Experts conclude: Lockdown responsible for child hepatitis

Over a thousand children, mostly under the age of five, have been diagnosed with mysterious liver problems in the past few months, and now experts from Great Britain believe they have identified the reason why.

Over thirty countries have reported cases of a form of hepatitis, and several dozen children have needed a liver transplant as a result.

  • Now two teams of researchers, from London and Glasgow, have concluded that COVID restrictions, and specifically lockdowns, are to blame for usually mild viruses resulting in serious illness.

The viruses concerned are adenovirus, which normally causes colds and stomach ache, and adeno-associated virus two, which does not ordinarily produce symptoms, and can only replicate in the presence of a “helper virus.”

  • Scientists have ruled out either COVID infection itself or adverse reactions to COVID vaccines as the cause of these cases of child hepatitis, and have concluded that lack of exposure in the early years of life to common viruses has had serious effects on the way children build up their immune systems.

The BBC interviewed several parents of children who have been seriously affected by this phenomenon. One is Noah, three years of age, who has undergone a liver transplant and will now need to take immunosuppressant drugs for the rest of his life.

“There is something really heartbreaking about that because you go along following the rules, do what you are supposed to do to protect people that are vulnerable and then, in some horrible roundabout way, your own child has become more vulnerable because you did what you were supposed to do,” his mother said.

Professor Judith Breuer, an expert virologist at University College London and Great Ormond Street Hospital, told the BBC that,

  • “During the lockdown period when children were not mixing, they were not transmitting viruses to each other. They were not building up immunity to the common infections they would normally encounter.”
  • “When the restrictions were lifted, children began to mix, viruses began to circulate freely – and they suddenly were exposed with this lack of prior immunity to a whole battery of new infections.”

Experts are hopeful that cases are now becoming fewer but they remain on alert for any new resurgences.

Source: Arutz Sheva

Header: Ultra-Orthodox Jews wear face masks and keep social distance during a protest in the southern Israel city of Arad, October 19, 2020. (AP/Oded Balilty)

Watch: Lebanese grain warehouses collapse

  • A section of Beirut’s massive port grain silos, which were shredded in the 2020 explosion that hit the area, collapsed in a huge cloud of dust on Sunday after a weekslong fire, triggered by grains that had fermented and ignited in the summer heat, reports The Associated Press.

The northern block of the silos toppled after what sounded like an explosion, kicking up thick grey dust that enveloped the iconic structure and the port next to a residential area.

It was not immediately clear if anyone was injured.

Assaad Haddad, the General Director of the Port Silo, told AP that “everything is under control” but that the situation has not subsided yet. Minutes later, the dust subsided and calm returned.

However, Youssef Mallah, from the Civil Defense department, said that other parts of the silos’ northern block were at risk and that other sections of the giant ruin could collapse.

The August 4, 2020 explosion at the Beirut Port left 218 dead and 7,000 injured.

It was caused when a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored at the port detonated.

  • A report published following the incident linked Hezbollah to the explosion at the port, saying the group received from Iran many supplies of ammonium nitrate.

The report cast doubt over the denial by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah that his group had any connection to the blast in Beirut.

The 50 year-old, 48-meter-tall silos withstood the force of the explosion two years ago, effectively shielding the western part of Beirut from the blast, according to AP.

In July, a fire broke out in the northern block of the silos due to the fermenting grains.

Firefighters and Lebanese Army soldiers were unable to put it out and it smoldered for weeks. The environment and health ministries last week issued instructions to residents living near the port to stay indoors in well-ventilated spaces.

Sunday’s collapse of a part of the silos’ northern section comes just days ahead of the second anniversary of 2020 explosion.

In October of 2021, Lebanon’s appeals court rejected lawsuits filed against the lead investigator of the Beirut port explosion in a decision that allows him to resume his work.

The lawsuits were part of a growing campaign by Lebanon’s political class against the investigation into the devastating port explosion.

  • The challenge automatically suspended the probe until the decision was reached. The appeals court rejected the request to remove Judge Tarek Bitar, saying doing so is not its jurisdiction.
  • Previously, Bitar confirmed charges filed by his predecessor against former Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab and three former ministers. Diab was summoned for questioning on accusations of intentional killings and negligence.

Bitar later issued a subpoena for Diab, after he failed show up for questioning.

Source: Arutz Sheva

Header: A general view of the harbor area with smoke billowing from an area after a large explosion rocked the harbor area of Beirut, Lebanon, 04 August 2020. According to reports, several people have been injured and large area badly damaged while the cause of the explosion is was not yet known. EPA-EFE/WAEL HAMZEH

NASA condemns China over rocket debris

NASA administrator Bill Nelson has criticized China for not sharing “specific trajectory information” about a booster rocket that fell through the Earth’s atmosphere into the Indian Ocean on Saturday.

The Chinese Long March 5B rocket re-entered the atmosphere over the Indian Ocean on Saturday, breaking apart as it hurtled to Earth.

  • The rocket was launched last Sunday to deliver a module to China’s Tiangong space station before falling back to Earth.

“The People’s Republic of China did not share specific trajectory information as their Long March 5B rocket fell back to Earth,” Nelson tweeted, adding that “all spacefaring nations” should share such information “to allow reliable predictions of potential debris impact risk, especially for heavy lift vehicles like the Long March 5B which carry a significant risk of loss of life and property.”

“Doing so is critical to the responsible use of space and to ensure the safety of people here on Earth,” Nelson concluded.

The core stage of the Long March 5B is not jettisoned before the rocket leaves the atmosphere, as is the case with some Western and Russian rockets.

Instead, the Long March’s core, which weighs around 22.5 metric tons, falls from orbit intact, with between five and nine metric tons of debris surviving the fall to Earth, according to Aerospace Corp, a US government-funded research center.

  • Debris from a Long March 5B fell over Ivory Coast in 2020, with local media reporting metal objects that did not burn up in the atmosphere having been found on the ground.

This re-entry and others by China’s Long March rockets caused concerns in the West, but Beijing has stressed that most of its debris either disintegrates or lands in the oceans, and thus poses an “extremely low” risk to anyone or anything on the ground.

China has also hit back at Western double standards over space debris, with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying reminding NASA last year that when a pressure vessel from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket fell on a man’s farm in Washington state, “American media used romantic words like ‘shooting stars across to light up the night sky’ and ‘dazzling light show.’”

  • Shortly before the Long March 5B’s splashdown in the Indian Ocean, an observer in Malaysia captured video that purportedly shows it blazing a fiery trail through the sky.

Source: RT

Watch: Terrorist attacks against civilians. Kiev’s Forces mined streets in Donetsk

On the morning of July 31, projectiles with scatterable anti-personnel land mines Lepestok (also known as Green Parrot or Butterfly Mines, PFM-1) hit the village of Skochinsky mine and the Kirovsky district of Donetsk.

On July 31, the AFU mined the very center of the city of Donetsk. PFM-1 were shelled at the intersection of Vatutin Avenue and Universitetskaya street.

There were civilians on the streets at the moment of the attack.

Earlier, the representative office of the Donetsk People’s Republic in the JCCC reported several times on the shelling of the residential areas of the capital, including with the use of artillery, mortars and MLRS “Hurricane”, with which the AFU carried out the remote installation of the mines.

Numerous PMF-1s are still found on the central streets of Donetsk and in the parks of the city. According to local reports, some civilians were injured during the explosions.

DPR security forces are demining the streets.

The center of Donetsk is cleared by T-72B tanks:

  • Soviet PFM-1C mines are hardly noticeable on the ground and explode when someone steps on the target sensor. They can also explode when being heated by sunlight.

Residents of Donetsk and its suburbs find unexploded cassettes in their yards.

The local residents who have been shelled by Ukrainian forces for years, are not surprised by such attacks.

There is a video showing a woman who took an unexploded mine in her bag “to show it to her colleagues” and warn them.

The terrorist warfare of the Kiev regime against civilians in the DPR and LPR has crossed all the boundaries of cruelty.

Mining of the cities is aimed at killing civilians.

The PMF-1s can cause no damage to any military equipment but only kill civilians.

Previously, such mines were also left by the AFU in the cities they left.


Major buyer cancels Ukrainian wheat deal – Reuters

Egypt has cancelled an order for 240,000 tons of Ukrainian wheat that was earlier booked for delivery last February and March but not shipped due to the conflict in Ukraine, Reuters reported this week.

This comes as Kiev prepares to resume grain exports via the Black Sea following an agreement with Moscow.

Egypt’s procurement authority released the suppliers from their contractual obligations this week, Reuters said citing its sources, adding that it was unclear whether the contracts were cancelled before or after the internationally-brokered deal was reached.

After being unable to receive its supply from Ukraine, Egypt, one of the world’s biggest wheat importers, bought the grain elsewhere.

According to media reports, in June the country purchased more than a million tons of wheat from Romania, Bulgaria, France and Russia.

Bloomberg reports that Egypt now has more than seven months of wheat stockpiles.

Moscow and Kiev agreed to restart grain exports via the Black Sea last Friday with the first ship expected to set sail within days.

An estimated 20 million tons of grain are awaiting shipping from Ukrainian ports.

The deal was hailed by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres as “a beacon of hope and relief” and was widely described as a diplomatic breakthrough that would do much to alleviate the global food crisis.

Ukraine’s main grain export, corn, accounts for over 15% of the global supply.

The biggest buyer is the EU, which uses it mainly as animal fodder.

Ukraine’s share of the world’s wheat exports in 2021 stood at 10% with Egypt and Indonesia its main customers.

The eastern European country ranks fifth among global wheat exporters after the US, Canada, Russia and the EU.

Ukraine produces just 3% of the total global wheat output, according to data from the economy and business branch of the Ukrainska Pravda newspaper.

  • Among the country’s other grain exports are barley, millet, oats and rye.

Source: RT

Nancy Pelosi’s Asia visit itinerary leaves out mention of possible stop in Taiwan

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office announced early Sunday morning that she plans to visit at least four Asian countries during her trip to the region, but a stop in Taiwan was notably left out.

Pelosi is leading a Congressional delegation to the Indo-Pacific region that includes stops in Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan.

The trip will center on mutual security, economic partnership and democratic governance in the Indo-Pacific region, her office said in a press release.

  • “Today, our Congressional delegation travels to the Indo-Pacific to reaffirm America’s strong and unshakeable commitment to our allies and friends in the region,” Pelosi said in the release.
  • “In Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan, our delegation will hold high-level meetings to discuss how we can further advance our shared interests and values, including peace and security, economic growth and trade, the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, human rights and democratic governance,” she continued.
  • Pelosi added, “Under the strong leadership of President Biden, America is firmly committed to smart, strategic engagement in the region, understanding that a free and flourishing Indo-Pacific is crucial to prosperity in our nation and around the globe.”

The Congressional delegation will include Reps. Gregory Meeks of New York, Mark Takano of California, Suzan DelBene of Washington, Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois and Andy Kim of New Jersey.

Pelosi’s announcement comes after President Joe Biden said earlier this month that U.S. military officials believe a visit to Taiwan from the Speaker is “not a good idea.”

The People’s Republic of China sees Taiwan as part of its territory. The Chinese military has frequently sent planes into Taiwan’s airspace to test the region’s air defense zone and the country has warned the U.S. against Pelosi visiting.

She would be the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the island county since 1997.

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping warned Biden in a phone call Thursday that the U.S. must not “play with fire” on Taiwan.

“Those who play with fire will perish by it. It is hoped that the US will be clear-eyed about this,” a Chinese readout of the Biden-Xi call said.

While the U.S. does not have official relations with Taiwan, it has increased engagements with the island and has tried to discourage China from invading.

China has become angered over the potential of Pelosi visiting Taiwan, with Beijing warning that there will be consequences if the Speaker stops on the island. Chinese officials have said Pelosi visiting Taiwan would violate the One China Policy and would constitute aiding an illegal rebellion.

A Chinese state media personality even suggested shooting down the Speaker’s plane if she does visit.

On Saturday, China held live-fire military exercises in the Taiwan Strait.

  • Fox News’ Timothy H.J. Nerozzi contributed to this report.

Source: Landon Mion – Fox News

Too early to say COVID-19 has become seasonal disease, expert says

It will be possible to say for sure if the coronavirus has become a seasonal disease in a year, immunologist and specialist in particularly dangerous infections Vladislav Zhemchugov told TASS.

According to him, there are two scenarios for the end of the coronavirus pandemic. Under one of them, the infection will turn into a flu-like seasonal disease.

“Next spring, we will see if the wave ends in a flu-like disease or persists through the summer. We need time to figure out if [the coronavirus] has become a seasonal disease,” the expert emphasized.

However, Zhemchugov believes that the more likely scenario is that the coronavirus will turn into a natural focal infection.

In this case, the virus will find a natural carrier, the expert said.

“When the level of herd immunity drops, it will once again start circulating among humans like the plague and Ebola,” the expert concluded.

Source: TASS

Black Sea Fleet HQ in Sevastopol, Crimea attacked by Ukraine – governor

The Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Sevastopol, Crimea was attacked by Ukraine, Governor Mikhail Razvozhayev wrote on his Telegram channel on Sunday morning.

Five people were injured in a strike presumably carried out by a drone, he added.

  • The attack took place on Russia’s Navy Day. Razvozhayev said that all celebrations have been canceled for safety reasons.

Ukrainian officials have repeatedly voiced plans to take back Crimea, which voted to leave Ukraine and join Russia shortly after the 2014 coup in Kiev.

Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Gavrilov said this month that the Black Sea Fleet stationed in Crimea poses “a permanent threat” to Ukraine.


Source: RT

Surging U.S. Gas Exports to Europe are Proof of Strategic Objective Not Aid

The surging export of American fuel gas to Europe demonstrates the underlying motive for the U.S.-led NATO proxy war in Ukraine against Russia. It should be so obvious and brazen, yet Western media push the absurd charade of the U.S. and NATO “defending” Ukraine and “aiding” Europe.

US exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the European Union are on track this year to double the transatlantic trade volume for 2021.

Media reports express admirable surprise at the “unexpected” surge in American supply and how it has exceeded what U.S. President Joe Biden had earlier promised to deliver to Europe in order to compensate for a fall in Russian exports. Cuts in Russian gas supplies have been largely due to European self-imposed restrictions purportedly to reprimand Russia over the war in Ukraine.

The United States has marginal energy trade relations with Russia, unlike the EU which up until recently relied on Russian gas and oil for about 50 and 25 percent of respective supplies.

  • Those average figures belie much higher reliance among some EU members like Hungary on Russian hydrocarbons.

In any case, shutting out Russian gas and oil was thought to be a relatively pain-free call made by Washington, although in the integrated global economy the repercussions are hitting home with soaring U.S. inflation.

The European governments have by and large dutifully gone along with the American madness to cut their noses off to spite their faces and in the process inflict extreme economic hardship on their citizens.

Just wait until winter comes!

The war in Ukraine is but one of several NATO fronts against Russia, as our columnist Declan Hayes wrote this week. This is a historic long game of imperial conquest to subjugate Russia and steal its natural wealth, going back to the Nazi Third Reich in the 1940s and Napoleon in the early 1800s.

Today, it’s all about control over the Eurasia heartland of the global economy and that involves eventual confrontation with China by the U.S. and its imperial lackeys in the EU and NATO.

The current showdown with Russia is only a prelude to more war.

Part of the subjugation and tectonic imperial game plan is to knock out Russia as a strategic energy supplier to the rest of Europe.

This explains the total continuity of the Republican Trump and Democratic Biden administrations in vehemently opposing the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany.

  • Years before the war in Ukraine finally erupted in February this year, Washington was arrogantly telling Germany and the European Union that the Nord Stream 2 project would not happen.

That pipeline has indeed been shuttered despite being technically ready to go ahead as of last year to supply 55 billion cubic meters (bcm) of additional gas to Europe.

The stupid European bureaucrats-in-chief like Ursula von der Leyen and Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbok claim the cancellation of gas contracts with Russia is about defending Ukraine and the principles of democracy. Ukraine is the most corrupt and repressive regime in Europe, as our columnist Werner Rügemer surveys, chock-full of Nazi militias. The supposed chivalry of the EU is a travesty.

The supposed chivalry of the Americans “defending” Ukraine and “aiding” Europe with energy supplies is a double travesty and insult to common intelligence.

Ramping up American gas exports to Europe demonstrates that the war in Ukraine was always about the strategic objective of displacing Russia as the continent’s energy supplier.

The fact that U.S. exports have shifted so quickly to the European Union in spite of problems with shipping logistics and long-term supply contracts shows that the shift was anticipated by the American planners.

The war in Ukraine, induced by NATO military provocations toward Russia since the CIA-instigated coup in Kiev in 2014, has been driven by the strategic prize of the U.S. replacing Russia as an energy partner.

There are other related reasons, of course. Weaponizing Europe under Washington’s tutelage, pumping up the military-industrial complex at the (failing) heart of U.S. capitalism, galvanizing Europe and the rest of the world in a futile attempt to stave off the emergence of a multipolar world and antagonizing China. But one specific objective is for corporate America to muscle in on the world’s most lucrative energy market supplying Europe.

  • Risibly, too, you have supposedly environmentally concerned European governments trying to replace affordable and relatively clean Russian natural gas with significantly more expensive and dirty US LNG.

The mining of American shale gas is environmentally brutal as is shipping it in bulk carriers across the Atlantic.

There is no way that U.S. gas can make up for Russia’s supply to the rest of Europe.

It is estimated that the current surge in U.S. exports will reach a total of about 80 billion cubic meters this year. That only accounts for half of what Russia has been supplying (155 bcm).

  • To make up for the critical shortfall, European states are reopening coal mines which betrays their purported concern about mitigating climate change.

Even those desperate measures in addition to unrealistic claims about using renewable energy sources will mean that European citizens are facing deep hardship from freezing households and crippling fuel bills.

The U.S.-led imperial warmongering against Russia is indulged by European political lackeys and clowns who are treating their own citizens with outrageous contempt.

Not only are European citizens expected to watch their governments squander tens of billions of euros of public taxes on weaponizing a Nazi regime in Ukraine, but they are also expected to don hair shirts to pay for American exports of shoddy gas supplies.

Source: Strategic Culture Foundation

Greater Romania Emerges From Stalingrad’s Ashes

As NATO’s Ukrainian campaign rumbles on, the specter of Greater Romania, România Mare, once more haunts Transylvania, Bukovina, Bessarabia, Banat, Crișana, Maramureș and, of course, Moldova where NATO’s agents, along with their Irish flunkeys, have been particularly active.

If Romania’s irredentists have their way, then Ukraine will cede northern Bukovina, and Moldova will surrender Bessarabia and send its Russian speakers fleeing eastwards towards Odessa, which Romania’s 4th Army besieged in 1941 before making their way with their Wehrmacht chums to a little town on the Volga called Stalingrad.

  • Egged on by Hitler, who needed to secure Romania’s oil fields, the 4th Army’s advance through Transnistria met only token resistance before laying siege to Odessa in what can only be described as an utter shambles.

If history only repeats itself as farce, one wonders what now lies in store for Greater Romania, which has territorial claims on Moldava, Ukraine and Hungary, all of whom have also their own Greater Moldova/Hungary/Ukraine territorial claims.

If Ukraine is our metric, we can expect Romania to be again bled dry as NATO continues to encourage it to join Ukraine in biting at Russia’s heels.

Romania simply cannot afford this NATO induced nonsense. As the German economy tanks, so also will Romanian exports to Germany, Romania’s largest trading partner and, though largely self sufficient in food and gas, Romania does not have the financial reserves for further meddling in NATO’s Ukrainian quagmire.

Far better to take a leaf out of Hungary’s playbook and paddle their own canoe rather than continue to subsidize the American and German arms’ industries.

If the Anglo Americans and their German flunkeys want to row with Russia in Ukraine, Romania should leave them at it and stay out of it as they have been down that road to no good end before.

  • In so much as România Mare is one of history’s casualties, the fault lies wiith the Versailles Treaty which deliberately destroyed the peace and tranquility of the Austro Hungarian Empire, and not with all the victims of that ignominious treaty.

Romania is a land rich in resources and, like nearby Moldova, historically abundant in corrupt leaders.

If Moldova is to merge with Romania into a modern România Mare, then let the people of those regions and not, as in Ukraine, their corrupt leaders, propose to each other and sign the wedding vows; let the peoples of Romania and Moldova be captains of their own ships.

If, as is likely, NATO is encouraging România Mare to make the same sorts of problems in Transnistria for the Russian forces stationed there as Hitler wanted Romania’s 4th Army to cause for the Soviets in Odessa and Stalingrad, then Romanians best watch out as it cannot end well.

  • But Romanians need not go back that far. They only have to look over the fence into Ukraine to see how Kiev’s intermarium fantasies have fared in towns like Mariupol where its most fervent adherents were fed into the same sort of meat grinder that previously chewed up the Romanian 4th Army in Odessa and Stalingrad.

And, if there is to be a wedding, one wonders, as with Galicia and Poland, what the dowry will be.

Moldova is Europe’s poorest country; it is not only totally dependent on Russia for all its energy needs but inflation is out of control.

Although the EU is throwing Moldova’s corrupt leaders a few crumbs, some 600 million euros in empty pledges to feed the 500,000 Ukrainians, a miserly 1200€ a piece, who have taken refuge there, Moldova, with or without EU membership, will be a basket case for decades to come.

Should the Russian Armed Forces press on to Odessa and thence to Transnistria, then those areas, which are overwhelmingly pro Russian, would be at peace and would most likely prosper.

Moldova, in contrast, would retain its wine industry, its human trafficking, its massive emigration and its empty dreams of EU salvation.

American war hawk Robert D Kaplan sees matters differently. Writing in Jeff Bezos’ controversial Washington Post, he tells us how NATO has turned Romania into a modern day paradise, marred only by the presence of Russians in Transnistria, Eastern Ukraine and even in Russia itself, which is much too near to Romania for Kaplan’s liking.

Kaplan is simply a case of the NATO fool not knowing that the NATO fool knows not. As NATO’s shock and awe terror tactics have never solved any problem, they have nothing positive to contribute to Ukraine, Romania and environs, which have defied the solutions of the great and the good for over a century and which will not be solved by roving American war hawks working for the media outlets of the world’s richest oligarch embedded in NATO’s Washington nerve center. The solution, as ever is in dialogue, in the mainland European parties to these disputes sitting down and solving their problems in their own interests and not in the interests of the Anglo American war hawks, their oligarchs or the war peddling scribes employed by them.

Dreams of Greater Romania, of România Mare are for idlers, not for the peoples trying to live their lives in peace by the waters of the Don, the Dniester and the Danube free from the intrigues of Kaplan, Bezos and the Potomac’s other selfish schemers.

Source: Daclan Hayes – Strategic Culture Foundation

Biden tests positive for COVID-19 again, returns to isolation

US President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19 again Saturday, slightly more than three days after he was cleared to exit coronavirus isolation, the White House said, in a rare case of “rebound” following treatment with an anti-viral drug.

White House physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor said in a letter that Biden “has experienced no reemergence of symptoms, and continues to feel quite well.”

In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, Biden will reenter isolation for at least five days.

The agency says most rebound cases remain mild and that severe disease during that period has not been reported.

Word of Biden’s positive test came just two hours after the White House announced a presidential visit to Michigan this coming Tuesday to highlight the passage of a bill to promote domestic high-tech manufacturing.

Biden had also been scheduled to visit his home in Wilmington, Delaware, on Sunday morning, where first lady Jill Biden has been staying while the president was positive. Both trips have been canceled as Biden has returned to isolation.

Biden, 79, was treated with the anti-viral drug Paxlovid, and tested negative for the virus on Tuesday and Wednesday.

  • He was then cleared to leave isolation while wearing a mask indoors. His positive tests put him among the minority of those prescribed the drug to experience a rebound case of the virus.

While Biden was testing negative, he returned to holding in-person indoor events and meetings with staff at the White House and was wearing a mask, in accordance with CDC guidelines. But the president removed his mask indoors when delivering remarks on Thursday and during a meeting with CEOs on the White House complex.

Asked why Biden appeared to be breaching CDC protocols, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “They were socially distanced. They were far enough apart. So we made it safe for them to be together, to be on that stage.”

Regulators are still studying the prevalence and virulence of rebound cases, but the CDC in May warned doctors that it has been reported to occur within two days to eight days after initially testing negative for the virus.

Word of Biden’s positive test came just two hours after the White House announced a presidential visit to Michigan this coming Tuesday to highlight the passage of a bill to promote domestic high-tech manufacturing. Biden had also been scheduled to visit his home in Wilmington, Delaware, on Sunday morning, where first lady Jill Biden has been staying while the president was positive. Both trips have been canceled as Biden has returned to isolation.

Biden, 79, was treated with the anti-viral drug Paxlovid, and tested negative for the virus on Tuesday and Wednesday. He was then cleared to leave isolation while wearing a mask indoors. His positive tests put him among the minority of those prescribed the drug to experience a rebound case of the virus.

But the president removed his mask indoors when delivering remarks on Thursday and during a meeting with CEOs on the White House complex.

  • Asked why Biden appeared to be breaching CDC protocols, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “They were socially distanced. They were far enough apart. So we made it safe for them to be together, to be on that stage.”

Regulators are still studying the prevalence and virulence of rebound cases, but the CDC in May warned doctors that it has been reported to occur within two days to eight days after initially testing negative for the virus.

“Limited information currently available from case reports suggests that persons treated with Paxlovid who experience COVID-19 rebound have had mild illness. There are no reports of severe disease,” the agency said at the time.

When Biden was initially released from isolation on Wednesday, O’Connor said the president would “increase his testing cadence” to catch any potential rebound of the virus.

White House COVID-19 coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha told reporters on Monday that “the clinical data suggests that between 5 and 8 percent of people have rebound” after Paxlovid treatment.

Paxlovid has been proven to significantly reduce severe disease and death among those most vulnerable to COVID-19. US health officials have encouraged those who test positive to consult their doctors or pharmacists to see if they should be prescribed the treatment, despite the rebound risk.

Biden is fully vaccinated, after getting two doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine shortly before taking office, a first booster shot in September and an additional dose March 30.

While patients who have recovered from earlier variants of COVID-19 have tended to have high levels of immunity to future reinfection for 90 days, Jha said that the BA.5 subvariant that infected Biden has proven to be more “immune-evasive.”

“We have seen lots of people get reinfected within 90 days,” he said, adding that officials don’t yet have data on how long those who have recovered from the BA.5 strain have protection from reinfection.

Source: Zeke Miller – AP via TOI

Israeli military halts F-35 training flights over faulty ejector seats

The Israel Air Force on Saturday grounded its advanced F-35 fighters for training flights, a day after it was reported that the United States discovered a problem with the stealth jets’ ejector seats.

Air Force commander Tomer Bar held an assessment on the matter on Saturday night and decided to have the entire fleet of 33 jets evaluated over the next few days.

Bar “emphasized that the examinations must be done in a strict and thorough manner in order to return the fleet to full competence while maintaining a high safety standard,” according to a statement published by the Israel Defense Forces.

F-35 operational activity is expected to continue amid the evaluation. The IDF said such uses would be approved by Bar on a case-by-case basis.

The move came after the US Air Force on Friday said it was temporarily grounding its F-35 fleet over a problem with the cartridges used to blast out the ejector seats in the event of an emergency.

  • Air Force Times reported Friday that the US first discovered the problem in April, but waited three months to ground the plane while the issue was investigated.

Seat manufacturer Martin-Baker said the problem was “traced back to a gap in the manufacturing process, which was addressed and changed.”

The defective part was loose and missing the magnesium powder used to ignite the propellant that shoots a pilot to safety, Martin-Baker spokesman Steve Roberts told Air Force Times.

The report said that since the problem was first discovered, the US had tested 2,700 F-35 ejection seat cartridges and found three failures.

Individual US jets will return to service after passing inspection.

The jet’s manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, said Saturday it was working “closely” with the Joint Program Office and customers on the seat ejector issue to “ensure safe and effective operations.”

“We are assisting with seat inspections where appropriate,” it added.

The fifth-generation F-35 has been lauded as a “game-changer” by the military, not only for its offensive and stealth capabilities, but for its ability to connect its systems with other aircraft and form an information-sharing network.

Israel has agreed to purchase at least 50 F-35 fighter jets from the US defense contractor Lockheed Martin.

So far, 33 aircraft have been delivered, and the remaining planes are slated to arrive in batches of twos and threes until 2024.

Source: Emanuel Fabian – TOI

New York City declares Monkeypox a ‘public health emergency’

New York City on Saturday night declared the Monkeypox disease a “public health emergency”, CBS News reported.

  • The move was announced in a joint statement from New York City Mayor Eric Adams and city Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan.

“New York City is currently the epicenter of the outbreak, and we estimate that approximately 150,000 New Yorkers may currently be at risk for Monkeypox exposure,” the statement read.

“We will continue to work with our federal partners to secure more doses as soon as they become available. This outbreak must be met with urgency, action, and resources, both nationally and globally, and this declaration of a public health emergency reflects the seriousness of the moment,” it added.

The declaration will give Vasan and the health department the ability to issue emergency orders and “amend provisions of the Health Code to provide for measures to help slow the spread.”

As of Friday, the state of New York has recorded at least 1,383 confirmed cases of monkeypox, according to the state’s department of health. Of those, a staggering 1,289 cases are in New York City, the city’s department of health said.

At least 5,189 cases have been confirmed nationwide, according to the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Saturday night’s announcement comes one day after New York Gov. Kathy Hochul issued an executive order declaring a state disaster emergency, saying “more than one in four Monkeypox cases in this country” are in the state.

  • Among several other actions, the governor’s order expands the number of people eligible to administer Monkeypox vaccines, requires providers to send vaccine data to the state’s health department and will boost ongoing response efforts including efforts to get more vaccines and expand testing capacity, the governor’s office said.

The World Health Organization last week declared that the Monkeypox outbreak is a global health emergency.

This is highest alert that can be issued by the WHO and it comes following a worldwide upsurge in cases.

Source: Arutz Sheva

Tel Aviv court orders Yair Netanyahu to pay NIS 250,000

The Tel Aviv District Court rejected Yair Netanyahu’s appeal of the verdict of the Magistrate’s Court in the defamation lawsuit filed against him by Avi Alkalay, a former senior editor at Walla.

The Magistrate’s Court ordered Yair to compensate Avi Alkalay in the amount of NIS 250,000. [USD 73,275]

After the appeal was rejected, Netanyahu will be obligated to pay Alkalay a further funding of legal expenses in the amount of approximately 30 thousand shekels. The total payment Yair will have to make to Alkalay has accumulated to about 400 thousand shekels. [117,250 USD]

Alkalay filed the lawsuit in 2019 after Yair accused him of being planted by the Wexner Foundation as part of conspiracy against his father, then-prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and stating that he should be arrested and prosecuted.

Yair Netanyahu now intends to file an appeal with the Supreme Court against the verdict.

Source: Arutz Sheva

Header: FILE – In this Jan. 23, 2020, file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, second from left, and son Yair, left, pose for a photo in Tel Aviv, Israel, ahead of the World Holocaust Forum. As the scandal-plagued prime minister stands trial for corruption, his 28-year-old son has emerged as a driving force in a counterattack against critics and the state institutions prosecuting the longtime Israeli leader. A favorite of the prime minister’s nationalistic base and far right leaders around the world, Yair Netanyahu has become a fixture in the news. (Aleksey Nikolskyi/Sputnik Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)