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YEAR END REVIEW 2020 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Barry Kowal   
Dec 23, 2020 at 09:02 AM

Hello Everyone!!!!
This is one of those group e-mails that are shot out at the last minute to wish
everyone a MERRY CHRISTMAS or whatever you celebrate (or If you celebrate anything at
all) and a HAPPY NEW 2021!!! Sort of just realised that Christmas is Friday! For those
of you who are new to my mailing list I do this year-end review every year.I have been
doing this for every year since 2004.These reviews are fairly lengthy so I reckon most
of you probably don't even read it.
Those of you who do,thank you. The review is available all year round on my website
at: year like last year and the year before
I have images that shaped 2020.Each one of these images will be addressed in my year-end
review.Now I will begin the year-end review. Every year I start with the news and
first discuss issues related to the USA and then I will discuss issues regarding other
parts of the world. Some issues are intertwined as they involve more than one
country.Then I do the obituaries,then sports,then entertainment and the closing.The
topics look at several events of the past year.So hold your breath now and let's
begin by looking at what has transpired in this world that we live in over the past
366 days.




The News I display here is not CNN,MSNBC or FOX News.It is real news.I will post things

you will not read or hear in the mainstream media.
Now I will start the 2020 Review by discussing the #1 story that has affected nearly
every country in the world for 2020.Of course that is the COVID-19 pandemic.As of
December 1,2020 there had been 63,566,467 COVID-19 cases and 1,473,383 people have died
from COVID-19.



The COVID-19 pandemic,also known as the coronavirus pandemic,is an ongoing
pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory
syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2),first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan,China.
The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of
International Concern in January 2020 and a pandemic in March 2020.COVID-19 spreads
via a number of means,primarily involving saliva and other bodily fluids and excretions.
These fluids can form small droplets and aerosols,which can spread as an infected
person breathes,coughs,sneezes,sings or speaks.The virus may also spread by direct
contact and it is unknown how often it spreads via fomites (contaminated surfaces).
The exact route of transmission is rarely proven conclusively,but infection mainly
happens when people are near each other for long enough,which is known as "close
contact".It can spread as early as two days before infected persons show symptoms
(presymptomatic) and from asymptomatic individuals.People remain infectious for up
to ten days in moderate cases, and two weeks in severe cases.Common symptoms include
fever,cough,fatigue,breathing difficulties and loss of smell and taste.Complications
may include pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome.The incubation period
is typically around five days but may range from one to 14 days.There are several
vaccine candidates in development,although none has completed clinical trials.Although
work is underway to develop drugs that inhibit the virus,the primary treatment is
currently symptomatic. Recommended preventive measures include social distancing,wearing a face mask
in public,ventilation and air-filtering,hand washing,covering one's mouth when sneezing
or coughing,disinfecting surfaces and monitoring and self-isolation for people exposed
or symptomatic.Authorities worldwide have responded by implementing travel restrictions,
lockdowns,workplace hazard controls,and facility closures.Many places have also worked
to increase testing capacity and trace contacts of the infected. The responses have caused global social and economic disruption,including the
largest global recession since the Great Depression.It has led to the postponement or
cancellation of events,widespread supply shortages exacerbated by panic buying,
agricultural disruption and food shortages and decreased emissions of pollutants and
greenhouse gases.Educational institutions have been partially or fully closed.
Misinformation has circulated through social media and mass media.There have been
incidents of xenophobia and discrimination against Chinese people and against those
perceived as being Chinese or as being from areas with high infection rates. I am a US citizen who has lived in Thailand for over 10 years.I understand both
Asian and western cultures very well.I take the following position. No one can't fix the economic situation in a country unless you fix the COVID situation
first.Yes lockdowns hurt the economy,but not locking down will hurt more. In Thailand since the beginning of the pandemic do you know how many COVID deaths
there have been-60 (no typo-not 60,000-60).Thailand has also had only two COVID death
in the past 7 months.In March when the COVID pandemic first started sweeping the world
like China,Thailand went into big lockdowns.The borders were closed.Schools,restaurants,
bars,barber shops,nail salons and almost everything was shut down.There even was a
curfew between 10 PM-4 PM.And Asian people are different from Americans-they don't
say stuff like "It is Communist to wear a mask" and refuse to wear masks and practice
social distancing.In March in Thailand all the Thai people listened to the experts,
wore masks,practiced social distancing and fell in line.By the beginning of May the
government gradually began easing up on the lockdown.Today schools,bars,restaurants
and barbers have opened up.People now rarely wear masks (I only wear it when I go into
7-11 or Tesco).They are now bringing in tourists from tourists from China.In Thailand
"we had to go through hell to get to heaven". Vietnam has even done better than Thailand.Vietnam has more people than Thailand
but has had only 35 (no typo-35)COVID deaths. Mark my words the USA now has more than 330,000 deaths and you are looking at over
2 million deaths by the end of the pandemic.It is just sad that people encourage
behavior,like not having lockdowns,that can lead to the deaths of millions of people.





Xi Jinping.jpg


Many of the citizens in western democracies consider communists more deplorable
than child molesters and serial murderers.This is understandable.In the USA from
the time you are born you are taught that the USA is the best.The media will smear
anyone who says anything positive about countries like Russia,China or Cuba.In 2019,
Bernie Sanders mentioned the fact that China lifted over 800 million people out of
extreme poverty and he was heavily attacked by politicians and the media. see: million-people-out-of-poverty-is-historic-world-bank-117101300027_1.html In Cuba all the citizens get free health care and free education up to the PH.D.
level.This will never get mentioned in the western media.So it is no surprise why
so many westerners despise communism like they do. I used to think the same way.I have been to 188 countries around the world visiting countries like Vietnam,Iran,Russia and Cuba.I met people from these countries,listened to them and looked them in the eyes.Now,I can clearly and
unequivocally beyond any reasonable doubt say.The greatest threat to peace and
stability in this world is not Russia,it is not China,it is not North Korea,it is not
Iran,it is the USA.
Prof Richard Wolff.jpg Before I continue two good books to read from 2019 are "Understanding Communism"
and "Understanding Marxism",The author of both books is Professor Richard D.Wolff.He
is is an American economist,known for his work on economic methodology and class analysis.
He is Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and
currently a Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of
the New School University in New York.He has also taught economics at Yale University,
City University of New York,University of Utah,University of Paris I (Sorbonne) and
The Brecht Forum in New York City. nVoyzQEACAAJ&source=kp_book_description&redir_esc=y
Understanding Marxism.jpgUnderstanding Socialism.jpg If you ever have a course at university in government theory you will know that
capitalism has its good points and communism has its good points.Either one carried
to an extreme is detrimental.Many Scandinavian countries know how to balance both
capitalism and socialism.However in the USA capitalism is being carried to the
extreme. Forms of socialism in one way or another have existed for many years in the USA.
What do you think "Minimum Wage" laws,"Child Labor" laws and social security are.They
are all forms of socialism.Most people have no objections to these laws unless you
are a rich sadistic billionaire who has no problem with exploiting other human beings. In the USA I hear most middle class Americans gripe at such programs as welfare and food stamps.How blind sighted.Last year Trump gave a one billion dollar tax cut
to the top 1%.You see the government needs money to run.When the government does not
get money from the top 1% that means the bottom 99% has to pick up the slack.But
capitalists won't complain about this. Not to be partisan.In 2008 banks loaned money to people who they knew could not repay these loans.As a result the home owners defaulted.Rather than bail out the
homeowners Obama used taxpayer money (money from the bottom 99%) to bail out the
banks resulting in over 5 million people getting thrown out on the street.Mainstream
media will not talk about this. Now because of the COVID-19 crisis Trump gives a one trillion dollar bail out to
cruise line and airline companies.Hold on a second.To avoid paying taxes many of the
cruise line companies are registered outside the USA.Now American taxpayers have to
bail them out.Also many of these airline companies rather than expand their businesses
or increase their employees salary they chose to buy back their own stocks to increase
the stock's value.So much of their money is tied up in stock buy backs.They are not
losing money because of the COVID-19 crisis.Yet American taxpayers have to bail them
out.You will not hear capitalists complain about this. What is the epitome of capitalism is the hubris.After all capitalism is about winning and capitalists will resort to any means to obtaining that goal.Many westerners truly believe their economic system is the best and any other system should be wiped off the face of the earth.In 1950 the USA killed 20% of the
North Korean population because they would not (still don't) embrace the economic
system the USA desires. In 1953 the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in Iran wanted to nationalize the oil companies.The USA and UK would not
tolerate this and staged a coup d'etat resulting in them installing a dictator The
Shah {Mohammad Reza Pahlavi) as their leader. In 1973 the USA installed another dictator Augosto Pinochet as the leader of Chile after staging a coup d'etat against the democratically elected government of President Salvador Allende. Vietnam chose to have a different economic system from that of the USA and that resulted in over 3 million Vietnamese and more than 58,000 Americans dying. The USA claims to advocate democracy but yet the USA provides military assistance
to 73 Percent of the World's dictatorships. See:
worlds-dictatorships/5611021 Many western countries promote enormous propaganda about Communist countries. China now has the second biggest economy in the world and is destined in the near
future to overtake the USA.Furter,the Chinese private sector contributes more than
60 percent of China's GDP growth and brings in over half of China's fiscal revenue. See: You listen to some American red neck talk and he will say how authoritarian is
China's one party system is.China does have a one party but it is not as monolithic
as many believe.The party has about 80 million members (about the population of Germany)
and they come from all different backgrounds.When they meet in Beijing they come to
discuss and conduct business.Unlike western countries where in their parliaments
they exchange insults.In China once a law is passed it is enacted from the top down.
In western governments you have one party wanting this and another wanting that and
nothing gets done. Further,in western countries like the USA you really don't have a democracy.The two
major political parties have been hijacked by the wealthy.Both Democrats and Republicans
first priority is to keep their donors happy.They both like war,they both support
banks,support big Pharma and enjoy fucking the poor.If anyone deviates they will get
thrown under the bus.Just look at Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard.Even AOC who prides
herself in not accepting corporate donations has capitulated.Nancy Pelosi gave her
a job on the "House Ways And Means Committee".She was told by Pelosi to get in line
and support demented Joe Biden in the 2020 election or risk losing her job.What good
is it to reject corporate money when you are going to be just another brick in the wall. This COVID-19 crisis is really displaying capitalism at its zenith.Many people are losing their jobs.So they can't pay their rent,then the landlords can't pay their mortgages.Then many small banks will be losing money and they will get sucked
up by the bigger banks.The very very wealthy will be able to sustain the COVID-19
crisis.However,there are many rich people who will become middle class.Many middle
class will become working class.Many working class people will become poor and many
poor will become extremely poor.Then there will be a fire sale for the very rich and
they will buy up all these properties.Then make a lot of money when the COVID-19 crisis
ends.Some say after this crisis about 100,000 people will own all the property in
the USA.We are heading back to the days of feudalism with the "lord of the manor"
and the serf.
The word communism comes from community.In communism whatever is good for all the
people is most important.In capitalism the rights of the individual are of paramount
importance.In the aftermath of a school shooting in the USA where many small children
died,a capitalist politician's primary concern was whether or not the government will
try to take her guns away.In a communist country having small children being safe at
school trumps (no pun intended) an individual's right to possess an AK-47. Capitalists believe "there are winners and there are losers".While a communist thinks "why can't we all be winners". Before I close this section I will leave with this antidote. You have two tables with a pie at each table.Each pie has 6 slices.At one table
you have six communists and at the other table you have 6 capitalists.At the table
with the 6 communists they will share the pie allowing one piece for each person.At
the other table one of the capitalists will try to kill the other 5 capitalists,so
they can have the entire pie all to themselves.Or all 6 capitalists may have a shoot
out (like the one at the OK Coral) and none of the capitalists will get any of the pie.


Capitalism and democracy follow different logics: unequally distributed
property rights on the one hand,equal civic and political rights on the other;
profitoriented trade within capitalism in contrast to the search for the common good
within democracy;debate,compromise and majority decision-making within democratic
politics versus hierarchical decision-making by managers and capital owners.
Capitalism is not democratic, democracy not capitalist.
During the first postwar decades, tensions between the two were moderated
through the socio-political embedding of capitalism by an interventionist tax and
welfare state.Yet,the financialization of capitalism since the 1980s has broken the
precarious capitalist-democratic compromise. Socioeconomic inequality has risen
continuously and has transformed directly into political inequality.The lower third
of developed societies has retreated silently from political participation; thus its
preferences are less represented in parliament and government. Deregulated and
globalized markets have seriously inhibited the ability of democratic governments to
govern.If these challenges are not met with democratic and economic reforms,democracy
may slowly transform into an oligarchy, formally legitimized by general elections.It
is not the crisis of capitalism that challenges democracy,but its neoliberal triumph.


Professor Richard Wolff 1.jpgProf Richard Wolff 2.jpg

The novel coronavirus pandemic has exposed many of the structural weaknesses in

capitalism.In order to rationalize the free market ideology that undergirds

capitalist systems,capitalists must ignore inconvenient scientific facts (whether

about the pandemic or issues like global warming and pollution) and cut corners

when trying to help those stricken with misfortune.Even worse,capitalism requires

constant consumption in order to maintain prosperity;if a wrench is thrown into the

gears of perpetual growth,the entire economy grinds to a halt,as we have seen since

the economic shutdowns began in March.

These arguments,and many others like them, are central to Dr. Richard D. Wolff's

new book,"The Sickness is the System:When Capitalism Fails to Save Us from Pandemics

or Itself." In a series of well-researched essays outlined with impeccable logic,the

professor emeritus of economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst analyzes

the events of the last seven months-what one might deem the "COVID-19 era"-and explains

how the horrors of 2020 are primarily caused by the social,political and economic

status quo.His book tackles a number of issues,including how the economy crashed not

because of a virus but because capitalism is incapable of coping with epidemics,how

America's healthcare system is corrupt and how income inequality caused immense

suffering long before the pandemic and is propped up by economic myths.

the sickness is the system.png

  He deconstructs how both the Democratic and Republican parties refuse to accept that
capitalism is causing the problems which afflict us today,how the bipartisan stimulus
package was woefully inadequate and how surging unemployment could easily be fixed if 
our policymakers had the will to do so. He explores the connections between capitalism 
and racism,sexism,the police/prison industrial complex and the dominance of mega 
corporations like Amazon.
    Indeed,his book is so thorough,so comprehensive in its insightful analysis,that
it is a practically a one-stop center for anyone who wants to understand why the year
2020 has been such a dumpster fire.
   "There is a unique incapacity of the capitalist system-by which I mean, a system
of private enterprises owned and operated by shareholders,families, individuals 
producing for a profit and the ordering about of the majority of people involved in
every enterprise or the employees-that system is uniquely incapable of securing 
public health," Wolff told Salon. "And since public health is a basic demand,a need
of human communities,this represents a profound disqualification of capitalism.And to
spell it out just briefly:it is not profitable for a private,profit-driven competitive
capitalist to produce masks by the millions,or gloves,or ventilators,or hospital beds,
or all the rest of them."
   As Wolff pointed out,the government failed to step in and fill the void being left
by the private sector.This did not happen because it cannot produce what society needs
even when doing so is not profitable.The problem is that the government is perfectly
capable of implementing such policies-but only does so when it happens to be in the
best interest of a given industry which exerts control over the state.
"A government failure cannot be excused on grounds of the government not doing such
things or conceiving of such things,because that's not true," Wolff said."The 
government does exactly what it failed to do in the maintenance of public health.It
does that for the military.It is just as unprofitable for a private capitalist to 
produce a missile and then store it in some warehouse and monitor it and clean it and
replace it and repair it,waiting for God knows however long a time until the next war 
makes this missile something the government buys."
Wolff noted that companies that are part of the military-industrial complex would not
manufacture vehicles,weapons and the like "unless the government comes in and says,
'We will buy it from you right off the assembly line.And then at government expense,
we will store it and ship it and monitor it and clean it and all the rest.' The 
government does this as a matter of course for the military.And it did not do it for
the public health."
   The reason it failed to do this to thwart the pandemic,Wolff explained,is because
sometimes you get groups of industries who join together to create a group monopoly
over a service that society needs.
   "That's where the health professionals came in," Wolff explained. "There are four
industry groups:doctors,number one,hospitals,number two,drug and device makers,number
three,and medical insurance companies,number four.Those four together operate a 
conjoint monopoly.They are the only way to get the health care,one or another dimension
of it,that is available.They operate as a monopoly.They help each other,coordinate
their political and commercial lobbying advertisements,and they have succeeded 
dramatically in the United States, particularly since World War II,in boosting the 
price of medical care far beyond what it would have been had there been genuine 
  This has not led to better healthcare for Americans.Indeed,Americans pay far more
than citizens of other advanced industrial countries for health care and receive 
mediocre outcomes in return.The USA struggles with major public health problems like
obesity,the opioid epidemic,high blood pressure and diabetes.Yet despite all of this,
the health industry monopoly has been able to successfully fight back against all
but the most modest reforms (such as the Affordable Care Act,which even now it is 
pushing to repeal) because it cares less about serving the public than maintaining
its industry dominance.
"The medical profession,therefore,never wants the government anywhere near what they're
doing,because it would threatem their monopoly."If the government were making regular 
purchases,being the intermediary-as governments are virtually everywhere else on this
planet-it would draw the attention of a mass public to the problem of government
money being used to sustain a profession. And then there would be no excuse anymore
for the lunatic arrangement we now have.The monopoly would be attacked and it would
be undermined."
   Wolff in his book he makes it clear that the Democrats and Republicans both 
subscribe to pro-capitalist ideals that are destructive to both America and the rest
of the world.Many on the left-including the former supporters of Biden's chief opponent
in the primaries,the democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont-are clearly
disappointed with Biden's center-left positions.
    "I don't think it makes a major difference in dealing with the underlying 
problems,but it does make a significant difference in dealing with a whole set of 
other less foundational or less fundamental or less deeply rooted problems," 


Joseph Biden.jpgTrump.jpgJo Jorgensen.jpgHowie Hawkins.jpg
The 2020 United States presidential election was the 59th quadrennial presidential
election,held nominally on Tuesday,November 3, 2020.The Democratic ticket of former
vice president Joe Biden and incumbent U.S. senator from California Kamala Harris
defeated the Republican ticket of incumbent president Donald Trump and vice president
Mike Pence.Trump became the first U.S. president since 1992 and the eleventh incumbent
in the country's history to fail to win re-election to a second term,and Biden won the
largest share of the popular vote against an incumbent since 1932.The election saw the
highest voter turnout since 1900,with each ticket receiving more than 74 million votes,
surpassing Barack Obama's record of 69.5 million votes from 2008.Biden and Harris
received more than 80 million votes,the most votes ever cast for a candidate in a
U.S. presidential election.The votes of the Electoral College for president and vice
president were cast by the presidential electors on December 14,2020.
Trump secured the Republican nomination without serious opposition,while Biden
secured the Democratic nomination over his closest rival,Senator Bernie Sanders,in a
competitive primary that featured the largest field of candidates for any political
party in the modern era of American politics.Biden's running mate,Senator Harris from
California,was the first African-American,first Asian-American and third female vice
presidential nominee on a major party ticket.Jo Jorgensen secured the Libertarian
nomination with Spike Cohen as her running mate and Howie Hawkins secured the Green
nomination with Angela Nicole Walker as his running mate.Central issues of the election
included the public health and economic impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic;civil
unrest in reaction to the killing of George Floyd and others;the U.S. Supreme Court
following the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett;and
the future of the Affordable Care Act. The election saw a record number of ballots cast early and by mail due to the ongoing
pandemic.As a result of the large number of mail-in ballots,some swing states saw
delays in vote counting and reporting;this led to major news outlets delaying their
projection of Biden and Harris as the winners until November 7,four days after the
election.Major media networks project a state for a candidate once there is high
mathematical confidence that the outstanding vote would be unlikely to prevent the
projected winner from ultimately winning that state.Before,during and after Election
Day,Trump and numerous Republicans attempted to subvert the election and overturn the
results,alleging that there had been widespread voter fraud and trying to influence
the vote counting process in swing states.Officials in each of the 50 states stated
that there was no evidence of systematic fraud or irregularities in their state.Federal
agencies overseeing election security said it was "the most secure in American
history".Attorney General Bill Barr also concluded that there was "no evidence of
widespread fraud" in the election.On multiple occasions,Trump falsely declared himself
to be the winner.The Trump campaign and its allies engaged in numerous attempts to
overturn the results of the election by filing dozens of legal challenges in several
states,most of which were dropped or dismissed by various courts,spreading conspiracy
theories falsely alleging fraud,pressuring Republican state electors and refusing to
cooperate with the presidential transition for over two weeks. Although major media outlets called the election for Biden on November 7,Emily
W. Murphy,who as the head of the General Services Administration (GSA) is in charge
of managing the presidential transition process for the outgoing administration,
refused to officially acknowledge Biden as the president-elect initially,which meant
that the official transition process could not start.On November 23,the GSA officially
acknowledged Biden and Harris as the winners and said the Trump administration would
begin the formal transition process.Trump then said he had instructed his administration
to "do what needs to be done" but indicated he has not conceded and intended to
continue his fight to overturn the election results. Biden and Harris are scheduled to be inaugurated on January 20, 2021.


The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security) passed on March 27
and was a major piece of legislation meant to bail out the economy as it floundered
during the first weeks of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States.
Unfortunately,in most aspects,this bill does far more to bail out corporations
than to help regular Americans.Even with the additional "interim" stimulus bill,the
entities benefiting the most from the recent legislation have been large corporations
and the very rich.In fact,the CARES Act may end up serving as the largest transfer of
wealth from the working class to the wealthy in world history.
 So what was in the original CARES act?
The good:a one time payment of $1,200 to every citizen with a recent tax filing,
a temporary extension of the unemployment insurance for 4 months with an additional
$600 on top of the state unemployment.
The bad:a cap of $300 billion in funding of the PPP (Payment Protection Program),
a provision in the bill aimed at funding loans to small businesses through banks.
The ugly:$500 billion to fund big businesses that can be leveraged by the Federal
Reserve.Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has stated that the Treasury will actually
be able to loan $4.5-$6 trillion dollar. It is now well-known that the Payment Protection Program ran out of money within
days of the passage of the CARES bill,with much of the funds ending up in the hands
of big business and corporations and many small businesses were left out in the dust.
Under intense pressure from their own constituents,Republicans allowed the passage
of an "interim" stimulus bill last week,which allocated additional money to tune of
$500 billion to the PPP and additional funds for both testing and hospitals. We've already seen how little the CARES Act actually does for regular Americans.The
first round of funding for the PPP ran out in one week.Banks have said the second round
of funding will run dry within 2 days.Since the CARES Act puts a cap on the PPP,some
small businesses will be unable to get loans and may fail.These failed businesses are
left vulnerable to vulture funds or for big business to take their market share.
Inevitably,the failure of small businesses results in a transfer of wealth from the
working to the elites.
America has unfortunate precedent in unfair,unhelpful stimulus packages.The bank
bailout following the great recession a decade ago resulted in an unprecedented
transfer of wealth from the working class to elites,as people lost their homes to
corporations & the banks.Corporations used the Republican tax cut for stock buybacks,
rather than invest in their companies or workers.
Now we see the cycle repeating again.The COVID-19 pandemic is a shock to the system
that large corporations can weather but small businesses cannot.Yet the GOP is using
the crisis as an opportunity for a giveaway to big business,including a real estate
tax break that they could not get into their tax cut bill. It's worth noting that while Democrats fought for-and got-certain concessions that
benefit regular Americans in both the CARES act and the interim bill,they largely
failed to use their leverage against the worst excesses of the bills.The Democratic
controlled house passed both the CARES Act and the interim bill with no debate.As it
is now,the CARES Act will result in another decade of speculation on Wall Street &
consolidation of main street.
It is sad that AOC,"the squad" and Bernie Sanders voted for this and don't stand up
for the average American people.They won't even stand up to Nancy Pelosi.This is what
happens when you choose the lesser of two evils.

AOC.pngBernie Sanders.jpg

Michael Flynn: Exonerated And Pardoned


In June Michael Flynn,a former three-star US general,was the highest ranking
official snared by the special counsel inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016

The surprise 2-1 ruling by the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of
Columbia came after Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to FBI investigators about his
conversations with the Russian ambassador to Washington.  

It follows a highly criticized request from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to
drop the case and an attempt by Flynn to change his guilty plea.  

The ruling ordered the judge overseeing the Flynn case to immediately drop all
charges and cease his scrutiny of the DOJ decision to drop the long-running prosecution.

President Trump cheered the "great" ruling in a tweet and called for fired FBI
director James Comey to apologize to him.  

The case of Flynn,who first came to many Americans' attention with his chants of
"lock her up" at Trump campaign rallies in 2016,has become a political lightning
rod.Mr Trump has argued that his prosecution-as well as several other of his close
associates-was motivated by his political enemies in the DOJ.  

He left the White House 24 days into the job after acknowledging that he had
misled Vice-President Mike Pence about his conversations with the Russian ambassador.

  On Wednesday November 25,president Donald Trump said the widely expected act of
clemency was his "Great Honor".He pardoned Michael Flynn.  

Leading Democrats condemned the pardon.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called it "an
act of grave corruption and a brazen abuse of power".  

The White House said that the pardon would finally end "the relentless, partisan
pursuit of an innocent man".  

Russiagate was all bullshit.In 2016 when Wiki-Leaks revealed that the DNC sabotaged
the primaries in favor of Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders.Rather than answering
the substance of the leak the DNC blamed Russia for the leak.The accusations snowballed
resulting with Flynn,after being threatened and coerced by the FBI,then climaxing
with the Muller report finding no proof that Russia interfered in the 2016 US election.

George Floyd.jpg
George Floyd 2.jpg

The George Floyd protests were a series of police brutality protests that began in Minneapolis in the United States on May 26, 2020.Civil unrest and protests began as part of the international responses to the death of George Floyd,a 46-year-old African-American man who was killed during an arrest after Derek Chauvin,a Minneapolis Police Department officer,knelt on Floyd's neck for nearly eight minutes as three other officers looked on and prevented passers-by from intervening.Chauvin and the other three officers involved were later arrested. Local protests began in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area of Minnesota before quickly spreading nationwide and to over 2,000 cities and towns in over 60 Countries in support of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.Polls in summer 2020 estimated that between 15 million and 26 million people had participated at some point in the demonstrations in the United States,making the protests the largest in U.S. history.Protests continued until early November. While the majority of protests have been peaceful,demonstrations in some cities escalated into riots,looting,and street skirmishes with police and counter-protesters. Some police responded to protests with instances of police violence,including against reporters.At least 200 cities in the U.S. had imposed curfews by early June,while more than 30 states and Washington, D.C. activated over 62,000 National Guard personnel due to the mass unrest.By the end of June,at least 14,000 people had been arrested.It was later estimated that between May 26 and August 22, 93% of individual protests were "peaceful and nondestructive"and The Washington Post estimated that by the end of June,96.3% of 7,305 demonstrations involved no injuries and no property damage. Nevertheless,by September 2020,arson,vandalism and looting between May 26 and June 8 were tabulated to have caused $1-2 billion in insured damages nationally-the highest recorded damage from civil disorder in U.S. history,"eclipsing the record set in Los Angeles in 1992 after the acquittal of the police officers who brutalized Rodney King." The protests precipitated a cultural reckoning on racial injustice in the United States and have led to numerous legislative proposals on federal,state and municipal levels intended to combat police misconduct,systemic racism,qualified immunity and police brutality in the United States,while the Trump administration has drawn widespread criticism for what critics called its hardline rhetoric and aggressive,militarized response.The protests led to a wave of monument removals and name changes throughout the world.The protests have been ongoing during the global COVID-19 pandemic.






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David Rojas

A Los Angeles Police Department officer in December 2019 was arrested after body camera
footage allegedly caught him fondling a female corpse,authorities said.In August of
2020 The family of the deceased woman filed a law suit.

The lawsuit accuses Officer David Rojas of fondling Elizabeth Baggett's breasts and
"feeling her nipples,without limitation," as well as showing the body camera video of
it to others.The lawsuit alleges invasion of privacy,intentional infliction of emotional
distress,negligence,mishandling of human remains and other offenses.

"I am infuriated that this man had so little respect for another human being,our
Elizabeth," the woman's mother,Janet Baggett,said at a news conference announcing
the lawsuit.

"I personally wake in sweats from the nightmares that haunt me about the events of
Elizabeth's death," Baggett said.

Rojas,who has been on the force for four years,remains employed by the Los Angeles
Police Department.But he has been suspended,LAPD spokesman Officer Mike Chan said.The
department did not have a comment on the lawsuit,which does not name the agency as a

Rojas allegedly touched Baggett's breast while he was alone in the room with the
corpse on October 20,2019.He and his partner had responded to the home where she died.

Rojas had allegedly disabled his LAPD body camera,but the act was caught on video
when he turned it back on because the devices have two-minute buffering periods to
capture what happens right before they are activated,according to a person briefed
on the incident who previously spoke to The Associated Press.The person wasn't
authorized to publicly discuss the case and previously spoke to AP on condition of

Rojas was charged in January with having sexual contact with human remains without
authority.He has pleaded not guilty and faces up to three years in state prison if
convicted.He is free on bond.

The Los Angeles Police Protective League,the union that represents rank-and-file
officers,has declined to pay for Rojas' legal bills.


Qasem Soleimani.jpgMohsen Fakhrizadeh 2.jpg

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.jpg

The citizens of which other country get so shamefully and shockingly assassinated by
Westerners with such regularity in the 21st century?
We can't compare the assassinations of Iranians with allegations (which did arise
amid a once in a half-century Russophobia campaign in the West) that Russia poisoned
a convicted double agent inside the United Kingdom.Not only did Western countries
issue actual condemnations,unlike with the illegal murder of Fakhrizadeh,but they
even expelled over 150 Russian diplomats.

The largest point to make clear is regarding why Iranians get this extraordinary
(inhumane) treatment.It;s important for journalists to answer the short-term question
of, "Why Fakhrizadeh?",but we must also answer the long-term question of "Why Iran"


The reality is that the average Westerners doesn;t even know how they got to this
due to their ever-more obvious censorship,propaganda and self-censorship.
point.The Iranian hostage crisis was long ago,Israel is the belligerent one which
keeps invading (and losing),the US is the belligerent one which keeps invading (and
losing)-the refusal to allow Iran to defend itself is something which the average
Westerner mostly doesn;t agree with and which they definitely cannot explain.That is
to say:the reason is political-but Westerners are atrocious politicians,atrociously
cynical about politics and atrociously misinformed about politics and socioeconomics

There are several answers to "Why Iran" Firstly, Iranians are
an "expendable" people:

For a few centuries Westerners have regarded Iranians (as well as many others)
as people who own things of value (natural resources),but who can produce nothing of
value.Value is derived from supporting not just Westernism, but a Westernism which is
totally unleavened-Westerners might say "contaminated"-with any non-Western ideas.
Those who work for systems which do not conform to Western desires-no matter how great
the democratic legitimacy of these systems-can be assassinated at will,in estern eyes.
This is why the killing of a Qasem Soleimani or Fakhrizadeh does not merit
consequences,unlike the assassination of a French general or a Japanese scientist.

 Secondly,Iranians are a "ignorable" people: 

Even though Iranians are so very expendable,they must also be ignored in the 21st
century.The problem is:Iran keeps attracting well-wishers and like-minded people.Iran
has allies in Iraq,Syria and Lebanon due to centuries-old cultural ties,but Iran also
has allies in places like China and Venezuela precisely because Iran can talk about
more than just religion. 
Lastly,because Iranians refuse to be expendable and because they do things which
are worthy of meritorious recognition,Iranians are thus an "assassinatable" people:
Iranians are assassinated because they show to the Muslim world and beyond that
resistance to Western imperialism is not only possible,but that it produces far,far
greater domestic success than continuing to ape Western nations. 
Iran is not so special-they are merely the last one standing.Israel assassinated
Egyptian and Iraqi nuclear scientists in the 1960s and 1970s,but these two countries
either decided to collaborate with Israel or were too culturally divided to resist
invasion by Israel's ally and/or master. ran is extraordinary in the 2020 context
because they have rejected cooperation with Western imperialism,something which is
always obscured by Western leftists and their fake-leftist media and-history since
1917 proves-this means the West must assassinate you.

The West became a superpower by violence,not by merit,persuasion or mutually-beneficial
cooperation,of course.

As long as Iran keeps earning meritorious recognition,assassinations (acts of
war) will continue.

This theory of Iran as the "assassinatable people" does not include the recent
lie of Al-Qaeda's #2 being assassinated in Tehran.This allegedly occurred in August
but was not reported by The New York Times until just two weeks before the murder of
Fakhrizadeh.Obviously,this was false propaganda designed to pave the way for the
acceptance of brutally assassinating more Iranians,like Fakhrizadeh,in the minds of
Westerners.It is guilt by association, no matter the historical record and the
anti-terror fighting facts on the ground.

We must remember that so very much Western fake news is designed not to sway the
world,nor logical people,but to plant false consciousness in their own citizens.Many
Americans were shocked at the totalitarian brutality in the assassination of
Soleimani-many Americans even publicly protested in Soleimani's favor,something
unthinkable in the 1980s or after 9/11.Considering how absurd it is-that Iran would
peacefully host the #2 of the group which Soleimani and Iran fought for so very long
(and The Times even admitted this contradiction in its (anonymous,as always) "scoop"),
the alleged death in Iran of that seemingly endless funeral procession of "Al-Qaeda
#2s" should be disregarded. This is how 21st century Western propaganda works-it has
no real political motivation/indoctrination, but only a motivation of furthering
belligerent attitudes: it is designed to fuel panic and suspicion among Western
citizens,which then grants their militaries approval for more war.

Israel is being blamed for the murder of Fakhrizadeh,but of course the US had to
approve it.However,an Iranian reprisal against Israel or the US would definitely not
trigger a large-scale war,for two obvious reasons:Iran does not want one and because
the West has absolutely zero chance of defeating Iran in a large-scale war.The proof
of this truth is that Iran retaliated by firing on American forces occupying Iraqi
soil after the murder of Soleimani and there was no war with the US.The US simply
lied about the damage,precisely because there is no way Western forces could hold a
fraction of Iranian territory that they can in Iraq and Afghanistan.

What a major,immediate Iranian retaliation would achieve would only be to give
fuel for decades of Western propaganda that Iran is a belligerent nation,even though
Iran is clearly this exceptional victim of exceptional belligerence.But this false
narrative is being domestically exposed in the West with each assassination.
The reality is that Fakhrizadeh's death is something which must ultimately be
bitterly swallowed by Iranians,because I doubt that Fakhrizadeh himself would want
the country to go to war over his own assassination. Just as the "next man up"
doctrine was successfully applied after Soleimani,so it will be applied for the
martyr Fakhrizadeh,which is precisely why this physics teacher taught-for the good
of the community,not the good of the individual.That's a rather anti-Western notion,
but a very successful one: Despite having just 80 million people Iran is regularly
among the top 5 nations in the world in producing total STEM (Science,Technology,
Engineering & Mathematics) graduates,thanks to selfless humanists and patriots like

That staggering achievement of modestly-sized Iran will go totally unexplained
in the West,of course,and such wilful ignorance can only but continue to neuter the
West;s understanding of Iran.There is no invasion of Iran possible and there is no
stopping the nation.s nuclear energy project-there is only the West's attempted
implosion of Iran's meritorious and successful culture,which would then result in
the posting of US troops in Iran.

The assassination of Fakhrizadeh is designed to inflame tensions and entrap Iran
into war-this plan will not work,yet again.It;s being said that the murder is a way
by Israel to "salt the earth" and prevent a restoration of the JCPOA, but it;s
clear the West views Iranians as exceptional from other humans on earth:Iranians
should believe that people can be assassinated on their streets without a word of
condemnation,but also that Europeans are on the cusp of doing fair business with.

Iranians in Iran? 

Maybe Joe Biden will have a change of heart and truly does not want to support
foreign interventions and invasions after so many decades of doing precisely that.
But what's known for certain is that many Westerners only want war,and not with just

Iran is actually just like Palestine-totally assassinatable by Israel and other
Westerners.But while they can take Palestinians' land they cannot take Iranian
culture and intelligence-the teaching of physics, as well as anti-imperialist
thought,continues in Iran.



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The 2020 Belarusian protests are a series of ongoing political demonstrations
and protests against the Belarusian government and President Alexander Lukashenko.
The largest anti-government protests in the history of Belarus,the demonstrations
began in the lead-up to and during the 2020 presidential election, in which Lukashenko
 sought his sixth term in office.In response to the demonstrations,a number of
relatively small pro-government rallies were held.

Initially moderate the protests intensified nationwide after official election
results were announced on the night of August 10,in which Lukashenko was declared
the winner.Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya,the main opponent of Lukashenko,rejected these
results as falsified and claimed instead to have received 60-70% of the votes.On
August 14,she announced the creation of the Coordination Council,with membership
applications open to all Belarusians who also agreed that the official election had
been falsified.On October 12,the Coordination Council issued Lukashenko an ultimatum
to cease all repression,free detainees and step down from the presidency by October
25.After Lukashenko failed to comply,nationwide strikes began on October 26.

   On September 23,Belarusian state media announced that Lukashenko had been inaugurated
for another five-year term in a brief ceremony.The following day,the EU published a
statement which rejected the legitimacy of the election,called for new elections and
condemning the repression and violence against the protesters.On October 2,the EU
introduced sanctions against 40 Belarusian officials accused of political repression
and vote rigging. Lukashenko himself was not included on the list.The Belarusian
government responded by imposing symmetrical sanctions against an undisclosed list
of EU officials.Moreover,Lukashenko accused the EU and other "Western organizations"
of trying to "harm Belarus" by destabilizing the current regime while supporting the

The protesters have faced violent persecution by the authorities.A statement by
the United Nations Human Rights Office on September 1 cited more than 450 documented
 cases of torture and ill-treatment of detainees,as well as reports of sexual abuse
and rape.

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General elections were held in Bolivia on 18 October 2020 for President,
Vice-President and all seats in both the Senate and Chamber of Deputies.Luis Arce
of the Movement for Socialism (MAS) party was elected president in a landslide,winning
55% of the vote and securing majorities in both chambers of the Plurinational
Legislative Assembly.The results of the election superseded the disputed results of
the October 2019 elections,which were annulled during a prolonged political crisis.
Although the winning party received a higher proportion of the vote in 2020 than
in the previous annulled elections,for the first time since 2009 the winning party
did not have a two thirds majority in the Legislative assembly, meaning that some
functions would require cross-party support.For the first time,the Senate will
contain a majority of female senators.
Electoral authorities had initially scheduled the elections for May 3, 2020.
However,they were postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,first to
September 6,2020 and then to 18 October 2020.The latter date was ratified by a
August 13,2020 law following protests and blockades against the previous
The parties or alliances contesting the election were the Movement for Socialism
(MAS-IPSP), which governed before 2019,Civic Community (CC),the newly formed
Creemos (Let's create,We believe) alliance,the Front for Victory and the National
Action Party (PAN-BOL).Presidential candidates Carlos Mesa (CC) and Chi Hyun Chung
(FPV) were the second and third-place finishers,respectively,in the annulled 2019
presidential election.Luis Arce was the MAS candidate, replacing former MAS president
Evo Morales.Feliciano Mamani replaced Ruth Nina as candidate for PAN-BOL.Interim
president Jeanine Anez,former president Jorge Quiroga and Maria de la Cruz Baya all
launched presidential candidacies,but withdrew before the election was held.
The official count took several days to complete. Independent quick-counts of the
vote conducted by polling firms Ciesmori and Mi Voto Cuenta on the morning of
October 19 both indicated that Arce had won a majority of the vote,enough to win the
election outright without requiring a runoff round.Interim President Anez confirmed
this on Twitter shortly after and runner-up Mesa and former president Quiroga both
indicated their acceptance of the preliminary results later that day.
Official observers from the UN,UNIORE and the OAS all stated that there was no
evidence of fraud in the 2020 election.
Former Bolivian president Evo Morales,who was removed in a coup d'etat backed by
the USA after the 2019 election,was living in exile in Argentina.He returned to
Bolivia on November 11.
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The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has sent notices of likely dismissal to 13 special forces soldiers following last month's damning report on the murder of
39 Afghan civilians and prisoners.

They are suspected of being accessories or witnesses to the killings,or of being dishonest in testifying.

They are separate from the 19 Special Air Service troops who could face prosecution for the murders.

Australia's prime minister and top military commander have apologised.

Afghanistan called the murders unforgiveable but welcomed last week's report as a step towards justice.

    ICC backs Afghan war crimes probe
    Did UK Special Forces execute unarmed civilians?

ADF Lieutenant General Rick Burr said the 13 soldiers had two weeks to respond to the notices.

"At this point in time no individuals have been separated from the Australian Defence Force," he told reporters on Friday.

Two soldiers have been sacked already,according to Nine Entertainment newspapers.They are reported to have been witnesses to the killing of an Afghan man in a field,
a case that was the subject of a TV investigation.

What did the report find?

The report blamed the murders of "prisoners, farmers or civilians" in 2009-13 on an unchecked "warrior culture" among some soldiers.

It said 25 special forces soldiers had taken part in unlawful killings directly or as "accessories", across 23 separate incidents. It recommended that 36 incidents in total be investigated by federal police.

Australian Defence Force chief Gen Angus Campbell said none of the incidents could be "described as being in the heat of battle".

   It also found evidence that:

   Junior soldiers were told to get their first kill by shooting prisoners, in a practice known as "blooding"
   Weapons and other items were planted near Afghan bodies to cover up crimes
   An additional two incidents could constitute a war crime of "cruel treatment"

What happens next?

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said a special investigator would be appointed to consider prosecutions from information contained in the report.

But police investigations could take years, even before possible criminal trials.

    Fighting for a future in a war without end
    How much has the Afghanistan war cost the US?
    The Afghan war:The short and long story

The government said it would also establish an independent oversight panel to provide "accountability and transparency that sits outside of the ADF chain of command".

Australia maintains an operation of around 400 soldiers in Afghanistan as part of ongoing peacekeeping efforts with the US and other allies.


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    Nord Stream 2 is a new export gas pipeline running from Russia to Europe across the Baltic Sea.

    The decision to build Nord Steam 2 was based on the successful experience in building and operating the Nord Stream gas pipeline.The new pipeline,similar to the one in operation,will establish a direct link between Gazprom and the European consumers.It will also ensure a highly reliable supply of Russian gas to Europe.

   This is particularly important now when Europe sees a decline in domestic gas production and an increasing demand for imported gas.

   The Nord Stream 2 project is implemented by the Nord Stream 2 AG project company.

   The entry point of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline into the Baltic Sea will be the Ust-Luga area of the Leningrad Region.Then the pipeline will stretch across the Baltic Sea. Its exit point in Germany will be in the Greifswald area close to the exit point of Nord Stream.

    The route covers over 1,200 kilometers.

   The total capacity of two strings of Nord Stream 2 is 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year. The aggregated design capacity of Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 is therefore 110 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

   In October 2012,the Nord Stream shareholders examined preliminary results of the feasibility study for the third and fourth strings of the gas pipeline and came to the conclusion that their construction was economically and technically feasible.Later on,the construction project for the third and fourth strings came to be known as Nord Stream 2.

   In April 2017,Nord Stream 2 AG signed the financing agreements for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project with ENGIE,OMV,Royal Dutch Shell,Uniper,
and Wintershall.These five European energy companies will provide long-term financing for 50 per cent of the total cost of the project.

   In September 2018,pipelaying operations commenced in the Baltic Sea.

   Nord Stream 2 is being built with the use of reliable technologies proven in the Nord Stream construction project.The successful experience of Nord Stream AG,which constructed and now operates Nord Stream,provides additional guarantees that the Nord Stream 2 project will comply with the highest environmental standards.

   Nord Stream projects have been opposed by the United States as well as several Central and Eastern European countries because of concerns that it would increase Russia's influence in the region.The U.S. resistance of Nord Stream 2 is also influenced by the country's increased production of natural gas,which gives the U.S. Congress economic incentive to resist the Russian supply of gas to the EU, in favour of U.S. shale gas.

    Despite rising US pressure on the Nord Stream 2 project,the company behind Russia's natural gas pipeline to Germany has announced on November 28 of their
plans to resume pipelaying works in the Baltic Sea in December after a year-long break."We are planning to resume pipe-laying work using an anchor-positioned vessel in Germany's exclusive economic zone this year," the operator of the project confirmed to Russian media.

   Before the operator of the Nord Stream 2 confirmed its plans,German broadcaster NDR reported that construction of the final short stretch of the pipeline will resume as early as on December 5.The report cited an announcement by the Baltic Sea Waterways and Shipping Office in Stralsund.The agency noted that some 75 kilometers of the 1,224-km long gas link remain unfinished,with some 16 kilometers lying within the German exclusive economic zone and the rest in Danish waters.

    Construction on the multibillion-dollar project was abruptly halted at the end of last year,when Swiss-Dutch pipelaying firm Allseas withdrew its vessels over the threat of US sanctions.While Russia has assured its partners that it can finish the project on its own,though with a delay,Washington is still trying to prevent the completion of Nord Stream 2,with the Trump administration threatening new sanctions for companies linked to it.

   Norwegian-German certification company Det Norske Veritas-Germanischer Lloyd (DNV GL) has become the recent firm to cave into pressure from Washington. 
Earlier,the firm said it had to stop working for the project under the threat of US sanctions.

    Nord Stream 2 was designed to boost supplies of cheaper Russian natural gas to Germany and other European states by 55 billion cubic meters per year.With the link nearing completion it could be launched before the end of the first quarter of 2021,Dmitry Marinchenko,a senior director in Fitch Ratings' Natural Resources and Commodities team, told TASS.

    The US wants Germany and its European partners to halt construction on Nord Stream 2,a top American diplomat has said.Russian ships have increased activity in the area where the last stretch of the unfinished pipeline lies.
    "Now is the time for Germany and the EU to impose a moratorium on the construction of the pipeline," Robin Quinville, acting US ambassador in Berlin, told German newspaper the Handelsblatt on Saturday.The diplomat also called the gas link,designed to deliver cheaper Russian gas to the European market,a "political tool" used by Kremlin to "bypass Ukraine" and "divide Europe."

   Quinville took charge of the US mission in Germany after another vocal critic of the project,Richard Grenell,resigned in June this year.Grenell has always defended sanctions against the $11 billion pipeline and restrictions targeting firms involved in its construction;he once said they were "a very pro-European decision," despite strong opposition from both Berlin and Brussels.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry has already blasted the latest US verbal attack on Nord Stream 2 as act of political aggression.Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova recalled that the Washington Times published an article around six years ago titled "Reagan administration warned Russian pipeline through Ukraine would weaken West," which referred to the world's first transcontinental gas pipeline "Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod." Built in the 1980s, the link currently forms the so-called "Ukrainian corridor" gas export route, together with other pipelines The Russian diplomat noted that whenever and wherever a Russian pipeline goes,it always prompts the same reaction from Washington.

   Meanwhile, Russian-flagged pipelayers and supply ships were reported to be sailing to the construction area in the Baltic Sea on Saturday.According to 
MarineTraffic data, pipelaying ship Akademik Cherskiy stopped north of Poland and Germany.The vessel Fortuna earlier left the German port of Wismar and was under "restricted maneuverability" status in the Baltic Sea,purportedly en route to Rostock Port as of Sunday,December 6.

    Washington has been increasing pressure on the gas link since last year's sanctions failed to fully stop it,as Russia dispatched its own ships to finish the final kilometers of the underwater pipe after Swiss-Dutch contractor Allseas caved in to US pressure.Shortly before the elections,the Trump administration extended those measures to include firms that provide services or funds to upgrade or install equipment on ships for laying the gas pipeline.

   The USA as usual is behaving like a mafia boss.It is still up in the air whether or not the pipeline will be complated.Most wars can be found rooted to money.


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    On September 6,the biggest protests in the course of the 2019-20 Hong Kong protests since 1 July occurred in the city.The fresh protests were in a large part due to the day having been the scheduled election day for the Legislative Council; on 31 July,the Hong Kong government had the elections postponed by a year,citing the COVID-19 pandemic,a justification that was widely doubted. The unauthorized protests resulted in nearly 300 arrests, one of them on suspected violation of the national security law and brought the total number of arrests during the entire protests since June 2019 to above 10,000.

   The national security law continued to exert a major influence both within Hong Kong and internationally,for its perceived devastating effect on the "One country,two systems" principle forming the foundation of governance in the city,even though Hong Kong and mainland government officials had asserted that it had rather acted as a stabilizer.The state visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to five European countries, which concluded on 1 September,was accompanied by protests at each stop and the topic of Hong Kong was brought up by several of his hosts.The lack of substantial news of twelve detainees who had been caught by Chinese authorities on 23 August in a botched attempt to flee from Hong Kong to Taiwan met with broad condemnation,despite assurances by China that the detained did have legal support.Other news from throughout the month, from disparate areas, suggested that large parts of the population of the city had either rejected the local government's assurances that the national security law would only affect a small minority of the population,or saw the international negative responses and sanctions which were triggered by the law as exacting a heavy and lasting toll on the economy of the city, on top of the just recently calmed third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

   Apart from protests on 1 October-the Chinese National Day-,most of the significant events of the 2019-20 Hong Kong protests in October 2020 took place away from the streets and many of them outside Hong Kong and China.The threat to protests posed by the national security law was exacerbated by continued uncertainty about the fate of twelve detainees who had attempted to escape to Taiwan by boat in August, and were held across the border in Shenzhen; on 10 October, Hong Kong police detained nine further individuals in relation to that incident.In addition,the Hong Kong government did not relax the four-person gathering limit that had been enacted in the course of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the police continued to strictly enforce it.Pan-democrats in the city considered the restrictive gathering limit to be a pretext for curbing protests,also given that other pandemic related restrictions were relaxed in the course of the month.

    Several Western governments undertook actions that suggested that, in view of the developments surrounding the national security law, they no longer had full confidence regarding the ability of the Hong Kong judiciary to conduct fair trials according to Western standards.Canada accepted a couple from Hong Kong as refugees,while Germany accepted an alleged student protester.Both of these actions met with a rebuke by mainland and Hong Kong officials.On 22 October,the United Kingdom finalized a new visa arrangement specially designed for Hongkongers born before the 1997 handover of the city,creating an immigration path for them,to open in January 2021.

   On December the high-profile Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong was sentenced to more than a year in jail over an unauthorised protest outside police headquarters in June last year,a court in the city has ruled.

  Fellow activists Agnes Chow,24 and Ivan Lam, 26,were sentenced to 10 months and seven months respectively.

  Wong said last week he expected to be jailed after admitting organising the event early on in Hong Kong's recent protest movement, which began with millions marching against an extradition bill before growing into a broader pro-democracy push.

   At the West Kowloon magistrates court on Wednesday,the 24-year-old was sentenced to a total of 13 and a half months in jail for organising and inciting others to attend an unlawful assembly outside the police headquarters in June 2019.

   The judge, Wong Sze-lai, took the prior records of Lam and Wong into account and said jail time was the only appropriate option in order to deter others.

  "The court has considered that the offending period of the three defendants lasted for around 15 minutes and all the facts of the case,including that they committed the offence in a joint enterprise under the prevailing circumstances of increasing incidents of social unrest and large scale public protests, which in the court's view,made the case more serious," the judge said.

Agnes Chow.jpgJoshua Wong.jpeg


French protest bill.jpg
   In November tens of thousands took to the streets against a proposed security law that would restrict the filming of police officers.

  Violent clashes erupted in Paris as tens of thousands took to the streets against a proposed security law.Tensions were already high after 
the circulation in November of a video showing police officers beating and racially abusing a Black man.

   Police repeatedly fired tear gas to disperse rowdy protesters on Saturday who set fire to France's central bank and threw paving stones.

   Some 46,000 people marched in Paris and 133,000 in total nationwide, the interior ministry said.Protest organisers estimated 500,000 joined nationwide, including 200,000 in the capital.

   President Emmanuel Macron said late Friday the images of the beating of Black music producer Michel Zecler by police officers in Paris last weekend "shame us". The incident magnified concerns about alleged systemic racism in the police force.

   "Police everywhere, justice nowhere" and "police state" and "smile while you are beaten" were among the slogans brandished as protesters marched from Place de la Republique to the nearby Place de la Bastille.

   A series of high-profile cases against police officers over the mistreatment of Black or Arab citizens has raised accusations of institutionalised racism. The police force has insisted violations are the fault of isolated individuals.

   Three of the police officers involved in the beating of Zecler are being probed for using racial violence and all four are still being held for questioning after their detention on Saturday was extended for another 24 hours.

  The bill was later proposed to be modified but protesters want the bill scrapped all together.


French teacher beheaded.jpg

   On October 29 an attacker beheaded a woman on Thursday morning in Nice, France.She was one of three people killed at the city's Notre-Dame church,

authorities said.It followed the beheading on October 16 of Samuel Paty,a teacher in Paris,in apparent retaliation after he showed his students 
cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

   A knife-wielding attacker beheaded a woman in Nice,France,on the morning of October 29-one of three people killed inside a church.The attack happened at the Notre-Dame church. Not long after,several apparently related attacks took place.

   A police source speaking with the Reuters news agency said one of the three people killed had been decapitated. The BBC said that a woman had been "virtually

   France's Le Monde newspaper reported that the other two casualties were a man and another woman.

   Christian Estrosi,the city's mayor, said on Twitter that the attacker had been arrested and one of the people killed was a church warden.

  Estrosi also said the incident appeared to be a terror attack.

   "I confirm that everything suggests a terrorist attack in the Notre-Dame basilica," he tweeted, and linked the attack to what he called "Islamo-fascism."

   A source in French counterterrorism policing-who did not have permission to discuss the case publicly-told Insider the attacker shouted about cartoons before he attacked the victims at about 9 A.M.

   The attack followed the October 16 beheading of a teacher in Paris who had shown his class images depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

  Estrosi,the mayor,told reporters that the attacker had "repeated endlessly 'Allahu akbar' when he was being treated at the scene," the BBC reported. ("Allahu akbar" is Arabic for "God is greatest.")

  He said the suspect was shot by police and brought to the hospital alive, an account confirmed by Insider's police source.

  French President Emmanuel Macron visited the scene afterwards.

  "Very clearly,it's France that has been attacked," he said. He described France, and particularly its Catholics,as "under threat."

  Islamist terror and the depiction of the Prophet Muhammad has long been a controversial issue in France, and prompted a terror attack in 2015 on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which printed cartoons of Muhammad.

  The trial of 14 people suspected of helping with that attack is underway in France.

  The teacher killed in Paris,Samuel Paty,had shown his class Charlie Hebdo images of Muhammad, according to the Guardian. French prosecutors said that his death was an act of revenge for this.

   Images of Muhammad are considered blasphemous in Islam and have prompted killings previously.

  After the attack on Paty,Macron pledged to take a tough stance against radical Islam.

  He said Paty "was killed because Islamists want our future" but that France would "not give up our cartoons."

  A series of attacks or attempted attacks took place after the killings in Nice.

  A man was arrested in Sartrouville,France,later on Thursday after he reportedly told his father he wanted to copy the Nice attack, Le Parisien reported.

  A man with a knife was killed by the police in Avignon after reportedly threatening the police and shouting "Allahu akbar."
  In Saudi Arabia,a man was arrested after attacking a security guard at the French Consulate in Jeddah "with a sharp object",the Saudi government said.

  Macron mentioned the other attacks in his speech in Nice, but did not say explicitly whether they were connected.

  France raised its attack alert level to "urgent" on Thursday,the country's highest.

 A Timeline

October 16: Samuel Paty, a teacher, was decapitated in Paris after showing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad published by Charlie Hebdo magazine.

October 21: President Macron said France would embrace free speech and not "renounce the caricatures."

October 26: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Macron of having an "anti-Islam" agenda and called on people in Turkey to boycott French goods.

October 27: Charlie Hebdo published a cartoon depicting Erdogan lifting the dress of a veiled woman.

October 29: Three people were killed in a stabbing in Nice; a man who said he wanted to do a similar attack was arrested in Sartrouville; a man with a knife was killed by police in Avignon; and a man tried to attack a security guard in the French Consulate in Saudi Arabia.

Three people killed Nice stabbing.jpg


  Federico La Hoz had an inkling he was going to be a part of history on Nov. 9.

   That was the day legislators rushed to install the speaker of Peru's Congress as president, after his predecessor was hastily impeached. Mr. La Hoz, 24, met up with friends and headed to downtown Lima, a sea of government buildings. They were surprised to join a swelling crowd of demonstrators, the vast majority young, opposed to what they saw as a power grab by newly installed President Manuel Merino and his congressional clique.

   By Nov. 15, two protesters had died, intensifying demands for change.

   As the crowd grew,so did the use of virtual networks-from Facebook to TikTok-to spread the word that people were organizing against Mr. Merino.

   "We were saying 'no' to politics as usual," says Mr. La Hoz."[A] new generation that had not been interested in politics taking to the streets to stop what was happening."

  The protests grew in size, and by Nov. 14 they were deemed the largest street demonstrations in Peru in more than two decades. Mr. Merino stepped down and Congress selected a replacement Francisco Sagasti-a newcomer to electoral politics and thus further removed from the corruption charges plaguing many elected officials-the following day.

  That's three presidents in the span of a week.

   The young people protesting not only forced a change in leadership,but may have permanently altered the way politics will play out in Peru.That could mean a greater dependence on social media than the dictates of political leaders as the country prepares for general elections in April.

"The citizen movement today belongs to the young," President Sagasti said in his inaugural address yesterday."These young people have become protagonists,
they demand representation and political participation.Young people are necessary for politics to change."


   Virtual networks stepped in to fill the vacuum created by Peru's weak political parties over the past week,says Miguel Morachimo,executive director of digital rights organization,Hiperderecho.

   "Social media networks took on the role of classic political and social organizing. There were no leaders, which is why the marches were so diverse, with people coming out for the first time to take part in a protest," says Mr. Morachimo, whose organization shared tips for protesters on how to protect their devices, ward off digital trolls, and ensure their digital rights.

   Luis Nunes,a political scientist who has studied Peruvian politics since the 1990s, says a sea change is underway as emerging generations of Peruvians refuse to accept politics as usual.

   "The majority of the protests were coordinated through [digital] platforms and not parties," he says."The upcoming election is going to depend heavily on social media because everything is transmitted quickly."

   The political crisis that led first to former President Martin Vizcarra's impeachment and then Mr. Merino's resignation has been years in the making. Congress and different administrations have been at loggerheads over policies,particularly how to deal with corruption.


   While Mr. Vizcarra was popular, with an approval rating near 60%, his removal was not the only impetus behind the protests. The spark was the fear that Mr. Merino would attempt to roll back anti-corruption reforms and possibly stop the scheduled elections from taking place.

   It was a final straw in a country where polls show that corruption is considered an even bigger problem than the pandemic or the economic crisis it has created. Peru has the third highest per capita death rate from COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University, and its economy contracted by 14.5% in the first nine months of the year compared to 2019, according to data from the national statistics agency.

   These numbers,however,coexist with a dismal political track record. Corruption cost the country around $6.5 billion in 2019 according to the Comptroller General's office.

   With the exception of an interim president in 2001, every president since the mid-1980s has had serious legal trouble. Many are either in jail or inching closer to it. One president, Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000), is in prison serving a 25-year sentence for human rights violations. He already finished serving time for convictions in several corruption cases. Two former presidents are under house arrest, and another committed suicide in 2018 to avoid arrest.

   Mr. Vizcarra was impeached on allegations, so far without evidence, of corruption. He is under investigation for allegedly receiving around $625,000 in kickbacks when he was governor of a small state nearly a decade ago. He denies the allegations.

   Two of the top presidential candidates in the upcoming race are accused of receiving illegal campaign contributions during a previous hard-fought election. Added to the lists of potential inmates are governors, mayors, and former cabinet ministers: More than 60 of the current 130 members in the single chamber Congress face corruption investigations. 

   Trials for many of these former politicians and candidates have not started, and the protests over the past week stemmed from fears that Mr. Merino's temporary government would make sure they never began. Many thought anti-corruption reforms, even if imperfect, would come to a screeching halt.

   Congress was badgered by former President Vizcarra and faced public pressure to approve legislation that prohibits people convicted of a crime from running for or holding office. Even though Congress passed the change, it is still looking for ways to interpret how the new law is applied.


   The swift reaction of Peru's younger generations via protests is a sign that politics here are already shifting,says Mr. Morachimo.

   He sees it as similar to the role virtual communities have played in organizing pro-democracy marches in Hong Kong or protests for racial justice in the United States.

  "We are seeing a new awakening of young people and it is something that was needed,"he says.

   A new crop of political leaders getting ready to run in the April elections is already convinced virtual platforms are the way to get new generations engaged.Luis Teran,who is running for Congress with the Podemos Peru party,says the pandemic has helped facilitate how politics are done in the country.He says the upcoming campaign requires creativity: Traditional methods are no longer effective.

   Mr. Teran,a millennial,has been tapping into the online platform TikTok.

   "TikTok is a way for me to promote labor rights with short, one-minute clips.It is a way to get young people interested, because until now, my generation and people younger than us had turned our backs on politics," he says.

   So far,Peru has 24 registered parties-a historic high-ready to run in 2021.

   Newly inaugurated President Sagasti promised a government based on science, technology and innovation,saying this is what the future of Peru requires.He promised to close the country's digital gap,saying it's unacceptable that only 40% of households in Peru have access to the internet.Smartphones, which are prevalent and typically have internet access,may be a great tool for connecting in a protest,but they are not as helpful for distance learning.The president wants to remedy that divide.


01 Marty Grebb-American musician (The Buckinghams)-age 74
03 Qasem Soleimani-Iranian major general  (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps),Assassinated.-age 62
Edd Byrnes.jpg
08 Edd Byrnes,American actor (77 Sunset Strip,Grease) and recording artist ("Kookie,Kookie (Lend Me Your Comb)")),natural causes.-age 87
09 Tom Alexander-Scottish musician (The Alexander Brothers).-age 85
09 Bobby Comstock-American pop singer ( Bobby Comstock and the Counts),-age 78
15 Chris Darrow-American musician (Kaleidoscope, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band),stroke.-age 75
16 Barry Tuckwell-Australian horn player and conductor, heart disease.-age 88
17 Grant Goldman-Australian radio announcer (2GB), cancer-age 69
19 Robert Parker,American R&B singer ("Barefootin'").[469]-Natural causes-age 89
21 Meritxell Negre-Spanish pop singer (Peaches & Herb)-Cancer.-age 48
24 Joe Payne,American heavy metal bassist and guitarist (Divine Heresy,Nile).-age 35
27 Reed Mullin,American rock drummer (Corrosion of Conformity,Teenage Time Killers).-age 53
28 Bob Nave-American singer (The Lemon Pipers)-age 75
30 John Andretti,American racing driver (NASCAR Cup Series,CART),colon cancer.-age 56

02 Ivan Kral,Czech-born American composer (Patti Smith Group)-age 83 (Cancer)
03 Gene Reynolds,American actor (Gallant Sons) and television producer (M*A*S*H, Lou Grant),heart failure.-age 96
Kirk Douglas.jpg
05 Kirk Douglas,American actor (Spartacus,Paths of Glory,Seven Days in May),Honorary Oscar winner (1996).-age 103
10 Lyle Mays,American jazz pianist and composer (Pat Metheny Group).-age 66
11 Paul English,American drummer (Willie Nelson), pneumonia-age 87
12 Mike Lilly-American banjo player and singer,leukemia.-age 70
19 Pop Smoke-American rapper,shot.-age 20
20 Elyse Weinberg,Canadian-American singer-songwriter,lung cancer.-age 74
21 Lal Khan,Pakistani Marxist political theorist,cancer.-age 64
22 Mike Hughes,American daredevil and flat Earth conspiracy theorist,rocket crash.-age 64
23 Raymond York,American jockey,Alzheimer's.-age 86
24 Bruce George,British politician, MP (1974-2010),complications from Alzheimer's disease.-age 77
25 Nesby Glasgow,American football player (Indianapolis Colts,Seattle Seahawks),cancer.-age 62
27 Hadi Khosroshahi,Iranian cleric and diplomat,COVID-19.-age 81 
28 Mike Somerville,Singer (Head East)-age 67

04 Barbara Martin,American singer (The Supremes).-age 76
05 Edith L. Blumhofer,American religious historian,cancer-age 69
06 Silvia Smith,Australian politician,MHR (Bass, 1993-1996),Parkinson's disease-age 80
08 Molly Brodak,American poet,suicide.-age 39
09 Mohammad-Reza Rahchamani,Iranian physician and politician, MP (1984-2000), COVID-19.-age 67
10 Mohammad Kiavash,Iranian politician, MP (1980-1988),COVID-19-age 89
11 Stefano Bianco,Italian motorcycle racer, traffic collision.-age 34
14 Phil Phillips,American singer and songwriter ("Sea of Love").-age 94
16 Sergio Bassi,Italian folk singer-songwriter, COVID-19.-age 68
17 Vittoria Bogo Deledda,Italian politician, Senator (since 2018),cancer-age 53
18 Moon Ji-yoon,South Korean actor,sepsis.-age 36
Kenny Rogers.jpg
20 Kenny Rogers,American Hall of Fame singer ("The Gambler","Just Dropped In","Islands in the Stream"),songwriter and actor,Natural causes.-age 81
20 Jerry Slick,Singer (The Great Society)-age 80
24 Manu Dibango,Cameroonian saxophonist ("Soul Makossa"),COVID-19.-age 86
24 Bill Rieflin,American rock drummer (Ministry,Revolting Cocks,King Crimson,R.E.M.),cancer.-age 59
25 Martinho Lutero Galati,66,Brazilian conductor,COVID-19.-age 66
30 Bill Withers,American Hall of Fame singer-songwriter ("Lean on Me","Ain't No Sunshine","Lovely Day"),heart disease.-age 81
31 Cristina,American singer ("Disco Clone","Is That All There Is?"), COVID-19.-age 64

01 Adam Schlesinger,American musician (Fountains of Wayne, Ivy) and songwriter ("That Thing You Do"),Emmy winner (2012,2013,2019), COVID-19.-age 52
02 William Frankland,British immunologist,COVID-19.-age 108
03 Henri Ecochard,French military officer,COVID-19.-age 96
07 John Prine,American singer-songwriter ("Sam Stone",Angel from Montgomery),Grammy winner (1992,2006),COVID-19.-age 73
07 Steve Farmer,American musician (The Amboy Dukes) and songwriter ("Journey to the Center of the Mind").-age 71
08 Carl Dobkins Jr.,American singer ("My Heart Is an Open Book").-age 79
17 Matthew Seligman,English new wave bassist (The Soft Boys,Thompson Twins),COVID-19.-age 64
19 Ian Whitcomb,English singer-songwriter ("You Turn Me On") and author.-age 78
20 Ronan O'Rahilly,Irish businessman,founder of Radio Caroline,vascular dementia.-age 79
21 Florian Schneider,German electronic musician (Kraftwerk),cancer.-age 73
Bobby Lewis.jpg
28 Bobby Lewis,American singer ("Tossin' and Turnin'"),pneumonia-age 95

03 Dave Greenfield,English keyboardist (The Stranglers),heart disease and COVID-19.-age 71
05 Millie Small,Jamaican singer ("My Boy Lollipop"),stroke.-age 72
05 Sweet Pea Atkinson,American singer (Was (Not Was)),heart attack.-age 74
06 Brian Howe,English rock singer (Bad Company),heart attack.-age 66
Little Richard.jpg
09 Little Richard,American Hall of Fame rock and roll singer ("Tutti Frutti","Long Tall Sally","Lucille"),pianist and songwriter,bone cancer.-age 87
10 Betty Wright,American soul and R&B singer ("Clean Up Woman"),Grammy winner (1976),cancer.-age 66
13 Derek Lawrence,English record producer (Deep Purple,Wishbone Ash).-age 78
14 Jorge Santana,Mexican guitarist (Malo).-age 68
25 Al Rex,American bassist (Bill Haley & His Comets).age 91

04 Steve Priest,British bassist and singer (The Sweet).-age 72
08 Bonnie PointerAmerican singer (The Pointer Sisters),cardiac arrest.-age 69
Vera Lynn.jpg
18 Vera Lynn,British singer ("We'll Meet Again","The White Cliffs of Dover").-age 103
27 Tom Finn,71,American musician (The Left Banke) and DJ.-age 71
29 Benny Mardones,American singer-songwriter ("Into the Night"),Parkinson's disease-age 73

06 Charlie Daniels,American Hall of Fame country singer-songwriter and musician ("The Devil Went Down to Georgia","Uneasy Rider"),Grammy Award winner (1980),
hemorrhagic stroke.-age 83
12 Judy Dyble,English singer-songwriter (Fairport Convention,Trader Horne),lung cancer-age 71
19 Emitt Rhodes,American singer-songwriter ("Live") and musician (The Palace Guard,The Merry-Go-Round),Natural causes.-age 90
21 Tim Smith,English singer-songwriter (Cardiacs,The Sea Nymphs,Spratleys Japs),Heart attack-age 59
21 Sean O'Mahony,British music writer and magazine editor (The Beatles Book, Record Collector).-age 88
25 Peter Green,English Hall of Fame blues rock singer-songwriter ("Black Magic Woman") and guitarist (Fleetwood Mac,Peter Green Splinter Group).-age 73
Oliva De Havilland.jpg
26 Dame Olivia de Havilland,French-British-American actress (Gone with the Wind,The Adventures of Robin Hood,To Each His Own),Oscar winner (1947,1950)-age 104
30 Herman Cain,American food executive (Godfather's Pizza,Pillsbury Company) & politician,chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (1995-1996),COVID-19.-age 74

02 Steve Holland,member of rock band "Molly Hatchet" (Flirtin' With Disaster)-age 66
04 Tony Costanza,American metal drummer,Pneumonia following COVID-19 infection[ (Machine Head,Crowbar).-age 52
05 Isidora Bjelica,Serbian writer and playwright,cancer.-age 52
06 Wayne Fontana,English singer ("The Game of Love"),cancer.-age 74
07 Mark Wirtz,French musician and record producer (A Teenage Opera),Pick's disease-age 76
08 Salome Bey,American-born Canadian singer,Dementia-age 86
11 Trini Lopez,American singer ("If I Had a Hammer","Lemon Tree") and actor (The Dirty Dozen),COVID-19.-age 83
14 Pete Way,English rock bass guitarist (UFO,Waysted,Fastway),injuries sustained in accident.-age 69
18 Jack Sherman,American guitarist (Red Hot Chili Peppers),Heart attack[.-age 64
20 Frankie Banali,American drummer (Quiet Riot,W.A.S.P.,Heavy Bones),pancreatic cancer-age 68
20 Justin Townes Earle,American singer-songwriter,Drug overdose.-age 38
22 Walter Lure,American guitarist (The Heartbreakers),lung and liver cancer.-age 71
24 Gail Sheehy,American author (Hillary's Choice),complications from pneumonia-age 83
25 Gerry McGhee,58,Scottish singer (Brighton Rock),cancer.-age 58

01 Ian Mitchell,Scotish singer (Bay City Rollers),-age 62
04 Dmitry Svetushkin,Moldovan chess grandmaster, suicide by defenestration.-age 49 
06 Bruce Williamson,49,American singer (The Temptations),COVID-19.-age 49
09 Ronald Bell,American saxophonist (Kool & the Gang) and songwriter ("Ladies' Night","Celebration")-age 68
12 Edna Wright,American R&B singer (Honey Cone).-age 76
18 Pamela Hutchinson R&B singer (The Emotions)-age 61
18 Ruth Bader Ginsburg,American jurist, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (since 1993) and judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (1980-1993),complications from pancreatic cancer.-age 87
19 Lee Kerslake,English drummer (Uriah Heep,Ozzy Osbourne,Toe Fat),prostate cancer.-age 73
21 Tommy DeVito,American Hall of Fame musician and singer (The Four Seasons),COVID-19.-age 92
21 Roy Head,American singer ("Treat Her Right"),heart attack.-age 79 
24 Max Merritt,New Zealand musician ("Slipping Away"), Goodpasture syndrome-age 79
26 Mark Stone,Rock band artist (Van Halen),Cancer-age 79
28 Jackie Dennis,Scottish singer.-age 77
29 Helen Reddy,Australian-American singer ("I Am Woman","Delta Dawn") and actress (Pete's Dragon),Grammy winner (1973),Addison's disease-age 78
29 Mac Davis,American singer-songwriter ("Baby, Don't Get Hooked on Me","It's Hard to Be Humble") and actor
  (North Dallas Forty),complications from heart surgery.-age 78

01 Serhiy Atelkin,Ukrainian footballer (Shakhtar Donetsk,Lecce,national team),heart attack.-age 48
03 Bob Wilson,English footballer (Cardiff City,Exeter City).[-age 77
04 Mike Foster,American politician,Governor of Louisiana (1996-2004) and member of the Louisiana Senate (1988-1996).-age 90
06 Joseph Bruno,American politician, member (1977-2008) and majority leader (1994-2008) of the New York State Senate, prostate cancer.-age 91
07 Ray Pennington,American country singer-songwriter ("I'm a Ramblin' Man"), house fire.-age 86
08 Brian Locking,English rock bass guitarist (The Shadows),bladder cancer.-age 81
11 Terry McBrayer,American politician, member of the Kentucky House of Representatives (1966-1976),cancer.-age 83
12 Jacinda Barclay,Australian footballer (Greater Western Sydney) and baseball player (national team),suicide.-age 29
15 Dave Munden,British singer (The Tremeloes),Respiratory infection-age 76
15 Gordon Haskell,English singer-songwriter ("How Wonderful You Are") and musician (King Crimson, The Fleur de Lys).-age 74
19 Spencer Davis,Welsh singer and guitarist (The Spencer Davis Group),pneumonia)-age 81
19 Tony Lewis,English bassist,singer and songwriter (The Outfield).-age 62
23 Jerry Jeff Walker,American singer-songwriter ("Mr. Bojangles"),throat cancer.0age 78
Sean Connery.jpg
31 Sir Sean Connery,Scottish actor (Dr. No,The Untouchables,Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade),Oscar winner (1988),heart failure and pneumonia-age 90

01 Nikki McKibbin,American singer-songwriter and reality show contestant (American Idol),brain aneurysm.-age 42
02 Elsa Raven,American actress (Back to the Future,Amen,Titanic)-age 91
03 Irvin Baxter Jr.,American Pentecostal preacher and televangelist,COVID-19-age 75
04 Ken Hensley,English singer-songwriter (Uriah Heep,Blackfoot,Toe Fat).-age 75
06 King Von,American rapper,shot.-age 26
07 Bones Hillman,New Zealand bassist (Midnight Oil,The Swingers,Suburban Reptiles), cancer.-age 62
08 Alex Trebek,Canadian-American game show host (Jeopardy!,High Rollers,Classic Concentration),seven-time Emmy winner,pancreatic cancer.-age 80
13 Doug Supernaw,American country musician ("I Don't Call Him Daddy","Reno","Not Enough Hours in the Night"),lung and bladder cancer.-age 60
25 Diego Maradona,60,Argentine footballer (Barcelona,Napoli,national team),World Cup winner (1986),heart attack.-age 60
27 Mohsen Fakhrizadeh,Iranian nuclear scientist,shot.-age 59
28 David Prowse,English actor (Star Wars,A Clockwork Orange,Jabberwocky) and bodybuilder,COVID-19.-age 85

02 Aldo Moser,Italian racing cyclist,COVID-19.-age 86
07 Natalie Desselle-Reid,American actress (B.A.P.S.,Eve,Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella),colon cancer.-age 53
07 Chuck Yeager,American Hall of Fame pilot,first person to exceed the speed of sound.-age 97
07 Howard Wales,American keyboardist ("Truckin'"),cerebral hemorrhage.-age 77
12 Charley Pride,US Country singer,complications related to COVID-19-age 86
19 Per Alsing,Swedish drummer (Roxette).-age 60
21 K. T. Oslin,US country singer-songwriter ("80's Ladies","Do Ya","I'll Always Come Back"),Grammy winner (1988,1989),COVID-19.-age 78
Chuck Yeager.jpg
07 Chuck Yeager,American Hall of Fame pilot,first person to exceed the speed of sound.-age 97




   The Tokyo 2020 Olympics have been postponed,Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced in May of 2020.

   Abe said Japan and the International Olympic Committee came to an agreement during a phone call with the head of the IOC,Thomas Bach,following growing calls for the games to be delayed or canceled because of the concerns around coronavirus pandemic.

  The Japanese leader told reporters after the call that they agreed that the games would not be canceled and will be held,at the very latest,by the summer of 2021.

   "Considering the current situation,in regards to the Tokyo Games,as the host nation,in order to ensure that athletes from all over the world are able to compete in their best condition,and also in order to ensure the utmost safety for the spectators,I have asked him to consider postponing the games by about a year," Abe added.

   The prime minister said Japan will fulfill its responsibility as the host nation "to prove that humanity has beaten the novel coronavirus."

   The virus has forced millions of people around the world into lockdowns to help curb its spread and claimed more than 17,000 lives.

   The Olympics is the biggest event yet to be affected by the growing global pandemic.The games were set to run July 24 to Aug. 9,and the Paralympics Aug. 25 to Sept. 6.

   "The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present,"the IOC said in a joint statement with the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee.

NBCUniversal, which is the parent company of NBC News, paid $4.4 billion for U.S. media rights to the four Olympics from 2014 to 2020.

   This is the first major disruption to the Olympics since World War II, when the 1944 Summer Olympics, were canceled. The 1940 Summer Olympics,which were also to be held in Tokyo,were also canceled.

   The IOC has dealt with potential health threats in the recent past, but none so serious that they affected the scheduled timeline.

   There were concerns about the bird flu ahead of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, Zika during the 2016 Rio Olympics and swine flu before the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

   But despite growing concerns about the coronavirus epidemic in recent weeks, Japanese officials insisted the games will go ahead as planned.Abe acknowledged for the first time on Monday that the Olympics could be delayed due to the coronavirus as countries began threatening to keep their athletes at home.

   The Olympic flame arrived in Japan on March 20 for a journey that would have led to the opening ceremony.

   But following Abe's announcement, the torch relay,which was supposed to start on Thursday,was canceled,Yoshiro Mori,the organizing committee president, said.However,the Olympic flame will stay in Japan,the IOC has confirmed.
   The IOC's move follows the suspension of many major sporting events and seasons around the world.

   Regions hit hard by the outbreak in Asia and Europe have canceled sporting events,including the Hong Kong Marathon and Italy's Serie A soccer matches.

   In mid-March,the NBA suspended its season after a player on the Utah Jazz preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19,the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

   That decision by the NBA was quickly followed by similar announcements from other pro leagues.Within hours,the NHL,Major League Soccer and MLB announced they would be pausing or postponing their seasons.

   By the end of that week,the NCAA made the decision to cancel its men's and women's college basketball tournaments,known as March Madness.The cancellation extended to all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships.

   Since then several other events have been postponed,including the French Open,the Invictus Games and the London Marathon.


2020 WORLD SERIEs-1.jpg2020 WORLD SERIEs-2.jpg

     The 2020 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's 2020 season.The 116th edition of the World Series, was a best-of-seven playoff between the American League (AL) champion Tampa Bay Rays and the National League (NL) champion Los Angeles Dodgers.The Dodgers defeated the Rays to win the series in six games for their first championship in 32 years.Los Angeles shortstop Corey Seager was named the World Series Most Valuable Player (MVP) after batting 8-for-20 (.400) with two home runs,five runs batted in,and an on-base percentage of .556.
    The series began on October 20 and ended with Game 6 on October 27.To reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the postseason proper was conducted at neutral sites rather than at teams' home stadiums. The entirety of the World Series was hosted by Globe Life Field in Arlington,Texas (which also hosted the National League Championship Series),making this the first World Series to be played at a neutral site, as well as the first since 1944 to be held at only one ballpark.



    Super Bowl LIV was an American football game played to determine the champion of the National Football League (NFL) for the 2019 season.The American Football
Conference (AFC) champion Kansas City Chiefs defeated the National Football Conference (NFC) champion San Francisco 49ers 31-20,marking their first Super Bowl victory since Super Bowl IV and the Chiefs' first NFL championship since joining the league in the AFL-NFL merger.Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes won the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award,having completed 26 of 42 pass attempts for 286 yards,two touchdowns and two interceptions, and well as rushing for 29 yards and one touchdown.

  The game was played on February 2, 2020,at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.This was the eleventh Super Bowl hosted by the South Florida region and the sixth Super Bowl hosted in Miami Gardens, which hosted Super Bowl XLIV ten years earlier.This was also only the third Super Bowl since 2001 to not feature Tom Brady,Peyton Manning,or Ben Roethlisberger.

   The first half of the game was back and forth between both teams,with the game tied at 10 at halftime. In the third quarter,the 49ers began to pull away,with a
Robbie Gould field goal and a touchdown run by Raheem Mostert giving them a 20-10 lead heading into the fourth quarter.However,over the final 6:13 of the game,the
Chiefs offense completed two touchdown drives with Mahomes throwing touchdown passes to Travis Kelce and Damien Williams,to take the lead just before the two-minute warning. The Chiefs then stopped the 49ers on defense,and a late touchdown run by Damien Williams,as well as a Kendall Fuller interception,sealed the victory and ended the Chiefs' 50-year championship drought.

    The game's broadcast in the United States by Fox,along with the halftime show headlined by Jennifer Lopez and Shakira,was seen by an estimated 102 million viewers-a slight increase over Super Bowl LIII in 2019 (which had seen the smallest audience for the game in 10 years).Due to the seating capacity of Hard Rock Stadium,this game also had the second lowest attendance in Super Bowl history (after Super Bowl I) and the lowest since the merger.


2020 NBA FINALS.jpg

      The 2020 NBA playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 2019-20 season.The playoffs were originally scheduled to begin on April 18.However, the league suspended the season on March 11,2020,hours after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization and after some players tested positive for the virus.

   On June 4,the NBA Board of Governors approved a plan to restart the season on July 31 in the NBA Bubble.This proposal was then approved by members of the National Basketball Players Association on June 5.Under this plan,the 22 top teams in the league at the time of the suspension played eight additional regular season games to determine playoff seeding,with 16 of those teams playing in a conventional postseason tournament.If the ninth seed within a conference would have finished the regular season within four games of the eighth seed, they would have then competed in a play-in series.The last time a play-in game was played to determine a playoff spot was in 1956.

    As part of the bubble,all playoff games were held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex inside Walt Disney World in Bay Lake, Florida.

   All three games that were scheduled to take place on August 26 were postponed by a wildcat strike,in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha,Wisconsin,with the Milwaukee Bucks being the first team not to take the court prior to their game five matchup against the Orlando Magic.The games on August 27 and 28 were also postponed,with games resuming on August 29.

    The Toronto Raptors were defending champions, but lost in the Eastern Conference Semifinals round to the Boston Celtics.None of the teams that made it to the Conference Finals in the 2019 NBA playoffs made the Conference Finals in 2020.

  In the end the LA Lakers defeated the Miami Heat.



    The 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs was the playoff tournament of the National Hockey League (NHL).The playoffs began on August 1,2020 and concluded on September 28,2020,with the Tampa Bay Lightning winning their second championship in franchise history defeating the Dallas Stars four games to two in the Stanley Cup Finals.The playoffs were originally scheduled to begin in April,a few days after the 2019-20 NHL season and end in June.However,on March 12,the regular season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    On May 26,commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed that the league was going to use a 24-team playoff format to finish the season,conducted in two or more host cities as "hubs" with players placed under strict health protocols,quarantined from the general public and all games played behind closed doors with no fans admitted.On July 10,the league ratified an agreement for its protocols with the NHL Players Association (NHLPA).The Eastern Conference played its early-round games at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto,while the early rounds for the Western Conference,as well as the Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Finals,were played at Rogers Place in Edmonton.This was the first Stanley Cup playoffs to be contested entirely in Canada since 1925,as well as the first time that the Stanley Cup was awarded on Canadian soil since 2011.

   The Boston Bruins made the playoffs as the Presidents' Trophy winners with the most points (i.e. best record) during the regular season.The Pittsburgh Penguins
increased their postseason appearance streak to fourteen seasons,the longest active streak.For the first time since 1996, all California-based teams,the Anaheim Ducks,Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks,missed the playoffs.Six Canadian-based teams made the postseason this year,the most since 1993.It also marked the first time since 1986 that all four teams in cities based in Western Canada made the playoffs.In addition,it marked the first time that both the Winnipeg Jets and Arizona Coyotes (previously the original Jets,before relocation) qualified for the playoffs in the same season,as well as the first time that the Coyotes made the playoffs since 2012.For the first time since 1999,all former World Hockey Association teams (Edmonton Oilers,Arizona Coyotes,Carolina Hurricanes and Colorado Avalanche) made the playoffs.

   Game two of the Second Round series between the Vancouver Canucks and Vegas Golden Knights was the 94th game of the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs, surpassing the
previous single-year record of 93 established in 2014.On September 17,the Tampa Bay Lightning became the first team in NHL history to win the clinching game of their first three series in overtime.The Dallas Stars set the record for the most games played in one playoff year in game six of the Stanley Cup Finals;the previous record was shared by the 1987 Philadelphia Flyers,2004 Calgary Flames, 2014 Los Angeles Kings,2015 Tampa Bay Lightning and 2019 St. Louis Blues.Game six of the Stanley Cup Finals was also the 130th game of the playoffs, setting the all-time record for most games played in one playoff year.

    All Second Round games that were originally scheduled on August 27 and 28 were postponed due to a wildcat strike,in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake in 



      The 2020 AFL Grand Final was an Australian rules football match contested between Richmond and Geelong at the Gabba in Brisbane Queensland,on Saturday 24
October 2020.It was the 124th annual Grand Final of the Australian Football League (formerly the Victorian Football League),staged to determine the premiers for the
2020 AFL season.The match was originally scheduled for the last Saturday of September but was delayed several weeks due to the suspension of the season stemming from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was the first AFL grand final to be staged outside the state of Victoria, and the first to be held at night.

     The match was won by Richmond by a margin of 31 points,marking the club's thirteenth VFL/AFL premiership and their third in four seasons.Richmond's Dustin Martin won the Norm Smith Medal as the player judged best on ground,becoming the first player in VFL/AFL history to win three Norm Smith Medals.The match was attended by 29,707 spectators,just short of the reduced capacity allowed at the venue under pandemic guidelines.





   "Blinding Lights" is a song by Canadian singer "The Weeknd",which serves as the second single off of his fourth studio album,"After Hours" (2020).It was released on November 29,2019,two days after the release of "Heartless"."The Weeknd" wrote and produced the song with producers Max Martin and Oscar Holter,with Belly and Jason Quenneville receiving additional writing credits.A chromatics remix of the song was released alongside the deluxe edition of its parent album on March 23,2020.
    "Blinding Lights" peaked at number one in thirty-four countries,including the United States and Canada,where it became the Weeknd's fifth number one single on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Canadian Hot 100 for four and seven weeks,  respectively.It also became his first number one single in Germany for ten weeks, the United Kingdom for eight weeks and Australia for eleven weeks,thus making it his most successful single worldwide to date.It was the number one song for the entire year of 2020 in the USA,UK,Australia and Canada.
   A remix alongside Spanish singer-songwriter Rosalia was released on December 4,2020.


IN THE AIR????? by L.A.B..jpgIN THE AIR????? by L.A.B. 2.jpg

  L.A.B. is a reggae band from New Zealand.Its founding members are Brad Kora (backing vocals and drums) and Stuart Kora (backing vocals,keyboard and guitar) of the band Kora.They soon engaged Joel Shadbolt on lead vocals and guitar,Ara Adams-Tamatea,formerly of Katchafire,as bassist and Miharo Gregory as keyboardist.The band mostly composes reggae music,with a mix of electronic,blues,rock and funk music. 
    Their song "In the Air" topped the New Zealand Singles Chart in March 2020.The song spent three weeks at #1 and was the #1 song for the entire year of 2020 in New Zealand.
    In July 2020,the band announced their first summer show date for January 2021 with The Black Seeds,Mako Road,Bailey Wiley and 
Anna Coddington in support. 



      Geena Rocero was born in 1983 in Manila,Philippines to a working-class family.She started competing in beauty pageants at age 15.Rocero immigrated to San Francisco,California at age 17.In 2005, Geena Rocero moved to New York City,and she became a U.S. citizen in 2006. 

  Rocero was discovered by a fashion photographer in a restaurant on the Lower East Side of Manhattan when she was 21 years old.She was then signed to NEXT Model Management and spent 12 years modeling for international swimsuit and beauty editorials,earning herself a large fan base. 

   In 2014,Rocero was featured on the fifth anniversary cover of C*NDY magazine along with 13 other transgender women:Janet Mock,Carmen Carrera,Laverne Cox,Isis King,Gisele Alicea,Leyna Ramous,Dina Marie,Nina Poon,Juliana Huxtable,Niki M'nray, Peche Di,Carmen Xtravaganza and Yasmine Petty. 

   Adding to her resume in 2015, Rocero became Executive Producer of "Beautiful As I Want To Be",a digital series for Logo focused on transgender youth.The show spotlights young trans people, and pairs them with a coach or mentor in the trans community.In the first episode,Zeam,a young trans man and artist,is paired with Caitlyn Jenner.Jenner in the episode mentions Rocero as "the first trans person I ever met".Rocero has also been featured on Jenner's show I Am Cait. 

   In 2016 Rocero and Tracey Norman became the first two openly transgender models to appear on the cover of an edition of Harper's Bazaar.She became the Playboy Playmate of the Month for August 2019.She was the first openly transgender Asian-Pacific Islander model to pose for Playboy magazine. 

  In 2014,Rocero launched Gender Proud, "an advocacy & awareness campaign that aims to advance the rights of all transgender individuals".On March 31,2014,in honor of International Transgender Day of Visibility,Rocero came out as transgender while giving a TED talk in Vancouver,Canada.On September 19,2014,excerpts of Rocero's TED talk were featured on NPR's TED Radio Hour podcast.Rocero has spoken about transgender rights at the United Nations Headquarters,the World Economic Forum and the White House.


   So much for the world in 2020.As for my world I started 2020 living in Chianyai,Thailand and I will end 2019 living in Nakhon Sri Thammarat province in Thailand.

   I spent every day of 2020 on Thailand soil.I am now retired and still live in a house all alone.All of my 20,000 Cds,records and tapes,plus my huge Playboy collection are with me in my house.I will probably (unless I am kidnapped by the CIA) be in Thailand for almost all of 2021.I now have not been on US soil in over (11) years (I left the USA on September 15th,2009).If things go as I would like them to there is a good chance I may never see the USA again.I don't need the USA's war machine,I don't need their ghetto scenes.

   In 2020 I increased the size of my website.I now have approximately 5900 files on my website ( projections are to have 7000 files on my website by January 15,2024.It may take me about four years for me to get my website up to snuff.So it may be at least four years before I begin writing that book about my life which I have been wanting to do for the past 12 years.Also in about four years I am hoping to have my own internet show.We will see.I take life one day at a time.I am hoping for this book and my internet show to be my bonanza.As Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones said back in 1967 "Lose your dreams and you will lose your mind". 

   It was a pleasure to have all of you being part of my life this year.Anyway,that is my year-end review for 2020.I hope you all had a cool year too and that you have lots of dreams to aim for in the next 12 months or so.

   Remember every second of your life you spend thinking of bad and negative thoughts it is one second less your are spending thinking of good and positive thoughts and you don't get that one second back.Try spending more time thinking about things that make you smile and laugh.So even if life does not deal you the cards you wanted just remember to keep on dancing and enjoying the party.Have a fantastic Xmas or whatever holiday you celebrate and I will e-mail you all individually when the time frame is not so narrow!! It's been great to have you all in my year and my life!!!!

   Joyeaux Noel,Feliz Navidad,Frohliches Weihnachten,Merry Xmas et la prochain

Last Updated ( Dec 23, 2021 at 09:17 AM )

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