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The Most Revolutionary Act

3 Federal Agencies Hit With Lawsuits in Ongoing Quest to Uncover COVID Origins

U.S. Right to Know last week filed three new Freedom of Information Act lawsuits against federal agencies as part of an ongoing effort to uncover what is known about the origins of COVID-19, leaks or mishaps at biosafety labs and the risks of gain-of-function research.

The nonprofit investigative public health group has filed more than 90 state, federal and international public records requests since July 2020, seeking information related to the origins of SARS-CoV-2.

The group filed the three new lawsuits after federal agencies failed to respond to several FOIA requests, instead withholding documents and information that potentially shed light on the origins of COVID-19 and related issues.

“The public and global scientific community have a right to know what data exists about these matters,” USRTK said.

HHS, DARPA, National Library of Medicine targets of latest lawsuits

USRTK filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM) after they ignored USRTK’s request, submitted in June, for information about Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) inquiries made before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Researchers commonly use BLAST to compare potentially new genetic sequences to a database of known sequences. The lawsuit seeks to uncover whether anyone was using BLAST to align a nucleic acid or amino acid sequence identical to parts of the SARS-CoV-2 genome before the pandemic.

USRTK Executive Director Gary Ruskin explained the significance of this investigation in a tweet:

In response to the original FOIA request, the NLM told USRTK it had “no responsive records,” but didn’t provide details about how it looked into the issue. NLM ignored USRTK’s appeal with follow-up questions, which led to the lawsuit.

USRTK filed another lawsuit against the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) when it didn’t respond to two FOIA requests from October 2020 and March 2021.

The first request sought records about funding contracts, grant agreements and communications about funding DARPA provided to Duke University in 2017, as part of DARPA’s Pandemic Prevention Platform program.

The funding granted to the Duke Human Vaccine Institute, housed in the Duke Regional Biocontainment Laboratory, provided $12.8 million over 30 months to develop a system capable of halting viral pandemics within 60 days.

The second FOIA request sought contracts, grants and communication pertaining to eight contracts funded by DARPA’s PREventing EMerging Pathogenic Threats program to develop technology to surveil and model viral pathogens in animals and insects with the potential for human spillover.

USRTK filed a third lawsuit against HHS and the NLM for ignoring an August 2022 FOIA asking the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to release all early SARS-CoV-2 sequences or SARS-like sequences that might be suppressed or withheld from public view.

The investigative nonprofit filed the FOIA request after researchers found NIH had deleted SARS-CoV-2 sequences from its databases.

In 2021, Jesse Bloom, Ph.D., an evolutionary biologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, uncovered 13 sequences from early in the Wuhan outbreak that were deleted from the NIH Sequence Read Archive at the submitter’s request.

USRTK also reported that in July 2022, the NIH released 163 spike protein sequences from SARS-like coronaviruses originally submitted in 2018. Ten days later those sequences were removed from public view.

Karolina Corin, Ph.D., staff scientist at USRTK, underscored the importance of this FOIA request in August, tweeting:

Bloom and other scientists concurred, writing in Science:

“Whether the origins are from a lab leak or from zoonotic spillover, knowing how COVID-19 emerged is critical for informing strategies to mitigate risk of future outbreaks.”

‘Full and honest picture’ of COVID origins and gain-of-function research dangers suppressed

Two hypotheses exist regarding the COVID-19 virus origins — one that it resulted from a natural “zoonotic” spillover and the other that it resulted from a “lab leak” from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), a biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) laboratory partially funded by the U.S. government.

A group of researchers associated with the WIV and EcoHealth Alliance, a U.S.-based nonprofit that collaborated with WIV on coronavirus research, heavily promoted the zoonotic spillover hypothesis.

In March 2020, the researchers published a letter in Nature Medicine asserting that the lab theory was not “plausible.”

The letter was influential in discrediting those who questioned the zoonotic origin hypothesis as “conspiracy theorists,” despite the fact that other scientists continued to call for research into the origins of COVID-19.

Dr. Anthony Fauci’s email correspondence from January to June 2020, obtained by the Washington Post, Buzzfeed News and CNN through FOIA requests, showed researchers had alerted Fauci and his colleagues early on to the possibility that COVID-19 may have leaked from the Wuhan lab.

The emails also show that Fauci and then director of the NIH, Dr. Francis Collins, participated in a teleconference where they advised the researchers who drafted the letter not to mention the possibility of a lab leak.

In a White House press conference, Fauci later pointed to that letter as evidence the virus had a zoonotic origin.

In August, House Republicans said they would open an inquiry into the potential lab origins of COVID-19 if they won a majority in the House in the midterm elections. They won that majority this November.

On Tuesday, Fauci told reporters in a White House briefing that he will fully cooperate with House Republicans if they launch an investigation into the origins of COVID-19. “I have no trouble testifying — we can defend and explain everything that we’ve said.”

Appearing on Sunday’s Meet the Press, Fauci added that he had a “completely open mind” regarding the origins of the virus, and conceded that the zoonotic origin hypothesis “hasn’t been definitively proven.”

The “lab leak” hypothesis is supported by a history of safety concerns with high-level biosafety labs in general and the BSL-4 lab in Wuhan in particular.

Published research and U.S. federal grants to EcoHealth Alliance to fund WIV’s coronavirus research demonstrate that WIV stored potentially dangerous SARS-like coronaviruses, and carried out gain-of-function research in collaboration with U.S. universities.

In June, The Defender reported that the World Health Organization acknowledged there are crucial information gaps hindering its investigation into COVID-19 origins, leaving open the possibility the virus could have escaped from a lab.

This statement contradicted WHO’s earlier claim that it was “extremely unlikely” COVID-19 leaked from the WIV.

ProPublica and Vanity Fair investigated WIV this fall, reporting “a complex and grave situation” inside of “a biocomplex in crisis.” In late October, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) also released an interim report into the origins of the COVID-19 virus that strongly supported the lab-leak theory.

Given the limited investigation and the lack of transparency regarding the research into the origins of COVID-19, gain-of-function research and biolabs, USRTK in July 2020 began submitting public records requests because the group was “concerned that the national security apparatuses of the United States, China and elsewhere, and the university, industry and governmental entities with which they collaborate, may not provide a full and honest picture of the origins of SARS-CoV-2 and the dangers of gain-of-function research.”

[…]

Via https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/federal-agencies-lawsuits-covid-origins/

60% of Great Britain’s manufacturing sector risks closure due to soaring energy prices

60% of Great Britain’s manufacturing sector risks closure due to soaring energy prices
Dr Eddy Betterman

The results of a new survey on the current state of the British economy are dire, suggesting that as many as six in 10 manufacturing businesses throughout the country are at risk of closing due to skyrocketing energy bills.

MakeUK, a manufacturing lobby organization in the United Kingdom, announced over the weekend that 42 percent of British manufacturing businesses have already seen their electricity bills double over the past year. About 32 percent have also seen their gas bills double.

Already, some 13 percent of British manufacturers have had to pare down their hours of operation to compensate for energy inflation. Twelve percent, we are told, have had to lay off workers as a result of ever-increasing energy costs.

If things continue on the current hyperinflationary trajectory – and there is no reason to believe otherwise – then at least 50 percent of British manufacturing businesses will have to close up shop entirely in the coming months.

“Out of control energy bills are now business threatening for 60% of manufacturers,” tweeted Make UK Campaigns about how the figure is likely even higher. “We’re calling on Government to look at introducing an Industry Price Cap to freeze energy bills at an agreed rate.”

Goldman Sachs says UK inflation to reach 22 percent next year

MakeUK has proposed a 100-day plan for the new incoming prime minister, Liz Truss, that lays out a roadmap for navigating the crisis. It includes:

  • A call for an emergency budget
  • A demand to commission the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to review the Shortage Occupation List (SOL), which outlines key job roles in high demand throughout the UK that could be recruited from overseas more easily
  • An overhaul of the Apprenticeship Levy “to ensure British people are among the most productive and highly skilled workers in the world”

As wholesale energy prices continue to soar, banking giant Goldman Sachs has issued a prediction that inflation in the UK could reach 22 percent next year. This is what MakeUK is trying to plan ahead for by pushing energy price caps.

Keep in mind that a major driving factor in the energy crisis is the UK and Europe’s aggressive push for “green” energy. Going green, it turns out, means going lean on everything, including the national economy.

An energy bill protest is also on the way come October when tens of thousands of Brits are expected to just stop paying.

Goldman Sachs says that the energy sector could see another m

ore than 80 percent price increase before the next review in January, which, combined with other sectors of the economy, “impl[ies] headline inflation peaking at 22.4 percent.”

“Inflation in Britain reached double digits for the first time since the 1980s in July, and if Goldman Sachs estimates were to be realized, the cost of living in the UK would come close to hitting the country’s post-war record of 24.5 percent inflation set in August 1975,” reported Remix about the situation.

[…]

Via https://dreddymd.com/2022/11/28/great-britains-manufacturing-sector-risks-closure-energy-prices/

Iran: From Social Mobilization to the Direct Armed Phase

Mission Veridad

Internatonalist 360°

Since mid-September, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been subjected to a new cycle of destabilization. The death of a young Kurdish-Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini (22), on September 16 was the starting point. Amini, who had been briefly detained by the morality police on September 13 for not wearing her hijab correctly, collapsed in a police station, dying three days later.

CCTV footage captured the moment when the young woman suddenly fell to the ground with no visible police coercion, on her way to an ordinary Islamic dress code class. But before the police made these images public (and the government ordered an investigation), word had already begun to spread that the young woman had died of a stroke as a result of the beatings she received at the police station.

It mattered little the health problems she had (she had brain surgery in 2006), that the audiovisual file shows that nothing extraordinary happened before the collapse, that there was no physical contact between officers and the young woman, who died of cerebral hypoxia and a heart attack, after spending almost three days in a coma.

The news,  initially reported by  Shargh, was quickly picked up by “human rights” groups and Kurdish news agencies that began a follow-up that was gradually replicated by the international media, while the initial follow-up was adulterating the nature of the news, to then consolidate the matrix that Amini died as a result of physical aggressions perpetrated by “henchmen of the Islamic regime”.

Two news sources conspicuously led to the leap from the domestic to the global embedded in the preset communicational system: first, the “monitoring” of the events by the State Department “activist” Masih Alinejad (more on her later) of the already adulterated version of the event, and the entry into the Twittersphere of the former soccer player based in the Emirates, Ali Karimi, from where numerous newly created accounts began to replicate the “news” and tags such as #OpIran, among others, since the hijacked and modified version of the events was circulating throughout the anti-Islamic Republic media system.

On the basis of an event recognized as tragic by all sides without distinction, a large number of organized and sophisticated media devices, with foreign affiliations and links, were set in motion. Before long, the representation of the conflict shifted from the denunciation of the death of the young Amini to the liberal anti-Hijab protests, for “democracy”, against the Islamic system and socio-economic hardships.

And while outwardly the “freedom” and anti-oppression version was presented, portraying the demonstrations as “peaceful”, numerous cities in the country witnessed riots, armed violence, aggressions against people and public property (in the first week alone the “demonstrators” destroyed 61 ambulances), attacks against religious and government institutions, assassinations and lynchings against security forces, as well as terrorist attacks.

So far, two waves can be accurately distinguished from this cycle. The first, in direct reaction to the Amini case, where visibly (and above all other actions) the format of “peaceful demonstrations” predominated, obfuscating the rest of the ultra-violent events, from September 16 to mid-October.

A second wave, of a more explicitly terrorist, armed, and indiscriminate violence, was established from October 26, when a gunman opened fire on pilgrims and worshippers, killing 15 and wounding more than 40, in the temple of Shah Cheragh, in the city of Shiraz, in the province of Fars. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State. The security forces also thwarted  a bomb attack that should have occurred at the same time in the city.

Thus was established the classic sequence of a destabilization process under the codification of color revolution, a format repeated to the point of exhaustion and overwhelm, which, from the “mobilizations” of the “civil society” that gives it cover and context that do not achieve the objectives politically (regime change), passes to the direct armed phase. This, beyond damage, has not achieved the objectives of placing the Iranian government and society in check.

As is also often the case, the same Western media apparatus and networks that breathe life into the narrative tailored to liberal precepts are obliged to hide and/or deny the existence of the large demonstrations, counter-marches and mass attendance at funerals in honor of martyrs, in defense of the country and the government, which have also occurred alongside the various operational phases of regime change.

[…]

The Mammoth Architecture of the Information Landscape

Although it is and has always been an essential component, the dimension, magnitude and scope that has been deployed in the Iranian case to establish the narrative apparatus, surpassing the usual parameters, is still surprising. The most important components will be highlighted here, which are undoubtedly shaped and sustained logistically, financially and operationally by the usual actors: the United States, the United Kingdom, the Persian Gulf monarchies, Saudi Arabia and prominent figures in the European Union.

  • Masih Alinejad*. The Iranian exile “activist,” known for her flamboyant appearance and her long-standing constant promotion of hijab-burning and State Department protégé (despite criticism for her proximity to the Trump administration), was above all a leading figure of the first hour in shaping and making consumable the regime change narrative. Her “follow-up,” based on the available sourcing apparatus, expedited and planted 1) the version of Amini’s death as a state crime, and 2) the framing of it within the Western, “feminist” catechism for moral consumption.
  • A U.S. resident, domiciled in an FBI safe house, Alinejad, a “correspondent” for Voice of America Persia, has been a recipient of United States Global Media Agency funding in excess of half a million dollars for over a decade. Over time, Alinejad has been a leading figure in legitimizing any action against the Islamic Republic, being a conspicuous promoter of economic sanctions, the main source of hardship in daily life in the Persian nation. Portrayed with figures of the moral stature of Mike Pompeo, Alinejad also publishes “articles” promoted, among others, by the NED* itself. Alinejad is one of the usual stepping stones leading from the diffuse universe of non-state actors to the officialization of the narrative by Western governments, particularly the US. The White House established an official “position”, condemning the Iranian government and supporting the demonstrations, on October 3.
  • The five main media and their ecosystem. At the center, molding, matrix replication and narrative projection  are the BBC’s Persian service, Voice of America, Manoto TV (based in London), Iran International (also based in the UK and funded by Saudi Arabia) and Radio Farda (the arm of Radio Free Asia, operating out of Prague). This second tier is responsible for collecting and installing the matrix that the global mainstream then replicates, since it also collects the “information” of lesser “alternative” media and reports from NGOs (mainly Kurdish), such as  as Dariche News and Fahim News on the “journalistic” level, or “human rights” organizations such as HANAand the Abdorrahman Boroumand Center recipients, among others, of the 631,500 dollars that  the NED provided to these organizations in 2021. According to Fars News, the five media above have been responsible for the dissemination of at least 38 thousand false reports between September 14 and October 16 (the context of the first wave).

[…]

Via https://libya360.wordpress.com/2022/11/27/iran-from-social-mobilizations-to-the-direct-armed-phase/

Major Outlets Call on US to Drop Charges Against Assange

Stella Morris (C) at a rally demanding the release of Julian Assange, 2022.

teleSUR Newsletter
 

“Holding governments accountable is part of the core mission of a free press in a democracy,” the New York Times and European media said.

Through a joint letter published on Monday, The New York Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, and El Pais asked the United States to the Espionage Act charges against Julian Assange because it undermines press freedom.

Twelve years ago, those American and European media released excerpts of the revelations obtained in 250,000 documents, which were leaked to WikiLeaks by the then American soldier Chelsea Manning. Following that leak, Washington began proceedings to indict Assange under legislation designed to put World War I spies on trial.

“Publishing is not a crime,” said those outlets, emphasizing that Assange’s prosecution under the Espionage Act sets a dangerous precedent and undermines the U.S. First Amendment.

“Obtaining and disclosing sensitive information when necessary in the public interest is a core part of the daily work of journalists… If that work is criminalized, our public discourse and our democracies are made significantly weaker,” the letter stated.

Assange has been imprisoned in the Belmarsh prison in London since 2019, when he was arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy where he had been a refugee for seven years.

Former British Home Secretary Priti Patel approved his extradition to the United States in June, although Assange’s lawyers are appealing such a decision.

The British newspaper The Guardian recalled today that the administration of President Barack Obama (209-2017) did not prosecute the WikiLeaks founder for the 2010 leaks because of the precedent that such action would set.

“Holding governments accountable is part of the core mission of a free press in a democracy,” the letter said.

[…]

Via https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Major-Outlets-Call-on-the-US-to-Drop-Charges-Against-Assange-20221128-0009.html

It Was Never About Ukraine

Video shows the moment Ukraine plane crashed

Ted Snider

Antiwar.com

In his March 21 press briefing, State Department spokesman Ned Price told the gathered reporters that “President Zelenskyy has also made it very clear that he is open to a diplomatic solution that does not compromise the core principles at the heart of the Kremlin’s war against Ukraine.” A reporter asked Price, “What are you saying about your support for a negotiated settlement à la Zelenskyy, but on whose principles?” In what still may be the most remarkable statement of the war, Price responded, “this is a war that is in many ways bigger than Russia, it’s bigger than Ukraine.”

Price, who a month earlier had discouraged talks between Russia and Ukraine, rejected Kiev negotiating an end to the war with Ukraine’s interests addressed because US core interests had not been addressed. The war was not about Ukraine’s interests: it was bigger than Ukraine.

A month later, in April, when a settlement seemed to be within reach at the Istanbul talks, the US and UK again pressured Ukraine not to pursue their own goals and sign an agreement that could have ended the war. They again pressured Ukraine to continue to fight in pursuit of the larger goals of the US and its allies. Then British prime minister Boris Johnson scolded Zelensky that Putin “should be pressured, not negotiated with.” He added that, even if Ukraine was ready to sign some agreements with Russia, the West was not.”

Once again, the war was not about Ukraine’s interests: it was bigger than Ukraine.

At every opportunity, Biden and his highest ranking officials have insisted “that it’s up to Ukraine to decide how and when or if they negotiate with the Russians” and that the US won’t dictate terms: “nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine.” But that has never been true. The US wouldn’t allow Ukraine to negotiate on their terms when they wanted to. The US stopped Ukraine from negotiating in March and April when they wanted to; they pushed them to negotiate in November when they did not want to.

The war in Ukraine has always been about larger US goals. It has always been about the American ambition to maintain a unipolar world in which they were the sole polar power at the center and top of the world.

Ukraine became the focus of that ambition in 2014 when Russia for the first time stood up to American hegemony. Alexander Lukin, who is Head of Department of International Relations at National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow and an authority on Russian politics and international relations, says that since the end of the Cold War Russia had been considered a subordinate partner of the West. In all disagreements between Russia and the US up to then, Russia had compromised, and the disagreements were resolved rather quickly.

But when, in 2014, the US set up and supported a coup in Ukraine that was intended to pull Ukraine closer into the NATO and European security sphere Russia responded by annexing Crimea, Russia broke out of its post Cold War policy of compliance and pushed back against US hegemony. The 2014 “crisis in Ukraine and Russia’s reaction to it have fundamentally changed this consensus,” Lukin says. “Russia refused to play by the rules.”

Events in Ukraine in 2014 marked the end of the unipolar world of American hegemony. Russia drew the line and asserted itself as a new pole in a multipolar world order. That is why the war is “bigger than Ukraine,” in the words of the State Department. It is bigger than Ukraine because, in the eyes of Washington, it is the battle for US hegemony.

That is why US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on November 13 that some of the sanctions on Russia could remain in place even after any eventual peace agreement between Ukraine and Russia. The war has never just been about Ukraine: it is about US foreign policy aspirations that are bigger than Ukraine. Yellen said, “I suppose in the context of some peace agreement, adjustment of sanctions is possible and could be appropriate.” Sanctions could be adjusted when negotiations end the war, but, Yellen added, “We would probably feel, given what’s happened, that probably some sanctions should stay in place.”

That is also why the US announced a new army headquarters in Germany “to carry out what is expected to be a long-term mission” while it simultaneous began pushing Ukraine toward peace talks. The military pressure on Russia and support for Ukraine will survive the war.

It is also why on June 29, the US announced the establishment of a permanent headquarters for US forces in Poland that Biden boasted would be “the first permanent U.S. forces on NATO’s eastern flank.”

It is again why, on November 9, the State Department approved the sale of nearly half a billion dollars’ worth of High Mobility Artillery Rocket System to Lithuania. They are not to be used by NATO in the Ukraine war. But they will, according to the State Department, “support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the military capability of a NATO Ally that is an important force for ensuring political stability and economic progress within Eastern Europe.” At the same time, the State Department approved the potential sale of guided multiple launch rocket systems to Finland to bolster “the land and air defense capabilities in Europe’s northern flank.”

Presumably, the delivery of upgraded B61-12 air-dropped gravity nuclear bombs to NATO bases in Europe is also not in the service of current US goals in Ukraine.

Though to the US, the war in Ukraine is “bigger than Ukraine,” it is also “in many ways bigger than Russia.” Although the recently released 2022 National Defense Strategy identifies Russia as the current “acute threat,” it “focuses on the PRC,” or the People’s Republic of China. The Strategy consistently identifies China as the “pacing challenge.” The long-term focus is on, not Russia, but China.

The National Defense Strategy clearly states that “The most comprehensive and serious challenge to U.S. national security is the PRC’s coercive and increasingly aggressive endeavor to refashion the Indo-Pacific region and the international system to suit its interests and authoritarian preferences.”

If Ukraine is about Russia, Russia is about China. The “Russia Problem” has always been that it is impossible to confront China if China has Russia: it is not desirable to fight both superpowers at once. So, if the long-term goal is to prevent a challenge to the US led unipolar world from China, Russia first needs to be weakened.

[…]

Via https://original.antiwar.com/ted_snider/2022/11/22/it-was-never-about-ukraine/

As an Oncologist I Am Seeing People With Stable Cancer Rapidly Progress After Being Forced to Have a Booster

Dr Angus Dagleish

The Daily Sceptic

There follows a letter from Dr. Angus Dalgleish, Professor of Oncology at St George’s University of London, to Dr. Kamran Abbasi, the Editor in Chief of the BMJ. It was written in support of a colleague’s plea to Dr. Abbasi that the BMJ make valid informed consent for Covid vaccination a priority topic.

Dear Kamran Abbasi,

Covid no longer needs a vaccine programme given the average age of death of Covid in the U.K. is 82 and from all other causes is 81 and falling.

The link with clots, myocarditis, heart attacks and strokes is now well accepted, as is the link with myelitis and neuropathy. (We predicted these side effects in our June 2020 QRBD article Sorensen et al. 2020, as the blast analysis revealed 79% homologies to human epitopes, especially PF4 and myelin.)

However, there is now another reason to halt all vaccine programmes. As a practising oncologist I am seeing people with stable disease rapidly progress after being forced to have a booster, usually so they can travel.

Even within my own personal contacts I am seeing B cell-based disease after the boosters. They describe being distinctly unwell a few days to weeks after the booster – one developing leukaemia, two work colleagues Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and an old friend who has felt like he has had Long Covid since receiving his booster and who, after getting severe bone pain, has been diagnosed as having multiple metastases from a rare B cell disorder.

I am experienced enough to know that these are not the coincidental anecdotes that many suggest, especially as the same pattern is being seen in Germany, Australia and the USA.

The reports of innate immune suppression after mRNA for several weeks would fit, as all these patients to date have melanoma or B cell based cancers, which are very susceptible to immune control – and that is before the reports of suppressor gene suppression by mRNA in laboratory experiments.

[…]

Via https://dailysceptic.org/2022/11/26/as-an-oncologist-i-am-seeing-people-with-stable-cancer-rapidly-progress-after-being-forced-to-have-a-booster/

3 heart attacks, 33 hospitalizations at Spanish half-marathon

3 heart attacks, 33 hospitalizations at Spanish half-marathon

Yudi Sherman

America’s Frontline News

Third tragic marathon this year; media blame weather

Three participants suffered heart attacks during last week’s Behobia-San Sebastián half-marathon while 33 others required hospitalization, reports El Español. 125 other runners required medical attention.

30,000 participants overall joined the annual 20-kilometer race from Behobia to San Sebastián this year, which had its first race in 1919. Since then, six runners have lost their lives, including one in last year’s marathon who died of a sudden heart attack. The last fatality prior to that was in 2015.

While Spanish media are calling the number of casualties “unprecedented,” they are chalking it up to the day’s temperature which reached 78.8 degrees Fahrenheit.

Media outlets have also blamed the heat for other marathons this year marred by tragedy.

In August two runners died and 74 were hospitalized during the Comrades Marathon in South Africa, reported America’s Frontline News. At least one of the fatalities suffered a sudden heart attack.

News media blamed the local weather, which was recorded as partly cloudy at 71.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

The tragedy follows a similar one in May when America’s Frontline News reported that sixteen people were taken to the hospital after running the Brooklyn Half Marathon, including four runners who collapsed and a 30-year-old runner who died of cardiac arrest. The media blamed the weather, which ranged from low 60s to high 70s with high humidity.

meta-analysis conducted by York St. John University in 2016 reviewed sudden cardiac deaths in marathons in the 34 years between 1976 and 2010 and found that incidence rates ranged between 0.6 and 1.9 per 100,000.

The total number of runners in the Comrades Marathon was capped at 15,000, and around 20,000 runners reportedly participated in the Brooklyn Half Marathon. That would put the incidence death rate per 100,000 at 13.3 and 5 respectively.

But not everyone is blaming the weather for the casualties in last week’s half-marathon.

“Marathon in northern Spain ends with 2 cardiac arrests and 125 athletes collapsing with severe fatigue symptoms, yet presstitutes have the audacity to blame it on heat stroke when the temperatures at the event never exceeded 26deg. The vaccine is a genocide bioweapon,” one netizen commented on the event.

“Last week. Behobia’s half marathon in San Sebastian, Spain. Balance: – 2 heart attacks – 125 runners treated for heat strokes. Heat strokes in November, with around 15ºC. New normality,” tweeted another.

“Fit sporty people falling like flies with heart issues at semi marathon in Spain… because of heat in November! All normal, nothing to see,” wrote another.

[…]

Via https://americasfrontlinenews.com/post/3-heart-attacks-33-hospitalizations-at-spanish-half-marathon

At least 75,000 Brits to stop paying utility bills in response to unfettered inflation

At least 75,000 Brits to stop paying utility bills in response to unfettered inflation

Dr Eddy Betterman

An activist group called Don’t Pay UK says that more than 75,000 Brits have pledged to “strike” on October 1 by no longer paying their utility bills.

Skyrocketing inflation and other factors are rapidly making energy a commodity only for the wealthy in the United Kingdom, prompting the makings of a social revolution.

“75,000 people have pledged to strike on October 1st!” Don’t Pay UK tweeted on August 5. “If the government & energy companies refuse to act then ordinary people will! Together we can enforce a fair price and affordable energy for all.”

The goal is to convince at least one million Brits to join the fight before October 1 arrives. Reaching this number, say activists, will really help to get the attention of British politicians.

This revolutionary move comes as the cost of living in the UK reaches epic highs. Right now on the misery index, Brits are worse off than they have been in decades, with official inflation numbers expected to reach 13 percent.

Bank of England (BoE) Gov. Andrew Bailey continues to hike interest rates at a rate higher than in the past 27 years, but to no avail. It seems as though the Ponzi scheme known as private central banking can no longer tread enough water to keep the global economy from sinking.

The reason why Don’t Pay UK decided on an October 1 strike is because that is the day that the average British household is expected to pay about £300 for power. This translates to about $362 in American money.

“Couple surging power costs with negative real wage growth, and it becomes apparent households are being squeezed,” reports Zero Hedge. “This excludes soaring prices for shelter, food, and petrol at the pump – this trend is unsustainable and could result in social instabilities.”

Should the entire world strike against unbridled inflation and the corruption that’s causing it?

Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Brits commenced a similar type of strike against then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and a poll tax that she introduced. At the time, some 17 million Brits refused to pay the illegitimate tax.

[…]

Via https://dreddymd.com/2022/11/27/75000-brits-stop-paying-bills-inflation/

 

Russia, Yemen Discuss Free Russian Food Aid to the Republic

Russian and Yemeni officials on Friday discussed Photo: Twitter/@UNGeneva

teleSUR Newsletter

Russian and Yemeni officials met on Thursday to discuss the provision of Russian food aid to the Yemeni people through UN-linked mechanisms.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, on Friday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin held a meeting in this regard with Yemen’s ambassador to Moscow, Ahmed al-Wahishi.

The Russian Ministry said in a statement that the two officials discussed “the prospects of supplying Russian food aid, including through international organizations of the UN system.”

During the meeting, the Deputy Foreign Minister and the Yemeni Ambassador agreed on the need for the international community to lead efforts to assist the needy population in a country plagued by a long-standing humanitarian crisis.

On Monday this week, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) published a post warning that in Yemen, as of this year, there are “3.5 million pregnant or lactating women and children under 5 suffering from acute malnutrition and up to 19 million people affected by food insecurity.”

Noting that the country’s “food needs far exceed current consumption levels,” IFPRI pointed to the critical role of food importers and other private sector actors in preventing food insecurity from worsening.

“Keeping wheat flowing into the country and getting wheat products to consumers through importers, processors and private sector distributors is a critical piece of the puzzle for managing food security.”

Since early 2015, an armed conflict has raged in Yemen, triggering an unprecedented humanitarian emergency. The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the world’s leading grain exporters, has disrupted global grain supplies along with other key agricultural commodities.

“Yemen relies heavily on grain imports to feed a population that has long been on the brink of famine,” the IFPRI post said.

Medieval Japan – Samurai, Shoguns and Gunboat Diplomacy

What is kabuki theatre? How is this term used in politics?

Episode 40: Medieval Japan – Samurai and Shoguns

Foundations of Eastern Civilization

Dr Craig Benjamin (2013)

Film Review

In 1155 the Minamoto family seized imperial power and the shogun they appointed to run Japan’s military affairs ultimately ran the country. The hereditary emperor became a figurehead and was virtually powerless.

Successive shogonates to rule Japan were

  • the Kamakura Shogonate 1185-1333
  • the Muromachi Shogonate 1333-1465
  • the Tokugawa Shogunate 1600 -1868

The Warring States Period

The years 1465-1600 were the “Warring States Period.” With no central ruler, both the Kamakura and the Muromachi Shogonates granted substantial power to the provinces, which held ultimate control over the government and the economy.

Under shogonate rule, 25% of males were drafted into the military, where they provided their own weapons (although they were exempt from taxation).

The Samurai

The literal meaning of Samurai (a Chinese word) is “those who serve the nobility.” Although initially designating the six lower levels of the twelve bureaucrat classes, it came to refer to military men. Prior to the 14th century, the samurai were mere mercenaries. As their behavior became more ethical and refined, they became part of the nobility. At their height, they acquired expertise in martial arts, archery, sword play. and horsemanship. There were many Samurai women (wives of Samurai) who developed exceptional military prowess.

The Europeans Arrive

Portuguese traders, the first Europeans to arrive in the 16th century, transformed Nagasaki into one of the largest port cities in the world. The English subsequently established a trading center at Nagoya, the Dutch at Kyushu and the Spanish at Hirado.

In 1600, the Japanese were very open to Jesuits and other Christian missionaries. However the Tokugawa Shogonate, determined to reduce the risk of civil war, passed laws reducing foreign contact. Even though it became illegal for Japanese to go overseas, some closely controlled trade continued. A few Chinese and Dutch merchants continued to operate in Nagasaki. In 1615, there were an estimated 300,000 Christians in Japan.

During the 17th century, increased rice, cotton and silk production allowed Japanese farmers to engage in commercial farming for the first time. The country’s population increased by 33% to 29 million, as families used infanticide to limit overpopulation.

The Native Learning Movement

During peace time, the Samurai fell into financial difficulty. While the elite still focused on Chinese culture and Confucianism, the merchants who controlled the cities launched  the Native Learning Movement. The latter rejected Confucianism and Buddhism as unacceptable foreign influences. Many unique Japan cultural treasures emerged under the Native Learning Movement – including Kubuki theater, Bunraku (puppet theater) and prose fiction.

During a Tokukawa crackdown between 1617 and 1632, missionaries and Christian converts were tortured and forced to convert to Buddhism.

US Gunboat Diplomacy

In 1854, US Admiral Matthew Perry forced the Tokukawa shogon (by threatening to fire on civilians) to sign a treaty opening Japan trade to the US. What followed was civil war, brought on by extreme popular anger over high taxes. A number of foreign countries provided provided the insurgents with weapons.

In 1868, Emperor Meiji assumed power from the Shogon, and in the 1870s the samurai were officially abolished.

Film can be viewed free with a library card on Kanopy.

https://www.kanopy.com/en/pukeariki/watch/video/5808608/5808695

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