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All things Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

daftandbarmy

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Coles Notes Version: It's official - the shit's hit the fan....


World less peaceful as civil unrest and political instability increases due to COVID-19​

Today marks the launch of the 2021 edition of the Global Peace Index.


Today marks the launch of the 15th edition of the Global Peace Index from the international think-tank the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP).​

Key results
  • Civil unrest rose globally by 10%, with Belarus recording the largest deterioration. There were 14,871 violent demonstrations, protests and riots recorded globally in 2020.
  • Over 60% of people globally are worried about sustaining serious harm from violent crime.
  • Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, and Afghanistan the least peaceful.
  • Although there has been an improvement in militarisation since 2008, there are now signs that this trend has reversed.
  • The economic impact of violence increased in 2020 to $14.96 trillion – equivalent to 11.6% of the world’s GDP or $1,942 per person – due to increased military spending.
  • The death toll from terrorism has declined for the sixth consecutive year.

Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008. It is joined at the top of the index by New Zealand, Denmark, Portugal, and Slovenia. Afghanistan remains as the least peaceful country in the world for the fourth consecutive year, followed by Yemen, Syria, South Sudan, and Iraq. Eight of the ten countries at the top of the GPI are located in Europe. This is the largest share of European countries to be ranked in the top ten list in the history of the index.

The largest improvement in peacefulness occurred in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, which recorded significant reductions in conflict; however, it is still the least peaceful region in the world. Iraq recorded the second largest improvement globally after Ukraine. Burkina Faso experienced the biggest deterioration of any country in the world, falling 13 places.

The indicators that had the largest deteriorations in the 2021 GPI were: military expenditure (105 countries), weapons imports (90 countries), political instability (46 countries) and violent demonstrations (25 countries). The following indicators had the most improvements: terrorism (115 countries), internal conflicts fought (21 countries) and deaths from internal conflict (33 countries).

COVID-19 highlights
  • In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic had a noticeable impact on violence, with some improvements, such as violent conflict, while other indicators deteriorated significantly including violent demonstrations. Four times as many countries deteriorated than improved.
  • Political instability also increased with twice as many countries deteriorating than improving.
  • There were widespread protests against pandemic related measures with over 5,000 events recorded globally.
  • Countries such as India, Chile, Italy, France, Germany, and South Africa were particularly impacted by demonstrations.
  • The Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Ireland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Slovenia, and Switzerland are best placed for a post-COVID-19 recovery.

Civil unrest & COVID-19

Fuelled by the pandemic the key negative trend this year is the global rise in civil unrest.

The largest regional deterioration in peacefulness occurred in North America, due to the increased levels of political instability, homicides, and violent demonstrations. Events such as the storming of the Capitol building and widespread protests across the United States in support of the Black Lives Matter movement increased civil unrest, political instability and the intensity of internal conflict in 2020.

During the pandemic, countries with higher levels of peacefulness had more resilient economies. High Peace* countries recorded reductions of less than 7% in total hours worked, while low Peace countries recorded up to 23% according to IEP’s Business & Peace Report 2021.
The full post-pandemic recovery will not be quick or easy. It is also likely to be uneven, and countries with weak fiscal situations will find it harder than others. Equatorial Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Laos are amongst the countries considered to have the greatest risk of large falls in peacefulness.

Although Europe experienced a number of protest events last year, the region remains the most peaceful in the world; however, political instability rose across the continent, along with key indicators of Militarisation, including military expenditure, weapons imports, and nuclear and heavy weapons capabilities.


Militarisation and terrorism

Global militarisation has increased over the past two years with more countries increasing military expenditure and their armed services personnel rate. This is a reversal of the trend of the prior decade where 105 countries had improved, while 57 deteriorated. The US, China, Germany and South Korea had the largest increases in military expenditure in the last two years.

The death toll for terrorism continues to decline, with total deaths from terrorism falling for the last six consecutive years. Preliminary data for 2020 suggests that less than 10,000 deaths were caused by terrorism.

Despite the total number of conflict-related deaths falling since 2014, the number of conflicts globally increased by 88% since 2010. However, new conflicts are emerging in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa with sub-Saharan Africa accounting for over 65% of total violent conflicts in the 2021 GPI. Preliminary data suggests that this trend is likely to continue.

Overall, the economic impact of violence in 2020 rose slightly to $14.96 trillion – or 11.6% of global GDP – due to an increase in global military expenditure, which rose by 3.7%. This is equivalent to $1,942 for every person on the planet.

Violence and safety

Violence remains a pressing issue for many people globally and is cited as the biggest risk to daily safety in almost a third of countries. Over half of the population in Afghanistan, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, and Dominican Republic reported violence as the greatest risk to their safety in their daily lives.

Despite this, some indicators of violence have recorded significant improvements since the start of the index, including perceptions of criminality which has improved in 86 countries. 123 countries have seen their homicide rate fall since 2008 and people from 84 countries have stated they feel safer walking alone. Even with these improvements, data has revealed that women are 5% more fearful of violence than men – while some countries have extreme differences. In Portugal 23% of women are more fearful of violence than men.

In addition, the Ongoing Conflict domain improved for the first time since 2015 and the number of deaths from conflict, both internal and external, continued to fall.

 

Good2Golf

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How’s Jamaica doin?

Last I heard, ‘evey’tin Erie, mon!’
 

daftandbarmy

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How’s Jamaica doin?

Last I heard, ‘evey’tin Erie, mon!’

Coincidentally I met a guy who was in Jamaica recently. He's not keen to return:

2021 Investment Climate Statements: Jamaica​



Companies have reported that Jamaica’s high crime rate, corruption, and comparatively high taxes inhibit its investment prospects. The country’s corruption perception ranking, by Transparency International, improved marginally from 74 (2019) to 69 (2020) out of 180 countries. Despite laws that prescribe criminal penalties for corrupt acts by officials, there were still reports of government corruption in 2020, with a minister and another public official facing several criminal charges. Measures implemented to address crime continued into 2020, including the continuation of States of Emergency and Zones of Special Operations in several high crime areas of the island. While these efforts resulted in lowering serious crimes, the measures did not significantly impact the murder rate, and Jamaica continues to have one of the highest homicide rates in the world.

 

dapaterson

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Twenty years ago one of my high school teachers was murdered in Jamaica. As a good Jesuit, he was described once as Arthur Scargill meets Opus Dei...

 

Jarnhamar

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Messerschmitt

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Yep…and we also have a PM who says women should be respected…

Hypocrites.
And got re-elected.

Canadians 100% deserve everything that is happening. Spearheaded with the insane housing costs. Luckily I've done what is not tought in schools (financing and how to invest vs gender studies and critical race) and I'm not affected at all. I hope housing prices double and interest rises ten fold. I paid my mortage in full after the first 5 year term.

#support Trudeau! ✌️✌️
 
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mariomike

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And got re-elected.
Apparently with the support of women.

In the latest nightly tracking data for CTV News and The Globe and Mail that was released Friday, the Liberals had the most support among Canadian females, with 37.1 per cent versus 29.6 per cent among males, while the Conservatives had 26.5 per cent support among females versus a whopping 40.7 per cent among males.
 

daftandbarmy

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Apparently with the support of women.

neve campbell punk GIF
 

QV

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The article didn’t actually say that it’s not about the money.
The article highlights examples of exorbitant drug costs. Don’t worry Remius. Big Pharma only thinks about our safety, exorbitant drug costs along with forced limited choice via lobbying to government are not a thing and would never happen in this pandemic. Our elected politicians, like Trudeau, and millionaire pharmaceutical execs only want what’s best for you, with a reasonable profit margin of course.

India‘s drug kit for COVID (which includes “horse paste”): $27/person
Merck’s new COVID drug: $700/ person

edit: I’m sure there would never be any undue influence.. Health Canada switches to mainly pharmaceutical funding - DATAC
 
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Remius

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The article highlights examples of exorbitant drug costs. Don’t worry Remius. Big Pharma only thinks about our safety, exorbitant drug costs along with forced limited choice via lobbying to government are not a thing and would never happen in this pandemic. Our elected politicians, like Trudeau, and millionaire pharmaceutical execs only want what’s best for you, with a reasonable profit margin of course.

India‘s drug kit for COVID (which includes “horse paste”): $27/person
Merck’s new COVID drug: $700/ person

edit: I’m sure there would never be any undue influence.. Health Canada switches to mainly pharmaceutical funding - DATAC
So the issue is what appears to be an unregulated industry. Free markets and capitalism right?
 

daftandbarmy

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I don't know if I can classify myself as 'surprised' yet. or not...

Failed deal with China delayed made-in-Canada COVID-19 vaccine plans​

Officials wasted months, spent millions on a lab that never produced a single shot​



The federal government's failed collaboration with a vaccine manufacturing company in China early in the pandemic has led to a delay of nearly two years in efforts to create a made-in-Canada COVID-19 vaccine.

Government documents obtained by The Fifth Estate show that Canadian officials wasted months waiting for a proposed vaccine to arrive from China for further testing and spent millions upgrading a production facility that never made a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) signed an agreement with Tianjin-based CanSino Biologics in early May 2020 to "fast-track the availability of a COVID-19 vaccine in Canada for emergency pandemic use."

The CanSino vaccine, which had been created by the scientific research arm of China's military, was to be shipped to Canada for human trials that May. If successful, the vaccine was to be manufactured at a temporary facility in Montreal that the NRC had committed $44 million to upgrade.

The documents reveal that the NRC, the scientific research arm of the Canadian government, was gearing up for production of the vaccine — even before the contract was signed and human trials had started — estimating it could be manufacturing doses by summer 2020.

At first, the NRC would be producing doses for human trials in Canada, then later, according to the contract, "for front-line responders and Canadians as soon as they are available."

"Once fully operational, in the event that CanSino proceeds, NRC will be able to produce 70,000 to 100,000 doses per month," the NRC briefs said.

The NRC asked Dr. Scott Halperin, director of the Canadian Center of Vaccinology in Halifax, to design the clinical trials for CanSino in Canada.

"The NRC and CanSino had previous collaborations well before the pandemic," Halperin said in an interview with The Fifth Estate. "That was leveraged into a working relationship to say: 'Can that be expanded for the current crisis?' "

Vaccine stuck in China​


As the months progressed, the documents also show that the NRC was working to increase the number of doses the facility could produce for the public.

But ultimately, the CanSino vaccine would never get to Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the deal to Canadians on May 16, 2020. But a federal government memo later that same month reveals the Canadian Embassy in Beijing was still working to get the vaccine cleared by China's customs.

"CanSino vaccines are still with customs in China," the memo said. "Embassy has a [meeting] tomorrow. Assuming they get through customs [tomorrow], they can be put on a flight on the 27th."

But the vaccine candidate was not put on a plane on May 27.

 
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