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Interview with Bill Gates on COVID-19: “It’s Mind-Blowing That We’re Not Further Along!”

DER SPIEGEL: Mr. Gates, the coronavirus has now officially cost the lives of almost a million people. Has this pandemic taken you by surprise?

Gates: Certain aspects of it are very surprising. Sure, the idea that the world was at risk of a human-to-human, transmissible respiratory epidemic is something that many global health experts have talked about for decades. But they mostly talked to each other. Nobody expected it could be a coronavirus. In retrospect, you can say: Hey, we have MERS, we have SARS, this coronavirus family clearly can cross the species boundary. But our understanding of the symptoms of this disease took us a long time to figure out.

DER SPIEGEL: How could we have been caught so off guard by this pathogen?

Gates: In 2015, at the end of the West Africa Ebola epidemic, I said that we’re not ready for the next pandemic. What was done between 2015 and that outbreak in late 2019 was very, very modest.

DER SPIEGEL: Could not the Gates Foundation also have done more?

Gates: Governments and nations are responsible for preparing the world for wars, natural disasters, climate change or epidemics. Not us. Yes, foundations can contribute to funding scientists. But we’re not the foundation to solve all health problems. Our focus is on the diseases that disproportionately affect developing countries, diseases that the rich world isn’t paying attention to, like HIV, tuberculosis, malaria. It just turns out that we know more about vaccinations because we hire the best people from all the vaccine companies. But it is not in our charter to be pandemicking. Governments do that.

https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/interview-with-bill-gates-on-covid-19-it-s-mind-blowing-that-we-re-not-further-along-a-fc6bbd6e-cf8c-4890-9f12-a44b73d4fe6f

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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L’indifferenza della folla

Avete mai sentito parlare dell’effetto-spettatore? Se la risposta è no, dovreste leggere questo articolo. Dico sul serio.

Ecco di che si tratta. Siamo nel 1964, e due psicologi sociali, John Darley della New York University e Bibb Latané della Columbia University, restano molto colpiti da un terribile fatto di cronaca nera: Catherine Susan Genovese, detta Kitty, viene accoltellata a morte e stuprata nel distretto del Queens, a New York.

Lei gestisce un bar e rientra, come sempre, molto tardi. Parcheggia a trenta metri da casa. Ad aggredirla è un ventinovenne incensurato di Manhattan che, catturato pochi giorni dopo mentre sta compiendo un furto, confesserà l’omicidio di altre due donne e ulteriori crimini. Dichiarerà inoltre che preferisce aggredire donne perché “è più facile”.

L’aggressione a Kitty Genovese si svolge in due riprese e dura nel complesso circa mezz’ora: all’inizio qualcuno dalla finestra grida “lascia stare quella donna!”, e l’omicida si allontana. Poi torna per finire la sua vittima. Genovese tenta di difendersi e chiede aiuto, ma l’unica telefonata che un vicino fa alla polizia non viene presa in considerazione. E comunque pochi si interrogano su quel che sta effettivamente succedendo: sono solo strane urla nella notte.

https://www.internazionale.it/opinione/annamaria-testa/2020/09/15/l-indifferenza-della-folla

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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The war on terror has displaced millions – this is the true cause of Europe’s refugee crisis

Desperate refugees crammed into cockle-shell boats landing on the shingle beaches of the south Kent coast are easily portrayed as invaders. Anti-immigrant demonstrators were exploiting such fears last weekend as they blockaded the main highway into Dover Port in order “to protect Britain’s borders”. Meanwhile, the home secretary, Priti Patel, blames the French for not doing enough to stop the flow of refugees across the Channel.

Refugees attract much attention on the last highly visible stages of their journeys between France and Britain. But there is absurdly little interest in why they endure such hardships, risking detention or death.

There is an instinctive assumption in the west that it is perfectly natural for people to flee their own failed states (the failure supposedly brought on by self-inflicted violence and corruption) to seek refuge in the better-run, safer and more prosperous countries.

But what we are really seeing in those pathetic half-swamped rubber boats bobbing up and down in the Channel are the thin end of the wedge of a vast exodus of people brought about by military intervention by the US and its allies. As a result of their “global war on terror”, launched following the al-Qaeda attacks in the US on 11 September 2001, no less than 37 million people have been displaced from their homes, according to a revelatory report published this week by Brown University.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/911-anniversary-war-terror-al-qaeda-iraq-syria-refugees-us-europe-b421989.html

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2020 in European Union, Middle East

 

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Stop trying to educate fascists

In 2007, I worked at Quartet Copies, a print shop in Evanston, Illinois. My manager at the time, Vic, found out I was Jewish. In front of the whole staff he joked, “Hey Mike, what’s the difference between a Jew and a pizza? A pizza doesn’t scream when you put it in the oven.” I locked myself in the bathroom at work, crying. I didn’t know how to assert myself and I fled in fear. I thought about trying to persuade him to realizing why he said was wrong, but instead I just tried to escape. 

White supremacy can take many, many forms. It can be verbal, institutional, and violent. And unfortunately, we have to, once again, talk about when it becomes fatal.

It is nauseating to think that today we as a country are once more reckoning with white supremacist violence. Here we go again. Another set of body cameras turned off. Another innocent Black man shot. The term “innocent” should not be necessary for clarification, because cops shouldn’t be shooting guilty people either.

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2020 in North America

 

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Reclaiming American Greatness

Julia Jackson, the mother of Jacob Blake, a young black man from Kenosha, Wisconsin, who was shot seven times in the back by police, got it right when she said, “America is great when we behave greatly.” Sadly, for the past four years, President Donald Trump has been leading America in the exact opposite direction.

The country’s entire history seems to be on the line when Trump faces the voters again on November 3. It has been 160 years since the United States tried to deal with its “original sin” of African slavery. On that occasion, President Abraham Lincoln famously warned that, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Yet, under Trump, all of America’s divisions have been widened.

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2020 in North America

 

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The Revenge of the Special Relationship

Seventy-five years ago, the prestige of the United States and the United Kingdom could not have been higher. They had defeated imperial Japan and Nazi Germany, and they did so in the name of freedom and democracy. True, their ally, Stalin’s Soviet Union, had different ideas about these fine ideals, and did most of the fighting against Hitler’s Wehrmacht. Still, the English-speaking victors shaped the post-war order in large parts of the world.

The basic principles of this order had been laid down in the Atlantic Charter, drawn up in 1941 by Winston Churchill and President Franklin D. Roosevelt on a battleship off the coast of Newfoundland. What they had in mind, after the eventual defeat of the Axis powers, was a world of international cooperation, multilateral institutions, and the right of peoples to be independent and free. Although Churchill resisted extending this right to Britain’s colonial subjects, Roosevelt believed that the Anglo-American relationship was too important to quarrel about it too much.

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/revenge-of-us-uk-special-relationship-by-ian-buruma-2020-08

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2020 in Europe, North America

 

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Il mondo di QAnon: come entrarci, perché uscirne

“Amici che con grande convinzione sostenevano Black lives matter e andavano ai cortei, persone preoccupate per il cambiamento climatico, perfino una collega infermiera che durante un picco di contagi da covid lavorava con me in terapia intensiva… All’improvviso, tutti si sono messi a condividere le stronzate di QAnon, soprattutto roba su pedofilia, adrenocromo e cerchie di pedofili satanisti. A quanto ne so, sono persone che si dicono ancora liberal, progressiste, di sinistra, e davvero non capisco come possano essersi fatte risucchiare così rapidamente. Parlo di gente sui 25 anni, che prima appoggiava Bernie Sanders e adesso ripubblica i rigurgiti di QAnon. Che diavolo sta succedendo?”.

È un messaggio apparso ad agosto nel forum QAnonCasualties di Reddit, luogo di informazione e mutuo appoggio per chi ha perso familiari o amici, caduti nella “buca del coniglio” e non ancora riemersi.

Rabbit hole, come in Alice nel paese delle meraviglie: così è chiamato l’ingresso nel mondo QAnon. Dove non ci sono meraviglie ma storie di bambini prigionieri, stuprati, dissanguati per ottenerne un elisir di lunga vita. Lunga vita per chi? Per i malvagi nemici di Donald Trump, l’eroe che libererà quei bambini – anzi, li sta già liberando – e salverà il mondo.

Il 2020, anno di pandemia e narrazioni tossiche, e circoli viziosi tra la prima e le seconde. Anno in cui QAnon è cresciuto a dismisura e finalmente ci si è accorti del pericolo. Anche in Europa, soprattutto in Germania e in Francia. Perfino in Italia, con un ritardo di due anni, è suonato qualche allarme.

https://www.internazionale.it/reportage/wu-ming-1/2020/09/02/mondo-qanon-prima-parte

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2020 in Reportages

 

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Il mondo di QAnon: come entrarci, perché uscirne. Prima parte

“Amici che con grande convinzione sostenevano Black lives matter e andavano ai cortei, persone preoccupate per il cambiamento climatico, perfino una collega infermiera che durante un picco di contagi da covid lavorava con me in terapia intensiva… All’improvviso, tutti si sono messi a condividere le stronzate di QAnon, soprattutto roba su pedofilia, adrenocromo e cerchie di pedofili satanisti. A quanto ne so, sono persone che si dicono ancora liberal, progressiste, di sinistra, e davvero non capisco come possano essersi fatte risucchiare così rapidamente. Parlo di gente sui 25 anni, che prima appoggiava Bernie Sanders e adesso ripubblica i rigurgiti di QAnon. Che diavolo sta succedendo?”.

È un messaggio apparso ad agosto nel forum QAnonCasualties di Reddit, luogo di informazione e mutuo appoggio per chi ha perso familiari o amici, caduti nella “buca del coniglio” e non ancora riemersi.

Rabbit hole, come in Alice nel paese delle meraviglie: così è chiamato l’ingresso nel mondo QAnon. Dove non ci sono meraviglie ma storie di bambini prigionieri, stuprati, dissanguati per ottenerne un elisir di lunga vita. Lunga vita per chi? Per i malvagi nemici di Donald Trump, l’eroe che libererà quei bambini – anzi, li sta già liberando – e salverà il mondo.

Il 2020, anno di pandemia e narrazioni tossiche, e circoli viziosi tra la prima e le seconde. Anno in cui QAnon è cresciuto a dismisura e finalmente ci si è accorti del pericolo. Anche in Europa, soprattutto in Germania e in Francia. Perfino in Italia, con un ritardo di due anni, è suonato qualche allarme.

https://www.internazionale.it/reportage/wu-ming-1/2020/09/02/mondo-qanon-prima-parte

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2020 in Reportages

 

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En Casamance, les victimes oubliées d’un conflit sans fin

« On va tous mourir ici. » Bakary* se souvient de cette phrase chuchotée parsa mère la nuit du 7 novembre 1992. Il avait alors six ans. Allongé face contre terre dans l’obscurité de sa maison, il attendait comme toute sa famille que les coups de feu cessent au dehors. Quelques heures auparavant, des soldats de l’armée sénégalaise avaient pénétré dans son village, Sone, à quelques kilomètres au nord-ouest de Ziguinchor, la capitale de la Casamance, pour en découdre avec des rebelles du Mouvement des forces démocratiques casamançaises (MFDC). Cette nuit-là, les habitations voisines furent brûlées et saccagées. Au petit matin, une fois le calme revenu, plusieurs centaines d’habitants s’enfuirent à pied, la peur au ventre et quelques affaires sous le bras, abandonnant leurs terres et leur bétail pour rallier le village voisin de Niaguis.

https://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2020/07/21/en-casamance-les-victimes-oubliees-d-un-conflit-sans-fin_6046856_3212.html

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2020 in Africa

 

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The Prophecies of Q

If you were an adherent, no one would be able to tell. You would look like any other American. You could be a mother, picking leftovers off your toddler’s plate. You could be the young man in headphones across the street. You could be a bookkeeper, a dentist, a grandmother icing cupcakes in her kitchen. You may well have an affiliation with an evangelical church. But you are hard to identify just from the way you look—which is good, because someday soon dark forces may try to track you down. You understand this sounds crazy, but you don’t care. You know that a small group of manipulators, operating in the shadows, pull the planet’s strings. You know that they are powerful enough to abuse children without fear of retribution. You know that the mainstream media are their handmaidens, in partnership with Hillary Clinton and the secretive denizens of the deep state. You know that only Donald Trump stands between you and a damned and ravaged world. You see plague and pestilence sweeping the planet, and understand that they are part of the plan. You know that a clash between good and evil cannot be avoided, and you yearn for the Great Awakening that is coming. And so you must be on guard at all times. You must shield your ears from the scorn of the ignorant. You must find those who are like you. And you must be prepared to fight.

You know all this because you believe in Q.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/06/qanon-nothing-can-stop-what-is-coming/610567/

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2020 in Reportages

 

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