The Not Fake News Update: 03 July 2020

During these fraught times (Syn: anxious, disquieting, distressing, nerve-wracking, tense, unsettling) it’s easy to lose track.  Besides, sometimes it’s nice to just leave the television off and ignore the news.  It can get overwhelming out there.

So whether you missed things accidentally or were wisely saving up your spoons, here’s today’s update of the actual news (not fake!) with special focus on what’s getting missed by major media.

So.  Are you sitting comfortably?  …Good.  Let’s begin.

– The ongoing protests are still ongoing.  There are fewer, however, and much smaller. They’re not being well-covered except by local news, largely because there’s little of note happening.  Protests don’t accomplish much when there’s no traffic to block, apparently.

– A report published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases shows a marked and demonstrable correlation between hydroxychloroquine treatment for COVID-19 in a hospital setting with survivability.  Azithromycin also showed effect, but combining the two drugs scored worse than either alone.  Earlier studies showed prophylaxis to be ineffective.  Research continues.

– Findings published in the journal Cell indicate that SARS-CoV-2 has mutated substantially, and that most current infections are of the new strain.  G614, the European version of the virus, is far more infectious and robust, but is apparently no more deadly.  Unfortunately, most vaccine research has been based on the original D614 spike protein model; on the other hand, those who had already recovered retained their immunity.  The paper indicates that the European strain has been on the rise since March.

– Several hundred elephants have died in the Okovango Delta of Botswana, of undetermined and even mysterious causes.  Though the population is well over a hundred thousand, this is still a significant die-off, and that the cause is unknown worries conservationists and officials.

– One third of Toledo’s city council members were just arraigned on bribery and corruption charges, but are still eligible to attend meetings and vote.  Democratic party officials want to appoint new members directly; Republicans are demanding elections.  Meanwhile, five members of the council in Patterson, N.J. were arrested for voter fraud in the recent elections.  (It’s a bad week for Democrats, but surely some Republicans will get caught soon to balance things out.  -Editor)

– Pro-democracy activists are reportedly fleeing Hong Kong in the wake of the recent security law.  Under the new conditions, any citizens arrested may face deportation to mainland China for security trials.  The United Kingdom has offered citizenship to several million residents should they choose to accept it.

– Boston has decided to remove the “Freedman’s Memorial”, the “Emancipation” statue depicting Lincoln in the act of freeing a slave, his hand resting on the Emancipation Proclamation.  Activists since Frederick Douglass, who spoke at the dedication of the original in D.C., have long criticized this grouping for failing to commemorate the role African Americans played in their own liberation.

Its dedication plaque reads in part,
“This monument was erected… With funds contributed solely by emancipated citizens of the United States declared free by his proclamation January 1 A.D. 1863. The first contribution of five dollars was made by Charlotte Scott, A freedwoman of Virginia being her first earnings in freedom and consecrated by her suggestion and request on the day she heard of President Lincoln’s death to build a monument to his memory.”

– Saudi Arabia has responded to a brutal week of continual missile and drone strikes on Riyadh with a military campaign against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in South Yemen.  The offensive began with massive airstrikes.  Very little information is available through either standard press outlets or on-the-ground social media.

– Turkey has dropped its objection to a NATO defense plan for Poland and the Baltic States against potential Russian aggression.  It is important to note that there has been no indication that Russia may invade; the plan was put into place following their Crimean annexation.  This is meaningful as it follows near-conflict between French and Turkish naval vessels in the Mediterranean over the Libyan blockade; pressure from the United States was mentioned as a factor by one source.  Meanwhile, Turkey has announced a domestic crackdown on “insulting” posts on social media which has led to several arrests.

– Iran has suffered yet another massive explosion in its industrial production, this one in a major nuclear enrichment facility.  No relationship with the earlier destruction of a major missile production line has been suggested.  The Mossad has no comment, though they never do.

– The AP has released an analysis of the Trump Administration’s claim that the president had been unaware of unconfirmed reports of Russian bounties on American soldiers in Afghanistan at the time the reports were leaked.  (Summary:  It’s complicated.)  At present, the reports appear to be having no adverse effect on the new Taliban peace talks, which have been advancing with unwonted rapidity.  As to who originally leaked the reports or whether they’re even true, it’s anyone’s guess; nevertheless, Democratic politicians are loudly condemning Trump.  (This last is hardly news, as they’ve been doing so right along, but I figured I’d mention it in passing. -Editor)

– Epstein is still dead, but his former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell has now been arrested for being complicit in his alleged crimes.  As of this writing, she has not yet hanged herself in her cell.

And that’s the news.  If I’ve missed something, do please let me know.

There’s a reason your news is biased:  You let other people pay for it.  People with agendas.

Maintaining a free press costs money. Would you rather have government propaganda, corporate infotainment, or a truth that’s beholden to no one?

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