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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Tuesday 04th of January 2022

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Tsunamis also start by receding For years now Central Banks have been enabling governments unwilling to confront structural problems by flooding economies with money. @ELuttwak
World Of Finance

For years now Central Banks have been enabling governments unwilling to confront structural problems by flooding economies with money.  But when we had deflation instead of inflation, the Krugmans told us not to worry ("different this time") Tsunamis also start by receding

29-NOV-2021 ::  Regime Change

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JIM The Insufferable Gaucho Roberto Bolaño

Many years ago I had a friend named Jim, and he was the saddest North American I’ve ever come across. I’ve seen a lot of desperate men. But never one as sad as Jim. Once he went to Peru—supposedly for more than six months, but it wasn’t long before I saw him again. The Mexican street kids used to ask him, what’s poetry made of, Jim? Listening to them, Jim would stare at the clouds and then he’d start throwing up. Vocabulary, eloquence, the search for truth. Epiphany. Like when you have a vision of the Virgin. He was mugged several times in Central America, which is surprising, because he’d been a Marine and fought in Vietnam. No more fighting, Jim used to say. I’m a poet now, searching for the extraordinary, trying to express it in ordinary, everyday words. So you think there are ordinary, everyday words? I think there are, Jim used to say. His wife was a Chicana poet; every so often she’d threaten to leave him. He showed me a photo of her. She wasn’t especially pretty. Her face betrayed suffering, and under that suffering, simmering rage. I imagined her in an apartment in San Francisco or a house in Los Angeles, with the windows shut and the curtains open, sitting at a table, eating sliced bread and a bowl of green soup. Jim liked dark women, apparently, history’s secret women, he would say, without elaborating. As for me, I liked blondes. Once I saw him watching fire-eaters on a street in Mexico City. I saw him from behind, and I didn’t say hello, but it was obviously Jim. The badly cut hair, the dirty white shirt and the stoop, as if he were still weighed down by his pack. Somehow his neck, his red neck, summoned up the image of a lynching in the country—a landscape in black and white, without billboards or gas station lights—the country as it is or ought to be: one expanse of idle land blurring into the next, brick-walled rooms or bunkers from which we have escaped, standing there, awaiting our return. Jim had his hands in his pockets. The fire-eater was waving his torch and laughing fiercely. His blackened face was ageless: he could have been thirty-five or fifteen. He wasn’t wearing a shirt and there was a vertical scar from his navel to his breastbone. Every so often he’d fill his mouth with flammable liquid and spit out a long snake of fire. The people in the street would watch him for a while, admire his skill, and continue on their way, except for Jim, who remained there on the edge of the sidewalk, stock-still, as if he expected something more from the fire-eater, a tenth signal (having deciphered the usual nine), or as if he’d seen in that discolored face the features of an old friend or of someone he’d killed. I watched him for a good long while. I was eighteen or nineteen at the time and believed I was immortal. If I’d realized that I wasn’t, I would have turned around and walked away. After a while I got tired of looking at Jim’s back and the fire-eater’s grimaces. So I went over and called his name. Jim didn’t seem to hear me. When he turned around I noticed that his face was covered with sweat. He seemed to be feverish, and it took him a while to work out who I was; he greeted me with a nod and then turned back to the fire-eater. Standing beside him, I noticed he was crying. He probably had a fever as well. I also discovered something that surprised me less at the time than it does now, writing this: the fire-eater was performing exclusively for Jim, as if all the other passersby on that corner in Mexico City simply didn’t exist. Sometimes the flames came within a yard of where we were standing. What are you waiting for, I said, you want to get barbecued in the street? It was a stupid wisecrack, I said it without thinking, but then it hit me: that’s exactly what Jim’s waiting for. That year, I seem to remember, there was a song they kept playing in some of the funkier places with a refrain that went, Chingado, hechizado (Fxxked up, spellbound). That was Jim: fxxked up and spellbound. Mexico’s spell had bound him and now he was looking his demons right in the face. Let’s get out of here, I said. I also asked him if he was high, or feeling ill. He shook his head. The fire-eater was staring at us. Then, with his cheeks puffed out like Aeolus, the god of the winds, he began to approach us. In a fraction of a second I realized that it wasn’t a gust of wind we’d be getting. Let’s go, I said, and yanked Jim away from the fatal edge of that sidewalk. We took ourselves off down the street toward Reforma, and after a while we went our separate ways. Jim didn’t say a word in all that time. I never saw him again.

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Prefiguration of Lalo Cura Roberto Bolaño

It’s hard to believe, but I was born in a neighborhood called Los Empalados: The Impaled. The name glows like the moon. The name opens a way through the dream with its horn and man follows that path. A quaking path. Invariably harsh. The path that leads into or out of hell. That’s what it all comes down to. Getting closer to hell or further away. Getting closer to hell or further away. Me, for example, I’ve had people killed. I’ve given the best birthday presents. I’ve backed projects of epic proportions. I’ve opened my eyes in the dark. Once I opened them by slow degrees in total darkness and all I saw or imagined was that name: Los Empalados, shining like the star of destiny. I’ll tell you everything, naturally. My father was a renegade priest. I don’t know if he was Colombian or came from some other country. But he was Latin American. He turned up one night stone broke in Medellín, preaching sermons in bars and whorehouses. Some people thought he was working for the secret police, but my mother kept him from getting killed and took him to her penthouse in the neighborhood. They lived together for four months, I’ve been told, and then my father vanished into the Gospels. Latin America was calling him, and he kept slipping away into the sacrificial words until he vanished, gone without a trace. 

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Unspeakable acts, fateful nights. I recited the formula to Juanito. Unspeakable acts? Fateful nights? Is the act unspeakable because the night is fateful, or is the night fateful because the act is unspeakable? What sort of question is that? I asked, on t

It was already dark, and from the square you could see the lights of some of the neighborhoods and the bridges beyond the Plaza de Don Rodrigo and the river bending around and then continuing eastward. The stars were shining in the sky. I thought they looked like snowflakes. Suspended snowflakes, picked out by God to remain still in the firmament, but snowflakes all the same. 

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That night I dreamed that an unknown virus had infected our people. Roberto Bolaño

Rats are capable of killing rats. The sentence echoed in my cranial cavity until I woke. I knew that nothing would ever be the same again. I knew it was only a question of time. Our capacity to adapt to the environment, our hard-working nature, our long collective march toward a happiness that, deep down, we knew to be illusory, but which had served as a pretext, a setting, a backdrop for our daily acts of heroism, all these were condemned to disappear, which meant that we, as a people, were condemned to disappear as well. 

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The Lions Rule @offthefence

In Ruaha National Park, the dramatic saga of three lion families linked together by a strange, beautiful oasis called the Glade.
The Glade is the territory of two old lionesses and their cubs. This small pride can bring down an adult giraffe – a remarkable skill.
A magical Baobab forest spreads out beyond the Glade, the territory of the Baobab pride. They are also adroit giraffe hunters but it is the prides’ size that is special – they are the largest in all of Ruaha.
The third pride are drifters – lean, mean and ruthless. They are the Njaa. They follow the buffalo herds. The herd is their territory and they are experts in the dark art of the buffalo kill.
When destiny conspires to bring the prides together it is all out war. 
Why are these lions intent on destruction? 
'The Lions Rule’ is a bewitching saga that unfolds in a place where animal behaviour is unusual, sometimes bizarre. Here, lions lay down with baboons, lions kill giraffes, giraffes mourn their dead and buffaloes fight back.
As the series unfolds, we discover that it is not just the water of the Glade that connects the lion prides. It is something much more precious.

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Forecasting the world in 2022 @FT
Law & Politics

The world on the brink of 2022 seems an especially unpredictable, and unsettling, place. 

For the first time, two FT forecasts this year ask if Russia and China will invade neighbours (we say no, but that may be wishful thinking). 

Less optimistically, our forecasters warn a more infectious coronavirus variant than Omicron could yet emerge, inflation will not return to US targets, tighter monetary policy will hit equities, and the next global climate conference will still not achieve enough in limiting warming. 

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President of Russia Vladimir #Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the US @JoeBiden @mfa_russia
Law & Politics

The leaders focused on the implementation of the agreement to launch negotiations on providing Russia with legally binding #SecurityGuarantees.

5 OCT 15 :: Putin is a GeoPolitical GrandMaster

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We exist in a Tripolar World [US China and Russia] with rapidly emerging Middle Powers.
Law & Politics

I am not discounting Fortress Europe but one senses the Fortress is keener on a more defensive posture unlike the US [notwithstanding its withdrawal from Afghanistan], China and Russia. 

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Taiwan and Ukraine are the immediate geopolitical flashpoints.
Law & Politics

It's all garbage. If Biden can't stand up to Putin, Iran and China will just see him as a joke. @Kasparov63


No more State Dept blah-blah about "cooperation" with Putin's mafia dictatorship on Iran or triangulation against China. It's all garbage. If Biden can't stand up to Putin, Iran and China will just see him as a joke.


This is where I disagree with the inestimable @Kasparov63, Biden has to peel off Putin to escape triangulation. 

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Since the beginning of winter, Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi Province has recorded a series of hemorrhagic fever cases, a natural epidemic disease with a high fatality rate @globaltimesnews

Medical experts said that rodents are the main source of infection, and called on the public not to panic as vaccinations can effectively prevent and control the disease, while human-to-human transmission is basically impossible.

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They’ll never report this accurately when it happens, but with an Rt of 5+ it’s impossible for China’s zero-tolerance Covid policy to withstand the global Omicron wave without bringing their economy to a complete standstill. @EpsilonTheory

They’ll never report this accurately when it happens, but with an Rt of 5+ it’s impossible for China’s zero-tolerance Covid policy to withstand the global Omicron wave without bringing their economy to a complete standstill. No one is talking about this.

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A Digital Manhunt: How Chinese Police Track Critics on @Twitter & Facebook @nytimes

When Jennifer Chen traveled back to her hometown in central China last winter for Lunar New Year, she thought little about Twitter. 

She had around 100 followers on an account she believed to be anonymous.
While living in China, she retweeted news and videos, and occasionally made comments censored on Chinese platforms, like voicing her support for Hong Kong’s protesters and her solidarity with minorities who have been interned.
It wasn’t much, but it was enough for the authorities to go after her. 

The police knocked on her parents’ door when she was visiting. 

She said they had summoned her to the station, questioned her and then commanded her to delete her Twitter posts and account. 

They continued to track her when she went overseas to study, calling her and her mother to ask if Ms. Chen had recently visited any human rights websites.
The Chinese government, which has built an extensive digital infrastructure and security apparatus to control dissent on its own platforms, is going to even greater lengths to extend its internet dragnet to unmask and silence those who criticize the country on Twitter, Facebook and other international social media.

These new investigations, targeting sites blocked inside China, are relying on sophisticated technological methods to expand the reach of Chinese authorities and the list of targets, according to a New York Times examination of government procurement documents and legal records, as well as interviews with one government contractor and six people pressured by the police.

To hunt people, security forces use advanced investigation software, public records and databases to find all their personal information and international social media presence. 

The operations sometimes target those living beyond China’s borders. 

Police officers are pursuing dissidents and minor critics like Ms. Chen, as well as Chinese people living overseas and even citizens of other nations.
The digital manhunt represents the punitive side of the government’s vast campaign to counter negative portrayals of China. 

In recent years, the Communist Party has raised bot armies, deployed diplomats and marshaled influencers to push its narratives and drown out criticism. The police have taken it a step further, hounding and silencing those who dare to talk back.
With growing frequency, the authorities are harassing critics both inside and outside China, as well as threatening relatives, in an effort to get them to delete content deemed criminal. 

One video recording, provided by a Chinese student living in Australia, showed how the police in her hometown had summoned her father, called her with his phone and pushed her to remove her Twitter account.

The new tactics raise questions about the spread of powerful investigative software and bustling data markets that can make it easy to track even the most cautious social media user on international platforms. 

U.S. regulators have repeatedly blocked Chinese deals to acquire American technology companies over the access they provide to personal data. 

They have done much less to control the widespread availability of online services that offer location data, social media records and personal information.

For Chinese security forces, the effort is a daring expansion of a remit that previously focused on Chinese platforms and the best-known overseas dissidents. 

Now, violations as simple as a post of a critical article on Twitter — or in the case of 23-year-old Ms. Chen, quoting, “I stand with Hong Kong” — can bring swift repercussions.

Actions against people for speaking out on Twitter and Facebook have increased in China since 2019, according to an online database aggregating them. 

The database, compiled by an anonymous activist, records cases based on publicly available verdicts, police notices and news reports, although information is limited in China.

“The net has definitely been cast wider overseas during the past year or so,” said Yaxue Cao, editor of ChinaChange.org, a website that covers civil society and human rights. 

The goal is to encourage already widespread self-censorship among Chinese people on global social media, she said, likening the purging of critics to an overactive lawn mower.
“They cut down the things that look spindly and tall — the most outspoken,” she said. “Then they look around, the taller pieces of grass no longer cover the lower ones. They say, ‘Oh these are problematic too, let’s mow them down again.’”
Chinese security authorities are bringing new technical expertise and funding to the process, according to publicly available procurement documents, police manuals and the government contractor, who is working on overseas internet investigations.
In 2020, when the police in the western province of Gansu sought companies to help monitor international social media, they laid out a grading system. 

One criterion included a company’s ability to analyze Twitter accounts, including tweets and lists of followers. 

The police in Shanghai offered $1,500 to a technology firm for each investigation into an overseas account, according to a May procurement document.

Such work often begins with a single tweet or Facebook post that has attracted official attention, according to the contractor, who declined to be named because he was not approved to speak publicly about the work. 

A specialist in tracking people living in the United States, he said he used voter registries, driver’s license records and hacked databases on the dark web to pinpoint the people behind the postsPersonal photos posted online can be used to infer addresses and friends.

A Chinese police manual and examination for online security professionals detailed and ranked the types of speech crimes that investigators seek out, labeling them with a one, two or three depending on the severity of the violation.

One denotes criticism of top leadership or plans to politically organize or protest; two includes the promotion of liberal ideology and attacks on the government; and three, the least urgent, refers to content ranging from libel to pornography. 

The manual specifically called for monitoring activity on foreign websites.

The contractor said he used the rankings to classify infractions on dossiers he submitted to his bosses in China’s security apparatus. 

In a sample document reviewed by The Times, he listed key details about each person he looked into, including personal and career information and professional and family connections to China, as well as a statistical analysis of the reach of the person’s account. 

His approach was corroborated by procurement documents and guides for online security workers.
Over the past year, he said, he had been assigned to investigate a mix of Chinese undergraduates studying in the United States, a Chinese American policy analyst who is a U.S. citizen and journalists who previously worked in China.
Those caught up in the dragnet are often baffled at how the authorities linked them to anonymous social media accounts on international platforms.
The Chinese student in Australia, who provided the video recording from her police questioning, recalled the terror she had felt when she first received a call from her father in China in spring 2020. 

The police told him to go to a local station over a parody account she had created to mock China’s leader, Xi Jinping. She declined to be named over concerns about reprisals.

In an audio recording she also provided, the police told her via her father’s phone that they knew her account was being used from Australia. 

Her distraught father instructed her to listen to the police.

Three weeks later, they summoned him again. This time, calling her via video chat, they told her to report to the station when she returned to China and asked how much longer her Australian visa was valid. 

Fearful, she denied owning the Twitter account but filmed the call and kept the account up. A few months later, Twitter suspended it.
After an inquiry from The Times, Twitter restored the account. A Twitter spokeswoman said it had been taken down in error.

Consequences can be steep. When a Chinese student living in Taiwan criticized China this year, he said, both of his parents disappeared for 10 days. 

His social media accounts within China were also immediately shut down.

The student, who declined to be named out of fear of further reprisals, said he still did not know what had happened to his parents. 

He doesn’t dare to ask because they told him that local security forces were monitoring them.
“Those who live abroad are also very scared,” said Eric Liu, a censorship analyst at China Digital Times, a website that monitors Chinese internet controls. 

He said that Chinese users on Twitter were becoming increasingly careful, and that many set their accounts to private mode out of fear. 

Mr. Liu’s account is public, but he screens new followers, looking for Chinese security officials who might be watching him.

For Ms. Chen, the police harassment has continued even after she moved to Europe this fall for graduate school. 

She has struggled with feelings of shame and powerlessness as she has weighed the importance of expressing her political views against the risks that now entails. 

It has driven a rift in her relationship with her mother, who was adamant that she change her ways.

Ms. Chen said that as long as she held a Chinese passport she would worry about her safety. 

As a young person with little work experience and less influence, she said it was frustrating to have her voice taken away: 

“I feel weak, like there’s no way for me to show my strength, no way to do something for others.”
Even so, she said she would continue to post, albeit with more caution.
“Even though it is still dangerous, I have to move forward step by step,” she said. “I can’t just keep censoring myself. I have to stop cowering.”

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They now turn to rule over the people by means of what could be dubbed "big data totalitarianism" and WeChat terror. @ChinaFile #COVID19

You will all be no better than fields of garlic chives, giving yourselves up to being harvested by the blade of power, time and time again. @ChinaFile #COVID19 
[ “garlic chives,” Allium tuberosum, often used as a metaphor to describe an endlessly renewable resource.]
What is thriving, however, is all that ridiculous ―Red Culture and the nauseating adulation that the system heaps on itself via shameless pro-Party hacks who chirrup hosannahs at every turn @ChinaFile #COVID19

05-MAR-2018 :: China has unveiled a Digital Panopticon in Xinjiang

China has unveiled a Digital Panopticon in Xinjiang where a combination of data from video surveillance, face and license plate recognition, mobile device locations, and official records to identify targets for detention. 

Xinjiang is surely a precursor for how the CCP will manage dissent. 

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Xi’s model is one of technocratic authoritarianism

Xi’s model is one of technocratic authoritarianism and a recent addition to his book shelf include The Master Algorithm by Pedro Domingos. Xi is building an Algorithmic Society.

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China harvests masses of data on Western targets, documents show @washingtonpost
Law & Politics

China is turning a major part of its internal Internet-data surveillance network outward, mining Western social media, including Facebook and Twitter, to equip its government agencies, military and police with information on foreign targets, according to a Washington Post review of hundreds of Chinese bidding documents, contracts and company filings.
China maintains a countrywide network of government data surveillance services — called public opinion analysis software — that were developed over the past decade and are used domestically to warn officials of politically sensitive information online.

The documents, publicly accessible through domestic government bidding platforms, also show that agencies including state media, propaganda departments, police, military and cyber regulators are purchasing new or more sophisticated systems to gather data.
These include a $320,000 Chinese state media software program that mines Twitter and Facebook to create a database of foreign journalists and academics; a $216,000 Beijing police intelligence program that analyzes Western chatter on Hong Kong and Taiwan; and a cybercenter in Xinjiang, home to most of China’s Uyghur population, that catalogues the mainly Muslim minority group’s language content abroad.
“Now we can better understand the underground network of anti-China personnel,” said a Beijing-based analyst who works for a unit reporting to China’s Central Propaganda Department.

“They are now reorienting part of that effort outward, and I think that’s frankly terrifying, looking at the sheer numbers and sheer scale that this has taken inside China,” said Mareike Ohlberg, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund

These operations are an important function of what Beijing calls “public opinion guidance work” — a policy of molding public sentiment in favor of the government through targeted propaganda and censorship.

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Xi has taken calculated risks. The muscular and multi-faceted nature of Chinese Power is seen in its handling of COVID19
Law & Politics

Controlling the COVID19 Narrative, suppressing the Enquiry, parlaying the situation into one of singular advantage marks a singular moment  
Xi Jinping has exhibited Chinese dominance over multiple theatres from the Home Front, the International Media Domain,  the ‘’Scientific’’ domain over which he has achieved complete ownership and where any dissenting view is characterized as a ‘’conspiracy theory’’
It remains a remarkable achievement

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This may be the year Boris Johnson’s luck runs out @FT @SebastianEPayne
Law & Politics

David Cameron displays a not insignificant resentment towards an old school chum. 

He noted last week that Boris Johnson can “get away with things that mere mortals can’t”. 

The former British prime minister has previously put his angst in more colourful terms: 

“The thing about the greased piglet is that he manages to slip through other people’s hands.”
Such frustration reflects the failures of Cameron’s own political career, but it is also shared by Johnson’s enemies, who struggle to comprehend how his mishaps and missteps have failed to knock his standing. 

Especially during the pandemic, opposition strategists are bemused as to why his mistakes have gone unpunished by the general public. “His decisions led to more people dying and yet people did not seem to care,” one notes.
Johnson’s decision not to follow the path of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland with further Covid-19 restrictions before the new year is a huge gamble. 

It may be based on data — ministers insist the hospitalisation rates in England do not justify additional measures — or it may be expediency, with Tory MPs opposed to such restrictions. 

But if it pays off, it may all be down to luck, one of the most underestimated characteristics of politics.
Truisms about known and unknown unknowns have littered how leaders justify their time in office — think of Harold Macmillan’s statement that “events, dear boy” were the most difficult part of his premiership, or the remark attributed to Harold Wilson that “in politics a week is a very long time”. 

The most optimistic leaders hope to shape events, yet the most realistic ones know that much is simply out of their control.
This year is set to be dominated by circumstances out of Johnson’s control. First is Covid: before the emergence of Omicron, ministers were confident they had the pandemic licked. 

The UK’s booster programme has been a triumph, but officials fear what comes next. 

“We were lucky Omicron wasn’t more deadly. If it had been, we would really be in the shit,” one says. With future variants, Johnson can only control so much.
The economy brings another variable, particularly with inflation rising to 5.1 per cent and predicted to hit 6 per cent. 

A world of potential sustained high inflation is one that millennials have never experienced. 

Again, Johnson has some levers to pull, but with limits. A ‘cost of living’ crisis with limited policy options is No10’s chief fear at present.
The third major stumbling block comes in the form of a duo of inquiries. Sue Gray, one of Whitehall’s most feared mandarins, is examining a string of parties that allegedly broke Covid restrictions. 

The investigation has been botched once, but Gray will have no qualms about implicating Johnson if she deems it necessary. Her findings are outside of his control.
The other is an investigation by Lord Christopher Geidt, who oversees ministerial standards, into whether the prime minister gave a misleading account of a loan to refurbish his Downing Street residence. 

Geidt is expected to strongly criticise Johnson but conclude he did not actively decisive or mislead.
Meanwhile the Labour party enters 2022 in possibly its strongest polling position in years, thanks to fortuitous circumstances and a refreshed team of shadow ministers. 

Its biggest challenge remains projecting more charisma on to the dry persona of party leader Sir Keir Starmer. 

As things stand, whether or not Starmer has a real chance to oust the Tories depends on events outside of his control.
There is a chance that all these unknowns will fall in Johnson’s favour and present him another opportunity to rebound: perhaps Omicron will prove to be the last Covid variant before the virus becomes endemic; maybe inflation will rapidly fall back; it is possible that the inquiries will not directly tarnish his reputation and that Starmer will struggle to regain a purpose for Labour.
Johnson’s ability to regain his standing is well versed. His supporters point to how his London mayoralty was rebooted after a string of scandals in 2008, when a team of experienced apparatchiks were hired to bring discipline and drive to City Hall. Will he attempt the same tricks?
Yet even for a prime minister his cabinet colleagues call a “lucky general”, this would be an extreme run of good fortune. 

One Tory party insider sums up the stark situation: either “the greased piglet may slip through again. Or everything falls apart incredibly rapidly”.
If 2021 was a hectic year, brace yourselves for the uncertain months ahead.

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Current global omicron wave. I can't fit a model to this stuff anymore. @DFisman

29-NOV-2021 ::  Regime Change


The Invisible Microbe has metastasized into Omicron and what we know is that COVID-19 far from becoming less virulent has become more virulent.
The transmissibility of #Omicron is not in question, it clearly has a spectacular advantage.
The Open Question is whether it is more virulent. If it is less virulent then #Omicron is breaking the Trend of increasing virulence.

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Almost twice as many people were diagnosed with Covid-19 in the past seven days as the pandemic’s previous weekly record thanks to a tsunami of omicron

The highly mutated and infectious variant drove cases to a record 10 million in the seven days through Sunday, almost double the previous record of 5.7 million seen during in a week in late April. 

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India has recorded 33 750 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours. @Rajeev_The_King

Here is a comparison of the trajectories of each wave on log scale when the 7-day moving average of daily cases surpassed 6000

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Indiana life insurance CEO says deaths are up 40% among people ages 18-64 H/T @StrangerJosh11

The head of Indianapolis-based insurance company OneAmerica said the death rate is up a stunning 40% from pre-pandemic levels among working-age people.
“We are seeing, right now, the highest death rates we have seen in the history of this business – not just at OneAmerica,” the company’s CEO Scott Davison said during an online news conference this week. 

“The data is consistent across every player in that business.”
Davison said the increase in deaths represents “huge, huge numbers,” and that’s it’s not elderly people who are dying, but “primarily working-age people 18 to 64” who are the employees of companies that have group life insurance plans through OneAmerica.
“And what we saw just in third quarter, we’re seeing it continue into fourth quarter, is that death rates are up 40% over what they were pre-pandemic,” he said.
“Just to give you an idea of how bad that is, a three-sigma or a one-in-200-year catastrophe would be 10% increase over pre-pandemic,” he said. “So 40% is just unheard of.”
Davison was one of several business leaders who spoke during the virtual news conference on Dec. 30 that was organized by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.
Most of the claims for deaths being filed are not classified as COVID-19 deaths, Davison said.
“What the data is showing to us is that the deaths that are being reported as COVID deaths greatly understate the actual death losses among working-age people from the pandemic. It may not all be COVID on their death certificate, but deaths are up just huge, huge numbers.”

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Either way, I see demand for jabs collapsing. @luigi_warren

Best case is omicron zips through residual susceptibles in the next few weeks, leaving even jabbed with broad immunity. Worst case is jabbed do not attain broad immunity and are wide open for the next VIE strain, which may be worse. Either way, I see demand for jabs collapsing.

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If omicron’s super power is mostly to evade immunity, then beefing up immunity is not the best way to stop it from spreading. @kakape

28-MAR-2021 we are seeing a sustained acceleration in mutant viruses.

the genetic combinations of Omicron and Delta that form when someone is infected by both can be expected to result in new variants with a wide range of properties. @yaneerbaryam

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There is no end in sight. Also, there is no guarantee the next immunoevading variant won’t be deadlier than Omicron or even Delta. @ydeigin

But now we see Omicron arise and reinfect everyone, which means so could the next variant and there is no end in sight. Also, there is no guarantee the next immunoevading variant won’t be deadlier than Omicron or even Delta. 

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.130555 
Dollar Index 96.249
Japan Yen 115.7300
Swiss Franc 0.91781
Pound 1.347615 
Aussie 0.721385
India Rupee 74.4934 
South Korea Won 1194.105
Brazil Real 5.68240 
Egypt Pound 15.743300 
South Africa Rand 15.82790

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African Region WHO regional overviews .@WHO Weekly epidemiological update on COVID-19 - 28 December 2021

The African Region reported over 274 000 new cases, however, the weekly increase in incidence was smaller (7%) as compared to the incidence of the previous week (53%)

Increases in case incidence of over 50% were observed in nearly two-thirds (32/49; 65%) of countries in the Region. 

29-NOV-2021 ::  Regime Change


The Invisible Microbe has metastasized into Omicron and what we know is that COVID-19 far from becoming less virulent has become more virulent.
The transmissibility of #Omicron is not in question, it clearly has a spectacular advantage.
The Open Question is whether it is more virulent. If it is less virulent then #Omicron is breaking the Trend of increasing virulence.

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Countries where there have been significant upturns in recent weeks include. @aselassie

19-JUL-2021 Many Folks seem to feel we are in the final Act of the COVID-19 Play. I would be limit short that particular narrative.

Africa is currently reporting a million new infections about every 25 days @ReutersGraphics

9 countries are still at the peak of their infection curve.

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I tried my best to avoid our country slipping into a catastrophe @SudanPMHamdok resigns @TheNationalNews

Hugh Masekela said ‘’I want to be there when the people start to turn it around.’’ Sudan is a Masekela pivot moment.

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The resignation of Sudan's prime minister leaves the military in full command @RFI

In his farewell address on national TV, Hamdok said he had tried to prevent Sudan "from sliding toward disaster" but that it was now at a "dangerous crossroads threatening its very survival".
"Hamdok's resignation has left the military in sole command of the country," said Magdi al-Gizouli of think-tank the Rift Valley Institute. 

"Protesters will take to the streets again and will be left to face more violence."

Gizouli said the parties to Sudan's November deal had hoped it would "reduce the agitation on the streets" and allow them to find a way "to rework the constitutional arrangements".
"But all this did not happen," he said.
Instead, Hamdok had found himself "paralysed" and "not able to get anything done, neither politically nor administratively".

Gizouli said the parties to Sudan's November deal had hoped it would "reduce the agitation on the streets" and allow them to find a way "to rework the constitutional arrangements".
"But all this did not happen," he said.
Instead, Hamdok had found himself "paralysed" and "not able to get anything done, neither politically nor administratively".

"Now it's an open confrontation between security forces and the old system, excluding Omar al-Bashir, and a leaderless movement on the streets based on the activism of young people."
John Prendergast, of The Sentry think tank, argued that foreign powers should not stand idly by.
"The longer the United States and European Union wait to create consequences for the actions of the military rulers," he wrote, "the more the regime is consolidating its economic and political power, to the great detriment of Sudan's population."

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Tanzanian President @SuluhuSamia said that 1.4 million tourists visited the east African nation in 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic that hugely affected the tourism industry. @XHNews

In her message to bid farewell to 2021 and welcome the New Year on Friday night, President Hassan said only 620,867 tourists visited the country in 2020, the year that the pandemic was first reported in Tanzania.
"In 2021, there was an increase of 779,133 tourists who visited Tanzania," she said in her address televised live by the state-run Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation.

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
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January 2022

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