And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Linkee-poo Tuesday Sept 15

"Hurricane Sally is moving toward the Gulf Coast, threatening to bring possible historic flooding and "extreme life-threatening" flash flooding, according to forecasters… As of Tuesday morning, the storm was located about 65 miles east of the mouth of the Mississippi River and about 105 miles south-southeast of Biloxi, Mississippi. Maximum sustained winds were 85 mph, with stronger gusts. It was moving northwest at 2 mph."

"The mammoth wildfires torching much of three states have already claimed 36 lives. Now, friends and families worry about 22 people missing as infernos in rural Oregon make it too dangerous to search for them."

"President Donald Trump on Monday baselessly asserted that climate change is not playing a role in the catastrophic wildfires overtaking forests across the west, rebutting an official briefing him who pleaded for the President listen to the science… 'I don't think science knows, actually,' Trump said at a Monday briefing with officials in McClellan Park, California, with a laugh." Our stable-genius president, everybody.

"Wildfires blazed along the Arctic Circle this summer, incinerating tundra, blanketing Siberian cities in smoke and capping the second extraordinary fire season in a row. By the time the fire season waned at the end of last month, the blazes had emitted a record 244 megatonnes of carbon dioxide — that’s 35% more than last year, which also set records. One culprit, scientists say, could be peatlands that are burning as the top of the world melts."

"Scientists at North-Eastern Federal University (NEFU) in Yakutsk, Russia, on Monday announced a finding of 'great importance' — a preserved Ice Age cave bear carcass, estimated to be to be between 22,000 and 39,500 years old."

"The type of pollution emitted by many chemical plants in Louisiana's industrial corridor is correlated with increased coronavirus deaths, according to new peer-reviewed research from SUNY and ProPublica." Not exactly shocking. Hazardous air pollution weakens the immune system and compromises the lungs.

"University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researchers isolated the smallest biological molecule to date that neutralizes the SARS-CoV-2 virus, according to a report published Monday in the journal Cell. The antibody component is 10 times smaller than a full-sized antibody and has been used to create a drug known as Ab8 for use as a therapeutic and preventative against SARS-CoV-2, the report says… The researchers reported that Ab8 is 'highly effective' in preventing and treating SARS-CoV-2 infection in mice and hamsters." This essentially is like the use of convalescent plasma, only this is manufactured not harvested. But just a reminder, there are many differences between rodent models and humans.

"Louisville's metro government is expected to announce a 'substantial' financial settlement Tuesday with the family of Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old Black woman fatally shot by police in her apartment six months ago, The Courier Journal has learned… In addition to the payment, the deal is expected to include several policing reforms, including a requirement that commanders approve all search warrants before they go to a judge, the person told The Courier Journal, part of the USA TODAY Network." You know, it would be cheaper to just get rid of the Nazis.

"'What she had around her neck was not a press credential. I think it said SCPR, that or KPCC,' (Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva) said. 'For the average deputy, doesn't mean anything. Unless it had a household name that they recognize, OK that's a reporter. You have two of their colleagues shot in the hospital, you have a crowd of protesters chanting for them to die. I think it's unrealistic to expect them to separate friend from foe and do it in a correct way. If they felt they were justified because she was interfering with a lawful arrest, well then the elements of the crime are met and they took action based on that. Could they have done it better? Everyone could have done better.'" Let me call bullshit right there. One, your deputies are not familiar with local media outlets? That's both a failure of training, observation, and community knowledge. It's "unrealistic to expect them to separate friend from foe and do it in a correct way" that is exactly your fucking job and if they can't do that, they shouldn't have the badge. And if you don't expect them to act professionally, you shouldn't be sheriff.

"Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost called for licensing police officers with tougher standards and accountability for their conduct during his annual law enforcement conference… The Attorney General also stressed the need for more funding for police training to help officers in Ohio better deal with the public while out on the job."

Remember when bar and restaurant owners said they couldn't bring back their employees because of the extra money they got on unemployment? "All of that, (AbbVie CEO Richard Gonzalez) said, 'means returning to our workplace,' according to the email viewed by CNBC. The company expects employees — even those who say they’ve been able to work from home just fine — to report to the office to foster creativity and innovation under its phased-in return-to-work plan, according to interviews with three current employees, anonymous complaints in public forums and internal company documents." While it's not exactly the same, as mostly it's telling people working remotely to return to the office, in principle it is the same.

How goes Brexit? "A key part of that deal is the agreement that Northern Ireland will continue to follow some EU rules even after Brexit happens. This is designed to prevent a hard border returning between Northern Ireland (which is in the UK) and the Republic of Ireland (which is in the EU)… But the latest bill would go against the withdrawal agreement - and therefore international law - by allowing UK ministers to 'disapply' previously agreed rules relating to Northern Ireland if there is no trade deal with the EU." That's an interesting way to say that UK leadership doesn't want to be bound to the deals they've already made… and mostly likely condemning Northern Ireland to a restart of "the Troubles."

"As the U.K. enters its fourth round of trade talks with the U.S. this week, Washington will be looking to push its own regulatory standards on the country, and drive it away from EU’s, an international trade policy expert has told CNBC." Here's the thing, if you want to sell into the EU, you have to meet their standards. Also, if the UK breaks the deal allowing a soft-border in Northern Ireland, it's not likely Congress will approve the trade deal anyway.

I'm still a little dubious about this story, but it's now being reported in more mainstream outlets… "Rights groups have filed a complaint against a migrant detention centre in the US, alleging medical neglect and a lack of Covid-19 safety measures… It is based on the allegations of a whistleblower, a nurse identified as Dawn Wooten… She worked at the centre, which houses immigrants detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)… As part of her complaint, filed on Monday, Ms Wooten expressed concerns about the high number of hysterectomies performed on Spanish-speaking women at the centre… The nurse said detained women told her they did not fully understand why they had to get a hysterectomy - an operation involving the removal of all or part of the uterus." Forced sterilizations are not unknown in the US, so this is more than possible. And the treatment of detainees, and especially ICE detainees is also not unheard of. But the story hits on all the prejudices all the things people might suspect and therefore falls into the trap of conformational bias. If these allegations are true, this is horrendous and people involved should go to jail over it (what's sad is it will mostly lead to fines and people losing licensure).

"The poisoned Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny is to return to Russia, his spokeswoman has said… 'It's puzzling to me why anyone should think otherwise,' Kira Yarmysh posted on Twitter… Mr Navalny also posted a picture on Instagram for the first time since he was poisoned, announcing that he was breathing free of ventilation."

"Normalising relations with Israel 'can't be the answer' to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a Qatari official has said, adding that Doha will not join other Gulf Arab states in establishing diplomatic ties with Israel." You might remember we have military bases in Qatar and they have their own political fight going on with their Gulf neighbors.

"South Dakota's attorney general struck and killed a man while driving on Saturday night, a death that was discovered after he initially told police he had hit a deer, the South Dakota Department of Public Safety said Monday."

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