Voices, The Peoples News No. 2023-03-13

Voices, The Peoples News

March 13, 2023
Published by Jedi Selman Since March 2000 to Inform and Educate

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This daily Voices, The Peoples News is posted through the blog function of www.MPEN-Ohio.net

# Covid / Pandemics / Biologicals
Marburg virus outbreaks are increasing in frequency and geographic spread, three virologists explain: The Marburg virus, a close cousin of Ebola, currently has no approved treatments or vaccines to protect against it https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://theconversation.com/marburg-virus-outbreaks-are-increasing-in-frequency-and-geographic-spread-three-virologists-explain-200486__;!!On18fmf1aQ!ywXweUjSa0Tj1p19LobaSBtaPvs-LHbga0-0S48AvJMQSUN81qP2U0p3kNGR6kUgm1Xxe74PkDCfgCuV3Y4WxmOBzyJz349V$

Three years after WHO declared COVID a global emergency, Americans sharply divided over pandemic truths and myths https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2023/03/13/three-years-after-who-declared-covid-a-global-emergency-americans-remain-sharply-divided-over-pandemic-truths-and-myths/__;!!On18fmf1aQ!ywXweUjSa0Tj1p19LobaSBtaPvs-LHbga0-0S48AvJMQSUN81qP2U0p3kNGR6kUgm1Xxe74PkDCfgCuV3Y4WxmOBz-WLQOn4$

# Economy / Finance / Trade / Banks
Insurers slashed Hurricane Ian payouts far below damage estimates, documents and insiders reveal: It’s been more than four months since Hurricane Ian ransacked Florida’s Fort Myers Beach, but many residents are battling with insurance companies, and one family says they’ve been offered just $500 compensation for their house, which was left unlivable. Over a quarter of all closed insurance claims in decimated Lee County have been denied, leaving tens of thousands of shell-shocked property owners on the brink of financial ruin.

Silicon Valley Bank was shut down by bank regulators on Friday. SVB was the go-to bank for start-ups and private equity ventures within the tech industry, and its collapse means that many SVB customers have lost the majority of their savings nearly overnight. How does a bank collapse in
48 hours? A timeline of the SVB fall

Budget surplus breakdown; thanks to taxpayers, the Texas Legislature will have a whopping $32.7 billion extra dollars available to spend before the 2022-23 budget cycle ends Aug. 31: If the $32.7 billion surplus were distributed equally, every Texan would get $1,088. And if the surplus were disbursed equally among all Texas renter households, they would each get $8,490, covering the average rent payment for seven and a half months. The surplus is even big enough to pay for every Texas student’s school lunch for 12 years.

# Education / Schools
3 ways to prevent school shootings, based on research: A pair of researchers on school violence share three strategies that have been proven to prevent school shootings.

Oregon eyes mandate for climate change lessons in schools: Oregon lawmakers are aiming to make the state the second in the nation to mandate climate change lessons for K-12 public school students.
Connecticut has the only U.S. state law requiring climate change instruction, and it’s possibly the first time such a bill has been introduced in Oregon, according to legislative researchers.

Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan’s new priority bills focus on school safety, requiring districts to adopt active-shooter plans https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www.texastribune.org/2023/03/08/texas-school-safety-dade-phelan/__;!!On18fmf1aQ!ywXweUjSa0Tj1p19LobaSBtaPvs-LHbga0-0S48AvJMQSUN81qP2U0p3kNGR6kUgm1Xxe74PkDCfgCuV3Y4WxmOBz_NsAB5V$

I’m a teacher in Florida. Here’s what the DeSantis book bans look like in my classroom: A new crackdown on books in Florida schools has had a chilling effect in classrooms. House Bill 1467, signed by Governor DeSantis in March of last year,  basically states that schools must be transparent in their selection of instructional, library, and reading materials. Meaning that parents have the right to know what their students are reading and a means to view those materials. All materials must be free of pornography, gender identity issues (for students in Kindergarten through third grade), as well as any books relating to discrimination based on race, color, sex, or national origin. The books must also be approved by a certificated media specialist.

Why the “Book-Ban” Meltdown in Florida Is a Political Farce: Another news outlet warned, “Florida considers books to be more dangerous to students than assault rifles,” adding, “This is truly a dystopian state.” CNN’s Don Lemon reported that “scared and confused teachers are scrambling to comply with a new law championed by governor Ron DeSantis”
and then asks incredulously, “What in the world is going on here?”

DeSantis “Exposing The Book Ban Hoax”: “I Think Most Parents Would Say Absolutely Not”: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday during a press conference that he’s exposing the truth about the “hoax” that he wants to ban books in schools and graphically shows some of the books that have been removed from schools.

# Education / Schools / Global
Iranian schoolgirls have mysterious illness: Hundreds of videos posted on social media since late last year show high-school girls in Iran reporting sudden fatigue, burning throats, nausea, headaches and numbness — symptoms that many attribute to poisoning. Iran’s government has arrested more than 100 people that it says are responsible for releasing “smelly and harmless” substances. The interior minister said that “suspicious samples” were being analysed, but no details have been released.

# Employment / Labor
US Corporations Are Bringing Back Child Labor, With Help From GOP
Lawmakers: Rather than offering wages attractive to adults, employers want lawmakers to push teens into dangerous jobs. In some cases, it would even permit young teens to work mining and construction jobs and use power-driven meat slicers and food choppers. Make no mistake, this is dangerous work. Just three years ago, a 16-year-old in Tennessee fell more than 11 stories to his death while working construction on a hotel roof. Another 16-year-old lost an arm that same year while cleaning a meat grinder at a Tennessee supermarket. But these preventable tragedies mean nothing to legislators bent on helping employers pad their bottom lines at kids’ expense.

Farmworkers Push Wendy’s, Kroger and Publix to Take Stance Against Forced Labor: The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is pushing the companies to join the Fair Food Program, which deters forced labor.

Chicago Grocery Teamsters Face Retaliation for Exercising Their Rights:
The workers organized their largely Spanish speaking shop with little help from union leadership, now they face firings. Marano workers gather for a February community meeting with Teamsters for a Democratic Union and Chicago Community and Workers’ Rights to plan their contract unity action. The workers have experienced company retaliation.

# Energy / Pipelines / Mining / Chemical Conflicting Reports Thicken Nord Stream Bombing Plot: None of the emerging narratives surrounding the Nord Stream pipeline bombing really contradicts Seymour Hersh’s central allegation that Biden authorized the operation.

Biden to put Arctic Ocean off limits to drilling even as he readies approval for Willow oil project: The president will put the entire Arctic Ocean off limits to oil and gas leasing Monday, according to a White House official. The new rules would not affect the controversial Willow project, which the administration is expected to greenlight this week, because ConocoPhillips already has leases.The Willow drilling project would produce up to 180,000 barrels a day of oil in the Alaska wilderness, an anticipated decision that has drawn the ire of environmentalists.

As enforcement falls short, many worry that companies are flouting New Mexico’s landmark gas flaring rules: On on the ground, watchdogs say they don’t see much of a change in oil and gas companies’ practices.

Ethylene oxide adds to toxic burden for Memphis residents:  Sims, 58, a retired workforce manager at the Internal Revenue Service, agonizes that she needs to move; she literally fears that the air she breathes could kill her. Her South Memphis neighborhood is nestled in one of the nation’s most infamous industrial zones. Her neighborhood and adjoining zip codes are home to about 90 facilities listedon the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Toxic Release Inventory. They include the nastiness of oil and coal tar refineries; hazardous waste storage and treatment facilities; and companies making or handling asphalt, concrete, fertilizers, paint, pharmaceuticals, plastics, solvents, appliances, furniture coatings, laminates, animal feed, and automotive parts. Several are owned by corporate titans such as Valero, Nucor, Sherwin-Williams, General Electric, Owens Corning, Exxon Mobil, and Land o’ Lakes.

Environmental Groups Sue to Stop Federal Oil and Gas Auction in Gulf of
Mexico: Environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and Earthjustice, sued the Biden administration Monday to stop the sale of oil and gas drilling rights in the Gulf of Mexico.

# Environment / Climate / Interior / Infrastructure Plastic Waste That Gets Dumped on Poor Countries Is Massively
Underestimated: The authors of a new analysis highlight the public health and environmental risks that the plastic exports pose. According to a new analysis published last week, United Nations data on the global waste trade fails to account for “hidden” plastics in textiles, contaminated paper bales, and other categories, leading to a dramatic, 1.8-million-metric-ton annual underestimate of the amount of plastic that makes its way from the European Union, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States to poor countries.

# General News
Neo-Nazi Brotherhood: How American friends of Ukrainian Fascists Plotted a Terror Attack in the US and the Media Ignored the Story. In normal circumstances, the Atomwaffen’s plot in Baltimore should have been headline news.  American far-right radicals – linked to neo-Nazis from the Ukrainian Azov Battalion – have been charged with conspiring to stage a terrorist attack in Baltimore, Maryland.

# Gov / Politics / Global
Experts react: Iran and Saudi Arabia just agreed to restore relations, with help from China. Here’s what that means for the Middle East and the world. Atlantic Council experts share their insights on the breaking news and its significance for one of the Middle East’s most consequential rivalries, for the region, and for the wider world.

# Gov / Politics / US
How the Texas GOP Became the party of big government, expansion of state
power: Over eight years, the Texas Legislature has passed a number of bills that restrict cities’ power to regulate anything from tree preservation to property taxes. This session, the Legislature is considering at least half a dozen more Republican-sponsored measures that will limit cities’ power.

The One Place Where the U.S. Needs to Back Off and Let China Do Its
Thing: Iran and Saudi Arabia have resumed diplomatic relations after a seven-year suspension, thanks to mediation by China. Some experts fear this bodes an acceleration of the decline of U.S. influence in the Middle East, in China’s ascension as a global power, and in Israel’s isolation. But in fact, Beijing’s move is, for the most part, a good thing. There are at least four reasons.

Pentagon’s $842B proposed budget focuses largely on China as war rages in Ukraine: The latest budget request was shaped by the Pentagon’s 2022 National Defense Strategy, which defines China as the Defense Department’s primary national security challenge and labels Russia as a lesser threat.

# Law Enforcement
Lawmakers offer stark choices for ending the crisis in Texas’ youth prisons, shut them all down, or build more: Long entrenched in a continuous string of scandals over child abuse and mistreatment, Texas’
youth prison system is broken beyond repair and should be shut down, according to a state lawmaker.

# Legal / DOJ
These Men Fought White Supremacists and Got Sentenced to Over 200 Years:
How the criminal legal system slammed two Black men for standing up to white supremacist guards in an Indiana prison.

Texas Women Sued for Wrongful Death for Allegedly Helping Friend Obtain
Abortion: A man is suing women he alleges got his ex-wife abortion medication, the first case of its kind since the fall of Roe.

Will Fauci Face Criminal Charges Now? Fauci may have perjured himself in his testimony with Senator Ron Paul when he denied that the NIH had funded the gain of function research that led to COVID 19 which killed millions of people around the world. A person convicted of perjury under federal law may face up to five years in prison and fines.

His Conviction Relied on Debunked Bite-Mark Science. Why Is He Still Locked Up? Alabama is determined to keep Charles McCrory in prison even though the evidence against him has fallen apart.

Key Witness Testifies Before Trump Grand Jury:  Donald Trump’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen is scheduled to testify Monday before a Manhattan grand jury investigating hush-money payments made on the former president’s behalf, two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. They were not authorized to speak publicly about grand jury proceedings and did so on condition of anonymity.

# Media
“People need to be paying attention”: How a bill aimed at the media could impact democracy as we know it. An “extreme” bill in Florida is aimed at making it easier to sue the news media for defamation — and it’s alarmed First Amendment advocates across the country. The bill — filed by state Rep. Alex Andrade, a Republican representing Panhandle residents and an ally of Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has been open about his desire to roll back press freedoms and who hosted a roundtable on the issue last month that foreshadowed the legislation — would make it much easier to sue the media for libel.

How badly will today’s rip-roaring ‘transparency’ surge scar MAGA rampages, McCarthy, FOX and Trump? If serial, truth-telling transparency doesn’t wreck Republicanism as a viable governing party, scaring electability, voters will only have themselves to blame.

# Medical / Health
Fearing Backlash, Republicans Backpedal on Social Security and Medicare
Cuts: Trump is opportunistically exploiting rifts within the GOP over the prospect of cutting Social Security and Medicare.

21 South Carolina GOP Lawmakers Propose Death Penalty for Women Who Have
Abortions: It’s not just a lone extremist: The bill has 21 co-sponsors in the state’s House of Representatives. The bills have been introduced in states such as Texas, Kentucky, South Carolina, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Texas judge sought to hide abortion pill hearing from public to prevent
protests: The unusual move is the latest in far right judges’ current streak of judicial activism. The highly unusual move is the latest in far right judges’ current streak of judicial activism.

Estrogen receptor in the heart found to regulate obesity in postmenopausal women: Estrogen is known to play an important role in the protection of women’s hearts, but once women are postmenopausal and estrogen levels drop, they are at an increased risk of a number of diseases and conditions, including heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
This important work has implications for preventing and treating heart and metabolic disease in postmenopausal women, but also cardiotoxicity in premenopausal women receiving therapies that may inhibit or reduce ERα in the heart.

# Military / DOD
White House asks for $11 billion more for Navy, Marine Corps spending:
The Navy and Marine Corps’ budget would increase from the $244.7 billion Congress enacted for fiscal 2023 to nearly $256 billion in the next fiscal year https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www.defensenews.com/pentagon/2023/03/11/white-house-asks-for-11-billion-more-for-navy-marine-corps-spending/__;!!On18fmf1aQ!ywXweUjSa0Tj1p19LobaSBtaPvs-LHbga0-0S48AvJMQSUN81qP2U0p3kNGR6kUgm1Xxe74PkDCfgCuV3Y4WxmOBz1mGqA85$

# Technology / Global
Mexican drug cartels have returned to Twitter after Elon Musk took over and lifted their bans. A new report has found that prominent gang members are using Twitter to recruit new members, send warnings to rival gangs, post gory images, and glorify the narco lifestyle.

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