Dico Lucidas - Taceo Nubilas
Wisdom is the sunlight of the soul
The Corona virus making devastation beyond any so-called experts warning. I believe millions will die, conveniently most of the older part of the population, a perfectly designed virus to get rid of the old and save money to keep them alive.
A few lines from the Guardian (21.03.2020)
“According to Sam Gorovitz, a professor of philosophy at Syracuse University and member of the task force, the revisions to the ventilator allocation guidelines include the formation of designated triage committees to determine which critically ill patients will or will not receive life-supporting respiration. Gorovitz told the Guardian he is “100% certain” that New York health administrators will face ethical decision-making in the near future about whom to ventilate – just as it is now making decisions about the allocation of masks and protective equipment. “Consider a patient, 85 years old, on a ventilator, out of hospice care. Along comes a 45-year-old with a family, and in fundamentally good health and a good prospect of full recovery from coronavirus if treated with the best available treatment.
“Is it not only acceptable but ethically necessary to take grandpa off the ventilator and switch him to palliative care, wipe away the tears, and switch the ventilator to the younger patient?” he said.“These decisions are already being faced with regard to protective equipment that is inadequately supplied,” Gorovitz said. “That’s not the same as ventilator allocations, but everyone knows it’s coming, and those decisions are likely being made right now.”
According to the latest death toll in Italy, the average age of 25,000 plus death is 79, my age!!
What about compensation?
China has received billions of orders for various medical equipment – good business for some. One of my sons argues that there should be a place in international law, which allows the nations to sue for compensation; after all, countries such as Japan and Germany have paid huge war compensation (War reparations); moreover, companies are made responsible for their misdeeds. Considering the trillion invested by China in the USA, at least the USA is sitting comfortably.
Knowing lawyers, they must have looked at this issue. When suing a country, most countries take different positions over how they litigate cases. Some just never show up. And so you’ll have a default judgment entered against them. That should not be difficult in the US.
Many lawyers get into such litigation (for the big kill), even it can take years. The real question at the end of the day is not whether you can get a judgment against a foreign country but whether you can enforce it, whether you can collect the damages that a federal court might say you’re entitled to. Here I do not see any problems considering all the assets Chinese own (and the state) in the USA. In fact, this is also the case as to many other countries with a large amount of Chinese assets, many owned by the communist state of China.
I will argue that countries which have no hygiene requirement and allow the so-called wet markets to operate throughout their land, should stand to account, according to the Medinenet: “Wet market: A live animal market, a common sight in many areas of the world and a source of influenza viruses and other infectious disease agents for human beings. SARS outbreaks have been traced to wet markets in southern China. Wet markets sell live poultry, fish, reptiles, and mammals of every kind. Animals may stay from days to weeks.” Wet markets that sell live animals can risk creating the types of dangerous conditions where viruses can spread from animals to humans, due to the close quarters and potentially unsanitary practices – especially if they keep rare animals or those captured from the wild, experts say. How can this be allowed?
Although I do not believe much what the British tabloid press writes, The Mail on Sunday published this:
A report, which is published tomorrow and has been seen by the Mail on Sunday, outlined a number of possible legal avenues including going to the UN (United Nations) and International Court of Justice.
The study titled ‘Coronavirus Compensation: Assessing China’s potential culpability and avenues of legal response’ said: “The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) sought to conceal bad news at the top, and to conceal bad news from the outside world.
“Now China has responded by deploying an advanced and sophisticated disinformation campaign to convince the world that it is not to blame for the crisis and that instead, the world should be grateful for all that China is doing.”
Professor Naill Ferguson writes: Let’s Zoom Xi Jinping. He has questions to answer about coronavirus
FT writes 11 May 2020: “China’s diplomats have done away with diplomacy. In a quest to counter western accusations that coronavirus originated in their country, Beijing’s emissaries have over the past two months substituted courtesy for intimidation.
Claiming that pensioners in French retirement homes were being left to die, threatening a boycott of Australian produce if Canberra pursued an investigation into Covid-19, pressuring governments from Prague to Wellington for public praise in exchange for mask shipments, and tweeting conspiracy theories that the US created the pandemic to hurt China — Beijing has jumped headlong into a furious fight over the pandemic’s narrative.
China’s “Wolf Warrior” diplomats — named after a set of films in which Chinese special-operations fighters defeat west-led mercenaries — have emerged over the past three years. But the virus has pushed its combative tactics to the centre of Beijing’s foreign policy approach.
Chinese and western analysts said that watching Europe and the US struggle to contain the epidemic had helped convince Beijing that it would eclipse America as a global power. “We are seeing version 2.0 of the assertiveness Beijing exhibited following the 2008 global financial crisis,” said Jude Blanchette, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the US think-tank. “It is a result of the conviction of their rising power versus a west in decline.”The push is also driven by frustration that efforts to build what China calls “discourse power” on the international stage have had minimal impact. Even after more than a decade of attempts to counter the west’s more negative narratives about China, “the west still dominates the game”, Nadège Rolland, an analyst at the National Bureau of Asian Research, a US think-tank, wrote in a recent report.”
As to suing the government, after my win at the European Court of Human Rights (in 1989) against Denmark, Geoffrey Robertson QC considered suing Denmark for damages in the United Kingdom; however, Denmark had no assets in the United Kingdom, only shares in Scandinavian Airline System. If one was to seize a plane or two, it could be done by a Mareva Injunction; however, we would have to put up the same amount we were seeking to get from Denmark in damages. Considering Denmark’s involvement in the events in London with my outrageous trumped-up case, I am again serious looking at this but it is a difficult issue.
Almost everywhere, trust in governments, international institutions, and local parliaments collapsing. Even elections and referendums seem to be manipulated and our shared civic life is replaced by closed social media and circles that receive entirely different, often false, information. Even during this Corona crisis, nearly all government lied and acted totally irresponsibly.
As of the 4th July, Covid-19 still dominate the daily headlines; the Economist writes: The world is not experiencing a second wave: it never got over the first. Some 10m people are known to have been infected. Pretty much everywhere has registered cases (Turkmenistan and North Korea have not, though, like Antarctica). For every country such as China, Taiwan, and Vietnam, which seems to be able to contain the virus, there are more, in Latin America and South Asia, where it is raging. Others, including the United States, are at risk of losing control or, in much of Africa, in the early phase of their epidemic. Europe is somewhere in between.
The worst is to come
Based on research in 84 countries, a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reckons that, for each recorded case, 12 go unrecorded and that for every two COVID-19 deaths counted, a third is misattributed to other causes. Without a medical breakthrough, it says, the total number of cases will climb to 200m-600m by spring 2021. At that point, between 1.4m and 3.7m people will have died. Even then, well over 90% of the world’s population will still be vulnerable to infection—more if immunity turns out to be transient.
From where I stand, when the British sent thousands of old people from the hospital back to nursing and care homes, to make places available for Covid-19 patient, without testing first the old people for Covid-19. This allowed them to “get rid” of thousands of old people in the care homes. In my book, it was the state’s obligation to look after these people, who all died in terrible circumstances without their loved ones. The same goes for Sweden, which appears to have taken the opportunity to get rid of many old people. Both nations should be taken to the International Criminal Court, not to speak about so many other nations around the world ranging fro
China is rewriting the facts about Covid-19 to suit its own narrative
Panorama programme shows how Xi Jinping’s government has tried to hide the truth about the spread of coronavirus. ‘Between the beginning of the year and the lockdown, five million people left Wuhan for destinations in China and beyond.
Published on Mon 27 Jul 2020. China has been here before. During the Sars crisis in 2002 and 2003, it hid cases, censored doctors and withheld information from the world for four months. Nearly 800 people died.
EU says China behind ‘huge wave’ of Covid-19 disinformation
Fast forward to 2020. The successor to Sars appeared and has so far caused 600,000 deaths and more than 15 million infections worldwide. The Chinese government says it has been “open, transparent and responsible” throughout; its critics say not open, transparent, or responsible enough to avert disaster.
After Sars, China built a nationwide disease surveillance network and formidable bioscience capacity. It invested in research on bat coronaviruses. Disease control chiefs said it could stop another outbreak. But in 2020 none of these preparations was enough to offset risks coming from other directions: ever more rigid top-down politics inside China and a globetrotting population with direct international flights from Wuhan.
Last December patients started turning up in Wuhan’s hospitals with pneumonia symptoms that didn’t respond to treatment. Doctors were quick to send samples for genetic sequencing which soon revealed a coronavirus closely resembling Sars. Chinese scientists warned the new virus was also contagious, spread by respiratory droplets and on surfaces. But both in Wuhan and in Beijing, health authorities sought to minimise the story, first insisting there was no reason to suspect the virus was transmitted by humans and later that the risk was low.
Frontline doctors didn’t agree. They tried to warn each other on social media but were swiftly silenced, some forced to sign police confessions that they had spread misinformation.
The Hong Kong microbiologist Prof Yuen Kwok-yung had helped to identify Sars back in 2003. As soon as he saw the social media posts from Wuhan, he urged the Hong Kong government to take public health precautions. He told Panorama: “If you don’t make use of every hour, you are in big, big trouble.”
Instead, from 31 December to 20 January, China’s political leaders played down the risks of the virus, squandering the lead their doctors and scientists had given them.
Beijing is naturally sensitive about its early handling of what has gone on to become a global catastrophe. At home, its censorship is so overwhelming that it can control the timeline and edit the facts to suit its narrative. Since January, censors have assiduously deleted documentary evidence and added events and comments retrospectively to suggest leadership engagement. Seven months on, the silencing of doctors and scientists continues, while some Chinese citizens who have tried to preserve inconvenient facts or present a different version of the narrative have disappeared.
As a result, there is no meaningful challenge inside China to the official version of events. According to this version, as soon as Beijing had clear evidence of human transmission of the virus it publicly announced it, and prepared tough control measures including the lockdown of Wuhan on 23 January.
The truth is more complex. For example, Beijing certainly had a key part of its evidence on human transmission a week earlier than the official version admits. On 12 January, Yuen diagnosed a family with the novel coronavirus in Shenzhen, 700 miles from Wuhan. Only some members of the family had been to Wuhan. Yuen immediately alerted authorities in Beijing.
But between the beginning of the year and the lockdown, 5 million people left Wuhan for destinations in China and beyond. Prof Andrew Tatem of the University of Southampton told Panorama: “If the same interventions that were put in place on 23 January had been put in place on 2 January, we might have seen a 95% reduction in the number of cases.”
The Chinese ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, told the BBC: “The Chinese health authorities notified WHO on 31 December in the shortest possible time.” In fact, it was the WHO that had picked up reports of the outbreak on the internet – and on 1 January sought answers from the Chinese government. China responded two days later.
China’s response time was much faster than during the Sars outbreak 17 years ago, but most close observers of the Chinese Communist party say full transparency is never its first instinct and that under the leadership of Xi Jinping, information control has grown ever tighter. Challenged on the silencing of doctors and scientists in early January, a key government adviser, Prof Li Lanjuan, told us: “To announce its contagiousness if it is not yet confirmed, would cause public panic. Therefore we must be responsible to the public and ascertain the facts first.”
Some governments have demanded an international investigation in China to determine the origins and early spread of the virus. The Chinese government says it will join a global inquiry into the pandemic but only when the crisis is over. It says it should not be blamed as it is a victim too, and that its tough measures to combat the Wuhan outbreak prevented hundreds of thousands of infections and bought the world time.
Dr Ali Khan spent much of his career in the US Centers for Disease Control and says the world now needs to think ahead. “We can’t afford to do this again. If … some countries having an outbreak [are] deciding to not share that information, there have to be consequences.”
But what consequences? The WHO’s regulations on protecting against the international spread of disease are legally binding, but there are no sanctions for countries that fail to adhere to them. In recent weeks, western governments have begun adopting a tougher tone towards Beijing on a range of issues, but there is little sign of a concerted international push for new WHO inspection powers to tackle future disease outbreaks. Indeed, the US has just withdrawn funding for the WHO, alleging that the global health body served as Beijing’s puppet during the early stages of coronavirus.
For now, we are left hoping that China’s leadership has learned its own lessons about the need to act faster to protect its own public and the world.
Where do all the dirty money go?
Most international bankers know, as I have known the last 60 years, that when it comes to money – everything is possible. Moreover, London is the heart of the world’s money laundering. An 18-month investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, or ICIJ. The investigation is based on a data leak of suspicious activity reported to Fincen, the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
Published in cooperation with “Buzzfeed”, the research shows as much as $2 trillion of allegedly criminal money making its way into the legitimate financial system. U.S. and other officials have repeatedly fined and sanctioned international wealth managers for laundering money.
The report highlights five global banks in particular – J.P. Morgan, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Deutsche Bank, and Bank of New York Mellon.
The FinCEN Files are another big leak of secret files, detailing the failure of major global banks to stop money laundering and financial crime. They also expose how the UK is often the weak link in the financial system and how London is awash with Russian cash, something I wrote about back in 2011, see: Moments in My Mind
FinCEN Files: All you need to know about the leak of the documents
I have argued in the last 35 years that you can’t stop banks from receiving criminal money or tainted money, since it is against the nature of bankers not to make money. Moreover, there will always be banks that will accept any larger sums of money. A Swiss banker told me back in the mid-60s that “money does not smell”, not quite true; I recall receiving millions in cash from East Africa, collected among families – that did indeed smell.
In the old days, the bank regulated themselves who they wanted to do business with. When the compliance department in banks started getting bigger than the marketing and sale (getting new customers) everything in my mind went wrong. The bankers want business and new customers and will always accept big money. They will try to accommodate the client and even set-up ways to hide transactions via offshore entities.
I wrote in 2007 that London was the biggest receiver of stolen money. The City lawyers and other advisors have helped the few to plunder their countries, steal and rob mostly the poor. London has, certainly in my time from the sixties to now be welcoming everyone with open arms, never mind where the money came from, how larger amount how better.
London has allowed the few in Africa, Asia and South America to steal and hide their loot, and recently the few from Russia and Eastern Europe to rob their citizen. I have argued in the last 35 years that you can’t stop banks from receiving criminal money or tainted money, since it is against the nature of bankers not to make money. Moreover, there will always be banks that will accept any larger sums of money. A Swiss banker told me back in the mid-60s that “money does not smell”, not quite true; I recall receiving millions in cash from East Africa, collected among families – that did smell indeed.
It is London City who foremost allowed the few politicians, civil servants and oligarchs to steal from their countries, from South America, Asia and Africa. In the recent time allowed the Russians and East European oligarchs to clean their dirty stolen money. When the British made out that Switzerland was the benefactor of dirty money, even back in the 70s and 80s, London was a far greater receiver, partly because the lawyers and advisors in London were very professional and built up considerable expertise through the years.
London still is the Wild West as to property, with local corruption all over the place. An environment I worked in for years in Mayfair fighting. As Simon Jenkins writes: London is the wild west of the global property market – and it needs a sheriff.
A recent investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalist: The power of money: how autocrats use London to strike foes worldwide — The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (thebureauinvestigates.com)
UN at 75 years
I fully agree with United States and indeed President Trump’s speech to the UN, Sept. 22, 2020, where he said:..
“In the earliest days of the virus, China locked down travel domestically while allowing flights to leave China and infect the world. China condemned my travel ban on their country, even as they cancelled domestic flights and locked citizens in their homes.
The Chinese government and the World Health Organization — which is virtually controlled by China — falsely declared that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission. Later, they falsely said people without symptoms would not spread the disease.
The United Nations must hold China accountable for their actions.”
Professor Niall Ferguson put “Six Questions for Xi Jinping” earlier this year. Read: http://www.niallferguson.com/blog – China did indeed sent the virus out to the world by allowing planeloads of Chinese to go out and spread this deadly illness including to Italy – Shameful!!!. In today’s world, there are many types of warfare, this is not the first time that China uses such weapons – The End justifies the Means!! Frankly like many countries, however, China is not like other countries. The rest of the world must take actions. I am afraid it is too late we have already been raped. We have allowed China to steal our patents and advanced technologies, moreover, exploit our pluralistic and so-called democratic societies. To me, this will be the Century of China, having to reach world dominance.
Interestingly, I started out in life with a chronicle-article in the Danish newspaper Politiken criticising “democracy” and in fact wrote, that democracy is only to be exploited by the few (very true looking at the events in Washington). Whereas dictatorship could benefit the many if it was lead by technocrats and people with experience. Sadly at the time, I was wrong, and 15 years old, as I know 65 years later, dictatorship always turn our to only benefit very few people, as all humans are greedy, like now in China and Russia.
British inequality is the root of many problems
As I for years have pointed out, as a Scandinavian, the inequality in the United Kingdom and growing inequity has always to me been a striking feature of British society. I saw this in the late 1950s through the 1960s and thereafter for years into the new century. This inequality is the true foundation for many evils, including, Brexit, the justice system and now the handling of the Covid-19 crisis.
“More than 100,000 people have died from coronavirus in the UK since the disease first appeared in the country almost a year ago, in what public health experts have said is a sign of “phenomenal failure of policy and practice”.
Government figures on Wednesday showed a record daily reported 1,564 new fatalities, bringing the total to 101,160.”
Lawsuit Claims Roche Duped US for $1.5 Billion in Tamiflu Sales
“Lawyers who took on a case against Swiss pharmaceutical company Hoffman-La Roche stated on Monday (16 March 2020) that the corporation falsely claimed that Tamiflu, one of its highest-grossing products, could help limit a potential influenza pandemic by preventing the transmission of the virus. To verify its claims, Roche relied on a number of flawed scientific studies, sometimes written by Roche-hired ghostwriters or people with close ties to the company, the lawsuit said.” See more: The Pharma Letter
They use to say in Switzerland that if broke the banking secrecy you could end up dead somewhere; however, if you had something on the Swiss pharma industry, you for sure would end up in concrete at the bottom of the Vierwaldstättersee. The lawyer feeding on my Swiss estate von Wyss had for years been the head of the association of Swiss pharma distributors when I asked him about this saying, he just smiled and said sure!
When I was young, we believed that lawyers were wise about the law. At my age, I know that most professions are leaches, more or less. I have seen Dentists, who in the first year of school learn only about client relationships and how to extend treatment. I have lost millions on lawyers’ neglect and exploitation.
Bankers are always banksters; they simply can’t help it, that is in the nature of banking. Just take the latest Great Fraud (mostly American), where 5 trillion Dollars was lost, with 8 million people losing their jobs and 6 million losing their homes, just think of the misery and only one banker went to jail. Even, (of course) the rating agencies were in on this systemic fraud.
We will soon see the greatest fraud of all, money, what is money, today’s fiat currency is solely based on trust and I.O.Y. issued by countries to their citizens. Most people are totally blind to the deceit by the few, how long can the printing press go on? To me, the paper and promises issued by countries and international monetary authorities will be worthless. See the growing debts of the world from The Economist’s The global debt clock. We are witnessing the beginning of the end with soon a USD 60 trillion debt; the chickens have come home to roust, with the issues of trillions of debt to support the fight against the Covid-19, ultimately leading to a total collapse of our present financial system and let us hope a new world order. I foresee huge devaluations and high inflation – Big time!!!
Perhaps we can hope that it will teach us a lesson about inequality. I believe that inequality is the most significant problem in our time. It is most unfair and felt unfair to the people who endure so much suffering.
Something positive The Guardian newspaper report:
Global alliance formed to counter China threat amid rising tensions
Lawmakers from EU parliament and eight other countries create a new body.
“International cooperation is needed to protect democratic values from an increasingly assertive communist China, a new group made up of lawmakers from eight countries and the EU parliament has said.
The legislators, representing parties across the political spectrum, have formed a global alliance, the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, to push their governments to take a stronger stance on relations with the country.
In Britain, the group will be co-chaired by the Labour peer Helena Kennedy and the former Conservative party leader Iain Duncan-Smith. The other members of the group are Japan, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Australia, and the European Union, as well as the US. The US senators Marco Rubio and Robert Menendez are co-chairs.
“China, under the rule of the Chinese Communist Party represents a global challenge,” the co-chairs said in a statement. “When countries have stood up for the values and human rights, they have done so alone, sometimes, at great cost. No country should have to shoulder this burden on their own.”
This was all before China’s total contempt for human beings – by killing the “Golden Goose” Hong Kong!
The Economist writes 7 July: “The world is entitled to be shocked by these developments, but not surprised. The crushing of the Tiananmen protests showed the party’s ruthless determination to destroy the opposition no matter what the cost to its global reputation. The world’s horror at that bloodshed, and the sanctions the West imposed on China in 1989, did not change the party’s views. And China was a minnow back then, it’s economy smaller than Spain’s. It is even less likely to pay heed to foreign critics today.
Hong Kong’s suffering holds a lesson for the world. China’s rulers cannot be trusted to keep their promises and they will stop at nothing to suppress dissent. This calls for heightened vigilance about China’s rise, especially as it affects Taiwan. The party has shown that it would rather be feared than admired.”
Some important views from a great economist
Nouriel Roubini told the International Monetary Fund back in September 2006. what it didn’t want to hear and he rightly predicted the U.S. housing market would soon collapse. At a 2006 address to the International Monetary Fund, Roubini warned of the impending recession due to the credit and housing market bubble. His predictions of these upside-down balance sheets became a reality in 2008, with the bubble bursting and reverberating around the world into a global financial crisis – a recession we’re only recently rebounding from after a decade climb.
The New York University professor now foresees a slow, lacklustre (i.e., “U-shaped”) economic rebound in the pandemic’s immediate aftermath. But he insists that this recovery will quickly collapse beneath the weight of the global economy’s accumulated debts. Specifically, Roubini argues that the massive private debts accrued during both the 2008 crash and COVID-19 crisis will durably depress consumption and weaken the short-lived recovery. Meanwhile, the ageing of populations across the West will further undermine growth while increasing the fiscal burdens of states already saddled with hazardous debt loads. Although deficit spending is necessary for the present crisis and will appear benign at the onset of recovery, it is laying the kindling for an inflationary conflagration by mid-decade.
As the deepening geopolitical rift between the United States and China triggers a wave of deglobalisation, negative supply shocks akin those of the 1970s are going to raise the cost of real resources, even as hyper exploited workers suffer perpetual wage and benefit declines. Prices will rise, but growth will peter out since ordinary people will be forced to pare back their consumption more and more. Stagflation will beget depression. And through it all, humanity will be beset by unnatural disasters, from extreme weather events wrought by man-made climate change to pandemics induced by our disruption of natural ecosystems.
Roubini allows that, after a decade of misery, we may get around to developing a “more inclusive, cooperative, and stable international order.” But, he hastens to add, “any happy ending assumes that we find a way to survive” the hard times to come. (See New York Magazine)
“We are in the foothills of a Cold War.” Those were the words of Henry Kissinger when Niall Ferguson interviewed him at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Beijing last November.”
Niall Ferguson writes an interesting article: America and China are Entering the Dark Forest
“The Covid-19 pandemic has done more than intensify Cold War II. It has revealed its existence to those who last year doubted it. The Chinese Communist Party caused this disaster — first by covering up how dangerous the new virus SARS-CoV-2 was, then by delaying the measures that might have prevented its worldwide spread.
Yet now China wants to claim the credit for saving the world from the crisis it caused. Liberally exporting cheap and not wholly reliable ventilators, testing kits and face masks, the Chinese government has sought to snatch victory from the jaws of a defeat it inflicted. The deputy director of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s information department has gone so far as to endorse a conspiracy theory that the coronavirus originated in the U.S. and retweet an article claiming that an American team had brought the virus with them when they participated in the World Military Games in Wuhan last October.”
The usual corruption in high places
According to the Guardian: The UK has spent more than £2.5bn on services and equipment related to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to fresh analysis that raises concerns about “opaque” contracts around the world wasting money and putting lives at risk.
A report by the Open Contracting Partnership and Spend Network found governments had spent $130bn (£97bn) on pandemic-related contracts, including on PPE (personal protective equipment) and other medical supplies, out of an annual procurement spend of nearly $13tn.
But the two organisations, which have built a searchable database of international procurement contracts, warned that a lack of transparency and high-quality data about money spent with private firms meant huge sums could be wasted.
“Companies with no relevant experience were awarded huge contracts for medical equipment, without transparency or competition,” they said.
“Supplies failed to arrive or did not meet the required standards, leaving medical staff without critical resources and costing lives.”
They pointed to examples such as the UK hedge fund that supplied 50m masks deemed unsafe for NHS workers, a Bosnian raspberry farm that secured a contract for ventilators, and a vodka distributor facing a pending lawsuit for overstating projected sales that won a US federal contract for surgical masks.
Analysis carried out by the organisations for the Guardian showed the UK had spent £2.5bn on procurement contracts related to Covid-19. Some of these have proved controversial, with at least £1bn of Covid-19 contracts awarded without a competitive process.
They include an £840,000 contract to research public opinion about government policies to a company owned by two long-term associates of Michael Gove and Dominic Cummings. (See the article in the Guardian).
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism wrote last July: “The UK prides itself on a strong reputation for fighting corruption. Yet UK professionals and institutions actually play a major role in facilitating global crime and misdeeds. This reality, and what it means for our society, is not widely reported, meaning it cannot be widely understood or challenged. This needs to change.”
Having been myself one of these professionals back in the 1960s early 70s, I am fully aware of the misdeeds of the British “City” institutions and professionals; we were always there to advise and get paid – find some milking cows.
Excerpted from One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger, by Matthew Yglesias.
“The United States is not “full.” In fact, it is empty. Right now, the country has about 93 people per square mile. Many, many countries are far denser than this, and not just city-states like Singapore (more than 20,000 per square mile) or small island nations like Malta (3,913 per square mile). South Korea has 1,337 people per square mile, and Belgium has 976. If you tripled the population of the United States, adding the new Americans only to the Lower 48 and leaving Alaska and Hawaii intact and unchanged, the main part of America would be only about as dense as France and less than half as dense as Germany.
A transformation on that scale is almost impossible to imagine, in large part because the American political system has fallen into a state of torpor and dysfunction driven by, among other things, the absence of the shared sense of purpose that once bound the national experiment. But while contemporary politics is terrifying in certain ways, it has also opened up again the possibility of goals, and projects, and ideas — probably the biggest opportunity in a generation for new ideas to take hold. So here is one big one: a billion Americans……”
Published by Portfolio, an imprint of the Penguin Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2020 by Matthew Yglesias.
US cancels 1,000 China student visas, claiming ties to the military
Finally, US is taken proper action revoking visas since 1 June after Trump order to tackle intellectual property theft. China had been “abusing student visas to exploit American academia”, said Chad Wolf, acting secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, in a speech on Wednesday. “We are blocking visas for certain Chinese graduate students and researchers with ties to China’s military fusion strategy to prevent them from stealing and otherwise appropriating sensitive research.”
US sabre-rattling towards China could rip apart the core of the global economy
An interesting assessment of the world economy and China is made by Isabella Weber a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the author of the forthcoming book How China Escaped Shock Therapy
An interesting view by Simon Jenkins: It’s not just our ministers who are rotten – our whole system of government, from local to national, is at fault. I agree with every word.
China is in the midst of its darkest period for human rights since the Tiananmen Square massacre, Human Rights Watch has said in its annual report.
But 2020 was also the year that world governments found “safety in numbers” to push back on China’s policies of repression, with less fear of retaliation, it said.
Worsening persecutions of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia and Tibet, targeting of whistleblowers, the crackdown on Hong Kong and attempts to cover up the coronavirus outbreak were all part of the deteriorating situation under President Xi Jinping, the organisation said. This has been the darkest period for human rights in China since the 1989 massacre that ended the Tiananmen Square democracy movement,” the report on worldwide human rights abuses said.
Top scientists warn of ‘ghastly future of mass extinction‘ and climate disruption
Sobering new report says world is failing to grasp the extent of threats posed by biodiversity loss and the climate crisis
The planet is facing a “ghastly future of mass extinction, declining health and climate-disruption upheavals” that threaten human survival because of ignorance and inaction, according to an international group of scientists, who warn people still haven’t grasped the urgency of the biodiversity and climate crises.
On a brighter note, something, for me giving hope, for our world tomorrow. On January 20, 2021, the 22-year-old Amanda Gorman read at the inauguration of President Joe Biden. A Miracle of Morning,” a poem written several years ago “when hurricanes, hate crimes, and deportations were some of the many crises in our headlines.” The poem now re-emerges during a pandemic, each line filled with words of hope for a golden morning.
By Amanda Gorman
I thought I’d awaken to a world in mourning.
Heavy clouds crowding, a society storming.
But there’s something different on this golden morning.
Something magical in the sunlight, wide and warming.
I see a dad with a stroller taking a jog.
Across the street, a bright-eyed girl chases her dog.
A grandma on a porch fingers her rosaries.
She grins as her young neighbor brings her groceries.
While we might feel small, separate, and all alone,
Our people have never been more closely tethered.
The question isn’t if we will weather this unknown,
But how we will weather this unknown together.
So on this meaningful morn, we mourn and we mend.
Like light, we can’t be broken, even when we bend.
As one, we will defeat both despair and disease.
We stand with healthcare heroes and all employees;
With families, libraries, schools, waiters, artists;
Businesses, restaurants, and hospitals hit hardest.
We ignite not in the light, but in lack thereof,
For it is in loss that we truly learn to love.
In this chaos, we will discover clarity.
In suffering, we must find solidarity.
For it’s our grief that gives us our gratitude,
Shows us how to find hope, if we ever lose it.
So ensure that this ache wasn’t endured in vain:
Do not ignore the pain. Give it purpose. Use it.
Read children’s books, dance alone to DJ music.
Know that this distance will make our hearts grow fonder.
From a wave of woes our world will emerge stronger.
We’ll observe how the burdens braved by humankind
Are also the moments that make us humans kind;
Let every dawn find us courageous, brought closer;
Heeding the light before the fight is over.
When this ends, we’ll smile sweetly, finally seeing
In testing times, we became the best of beings.
Covid has made inequality even worse
Comparisons are odious, but some are sensational. According to Oxfam, the wealth of the world’s 10 richest individuals has risen by £400bn since the start of the pandemic. That sum could apparently vaccinate every adult on Earth, as well as restore the income lost in 2020 to the world’s poorest people. These figures emerged on the opening day of the Davos World Economic Forum, which is taking place virtually this year. Read Simon Jenkins article in the Guardian
US billionaires ‘have received $1.1tn windfall in Covid pandemic’
Billions made by richest 660 people could pay for all of coronavirus relief package, says IPS. The richest 660 people in the US have collected a $1.1tn (£800bn) “windfall of wealth” since the coronavirus pandemic began, according to a report by a US progressive think tank, the Institute for Policy Studies.
EU ‘not fit for purpose’ to reduce poverty in Europe, says UN envoy
One in five people – more than 92.4 million or 21.1% of the EU population – still experiences poverty, defined as having an income below 60% of national median income. A total of 19.4 million children, representing 23.1%, live in poverty across the bloc.
Will the origins of coronavirus remain buried forever in secrets and lies?
While the world battles to control Covid, an international team has arrived in China to investigate the source. But with evidence provided by Chinese officials, will we ever get to the truth? Kim Sengupta reports
Chinese warplanes simulated attacking US carrier near Taiwan
Chinese military aircraft simulated missile attacks on a nearby US aircraft carrier during an incursion into Taiwan’s air defence zone three days after Joe Biden’s inauguration, according to intelligence from the US and its allies.
The People’s Liberation Army sent 11 aircraft into the south-western corner of Taiwan’s air defence zone on January 23, and 15 aircraft into the same area the next day, according to Taiwan’s defence ministry.
People familiar with intelligence collected by the US and its allies said the bombers and some of the fighter aircraft involved were conducting an exercise that used a group of US Navy vessels led by the carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt in the same area as a simulated target.
At least 331 human rights defenders were murdered in 2020, report finds
Two-thirds of those killed worked to protect environmental, land and indigenous peoples’ rights, while those providing Covid relief also faced reprisals. At least 331 human rights defenders promoting social, environmental, racial and gender justice in 25 countries were murdered in 2020, with scores more beaten, detained and criminalised because of their work, analysis has found.
Latin America, the most dangerous continent in the world in which to protect environmental, land and human rights, accounted for more than three-quarters of all the murders of human rights defenders in 2020. In Colombia, where activists are routinely targeted by armed groups despite a 2016 peace deal, 177 such deaths were recorded, more than half of the global total. The Philippines was the second deadliest country with 25 murders, followed by Honduras, Mexico, Afghanistan, Brazil and Guatemala.
While the majority (69%) of those killed were working on environmental, land or indigenous peoples’ rights, activists also found themselves being targeted simply for providing Covid-19 relief to their communities, according to a report published on Thursday by the advocacy group Front Line Defenders (FLD). Read this shocking report: Layout 1 (frontlinedefenders.org)
Brexit cost will be four times greater for UK than EU, Brussels forecasts
Departure to cost EU 0.5% of GDP but UK 2.25% by end 2022, according to first official estimate since deal was agreed.
The economic blow dealt by Brexit will be four times greater in the UK than the EU, according to the latest forecasts by Brussels.
A month into the new relationship, the European commission said the UK’s exit on the terms agreed by Boris Johnson’s government would generate a loss in gross domestic product (GDP) by the end of 2022 of about 2.25% in the UK compared with continued membership. In contrast, the hit for the EU is estimated to be about 0.5% over the same period.
Equivalent to lost economic output worth more than £40bn over two years, the commission said that although worse damage had been avoided thanks to the 11th-hour trade deal signed in December, substantial barriers to trade still remained and would come with a heavier cost for Britain. Brexit cost will be four times greater for UK than EU, Brussels forecasts | Brexit | The Guardian
Revealed: 6,500 migrant workers have died in Qatar as it gears up for World Cup
More than 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have died in Qatar since it won the right to host the World Cup 10 years ago, the Guardian can reveal.
The findings, compiled from government sources, mean an average of 12 migrant workers from these five south Asian nations had died each week since the night in December 2010 when the streets of Doha were filled with ecstatic crowds celebrating Qatar’s victory.
Data from India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka revealed there were 5,927 deaths of migrant workers in the period 2011–2020. Separately, data from Pakistan’s embassy in Qatar reported a further 824 deaths of Pakistani workers between 2010 and 2020.
China could invade Taiwan in the next six years, top US admiral warns
Asia Pacific commander Philip Davidson says Beijing wants to take Washington’s world leadership role by 2050. China could invade Taiwan within the next six years as Beijing accelerates its moves to supplant American military power in Asia, a top US commander has warned.
Democratic and self-ruled Taiwan lives under constant threat of invasion by China, whose leaders view the island as part of their territory and which they have vowed to one day take back. Read The Guardian
Beijing 2022: 180 human rights groups call for Winter Olympics boycott
More than 180 organisations want countries to skip the event as a way of demonstrating their opposition to China’s rights record.
The coalition of groups – primarily regional associations in support of Tibet, Taiwan, the Uighur community and Hong Kong – said the hopes in 2015 that awarding Beijing the Games would be a catalyst for progress had faded.
“Since then … President Xi Jinping has unleashed an unrelenting crackdown on basic freedom and human rights,” the group said, calling on governments to boycott the event to ensure it wasn’t used to “embolden” the Chinese government as they said the 2008 summer Olympics had done. “The IOC knows the Chinese authorities are arbitrarily detaining Uighurs and other Muslims, expanding state surveillance, and silencing numerous peaceful critics,” said Sophie Richardson, HRW’s China director. “Its failure to publicly confront Beijing’s serious human rights violations makes a mockery of its own commitments and claims that the Olympics are a ‘force for good’.”
One of my daughters-in-law, Wilhelmina, sent me this video link from Henry de la Croix.
‘Land is Sacred
All Life is Sacred
Peace is Sacred
Freedom is Sacred
Earth is Sacred
Sky is Sacred
Fire is Sacred
Water is Sacred
Family is Sacred
Humanity is Sacred
Our Planet is Sacred
The Universe is Sacred
How Can We Choose to Remember as Human Beings to Live in Harmony with the Land, Our Mother & All Living Beings?
How Can We Choose To Live in Peace With All Our Sisters & Brothers, even if they have a different opinion?
Do We All, in the End, Want the very Same for All of Us?
Love, Joy, Health, Happiness, Abundance, Prosperity, Guidance & Blessing
How Can We Choose in these Amazing times of transformation to Be Present, Hold Space, Breath in Breath Out, Enjoy Life & Be Grateful?
How Can We Share Our Gift with the World
Humble in Harmony from the Heart?
How Can We Play the Game of Life from Our Heart, knowing that All We Do from Our Heart is a Prayer?
How Can We Choose Consciously every Day?
Understanding that through our Actions We Teach Our Children?
How Can We Leave the Earth a Better Place For the Ones Who Come After Us?
Did We Inherit the Earth from Our Ancestors? Or Do We Borrow It from Our Children?
Can We As Humanity Make Lasting Choices, which Are Good For Us, Feel Good For Us, For Our Loved Ones, Neighbours, Humanity the Earth & All Living Beings?
We Are The Ones We Have Been Waiting For
We Are the Change We Wish For Our World
What Do We Choose?
What Do You Choose?
Ahoy One Earth, One Tribe, One Heart, One Prayer.
We Are All Love, Light & Life 💗🌈🌏
My Name is
Fire Horse, He Who’s Spirit is Unbroken
Dedicated to Love, Peace & Harmony
Wanted for Theft of My Home
Villa les Anges
In March 2007 a company I was 100% shareholder of, purchased our home for many years, a large property overlooking Monaco. At the time my soulmate for 18 years was dying.
The Company was managed by a trusted company in Jersey Channel Island (now Equiom) and regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission.
I was a director of the Company, but without my knowledge, the “trustee” in Jersey removed me as a director, 26 months later, despite the fact that I owned 100% of the Company. This was a criminal action with the objective to steal my property and the Company’s assets. My home was valued in 2008 by AXA Banking to be in excess of € 2.5 million. A few years before a Russian oligarch had offered us € 6 million, as he recognised we had the best location overlooking Monaco and the harbour, moreover, our neighbour had spent more than €55 million on his property.
Equiom sold my property to a client and friend, at the lowest price possible, taking cash on the side as payment and stealing my art collection, valuable inventory, furniture and family items.
After 9 years, they have never accounted for this money or paid any money to the rightful owner.
The people who stole my home
Andrew John Sainter
Robert Shaun Farley
Christiaan De Bruyn
Maitre Olivares-Vives (Nice)
The present management of Equiom, headed by Mark Porter and Nick Evans try to cover up this fraud.