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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Thursday 15th of July 2021

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“You've got to face facts and the fact is life is a joke, a fxxking bad joke, or, no, a bad fxxking joke.” ― Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis

“You've got to face facts and the fact is life is a joke, a fxxking bad joke, or, no, a bad fxxking joke. There's no point taking it seriously because whatever happens, and I mean whatever the fxxk, the punch line is the same: you go out horizontally. You see the point? No fxxking point.” ― Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis

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Orhan Pamuk’s plagues Turkey’s best-known author reflects on politics and pestilence @TheEconomist

Orhan pamuk has had two pandemics to worry about. One confined him and millions of other Turks to their homes for long stretches of the past year. 

The other struck over a century ago, germinated in his mind for years, and eventually spread through the pages of his new novel, “Nights of Plague”.

Mr Pamuk, Turkey’s most celebrated author, says he began writing the book five years ago. 

(At his home in Istanbul, he sits a good 20 feet from your correspondent; he turns 70 next year and takes social distancing seriously.) 

He set the novel on a fictional Ottoman island in the Aegean in the early 1900s, amid an outbreak of bubonic plague. 

Just as he began to wrap it up, covid-19 hit Turkey. Reality intruded on fiction. 

“Suddenly my private world was gone; everyone was using my words,” he says. “Everyone was talking about quarantine, like they were researching this book.”

“Nights of Plague” has just been published in Turkish and comes out in English next year. 

Mr Pamuk is intent on discussing it—but cannot help talking about the state of Turkey. 

A chat between two Turks about music or literature no longer seems possible without politics elbowing in; the stench of repression is everywhere. 

His next appointment, says Mr Pamuk, is with Murat Sabuncu, a journalist who recently spent over a year in prison on bogus terror and coup charges. 

Days earlier, one of Mr Sabuncu’s guests on an opposition television channel stumbled into the studio with his fingers broken. 

A critic of the government, he had just been attacked by nationalist thugs. “They put everyone in jail, but this is not enough, so they beat [people] up,” says Mr Pamuk, shaken.
In 2005, a year before he was awarded the Nobel prize for literature, Mr Pamuk had his own brush with prison when prosecutors charged him with “insulting Turkishness”. 

His offence was to have spoken a few words to a Swiss newspaper about the slaughter and forced deportation of over a million Armenians by Ottoman forces during the first world war. 

He faced up to three years behind bars, but the charges were eventually dropped. Even now he periodically receives death threats because of those and later remarks. He still has a police bodyguard.
“I was always in trouble because of my interviews, not because of my novels,” he says. With his latest book, that might change. 

Already he has had to deny a popular columnist’s claim that he has mocked Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, in the person of a character. 

He may face more heckling for his treatment of Abdulhamid II, a sultan who sought to prevent the Ottoman Empire’s collapse by mixing autocracy with pan-Islamism.
Modern Turkish Islamists—including the president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan—have reinvented Abdulhamid as a hero of the late Ottoman era. 

A period drama about the sultan’s final years in power, aired on state tv, goes further, depicting him as an archetype for Mr Erdogan and a victim of European and Zionist intrigues. 

Words spoken by Mr Erdogan one week regularly come out of Abdulhamid’s mouth in the next week’s episode. 

His portrayal in “Nights of Plague” is less charitable. “Abdulhamid closed parliament, did not care about free speech, and made Ottoman Istanbul a police state,” says Mr Pamuk.

He is a famously meticulous writer, recalling the Ottoman miniaturists in one of his earlier books, “My Name is Red”, a murder mystery set in 16th-century Istanbul. 

Though such forensic attention to detail can lead to impenetrable prose, for the most part Mr Pamuk’s shimmers. 

He pores over old maps, photos and manuscripts, drawing sketches and painting watercolours of his characters. 

After writing “The Museum of Innocence”, a novel about a lovesick hoarder, he assembled the everyday objects described in the book and enshrined them in a small, remarkable museum. 

For “Nights of Plague” he devoured all the pandemic literature he could find. He studied cholera’s progress from China and India to Ottoman lands, aboard steamships packed with Muslim pilgrims heading to Mecca and Medina, and the resistance to quarantine measures across the empire.
But it took the mounting toll of today’s pandemic—the way heads turned when someone coughed or sneezed on the metro or at a nearby table—for him to realise that something was missing. 

He sensed that omission again when Istanbul, a city of 15m people, sank into morbid silence during its lockdowns, and when he prowled its empty streets at night with his bodyguard and his camera, flanked by stray cats and dogs. 

“I had imagined my world, but the one thing I couldn’t imagine”, he says, “was fear. My characters in the book were more fearless before the coronavirus.”
Mr Pamuk likes to joke that he used to have three bodyguards and now has only one, which means that Turkey must be improving. 

A more plausible reason is that he is no longer at the centre of the country’s political storms. That, he says, is because the centre has vanished.
Liberals in Turkey have generally been a lonely, endangered species. But a decade or two ago they could at least hope to be heard. Now they have been muzzled. 

In 2017 Mr Pamuk gave a long interview to what was once Turkey’s newspaper of record, in which he said he opposed constitutional changes that granted Mr Erdogan sweeping new powers. 

Fearing the government’s wrath, the paper killed the story. Mr Pamuk has since stopped speaking to the big Turkish news outlets. They have stopped asking him.
Now, he says, there is no room for truly free speech. “A unique thing that I haven’t seen in this country before is these silences when the name of our president comes up,” he observes. 

“Before, you could say something nasty in a taxi or a supermarket. Now it’s silence.” ■

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What Makes a Cult a Cult? @NewYorker

Male cult leaders sometimes claim droit du seigneur over female followers or use physical violence to sexually exploit them. 

But, on the whole, they find it more efficient to dress up the exploitation as some sort of gift or therapy: an opportunity to serve God, an exorcism of “hangups,” a fast track to spiritual enlightenment. 

One stratagem favored by Keith Raniere, the leader of the New York-based self-help cult NXIVM, was to tell the female disciples in his inner circle that they had been high-ranking Nazis in their former lives, and that having yogic sex with him was a way to shift the residual bad energy lurking in their systems.
According to Sarah Berman, whose book “Don’t Call It a Cult” (Steerforth) focusses on the experiences of NXIVM’s women members, Raniere was especially alert to the manipulative uses of shame and guilt. 

When he eventually retired his Nazi story—surmising, perhaps, that there were limits to how many reincarnated S.S. officers one group could plausibly contain—he replaced it with another narrative designed to stimulate self-loathing. 

He told the women that the privileges of their gender had weakened them, turned them into prideful “princesses,” and that, in order to be freed from the prison of their mewling femininity, they needed to submit to a program of discipline and suffering. 

This became the sales spiel for the NXIVM subgroup DOS (Dominus Obsequious Sororium, dog Latin for “Master of the Obedient Sisterhood”), a pyramid scheme of sexual slavery in which members underwrote their vow of obedience to Raniere by having his initials branded on their groins and handing over collateral in the form of compromising personal information and nude photos. 

At the time of Raniere’s arrest, in 2018, on charges of sex trafficking, racketeering, and other crimes, DOS was estimated to have more than a hundred members and it had been acquiring equipment for a B.D.S.M. dungeon. 

Among the orders: a steel puppy cage, for those members “most committed to growth.”

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I always wondered if I'd be around for the end of the world. At least it sure feels that way right now. Everything ramping up to tenth degree in just about every country, from east to west. @Mr_Pink_1st

I always wondered if I'd be around for the end of the world. At least it sure feels that way right now. Everything ramping up to tenth degree in just about every country, from east to west. Throw mother nature on top of it and it's the perfect shit storm.

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.@WHO Weekly epidemiological update on COVID-19 - 13 July 2021

The global number of new cases reported last week (5-11 July 2021) was nearly 3 million, a 10% increase as compared to the previous week (Figure 1). 

Following a steady decline for nine consecutive weeks, the number of weekly deaths increased by 3% this week compared to the previous week, with over 55,000 deaths reported. 

Globally, COVID-19 incidence increased with an average of over 400,000 cases reported each day as compared to 370,000 from the previous week. 

The cumulative number of cases reported globally is now over 186 million and the number of deaths exceeds 4 million.
This week, all Regions with the exception of the Americas recorded an increase in incidence

The Eastern Mediterranean Region recorded the largest increase in incidence (25%) 

followed by European Region with a 20% increase as compared to the previous week  

The African Region had the smallest percentage increase in incidence with a 5% increase. However, the region recorded a 50% increase in the number of deaths as compared to the previous week. 

The South-East Asia Region also recorded a significant increase in number of deaths, reporting a 26% increase as compared to the previous week. 

The Region of the Americas reported a 3% decline in incidence and an 11% decrease in number of deaths reported last week.

The highest numbers of new cases were reported from 

Brazil (333 030 new cases; 9% decrease)

India (291 789 new cases; 7% decrease)

Indonesia (243 119 new cases; 44% increase) 

The United Kingdom (210 277 new cases; 30% increase) 

Colombia (174 320 new cases; 15% decrease). 

Over the past week, the highest numbers of new cases per 100 000 population were reported from 

British Virgin Islands (2497 new cases per 100 000 pop)

Seychelles (763 new cases per 100 000 pop)

Cyprus (673 new cases per 100 000 pop)

Jersey (628 new cases per 100 000 pop)

Fiji (490 new cases per 100 000 pop)

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"Last week marked the fourth consecutive week of increasing cases of Covid-19 globally," @DrTedros

"The Delta variant is ripping around the world at a scorching pace, driving a new spike in cases and deaths." 

"The current collective strategy reminds me of a firefighting team taking on a forest blaze," he said. 

"Hosing down part of it might reduce the flames in one area, but while it's smoldering anywhere, sparks will eventually travel and grow again into a rolling furnace." 

We emerged from the below captioned 4 weeks ago. 

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Globally, cases & deaths increased by 10% & 3% last week, respectively @mvankerkhove

Cases increasing in 5/6 WHO regions
Delta variant in >111 countries

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Nations w/ most avg #COVID19 cases/day @jmlukens

Indonesia: 38.6k
India: 34.8k
UK: 33.5k
Russia: 24.5k
US: 23.9k
Spain: 19.2k
Iran: 18.6k
SouthAfrica: 18.3k
Colombia: 18.3k

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The viral loads in the Delta infections were ~1000 times higher than those in the earlier 19A/19B strain infections on the day when viruses were firstly detected

We deducted the intra-family transmission pairs from our time interval analysis. 

Our results showed the time interval from the exposure to first PCR positive in the quarantined population (n=29) was 6.00 (IQR 5.00-8.00) days in the 2020 epidemic (peak at 5.61 days) and was 4.00 (IQR 3.00-5.00) days in the 2021 (n=34) epidemic (peak at 3.71 days)
Compared to the 19A/19 B strains, the relative viral loads in the Delta variant infections (62 cases, Ct value 24.00 (IQR 19.00~29.00) for ORF1ab gene) were 1260 times higher than the 19A/19B strains infections (63 cases, Ct value 34.31 (IQR 31.00~36.00) for ORF1ab gene) on the day when viruses were first detected (Figure 1C).

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1835
Dollar Index 92.382
Japan Yen 109.81
Swiss Franc 0.9142
Pound 1.3850
Aussie 0.7475
India Rupee 74.533
South Korea Won 1141.51
Brazil Real 5.0714
Egypt Pound 15.6885
South Africa Rand 14.483

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This is a counterrevolution organized from within his party to stop consolidation of a democratic state because its sponsors are terrified of a functioning state with a rule of law. @palesa_morudu

When is @CyrilRamaphosa going to define what is unfolding by its correct term. This is a counterrevolution organized from within his party to stop consolidation of a democratic state because its sponsors are terrified of a functioning state with a rule of law.

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The Chancellor of UFS says that the crisis we are facing is an amalgamation and an intersectionality of 3 phenomenons being ethno-tribalism, rampant criminality and desperation by the poor. @agobakwe_m

The Chancellor of UFS Mr Bonang Mohale says that the crisis we are facing is an amalgamation and an intersectionality of 3 phenomenons being ethno-tribalism, rampant criminality and desperation by the poor.

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Mary de Haas, has described the violence and criminality that has gripped the province for four days as a manifestation of the ‘ANC imploding’. @dailymaverick

The ANC’s implosion, says Mary de Haas, “is wrecking South Africa” as criminal elements, opportunists and desperately hungry residents piggy-backed on the chaos the party has created.

De Haas attributed the failure of authorities in the region to prevent the violence and looting which broke out after former president Jacob Zuma’s arrest on 8 July to “a political policy decision”.

“They left it too late,” she lamented.
De Haas’s observation appears to be borne out by a statement made by Minister of State Security Ayanda Dlodlo on Tuesday, that the State Security Agency had received eight alerts on 28 June on planned public violence.
De Haas told Daily Maverick she was under no illusion that the violence in the province which later spread, predictably, to Gauteng “is orchestrated”.
“There is enough on record of people inciting violence and threatening it for us to take this seriously. What instigators are doing is going in and getting the ball rolling and then leaving it up to criminals and others to loot”.
While President Cyril Ramaphosa might enjoy support countrywide, ANC members in KZN, who had benefited handsomely from Zuma’s presidency and locality, viewed the former president as a “figurehead”.
eThekwini, the largest ANC region in the country, had always been “solidly Zuma” while the former president himself had been the ANC’s “frontman” in the province for decades.
Zandile Gumede, who rose from the shacklands of Inanda to mayor of eThekwini before her ousting on charges of corruption, was part of the strong grouping that supported Zuma.
From 2016 onwards, said De Haas, anyone wanting to get on to ANC’s party lists “had to be in the Zuma camp”. 

Fortunes had been made by many in the province who have not been shy to flaunt their wealth. 

These individuals include Shauwn and S’bu Mpisane who made their fortunes building low-cost housing.
Also close to Zuma are family members of the Gcaba taxi dynasty who this week rushed to distance themselves from the violence, rejecting accusations that it was “in any way involved in current acts of violence happening in the country”.
The removal of Jacob Zuma from the political equation was and is a direct threat to those in the party and the region who are politically aligned to him and who have amassed vast fortunes in tenders, said De Haas.
“It is all about economics and tenders,” she said, as well as a shadowy group “blatantly whipping up support”.
“The strategy is to whip people up, go in and start the process, be it a mall or a shopping centre, and withdraw when the looting begins.”
Looting, she added, was a regular occurrence in the area and when the opportunity presented itself, hungry citizens bearing the brunt of a pandemic, a lockdown and an economic meltdown, took advantage.
In many areas in KZN, eyewitnesses reported children walking to malls and centres where looting was taking place to join in.
De Haas said she had witnessed in the lead-up to the unrest people agitating shackland residents on Sunday night.
“On Monday around 10 o’clock the shooting started just off Ridge Road. By then I had been informed that malls were burning all over, including Umlazi.”
The agitators, she said, “have a captive audience of resentful, poor people and you realise how desperate they are. This is what the lockdown has done,” said De Haas.
She praised local provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi as a professional and well trained law-enforcement official, but said he was still subject to “political instruction” by Minister of Police Bheki Cele, who has his own chequered history in the province.
De Haas added that “intelligence services under Zuma just collapsed. There is no intelligence… in Richards Bay, in Empangeni in Somkhele, there is no intelligence.”
She said she was “really worried” that the violence would spread and would morph into racial violence as white residents of the province felt abandoned and threatened and took up arms. 

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We need to ask ourselves; how many people can incumbent shoot stone cold dead in such a situation – 100, 1,000, 10,000?

This is another point: there is a threshold beyond which the incumbent can’t go. Where that threshold lies will be discovered in the throes of the event.

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Fast Forward

However, what I am noticing is a metastatic expansion of Protest

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21 OCT 19 :: The New Economy of Anger

Nose-diving economic opportunity is creating tinder-dry conditions.

The Phenomenon is spreading like wildfire in large part because of the tinder dry conditions underfoot. 

Prolonged stand-offs eviscerate economies, reducing opportunities and accelerate the negative feed- back loop.

Paul Virilio pronounced in his book Speed and Politics, 

“The revolutionary contingent attains its ideal form not in the place of production, but in the street, where for a moment it stops being a cog in the technical machine and itself becomes a motor (machine of attack), in other words, a producer of speed.’’

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November 8, 2020 @PMEthiopia has launched an unwinnable War on Tigray Province.

Ethiopia which was once the Poster child of the African Renaissance now has a Nobel Prize Winner whom I am reliably informed

PM Abiy His inner war cabinet includes Evangelicals who are counseling him he is "doing Christ's work"; that his faith is being "tested". @RAbdiAnalyst

@PMEthiopia has launched an unwinnable War on Tigray Province.

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@WHO Weekly epidemiological update on COVID-19 - 13 July 2021

African Region

The weekly case incidence and deaths continues to increase for the past consecutive nine weeks and eight weeks, respectively. 

The African Region reported over 213 000 new cases and over 5000 new deaths, a 5% and a 50% increase respectively as compared to the previous week. 

In the past week, 62% of all new cases and 53% of all new deaths were reported from South Africa. 

The highest numbers of new cases were reported from 

South Africa (132 986 new cases; 224.2 new cases per 100 000 population; percentage difference similar to last week)

Zimbabwe (13 188 new cases; 88.7 new cases per 100 000; a 72% increase)

Zambia (12 302 new cases; 66.9 new cases per 100 000; a 25% decrease).
The highest numbers of new deaths were reported from 

South Africa (2631 new deaths; 4.4 new deaths per 100 000 population; a 52% increase) 

Uganda (897 new deaths; 2.0 new deaths per 100 000; a 176% increase) 

Zambia (378 new deaths; 2.1 new deaths per 100 000; a 12% decrease).

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COVID-19 The number of new cases is growing at more than 41,400 per day -- a 13 percent increase over last week and a rate not yet seen on the continent. @AFP via @ahramonline H/T @michaeltanchum

The number of new infections has been on the rise in Africa since mid-May.
Libya has seen the fastest growth with 1,560 new daily cases, a jump of 260 percent.
Mozambique is second with an average of 1,380 new cases, a 77 percent increase, and Morocco with 1,190 new cases, a 70 percent jump.
In terms of the total number of new cases detected, South Africa is the most impacted country with 2,219,316 cases. 

It accounts for 45 percent of new cases counted on the continent each day.
However, the number of new daily cases in South Africa has been decreasing in recent days, down 6 percent with 18,340 average daily cases.
The country reached its peak between July 2 and 8 when a daily average of 19,956 cases was reported.

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Africa is currently reporting a million new infections about every 31 days @ReutersGraphics

Tunisia Libya Senegal Botswana Zimbabwe at peak Mozambique 99% South Africa 92% 

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Kenya is at 31.6% of national income to top 10% & 16.5% to bottom 40%. Tanzania is at 33.1% to top 10% and 17.4% to bottom 40%. @drmwarsame
East Africa

Much higher than the 7.2% of South Africa to bottom 40% even though in gross income due to its higher GDP, South Africa’s poor have higher income.

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
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July 2021

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