Coronavirus pandemic, worldwide


This 30 April 2020 video says about itself:

Pakistan: Doctors on hunger strike for PPE beaten and tortured by police

Health workers in Pakistan are on hunger strike and occupying hospitals to try and get proper PPE – the only masks and gowns they have at the moment are made of paper. In Lahore, they have only THREE respirators – and with an alarming rise in COVID-19 cases, they are struggling with huge courage get the resources they need to save lives.

Aid group warns of 3.2 million COVID-19 deaths, 1 billion infections in war-torn countries. By Bill Van Auken, 30 April 2020. The threat of massive fatalities is the legacy of decades of US imperialist wars that have ravaged entire societies, from Afghanistan, to Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen.

Family members protest amid six more deaths at Australian aged care home. By Mike Head, 30 April 2020. The outbreak underscores the danger of a new wave of COVID-19 infections as governments and business chiefs step up their drive for a premature return to work.

UK coronavirus death toll passes 26,000 as government admits to 4,000 fatalities outside hospitals. By Robert Stevens, 30 April 2020. The UK is fast becoming the centre of the pandemic in Europe and is set to surpass the 27,682 deaths already recorded in Italy.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 30 April 2020:

Investigation launched into death of doctor who asked for proper PPE

A HOSPITAL has launched a serious-incident investigation into the death of a doctor from Covid-19 three weeks after he had pleaded for proper protective wear.

Peter Tun, 62, had complained to managers at the Royal Berkshire Hospital about a lack of surgical masks before he died on April 13 from the virus.

His son Michael told the BBC earlier this week that emails he’d seen showed managers had decided not to send PPE because there had not been a confirmed case of Covid-19 on the ward.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 30 April 2020:

Downing Street concedes Covid-19 testing targets will be missed

GOVERNMENTS are under pressure after conceding today that targets for the number of coronavirus tests carried out each day are set to be missed.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock had announced a target of 100,000 tests to be carried out daily by the end of April.

Downing Street insisted the government was “working hard” to hit the target but ministers conceded it may not be met, with capacity levels at 77,365 tests on Tuesday, when 52,000 exams were carried out.

And British nazis, like their ‘hero’ United States President Donald Trump, apparently want to privatise everything, including the National Health service.

A swastika spray-painted on a sign informing the public that car park is closed near the beach at the Briar Dene car park in Whitley Bay, Northumberland

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 30 April 2020:

Swastikas sprayed on ‘protect NHS’ signs

Stand Up to Racism warns ‘far-right groups across Europe are attempting to organise during the lockdown’

SWASTIKAS were spray-painted on signs urging people to stay at home and protect the NHS during the coronavirus lockdown, it emerged today.

Northumbria Police said it was “horrified” to find that a number of closed car-park signs along the coast between Seaton Sluice and Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, were attacked overnight by vandals.

At least five locations over two miles were attacked, including a sign saying: “Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives.”

By Ceren Sagir in England, 30 April 2020:

Coronavirus deaths disproportionately impacting black people in London

A DISPROPORTIONATE number of black and minority-ethnic (BAME) patients are dying with coronavirus in London hospitals, NHS figures showed today.

Black people account for 13 per cent of the capital’s population but 16 per cent of deaths, the data shows.

People from white backgrounds made up the majority of deaths at 55 per cent, but they also make up a larger proportion of the population of London.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 30 April 2020:

Lifting lockdown while social distancing continues would ‘rapidly overwhelm’ London transport, says leaked report

LONDON’S transport system could be “rapidly overwhelmed” by demand when the coronavirus lockdown is eased, according to a report leaked today.

The Strategic Co-ordination Group document states that Tube and bus capacity would be cut to just 15 per cent and 12 per cent of normal levels respectively if social distancing of a two-metre space between passengers is enforced.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said that any moves to prematurely lift the lockdown, which is to be reviewed on May 7, is “fraught with ‎lethal danger” for transport workers.

Prime Minister Philippe announces premature end of the lockdown in France. By Alexandre Lantier and Anthony Torres, 30 April 2020. The decision puts hundreds of thousands of lives at risk that have been saved by the insistence of the working class on measures to contain the disease.

Sweden forced to admit significant under-counting of coronavirus deaths. By Jordan Shilton, 30 April 2020. Sweden did not impose a lock-down and even delayed issuing social distancing guidelines, leading to more deaths and pushing the health system to the limit.

German students oppose reopening of schools. By our reporters, 30 April 2020. Under the slogan “average grade 2020,” students are demanding the suspension of final exams and the closing of schools so long as the lives of students, teachers and their relatives are at risk from COVID-19.

Song thrush, mistle thrush, different songs


This 30 April 2020 video from Britain says about itself:

Are you struggling to tell apart the birds in your garden based on their song? Ahead of #InternationalDawnChorusDay, BTO’s Training Manager, Nick Moran, will be teaching you which bird is which.

In this video, Nick explains how to tell apart the similar-looking Song and Mistle Thrush based on their song. Have you ever considered that Song Thrush sounds like punk music?

Stop overseas wars, United States veterans say


This 31 December 2016 Peace Report video from the USA is called EX-SOLDIER SPEAKS TRUTH.

By Warren Duzak in the USA:

Majority of US veterans back full withdrawal from Afghanistan, other overseas conflicts

30 April 2020

A new poll reveals that more than half of US military veterans surveyed believe that the US government should be less engaged in foreign wars, an increase of about nine percent compared to the same poll conducted last year. A large majority of military veterans and the families of troops and veterans also support a full withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Seventy-three percent of veterans and 69 percent of military families support a full withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, while 57 percent of veterans polled expressed opposition to continued “military conflicts overseas”, the Military Times reported.

More than half of veterans backing full withdrawal “offered strong support for the idea”, the Military Times also reported, while only “7 percent said they think the country should be more involved”.

The results of this year’s poll, conducted by Concerned Veterans for America, shows an increase in antiwar sentiments compared to the 2019 survey, which showed 60 percent of veterans and families wanted a complete withdrawal.

National security ranked only fourth among survey participants’ top political priorities, well behind the first choice, health care.

Immigration and the US national debt ranked second and third. There was a margin of error of 3.5 percent, the Military Times noted.

The invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, following the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, marked the beginning of a nearly 19-year-long war, the longest in US history, as well as the onset of a so-called “global war on terrorism” that was used to justify the war of aggression against Iraq, as well as bombings, assassinations, renditions and torture in other parts of the globe. This was followed by the war on Libya and the bloody proxy war for regime change in Syria, both of which relied upon elements linked to Al Qaeda, the supposed target of the US war on terrorism.

Under both the Republican administrations of Bush and Trump, as well the Democratic one of Obama, the pretext of combating terrorism has been utilized to justify global militarism aimed at shoring up declining US hegemony.

Late last year, The Washington Post published “The Afghanistan Papers”, revealing the same pessimism in the military’s leadership now reflected in the military’s rank-and-file veterans and their families.

As the World Socialist Web Site noted in December:

“What emerges from the interviews, conducted with more than 400 US military officers, special forces operatives, officials from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and senior advisers to both US commanders in Afghanistan and the White House, is an overriding sense of failure tinged with bitterness and cynicism. Those who participated had no expectation that their words would be made public.”

The death, suffering and criminal waste of vast resources in Afghanistan boggles the mind. Of the 3,500 dead in coalition forces, the majority, 2,300, were American, the Watson Institute at Brown University reported as part of its “Cost of War” project.

The institute also reported 157,000 Afghan deaths resulting from the war, likely a significant underestimation.

Brown University also summed up the “costs” of wars and military action in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan at $5.9 trillion.

The price tag for all of the “Post-9/11 wars” was more than $6.4 trillion, and, according to the “Cost of War’s” conservative estimate, 801,000 fatalities were directly caused by the wars and “several times as many indirectly.”

Moreover, 21 million people, including millions of young children, have become refugees or “displaced” persons.

To put that in perspective, it is as if Norway, Sweden and Denmark were depopulated, or almost one-half the population of Spain or Argentina. In the United States it would mean the depopulation of all three states of Tennessee, Indiana and Missouri or the entire state of New York or almost all of Florida.

It is important, however, not to be fooled by the “concern” of the group “Concerned Veterans for America.” It was created by billionaire businessman Charles G. Koch and cut from the same cloth as the Cato Institute, Heritage Foundation and Americans for Prosperity.

“(M)aintaining our presence in these countries puts American lives at risk, wastes valuable taxpayer dollars, and saps valuable human and material resources from confronting more immediate and persistent threats to American security and prosperity (emphasis added),” Concerned Veterans for America explained.

It continued: “American security interests can be protected by strengthening the long-term economic stability of our country, maintaining a strong military able to deter adversaries’ actions before they happen, committing ourselves to the deliberate employment of Americans abroad, and a vigorous defense of our nation if attacked or threatened.”

In creating a new veterans group, Koch is seeking to influence public opinion for the purpose of making the shift from wars on terrorism to “great power” conflicts with China and Russia, posing the threat of nuclear war. Just as ominously, “confronting … threats to American security” means for Koch and his fellow billionaires, the growing militarization of the police and the use of troops to control the working class.

Trump coronavirus mismanagement in the USA


This 30 April 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Trump Threatens Scared Workers

Trump threatens workers scared for their safety. John Iadarola and Jayar Jackson break it down on The Damage Report.

This 30 April 2020 video from the USA is called Trump Orders Meat Plants To Keep Operating.

“How many people have to die for us to be treated like human beings?”. Tracy, California Amazon worker speaks out on coworker’s death. By Evan Blake, 30 April 2020. At least one worker at the warehouse has died from COVID-19 and many others have tested positive, as management moves to force workers to accept deadly working conditions or face getting fired and losing unemployment benefits.

“Back to work” campaign extends to 21 US states as working-class opposition grows. By Kevin Reed, 30 April 2020. Democratic and Republican governors across the country are moving forward with back-to-work initiatives regardless of the deadly dangers to workers.

Despite over 100 transit worker deaths, New York Governor Cuomo and MTA push for unsafe return to work. By Sam Dalton, 30 April 2020. As Cuomo begins his push for a return to work and deflects blame to the city’s homeless population, the governor’s office and the MTA renew criminal efforts to convince workers they will return to safe working conditions.

Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland announce plans for reopening region. By Dmitri Church, 30 April 2020. Political leaders announced their plans to end stay-at-home orders and business closures despite warnings from health experts that the pandemic has not peaked yet.

Elon Musk wants workers dying for billionaires


This 29 April 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Elon Musk Out-Trumps Trump On Twitter

Just because Elon Musk is smart doesn’t mean he has your best interests in mind. Ana Kasparian and John Iadarola discuss on The Young Turks.

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk joined calls to reopen the country amid the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday, calling for states to “give people their freedom back!”

FREE AMERICA NOW”, Musk tweeted.

This 29 April 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Anti-Lockdown Protesters Clash with COVID-19 Health Care Workers in North Carolina | NowThis

‘I used to teach my kids to respect the police, to respect you guys, to respect first responders.’ — Health care workers faced off with protesters calling for North Carolina to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In US news and current events today, people across the U.S., many of whom are Donald Trump supporters, are protesting COVID-19 lockdowns amid the coronavirus pandemic, urging states to reopen despite warnings from the CDC and health experts like Dr. Fauci.

The coronavirus anti-lockdown protests most recently took over North Carolina, where anti-lockdown protesters who are fighting stay-at-home orders clashed with health care workers and essential workers.’I’m here to represent my patients. I’m here to represent my fellow health care workers, and I’m here to represent the rest of North Carolina,’ one health care worker on the front lines of COVID-19 said.

New bird species at Panama feeder, videos


This video says about itself:

Panama Fruit Feeder Cam New Species: Tawny-crested Tanager – April 29, 2020

We can happily add another tanager to the list of species seen on the Panama Fruit Feeder Cam! A male Tawny-crested Tanager made a cautious visit this morning. Males are all black with a conspicuous yellow-orange crest. Females can be confusing as they are a dark, dull brown, though males are usually nearby to help with identification. This tanager is often seen in noisy flocks in the dense forests that line the road that Canopy Lodge is on, though they are not very common near the Lodge itself.

This video says about itself:

Panama Fruit Feeder Cam New Species: Black-headed Saltator – April 29, 2020

Black-headed Saltators are not considered common around the Canopy Lodge, so we count ourselves lucky to have seen one at the feeder! We have already seen Streaked and Buff-throated Saltators on cam, with the Buff-throated being a somewhat common visitor to the platform. The Black-headed Saltator can be told from the others by the stark transition from golden-green to black at the nape. Their song is a loud string of cackling, scratchy squawks that ends in a whistle. Both sexes sing, often in duet.

Coronavirus disaster in Donald Trump’s USA


This 29 April 2020 from the USA says about itself:

Indian News Anchor Mocks Trump for Coronavirus ‘Treatment’ Remarks | NowThis

Watch this Indian reporter mock Donald Trump’s disinfectant comments on national TV.

In US news and current events today, the coronavirus pandemic has become global news as COVID-19 sweeps across the entire world. Many eyes during the coronavirus pandemic are on the U.S. and how the Donald Trump administration respond to the COVID-19 crisis. Donald Trump appointed VP Mike Pence to lead a White House Coronavirus Task Force.

U.S. DEATHS TOP 60,000, TRUMP’S PREDICTED MAXIMUM More than 60,000 people in the U.S. have now officially died from the coronavirus. The increasingly grim figure exceeds predictions Trump made just last week when he sought to frame a maximum of 50,000 to 60,000 total deaths as a win for America and a validation of his administration’s highly criticized pandemic response. “We did the right thing because if we didn’t do it, you would have had a million people, a million and a half people, maybe 2 million people dead,” Trump said. [HuffPost]

PRESIDENT WON’T EXTEND SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES Trump said the federal government’s coronavirus social distancing guidelines will be “fading out” when they expire today, counting on states taking charge as they pivot to reopening. The administration says its cautionary guidance issued 45 days ago has been incorporated into recommendations given to the states on how they can begin gradually easing restrictions and reopening their economies. “They’ll be fading out because now the governors are doing it,” Trump told reporters, continuing to abdicate from leadership on the crisis. [AP]

SUSAN RICE SLAMS KUSHNER’S ‘RIDICULOUS’ BOAST Former national security adviser Susan Rice tore into Jared Kushner for claiming the federal government’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak has been a “great success story.” Kushner made his comments after the U.S. topped 1 million cases of the virus and more than 59,000 deaths. He didn’t mention the U.S. death toll ― higher than any other country in the world ― the persistently inadequate testing, shortages of critical medical equipment and the lack of preparation that have plagued the administration’s crisis response. [HuffPost]

Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro suggests older people dying is “tragic,” but also not so bad.

TRIBES WERE MEANT TO GET $8 BILLION IN COVID-19 AID. THEY GOT NOTHING. Tribal governments were supposed to get $8 billion in direct emergency relief from the CARES Act, the $2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill that became law on March 27. More than a month later, they haven’t gotten any of it. Part of the reason is that the Treasury Department has been flailing in its dealings with tribes. Another reason stems from a lawsuit over whether Alaska Native Corporations are entitled to the money. For now they are not, so there is no reason for the Treasury not to funnel it directly to tribal governments. [HuffPost]

THIS ISN’T THE FIRST PRESIDENTIAL PUBLIC HEALTH FAILURE The year was 1976, the president was Gerald Ford and the fear was that swine flu would sweep the country in a repeat of the 1918 flu epidemic. But instead of resisting action like Trump, Ford tried to do too much. And much of the effort flopped. [HuffPost]