October 2020 This is a newsroll page on A Socialist In Canada, commencing September 2017. It consists of headlines with weblinks to published news articles and political analysis. Occasional commentary by the website publisher, Roger Annis, appears in square brackets [ ]. For months preceding October 2020, go to ‘News pages archives’ on the home page of A Socialist In Canada and use the drop-down menu. 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 original items published on the home page of A Socialist In Canada.
World news headlines on A Socialist In Canada, October 2020
The coronavirus pandemic as of Oct 23, 2020: View global as well as by-country statistics here at the website of Worldometer. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern over the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (Covid-19 illness). On March 11, WHO declared an worldwide pandemic. The following statistics are compiled daily, Monday-Friday, on A Socialist In Canada.
Total reported coronavirus cases in the world on Friday, October 23: 42,275,111, up from 41,842,375 one day earlier; total deaths are 1,146,239, up from 1,140,181.
The following figures are for October 21:
New cases in the United States were a near-record 74,301; new deaths were 973. New cases in India were 54,482; new deaths were 683. New cases in Brazil continued to rise, to 31,985; new deaths were 503. New cases in Russia were a near-record 15,971; new deaths were a near-record 290. New cases in Venezuela continued a decline, to 381; there were only six new deaths. These are very low numbers compared to other large, Latin American countries: : on the same date, there were 8,570 new cases and 172 deaths in neighbouring Colombia; 2,991 and 47, respectively, in nearby Peru; 6,845 and 522 in Mexico; and a near-record 16,345 and 438 in Argentina.
Sharp rises in Covid-19 cases continue in Europe: on October 22, new cases were a record 41,622 in France (now #7 in the world for total cases, surpassing Colombia); were 21,243 in Britain; a record 20,986 in Spain (population 46.9 million); a record 16,079 in Italy (pop. 60.4 million); a record 13,227 in Belgium (11.5 million); a record 9,271 in Netherlands (pop. 17.3 million); a record 12,519 in Germany (83 million); a record 7,053 in Ukraine (42 million); a near-record 14,150 in Czech Republic (10.7 million); and a record 12,107 in Poland (38 million).
Mortality rates per million population for worst-hit countries in the world (selected), as of Oct 23, 2020 (* denotes significant ongoing rises): Peru 1026, Belgium 912*, Spain 743*, Bolivia 732*, Brazil 732*, Chile 722*, Ecuador 705*, U.S. 689*, Mexico 680*, Britain 655*, Italy 613*, Argentina 617*, Sweden 586, Colombia 581*, France 524*, Netherlands 406*, Iran 379*, South Africa 316, Canada 261. Lesser-hit countries include Russia 175*, Germany 120, Belarus 100, India 85. The least-hit countries in the world include Australia 35, Venezuela 26, Nicaragua 23, Syria 15, Japan 13, Cuba 11, South Korea 9, New Zealand 5, China 3, Vietnam 0.4. The world average is 147 deaths per million population.
Top selected countries by case rate per million population, as of Oct 23, 2020, in order: Israel (33,578), Peru (26,572), U.S. (26,176), Chile, Brazil, Spain (23,746), Belgium, Argentina, Colombia, France (15,295), UK, Bolivia, South Africa (11,934), Sweden, Russia, Palestine (9,651), India (5,643).
The coronavirus surge in the U.S. that will define the next four years, by Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic (conservative monthly print magazine), Oct 22, 2020 Cases are rising in all but nine states. Unlike the past two waves, this one has no epicenter
Related: U.S. hits highest daily number of coronavirus cases since pandemic began, Washington Post, Oct 23, 2020 The U.S. has set a one-day record of new Covid-19 cases on October 23 with at least 82,600 new cases recorded
No, China didn’t ‘stall’ critical Covid information at start of pandemic, by Joshua Cho, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR.org), Oct 14, 2020
Interview with journalist Aaron Maté: On Russiagate; false accusations against Syria of chemical weapons usage; and the U.S. election, interview broadcast on RT‘s ‘ICMYI’ program, with host Polly Boiko, Oct 23, 2020 (67-minute interview)
* Magic ‘novichok’ chemical poison in the hands of the UK media and security services, by Craig Murray, published on his website, Oct 23, 2020
* The damage Russiagate has done, by Patrick Lawrence, Consortium News, Oct 19, 2020
* Putin most likely directing election interference to aid Trump, CIA says, New York Times, Oct 22, 2020. [This article is but one recent example of how the ‘Russiagate’ conspiracy infection continues to self-replicate in the pages of the likes of the New York Times and Washington Post. Note the unquestioned reliance of NYT editors on claims made by the notorious CIA. This is a small example of where the ‘Russiagate’ virus leads as it infects its hosts–Western governments and media. What’s more, the virus has mutated into an anti-China variant, also become become firmly entrenched. Altogether, the political pathogen is known as imperialism’s ‘new cold war’.]
A thorough debunking of Covid-19 contrarianism, by Jennifer Handsel, published in Current Affairs, Oct 21, 2020 Data scientist Jennifer Handsel deconstructs the truth and the myths of COVID-19
Related: Debunking the false claim that COVID death counts are inflated, by Christie Aschwanden, Scientific American, Oct 20, 2020 President Trump, a congressman and conspiracy fantasists have repeated the myth that the number of deaths in the U.S. from Covid-19 are inaccurate and exaggerated. But three sets of evidence point to more than 218,000 U.S. deaths.
Russia grants permanent residency to U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden, Associated Press, Oct 22, 2020
Coronavirus spreads in autonomous territory of Nagorno-Karabakh amid heavy fighting, Associated Press, Oct 21, 2020
Related: Azerbaijan continues advance deeper into Armenian-held territory, by Joshua Kucera, Eurasianet, Oct 21, 2020 While negotiations are continuing, developments on the battlefield are driving events far more strongly than anything agreed over the negotiation table
Virus surges with a vengeance across the United States, New York Times, Oct 20, 2020 After weeks of warnings that cases were again on the rise, a third surge of coronavirus infection has firmly taken hold in the United States. The nation is averaging 59,000 new cases a day, the most since the beginning of August, and the country is on pace to record the most new daily cases of the entire pandemic in the coming days. But if earlier surges were defined by acute and concentrated outbreaks — in the Northeast this spring, and in the South during the summer — the virus is now simmering at a worrisome level across nearly the entire country…
Related U.S. news:
* America and the virus: ‘A colossal failure of leadership’, by Nicolas Kristoff, editorial writer and columnist, New York Times, Oct 21, 2020 One of the most lethal leadership failures in modern times unfolded in South Africa in the early 2000s as the AIDS epidemic spread there. Then-President Thabo Mbeki scorned science, embraced conspiracy theories, dithered as the disease spread and rejected lifesaving treatments. His denialism cost about 330,000 lives, a Harvard study found. None of us who wrote scathingly about that debacle ever dreamed that something similar might unfold in the United States. But today, health experts regularly cite President Trump as an American Mbeki…
* The worst virus outbreaks in the U.S. are now in rural areas, New York Times, Oct 22, 2020
* Amid pandemic, U.S. has seen 300,000 excess deaths, with highest rates among people of color, STAT health news, Oct 20, 2020 read also: report in Washington Post, Oct 20, 2020
* Distrust, infighting and lethargy inside the White House task force as coronavirus surges, Washington Post, Oct 19, 2020
* Trump attacks ‘Fauci and all these idiots,’ says public is tired of pandemic, public health restrictions as infection rates rise, Washington Post, Oct 19, 2020
Europe is locking down again, virtually guaranteeing a new recession. It didn’t have to be this way, by Eric Reguly, European bureau chief, Globe and Mail, Oct 19, 2020 read the article here in pdf format: Europe is locking down again …The biggest mistake was not devoting more resources to building robust testing-and-tracing systems throughout Europe. Andrea Crisanti, the University of Padua microbiologist who was among the first scientists to discover that about 40 per cent of COVID-19 cases are asymptomatic, has been urging Italian and European governments for months to get in the game on testing and tracing, largely to no avail. The exception was Germany, where the case load is still relatively low (though rising); it has done a credible job in setting up a vast and co-ordinated network of public and private labs…
* Ireland is first European country to reimpose lockdown amid coronavirus resurgence, Washington Post, Oct 21, 2020 [Ireland’s case rate of Covid-19 per million population is 10,782 as of Oct 22, 2020. That compares to 11,607 in Britain, 14,658 in France and 5,453 in Canada.].
* French PM extends Covid-19 curfews to 38 more departments as cases surge, France 24, Oct 22, 2020 read also: report in Deutsche Welle, Oct 22, 2020
* Merkel voices fresh plea to stay at home amid record infection tally, Deutsche Welle, Oct 24, 2020 Germany has confirmed a new daily record of 14,714 new cases on October 24, up from about 13,500 cases the day before
New Covid-19 cases in selected European countries, on Thursday, October 22 (Worldometer): Britain 26,688 (record), France 26,676, Spain 16,973 (record), Russia 15,700 (near-record), Italy 15,198 (record), Czech Republic 14,969 (record), Germany 10,457 (record), Poland 10,040 (record), Netherlands 8,743 (record), Ukraine 6,719 (record), Romania 4,848 (record)
Study finds no crime increase in U.S. cities that adopted ‘sanctuary’ policies, despite Trump claims, Washington Post, Oct 21, 2020
Top court in NATO-member Poland further restricts right of women to abortion service. Report in Deutsche Welle, Oct 22, 2020
Covid-19 vaccine update: Which are the frontrunners?, Deutsche Welle, Oct 21, 2020
* Waiting in the U.S. for a vaccine and the collaborative research alternative, by Dean Baker, published on his blog Beat the Press, Oct 16, 2020 (Dean Baker is the senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington, DC.)
* China is rapidly expanding use of experimental COVID-19 vaccines, Associated Press, Oct 16, 2020
Experts forcefully push back on ‘Barrington Declaration’ advocating relaxing Covid-19 protections in the name of ‘herd immunity’, Infection Control Today, Oct 20, 2020 The John Snow Memorandum was written by 80 international researchers and published in The Lancet this week. It warns that a herd immunity approach to managing COVID-19 is “a dangerous fallacy unsupported by the scientific evidence.”
Bolivia’s Movement Toward Socialism party wins outright majority in Oct 18 election, a massive repudiation of Western-backed coup in October 2019 that ousted then-president Evo Morales, by William Camacaro, in Caracas, published by the Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA), Oct 19, 2020 [In Bolivia’s national election on October 18, the ‘Movement Toward Socialism’ (MAS) party slate was headed by Luis Arce for president and David Choquehuanca for vice-president. The initial count shows 52.4% of the popular vote for MAS, followed by ex-president Carlos Mesa with 31.5% and 14.1% for Fernando Camacho. The latter led the violent street protests in autumn 2019 that culminated in President Evo Morales resigning and fleeing the country in order to stave off a bloodbath by the right-wing forces. The MAS will have a majority in Bolivia’s senate and legislature, although not the two-thirds majority it enjoyed during the three terms of Morales (first elected in 2006). The MAS won in five of Bolivia’s nine departments.].
* After socialist victory in Bolivia, Western media still whitewash the 2019 coup that drove Evo Morales from power, by Bryce Greene, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR.org), Oct 23, 2020
* Canada’s support for Bolivian coup regime was part of its century-long imperialist bent in Latin America, by Tyler Shipley, The Canada Files, Oct 23, 2020 Election results from Bolivia reflected an overwhelming victory for the MÁS party, a deeply embarrassing outcome for Canada’s Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland, whose government aggressively supported a coup against MÁS a year ago on the premise that it was an unpopular dictatorship…
The end of U.S. ‘engagement’ with the People’s Republic of China, written and published by the Qiao Collective, Oct 14, 2020
* Can Australia dump China amid trade tensions?, Deutsche Welle, Oct 19, 2020
* India, Covid-19, the United States, and China, by Research Unit for Political Economy (Mumbai, India), in Monthly Review, Sep 1, 2020
White House rejects Russian call to extend ‘New START’ nuclear arms control treaty, RT, Oct 16, 2020 New START is the last remaining arms control treaty between the U.S. and Russia. A failure to prolong it will leave the world ‘without any instruments to curb an arms race’, the Russian president told the nation’s security council earlier on October 16.
Related: Putin proposes that Russia and U.S. extend New START arms control treaty for one year, Reuters, Oct 15, 2020 Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed today that Russia and the United States extend their New START arms control treaty that expires in February for at least a year without imposing any conditions. The New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) accord, signed in 2010, limits the numbers of strategic nuclear warheads, missiles and bombers that Russia and the United States can deploy…
Danger in the South China Sea, by Ann Wright, Consortium News, Oct 16, 2020 Over the past two years, the United States has dramatically increased the number of U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and destroyers sent into the South China Sea as freedom-of-navigation show-of- force missions to remind the Chinese government that the U.S. considers the Western Pacific and the South China Sea as a part of the oceans of America and its allies…
* U.S. advances three arms sales packages to Taiwan, Defense News, Oct 12, 2020
* White House advances drone and missile sales to Taiwan, Reuters, Oct 13, 2020
* White House moves forward on three arms sales to Taiwan, Reuters, Oct 12, 2020
* U.S. pushing arms sales surge to Taiwan, provoking China, Reuters, Sept 16, 2020 The United States plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems, including mines, cruise missiles and drones to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said, as the Trump administration ramps up pressure on China. Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which U.S. military sales to the island were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing. But the Trump administration has become more aggressive with China in 2020 and the sales would land as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in decades…
U.S. tops 60,000 daily coronavirus infections for first time since early August, Washington Post, Oct 15, 2020
* U.S. virus cases climb toward a third peak, New York Times, Oct 14, 2020 The number of new coronavirus cases in the United States is surging once again after growth slowed in late summer. While the geography of the pandemic is now shifting to the Midwest and to more rural areas, cases are trending upward in most states, many of which are setting weekly records for new cases…
* Eight million have slipped into poverty since May in the U.S. as federal aid has dried up, report two new studies, New York Times, Oct 14, 2020 …The recent rise in poverty has occurred despite an improving job market, an indication that the economy has been rebounding too slowly to offset the lost benefits. The Democratic-majority House has twice passed multi-trillion dollar packages to provide more help and to stimulate the economy, but members of a divided Republican-majority Senate have proposed smaller plans. President Trump has alternately demanded that Congress “go big” before the elections and canceled negotiations. The original Cares Act [enacted on March 27, Wikipedia] included one-time payments for most households — $1,200 per adult and $500 per child — and a huge expansion of unemployment insurance…
* Emboldened by his Covid-19 recovery, Trump pushes return to normalcy, Washington Post, Oct 14, 2020 President Trump is using his recovery from Covid-19 to reinforce the message that the pandemic is receding and Americans should return to work — resisting entreaties to change his tone and behavior three weeks ahead of the presidential election. Despite the outbreak at the White House that also infected the first lady, their son and nearly a dozen top aides, Trump and his allies continue to downplay the virus, arguing that the country is “turning the corner” and holding campaign events with thousands of supporters even as cases are increasing rapidly, especially in the Midwest. Several advisers hoped Trump’s experience would move him to speak more empathetically about a virus that has killed at least 215,000 Americans and infected nearly eight million. Instead, Trump has seemed further emboldened, flouting public health guidelines to convince voters that life is returning to normal…
Inside the fall of the Centers for Disease Control, special report by Pro-Publica, Oct 15, 2020 How the world’s greatest public health organization was brought to its knees by a virus, a president and the capitulation of its own leaders, causing damage that could last much longer than the coronavirus.
* The inside story of how Deborah Birx, Trump’s COVID-19 coordinator, undermined the world’s top health agency, Science magazine, Oct. 14, 2020
* Leading scientists urge voters to dump Trump, Scientific American, Oct 16, 2020
* Film review: Documentary about White House bungling of coronavirus response infuriates and informs, Washington Post, Oct 15, 2020 ‘Totally Under Control’ is an incisive, lucid and infuriating critique of the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, co directed by Alex Gibney, Ophelia Harutyunyan and Suzanne Hillinger. Available on iTunes/Apple TV, Fandango Now, Google Play, YouTube, Vudu and afisilver.afi.com. Available Oct. 20 on Hulu.
White House is considering ‘The Great Barrington Declaration’ herd immunity strategy for coronavirus, Forbes Magazine, Oct 14, 2020 …’Focused protection’ may sound better than ‘herd immunity’, but both appoaches have major stumbling blocks. Here are eight of them …
* Covid-19 herd immunity, backed by White House, is a ‘dangerous fallacy,’ scientists warn in open letter, NBC News, Oct 14, 2020
* Proposal to hasten herd immunity to the coronavirus grabs White House attention but appalls top scientists, Washington Post, Oct 13, 2020
* UN warns against pursuing herd immunity to stop coronavirus, Associated Press, Oct 12, 2020
Europe thought it had tamed COVID-19, but the continent now faces virus resurgence, New York Times, Oct 14, 2020 and read: report by Associated Press, Oct 14, 2020
* UK’s COVID-19 strategy unraveling as regions choose own path, Associated Press, Oct 14, 2020
* Closing schools is latest front in virus fight in Europe, Associated Press, Oct 14, 2020
Turkish arms sales to Azerbaijan surged before Nagorno-Karabakh fighting, Reuters, Oct 15, 2020 Turkey’s military exports to its ally Azerbaijan have risen six-fold this year, with sales of drones and other military equipment rising to $77 million last month alone before fighting broke out over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, according to exports data…
Scientists have a powerful new tool for controlling the coronavirus: Its own genetic code. But the United States, home to the world’s biggest outbreak, has failed to tap the technique’s full potential, Washington Post, Oct 13, 2020
To view the world news headlines on A Socialist In Canada for the first half of October 2020, go to the archive page here. To view the ‘World news’ headlines for the month of September 2020 on ‘A Socialist In Canada’, go to the news archive page for that month, here.