This is an archived newsroll page on A Socialist In Canada, consisting of headlines and weblinks, with occasional news summary and brief analysis, for the indicated month(s) and year. See the current, ‘World news’ website page here. To find past stories on this and other news pages on this website, use the ‘find’ (word search) function on your web browser. Headlines in red denote items published on the main news page of A Socialist In Canada, mostly authored by Roger Annis.
World news headlines on A Socialist In Canada, November 2020
What can the left expect from a Biden-Harris administration? Pretty much nothing, by Tony McKenna, Salon.com, Nov 28, 2020
* Biden appointee Neera Tanden for the Office of Management and Budget spread the conspiracy that Russian hackers switched votes for Hillary Clinton to Trump, by Glenn Greenwald, published on his new website publication on ‘Substack’, Nov 30, 2020 How can Democrats and allied media outlets credibly oppose unhinged conspiracy theories and attacks on U.S. election legitimacy while empowering some of its worst purveyors? and read: Biden chooses Neera Tanden as budget director; she has pushed social security cuts and was one of the harshest opponents of Bernie Sanders, by Walker Bragman, published on The Daily Poster (edited by David Sirota), Nov 29, 2020
* A long-forgotten CIA document revealed by Wikileaks sheds critical light on politics and wars in today’s U.S., by Glenn Greenwald, published on his new website publication on ‘Substack’, Nov 23, 2020 The CIA knew that its best asset for selling its wars was Barack Obama — the same reason so many in the security state were later eager to get rid of Donald Trump
* The planet cannot begin to heal until we rip the mask off the West’s war machine, by Jonathn Cook, published on his website, Nov 27, 2020
Turkey has perfected new, deadly way to wage war, using militarized ‘drone swarms’, by Scott Ritter, RT, Nov 29, 2020 read also: report in Washington Post, Nov 29,2020 …Gustav Gressel, a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, has written in an analysis that Europe would be doing itself a disservice if it dismissed the Nagorno-Karabakh fighting as “a minor war between poor countries”. Gressel is correct: the military defeat inflicted on Armenia by Azerbaijan was not a fluke but rather a manifestation of the perfection of the art of drone warfare by Baku’s major ally in the fighting, Turkey. Gressel’s conclusion – that “most of the [European Union’s] armies… would do as miserably as the Armenian Army” when faced by such a threat – is spot on…
Turkey’s new virus figures confirm experts’ worst fears, Associated Press, Nov 29, 2020 Turkey is undergoing an alarming surge of Covid-19 cases that is fast exhausting the Turkish health system. [Turkey is #17 in the world by population. It has surged to #18 in the world for total Covid-19 cases, at 608,000. New, daily cases have risen during the past two weeks and are rising sharply in recent days, to 29,281 new cases on November 29. Daily deaths have been rising for months and rising very sharply for the past two weeks, to 185 on November 29. (Worldometer)]
Trump risks war against Iran once again: Will the world condemn the murder of Iran’s top nuclear scientist?, by Medea Benjamin and Ariel Gold, Salon.com, Nov 30, 2020
* Iran in the crosshairs: Tracing overt and covert action, by Eric Walberg, Covert Action Magazine, Nov 28, 2020
* Iran official says Israel killed military nuclear scientist remotely, Associated Press, Nov 30, 2020
* U.S. officials say Israel was behind the assassination of nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, reports the New York Times, Press TV, Nov 27, 2020
* Assassination of Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is an attempt to block diplomacy and start military confrontation, statement by the Iranian Canadian Congress, Nov 27, 2020
* In the end, Trumpism is revealed as a death cult, by Will Bunch, columnist, Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov 29, 2020
A ‘natural disaster’ is unfolding in all 50 states as travelers disperse nationwide after Thanksgiving weekend, CNN, Nov 29, 2020
Related news of the pandemic in the U.S.:
Coronavirus hospitalizations are at an all-time high, VICE News, Nov 29, 2020 The U.S. has 30,000 more people hospitalized for COVID than it did at the peak
* As hospitals fill with Covid-19 patients, medical reinforcements are hard to find, NPR, Nov 30, 2020
* U.S. surgeon general warns that pandemic is worsening, actions now ‘will determine how bad it becomes’, The Hill, Nov 29, 2020
* Millions of workers poised to lose access to paid leave as virus spikes, Politico, Nov 29, 2020 As many as 87 million public and private sector workers could lose access to the federally mandated benefit at the end of 2020.
* Numbers of deaths each day from Covid-19 in U.S. are approaching the record numbers of April 2020, New York Times, Nov 28, 2020 On April 15, 2,752 Americans were reported dead from Covid-19, more than on any other day of the pandemic. Today, the daily toll is once more growing close to record numbers.
* Divisions emerge among U.S. officials over when first Covid-19 vaccine doses will be available — and for whom, by Helen Branswell, STAT News, Nov 30, 2020
* Major shift at U.S. Supreme Court on legality of Covid-19 restrictions, Politico, Nov 26, 2020 Newly-appointed Justice Amy Coney Barrett was one of the five justices voting on November 25 against New York’s restrictions on large religious gatherings. The vote was the first significant indication of a rightward shift in the court since the appointment to the court last month of Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
More than 100,000 nursing home residents and staff have been killed by the pandemic in U.S., Common Dreams, Nov 27, 2020 Forty percent of all Covid-19 deaths in the United States have occurred in long-term care facilities.
Related: Nursing homes in Canada were a horror story in COVID-19’s first wave. Why are we seeing a sequel?, by André Picard, Globe and Mail, Nov 27, 2020 Between March and August 2020, the coronavirus killed at least 7,000 Canadians in long-term care facilities, exposing weaknesses in the system that authorities swore to fix. Now, experts in the field say we’re back where we started.
As deaths rise, Swedish government sidelines epidemiologist who steered country’s ‘herd immunity’, no lockdown experiment, The Telegraph, Nov 28, 2020 [For most of the past month, new, daily Covid-19 cases in Sweden have ranged between 4,000 and 5,500. Daily deaths during the same time have ranged between 20 and 35. Sweden’s per capita death rate from Covid-19 is ten times that of neighbouring Norway, nine times that of neighbouring Finland and four times that of Denmark. Worldometer].
* The myth of herd immunity to Covid-19 in Sweden, by Madeleine Johansson, published in Rebel (socialist journal in Ireland), Nov 11, 2020 .
* Pandemic exposed holes in Sweden’s generous social welfare state, New York Times, Oct 8, 2020 Decades of budget-cutting and market reforms laid the ground for a wave of death in Swedish nursing homes.
The lost days that made Bergamo province in northern Italy a coronavirus tragedy, New York Times, Nov 28, 2020 [The historic city of Bergamo (pop. 120,000) is the fourth largest city in Lombardy region (pop. ten million). It is located 60 km east of Milan (pop. 1.3 million) ] The northern Italian province of Bergamo became one of the deadliest killing fields for the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the Western world. How such a tragedy could unfold in a wealthy, well-educated province of just more than a million with top-level hospitals has remained an uneasy mystery, a blood stain that the Itlaian government prefers to avoid.
Related: How Covid-19 came to cause such suffering in Lombardy, Italy’s wealthiest region, New York Times, Nov 19, 2020 Lombardy has been overwhelmed by the pandemic, in part because of a poorly executed medical privatization program
Britain tries to swab all of Liverpool in costly pilot of mass coronavirus testing, but medical experts are unconvinced of the program, Washington Post, Nov 27, 2020
200th anniversary of the birth of Friedrich Engels on November 28, 1820:
* Remembering Friedrich Engels as philosopher of science, by Anjan Basu , published in The Wire (India), Nov 28, 2020 (Anjan Basu is a literary critic, commentator and translator of poetry. He can be reached at email@example.com.)
* Friedrich Engels and the working class in England, by Anjan Basu , published in The Wire (India), Oct 19, 2020
Read: Engels 200: His Contribution to Political Economy, by Michael Roberts, published by Lulu, Oct 2020, 172 pp Friedrich Engels was Karl Marx’s close collaborator and life-long friend. But his economics has been sadly neglected, being lost under the large shadow of Marx’s Capital and his other economic works. And yet, Engels was the first to present a critique of the contemporary classical political economy of Smith, Ricardo and Malthus from a Marxist perspective – that is before Marx himself. Michael Roberts outlines, explains and analyses Engels’ contribution to a Marxist critique of political economy and capitalism and its relevance today.
Listen: The political economy of Friedrich Engels, talk by Michel Roberts to a seminar in Athens, webcast on his YouTube channel, Nov 29, 2020 (38-minute presentation)
Watch: Friedrich Engels as portrayed in the 2018 film by director Raoul Peck ‘The Young Karl Marx’. The film provides an excellent overview of the life of Friedrich Engels; you can pay to view the film here on Amazon Prime Video or here on Vimeo. Three reviews of the film are compiled here on A Socialist In Canada.
A rush to expand the border wall that many fear is here to stay, New York Times, Nov 28, 2020 Despite the president-elect’s vow to halt the project, the Trump administration is expanding the wall at a breakneck pace
Russia says India to produce 100 million doses of ‘Sputnik V’ vaccine, beginning early 2021, Agence France presse, Nov 27, 2020 In addition to India, the Russian Direct Investment Fund says Sputnik V will be produced in Brazil, China and South Korea.
Coronavirus deaths reach ominous levels unseen since early in the pandemic, Washington Post, Nov 25, 2020
Related U.S. news:
* U.S. reports 2,100 Covid-19 deaths on Nov 24, the highest daily total in six months. Things are projected to get worse, CNN, Nov 25, 2020
* California, Texas set nationwide records for new coronavirus infections in a single day, Washington Post, Nov 25, 2020 and read: California seemingly corralled the coronavirus. Now, cases are surging, hospitals are full and shutdowns are back, Washington Post, Nov 25, 2020
* ‘Dead before Christmas’: As U.S. passes 250K Covid deaths, health care workers brace for holiday surge, interview with Ed Yong, science writer at The Atlantic magazine, broadcast on Democracy Now!, Nov 20, 2020 (20-minute interview, with transcript)
* A growing number of Americans are going hungry, Washington Post, Nov 25, 2020 …One in eight Americans report they sometimes or often did not have enough food to eat in the past week, hitting nearly 26 million American adults, an increase several times greater than the most comparable pre-pandemic figure, according to Census Bureau survey data collected in late October and early November. That number climbed to more than one in six adults in households with children. “It’s been driven by the virus and the unpredictable government response,” said Jeremy K. Everett, executive director of the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty in Waco, Texas…
* Efforts to slow coronavirus surge in U.S. likely too little, too late, Washington Post, Nov 24, 2020 …The numbers of new Covid-19 cases in the U.S. have gone from ominous to disastrous in just a few weeks. More than 170,000 people a day on average are now becoming infected and more than 85,000 are hospitalized. This before millions of people congregate for the Thanksgiving holiday, many of them having journeyed home with an invisible pathogen potentially along for the ride…
U.S. intervenes as Venezuela prepares for high stakes National Assembly election on Dec. 6, by Roger Harris, published by Task Force on the Americas, Nov 27, 2020 (Roger Harris is a member of the board of directors of the Task Force on the Americas, a grassroots human rights organization dedicated to supporting the social justice movements in Latin America and the Caribbean. Founded in 1985, it is also known as the Marin Interfaith Task Force on the Americas.)
Related: What is at stake in Venezuela’s National Assembly election on December 6?, by Ociel Alí López, Venezuela Analysis, Nov 27, 2020
Previously reported: Interview with leftist opponent of Venezuela government offers no proposals for economic and social alternative. Interview with Rafael Uzcátegui, published in Venezuela Analysis, Nov 20, 2020 (Rafael Uzcátegui is a spokesperson of the ‘Popular Revolutionary Alternative’ that is running against the governing PSUV party in the Dec 6 National Assembly election in Venezuela.)
Putting vaccine buzz into perspective, by Andrew Nikiforuk, The Tyee, Nov 26, 2020 [This otherwise informative overview of vaccine development looks only at the vaccines being manufactured in the West by Big Pharma. The vaccines being produced and now widely tested by laboratories in China and Russia are not examined.].
Related vaccine news: Russia’s vaccine volunteers swap stories and antibody readings as amateur researchers, Washington Post, Nov 26, 2020
Coronavirus is roaring back in parts of Asia, capitalizing on pandemic fatigue, Washington Post, Nov 24, 2020 and read: report in New York Times, Nov 26, 2020 … The numbers of new infections here are a fraction of those in West, with Japan recently reporting more than 2,000 new cases a day, South Korea more than 300 a day, and Hong Kong recording 73 new confirmed cases on Monday — compared with more than 150,000 a day in the United States. Yet the infection rates are still high enough to ring alarm bells, especially given the high proportion of elderly people in places like Japan, as winter approaches and doors and windows close against the chill…
Related Asia-Pacific news:
* Victoria state in Australia celebrates 28 days without any new Covid-19 cases, ABC.net.au, Nov 27, 2020 …Because there is still active virus in other states and there is still the risk of the virus being introduced from overseas, Victoria will need to stay in “prevention mode” going forward, Deakin University epidemiologist Catherine Bennett told ‘ABC News Breakfast’…
* How the privatization of medicine in India is accelerating its COVID-19 death toll, by Yogesh Jain, article produced by Globetrotter, published here at People’s Dispatch, Nov 25, 2020 [India’s daily toll of new Covid-19 cases has been fluctuating around 45,000 for the past month. During that same stretch, deaths have fluctuated around 500 per day.]
From New Scientist magazine, news of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic:
* Can mass testing schemes stop the spread of the coronavirus?, by Michael Le Page, New Scientist, Nov 25, 2020
* What are the odds of dying if you’re infected by the coronavirus?, by Michael Le Page, New Scientist, Nov 20, 2020
* Vaccine results show we can end the pandemic, but hurdles lie ahead, editorial (leader) in New Scientist, Nov 18, 2020
* We can’t be certain the coronavirus vaccines will stop the pandemic, by Graham Lawton, New Scientist, Nov 18, 2020
* Can antibodies from people with Covid-19 bridge the gap to a vaccine?, by Graham Lawton, New Scientist, Nov 4, 2020
* Is Germany losing the fight against a resurging coronavirus?, by Layal Liverpool, New Scientist, Nov 3, 2020 [Germany has risen to #13 in the world for total Covid-19 cases. For the past month, daily cases on most days have been higher than 15,000, including a record 23,676 set on Nov 19.]
Medical authorities in Sicily ask Cuba to send 60 more medics as Italy fights resurging Covid, The Guardian, Nov 25, 2020 [Italy has risen to #8 in the world for total Covid-19 cases. For the past month, its daily case numbers have been at record levels, 25,000 or higher. The record to date is 40,896 new cases set on Nov 13.]
Poland: Revolution in times of the pandemic, by Agata Czarnacka, published in Transform Europe, Nov 10, 2020 [Poland has risen to #14 in the world for total Covid-19 cases, at . For most of the past month, it has recorded more than 20,000 new daily cases, including a record 37,596 set on Nov 23. Oddly, this otherwise informative article makes no mention of Poland as a particularly aggressive member of the NATO military alliance and NATO’s new cold war against Russia.]
A good cloth mask is a powerful weapon against the coronavirus, reports a new study at Virginia Tech U, Yahoo News, Nov 24, 2020 and read: report in Virginia Tech Daily, Nov 23, 2020
Related: Mayo Clinic research confirms critical role of masks in preventing COVID-19 infection, by Joe Dangor, published by the Mayo Clinic, News Service, Nov 24, 2020
China and Russia are using coronavirus vaccines to expand their influence. The U.S. is on the sidelines, Washington Post, Nov 24, 2020 In the new frontier of vaccine diplomacy, there are two paths: stockpile or share. The first way is unfolding in the United States — with two promising coronavirus vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna on the cusp of approval — as the Trump administration focuses on domestic distribution from private labs. The European Union and other wealthy democracies [Canada] have bought up much of what’s left of the initial doses, but they also will lend support to a World Health Organization-linked effort [COVAX] to eventually expand supplies to countries in need. The other approach comes from China and Russia, which have rushed to share their own state-backed vaccines with nations scrambling for supply… So far, the United States has essentially ceded the field. It has declined to join more than 170 other countries in Covax, the WHO-backed program to deliver billions of vaccine doses to less-developed nations, and has not outlined a plan for sharing doses with anyone else… A recent analysis from researchers at Duke University found that high- and middle-income countries have already purchased 3.8 billion doses of promising vaccines, with options for 5 billion more. By comparison, the team predicted that billions of people in developing countries could be waiting until 2024…
[This informative report is nonetheless permeated with the cynical view that Russia and China are assisting poorer countries of the world with Covid-19 vaccines strictly in order to advance their own, selfish national interests. In other words, the Washington Post claims that the cynicism and self-interest inherent to U.S. foreign policy is a universal human trait. Luckily for the world, this claim is false and self-serving.].
Related vaccine news:
* Successful not-for-profit Oxford University Covid vaccine threatens Big Pharma profit logic, by Alan Macleod, Mint Press News, Nov 23, 2020
* A vaccine won’t end the U.S. crisis right away, Associated Press, Nov 24, 2020
* Manufacturing error raises questions about AstraZeneca/Oxford U vaccine study results, Associated Press, Nov 25, 2020
* Russia reports its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine as 95 per cent effective in early trials, says it will be much less costly than Big Pharmas vaccines, Radio France International, Nov 24, 2020 and read: Russia plans to produce one billion doses of its ‘cheaper’ Covid vaccine, CNBC, Nov 24, 2020
* Vaccine nationalism and Canada’s negligent response to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, by Roger Annis, published on A Socialist In Canada, Nov 24, 2020
Generation forever war: Biden’s national security choices herald return to hawkish normalcy, by Nick Turse, The Intercept, Nov 24, 2020 [Oddly, and naively, this informative article by Nick Turse writes that U.S. foreign policy under former president Obama was “centrist-liberal” and “flawed”. Surely this qualifies as an understatement of the year.] Related: How Joe Biden plans to make the American Empire great again, video report with transcript by Dan Cohen, broadcast on Mint Press News, Nov 20, 2020 (also broadcast on The Grayzone, Nov 20, 2020) Behind his rhetoric, Joe Biden will seek nothing less than global supremacy, escalating a new and even more dangerous arms race that risks the destruction of humanity, what he calls ‘decency’ and ‘normalcy’.
Trump regime races to weaken environmental and worker protections, implement other last-minute policies, before Jan. 20, Pro-Publica, Nov 25, 2020
* Trump regime is on an ‘unprecedented’ death row killing spree, by Mike Ludwig, Truthout, Nov 25, 2020 …Donald Trump will leave office having set a grim record for overseeing the most executions of federal prisoners during a presidential transition period in U.S. history, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. The [regime] has already executed eight people by lethal injection since July, when the federal government resumed executions after a 17-year hiatus…
* Trump’s post-presidency will be cluttered with potentially serious legal battles, Washington Post, Nov 22, 2020
Evidence builds that an early mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus made the pandemic harder to stop, New York Times, Nov 23, 2020 …Other researchers said that a lack of proper containment measures, not the mutation, is largely to blame for resurgent outbreaks. “The reason this is spreading is people are not having enough measures in place,” said Kari Stefansson, founder and chief executive of deCODE Genetics, a leading genome analysis firm based in Iceland. “It seems like extraordinarily poor politics to blame the inadequacies on the virus. They should be picking on someone their own size, not this tiny virus.” …
At over three million Thanksgiving travelers, U.S. airports have their busiest weekend since March, Reuters, Nov 23, 2020
WHO warns of COVID-19 third wave, says Europe failed to learn from Asia, Deutsche Welle, Nov 22, 2020
Related Europe news:
* Italy is again seeing one of the world’s highest coronavirus death tolls, but it no longer registers as a national tragedy, Washington Post, Nov 22, 2020 Some 10,000 people have died of the coronavirus in Italy this month — a per capita rate more than double that of the United States …The coronavirus has been especially deadly in Italy because of the country’s demographics: The country has the world’s second-highest proportion of seniors. According to the national health institute, the average coronavirus victim is 80 years old. Nearly all have some kind of pre-existing condition, and often more than one. Only 1.1 per cent of the dead have been under the age of 50…
* Germany sees new record of daily Covid-19 cases , The Local.de, Nov 20, 2020 [During the past three weeks, Germany has suffered eight days of record, new Covid-19 cases, topping 23,000. The country is now #13 in the world for total cases and will soon surpass Peru for #12; it is #19 in population.].
* New Covid-19 cases remain high in many of the large European countries. [In Britain (now #7 in the world for total cases), daily, new Covid-19 cases have eased somewhat from record highs, to daily averages of 20,000. On Nov 22, France (#4) recorded 13,157 new cases; case numbers in Russia (#5) were 24,581 and continuing to rise; Spain (#6) rose anew, to 15,156; Ukraine (#17) was 12,079, a slight decline.]
The 15-member country Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is more capitalism as usual, by Pete Dolack, published on his website Systemic Disorder, Nov 24, 2020
* Asia forms world’s biggest trade bloc, a China-backed group excluding U.S., Reuters, Nov 15, 2020
* Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade and investment pact, signed on Nov 15, heralds dawn of Asian Century, Asia Times, Nov 15, 2020 The combined GDP of signatory nations is a whopping US$26.2 trillion and will be bigger than both the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement and the European Union
* Asia cements grip as the world’s free trade torchbearer: Five takeaways of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership signed on November 15, 2020, Nikkei Asia, Nov 16, 2020
Two companies say their vaccines are 95 per cent effective. What does that mean?, New York Times, Nov 20, 2020 You might assume that 95 out of every 100 people vaccinated will be protected from Covid-19. But that’s not how the math works.
* Clinical outcomes of a Covid-19 vaccine: Implementation over efficacy, research paper published in Health Affairs, Nov 19, 2020 (eight pages) The global effort to develop a coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine is likely to soon produce one or more authorized vaccines… Using a mathematical simulation of vaccination, we find that factors related to implementation will contribute more to the success of vaccination programs than a vaccine’s efficacy as determined in clinical trials… According to CEPI, 321 COVID-19 vaccine candidates were in development worldwide as of September 2020. Of those, as of November 2020, over 50 have progressed to clinical testing in humans, 11 of which were in Phase 3 clinical trials, four of those are underway in the United States… Our results demonstrate that the benefits of any COVID-19 vaccine—whether highly, moderately, or modestly efficacious by any trial-defined outcome—will depend at least as much on how swiftly and broadly it is implemented and the epidemiological environment into which it is introduced as it will on the vaccine’s physiological properties as shown through clinical trials…
* What defines an efficacious COVID-19 vaccine? A review of the challenges assessing the clinical efficacy of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2, research paper published in The Lancet, Oct 27, 2020 (ten-page report)
AstraZeneca/Oxford U is third coronavirus vaccine in a Western country to report positive, early trials, Associated Press, Nov 22, 2020 Unlike the vaccine candidates already announced by Pfizer and Moderna, the AstraZeneca/Oxford U vaccine does not require super-cold storage and shipping temperature; it can be stored at refrigerator temperature.
Related vaccine news: Cuba leads the race in Latin America to supply coronavirus vaccines, Reuters, Nov 12, 2020
Glenn Greenwald speaks out: Interview on Jimmy Dore Show, broadcast on Nov 20, 2020 (38-minute interview. Topics discussed include internet censorship by governments and big-tech companies, the illusions of lesser-evil voting for the U.S. Democratic Party, and the dead-end politics of Democratic Party ‘left’ figures such as Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressional Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.)
As U.S. coronavirus cases soar toward 200,000 a day, Thanksgiving holiday travel is surging, Washington Post, Nov 20, 2020
* I’m a contact tracer in North Dakota. The virus is so rampant that we gave up, by Kailee Leingang, Washington Post, Nov 18, 2020 (Kailee Leingang was born and raised in North Dakota, the state with the highest Covid-19 infection rate. She is a senior nursing student at the University of North Dakota.)
* WHO advises against remdesivir for hospitalized COVID-19 patients, Deutsche Welle, Nov 20, 2020 A World Health Organization panel said the anti-viral drug remdesivir should not be used to treat COVID-19 patients, no matter how ill they are. The experts said the drug has “no important effect” on death rates.
* How the state of Vermont successfully held Covid-19 at bay, by Julia Beluz, Vox.com, Nov 19, 2020 [Vermont and Maine are the only U.S. states with a per capita Covid-19 case rate of less than 10,000 per million population, at 5,543 and 7,408, respectively. Neighbouring Canada’s overall rate, by comparison, is 8,338. Top of list of U.S. states are, in order: North Dakota (91,877) South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Utah (51,777).]
Brazil Apart: The dilemmas of Latin American socialism, book review by Danny Pilkington, published in Conter (Scotland), Nov 13, 2020 Reviewing: Brazil Apart, by Perry Anderson, Verso Books, 2019
Why those hopeful vaccine trial results are not all that they seem, by Tom Blackwell, in National Post, Nov 19, 2020
[The announcements-by-press-release of preliminary vaccine trial results by the Pfizer and Moderna big-pharma multinationals have been hailed by governments and public health analysts and spokespeople in the imperialist countries. But the vaccines-under-development by these two companies are a vast swindle in the making. Big pharma wants to corner the market on vaccines, while the imperialist governments are using their financial clout to control vaccine procurement and distribution. These governments are already guilty of criminal negligence in their failed responses to the pandemic. The above article in the National Post gives a glimpse into their vaccine swindle in the making.
[Compounding the vaccine swindle in the making is the use by Western governments of Big Pharama’s vaccine-related press releases to definitively renounce any plans to reduce Covid infections to zero or near-zero. Instead, the pandemic is to be allowed to run its grim course with only partial measures to stand in its way. This is all couched in false promises of vaccines that, magically, will soon arrive and put a stop to the pandemic. In other words, a life and death struggle is underway to minimize the human toll of the pandemic in the here and now. This in a context where too few people in the Western countries, at least, recognize the criminal negligence by their governments and are therefore poorly placed to act. The pandemic situation is analogous to the global warming emergency and the constant danger of new imperialist wars (notably the rising threats against China and Russia). That is, the peoples of the world are facing unprecedented threats to human civilization yet are failing to recognize the full scope of the dangers and are therefore slow to act.]
Related: Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech are rushing for emergency approval to use COVID-19 vaccine-in-development in U.S., Associated Press, Nov 20, 2020
…The public’s first chance to see how strong the evidence [of the trial vaccine] really is will come Dec. 10 at a public meeting of the FDA’s scientific advisers. So far, what’s known is based only on statements from Pfizer and BioNTech… Not far behind is competitor Moderna Inc.’s Covid-19 vaccine. Its early data suggests the shots are as strong as Pfizer’s, and that company expects to also seek emergency authorization within weeks…
Our vaccine infrastructure needs a radical overhaul, by Ravi Gupta, published in Boston Review, Nov 13, 2020 Decades-long funding cuts for pandemic preparedness hamper coordinated distribution and equitable access. We must reimagine how to make life-saving vaccines available to everyone.
* ‘The ones most at risk from Covid-19 are the ones we’re most ill-prepared to reach with the vaccine’, interview with Ravi Gupta, broadcast on FAIR.org, Nov 20, 2020 (with transcript)
* Government-funded scientists laid the groundwork for billion-dollar vaccines, by Arthur Allen, published in Kaiser Health News, Nov 18, 2020
Government-funded scientists laid the groundwork for billion-dollar vaccines, by Arthur Allen, published in Kaiser Health News, Nov 18, 2020
Disarray and court defeats mark post-election period as Trump regime struggles to govern, fails to change vote results and ignores the grim march of the pandemic. Report in Washington Post, Nov 19, 2020
* Trump uses the power of the presidency in attempt to overturn the election and stay in office, Washington Post, Nov 19, 2020
* Trump regime targets vote certification process in election disruption drive, Washington Post, Nov 19, 2020
* The lowest-paid workers in higher education are suffering the highest job losses, Washington Post, Nov 17, 2020 …Colleges and universities are shedding jobs at an unprecedented rate. And some of the lowest-paid workers in higher education are bearing the brunt of the layoffs, mirroring broader trends of the most unequal recession in modern U.S. history…
India’s runaway pandemic: Virus cases pass nine million as capital’s hospitals under strain, Associated Press, Nov 20, 2020
Justin Trudeau goes out on a limb to defend his government’s arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhoul as the government’s legal case keeps worsening. Report by Global News, Nov 19, 2020
[Trudeau’s government has brushed aside calls to drop its extradition persecution of Meng Wanzhou in order to facilitate the release from prison in China of Canadian intelligence operative Michael Kovrig and Canadian entrepreneur Michael Spavor. Corporate and state media, meanwhile, are waging a daily McCarthyite witchhunt against the Chinese government and people.].
Related: Former RCMP officer who conspired with U.S. officials to arrest Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver airport on Dec 1, 2018 now heads security at a casino in Macau and is refusing to testify at her extradition hearing. Report by CBC News, Nov 18, 2020
Hospitals in U.S. overwhelmed with virus cases, Associated Press, Nov 18, 2020 …The number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 in the U.S. has doubled in the past month and set new records every day this week. As of November 17, nearly 77,000 were hospitalized with the virus. Newly confirmed infections per day in the U.S. have exploded more than 80% over the past two weeks to the highest levels on record, with the daily count running at close to 160,000 on average. Cases are on the rise in all 50 states. Deaths are averaging more than 1,155 per day, the highest in months…
* Long lines and delayed results again plague coronavirus tests as Thanksgiving approaches, Washington Post, Nov 18, 2020
* Hospitals in half of U.S. states are facing a massive staffing shortage as Covid-19 surges, STAT News, Nov 19, 2020
* U.S. states that imposed few restrictions now have the worst outbreaks, New York Times, Nov 18, 2020
* More than three million people in U.S. estimated to be contagious with the coronavirus, according to report out of Columbia U, Washington Post, Nov 18, 2020 …The vast — and rapidly growing — pool of coronavirus-infected people poses a daunting challenge to the governors and mayors in hard-hit communities who are trying to arrest the surge in cases. Traditional efforts such as testing, isolation of the sick and contact tracing can be overwhelmed when a virus spreads at an exponential rate, especially when large numbers of asymptomatic people may be walking around without even knowing they are infectious… Separately, modelers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimated Tuesday that approximately 3.2 million people have been infected just since Election Day, Nov. 3, a figure significantly larger than the approximately 1.95 million official cases tracked over the same period by The Washington Post through reports from state health departments…
* 12 million to lose jobless benefits the day after Christmas unless Congress acts, NPR, Nov 19, 2020
The origins of COVID-19 are 12 months old. Here is what we know of how the pandemic started and how to prevent the next one, ABC.net.au, Nov 17, 2020
Related science news: The coronavirus is airborne indoors. Why are we still scrubbing surfaces?, New York Times, Nov 18, 2020 Scientists who initially warned about contaminated surfaces now say that the virus spreads primarily through inhaled droplets, and that there is little to no evidence that deep cleaning mitigates the threat indoors.
War crimes r’us: Report finds Australian troops unlawfully killed 39 Afghans beginning in 2009 and lasting years. Report by Associated Press, Nov 18, 2020 and read: report in Al Jazeera, Nov 18, 2020
* What war crimes did Australian soldiers commit in Afghanistan and will anyone go to jail?, ABC.net.au, Nov 18, 2020
* Australia’s inquiry into war crimes by its special forces shows up New Zealand’s pathetic efforts, by Nicky Hager, The Spinoff, Nov 19, 2020
* New Zealand military covered up killing of Afghan children, Scoop.co.nz, Oct 24, 2018
* Canada’s participation in torture of prisoners in Afghanistan. Report in Wikipedia. [Canada joined in the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. In 2014, its combat soldiers were quietly withdrawn after Canadians had learned that Canadian soldiers were willing participants in the torture regime which the West brought and encouraged into Afghanistan. In the end, 253 Canadian soldiers died. The numbers of Afghans they killed is not publicized.] * The drone president Obama defends deadly drone campaign in his new book, Middle East Eye, Nov 19, 2020 …Compared to his predecessor George W Bush, drone strikes under Obama increased tenfold, resulting in thousands of deaths in Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen, among other countries. Rights groups have consistently questioned the legality of such strikes and their precision, and have argued that well into Obama’s presidency, dozens of civilians would be killed in the ruthless pursuit of a single target…
* Behind the U.S. killings in Iraq and Syria, names and lives, Washington Post, Nov 18, 2020 Massive firepower helped the United States shatter the Islamic State’s grip on Iraq and Syria, but also killed thousands of civilians. Newly disclosed military data provides new certainty about who those victims were and where they died.
Coniston: The genocidal massacre of score of Aboriginals in Australia in 1928, book review of ‘Coniston’ by author Michael Bradley, review published in Sydney Morning Herald, July 31, 2020
Why Biden will keep the U.S.-imposed Cold War rolling, by Vijay Prashad, produced by Globetrotter and published in People’s Dispatch and MR Online, Nov 18, 2020
* Biden appoints Antony Blinken as secretary of state, a supporter of 2003 Iraq war and 2011 assault against Libya destruction and arms industry lobbyist, Common Dreams, Nov 22, 2020
Hillary Clinton at the UN? A look at what foreign policy to expect from a Biden White House, by Patrick Lawrence, Consortium News, Nov 16, 2020 …By way of U.S. conduct abroad, Biden offers not even a pretense that he intends to step back from America’s widely recognized role as the world’s most destructive political, diplomatic and military force… Biden’s army of foreign-policy transition advisers — 2,000 in number — is chock-a-block with warmongers, Russophobes, Sinophobes, Iranophobes, exceptionalists, puppets of apartheid Israel, humanitarian interventionists, and others promising nothing but trouble… [Sadly and confusingly, writer Patrick Lawrence continues to peddle the myth that the Donald Trump regime sought in its early days to lessen U.S. militarism and war. The awful RT news service also sticks to this view.].
* Biden’s team of military advisers have deep ties to arms industry, Middle East Eye, Nov 17, 2020
* Will Biden dismantle Trump’s immigration police state?, by Ryan Devereaux, The Intercept, Nov 17, 2020 As Biden confronts Trump’s immigration legacy, the long shadow of the Obama era creeps in
* Biden appointee to run U.S. state media advocates using propaganda against Americans and ‘rethinking’ First Amendment, by Ben Norton, The Grayzone, Nov 11, 2020
EU extends its sanctions against Venezuela dating from 2017 for another year, by Paul Dobson, Venezuela Analysis, Nov 16, 2020 The punitive sanctions extension comes as Venezuela continues to battle the Covid-19 pandemic. The country has secured ten million doses of the Russia-produced Sputnik V vaccine to be deployed in 2021 and may begin to produce the vaccine locally.
Producing the vaccine is just the start, by Carolyn Johnson, The Washington Post, Nov 16, 2020 …Getting a vaccine into people’s arms is a meticulously choreographed high-wire act that must not falter at any juncture. Distribution looms as among the most daunting challenges. Which hospitals or pharmacies will receive, store and administer the doses? Who will get first crack at receiving them?…
* The top coronavirus vaccines in development to watch, Washington Post, Nov 16, 2020 We are tracking 200 experimental vaccines aimed at ending the pandemic, a scientific quest moving at record-breaking speed.
* For the status of world vaccine research and testing, go to the New York Times’ Coronavirus Vaccine Tracker.
Previously reported: Missing from plans by U.S. states to distribute coronavirus vaccines as they develop: The money to do it, New York Times, Nov 14, 2020 With the prospect that a coronavirus vaccine will become available for emergency use as soon as next month, states and cities are warning that distributing the shots to an anxious public could be hindered by inadequate technology, severe funding shortfalls and a lack of trained personnel…
Covid-19 surge in Belgium threatens collapse of health system, doctors and nurses are being asked to keep working after testing positive, Washington Post, Nov 17, 2020 Belgium’s infection rate is second only to the Czech Republic in the European Union. It is five times higher than in the United States. The country has the highest per capita death rate from Covid-19, at 1,278 per million population, twice the rate of the U.S. …”The situation is catastrophic,” says Philippe Devos, an intensive care doctor at the CHC Montlégia Hospital in Liège, the worst-hit Belgian city. “Liège is now is probably the most affected region in the world.” …
Other global news of the pandemic:
* South Korea sees biggest jump in cases since August while Tokyo records largest number of new cases since the pandemic began, Associated Press, Nov 17, 2020
* Canada has given up on eliminating Covid-19 and is banking instead on a vaccine miracle. To that end, it is the largest per-capita hoarder of vaccines in the world. Stories: Trudeau says coronavirus vaccines in spring will begin end of pandemic, Global News, Nov 17, 2020 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Canadians will only need to hold on for “a few more months” as he says the country will begin to see the other side of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in the spring… “People just need to hang on. It’s not forever, it’s only for a few more months,” Trudeau said in an interview which aired on 570 News Kitchener on November 17… and: Canada is world’s leader in procuring COVID vaccine, leading critics to accuse it of hoarding, National Post, Nov 17, 2020 previously reported: Canada and other wealthy countries are undermining efforts to ensure equitable distribution of coming Covid-19 vaccines, warns study at Duke University, Globe and Mail, Nov 1, 2020 read the article here in pdf format: Canada and vaccine nationalism
Long-term care workers in U.S. are grieving, under siege and bracing for the next round of Covid-19, by Judith Graham, Kaiser Health News, Nov 16, 2020
The ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh, brokered by Russia, should be welcomed by defenders of Armenia, by Roger Annis, A Socialist In Canada, Nov 15, 2020 (with postscripts)
As cases soar across Sweden, the country’s leading health official is admitting coronavirus immunity predictions were wrong , Business Insider, Nov 13, 2020
With strong early results on two mRNA vaccines for Covid-19 by Pfizer and Moderna, we have more answers about the road ahead — and questions too, STAT News, Nov 16, 2020 [The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines-in-development use novel mRNA technology. The Pfizer vaccine requires extremely cold temperatures for storage and transport; the infrastructure for that will have to be built in wealthy countries and is out of the question for poor countries. Big Pharma in Western countries is preparing to reap billions of dollars of profit from producing vaccines and selling them in the most wealthy countries through exclusive, ‘vaccine nationalism’ agreements. Meanwhile, news of the reported success in early trials of the two-shot ‘Sputnik V’ vaccine produced by the Gamaleya Institute based in Moscow is excluded from this STAT News report. The Gamaleya Institute operates under the auspices of Russia’s Ministry of Health. It has reached agreements with many poorer countries for them to produce the vaccine, assuming continued success of testing and trials. China has also committed to making its vaccines-under-development available to lesser developed countries for whom Big Pharma prices are prohibitive.].
Related vaccine news: How the ‘reinfection phenomenon’ could impact Covid-19 vaccines, herd immunity and human behavior, USA Today, Nov 13, 2020
Coronavirus deaths in U.S. are climbing once again, feature article in New York Times, Nov 14, 2020 More than 1,000 Americans are dying of the coronavirus every day on average, a 50 per cent increase over the past month. On November 13, public health officials reported more than 181,000 new cases across the U.S., more than ever before.“It’s getting bad and it’s potentially going to get a lot worse,” says Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “The months ahead are looking quite horrifying.” …
* As cases skyrocket, officials across U.S. implement new coronavirus restrictions but face angry backlash, Washington Post, Nov 13, 2020 With the coronavirus raging out of control and hospitals nearing capacity, state and local leaders are facing once more the gut-wrenching decision of whether to order shutdowns. But many are finding the call much harder to make this time — eight months after cities and states last implemented weeks-long shutdowns — amid angry backlashes, deeply polarized constituents and dire economic consequences… Chicago’s outbreak now is at its worst point since the pandemic began. One month ago, Chicago had a daily average of 500 new cases, and the rate of people testing positive was roughly 5 percent. Today, the city is averaging 2,000 new cases a day and has a test positivity rate in some areas of more than 25 per cent…
* Trump and his White House minimize pandemic surge as he focuses on denying election loss, Washington Post, Nov 14, 2020
* Missing from plans by U.S. states to distribute coronavirus vaccines as they develop: The money to do it, New York Times, Nov 14, 2020 With the prospect that a coronavirus vaccine will become available for emergency use as soon as next month, states and cities are warning that distributing the shots to an anxious public could be hindered by inadequate technology, severe funding shortfalls and a lack of trained personnel…
How the Australian state of Victoria and its capital city Melbourne beat Covid-19, by Kelly Grant, health reporter, Globe and Mail, Nov 13, 2020 On November 13, the state of Victoria and its capital city Melbourne reached a milestone that many thought was impossible–they had gone 14 days without recording a single new case of COVID-19. They beat back the virus by testing widely, tracing contacts aggressively and enforcing some of the most draconian lockdown restrictions in the democratic [sic] world.
Related world news: Coronavirus deaths cast a pall over France, two weeks into a national lockdown, Washington Post, Nov 13, 2020 Daily new cases have begun to fall in France in recent days and the reproduction rate has dropped below one for the first time since July. But France is averaging more than 500 coronavirus deaths per day and has already seen more than 42,000 deaths attributed to Covid-19. Only the United States and India are losing more people to the virus. France is now the fourth-highest country in the world for Covid-19 cases, surpassing Russia.
How could 70 million still have voted for Trump?, by Jack Rasmus, published on his website, Nov 7, 2020 (Dr. Jack Rasmus is a professor of political economy at St. Mary’s College in California.)
* Rio Grande Valley Republicans, essay by Mike Davis, published in the London Review of Books, Nov 6, 2020 (print edition of November 19, 2020, Vol. 42 #22) Read the essay here in pdf format: Rio Grande Valley Republicans
* Why did so many white people vote for ‘Burn it down’ Trumpism?, by Peter Montague, in CounterPunch, Nov 20, 2020
Five important questions about Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine, by Arthur Allen, Kaiser Health News, Nov 11, 2020
After $15 billion and 450 miles, Joe Biden says he will halt border wall, Trump’s signature project, by Todd Gillman, Dallas Morning News, Nov 11, 2020
Trump’s anti-abortion zeal shook fragile health systems around the world, by Sarah Varney, Kaiser Health News, Nov 10, 2020 …Around the world, countries that depend on U.S. foreign aid have scrapped or scaled back ambitious public health projects, refashioning their health systems over the past four years to comport with President Donald Trump’s sweeping anti-abortion restrictions that went further than any Republican president before him…
Covid-19 pandemic in Europe: (full data on Europe is here at the website of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control)
* The top-ten countries in Europe by total case numbers (in order) are: France (1,898,710), Spain, Britain, Italy, Germany, Poland, Belgium, Czechia, Netherlands, Romania (334,236)
* The highest, per capita case numbers per 100,000 population among larger countries in Europe during the past 14 days are: Czechia (1,282), Belgium, France (919), Poland, Italy, Spain (590), Netherlands, Romania, Britain (487), Germany (302)
* According to Worldometer, the following are approximate case numbers per million population: U.S. 32,800, Spain 31,800, France 29,000, Britain 19,000, Sweden 17,500, Russia 12,900, Germany 9,000, Canada 7,500.
Expert predicts U.S. could soon hit 200,000 daily coronavirus cases as the country tops ten million infections, news report based on interview with Dr. Michael Osterholm, CNN, Nov 10, 2020 (Dr. Michael Osterholm is director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and has been named a member of President-elect Joe Biden’s Transition Covid-19 Advisory Board.)
* With coronavirus cases spiking nationwide, all signs point to a harrowing autumn, Washington Post, Nov 10, 2020 The surge of coronavirus cases in the U.S. shows no signs of easing. With little help and scant guidance from a Washington stuck in political limbo, some states and localities rushed to put in place new restrictions aimed at slowing the virus’s spread. But almost every metric appears headed in an ominous direction…
* Covid-19 hospitalizations in U.S. surge to record of just over 59,000 patients, Reuters, Nov 10, 2020
* New York City N.Y.C. may close its schools again, a grim sign of a global dilemma, New York Times, Nov 12, 2020 …Though almost all city schools are open, the vast majority of parents have decided to keep their children learning from home for now. About a quarter of city students are splitting time between remote and in-person instruction under the city’s hybrid system…
* Meatpacking workers say attendance policies force them to work with Covid-19 symptoms, by Heather Schlitz, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, Oct 20, 2020 (re-published in In These Times, Nov 11, 2020)
One third of Biden’s Pentagon transition team hails from organizations financed by the weapons industry, by Sarah Lazare (web editor), In These Times, Nov 11, 2020 The president-elect is drawing from hawkish think tanks funded by arms companies
Also by Sarah Lazare: How bipartisan anti-China Rhetoric is being used to increase U.S. military spending, In These Times, Oct 21, 2020 Republicans and Democrats are using the “menace” of China to justify pouring billions into the Pentagon’s budget
These are the venues in U.S. that are high-risk for spreading the coronavirus, according to research published in Nature, Washington Post, Nov 10, 2020 The report published in the journal Nature on November 10 by researchers at Stanford and Northwestern universities uses anonymized data from 98 million Americans living in Chicago, Washington, New York City and seven other metro areas.
Armenia concedes territory to Azerbaijan in ceasefire over Nagorno Karabach, to be overseen by 2,000 Russian peacekeepers, Associated Press, Nov 10, 2020 read also: report in Eurasianet.org, Nov 9, 2020 …Armenia will cede control over the Kelbajar region by November 15 and Aghdam by November 20. Armenians will withdraw from Lachin by December 1, except for a five-kilometer-wide corridor. The ceasefire agreement did not directly address the status of the parts of Nagorno-Karabakh proper that Armenian forces continued to hold, including the regional capital, Stepanakert…
* As many questions as answers in Karabakh deal, by Joshua Kucera, Eurasianet, Nov 11, 2020 The ceasefire deal leaves unmentioned critical issues like the final status of Nagorno-Karabakh and Turkey’s role in implementing the ceasefire.
* Russia leaves little room for Turkey in Azeri-Armenian truce, Al-Monitor, Nov 10, 2020
* Armenian government under attack following war defeat, by Ani Mejlumyan and Joshua Kucera, Eurasianet.org, Nov 10, 2020 Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is facing popular anger and scheming opposition figures following the country’s disastrous capitulation to Azerbaijan …Protesters against the agreement interviewed by Eurasianet in the Armenian capital of Yerevan said they had previously supported Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. He came to power in 2018 as a leader of the street protests termed the ‘Velvet Revolution‘ against a corrupt, autocratic regime. But signing the ceasefire agreement is a betrayal of that revolution, many protesters say…
* Ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh follows weeks of grim fighting. Support by Turkey and Israel to Azerbaijan as well as Covid-19 infections proved decisive. Russian president calls the conflict a ‘great tragedy’. Report by by Robyn Dixon, in Washington Post, Nov 10, 2020 read the report here in pdf format: Ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh and read: Azerbaijan’s drones owned the battlefield in Nagorno-Karabakh — and showed future of warfare, Washington Post, Nov 11, 2020
The ongoing decline in employment and workforce participation in U.S., by Martin Hart-Landsberg, published on his website Reports From the Economic Front, Nov 5, 2020 (Martin Hart-Landsberg is Professor Emeritus of Economics at Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Oregon and Adjunct Researcher at the Institute for Social Sciences, Gyeongsang National University, South Korea.)
* The U.S. economy – some facts, by Michael Roberts (Marxist economist in Britain), published on his website Nov 3, 2020 As we await the result of the US presidential election, here are some facts about the US economy within a world context.
* Covid-19 economic crisis snapshot of the U.S., by Martin Hart-Landsberg, published on his website Reports From the Economic Front, Oct 17, 2020 Workers in the United States are in the midst of a punishing COVID-19 economic crisis. Unfortunately, while a new fiscal spending package and an effective vaccine can bring needed relief, a meaningful sustained economic recovery will require significant structural changes in the operation and orientation of the economy…
Twenty years in the making, a new biography sheds new light on the life of Malcolm X. Two book reviews of The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X, by Les Payne and Tamara Payne, Liveright (Norton), 2020, 640 pp ISBN: 978-1-63149-166-5
1. Review by Gabino Iglesias, in NPR, Oct 28, 2020
2. Review by Mark Whitaker, published in the Washington Post, Nov 5, 2020
U.S. tops 125,000 daily coronavirus infections — a record high, CNN, Nov 7, 2020 The United States set a new record on November 6 when it surpassed 125,000 daily coronavirus infections. There were at least 1,137 deaths on the same date, according to Johns Hopkins University. Covid-19 hospitalizations continue to climb in the U.S., prompting health experts to issue dire predictions.
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is on course to overwhelm the U.S. health system before Biden takes office, Politico, Nov 9, 2020 The United States’ surging coronavirus outbreak is on pace to hit nearly 1 million new cases a week by the end of the year — a scenario that could overwhelm health systems across much of the country and further complicate President-elect Joe Biden’s attempts to coordinate a response… The number of Americans hospitalized with Covid-19 has spiked to 56,000, up from 33,000 one month ago. In many areas of the country, shortages of ICU beds and staff are leaving patients piled up in emergency rooms. And nearly 1,100 people died on November 7 alone, according to the Covid Tracking Project…
New York City’s block-by-block lockdowns are curbing Covid-19, Washington Post, Nov 8, 2020 City officials are eager to avoid a repeat of deadly spring but admit ‘how hard this is going to be to sustain’
* U.S. tops 116,000 cases, another record, as health officials worry people are ‘giving up’, Washington Post, Nov 6, 2020 The United States reported 116,707 new coronavirus infections Thursday, as 20 states saw their highest daily counts, and the number of fatalities nationwide exceeded 1,000 for the third consecutive day.
A U.S.-China detente under Biden? Beijing isn’t betting on it, Washington Post, Nov 8, 2020
Related: U.S. arms industry confortable with Biden election victory, Washington Post, Nov 8, 2020 ‘Our industry knows Joe Biden really well’
Biden defeats Trump to win White House, NBC News projects, NBC, Nov 7, 2020 and read: Biden wins presidency, ending four tumultuous years under Trump, New York Times, Nov 7, 2020 state-by-state results are here on NBC News
* Georgia likely flipped to Democrats in presidential vote, but it’s not over: Two Senate runoff races carry national implications, Savannah Morning News (USA Today), Nov 8, 2020
* Republican Party officials are clinging to election conspiracy theories and refusing to acknowledge the reality that Biden won the election, Vox.ocm, Nov 8, 2020
* Trump-associated firm tied to unmarked texts urging vote protests in Philadelphia, Washington Post, Nov 6, 2020
* Media refusing to report the real news: Trump is trying to steal the election, by Joshua Cho, Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR.org), Nov 5, 2020
* TV networks cut away from Trump’s ‘most dishonest speech’ ever, The Verge, Nov 5, 2020
* Here is what happens if Trump tries to sue his way to election victory, Pro-Publica, Nov 4, 2020
The backlash against Trump never came, by Scaachi Koul, BuzzFeed News, Nov 4, 2020
* Media fail to prepare public for potential Trump coup, by Robin Anderson, Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR.org), Nov 2, 2020
* The day after: 2020 election update and political predictions, by Jack Rasmus, published on his website, Nov 4, 2020
* Black people lose in 2020, by Margaret Kimberley, senior columnist, Black Agenda Report, Nov 5, 2020
Postmortem lungs of COVID-19 patients show massive damage, according to study published in The Lancet, report by Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (U of Minnesota), Nov 4, 2020 …Led by researchers at the University of Trieste and King’s College London, the study involved analysis of the lungs from February to April, finding that all 41 patients had extensive lung damage, while 36 of 41 (88%) had massive abnormal blood clotting in the lung arteries and veins. The researchers also examined brain, heart, and kidney tissues; those organs showed no signs of damage or viral replication…
Campaigning opens in National Assembly elections scheduled for December 6 in Venezuela, Venezuela Analysis, Nov 5, 2020
Related: Center-left convergence in Venezuela: A blow to U.S. interventionism, by Steve Ellner, Venezuela Analysis, Nov 3, 2020
Oregon decriminalizes possession of street drugs, becoming first in nation, The Oregonian, Nov 4, 2020 read also: Oregon decriminalizes possession of hard drugs, four other states legalize recreational marijuana, report in Washington Post, Nov 4, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic as of Nov 4, 2020: New cases and deaths during the past 14 days in the leading countries At least 1,616 new coronavirus deaths and 107,771 new cases were reported in the United States on Nov. 4. Over the past week, there has been an average of 91,864 cases per day, an increase of 51 percent from the average two weeks earlier. (New York Times)
For a ‘Green New Deal’ without destructive growth: Jason Hickel responds to Michael Pollin and Noam Chomsky on degrowth, by Jason Hickel, published on his website Nov 2, 2020 (You can read and download the essay in pdf format, here: Jason Hickel responds to Michael Pollin and Noam Chomsky on degrowth)
Related essay by Jason Hickel: Degrowth: A response to Branko Milanovic, by Jason Hickel, Oct 27, 2020 In late 2017, Branko Milanovic wrote a blog post titled ‘The illusion of degrowth in a poor and unequal world‘. He says he penned it following a conversation he had with a proponent of degrowth, which was me. I wrote a response, which I have updated here for clarity, and to account for new data…
Top Trump adviser bluntly contradicts president on Covid-19 threat, urging all-out response, Washington Post, Nov 2, 2020 …The internal report by Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, contradicts Trump on numerous points: While the president holds large campaign events with hundreds of attendees, most without masks, she explicitly warns against them. While the president blames rising cases on more testing, she says testing is “flat or declining” in many areas where cases are rising. And while Trump says the country is “rounding the turn,” Birx notes the country is entering its most dangerous period yet and will see more than 100,000 new cases a day this week… The president appears convinced by new medical adviser Scott Atlas, a neuroradiologist with no infectious-disease experience, that allowing healthy people to return to daily activities without restrictions will hasten herd immunity and bolster the economy…
We can’t follow Obama back to brunch, commentary by David Sirota and Andrew Perez, published in David Sirota’s website blog The Daily Poster, Nov 2, 2020 (David Sirota is editor-at-large at Jacobin. He edits the Daily Poster newsletter and previously served as a senior adviser and speechwriter on Bernie Sanders’s 2020 presidential campaign. Andrew Perez is a writer and researcher living in Maine. This commentary also appears in Jacobin.)
Trump’s plan to declare premature victory on election night, Axios, Nov 1, 2020
* ‘Nightmare scenario’ would see ‘Trump street gangs’ fight back after U.S. election result, News.com.au (part of News Corp Australia conglomerate), Nov 2, 2020
* Why Trump can’t afford to lose, by Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, Nov 1, 2020 The President has survived one impeachment, 26 accusations of sexual misconduct and an estimated 4,000 lawsuits. That run of good luck may well end, perhaps brutally, if Joe Biden wins.
(This article appears in the November 9, 2020 print issue of The New Yorker magazine (weekly). Jane Mayer is the chief Washington correspondent of The New Yorker and the author of the 2017 book Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right. Timothy Snyder is cited frequently in her article as an expert on authoritarian regimes. He is not; he is a right-wing, anti-Russia ideologue. See: Timothy Snyder’s lies: Essay and book review of Timothy Snyder’s 2010 book ‘Bloodlands’, by Daniel Lazare, first published in Jacobin, Sept 9, 2014, here in pdf format: Timothy Snyder’s Lies, essay by Daniel Lazare, Sep 2014.
COVID-19 transmission not a major concern on public transit, Vancouver Sun, Nov 2, 2020 … A data review conducted by the American Public Transportation Association and published in September found no outbreaks traced to public transit in the U.S. as of August 2020 and there is a weak or non-existent correlation between infection rates and transit usage in U.S. cities. Similar information has come from agencies in France, Japan, South Korea, China and Italy…
Edward Snowden and wife seek Russian dual citizenship as they await birth of their first child, Associated Press, Nov 2, 2020
British PM imposes new lockdown in England as national COVID-19 cases top one million, Associated Press, Oct 31, 2020
* Entire population of Liverpool to be regularly offered COVID-19 tests under pilot scheme, Sky News, Oct 4, 2020
* France sees record number of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalisations spike, Reuters, Nov 2, 2020
* Why Europe is yet again at the centre of the coronavirus pandemic, by Laura Spinney (science writer), Nov 2, 2020
As the virus rages, some U.S. states are convinced it’s too late to stop it, New York Times, Nov 1, 2020 Conavirus case counts are at record highs, yet many in states like Idaho are embracing a let-it-ride approach. One county with a hospital nearing capacity repealed its mask mandate. …Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, set the tone last month for many of those ready to throw in the towel on pure containment of the virus, calling for a focus on therapeutics and vaccines because “we’re not going to control the pandemic” …
[New Covid-19 cases in the U.S. were 71,321 for November 1. That is down from the record-high 101,461 for October 30.]
Journalist Aaron Maté discusses Glenn Greenwald’s resignation from The Intercept, interview on The Jimmy Dore Show, Oct 31, 2020 (45-minute interview)
Related: Glenn Greenwald explains his resignation from The Intercept, by Matt Taibbi, published in Substack, Oct 29, 2020 (Substack is an online news outlet recently founded by Matt Taibbi.