Coronavirus testing of homeless, criminal in Florida?


This 15 April 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

“I Want an Apology”: Black Doctor Who Tests Homeless for Coronavirus Handcuffed by Miami Police

We speak with Dr. Armen Henderson, an African-American doctor who was handcuffed and detained outside his home Friday as he was wearing a mask and preparing for a volunteer shift to test homeless people for COVID-19.

“I want the officer held accountable. There’s no way that you racially profile me and then you arrest me, detain me, during a pandemic, when you have no mask on, where hundreds of police officers throughout Miami-Dade County have tested positive,” says Dr. Henderson, who is an internal medicine physician, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Miami and an organizer with Dream Defenders.

Black Lives Matter. Unless they’re homeless.

Coronavirus pandemic, worldwide news


This 14 April 2020 video is called [Chilean right-wing president] Piñera Admin Counts COVID-19 Deaths As ‘Recovered’.

Coronavirus exposes Chilean two-tiered health system as deathtrap. By Mauricio Saavedra, 15 April 2020. It is the policy of sustained socio-economic shock therapy initiated under Pinochet that lay the groundwork for incalculable loss of life today.

Canadian workers denounce lack of safety measures and forced labor. By our reporters, 15 April 2020. “If they ask me what is needed before the lockdown measures are lifted, I would definitely say health,” a Quebec construction worker told the WSWS.

How Emmanuel Macron bungled France’s coronavirus response.

Deaths continue to soar as European governments step up back-to-work plans. By Alice Summers, 15 April 2020. Another 27,531 Covid-19 cases in Europe were reported Tuesday, bringing the total to nearly one million.

Germany: Hesse politicians and employers expose workers to risk of COVID-19 infection. By Marianne Arens, 15 April 2020. Refuse workers report how they are given no protection and are expected to travel home in their dirty overalls.

German National Academy of Sciences demands reopening of primary schools. By Peter Schwarz, 15 April 2020. The call for human life to be weighed against economic value runs through the statement from start to finish.

Greek medical workers demand funds to combat coronavirus pandemic. By John Vassilopoulos, 15 April 2020. Greece only had 560 intensive care unit beds as the pandemic began, 6 per 1 million inhabitants compared to 29.2 in Germany.

Garment workers protest in Bangladesh as COVID-19 spreads. By Wimal Perera, 15 April 2020. Employers have shuttered the plants, sacking thousands of workers and refusing to pay outstanding wages.

Australia: Two hospitals close in Tasmania after COVID-19 outbreak. By Martin Scott, 15 April 2020. Six patients have died and more than 40 health workers have tested positive.

Flamingos form friendships, new research


This 2015 video from England is called Andean Flamingo courtship dance | WWT Slimbridge.

From the University of Exeter in England:

Flamingos form firm friendships

April 14, 2020

Flamingos form friendships that last for years, new research shows.

The five-year study reveals that, despite being highly social as part of large flocks, flamingos consistently spend time with specific close “friends.”

They also avoid certain individuals, suggesting some flamingos just don’t get on.

The University of Exeter study examined four flamingo species at WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre, and found social bonds including “married” couples, same-sex friendships and even groups of three and four close friends.

“Our results indicate that flamingo societies are complex. They are formed of long-standing friendships rather than loose, random connections,” said Dr Paul Rose, of the University of Exeter.

“Flamingos don’t simply find a mate and spend their time with that individual.

“Some mating couples spend much of their time together, but lots of other social bonds also exist.

“We see pairs of males or females choosing to ‘hang out’, we see trios and quartets that are regularly together.

“Flamingos have long lives — some of the birds in this study have been at Slimbridge since the 1960s — and our study shows their friendships are stable over a period of years.

“It seems that — like humans — flamingos form social bonds for a variety of reasons, and the fact they’re so long-lasting suggests they are important for survival in the wild.”

Dr Rose said the findings could help in the management of captive flamingos.

“When moving birds from one zoo to another, we should be careful not to separate flamingos that are closely bonded to each other,” he said.

The study — which used data from 2012-16 — examined flocks of Caribbean, Chilean, Andean and Lesser flamingos.

The flocks varied in size from just over 20 to more than 140, and the findings suggest larger flocks contained the highest level of social interactions.

“The simple lesson of this is that captive flamingo flocks should contain as many birds as reasonably possible,” Dr Rose said.

The study found that seasons affected social interactions, with more bonds forming in spring and summer — the breeding season.

In three of the four flocks, the study also looked at the condition of the birds (measured by the health of their feet) to see if there were links between social lives and health.

No link was found, and Dr Rose said this could mean that socialising is so important to flamingos that they continue to do it even if they are not feeling at their best.

Candidate Biden-Tara Reade #MeToo issue


This 15 April 2020 video about the USA says about itself:

AOC: Silencing Tara Reade Allegations Against Joe Biden is “Gaslighting

Earlier tonight, CBS News reported that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said it was legitimate to talk about Tara Reade and her allegations against Joe Biden. This makes AOC the first congressperson to acknowledge Tara Reade and her claims against Biden.

This is a brave stand to take, where AOC is suggesting we can’t be hypocritical and ignore stories when they affect our party. She also says this story shouldn’t be set aside because of the election.

In her words: “What you’re voicing is so legitimate and real. That’s why I find this kind of silencing of all dissent to be a form of gaslighting.”

When it comes to Joe Biden, New York Times abandons “Believe women”. By David Walsh. 15 April 2020. Former Vice President Joe Biden, the leading candidate for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2020, has been accused by a former staffer of sexually assaulting her. Tara Reade alleges the incident occurred in 1993 when Biden was a senator from Delaware. There were no witnesses, Reade never filed a complaint and the statute of limitations for such an offense, if it occurred, has long since expired. Reade told Newsweek that she went public with her claims in late March, according to the magazine, “to ensure that ‘powerful men’ are held to account”.

Portrait of Tara Reade on her U.S. Senate ID (provided by her to New York Times)

This 14 April 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

NYT CHANGED Tara Reade Story at Joe Biden Campaign Request

Status Coup’s Jenn Dize reports on the New York Times changing a line in their Tara Reade story after Joe Biden’s campaign asked them to.

New Caribbean black iguana species discovery


This 15 April 2020 video in Spanish is about the new discovery of a new Caribbean black iguana species.

From ScienceDaily:

A new species of black endemic iguanas in Caribbeans is proposed for urgent conservation

April 14, 2020

A newly discovered endemic species of melanistic black iguana (Iguana melanoderma), discovered in Saba and Montserrat islands, the Lesser Antilles (Eastern Caribbean), appears to be threatened by unsustainable harvesting (including pet trade) and both competition and hybridization from escaped or released invasive alien iguanas from South and Central America. International research group calls for urgent conservation measures in the article, recently published in the open-access journal ZooKeys.

So far, there have been three species of iguana known from The Lesser Antilles: the Lesser Antillean iguana (Iguana delicatissima), a species endemic to the northernmost islands of the Lesser Antilles; and two introduced ones: the common iguana (Iguana iguana iguana) from South America and the green iguana (Iguana rhinolopha) from Central America.

The newly described species is characterised with private microsatellite alleles, unique mitochondrial ND4 haplotypes and a distinctive black spot between the eye and the ear cavity (tympanum). Juveniles and young adults have a dorsal carpet pattern, the colouration is darkening with aging (except for the anterior part of the snout).

It has already occurred before in Guadeloupe that Common Green Iguana displaced the Lesser Antilles iguanas through competition and hybridization which is on the way also in the Lesser Antilles. Potentially invasive common iguanas from the Central and South American lineages are likely to invade other islands and need to be differentiated from the endemic melanistic iguanas of the area.

The IUCN Red List lists the green iguana to be of “Least Concern”, but failed to differentiate between populations, some of which are threatened by extinction. With the new taxonomic proposal, these endemic insular populations can be considered as a conservation unit with their own assessments.

“With the increase in trade and shipping in the Caribbean region and post-hurricane restoration activities, it is very likely that there will be new opportunities for invasive iguanas to colonize new islands inhabited by endemic lineages,” shares the lead researcher prof. Frédéric Grandjean from the University of Poitiers (France).

Scientists describe the common melanistic iguanas from the islands of Saba and Montserrat as a new taxon and aim to establish its relationships with other green iguanas. That can help conservationists to accurately differentiate this endemic lineage from invasive iguanas and investigate its ecology and biology population on these two very small islands that are subject to a range of environmental disturbances including hurricanes, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

“Priority actions for the conservation of the species Iguana melanoderma are biosecurity, minimization of hunting, and habitat conservation. The maritime and airport authorities of both islands must be vigilant about the movements of iguanas, or their sub-products, in either direction, even if the animals remain within the same nation’s territory. Capacity-building and awareness-raising should strengthen the islands’ biosecurity system and could enhance pride in this flagship species,” concludes Prof. Grandjean.

The key stakeholders in conservation efforts for the area are the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA), the Saba Conservation Foundation (SCF), the Montserrat National Trust (MNT) and the UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum (UKOTCF), which, the research team hope, could take measures in order to protect the flagship insular iguana species, mainly against alien iguanas.

Coronavirus crisis in Donald Trump’s USA


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

Locals anxiously await checks after President Trump signs off on stimulus bill

For some, a $1,200 check will offer relief. However, it could take several weeks for that money to arrive and the rent is due Wednesday…

TRUMP DELAYS STIMULUS CHECKS TO ADD HIS NAME President Donald Trump’s name will be printed on the economic stimulus checks that will be distributed by the Internal Revenue Service to individuals to help mitigate losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic . The addition, ordered by the Treasury Department, is expected to delay the delivery of paper checks by several days. [HuffPost]

Never before was any United States president’s name added to such documents on financial payments to citizens.

PRESIDENT SHIFTS BLAME TO WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION Trump used Tuesday’s White House coronavirus press briefing to blame the World Health Organization for thousands of deaths while not acknowledging his own administration’s flawed response. Trump announced that the U.S. would be halting funding to the WHO while it conducts a review. This comes as the Trump administration has faced mounting criticism over its slow response to the crisis. [HuffPost]

Trump has grown increasingly aggressive, casting blame on governors, reporters and international health officials rather than what critics have said was a slow national response as cases appeared. [HuffPost]

TRUMP’S CABINET MIA AS PANDEMIC RAGES The White House has tried to reassure the public that it’s on top of the coronavirus pandemic, declaring it an “all-hands-on-deck effort.” Yet as the disease has ripped through the country, many of Trump’s Cabinet members have been largely invisible or have failed to use the powers of their agencies to respond to a crisis that has shut down the economy and killed more than 20,000 Americans. [HuffPost]

TRUMP CAMPAIGN RELEASES WEAK LIST OF ‘DECISIVE ACTIONS’ Pressed for what he did between January and March to combat the coronavirus pandemic, Trump claimed: “A lot.” His campaign soon offered 20 items from February. But items on the list attributed to Trump personally are mainly his statements about the virus and his self-proclaimed success in containing it. His two sentences in his Feb. 4 State of the Union address, in which he claimed he would take “all necessary steps” to protect Americans, is listed as an accomplishment.[HuffPost]

Rita Wilson had “extreme” side effects from unproven drug touted by Trump.

NYC DEATHS SOAR WITH ‘PROBABLE’ FATALITIES INCLUDED The official death toll from the coronavirus soared in New York City on Tuesday after officials began including people who probably had COVID-19, but died without ever being tested. City officials reported 3,778 “probable” deaths, where doctors were certain enough of the cause of death to list it on the death certificate, and 6,589 confirmed by a lab test. Combined, that would put the total fatalities in the city over 10,000. [AP]

Everyone Wants an Antibody Test. Everyone on This Private Island Can Get One. The tests show whether someone has been exposed to the coronavirus. They’re being provided to everyone in an exclusive Florida community that was able to pay for them: here.

WWE Now Considered ‘Essential Business’ In Florida During Coronavirus Pandemic. The governor’s office said that World Wrestling Entertainment is “critical to Florida’s economy”: here.

U.S. social distancing could last until 2022.

What happens if we end social distancing too soon?

What doctors on the front lines wish they’d known a month ago.

Stop blaming Black people for dying of the coronavirus.

Tarantula spider alternative to addictive opioid medicine


This 2018 video says about itself:

Tarantula Mating: don’t lose your head! | Wild Patagonia | BBC Earth

For tarantulas, finding a mate can be a deadly task – especially when you’ve only got two months left to live.

From the University of Queensland in Australia:

Spider venom key to pain relief without side-effects

April 14, 2020

Molecules in tarantula venom could be used as an alternative to opioid pain killers for people seeking chronic pain relief.

University of Queensland researchers have designed a novel tarantula venom mini-protein that can potentially relieve severe pain without addiction.

Dr Christina Schroeder from UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience said the current opioid crisis around the world meant urgent alternatives to morphine and morphine-like drugs, such as fentanyl and oxycodone, were desperately needed.

“Although opioids are effective in producing pain relief, they come with unwanted side-effects like nausea, constipation and the risk of addiction, placing a huge burden on society,” Dr Schroeder said.

“Our study found that a mini-protein in tarantula venom from the Chinese bird spider, known as Huwentoxin-IV, binds to pain receptors in the body.

“By using a three-pronged approach in our drug design that incorporates the mini-protein, its receptor and the surrounding membrane from the spider venom, we’ve altered this mini-protein resulting in greater potency and specificity for specific pain receptors.

“This ensures that just the right amount of the mini-protein attaches itself to the receptor and the cell membrane surrounding the pain receptors.”

Dr Schroeder said the mini-protein had been tested in mouse models and shown to work effectively.

“Our findings could potentially lead to an alternative method of treating pain without the side-effects and reduce many individuals’ reliance on opioids for pain relief,” she said.

Supermarket workers deserve a better deal


This 6 April 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Grocery store workers on the front lines are concerned about exposure to COVID-19

Marc Perrone, UFCW International President, discusses protections needed for workers in grocery stores who are exposed to the public amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Record turnover for supermarkets, CNV [the Christian ‘moderate’ trade union federation in the Netherlands] union wants ‘corona bonus’

These are golden times for supermarkets. According to market researcher IRI, the turnover of chains such as Albert Heijn, Jumbo and Lidl has so far been around 11.4 billion euros this year. That is almost a billion euros more than in the same period last year.

The CNV union thinks that the supermarket shelf fillers and cashiers – who are under much pressure during this corona period – should get a little extra soon. Union executive member Jacqueline Twerda is thinking of 500 euros net per person, regardless of the current or new collective labor agreement. “Employees in the supermarkets are on the front line, something should come back,” she said this morning in the NOS Radio 1 News.

Bonuses abroad

“Some employees receive a bar of chocolate, a bunch of flowers, a thank-you note. Not that we oppose that, but in relation to the turnover that is currently being made, the enormous flexibility that is expected of employees and the risk they run with their health requires more than a well-meaning gesture.”

She also notes what happens abroad. French supermarkets Carrefour and Auchan pay a tax-free bonus of 1000 euros, in Great Britain Aldi and Tesco give bonuses of 10 percent. The German retail group Rewe and subsidiary Penny also pay extras for all staff.

None of the supermarkets or branch organizations wanted to respond to the ‘bonus request’ to the NOS.