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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
 
 
Wednesday 26th of January 2022
 
Morning
Africa

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FED FUNDS @Remi_Tetot
World Of Finance


Also, at best, they go to 1.5% anyway (lower highs pre-recession)...

Conclusions

The Optimal move is to go to 0.75% immediately 

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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

& Therefore The @federalreserve is staunching a Tsunami


29-NOV-2021 ::  Regime Change
https://j.mp/32AZEK5

A REGIME CHANGE IS UNDERWAY [in the markets]
There is no training – classroom or otherwise.. that can prepare for trading the last third of a move, whether it's the end of a bull market or the end of a bear market. 
There's typically no logic to it; irrationality reigns supreme, and no class can teach what to do during that brief, volatile reign. Paul Tudor-Jones

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The Markets Are Wilding Title: Bar, Las Vegas, Nevada Artist: Robert Frank
World Of Finance

 






The Music has been playing for Eternity and its about to stop









Love Fellini. So brave, with that whiff of insanity. @DiAmatoStyle Federico Fellini's 8 1/2 @tcm
https://twitter.com/tcm/status/1232079264385773570?s=20


Mirrors on the ceiling, The Pink champagne on ice
https://bit.ly/3Bk45Gj

Last thing I remember, I was Running for the door

 

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24-JAN-2022 :: The Charge of the Light Brigade
Law & Politics


President Putin's Russia is oftentimes compared disparagingly on a GDP basis [the GDP comparison is made with Italy] and Russian power projection dismissed out of hand.

For example, @MittRomney described #Russia as a gas station parading as a country.

Sun Tzu pronounced ''“Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.”
The sheer arrogance and naivete of the Hashtag Warrior #StandWithUkraine @SecBlinken and ''the UK and our partners would impose a severe cost on Russia'' @LizTruss is simply unfathomable.
It is difficult to know who is producing a bigger guffaw in the Kremlin. It is a ''Charge of the Light Brigade'' moment.
The Charge of the Light Brigade was a failed military action involving the British light cavalry led by Lord Cardigan against Russian forces during the Battle of Balaclava on 25 October 1854 in the Crimean War.

The Charge of the Light Brigade BY ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON
Half a league, half a league, 

Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred. 

“Forward, the Light Brigade! 

Charge for the guns!” he said. 

Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
II
“Forward, the Light Brigade!” 

Was there a man dismayed? 

Not though the soldier knew
Someone had blundered. 

Theirs not to make reply, 

Theirs not to reason why, 

Theirs but to do and die.

Into the valley of Death 

Rode the six hundred.

President Putin has fashioned an extraordinary even parabolic rebound [“But it is a curve each of them feels, unmistakably. It is the parabola.''] in Russia's geoeconomic and geopolitical position over the last two decades.

Russia FX reserves hit all-time high at USD 630bn towards the end of 2021. That's about 40% of GDP! @akcakmak 

More than 75% of those reserves are backed by Gold. 

In a World of hocus pocus monetary policy making, the Russian Ruble is the soundest of sound money.

Oil & gas is now only 15% of Russia’s (official) GDP (so even lower, in reality) 

The country is the world's biggest grain exporter, second in weapon’s exports and the largest exporter of complex nuclear reactors.
In fact 2/3rds of Russia's economy is actually services.
In fact My Trade of the Year in the Markets would be to buy The Russian Ruble and the Stock Market. Of course, Timing is everything.

Returning to ''geopolitical'' scenario, it is clear that looking through the deluge of hashtags, Russia has largely triangulated Europe. 

The Gas dependency is real and the asymmetry of military forces very real. 

The idea that Erdogan and his Bayraktar TB2 drones are going to rescue Ukraine is simply quaalude level [Quaaludes ‘’to promote relaxation, sleepiness and sometimes a feeling of euphoria. It causes a drop in blood pressure and slows the pulse rate. These properties are the reason why it was initially thought to be a useful sedative and anxiolytic It became a recreational drug due to its euphoric effect’’].delusion.

There is no stomach for a fight. Furthermore, We exist in a Tripolar World and the West appears to be inviting its own triangulation.
@JoeBiden is in a Pincer with Xi & Vladimir holding the console & ratcheting up the pressure & they own the timing on the Ukraine Taiwan Two Step 

https://twitter.com/alykhansatchu/status/14684989803424 84992?s=20
The West seems determined on its own kamikazi.

Putin sees this optimal window of opportunity to test the readiness of US for bilateral talks with Moscow but also the red line for future concessions if Washington really intends to get Russia out of China’s orbit in the long term. Moscow has put its conditions on the table. tweeted @vtchakarova.

and added ''Amid bifurcation of the global system, think of Machiavelli: „There’s nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, then to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.“ Because this is what Russia’s doing now''
Will the West deal? Anyone who follows international affairs and who appreciates that outside the Yemen its no longer a Unipolar World has to understand ''The Great Balancer'' has to be accommodated.
    


The Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava by William Simpson (1855), illustrating the Light Brigade's charge into the "Valley of Death"



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CHINESE INFLUENCE OPERATIONS A MACHIAVELLIAN MOMENT IRSEM H/T @JMichaelWaller
Law & Politics


For a long time, it could be said that China, unlike Russia, sought to be loved rather than feared; that it wanted to seduce and project a positive image of itself in the world, or to inspire admiration. 

Today, Beijing has not renounced to seduce, nor its overall attractiveness and its ambition to shape international standards, and it is essential for the Chinese Communist Party not to lose face. 

And yet, Beijing is also increasingly comfortable with infiltration and coercion: its influence operations have become considerably tougher in recent years and its methods are resembling more closely the ones employed by Moscow. 

This is a “Machiavellian turn” in as much as the Party-State now seems to believe that “it is much safer to be feared than to be loved,” in the words of Machiavelli in The Prince. This is a clear Russification of Chinese influence operations.

This report delves into this evolution, with the ambition to cover the whole specter of influence, from the most benign (public diplomacy) to the most malign methods, that is, interference (clandestine activities). 

To do that, the report is divided into four parts: successively laying out the main concepts; 

the actors implementing these operations, including the Base 311 of the People’s Liberation Army

the actions conducted by Beijing toward the diasporas, the media, diplomacy, economy, politics, education, think tanks, and in terms of information manipulations – some levers among others; 

then, several cases are studied (Taiwan, Singapore, Sweden, Canada, the operations that targeted Hong Kong protestors in 2019, and the one that branded the Covid-19 as an American fabrication in 2020). 

The conclusion returns to this “Russification”, which has three components: Beijing is inspired by Moscow in several ways, there are obviously differences between the two, and there is also a certain degree of cooperation. 

Finally, the report assesses the effectiveness of this new Chinese posture, which can boast some tactical successes, but constitutes a strategic failure.

 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 For a long time, it could be said that China, unlike Russia, sought to be loved rather than to be feared; that it wanted to seduce, project a positive image of itself in the world, and arouse admiration. 

Today, Beijing has not given up on seduction, on its attractiveness, and on its ambition to shape international norms. 

Not “losing face” remains very important for the CCP. 

And yet, Beijing is also increasingly comfortable with infiltration and coercion: its influence operations have been considerably hardened in recent years and its methods increasingly resemble Moscow’s. 

The Party-State has entered a “Machiavellian moment” in the sense that Beijing now appears to believe that, as Machiavelli wrote in The Prince, “it is better to be feared than loved.” 

This evolution shows a “Russification” of Chinese influence operations. And our report analyzes this evolution, with the ambition of covering the entire spectrum of its tools of influence, from the most benign (public diplomacy) to the most malign – which means interfering in other countries’ affairs (clandestine activities). 

To do so, our analysis proceeds in four parts, successively presenting the concepts, actors, actions pertaining to this moment, and it ends with several case studies.

 1. The concepts that are important to understand Chinese influence operations include the

“United Front” – a CCP policy that consists in eliminating internal and external enemies, controlling groups that could defy its authority, constructing a coalition around the Party to serve its interests, and projecting its influence abroad – 

and the “Three warfares,” which represent the core of China’s “political warfare,” 

i.e. a form of non-kinetic proneness to conflict aimed at overcoming an opponent without a fight through the creation of an environment favorable to China. 

A wartime and peacetime undertaking, it encompasses public opinion, psychological, and legal warfare (the latter being close to what is called “lawfare” in English).
A Soviet concept is also useful to describe Beijing’s repertoire: “active measures,” which includes disinformation, counterfeiting, sabotage, discredit operations, destabilizing foreign governments, provocations, false-flag operations and manipulation aimed at weakening social cohesion, the recruitment of “useful idiots,” and the creation of front organizations.

 2. The main actors implementing Chinese influence operations are emanations from the Party, the State, the Army, and the companies.

Within the Party, this includes the Propaganda Department, which oversees ideology, controls the entire media spectrum and all the cultural production in the country; 

the United Front Work Department (UFWD), with its twelve offices reflecting its main targets; 

the International Liaison Department (ILD), which maintains relations with foreign political parties; 

the 610 Office, which has agents across the world acting outside any legal framework to eliminate the Falun Gong movement. 

The Chinese Communist Youth League (CYL) should also be included in this group, serving at once as a link toward young people, as an incubator for future Party executives, and as a force that can be mobilized when needed – even if it is not a formal structure of the Party but rather a mass organization.

Within the state, two bodies in particular are involved in influence operations: The Ministry of State Security (MSS), which is the main civilian intelligence agency, and the Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO), in charge of the propaganda aimed at Taiwan.

Within the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the Strategic Support Force (SSF) is at the forefront, especially through its Network Systems Department. 

It has the resources and is entrusted with missions in the informational domain. 

More precisely, the principal actor identified in this domain is Base 311, headquartered in Fuzhou, which is dedicated to the implementation of the “Three Warfares” strategy. It also operates media companies as civilian covers and a fake hotel to hide a training center.

Finally, public and private companies play an important role in collecting the data needed to decide who should be targeted by influence operations, when, and how. Infrastructures are particularly useful in data collection – buildings and submarine cables for instance – as are new technologies: digital platforms such as WeChat, Weibo and TikTok, companies like Beidou and Huawei, and databases that provide insight into what researchers call China’s “techno-authoritarianism” or “digital authoritarianism” are all used to prepare and feed influence operations abroad. The Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission, which has apparently inherited intelligence missions previously entrusted to the former 2APL, should also be included in this list. However, due to insufficient sources, this institution is not covered in the report.

CHINESE INFLUENCE OPERATIONS A MACHIAVELLIAN MOMENT IRSEM [continued]
https://bit.ly/3IuijXI

 3. The actions carried out by Beijing in its influence operations abroad pertain to two main and non-mutually exclusive objectives: 

first, to seduce and captivate foreign audiences by crafting a positive representation of China, which can be illustrated by four specific narratives (the Chinese “model,” its tradition, benevolence, and strength); 

and then, and above all, to infiltrate and coerce. Infiltration aims at slowly penetrating the opposing societies to hamper the very possibility of an action contrary to the Party’s interests. 

Coercion corresponds to the progressive enlargement of the Chinese “punitive” or “coercive” diplomacy toward a policy of systematic sanctions against any state, organization, company, or individual that threatens the Party’s interests. 

Both are generally carried out via a web of intermediaries. Overall, these practices target the following categories:

- Diasporas, with the dual objective of controlling them – so that they do not represent a threat for the Chinese power (Beijing carries out a transnational campaign of repression which, according to the NGO Freedom House, is the “most sophisticated, global, and complete in the world”) – and mobilizing them to serve its interests.

- The media, as Beijing’s explicit goal is to establish “a new world media order.” Indeed, the government has invested €1.3 billion annually since 2008 to impose a tighter control over its global image. 

The major Chinese media outlets have a global presence, in several languages, on several continents, and on all social networks, including those blocked in China (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram), and they invest large amounts of money to augment their digital audience artificially. 

Beijing also seeks to control the Chinese-language outlets abroad, which has proven so successful that the CCP now effectively enjoys a near-monopoly among them, and it also seeks to control the mainstream media. 

Finally, the Party-State is interested in controlling the containers, exerting its influence over each step along the global information supply chain, targeting televisions, digital platforms, and smartphones.

- Diplomacy, with a focus on two aspects. First, influence over international organizations and norms: Beijing deploys classic diplomatic resources along with clandestine influence operations (economic and political pressure, cooptation, coercion, and corruption) to strengthen its influence. 

Second, the so-called “wolf-warrior” diplomacy: it refers to more aggressive postures adopted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ spokespersons and a dozen diplomats. 

These attacks take both classic and relatively new forms, notably relying on the use of social networks and on an uninhibited recourse to invective, admonition, even intimidation. 

Overall, this aggressive turn of the Chinese diplomacy has proven counter-productive and it has largely contributed to the abrupt deterioration of China’s global image in recent years. 

This evolution is probably sustainable for the actors involved, as the objective is less to conquer the hearts and minds than to please Beijing.

The economy: an economic dependence is often the first lever China uses. Economic coercion then takes very different forms: a ban from the Chinese domestic market, embargos, trade sanctions and restrictions on domestic investment, quotas imposed on regions highly dependent on Chinese tourists, or mass boycotts. 

Besides, Beijing increasingly imposes censorship as a prerequisite to access its domestic market; many companies end up bowing under pressure.

- Politics, with the goal of penetrating target countries to influence public policymaking mechanisms. 

Maintaining direct relationships with political parties and influential political figures allows the Party-State to infiltrate the target countries, to gather official and unofficial support there, and to circumvent eventual blockages within the governments by using opposition or “retired” public figures. 

Beijing also interferes with elections (over the last decade, China may have interfered in at least 10 elections in 7 countries).

- Education, via universities first and foremost, which are one of the main targets of the Party’s influence efforts. Its principal levers are: financial dependence, leading to self- censorship in the universities; surveillance and intimidation of Chinese students, university instructors and administrators on foreign campuses

imposed modifications in course content, teaching materials, or programmed events; and shaping Chinese Studies, by encouraging self-censorship and punishing critical researchers. 

The Party-State also uses universities to acquire knowledge and technology, via legal and overt means, such as joint research programs, or illegal and covert actions, like theft and espionage. 

In a context of civil-military fusion, certain joint programs or researchers holding positions in dozens of Western universities involuntarily aid Beijing build weapons of mass destruction or surveillance technologies which are used to oppress the Chinese population. 

On this topic, several scandals broke out in public in 2020 and 2021. Finally, there is another important actor of Chinese influence in education tied to the universities: the Confucius Institutes and Classrooms that have opened all around the world and which, under the guise of teaching Chinese language and culture, have heightened the dependency, or subjection, of certain universities to China, damaged academic freedom. 

They may have occasionally been used for espionage.

- Think tanks: the Chinese strategy in this domain is two-pronged. Beijing seeks to establish overseas branches of Chinese think tanks, and to take advantage of local relays that may themselves be think tanks, with three possible scenarios: 

occasional partners acting as amplifiers on local markets of ideas, circumstantial allies that spread the Party’s narratives, and accomplices that share a common worldview and convergent interests with the CCP.

- Culture: first via the production and export of cultural products, such as films, TV series, music, and books – all powerful tools of seduction. Influence can also be exerted on foreign cultural productions, especially filmmakers, with the example of Hollywood: to avoid upsetting Beijing and hence maintain an access to the enormous Chinese domestic market, many American movie studios censor themselves, cutting or modifying movie scenes. Some are even overzealous, casting Chinese characters for the “good” roles. Being denied access to the Chinese market is almost certain for any artist who criticizes the Party-State. Via other types of pressure, Beijing also hopes to encourage artists to modify their work or, for those exhibiting elsewhere in the world, to simply stop, or even to do the work of Chinese censors.

- Information manipulation, resorting to fake accounts on social networks to spread the Party’s propaganda in the media, trolls and astroturfing (to simulate spontaneous popular movements), and to numerous “internet commentators” (falsely labeled the “50 cent army”) that are paid to “guide” public opinion. Generally controlled by the PLA or the CYL, trolls defend, attack, stir controversy, insult, or harass their targets. Another way to simulate authenticity is to have content published by third parties in exchange for money (content farms, purchase of messages, of influence over an account, of an account or a page, or recruitment of “influencers”). Since 2019, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube no longer refrain from identifying coordinated campaigns originating in China. Hence, tens of thousands of fake accounts have been suspended: some had long been “dormant,” others had been bought or stolen, most of them amplifying Chinese propaganda and attacking the United States (in Chinese and in English). Some accounts have profile pictures generated by artificial intelligence – a now regularly-observed practice in Chinese operations on social networks. Additionally, an important aspect of these campaigns is that they do not simply defend China: the promotion of the Chinese model goes hand in hand with the debasement of other models, especially liberal democracies, as Russian influence operations have done for years. The PLA is at the heart of these maneuvers, using social networks to conduct “open” influence operations and circulating propaganda on the one hand, often aiming at deterrence and psychological warfare; and to conduct clandestine and hostile operations against foreign targets on the other hand.

- Other levers: Beijing also uses citizen movements in its influence operations – especially separatist (New Caledonia, Okinawa) and pacifist groups (No Cold War) – Chinese tourists, influencers (including Western YouTubers), and foreign academics, as well as hostages, since Beijing has deployed a “hostage diplomacy.”

 4. The case studies are introduced in concentric circles. Taiwan and Hong Kong constitute the first front in Beijing’s “political warfare”: they are outposts, training grounds

“R&D labs” for Chinese operations which are subsequently refined and applied to other targets worldwide – not unlike what Georgia and Ukraine meant for Russian operations. 

A first widening of the circle of Chinese operations targeted Australia and New Zealand

A second step was to aim for the rest of the world, particularly – but not exclusively – Europe and North America. 

This part introduces four cases – Taiwan, Singapore, Sweden, and Canada – and two operations, which targeted Hong Kong protestors in 2019 and framed the Covid-19 as an American creation in 2020.

 Finally, the conclusion comes back to this notion of a “Machiavellian moment” in two steps. 

First, to confirm that there has indeed been a “Russification” of Chinese influence operations since about 2017: the parallel had already been made in 2018 during the Taiwanese municipal elections, and later during the 2019 Hong Kong crisis; but the world only became aware of the problem in 2020 with the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The three components of this Russification are then laid out: Beijing draws inspiration from Moscow on several levels (the existing Chinese military literature acknowledges that, for the PLA, Russia is a model to emulate on such operations). 

Yet, differences obviously remain between the two, and there is also a certain degree of cooperation.

Last but not least, the conclusion seeks to assess the effectiveness of this new Chinese posture and concludes that, if it brought certain tactical successes, it has been a strategic failure overall, China being its own worst enemy in terms of influence. 

The abrupt degradation of Beijing’s reputation since the arrival of Xi Jinping, particularly in the last couple of years, confronts China with a growing unpopularity problem that may indirectly come to weaken the Party, including vis-à-vis its own population.


Xi Jinping has exhibited Chinese dominance over multiple theatres from Home Front International Media Domain ‘’Scientific’’ domain 



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’’

05-MAR-2018 :: China has unveiled a Digital Panopticon in Xinjiang
http://bit.ly/2NQXgqB

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

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



Xi told a new class of mid-career cadres to "discard illusions" and "dare to struggle" in the world. @neilthomas123



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There is no change in the slope of cumulative deaths @nikomer75
Misc.


Two years out and @itosettiMD_MBA

https://twitter.com/itosettiMD_MBA/status/1485797477261484034?s=20

- viral replication out of control
- media spin normalizing dying at 50something of avoidable viral pneumonia
- an estimated 20million deaths
- economy on its knees with rampant inflation
- longcovid galore
Wow, so much winning, western countries

The Virus remains an exogenous uncertainty that is still not resolved #COVID19
https://bit.ly/3szfEo5

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COVID-19: endemic doesn’t mean harmless @Nature @ArisKatzourakis
Misc.


The word ‘endemic’ has become one of the most misused of the pandemic

And many of the errant assumptions made encourage a misplaced complacency. It doesn’t mean that COVID-19 will come to a natural end.
To an epidemiologist, an endemic infection is one in which overall rates are static — not rising, not falling. 

More precisely, it means that the proportion of people who can get sick balances out the ‘basic reproduction number’ of the virus, the number of individuals that an infected individual would infect, assuming a population in which everyone could get sick. 

Yes, common colds are endemic. So are Lassa fever, malaria and polio. So was smallpox, until vaccines stamped it out.
In other words, a disease can be endemic and both widespread and deadly. Malaria killed more than 600,000 people in 2020. 

Ten million fell ill with tuberculosis that same year and 1.5 million died. 

Endemic certainly does not mean that evolution has somehow tamed a pathogen so that life simply returns to ‘normal’.
As an evolutionary virologist, it frustrates me when policymakers invoke the word endemic as an excuse to do little or nothing. 

There’s more to global health policy than learning to live with endemic rotavirus, hepatitis C or measles.
Stating that an infection will become endemic says nothing about how long it might take to reach stasis, what the case rates, morbidity levels or death rates will be or, crucially, how much of a population — and which sectors — will be susceptible. 

Nor does it suggest guaranteed stability: there can still be disruptive waves from endemic infections, as seen with the US measles outbreak in 2019. 

Health policies and individual behaviour will determine what form — out of many possibilities — endemic COVID-19 takes.
Soon after the Alpha variant emerged and spread in late 2020, I argued that, unless infections were suppressed, viral evolution would be fast and unpredictable, with the emergence of more variants with different and potentially more-dangerous biological characteristics. 

Since then, public-health systems have struggled under the highly transmissible and more-virulent Delta variant, and now there is Omicron, with its substantial ability to evade the immune system, causing reinfections and breakthroughs. 

Beta and Gamma were also highly dangerous, but did not spread to the same extent.
The same virus can cause endemic, epidemic or pandemic infections: it depends on the interplay of a population’s behaviour, demographic structure, susceptibility and immunity, plus whether viral variants emerge. 

Different conditions across the world can allow more-successful variants to evolve, and these can seed new waves of epidemics. T

hese seeds are tied to a region’s policy decisions and capacity to respond to infections. 

Even if one region reaches an equilibrium — be that of low or high disease and death — that might be disturbed when a new variant with new characteristics arrives.
COVID-19 is, of course, not the world’s first pandemic. The fact that immune systems have evolved to cope with constant infections, and the traces of viral genetic material embedded in our own genomes from ancient viral infections, are testament to such evolutionary battles. 

It is likely that some viruses went ‘extinct’ on their own and still caused high rates of mortality on the way out.
There is a widespread, rosy misconception that viruses evolve over time to become more benign. 

This is not the case: there is no predestined evolutionary outcome for a virus to become more benign, especially ones, such as SARS-CoV-2, in which most transmission happens before the virus causes severe disease. 

Consider that Alpha and Delta are more virulent than the strain first found in Wuhan, China. The second wave of the 1918 influenza pandemic was far more deadly than the first.
Much can be done to shift the evolutionary arms race in humanity’s favour. 

First, we must set aside lazy optimism. 

Second, we must be realistic about the likely levels of death, disability and sickness. 

Targets set for reduction should consider that circulating virus risks giving rise to new variants. 

Third, we must use — globally — the formidable weapons available: effective vaccines, antiviral medications, diagnostic tests and a better understanding of how to stop an airborne virus through mask wearing, distancing, and air ventilation and filtration. 

Fourth, we must invest in vaccines that protect against a broader range of variants.
The best way to prevent more, more-dangerous or more-transmissible variants from emerging is to stop unconstrained spread, and that requires many integrated public-health interventions, including, crucially, vaccine equity. 

The more a virus replicates, the greater the chance that problematic variants will arise, most probably where spread is highest. 

The Alpha variant was first identified in the United Kingdom, Delta was first found in India and Omicron in southern Africa — all places where spread was rampant.
Thinking that endemicity is both mild and inevitable is more than wrong, it is dangerous: it sets humanity up for many more years of disease, including unpredictable waves of outbreaks. 

It is more productive to consider how bad things could get if we keep giving the virus opportunities to outwit us. Then we might do more to ensure that this does not happen.

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A struggle ensues between authorities that want to power through endemicity versus those that want to mitigate a multi-pandemic of a diversifying set of viruses which emerged from wuhan 1.0 @fitterhappierAJ
Misc.


These narratives coalesce and appear as a consensus to the public. A struggle ensues between authorities that want to power through endemicity versus those that want to mitigate a multi-pandemic of a diversifying set of viruses which emerged from wuhan 1.0

28-MAR-2021 we are seeing a sustained acceleration in mutant viruses.
https://bit.ly/3szfEo5

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As John Macpherson, noted in 1867, no question in medicine is more interesting than that of an endemic disease taking on the character of an epidemic, and of the behaviour of an endemic, when its own epidemic form reaches it. @steerewilliams
Misc.


As John Macpherson, Inspector-General of Hospitals in Bengal, India, noted in 1867, “no question in medicine is more interesting than that of an endemic disease taking on the character of an epidemic, and of the behaviour of an endemic, when its own epidemic form reaches it.”

The question that came to dominant epidemiologists, ecologists, and evolutionary biologists in the twentieth century were the reasons why an endemic disease might suddenly erupt into an epidemic one. @steerewilliams


at best welcoming COVID endemicity is a neoliberal apology for the failure of most gov's ability to properly handle COVID-19 for the past two years. At its worst this view is a neodarwinian fatalism. We need to stand against both. @steerewilliams


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Rising Caseloads, A Disrupted Recovery, and Higher Inflation @IMFNews #WEO
World Of Finance


Global growth is expected to moderate from 5.9 in 2021 to 4.4 percent in 2022—half a percentage point lower for 2022 than in the October World Economic Outlook (WEO), largely reflecting forecast markdowns in the two largest economies. 

A revised assumption removing the Build Back Better fiscal policy package from the baseline, earlier withdrawal of monetary accommodation, and continued supply shortages produced a downward 1.2 percentage-points revision for the United States. 

In China, pandemic-induced disruptions related to the zero-tolerance COVID-19 policy and protracted financial stress among property developers have induced a 0.8 percentage-point downgrade. 

Global growth is expected to slow to 3.8 percent in 2023. Although this is 0.2 percentage point higher than in the previous forecast, the upgrade largely reflects a mechanical pickup after current drags on growth dissipate in the second half of 2022. 

Risks to the global baseline are tilted to the downside. 

The emergence of new COVID-19 variants could prolong the pandemic and induce renewed economic disruptions. 

Moreover, supply chain disruptions, energy price volatility, and localized wage pressures mean uncertainty around inflation and policy paths is high. 

As advanced economies lift policy rates, risks to financial stability and emerging market and developing economies’ capital flows, currencies, and fiscal positions—especially with debt levels having increased significantly in the past two years—may emerge.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1295
Dollar Index 96.026
Japan Yen 113.9660
Swiss Franc 0.918680
Pound 1.350500
Aussie 0.715465
India Rupee 74.8205
South Korea Won 1197.02
Brazil Real 5.4442654
Egypt Pound 15.730000
South Africa Rand 15.24260

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So invest a piece of your McDonald’s paycheck in #Bitcoin Now go back to flip more burgers you lazy fvçk! @nayibbukele/
World Currencies


Most people go in when the price is up, but the safest and most profitable moment to buy is when the price is down. It’s not rocket science Man shrugging
So invest a piece of your McDonald’s paycheck in #Bitcoin
Now go back to flip more burgers you lazy fvçk!

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#BurkinaFaso soldiers on TV announced that they have suspended the constitution, closed borders and dissolved government. @shen_shiwei
Africa

Turning to Africa
https://bit.ly/35ekJJr

Democracy has been shredded.
We are getting closer and closer to the Virilian Tipping Point
“The revolutionary contingent attains its ideal form not in the place of production, but in the street''
Political leadership in most cases completely gerontocratic will use violence to cling onto Power but any Early Warning System would be warning a Tsunami is coming

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The Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration, or MPSR, its French-language acronym.
Africa


Kabore's whereabouts were unknown on Monday, with conflicting accounts of his situation.
Army putsches have toppled governments over the past 18 months in Mali and Guinea. 

The military also took over in Chad last year after President Idriss Deby died fighting rebels on the battlefield in the country's north.

Several hundred residents gathered in Ouagadougou's central Place de la Nation to show their support for the coup.
"We are really happy. We have been out for two days to support the army," said Ibrahim Zare. "We are behind them."

Ouagadougou resident Eli Sawagogo said the coup had not come as a surprise to him.
"It was expected because the country has been in this situation for six years without a real solution to this terrorism," he said. "If a coup is the solution, then it is welcome."
Corinne Dufka, West Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said Kabore's government had shown itself unable to tackle a range of problems.
"The coup, and apparent support for it, lays bare the inadequacies of Kabore's government to address deep-seated problems with corruption, governance and civilian protection, which were all made exponentially worse by the armed Islamist threat," she said.

10 NOV 14 : African youth demographic {many characterise this as a 'demographic dividend"} - which for Beautiful Blaise turned into a demographic terminator
http://bit.ly/2PoFJTD

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Two pro coup demonstrators seen flying a Russian flag through the streets of Ouagadougou this morning. @Henry_Wilkins
Africa


Some of those celebrating the military takeover said they have had enough of French military intervention and want to see more Russian involvement.

From Russia with Love


“Our African agenda is positive and future-oriented. We do not ally with someone against someone else, and we strongly oppose any geopolitical games involving Africa.”

“Russia regards Africa as an important and active participant in the emerging polycentric archi- tecture of the world order and an ally in protecting international law against attempts to undermine it,” said Russian deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov

In July this year, a three-minute animated video appeared on YouTube. Called Lionbear, the cartoon was aimed at children and told the story of a brave but beleaguered Central African lion, who was fighting a losing battle against a pack of hungry hyenas. 

Luckily the lion had a friend who came to the rescue — the strong Russian bear. 

The bear fights off the hyenas brings peace to the land and everyone lives happily ever after.

The video was produced by Lobaye Invest, a Russian mining company with links to the Wagner Group. Lobaye runs a radio station in the CAR, and organised a Miss CAR pageant.

To simplify, Russia’s “political tech- nologists” have reportedly devised bespoke solutions for confronting in- cipient and ongoing color revolutions,

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