Covid-19: Crimes Against Humanity Charges Pressed Against Bolsonaro at ICC

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Caroline Oliveira
The ICC has jurisdiction on Brazilian territory, seeing that Congress included its statute into the Constitution – Sergio Lima/AFP

President Jair Bolsonaro had crimes against humanity charges filed against him at the International Criminal Court, by the Brazilian Association of Jurists for Democracy (ABJD), on Thursday (3rd). The legal experts claim that the Bolsonaro puts Brazilian lives at risk in the face of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The ICC was asked to begin judicial proceedings and investigate the president’s conduct. “By choice or omission, Bolsonaro is putting people’s lives at risk, committing crimes and necessitating a response by the International Criminal Court, in order to protect the lives of thousands of people,” state the jurists in the document filed by lawyers Ricardo Franco Pinto and Charles Kurmay.

In the filing, a list of actions the president undertook and defends is presented. Among them: pronouncements that incite the end of social isolation and the reopening of schools and non-essential services, as well promoting the “Brazil Must Not Stop” campaign; visits to shops and attending protests stimulating the populous to have large gatherings; and the signing of decree that allows places of worship and lotteries to be open during the pandemic.

“The crimes he committed gravely affect the mental and physical health of the Brazilian population, exposing them to a virus lethal to many sectors and with a scary rate of proliferation, as we have seen in many countries. The places that neglected the policy of quarantine are seeing the biggest impacts of the pandemic, like in Italy, Spain and the United States”, the complaint highlights […]

 

via Covid-19: Crimes Against Humanity Charges Pressed Against Bolsonaro at ICC

America’s rich work from home & whine while poor lose jobs or get exposed to coronavirus – poll

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America’s rich work from home & whine while poor lose jobs or get exposed to coronavirus – poll

FILE PHOTO. A bicycle delivery person rides through a mostly deserted Times Square. ©REUTERS / Carlo Allegri

 

Poorer Americans are more likely to have lost their job or be forced to work as usual amid the coronavirus epidemic. But those in the upper classes can work remotely while stressing out about the crisis.

At least that’s the indication of an Axios/Ipsos poll about the working status and emotional wellbeing of people in the US. Almost half of upper middle class Americans have switched to working from home amid the health crisis. The same is true for 39 percent of the upper class.

In contrast, only three percent of lower economic strata had the same luxury. Between 26 and 34 percent of lower-to-middle class Americans are working the same way as they did before the outbreak, exposing themselves to a greater risk of being infected. And 15 to 20 percent have lost their jobs.

But the Americans who are better off tend to be more upset about the situation than their economically struggling compatriots, according to the poll. Almost half of the rich (47 percent) said their emotional well-being has gotten worse, compared to 34 percent on the other side of the socioeconomic scale […]

via America’s rich work from home & whine while poor lose jobs or get exposed to coronavirus – poll

Could COVID-19 Be Amazon’s kryptonite? – Big Think

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Amazon fulfillment center

It would be ironic if Amazon’s fall were to come about due to the failure of its third-party sellers, given that Amazon has received so much criticism for pushing smaller retailers and brands out of business. Yet it remains a possibility.

Over 50% of Amazon sales are made through third-party sellers, and they are the foundation of Amazon’s meteoric growth in the last few years. However, Amazon has been slowly selling them out, and COVID-19 could finally push them under.

For many vendors, Amazon is their only point of contact with customers, but now Amazon is turning away shipments of “non-essentials” to FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon) warehouses, in order to support smooth flow of “essentials.” This decision has affected approximately 53% of Amazon sellers, preventing them from shipping products to their customers.

via Could COVID-19 Be Amazon’s kryptonite? – Big Think

[…]

Amazon is lucky to get stuff to people within a MONTH now, which means it is failing to meet it’s primary reason for being, which is 1 day delivery.

As truckers get resistance from cities and states locking down, and they are getting sick too, that disrupts things more.

People are waking up to the darkness that is Amazon, and they are switching to local sellers, suppliers and local farmers.

via Could COVID-19 Be Amazon’s kryptonite? – Big Think

Europe sends medical supplies to Iran in first INSTEX transaction: Germany

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Press TV – March 31, 2020

Germany says the three European signatories to the 2015 Iran deal have registered the first transaction under a trade system set up last year to protect companies doing business with Iran from US sanctions, delivering medical supplies to the Islamic Republic amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On Tuesday, Berlin’s Foreign Ministry said Germany, France and Britain “confirm that INSTEX (trade system) has successfully concluded its first transaction, facilitating the export of medical goods from Europe to Iran.”

“These goods are now in Iran,” it said in a statement, giving no further details.

The German Foreign Ministry added that Berlin hopes to enhance the mechanism and carry out more transactions with Tehran.

“Now the first transaction is complete, INSTEX and its Iranian counterpart STFI (Special Trade and Finance Instrument) will work on more transactions and enhancing the mechanism,” the German Foreign Ministry said.

Iranian authorities have not commented on the news so far.

The transaction comes over a year after the European trio announced the creation of INSTEX — a non-dollar direct payment channel officially called the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges — in an effort to keep Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers alive.

The apparatus was designed to circumvent the sanctions that the United States re-imposed against Iran after leaving a nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic, the trio, plus Russia and China.

However, the Europeans have not been able to operationalize the non-dollar trade mechanism under pressure from the US […]

via Europe sends medical supplies to Iran in first INSTEX transaction: Germany

Amazon’s Alexa now offering to diagnose coronavirus

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By Helen Buyniski | RT | March 28, 2020

Amazon’s Alexa AI assistant can now evaluate coronavirus symptoms and recommend testing for US users – testing it profits from and hopes to roll out nationwide. Will it report ‘dry coughs’ to the proper authorities, too?

‘Doctor’ Alexa is making house calls, Amazon has revealed, boasting its voice assistant now allows users to check their “risk level” for coronavirus in a blog post on Thursday. Users concerned they might have the virus can confide in Alexa, who will inquire about symptoms, travel history, and other routes of possible exposure before making recommendations based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control.

This innovation would be less unsettling if Amazon didn’t have a massive financial interest in keeping the coronavirus panic and pandemic going as long as possible. Government-mandated shutdowns of “nonessential businesses” have triggered soaring demand for its e-commerce services as brick-and-mortar shops are forced to close their doors, and customers are far less likely to venture out even to the supermarket if their virtual assistant is telling them they might have coronavirus.

In an even more blatant conflict of interest, Amazon is piloting a Covid-19 testing program in the Seattle area, delivering testing kits to residents as part of a private-sector health study. While it’s the Bill Gates Foundation and other NGOs, not Seattle residents, who are paying for the testing kits, each one distributed is still more money in the already-bottomless pockets of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the world’s second richest man (Gates, incidentally, is the richest). Alexa would be a traitor to her master if she didn’t recommend as many Americans be tested as possible.

And Seattle will soon be joined by the rest of the country, if Bezos has his way. The e-commerce tycoon hinted on Thursday that Amazon might be distributing tests on a wider basis after speaking with World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Amazon is already offering such a test in the UK, though diagnosis-by-Alexa is not yet available there. The WHO has urged the US to ramp up testing, which still lags woefully behind other countries, but the US seems to be unique in the manner in which that testing is being taken over by private companies eager to grab their piece of the coronavirus pie.

Worse than the financial conflicts of interest, however, is Alexa’s legendary reputation for snooping. Already, as quarantines have mandated professionals in most jobs work from home, those whose work depends on confidentiality – lawyers, for example – are being advised to deactivate their digital assistants while working from quarantine. It’s not paranoia – devices like Alexa, Siri and Google Home “accidentally” start recording unbidden as many as 19 times per day, according to a study published last month – long after Amazon, Apple, and Google had promised reforms to their privacy policies when the extent of their nonconsensual snooping was revealed.

Which brings up a whole new realm of concern with regard to the coronavirus: if Alexa hears you cough, and decides it’s a “dry cough” like we are told coronavirus produces, will she report you to medical authorities for extra surveillance to make sure you’re obeying quarantine religiously? Will she rat you out if she hears the front door close despite a shelter-in-place order, perhaps interfacing with your Amazon Ring doorbell to send footage of you leaving to authorities so they can arrest you before you come into contact with others? It may sound over-the-top, but Alexa has been calling the cops on presumed criminals since at least 2017, when a shouting match between a New Mexico couple turned physical only after the device quietly summoned police […]

via Amazon’s Alexa now offering to diagnose coronavirus

Inside a Brooklyn Hospital During COVID-19

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Photo: Reza Estakhrian/Getty Images

New York Magazine

The number of very sick COVID patients coming in is tremendous. I don’t know if the word is exponentially or logarithmically, but the curve goes up steeply. It’s scary. Mount Sinai Brooklyn is a moderate-sized community hospital. We have 220 beds, we’ve planned a surge of up to 240 to 260. At the current moment I have 135 COVID-positive patients. There are probably another 10 or 15 that just don’t have test results back yet. And they are sick. They are the ones who need to be admitted to the hospital. It’s a few debilitated elderly from nursing homes, but there’s a lot of patients who are between the ages of 40 to 60 who may have some underlying health problems like obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure, and their lungs are very inflamed. They go from being moderately sick to crashing and needing to put on ventilators very quickly.

The emergency department is just patient-to-patient lined up and packed in. It’s that awful picture you see of an overcrowded emergency department, just patient upon patient next to each other endlessly […]

via Inside a Brooklyn Hospital During COVID-19

$15 MILLION REWARD: US Indicts Maduro for Narcotics Trafficking

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RT | March 26, 2020

The US State Department is dangling millions of dollars in reward money in exchange for information that could be used to arrest Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, his VP, or other senior officials on drug trafficking charges.

The eye-popping reward of up to $15 million is being offered for “information related to Nicolas Maduro Moros” with regard to his alleged involvement in “international narcotics trafficking,” the State Department announced on Thursday, signaling a hard shift in its regime-change policy against the socialist nation.

Tips leading to the narcotrafficking arrest or conviction of National Constituent Assembly President Diosdado Cabello Rondon, retired generals Hugo Carvajal Barrios and Clive Alcala Cordones, or Minister for Industry and National Production Tareck Zaidan El Aissami Maddah can net as much as $10 million, the statement continued.

The rewards were unveiled on the same day as the US Justice Department unsealed indictments against the Venezuelan leaders for the same drug trafficking crimes – suggesting that Washington’s evidence isn’t as solid as Attorney General William Barr has claimed.

Indictments in Miami and New York accuse the officials of participating in a “narco-terrorism conspiracy” with Colombian guerrilla group FARC, to “flood the United States with cocaine.” But if evidence against Maduro and his compatriots is at such a premium that the State Department will pay $15 million for it, the Venezuelans are unlikely to see the inside of a US court anytime soon […]

via US State Dept offers $15 MILLION REWARD for help arresting Venezuela’s Maduro after indictments