COVID-19 news update


This 3 May 2021 Voice of America video says about itself:

US Noncommittal on Vaccine Patents Waiver

Biden torn between progressives and Big Pharma on whether to support proposal at WTO to allow generic vaccine production.

USA: PHARMA-BACKED DEMS DON’T SUPPORT VACCINE PATENT WAIVER A new letter to Biden calling for a temporary patent waiver on COVID-19 vaccines lacks the signatures of Congress’s biggest recipients of pharmaceutical industry money, HuffPost’s Daniel Marans writes. Experts say the waiver is needed to speed up production of vaccines. [HuffPost]

NYPD ASKS HELP FINDING ASIAN WOMAN’S HAMMER ATTACKER The Hate Crimes Task Force of the New York Police Department is looking for the person who viciously struck an Asian woman in the head with a hammer after the attacker demanded that she and her friend remove their face masks. The victim said she plans on moving back to Taiwan and coming back when New York City is safer. [HuffPost]

India’s Black Market for Oxygen Is Booming. Only the Ultra-Rich Can Afford It: here.

Baby mantis shrimp start punching early


This 29 April 2021 video says about itself:

Watch a baby mantis shrimp punch in slow motion | Science News

A larval mantis shrimp (Gonodactylaceus falcatus) — filmed at 2,000 frames per second and played back at 3 percent speed — retracts and locks its attack arm to store energy before releasing a strike. New research shows these larvae begin unleashing their punches by the time they are 9 days old.

Read more here.

Anti-Semitism among Florida pro-Batista Cuban Americans


Anti-Semitic graffiti in Miami, Florida, USA

An interesting 27 April 2021 article by Jordan Levin in the USA. Though maybe it talks too much about people of Latin American ancestry in general, while in fact, anti-Semitism is especially a problem among the part of Cuban Americans who prefer the pre-1959 Batista dictatorship in Cuba, supported by the CIA, to the post-1959 situation.

Some quotes:

Antisemitism rises among Hispanic Miami’s right wing

The graffiti messages scrawled around Miami in March, on the eve of Passover and Holocaust Remembrance Day, were shocking: “The Jews are the Problem” “Zionism is Satanism.”

Most ominously in this city filled with Cubans … was this one: “Communism is Judaism.”

The phrase echoed a trend towards antisemitism in Miami’s right-wing Hispanic political circles that have come to dominate this bellwether city:

•In 2018 Miami-based Radio Television Marti, the federally funded broadcaster of anti-Communist messaging to Cuba, ran a report blaming Soros for orchestrating the 2008 financial collapse, and supporting narco-terrorism and Cuban schemes. … the report was exposed and denounced as antisemitic in 2019.

•Last year, Libre, a 40-page Spanish-language insert published by a longtime right-wing Cuban exile activist and filled with racist, extremist opinion pieces, was distributed in El Nuevo Herald, the Miami Herald’s sister paper, for 32 weeks. The op-eds said Black Lives Matter was worse than the Nazis, called out Bernie Sanders and Michael Bloomberg as Jews, and compared American Jews to Cubans brainwashed by communism. Following public backlash, El Nuevo Herald’s managing editor resigned and the Miami Herald’s publisher and executive editor lost her position as publisher.

•Last October a group of over 150 parents, including Vince Lago, the recently-elected mayor of the prosperous municipality of Coral Gables, the former speaker of the Florida House, and other prominent figures, sent a letter to an elite private Catholic girls school, castigating it for launching an anti-racism program in response to numerous reports of racism among students and faculty. The letter cited the malign influence of “Cultural Marxism” and the Frankfurt School, parroting a conspiracy theory that blames progressive U.S. social and racial justice movements on German Jewish scholars who fled the Nazis. …

But Rivero says he frequently encountered “Jews are communists” and other antisemitic posts in conservative Cuban social media groups during 2020, as well as death threats from Trump supporters. …

Antisemitism rose across the U.S. during the Trump administration.

But the insular nature of Miami’s Hispanic community, particularly among a conservative Cuban faction that has reversed a years-long moderating trend to become politically dominant again, appears to be magnifying that tilt here, while making it more acceptable for leaders to ignore or even encourage the slide towards prejudice.

No politician condemned the antisemitic graffiti. The signatories on the Catholic school letter, which was covered by the Miami Herald and the Miami New Times, defended their calls to abandon teaching about racism.

“The idea that equality and racial equity are rooted in a socialist Jewish group – that’s ridiculous,” said Billy Corben, the Jewish filmmaker lambasted by the Miami commissioner, who first exposed the letter on Twitter. “You cannot minimize the impact of these very powerful and influential policymakers who have signed this letter.”

Jessica Landsberg, a young political operative who has worked on several local campaigns, and whose father is Jewish and mother is Cuban, was disturbed by the “communism is Judaism” and other anti-Semitic graffiti – and frustrated no one denounced it.

“That there’s no conversation that long after the Holocaust antisemitism is alive in a city with one of the largest Jewish populations is disappointing,” said Landsberg, 23. “The graffiti is just the latest thing. I’ve been repeating for the last few years that antisemitism is not just alive but on the rise.” …

Perez and Soibel emphasize that they do not believe most of Miami’s Hispanics are antisemitic. But because Hispanics, and Cubans in particular, dominate politics in Miami-Dade and are so influential in Florida, and in U.S. foreign policy in Latin America, a shift in attitude towards Jews here has the potential for much wider influence.

Birds and squirrel in Panama


This video says about itself:

Rufous Motmot, Red-tailed Squirrel And Blue-grey Tanager On The Panama Fruit Feeder – April 28, 2021

These three species are daily visitors to the Panama Fruit Feeder, here they are all in one clip each seeking some fresh banana. The Red-tailed Squirrels have developed tactics that allow them to liberate and make off with entire bananas.

Brazilian Bolsonaro’s lethal COVID-19 policies


This 28 April 2021 video says about itself:

Brazilian Senate opens inquiry into Bolsonaro’s COVID handling

Brazil‘s Senate has opened an inquiry into President Jair Bolsonaro’s government handling of the pandemic as the country reports nearly 400,000 deaths from coronavirus this week.

Bolsonaro has repeatedly downplayed COVID-19’s seriousness, railed against lockdowns and presided over an inept vaccination campaign.

Brazil has the world’s second-highest death toll from the virus after the United States.

The probe could hurt the president‘s chances of being re-elected in next year’s polls.

Al Jazeera’s Monica Yanakiew reports from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

INDIA’S COVID-19 DEATH TOLL TOPS 200,000 India reported a single-day record 3,293 COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the country’s total fatalities to 201,187, as the world’s second-most populous country endures its darkest chapter of the pandemic yet. The surge of new infections is tearing through dense cities and rural areas alike and overwhelming the health care system. [AP]

COVID-19 can affect the brain. New clues hint at how. Anxiety, depression and strokes can occur after infection, leaving experts to determine how the virus affects the brain: here.

Pileated woodpeckers, big North American birds


This 24 April 2021 video says about itself:

The PILEATED WOODPECKER | The LARGEST in North America!

Except for the Ivory-Billed which certainly seems to be extinct, and the Imperial which hasn’t been seen since the 90s. In this video learn more about what Pileated Woodpeckers eat, where to find one, things you can do if they are damaging your home, and even how to pronounce Pileated.

Racist vandalism and killing in the USA


This 2015 video from the USA is called Islamic Society of Fargo/Moorhead Hosts Open House.

FBI INVESTIGATES MOSQUE VANDALISM The FBI is investigating hate messages found vandalized on a mosque that sits on the border of North Dakota and Minnesota. The Moorhead Fargo Islamic Center was spray-painted with anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic and racist messages during Ramadan. [HuffPost]

FAMILY: POLICE ‘EXECUTED’ N.C. MAN Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man killed by deputies in North Carolina, was shot in the back of the head and had his hands on his car steering wheel when they opened fire, attorneys for his family said. His death on Wednesday led to nightly protests and demands for justice in the town of Elizabeth City. Seven deputies are on leave pending investigation. [AP]

ANDREW BROWN JR. AUTOPSY REPORT RELEASED Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man killed by deputies in North Carolina, was shot five times, including in the back of the head, according to an independent autopsy report. A judge will consider today whether to make body camera footage public. [AP]

LINDSEY GRAHAM: ‘NO’ SYSTEMIC RACISM HERE Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on “Fox News Sunday” systemic racism doesn’t exist in the U.S., pointing to the elections of former President Barack Obama and Vice President Kamala Harris to back up his claim. The ensuing online criticism of that statement was swift and fierce. [HuffPost]

FEDS LAUNCH LOUISVILLE POLICE PROBE The Justice Department is opening a probe into policing in Louisville, Kentucky, over the March 2020 death of Breonna Taylor, who was shot to death by police during a raid at her home, Attorney General Merrick Garland said. Garland has said there is not yet equal justice under the law and promised to bring a critical eye to racism and legal issues when he took the job. [AP]

POLICE KNEELED ON MAN’S BACK BEFORE HE DIED Police released footage of the events leading to the death of Mario Gonzalez, a 26-year-old Latino man in Alameda, California, showing officers kneeling on the man’s back and shoulder until he became unresponsive. The video contradicts officials’ original account of the confrontation. Three officers involved have been placed on administrative leave. [HuffPost]

ASSAILANT SOUGHT IN VICIOUS NYC ATTACK OF ASIAN MAN A 61-year-old Asian man is in critical condition after police in New York City said he was knocked to the ground and kicked multiple times in his head in a disturbing attack that comes just weeks after a similar assault on an Asian American woman near Times Square. Surveillance video shows the suspect attacking Yao Pan Ma on Friday night then casually walking away. [HuffPost]

Morpho butterfly at Panama bird feeder


This video says about itself:

Extended Visit By A Common Morpho Butterfly On The Panama Fruit Feeder – April 16, 2021

This Common Morpho was attracted to the feeder by fruit from which it can sip nectar and sip it does, and nearly nothing else during its 115 day lifespan. This stunning blue on their dorsal side is not caused by pigment, but rather light refracting scales. Other morphos we have seen on the cam include, Cypris, Stub-tailed and Menelaus.

Black Minnesota man killed by police, again


This 12 April 2021 video from Minnesota, USA is called Brooklyn Center Police Fire Tear Gas On People Protesting Daunte Wright’s Death

FRESH UNREST NEAR MINNEAPOLIS Police fatally shot a Black man during a traffic stop just outside Minneapolis on Sunday, inflaming tensions in the region again while former police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial over the death of George Floyd last year. The police shooting of Daunte Wright, 20, in the city of Brooklyn Center, sparked large protests. [HuffPost]

CONVICTION WAS AN ANOMALY Each year, police shoot and kill roughly 1,000 people. But from early 2005 to June 2019, only 104 non-federal law enforcement officers were arrested on murder or manslaughter charges related to an on-duty shooting, and only 35 were convicted of a crime. Chauvin’s conviction was an anomaly. [HuffPost]

TEEN GIRL IN OHIO KILLED BY POLICE A teenage girl was shot dead by a police officer in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday afternoon, about the same time that a jury in Minneapolis was returning guilty verdicts against Chauvin. Family members of the victim identified the girl as a “loving” and “sweet” teenager named Ma’Khia Bryant. [HuffPost]

COPS KEEP KILLING BLACK PEOPLE AFTER CHAUVIN VERDICT Police officers in Ohio, California and North Carolina have killed Black people since former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd, a grim list of deaths at police hands that keeps growing. [AP]

MINNESOTA POLICE HARASS JOURNALISTS AT PROTESTS Minnesota police aggressively arrested a CNN producer and assaulted multiple other members of the press covering protests over the police shooting of Daunte Wright last week, according to an attorney representing dozens of news outlets. Some journalists also reported being harassed and intimidated by police. [HuffPost]

Anticipating mass protests over the summary execution of 13-year-old Adam Toledo by Chicago police on March 29, prosecutors from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, city officials and local media are seeking to portray the boy as a hardened gang member, justifying the police murder. Despite these attempts to shift blame away from the Chicago Police Department (CPD), Toledo’s death has shed further light on the lawlessness and brutality that characterize police operations in working class neighborhoods: here.

‘ASSASSINATION’ IN CHICAGO Chicago’s police oversight group released footage of an officer fatally shooting a 13-year-old boy more than two weeks ago. Police said the shooting followed an “armed confrontation” with Adam Toledo, but video footage showed no gun in the boy’s hand and that he complied by putting his hands up. “If you’re shooting an unarmed child with his hands in the air, it is an assassination,” Adeena Weiss-Ortiz, the Toledo family’s attorney, said. [HuffPost]