8:48 AM 9/10/2020 - Three Stages to COVID-19 Brain Damage

 


8:48 AM 9/10/2020 - Three Stages to COVID-19 Brain Damage

https://thenewsandtimes.blogspot.com/2020/09/848-am-9102020-three-stages-to-covid-19.html

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Three Stages to COVID-19 Brain Damage, New Review ...

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Former CIA director labels Trump "absolute abomination" over Woodward book revelations newsweek.com/former-cia-dir


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Biden tops Trump by 12 points in new national poll hill.cm/6mJBt8e pic.twitter.com/Oalr4i0fJC



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President Trump's unemployment payments end for some almost as soon as they start cnn.it/3bNyEI6


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Belarusian opposition leader Maria Kolesnikova being held on suspicion of state treason | The Independent independent.co.uk/news/world/eur




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Unprecedented wildfires plunged San Franciscos Bay Bridge into an apocalyptic orange glow, as a cloud of smoke covered much of California.

A record 2.3 million acres have been burned this year in the state since the start of the wildfire season.

Over 14,000 firefighters are battling fires in California, but blazes have been reported across the the US Pacific Northwest.

#CaliforniaFires #Wildfires #SanFrancisco

Report by Gianluca Avagnina.

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The president's former attorney warned what Trump will start thinking of doing on "day number one" after victory.



 Donald Trump

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Saved Stories - None: The National Interest: Did Donald Trump's Bob Woodward Interviews Just Cost Him the Presidency?
Thu, 10 Sep 2020 01:43:25 -0400

Jacob Heilbrunn

Politics,

Trump gave Woodward no less than 18 interviews between July and December. The question is simple: why did he even give him a single one? Trump had to know going into the interviews that Woodward was hardly a friendly interlocutor. Yet he apparently spilled his guts to Woodward

President Donald J. Trump is right where he usually likes it—in the middle of a furor.

Two stories erupted on Wednesday that added to the conflagration that always seems to be flickering around the edges of his presidency.  The first is Bob Woodward’s release of his new book Rage and of audiotapes indicating that Trump deliberately sought to downplay the severity of the coronavirus pandemic. The second is the accusation by a former high-ranking Department of Homeland Security official named Brian Murphy that he was told by Acting Director Chad F. Wolf, among others, to cease reporting on assessments of Russian interference in the American 2020 elections.

The Woodward audio tapes have Trump declaring, "I don't want to create panic, as you say, and certainly I'm not going to drive this country or the world into a frenzy. We want to show confidence. We can show strength.” Trump’s money quote: “I always wanted to play it down.”

The one official who comes out well is national security adviser Robert C. O’Brien, informing Trump at the outset in late January that the coronavirus would be the greatest threat he would confront in his presidency: “this is going to be the roughest thing you face.”

Trump gave Woodward no less than 18 interviews between July and December. The question is simple: why did he even give him a single one? Trump had to know going into the interviews that Woodward was hardly a friendly interlocutor. Yet he apparently spilled his guts to Woodward, telling him “this is deadly stuff”—even as he publicly proclaimed that the virus was no more harmful than the annual flu. Why openly sound so callous and indifferent to the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans?

At a campaign event in Michigan, former vice-president Joe Biden laced into Trump. At an event with autoworkers, Biden said, “He knew how deadly it was. It was much more deadly than the flu. He knew and purposely played it down. Worse, he lied to the American people. He knowingly and willingly lied about the threat it posed to the country for months.” This charge will be difficult for Trump to refute,--and is likely to play a central role in the first presidential debate on September 29. It also appears that Trump is refusing to prepare and going to wing it at the debates.

The second story centering on the Department of Homeland Security is likely to be less damaging to Trump but will also distract from his campaign for reelection. Murphy alleges that he was instructed to focus on election interference from China and Iran but not Russia. Murphy complained to the DHS inspector general that he was, in essence, being asked to commit treason. In a sense, it’s déjà vu all over again. All the characters have reassumed their old roles. Rep. Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, stated that Murphy’s statement “outlines grave and disturbing allegations that senior White House and Department of Homeland Security officials improperly sought to politicize, manipulate, and censor intelligence in order to benefit President Trump politically.”

Given the miasma of accusations that surround Trump and Russia, it is unlikely that this is episode is going to have much more political effect than previous ones. Rather, it is the pandemic—a domestic crisis--that has crippled Trump’s presidency. His refusal to address it in a serious and systematic fashion accounts for much of the drop in his poll numbers, and they are unlikely to improve after the release of his latest musings to Woodward. The toll from the pandemic continues to increase. The death rate may reach 410,000 this December. Millions of jobs have been lost. No matter how much Trump enjoys political brawling, the truth is that the constant spate of controversies erupting around him are not damaging Biden. They center on Trump’s own record and statements. Many, if not most, are self-inflicted wounds. Every day that goes by with the attention on Trump’s deficiencies is another day that Biden can go on the attack and avoid any scrutiny of his own record and program. Today was supposed to be the day that Trump went on the offensive as he released his list of 20 new potential Supreme Court nominees during a second term. Instead, he is once more being overwhelmed by controversy.

Deadly stuff indeed.

Jacob Heilbrunn is editor of The National Interest.



 The National Interest


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Saved Stories - None: Washington Free Beacon: U.N. Secretary General Blames Coronavirus on the Patriarchy
Thu, 10 Sep 2020 01:42:54 -0400

The United Nations secretary general said the global coronavirus pandemic was the result of "millennia of patriarchy."

"The pandemic is only demonstrating what we all know: that millennia of patriarchy have resulted in a male-dominated world with a male-dominated culture which damages everyone—women, men, girls, and boys," U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in an August 31 speech shared by the official U.N. Twitter account this weekend.

"We must also emerge from this crisis with women’s equal leadership and representation," Guterres added in his speech. "The past months have seen a growing recognition in the media and through academic research highlighting what we have known anecdotally for years: that women leaders are extremely effective. Women heads of state, ministers of health, health workers and community leaders are winning widespread recognition for their empathy, compassion, communication, and evidence-based decision-making."

The United Nations and many of its subsidiary organizations support programs that benefit countries with long records of violating women's rights.

China—a country that the U.N.'s World Health Organization defended vehemently in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic—is one of the worst abusers of women’s rights in the world. Women from minority ethnic groups in China have been subject to forced abortion, rape, and infanticide. And China’s one-child and two-child policies in recent decades have led to an en masse "gendercide," or the mass-scale abortion and elimination of female Chinese children.

"There are tens of millions of missing girls in China today," Rep. Chris Smith (R., N.J.) said in a 2016 congressional hearing. "It is a predictable consequence of Beijing's cruel and barbaric child limitation policies and cultural preference for boys."

Accordingly, China is a hotspot for serial sex and even bride trafficking of women, especially those abducted from neighboring parts of Southeast Asia. China faces a looming demographic crisis in which millions of young men will be unable to find a spouse.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFP)—which the Trump administration halted support for in 2017 and the Democratic platform calls for rejoining—assists in Chinese population control that disproportionately harms women. 

"The [UNFP] continues to partner with the [Chinese government] on family planning, and thus can be found to support, or participate in the management of China's coercive policies," a 2017 Department of State brief reads.

The post U.N. Secretary General Blames Coronavirus on the Patriarchy appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.





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Michael Novakhov - SharedNewsLinks: How the Coronavirus Attacks the Brain
Thu, 10 Sep 2020 01:42:26 -0400
Michael_Novakhov shared this story .

The coronavirus targets the lungs foremost, but also the kidneys, liver and blood vessels. Still, about half of patients report neurological symptoms, including headaches, confusion and delirium, suggesting the virus may also attack the brain.

A new study offers the first clear evidence that, in some people, the coronavirus invades brain cells, hijacking them to make copies of itself. The virus also seems to suck up all of the oxygen nearby, starving neighboring cells to death.

Its unclear how the virus gets to the brain or how often it sets off this trail of destruction. Infection of the brain is likely to be rare, but some people may be susceptible because of their genetic backgrounds, a high viral load or other reasons.

If the brain does become infected, it could have a lethal consequence, said Akiko Iwasaki, an immunologist at Yale University who led the work.

The study was posted online on Wednesday and has not yet been vetted by experts for publication. But several researchers said it was careful and elegant, showing in multiple ways that the virus can infect brain cells.

Scientists have had to rely on brain imaging and patient symptoms to infer effects on the brain, but we hadnt really seen much evidence that the virus can infect the brain, even though we knew it was a potential possibility, said Dr. Michael Zandi, consultant neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in Britain. This data just provides a little bit more evidence that it certainly can.

Dr. Zandi and his colleagues published research in July showing that some patients with Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, develop serious neurological complications, including nerve damage.

In the new study, Dr. Iwasaki and her colleagues documented brain infection in three ways: in brain tissue from a person who died of Covid-19, in a mouse model and in organoids clusters of brain cells in a lab dish meant to mimic the brains three-dimensional structure.

Other pathogens including the Zika virus are known to infect brain cells. Immune cells then flood the damaged sites, trying to cleanse the brain by destroying infected cells.

The coronavirus is much stealthier: It exploits the brain cells machinery to multiply, but doesnt destroy them. Instead, it chokes off oxygen to adjacent cells, causing them to wither and die.

The researchers didnt find any evidence of an immune response to remedy this problem. Its kind of a silent infection, Dr. Iwasaki said. This virus has a lot of evasion mechanisms.

Coronavirus Schools Briefing: Its back to school or is it?

These findings are consistent with other observations in organoids infected with the coronavirus, said Alysson Muotri, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Diego, who has also studied the Zika virus.

The coronavirus seems to rapidly decrease the number of synapses, the connections between neurons. Days after infection, and we already see a dramatic reduction in the amount of synapses, Dr. Muotri said. We dont know yet if that is reversible or not.

The virus infects a cell via a protein on its surface called ACE2. That protein appears throughout the body and especially in the lungs, explaining why they are favored targets of the virus.

Previous studies have suggested, based on a proxy for protein levels, that the brain has very little ACE2 and is likely to be spared. But Dr. Iwasaki and her colleagues looked more closely and found that the virus could indeed enter brain cells using this doorway.

Its pretty clear that it is expressed in the neurons and its required for entry, Dr. Iwasaki said.

Her team then looked at two sets of mice one with the ACE2 receptor expressed only in the brain, and the other with the receptor only in the lungs. When researchers introduced the virus into these mice, the brain-infected mice rapidly lost weight and died within six days. The lung-infected mice did neither.

Despite the caveats attached to mouse studies, the results still suggest that virus infection in the brain may be more lethal than respiratory infection, Dr. Iwasaki said.

The virus may get to the brain through the olfactory bulb which regulates smell through the eyes or even from the bloodstream. Its unclear which route the pathogen is taking, and whether it does so often enough to explain the symptoms seen in people.

I think this is a case where the scientific data is ahead of the clinical evidence, Dr. Muotri said.

Researchers will need to analyze many autopsy samples to estimate how common brain infection is and whether it is present in people with milder disease or in so-called long-haulers, many of whom have a host of neurological symptoms.

Forty percent to 60 percent of hospitalized Covid-19 patients experience neurological and psychiatric symptoms, said Dr. Robert Stevens, a neurologist at Johns Hopkins University. But the symptoms may not all stem from the viruss invasion of brain cells. They may be the result of pervasive inflammation throughout the body.

For example, inflammation in the lungs can release molecules that make the blood sticky and clog up blood vessels, leading to strokes. Theres no need for the brain cells themselves to be infected for that to occur, Dr. Zandi said.

But in some people, he added, it may be low blood oxygen from infected brain cells that leads to strokes: Different groups of patients may be affected in different ways, he said. Its quite possible that youll see a combination of both.

Some cognitive symptoms, like brain fog and delirium, might be harder to pick up in patients who are sedated and on ventilators. Doctors should plan to dial down sedatives once a day, if possible, in order to assess Covid-19 patients, Dr. Stevens said.



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Saved Stories - None: Washington Free Beacon: Rule or Riot
Thu, 10 Sep 2020 01:42:23 -0400

riot riot

riot riot

If the idea of a November spent hunkered down at home with mass protests and violence again roiling the streets sounds appealing, don't worry: The left has a plan for that.

A coalition of influential progressive groups—including the SEIU, AFT, Color of Change, Indivisible, MoveOn, and Demos—is organizing, the Daily Beast reports, for "mass public unrest": "Occupy shit, hold space, and shut things down, not just on Election Day but for weeks."

Only a fool would think that this "nonviolent civil disobedience" will stay nonviolent after a summer that's seen over 500 riots across the nation. In 2000 we had the Brooks Brothers riot; in 2020, Democrats are promising the real deal.

There's a reason these "secret" plans were revealed in painstaking detail to a sympathetic outlet, one that would repeat fever dreams about "MAGA violence after election day." It's the latest example of the left's campaign of extortion: If you want the protesting, rioting, and murder wave to end, all you have to do is hand Joe Biden a landslide.

The organizations claim to be preparing for an election "without a clear outcome," or the possibility that President Donald Trump refuses to concede. Of course, they have also worked to assure an ambiguous election night by pressing for a massive, disorganized switch to mail-in voting, even as public health experts say in-person voting is as safe as grocery shopping.

Both the promised unrest and the scaremongering over the possibility Trump will not concede are part of the same drumbeat that Democrats have marched to over the past four years: Trump, and indeed the entire GOP, are not just bad but illegitimate.

That's why talking heads keep repeating the long-debunked claim that Russia handed Trump the White House; why prominent Democrats pretend Stacey Abrams is the governor of Georgia; why Biden-aligned postal unions invented a crisis at the Post Office; why Hillary Clinton has told Joe Biden not to concede.

And of course it’s why Democrats are so invested in convincing voters that Trump and his white supremacist army are preparing a coup d'état, even as the Democrats involved in this ludicrous exercise plot just that—the story concludes with a hypothetical Biden campaign call for the secession of West Coast states should Trump prevail in the Electoral College while losing the popular vote. That would be an act of treason just as surely as it was 160 years ago.

The (vanishingly small) possibility that Trump refuses to leave the White House if he loses is irrelevant. The person that the Electoral College—or, in the event of a tie, the House of Representatives—selects as president will become the president. Should he lose the election, at noon on January 20, 2021, Trump would turn into a pest for the Secret Service to escort off the property. Our constitutional system is well-designed for such an orderly proceeding.

But Democrats have every reason to gin up this and other "election day nightmares," because their electoral strategy is to use these as an excuse to threaten more rioting in the streets—whatever they need to do to retake power.

Reasonable patriots should not be afraid to call this behavior what it is: a campaign by insurgent ideological groups to threaten and intimidate their way to victory. Such conduct, such a campaign to cow the populace into scared submission, is nothing less than electoral terrorism. And Americans should not bend an inch.

The post Rule or Riot appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.





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mikenov on Twitter: How the Coronavirus Attacks the Brain - The New York Times nytimes.com/2020/09/09/hea
Thu, 10 Sep 2020 01:41:56 -0400

How the Coronavirus Attacks the Brain - The New York Times nytimes.com/2020/09/09/hea




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Thu, 10 Sep 2020 01:41:36 -0400
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Saved Stories - None: Washington Free Beacon: Arab League Refuses Palestinian Call to Rebuke UAE-Israel Deal
Thu, 10 Sep 2020 01:40:34 -0400

The Arab League denied Palestinian pleas to condemn the recent peace agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, the Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday. 

During a video meeting between league members, Palestinian Authority officials argued the normalization between the UAE and Israel violated previous agreements between the Arab states. No Arab country supported the position, however, and Arab League secretary-general Ahmed Aboul Gheit said the league remains committed to the organization's 2002 Israeli-Palestinian peace proposal. 

"The Arab Peace Initiative, which was adopted by the Arab summit in 2002, remains the basic plan and platform agreed upon by the Arabs to achieve a lasting, just, and comprehensive peace between Arabs and Israel," he said Wednesday. 

Palestinian officials expressed frustration with the growing distance between the Palestinian Authority and several other Arab states. 

"We have even become the troublemakers," said Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki. 

In the days before the meeting, Palestinian officials, fearing isolation over their hardline approach, reportedly toned down their hostility toward the peace agreement in their draft condemnation. The proposal "does not include a call to condemn, or act against, the Emirates over the U.S.-brokered deal," according to Reuters. 

Arab League member Bahrain is reportedly expected to sign its own Washington-brokered peace deal with Israel in the coming months, and Muslim-majority Kosovo moved to normalize relations with Israel last week. Trump administration officials are ultimately aiming for a peace agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia to counter against Iran's destabilizing posture in the Middle East. 

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Thu, 10 Sep 2020 01:40:18 -0400

Administration’s move to switch to written briefings undermines the intelligence community’s duty to keep Congress fully informed.

 National Security



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Saved Stories - None: The National Interest: The Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine Has Been Put on Hold (That Is a Good Thing)
Thu, 10 Sep 2020 01:37:22 -0400

Nigel William Crawford

Health, UK

This pause in the trials doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not safe. Rather, it indicates the testing is progressing as it should, with due consideration of safety.

Only days after the federal government announced a A$1.7 billion vaccine deal to roll out COVID-19 vaccines to Australians in 2021, one of the two candidates has halted its phase 3 trials after a participant became ill.

The AZD1222 vaccine, considered one of the frontrunners in the global race for a COVID-19 vaccine, was developed by the University of Oxford and has been undergoing testing with British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

Melbourne-based biotechnology company CSL has committed to producing and supplying more than 30 million doses of the vaccine to Australians if it’s found to be safe and effective.

But this pause in the trials doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not safe. Rather, it indicates the testing is progressing as it should, with due consideration of safety.

What happened?

There’s been no official statement on the nature of the incident that caused the trial to be halted. We only know it was a suspected adverse reaction in a participant in the UK. (Phase 3 trials for the AZD1222 vaccine have been taking place in several countries.)

The New York Times has reported the participant was diagnosed with transverse myelitis, an inflammatory condition than affects the spinal cord and can be sparked by viral infections.

Transverse myelitis is very rare, with between one and eight new cases per million people per year.

Most people will recover, but may be left with some symptoms such as weakness.

Read more: Putting our money on two COVID vaccines is better than one: why Australia's latest vaccine deal makes sense

In the world of vaccine safety, transverse myelitis is one of several conditions collectively known as a serious acute neurological episode (SANE) temporally associated with vaccination. Others include Guillain-Barré syndrome and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis.

“Temporal” suggests they occasionally occur some time after vaccination, but we don’t know whether the relationship is one of cause and effect. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to find what caused these conditions, and it’s important to look for other infections that may be associated with the diagnosis.

There are a couple of things worth noting in this case. First, in the UK branch of the trial, not all participants were receiving the AZD1222 vaccine. To ascertain its effectiveness, researchers have given a control group a type of meningococcal vaccine (MenACWY) that has already been licensed. As the trial is double-blinded, we don’t yet know whether the affected participant received the COVID-19 vaccine.

Second, AZD1222 is not a “live-attenuated” vaccine — it’s not made from live SARS-CoV-2 virus. (It does use a chimpanzee adenovirus vector, but this doesn’t replicate or cause disease in humans.) It’s not impossible the transverse myelitis — if confirmed as a diagnosis — was related to the vaccine. But it wouldn’t be possible for the vaccine to cause a COVID-19 infection, which could then spark the myelitis.

Further, phase 2 and 3 trials involve much broader populations than the young, healthy adults who typically participate in early testing. The UK trial of AZD1222 includes people 70 years and older, which naturally increases the risk of temporally associated adverse events.

So what next?

AstraZeneca will already be investigating the incident, with input from external regulatory bodies such as the study’s data safety monitoring board, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

These independent bodies will review all parts of the investigation, such as an MRI on the participant to confirm the diagnosis, and look at which of the groups the person was in (whether they received AZD1222 or the other vaccine).

They will try to find out what caused the illness, but this may not be possible. It will be particularly hard to prove the vaccine caused the illness with only one case. Illnesses like transverse myelitis, although rare, have a “background rate” of occurrence already in the community.

The World Health Organisation provides a framework to assess the cause of an adverse event following immunisation. AstraZeneca and the independent bodies monitoring their processes will follow this or similar frameworks to evaluate the event.

Once they’ve reviewed the incident, they will decide whether to resume the trial. Given the impetus to move quickly with this, we’d expect this to happen in a matter of days.

Read more: Russia's coronavirus vaccine hasn't been fully tested. Doling it out risks side effects and false protection

It’s not a bad thing

This halt on the trial doesn’t indicate the vaccine isn’t safe — we’ll need to see further evidence before we can ascertain this.

But it does reflect robust processes for a clinical trial. In a sense, this is what phase 2 and 3 clinical trials are designed for — to pick up any potential safety issues and investigate them further.

These sort of things happen occasionally in other clinical trials too. We just don’t hear about it. There’s perhaps never been so much attention on a single clinical trial as there is on the trial of this and other potential COVID-19 vaccines.

We’re not sacrificing safety for speed

In the course of this pandemic, we’ve often heard that fast can’t be safe in the context of a vaccine. We don’t feel that’s the case here.

The reason these trials are moving so fast is largely because recruitment is happening quickly. The phase 3 trials of AZD1222 will have 40,000-50,000 participants in total.

Beyond the AZD1222 vaccine, we’re seeing open disclosure of processes and transparency around any issues. This includes a pledge from the major pharmaceutical companies to keep safety at the forefront when evaluating COVID-19 vaccines.

Of course, there are exceptions to this — notably the Russian vaccine, which has published some phase 1 data but reportedly gone into widespread use before completing all of the standard safety and effectiveness checks.

Read more: Whoever invents a coronavirus vaccine will control the patent – and, importantly, who gets to use it

In Australia, we follow certain steps to assess the safety of new vaccines. If the trial of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine resumes and it proves safe and effective, Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) will see the data and interact closely with regulatory bodies around the world to ensure it’s safe to use.

The TGA is also responsible for post-marketing surveillance, which we regard as phase 4. When the vaccine is being rolled out, we continue to monitor for adverse events, and follow these up using both jurisdictional vaccine safety units, such as SAEFVIC in Victoria, and active surveillance systems, such as Smartvax and Vaxtracker.

The Conversation

Nigel William Crawford, Associate Professor, Murdoch Children's Research Institute and Jim Buttery, Professor of Paediatric Epidemiology, Monash University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Image: Reuters



 The National Interest


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Saved Stories - None: Washington Free Beacon: Top NYC Official Slams De Blasio Over Budget Cuts in Resignation Letter
Thu, 10 Sep 2020 01:36:50 -0400

A top official in New York City mayor Bill de Blasio's administration slammed the Democratic mayor's massive citywide budget cuts in a resignation letter Tuesday.

Sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia, who has led the department since 2014, said de Blasio's decision to slash her department's budget by more than $100 million this summer was "unconscionable."

"At a time when protecting public health service is of the essence, cutting basic sanitation services is unconscionable," Garcia said in her letter. "If, as is often said, budgets are a statement of values, my values require me to resign in the face of these cuts, which will harm New Yorkers."

The new budget, which took effect July 1, also cut 400 positions from Garcia's department and forced the sanitation department to reduce city trash can pickups by 60 percent.

In June, the mayor also cut $1 billion in funding for the New York Police Department in response to protesters who have spent the summer pushing local governments to reform and defund the police.

Garcia announced her resignation the same day as deputy mayor for health and human services Dr. Raul Perea-Henze, who told the Wall Street Journal that he's stepping down to spend more time with his family. Perea-Henze, an Obama administration alum, took a leading role in the city's response to the coronavirus pandemic, which began earlier this year. In a July op-ed in USA Today, Perea-Henze admitted the city was "caught off guard" by the onset of the pandemic and "lost valuable time" in fighting the virus.

The post Top NYC Official Slams De Blasio Over Budget Cuts in Resignation Letter appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.





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Saved Stories - None: The National Interest: Bob Woodward's Donald Trump North Korea Scoops: Are We Really Shocked?
Thu, 10 Sep 2020 01:36:35 -0400

Daniel R. DePetris

Security, Asia

Sure, we get the actual behind-the-scenes details concerning Trump's North Korea policy in Woodward's new book. But are there really any new shockers? 

Bob Woodward’s most recent account of the Trump White House, entitled “Rage,” isn’t even on the shelves yet. But the legendary reporter and author has already busted the news cycle apart at the seams. Most of the coverage about the book has centered on Trump downplaying the COVID-19 pandemic in public while at the same time describing the disease to Woodward in private as “deadly stuff." Watching CNN and MSNBC in the hour after some of the excerpts were released, you could be pardoned for thinking the White House was on fire and Trump, already 7 points behind Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, threw away his re-election

But Woodward’s book doesn’t just focus on the health crisis. The veteran Washington Post journalist also delves into some aspects of Trump’s foreign policy over the previous two years, with former senior national security advisers and the president himself providing some behind-the-scenes flavor to the reader. Trump’s relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un comes in for special consideration—and what we learn, at least from the juicy nuggets fed to the public, is that the president was enchanted with his friend in Pyongyang. We also find out that, like many of us during the “fire and fury” days, even Trump’s own cabinet members were extremely concerned about the insults getting out of control. 

-Trump didn’t trust the CIA on North Korea—or any of his national security advisers for that matter: Trump told Woodward that the CIA had “no idea” how to manage North Korea. Why he would name-drop the CIA is a bit puzzling; the agency, after all, simply provides intelligence products to the National Security Council about the North’s technical weapons capability as well as the strategic intentions of its leadership. The spooks at Langley aren’t responsible for offering policy advice or recommending what the U.S. negotiating position should be. But one can surmise that Trump is probably using the CIA as a term to encompass his entire national security team, which wasn’t exactly thrilled with the idea of a one-on-one meeting with Kim and was highly skeptical that summitry would amount to anything productive. 

-Trump was unprepared when the summitry actually occurred: According to the Washington Post exclusive report on Woodward’s book, Trump largely saw the North Korean nuclear problem as a difficult real-estate deal. "Trump told Woodward he evaluates Kim and his nuclear arsenal like a real estate target: “It’s really like, you know, somebody that’s in love with a house and they just can’t sell it.” The theory of the case, in Trump’s frame of mind, was that Kim’s nuclear weapons deterrent was something Pyongyang would eventually trade away if the U.S. offered the right mixture of economic sanctions relief, political goodies, and security assurances in return. Yet it turns out eliminating the best source of negotiating leverage the North as ever had and pressuring the Kim dynasty to hand over the keys to its nuclear kingdom is not at all like convincing an owner to sell her beautiful house. If Trump bothered to read the assessment of his own intelligence community, he could have flown to Singapore and Hanoi with a more realistic idea of what was achievable in those negotiations. 

-Kim knew what he was doing with those letters: Trump and Kim have met one another three times, the last of which was a spur-of-the-moment handshake along the Demilitarized Zone in June 2019. Most of the communication between the two has come in the form of letters. Woodward got his hands on 27 of them. The letters in and of themselves don’t tell us much—in one, sent to the White House after the Singapore Summit, Kim wrote to Trump that he was “really, really offended” that U.S.-South Korea military drills were continuing. What they do show, however, is Kim’s clear intent: butter up Trump by heaping praise on him; using terms like “your excellency” to enhance his self-importance; persuade Trump of the uniqueness of their personal relationship; and feed Trump’s already outsized ego in the hope he would put something on the table he shouldn’t have. As Woodward would write, CIA analysts "marveled at the skill someone brought to finding the exact mixture of flattery while appealing to Trump's sense of grandiosity and being center stage in history.”  

The excerpts from “Rage” will inevitably produce a howl of righteous indignation on the pages of the Atlantic and on the Twittersphere about how Donald Trump was never up to the task of being commander in chief. Others will use them as proof of Trump’s inability to comprehend when he is being conned or duped. Robert Manning, a former senior official in the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff who is now with the Atlantic Council, tweeted that the sections on North Korea don’t really tell us anything we didn’t already know. "Nice to have documented,” Manning wrote. "But c'mon we knew this. Narcissism uber alles. To Trump, must-see RealityTV of the Summit was enough. A deal would have been gravy.” Fair enough.

But if Trump did make a mistake during his summitry with Kim Jong-un, it wasn’t his decision to meet with the North Korean leader, per se. The problem (or rather, problems) was that Trump was totally unprepared for the summits when they finally happened, went into them with a starry-eyed idealism about making history, and strongly believed he could schmooze Kim into giving up the one thing—a nuclear weapons deterrent—he was likely never prepared to give up in the first place.

Daniel R. DePetris is a columnist for the Washington Examiner and a contributor to the National Interest.



 The National Interest


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Thu, 10 Sep 2020 01:36:21 -0400


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Saved Stories - None: Eurasia Review: Punctured Lung Affects 1 In 100 Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients
Thu, 10 Sep 2020 01:35:49 -0400

Covid-19 Coronavirus Virus Quarantine Protection

As many as one in 100 patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 develop a pneumothorax - a 'punctured lung' - according to a study led by Cambridge researchers.

Like the inner tube of bicycle or car tyre, damage to the lungs can lead to a puncture. As air leaks out, it builds up in the cavity between the lung and chest wall, causing the lung to collapse. Known as a pneumothorax, this condition typically affects very tall young men or older patients with severe underlying lung disease.

During the pandemic, a team at the University of Cambridge and Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge University NHS Foundation Trust, observed several patients with COVID-19 who had developed punctured lungs, even though they did not fall into either of these two categories.

"We started to see patients affected by a punctured lung, even among those who were not put on a ventilator," says Professor Stefan Marciniak from the Cambridge Institute of Medical Research. "To see if this was a real association, I put a call out to respiratory colleagues across the UK via Twitter. The response was dramatic - this was clearly something that others in the field were seeing."

Professor Marciniak subsequently obtained the appropriate ethical approvals and exchanged anonymised clinic information about 71 patients from around the UK. This led to a study published today in European Respiratory Journal.

Although the team are unable to provide an accurate estimate of the incidence of punctured lung in COVID-19, admissions data from the 16 hospitals participating in the study revealed an incidence of 0.91%.

"Doctors need to be alert to the possibility of a punctured lung in patients with COVID-19, even in people who would not be thought to be typical at-risk patients," said Professor Marciniak, who is also a Fellow at St Catharine's College, Cambridge. "Many of the cases we reported were found incidentally - that is, their doctor had not suspected a punctured lung and the diagnosis was made by chance."

Just under two-thirds (63%) of patients with a punctured lung survived. Individuals younger than 70 years tended to survive well, but older age was associated with a poor outcome - a 71% survival rate among under 70s patients compared with 42% among older patients.

Patients with a punctured lung were three times more likely to be male than female, though this may be accounted for by the fact that large studies of patients with COVID-19 suggest that men are more commonly affected by severe forms the disease. However, the survival rate did not differ between the sexes.

Patients who had abnormally acidic blood, a condition known as acidosis that can result from poor lung function, also had poorer outcomes in COVID-19 pneumothorax.

Dr Anthony Martinelli, a respiratory doctor at Addenbrooke's Hospital, said: "Although a punctured lung is a very serious condition, COVID-19 patients younger than 70 tend to respond very well to treatment. Older patients or those with abnormally acidic blood are at greater risk of death and may therefore need more specialist care."

The team say there may be several ways that COVID-19 leads to a punctured lung. These include the formation of cysts in the lungs, which has previously been observed in x-rays and CT scans.

The article Punctured Lung Affects 1 In 100 Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients appeared first on Eurasia Review.



 Eurasia Review


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mikenov on Twitter: RT @MoscowTimes: Serbia has dropped out of the 'Slavic Brotherhood 2020' exercise with Russian and Belarusian troops after pressure from th
Thu, 10 Sep 2020 01:14:37 -0400

Serbia has dropped out of the 'Slavic Brotherhood 2020' exercise with Russian and Belarusian troops after pressure from the EU themoscowtimes.com/2020/09/10/-11


Retweeted by Michael Novakhov (mikenov) on Thursday, September 10th, 2020 5:14am


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Thu, 10 Sep 2020 01:07:14 -0400

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Michael Novakhov - SharedNewsLinks: 12:51 AM 9/10/2020 - Trump Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize
Thu, 10 Sep 2020 01:00:29 -0400
Michael_Novakhov shared this story from The News And Times.

12:51 AM 9/10/2020 - Trump Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize

https://thenewsandtimes.blogspot.com/2020/09/1251-am-9102020-trump-nominated-for.html


Michael Novakhov - SharedNewsLinks

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FoxNewsChannel's YouTube Videos: Tucker: President Trump wants US troops out of the Middle East
PBSNewsHour's YouTube Videos: Barr's 'shocking' request for DOJ to defend Trump in defamation lawsuit
News: Alexei Navalny: Mike Pompeo admits 'substantial chance' that Russia ordered poison attack
PBSNewsHour's YouTube Videos: PBS NewsHour West live episode, September 9, 2020
Eurasia Review: Russian Arms Sales To Armenia And Geopolitical Effects Analysis
Esper Says Artificial Intelligence To Change The Battlefield
Trump Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize
Oregon wildfires: At least 3 found dead as fires rage across state
US Revokes Chinese Graduate Student Visas On Fears Of Research Theft
Grateful Dead's 'American Beauty' album to be reissued for 50th anniversary
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The National Interest: Looking Back at Shinzo Abes Mixed Legacy
Former DNI Dan Coats thinks Putin has Trump blackmail: Woodward book
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Trump admitted he deliberately played down coronavirus threat: Reports
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AstraZeneca pausing coronavirus vaccine trial is normal, say scientists
6:57 AM 9/9/2020 - Today's Topics: Are California fires premeditated arsons?
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FoxNewsChannel's YouTube Videos: Tucker: President Trump wants US troops out of the Middle East

From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 11:30

While the left wants more U.S. intervention in Syria. #FoxNews #Tucker



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Wed, 09 Sep 2020 21:25:46 -0400
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Wed, 09 Sep 2020 21:24:14 -0400
From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 11:30

While the left wants more U.S. intervention in Syria. #FoxNews #Tucker

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Saved Stories - None: PBSNewsHour's YouTube Videos: Barr's 'shocking' request for DOJ to defend Trump in defamation lawsuit
Wed, 09 Sep 2020 21:23:59 -0400
From: PBSNewsHour
Duration: 08:01

The Justice Department has moved to intervene in a defamation lawsuit against President Trump. In 2019, columnist E. Jean Carroll accused Trump of raping her years ago, and later claimed his denunciations amounted to defamation. William Brangham talks to David Laufman, a former DOJ official under multiple administrations, about what he calls an "inappropriate" intervention by the attorney general.

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