Thursday, October 21, 2021

China's COVID-19 Outbreaks Continue

Medical worker collects a swab from a resident at a nucleic acid testing site in Lanzhou. © Reuters/STRINGER  

Reuters: China's COVID-19 outbreak grows as cities race to trace infections 

BEIJING, Oct 20 (Reuters) - China reported a fourth day of new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases in a handful of cities across China, prompting alarmed local governments to double down on efforts to track potential carriers amid the country's zero-tolerance policy. 

A total of 17 new local cases were reported for Oct. 19, up from nine a day earlier, data from the National Health Commission (NHC) showed on Wednesday. The new cases were reported in eight cities and administrative divisions, more than four for Oct. 18, the bulk of which were in northern and northwestern China. 

Three separate cases were also reported in recent days in the south and southwest of China. Among the cases was one in the capital city Beijing, which is busy gearing up for its hosting of the 2022 Winter Games in February, where officials vowed stringent efforts against the virus. 

 Read more ....  

Update: Parts of northern China brace for more COVID-19 lockdowns and curbs (Reuters)  

WNU Editor: The numbers that are being reported from China are still incredibly low. But the fear in Beijing is that if restrictions are lifted, these outbreaks will explode. 

My friends in China are telling me that this policy of having zero Covid cases is not sustainable and that it will need to change. It is damaging the country's economy and disrupting social peace. Their prediction is that after the Beijing Olympics are over (February 2022), Beijing will loosen restrictions, and will try to live with the disease.

WHO Warns Covid-19 Pandemic Will Drag On Deep Into 2022

BBC: Covid: WHO warns pandemic will drag on deep into 2022 

The Covid pandemic will "go on for a year longer than it needs to" because poorer countries are not getting the vaccines they need, the World Health Organization (WHO) says. Dr Bruce Aylward, senior leader at the WHO, said it meant the Covid crisis could "easily drag on deep into 2022". 

Less than 5% of Africa's population have been vaccinated, compared to 40% on most other continents. The UK has delivered more than 10 million vaccines to countries in need. It has pledged a total of 100 million.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The WHO's rational behind this warning is that vaccines are not reaching populations that need it the most .... Only 14% of promised Covid vaccine doses reach poorest nations (The Guardian).

U.S. Business Pundits Are Acknowledging That Inflation Is Now A Major Problem


Mediaite: Jim Cramer Says ‘Astounding’ Inflation ‘Much Worse’ Than Thought: ‘Just Unbelievable’ 

CNBC on Wednesday spoke with hedge fund manager and Robin Hood Foundation founder Paul Tudor Jones, who said that inflation is “much worse than we fear.” A short time later on Squawk Box, CNBC’s Jim Cramer agreed with Jones’ assessment, and added a few more dire words to the mix. 

Host Rebecca Quick asked Cramer about inflation, a major topic of the day in finance. 

“Let’s talk about inflation and where things stand right now,” she said. “Let’s talk about the questions that investors are kind of wondering right now. If you’re worried about inflation, it’s a huge, huge issue.” 

Cramer agreed it’s a huge issue. He also brought up Jones talking about it earlier in the day and agreed with that, too. 

 “Yeah. I mean, look, I think Paul Tudor Jones, as always, is right about inflation. It’s much worse than we thought,” he said. “I keep hoping that the capacity will come on and make it so that it’s not as bad, but it just can’t seem to come on as fast enough.”  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Inflation is not a U.S. problem. Canada's inflation was reported this week, and it is the worse in 18 years. My friends in Europe are all telling me the same thing .... prices are waaaayyyy up. Same thing in Russia. Same thing throughout Asia. Talk from government officials and much of the media that this is all going to be transitory does not match what is happening on the ground.

More Word Salad From President Biden

Washington Examiner: Biden serves up word salad, appearing to say he rode Amtrak as vice president for 36 years 

President Joe Biden fumbled his words during a Wednesday speech, appearing to say he commuted on Amtrak for 36 years as vice president. 

His latest word salad came as Biden delivered an address in Scranton, Pennsylvania. "I commuted [on Amtrak] every single day for 36 years as vice president of the United States after my wife and daughter were killed, I went home to see my family, never stopped," Biden said.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Sad to say I have become use to President Biden being incomprehensible when he goes off his script, and it is now happening in every speech that he gives. 

What I am more focused on is his administration's message and vision of the future (see below):

In Defense Of Funding Our Defense

Thought For Today

WNU editor: This is what lack of leadership looks like.

Tweets Of The Day

Picture Of The Day

A new submarine-launched ballistic missile is seen during a test in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency on October 19, 2021. KCNA via REUTERS 

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... In pictures: North Korea's missiles (Reuters).

NATO Defense Ministers Agree To A Master Plan To Deter Russia

Flags of Alliance members flap in the wind outside NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)  

Reuters: NATO to agree master plan to deter growing Russian threat, diplomats say 

BRUSSELS -- NATO defense ministers are set to agree a new master plan on Thursday to defend against any potential Russian attack on multiple fronts, reasserting a bid to deter Moscow despite the alliance's new focus on China, diplomats and officials said. 

The strategy, which is confidential, goes beyond existing regional defense plans and aims to prepare for any simultaneous attack in the Baltic and Black Sea regions, possibly including nuclear weapons, hacking of computer networks or from space. 

Officials and diplomats say no such attack is imminent. Russia denies any war-like intentions and says it is NATO that risks destabilizing Europe with such preparations. 

But U.S. officials, NATO diplomats and former officials say the "Concept for Deterrence and Defence in the Euro-Atlantic Area" - and its strategic implementation plan - is needed as Russia develops advanced weapon systems and deploys troops and equipment closer to allied borders.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: NATO is looking for a mission.

Little Is Known About Mossad's New Boss

David Barnea Spy Talk: Mossad’s New Boss is a Gadget-Loving Killing Machine  

David Barnea warned Iran the “long arm of Mossad” isn’t finished with it.  

David Barnea is going to walk softly and carry a big stick—or so he’s been saying to Mossad’s workforce and alumni. 

The new head of Israel’s storied foreign intelligence agency recently sent a stern directive to its former senior intelligence officials: Keep your mouths shut until I say you can open them. 

According to Yossi Melman, a veteran intelligence reporter for the independent Israeli daily Haaretz, Barnea warned former senior Mossad officials that he would punish anyone who speaks to the media, either on or off the record, about current or past Israeli spy operations without his prior permission. 

“Which he probably won’t grant,” Melman told SpyTalk.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: There is very little information on Mossad chief David Barnea. He has been at the job for five months, and he is still a mystery.