Archive | May 8th, 2020

A very dangerous stage .. ‘Israel’ gives birth to a monster, so beware

Lebanon is on a steady path towards victory over the Corona epidemic, following the successful plan of the Ministry of Health and the advanced level of the medical sector, despite the weak capabilities, and the important and leading role assumed by the media sector in Lebanon, that in terms of effective pressure to take the required measures, or in terms of publishing Awareness and knowledge among people.

However, the difficult weeks that the Lebanese successfully passed through were obscured by the extremely important external developments, which establish a difficult fateful stage. At the southern borders of Lebanon, an understanding was announced to form a coalition government between Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, according to written clauses signed, which would end more than a year and a half of political turmoil in Israel. But the main aspect of what happened is an agreement to annex more than a third of the West Bank, specifically the areas of Judea and Samaria, starting from next June.

It is clear that the aforementioned coalition would not have taken place according to the program of action that was signed, had it not been for the apparent efforts of the White House, and here the whole point.

We must recall the invitation that US President Donald Trump sent to Gantz to attend alongside Prime Minister Netanyahu, during the announcement of the “Deal of the Day”. The scene suggested the presence of background lines of understanding with the leader of the “Blue and White” party, to encourage him to join forces with Netanyahu.

This means that the background of the agreement goes beyond the Israeli internal side to reach the Palestinian scene and the regional map, as was clear in the clause related to the annexation. But there are questions that must be asked, as starting this step will mean opening the doors of confrontations between the Palestinians and the Israelis, which paves the way that a bloody phase will follow the start of implementation, which may have caused Netanyahu to present a poisoned gift to Gantz. But the question is, how will this be reflected in the Arab arenas, particularly on Jordan? The agreement noted that Gantz and Netanyahu will work in full coordination with Washington, especially with regard to cartography, after the joint American-Israeli group of experts in charge of cartography had suspended its work under the pretext of the Corona virus.

But the question arises within the American administration, about the impact of these expected bloody confrontations on the Trump elections after a few months, and whether it is better to postpone the implementation until next November.

All this indicates the conclusion that the region will face the birth of a monster that will house the Israeli coalition government.

And with him, the message that Hezbollah sent to Israel, through three locations along the border fence, and which were dominated by the character of “magic”, its dimensions become eloquent, in the event of the shock reflected by the Israeli media, even if it came within the framework of the reciprocal response to targeting a car New Yabus and stabilization of the “reciprocity” equation. The Israeli media spoke of a high level of professionalism for Hezbollah and its skillful use of weaknesses in the existing defense systems.

It is true that the Israeli monster government takes into account the American presidential elections after months, but its agenda also monitors two important elections in 2021.

The first merit relates to the Iranian presidential elections, which Washington is closely following. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard has increased its internal strength twice. Once because of Trump’s disruption of the nuclear deal, which led to the collapse of the reformist current in the last legislative elections, and again he gained more control over the health care system, after he was given the task of combating the epidemic, which would lead to an increase in his influence on government policy in the future. And with him, the American circles are studying the effects of “Corona” on the future of leadership in Iran and the continuity of the clergy, after the advancement of Omar Ali Khamenei, the leader of the revolution. Consequently, whether the Iranian regime is capable of moving to a new formula subject to a security-military regime, through the emergence of a new leadership figure.

In 2021, the controversial Syrian presidential elections are due, which will inevitably mean accompanying the completion of the final political settlement of Syria. Perhaps against this background, Russian media attacked President Bashar al-Assad. The content of the Russian message to Assad was that the time for a settlement has come and preparation must begin in it, especially since the Russian economy is unable to bear the cost of the war in Syria for a longer period, and there are those who link Russia’s permitting Israeli planes to raid Palmyra and Moscow’s pressure messages on Assad.

Therefore, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif may have visited Damascus quickly, to give a dose of support to Assad and to quote the rush to the settlement now. This is because Tehran is still betting on the necessity of awaiting the results of the American presidential elections.

However, this does not prevent him from filling the wasted time with the resumption of Astana talks, even through television communication between Moscow, Ankara and Tehran. This is because Washington is working to prepare and supply pressure papers on Iran, including, for example, the re-employment of ISIS in the Iraqi-Syrian field, especially since the new leader of ISIS, Abu al-Qurashi, was recently monitored to enter Iraq. This was accompanied by impressive attacks by ISIS targeting military points and targets belonging to clans who assisted Iraqi forces in their war against ISIS. Al-Qurashi, who has the most extreme approach to killing and violence, is of Turkmen origin, that is, Turkish roots.

The CIA says that ISIS has maintained its cohesion and integrity in its organizational structure, and that a number of its cells are still operating.

But this does not mean that the effectiveness of the organization now is similar to the days of Al-Baghdadi, even if its number includes some 14,000 elements distributed between Iraq and Syria. But the organization still has combat capabilities, even if limited, that can threaten security and stability in areas ranging from Kirkuk, Diyala, Anbar in Iraq, Homs, Deir Ezzor, Hasaka, and Raqqa in Syria.

Some link the re-highlighting of ISIS to the Iraqi request for the Americans to withdraw from Iraq, which makes the fight against ISIS in need of the American military presence. Others put it in the context of preparing the Iraqi and Syrian arenas and the land corridor between Iran and Lebanon for negotiations to arrange influence and redraw volumes and draw equations from the West Bank to Jordan to Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. Which means in all cases that the next stages are very accurate and dangerous.

Johnny Mounir – The Republic

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Lebanon: The US ambassador is chasing the Minister of Health

“Lebanon Debonate” – Abdullah Qamh

It is no secret that when the American Ambassador Dorothy Chia Trap “Awkar” stepped into a feeling among politicians that a new stage had opened or almost opened in Lebanon in connection with the newcomer “CV”, which is used to insert itself from the “needle hole” of the region’s files.

In Tel Aviv, when the diplomatic missions assumed it, the Israelis and the Palestinians told it … Thus, it won early the “hawks” degree among the ambassadors who were previously adopted in Lebanon.

Some have gone out of their way to try to be on the test list, seeking to understand their genes and how they relate to ancestors. Quickly, the results appeared. Chia is almost closer to Jeffrey Feltman and farther than “Elizabeth” Steele, Richard Richard, with a special adjective that carries the “love of media appearance”.

The coincidences wished that when Chia was determined to enter the Lebanese battlefield as ambassador, the “cook” of Amer al-Fakhoury had flattened. We consider that the circumstance helped her to formulate a different picture, and what helped her in that is that when she rolled up her arms for a request to the Israeli customer, he responded to it, and the embassy choir undertook the demonstration of “achievement” as a “victory” for which a “female ambassador” was founded. Since then it was understood that we are facing a different person, which showed the impression that the American administration is facing a revised version of its policies adopted in Lebanon.

As the target wing of the ambassador’s activity, Hezbollah understands what is being prepared early. He realized that we are facing a different situation, and he recorded in his record some points that are useful in reading the nature of the ambassador in the future, then he concluded in principle that he is in front of an ambassador similar to the American President Donald Trump in terms of interest in media appearances, but its media image is interested in it and strives to reserve a place for her in the circle of interests .

This is in the form, but in the political dimension, those who follow the party’s performance during the past weeks observe the size of their interest in the ambassador’s activity, and most likely subject her recent presence through meetings, tours and conferences that she conducted to a careful, direct and comprehensive follow-up in an attempt to monitor any reflections or changes that may get The earth is useful for connecting matters together. It is possible to say, after the initial comments, that the party realized that its opponent was the “owner” of a different project, so there was no link between Al-Dahiya and Awkar.

In turn, Chia reckons Hezbollah for an account. Earlier, I took a scrutiny of the level of his presence in the authority and administration in general and comparing him between today and yesterday with the embassy’s data. Perhaps what the ambassador now takes the degree of movement of the Minister of Health, Hamad Hassan, who, by virtue of the American reading, enjoys the status of a Hezbollah representative within the executive authority.

There is no doubt that the Minister of Health has reserved a different place for all diplomatic attaches in Lebanon. And only others, he received a domestic-international diplomatic mention in connection with his performance and his role in combating the Corona outbreak, something that disturbs the US embassy because the minister is affiliated with Hezbollah.

But, of course, Shia is governed by an insurmountable framework, which is that the Minister of Health is charged with managing the “confrontation of Corona” file, and the American pragmatism leads her automatically towards opening the doors of her cooperation with the Ministry specifically. Something like a knot for “Awkar” that does not include separation between the party and its ministers on its agenda, so I have devoted to devising ways to open medical aid credits in favor of the Ministry of Health in a “evasive and circumvent” way, that is, without crossing the minister’s channel and its approvals.

Something that the Minister of Health understood early on, and it seems that he dealt with him according to the same pragmatic rule that he dealt with after Shea attended the ambassadors meeting in Baabda, even though he has attested to his competition from Awkar in the field of fighting the “epidemic” and showing the media presence of American aid from outside the gates of the Ministry of Health !

The “embassies” interest in the presence of the minister expands towards his dynamic circle, where his path outside the walls of his ministry is special readings by Awkar.

One of the periodic councils of American ambassadors, who by the way is a former deputy and a “viewer” in the sovereign field, quoting Shia for her dissatisfaction with the vision of Hezbollah Minister in the government Hamad Hassan – assuming that it is the Hezbollah government – arriving and touring Christian towns and receiving support in his project to combat “Corona” ” Here you ask about the party’s opponents in the Christian environment and the reason for their resignation from facing its penetration in the “sovereign environment”. A scene showing the amount of “panic” from the role of Hezbollah, even if it came under the Corona pandemic.

The “human presence” arranged special attention for the US embassy. There are those who link competition in aid to the role played by the party in general and the Ministry of Health named on it, especially in Christian areas, precisely, if some find in the competition the accumulation of benefits in the interest of limiting the spread of the epidemic locally, as well as others who took the diet to ask a question about the possibility of the presence of the “minister “Introductory visit discussions in Maarab?

Ambiguity appears to be prevalent. The burning “cold war” between the suburb and Akkar is expected to reach greater levels. There are those who fear the situation and the possibility that “the nature of the confrontation” will prevail over the entire Lebanese situation. Here we are, and under the current circumstances, before a possible return to the 2006-2008 model that Feltman managed and ended with the fall of his group on May 7.

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The first Friday of Ramadan .. Sadness hangs over the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr


Talks going on here and there via WhatsApp and Facebook, and contacts between friends, through which they plan how they will spend Friday in Jerusalem, a great yearning for a meeting that they have been denied for several years. 

Every Friday they race to the roadblocks of the Nazi occupation, which for many years has denied them access to their beloved city of occupied Jerusalem. They carry their bags with them, and they spend a night in the al-Aqsa mosque.

Despite the violations they are subjected to through checkpoints punctuated by the inspection and launch of sound and gas bombs, the number of worshipers in each Friday of Ramadan gathering increases greatly, and this is what we will lose this year.

The journey to reach the Al-Aqsa Mosque begins, by starting from the homes with the dawn hours towards the checkpoints, and after hours of waiting, they are allowed to enter and reach the buses that will take them to Jerusalem.

Another hardship awaits them is occupation barriers inside the city, and thus all worshipers are required to disembark from buses and walk long distances to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City, and this procedure imposed by the occupation forces on everyone, including the elderly and children, but the Palestinian medical teams are trying as much as possible Helping to transport elderly and sick people through large and small ambulances, despite the obstruction of their work by the occupation forces.  

As for the young men, their story begins with exploring the gaps of the wall and walking between the vineyards that connect to Jerusalem, or the stairs that hang on the wall that separates Jerusalem from other Palestinian cities. They were subjected to breakage due to the fall or escape from the pursuit of the occupation forces during the previous years.

Today, we did not see crowds of worshipers in the streets of Jerusalem, which seemed completely empty except for some, and we did not see the scout teams distributing informative leaflets about Al-Aqsa Mosque and its facilities and doors and organizing the entrance of worshipers at the doors, and we did not see medical crews like the beehive working on the comfort of the worshipers.

This year, we did not plan for anything, so Koruna deprived us of everything that delights our hearts in this sad city, which was saddened by the closure of its mosque, the first of the two kisses and the third of the Two Holy Sanctuaries, 33 days ago, this month in which the alleys of the old city are completely decorated with all its alleys and dialogues to receive the pioneers of Al Aqsa from the West Bank Gaza, inside and Jerusalem, too.

Al-Aqsa Mosque today seemed completely sad and empty of worshipers, with the exception of its guards, sardines and workers in the Islamic Endowments Department, who were building it in the time of “Corona”.

Today we will not race to see how many worshipers performed Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque, and journalists will not climb to the roof of the tribal chapel to document the most beautiful scenes for us. She lived through the most difficult months of the year.

Today, for the first time, we will not see the congregation praying as it holds all prayers, prepares its tables in the courtyards, children will not play here and there, and the Tarawih prayer will not take place as we have done every year, and it will be limited to guards, masters and employees.  

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Teacher burns her university degrees, leaves teaching

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

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Ramallah: Palestinian teacher Raja Lahlouh burned her undergraduate and bachelors degree in English because of her forced retirement since 2018 due to her union activities with a group of teachers.

Teacher Lahlouh stood in front of Zionist puppet Ab-A$$ Ministry of Education headquarters, holding her university diplomas and burning them after she sent a video message in which she spoke about the reality of the teacher.

Lahlouh wrote a letter to the Minister of Education, Marwan Awartani, and PM Muhammad Shtayyeh, in which she said: “I am an English teacher, Raja, with a masters degree in English, and I have worked for 16 years in the field of teaching.”

She added: “I wake up at five in the morning in order to catch up and prepare my children and myself for school and stand in the morning assembly at seven and a half hours, regardless of the health and psychological situation.”

And she continued in his message dominated by the colloquial language: “School classes start consecutively, and as a teacher, I work on a daily basis, different interactions with students, daily consecutive fatigue, and the different work between teaching, preparing and correcting tests, and other activities.”

And she continued: “Despite all the circumstances, I was patient and enduring, but I reached a final decision after retiring, forcing me from the government and I promised for private work to retire completely, because the teachers are the most miserable, and by modernizing the female of them, I decided to divorce the education completely.”


A message to everyone who is interested. A letter to His Excellency the Minister of Education.

A letter to the Prime Minister.

I am an English language teacher. Please, Lahlouh, who holds a master’s degree in English.

Morning queue to stop in front of the students. What was my health and psychological situation? The shares were taken out, the share was behind the share, I went up the stairs, and I went down the stairs, and I got out of a row, and I stood on my leg, and I talked, I wrote, and I set up a class, and so, so listen, my dear, calm down, be careful, and leave me with the opportunity to shrink.

My pain is what I drink, and I am a thousand and turn around like the shuttle. Go astray and turn among the students to correct and follow my eyes b How can they grow up with the heck of a complement with the sincerity of the workmanship by the fact that I have concluded with him, but I have to take with me a house a bag full of exam papers and preparation books so that I can move from me with my house back floating but I have to add and cook and I will see my children dubk work how much work it will be at night and I am tired from the school The coffee is correct for me, so I can prepare my job and sleep over Examination papers for the second day because the wheel comes back spinning in the same way, and with all this.

I was patient and endured, but today I arrived at a final, correct decision that after I retired, I was forced by the government, I returned to the private, but for good enough, my grandfather ended my hand because he was the most miserable employee who is the teacher, especially female teachers, and I reached my decision I launched education, a definite divorce, and I came to this decision, because the teacher is hard, tired, hard, and with a teacher’s hope, he does not live up to his status and all the thrust and slapping on him, and to him by giving orders behind their air-conditioned offices and their rocking chairs ..

I will be satisfied enough because the salary that the teacher takes is equivalent to a quarter of fatigue and effort To give it with NH in other Bikunoa diagnosed allowance and air Ptnamoa offices on tea and coffee we all knows how Kadih teacher tagged Ptabboa and Kadih Bouksroa of their health Ahan generations bring up what it requires .. rear
I decided to finish my career in education in private schools violin
true government forced two norms , but I’m resigned today and Hadt myself and earn my health and my health and my dignity before all Washi … eBay Schools
# _

The Nazi occupation announces that Corona’s death toll has risen to 245

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The exception of mosques is “unjustified” .. A proposal to pray in the squares within the limits

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High Zionist numbers of Corona virus infections and deaths

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr


The Ministry of Health in the Nazi occupation, this evening, Thursday, that the number of people infected with Corona virus has risen to (14803) cases.

Among the injuries were 139 people with a difficult medical condition, of whom 109 were subject to artificial respiration, while 8,759 had a mild physical condition and 102 moderate injuries.

 While the number of deaths due to Corona virus in the occupation increased to (192) cases so far, while cases of complete recovery reached 5,611 cases.

 And 433 patients stay in hospitals inside the illegally occupied occupied Jerusalem and Jerusalem, as well as 6064 patients undergoing home treatment and 2565 cases receiving treatment in hotels.

Announcing the identity of the prisoner infected with the Coronavirus


The Palestinian Prisoners and Editors Affairs Authority announced today, Friday, that he is a prisoner infected with Coronavirus inside the Nazi occupation Camp.

The lawyer for the organization, Jamil Saadeh, told “Quds Network” that the captive is Muhammad Majed Hassan, and he has been detained in the investigation of the metaphysics for days, indicating that the link officially informed them of his injury after an examination by the occupation of him.

His Excellency pointed out that the authority is currently making efforts to try to visit him in the detention center or allow him to be contacted to know the details of his injury and his health condition, pointing out that it may take several days to find out all the details of his injury.

In parallel, Al-Dameer Association announced that the prisoner Muhammad Majid is 21 years old, from the village of Deir Al-Sudan, who is in the Mesopotamia Investigation Center in Virus Covid 19 “Corona”.

She indicated that he was arrested on April 22, 2020, and a sample was taken on the first day of his detention, and it is reported that the prison was extended for 8 days in order to complete the investigation, and after it was confirmed that he was infected with the virus, he was transferred to the Ramla prison isolation.

And she continued: “In turn, Al-Dameer Foundation informed the Palestinian Ministry of Health, the Red Cross and the family of the detainee of its status, and Al-Dameer Foundation started taking all legal measures to release him.”

In the same context, his sister Tasnim Majed confirmed her brother, he had no symptoms and was present in the family and did not mix with anyone and did not leave the house during the month, adding: “We contacted the Ministry of Health, and the examination was done for the whole family and we are waiting for the result.”

Fifty days since the isolation of the two prisoners, Omar Kharwat and Hatim Al-Qawasmeh


The Nazi occupation Prisons Administration has continued to isolate two prisoners from the Fatah movement’s regulatory body in Raymond Nazi Camp, for more than fifty days.

The Palestinian Prisoners Club stated that the Prison Administration continues to isolate the two prisoners, Omar Kharwat, who has been sentenced to four years’ life imprisonment, and who has been detained since 2002, and who has been detained in the isolation of Megiddo Nazi Camp, Hatem Al-Qawasmeh, who has been sentenced to the same period and detained since 2003, and who is detained in isolating the Gilboa Nazi Camp, pointing Until the two prisoners from Hebron.

He pointed out that what increases the suffering of the isolated prisoners during this period and the spread of the epidemic, is the stop of visits by lawyers, which are for them the only way to communicate with the outside world, where the prison administration holds them in cells that are not suitable for human life, and places them in a double level of isolation. 

It is noteworthy that since the beginning of this year, the prison administration has escalated the isolation operations and targeted a number of prisoners in the regulatory bodies, and a number of them have been subjected to investigation.

It is noteworthy that the occupation authorities are holding about five thousand male and female prisoners in its prisons, among them 180 minor children and about 700 sick prisoners.

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The occupation forces arrested 14 Palestinians from the West Bank

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr


Nazi occupied Palestine – Jerusalem News : The occupation forces arrested 14 Palestinians from the Nazi occupied West Bank from last night until dawn today. 

In a statement, Al-Asir Club stated that the Nazi occupation forces arrested the young men Murad Abdullah Abu Ahour (23 years), Ibrahim Atta Al-Harimi (24 years), Anan Musa Al-Badan, and Hamza Amin Sabah (28 years) from Bethlehem.

He added that the occupation arrested Saeed Al-Faruq Abu Haniya and Abdullah Mustafa Radwan from the town of Azzun, Qalqilya District, in addition to Hamza Raja Ghaith, and Rajab Raji Ghaith from Hebron.

After summoning the investigation, the occupation forces arrested the liberated prisoner, Jihad Emad Na’alwa (35 years old), who is from the Shweikeh neighborhood in Tulkarm. From Jenin, the detained captive Amr Shami Yusef and Wissam Khaled Samir Abu Salah from the town of Arabeh were arrested.

The army also arrested Ali Mahmoud Khwaira (30 years), Samer Ashteh (24 years old) and Ismail Al-Deek, who are from the town of Kafr Nima, Ramallah District.

Infection of a Palestinian prisoner in Al-Maskoubiyeh Nazi detention Camp with Corona virus


The Prison Authority of the Nazi occupying Power announced the diagnosis of a Palestinian prisoner with Corona virus “Covid 19”.

The Nazi Camp Authority said today, Friday, that the prisoner is 21 years old, a resident of the West Bank, noting that he was arrested the day before yesterday, Wednesday.

According to the statement of the Nazi Camp Authority in the occupation, a sample was taken from the prisoner the moment he arrived at the Al-Maskubiye Investigation Center.

Whereas, the Hebrew “Kan” channel said that 7 prisoners from the Prisons Authority in the Nazi occupation were imposed after the association with the injured Palestinian prisoner.

A Saudi minister defrauds a Palestinian businessman who owned $ 1.8 billion


Palestinian businessman Omar Ayesh, who holds Canadian citizenship, was subjected to a fraud by the Saudi Minister of Labor and Social Development, Ahmed Al-Rajhi, and his siblings by controlling his company and his money that exceeded $ 1.8 billion.

The International Justice Foundation in Washington revealed the details of the fraud suffered by Ayesh by the Saudi minister and his brothers

The Foundation stated that Ayesh, who owns Tameer Holding Company, which he founded in Dubai, UAE in 2008, is preparing for an initial public offering, as Gulf International Bank then valued the company’s portfolio at $ 5 billion, and Ayesh was the owner of 25% of the company at that time, but, His partners, through a sophisticated embezzlement scheme, defrauded him and seized his stake in the company .

Minister Al-Rajhi has transferred the assets of Tameer or sold them to companies owned by him and his brothers to destroy its total value and the share of Ayesh and hundreds of deposits made by foreign investors, according to the information, which is considered financial fraud, embezzlement, conflict of interest, violation of the credit obligation and embezzlement of assets.

 According to the information, businessman Omar Ayesh took the path of justice, and proceeded towards the Supreme Court in the United Arab Emirates (Ayesh v. Tameer, No. 1023 and 1027/2014) that ruled in his favor in 2018, but Al-Rajhi did not write any checks, while the doors to Tameer Surrounded by a yellow tape, it appears that the UAE does not have mechanisms to force Al-Rajhi to do so.

According to the institution that published the information, Minister Al-Rajhi used his influence and worked to threaten the expert arbitrator in this case, who issued a ruling in favor of Ayesh to obtain compensation in the amount of $ 1.8 billion, which forced this expert to resign.

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N. Korea lashes South as Kim Jong Un praises China’s Xi Jinping

Kim sent Chinese leader Xi Jinping a diplomatic communication congratulating him for China’s “success” in controlling the novel coronavirus epidemic.

North Korea condemned the South Friday for holding military drills, saying the situation was returning to before the diplomatic rapprochement of 2018, as leader Kim Jong Un — whose health was the subject of intense speculation in recent weeks — reached out to traditional ally Beijing.

Kim sent Chinese leader Xi Jinping a diplomatic communication congratulating him for China’s “success” in controlling the novel coronavirus epidemic, the state news agency KCNA reported.

The nuclear-armed North has closed its borders to try to protect itself from the disease that first emerged in its giant neighbour, and insists it has not had any cases even as the virus has swept across the world.

Kim told Xi he was as pleased with China’s successes as his own, KCNA reported, adding he “sent militant greetings to every member of the Communist Party of China”.

Rumours swirled for weeks about Kim’s health after he failed to appear at the April 15 celebrations for the birthday of his grandfather, the North’s founder — the most important day in the country’s political calendar, until he reappeared at the weekend at a factory opening.

Kim’s temporary disappearance triggered a series of unconfirmed reports and fevered speculation over his condition, while the United States and South Korea insisted they had no information to believe the conjectures were true.

North Korea's Kim Jong Un
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits a fertilizer factory in a KCNA picture released on May 2, 2020 which appeared to confirm he was still alive, despite weeks of speculation. Photo: KCNA VIA KNS / STR

China is the North’s key diplomatic backer and main provider of trade and aid.

Pyongyang’s nuclear talks with Washington have been largely at a standstill since Kim’s summit with US President Donald Trump in Hanoi broke up without a deal more than a year ago.

The North’s relations with Seoul have since entered a deep freeze, despite Kim holding three summits with the South’s President Moon Jae-in in 2018.

Pyongyang lashed out at Seoul on Friday for holding air-sea military drills in the Yellow Sea this week.

“Everything is now going back to the starting point before the north-south summit meeting in 2018,” a defence ministry spokesman said in a statement carried by KCNA.

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Boris Johnson warns ‘maximum caution’ needed as UK poised to ease lockdown

Johnson will address the nation on Sunday evening to set out a “roadmap” for relaxing social distancing rules announced in late March.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told senior ministers on Thursday the government would adopt “maximum caution” as he prepared to outline how lockdown measures imposed to combat the coronavirus outbreak could be eased.

Johnson will address the nation on Sunday evening to set out a “roadmap” for relaxing social distancing rules announced in late March, but is not expected to make any major changes to the measures.

Although officials say the spread of COVID-19 in Britain has fallen markedly, the country has the world’s second highest official death toll, with another 539 fatalities announced on Thursday taking its total to 30,615.

However, broader official data released this week put the total number of deaths by late April above 32,000 — including 107 health care workers and 29 care staff.

“We have come through the peak but it is a very delicate and… very dangerous moment, so we do need to proceed with caution,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said at the daily Downing Street news conference.

“The virus is not beaten yet. It remains deadly and infectious,” he added.

Raab said Johnson would detail a “roadmap for the next phase” on Sunday, that would include “appropriate measures to be taken at appropriate milestones” and “strict conditions with strict monitoring”.

The British premier’s spokesman had earlier said that he used the phrase “maximum caution” when talking to colleagues at a cabinet meeting.

Media reports on Thursday said unlimited exercise and picnics will be allowed as part of the early easing of restrictions.

The announcement comes as the Bank of England warned on Thursday the British economy could slump by 14 percent because of the outbreak, although it would rebound by 15 percent next year.

Johnson’s spokesman said the “worst thing we could do” is relax restrictions and allow a second spike in virus rates which would require fresh measures, hitting the economy further.

London has indicated it wants a united “four-nation approach” to lifting lockdown measures across all the countries of the United Kingdom.

But Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she would not be pressured into ending the measures too soon and risk a resurgence of the virus.

Johnson to address the nation Sunday
Pubs and cafes with gardens may also be allowed to open but people would be required to remain two metres apart. Photo: AFP / Niklas HALLE’N

She told reporters there were suggestions infection rates in Scotland were higher than elsewhere, and extended the restrictions for another three weeks until May 28.

“We can make changes to the regulations before then if the evidence suggests it is safe to do so,” she added.

Sturgeon, who leads the devolved government in Edinburgh which has powers over health policy in Scotland, has clashed with Johnson during the crisis.

Johnson spoke to Sturgeon, and the first ministers of Wales and Northern Ireland by phone on Thursday afternoon, his office said.

“He reiterated his commitment to continuing our UK-wide approach to tackling coronavirus, even if different parts of the UK begin to move at slightly different speeds,” a statement said.

“Those decisions will be made based on the science for each nation.”

Possible changes to social distancing measures could see pubs and cafes with gardens allowed to open but people would be required to remain two metres (six feet) apart.

The government and its scientific advisers have warned not to expect a return to normality for months.

“The messaging will evolve from ‘stay at home’ to ‘be careful when you’re out’,” an unnamed minister told the Daily Telegraph.

Offices will have to stagger arrivals and separate staff with screens, while meetings will continue to take place remotely when possible, according to the paper.

Meanwhile, two separate studies indicated that black and minority ethnic groups were more at risk from the virus than the white population.

The Office for National Statistics said black men and women were more than four times more likely to die with coronavirus than white people in England and Wales.

Geographic and socio-economic factors, such as deprivation, as well as health and disability, could explain the differences, the ONS said.

Posted in Health, UKComments Off on Boris Johnson warns ‘maximum caution’ needed as UK poised to ease lockdown

Grim UK, Germany economic data highlights virus devastation

So far, more than 73,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 — more than a quarter of global deaths.

  • By Ben Perry, with AFP Bureaus

The economic carnage unleashed by the coronavirus pandemic was brought into sharper focus on Thursday, with grim data showing major slumps in German and French industrial output and the British economy forecast to slump 14 percent this year.

coronavirus testing
Clinical staff test a key worker for the novel coronavirus at the Royal Papworth Hospital in Britain, which has suffered a rising coronavirus death toll Photo: POOL / Neil HALL

Governments around the world are under immense pressure to ease the economic pain caused by measures to stop the virus, which has claimed at least 260,000 lives, left half of humanity under some form of lockdown and made millions jobless.

Some European and Asian nations are now cautiously easing restrictions hoping to stabilise their reeling economies, and US President Donald Trump is pushing for lockdown measures to be lifted.

US President Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump tours a Honeywell International plant that manufactures personal protective equipment in Phoenix, Arizona Photo: AFP / Brendan Smialowski

But experts have warned that social distancing measures remain necessary until a vaccine is developed — and governments are keen to avoid a devastating second wave of infections.

disinfection in Paris
An employee of a cleaning company disinfects a bus on the outskirts of Paris Photo: AFP / Thomas SAMSON

The British government was on Thursday reviewing lockdown measures, with a partial easing expected to be announced this weekend.

The easing has already begun in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, while France is inching towards its own loosening of lockdowns.

South Korean baseball stadium
Banners depict spectators in the stands prior to South Korea’s new baseball season opening game between SK Wyverns and Hanwha Eagles in Incheon Photo: AFP / Jung Yeon-je

Highlighting the economic imperative, the Bank of England said the GDP of Britain — which has the second-highest number of deaths in the world — was set to plummet 14 percent this year.

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Milan coronavirus
Margherita Borgo is the owner of a beauty centre in Milan, a profession that has not yet been allowed by the Italian government to resume work Photo: AFPTV / Francesco Gilioli

The forecast came a day after the European Union warned of a 7.7-percent eurozone contraction in 2020.

Industrial production in Germany fell by 9.2 percent month-on-month in March, official figures showed Thursday, the worst fall since the manufacturing output data series was started in 1991.

COVID-19 toll
Toll from the new coronavirus pandemic, as of May 6, 0200 GMT. Photo: AFP / Sabrina BLANCHARD

The slump in France was even greater with industrial output dropping by 16.2 percent in March on a monthly basis, statistics institute Insee reported.

Airlines and travel are among the sectors worst hit by the pandemic, with flights grounded worldwide and social distancing measures severely limiting leisure and business trips.

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school new normal
School rules: desks are placed a metre apart and class sizes have been reduced as Chinese senior school children get back in front of the chalk board Photo: AFP / STR

Adding to the list of those casualties on Thursday, British Airways parent IAG said it had plunged into a huge loss in the first quarter, and said it did not expect pre-crisis passenger demand to return until 2023.

Thai lockdown food
Wealthy Thais are able to order premium food from companies specialising in luxury lockdown fare Photo: AFP / Lillian SUWANRUMPHA
COVID-19 testing
Testing, testing, one, two: Even the very young are being checked out in Bangkok Photo: AFP / Lillian SUWANRUMPHA

Across the Atlantic, Trump said Wednesday the coronavirus pandemic was a worse “attack” on the United States than either Pearl Harbor or 9/11, taking aim once again at China, which he said should have stopped the disease in its tracks.

A cleaning worker disinfects a street in Mexico City Photo: AFP / PEDRO PARDO

The president has ramped up his rhetoric against Beijing in recent weeks, as the death toll in the US has continued to climb, and as he agitates to re-open the shuttered — and stuttering — economy.

“It should have never happened,” Trump said of the disease that emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan last year.

Swiss Guard
On guard: The elite Swiss Guard are wearing face masks as they patrol the Vatican Photo: AFP / Filippo MONTEFORTE

“Could have been stopped at the source. Could have been stopped in China.”

“This is really the worst attack we’ve ever had,” Trump told reporters. “This is worse than Pearl Harbor. This is worse than the World Trade Center.”

The Japanese assault on the Pearl Harbor naval base in Hawaii drew the United States into World War II.

The September 11, 2001 jihadist attacks on that killed about 3,000 people and triggered two decades of war.

China issued an indignant reply to Trump.

“We urge the US side to stop shifting the blame to China and turn to facts,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters in Beijing.

So far, more than 73,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 — more than a quarter of global deaths.

Tom Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, predicted the US toll could top 100,000 by the end of May.

The pandemic has hammered healthcare infrastructure in many parts of the United States, including New York City, and its impact has been particularly severe on the least privileged sections of American society, such as undocumented migrants.

Many of them are afraid of deportation, as well as the risk of racking up unpayable medical bills and hurting their quest to obtain legal status. As a result, many have contracted and died of COVID-19.

“He was very ill but did not want to go to the hospital,” Victoria, a Mexican nanny in New York City, said of her 69-year-old husband who had kidney problems and diabetes.

“After two weeks, when he could no longer walk or breathe, my daughter took the risk, loaded him into the car and drove him there. He died three weeks later.”

The need for social distancing has shredded by global sports calendar, but with financial pressures mounting, the biggest leagues around the world are exploring ways to resume play.

The Bundesliga, Germany’s top football tier, on Wednesday became the highest-profile league to announce a resumption of matches, and could be a test case for restarts elsewhere.

Games will be played from May 15 — but without any spectators — after getting the green light from top authorities on the condition that strict health and hygiene guidelines are followed.

Posted in Germany, UKComments Off on Grim UK, Germany economic data highlights virus devastation

Brain-Damaged UK Victims of Swine Flu Vaccine to Get £60 Million Compensation

Swine Flu Cartoons and Comics - funny pictures from CartoonStock

Patients who suffered brain damage as a result of taking a swine flu vaccine are to receive multi-million-pound payouts from the UK government.

The government is expected to receive a bill of approximately £60 million, with each of the 60 victims expected to receive about £1 million each.

Peter Todd, a lawyer who represented many of the claimants, told the Sunday Times: “There has never been a case like this before. The victims of this vaccine have an incurable and lifelong condition and will require extensive medication.”

Following the swine flu outbreak of 2009, about 60 million people, most of them children, received the vaccine.

It was subsequently revealed that the vaccine, Pandemrix, can cause narcolepsy and cataplexy in about one in 16,000 people, and many more are expected to come forward with the symptoms.

Across Europe, more than 800 children are so far known to have been made ill by the vaccine.Related

Narcolepsy affects a person’s sleeping cycle, leaving them unable to sleep for more than 90 minutes at a time, and causing them to fall unconscious during the day. The condition damages mental function and memory, and can lead to hallucinations and mental illness.

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Cataplexy causes a person to lose consciousness when they are experiencing heightened emotion, including when they are laughing.

The Pandemrix vaccine was manufactured by pharmaceuticals giant Glaxo Smith Kline, which refused to supply governments unless it was indemnified against any claim for damage caused. The company will pay the bill, and claim the money back from the government.

“There’s no doubt in my mind whatsoever that Pandemrix increased the occurrence of narcolepsy onset in children in some countries – and probably in most countries,” Emmanuelle Mignot, a specialist in sleep disorder at Stanford University in the United States told Reuters.

Mignot has been paid by GSK to research the effects of the drug.

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Among those affected are NHS medical staff, many of whom are now unable to do their jobs because of the symptoms brought on by the vaccine. They will be suing the government for millions in lost earnings.

However, the vast majority of patients affected – around 80% – are children.

Among them is Josh Hadfield, 8, from Somerset, who is on anti-narcolepsy drugs costing £15,000 a year to help him stay awake during the school day.

“If you make him laugh, he collapses. His memory is shot. There is no cure. He says he wishes he hadn’t been born. I feel incredibly guilty about letting him have the vaccine,” said his mother Caroline Hadfield, 43.

Despite a 2011 warning from the European Medicines Agency against using the vaccine on those under 20 and a study indicating a 13-fold heightened risk of narcolepsy in vaccinated children, GSK has refused to acknowledge a link.

“Further research is needed to confirm what role the vaccine may have played in the development of narcolepsy in those affected,” the company said in a statement.

Posted in HealthComments Off on Brain-Damaged UK Victims of Swine Flu Vaccine to Get £60 Million Compensation

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