BBC – Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas has said he is ending “all agreements” with Israel and the United States in response to Israeli plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.
Israel would now have to “bear all responsibilities… as an occupying power”, Mr Abbas said.
Similar warnings in the past have ultimately not been followed through.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to apply Israeli sovereignty to Jewish settlements and the Jordan Valley.
The move would be in line with US President Donald Trump’s “vision for peace” between Israel and the Palestinians, which was unveiled in January.
Mr Trump’s plan also envisages a Palestinian state in about 70% of the West Bank, all of Gaza, and with its capital on the fringes of East Jerusalem.
The Palestinians – who claim all of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem – have dismissed the plan as biased towards Israel and a denial of their rights.
Israel has occupied the territories since the 1967 Middle East war. More than 600,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Most of the international community considers the settlements illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.
Al Jazeera – At least 20 journalists in Bangladesh have been charged or arrested under the controversial Digital Security Act (DSA) in the past month, raising concerns about free speech in the South Asian nation.
A number of journalists have been arrested for social media posts critical of the government or reporting on the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Al Jazeera – China has accused US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of “blackmailing” the Hong Kong government with the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, saying on Thursday the US administration’s recent actions amounted to blatant interference in China’s internal affairs.
Pompeo said on Wednesday the recent treatment of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong made it harder to assess whether the territory remains highly autonomous from China, a requirement for the special treatment afforded to the city under American law.
BBC – China is proposing to introduce a new security law in Hong Kong that could ban sedition, secession and treason.
The move is likely to provoke strong opposition internationally and in Hong Kong, which last year saw months of pro-democracy protests.
China’s delayed National People’s Congress, its legislature, will debate the issue when it opens on Friday.
Hong Kong’s mini-constitution requires it to bring in such a law but it failed to do so amid widespread opposition.
The so-called Basic Law was introduced when the UK handed back Hong Kong’s sovereignty to China in 1997 and provides certain freedoms not available on the mainland.
Al Jazeera – The Tokyo Olympics would have to be scrapped if the already postponed event cannot be held next year, the head of International Olympic Committee has said.
In March, the IOC and Japanese government took the unprecedented decision to postpone the Olympics, which had been due to start in July 2020, for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
BBC – The Venezuelan military will escort Iranian tankers delivering much-needed petrol to the country to prevent any attempt by the US to stop them.
Five vessels are on the high seas and are due to arrive in the coming days.
Venezuela’s defence minister said they would be “welcomed” into its exclusive economic zone, which extends 370km (200 nautical miles) from its shores.
The US, which has imposed sanctions on Venezuela and Iran, is reportedly considering steps to deter shipments.
The US-backed Venezuelan opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, said the need to import petrol highlighted the mismanagement of Venezuela’s oil industry by President Nicolás Maduro’s government.
BBC – Sicily’s coronavirus co-ordinator and nine other healthcare officials have been arrested suspected of taking bribes from equipment and services contracts, Italian police say.
The contracts go as far back as 2016 and total nearly €600m (£540m; $660m).
Palermo Mayor Leoluca Orlando called it “an extremely serious corruption system”. It allegedly involved creaming off 5% commissions on public contracts.
It is alleged the bribes promised total at least €1.8m, Italian media report.
The head of Sicily’s coronavirus response, Antonio Candela, is now under house arrest while Fabio Damiani, who heads the Trapani’s health authority (ASP), is among those in police detention.
Italy – especially Lombardy in the north – has been one of Europe’s hardest-hit countries by Covid-19. The pandemic has put Italy’s health service under severe strain in terms of staff, equipment and finances.
U.S. News, Politics & Government
Pelosi: We’ll ‘Make Sure’ Vote by Mail, Postal Service Funding ‘Prevail’ in Coronavirus Bill Negotiations
Breitbart – On Wednesday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “The Last Word,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stated that coronavirus tests, tracing, and treatment, funding for state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, direct payments and unemployment insurance, OSHA standards, funding for the Postal Service, vote by mail, and SNAP benefits are the “seven hills of Rome,” that House Democrats are “there to make sure prevail when we go to the table for negotiation” on the next coronavirus aide packaging
Gavin Newsom says federal government has “moral” and “ethical” obligation to bail out socialist states that have racked up insurmountable debt
NaturalNews – After suffering years of financial mismanagement at the hands of Gavin Newsom, and before him, Jerry Brown, California is now in some deep fiscal trouble. But rather than own up to his mistakes and take responsibility for them, Newsom is instead blaming the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) for his poor leadership while demanding that the federal government rescue his state from financial ruin.
During a recent appearance on CNN‘s “State of the Union,” Newsom basically told Jake Tapper that California would be doing just fine if it were not for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), denying all allegations that his shutdown of the state economy and corresponding lockdowns had anything to do with it. Instead, it is all Trump’s fault, which means that California deserves a massive stimulus injection, according to Newsom.
But California will not be receiving federal bailout funds anytime soon because President Trump has indicated that handing out money to states is premature. Newsom disagrees, however, and insists that it is Trump’s “ethical” and “moral” responsibility to bring California back from the brink that it has been veering towards for many years.
Ron Paul Institute – So you are curious whether you have coronavirus? You could take a coronavirus test to find out. Well, not really find out, since the test results are not reliable. Nonetheless, you can take a test to obtain at least a Magic 8 Ball level answer of if you are or are not infected with coronavirus.
Here is some information likely unknown to many people when they are tested: The names and addresses of people who test positive are often handed over to police departments that can input or tag those names and addresses in police databases.
Kimberlee Kruesi provides the details in a Tuesday Associated Press article. She starts off her article with the following revelation:
More than 11 million people have been tested in the U.S. for COVID-19, all with the assurance that their private medical information would remain protected and undisclosed.
Yet, public officials in at least two-thirds of states are sharing the addresses of people who tested positive with first responders — from police officers to firefighters to EMTs. An Associated Press review found that at least 10 of those states also share the patients’ names.
Kinda makes those coronavirus tests that many government officials and people in the media have been promoting seem less warm and fuzzy, doesn’t it?
SHOCKING: More New Yorkers Died from Governor Cuomo’s Coronavirus Nursing Home Policy than Died on 9/11
Gateway Pundit – It was New York state policy to put the sick patients back in the nursing home.
More people died in nursing homes in New York, due to Governor Cuomo’s policies, than died on 9/11.
Michael Goodwin at the New York Post reported this week:
Two weeks ago, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was first asked about his policy that forced nursing homes to admit patients infected with the coronavirus.
“That’s a good question, I don’t know,” the governor answered, turning to an aide.
On Tuesday, Cuomo was asked about a report from the Associated Press that his team had added more than 1,700 deaths to the count of those who died in nursing homes, bringing the total to at least 4,813.
“I don’t know the details, frankly,” the governor answered, turning to an aide.
Sgt. Schultz reporting for duty!
Cuomo is legendary for micromanaging and has been praised for his detailed daily briefings during the pandemic. He has closed schools, religious services and businesses because each human life is “priceless.”
So with known nursing home deaths representing 25 percent of all deaths in the state, it beggars belief that the governor didn’t know anything about his office’s fatal policy two weeks ago or the new death totals now.
The only way either could be true is through an extreme case of plausible deniability. Thus, if there’s no proof he knew, he can’t be held responsible, right? Which was the whole point of the Sgt. Schultz defense.
That was a sitcom. This is life and death.
Nesmax – Roger Stone told Newsmax TV he lost everything to pay for legal fees to fight the federal government on charges of lying to Congress, lying to authorities and tampering with a witness.
Stone was ultimately convicted to 40 months in prison on that sentence.
“The first thing they do in this process is they destroy you financially,” I mean, I’ve lost everything. I’ve lost my home, my savings, most of my insurance, my ability to make a living because I’ve been gagged for the last year and a half, and I make a living by writing and speaking, to try to induce you to plead” Stone told Wednesday’s “The Howie Carr Show.” “In my case what they wanted to induce me to do was bear false witness against the president.”
Stone is holding out hopes for an appeal or that his previous health concerns might keep him from having to report to prison.
Economy & Business
Al Jazeera – Iran has dismissed US sanctions on several of its officials, saying they were a sign of the complete inefficiency of Washington’s previous sanctions on the country.
“Washington’s fruitless and repetitive sanctions against Iranian officials is a sign of weakness, despair and confusion of the US administration,” state TV quoted Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi as saying on Thursday.
CNN – For the ninth week in a row, millions of Americans filed for initial unemployment benefits. Even as the economy is beginning to reopen in parts of the country, layoffs and furloughs have taken hold of the US labor market.
Michael Snyder – “When the people find that they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic.” That is a direct quote from Benjamin Franklin, and it has turned out to be quite prophetic. Today, most of our politicians are socialists whether they accept that label or not, and the American people have come to expect the government “to do something for them” whenever any sort of a crisis comes along. In response to this COVID-19 pandemic, Congress has borrowed and spent trillions more dollars that we do not have, and most Americans have been quite thrilled to receive their “stimulus checks”. But of course now a lot of people are insisting that those checks were not enough and they want more. In fact, one new survey just found that most Americans want the checks to keep coming. The idea of “free money” is so seductive, but unfortunately most of the population simply does not understand that eventually there is a great price to be paid for throwing “free money” around.
Energy & Environment
Guardian – Catastrophic flooding triggered by dam failures in Michigan could potentially release toxic pollution from a site contaminated by the industrial giant Dow Chemical.
Dow’s facility in Midland, Michigan, where the company is headquartered along the Tittabawassee River, manufactured chlorine-based products beginning in the early 1900s. The company discharged dioxins, chemical compounds which can cause reproductive harm and cancer, into the river.
Al Jazeera – At least 84 killed, thousands of homes destroyed and millions remain without power as Cyclone Amphan batters the region.
Science & Technology
BBC – Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has told the BBC that it had and would remove any content likely to result in “immediate and imminent harm” to users.
“Even if something isn’t going to lead to imminent physical harm, we don’t want misinformation to be the content that is going viral,” he said.
It removed Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro’s claim that scientists had “proved” there was a coronavirus cure.
This was removed because it was “obviously” not true, he said.
He also said that Facebook had removed content from groups claiming that the rollout of the 5G digital network was a cause of the spread of the virus and in some cases encouraged those who believed that to damage the networks physical infrastructure.
Facebook recently removed content from former broadcaster and conspiracy theorist David Icke for “repeatedly violating our policies on harmful misinformation”.
Mr Icke had suggested that 5G mobile phone networks are linked to the spread of the virus and in another video he suggested a Jewish group was behind the virus.
NaturalNews – Scientists from the University of Kentucky have received a grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a medical face mask that would capture and deactivate the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) on contact. The research team, led by engineering professor Dibakar Bhattacharyya, will be working with the university’s Center of Membrane Sciences and with other collaborators to make these masks a reality.
The endowment, which provides $150,000 over one year, is part of the NSF’s Rapid Response Research (RAPID) grant, which has recently called for immediate proposals to head off the spread of coronavirus. For the new project, the team will develop porous and spongy structures with charged domains and enzymes, and use these to create masks and other flat sheet materials that will capture and deactivate SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus strain responsible for COVID-19.
The masks work by targeting “s-protein” spikes in the coronavirus. These spikes, in particular, are what give the virus its crownlike appearance. As the coronavirus enters the mask, it will pass through a new membrane filled with proteolytic enzymes. These enzymes will then attach to the spikes of the coronavirus and separate them, effectively killing it.
“We have the capability to create a membrane that would not only effectively filter out the novel coronavirus like the N95 mask does, but deactivate the virus completely,” Bhattacharyya added.
“This innovation would further slow and even prevent the virus from spreading. It would also have future applications to protect against a number of human pathogenic viruses.”
The new membrane, developed by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, is the latest in “functionalized membranes,” or highly specialized layers that can interact with undesired particles, like viruses, through selective binding or deactivation.
Newsmax – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention appears to have changed its advice on how the novel coronavirus is transmitted, posting on its website recently the germ “does not spread easily” from touching contaminated surfaces or objects, Fox News reported.
The new language appears on the CDC’s website under a heading of “surfaces and objects” indicating ways in which the virus is not readily transmitted. It is a change from early March when the federal agency posted that it “may be possible” to contract the virus from a contaminated surface, according to Fox News.
“COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning about how it spreads,” the CDC website reads. “It may be possible for COVID-19 to spread in other ways, but these are not thought to be the main ways the virus spreads.”
Although not completely contradicting the information that had people frequently or regularly wiping surfaces and objects with disinfectant, Fox News quoted Dr. John Whyte, the chief medical officer for the healthcare website WebMD, as saying the new information might put more people at ease.
“It also may help reduce anxiety and stress,” he said. “Many people were concerned that by simply touching an object they may get coronavirus and that’s simply not the case. Even when a virus may stay on a surface, it doesn’t mean that it’s actually infectious.”
The initial warning came after a study in March published in the medRxiv depository suggested the virus that causes COVID-19 could remain suspended in the air for three hours and live on surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel for as long as three days.
The CDC reiterated the ways in which it said the coronavirus was primarily spread, most commonly person-to-person, between those within about 6 feet of one another, through droplets when someone coughs, sneezes or talks, and by people who might not have flu-like symptoms.
Easton Spectator – Dr. Ivette Lozano, who has been in medical practice for over 20 years, was shocked to learn in March that she would be required to share her patient’s diagnosis with the pharmacist before prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin would be dispensed.
On March 20, the Texas State Board of Pharmacy issued a new rule that no prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine or azithromycin could be dispensed without a diagnosis “consistent with evidence for its use.”
“Never before have we had to turn in a diagnosis with a prescription,” Lozano told The Texan. Lozano has seen about five to six patients per week for coronavirus. “They see a dramatic improvement within six to eight hours,” Lozano said.
Health care attorney Matt Rinaldi said doctors have called him concerned about the requirement. He said the rule does not violate HIPAA regulations because patient information can be shared for treatment purposes.
“HIPAA is the bare minimum standard of privacy that patients expect, however,” Rinaldi added.
Cover Up: Fauci Approved Chloroquine, Hydroxychloroquine 15 Years Ago to Cure Coronaviruses; “Nobody Needed to Die”
Global Research – Dr. Anthony Fauci, whose “expert” advice to President Trump has resulted in the complete shutdown of the greatest economic engine in world history, has known since 2005 that chloroquine is an effective inhibitor of coronaviruses.
How did he know this? Because of research done by the National Institutes of Health, of which he is the director. In connection with the SARS outbreak – caused by a coronavirus dubbed SARS- CoV – the NIH researched chloroquine and concluded that it was effective at stopping the SARS coronavirus in its tracks. The COVID-19 bug is likewise a coronavirus, labeled SARS-CoV-2. While not exactly the same virus as SARS-CoV-1, it is genetically related to it, and shares 79% of its genome, as the name SARS-CoV-2 implies. They both use the same host cell receptor, which is what viruses use to gain entry to the cell and infect the victim.
The Virology Journal – the official publication of Dr. Fauci’s National Institutes of Health – published what is now a blockbuster article on August 22, 2005, under the heading – get ready for this – “Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread.” (Emphasis mine throughout.) Write the researchers, “We report…that chloroquine has strong antiviral effects on SARS-CoV infection of primate cells. These inhibitory effects are observed when the cells are treated with the drug either before or after exposure to the virus, suggesting both prophylactic and therapeutic advantage.”
This means, of course, that Dr. Fauci (pictured at right) has known for 15 years that chloroquine and it’s even milder derivative hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) will not only treat a current case of coronavirus (“therapeutic”) but prevent future cases (“prophylactic”). So HCQ functions as both a cure and a vaccine. In other words, it’s a wonder drug for coronavirus. Said Dr. Fauci’s NIH in 2005, “concentrations of 10 μM completely abolished SARS-CoV infection.” Fauci’s researchers add, “chloroquine can effectively reduce the establishment of infection and spread of SARS-CoV.”
Dr. Didier Raoult, the Anthony Fauci of France, had such spectacular success using HCQ to treat victims of SARS-CoV-2 that he said way back on February 25 that “it’s game over” for coronavirus.
Mercola- If you think Bill Gates’ grandiose plan to force vaccinate over 7 billion people against COVID-19 is delusional, think again. The Microsoft billionaire — who has no public health education (he didn’t even finish college) — has proposed plans that go far beyond the mandating of a vaccine.
They also include a global dragnet of digital surveillance to track and monitor all people, and trace the contacts of anyone testing positive for COVID-19. Of course, COVID-19 is just the initial excuse.
There’s no reason in the world to believe this gigantic global disease surveillance system would be dismantled once the pandemic is declared over. Naturally, it will simply transition into other surveillance functions. Who knows just how many diseases it might track and trace?
Of course, this system will also be used to make sure everyone has been vaccinated with any and all vaccines deemed necessary for domestic and international travel, education, work and social activities involving other people. I wrote about this in “Rockefeller Foundation’s Plan to Track Americans.”