Thursday, October 29, 2020

Two People Are Beheaded and Several Others Wounded in Terrorist Knife Rampage at a Church in Nice before Attacker Is Shot and Arrested

MAIL ONLINE: Three killed - two of them beheaded - and several more stabbed in a terror attack at a cathedral in Nice / Attack began around 9am before police swarmed the area, where they shot and arrested the attacker / Mass had just begun inside cathedral - largest Roman Catholic church in France - when attack started / Comes fortnight after teacher was beheaded near Paris; a month after stabbings near Charlie Hebdo offices

At least three people have been killed - two of them beheaded - and several others stabbed in a terrorist knife attack at a cathedral in Nice.

The attack began around 9am, according to local reports, before police swarmed the area where they shot and arrested the attacker.

The city's mayor, Christian Estrosi, tweeted: 'I am on site with the [police] who arrested the perpetrator of the attack.

'I confirm that everything suggests a terrorist attack in the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Nice.' » | Chris Pleasance for Mail Online and Peter Allen in Paris for Mail Online | Thursday, October 29, 2020

President Donald Trump: The 60 Minutes – 2020 Election Interview

In an interview that's made headlines this week, Lesley Stahl presses President Trump on once-again rising coronavirus cases and what his priorities would be if re-elected. Stahl also speaks with Mr. Trump's running mate, Vice President Mike Pence.

Streit um Mohammed-Karikaturen: Erdogan spricht von Kreuzzügen des Westens

TAGES ANZEIGER: Der türkische Präsident wirft bestimmten Staaten vor, den Islam zu attackieren. Vor allem Frankreichs Regierung ist ihm ein Dorn im Auge.

Im Streit mit Frankreich über Mohammed-Karikaturen und Meinungsfreiheit wirft der türkische Präsident Recep Tayyip Erdogan bestimmten Ländern eine «Neuauflage der Kreuzzüge» vor. Diese würden von westlichen Staaten geplant, die den Islam attackierten, sagte Erdogan am Mittwoch in einer Rede vor Abgeordneten seiner Partei AKP. Sich gegen Angriffe auf den Propheten Mohammed zu stemmen, sei «eine Frage der Ehre». » | REUTERS/SDA/fal | Mittwoch, 28. Oktober 2020

Von der Leyen: „Dieses Weihnachten wird sehr anders“

EU-Kommissionspräsidentin Ursula von der Leyen stimmt die Bürger der Gemeinschaft angesichts der Corona-Pandemie auf ein „sehr anderes Weihnachten“ ein. Europa stecke mitten in der zweiten Corona-Welle und der Ausgang der Krise hänge von jedem einzelnen ab, sagte von der Leyen. © AFP, AP

Keilar Calls Out Trump's 'Tone- deaf' Plea to Suburban Women

President Donald Trump offered his latest appeal to suburban women, promising to get their husbands "back to work" if he's reelected. CNN's Brianna Keilar calls out Trump's history of sexist and outdated comments.

The US Electoral System Is a Shambles. They Could Learn a Lot from Australia

THE GUARDIAN: Systemic voter suppression and rules still being set for an election within days – this is American exceptionalism

On Monday night the US supreme court voted five to three against allowing more days for counting absentee ballots in Wisconsin. Given difficulties in the postal service, Democrats wanted to see ballots that are cast before close of voting on 3 November received and counted for another six days. This decision, only a week before election day, follows a supreme court decision on 19 October, by four votes to four, to decline a bid by state Republican legislators to stop the count in Pennsylvania extending three days. But following Monday’s confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett, this could be revisited.

Astonishingly, the US is still settling rules for an election due within days. And a national election is being conducted with a patchwork of state laws and regulations. Further, elected state officials – Republican or Democrat office holders – are making decisions about who goes on the roll, how many voting machines go where and how long postal votes will be counted.

And all subject to appeal to an acutely partisan court.

This is American exceptionalism. It confirms the proposition that the US is simply not a democracy, not in the sense western Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Canada are democracies. The point is already made by the electoral college, which in two of the past five presidential elections transmuted Democratic majorities – half a million for Al Gore, 3m for Hillary Clinton – into Republican wins. » | Bob Carr | Thursday, October 29, 2020

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Coronavirus: Macron Declares Second National Lockdown in France

BBC: French President Emmanuel Macron has announced a second national lockdown for at least until the end of November.

Mr Macron said that under the new measures, starting on Friday, people would only be allowed to leave home for essential work or medical reasons.

Non-essential businesses, such as restaurants and bars, will close, but schools and factories will remain open.

Covid daily deaths in France are at the highest level since April. On Tuesday, 33,000 new cases were confirmed.

Mr Macron said the country risked being "overwhelmed by a second wave that no doubt will be harder than the first". » | Wednesday, October 28, 2020

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Address | Harvard Commencement 2019

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's address at the annual meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association at the 368th Harvard Commencement on May 30, 2019.

Erdogan-Karikatur: Türkischer Präsident tobt über Charlie Hebdo

Im Streit zwischen der Türkei und Frankreich um Meinungsfreiheit und den Islam streut „Charlie Hebdo“ Salz in die Wunden: Das französische Satireblatt druckt auf der Titelseite eine Karikatur von Recep Tayyip Erdogan ab. Der türkische Präsident schäumt. © AFP, DPA

Erdogans Boykottaufruf findet Rückhalt in Muslimischer Welt | DW Nachrichten

Weltweit empören sich Muslime über die islamkritischen Äußerungen von Frankreichs Präsident Emmanuel Macron. An die Spitze der Proteste gegen Frankreich hat sich der türkische Präsident Tayyip Recep Erdogan gestellt. Er fordert den Boykott französischer Produkte und griff Macron mit persönlichen Beleidigungen an.

Muslim Countries Denounce French Response to Killing of Teacher, Urge Boycott

THE NEW YORK TIMES: While the government’s moves against extremism have public support, they have opened France to criticism that its relationship with its Muslim citizens has taken an ugly turn.

BRUSSELS — Since a young Muslim beheaded a French schoolteacher who had shown caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in a class, France has conducted dozens of raids against suspected Islamic extremists, closed a major mosque and shut down some Muslim aid groups.

In France, a nation still traumatized by some 36 Islamic State-inspired terrorist attacks in the last eight years, including two that together killed more than 200 people, those broad measures have found widespread support. President Emmanuel Macron, a fierce defender of French secularism and the right to free speech, went as far as to suggest that Islam was in need of an Enlightenment, and his interior minister spoke of a “civil war.”

In the Muslim world, these actions, and the tone coming from top French officials, have opened France to criticism that the nation’s complicated, post-colonial relationship with its six million Muslim citizens has taken an ugly turn. Leading the condemnation has been President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, who called Mr. Macron mentally damaged in a speech over the weekend. “Macron needs mental treatment,” he said. “What is the problem of this person Macron with Muslims and Islam?” » | Steven Erlanger | Published Oct. 27, 2020; Updated Oct. 28, 2020

Anger towards Emmanuel Macron Grows in Muslim World

THE GUARDIAN: Protests take place in several countries against French president in aftermath of crackdown

On the front page of a hardline Iranian newspaper, he was the “Demon of Paris”. In the streets of Dhaka he was decried as a leader who “worships Satan”. Outside Baghdad’s French embassy, a likeness of Emmanuel Macron was burned along with France’s flag.

Rage is growing across the Muslim world at the French president and his perceived attacks on Islam and the prophet Muhammad, leading to calls for boycotts of the French products and security warnings for France’s citizens in majority-Muslim states.

The backlash has cut across an extraordinarily diverse Muslim world with a myriad of cultures, sects, political systems and levels of economic development. It has stoked historical and present-day grievances from the markets of Herat in Afghanistan to the upmarket neighbourhoods of Amman and the universities of Islamabad. » | Michael Safi in Beirut, Redwan Ahmed in Dhaka, Akhtar Mohammad Makoii in Herat and Shah Meer Baloch in Islamabad | Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The Guardian View on the 2020 US Elections: It’s Time to Dump Trump. America’s Only Hope Is Joe Biden

THE GUARDIAN: Four years of deranged and unpredictable behaviour is proof that the current US president is uniquely unsuited to the job

Donald Trump’s presidency has been a horror show that is ending with a pandemic that is out of control, an economic recession and deepening political polarisation. Mr Trump is the author of this disastrous denouement. He is also the political leader least equipped to deal with it. Democracy in the United States has been damaged by Mr Trump’s first term. It may not survive four more years.

If the Guardian had a vote, it would be cast to elect Joe Biden as president next Tuesday. Mr Biden has what it takes to lead the United States. Mr Trump does not. Mr Biden cares about his nation’s history, its people, its constitutional principles and its place in the world. Mr Trump does not. Mr Biden wants to unite a divided country. Mr Trump stokes an anger that is wearing it down.

The Republican presidential nominee is not, and has never been, a fit and proper person for the presidency. He has been credibly accused of rape. He displays a brazen disregard for legal norms. In office, he has propagated lies and ignorance. It is astonishing that his financial interests appear to sway his outlook on the national interest. His government is cruel and mean. It effectively sanctioned the kidnapping and orphaning of migrant children by detaining them and deporting their parents. He has vilified whistleblowers and venerated war criminals.

Mr Trump trades in racism, misogyny, homophobia and transphobia. Telling the Proud Boys, a far-right group that has endorsed violence, to “stand back and stand by” was, in the words of Mr Biden, “a dog whistle about as big as a foghorn”. From the Muslim ban to building a wall on the Mexican border, the president is grounding his base in white supremacy. With an agenda of corporate deregulation and tax giveaways for the rich, Mr Trump is filling the swamp, not draining it. » | Guardian view | Tuesday, October 27, 2020


In 8 days, we’ll make sure this story has a happy ending.


America, you deserve an adult for president. Not a baby.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Anger Spreads in Islamic World after Macron's Backing for Muhammad Cartoons

THE GUARDIAN: Calls for boycott of French goods after president’s remarks at tribute to murdered teacher Samuel Paty

France has appealed for foreign governments to stamp out calls by what it calls a “radical minority” for a boycott of French products after Emmanuel Macron’s public backing of the Muhammad caricatures.

The appeal came as anger escalated across the Islamic world over the president’s remarks at a national tribute to the murdered high-school teacher Samuel Paty last week, with Turkish leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, calling on Monday for a complete boycott of French products in Turkey.

Paty, 47, was killed after he showed his class drawings of the prophet during a debate on free speech.

After Macron promised France would not “renounce the caricatures”, a furious riposte that emerged on Friday on social media under Arabic hashtags gained momentum over the weekend. » | Kim Willsher in Paris | Monday, October 26, 2020

The World This Week: France Teacher Attack, Trump-Biden Debate, Thailand & Nigeria Protests, EU 'Veggie' Burger Row

Samuel Paty was beheaded by an 18-year old who had to pay pupils to identify his victim, this after a row over a civics class on free speech that included cartoons of the prophet spiraled into a social media campaign against the teacher. How does Emmanuel Macron plan to protect other "faces of the Republic"? To the US next, where the last presidential looked like the calm before the storm... We take a look at youth-driven protests in Nigeria and Thailand. Also, the European Parliament has sided with vegetarians and environmentalists against the beef industry.

Ivanka Trump Could Be Facing Major Investigations If Daddy Loses the Election

Ethics watchdogs are warning that Ivanka Trump could be facing some very serious investigations if her dad loses the upcoming election. Ivanka has had multiple different complaints filed against her over the years while she's been in the White House, but without the protection of her father, she won't be able to continue to dodge all of the complaints and questions headed her way. Ring of Fire's Farron Cousins explains what's happening.

Coronavirus: How My Mum Became a Conspiracy Theory Influencer

Read the article here »

Democrats Hold Senate Floor Overnight to Protest Amy Coney Barrett Confirmation

The US Senate on Saturday and Sunday will debate Donald Trump's supreme court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett. Democrats are expressing outrage at the vacancy being filled so close to the election, but with a 53-47 majority, Republicans have the votes they need to approve her

A Joe Biden White House Will Have Little Time and Less Love for ‘Britain’s Trump’

THE GUARDIAN: If he becomes the next US president, who will be Mr Biden’s ‘special friend’ in Europe? Certainly not Boris Johnson

When the long race for the White House ends, another begins: the sprint to be the first European leader to be granted an audience by the new US president. In 2016, Theresa May was distraught to have got a wooden spoon in the competition to put in an early congratulatory telephone call to Trump Tower. That made her even more neuralgic about beating a path to Washington ahead of her European rivals. Mrs May had to throw in the promise of a Trump state visit to the UK – I rather rudely called it “pimping out the Queen” – to ensure that she got to the White House first.

This desperation can make British prime ministers look pathetically needy, but there is a reason why they set so much store by displays of proximity with the Oval Office. How important a prime minister is to the United States, the planet’s largest economy and most potent military force, sends a message about how much influence the UK wields in the world. So it is telling that Number 10 is resigned to the prospect that Boris Johnson will not be the first name on Joe Biden’s call sheet if he becomes the 46th president. Nor is there any expectation that Mr Johnson will be first in line when they hand out invitations to the White House. He has already quit a race UK prime ministers are usually pretty good at winning. » | Andrew Rawnsley | Sunday, October 25, 2020

France Urges Arab Nations to Prevent Boycotts over Macron's Cartoons Defence

BBC: France has urged Middle Eastern countries to prevent any boycott of its goods in protest at President Emmanuel Macron's defence of the right to show cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

The French foreign ministry said the "baseless" calls for a boycott were being "pushed by a radical minority".

French products have been removed from some shops in Kuwait, Jordan and Qatar.

Meanwhile, protests have been seen in Libya, Syria and the Gaza Strip.

The backlash stems from comments made by Mr Macron after the gruesome murder of a French teacher who showed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in class.

The president said the teacher, Samuel Paty, "was killed because Islamists want our future", but France would "not give up our cartoons". » | Sunday, October 25, 2020

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Trump's America | DW Documentary

The US in the 2020 election year is a country deep in crisis. It’s been torn apart by the debate on racism, and millions have been infected with the coronavirus. On top of that, its president is pouring oil on the flames with his Twitter tirades.

At the beginning of the year, things were looking good for Donald Trump: the economy was doing well, unemployment figures were at a 50-year low, his job approval rating was rising, and the Democrats were preoccupied with themselves. But then came the coronavirus, a hazard that the president initially made light of, saying it would miraculously disappear. Instead of a miracle, the crisis hit the United States harder than any other country. The economy is in the doldrums. And COVID-19 is making the shortcomings of the health care system glaringly obvious.

Black Americans have been hit harder by the coronavirus than most. A higher proportion of them work in low-wage jobs that offer little protection against the virus, and they are less likely to have health insurance. The rage expressed in demonstrations against racism is being fuelled by the corona crisis and the mass unemployment it has triggered across the US.

It is hard to imagine that the economy will recover quickly - despite the trillions of dollars Trump is giving to companies. It is also hard to imagine that the millions of unemployed will have jobs again by the time the election is held.

Filmmakers Claudia Buckenmaier and Marion Schmickler traveled through the swing states of Arizona, Wisconsin and Michigan and asked people how the economic and health crisis is affecting them. What hopes do voters have going into November’s election? The bitter dispute between Republicans and Democrats and Donald Trump’s divisive style of government has brought democracy in the US to brink of the abyss. The distrust is so great that the Democrats even expect that Trump will reject the election result if he loses. Unimaginable? The Democrats seem to be preparing for exactly this scenario.

When Five Cambridge University Students Became Soviet Spies | Secrets Of War | Timeline

They were five disillusioned young men studying at Cambridge University in the 1930's when they were secretly recruited by Soviet agents. They went on to become the most successful spies of the 20th century, penetrating both American and British governments at the highest levels.

We French Love Our History Teachers – Samuel Paty Made Us Remember Why

THE GUARDIAN: Religion struck another blow against freedom of thought with the vicious murder of a man whose mission was to civilise

Since that fateful morning of 7 January 2015, and the Charlie Hebdo massacre, it sometimes feels as if we French are living our lives between terrorist assaults, each as vile as the previous but each more poignant in its viciousness and symbolism. When we think this can’t get any worse, a new attack proves us wrong.

In the past five years, Islamists in France have targeted and murdered journalists, cartoonists, policemen and women, soldiers, Jews, young people at a concert, football fans, families at a Bastille Day fireworks show, an 86-year-old priest celebrating mass in his little Normandy church, tourists at a Christmas market... the list goes on.

Last week, a history teacher was beheaded while walking back home from his school, in the quiet town of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, halfway between Paris and Giverny. The speed with which we learned the facts sharpened the blow, deepened our emotions and focused our minds. » | Agnès Poirier * | Sunday, October 25, 2020

• Agnès Poirier is a Paris-based political commentator, writer and critic

France Recalls Ambassador from Turkey after 'Unacceptable' Erdogan Comments

France on Saturday said it was recalling its envoy to Turkey for consultations after comments by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggesting French counterpart Emmanuel Macron needed a mental health check-up that Paris condemned as unacceptable.

France recalls ambassador to Turkey after Erdoğan questions Macron's mental state »

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Spanish Flu: A Warning from History (November 2018)

100 years ago, celebrations marking the end of the First World War were cut short by the onslaught of a devastating disease - the 1918-19 influenza pandemic. Its early origins and initial geographical starting point still remain a mystery, but in the summer of 1918, there was a second wave of a far more virulent form of the influenza virus than anyone could have anticipated. Soon dubbed ‘Spanish Flu’ after its effects were reported in the country’s newspapers, the virus rapidly spread across much of the globe to become one of the worst natural disasters in human history. To mark the centenary and to highlight vital scientific research, the University of Cambridge has made a new film exploring what we have learnt about Spanish Flu, the urgent threat posed by influenza today, and how scientists are preparing for future pandemics.

Cooper: Trump's Accountability Had Lifespan of Fruit Fly

CNN's Anderson Cooper discusses how President Trump's coronavirus response has failed as the country is looking towards hundreds of thousands of more deaths in the coming months if nothing changes.

Coronavirus: European Leaders Tighten Measures as WHO Warns of Pandemic Juncture

The World Health Organization has warned of a 'critical juncture' of the pandemic, particularly in the northern hemisphere and urged heads of state to take action to reduce the spread of Covid-19. European leaders have increased restrictions as cases have continued rising. Wales has started a two-week 'firebreak' lockdown and Portugal's parliament has passed a law making it mandatory to wear face masks in many outdoor situations Coronavirus live news: Wales 'firebreak' lockdown begins; Spanish PM says cases closer to 3m

"A Barrett Confirmation Is a Catastrophe": What Democrats Can Do to Block Trump's Supreme Court Pick

Fordham law professor Zephyr Teachout says Senate Democrats can still block the confirmation of President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, if they use every possible procedural method available to them to slow and frustrate the process. "A Barrett confirmation is a catastrophe," Teachout says. "A 6-3 majority on the court is basically a bomb coming at what is left of our protections against corruption in politics, against corporate money, against what is left of the Voting Rights Act."

Friday, October 23, 2020

Trump and Biden Face-off in Final Presidential Debate in Nashville – in Full

US President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden have faced-off in the final presidential debate ahead of the Presidential election on November 3.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Ronald Reagan's Son: We Have Grifters in the White House

Ron Reagan, son of former President Ronald Reagan and former first lady Nancy Reagan, tells CNN's Ana Cabrera that his father would "be horrified" by the Republican Party of today. He added that the Trump children are profiting off of their father's presidency as "grifters."

Poland Rules Abortion Due to Foetal Defects Unconstitutional

THE GUARDIAN: Constitutional court’s ruling could pave way for governing PiS party to move ahead with legislative ban

Poland’s constitutional tribunal has ruled that abortion due to foetal defects is unconstitutional, rejecting the most common of the few legal grounds for pregnancy termination in the predominantly Catholic country.

The chief justice, Julia Przyłębska, said in a ruling that existing legislation – one of Europe’s most restrictive – that allows for the abortion of malformed foetuses was “incompatible” with the constitution.

After the ruling goes into effect, abortion will only be permissible in Poland in the case of rape, incest or a threat to the mother’s health and life, which make up only about 2% of legal terminations conducted in recent years.

The verdict drew immediate condemnation from the Council of Europe, whose commissioner for human rights, Dunja Mijatović, called it “a sad day for women’s rights”.

“Removing the basis for almost all legal abortions in Poland amounts to a ban and violates human rights,” Mijatović tweeted.

“Today’s ruling ... means underground/abroad abortions for those who can afford and even greater ordeal for all others.” » | Staff and agencies in Warsaw | Thursday, October 22, 2020

US signs anti-abortion declaration with group of largely authoritarian governments »

The Christian fundamentalists are plunging the West into darkness! Does Poland really belong in the European Union? Further, should we be looking to America for leadership anymore? – Mark


Barack Obama Likens Donald Trump to 'Crazy Uncle' in Joe Biden Rally Speech

”Trump isn't going to protect us”: Obama returns to campaign trail for Biden »

Coronavirus: How Well Do Patients Recover from It? | COVID-19 Special

Two-to-six weeks: That's the typical recovery time for a Covid-19 patient, according to the World Health Organization. But not for all. Researchers are trying to figure out why some patients experience the disease more seriously and suffer more long-term consequences. Here's the story of one such case.