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Duterte says Philippines can survive without America

Duterte says Philippines can survive without AmericaPhilippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said Filipino forces can fight insurgents and Muslim extremists without American military help, in a defense of his recent decision to terminate a U.S. security pact.


Australia warns virus pandemic now 'upon us'

Australia warns virus pandemic now 'upon us'Australia's prime minister said the country considered the new coronavirus to be a pandemic Thursday, going a step beyond the WHO as he extended a travel ban on visitors from China. Announcing a national emergency response plan to the contagion, Scott Morrison said he was considering "additional measures" for monitoring travellers arriving in the country. "We're effectively operating now on the basis that there is one -- a pandemic," Morrison said.


Iran Can’t Hide Its Coronavirus Explosion, But It’s Trying Hard—and Putting the World in Danger

Iran Can’t Hide Its Coronavirus Explosion, But It’s Trying Hard—and Putting the World in DangerIran’s deputy health minister was drenched in sweat at the press conference on Monday where he vehemently denied Tehran was covering up the extent of the coronavirus outbreak. He kept wiping his brow with his handkerchief and was in visible distress as he said quarantines were a “Stone Age” way to address the problem, and Iran doesn’t need them. Then, sure enough, that night he tested positive for the virus himself and put himself in quarantine. The irony of Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi’s case would be funny almost, were Iran’s conspicuous bungling of the coronavirus threat not a menace to the whole region and, indeed, to the world. As The Daily Beast’s partner publication, IranWire, revealed in an exclusive report Thursday, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has tried to address the epidemic by telling doctors to shut up about it, much as Chinese authorities in Wuhan did, disastrously, when the disease was just starting to spread last December.The “official figures” from Iran give the game away. At last count, 16 people have died from COVID-19, but only 95 cases had been confirmed. As Wired UK points out, that would be a death rate of about 17 percent, when the data available from China, where there are huge numbers to work with, suggests the death rate is closer to 2 percent. The statistics don’t add up. Canadian researchers cited by Wired suggest the Iran outbreak probably involves more than 18,000 people, and counting.* * *SILENCING THE DOCTORS* * *Following is the full IranWire article written by Aida Ghajar:IranWire can exclusively report that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have threatened Iranian medical specialists with reprisals if any of them were to disclose information regarding the spread of coronavirus in Iran.A group of specialist doctors met with Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi on Feb. 22, during which they reported on the latest findings regarding the spread of coronavirus in Tehran and other Iranian cities. But soon after the meeting, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) approached the doctors through the health ministry’s security office and warned the doctors not to leak any information from their discussions. The doctors were told that, if any details did leak, they would be held responsible and would suffer the consequences.Despite these threats, the information received by IranWire shows the seriousness of the coronavirus outbreak, especially in Tehran. The doctors who were present at the meeting offered Harirchi their assessment of the official news and figures and told him that the figures published by the government do not match the reality of the situation.As one of these doctors—whose name is withheld because of the threats from the Revolutionary Guards—told IranWire: “The statistics published by the government have nothing to do with reality of the situation and the number of infections is much higher than what the media reports. If things go on like this and if the Islamic Republic does not cooperate with the World Health Organization, we must expect a great disaster in the coming months and, only in Tehran, tens of thousands will be infected by coronavirus. This scientific estimate does not even include other epicenters like Qom. If we cannot come up with a framework to cooperate with the World Health Organization, our situation will become many times worse than in China.”This doctor pointed out that, right now, a number of clinics in Tehran have been quarantined and the government’s attempts to keep the reality of the situation a secret is a “crime” in the legal sense of the word.“Refusing to divulge real information to Iranians and to the international community is officially a crime because it endangers the lives of people not only in Iran but in other countries as well.”Donald Trump Takes Coronavirus So Seriously He Just Put Mike Pence in ChargeIn many countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Canada, Iraq, Turkey, and Lebanon, the first cases of coronavirus infections were brought in by Iranian citizens or by travelers who had visited Iran. This has led many countries to close their borders with Iran, in the air and on the ground.According to this doctor, the outbreak of coronavirus in Iran occurred just after the outbreak in China. “But the problem started when we did not recognize that this virus is the same as China’s coronavirus,” the doctor said. “We made a mistake when we identified it as a variant of influenza viruses.… But, after it became known that it had been a mistake, [officials] continued as before and did not disclose the facts.”* * *THE GOVERNMENT IS CLUELESS* * *The doctor said Iran’s government has no plans for containing the crisis. Officials have “no other choice except secrecy,” he added. “This will disgrace the Islamic Republic, if it becomes known that its government is clueless. But this can lead to a humanitarian disaster.”According to this doctor, after the meeting with the health minister was over, the Revolutionary Guards contacted each doctor who had been at the meeting. “They told us that we will be held responsible for even the smallest leak. But I could not keep silent anymore,” he said.On Monday, two days after the meeting and after the doctors were threatened, Gen. Hossein Salami, the top commander of the Revolutionary Guards, called Health Minister Saeed Namaki and announced that the Guards were ready to provide any and all assistance in fighting coronavirus and preventing its spread.On Feb. 25, in a televised speech, President Hassan Rouhani asked people to trust only statements by the health ministry for information about coronavirus.The Iranian Cyber Police have meanwhile reported that they have arrested a number of “rumor-mongers” about coronavirus since Feb. 21. Gen. Hossein Rahimi, commander of Tehran’s Cyber Police, announced the arrests.“Persons who want to create trouble for the people by spreading rumors and lying in cyberspace must know that the police surveils their behavior and will act against them decisively,” he said.Earlier on Feb. 21, Gholamreza Jalali, commander of Iran’s Civil Defense Organization, accused foreign media of “creating panic” by publishing inaccurate or misleading figures about coronavirus infections. He emphasized that coronavirus must not be turned into a “political crisis.”Jalali is the same official who, after floods had inundated many parts of Iran in early 2019, made strange statements about extreme weather, accusing Israel of “cloud stealing.” He claimed that “joint committees of Turkey and Israel” had stolen moisture and snow from the clouds over Iran.With the Islamic Republic and the Revolutionary Guards turning the coronavirus outbreak into a security issue, by treating infection figures as state secrets, by arresting people for “rumor mongering” and, now by threatening doctors whose duty is to tell the truth about infectious diseases, it seems the experts may be proved right about the likelihood of a humanitarian disaster. If the Islamic Republic continues in this way, we must expect a much bigger disaster than what is happening in China—not only for Iranians but for the world.The Russian Models Instagramming From China's Coronavirus CapitalRead more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


South Carolina debate crowd's support of Bloomberg leads some to wonder if they were being paid

South Carolina debate crowd's support of Bloomberg leads some to wonder if they were being paidFormer New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg may have been pummeled at a Democratic debate less than a week ago, but the crowd in South Carolina sounded surprisingly sympathetic to the billionaire candidate on Tuesday night. Attacks on Bloomberg often spurred the audience to loudly boo, while his attacks on his opponents would receive enthusiastic cheers:> Burning Question: Was the Debate Audience Booing Bernie Sanders for Slamming Billionaires, or Booing Billionaires? https://t.co/F7185Jk5yy DemDebate> > I think it's a Bloomberg crowd fwiw pic.twitter.com/zQ7dfXlPg1> > — Tommy X-TrumpIsARacist-opher (@tommyxtopher) February 26, 2020The tone was so markedly different from that of the debate in Nevada that many viewers were suspicious of the authenticity of the hecklers:> how much does bloomberg pay someone to boo?> > — maura quint (@behindyourback) February 26, 2020> Bloomberg got mocked and laughed at so bad at the last debate he literally paid people to come cheer for him and boo his opponents didn’t he> > — Jonathan Myerson Katz (@KatzOnEarth) February 26, 2020> Did Bloomberg seed the crowd with supporters to boo Bernie because this is insane> > — chris person (@Papapishu) February 26, 2020Tickets to attend the South Carolina debate were prohibitively expensive, some have pointed out; the only way to obtain a ticket was to sponsor the debate, with such sponsorships ranging from $1,750 to $3,200 each. Whether that meant the demographic of the attendees naturally skewed toward a group that was more tolerant of billionaires — or if the hecklers' seats were being paid for by someone else — wasn't immediately clear. More stories from theweek.com Israel is the first country to warn its citizens not to travel abroad over coronavirus fears HHS Secretary Alex Azar reportedly blindsided by Trump putting Pence in charge of coronavirus response Harvard scientist predicts coronavirus will infect up to 70 percent of humanity


A Wrongfully Convicted Kansas Man Who Spent 23 Years in Prison Is Awarded $1.5 Million

A Wrongfully Convicted Kansas Man Who Spent 23 Years in Prison Is Awarded $1.5 MillionLamonte McIntyre was convicted and sentenced to two terms of life in prison for the murder of Donald Ewing and Doniel Quinn back in 1994. The two victims had been shot in the middle of the day while they sat in their car




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San Angelo Views and Opinions
 
The Importance of Free Press in a Democracy

Before we can understand the importance of a free press in a democracy, we need to grasp what it means to have a free press. The Cambridge Dictionary tells us that a free press allows all media outlets to express whatever opinions they desire. That means, it says, that they are enabled to “criticize the government and other organizations.” So why would that be relevant in a democracy?

Unfair Questions or Democracy At Work ?

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” -- The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Why U.S. Engagement Policy Is The Correct One

Invariably, when one thinks of the efficacy of a nation’s military, the mind’s eye is drawn to the ability of that country to deliver a \"warhead onto the forehead\" of their enemies. Indeed, owing to the Pentagon’s slick packaging of the First Gulf War, modern conflict, in the American mind, became synonymous with high-tech toys, grainy videos of successful missile shots, and a quick resolution of hostilities.

Capitalism and The Wealth Gap

When it comes to the efficient delivery of goods and services, capitalism is the proven economic model that puts people to work and products on the shelves. Whether those jobs end up paying enough money to purchase the items on those shelves is another matter, however.

Living Wages Are A Global Problem

The recent protests for an increased minimum wage are part of a larger global protest. The purpose is the same for low wage earners all over the world; increase wages to match the cost of living, and allow workers to form unions if desired and needed. The global protest has gained media attention all over the world, but critics claim that is the only accomplishment the movement will have.

Ukraine: Not What It Seems

After tense days of fighting this week, people in Ukraine are mourning the dead and celebrating the removal of President Victor Yanukovych from power. The final struggle that began on February 18, was the bloodiest endured by the protesters of Euromaidan. By February 22 the fighting was over.

Religious Freedom Bill - Protecting The Faithful or Legalized Discrimination?

After a much heated national debate, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the controversial bill that would have allowed people and businesses in the state to refuse services to LBGT people based on their religious belief.

Coup Or Civil War In Egypt

The day after new protests erupted in Egypt the military in a show of support presented an ultimatum to Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood-led government. Morsi was to step down from power and meet all of the demands of the Egyptian people, or face being removed by the military on Wednesday. As the ultimatum deadline draws closer in Egypt, Morsi refuses to leave, insisting that parliamentary elections are needed before he should be removed, and that he doesn't have permission from the United States to remove himself from power. Most recently he stated he will pay with his life to preserve the sanctity of the ballot box.

 

 
 
 
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