Russian propaganda claims coronavirus vaccine will turn us into monkeys

first_imgThe global race for a vaccine currently includes 48 vaccines undergoing clinical trials on humans, according to a Coronavirus Vaccine Tracker from the New York Times. Speaking to the Stories of our Times podcast, Edward Lucas, a journalist and consultant on cyber-security and Russian foreign policy, Russia has a “commercial and diplomatic interest in making Russia look good, which means making everybody else look bad.” Dr Matt Galotti from the thinktank Rusi also told the podcast that the decision to name the Vaccine “Sputnik 5” was a deliberate attempt to evoke the technological achievement of the USSR successfully launching the first artificial satellite into space, as if Russia creating the first effective vaccine against COVID-19 be a similar display of technological superiority. Instead of planting a fake story in a small news outlet, anonymous online accounts post shareable images and memes which claim that the Oxford vaccine is unsafe. One shows King Kong injecting a screaming woman with a giant needle, displaying the AstraZeneca label. Another shows British Prime Minister Boris Johnson photoshopped to look like a blonde member of the Planet of the Apes cast, with the caption “I like my bigfoot vaccine” below. These images are then broadcast and discussed on Russian state media, divorced from their original inception, as if people have begun to doubt the safety of the Oxford vaccine based on genuine evidence, and not manipulation. Although there is no evidence that this campaign wasdirectly authorised by the Kremlin, the Chairman of the Foreign AffairsCommittee Tom Tugendhat told Times Radio: “Russia is a very centralised state and the ideathis would be done without the approval of someone in the inner circle islaughable”. In August 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin announcedthat a Russian regulatory body had approved a vaccine for use against COVID-19before it had undergone its Phase III testing. After criticism from scientistsacross the world, the approval was downgraded to a “conditional registrationcertificate” which was dependent on positive results from future Phase IIItrials. A small study published by the state-run Gamaleya Research Institute inearly September claimed that the vaccine successfully caused the body toproduce antibodies to fight off a COVID-19 infection, albeit with mild sideeffects. Although the conspiracy theory is clearly preposterous, the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab warned that “it’s a shabby piece of disinformation, but it is very serious because it is an attempt to disrupt the attempts to find a safe vaccine” when speaking to BBC Radio 4. The Russian state has been disseminating medical information in order to sow distrust of western nations in developing countries for decades. Operation INFEKTION was a campaign run by the KGB from 1983, which spread the false rumour that the HIV virus was created in an American lab. The investigation from The Times shows that the conspiracy theory that the Oxford vaccine turns humans into monkeys was deployed in a very similar way to Operation INFEKTION. center_img Image Credit: Pixabay. The Russian Embassy in London has denied that the Russian state was involved in the disinformation campaign, telling The Times that “Astrazeneca is very well known and respected in the Russian Federation. Russia has agreed a contract on obtaining a certain amount of the Astrazeneca vaccine. Plans are also for the Astrazeneca vaccine to be partly produced in Russia itself, alongside with the Sputnik V, and some others. We stand for [a] variety of vaccines to be applied against this terrible disease. The Covid pandemic is a common threat, and both the Russian and the British governments are committed to combating it in a depoliticised manner.” Using a combination of memes, videos, and fake articles, the campaign centres on the false claim that the Oxford vaccine – which uses a harmless chimpanzee adenovirus to introduce a segment of SARS-CoV-2 genome into a human cell – turns those who have received the vaccine into monkeys. A network of Russian state officials, media figures, and anonymous online middlemen have been orchestrating a campaign of disinformation to destroy trust in the vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, according to an investigation by The Times.last_img read more


first_imgTROPICANA EVANSVILLE ANNOUNCES 2018 CHARITY TOURNAMENT RESULTS!December 10, 2018Since 1996, Tropicana Evansville has celebrated the spirit of the holiday season by hosting charity slot and blackjack tournaments in the month of December. These tournaments are unique in that players’ entry fees are either a new toy valued at $10 or more, or $10 or more in cash. The generosity of Tropicana Evansville’s players is exhibited through the many toys collected and money donated. This year’s tournaments were held Monday, December 3 through Thursday, December 6.All proceeds benefit two area organizations, the Salvation Army’s Toy Town and Santa Clothes Club. Tropicana Evansville has a 22-year history with both organizations and has donated more than 23,155 toys ($231,550 value) and $44,140 to assist them in their efforts over the years.Please join Tropicana Evansville’s Sponsorship & Donations Coordinator, Amanda Schisler; Salvation Army Majors Mark and Sandra Turner; and Santa Clothes Club Vice President Wendell Burkhart and Board Member Pattie Davis for the announcement of this year’s tournament results on Thursday, December 13, 2018 at 2:00PM (CT) in the Tropicana Evansville Hotel Lobby.This year, 1,256 toy donations ($12,560 value), was raised for Salvation Army Toy Town and will be distributed to needy families during the holiday season. Also, $1,860 in cash donations will go to Santa Clothes Club to provide new clothing for needy grade school children whose names are obtained through area school programs.About Tropicana EvansvilleTropicana Evansville is a multi-million dollar entertainment complex located on the scenic banks of the Ohio River in southwestern Indiana.  The single-level 24-hour casino encompasses 45,000 square feet of gaming space featuring over 1,100 slot games, over 30 table games, a dedicated Poker Room and a High Limit Room. Accommodations include a 243-room hotel tower and a 95-room boutique hotel. The property showcases an ultramodern entertainment lounge, four dining options, four bars, conference center, riverfront event center, and a 1,660-vehicle attached parking garage.Must be 21. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-9 WITH IT. For more information, visit or:FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

News story: Lord Ahmad welcomes conclusions of the 38th Session of the UN HRC

first_imgAs the British Foreign Secretary made clear in his address to the Council on its opening day, the Human Rights Council remains a vital part of the international rules-based system. Despite the regrettable US decision to withdraw, the UK’s support remains steadfast. We view the Human Rights Council as the best forum the international community has to tackle the most serious human rights violations and abuses, and to advance many of our shared international priorities.The Foreign Secretary also conveyed to the Council his conviction that all girls should be provided with 12 years of quality education. In line with the Sustainable Development Goals and other commitments, the UK will work with partners to ensure that by 2030 all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes. I am delighted that the UK’s statement on girls’ education has so far been signed by 150 countries. This strong endorsement underlines the clear importance UN Member States attach to girls’ education.I was pleased that the UK was able to co-sponsor resolutions this session on Female Genital Mutilation, Violence against Women and Girls, and Discrimination against Women. Working hard to agree advances is how we make progress towards our ultimate aim of a world without violence and discrimination against women and girls.The UK also strongly supported a resolution on civil society space that raised concerns about growing restrictions placed on civil society organisations throughout the world. We spoke against attempts to weaken the resolution by Russia and others, and co-sponsored the final resolution.Turning to country situations, as at every session, the UK highlighted serious human rights situations in its statement to the Council under Item 4 (“Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention”).The human rights situation in Syria remains as desperate as ever, as civilians bear the brunt of the regime’s brutal offensives. I particularly condemn the ongoing Russian-backed assault on southern Syria, which is in flagrant violation of the de-escalation agreement. The continued pattern of attacks, including in southern Syria, on hospitals, medical personnel and rescue workers, is particularly troubling. The UK calls on all parties to prioritise the protection of civilians and respect for international humanitarian and human rights law. I welcome the resolution adopted on Syria. It is vital that Commission of Inquiry continues to shine a light on these atrocities so that those responsible can be held to account.I welcome the follow-up resolution on the DRC. The new team will be key to assessing and supporting the implementation of the recommendations made by international experts who investigated human rights violations and abuses in the Kasais. This is critical, both to ensure accountability for all crimes, and more broadly, to create the conditions necessary for credible and inclusive elections to take place.I also welcome the renewal this session of the mandates of the Special Rapporteurs on Eritrea and Belarus.Today, after three weeks of intense effort to protect and strengthen the promotion of human rights, the Council session draws to a close. The Human Rights Council enables UN Member States to work together to support and uphold universal rights around the world. In the face of adversity, and as we mark the 70th anniversary this year of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, we must continue to strive towards a world that stands unified in holding to account those that commit human rights violations and abuses.last_img read more

Proud Boys leader was government informant, records show

first_imgCourt records show that the leader of the Proud Boys, who was arrested in Washington shortly before the Capitol riot, previously worked undercover and cooperated with investigators after he was accused of fraud in 2012. The details of Henry “Enrique” Tarrio’s cooperation were found in a transcript of a 2014 hearing in federal court in Florida. An email seeking comment was not immediately returned from a lawyer representing Tarrio in his current case. The Proud Boys is a far-right, male chauvinist extremist group that seized on the Trump administration’s policies and was a major agitator during earlier protests and the Capitol riot on Jan. 6.last_img read more

Pollinator Protection

first_imgWe can strengthen our pollinator populations by making small changes to our landscapes. Native bees and other pollinators need a variety of habitats that are easy to create. Bumblebees nest in the ground in slightly messy, undisturbed spaces, like small brush piles. Many native bees are solitary and nest in tunnels in bare soil. Orchard mason bees nest in tubes, like nail holes in fence posts or even plastic drinking straws. They need a source of mud nearby to build separators between eggs inside the tube. Pollinator SyndromeAlthough it sounds ominous, “pollinator syndrome” describes the relationship between flowering plants and pollinators. The rich diversity of pollinators evolved hand in hand with the flowers they fertilize. In return for the bounty of food — pollen for protein and nectar for energy — pollinators spread pollen among the flowers. This act of fertilization enables flowers to produce the fruits, nuts and seeds that feed other animals — including humans — and helps to ensure the plant’s survival. Pesticide use. Pesticides may kill pollinators directly, and the chemicals may be retained in the pollen that bees store to feed their young. Over the thousands of years since angiosperms, or flowering plants, first appeared, flowers have adapted in shape, color and fragrance to attract specific types of insect or animal pollinators. Blue, yellow and bright white flowers, for instance, draw bees. Butterflies and birds frequent red blossoms. Strong, sweet fragrances get the attention of moths, while flies prefer putrid aromas. Plants that depend on bees and butterflies for pollination offer flowers as an inviting landing pad where the insect can rest as it collects pollen and nectar. Pollinator StewardshipMany of our native pollinators are in decline and need our help year-round. Factors that contribute to pollinator decline are largely man-made and include:Loss of habitat.Manicured lawns, clipped hedges and tidy, suburban landscapes deprive bees of the habitats they need for reproduction. Loss of sufficient flowering plants for forage. Exotic, non-native and cultivated, hybrid flowers may not produce the pollen that insects need for protein, or the nectar that bees, birds, butterflies and bats need for energy. center_img While many bee species are active only for a few weeks, bumblebees and honeybees need to forage from early spring all the way through the end of fall. To help sustain them, Georgians can keep their yards in constant bloom with flowering trees and shrubs, and an abundance of flowers and herbs. There are more than 4,000 species of native bees in North America — from plump, stalwart carpenter bees to the hardworking blueberry bees that help pollinate the state’s top fruit crop. This year the National Association of Conservation Districts is using its annual Stewardship Week celebration, April 26 to May 2, to recognize the importance of pollinators in our lives. Whether on a farm or in your backyard, protecting pollinators helps to ensure their future and the future of our food system. Pollinator NichesThe thousands of native bee species in the U.S. each fill specific, ecological niches to keep from competing heavily with one another. Some, like orchard mason bees, emerge very early in the spring, before other types of bees, to pollinate fruit trees. Other pollinators are specialists. Southeastern blueberry bees only collect food from — and consequently pollinate — blueberry flowers. Similarly, squash bees only visit the flowers of cucurbits, like squash and pumpkins. And, finally, don’t spray pesticides when plants are blooming. That’s when pollinators are busy collecting food. If you must use pesticides, wait until petals drop from flowers. For more information on protecting pollinators, see UGA Extension Bulletin 1164: Bee Conservation in the Southeast.last_img read more

Welch votes for, House passes middle class tax cut extension

first_imgUS Representative Peter Welch voted to extend tax cuts for middle- and lower-income Americans on Thursday, while blasting Republican maneuvers to hold legislative business hostage as the party fights for tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.Passed by a vote of 234 to 188, the Middle Class Tax Relief Act (H.R. 4853) would permanently extend tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 for all income below $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for married couples. Without an extension, tax rates would revert to pre-2001 levels on January 1, 2011.‘Extending tax relief for middle-class Americans will help the economy and help Vermonters struggling to get by. But digging ourselves deeper into debt by borrowing $700 billion to give millionaires and billionaires tax breaks is simply unconscionable,’ Welch said.‘At a time when we’re nickel and diming hungry and cold Vermonters by cutting fuel assistance, food stamps and Social Security payments, how can we even consider doling out billions to those who need it least? And at a time when our national debt has reached an untenable level, how can we even consider borrowing $700 billion to fund tax breaks for the rich?’While the Middle Class Tax Relief Act focuses on lower- and middle-income Americans, the tax relief would apply to the first $200,000 or $250,000 of income for all taxpayers.The bill now goes to the Senate, though Senate Republican leaders have vowed to stop this and all other legislation unless tax cuts are extended for all income levels. Source: Welch’s office. 12.2.2010last_img read more

June 1, 2003 Letters

first_imgI believe one of the best ways for us to make a difference is by becoming a mentor. As a city commissioner of Coral Springs I was instrumental in bringing about a policy that allows every city employee to donate an hour a week to be a mentor for a student. I have instituted the same policy in my law firm where I also pay for my employees’ travel time.There’s nothing like making a difference and setting an example for a child. I encourage all of my fellow brethren to institute a similar policy in their offices and become a mentor, as well. For more information contact Scott Brook at (954) 757-5551 or by e-mail at [email protected] J. Brook Coral SpringsArticle V Articles claim that the Bar, negotiating with our legislature, is considering trading exclusive jurisdiction of our Supreme Court to discipline lawyers — under Art. V, §15 of Florida’s Constitution — for giving the Bar more input, in selecting judges. This is a bad bargain.We should remember how it was, when Article V passed in 1956: In 1948-49, we established a unified, integrated Bar.“In 1950, a young lawyer, defending a black man in Florida, had the audacity to refer to his client as ‘mister,’ an act that so outraged the justice of the peace, the lawyer was cited for contempt and jailed.” June 1, 2003 Letters June 1, 2003 Regular Newscenter_img On December 25, 1951, a terrorist bomb killed the head of Florida’s NAACP, Harry T. Moore, and his wife Harriette, in their home.In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court declared segregated public schools unconstitutional, Brown v. Board of Ed., 347 U.S. 483 (1954). Legal authorities from several southern states promptly implemented a strategy of “massive resistance” in the courts, to racial integration.“In…1958, the [Florida Legislative Investigation] Committee was…investigati[ng] the existence, or nonexistence of so-called subversive activities in and against the State of Florida. They subpoenaed. . . the membership lists, books and records of NAACP,” Gibson v. Legislative Investigation Committee, 108 So.2d 729 (Fla.1958).And in 1956, Florida voters approved Article V. (Though Gibson ruled the NAACP’s lawyer had to provide the NAACP’s membership list, its lawyer was not professionally disciplined, when he refused.)Bar leaders ran real risks in the ’50s, to support Article V. These “Good Old Boys” were often solo practitioners from conservative small towns. Some had to face down the Klan.When we hear that “our courts should be more responsive to the will of the people,” we should recall Edward R. Murrow’s 1954 broadcast on Senator Joseph McCarthy:“We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine; and remember that we are not descended from fearful men. Not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were for the moment unpopular.. . . We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result.”John P. Fenner Boca Raton Editor’s Note: There are no bills filed in either the House or Senate that would dilute the Supreme Court’s exclusive authority to regulate the legal profession or expand the Bar’s role in the judicial nominating process.Medical Malpractice I have practiced law in Florida for approximately 35 years both as a prosecuting attorney and trial lawyer and enjoy reading The Florida Bar News. However, It is disturbing to me that the News has failed to identify and report the actions of certain members of the Florida Legislature intent on eliminating or, at the very least, severely restricting the rights of victims for full and adequate compensation in civil proceedings. These matters constitute an attack on our jury system which we as lawyers have taken an oath to support and defend.The assault led by a coalition of business, insurance and medical interests are directing their attack on Florida’s families in the medical malpractice, workers’ compensation and automobile liability claims areas. In reality, these private interests are defaming well-intentioned citizens who diligently perform their civic duty as jurors across the state, and our many fine jurists who preside over these civil cases. In the most simplistic terms, the medical interest by attacking the jury system is suggesting that citizens or their peers are not smart enough to serve on malpractice cases, and further, that somehow judges are part of this conspiracy by failing to address “excessive verdicts” by remittur. Jurors can sit in criminal cases and judge innocence or guilt and make recommendations in capital cases reference death or life in prison, but somehow these same citizens who give of their time to serve the administration of justice are blinded when it comes to jury service in malpractice cases The medical and hospital industry does not understand or want to understand the checks and balances that are presently built into the system by way of motions for new trial or appellate review.What is disturbing is that very little is heard from The Florida Bar in the way of public service announcements or other communications supporting the jury system and our tort system in general. In addition, The Florida Bar needs to be proactive, offering solutions to the issues raised by the health care industry in Florida which do not restrict citizens’ access to justice in the courts. For example, regulating insurance carriers offering malpractice insurance, requiring physicians to carry liability insurance thereby increasing the premium pool, and providing state subsidies to competent physicians who can demonstrate financial need related to the payment of malpractice premiums, among other alternatives, may be possible solutions, If we stand moot, and more importantly if the Bar does not take a strong stance against the attack on our system, we will have little reason to complain when there is nothing we can offer our clients because the fact finders are now administrative bureaucrats rather than public-minded citizens serving on juries who have no interest but to fairly and impartially judge the disputed facts in a given case.While I applaud The Florida Bar in its efforts to improve the image and perception of lawyers, it is equally important for the Bar to vigorously stand up and support the jury system and our trial judges, as our judicial system, contrary to its critics, continues to serve as a model for the rest of the world.Richard A Hirsch Tampa Mentoringlast_img read more

Pot execs testify about being shut out of the financial system: It’s ‘federal chaos’

first_img continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The Senate Banking Committee heard firsthand on Tuesday about the cannabis industry’s challenges in accessing the U.S. financial system—obstacles that have scared banks away from dealing with the industry and forced cannabis companies across the country to operate as cash businesses.Both banking and marijuana industry participants testified before the committee’s “Challenges for Cannabis and Banking: Outside Perspectives” hearing in Washington, where the conversation centered around Secure And Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2019. The bill would provide banks and financial institutions with a “safe harbor” from federal regulations prohibiting them from working with cannabis-related businesses, so long as they do so in states where marijuana is legal.The hearing also featured testimony from Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), who are co-sponsoring the Senate version of the bill and discussed what the legislation aims to achieve—namely, rectifying a situation where the federal prohibition on cannabis means that marijuana cultivators and retailers are often deprived of even the most basic banking services, and even the “ancillary” businesses that provide them with products and services can find themselves subject to sanctions.last_img read more

The Port of Dubrovnik Authority rejected the offer for the construction of the port of Gruž

first_imgThe Governing Board of the Dubrovnik Port Authority concluded at a session held at the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure that it maintains its previous position that the formal and legal conditions for concluding a concession agreement for the Gruž terminal with the Turkish-French consortium Dubrovnik International Cruise Port Investment (DICPI) ).Director Dubrovnik Port Authority Blaž Pezo said that according to that conclusion there are no legal elements, and in accordance with the current procedure, that the contract on the construction of the port terminal will be signed with a potential concessionaire on Monday, October 9. “According to the current legal analysis of the law firm we hired, not all the prerequisites for signing the contract have been met”, Said Pezo.Last week, DICPI launched a conciliation process in which the Dubrovnik Port Authority will participate. “If no agreement is reached in that procedure, according to their announcements, they will initiate arbitration. We are ready for that arbitrationSaid Pezo. Pezo pointed out that he considered unfounded the possible request of DICPI for compensation in the amount of HRK 920 million. Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butković once pointed out that the pre-contract was terminated, among other things, because they asked the DICPI for state guarantees for the terminal project, which was completely contrary to the terms of the concession tender.Source: HRTRelated news: Fewer trips, passengers and days of stay of foreign ships for cruiseslast_img read more

Do you follow the schedule of school holidays in emitting markets?

first_imgBehind us are two July weekends that brought congestion on major road routes.This situation will continue this weekend as announced by HAK, because many Croatian citizens will go on vacation, and school holidays will begin in parts of the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany. Many will choose one of the tourist centers on the Adriatic or will pass through Croatia to destinations in Eastern Europe.Last year we noticed that many tourists avoid traveling on weekends, ie Saturdays and Sundays due to heavy crowds, and choose to go and return from vacation on Friday or Monday, and this practice has continued this year.HAK points out that they expect increased traffic during Friday, July 13, until Monday, July 16, and the peak is expected on Saturday, July 14 (5:00 – 17:00), from the morning in the direction of the sea, and from noon in the direction of the interior. During Sunday, July 15, heavier traffic is expected in the afternoon in the inland direction, and especially between 9:00 and 15:00. During Friday, the biggest traffic jams will be at the border crossings with Slovenia, and on the A3 Bregana-Lipovac highway in the east direction.WELCOME YOUR GUESTS WITH REFRESHMENT As we know, over 85% of tourists come to Croatia by road, so they travel for hours just to come to Croatia, welcome them with coffee, juice, lemonade, beer, wine… and some snacks, preferably homemade food, such as prosciutto, bread and tomato or any other indigenous product.Just put yourself in their role and imagine traveling with children in a crowded car all over Europe, for five, six or more hours. Put yourself in their role and everything will be clear to you.Guests will be exhausted throughout the trip and that little token of attention will show how much you care about them, and they will know how to appreciate it.Cool their room, greet them with coffee, let them care about your guests. And tourists are people, right?CALENDAR OF HOLIDAYS AND HOLIDAYS ON BROADCAST MARKETSKnowing our guests and emitting markets is crucial.If you have not used or followed the calendar of holidays in our emitting markets so far, then it is high time to start doing so. Just when the holidays are the most traveled, and in order to be able to better prepare, you must follow the market, in order to offer targeted content in that period and thus attract guests.The calendar of holidays and celebrations on emitting markets is regularly published on the website of the Croatian National Tourist Board, although it is already too late for this year, and preparations for the next tourist season have already begun. Also, on the CNTB website, there is a profile of emitting markets with quality information in decision-making and strategic planning of public and private sector entities in the Croatian tourism industry.Side dish:1.  Calendar of holidays and celebrations in emitting markets 2018.2. Emitting market profilesFinns travel the most to the EUIt is also interesting to note that according to the data European Statistical Office, almost two thirds of the population, or 62% of them, can afford a multi – day trip once a year in the European Union.A third travel abroad, but most still spend their holidays in one of the domestic tourist destinations. The most active tourist nations are the Finns, where only 8,6% of the population does not travel, followed by the Dutch, Luxembourgers, Czechs and Danes. Also, it should be noted that the EU average in terms of inactive population is 37,9%,TOMAS SUMMER 2017 – Enogastronomy, sports, health and other forms of tourism are increasingly important motives for the arrival of guestsThe research was conducted by the Institute of Tourism from July to October 2017 in seven coastal counties, covering 67 major places along the coast and on islands on a sample of 5.950 respondents from 18 emitting markets. Through this research, data on the socio-demographic structure of guests, characteristics of travel and stay in the destination, consumption and guest satisfaction with our tourist offer were collected and analyzed.The results of the survey conducted in 2017 showed visible changes in the attitudes and consumption of tourists in Croatia compared to 2014, when this survey was last conducted.Attachment: “ATTITUDES AND CONSUMPTION OF TOURISTS IN CROATIA – TOMAS SUMMER 2017.”last_img read more