Trump campaign employees get COVID-19

This 20 June 2020 video about Oklahoma in the USA says about itself:

Sheila Buck ARRESTED at Trump Tulsa Rally for Wearing I can’t Breathe Shirt

As reported on MSNBC earlier today, Sheila Buck was kicked out of Donald Trump’s Tulsa, Oklahoma rally because even though she had a ticket, she was wearing a “I can’t Breathe” t-shirt in honour of George Floyd and Eric Garner. This was a bad move by the Tulsa Police Department, and it shows that Donald Trump and his supporters are ones censoring political opponents and creating a safe space for special snowflakes.

From Business Insider today:

6 Trump campaign staffers tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of Saturday rally, which experts have warned could be a superspreader event

Six staffers on the president’s re-election campaign tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of his Saturday night rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Trump campaign confirmed to Business Insider.

Health experts have worried that the president’s rally will be a COVID-19 superspreading event. Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx reportedly expressed concerns last week over the safety of the large, in-person rally.

On Saturday, Tulsa County reported 136 new coronavirus cases – the highest single-day increase since the pandemic began.

Permian-Triassic mass extinction and biodiversity

This 2018 video says about itself:

The Permian Extinction

252 million years ago 96% of all marine species and 70% of terrestrial vertebrate species vanished, this was the Permian extinction the second greatest mass extinction the earth has ever witnessed.

From the University of Leeds in England:

Permo-Triassic biodiversity patterns could offer a window into our climate future

June 17, 2020

A new study by the University of Leeds and University of Oxford has examined spatial biodiversity patterns across the Permo-Triassic mass extinction event (c. 252 million years ago). The Permo-Triassic mass extinction represents the most catastrophic event in the last 500 million years of evolutionary history and caused the loss of up 95% of species because of a cocktail of volcanic effects including extreme greenhouse warming.

Examination of the global distribution of tetrapods — amphibians, reptiles and their relatives — reveals that biodiversity was consistently higher at temperate latitudes, both before and after the mass extinction. This is in strong contrast to the modern day, where the greatest levels of biodiversity are found in the low latitudes of the tropics, near the equator.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, shows how patterns of biodiversity can respond when temperatures in tropical regions become too extreme to support high levels of biodiversity. Examining the responses of organisms to rapid climatic changes in the distant past can offer a window into the potential impact of future global warming.

Study lead author Bethany Allen, PhD researcher at the School of Earth and Environment at Leeds, said: “Higher equatorial diversity has been recognised for over 200 years, but the consistency of this pattern throughout Earth history has been uncertain.

“The Late Permian to Middle Triassic is an ideal time interval to examine biodiversity trends. It is characterised by large-scale volcanic episodes, extreme greenhouse temperatures, and the most severe mass extinction event in Earth’s history.

“Our study shows that the regions we now associate with some of the richest and most diverse ecosystems on Earth were once too hot to support communities of large animals, likely reaching over 40°C. In the face of a rapidly warming planet, this window into our past could offer a glimpse into the future of those regions and the very real risk to the species that live there if we do not act to curb our carbon emissions and limit global warming.”

252 million years ago, at the transition from the Permian to the Triassic epoch, most of the life forms existing on Earth became extinct. Using latest analytical methods and detailed model calculations, scientists have now succeeded for the first time to provide a conclusive reconstruction of the geochemical processes that led to this unprecedented biotic crisis: here.

German slaughterhouse corporation COVID-19 scandal

This video from Germany says about itself:

Ruptly is live from Rheda-Wiedenbrueck on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, after 400 employees of meat processing company Tönnies tested positive for coronavirus.

The Guetersloh district authorities have decided to shut down the operations at the meat company and close all schools and daycare centres until the summer holidays.

Tönnies is going through their second wave of COVID-19 infection this year.

The meat industry has been criticised for not respecting coronavirus hygiene and safety rules since the pandemic started, leading to concerns, as some 130,000 people are employed in 1,500 slaughterhouses across Germany.

Then, it was still ´only´ 400 infected workers …

Tönnies is the biggest meat processing corporation in Germany.

Germany: Alarm mood at the meat baron Tönnies: here. When that article was written, it was still ´only´ 657 infected workers …

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

The corona outbreak in the German meat processing company Tönnies is spreading further. 1029 employees turned out to be infected, compared to almost 700 earlier this week. Two-thirds of the infected workers work in the cutting department.

All 7000 employees of the company in North Rhine-Westphalia are in quarantine. The German health minister Lauterbach has closed the plant. He thinks it is “not responsible” to keep the business open because the source of the infections has still not been discovered.

“Did it happen in the canteen, on the way in, while working or is it the ventilation?” he wonders.

Clemens Tönnies, the millionaire boss of the slaughterhouses, is also the owner of the football club Schalke 04. Schalke 04 players dislike him because of his racist views on Africans: here.

UPDATE 21 June 2020: meanwhile, 1553 Tönnies workers infected.

Police brutality, Tulsa, USA to Paris, France

This 19 June 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

US Juneteenth holiday: Celebrations amid anti-racism protests

Across the United States, celebrations are planned this weekend to commemorate Juneteenth.

The unofficial holiday marks the end of slavery in the country.

This year’s celebrations come amid growing calls for police reform following the death of George Floyd.

Al Jazeera’s Gabriel Elizondo reports from New York.

Trump in Tulsa. If Donald Trump had set out to offend black America and send a coded signal to his racist supporters he could not have done a better job by holding his campaign rally at the site of the nation’s worts racist massacre, says PETER FROST.

More provocations, threats from Trump ahead of Tulsa rally. By Barry Grey, 20 June 2020. In the run-up to his campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma Saturday evening, President Donald Trump is focusing his energies on issuing threats against counter-protesters and incitements to fascistic elements and police officers.

“How can dissent be illegal when that is how the country was started?” Oklahoma teachers oppose Trump and his Tulsa rally. By Phyllis Steele, 20 June 2020. Educators in Oklahoma, who waged a wildcat strike in 2018, are still ranked near the bottom in the US in pay and per-pupil funding.

This video from France says about itself:

LIVE: Protest against police brutality takes place in Paris

A rally against racial violence and police brutality takes place in Paris on Saturday, June 20, in memory of Lamine Dieng, who died in 2007 in police custody.

Similar protests have been held around the world since the killing of 46-year-old George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.

Global outrage over violent police arrest of 50-year-old French nurse Farida. By Will Morrow, 20 June 2020. The response of the French ruling class to healthcare workers’ demands for increased resources to combat the pandemic in decent and safe conditions is naked repression.

Farida C, a 50-year-old nurse, beaten and arrested by French riot police on Tuesday

Egyptian dictatorship bans speaking on COVID-19

This 14 June 2020 video says about itself:

Reporting on Covid-19: A daily challenge for Egyptian journalists

In a number of countries across the Middle East, reporting on the coronavirus has become increasingly challenging. Among them is Egypt, where the infection rate continues to climb among the 100 million-strong population. The country has also come under fire for stepping up late and not imposing strict enough measures to tackle the spread of the virus. For more on the situation, we speak to Egyptian journalist and author Khaled Diab.

From daily News Line in Britain, 20 June 2020:

Doctors & pharmacists in Egypt arrested for speaking out over coronavirus

IN EGYPT, six doctors and two pharmacists have been arrested, and medics transferred to quarantine hospitals for speaking out, said Amnesty International on Thursday.

A pregnant doctor was detained after her phone was used to report a coronavirus case, the rights group added.

‘The Egyptian authorities are handling the Covid-19 crisis with their usual repressive tactics,’ said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research and Advocacy Director.

The Egyptian authorities have been using charges of ‘terrorism’ and ‘spreading false news’ to arrest healthcare workers who have spoken out over safety concerns during the country’s Covid-19 crisis, said Amnesty.

Amnesty has documented the cases of eight healthcare workers – six doctors and two pharmacists – arbitrarily detained between March and June by Egypt’s notorious National Security Agency (NSA) for online and social media posts expressing their concerns.

The medics had denounced unsafe working conditions, shortages of personal protective equipment, insufficient infection control training, limited testing of healthcare workers, and lack of access to vital healthcare.

Amnesty has also spoken to seven doctors who overheard threats made against colleagues who complained on social media.

A source from Egypt’s Doctors Syndicate confirmed that doctors have been subjected to threats and interrogations by the NSA, and some health workers have expressed concerns for their safety after the threats.

Amnesty conducted 14 interviews with doctors, their relatives, lawyers and syndicate members. Some shared threatening voice messages received from hospital managers or local health officials.

In one message, a doctor who had refused to work because of unsafe conditions is called a ‘traitorous soldier’ who deserves to ‘suffer the most severe penalties’.

A letter signed by the North Sinai governor, seen by Amnesty, warns: ‘Any doctor or nurse who refuses to perform their work or is absent from work will be summoned by the National Security Agency.’

Sources from the Doctors Syndicate also told Amnesty that healthcare workers who speak out have been transferred to isolation hospitals where patients who have contracted Covid-19 are quarantined, or to hospitals in other governorates.

This is especially concerning for doctors with pre-existing medical conditions or older doctors who are at greater risk.

Pharmacists have also faced abuse and harassment for criticising the authorities.

In response to a complaint from eight pharmacists in relation to unsafe working conditions at Damanhour Medical National Institute, the hospital director transferred the eight to different governorates far from their homes and families.

The Doctors Syndicate has recorded the deaths of at least 68 frontline healthcare workers from Covid-19, with more than 400 testing positive for the virus since mid-February.

This does not include doctors who died with Covid-19 symptoms but were not tested, and also excludes the death toll among nurses, dentists, pharmacists, technicians, delivery workers, cleaning staff and other essential healthcare workers.

Philip Luther said: ‘Healthcare workers have to make an impossible choice: risk their lives or face prison if they dare to speak out.

‘Amnesty is calling on the Egyptian authorities to put an immediate end to their campaign of harassment and intimidation against healthcare workers who are speaking out.’

Medics arrested

On 28 March, the National Security Agency arrested Alaa Shaaban Hamida, a 26-year-old doctor, at the El Shatby University Hospital in Alexandria where she works, after a nurse used her phone to report a case of coronavirus to the health ministry’s hotline. According to Alaa’s statement during the investigation, the hospital director reported her to the NSA for going over his head to the ministry.

NSA officers arrested Alaa Shaaban Hamida in the hospital director’s office. The doctor, who is pregnant, is currently held in pre-trial detention on charges of ‘membership in a terrorist group’, ‘spreading false news’, and ‘misusing social media’.

On 10 April, security officers arrested an ophthalmologist, Hany Bakr, 36, at his home in Qalyubia, north of Cairo, for a Facebook post in which he criticised the government …

On 27 May, a doctor was detained for writing an article criticising the government’s response to Covid-19, as well as structural shortcomings in Egypt’s health system.

According to his family, four security officers raided his home, confiscated his phone and laptop, and asked him if he attended the burial of Walid Yehia who died after contracting the virus.

On 14 June, Egypt’s Doctors Syndicate released a statement warning that such detentions were creating ‘frustration and fear among doctors’.

The Syndicate posted on its Facebook page:

‘The Doctors Union addressed the Attorney General’s office regarding the doctors arrested following the publication of their views regarding the corona pandemic, as complaints were received by the Union regarding this matter and demanded that the Union member be released quickly until their investigation is over, and a union representative is present during investigations as its inherent right.

‘A detailed statement was sent to the Attorney General’s Office on Sunday, 14/6/2020.’

Amnesty concluded that arrests for raising concerns about the health system in Egypt predate Covid-19. Last September, five doctors were arrested for launching the ‘Egypt’s doctors are angry’ campaign calling for reforms.

While four of the doctors were subsequently released, dentist Ahmad al-Daydamouny is still behind bars for views he expressed online about poor remuneration and working conditions.

Meanwhile, Egyptian doctors are massively concerned that during the pandemic, their numbers are being slashed by some seven thousand over a failure by the government to recognise newly qualified young doctors because a new system does not work.

The Doctors’ Union Facebook page post on the issue said: ‘Commissioning doctors are applying for a formal request to meet the Prime Minister to discuss their commissioning crisis.

‘Today, Thursday, June 18th, a delegation from the commissioned doctors to the Prime Minister’s office submitted a formal request to meet with the Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli until the issue of the commissioning movement is resolved, but the delegation has been informed that applications are currently limited to official authorities. Only individual applications are faxed, so a request for an interview was faxed from the Headquarters of the General Association of Doctors.

‘The Doctors Union confirms that the problem can be resolved quickly once doctors have approved the reinstatement of the old system, which has been known for years, which informs the health system of new young doctors joining to provide medical care, and the union fears that the pace of applications for cancellation of assignments from doctors will increase, which is harmful to the health system and we lose important members the country needs at this critical time when we need all efforts.’

The letter to the Prime Minister reads as follows:

‘Mr Prime Minister,

‘Engineer Mustafa Madbouly,

‘We, the representatives of doctors, are commissioned March 2020 to request an urgent meeting to solve the commissioning crisis that does not hide from you.

‘In the past few months, seven thousand commissioned doctors suffer from the intransigence of the Ministry of Health and are outside the health system for months without serving their country and helping in these critical conditions

‘The Ministry of Health intends to continue to implement a system that has proved inapplicable for months, and we are mandated doctors.

‘We have sought to interact with ministry officials repeatedly and by opening the commissioning movement to reach a solution as soon as possible, which ensures the safety of our future and the health of the medical system; but all we have received is intransigence and seven thousand doctors are unrecognised at this critical time.

‘Prime Minister, we are in the process of this 65-day commissioning problem, and we are close to closing the grievances door on June 22, without any solution, threatening to remove thousands of doctors from working under the health system in Egypt.

‘Here we appeal to your presence quickly to take action to solve this problem, and to entrust this batch of doctors to the old system of assignment that has been recognised for years. We are ready to serve this country.’

Restoring Mexican coral reefs, video

This 17 June 2020 video says about itself:

Oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer Paola Rodriguez works to restore coral reefs in her native Mexico. Once thought impossible, Paola and her team are proving that reefs can recover from even serious damage if given a chance.