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Published Date: February 24th, 2020




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Review 2019: Protests Break Out Across the Globe

Review 2019: Protests break out across the globe

From Europe to Latin America and Asia, protesters demonstrated in the streets, fighting for political freedom across the world.

Though the protests stemmed from different causes and achieved different results, many of the demonstrators were protesting inequality and corruption, expressing discontent with governments.

Euronews took a look at some of the biggest protest movements this year.


Many protest movements domineered international headlines in 2019 including the violent yellow vests protests in France and the impressive protests in Hong Kong against a proposed extradition bill.

Those pro-democracy protests in the special administrative region of China are ongoing.

South America had its own wave of protests with demonstrations in Bolivia resulting in the resignation of President Evo Morales.

Violent crackdowns on protesters were also widespread. In Iran, the government even cut the internet in response to a growing protest movement.

People demonstrate at Plaza Italia in Santiago, Chile on October 22, 2019, during the first week of protests over inequality and cost of living.

People demonstrate at Plaza Italia in Santiago, Chile on October 22, 2019, during the first week of protests over inequality and cost of living.

With high-profile protests raging across ChileColombiaHong Kong, SudanAlgeriaLebanonIndiaSpainFrance and more, last year it often felt as if much of the world was out in the streets.

A lot of it was. A report published Thursday by risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft finds that a quarter of the world’s countries experienced a “surge” in civil unrest in 2019. And, the report’s authors say, that unrest is unlikely to die down in 2020.

Last year’s protests, spanning South America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, have been compared to the late 1960s, when civil rights, anti-war and anti-colonial movements, combined with the growth of youth-led counter-culture, prompted dramatic street protests in dozens of countries.

To understand what’s driving the current wave of discontent, and why it’s unlikely to recede this year, Verisk Maplecroft looked at what happened before protests broke out in the 47 countries that experienced an uptick of unrest in 2019.

Governments in many of those countries implemented similar policies in the run-up to the unrest, which could help to predict future outbreaks. The weakening of mechanisms for expressing discontents — such as restrictions on labor unions, or attacks on freedom of the press — was the number one predictor, taking place in 12 of the 47 countries. A series of authoritarian measures introduced in Russia in 2019, including a new law tightening restrictions on the internet and new limits placed on opposition candidates in local elections, inspired the country’s largest demonstrations in eight years.

The second most common indicator that people were about to take to the streets was cut to fuel or food subsidies, with governments in 9 of the 47 countries making these. In Haiti, the government’s plans to lower fuel subsidies, which meant a 38% hike in gasoline prices and a 47 % increase for diesel, set off anger over a long-running corruption scandal. In Iran, a fuel price hike prompted by U.S. sanctions sparked protests in a dozen cities, resulting in a bloody government crackdown.

As in Russia, Haiti, and Iran, the protests in most countries have underlying causes that long pre-date triggers such as subsidy cuts or crackdowns. Often these grievances were very specific to the context and history of an individual country — as in Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, where fears that Beijing is seeking to undermine the territory’s special freedoms from China fueled outrage over a proposed bill to allow Hong Kong residents to be extradited to the mainland.

COVID-19: World Must Act ‘to Prevent a Potential Pandemic’ says WHO after Italy Deaths

A woman with a protective facemask walks across the Piazza del Duomo, in front of the Duomo, in central Milan.

Countries must act over the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak “to prevent a potential pandemic,” the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday as it called Italy’s sudden spike in deaths “deeply concerning.”

Italian authorities have confirmed five deaths from the virus as experts try to understand the biggest cluster of infections in any country outside Asia. Italy is the first EU member state to see citizens die from COVID-19; a 75-year-old woman from Lombardy died on Saturday, following the death of a man, 78, from Veneto.

The EU has pledged €230 million to fight the outbreak in Italy and elsewhere but said it would not yet impose restrictions on travel or trade.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom told reporters in Geneva that the epidemic has been “declining steadily” since peaking between January 23 and February 2.

He said the time was “not right” to declare COVID-19 a pandemic, and that it was already a public health emergency — the highest level of alarm.

“Using the word pandemic now does not fit the facts,” he said, “but it certainly causes panic. Using the word won’t prevent a single infection or save a single life.”

The WHO has no evidence of “uncontained global spread,” he said, but COVID-19 “absolutely” has the potential to become a pandemic.

Authorities will continue to monitor the outbreak “while doing everything we can to prevent a potential pandemic,” he said, calling the cluster of deaths in Italy and South Korea “deeply concerning.”

Meanwhile, Italians traveling overseas were feeling the effects of a crackdown. A bus from Milan was encircled by police in the French city of Lyon amid reports a passenger was suspected of having symptoms. The French national health agency would only say that officials were “evaluating the situation.”

“We are aware that the authorities are currently on-site at the Lyon bus station,” a spokeswoman for Flixbus told Euronews. “We cannot confirm that this is a case of the coronavirus. FlixBus is monitoring the situation around the coronavirus with the utmost care and is in close communication with the authorities.”

Italy grapples with the spread of COVID-19

Italy has now reported at least 219 cases, and at least ten towns in the north of the country were put on lockdown following a cluster of COVID-19 cases.

Police are manning checkpoints around quarantined towns, and police also stepped in to regulate customer queues at some supermarkets, as people stockpiled food in the wake of the lockdown order.

Italy’s Civil Protection chief Angelo Borrelli urged Italians to abide by the containment measures for the two week quarantine period.

“If in a certain area at first there was a recommendation and then an obligation to stay put, we are respecting that and it will be good for us and good for others,” said Borrelli.

Many of the new cases represented the first infections in Italy acquired through secondary contagion.

Some of the cases came at the same hospital in Codogno, one of the Lombardy towns now on lockdown.

The mayor of Codogno issued a decree ordering the closure of all restaurants, coffee bars, schools and public gathering spots such as discos and gyms. The health ministry advised area residents to stay home as a precaution.

A 38-year-old man was hospitalized there and his wife and a friend have also contracted it. Five medical staff, including nurses and doctors, have also tested positive.

The sudden increase in the number of cases prompted authorities to suspend events related to the famous Venice carnival.

Veneto regional Governor Luca Zaia said the carnival shutdown would begin on Sunday evening. The event, which draws tens of thousands of visitors annually, was scheduled to end on Tuesday.

Austria’s railway company announced on Sunday evening that it had stopped all rain traffic to and from Italy over coronavirus fears.

Local officials in another town, Casalpusterlengo, ordered local schools closed through Tuesday.

A third town, Castiglione d’Adda, said its libraries, public offices, gyms, and garbage depots would be closed as a health precaution.

Despite the calls for safeguards, Italians were having a hard time finding protective face masks. A sampling of Milan pharmacies reported selling out weeks ago, as did a pharmacist in Codogno.

Local Italian media said on Saturday that at least 10 towns were effectively locked down: Casalpusterlengo, Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo and San Fiorano.

Individual cities outside the area covered by the ordinance, such as Cremona, issued their own restrictions after confirming there were local cases.

Jared Rand Global Guided Meditations

We are One Light for All

Jared Rand has created over 740 “Daily Guided Meditations”. Followed by a weekly “Time For Change” calls. Jared has a Light Holder/Workers following of over 48 million participants on 5 different continents.

Jared grew up in a military family the youngest of 5 children. We traveled the world every 2 years we would pack up and move. We were like gypsies. It made you grow up quickly but I would not have had it any other way. I am here at this time with this planet to assist the civilization to break away from its enslavement and to free its consciousness to think for itself and lead itself. To exist in complete harmony to be humble and in complete gratitude. To love ourselves and each other and to VALUE LIFE as the highest value in the UNIVERSE. To create value and build wealth. To expand into the universe and beyond. I am here in complete humbleness and DEEP ETERNAL LOVE to serve you all.”

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I ask that I be cleared and cleansed within the  Universal White Christ Light, the Green Healing Light, and the Purple  Transmuting Flame.
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Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

This Week’s News At a Glance

The Vatican is set to open the secret archives of Pope Pius XII, the World War II-era pope whose record during the Holocaust has come under intense scrutiny. The archive will be opened on March 2.

The last two days of Venice’s famed carnival will be canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak. The Venice Carnival began on 8 February and was supposed to conclude on Tuesday, 25 February.

In Italy the patient(s) zero, who started the coronavirus infection that reached 152 people is/are still unknown.

Daredevil “Mad” Mike Hughes killed himself Saturday when a homemade steam-rocket he was attached to launched but quickly dove to earth in the California desert. Video https://video.twimg.com/ext_tw_video/1231335888459726848/pu/vid/1280×720/bI63rLs1W6wYHN3O.mp4?tag=10

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) whistleblower Philip Haney was found dead on the side of a desolate California highway on Friday with a single gunshot wound to the head, according to local authorities. Haney’s death has been ruled a suicide by an Amador County coroner, who noted that a firearm was observed next to the 66-year-old, who was found lying next to his vehicle. In 2016, he testified that the Obama administration could have prevented the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida if they had not acted in favor of “political correctness.”

Astronomers are keeping a close eye on Comet ATLAS (C/2019 Y4). Currently beyond the orbit of Mars, the dirty snowball from deep space is falling toward the sun–and it has recently tripled in brightness, possibly signaling an explosion of dust and gas in the comet’s core. In late May, it will swoop inside the orbit of Mercury and could become very bright, indeed.

Priests won again in Iran elections.

Police used tear gas to disperse large crowds in India’s capital of New Delhi on Sunday in the latest eruption of violence at protests over a new citizenship law. Hundreds of people supporting the new law clashed with those opposing it, with the two groups pelting each other with stones.

Turkey, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan have extended entry bans or closed their borders with Iran in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Turkey on Sunday said it closed its border with Iran and halted incoming flights as a precaution after the neighboring country reported 43 cases of the disease.

Italy: More than 800 swabs, 112 positive subjects equal to 12%. Of the 53 hospitalized, 17 patients are in intensive care.

Call off the supernova watch. Betelgeuse is brightening again. Researchers from Villanova University, who have been leading the study of Betelgeuse’s unprecedented decline, have confirmed in a new Astronomical Telegram that the star has reversed itself. The turnaround was actually predicted, and suggests the recent dimming was an unusually deep excursion of the star’s natural 430-day periodicity.

On Valentine’s Day, a 36-year-old lawyer Matt Ma in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang discovered he had been coded “red”. The color, displayed in a payment app on his smartphone, indicated that he needed to be quarantined at home even though he had no symptoms of the dangerous coronavirus. Without a green light from the system, Ma could not travel from his ancestral hometown of Lishui to his new home city of Hangzhou, which is now surrounded by checkpoints set up to contain the epidemic. Ma is one of the millions of people whose movements are being choreographed by the government through software that feeds on troves of data and issues orders that effectively dictate whether they must stay in or can go to work.Their experience represents a slice of China’s desperate attempt to stop the coronavirus by using a mixed bag of cutting-edge technologies and old-fashioned surveillance. It was also a rare real-world test of the use of technology on a large scale to halt the spread of communicable diseases.

More than just an adventure, the Diamond Princess promised to be a “luxury destination in itself”. Before the cruise ship departed from Singapore on its latest voyage last month, its passengers expected to enjoy freshly prepared sashimi at a dedicated sushi bar, street performances in the extravagantly designed atrium and lavish productions at a “state-of-the-art” theatre. There was even a Japanese bathhouse for weary travelers to soak their limbs at the end of each day of entertainment and fine dining.

The results of Friday’s parliamentary elections in Iran for smaller constituencies are being announced on Saturday. So far candidate vote results for 66 out of a total of 208 constituencies nationwide have been announced.

In a statement on February 20, the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the Iranian elections a “sham”. Referring to the disqualification of more than 7000 candidates from even running in the elections he said the process is not free or fair.

Iran has officially the second largest number of Coronavirus (COVID-19) death toll after China with four confirmed deaths.

Central Asia’s lively, open-air markets are a dead giveaway to economists: signs of a large informal sector, or “shadow economy.” Kyrgyzstan’s massive bazaar economy is both a driver of economic growth and a hindrance. The informal sector creates jobs, but starves the government of revenues. It also hurts growth because businesses in the shadows cannot access formal bank loans. Borrowing cost more. Higher real interest rates mean less borrowing and less investment. This is especially relevant in a country like Uzbekistan, where about almost two-thirds of workers are employed in the informal sector, according to the World Bank.

Albania has extradited a Russian national who fought for the Islamic State terror group. According to the FSB, Rasul Mislayev shared radical Islamist ideas and “left for Syria in 2013 to participate in the Islamic State’s military activities against the government forces.” He was detained in Albania in July 2019 at Russia’s request and put in pre-extradition custody. Albania’s authorities granted Moscow’s extradition request after Russian law enforcement agencies had provided evidence of Maslyaev’s crimes.

At least 12 persons of a family died in a road accident near Vadodara when the tempo truck they were traveling in, reportedly carrying over 40 people, collided with a dumper.

Michael R. Bloomberg’s presidential campaign has been experimenting with novel tactics to cultivate an online following or at least the appearance of one. But one of the strategies — deploying a large number of Twitter accounts to push out identical messages — has backfired. On Friday, Twitter began suspending 70 accounts posting pro-Bloomberg content in a pattern that violates company rules. “We have taken enforcement action on a group of accounts for violating our rules against platform manipulation and spam,” a Twitter spokesman said. Some of the suspensions will be permanent, while in other cases account owners will have to verify they have control of their accounts.

Aviation Industry officials said Boeing had inspected 50 of the 400 MAX planes waiting for delivery once ungrounding occurs, indicating that some jets had debris in the fuel tanks. ‘Debris’ = “an industrial term for rags, tools, metal shavings and other materials left behind by workers during the production process.”

Google has banned nearly 600 Android apps from the Play Store for bombarding users with disruptive ads and violating its advertising guidelines.

Food poisoning cases in Britain have more than doubled since 2009, with takeaways and eating out accounting for the majority of norovirus cases. Around 2.4 million cases are recorded every year, compared to about one million in 2009. Eating out accounts for 37 percent of all food-borne norovirus cases and takeaways account for 26 percent.

Amazon along with Facebook, Google, Netflix, Apple, and Microsoft, accusing them of “aggressively avoiding” $100 bb of global tax over the past decade. The tax transparency campaign group Fair Tax Mark named the sic companies as avoiding tax by shifting revenue and profits through tax havens or low-tax countries, and for also delaying the payment of taxes they do incur. “The report singles out Amazon, which is run by the world’s richest person, Jeff Bezos, as the worst offender. It said the group paid just $3.4 bb in tax on its income so far this decade despite achieving revenues of $960.5 bb and profits of $26.8 bb. Fair Tax Mark said this means Amazon’s effective tax rate was 12.7% over the decade when the headline tax rate in the US has been 35% for most of that period.”

Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping company, warned Thursday that the Covid-19 outbreak in China will have dramatic effects on its earnings.

Sun Activity

Sunspot number: 0
Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 21 days
2020 total: 37 days (69%)

2019 total: 281 days (77%)
2018 total: 221 days (61%)
2017 total: 104 days (28%)
2016 total: 32 days (9%)
2015 total: 0 days (0%)
2014 total: 1 day (<1%)
2013 total: 0 days (0%)
2012 total: 0 days (0%)
2011 total: 2 days (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
2008 total: 268 days (73%)
2007 total: 152 days (42%)
2006 total: 70 days (19%)

Active Weather

  • Tropical Cyclon Esther – Australia Northern Territories – 40/55 kts↓ – 990 hPa ↓ Moving W 8 kts

Strongest EQ in Europe M4.1 Crete, Greece
Strongest EQ in North America M3.5 Alaska
Strongest EQ on the Planet M6.0 Turkey
Deepest EQ M4.5 282 km Papua New Guinea


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