The COVID-19 pandemic: a historic event that will intensify global working-class struggle

first_imgBelow is an article first posted online on April 24 by Tom Soto, who died on May 31. Comrade Soto had been a leading member of Workers World Party for two decades, beginning in the late 1960s. He distinguished himself in the struggles for open enrollment at the City University of New York, in fighting for benefits for military veterans, in the struggle for the rights of prisoners — most notably during the Attica Rebellion in 1971 — and in the struggle for national liberation in Puerto Rico and all over the world, including the oppressed nations inside the United States. Since his article was first posted, the worldwide and U.S. numbers for COVID-19 cases and deaths have climbed.Tom Soto speaking at NYC street meeting.April 24 — A friend and comrade, Mikol, recently explained that the COVID-19 virus pandemic is of such proportions on a world scale that it will surely intensify the struggle of the workers and poor for social and racial justice and against capitalism itself. Globally 2,761,121 cases of the COVID-19 virus have been confirmed, of which 193,671 have died, but the real figures are even higher. The overwhelming majority of the victims are from the working class and poor of the world, who are always the most vulnerable.While the COVID-19 virus was not man-made in a laboratory as the right-wing, anti-China media has charged, the lack of medicines and personnel; the lack of hospitals, of beds, of ventilators, of masks and gloves; the lack of planning to confront the virus crisis — this was a conscious decision made by the ruling classes of the United States and Europe.For the super-wealthy, defending the lives of the workers and poor, who would die in a pandemic, was not a “profitable” investment to make.According to Google News, the number of confirmed cases and deaths as of April 24 are:United States: 905,492 cases confirmed, 51,209 dead.Spain: 219,764 cases confirmed, 22,524 dead.Italy: 192,994 cases confirmed, 25,969 dead.Germany: 154,159 cases confirmed, 5,653 dead.Britain: 143,464 cases confirmed, 19,506 dead.France: 122,577 cases confirmed, 22,245 dead.Turkey: 104,912 cases confirmed, 2,600 dead.The world death toll figures of 193,671 are horrible and staggering, but the reason so many have died is not only because the COVID-19 virus is deadly. It is also because capitalism, the system of production of goods for profit, did not consider it profitable to produce medical supplies to be stockpiled for a future pandemic.Politicians and rich knew a pandemic was approachingOne has only to see the video clips of President Bush in 2005, of President Obama in 2014 and of billionaire Bill Gates in 2015 — to name a few of the spokesmen for capitalism — all of them hypocritically warning of a pending pandemic outbreak. Netflix even produced a documentary series titled: “Pandemia.” Additionally, the intelligence agencies reported to President Trump in November and December of 2019 that a virus pandemic had started in China.But even with the warnings, the big business owners of industry and finance of the U.S. and Europe, driven by their blind urge to obtain greater and greater profits, consciously choose to ignore the warnings; after all, other areas of the capitalist world economy were generating huge fortunes in profits, and there isn’t much profit in producing medical supplies for storage, to protect working people and the poor.Obama and Trump giveaways to the corporations and richEconomically speaking, the big corporations of the U.S. were doing quite well under Presidents Obama and Trump. Under Obama, to prevent the 2008 recession from further collapsing the capitalist economy, the big corporations received a $787 billion bailout package (the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009). The value of the stock market under Obama after three years registered a 53 percent gain in shareholder value as compared to when he took office.Under Trump, the rich and super rich received a $1.5 trillion tax cuts package in 2017, and up until Feb. 19, 2020, the stock market under Trump had grown by 42 percent in shareholder value as compared to when he took office three years prior.No money for universal medical care, but plenty of money for war and interventionThe U.S. and NATO imperialist governments, whose workers have suffered the brunt of COVID-19 deaths thus far, have spent trillions of dollars intervening militarily against Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Iran; against the Palestinians and arming Israel; against People’s Korea, Venezuela and Cuba, etc. Trump just this week, attempting to shift the blame for his mishandling of the COCID-19 crisis, said the U.S. had spent $8 trillion on wars in the Middle East.Universal medical care: key demand for working class worldwideThe COVID-19 pandemic has exposed how the capitalist system has failed the health care needs of the workers and poor in all capitalist countries. The pandemic has demonstrated that one cannot successfully fight a viral epidemic that spreads from person to person if part of the population has no medical coverage and is not treated. Thus the demand for universal medical coverage is crucial at this juncture of social political development.Mass unemployment on the rise in the U.S. and EuropeAccording to the latest announcements from the federal government in the U.S., in the last month 22 million workers have filed for unemployment insurance coverage. The Financial Times estimates that 59 million workers in Europe will suffer cuts in working hours and pay, and others will suffer temporary and permanent layoffs. The International Monetary Fund forecasts a contraction of economic growth of 7.5 percent in the Eurozone this year, with unemployment hitting 10.4 per cent or higher.It’s unnecessary to keep citing figures showing the economic plunge in the works in the capitalist countries on a world scale.Collective grieving may turn to angerThe workers on a mass scale are in shock. Some are in disbelief. Many are grieving the loss of family and friends. Their emotional understanding of COVID-19 virus pandemic is mixed. Some may see it as an act of God or an act of the Devil; others may see it as Mother Earth punishing humans for the exploitation that capitalism has thrusted upon the Earth.But as the grieving process passes and unemployment sets in and is felt, the workers will look for a political understanding and for leadership to help guide the struggle for social justice in this new phase of social-political development under capitalism.The COVID-19 virus is not going to disappear. Social distancing and shutting down sections of the economy were geared to buying time and limiting the number of deaths. Remember that there is no known cure for the pneumonia caused by COVID-19, and there is no vaccine to stimulate resistance to the coronavirus, as of yet.Ordering workers to return to their jobs without having a cure for the pneumonia that the virus causes and without having a vaccine is equivalent to sentencing tens of thousands of workers to their deaths. The grief of many may well turn into anger. Changes in mass consciousness are preceded by changes in the material conditions of social political life. As Mikol said to me: “Tom, the COVID-19 virus pandemic is a game changer on a world scale.”Revolutionaries dedicate their entire lives to building working-class parties and popular organizations to be able to intervene in the class struggle of the workers and poor against the capitalist system. Well, make no mistake about it, the struggle of the working class is about to burst asunder. Let us unite and achieve great victories for the workers and oppressed of the world. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

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Disturbing panorama of continuing media decline

first_img November 23, 2020 Find out more News RomaniaEurope – Central Asia News RSF_en Related documents MMA – Press Freedom in Romania – 2011PDF – 1.54 MB Ten RSF recommendations for the European Union News July 21, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Disturbing panorama of continuing media decline Follow the news on Romania Help by sharing this information May 26, 2021 Find out morecenter_img to go further Organisation The Romanian media monitoring NGO Active Watch-MMA, a Reporters Without Borders partner since 2004, has just released the English-language version of its 11th annual report analyzing the steady decline in media freedom in Romania, a European Union member. The Romanian-language version of the report, describing 2010 as a disastrous year, was released in May.Ranked 42nd in the Reporters Without Borders annual press freedom index in 2007, Romania is now 50th. This steady fall is due in large part to the many conflicts of interest and power struggles that undermine the media’s influence. At the same time, journalists still lack proper work contracts and the problems for outspoken ones are now compounded by an increase in the frequency oflawsuits sometimes leading to disproportionate damages awards.While the recent decriminalization of media offences must be welcomed, the repeatedly-promised overhaul of the law regulating public radio and TV stations has barely begun and the appointment of their managers continues to be clearly politicized.Last year saw a number of particularly repressive proposed laws and measures that ActiveWatch and journalists’ organizations opposed. The culmination was a national defence review commissioned by the president and approved by the Supreme Council for National Defence (CSAT), which described the media as national security “vulnerability” and accused them of ruining the state institution’s reputation and just trying to extort public funds.The economic situation is not encouraging for the media. At total of 6,000 journalists and media workers have been laid off and at least 60 newspapers have closed since the start of the economic crisis. Income from advertising has fallen sharply, and there have been additional threats to the advertising market of late.Like their European Union counterparts, Romania’s politicians are steadily undermining Europe’s status as a model of media freedom. Under attack in Hungary, Britain, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria and France, freedom of the media has greater need than ever of strong and unconditional support in order to reverse this slide, which Active Watch and Reporters Without Borders will continue to analyze. News RomaniaEurope – Central Asia December 2, 2020 Find out more RSF and 60 other organisations call for an EU anti-SLAPP directive Romania: In an open letter, RSF and ActiveWatch denounce judicial pressures on investigative journalists following a complaint from a Bucharest district mayor Read the full report: Receive email alertslast_img read more

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Highland’s Farming News – Thursday 1st September

first_img Twitter WhatsApp A 15 Minute Programme presented by Chris Ashmore every Thursday at 7.05pm highlighting all that’s happening in the farming community.[aud Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan fire Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic Pinterest Google+ Google+ 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North Highland’s Farming News – Thursday 1st September Previous articleDaily Mail F.A.I. Cup Fixture’s confirmedNext article‘We’ll all be available to do it’: Gogglebox star Rory Cowan teases new series of Mrs Brown’s Boys could be happening admin center_img Pinterest WhatsApp Facebook Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal Twitter Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th NewsPlayback RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR By admin – September 1, 2016 Facebooklast_img read more

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Hard water damaging appliances in Letterkenny area

first_img News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Previous articleThree security alerts in Derry end – all confirmed hoaxesNext articleDonegal ETB to host Further Education & Training Fair event News Highland By News Highland – January 22, 2019 Facebook FT Report: Derry City 2 St Pats 2 Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Pinterest WhatsApp Hard water damaging appliances in Letterkenny area Pinterest There are further calls on Irish Water to address the issue of hard water affecting households in the Letterkenny area.It’s understood houses being supplied water from the Bore Holes in Rockhill are having severe issues with reported damage to appliances.Local Cllr James Pat McDaid says that the utility is well aware of the ongoing problem.He says it is time the issue was resolved once and for all:Audio Playerhttp://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/jaghjghjghjghjghmespat.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.center_img Google+ WhatsApp DL Debate – 24/05/21 Facebook AudioHomepage BannerNews Twitter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Twitter Google+last_img read more

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Remains found of missing Kentucky mom Savannah Spurlock, man arrested: Police

first_imgRichmond Police Dept. (RICHMOND, Ky.) — The remains of missing Kentucky mom of four Savannah Spurlock have been recovered, authorities announced Thursday, as a man was arrested in connection with the case.The remains were found behind a home in Garrard County, about 30 miles south of Lexington, on Wednesday night, and were positively identified on Thursday, according to the Kentucky State Police.That property had been searched several months ago, but no body was found then, Kentucky State Police spokesman Trooper Robert Purdy said.Spurlock’s cause of death has not yet been determined, Purdy said.Spurlock, 23, went missing in January after leaving a bar in Lexington with three men, according to authorities.David Sparks, 23, one of those three men last seen with Spurlock, was arrested on Thursday and charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with physical evidence, authorities said.Sparks’ family owns the property where her body was found, Purdy said.An official told ABC News in February that they knew the three men took Spurlock to a home in the rural county, but not “when, how she left, or what happened to her after that.”All three men were interviewed, but not charged at the time.Authorities on Thursday did not discuss the possibility of additional charges.“Over the coming days detectives will continue their investigation into what led to the death and disappearance of Savannah Spurlock,” Purdy said at a news conference on Thursday.Spurlock’s mother, Ellen Spurlock, called her daughter’s disappearance her “worst nightmare” in an interview earlier this year. She told ABC News she spoke to her daughter at about 3 a.m. on Jan. 4, while she was with the three men, and nothing seemed unusual.“When I asked her where she was, she said she was in Lexington,” Ellen Spurlock told ABC News. “She promised she would be home later that morning. She did not seem out of the ordinary.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Antarctic Entomology

first_imgThe Antarctic region comprises the continent, the Maritime Antarctic, the sub-Antarctic islands, and the southern cold temperate islands. Continental Antarctica is devoid of insects, but elsewhere diversity varies from 2 to more than 200 species, of which flies and beetles constitute the majority. Much is known about the drivers of this diversity at local and regional scales; current climate and glacial history play important roles. Investigations of responses to low temperatures, dry conditions, and varying salinity have spanned the ecological to the genomic, revealing new insights into how insects respond to stressful conditions. Biological invasions are common across much of the region and are expected to increase as climates become warmer. The drivers of invasion are reasonably well understood, although less is known about the impacts of invasion. Antarctic entomology has advanced considerably over the past 50 years, but key areas, such as interspecific interactions, remain underexplored.last_img read more

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Young investors set to fuel buy-to-let boom

first_imgHome » News » Housing Market » Young investors set to fuel buy-to-let boom previous nextHousing MarketYoung investors set to fuel buy-to-let boomThe number of buy-to-let mortgage deals has now exceeded 1,000 for the first time since April 2008.The Negotiator1st September 20150613 Views Many young people may be struggling to get a foot on the housing ladder, but that does not mean that they do not recognise the potential benefits of investing in residential property.Fresh research provided by letting agent Rentify shows that nearly half – 49 per cent – of 18-39 year olds believe that acquiring buy-to-let property represents the best investment option in the UK today, with almost 4million people in this age group actively seeking to buy an investment property.With buy-to-let landlords having benefitted from a booming property market earning returns of up to almost 1,400 per cent since 1996 – capital growth and returns combined – it is easy to understand why it is an investment type that appeals to many people across all age groups, not just the young.George Spencer (left), CEO at Rentify said, “The fact that 49 per cent of first-time buyers would consider investing in buy-to-lets is fantastic and shows that there are more options out there and more people who want to get on the ladder.”But-to-let continues to beat returns on all other mainstream investments, including commercial property, UK government bonds, shares and cash, and that trend looks set to continue, on the back of soaring demand from tenants.The latest HomeLet Rental Index revealed that overall rent price increases were running ahead of inflation and house price growth to hit an all-time high of £977 per month in July, up 11.8 per cent year-on-year, helping to ensure that many investors are continuing to rent out their homes at a healthy profit.The latest buy-to-let index from Your Move and Reeds Rains shows that the gross yield on a typical rental property in England and Wales increased to 5.2 per cent in July, up from 5.1 per cent the preceding month and 5 per cent in July 2014.The data also revealed that a typical landlord achieved overall returns of 8.7 per cent, on average, over the year ending July 2015. Although this marks a significant drop from the 10 per cent recorded in June and 12.5 per cent in the year ending July 2014, it remains considerably higher than all other investment assets in today’s market.With attractive rental returns still achievable, the reality is that an increasing number of people will continue to enter the private rental sector, as buy-to-let consolidates itself as the investment of choice, partly due to the dismal returns savers are currently receiving from banks and building societies.Charlotte Nelson (right), Finance Expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, said: “With high rents and poor savings rates, it’s little wonder that the buy-to-let market is booming.”In light of this increasing demand, buy-to-let mortgage product numbers have soared to more than 1,000, up from 460 products available just two years ago, according to data from Moneyfacts.co.uk.“The boom in deals has undoubtedly been boosted by providers taking advantage of the new demand from thousands of pensioners making the most of the new pension freedoms,” Nelson added.residential property investments buy-to-let buy-to-let boom buy-to-let mortgages young investors September 1, 2015The NegotiatorWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more

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Police Buy Six New Defibrillators for Squad Cars

first_imgOcean City Police Sgt. Keith Johnson with an AED unit The Ocean City Police Department recently purchased six new Automated External Defibrillators (AED) for officers to carry in their patrol cars, according to an OCPD news release.Because police are out on patrols, they sometimes are first responders to medical emergencies. Sudden cardiac arrest victims have a 74 percent survival rate if an AED is used within 3 to 5 minutes, according to statistics presented by Ocean City Fire Chief Chris Breunig in a presentation in December. The same victims have just a 9 percent survival rate with CPR alone.Police now have eight AED units, and they are deployed in vehicles on patrol in each of the department’s five sectors 24 hours a day. They also are deployed in two supervisors’ vehicles. The remaining unit is available at police headquarters.All Ocean City officers are trained to use the equipment and are recertified every two years.The purchase of the new defibrillators is part of a push from the police and fire departments to make them more readily available throughout the city. The initiative was part of a public safety workshop in December.“Given the strategic location of our three fire houses, coupled with our quick response times, from both police and fire, Ocean City first responders are better equipped and well-trained to provide immediate care to a resident and/or visitor,” Police Chief Chad Callahan said. “Bottom line, if one of my family members were to have a cardiac-related emergency, I would certainly hope they were here in Ocean City — we certainly have the gold standard in responding to medical emergencies.” Ocean City Police Sgt. Keith Johnson with an AED unitlast_img read more

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Alumni Association hosts events for Football Fridays

first_imgEach home football game weekend, Notre Dame attracts many spectators, many of whom are alumni. Of course, these alumni come to see the football games themselves, but the Alumni Association also offers events for those in town looking for other activities.Michael Sullivan, an alumnus of Notre Dame and the senior director of alumni programs, said the Alumni Association aims to connect alumni to each other no matter where they are in their life.“Our mission is to connect people to each other and to the University to support them throughout their life, wherever they are geographically, whatever their affinity to the University and whatever stage of life they’re in,” Sullivan said.Events sponsored by the Alumni Association during game weekends help to foster these connections between alumni, current students and fans. According to Sullivan, the signature event for home game weekends is the “Football Fridays at the Eck” series, which sees about 1,500 people.“It’s essentially a fan-fest, so between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and it features live music,” Sullivan said. “ … The area between the bookstore and the Eck Visitors Center kind of becomes a plaza for a fan-fest, and then we also have seating inside our building as well. We do interviews and we have food and drink available, so it’s a nice event.”During this “fan-fest,” the NBC commercial that typically runs during games, titled “What Would You Fight For?” is previewed, and the student profiled in the commercial is often interviewed to discuss his or her work on campus and why he or she was selected.“We debut the commercial, but the rest of the country doesn’t see it until it runs on NBC Saturday,” Sullivan said. “We also do an interview series called ‘Catching Up With …,’ and we’ll usually interview two former athletes or coaches who are back in town for the game, … Notre Dame celebrities more generally, … somebody connected to the Notre Dame family that’s related to sports and celebrity.”Some past “Catching Up With …” guests have included Lou Holtz, Hannah Storm and Dick Vitale. Also during these “Football Friday” events, there is a pre-game analysis done during “Chalk Talk with Bill and Bill,” who are two former Notre Dame assistant football coaches.“So throughout the day there’s different featured items, and in between it’s just kind of a game day atmosphere and we’ll have alumni and friends from all over the country stop by,” Sullivan said. “Sometimes visiting fans are on campus and they’re not sure what’s going on and they find a way into the visitor’s center and then within the visitor center we highlight different parts of our office and the programs we offer for our alumni, like our travel program or clubs.”The “alumni and friends” aspect of the Alumni Association is an important one, Sullivan said. Anyone, even if they are not directly connected to Notre Dame, is welcome at these events.“Our mission is really to connect people to each other for alumni and friends,” he said. “That’s an important part of who we are and what we do. So you don’t have to be a graduate to be part of the Notre Dame alumni clubs network. We have some clubs where the president of the club is not even an alum.”Saturdays feature less events from the Alumni Association, although they host a young alumni mimosa bar twice a year at larger games. If they are not hosting an event like the mimosa bar, the Alumni Association support the Notre Dame clubs around the country if they come back to campus for the games or host tailgates.For away games, the atmosphere and events are slightly different. The Notre Dame clubs from each particular area that the away game is at will take the lead and plan events instead of the Notre Dame Alumni Association directly running the events.“On Saturday the local folks host tailgaters, and we just try to help facilitate that for them, but they really take the lead and do the planning and those kinds of things,” Sullivan said. “So depending on where the game is and kind of how big the game is, there might be other events too.”Sullivan said the draw back to campus for international alumni, and other alumni living far away, is unique to Notre Dame, and the Alumni Association aims to make them feel back at home.“We just want people, no matter what, to know they can always come by the visitor center,” Sullivan said. “That’s their home on campus as alumni and friends of the University.”Tags: Alumni Association, eck visitors center, football friday, football fridays featurelast_img read more

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New York Expands Virus Testing To All State Residents

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Photo: CDCALBANY — New York State is expanding its testing for the COVID-19 virus to all 19 million state residents.Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the announcement during a Wednesday press conference in which he said there have already been 4 million tests administered statewide.“You want to manage the COVID Virus, test, trace, masks, social distancing, that’s the formula, hard to do,” Cuomo said.”We now have 750 testing cites across New York State. We are now opening testing to all New Yorkers. We have that much capacity. Go get tested. It doesn’t cost you anything, it doesn’t hurt. take a test and it’s now open to everyone”He said the numbers indicate New York is “doing great.” Tuesday’s results show 879 people hospitalized with the virus, the fourth straight day under 900, he said. There were 11 reported deaths, “just about as low as it has ever been.” He said 56,000 tests were performed Tuesday, with a positive rate of 1.1 percent.“The key to what we are doing is the testing. We just finished four million tests in New York. We only have 19 million people in New York,” New York is doing more tests per capita than any nation on the globe.”Cuomo said the initial approach to the virus was not political or emotional and based on the facts as they were known at the time.“What we have done from day one, we have been smart about what we’ve done with COVID. we didn’t get political, we didn’t get emotional,” he said. “Y have to anticipate the issue coming down the pike and you have to get ahead of it. You have to get ahead of the virus so what we now do is anticipate what could happen.”Sixteen states are now on the state’s quarantine list, a doubling in only a week, Cuomo explained.“Chances are, whatever we do, people from those 16 states are going to make their way here and that’s how we got infected to begin with (from travelers from Europe),” Cuomo explained. “Our infection rate is low, we know.”He said infection rates in Europe are now in decline and that the European Union now has America on a quarantine list, which he called ironic.last_img read more

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