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Russia Denies Causing Latest Radioactivity Over Europe; UN Agency Says Origin “Still Unclear”

Russia Denies Causing Latest Radioactivity Over Europe; UN Agency Says Origin “Still Unclear”

Last Friday monitors with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) issued an alarming report that its radiation sensors based in Scandinavia picked up abnormal radioactivity levels in the air over the Baltics and Scandanavia. Its ultra-sensitive networked sensors set up across Europe and the world are capable of picking up nuclear weapons testing or possible nuclear power plant leakage anywhere around the globe.Leningrad plant in the town of Sosnovy Bor. TASS/Getty Images.

The Stockholm monitoring station “detected 3 isotopes; Cs-134, Cs-137 & Ru-103 associated with Nuclear fission at higher than usual levels,”according to CTBTO chief Lassina Zerbo. The UN nuclear agency has been investigating the ‘mystery’ radioactivity, which while not considered in large enough concentrations to harm humans, still “are certainly nuclear fission products, most likely from a civil source,” according to the prior CTBTO statement. “We are able to indicate the likely region of the source, but it’s outside the CTBTO’s mandate to identify the exact origin.” 

However it’s clear that there was a release of “very low” levels of man-made radioactivity.

The UN watchdog said Tuesday that the small amounts of radioactive isotopes detected over a significant area spanning from western Russia to Baltic countries to parts of Scandinavia still have an unclear origin and cause.  

The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) director general, Rafael Grossi, also sought to assure the public that “the levels reported to the IAEA are very low and pose no risk to human health and the environment.”

According to the AP, European countries are being asked to self-report any radiation releases. So far at least 29 have voluntarily reported no known incidents within their borders, including Russia. Map issues by the CTBTO showing a spike in radioactivity over Nordic countries. 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Europe On Alert After Unknown Radioactivity Spike Detected Over Baltic Sea

Europe On Alert After Unknown Radioactivity Spike Detected Over Baltic Sea

Almost a year ago Russia admitted to releasing significant amounts of radiation into the air that triggered warning alerts in the region of the far north Arctic Circle port cities of Arkhangelsk and Severodvinsk, after a failed weapons test involving a “small-scale nuclear reactor” that killed Russian scientists – which was believed connected to Russia’s hypersonics program. 

We can’t help but recall that incident now with new reports of radiation sensors based in Scandinavia again picking up abnormal radioactivity levels in the air. Perhaps there’s some further failed weapons tests happening somewhere in the region?: 

“Radiation sensors in Stockholm have detected higher-than-usual but still harmless levels of isotopes produced by nuclear fission, probably from somewhere on or near the Baltic Sea, a body running a worldwide network of the sensors said on Friday,” Reuters reports.

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) confirmed the higher than normal activity.

Its ultra-sensitive networked sensors set up across Europe and the world are capable of picking up nuclear weapons testing when it occurs anywhere around the globe.

As Reuters reports further, the Stockholm monitoring station “detected 3 isotopes; Cs-134, Cs-137 & Ru-103 associated with Nuclear fission at higher than usual levels,” according to CTBTO chief Lassina Zerbo, who made the announcement on Friday. 

The additional particles were picked up by the sensors last Monday and Tuesday, and confirmed by the nuclear monitoring organization. Zerbo pointed out, however, that it wasn’t at levels harmful for human health.

Russian nuclear plant in Saint Petersburg, AFP via Getty. 

“These are certainly nuclear fission products, most likely from a civil source,” the CTBTO said in a statement. “We are able to indicate the likely region of the source, but it’s outside the CTBTO’s mandate to identify the exact origin.” 

The organization further speculated that the source could have come from anywhere spanning from western Russia to Baltic countries to parts of Scandinavia

European Civil Unrest Erupting in Germany & the Netherlands

European Civil Unrest Erupting in Germany & the Netherlands

Riots are erupting all over Europe. In Stuttgart, a total of 400 to 500 people participated in the riots since Sunday night with 19 police officers injured. The same is unfolding in the Hague in the Netherlands. These politicians know nothing about human nature. Our studies of time and riots warned that a simple correlation provided a forecast that the civil unrest would turn violent after 4 to 6 weeks. We have even provided a listing of US civil unrest incidents.

These politicians are clueless as to what they are trying to do, using this virus as the excuse to civilly imprison people until they destroy all CO2 producing companies. They are fully conspiring with the climate change people by using the virus as the excuse to destroy the world economy.

Blain’s Morning Porridge – May 19 2020 – Yoorp Kicks The Can

Blain’s Morning Porridge – May 19 2020 – Yoorp Kicks The Can

“I don’t think I could stand another ten years of this fighting…”

Yesterday afternoon I set out to cure Coronavirus. I set up a new company, Splurgeldrug.Com, issuing our first press release about promising new drug trials, followed by another reporting how lab rats responded favourably to the first press release, and how confident of a vaccine in the near future we are. Splugeldrug.com stock went to $600 by teatime, and I currently negotiating the leveraged acquisition of a drug major… 

It’s that kind of market. Rumour and sigh abounds.. 

As a wiser heads than I have noted… most drugs take years to get to market, and less than 1% are ever approved. We still don’t have an effective vaccine for the constantly evolving and mutating annual flu. To bet the farm on a successful vaccine would seem reckless… 

Let’s be honest.. if we get a successful vaccine it will help speed global recovery, but it won’t undo the brutal economic damage that’s already been done. A vaccine will simply flatten the depth of the recession – not reverse it, and certainly not magically convert Q2 Earnings into positive numbers…  

Markets are not thriving because they expect a vaccine miracle. They are simply arbing governments and central banks. When Powell says he’s “not out of ammunition by a long-shot”, that’s a massive buy signal. Any positive news helps.. and as the central banks have got out backs, just ignore the bad stuff… 

(Oh dear… I suspect this will end badly…)

Yoorp – The Decline of the West, part 5826

Thankfully, I have something more significant and real(ish) to write about this morning… Yet again, for all the wrong reasons, it’s time to buy European distressed European Sovereign bonds. Wait for the them to tighten. Sell, then wait for the next crisis. 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Third Mega-Crisis in 12 Years: Eurozone Economy Plunges at Fastest Rate on Record

Third Mega-Crisis in 12 Years: Eurozone Economy Plunges at Fastest Rate on Record

First the Global Financial Crisis, then the Euro Debt Crisis, now the Big One.

In its 21 years of official existence, the Eurozone has already been through two brutal crises — the Global Financial Crisis and one of its own doing, the Euro Debt Crisis — that nearly tore the bloc apart. Now, it is in the grip of another one that is already exacting a larger toll than the first two, despite having barely begun.

The preliminary GDP in the first quarter for the Eurozone, GDP fell by 3.8%, according to Eurostat’s flash estimates (for the entire EU, it fell by 3.5%), “the sharpest declines observed since the time series started in 1995,” Eurostat said. This is despite the fact that most of the region’s lockdowns did not begin until mid-March:

All things considered, the Euro Area’s biggest economy, Germany, got off relatively lightly. It shrank by just (!!) 2.2% compared to the previous quarter. It was still its biggest contraction since the the Global Financial Crisis, more than a decade ago. German industrial production was particularly hard hit, tumbling by 11.6% year-on-year in March, when the lockdown forced factories to close. In Q4 2019, Germany’s GDP growth rate was already negative (-0.1%).

But many other Euro Area countries fared a lot worse. Of the four worst performing economies, three are the bloc’s second, third and fourth largest, France, Italy and Spain, which between them account for almost 45% of Euro Area GDP. The other was Slovakia. Spain, Italy and France suffered more cases of Covid-19 and resulting fatalities than any other countries in the Euro Area. They also imposed the most draconian lockdowns. The impact on their economies has been brutal.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Farm-Labor Crisis under COVID-19 Sends Countries Scrambling

Farm-Labor Crisis under COVID-19 Sends Countries Scrambling

Miserable, crowded living conditions of Europe’s foreign farm workers put them at much greater risk. And they’re staying away.

In one of the many paradoxes of the new world we live in, Western European countries that have seen millions of jobs wiped out in a matter of weeks are now facing an acute shortage of agricultural laborers.

Farmers in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the UK and other parts of Western Europe have come to rely on huge numbers of cheap labor from Eastern Europe, North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Now, those workers are either no longer able to make it to the farms or are choosing to stay with their families in their home countries.

This is leading to an “alarming” shortage of farmhands, warns the EU in an as yet unpublished report. The report blames the shortage on two main factors:

  • The restrictions on the movement of workers between EU countries to combat the spread of Covid-19;
  • And the miserable, crowded living conditions in which many imported farm workers live, which put them at much greater risk of contracting the virus.

In Spain a record 900,000 workers dropped off Spain’s social security register of employees in the last two and a half weeks of March, yet farm associations are complaining that they’re short of over 100,000 workers to help pick the fruit, vegetables and tobacco that are now ready for harvest.

“Vineyards are paralyzed because there’s no one to install the conduction system; there are no day laborers to prune the olive trees or remove the weeds in the onion farms; there are not even enough hands to tie the garlic bundles”, says agricultural engineer Arturo Serrano. “All of these crops have work cycles that are governed by nature and cannot be postponed.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Covid-19 Shatters the Facade of European Union

Covid-19 Shatters the Facade of European Union 

The new coronavirus and its accompanying disease Covid-19 has stopped the globe in its tracks. Governments, markets and news cycles have become dominated by the pandemic. Europe is now the epicenter for the disease, with reportedly more fatal cases of infection than China where the virus first erupted in December.

Several European Union countries have declared themselves states of emergencies, including Belgium, France, Portugal, Spain and Italy. The 27-member bloc has sealed off external borders. Some states, such as Poland, have begun closing borders with other EU members. Brussels, the administrative center of the EU, is alarmed because the much-vaunted single market and its core principles of free movement of goods and people is at risk of collapsing.

The European entity which proclaims solidarity and supranational status is reverting to a collection of nation states, each desperately fighting for their own survival amid the Covid-19 pandemic. EU leaders have been criticized for showing lack of central leadership and solidarity. When Italy first reported a surge in infections a few weeks ago, the rest of Europe was slow to respond with the necessary prompt assistance. Now Italy is such a grip of the disease – with thousands dead – that in some parts of the country normal funeral services reportedly cannot even cope with the number of deceased.

In blistering remarks this week, the Serbian President Alexander Vucic  lamented that there was “no European solidarity”. Serbia is a prospective member of the EU along with several other Balkan states, but Vucic said his country has received little in the way of aid from the EU in face of the coronavirus threat. Indeed, by contrast, the Serb leader extolled the generosity of China which has sent large shipments of equipment to combat the disease. Beijing has also dispatched aid cargoes and medical teams to Italy and other EU members to help them cope with their outbreaks.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Italy Goes Full “Wuhan”, Orders Most Restrictive Lockdown Yet, As Global Case Total Passes 300k: Live Updates

Italy Goes Full “Wuhan”, Orders Most Restrictive Lockdown Yet, As Global Case Total Passes 300k: Live Updates

Summary:

  • Massive surge in number of deaths and cases in UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, and France
  • New York, New Jersey deaths, cases accelerate
  • Italy goes under full lockdown
  • NY Gov Cuomo: “months, not weeks” to control virus
  • Ukraine declares total quarantine
  • Belgium sees 25% jump in cases
  • Saudi Arabia reports 10% spike
  • German gov’t ends years of fiscal restraint with 365 billion euro aid package
  • NYC airspace closed after positive Air Traffic Controller test
  • NJ declares full state lockdown; “will take action” for people not following precautions
  • FDA authorizes first 45-minute COVID-19 test
  • US Fiscal Aid package around $2 trillion (10% of GDP), Kudlow
  • Officials increasingly calling for the cancellation of the Tokyo Olympics

*  *  *

Update (1835ET): Even after threatening Italians in some areas with serious criminal penalties for violating their stringent quarantine orders, it seems Italy’s coronavirus containment efforts have failed.

After reporting another shocking jump in deaths, the Italian government has gone full “Wuhan”, ordering a complete shutdown of industrial production for 15 days.

In a speech delivered just before midnight on Saturday in Rome, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that he is ordering ALL non-essential businesses to be closed, and for Italians to stay home.

These measures are slightly more restrictive than the current measures, which allow Italians more freedom to move about their towns and communities. They will also likely result in a much larger economic hit, as Italy’s industrial stalwarts are forced to pause operation.

And just like that, an entire country – 60 million Italians – is now under ‘shelter in place.’

Elsewhere, as Middle Eastern countries escalate their crackdowns, Kuwait announced that it would start imposing a curfew between 5pm and 4am due to what the government called “non-compliance with Ministry of Health’s instructions to stay indoors.” Meanwhile, the UAE has closed beaches and parks for two weeks.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

NYC Closes Schools Until April 20, US Death Toll Hits 64: Live Updates

NYC Closes Schools Until April 20, US Death Toll Hits 64: Live Updates

Summary:

  • NYC Mayor says NYC schools will close for at least a month starting Monday 
  • NY Gov Cuomo says NYC schools will close “early this week”
  • Mayor reports 4 new deaths
  • Italy reports largest one-day jump in cases; France also reports highest daily jump
  • CDC recommends postponing all gatherings for 8 weeks
  • US death toll hits 64
  • Pentagon says sailor aboard Navy ship has tested positive
  • Germany reports 1,000+ new cases bringing total to 5,813
  • Acting Homeland Security Secretary says lines at O’Haire are “unacceptable”, says wait times have been fixed
  • Illinois Gov closes all bars & restaurants for dining in
  • US death toll hits 58, 1st death confirmed in Oregon
  • Google CEO says country-wide virus info site to launch Monday
  • LA Mayor orders bars to close, may also close dine-in restaurants
  • NFL season start likely won’t be postponed, ESPN says
  • California confirmed cases climb 14% to 335
  • US confirmed case total hits 2,952
  • Wal-Mart, Stop & Shop cut hours
  • Connecticut, Mass. close schools 
  • Case in Conn. double over night
  • Netherlands closes schools, restaurants
  • Germany closes borders to neighboring states
  • Poland bars foreigners
  • West Virginia last US state that’s virus-free
  • Iran reports largest daily jump in deaths
  • Ohio closes bars, restaurants at 9pm Sunday
  • Trump speaks with grocery chain CEOs
  • Pence says he won’t be tested
  • NYC Mayor says ‘every option on the table’ when asked if considering complete shutdown of city + schools
  • Washington DC mayor orders nightclubs to close and imposes new restrictions on bars and restaurants
  • Federal limits on trucker hours suspended to help hospitals and supermarkets alleviate shortages of critical items

*  *  *

Update (2000ET): After cutting off domestic travel for all military personnel, the Pentagon has just confirmed that a US sailor aboard a ship has tested positive, according to Reuters.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Trump Bans All Travel From Europe For 30 Days; Tom Hanks Infected; NBA Suspends Season: Live Updates

Trump Bans All Travel From Europe For 30 Days; Tom Hanks Infected; NBA Suspends Season: Live Updates

Summary:

  • WHO declares Covid-19 is a pandemic
  • President Trump declares a travel ban from all European countries (not UK)
  • Tom Hanks, wife announce they have the Coronavirus
  • NBA suspends all games until further notice
  • Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert has tested positive for coronavirus.
  • LA confirms first death
  • Seattle schools close for two weeks
  • Italy closes stores
  • MGM says guest at Vegas’s ‘The Mirage’ tested positive
  • Denmark closes schools, will send ‘non-critical’ public employees home to work
  • New Jersey case total climbs to 23
  • Juve player Daniele Rugani
  • DC Mayor declares public health emergency
  • Congressional doctor says up to 
  • Cuomo confirms 39 new cases in NY, raising total to 212
  • First death in Indonesia
  • Confirmed cases in France top 2,000
  • Washington State to ban events over 200
  • Details of cruiseline industry’s ‘health and safety proposal’ leak
  • ‘Waffle House’ employee in Atlanta confirmed
  • UK reports 7th death
  • Chicago cancels St. Paddy’s Day parade
  • NY sends in National Guard
  • IADB cancels meeting in Colombia as virus spreads across Latin America
  • Mnuchin says first part of virus stimulus plan will be ready in 2 days
  • Utah reportedly planning to shut public college and university campuses
  • Dr. Fauci warns virus 10x more deadly than flu and could infect millions if not handled early
  • Australia passes A$18 billion stimulus package
  • Seoul says 99 cases tied to call center
  • FEMA evacuates Atlanta office over coronavirus scare
  • 3 Boeing workers test positie
  • Washington DC advises cancellation or postponement of all gatherings with more than 1,000 people
  • Harvard to prorate room and board for students
  • US cases surpass 1,000
  • UK Health Minister catches virus
  • Ireland, Bulgaria, Sweden report first deaths
  • Connecticut declares state of emergency
  • UK total hits 456 following largest daily jump on record (83 new cases)
  • Global cases pass 120,000
  • South Korea reports new outbreak in call center
  • Japan reportedly planning to declare state of emergency

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Europe Questions Italy’s Ability To Contain Outbreak After Hospital Helped Spread Virus: Live Updates

Europe Questions Italy’s Ability To Contain Outbreak After Hospital Helped Spread Virus: Live Updates

Update (0825ET): Bahrain has banned its citizens from traveling to Iran as it reports 9 new cases of coronavirus, raising the total cases in the tiny island kingdom to 17 in the span of 24 hours.

* * *

Update (0800ET): With his reputation under fire and his popularity slipping, PM Giuseppe Conte said Tuesday that he’s confident that the measures his government has put in place will contain the contagion in the coming days.

This comes after the PM admitted that a hospital in Lombardy inadvertently helped spread the virus by not adhering to certain health-care protocols. The PM has blamed the hospital for the outbreak in the north, raising questions about whether “the European nation is capable of containing the outbreak,” according to CNN. To put things in perspective, Italy now has 3x the number of cases in Hong Kong.

“That certainly contributed to the spread,” Conte said, without naming the institution concerned. The infection has been centered around the town of Codogno, around 35 miles south of Milan.

“Obviously we cannot predict the progress of the virus. It is clear that there has been an outbreak and it has spread from there,” Conte told reporters, referring to the hospital.

A team of health experts from the World Health Organization and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control arrived in Italy on Monday to assist local authorities while some 100,000 remain under an effective quarantine.

Over in India, Trump added to his earlier comments by saying a vaccine is “very close”, even though the most generous estimates claim we need another year.

Market experts cited a WSJ report on a possible vaccine as helping market sentiment, though even that report made clear that human tests of the drug are not due until the end of April and results not until July or August.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Rabobank: Our Coronavirus Base Case Is Rapidly Shifting From “Bad” To “Ugly”

Rabobank: Our Coronavirus Base Case Is Rapidly Shifting From “Bad” To “Ugly”

Regular readers will know that our four projected COVID-19 scenarios were “Bad, Worse, Ugly, and Unthinkable”. Current news today suggests risks that the base case is rapidly shifting from “Bad”, meaning only China is impacted, to “Ugly”, where both emerging Asia and developed economies see soaring infection rates and deaths.

After all, following Vietnam, Iran now has eight deaths and an uncertain number of cases, prompting schools and universities to closed and the borders with Afghanistan and Pakistan to be sealed from the other side. For an economy already being crushed by sanctions, this is all that it needed. More worrying for markets, South Korea (with a GDP of over USD1 trillion) has also been swamped by hundreds of new cases, a 20-fold leap in just five days, and, as in China, is seeing the highest-level emergency declared, cities on lock-down, gatherings and travel bans in place, and the national assembly additionally suspended. Samsung has had to shutter at least one factory, in the city of Gumi. The Asian economy, already reeling, it about to suffer another major kick.

Worse, in Europe there also are over 160 cases in a cluster in northern Italy, with three deaths so far, and the regions of Lombardy and Veneto, the industrial and financial heartlands, in both panic and lockdown. Venice’s Carnival has been cancelled, and so was a recent fashion show. Italy is 11% of Eurozone GDP, and those two regions are 30% of Italy’s GDP. For a Eurozone already close to recession, that shock could well be more than enough to generate a downturn.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“Tsunami-Like” Coronavirus Floods South Korea With New Cases; Europe Begins To Isolate Italy: Live Updates

“Tsunami-Like” Coronavirus Floods South Korea With New Cases; Europe Begins To Isolate Italy: Live Updates

Summary:

  • In a report that was 4 hours “late”, China reported an additional 409 coronavirus cases across the entire nation, and 150 additional deaths as of February 23 compared to 648 additional cases and 97 deaths on February 22; this brought total China cases to 77150 and total deaths 2592
    • China’s Hubei province said it has 398 New Coronavirus Cases As Of Feb 23 and 149 New Coronavirus Deaths.
  • South Korea raised its national threat level to “red alert” for the first time since the H1N1 swine flu outbreak in 2009. The total number of confirmed cases in the country reached 763, a jump of 161 overnight, and a 25-fold increase in the past week.
  • The Italian government said it has 152 confirmed cases, up from three in a matter of days. Three people have died. Authorities have locked down about a dozen small towns and canceled events across the north, including Venice’s Carnival.
  • Iran has confirmed eight deaths related to the coronavirus, the most outside of China, media reported Sunday. South Korea confirmed its seventh death.
  • 4 more cases confirmed in UK
  • 200 Israelis quarantined
  • Japan confirms more cases; Japanese Emperor expresses hope for Tokyo Games
  • Trump says US has everything ‘under control’ as he asks Congress for more money
  • EU’s Gentiloni says he has ‘full confidence’ In Italian health officials
  • Turkey, Pakistan close borders with Iran as confirmed cases soar
  • Global Times says virus may not have originated at Hunan seafood market
  • Axios reports shortages of 150 essential drugs likely.

* * *

Update (2200ET): In a release that was about 4 hours late, China’s Hubei province said it has 398 New Coronavirus Cases As Of Feb 23 and 149 New Coronavirus Deaths. Overall, China reported an additional 409 coronavirus cases across the entire nation, and 150 additional deaths as of February 23 vs. 648 additional cases and 97 deaths on February 22. This brings the total number of cases across China to 77,150, and total deaths to 2592.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Can Europe’s Largest Economy Survive Without Coal?

Can Europe’s Largest Economy Survive Without Coal?

Germany Coal

One of the greatest moral dilemmas that has been creeping into the everyday activities of specialists working with coal, oil and in some cases even gas (despite its being perceived a natural bridge to a low-carbon future) could be phrased in the following way: how do you stop producing fossil fuels when you still have cheap ample reserves? In this context coal stands out – its relative inferiority in terms of environmental pollution prompted governments in developed economies to ban its future usage. Yet whenever its production is not curtailed by government-mandated cuts, producers simply continue to extract as much coal as possible. Straight in the middle of the so-called European approach to coal lies Germany, an erstwhile bulwark of the coal industry. Can it eventually survive without coal?

In stark contrast to oil and gas – of which Germany has traditionally been a major net importer and in both cases looking back to a more than 50-year history of depending on primarily Russian hydrocarbon riches – Europe’s leading economy has substantial reserves of coal, lignite in particular. In fact, Germany remains the world’s largest producer of lignite and burns most of it for power generation, accounting for some 22 percent of the nation’s gross electricity output. Ironically, lignite production is more COintensive than hard coal as it is done by extracting coal from open-cast pits, nevertheless, its mid-term future looks a lot better than that of hard coal mining in Germany.

Whilst lignite remains economically competitive, Germany’s hard coal production went downhill after the government ended its subsidy schemes. The last hard coal mine closed its gates in December 2018, ending a 200-year history of the Ruhr Region and potentially starting a new development phase of Westphalia, a geographical phenomenon inextricably intertwined with coal. 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Is Another Black Death on the Way?

IS ANOTHER BLACK DEATH ON THE WAY?

Plagues from the east are nothing new. The Black Death and other epidemics arrived in Europe from China during the 1300’s, killing a large percentage of its population. Much of this pestilence came from rats that stowed away on merchant ships coming from the east. 

At the end of World War I, another pandemic, wrongly called the Spanish flu, killed an estimated 18 to 50 million people in Europe and North America. 

Seventeen years after the SARS virus killed some 800 people in China and Canada and terrified the entire world, a new plague threatens the West: the Wuhan Coronavirus. 

Officially named 2019-nCoV, the new virus has so far infected over 800 people in China. This latest plague erupted in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, population 11 million, which is located on the Yangtze River and is an important hub for national communications.

Like SARS, the Wuhan virus is believed to have come from a live animal market that specializes in exotic animals from the Himalayas or China’s remote mountain regions. Serving exotic animals at dinner parties is a big status symbol in China. Sometimes they are even served while still alive. Dog meat is a favorite in northern China.

SARS was believed to have come from civet cats. As a result, thousands of these creatures were brutally killed. But it was later determined the virus originated from bats, then spread to other captive animals. Bat soup is another Chinese delicacy.

Keeping large numbers of captive animals crammed together in cages with poor ventilation and no cleaning is an ideal vector for viral diseases. Each year, China consumes 730 million pigs. Fifty percent of China’s factory farmed pigs have so far contracted lethal swine flu. Rising living standards have boosted demand for pork.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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