Iran’s Ayatollah Claims ‘Wealthy Zionists’ Control America

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei on Tuesday claimed “wealthy Zionists” control America.

America has reached the “peak of arrogance,” and it is controlled by “corporate owners,” which makes it a “manifestation of oppression, abhorred by the world,” he said in a tweet.

Attacking Zionists is the Iranian regime’s usual rhetoric. But claiming that “Zionists” control America is intended to push antisemitic conspiracy theories while hiding behind its official anti-Israel line.

The official slogan of some of Iran’s allies, such as the Houthis in Yemen, is “death to America, death to Israel, curse the Jews.” . . .

The Iranian leader has slammed Jews before. He claims the US “Deal of the Century” is “satanic” and that it includes the “Jewishization” of Jerusalem. (Read more from “Iran’s Ayatollah Claims ‘Wealthy Zionists’ Control America” HERE)

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COVID-19: Are We on the Verge of a Global Pandemic?

By CNBC. Japan could be a key indicator when it comes to predicting a pandemic-level spread of the deadly coronavirus, former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Tuesday.

Japan appears to be “on the cusp of a large outbreak and maybe epidemic growth in Japan. We need to watch that very closely. They’ve had a doubling of cases just in the last four days” with a total of 59 confirmed cases and one death so far, Gottlieb said on “Squawk Box.”

If other countries report sharp rises in COVID-19 cases, Gottlieb said it could be a sign that the new virus can’t be controlled on a global scale. The CNBC contributor said earlier in February it’s likely the flu-like virus will grow into a pandemic but avoid becoming an epidemic in the United States.

A pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease, according to the World Health Organization. An epidemic is an often sudden increase in the number of cases of a disease above what is normally expected in a population in an area, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Syra Madad, an expert in public health and special pathogen response, said that while it’s still early in the outbreak, a pandemic could be near. (Read more from “COVID-19: Are We on the Verge of a Global Pandemic?” HERE)

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Russia to Ban Entry of Chinese Nationals to Halt Virus

By Associated Press. Russia will temporarily ban Chinese nationals from entering the country due to the virus outbreak centered in China that has infected more than 73,000 people worldwide, Russian authorities said Tuesday.

The entry ban goes into effect Thursday at midnight Moscow time (2100 GMT) for an indefinite period, according to a decree signed by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. The government said it took the move due to the “worsening epidemiological situation” in China.

Russia already had cut off most Chinese visitors by closing the long land border with China and Mongolia and imposing other travel restrictions. The new entry ban won’t affect travelers who need to transfer flights at Russian airports, authorities said. (Read more from “Russia to Ban Entry of Chinese Nationals to Halt Virus” HERE)

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Bare-Faced Robbery: Thieves Steal 6,000 Hygiene Masks in Japan

By Yahoo. Thieves in Japan have made off with some 6,000 surgical masks from a hospital, with the country facing a mass shortage and a huge price hike online due to the coronavirus.

Four boxes containing the face masks disappeared from a locked storage facility at the Japanese Red Cross hospital in the western port city of Kobe, a hospital official said on Tuesday.

“We still have a large number of masks — enough to continue our daily operations at the hospital, but this is so deplorable,” the official told AFP.

Police have launched an investigation as they suspect the thieves intend to resell the masks.

Masks have sold out at many drug and discount stores across the nation as the number of infections have increased in Japan — one of the most affected countries after China where the death toll from the virus has hit 1,800. (Read more from “Bare-Faced Robbery: Thieves Steal 6,000 Hygiene Masks in Japan” HERE)

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Mask Shortages Threaten U.S. Hospitals After Warnings Ignored

By Asian Review. The U.S. is facing a potentially severe shortage of surgical masks due to the coronavirus outbreak in China, despite repeated warnings that American hospitals are overly dependent on Chinese-made medical supplies.

While the coronavirus has caused just 12 confirmed cases in the U.S., the country sources the bulk of its surgical masks, respirators and other “personal protective equipment” from China, where the disease has killed 1,770 and infected tens of thousands.

The epidemic has not only disrupted mask production in the country, it has also sent China’s own demand for medical supplies soaring.

Now hospitals in the U.S. are having to ration their inventory amid one of the worst flu seasons in decades.

Last week, staff at Mt. Sinai Health Systems received an email informing them that, among other measures, surgical masks will only be available in departments such as intensive care units, divisions involved in infection prevention and emergency departments, according to a person familiar with the matter. (Read more from “Mask Shortages Threaten U.S. Hospitals After Warnings Ignored” HERE)

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Terrorists Kill 24 in Attack on Burkina Faso Church

Gunmen killed twenty-four people, including a pastor, in an attack on a church during Sunday mass in northwestern Burkina Faso, four security sources told Reuters on Monday.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the attack, which comes as jihadist groups with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State seek to gain control over once peaceful rural Burkina Faso, fuelling ethnic and religious conflict.

Hundreds have died over the past year, and over half a million people have fled their homes.

The timing of the shooting, during a church service in the village of Pansi in the Yagha region, mirrors that of other attacks on Christians in the past year, including church attacks and assassinations of pastors and priests. . .

It said 18 people were also injured in the attack and an unknown number were kidnapped. It added that a pastor was killed but did not specify that the attack occurred in a church during mass. (Read more from “Terrorists Kill 24 in Attack on Burkina Faso Church” HERE)

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Court Orders Tesla to Stop Cutting Down Trees

Elon Musk’s Tesla has been ordered to stop clearing forest land near the capital of Berlin, Germany, to build its new “Gigafactory.”

Reuters reports that a German court has ordered Tesla to stop cutting down trees in a forest near the capital of Berlin to make room for its first European “Gigafactory.” The electric vehicle maker announced plans last November to build a factory in Gruenheide, located in the eastern state of Brandenburg.

The ruling by the higher administrative court of the states of Berlin and Brandenburg comes shortly after the state environmental office gave Tesla permission to clear 92 hectares of forest to make room for the new manufacturing plant. However, the planning permission for the factory had not yet been granted meaning that preparing the ground for the factory was done at the company’s own risk. (Read more from “Court Orders Tesla to Stop Cutting Down Trees” HERE)

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China to Burn Currency to Slow the Spread of Deadly Coronavirus

The Guangzhou branch of China’s central bank says it will destroy all banknotes collected by hospitals, wet markets and buses to ensure the safety of cash transactions as the country battles a coronavirus outbreak.

Financial news outlet Caixin reported on Saturday that officials at the People’s Bank of China’s (PBOC) branch in the southern city ordered that all paper currency from sectors with high exposure to the coronavirus be withdrawn for destruction.

Commercial banks in the province should put banknotes from these sectors aside, disinfect them and hand them in to the PBOC.

The order comes after Fan Yifei, deputy governor of the central bank, said on Saturday that 600 billion yuan (US$85.6 billion) of new banknotes had been distributed throughout the country since January 17, including 4 billion yuan (US$572 million) in fresh notes sent to Wuhan at the centre of the outbreak before the Lunar New Year.

The central bank said that in general it would use high temperatures or ultraviolet light to disinfect cash, and store the currency for more than 14 days before putting it back in circulation. (Read more from “China to Burn Currency to Slow the Spread of Deadly Virus” HERE)

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Rockets Hit Near U.S. Embassy in Iraq

Rockets hit near the U.S. Embassy in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad early Sunday morning but left no American casualties, according to a military spokesperson.

The rockets targeted the Iraqi base hosting U.S. troops and coalition forces in Baghdad’s militarized Green Zone around 3:30 a.m., Colonel Myles B Caggins III, a U.S. military spokesperson, said in a statement. . .

The attack is the latest development as tensions in the region have risen following the U.S.’s killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani with a drone strike last month. In response to the Soleimani’s death, Iran on Jan. 8 launched missiles at Iraq’s Ain al-Asad Air Base resulting in 109 American troops suffering from traumatic brain injuries, Axios reported.

In December, the Baghdad Embassy was attacked by Iraqi supporters of Iranian-backed militias, causing fire damage and smashed windows to the outer region of the facility. U.S. military forces responded with tear gas and dispersed the crowd after days of demonstrations. (Read more from “Rockets Hit Near U.S. Embassy in Iraq” HERE)

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Justin Trudeau Faces Backlash After Shaking Hand With Iranians Who Shot Down Plane With Canadians Aboard

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is facing anger from his own countrymen after he was photographed chatting, shaking hands, and even bowing to Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, after the rogue nation shot down a commercial airplane with 57 Canadians aboard.

Iran reportedly shot down the plane in January, after launching a series of missiles at Iraqi military bases housing American troops, an effort taken in response to the United States’ killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani who, the White House said at the time, was in Iran trying to foment anti-American sentiment and organize anti-American militia operations.

Iran initially denied downing the airliner, but after United States and international intelligence organizations pinned the crash on a pair of surface-to-air missiles filed from inside Iran, the country finally issued a statement taking responsibility and blaming “human error” for the “unforgivable mistake” that killed more than 150 passengers and crew, per The Guardian.

There were 57 Canadians aboard the Ukrainian Airlines plane, headed to Kiev, Ukraine, where they planned to catch a connecting flight to Toronto, according to the BBC.

“The plane was bound for the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, and many on board had a connecting flight to Toronto, Canada’s largest city and a transit hub,” the British outlet reported, identifying why so many Canadians were killed in the attack. “Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that, all told, 138 people on that flight were en route to Canada.” (Read more from “Justin Trudeau Faces Backlash After Shaking Hand With Iranians Who Shot Down Plane With Canadians Aboard” HERE)

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Funeral Homes in China’s Wuhan ‘Working 24/7 to Cremate Bodies’; US Testing Missing Cases; How the New Coronavirus Kills; Vaccine Discovered?

By RFA. Funeral homes in central China are working round the clock to cremate bodies during the coronavirus epidemic, while advertising to recruit manual workers to collect dead bodies from people’s homes by night, RFA has learned. . .

But there are indications that the true number of deaths in a city under quarantine may be far higher than the reported numbers indicate.

Social media users said there are 84 incinerators located at seven funeral homes across Wuhan, with a capacity to perform 2,016 cremations in any 24-hour period.

All of those funeral homes have been working around the clock in recent weeks, with dead bodies lying in rows waiting for cremation, social media reports said.

Wuhan voluntary worker Zhong Qiang, who recently carried out an unofficial survey of funeral homes and crematoria in Wuhan, said what he saw backed up the claims of 24-7 cremation in the city. (Read more from “Funeral Homes in China’s Wuhan ‘Working 24/7 to Cremate Bodies’” HERE)

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CDC: US Test Kits “Flawed”

By Denise Grady. Some of the coronavirus testing kits sent to state laboratories around the country have flaws and do not work properly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday.

The kits were meant to enable states to conduct their own testing and have results faster than they would by shipping samples to the C.D.C. in Atlanta. But the failure of the kits means that states that encountered problems with the test should not use it, and would still have to depend on the C.D.C.’s central lab, which could cause several days’ delay in getting results.

“Obviously, a state wouldn’t want to be doing this test and using it to make clinical decisions if it isn’t working as well, as perfectly, at the state as it is at C.D.C.,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said at a news conference on Wednesday. (Read more HERE about how flawed US testing may result in more business for funeral homes)

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Vaccine Discovered in U.S.?

By Evie Fordham. An American biotech company says it created a coronavirus vaccine three hours after getting access to the virus’ genetic sequence in mid-January, and now scientists are racing to get the vaccine on the market in record time.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals is based in Pennsylvania, but scientists in its laboratory in San Diego made the discovery.

“We were able to rapidly construct our vaccine in a matter of about three hours once we had the DNA sequence from the virus available because of the power of our DNA medicine platform,” Dr. J. Joseph Kim, Inovio’s president and CEO, told FOX Business. “Our goal is to start phase one human testing in the U.S. early this summer.” (Read more HERE how this vaccine may stop the run on funeral homes).

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The New Coronavirus Disease Can Take a Deadly Turn

By NPR. More than 1,300 people, almost all in China, have now died from COVID-19 — the newly minted name for the coronavirus disease first identified in Wuhan, China, that has infected more than 55,000 people. . .

The first symptoms of COVID-19 are pretty common with respiratory illnesses — fever, a dry cough and shortness of breath, says Dr. Carlos del Rio, a professor of medicine and global health at Emory University who has consulted with colleagues treating coronavirus patients in China and Germany. “Some people also get a headache, sore throat,” he says. Fatigue has also been reported — and less commonly, diarrhea. It may feel as if you have a cold. Or you may feel that flu-like feeling of being hit by a train. . .

But Furuya says that this immune system response to this invader can also destroy lung tissue and cause inflammation. The end result can be pneumonia. That means the air sacs in the lungs become inflamed and filled with fluid, making it harder to breathe.

Del Rio says that these symptoms can also make it harder for the lungs to get oxygen to your blood, potentially triggering a cascade of problems. “The lack of oxygen leads to more inflammation, more problems in the body. Organs need oxygen to function, right? So when you don’t have oxygen there, then your liver dies and your kidney dies,” he says.

That’s what seems to be happening in the most severe cases. About 3% to 5% of patients end up in intensive care, according to the WHO. And many hospitalized patients require supplemental oxygen. In extreme cases, they need mechanical ventilation — including the use of a sophisticated technology known as ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation), which basically acts as the patient’s lungs, adding oxygen to their blood and removing carbon dioxide. The technology “allows us to save more severe patients,” Dr. Sylvie Briand, director of the WHO’s pandemic and epidemic diseases department, said at a press conference Monday. (Read more from “The New Coronavirus Disease Can Take a Deadly Turn” HERE)

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Expert: China Has ‘Global Chokehold’ on Medicine, Can Shut Down Our Pharmacies, Hospitals in Months

China could effectively shut down America’s healthcare system within months given the one-party state’s “global chokehold” on the manufacturing of medicines and medical supplies, explained Rosemary Gibson, author of China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine.

Gibson, senior adviser at the Hastings Center, offered her remarks on Thursday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with host Rebecca Mansour and special guest host Ed Martin.

Mansour noted how the coronavirus outbreak in China has exposed America’s dangerous dependence on Chinese production of pharmaceutical and medical supplies, including an estimated 97 percent of all antibiotics and 80 percent of the active pharmaceutical ingredients needed for domestic drug production.

Gibson said, “If China shuts the door on exports of medicines and the ingredients to make them, within a couple of months our pharmacies would be empty. Our healthcare system would cease to function. That’s how dependent we are.”

Gibson added, “Say there’s a coronavirus outbreak in the United States, God forbid, and a lot of people end up in hospitals with severe cases. The medicines needed to care for them if they can’t breathe and are on a ventilator — fentanyl and propofol — [are made in China]. We depend on China for the raw materials. If they go into shock, the epinephrine and dopamine we need to care for them, we depend on China. If they have bacterial infections, we depend on China for the antibiotics.” (Read more from “Expert: China Has ‘Global Chokehold’ on Medicine, Can Shut Down Our Pharmacies, Hospitals in Months” HERE)

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Government Watchdog: 284 Americans Died Working on Afghanistan ‘Reconstruction’

Dying while building for others.

A new report from the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction (SIGAR) shows that the human cost of the war in Afghanistan wasn’t limited to U.S. soldiers engaged in combat.

“At least 284 Americans were killed in Afghanistan while performing reconstruction or stabilization missions,” according to the new SIGAR report specially focused on the human cost of the reconstruction effort. “This includes 216 U.S. service members and 68 U.S. civilians (government employees, contractors, and those with unknown statuses). An additional 245 service members and 76 civilians were wounded.”

While the loss of soldiers in any form of warfare is tragic, it’s truly unsettling to find that so many soldiers and American civilians died working on urban renewal projects for a nonexistent nation-state on behalf of a corrupt government.

In testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee last week, John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, laid bare the myth of the Afghan military as a worthy cause for American interests. “The Afghan military — and particularly the Afghan police — has been a hopeless nightmare and a disaster,” said the inspector, who has been the lone voice exposing the Afghan fraud for years.

Testifying before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee earlier this week, Sopko noted how every time things deteriorate with the Afghan government and military, the Pentagon moved to classify the information so it’s off-limits to public scrutiny. “Every time we find something that looks like it’s going negative, it gets classified. … Most of the [methods] of measuring success are now classified,” he said Tuesday before the Senate panel.

This is the state of the failed mission so many people are dying for. In addition to the 284 who have died from reconstruction efforts, according to SIGAR, 245 U.S. soldiers and 76 civilian workers were injured. These casualties are all for the reconstruction efforts and don’t include the tens of thousands who were killed or injured during combat and counter-terrorism missions, such as patrols, raids, and ambushes.

According to the report, 59 American service members were killed and another 49 wounded from insider attacks while engaging in reconstruction activities. Hundreds more have been killed in ambushes in combat-related activities by the very soldiers they are training. The latest are two special forces soldiers – Sgt. Javier Jaguar Gutierrez and Sgt. Antonio Rey Rodriguez – who were killed last weekend in the far east of the country when soldiers they were training led them into a Taliban ambush.

Bizarrely, rather than voting on a new mission or withdrawing from a war with an enormous human and fiscal toll, the Senate passed a war powers resolution on Thursday to curtail Trump’s authority to combat Iran in a war that is nonexistent. Eight Republicans joined with every Democrat to pass the resolution 55-45.

Democrats are right to be concerned that 100 soldiers wound up being injured in Iraq from the Iran missile attack launched in retaliation for the killing of Qassem Soleimani. However, that is a reason to pull out of Iraq, so that we are not sitting ducks for Iran while we are propping up a government in Baghdad that is allied with Iran.

As I reported in January, most of these very same members voted for a defense authorization bill last December that continues to authorize our military and diplomatic missions all over Iraq. What do they want from the president? To keep them there but not to defend them? All but four Democrats supported that bill, yet they want to tie the hands of the president in defending a mission they keep greenlighting.

When one GOP member offered an amendment to clarify that the president can use force to “defend U.S. territories, citizens, or personnel at military bases and diplomatic facilities or to restrict missions related to force protection of U.S. aircraft, ships, or personnel,” it was defeated, 51-49, with GOP Sens. Collins, Lee, Moran, and Paul joining the Democrats.

Also, so many of the members who voted for this resolution absolutely savaged Trump for pulling out of an undeclared war in Syria. What gives? They oppose a pullout from Syria, are silent on Afghanistan and Iraq, but want to tie his hands from deterring the one enemy that harms our interests the most? Besides, Trump has already made it clear that he has no interest in getting involved with Iran on the ground as we did in other countries and that regime change is up to the people of Iran.

Clearly, this is all about virtue-signaling and appeasing Iran. This has nothing to do with national security, the safety of our soldiers, or concern for congressional input in unaccountable wars. If that were true, Mr. Sopko’s voice wouldn’t be so lonely sounding the alarm on Afghanistan for so long.

Recently, Trump has expressed his desire to pull out from Afghanistan altogether. Watch for Senate Democrats once again take the other side of the war issue and suddenly demand that he not end a war without Congress. (For more from the author of “Government Watchdog: 284 Americans Died Working on Afghanistan ‘Reconstruction’” please click HERE)

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