.}
This novel virus, designated HKU1, was genetically distinct from OC43, the other known human group II coronavirus. This virus could not be propagated in cell culture. Seroepidemiologic studies, based on antibodies reacting with a recombinant HKU1 nucleocapsid, suggested that human infection with HKU1 might be common. {Woo PC, Lau SK, Chu CM, et al. Characterization and complete genome sequence of a novel coronavirus, coronavirus HKU1, from patients with pneumonia. J Virol. 2005;79:884–895.}

Palm civet on tree (detail).jpg

The masked palm civet (Paguma larvata) or gem-faced civet, native to the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia, considered to be a likely vector of SARS.

In China the virus cultured from Himalayan palm civets [or from the masked palm civet (Paguma larvata) or gem-faced civet], which emerged in 2002–2003 as a coronavirus from southern China spreading throughout the world with quantifiable speed, should have made the Chines but also others worldwide cautious of what could come next. During the 2002–2003 outbreak, SARS infection, that frequently caused asymptomatic infection, was reported in 29 countries in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Overall 8098 infected individuals were identified, with 774 SARS-related fatalities.

But from Wuhan, Hubei, China, in December 2019 this virus which the Chines government at first did not want to be made public, soon was most contagious and infecting thousands of Chinese. On 23 January 2020, the central government of China imposed an emergency protocol, bringing Wuhan and other cities in Hubei province in lockdown, in an effort to quarantine the centre of at that time still an unknown disease. The incident was commonly referred to in the media as the “Wǔhàn fēng chéng” or “Wuhan lockdown”. The World Health Organization (WHO), although stating that it was beyond its own guidelines, commended the move, calling it

“unprecedented in public health history”

That a preemptive action plan implemented to address an unusual scenario and was considered showing a weakness, made that several countries did not want to tell their population about the seriousness of this disease nor wanted to go in a system to preempt any danger to ensure the safety and security of people, organisation and system. The Dutch and British prime ministers therefore proudly announced a few months ago that their government thought it better to go for immunisation of their population, by allowing people to encounter as many people as they could, and therefore not necessary to restrict the whereabouts of the citizens.

Because of no direct visual presence of the disease, many thought it not necessary to consider this virus an imminent threat to the lives or risk of injury to humans.

Coronavirus OC16. Photo: Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 1967;57;933–940.

First characterized in the 1960s from 2003, at least 5 new human coronaviruses (corona denoting the crown-like appearance of the surface projections) have been identified, including the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, which caused significant morbidity and mortality. NL63, representing a group of newly identified group I coronaviruses that includes NL and the New Haven coronavirus, has been identified worldwide. They are considered group I coronaviruses, associated with both upper and lower respiratory tract diseases.

The SARS epidemic put the animal coronaviruses in the spotlight and should have brought people to think about having too many birds or other animals packed together.
The SARS epidemic was a dramatic reminder that animal coronaviruses are potential threats to the human population, although the exact mechanism of species-to-species spread of the SARS coronavirus remains obscure. NL63 has been identified in many countries. This virus and the related viruses NL and HCoV-NH are likely the cause of a substantial proportion of respiratory tract disease in infants and children.
Those viruses should make us aware that it is very important to have animals in a cage to have enough proper and clean space around them and enough good natural food.

Several health organisations had already given warnings that these sort of viruses when introduced for the first time into the human population, would be more dangerous to adults, them developing more severe disease than babies. {Kahn, Jeffrey S. MD, PhD; McIntosh, Kenneth MD – History and Recent Advances in Coronavirus Discovery – Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Nov 1, 2005}

Not seeing something of the virus and first thinking it would mainly stay in China, somehow the virus found its way to Europe. Rapid identification of CoViD19 cases, which is crucial to outbreak containment efforts, became very challenging due to the lack of pathognomonic symptoms and in settings with limited capacity for specialized nucleic acid-based reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. In several countries, one had to take care not to spill reagentia by testing too many people.

Since the emergence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrom Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) it has become increasingly clear that bats are important reservoirs of CoVs. Despite this, only 6% of all CoV sequences in GenBank are from bats. The remaining 94% largely consist of known pathogens of public health or agricultural significance, indicating that current research effort is heavily biased towards describing known diseases rather than the ‘pre-emergent’ diversity in bats.

Taking care of the public health, by making sure the human beings can move around in clean areas is important. A big question is if it is useful to disinfect everything, like they came to do in China and certain other countries. For sure it is very important to avoid ‘host switching’. For that reason the Flemish – Chinese video-sharing social networking service application for kids TikTok made a very good video where children visually can see how easily a virus goes from one hand to another and further from one person to others. It has kids putting their hand in a plate with coloured powder so that they can see how it sticks not only on their hand but when they touch something it is also transferred to objects as well to other people form themselves but also from those who touch the objects. (I looked for the video but could not find it to place it here.)

When looking around seeing how adults behave irresponsible, they should better watch such a practical simple video for kids. It has been unbelievable that the last few weeks there were still so many young adults not wanting to keep to the imposed limitations. Several still came together in parks or even behind closed doors in pubs or meeting together by other friends.

File:Dried pasta shelves empty in an Australian supermarket.jpg

Dried pasta shelves empty in a Woolworths supermarket in Melbourne supermarket (Australia). But similar scenes could be observed also in Spanish, Italian, Belgian and British supermarkets.

An other irresposible and egoistic act was the rush to the supermarkets, to bunch up – just what one would love to see avoided – and to hoard food and toilet paper, so that other people would not be able to have those necessary products. Some people became so crazy that they started fighting with each other to have the last pack in the shelf. Later when security agents where placed before the entrance of the shop to guide everything in good order and to take care that social distancing was respected, they too became attacked by shoppers.

Though, according to me, social distancing and avoiding too many people around each other is very important to avoid spreading the virus. Capacities for cleaning and disinfection of different types of surfaces are also essential and therefore not only people should protect themselves but also protect equipment and materials around them.

As God can not be seen but is always around, the coronavirus might not be visible but for sure is likewise everywhere around us. Underneath you can see how it has affected the world by March the 24th of 2020. Like many do not want to believe God exists, many also still do not want to see the reality and sincerity of this present virus.

Countries, territories or areas with reported confirmed cases of COVID-19, 24March 2020

The development of a multidisciplinary task force involving institutional leaders, infectious disease and infection prevention specialists, and technology experts is a critical first step in addressing hospital-specific concerns and developing open and productive communication. But when the public does not do a serious effort to avoid the virus spreading those people shall not be able to keep it in control.

The it-technology can be of great help. Lots of work can be done from home and should be done from home. To have social contact there are also enough applications to give us an opportunity to be in audible and visual contact with others. Education also can be given by the many softwareprograms, like Smartschool, a.o.. Telemedicine can be used in the setting of emergency medicine to triage patients, decrease the rate of discharge without complete treatment and proper follow-up, and reduce the number of in-person visits and subsequent risk of transmission of infection. The electronic health record and associated technologies are vital and requisite tools in supporting outbreak management that should be leveraged to their full potential, and we hope that our experiences in developing these tools will be helpful to other health systems facing the same challenge. More and more groups around the globe are struggling to keep the engines of research going, as social distancing and quarantine measures are enacted. But we may believe thousands of researchers are doing their best to find some solutions which shall soon get us out of this worldwide health crisis.

We can not be blind for this war against the unseen enemy. Together we should unite and help each other. All people should become aware that the precautions which were taken in China and which are taken now elsewhere, though seeming to limit our liberty to go freely from one place to another, and even arduous for researchers and institutions, are necessary measures aimed at saving as many lives as possible, young and old. In many places, they likely could have been enacted sooner to minimize viral spread and mitigate long-term impact. It is incredible how certain politicians preferred to be popular by not taking unpopular measures or not willing to see the upcoming pandemic. They too shall soon come to see (and hopefully to understand) that if they wait longer they shall bring more citizens in danger.

In this time of uncertainty, the world is looking to scientists and medical personnel to lead the way. Politicians should now have their ears to them and follow their advice and instructions, putting away their own political agenda.

The current situation can also seen as an opportunity to learn and prepare for future disruptions and uncertainties. Though there are many negative aspects to it, we can see the positive ones as well. Like there being now less air pollution. The free roads are something which should stay in mind when the virus crisis shall be over. Hopefully, more employers shall then have seen that work from home shall be less stressful for their employees and bringing less unnecessary traffic on the packed roads. For many businesses not having to provide so many offices shall save on costs of hiring places but also on light and heating costs.

We all should be making the best of this difficult experience by thinking about ways we might develop more efficient workflows and better practices that could be re-deployed when the next urgent scientific question arises but also for ordinary office jobs. In the short-term, the scientists are replacing face-to-face editor meetings at conferences with video calls, and hosting symposia speakers virtually, rather than in person, but this could be now a turning point more companies also in the future going to organise such teleconferences. for many bosses not having their employees insight was an enemy. It only shows a lack of trust. Some of these new practices we have found out the last few days, could be incorporated, at least in part, into our normal routines, especially to reduce the impact our travel has on the world’s climate.

If you are facing a specific challenge, regardless of whether it is unique to your situation or more widespread, or if you have ideas for how our processes could be improved, we want to know and our industry shall have to come to know it too, because now we are stuck for a while, but after this crisis, we shall have to rebuild the country again to avoid an economical crisis.

Let us conquer the unseen enemy and make sure we shall not have to face another peril, which is looming around the corner.

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Preceding

Making deeper cuts than some terrorist attacks of the near past

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Please find also to read:

  1. Using fears of the deadly coronavirus
  2. Europe in Chaos for a Pandemic
Posted in B4Peace, Christendom, Christianity, Crisis, Education, Environment and Ecology, News and Politics, Religion, Visuals (Video, Photo, Cartoon), Warning, Welfare and Health, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Making deeper cuts than some terrorist attacks of the near past

The umpteenth coronavirus, of which many people even do not know the previous ones, this time as an unknown virus manage to frighten many people so much that they come to do unreasonable things, like rushing to the shops to load their shopping cart full of all kinds of non-time related items. Already for three days on BBC, EuroNews, VRT één, NPO 1, and VTM we could see excited people telling how they wanted to safeguard their family and want to prepare themselves for the worse.

At the same time they forget they were helping to give other opportunities to infect people, by coming together with so many and standing there for such a long time in a cue, very close to each other.

On What’sApp I received messages of what is going on with my fellow mates and workers in the airport. Last Sunday it looked more of an invasion, lots of people going on holiday, now when it still could be done, and now when they could find places less invaded by tourists. From Italy, pictures reached me, where I could see the empty places, otherwise infected by the many tourists, not giving others many opportunities to take a photograph also.

Today March 13, it looks more that our world is facing worse conditions and making deeper cuts than after the 9/11 and 3/22 terror attacks.

More than 80,900 people in China have been diagnosed with coronavirus since its emergence in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province, in December.

But there are now also 51,500 confirmed cases outside the country, according to the latest WHO figures. A rise in those numbers of daily confirmed cases of the new coronavirus internationally has led the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare its spread a global pandemic. But one may wonder if this would be a good reason for people to panic!

In a certain way, I can’t stop thinking that some people have gone a little bit mad and rush into a fear going to buy lots of stuff ‘before it is too late’. We can find people who think the end of the world is coming near and this is going to be worse than Ebola.

The World Health Organization has good reason to urge countries to act quickly and aggressively test to fight the novel coronavirus, but all countries should be careful not to create over exaggerated panic by their population. At the moment this clearly seems to happen.

Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of health emergencies programme at the World Health Organization, recounted his past experience with Ebola outbreaks, with this advice:

“Be fast, have no regrets. You must be the first mover. The virus will always get you if you don’t move quickly.” 

Ryan said being prepared is paramount to keeping the virus at bay, adding,

“If you need to be right before you move, you will never win.”

“Speed trumps perfection. And the problem we have with society at the moment is everyone is afraid of making a mistake. Everyone is afraid of the consequence of error. But the greatest error is not to move. The greatest error is to be paralyzed by the fear of error,”

Ryan warned.

What I could notice is that first, our politicians did as if nothing was at hand and that our country was prepared for it and had everything under control. A few weeks later, opposite to what they had said earlier, they confessed not having enough mouth masks nor having enough medical people to tackle the problem. In such circumstances who can blame people not having confidence any more in those politicians.

Also Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged countries to use aggressive measures, community mobilisation and social distancing to save lives.

“Do not just let this fire burn,”

he said.

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, a WHO infectious disease epidemiologist, said if there are countries that are actively looking and doing aggressive contact finding and starting to report high numbers of cases,

“they shouldn’t be punished from that.”

“It’s really important that we support countries in doing the right measures and sometimes that’s going to mean that case numbers are going to increase,”

she said.

“In many countries, it’s going to get worse before it gets better,”

Van Kerkhove added.

We should know that it is only by looking for real cases and then doing the necessary testing that we shall be able to turn the tide.

Italy came in the midst of a lockdown after the government implemented strict isolation measures to contain the spread of coronavirus, which has so far claimed more than 1,000 lives and infected more than 15 113 people in the country when I wrote my previous article on this virus, having today recorded its highest daily toll yet. There were 250 deaths recorded over the past 24 hours, taking the total to 1,266, with 17,660 infections overall. Thriving cities like Rome, Milan and Venice became ghost towns.

Spain, the worst-affected European country after Italy, reported a 50% jump in fatalities to 120 on Friday. Infections increased to 4,200.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez says a state of alert will come into effect there on Saturday for two weeks.

In the afternoon of March 13, more than 132,500 people have been diagnosed with Covid-19 in 123 countries around the world, according to the WHO.

The total number of deaths has reached about 5,000 – a figure Dr Tedros described as “a tragic milestone”.

“Europe has now become the epicentre of the pandemic, with more reported cases and deaths than the rest of the world combined, apart from China,”

he said.

“More cases are now being reported every day than were reported in China at the height of its epidemic.”

It going so fast and so bad several Western European countries decided to have a state of alert, not only demanding to avoid close contact with each other or to avoid crowded places, but demanding many places to shut down.

Belgium, France, Switzerland and parts of Germany are among the latest countries to close schools. And after the widespread curbs on large gatherings this afternoon I got to hear about measures to close theatres, museums, restaurants and bars.

Also other governments have halted flights from virus-hit nations, locked down towns, urged people to stay at home and suspended major sporting and social events.

Map showing where US travel restrictions apply

Map of European cases

US President Donald Trump on Thursday announced travel restrictions on 26 European countries.

The measures apply to travellers from countries which are members of the Schengen border-free travel area. This is in addition to China and Iran.

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Please read my other article of today, about CoViD19: Europe in Chaos for a Pandemic

Posted in Crisis, Dagboek = Diary, Economy, Environment and Ecology, History, News and Politics, Warning, Welfare and Health, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Who can tackle Donald Trump

A lot of American voters in the U.S.A. may consider themselves Christian, though might not be willing to show their brotherly love by not wanting to stand up for the poor and the sick and to be willing to collectively contribute to a social protection system such as Obama Care or another state health insurance fund.

Several of those so-called American Christians, in particular, the very conservatives and the evangelists consider every person who wants to bring social measures in the society, as a danger to society and label that person a communist. This way Bernie Sanders may be looked at as the least religious of four Democratic presidential front-runners, a survey released Thursday found.

Sixty percent of the 6,395 respondents to the online poll described the Jewish Vermont senator as “not too religious” or “not at all religious.” according to the Pew Research Center. A subgroup of 303 Jewish respondents viewed Sanders as even less religious, with 75 percent saying he is “not too religious” or “not at all religious.”

The respondents, adults 18 and older, were asked about how they saw the religiosity of Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg. Biden, who is Catholic, was seen as the most religious, with 55 percent of respondents saying the former vice president is “very religious” or “somewhat religious.”

The 78-year-old Sanders, born in Brooklyn, New York, to Jewish parents, senator from Vermont, is a front-runner in the Democratic race for president, who likes beating the odds. His first political victory, running in 1981 for mayor of Burlington, Vermont, pitted him against the Democratic machine that had controlled the city for decades. Two years later Mr Sanders emerged triumphant – this time by more than 20 percentage points. The battle offered an early taste of Mr Sanders’ career, which has represented a nearly 40-year challenge to the political establishment.

Bernie Sanders speaks at a Committee on Racial Equality Sit-In in 1962

Sanders, in my eyes, could be seen as a man of his word who kept to the matters in which he believes and keeps standing for.  As any lover of God may not take up arms against other human beings, Sanders applied for conscientious objector status during the Vietnam War, though he was too old to be drafted by the time his application was rejected.

Peace sign.svgAs a Liberty Union associate, a party with anti-war and socialist roots, formed to contest the Vermont elections of 1970, Sanders was nominated to be the Party’s Senate candidate in the January 1972 special election; he placed third with 2% of the vote.
In 1976 as the party’s candidate for Vermont governor, he received 6.1% of the vote. Still the best result for any LUP candidate for governor. At the time of his resignation from the party in October 1977, he was party chairman. Sanders quit due to the inactivity of the party between elections.

For him it is not just at election time people should do some work. One has to go to defend the people all the time, and not just for receiving votes.

His first major political success came when he was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont, in 1980, beating a six-term incumbent. He went on to serve four terms.

Jane Sanders.jpg

Mary Jane O’Meara Sanders, 4th President of Burlington College

It was during this time that he met and married his current wife of Irish descent and raised Catholic, the American social worker, college administrator, and political staffer, Jane O’Meara, the former president of Burlington College once described as a “key adviser” in his political career. Combined, they have four children from previous relationships.
In 2018, she became a member of the Advisory Panel of the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025.
Her husband was first elected to the US House of Representatives in 1990, the first independent to do so in 40 years. He served there until he ran for and won a seat in the Senate in 2007. During that campaign, a younger Barack Obama stumped for him.

Sanders did not feel embarrassed to attack both Republican and Democratic politicians if they did not stand up for the common people. But he also dared to show his obligations to rich donors and industries, which meant he was sometimes dismissed as a blow or a nasty hornet.
Yet he managed to become independent in the history of the congress with the longest serving.

Some Democratic leaders remain sceptical that Mr Sanders could win their party’s nomination. At the previous elections, Mr Sanders was my favourite, though, because I knew he didn’t stand a chance, being too social for North America, I hoped Mrs Clinton would become the 45th president of the United States. Very, very surprisingly, another strange figure could manage to make the public believe in his many fabrications and to engage in his dangerous adventure to be so called the best ever, president of the United States of America.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Official Portrait.jpg

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, popularly known as AOC, American politician and activist who serves as the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district. Without campaigning for it, Ocasio-Cortez won the Reform Party primary as a write-in candidate in a neighbouring congressional district, New York’s 15th, with a total vote count of nine, highest among all 22 write-in candidates. She declined the nomination.

Last October, after Mr Sanders suffered a minor heart attack it looked like once more he would not make it. But within weeks he was back, bolstered by an endorsement from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the party’s liberal darling and youngest ever US congresswoman. She and Senator Ed Markey released a joint non-binding resolution laying out the main elements of a 10-year “economic mobilization” that would phase out fossil fuel use and overhaul the nation’s infrastructure. Their plan called for implementing the “social cost of carbon” that was part of the Obama administration’s plans to address climate change. In the process, it aimed to create jobs and boost the economy.

That “Green New Deal” is one of those very important programs for the whole world Donald Trump does not like, because for him it being more important America can be the most productive state whatever it may cost to nature, where according to him there exists no such thing as Global Warming or Climate Change.

Environmental issues as well as social and economical issues are matters which we should take seriously, according to Mr Sanders. Human beings should be fitting in rightly in nature, not destroying it, and not drowning in it, by not able to survive, not having the proper healthy physical and spiritual food nor proper medication and necessary welfare.

By early 2020, however, Bernie Sanders has re-established himself again as the progressive standard-bearer, whose always consistent message about income inequality and corporate rapaciousness gives him an air of that much-sought-after modern political quality-authenticity.

In 2016 many had placed their hope in him. Now they, and I, are happy to see him back. Many people may not be pleased to see such a “grandfather” coming into the forefront, like they have already seen many old popes running the Catholic Church. Being afraid he could turn back all those things Trump destroyed what Barack Obama had established, makes many afraid. But still today it is the very social program that he stands for that makes most paranoid Americans afraid, some of them even thinking communism may conquer America.

Neo-Nazis and Tea-party members would detest it that a Jew could come to be the leader of “Their” nation. Bad also in their eyes is that when he would become leader of the United States, they shall have to see more equality between people they would not like to find in their nation at all.

The rich in the nation would also not like it to see how they shall have to come to pay more for their workers and shall not so easily be able to exploit others. For the rich, this is the thorn in the eye that will certainly determine their choice for someone else.

For the better part of 2019, campaign-watchers in the media and the political world were waiting for the former vice-president Joe Biden, who is also already 77 years old, to step in the picture. For the rich and middle class he can be their hope for rebuilding the middle class; investing in federal infrastructure; tuition-free public universities.

78 year old Michael Bloomberg has lots and lots of money and the big problem for American politics is that often without money nothing can be established or reached. Candidates with no money or financial support from others, do not make any chance to reach the final election. No one has run a campaign quite like Bloomberg. Then again, no one has had the vast sums of money to run a campaign like his. He’s carpet-bombing the airwaves and online in a way that is unprecedented in modern US political history.

Like Sanders he also wants to tackle climate change, which might frighten factory owners a little. Many Americans are also not favouring any gun control, for which Bloomberg also want to come into the breach.
Even if Bernie Sanders claims a plurality of delegates, Bloomberg shall not give up. He’s going to run for the Democratic presidential nomination until “the bitter end”. He passed $500 million in expenses for his late-announced presidential bid.
He presents himself as a strong leader on issues from climate change to gun safety, with experience running the nation’s largest city. According to him, he is the Democrat who can beat Donald Trump.

Like he brought New Yorkers together to achieve bold progress as mayor, Bloomberg wants to unite the Americans again as president. In his advancement is that people know him as the man who led the nation’s largest city through the 9/11 recovery and Hurricane Sandy. Unlike Donald Trump, who has brought chaos to the White House, Bloomberg has on many occasions proven how to manage a crisis.

As an entrepreneur and mayor, Mr Bloomberg has a strong record of job creation. According to his sayings, he wants to expand economic opportunity for all Americans, in rural communities and cities across the country.

President Trump likes to claim the United States of America is the best economy in history. But that ignores the fact that economic growth is concentrated in a relatively small number of regions — and families in America’s former manufacturing, agricultural and other industrial centres are struggling.

Donald Trump never mentions for what horrible low wages certain people have to work. The present Democratic candidates will bring jobs and income growth to people and communities that have been shortchanged by the Trump administration. they want to invest in local communities to create jobs of the future, but are aware that to have the skilled professionals first there has to be invested more in modernised education and training. Furthermore, the minimum wage has to be brought to $15 an hour, with enhanced worker rights and benefits and support entrepreneurship.

To give more opportunities to find suitable and satisfactory work the state has to take care that there shall be better connections between rural communities and growth centres.

All Democratic candidates find that it’s time to treat each other with dignity. Mr Trump has created a lot of division and much shall have to be concealed. In the short time Trump was president he has done a lot of damage, which makes that the healing process shall take some time.

Joe Biden is willing to fight back against the incredible abuses of power we’re seeing. It’s time to dig deep and remember that better times can be there for much more people than those who now could profit from Trump’s selective preferred people.

According to Joe Biden

It’s time for respected leadership on the world stage — and dignified leadership at home. It’s time for equal opportunity, equal rights, and equal justice. It’s time for an economy that rewards those who actually do the work. It’s time for a president who will stand up for all of us.

The Americans have to come to understand and see that their politics is broken and excludes too many Americans. Until they fix campaign finance, voting rights, and gerrymandering, it will continue to get more polarized, more ugly, and more mean.  Wealthy special interests, corporations, and foreign influences are skewing the policy process in Washington in their own favour by taking advantage of the way the Americans finance elections. They seriously should consider their system of financing politicians. They also need to create a public financing system for federal campaigns and pass a constitutional amendment to amplify the voices of individual Americans and ensure elected officials are working for all the people. In the meantime, the State has to take care that the public shall be able to see who are backing candidates and to know who is contributing to which advertisements and campaign initiatives. By television showings, the viewers always should be able to see that it is an advertisement or sponsored propaganda, and by whom it is subsidised.

It is not possible to stop that financial marketing to give candidates enough opportunities to come into the picture. In any case, what the Americans can do first, is to make it easier — not harder — for Americans to exercise their right to vote, regardless of their zip code or the colour of their skin, and make sure they count every voter’s voice equally and that seats would be given according to the percentage of votes. They must protect their voting booths and voter rolls from foreign powers who seek to undermine democracy and interfere in their and other countries elections.

After three disappointing primaries, former vice president Joe Biden was able to resume as one of the contenders for the Democratic nomination for the US presidential election, having his ‘Joementum’.

The polls had predicted that Joe Biden would be able to make a move in South Carolina, but Biden did even better than expected. The former vice president under Barack Obama wins 48 percent of the vote. His closest successor, Bernie Sanders, received more than half fewer votes with 20 percent.
With that win, Biden gets 33 out of 63 distributable delegates or delegates in South Carolina. Sanders gets 11. In South Carolina, more than half of Democratic voters are black. Biden has a lot of support among the black voters and got women, older voters, moderates and conservatives behind him, while Sanders and Pete Buttigieg, who did very well in Iowa, have trouble getting them behind, for many elderly Sanders being to ‘communist’. In 2016, Sanders suffered a major defeat during the primaries in the state when he faced Hillary Clinton, we can say for the same reasons, his program found to close to Marxist or communist ideas and propaganda stirring up youth against the democratic state. As long as the many so-called Christians are not going to understand what Jesus preached, it shall not be so easy for Sanders, though this time he seems to be more careful with his words, trying not to offend people with too progressive ideas. Luckily he did not put his ideas aside and for sure shall continue to fight for a better humanity with better living conditions for all creatures (be it human beings, but also animals and plants).

Tom Steyer from the Midwest, who had outclassed Biden and had bet everything on the state, came in third with 11 percent — a weak enough showing that he promptly, and sensibly, ended his campaign.

For Pete Buttigieg his open homosexuality shall be something indigestible for the majority of Christian Americans, which make him (according to my idea) having not enough people coming to vote for him. We also may have questions about his position against coloured people. During Buttigieg’s term as Mayor of South Bend, more blacks than whites were arrested for possession of marijuana, which is now widely discussed on the national stage. But also Bloomberg’s harsh police tactics may be called racist.

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders both want to bring a better relationship between black, Spanish or Mexican, native Americans, mixed-race and white Americans. At the moment Biden seems to have behind him, the majority of blacks and elderly who are fed up by seeing their country being brought in a shudder to destruction by Trump.

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Tomorrow is a very important day. Even when some might think Sanders shall not make a chance he keeps fighting and hoping. He does not give up (yet).

We ar more than a campaing! We are a movement!

He repeats at meetings. And America, as well as other industrialised nations, need that movement!

Can Super Tuesday, tomorrow be the beginning of a momentum where many shall choose to jump on the bandwagon to ralley around Sanders, Biden or Bloomberg?

Let us hope this time the presidential elections in the U.S.A. might bring exemption from a globally dangerous showy individual and bring about social, political or economic changes in the positive sense for all people living in that nation.

“in order to implement the demands of love and justice.”

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Preceding

Are United States of America citizens going to show their senses

At the closing hours of 2016 #2 Low but also highlights

Donald Trump his America

American social perception, classes and fear mongering

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Don Lee Cartoons has a hard time believing one Donald John Trump and his self-appointed nemesis, media mogul and former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg, know what my best interests are, let alone have them at heart. And I’m long past caring whether Hillary thinks anybody likes anybody.

Additional reading

  1. Added commentary to the posting A Progressive Call to Arms
  2. From Guestwriters 2016 in review
  3. Consistent principles pay of for Bernie Sanders

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Unwitting stars of the Democratic debate have been the old happy warriors Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders — stars in the sense that the younger hungrier crowd are looking to knock them off their pedestals. – From “Joe and Bernie show” by Don Lee

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2. Joe Biden

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3. Michael – Mike Bloomberg

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4. Pete Buttigieg

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5. Tom Steyer

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Posted in Christendom, News and Politics, Religion, Welfare and Health, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Aalst Carnaval 2020 a further anti-Jewish demonstration

What would your impression be when you find a group of people drinking lots of beer and dancing to a playlist that combines German heavy metal rock — the kind favoured by neo-Nazis — with traditional Jewish tunes like “Hava Nagila” (“Let us rejoice”)? They, laughing with Jews, presented at Aalst Carnival a float driven by men wearing Haredi costumes, fake hooked noses and silver face paint, featuring a large parchment sign proclaiming six “regulations” handed down by the made-up “Jewish festival committee.” They included:

“No Jews in the procession; no mocking Jews; don’t ever tell the truth about the Jew; what the Jew wants will happen; all drugs and black money is ours.”

The many carnival revellers who said that the truth about the Jews had to be told, at some point gave a clear sign that they had a hatred of Jews in their hearts which is deeply rooted by their frustrations (for their own lesser situation).

A man wearing a fake hooked nose and carrying a sign warning readers not to “tell the the truth about the Jew” at the annual procession of the carnival in Aalst, Belgium, Feb. 23, 2020. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

Gestapo flagWe do know, the people from Aalst do not mind to mock with Jews. In 2013, we could see certain participants dressed like Nazis walking around wearing cans labelled “Zyklon B” — the poison that the Nazis used to kill Jews in gas chambers. This year there were many who treated the spectators with their representation of the political police of Nazi Germany, the Gestapo. One might wonder if those revellers wearing shiny black long coats and red armbands, that was clearly meant to evoke the Nazi uniform, would really understand the impact of such representation on people of the older generation. I sincerely can not see the fun of it, certainly when you hear how they talked about Jews, democratic institutions and democratic politicians.

Last year’s float featuring caricatures of Orthodox Jews atop money bags, March 3, 2019 Aalst Carnaval

Last year, one float featured two effigies of Haredi Jews holding bags of money. One had a rat on his shoulder. This year a group went further and dressed themselves in ants, giving the impression

“Jews are vermin we have to get rid of, because they always moan at a wall though they have nothing to complain about, them being the moneymakers of this world”

(hence the Western Wall in gold-coloured blocks) in the Flemish dialect of Aalst ‘Muur’ being (Oilsjts) ‘Mier’, which is in Flemish and Dutch the insect “Mier” or “Ant”.

Last year’s float with the Jews counting their money, spurred UNESCO to strip the carnival of its credentials as a world heritage event. The group that prepared the float insisted that it wasn’t meant to offend. I wonder what this group really wanted to express and if they are aware how some observers could be shocked by what looks like a reference to the rich history of depicting Jews as vermin in Nazi and other anti-Semitic propaganda.

For many inhabitants of Aalst it might all be just a joke, like it was considered too in the 1920ies and 30ies.

This year it was really over. The few pictures which we could see on the television screen were revolting. Disgusting to hear Flemish people talk that way about other people. In any case, the major of Aalst, Christoph D’Haese from the right-wing party N-VA (the New Flemish Alliance) got what he wanted, a town which profiled itself as anti-Semitic, having the right to say they want all those people, they do not want to have in Belgium or in the future state of Flanders, out of this country.

But Belgium is not the only country where anti-Semitism is on the rise and carnival revellers love to present Jews and Nazi’s in the carnival parade.

In Campo de Criptana, a municipality and town in the province of Ciudad Real in the autonomous community of Castilla-La Mancha (Spain), they also love to shock. There they also loved to make fun of the murder of millions of Jews by the Nazis.
A carnival troupe danced through the streets of that Spanish town dressed like Nazis and Jewish concentration camp prisoners next to a float made to look like crematoria, sparking outrage from Israel’s embassy in Madrid and Jewish groups.

The town council of Campo de Criptana said permission for the display of dancers wearing striped outfits to look like those of concentration camps, while waving flags of Israel followed Nazi officers in a Holocaust-themed procession, put together by the El Chaparral Cultural Association, had been given on the understanding that it would commemorate the dead of the Holocaust. But it is difficult to see in that presentation a sincere respectful commemoration of the horror that flooded this part of the world in the previous century.

In Aalst, for the press, the mayor posed for pictures against the float that read

“don’t ever tell the truth about the Jew.”

D’Haese had also defended the 2019 display when UNESCO called it anti-Semitic, saying the condemnation

“takes the display out of the context, which is one of satire.”

He has additionally stressed how the Aalst Carnival mocks Christians, Muslims, Asians and blacks, whereas the outrage is only over mockery of Jews.  For the last two carnival parades, you might say his point is partly true. Five years ago the Muslims were also mocked at and this year some floats featured Asians with screw heads for eyes and black people with exaggerated lips.

At the moment we can see an evolution of growing anti-Semitism which we can not allow in our regions. European nations must collectively fight this anti-Semitism and

No to the anti-Semitic presentations at Carnival parades (Aalst Carnival 2019)

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Please find also to read:

  1. What to do in the Face of Global Anti-semitism
  2. The fight against anti-Semitism is also a fight for a democratic, value-based Europe
  3. Luca Jahier, EESC President on the present intolerance
  4. Anti-Semitic pressure driving Jews out of Europe
  5. The danger of having less than 25 000 Jews in Belgium
  6. 2019 was #4 a Year of much deceit in Belgium and the rest of Europe
  7. Auschwitz survivors providing a warning of rising anti-Semitism and exclusion of free thinking
  8. Perhaps Anti-Semitism for lots of people isn’t always easy to see
  9. Aalst Carnival and Unia analyses reports

++

Related

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  4. Carnaval 2020, een Ontsporend feest
  5. Hoe ver kan men gaan om zich te beroepen op Vrije meningsuiting
  6. Corona en carnaval makkelijk gebakken broodjes voor verhogend racisme
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  8. Europees spilland en antisemitisme
  9. Gemelde antisemitische voorvallen neemt toe
Posted in Feesten, History, Warning, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Here is the truth or the lie

“Fake news” one of the “most damaging to trust” phenomena.

Lying is the first known informational vehicle.
The control of the truth, the propaganda and the attempts to influence the opinion of the population goes beyond mere social networks and the term coined by the “fake news” in recent years.
A real problem that has been in the containment plans of governments since the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook scandal in 2016.

*

Borja Adsuara, an expert in digital law and former director of Red.es considers that if you have a scrupulous respect

“you don’t regulate the freedom of expression, whose limits are already in the law and jurisprudence ».

In his opinion, the only measure that the Government can take to combat disinformation implies not entering into the truth of the news.

«In that he cannot bury.
What you can do, because social networks work with algorithms, is to encourage verifications with independent actors. But above all avoid the “bots”.

The problem is not that there is false news, but that it is disseminated thousands of times. ”

For Ofelia Tejerina, president of the Association of Internet Users

“One thing is to teach what distinguishes what is true or lie and another thing is to say that

“here is the truth or the lie”,

because otherwise it becomes manipulation.»

In his opinion,

«if you want to create criteria about what is true and what we will not be behind; if you intend to help citizens know how to distinguish between what is reliable information and what is false news, it seems positive to me ».

Find out more: Uncertainty and doubts: the plan against government misinformation worries experts

+

Preceding

United States of America once more showing how it wants to Distort Historical Facts and Truth

Manipulated content on social media

Censor looming around the UK corner?

Internet absurdities

To protect our democratic system #1 Danger of fake and malicious social media accounts

Journal for and from bothered citizens

Changing screens

2014 Social contacts

Social media a destabilisation tool in the Middle East and Syrian conflict

2016 in review Politics #1 Year of dissonance

A busy 2017 #3 Fake, gossip and real news

A busy 2017 #4 Writings

To protect our democratic system #1 Danger of fake and malicious social media accounts

To protect our democratic system #2 Online platforms

2019 was #3 a Year of much deceit in the News World

2019 was #4 a Year of much deceit in Belgium and the rest of Europe

++

Additional reading

  1. Putting your feelings into words and sharing them
  2. Disscusion Questions
  3. Be realistic, do not pretend
  4. The Culture of Excesses- Losing Humanity
  5. Sharing thoughts and philosophical writings
  6. Shall the American again being put to the test
  7. Do Governments and Nations Lie?
  8. Fake News Goes Back to the Garden of Eden says Pope Francis I
Posted in News and Politics, Reflection - Consideration or Contemplation, Thoughts of others, Warning | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Manipulated content on social media

The last decade a lot has changed how people get to hear and see news events. The daily newspapers are in decline finding not many people interested in deep going journalism or willing to read serious and/or lengthy articles.

Half a century it took some days before news from one place reached another place somewhere far in the world. Today anything what happens somewhere is been known very quickly miles away. The news rolls in on company and personal computers, laptops or notebooks, i-pads or tablets, and cell- or smartphones. At the tip of a finger everything comes under the eyes of million watchers and often also commentators and sharers of the millions of postings.

Sometimes I am very surprised by what people seem to believe when they marvel at their little screens of their smartphone. They become very enthusiast and want to show everybody around them when something looks so special or even unbelievable. Though they know it might look unbelievable, they do not want to believe that it would not be true, or when I notice it is fake news and photoshopped material, and tell them, they say I am wrong because it is spread all over on Facebook, so it must be true.

Twitter bird logo 2012.svgWe also can see that figures like Donald Trump will be able to continue to post edited and manipulated media as long as said media is not in the form of a paid post and Facebook or Twitter deem it somehow newsworthy.
Strangely enough in the past, Facebook was quick to stop certain links to articles on other sites. Even I got already censured by them and some others (yes even on WordPress), though there were no dirty words in the articles, and I was not offending people, except if you would call the offence, telling what had happened. From what goes on, on social media, I can only ascertain that, under the new policy of Facebook, that company does not see any harm to remove the content when it is not posted by a politician, whilst where it is posted by a politician, the manipulated content, or even real false sayings or fake news can be spread by multiplicating and sharing as if nothing.

Company spokesperson for Facebook, Andrea Vallone though promises or assures:

“For non-ads – Politicians are held to the same standards as other users when it comes to manipulated media,”

Last year Facebook earned a huge among of Euro’s and Dollars by the right wing politicians who have found in social media their best propaganda tool. In Belgium, I could see that certain messages were placed which I would have considered inappropriate or blasphemous for certain groups. Though after a few days the content had not disappeared, except for a few messages where I too clicked at it for being offensive or creating racial unrest.
Looking at what still was, and is kept on the viewable media, I wonder what could be considered “newsworthy” enough not to fall under fake news and under inflammatory language, or how we  have to interpret Vallone’s saying:

 “If a politician posts content that violates our manipulated media policy, we will remove the content. If the content is particularly newsworthy, we will evaluate whether it should be allowed on the platform despite the violation on a case-by-case basis.”

BBC: Facebook to ban ‘deepfakes’.

“Facebook said it would remove videos if it realised they had been edited in ways that weren’t obvious to an average person, or if they misled a viewer into thinking that a person in a video said words they did not actually say.”

The social media company people seem to have lots of people controlling what is said on their media and individually have to make the choice if a posting falls in one or another certain category.

Problem with the contemporary it-technology is that there are so many very good programs to manipulate or change photographic or moving pictures material that deepfakes can be as straightforward as face-swapping one actor onto another in a clip from your favourite film or picture. The last few months we could also see enough proof how easy it is to manipulate pictures and having to get people “saying certain things”.  Lots of companies also jump on the trend to manipulate pictures and provide not so expensive material to do so. Any impersonator may provide audio to synced mouth movement and create an entirely new moment for that targeted individual. This Obama deepfake, voiced by Jordan Peele, is a perfect example of that usage.

**

Ordinary people may love to use such applications like the face-swapping mobile app Doublicat launched. Founded by artificial intelligence company RefaceAI, Doublicat is perhaps the simplest media manipulation tool yet. Users just need to download the app, snap a selfie, and choose from one of hundreds of GIFs portraying popular scenes from movies, TV shows, and the internet. Within seconds, their short, looping deepfake GIF is ready to share.

Doublicat, a software application allowing users to personalize GIFs by morphing their own faces onto them, commonly known online as a deepfake. – Photo by Andy Moser

Those gadgets may be a lot of fun. Children love TikTok. But when people start coming to believe that what adults present with those gadgets, then this misleading photo’s or moving pictures become a dangerous asset.

The last few months we could see certain manipulated pictures and when the commentators also convincingly brought fake news we could see lots of people got taken away by those images. The propaganda working effectively.

Sometimes those manipulators and spreaders of fake news Tweet so much (like Trump e.g.) that one can wonder who can ever be able to read all those Tweets and to the daily tasks at the same time.

The pornographic industry also makes happily use of such gadgets and is not afraid for using simple beach- and other family photographs to reach a great amount of happy viewers all over the world. From complaints by the police and people speaking on television, we know how it doesn’t take long to see how fake pornographic videos can ruin one’s life.

Marathon Strategies CEO Phil Singer says:

“We’ve gone from worrying about sharing our personal data to now having to worry about sharing our personal images.”

His warning has to be taken serious:

“People need to be extra judicious about sharing images of themselves because one never knows how they will be used.”

For sure, the controlling organisations have to find good tools to discover the manipulated pictures. The social media companies have to explore product improvements to make their sites safer and healthier for the internet community.

+

Preceding

Censor looming around the UK corner?

Internet absurdities

To protect our democratic system #1 Danger of fake and malicious social media accounts

Journal for and from bothered citizens

Changing screens

2014 Social contacts

Social media a destabilisation tool in the Middle East and Syrian conflict

2016 in review Politics #1 Year of dissonance

A busy 2017 #3 Fake, gossip and real news

A busy 2017 #4 Writings

To protect our democratic system #1 Danger of fake and malicious social media accounts

To protect our democratic system #2 Online platforms

2019 was #3 a Year of much deceit in the News World

2019 was #4 a Year of much deceit in Belgium and the rest of Europe

++

Analyzing Facebook - A visual analysis of social structure and usage incentives of 100 facebook users Infographic

Find also to read

  1. Putting your feelings into words and sharing them
  2. Lonely in the crowd
  3. Disscusion Questions
  4. Be realistic, do not pretend
  5. The Culture of Excesses- Losing Humanity
  6. Sharing thoughts and philosophical writings
  7. Attackers silenced freedom of speech
  8. Certain people trying to stem freedom of speech
  9. Stepping Toes 2014 in review
  10. From Guestwriters 2016 in review
  11. No Facebook any more for institutions and organisations
  12. Being in isolation #4 Man’s greediness, slackness, internet, friends and social contacts
  13. What makes you following Christ and Facebook Groups
  14. Americans their stars, pretension, God, Allah and end of times signs #2 War on God’s Plan, Name and title
  15. Americans their stars, pretension, God, Allah and end of times signs #3 Cyberwars and prophesy
  16. Shall the American again being put to the test
  17. Identity Crisis By millennials
  18. Do Governments and Nations Lie?
  19. Fake News Goes Back to the Garden of Eden says Pope Francis I
Posted in Announcement, B4Peace, Culture, Dagboek = Diary, History, News and Politics, Warning, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

United States of America once more showing how it wants to Distort Historical Facts and Truth

After the remark of the 45th American president and the U.S. embassy in Denmark Europeans, who denounced the lies that America has liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and death camp, were called out on social media. This seems a continues part of a successful 70-year campaign to convince people the USA and not the USSR beat Hitler.

The incorrect statement made by the United States Embassy in Denmark made earlier last week that incorrectly claimed that it was American troops that liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp brought the embassy to apologise after lots of people made complaints.

Once more we could see and hear, how Mr. Trump and his entourage want to have their people (and the world) think the United States of America is the greatest and best nation in the world. To no surprise they easily can let the people believe everything they want, by continually distorting the truth.

That it is very bad with the knowledge of international history (and geography) is a known fact. A 2015 poll found that only a miserable 11 percent of Americans knew that the Soviet Union contributed the most to the defeat of Nazi Germany, with the large majority who answered picking the U.S. as the most important nation. This finding was replicated all over Western Europe, except in the United Kingdom, where Britons incorrectly believed they primarily defeated the Soviet Union.

In fact, Red Army troops reached the gates of Auschwitz-Birkenau on January 27, 1945.

“We acknowledge the important contributions of all Allied Forces during WWII and remember the 6 million Jews who perished during the Holocaust,”

the correction read.

Users replied with pictures of Red Army troops liberating the camp. But when knowing that lots of people refer to Wikipedia, as the so-called best encyclopaedia of the world, those people forget, not all of my colleagues, I must confess, are so honestly trying to spread truth about certain facts in their presentation of articles.  You can also wonder how those in charge of Wikipedia are under pressure of the American States, when we hear that the American website Wikipedia proposed to remove archival images of the liberation of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz by the Red Army.

The first to draw attention to such an initiative was the journalist from Lithuania Vladimir Vodo, who noticed the changes in the article before me. He wrote about this on January 29th on his Facebook page:

Lithuanian journalist Vladimir Vodo remarking that the American website Wikipedia is cleaning up archival photographs documenting the liberation of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz by the Red Army, for giving the impression that it were the Americans who liberated the camp in January 1945.

Aunt Wiki is cleaning up archival photographs documenting the liberation of prisoners of Auschwitz in January 1945 by Soviet soldiers. Something like that …

Lithuanian journalist Vladimir Vodo showing screenshots with links leadings to the page “Requests for removal/Auschwitz – liberation film”.
“This media file has been designated for deletion since January 13th 2020.”
The link leads to the page “Requests for removal/Auschwitz – liberation film”. The administrator of the site has so far identified two parts of the Soviet documentary and 6 pictures for removal with the following captions: “Auschwitz. It was liberated in January 1945”, “Child_survivors_of_Auschwitz”, “Gas Chamber in the main camp of Auschwitz immediately after liberation”, “Liberated surviving prisoners of Auschwitz concentration camp are taken out of the camp”, “Liberated children of Auschwitz”, and “Soviet soldiers communicate with children freed from Auschwitz”. At the same time there is a note: “Perhaps there are other files that I could not find.”
“I don’t think the liberation film Auschwitz (claimed to be in the public domain) and its screenshots are in the public domain in the United States. Since works (pen) are copyrighted by URAA, these files must be deleted and restored in 2041 (95 years after liberation),” says the administrator.

While the encyclopaedia’s administrators argued that they might not technically be in the public domain, erasing images of the Russian liberation of Auschwitz on Holocaust Memorial Day, it is a well-known fact those who would have the rights of the photographs would for sure, not mind having those photos made public to warn for the atrocities which have taken place and still could repeat, if we are not careful.

In an exclusive interview in Vilnius to the correspondent of Sputnik Lithuania by the head of the organisation “Forgotten Soldiers”, Viktor Orlov made known that their searchers are forbidden to find and rebury the remains of soldiers of the Red Army.

“We have switched to paperwork, although I am very criticised for this by colleagues, who demand to go onto the field. But they do not imagine the situation: every time when finding remains I, as the head of the organisation, was subjected to criminal proceedings, every time I was accused of possible murder. And now the laws have tightened even more – we even have no right to excavate,”

said Viktor Orlov to the correspondent of Sputnik Lithuania.

Viktor Orlov in Tallinn

Viktor Orlov with like-minded people have been engaged in excavations and searching for the unnamed graves of dead Red Army soldiers for almost 15 years. At first, wandering through forests with a metal detector was a passion. But after Viktor first discovered the remains of a Red Army soldier, the search for the remains of soldiers and their burial with all due honours became his main goal in life. And in the first years the Lithuanian authorities supported Viktor Orlov in every way in this desire.

“We signed contracts with various state organisations, with a forensic laboratory – we were able to establish burial sites and to carry out an examination of remains.é

At first there did not seem to be a problem but, unfortunately, after some time the attitude to their activities and in general to everything concerning the period of the liberation of the territory of the Baltics by Soviet troops acquired a slightly different shade.

A few years ago Viktor Orlov became accused of having buried a soldier almost under the cover of the night, and of illegally installing granite stones showing names and years of death.

And they also kicked up a fuss over the star on the stone, accusing me of promoting Soviet symbols. And this is despite the fact that there was no hammer and sickle, as well as other hints of something Communist,”

recalls Orlov.

Searching for, and reburying the remains of, Red Army soldiers was the main activity of the military history association “Forgotten Soldiers”. But with all the pressure and accusations they stopped doing so. All they can seem to do today is to collect information, systematise archival data to respond promptly to the requests of all those interested in the fate of their ancestors, and clean up the graves of Red Army soldiers.

The Lithuanian government says it has now new rules concerning carrying out repair and reconstruction work.

“But so far there are no new rules, no permission, and the monument and signs are stored in a warehouse,”

resents the searcher.

Antakalnis cemetery

Antakalnis cemetery – DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

Russia has long promised to respond to these decisions and actions of the Lithuanian authorities with mirror measures, and responded – it stopped issuing visas to participants of the Lithuanian memorial project “Mission Siberia”, within the framework of which youth units go to restore graves of repressed Lithuanians.

“Instead of sitting down at the negotiating table afterwards, the Lithuanian authorities are only making matters worse. We are a bright example,”

summarises Viktor Orlov, who also warns:

The search engines from the Association of military history “Forgotten soldiers” were forbidden to look up and perezahoranivayut the remains of red army soldiers.

Ukrainian politician, actor, comedian, screenwriter, film producer, and director serving as the 6th president of Ukraine since May 2019, Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelensky whose grandfather, Semyon Ivanovych Zelensky, served in the Red Army during World War II and whose’s father and three brothers got killed in the Holocaust got Russian artists banned and other Russian works of culture from entering Ukraine.

Though Zelensky stated he went into politics to restore trust in politicians and that he wanted

“to bring professional, decent people to power”

and

“would really like to change the mood and timbre of the political establishment, as much as possible.”

Now he seems wanting  people to forget he was/is a Russian-speaking actor from a Jewish family (two in one – a nightmare for nationalists!) and for some reason is trying to show that he is not Russian-speaking at all and does not want to dismantle this Russophobic system.

He too seems not to find any harm in twisting the truth. He said:

“We will never forget Igor Pobirchenko, the commander of a Т-34 tank, who together with his crew were the first to smash the gate of Auschwitz; all the soldiers of the shock battalion of the 100th Lvov Division who entered the camp under the leadership of the Poltava citizen of Jewish origin Anatoly Shapiro”.

giving the impresion it were the Ukrainians who liberated the camp.

The representatives of the Normandy Four countries (Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France), sometimes expanded to include Belarus, Italy and the United Kingdom, aim to resolve the war in Donbass, and created on June 6, 2014 the Normandy Format talks, to

discuss who Crimea belongs to and who isn’t in the Donbass region.

Also there certain people did not want to see the disruption of historical facts and how a president tried to erase Russian events from the past. Nobody seems to want to condemn openly the violation of the civil rights of millions and certain groups wanting to erase historical events. In Paris and Berlin, it is understood that such actions will give Russia an impeccable reason to intervene, and when and how Russia will use it, will be anyone’s guess. The Kremlin has for a decade and a half surprised “Western partners” with the unpredictable effectiveness of its foreign policy actions.

At the moment Mr. Trump one moment seems to play the good friend of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un  and ex-foreign intelligence officer for the KGB (Committee for State Security), Vladimir Putin, next he calls them names, and at the same time he boosts his so-called victories over those two people and over the Soviet system, which he wants people to believe his country made it come to an end.

By bringing continuously false information Donald Trump not only looses credibility but plays dangerous games, making also a lot of Europeans loosing their patience and temper.

The incorrect statement concerning the Americans so-called liberating the concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, was immediately met with scorn online from those who felt this was another example of Soviet erasure and an insult to the enormous sacrifice the U.S.S.R. made to defeat fascism in Europe. Other groups exterminated there, however, included Soviet prisoners of war – a practice only ended by the arrival of the Red Army. All but 92 of the estimated 15,000 Soviets who entered the camp were exterminated. As with their comrades who liberated it, their memory is politically inconvenient for the powerful.

Luckily enough members of the general public were alert enough to react.

+

Preceding

2014 Politics all over the world

Auschwitz survivors providing a warning of rising anti-Semitism and exclusion of free thinking

Black page 70 years Release – commemoration Auschwitz

World remembers Auschwitz survivors

Polish commemoration of the liberation of the concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau

2019 was #4 a Year of much deceit in Belgium and the rest of Europe

++

Find also to read

  1. Francis Fukuyama and ‘The End of History?’
  2. Oswiecim
  3. Seventy-five years ago on January 27
  4. January 27 – 70 years ago Not an end yet to genocide
  5. 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz
  6. 5th World Holocaust Forum
  7. Dedication ceremony for a memorial at Jerusalem’s Sachar Park in honour of the casualties of the Siege of Leningrad
  8. An Anniversary forgotten
  9. What’s the Future of Holocaust Remembrance?
  10. the Soup will not be eaten as hot as it is served
  11. Nazi Germany
  12. On Holocaust Memorial Day US Embassy Falsely Claims America Liberated Auschwitz

+++

Vilnius: we Need to demolish the monuments to Soviet soldiers and to leave the graves unmarked

The department of cultural heritage of Lithuania on military-historical association “Forgotten soldiers” demanded the demolition of the monument not only to the soldiers of the red army, but also representatives of the army of the Russian empire. It is reported by sputnik Lithuania with reference to the mentioned president of the association of viktor orlov. the Lithuanian department announced that the demolition is necessary to implement in the near future, as “The inscriptions on the monuments are contrary to historical fact”.

Find also to read

  1. In Lithuania the search engines banned perezahoranivayut soldiers of the red army
  2. Vilnius: we Need to demolish the monuments to Soviet soldiers and to leave the graves unmarked
  3. Organization fined EUR 1,500 for reburying Soviet soldiers in Vilnius without permits
  4. “Ukrainians Liberated Auschwitz”: Zelensky’s Impudent and Despicable Lie
  5. Lithuanian bodies confirm probe after Soviet heritage defender complains about search
  6. The mayor of Vilnius has demanded to remove the tombstones from the graves of Russian and Soviet soldiers
  7. The Russian journalist was not allowed to Lithuania
  8. Auschwitz Birkenau
  9. Ted Deutch: Joining the world to affirm ‘Never Again’
  10. Survivors of Auschwitz on why they all went back
  11. Ghost of Christmas Past Or Ghost of Christmas Future?
  12. Thus Stalin’s communism murdered the hero who unveiled the Nazi killings of Auschwitz
  13. Pompeo fails to give Ukrainian president the ‘one thing he sought since his election’ >The New York Times reported on Secret
  14. ‘Nobody ever gets points for saying anything good about Russia’: Stephen Cohen says, as Rep. Schiff spreads ignorance about Putin — RT World News
  15. GOP: Time to demand Donald J. Trump resign
  16. Republicans Have Made a Mockery of Impeachment
  17. Zelensky hits reset on decentralisation
  18. Rudy Giulianis Ukraine Investigation Stars Some of Kyivs Most Dubious Characters
Posted in B4Peace, Education, History, News and Politics, Warning, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments