Coronavirus infections TRIPLE on cruise liner quarantined in Japan with thousands of passengers stuck in ‘floating prison’

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Dozens of additional passengers aboard a cruise liner in Japan have tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of infections on the ship to 61 as 3,700 people remain trapped on the quarantined vessel.

Stuck at the port of Yokohama since earlier this week, the ship’s 3,700 passengers and crew face weeks of quarantine as medical workers test for signs of the deadly contagion. The ship is now like a “floating prison,” one passenger said on social media, where haunting images have emerged showing its abandoned halls, once bustling with activity.

Of the thousands of passengers on board, 273 have shown symptoms of illness, such as cough and fever, or came in contact with those who have. All of those passengers have now been tested, Japan’s Health Ministry said, noting the 41 new patients will be transferred to medical facilities in Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba and Shizuoka prefectures, as well as Kanagawa.

10 MORE people diagnosed with coronavirus aboard cruise ship quarantined off Japan with 3,700 passengers & crew

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It remains unclear whether additional cases could arise on the ship, as the novel coronavirus has been found to spread person-to-person, even among those not yet showing symptoms, with a long incubation period. Some passengers already expressed fear that they could eventually end up stuck on the vessel for much longer than 14 days if new infections occur.

With the number of infections on the ship tripling on Thursday as health screenings continue, Japan now counts at least 86 cases of the lethal coronavirus nationwide, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December. The illness has since spread to 25 other countries, infecting over 30,000 and claiming 635 lives in total, most of them in China.

Coronavirus kills 69 more people in China’s Hubei as total cases soar beyond 31,000

CAP

H5N8: Saudi Arabia reports outbreak of HIGHLY pathogenic bird flu virus

CAP

An outbreak of a particularly contagious bird flu virus has been reported in Saudi Arabia, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) warns, as the world struggles to contain the spread of a deadly China coronavirus.

The outbreak took place in the central Sudair region, located some 150 kilometers north of the nation’s capital of Riyadh. The disease already killed more than 22,000 birds, the OIE said, citing the Saudi Agriculture Ministry. More than 385,000 birds were also slaughtered out of precaution. This is the first such outbreak since July 2018.

The H5N8 strain of the bird flu, which was detected in Saudi Arabia, was previously considered not particularly contagious for humans. Yet, it has been recently declared to have become increasingly more pathogenic.

Earlier on Tuesday, a similar alarming report about a bird flu outbreak came from Vietnam, where another highly pathogenic virus strain — H5N6 — led to the deaths of 2,200 birds in a village in the country’s north.

On February 1, China, which has already been gripped with a novel coronavirus originated from the city of Wuhan, reported that an outbreak of the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus was detected in its central Hunan province.

While it hasn’t occupied the news spotlight lately, H5N1 is said to be an even deadlier virus to those who contract it. Nearly 60 percent of H5N1 patients die after contracting the sickness, compared to two percent of Wuhan coronavirus (2019 nCoV) patients thus far.

Coronavirus death toll surpasses SARS numbers in China, traces of disease found on door handle

CAP

More people in China have already died from the ongoing coronavirus outbreak than from the SARS epidemic 17 years ago, Chinese officials said. Meanwhile, traces of the disease were spotted on a door handle used by the patient.

The death toll from the previously-unknown coronavirus in China has grown to 361 on Sunday, the country’s National Health Commission said. This number exceeds the 349 fatalities from the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic in mainland China in 2003.

Out of 57 newly reported deaths, 56 were in central Hubei Province, whose capital Wuhan remains the epicenter of the outbreak, and one in the city of Chongqing in China’s southwest. So far, the only death from the virus outside mainland China was registered in the Philippines.

Overall, 17,205 cases of the virus have now been registered in China since the outbreak started in late December.

During a press briefing in Beijing on Monday, Deputy Director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Lian Weiliang announced that China will step up measures to supply Wuhan with basic goods as it remains quarantined along with several other major cities.

China’s first ‘instant’ coronavirus hospital accepting patients, second facility days from opening

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Army troops stationed in Wuhan have taken over the delivery of food and basic necessities, using military trucks to stock local supermarkets. The authorities also ordered to boost the production of face masks and test kits after the Lunar New Year holidays in response to shortages in Wuhan and some other areas in Hubei.

Zhang Zhoubin, deputy head of a disease prevention center in the southeastern city of Guangzhou, said coronavirus was “found” on the door handle at a patient’s home. “This reminds me that we have to do well in keeping hygiene at home, and it is important to frequently wash our hands,” he said. Zhang warned that other areas prone to contamination include mobile phones, keyboards, and faucet handles.

Meanwhile, biotech companies in Wuhan have been conducting experiments on rats and monkeys, in hope of developing vaccines. The scientists identified three drugs “effective” in slowing down the spread of the virus in the cell structure, however, they have not been tested on humans yet, Wang Wei, director of Hubei’s Science and Technology Department, said.

China’s first ‘instant’ coronavirus hospital accepting patients, second facility days from opening

 

Dunce’s cap for Russiagate coverage should go to CNN (by George Galloway)

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If there was a dunce’s cap awarded to the most gullible – or worse, complicit – news outfit in the whole ‘Russiagate’ affair, it would surely go to CNN.

The small consolation is that its ratings have plummeted in direct proportion to its fake news agenda. Unless trapped in a hotel room in Ulan Bator and having already read the Gideon’s Bible, nobody in their right mind goes looking for CNN.

However, other media do, of course, amplify their prevailing narrative. This is that the Democratic Party didn’t lose because they chose the only person in America who could possibly lose to Donald Trump, but because a bearded man with snow on his boots smelling of vodka and speaking with a thick Russian accent fooled everyone into voting for the GOP. And where no such man can be identified, then a Western cipher can be demonized as his proxy.

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So unhinged has CNN – the last hold-out of the Russiagaters – become that they have now piled new levels of ordure on the political prisoner Julian Assange in a much touted “Special,” heaping speculation upon speculation on what they hope is the coffin of a man they once lionized.

Because, dear readers, in a now-forgotten coincidence, it was CNN that in a way brought Julian Assange into the public limelight. They interviewed him a number of times, including once in 2010, when they sent their team to showcase the then-pale-blonde ascetic wonderkid of the whistleblowing business. That was way before RT had aired Assange’s show ‘The World Tomorrow’ – because that suited CNN’s agenda then, in the way that burying him does now.

Full disclosure: Julian Assange is a friend of mine and so opportunists seeking his crucifixion to serve an anti-Trump agenda cut no ice with me. Furthermore, I work for RT, and know personally the fine broadcasting professionals traduced in a disgraceful way by the CNN “Special.”

Julian Assange was hiding in plain sight by having his own show on RT. That’s how espionage works nowadays in the fevered minds of CNN. And he appeared on news shows throughout the world – any one of which could have “passed him a USB drive” when they went into the Ecuador Embassy to film him. He even appeared on my show on TalkRadio, whose proprietor could of course be a (deep) undercover Russian agent.

The fatal flaw in all of this, of course, is that the DNC computers were never hacked in the first place, not by a “master-hacker” or even a schoolboy in his bedroom. That’s why their servers were never examined by the FBI, Mueller or anybody else wearing any kind of official badge.

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The scandalous behavior – including CNN’s own (now Fox) contributor Donna Brazile – through which the Democratic Party rigged their own Primary process to defeat Bernie Sanders and procure the coronation of the aforementioned Mrs Clinton was not hacked but leaked. Not by Russians but by Americans. Not by RT but by Democratic Party insiders, disgusted as they should have been at the shameless Tammany Hall shenanigans going on in their party.

The real target of fading, failing, flailing CNN was not Julian Assange but Donald Trump. His administration is currently trying to incarcerate Assange in the gulags of the US injustice system for the crime of publishing the truth. That’s the real scandal.

 

BORDER PATROL REP: RECORD NUMBER OF AGENTS CONTRACTING ILLNESS FROM ILLEGALS

Border Patrol Rep: Record Number of Agents Contracting Illness from Illegals

‘I believe this is probably the record, you know, Border Patrol-wide, since ever, of agents calling in sick’

By Adan Zalazar

More agents than ever before are calling in sick to work or showing up sick, says a Border Patrol union representative who worries too many agents are succumbing to illnesses brought by illegal aliens.

Carlos Favela, president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 1929, says the number of agents affected by illnesses has reached alarming levels in recent years, with an estimated 20 to 25 agents from the El Paso sector calling in sick each day, while others come in to work sick because they’ve used up their sick days.

“I believe this is probably the record, you know, Border Patrol-wide, since ever, of agents calling in sick,” Favela told ABC-7.

According to Favela, numerous agents are filing union reports claiming they’ve contracted everything from the H1N1 virus to chicken pox to Legionnaires’ disease after coming in contact with sick illegals encountered at the border.

Favela says agents are concerned they could infect their family members with infectious diseases such as tuberculosis.

“The nightmare for the agent out in the field,” said Favela, “is that they contract tuberculosis or some kind of bacterial disease and they unknowingly take that home to their families and then their whole family is sick.”

To the border union president, the increase in sick agents coincides with the number of illegals arriving at the border.

KVIA reports, “Newly-released figures from the Department of Homeland Security reveal Border Patrol agents encountered 109,144 migrants in April 2019, the highest since 2007.”

Favela argues it’s hard to get the evidence needed to quantify the issue and prove a correlation, but he pushes back against Border Patrol officials who say they haven’t noticed the trend.

“That’s false,” he said. “Ever since the big surge of the immigrants started coming in, even as far back as September, we started seeing those numbers slightly increase – of agents calling in sick.”

The border rep is urging the CDC to implement changes to better protect agents’ health, including providing more screenings from doctors instead of nurses and new quarantine facilities for sick illegals.

 

MS-13 MEMBERS BEG TRUMP TO LET THEM IN US: WE ARE REFORMED, TAKING BAKERY & ART CLASSES!

MS-13 Members Beg Trump To Let Them In US: We Are Reformed, Taking Bakery & Art Classes!

1,700 gang members imprisoned in El Salvador insist they’re not ‘animals’

 | Infowars.com – APRIL 16, 2019

Thousands of MS-13 gang members imprisoned in El Salvador for rape and murder have a message for President Trump: we are reformed criminals who deserve entry into the United States because we are taking “bakery and culture classes.”

Over 1,700 gang members, according to the Daily Mail, are inmates at the high-security Chalatenango prison, and are “taking classes in bakery, tailoring, carpentry, woodwork and even art and culture, in a bid to prepare for life after incarceration” through a rehabilitation program called “Yo Cambio” (I’m Changing).

“We’re people like everyone else: human beings. We’ve changed and we’re showing that those gang members deprived of liberty can contribute something positive to society,” said the program’s coordinator Alexis Castro, a 33-year-old MS-13 gang member serving a 10-year sentence.

Despite being accused of a range of crimes including murder, extortion, and child trafficking for a transnational gang whose motto is “Rape, control, kill,” Castro insists he and his fellow MS-13 comrades are “normal and ordinary people.”

“We’re labeled terrorists but we’ve never been terrorists at any point,” said Castro. “We say to Donald Trump, we’re not terrorists, we’re human, normal and ordinary people.”

Unfortunately for them, given they are in a socialist third world hellhole, “the classes are mostly theoretical as the inmates lack the necessary materials to take part in practical training,” the Mail reports.

Perhaps they should plead to California Governor Gavin Newsom instead, who made a visit to El Salvador in a pledge to help rebuild the country despite the fact his own state is suffering from economic turmoil.


 

FACEBOOK REMOVES PAGE OF ECUADOR’S FORMER PRESIDENT ON SAME DAY AS ASSANGE’S ARREST

Facebook Removes Page Of Ecuador's Former President On Same Day As Assange's Arrest

Prior to the removal of the page, Correa lambasted his successor in a series of posts

Zero Hedge – APRIL 12, 2019

Facebook has unpublished the page of Ecuador’s former president, Rafael Correa, the social media giant confirmed on Thursday, claiming that the popular leftist leader violated the company’s security policies.

In a statement republished by Ecuadorean newspaper El Comercio, a company spokesperson said:

“Protecting the privacy and security of people is central to Facebook [and] we have clear policies that do not allow the disclosure of personal information such as phone numbers, addresses, bank account data, cards, or any record or data that could compromise the integrity physical or financial of the people in our community.”

The move comes on the same day that Ecuador’s government allowed British security personnel to enter their embassy in London to arrest journalist and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been sought by U.S. officials for years due to his role in releasing scandalous information implicating Washington in a range of crimes, including war crimes.

𝓤𝓼𝓾𝓪𝓻𝓲𝓸𝓼 𝓓𝓲𝓰𝓲𝓽𝓪𝓵𝓮𝓼@usuariosdigital

Página en Facebook del exPresidente @MashiRafael no puede ser accesada, se desconocen motivos – link https://www.facebook.com/MashiRafael 

23 people are talking about this

Assange, 47, had been living at the Embassy of Ecuador in London since 2012, when then-President Correa granted political asylum to the Australian amid the British government’s attempts to detain him. At the time, Correa called Eduador’s actions an act of sovereign “duty.”

Ecuador’s current leader, Lenin Moreno, was openly opposed to Assange, whom he referred to on various occasions as a “miserable hacker,” an “irritant,” and a “stone in the shoe” of his government. Moreno’s distancing from the asylee came following a 2017 meeting with Trump campaign confidant and political “fixer” Paul Manafort, where the two discussed Ecuador’s handover of Assange to U.K. and U.S. authorities.

In March, WikiLeaks published a tranche of documents dubbed the INA Papers linking President Lenin Moreno to the INA Investment Corporation, an offshore shell company used by Moreno to procure furniture, property, and various luxury items.

The account number for the offshore account allegedly used by the president to launder money was shared across Ecuadorean social networks by netizens of all political stripes, including by Correa – who had about 1.5 million followers and whose Facebook page enjoyed more interactions and attention than that of President Moreno himself.

The account number was also shared alongside personal photos of President Moreno enjoying lavish breakfasts and dinners of lobster—imagery considered especially damning for the people of Ecuador given Moreno’s previous boasting of an austere poverty diet consisting of eggs and white rice.

It also came amid attempts by the neoliberal Ecuadorean government to curry favor with financiers in Europe and the United States amid the continuing debt crisis. In March, the IMF finally bailed out Moreno’s government to the tune of $4.2 billion.

Prior to the removal of the page, Correa lambasted his successor in a series of posts that still remain on Twitter at the time of this writing.

Rafael Correa

@MashiRafael

Christine:
I do not know what to tell you. I only ask forgiveness from me and my people. A traitor and corrupt like Moreno does not represent us. I promise not to rest until I see him in jail, where he deserves to be.

Mrs. Christine Assange@AssangeMrs

Shame on you @Lenin #Moreno!

May the Ecuadorean people seek vengeance upon you, you dirty, deceitful, rotten traitor!

May the face of my suffering son haunt your sleepless nights..

And may your soul writhe forever in torturous Purgatory as you have tortured my beloved son! https://twitter.com/SkyNews/status/1116283158943666176 

1,965 people are talking about this

Since 2015, Correa—who lives with his family in Brussels, Belgium—had used the social platform to great effect, using strongly-worded posts, video interviews, and live-streams as a platform amid the Ecuadorean media’s de facto blackout of the former leader, who remains reviled by the center-right former opposition and sections of the country’s left.

Former President Correa minced no words in his assessment of Moreno, denouncing him in an English-language tweet as “the greatest traitor in Ecuadorian and Latin American history … Moreno is a corrupt man, but what he has done is a crime that humanity will never forget.”

Rafael Correa

@MashiRafael

The greatest traitor in Ecuadorian and Latin American history, Lenin Moreno, allowed the British police to enter our embassy in London to arrest Assange.
Moreno is a corrupt man, but what he has done is a crime that humanity will never forget.

Barnaby Nerberka@barnabynerberka

BREAK: Full @Ruptly video of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s arrest by British police this morning

Embedded video

9,806 people are talking about this

In a separate tweet responding to Moreno’s announcement of the handover, Correa further tore into what he called “one of the most atrocious acts [and the] fruit of servility, villainy and revenge.”

“From now on worldwide, the scoundrel and betrayal can be summarized in two words: Lenin Moreno,” the popular former president added.

The removal of Correa’s page for violating Facebook’s “community standards” is an unprecedented move, and the former statesman is the most high-profile public political figure to ever be removed from the social platform–placing the economist and icon of Latin American “socialism of the 21st century” in the same unlikely category as right-wing conspiracy theorist and broadcaster Alex Jones.


Matt Bracken gives his take on the social media unpersoning epidemic sweeping across the internet.

 

Defiant Assange shows thumbs up as he’s delivered to Westminster Magistrates Court (PHOTO)

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been taken to Westminster Magistrates Court after his arrest at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Photos of the whistleblower defiantly gesturing in a police van have emerged in the media.

UPDATE: Assange pleads not guilty to failing to surrender to bail

Journalist flocked to the white police van carrying the whistleblower into the courthouse. With his hair tied back and sporting a full-length white beard, Assange offered cameras a hardy thumbs up with a wink.

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Assange stepped into the courtroom wearing a dark polo shirt and quietly read his Gore Vidal book while he waited for his lawyers to arrive.

READ MORE: Assange arrest final step in character assassination campaign – Slavoj Zizek

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Earlier, Metropolitan Police said in a statement that they arrested Assange on a warrant issued by the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in June 2012, for failing to surrender to the court. The police were “invited into the embassy by the Ambassador,” it said.

 

Exposing ‘collateral murder’ and mass surveillance: Why the world should be grateful to Assange

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Julian Assange is a pioneering whistleblower in the digital-age, speaking truth to power like no one before him managed on such a significant scale. As he sits in a London jail cell, here’s why we should be grateful for his work.

By setting up the international non-profit organization WikiLeaks in Iceland in 2006, Assange irrevocably shifted the balance of power in the online era.

From humble beginnings as a master coder and hacker, caught by Australian authorities in 1995 but escaping a prison term, to the foremost publisher of sensitive, embarrassing and potentially dangerous material for the world to see, Assange’s storied career as a publisher and whistleblower has captured headlines, and the global public’s attention for years.

RT takes a look back at the key moments in Assange’s career that remind us why the world owes him such a debt of gratitude.

ALSO ON RT.COMJulian Assange arrested after Ecuador tears up asylum deal

The early years

In 2007, WikiLeaks published emails exposing the manuals for Camp Delta, a controversial US detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba which was the focal point for the US war on terror and the final destination for those captured as part of its extraordinary rendition campaign.

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The following year the whistleblowing site posted emails from vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s private Yahoo email account, again exposing the newfound weakness of the political class in the digital age.

‘Collateral murder’

In a move that would reverberate online and across the world for years, in April 2010 WikiLeaks published footage of US forces summarily executing 18 civilians from an Apache attack helicopter in Iraq. It was an almost unheard of revelation of the brutality of war and the low price of human life in modern conflict.

ALSO ON RT.COM‘Collateral Murder’: 10th anniversary of infamous airstrike that exposed US cover-up (VIDEO)

Diplomatic cables

2010 was a very busy year for Assange as in July WikiLeaks published more than 90,000 classified documents and diplomatic cables relating to the Afghanistan war.

Later, in October 2010, the organization published a raft of classified documents from the Iraq War. The logs were referred to as “the largest leak of classified documents in its history” by the US Department of Defense, according to the BBC. WikiLeaks followed that up in November by publishing diplomatic cables from US embassies around the world.

The Guantánamo Files and Spy Files

In April 2011, WikiLeaks published classified US military documents detailing the behavior and treatment of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay. This leak would be followed, once again, by a vast trove (250 million) of US diplomatic cables.

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Throughout this sequence of widely-praised leaks, Assange invited a global audience behind the curtain of international diplomacy and warfare to expose the hidden truths of global power dynamics in a way which would forever change the power structure and landscape, affording a platform to analysts like Chelsea Manning to expose potential war crimes and misdeeds by the US military at large.

Assange and WikiLeaks would also help fellow whistleblowers like Edward Snowden to seek refuge from predatory US authorities, providing aid and comfort to those who risked everything in the pursuit of truth, exposing some of the most egregious mass surveillance programs the world has ever known.

DNC leak

As the 2016 US presidential election loomed, WikiLeaks published nearly 20,000 emails from the Democratic National Committee, which exposed the preferential treatment shown to then-candidate for president Hillary Clinton over her competitor Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary. Assange boldly informed CNN’s Anderson Cooper that the release was indeed timed to coincide with the Democratic National Convention.

ALSO ON RT.COMAssange is a scapegoat, distraction for scandal-ridden Ecuadorian government

In October that same year, WikiLeaks began publishing emails from Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta, which shed light on the inner workings of the Democratic nominee’s political machine.

These included excerpts from Clinton’s speeches to Wall Street, politically-motivated payments made to the Clinton Foundation, her consideration of choosing Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates or his wife as a potential running mate, her desire to covertly intervene in Syria, her intention to ring-fence China with missile defense batteries if it did not curtail North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

Legacy

Following his arrest on the morning of April 11, 2019, Assange’s future remains unclear. He likely faces extradition to the US where it was inadvertently revealed that he has been charged under seal in a US federal court. Former Assange collaborator Chelsea Manning has been imprisoned for refusing to cooperate with the court in relation to the case.

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Assange’s legal battle is only just beginning, it seems, but the international following he has forged will undoubtedly grant him a place in the pantheon of history’s champions of truth.

He remains a true digital pioneer, paving the way for so many to follow in his footsteps and expose the untold misdeeds of the powerful, be they political figures or entire militaries. Assange has defiantly shown what a powerful tool digital technology can be and how easily the dynamics of power can be shifted in the 21st century by those brave enough. Unfortunately, he also showed the consequences of wielding such power in the face of such overwhelming international and political opposition.

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