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Wicked Blue

Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Maryland
Home country: United States
Member since: Tue Aug 11, 2020, 09:58 PM
Number of posts: 4,353

Journal Archives

Israeli hackers breach KKK-affiliated website


A collective of anti-fascist Israeli hackers have broken into a website of a group allied to the white-supremacist Ku Klux Klan (KKK).

The hackers subsequently published names, photos and other personal information about members of the Patriotic Brigade Knights, which they had scraped, on social media.

They also replaced some of the site's content with their own.


The hackers told the Jerusalem Post newspaper they were part of the Antifa movement, operating under the name Hayalim Almonim, Hebrew for Anonymous Soldiers.


China promotes education drive to make boys more 'manly'

By Kerry Allen
BBC Monitoring

A notice from China's education ministry has caused a stir after it suggested young Chinese men had become too "feminine". The message has been criticised as sexist by many online users - but some say China's male celebrities are partly to blame.

For a while China's government has signalled concern that the country's most popular male role models are no longer strong, athletic figures like "army heroes". Even President Xi Jinping, a well-known football enthusiast, has long been seeking to cultivate better sports stars.

So last week, the education ministry issued a notice with a title that left no doubt about its ultimate goal.

The Proposal to Prevent the Feminisation of Male Adolescents called on schools to fully reform their offerings on physical education and strengthen their recruitment of teachers.


'So utterly disingenuous': Republicans file slew of unrelated amendments as Dems push ahead with COV

Jake Johnson, Common Dreams via Raw Story
February 04, 2021

Senate Republicans on Wednesday filed more than 400 amendments to a budget resolution that Democrats must pass in order to move forward with their coronavirus relief package through the reconciliation process, a procedural tool that—while immune to the filibuster—comes with its own hurdles that the GOP is eager to exploit.

Commonly referred to as "vote-a-rama," the marathon amendment process that precedes final approval of a reconciliation resolution—the passage of which will the stage for construction of a coronavirus relief package—has always been used as a messaging vehicle by lawmakers eager to draw out tensions among their rivals on the other side of the aisle.


But Democratic lawmakers and watchdog groups characterized the GOP's amendments this time around as particularly ridiculous and indicative of their unwillingness to take seriously the multifaceted crises facing the country.


As Politico reported late Wednesday, "Republicans have teed up hundreds of amendments, including to preserve former President Donald Trump's border wall, reverse [President Joe] Biden's action to nix the Keystone XL pipeline, and create 'deficit-neutral reserve funds' on everything from supporting resources for police to prohibiting 'sex-selective abortion.'"


Congress wants answers after hundreds of meatpacking workers died from COVID-19

By Pro Publica via Raw Story
February 4, 2021

A key congressional panel launched an investigation this week into the wave of COVID-19 infections that killed hundreds of workers at meatpacking plants nationwide last year and highlighted longstanding hazards in the industry.

Since the start of the pandemic, the meat industry has struggled to contain the virus in its facilities, and plants in Iowa, South Dakota and Kansas have endured some of the biggest workplace outbreaks in the country.

The meat companies' employees, many of them immigrants and refugees, slice pig bellies or cut up chicken carcasses in close quarters. Many of them don't speak English and aren't granted paid sick leave. To date, more than 50,000 meatpacking workers have been infected and at least 250 have died, according to a ProPublica tally.

The congressional investigation, opened by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, will examine the role of JBS, Smithfield Foods and Tyson Foods, three of the nation's largest meat companies, which, the subcommittee said, had "refused to take basic precautions to protect their workers" and had "shown a callous disregard for workers' health."


Cory Booker's 'baby bonds' giving $1,000 per newborn could get a new life in a Democratic Congress

By Jonathan D. Salant | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker on Thursday proposed legislation that he prominently featured in his unsuccessful presidential campaign: A $1,000 savings account for every newborn American.

Known as “baby bonds,” the government would add up to $2,000 every year depending on income. Recipients could begin withdrawing money from their accounts at age 18, giving them a nest egg to tap to spend on things like a college education, a downpayment on a home, or start a small business.

The funds would sit in a U.S. government account paying around 3% interest, and Booker, a Democrat, said the money would help narrow the economic gap between rich and poor. During the presidential campaign, he said his proposal could give children as much as $50,000 in the bank by the time they finished high school.

“In a country as wealthy as ours, every person should have access to economic opportunity and the chance to build assets and create wealth,” Booker said.


These local newspapers say Facebook and Google are killing them. Now they're fighting back.

Washington Post
By Margaret Sullivan
Media columnist
Feb. 4, 2021 at 6:00 a.m. EST

Lurking behind a groundbreaking lawsuit recently filed in federal court in West Virginia is a haunting question: What if?

What if local newspapers had been able to compete successfully for digital advertising revenue as their readers moved online? What if the powerful “duopoly” of Google and Facebook hadn’t sucked up all the oxygen in this new digital economy, essentially asphyxiating traditional media by depriving it of the ad dollars needed to survive?

Would the newspaper industry be healthier — and therefore would our democracy be healthier? Is there still time for an industry to get up off its death bed?

The people behind this antitrust lawsuit hope to find out. Although there is no dollar figure identified in the complaint, West Virginia attorney Paul Farrell, who filed it, thinks the numbers could be astronomical: The two behemoth companies have pocketed billions of dollars in ad revenue — more than half of all the digital advertising dollars in 2019, for example — while newspapers have been struggling to replace the print-ad dollars that once sustained them.


New report finds toxic heavy metals in popular baby foods. FDA failed to warn consumers of risk

Washington Post
By Laura Reiley
Feb. 4, 2021 at 8:41 a.m. EST

A congressional report found many of the products made by the country’s largest commercial baby food manufacturers contain significant levels of toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury, which can endanger infant neurological development.

The report released Thursday from the House Oversight Committee’s subcommittee on economic and consumer policy found heavy metals in rice cereals, sweet potato puree, juices and sweet snack puffs made by some of the most trusted names in baby food.

Gerber, Beech-Nut, HappyBABY (made by Nurture) and Earth’s Best Organic baby foods (made by Hain Celestial Group) complied with the committee’s request to submit internal testing documents.

Campbell Soup, which sells Plum Organics baby foods, Walmart (its private brand is Parent’s Choice) and Sprout Foods declined to cooperate, according to members of the subcommittee.


Africa will receive nearly 90 million vaccines from COVAX by February

Source: CNN

From CNN’s Lauren Kent and Arnaud Siad

Africa is to receive nearly 90 million Covid-19 vaccines in February in what will be the continent’s “largest ever mass vaccination campaign,” the World Health Organization announced in a statement on Thursday.

In the statement, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, said: “Africa has watched other regions start COVID-19 vaccination campaigns from the side-lines for too long. This planned roll-out is a critical first step to ensuring the continent gets equitable access to vaccines.”

Most vaccines will be from the AstraZeneca/Oxford AZD1222 vaccine and subject to the vaccine being listed for emergency use by WHO. The WHO is currently reviewing the vaccine and the outcome of the review is expected soon.

The statement adds that around 320,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine — which has received WHO Emergency Use Listing — have been allocated to four African countries — Cabo Verde, Rwanda, South Africa and Tunisia, which are able to store and distribute doses at minus 70 degrees Celsius.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/world/live-news/coronavirus-pandemic-vaccine-updates-02-04-21/index.html

Denmark and Norway join European nations recommending against AstraZeneca vaccine for older people

Denmark and Norway join European nations recommending against AstraZeneca vaccine for older people

From CNN’s James Frater, Arnaud Siad and Vasco Cotovio

Denmark and Norway have joined a slew of European nations saying they won't give the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine to people over 65, their national health agencies confirmed on Thursday.

Both cited a lack of data available on the use of the vaccine in older groups.

"We have reviewed the documentation, and until we have seen more data on efficacy among the elderly, it is our recommendation that the vaccine from AstraZeneca should first and foremost be an offer for people under 65," Bolette Sřborg from Denmark’s National Board of Health said in a statement.

“We want to make sure we have the best data and background for the vaccine policy at the national level,” a spokesperson for the Norwegian Institute of Public Health told CNN.

On Wednesday, Belgium recommended not administering the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to people over the age of 55, following similar decisions in France, Germany, Austria and Sweden which restricted its use for people under 65.


U.S. Is Worst Among Developed Nations for Worker Benefits

By Greg Iacurci, CNBC

The U.S. places last relative to its national policies around healthcare, unemployment, retirement, parental leave, and paid vacation and sick days, according to Zenefits, a human resources firm.

The Czech Republic, Latvia, South Korea and Mexico joined the U.S. among the five least-generous countries. Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland were the top nations for worker benefits.

The U.S., for example, is the only advanced nation that doesn't guarantee paid vacation time to workers, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research. By comparison, Europeans get at least 20 days of legally mandated vacation days, and some countries require at least 30.

It's also the only industrialized nation that doesn't offer universal healthcare for its citizens. The U.S. spends more on healthcare than other high-income countries relative to the size of its economy. However, it also has the highest number of hospitalizations from preventable causes and the highest rate of avoidable deaths relative to other wealthy nations, according to the Commonwealth Fund.

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