Author Archive: Charlie Barnett

The new strain of virus spread strongly in the UK even though it was tightly blocked

A new strain of the corona virus is driving up the number of new infections in the UK, despite strict blockade measures in place across the country.

Data released by the UK government shows that the country had 53,285 new infections in the first day of January 1, and 613 deaths. During the past week, the number of deaths due to disease in the UK was 3,876, the Financial Times reported.

According to a study by Imperial London University, the new strain of the virus causes the infection rate to be at 1.1-1.3, which is an increase of about 0.4-0.7 compared to previous versions of the virus. In order for the number of new infections to begin decreasing, the infection rate needs to remain below 1.

“The infection rate in the Southeast was previously 0.9 during the blockade, but with the new strain, the infection rate was 1.5 even after the blockade, resulting in new infections outbreaks. Our situation is serious now,” said Deepti Gurdasani, professor of epidemiology from Queen Mary University.

The new strain spreads more commonly among people under the age of 20. However, in recent weeks it has spread rapidly among the older population. Infection rates are less likely to drop below 1 if schools remain open, the Imperial College London study found.

In the latest effort to curb the spread of the virus, Education Minister Gavin Williamson has ordered that all elementary schools in London continue to be closed next week. Even so, the authorities said there would be no change to the nation’s school opening policy in January.

Ms. Meera Chand, an official at the British Center for Public Health, said studies have shown evidence of the more contagious potential of the new virus strain, and advised people to strictly adhere to distance method.

The new strain of the virus put heavy pressure on the UK government’s efforts to distribute vaccines. Experts warn that the current rate of virus delivery is not enough to change the course of the disease.

Health Minister Matt Hancock on January 1 said that 1 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed to date. The UK government aims to continue distributing 2 million doses of the vaccine next week, up seven times from current levels.

Australia moves to anger China amid tensions

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison gained new powers, able to veto or cancel agreements reached by state governments with other countries.

The move could have a major hindrance to China’s Belt and Road initiative (BRI), amid rising tensions between Canberra and Beijing.

According to Bloomberg, new laws passed by the Australian parliament on December 8 will give the government the ability to suspend new or previously signed agreements between foreign governments and eight states and territories. Australia, as well as with local governments and universities.

The Morrison administration will be able to prevent or reduce foreign involvement in areas such as infrastructure, trade cooperation, tourism, culture, science, health, and education.

The initial goal of passing these new laws could be an agreement signed by the Victorian government in 2018 to participate in the construction of China’s BRI infrastructure.

Daniel Andrews, Victoria state chief, told reporters last week that the state government is not considering withdrawing from the BRI agreement due to the deteriorating relationship between the two countries, according to AAP.

The new law could allow the federal government to review and flip back to memoranda of understanding between Beijing and the governments of Western Australia, South Australia and the Tasmanian region in areas ranging from investment cooperation, science and outreach. Antarctic.

Australia’s states and territories have at least 130 agreements with 30 countries that could be affected by the new laws, according to the Australian Prime Minister. The new law will establish a public register to provide transparency of Australian government decisions. States and territories will have 3 months to review existing agreements.

Partnerships between Australian universities and Chinese sponsors may be canceled. Concern arose among intelligence circles about China’s influence with Australian universities.

Under the new law, Mr. Morrison cannot cancel transactions between state governments and commercial or state-owned enterprises. That means the Australian government cannot interfere with a 2015 strategic port lease in Darwin, between the Northern Territory government and a Chinese company.

Australia’s passing of new laws could anger China and worsen relations between the two countries. Tensions between Beijing and Canberra came when the Australian Prime Minister called for an independent investigation into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic, which originated in China. Beijing has since made a series of trade moves allegedly in retaliation including imposing tariffs on Australian barley and alcohol and blocking Canberra’s coal shipments.

Relations between the two countries hit their lowest levels last week when a Chinese diplomat posted on Twitter an image of an Australian soldier holding a knife against the neck of an Afghan child. After Mr. Morrison called for an apology for this “blamed” post, a senior Chinese diplomat denied the Australian request.

What will Trump do when he is no longer the most powerful man in the world?

Democrat Joe Biden is the US President-elect and although Trump does not accept this result, it is likely that Mr. Trump will still have to leave the White House in January 2021.

According to the Daily Mail, the 45th US president to leave the White House at the age of 74, is one of the few US presidents to stay in power for only one term.

Mr Trump is said to be owed huge amounts of money, but this year’s election results show that he has the support of millions of Americans.

In the near future, Mr. Trump will probably have to get used to his “normal” image, returning to being a celebrity, a billionaire.

Reached an agreement with President-elect Joe Biden

While he does not accept failure, Mr. Trump may authorize lawyers to seek consensus with Mr. Biden, not to re-trigger stories from the past.

Mr Trump will also have to settle charges of tax evasion.

Back to business

One of the first things that came to mind when Trump ceased to be US President was his ability to take over the family’s hotel and real estate business, now run by two sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump holds.

Mr Trump may have to liquidate his assets to cover up to $ 1 billion in debt.

Return to Florida

Mr. Trump moved from New York to Florida during his tenure. Mr. Trump is likely to return to Florida and frequent his favorite resort, Mar-a-Lago.

Re-election

With more than 71 million votes received, Trump is the Republican candidate with the most votes in American history.

With his legacy and influence in the Republican party, Mr. Trump could begin his re-election plan in 2024. Mr. Trump will be 77 years old when he starts to restart the campaign, his age. Biden at present.

Write a book

After leaving the White House, former US President Barack Obama signed a book publishing contract worth up to $ 60 million. Trump received a bigger popular vote this year than Obama did in 2008.

When he was not president, Mr. Trump had more time to reflect on the past times and began to write books. That may be the right time for Mr. Trump to open up a new direction and profit.

Create a new TV channel

President Trump was furious with Fox News’s behavior, as the election entered its final stage. During Mr. Trump’s time in office, Fox News was the closest media channel of the 45th US President.

Mr. Trump can plan a new TV channel, an idea he mentioned in 2016. In the long run, the new TV channel can be the launch pad for Mr. Trump or his children to open the campaign. and continues to promote the famous slogan: “Make America Great Again”.

Russia performs more than half a million nCoV tests in 24 hours

Russian health officials performed more than 500,000 tests of nCoV in the past 24 hours, detecting 12,126 cases, a record increase in the country.

“Over the past 24 hours, 507,000 nCoV tests have been performed,” the Russian Federal Human Rights and Consumer Protection Watch (Rospotrebnadzor) said in a statement today.

Rospotrebnadzor said that this is the record high number of tests in 24 hours since the Covid-19 pandemic appeared in Russia. A total of more than 49.6 million tests were performed.

Russia today recorded another 12,126 cases of nCoV infection, a record increase since the pandemic appeared in the country and surpassed 11,656 cases on May 11, bringing the total to 1,272,238. An additional 201 deaths, a slight increase compared to 191 the previous day, the total number of deaths in the pandemic in Russia was 22,257.

Russian officials warned people to stay home this weekend but have not issued a new blockade. A source at the Moscow Mayor’s Office said city officials were considering closing bars, nightclubs and karaoke bars, but still allowing restaurants to open.

“At least we have to reduce the number of people present in the city somehow, otherwise we can go back to the same strict restrictions as this spring,” the source said.

Moscow officials, one of the CoV hotspots earlier this year, advised people over 65 to quarantine. City-based businesses are required to have at least one-third of their employees working remotely.

Covid-19 outbreak in December 2019, appeared in 213 countries and territories with more than 36.8 million cases, more than one million deaths and nearly 27.7 million people recovered. Russia is the world’s fourth-largest epidemic region after the United States, India and Brazil, but ranks 52nd in the death rate with 152 deaths per million people.

China launched its latest response against the US

In the latest developments of US-China tensions, Beijing has restricted the issuance of journalist cards, reducing the time to extend visas for foreign reporters working for US media.

According to CNN, in the past week, instead of being granted a new journalist card to operate in China, some foreign journalists only received a letter saying their application was being processed.

They are required to bring this letter with an expired journalist card, to prove that the reporter is working in China.

Because China visas are tied to journalists’ cards, the above reporters are only allowed to stay for a period of 2 months, compared to a year ago.

The Chinese authorities have also made it clear that these reporters’ provisional proofs and visas can be revoked at any time. Foreign reporters were worried because they did not know how long they could stay in China.

CNN’s China resident David Culver, an American, was affected when Beijing introduced the new restrictions. According to CNN, both American journalists and foreigners working for US media were affected, including the Wall Street Journal.

Reporters working for the US media do not know how long they will be able to operate in China.

Chinese officials told Culver that he did nothing wrong, but restrictions were put in response to how the US President Donald Trump administration restricted Chinese reporters from working in the US.

CNN also confirmed that Culver was only allowed to extend his visa for another 2 months. “Our reporters will still be working in China and we will work with the local authorities to ensure that reporters are entitled,” said a CNN spokesperson.

On September 6, the US State Department confirmed that US diplomats in China had received the Chinese government’s notice of the above restrictions.

In May, Washington shortened the working time in the US for most Chinese reporters to 90 days. Beijing said US officials did not notify these reporters of the visa extension application.

That means Chinese reporters will have to leave the US as early as November. This is also the time when Culver’s visa expires.

Commenting on this issue, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hoa Xuan Oanh on September 3 said: “If the US continues to choose the wrong path, China has no choice but to react properly and need necessary to firmly uphold legal rights ”.

Earlier this year, Beijing expelled a series of New York Times, Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal reporters after the administration of US President Donald Trump limited the number of Chinese reporters working in the US.

5 explosions of ammonium nitrate are as dangerous as those in Lebanon (Part 2)

Disaster in Texas, USA (1947)

The most serious industrial accident in US history occurred at Galveston Bay in the port city of Texas City, Texas on April 16, 1947. The incident stems from someone throwing cigarettes on the SS Grandcamp (French registry) carrying 2,300 tons of ammonium nitrate.

The explosion sparked a chain reaction that caused many other ships to dock at the docks caught fire and exploded. As a result, at least 581 people were killed and about 3,500 others injured.

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The explosion also affected two aircraft flying in the sky at that time and even knocked down many people in the Galveston area, 16 km from the center of the explosion.

Explosion in Germany (1921)

On September 21, 1921, a tower containing about 450 tons of ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulfate exploded at a BASF plant on the outskirts of Oppau, Germany, killing 500 to 600 people and injuring 2,000 others.

Before the explosion, BASF factory successfully used a mixture of ammonium sulfate and ammonium nitrate, at the ratio of 50:50, for more than 20,000 times. However, on the day of the explosion, the safety ratio was supposed to have been skewed.

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Catastrophe in England (1916)

On April 2, 1916, a huge explosion occurred at a factory near the town of Faversham, England. Earlier, an adjacent warehouse with 25 tons of TNT and 700 tons of ammonium nitrate caught fire, creating a tremendous explosion.

According to Sputnik, 115 people were killed, mostly men working at the factory, seven bodies were never found. The explosion was so strong that people in the city of Norwich, 244 km away, could still feel it.

5 explosions of ammonium nitrate are as dangerous as those in Lebanon (Part 1)

A warehouse of more than 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate, an explosive-making chemical, exploded at a harbor in Beirut, Lebanon on August 4, killing at least 135 people, injuring more than 5,000 and injuring 30,000. evacuation.

According to Sputnik, the aftermath of the explosion was immense, half of the buildings in the city were destroyed. Hospitals were overwhelmed by the large number of injured people, the governor of Beirut said.

According to the Lebanese Prime Minister, the huge amount of ammonium nitrate (NH4-NO3) exploded on August 4 stored in storage for more than 6 years without appropriate fire prevention measures.

Ammonium nitrate is a compound both used as an agricultural fertilizer and can be used to make explosives. An explosion occurs when ammonium nitrate is exposed to fire or a transition results in an explosion. If stored in large quantities, an explosion can result in a major disaster with many casualties. In the past, similar heartbreaking disasters have occurred.

Explosion at a warehouse in Tianjin, China (2015)

Two horrific explosions occurred at industrial warehouses in the port city of Tianjin on August 12, 2015, causing a massive fire. The incident left 110 rescuers, 55 residents dead and more than 790 others injured, 8 bodies so far have not been found.

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According to Chinese officials, the fire broke out in flammable material and spread to chemical storage areas, including ammonium nitrate and sodium cyanide, causing explosions. 

The incident caused tens of thousands of people to evacuate, estimated losses of 1.5 billion USD. Toxic chemicals released into the air adversely affected the environment near the scene of the explosions.

North Korean explosion (2004)

Cars carrying nitrogen fertilizers, mostly composed of ammonium nitrate, along with trains carrying flammable fuel exploded at North Korea’s Ryongchon station in late April 2004.

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According to Sputnik, at least 162 people were killed and more than 3,000 were injured in the blast. The great pressure from the explosion destroyed many houses, leaving thousands of people in a “sky and land” scene.

Exploding like an atomic bomb in Lebanon: Does the red smoke prove bombing?

The horrific explosion in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, left at least 300,000 people homeless, 50% of the city area damaged, more than 100 dead and 4,000 injured, according to AP.

The governor of Beirut announced that the initial damage after the explosion was estimated at US $ 3-5 billion.

Blood donation cars are spreading throughout Beirut, calling on people to donate blood to help seriously injured people. Hospitals were still able to operate after the explosion was becoming overburdened.

Jad Chaaban – an economist at the University of Beirut – said that the current situation in the capital was beyond the national disaster.

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One of the most concerned issues in Lebanon today is the specific cause of the explosion.

Anthony May – an expert on explosives and American weapons – said that the videos and images of the explosion in Beirut provide important clues about the cause of the incident. Anthony May said a weapon attack had triggered more than 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate.

“I have done many fire investigations, both domestically and internationally. It is clear that a large amount of military explosives were used, resulting in a fire and a disaster in Beirut”, commented Anthony May.

“You see, the smoke after the explosion rises is not yellow smoke – characteristic of ammonium nitrate when burning – but orange-red smoke. It is very unusual”, Tony added.

However, ammonium nitrate remains the main source of the explosion, according to Anthony May.

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Robert Baer, ​​a former CIA officer with extensive experience in the Middle East, said that the cause of the explosion was not just the ammonium nitrate.

“This is clearly a military explosion. The cause of the explosion is not simply due to ammonium nitrate. Do you see the red smoke? As I said, it’s due to military explosives”, said Robert Baer.

Robert Baer said that bombs or ammunition may have been involved in detonating the ammonia nitrate store.

“I have been working in Lebanon for many years. Now it seems no one dares to acknowledge the presence of military explosives in the port of Beirut, ”said Robert Baer.

The Lebanese Prime Minister said 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate had been stored for 6 years in Beirut port without any safety measures.

Earlier, US President Donald Trump said that the explosion in Beirut could be a bomb attack. However, the Pentagon was cautious and said that it could not quickly draw any conclusions about the incident.

Experts say that ammonium nitrate itself cannot explode on its own, but needs an active source of ignition.

Boaz Hayoun, a fire and explosion expert at Tamar Group in Israel, said that fireworks could be the cause of the ammonium nitrate warehouse fire.

“The videos show that initially there was light rising in the smoke. Before the big explosion, we also heard some sounds like fireworks shooting into the sky, ”Mr. Hayoun said.

Jeffrey Lewis – a rocket research expert in California, USA – said that there was no attack, the explosion in Lebanon was by accident.

“This is not an attack. It seems that an accident occurred that led to fire and detonated chemical warehouse. Orange-red clouds appeared after the explosion, I think it was toxic nitrogen dioxide released by ammonium nitrate, not explosives or military weapons, ”Mr. Lewis commented.

In the context of many countries from Europe and the Middle East expressing interest and sharing with Lebanon after the tragedy, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that he would fly to Beirut with two planes carrying rescue workers.

The nightmare named Covid-19 by nearly 300 million Chinese laborers

Due to the effects of the Covid-19 epidemic and the economic pressure from the US, a series of factories in China were closed. Many workers cannot find jobs and have money to support their families, according to SCMP.

Rao Dequn, a 43-year-old mother with two young children, has just been informed that the shoe company she worked with for 10 years will close after 5 weeks.

“It is very difficult to find a stable job at this time. Many factories and companies have had to close or lay off workers”, Rao said.

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Rao is just one of 290 million workers who move from rural areas to major provinces looking for work that are struggling to escape the post-Covid-19 unemployment. Last year, due to the impact of the US-China trade war, many workers in China were fired and welcomed a Tet without bonuses.

“I am sad to have to leave my job and the factory. My boss is a good person, pay me on time. Many people have worked there for over 20 years, ”Rao pityed.

Rao and her husband lived in a spacious 10 square meter room with 2 children. Rent 40 USD / month. They have only a few poor supplies.

Liu Liang – Ms Rao’s husband – is also a hometown worker, working in a furniture factory. However, in the past few months, Mr. Liu has been called to work as “male meal”.

“We may have to leave home because our work is very unstable now,” Mr. Liu said.

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Industrial parks in Dongguan, Guangdong – where the couple Rao works – are considered one of China’s “factories” for their size and modernity.

However, as noted by SCMP, the operation of industrial parks in Dong Hoai is in a rather gloomy state after the post-epidemic period.

In the context of the world affected by the Covid-19 epidemic, China is losing the advantage of cheap labor and low production costs. Many export orders from China were canceled.

The mass loss of workers like Ms Rao also threatens China’s domestic economic development strategy. When consumers themselves cannot earn money to spend, SCMP commented.

Layoffs and unemployment in Dongguan are so common that the city government must implement a labor-sharing program. Accordingly, the government will act as an intermediary, moving workers from a labor surplus factory to another facility needed under a contract of up to 3 months.

Zhao Jian, an expert at the Atlantis Financial Research Institute, said that the success of China’s inward economic development strategy is unclear as many of its people are unemployed. Many people have spent their savings in outbreak months and limited purchasing power.

“China’s economy depends heavily on international markets. Producing exports is very important in creating jobs for China, ”said Zhao Jian.

According to China’s Ministry of Commerce, manufacturing exports provides 180 million jobs to China.

The risk of unemployment is weighing on the shoulders of millions of workers in China, especially more than 290 migrant workers from the countryside to the city to make a living.

China’s unemployment rate dropped from 5.9% in May to 5.7% at the end of June. However, the problem of employment is still a “headache” for Chinese policy makers.

Coach Denver Nuggets infected COVID-19 without anyone knowing

Coach Michael Malone unexpectedly revealed he was infected with SARS-CoV-2 and cured himself without even knowing it.

In the middle of March, the Denver Nuggets announced that three internal members had been identified positive for COVID-19. The identities of these 3 were not disclosed, but certainly no coach Michael Malone. So they were all shocked when the 1971-born strategist revealed he had been infected with SARS-CoV-2.

Coach Malone said he felt the symptoms of COVID-19 infection on March 20, which is exactly one day after the governing team announced the results of a mass test. However, he could not be tested and only knew his body had been infected with Corona Virus by antigen test on May 25.

The strategist said it was possible that some other members of the Denver Nuggets were also infected with COVID-19, but at that time could not have tested it and most likely transmitted the virus to others. From there, Captain Nuggets proposed that the NBA need to be more rigorous in creating a safe environment in Orlando.

“It is difficult to know if some members of the team, the staff or even my family members have COVID-19,” coach Michael Malone told CBS Denver. “I want to say that I got the Corona Virus and defeated it. Thank God I survived.”

After the tournament was postponed on March 11, many NBA teams took the initiative to have all members test COVID-19. However, this action was criticized by the state government when the amount of testing resources available in the United States at that time was not much and only those with symptoms to enjoy this benefit. That is why cases such as that of Coach Michael Malone were not immediately discovered.

Before the teams gathered in Orlando to play the rest of the season, the NBA issued a 108-page rule to minimize the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Accordingly, all players will be separated within the first 3 days of arrival to the focus area and can only leave the room if at least 2 negative tests.

The strict rules also force the players to wear masks (except when eating, practicing, playing), always at least 2m away from each other, even when swimming. Even, all members must wear alarm devices. This device will sound if you have been in contact for more than 5 seconds. Everybody who shows up at the Disney World gathering will be tested daily.