From The Alpha and the Omega - Chapter Eight
by Jim A. Cornwell, Copyright © 1995, all rights reserved
"GLOBALISM - ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT VERSUS NATIONALISM IN 2020"

    This file is attached to http://www.mazzaroth.com/ChapterEight/2014-2017.htm from “Astronomical Events To Appear Between 2014 Through 2017 A.D.” - Chapter Eight by Jim A. Cornwell, Copyright © 1995, all rights reserved.

GLOBALISM - ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT VERSUS NATIONALISM IN 2020


1/8/2020 Pompeo says U.S. support for Israeli settlements advances peace with Palestinians by Rami Ayyub
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addresses a news conference in the Press Briefing Room
at the State Department in Washington, U.S., January 7, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner
    JERUSALEM (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that Washington’s backing for Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank will advance Israeli-Palestinian peace, angering Palestinian leaders who seek the territory for a state.
    In a reversal of four decades of U.S. policy, Pompeo in November announced that the United States no longer viewed Israel’s settlements on West Bank land it captured in the 1967 Middle East war as “inconsistent with international law.”
    Palestinians and the international community view the transfer of any country’s civilians to occupied land as illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and U.N. Security Council resolutions.    Many countries condemned the announcement.
    But the move delighted Israel and provides important U.S. support amid a potential International Criminal Court (ICC) inquiry into alleged war crimes in Palestinian areas, including the West Bank.
    Speaking by video link at a Jerusalem policy forum dubbed “The Pompeo Doctrine,” Pompeo, in a pre-recorded statement, said the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump returned to a “balanced and sober” approach to Middle East peace by changing its position.
    “It’s important that we speak the truth when the facts lead us to it.    And we are recognizing that these settlements don’t inherently violate international law,” Pompeo said.
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Trump administration’s backing was a “proper answer to the decision by the ICC in the Hague to investigate Israel’s actions in Judea and Samaria,” referring to the West Bank.
    Last month, the ICC’s chief prosecutor said she would launch a full investigation in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip as soon as the Hague-based body’s jurisdiction had been established.
    The prosecutor’s announcement opened the possibility of charges being filed against Israelis and Palestinians.
    “The ‘Pompeo doctrine’ regarding the status of the settlements simply states that we are not foreigners in our homeland,” Netanyahu told the conference, hosted by the Kohelet Policy Forum, a Jerusalem think-tank.
    The conference sought to build upon the new U.S. stance by laying out legal arguments in defense of Israel’s settlements and debating critics’ defense.
    Around 430,000 settlers live amongst some 3 million Palestinians in the West Bank, where the Palestinians seek to set up a state along with the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.
    “Israeli colonial settlements are illegal under international law … ignoring facts (doesn’t) mean they don’t exist,” chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said.
    Erekat added that U.S. policy was pushing “the region further toward bloodshed and violence.”
    The Palestinians have boycotted the Trump administration and its peace efforts, including its long-delayed peace plan, accusing Washington of pro-Israel bias since it recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017 and later moved its embassy there.
(Reporting by Rami Ayyub; Additional reporting by Adel Abu Nimeh in Jericho; Editing by Alex Richardson)

1/8/2020 President Trump, Bloomberg spend $10M on Super Bowl advertisements by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks during a rally for evangelical supporters at the
King Jesus International Ministry, Friday, Jan. 3, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
    Major companies are preparing to compete for the spotlight during the biggest advertising day of the year.    For this year’s Super Bowl, they will be going head-to-head with some new advertisers: political candidates.
    On Tuesday, President Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale announced the campaign had purchased a 60 second slot during the big game, which was estimated to have cost north of $10 million.    Parscale has elected to have the ad premier at the beginning of the game, during peak viewing hours, and believes the ad will “ramp up” campaign efforts.
    Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is competing with the president, has also announced a 60 second slot purchase.
    Bloomberg has reportedly spent more than $100 million of his own money on his advertising efforts so far.    The decision to self-fundraise has received criticism from the other members of the Democrat field and has prevented the former mayor from participating in the debates
.
    The game is scheduled for Sunday, February 2nd.
Democratic presidential candidate, former New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg, speaks
during a campaign rally, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford)
[AS I WROTE IN MY 'GLOBALISM VERSES NATIONALIM' FILE THAT BLOOMBERG JOINED THE RACE IS BECAUSE THE DEEP STATE GLOBALIST AND CFR. ETC. WERE GETTING DESPERATE AND SOROS IS NOT A POLITICIAN SO THEY SENT BLOOMBERG TO THROW MILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF CAMPAIGN ADS AGAINST TRUMP AS A LAST DITCH DESPERATION.].

1/14/2020 Hungary’s law on NGO foreign funding is unlawful: EU court adviser
FILE PHOTO: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban holds an international news
conference in Budapest, Hungary, January 9, 2020. REUTERS/Tamas Kaszas
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Hungary’s law that requires civil organizations to disclose their foreign donors is in breach of European Union rules that protect the bloc’s fundamental rights, a legal adviser to the EU’s top court said on Tuesday.
    The law is part of a series of measures against what the government deems unfair foreign influence that are linked to its feud with Budapest-born U.S. billionaire George Soros.    Prime Minister Viktor Orban has repeatedly accused non-governmental organizations (NGOs) funded by Soros of political meddling.
    The crackdown has led the European Parliament to open a procedure against Hungary for allegedly breaching EU fundamental rights that could lead to the suspension of the country’s voting rights in the EU.
    Tuesday’ opinion, which is not binding on the court but is likely to be upheld in the final ruling, is a new blow to Orban’s government, which is accused in Brussels of limiting its citizens’ rights with a series of laws that could restrict the independence of judges, the media and civil society.
    The law requires civil organizations that receive funding from abroad to disclose in a public online register their foreign funders with donations exceeding 500,000 Hungarian forints ($1,670), once their foreign funding reaches a threshold set by the authorities.
    The legal adviser to the European Court of Justice said the 2017 law violated the principle of free movement of capital within the 28-country bloc because it required disclosure only for foreign funding.
    The law also unduly interferes with fundamental rights, such as the respect of private life and the protection of personal data, as it requires a disproportionate disclosure of donors’ personal information, legal adviser Manuel Campos Sanchez-Bordona said.
    Opinions of legal advisers are usually reflected in the court’s subsequent rulings.    If Hungary is found to be in breach of EU rules, it must change the law or face the risk of fines.
(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; Editing by Alex Richardson)
1/14/2020 U.S., EU, Japan agree new subsidy rules with China trade in focus by Philip Blenkinsop
FILE PHOTO: A red light is pictured at a pedestrian crossing in front of the World Trade Organization headquarters
in Geneva, Switzerland, December 9, 2019. Picture taken December 9, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The United States, the European Union and Japan proposed new global trade rules on Tuesday to curb subsidies they say are distorting the worldwide economy, with China their clear target.
    A day before Chinese officials are due to sign the first phase of a trade deal with the United States in Washington, Beijing is again the focus of criticism from its main trading partners.
    The Phase 1 U.S.-China deal will lead to China buying more U.S. products, but not tackle hard issues such as subsidies.
    Japanese economy minister Hiroshi Kajiyama, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and EU trade commissioner Phil Hogan said in a joint statement that existing World Trade Organization (WTO) rules were insufficient to tackle market distortions from subsidies.
    The proposed rules are the outcome of two years of trilateral discussions, but are only a precursor to the hard work of convincing other WTO members, including China.
    They also mark a note of harmony in U.S.-EU relations, strained by U.S. tariffs and disputes over aircraft subsidies and EU auto exports.
    The three partners intend to bring their proposals to the Geneva-based WTO, with as many countries involved as possible, even if probably not all the WTO’s 164 members.
    “This would only make sense if the big subsidisers were on board,” an EU source said.
    The EU last year hailed a breakthrough in talks with China on industrial subsidies and believes Beijing’s desire to keep the WTO afloat may make it more flexible.
    Meanwhile, Beijing has said it would be more ready to discuss industrial subsidies if talks also extended to agricultural subsidies prevalent in the west.
    The WTO already bans any subsidies which are used to boost exports or to give an advantage to local over imported goods.
    The three partners want to add four banned subsidy types, namely unlimited guarantees, subsidies to ailing enterprises without a restructuring plan, subsidies to firms unable to obtain long-term financing and certain forgiveness of debt.
    They would also seek to ban other large subsidies, such as to prop up zombie enterprises, to create overcapacity or to lower input prices unless the subsidizing country can prove there are no negative effects.
    They are also seeking to devise rules to end forced technology transfer and current WTO rules that allow countries such as China, Korea and Singapore to designate themselves developing countries, which enjoy advantages.
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Additional reporting by Andrea Shalal in Washington; Editing by Alexander Smith)

[HERE COMES THE DEEP STATE USING THE FAKE NEWS SERVICE TO TRY TO CHANGE THE NARRATIVE ON WHAT REALLY HAPPENED AS THEY ARE GETTING DESPERATE, AND THEY WILL PROBABLY ACUSE TRUMP OF DOING IT, AND BY THE WAY I HAVE SUSPECTED AND DO NOT TRUST FBI DIRECTOR CHRISTOPHER WRAY IN EARLIER ARTICLES SUSPECT BECAUSE HE WAS THE ONE BROUGHT IN AFTER ALL THE CORRUPT FBI WERE BEING FIRED AND HAS NOT REALLY DONE ANYTHING TOWARD PROMOTING THE CORRUPTION OF THE FISA COURT ISSUE AND OTHER SUCH AS FIONA HILL AND YANOVITCH AS THE EVIDENCE AND WITNESS THAT GUILIANI HAS SHOWN TO BE VALID AND IT LOOKS LIKE SOMEONE IS TRYING TO COVER THAT UP ALSO.].
1/15/2020 Researchers: Russia hacked Burisma by Bart Jansen and Kristine Phillips, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON – A computer security company reported Monday that Russian hackers sought access to the Ukrainian gas company at the heart of the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, and House Democrats warned the meddling threatened to interfere with the 2020 election.
    Area 1 Security, a California company focused on email security, reported that members of Russian military intelligence known as GRU launched a campaign in early November to steal email credentials from workers at Burisma Holdings.
    Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, previously served on Burisma’s board.    Trump’s call for Ukraine to investigate the Bidens and Burisma led to the president’s impeachment.
    FBI Director Christopher Wray and others have said there is no evidence that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election.    Other officials, such as Fiona Hill, a former National Security Council official, testified in the impeachment inquiry that accusations against Ukraine are Russian propaganda to divert attention from their own election interference.     Andrew Bates, a spokesman for Biden’s 2020 campaign, said the Burisma hacking illustrated that Russia seeks to meddle in the campaign to help Trump.
    “Donald Trump tried to coerce Ukraine into lying about Joe Biden and a major bipartisan, international anticorruption victory because he recognized that he can’t beat the vice president,” Bates said.    “Now we know that Vladimir Putin also sees Joe Biden as a threat.    Any American president who had not repeatedly encouraged foreign interventions of this kind would immediately condemn this attack on the sovereignty of our elections.”
    The cyberattack against Burisma involved phishing, an effort in which hackers mimic legitimate organizations in order to trick targets into divulging email passwords and other information.    It wasn’t clear what information the phishing campaign sought, according to Area 1’s eight-page report.
    “The phishing campaign identified is designed to steal email credentials (usernames and passwords) of employees at Burisma Holdings and its subsidiaries and partners,” the report said.
    The apparent cyberattack worried House Democratic chairmen because the U.S. intelligence community concluded that Russians interfered with the 2016 election by hacking into Democratic Party computers and by circulating false information on social media.    Special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian agents of GRU on charges of computer crimes and identity theft.
    House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., told reporters the Burisma hack was evidence Russians were trying to help Trump again.
    “We know that the Russians wanted Donald Trump elected last time and they actively supported him,” Nadler said.    “We know the president tried to get foreign help, tried to extort foreign help for the next election campaign.    And it looks like the Russians are trying to open up again.”
    The House impeached Trump on articles accusing him of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.    Trump is accused of urging Ukraine to investigate his political rival while withholding $391 million in military aid from the country, and then defying congressional subpoenas during the inquiry.
Contributing: Nicholas Wu
[THERE WAS NOT ONE COMMENT HERE BY THE REPUBLICAN SIDE AND IF YOU COULD NOT SEE THE EXTREME BIAS IN THIS FAKE NEWS ARTICLE THEN I FEEL SORRY FOR YOU.].

1/15/2020 Democratic group to spend an additional $50M targeting Trump
    WASHINGTON – The largest Democratic Party super PAC is pouring an additional $50 million into advertising attacking President Donald Trump.    Priorities USA announced Tuesday that it has increased the amount of money it plans to spend before the Democratic convention to $150 million.    The political action committee plans to spend $70 million in TV and digital ads in Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.    It says the additional investment will prevent Trump from having a monopoly on messaging with undecided voters.
[THE DIFFERENCE HERE IS THAT TRUMP IS GETTING THE DONATION MONEY FROM THE PEOPLE WHO ARE SEEING WHAT HE IS DOING FOR THEM.    THE DEMOCRATS ARE GETTING THIS MONEY FROM BILLIONAIRES LIKE BLOOMBERG OR THE COUNCIL OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OR AKA THE DEEP STATE GLOBALIST WHO WERE THE ORIGINAL RUSSIAN COLLUSION CREATORS WHEN TRUMP WON THE PRESIDENCY AND NOW IN DESPERATION THEY WILL TRY AGAIN TO INFLUENCE THE PRESIDENCY AWAY FROM THE NATIONALIST WHO WANT THEIR FREEDOM FROM THEM.].

1/20/2020 Capitalism seen doing ‘more harm than good’ in global survey by Mark John
FILE PHOTO: The national flags of several countries and a flag with the logo of the World Economic Forum (WEF) fly at the roof of the congress center
during preparations for the annual WEF meeting in the Swiss Alps resort of Davos, Switzerland January 19, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    LONDON (Reuters) – A majority of people around the world believe capitalism in its current form is doing more harm than good, a survey found ahead of this week’s Davos meeting of business and political leaders.
    This year was the first time the "Edelman Trust Barometer," which for two decades has polled tens of thousands of people on their trust in core institutions, sought to understand how capitalism itself was viewed.
    The study’s authors said that earlier surveys showing a rising sense of inequality prompted them to ask whether citizens were now starting to have more fundamental doubts about the capitalist-based democracies of the West.
    "The answer is yes," David Bersoff, lead researcher on the study produced by U.S. communications company Edelman.
    "People are questioning at that level whether what we have today, and the world we live in today, is optimized for their having a good future."
    The poll contacted over 34,000 people in 28 countries, from Western liberal democracies like the United States and France to those based on a different model such as China and Russia, with 56% agreeing that "capitalism as it exists today does more harm than good in the world."
    The survey was launched in 2000 to explore the theories of political scientist Francis Fukuyama, who after the collapse of communism declared that liberal capitalist democracy had seen off rival ideologies and so represented "the end of history."
    That conclusion has since been challenged by critics who point to everything from the rising influence of China to the spread of autocratic leaders, trade protectionism and worsening inequality in the wake of the 2007/08 global financial crisis.
‘INTO THE VOID’
    On a national level, lack of trust in capitalism was highest in Thailand and India on 75% and 74% respectively, with France close behind on 69%.    Majorities prevailed in other Asian, European, Gulf, African and Latin American states.
    Only in Australia, Canada, the United States, South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan did majorities disagree with the assertion that capitalism currently did more harm than good.
    The survey confirmed a by-now familiar set of concerns ranging from worries about the pace of technological progress and job insecurity, to distrust of the media and a sense that national governments were not up to the challenges of the day.
    Within the data there were divergences, with Asians more optimistic about their economic prospects than others across the world. There was also a growing split in attitudes according to status, with the affluent and college-educated much more likely to have faith in how things were being run.
    Of possible interest to corporate leaders gathering in Davos this week was the finding that trust in business outweighed that in governments and that 92% of employees said CEOs should speak out on the social and ethical issues of the day.
    “Business has leapt into the void left by populist and partisan government,” said Edelman CEO Richard Edelman.    “It can no longer be business as usual, with an exclusive focus on shareholder returns.”
(Writing by Mark John; Editing by Alexander Smith)
[THE GLOBALIST ARE STILL AT IT SO BE ALARMED THAT THEY WANT TO CREATE A NEW ONE WORLD ECONOMY AND A NEW ONE WORLD RELIGION AND A NEW ONE WORLD ENVIRONMENT POLICIES, AND A NEW ONE WORLD MILITARY DEFENSE/POLICE SYSTEM.].

1/21/2020 Trump hails U.S. economic success in Davos as impeachment trial begins by Alexandra Alper
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a speech during the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF)
annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 21, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) – Thousands of miles from his impeachment trial in the United States, President Donald Trump took center stage at Davos on Tuesday to tout the success of the country’s economy.
    Trump, who is attending his second meeting of global political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum, also told a packed auditorium that recent trade deals with China and Mexico represented a model for the 21st Century.
    His address picked up on some of the themes Trump voiced when he first addressed the WEF two years ago.
    The impeachment trial begins in earnest in the U.S. Senate after the Republican president was formally charged by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives in December with “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
    Trump, who is expected to be acquitted by the Republican-controlled Senate, says he is innocent of the charges.
(Editing by Alexander Smith)

1/21/2020 Top Hungarian lawyer accuses PM Orban of harming rule of law by Marton Dunai
FILE PHOTO: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban holds an international news
conference in Budapest, Hungary, January 9, 2020. REUTERS/Tamas Kaszas
    BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Hungary’s top defense lawyer accused Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Tuesday of undermining the rule of law through his refusal to accept two court decisions that require payouts of state funds.
    Orban, long at odds with the European Union on a range of issues, said this month his government would disobey court orders to compensate former prisoners for inhumane treatment and would also not pay a court-mandated fine to a Roma community in eastern Hungary in a case of alleged school segregation.
    However, in an apparent climbdown, a government decree on Tuesday instructed the justice minister to compensate prisoners only at “the very last minute allowed by the law,” and called for an immediate review of regulations governing such payments.
    “(The government has) affected confidence in justice and especially court decisions, and I must say the rule of law,” Hungarian Bar Association Chairman Janos Banati told Reuters.
    “If the state can disobey rulings, people can later decide to skip paying taxes they deem unfair, or ignore a court ruling on child custody… That’s the most dangerous aspect of this.”
    “A democratic state (means) everyone accepts court decisions,” Banati added.
    A government spokesman declined to comment on Banati’s criticism.    Orban’s spokesman was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday.
    Orban, a nationalist, has regularly dismissed concerns over the rule of law in Hungary and says they are fabricated by his political opponents, often at the behest of Hungarian-born, U.S.-based billionaire philanthropist George Soros, whom he accuses of disrespecting Hungary’s sovereignty.
    Another senior lawyer, Gyorgy Magyar, echoed Banati’s criticism of the government’s approach to the law.
    “They want to pick which ruling to honor and which to ignore.    In that case, they don’t really even need the courts, do they?    They can just tell everyone what’s right and wrong,” said Magyar, an ally of Gergely Karacsony, the opposition mayor of Budapest.
(Reporting by Marton Dunai; Editing by Gareth Jones)

1/22/2020 Citizens to get a say on how EU evolves after Brexit shock
A European Union flag flies outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, December 19, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Citizens of the European Union will have a say on how the bloc should change to meet their needs under a proposal of the executive European Commission as it seeks to digest the lessons of Brexit.
    Encouraged by a high turnout in last May’s European Parliament elections, the Commission proposes that EU institutions and officials engage in discussions with the bloc’s roughly half a billion citizens over the next two years on what kind of EU they want.
    The project, called the Conference on the Future of Europe, aims to counter the kind of alienation and distrust of Brussels that helped fuel Britain’s decision in a 2016 referendum to leave the EU after more than four decades of membership.
    “The overarching aim of the Conference on the Future of Europe is to encourage European citizens and make it easier for them to get involved in democracy beyond the European elections,” the Commission said.
    The final concept, structure, scope and timing of the project are still to be agreed between the European Parliament, national governments and the Commission, but the initial idea is to gather citizens’ feedback and views through conferences, panels and debates as well as a multilingual website.
    The EU executive offered to pull together the feedback in a quarterly report.
    The Commission, governments and the parliament would pledge to abide by the results in policy-making, and even change EU treaties if such was the conclusion of the process.
    “The Commission is convinced that a stronger partnership between European policy-makers and Europe’s citizens will serve to amplify their voices and guide European policy-making in the future,” the Commission said.
(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; Editing by John Chalmers and Gareth Jones)

1/24/2020 EU, China and others agree appeals system to settle WTO disputes
FILE PHOTO: A red light is pictured at a pedestrian crossing in front of the
World Trade Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, December 9, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Seventeen World Trade Organization members including the European Union and China agreed on Friday to create a temporary mechanism to settle trade disputes after the United States paralyzed the WTO’s appeals body last month.
    The European Commission said the WTO members involved had agreed this contingency step would preserve the WTO’s two-step dispute system until its own Appellate Body became operational again.
    Washington froze the Appellate Body, which acts as a supreme court for international trade, by blocking appointments for over two years.    Two of the body’s three members came to the end of their terms in December, leaving it unable to issue rulings.
    The EU had previously teamed up with Norway and Canada to form a separate appeals body that could resolve disputes.
    The other countries that signed up on Friday are Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, South Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Singapore, Switzerland and Uruguay.
    While the United States is outside the group, U.S. President Donald Trump, speaking in Davos on Wednesday, vowed “very dramatic” action for the Geneva-based WTO.    WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo is due to visit Washington soon.
    An EU source said the bloc welcomed the fact that the Trump administration was engaging with the WTO, which many of its members believe needs to reform to reflect changes in the global economy, including the rise of China.
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Marine Strauss and Mark Heinrich)

1/30/2020 In Poland, France’s Macron hopes to reset ties and build up business by Joanna Plucinska and Michel Rose
FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (not pictured) attend
a joint statement at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France January 29, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/Pool
    WARSAW/PARIS (Reuters) – When French President Emmanuel Macron toured eastern Europe just weeks after being elected in 2017, he shunned Poland and delivered a stinging attack on its leaders.
    Poland, he said, was isolating itself in Europe and its people deserved better of their nationalist government.    Warsaw hit back at his comments, made in Bulgaria, by calling him “arrogant” and “inexperienced.”
    Macron will finally visit Poland next week, hoping to reset ties with a country he has loudly criticized over reforms of the judiciary, which he sees as undemocratic, and a climate change policy at odds with many of Warsaw’s European Union partners.
    By visiting Poland days after Britain leaves the EU, Macron is signaling the importance of one of the bloc’s biggest member states.    In an attempt to strengthen ties, he will propose new investment plans and try to build nuclear and military partnerships during the Feb. 3-4 visit, French and Polish officials said.
    “A country so central can’t be seen as being on the defensive all the time,” a French diplomat told Reuters.
    Macron could face an uphill battle on many fronts.    Polish officials told Reuters they are skeptical that the new technologies France hopes to sell are beneficial for Poland.
    Relations between Poland and France soured after Poland’s Law and Justice (PiS) government scrapped a $3.4 billion helicopter deal with Airbus in 2016, angering France, which thought the deal was largely agreed.
    Since then, France and Poland have been on the opposite sides of many arguments.
    Macron, a fervent European integrationist, has decried nationalist governments like Poland’s and criticized, along with the EU executive, and efforts by PiS to put Polish courts and media under more government control
.
    Both countries want to keep generous funding for their agricultural sectors in the EU budget, but Paris is pushing for more action on migration and the climate, while Warsaw has rejected EU policies on both matters.
RE-BALANCING” ACT
    It is not clear to what extent Macron will press Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and President Andrzej Duda on issues of disagreement when he meets them on Monday.
    A French diplomat said Macron wanted to “re-balance” what Paris sees as Poland’s “Buy American” policy, and would propose military and industrial cooperation in areas such as telecoms and nuclear energy.
    “France and Poland have similar interests to be achieved at the EU level,” a Polish government source said, pointing to nuclear power policies and agriculture.
    France has long pushed the sale of French nuclear technology to Poland, with Macron raising the subject with Duda on the sidelines of a NATO summit in London in December, according to two Polish officials with knowledge of the talks.
    Polish government officials said there was a consensus that Poland wanted to build some nuclear plants but was considering using nuclear technology from the United States and South Korea.
    Two Polish officials said they had doubts about the French defense and nuclear offers.
    “There are a series of signals that there were problems,” one official said, citing regulatory issues.
    The construction of France’s new generation Flamanville 3 EPR nuclear reactor in northern France has been hampered by technical problems and construction is years behind schedule.
    A French diplomat acknowledged talks on nuclear technology were at a very early, political stage.
(Reporting by Joanna Plucinska, Agnieszka Barteczko and Justyna Pawlak in WARSAW, Gabriela Baczynska in BRUSSELS, Michel Rose and Bate Felix in PARIS, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

1/31/2020 Brexit day: Britain quits EU, steps into transition twilight zone by Guy Faulconbridge
A bus is seen at Westminster Bridge in London, Britain, January 31, 2020. REUTERS/Antonio Bronic
    LONDON (Reuters) – The United Kingdom leaves the European Union on Friday for an uncertain Brexit future, the most significant change to its place in the world since the loss of empire and a blow to 70 years of efforts to forge European unity from the ruins of war.
    The country will slip away an hour before midnight from the club it joined in 1973, moving into the no man’s land of a transition period that preserves membership in all but name until the end of this year.
    At a stroke, the EU will be deprived of 15% of its economy, its biggest military spender and the world’s international financial capital of London.    The divorce will shape the fate of the United Kingdom — and determine its wealth — for generations to come.
    “This is the moment when the dawn breaks and the curtain goes up on a new act,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson will say in a television address, though he has given few clues about his post-Brexit plans beyond inspirational words.
    “This is the dawn of a new era,” Johnson, one of the main leaders of the “Leave” campaign in the 2016, will say.
    Beyond the symbolism of turning its back on 47 years of membership, little will actually change until the end of 2020, by which time Johnson has promised to strike a broad free trade agreement with the EU, the world’s biggest trading bloc.
    For proponents, Brexit is a dream “independence day” for a United Kingdom escaping what they cast as a doomed German-dominated project that is failing its 500 million population.
    Opponents believe Brexit is a folly that will weaken the West, torpedo what is left of the United Kingdom’s global clout, undermine its economy and ultimately lead to a more insular and less cosmopolitan set of islands in the northern Atlantic.
DIS-UNITED KINGDOM
    Brexit was always about much than Europe.
    The June 2016 Brexit referendum showed a divided and triggered soul-searching about everything from secession and immigration to empire and modern Britishness.
    Such was the severity of the Brexit meltdown that allies and investors were left astonished by a country that was for decades touted as a confident pillar of Western political stability.
    At home, Brexit has tested the bonds that bind together the United Kingdom: England and Wales voted to leave the bloc but Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay.
    Scotland’s First Minister will use the moment to spell out her next steps towards holding a second independence referendum with a poll on Thursday suggesting a slim majority of Scots would now back a split because of Brexit.
    So on “Brexit Day,” some will celebrate and some will weep — but many Britons will do neither.    Many are simply happy that more than three years of tortuous political wrangling over the divorce are over.
    “I did not vote for it and I did not want it to happen, but now I just want it over,” said Judith Miller, a resident of London.    “I am tired, I have had enough, I am sick of it on the news and we are just going to have to deal with it.”
‘NEW DAWN’
    It is unclear how Brexit will play out for either the United Kingdom or the European Union.
    Brexiteers hope ‘independence’ will herald democratic and economic reforms that will reshape the United Kingdom, propelling it ahead of its European rivals which they say are chained to the doomed euro.
    Pro-EU supporters say the United Kingdom will atrophy and have little option but to move closer to U.S. President Donald Trump.    The Times newspaper showed a cartoon of Johnson leaping out the EU frying pan into the fire of Trump’s orange hair.
    Eurosceptic newspapers heralded the impending departure.
    “A New Dawn for Britain,” the Daily Mail said on its front page and the Sun’s headline was “Our Time Has Come.”    The pro-EU Guardian had a different slant: “Small island,” its headline said, adding it was the biggest gamble in a generation.
    Johnson will chair a cabinet meeting in Sunderland, the first city to declare support for leaving the EU in the June 2016 referendum.     Brexiteers will celebrate on Parliament Square while some opponents of Brexit are also due to gather.
    A Union Jack in the building of the European Council in Brussels will be lowered at 7 p.m. time (1800 GMT) on Friday, and put away with the flags of non-EU countries.
    With sorrow, some support for Brexit and even hope of a return, Europeans from across the EU bade farewell.
    “I am very sorry that the United Kingdom is exiting. I think it is a very, very bad thing for Europe, for the United Kingdom, for everything,” said Sara Invitto, from Milan.    “Goodbye!
(Writing by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Catherine Evans, William Maclean)

1/31/2020 ‘Dawn of a new era’: UK’s Johnson ‘respectfully’ marks Brexit day by Elizabeth Piper
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (not pictured)
at Downing Street in London, Britain, January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/Pool
    LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Boris Johnson will hail Brexit day on Friday as “the dawn of a new era” and pledge to unite Britain in an address to the nation which he hopes will draw a line under years of angry debate over the European Union.
    On the day the United Kingdom ends its more than 40-year membership of the EU, Johnson, the face of the Brexit campaign, wants to avoid seeming triumphalist.
    He says he will celebrate “respectfully” to mark the country’s most significant geopolitical shift since World War Two, one that has also left deep wounds.
    When Britain leaves, little will change immediately.    Johnson has until the end of the year to negotiate a new trade and future relationship deal with the bloc — something that the EU has repeatedly warned will not be easy.
    But on Friday Johnson, who gambled with his reputation and future career by backing the Leave campaign in 2016, will toast Britain’s much-delayed departure with his team at his Downing Street residence, shunning some more extravagant parties planned in the capital by Brexit supporters.
    He will also be keen to move the debate on, to concentrate on meeting election pledges to help voters in more deprived regions of Britain that secured his governing Conservative Party a landslide victory in December.    Some in his team joke that the word “Brexit” will be banned after Friday.
    “This is the moment when the dawn breaks and the curtain goes up on a new act,” Johnson will say in a television address due to be aired late on Friday.
    “This is the dawn of a new era in which we no longer accept that your life chances — your family’s life chances — should depend on which part of the country you grow up in."
    “This is the moment when we begin to unite and level up,” he will say, according to extracts released by his office.
GETTING BREXIT DONE
    After years of political wrangling in the wake of the June 2016 EU referendum, Johnson won December’s election by winning over many voters who traditionally supported the opposition Labour Party with the simple message “get Brexit done.”
    With a large majority of 80, the prime minister now has more freedom to mould Britain’s agenda than any Conservative government since the days of Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.
    But he also inherits a country where arguments about whether to stay in or leave the EU have divided towns, villages, friends and families for more than three years, and where many people increasingly distrust politicians.
    While wanting to celebrate Brexit, Johnson is also fearful of alienating the millions of Britons who supported staying in the bloc, especially in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
    Nationalists in Scotland are increasingly pressing for a new independence vote there, while the Brexit saga has fueled talk in Northern Ireland of reunification with EU-member Ireland.
    European Union chiefs vowed on Friday to find new ways of working together with Britain “as allies, partners and friends.”
    Johnson also wants to try to draw a line under the decades of painful battles over Europe within the Conservative Party which contributed to the downfall of four of his predecessors – Thatcher, John Major, David Cameron and Theresa May.
    Instead, he will focus on boosting funding for, and delivering infrastructure projects to, northern and central England, where thousands of Labour supporters switched to vote Conservative, often for the first time.
    “Our job as the government — my job — is to bring this country together and take us forward,” Johnson will say.
    “And the most important thing to say tonight is that this is not an end but a beginning … It is a moment of real national renewal and change.”
(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Catherine Evans)

2/2/2020 President Trump criticizes Mike Bloomberg, DNC by OAN Newsroom
Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks to supporters
at a campaign office, Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, in Scarborough, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
    President Trump said 2020 hopeful Mike Bloomberg is being used by the DNC to rig the Democrat primaries.    In a series of tweets on Saturday, President Trump noted that Bloomberg is part of the leftist media and said nobody trusts him anymore.
    Reports from last year called out his company, Bloomberg News, for being biased after they decided to not investigate the former mayor.     President Trump said this decision was made because the he is “too boring,” which is something the president has stressed since Bloomberg first announced his bid.
    “Little Michael will fail.    He’ll spend a lot of money.    He’s got some really big issues, he’s got some personal problems and he’s got a lot of other problems.    I know Michael Bloomberg fairly well.    He will not do very well, and if he did, I’d be happy.” - Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States
    In a second tweet, President Trump noted how Bloomberg is spending a ton of money on campaign advertisements even though “he’s going nowhere.”

This undated image provided by Mike Bloomberg’s campaign shows a scene from the
Bloomberg’s 2020 Super Bowl NFL football spot. (Mike Bloomberg 2020 via AP)
    Rather than trying to nab the Democrat nomination, the president said Bloomberg is “working with the DNC to rig the election against Bernie Sanders, which was something they wouldn’t do for Cory Booker and others.”
    On Friday, the DNC stated it would remove its fundraising thresholds from debate qualifications, which would give Bloomberg a second chance on stage.    He is self-funding his campaign and has failed to meet fundraising qualifications for past debates.
    In one more tweet, the president emphasized Bloomberg has been negotiating his spot in the Democrat primaries.    He joked that Bloomberg is also trying to negotiate “the right to stand on boxes during the debates” in order to appear taller.
    The 2020 presidential hopeful has since called President Trump a liar and dismissed his accusations.
    “I stand twice as tall as he does on the stage, the stage that matters,” said Bloomberg.    “This is what happens when somebody like me rises in the polls, the other candidates get scared.”
In this Jan. 20, 2020 photo, former New York City Mayor, and Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg walks with
supporters along the route of the Little Rock “marade” marking the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Andrew DeMillo)
[THE GLOBALIST SENT BLOOMBERG IN TO CHANGE THE CAMPAIGN RESULTS AND AS TRUMP SAID TO DO THE SAME TO BERNIE AS THEY DID IN THE 2016 ELECTION AND IS TRYING TO DO THE SAME TO TRUMP.].

2/12/2020 Bloomberg boosts advertising budget to $300M after being excluded from Iowa by OAN Newsroom
Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
talks to supporters Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020 in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
    Michael Bloomberg has been rising in polls despite being excluded from Democrat debates, caucuses in Iowa and the New Hampshire Primary.    His strong performance came after a series of attacks by other Democrat candidates.
    The former New York City mayor responded to the latest criticism from other 2020 Democrats by pointing out that he’s the only candidate who offers an agenda strong enough to compete with President Trump’s achievements.
    This came after Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren took aim at Bloomberg and accused him of using his own money to finance his campaign.    The far-left duo also blamed Bloomberg for having too much money in the first place.
    “And I guess if you’re worth $55 billion, you can get the rules changed for debate,” said Bernie.    “So, to answer your question, I think that that is an absolute outrage and really unfair.”
    On the other hand, Bloomberg believes what’s really unfair is that he found himself in a rare situation of being excluded from Democrat debates as well as the recent caucuses in Iowa and this week’s primary in New Hampshire.
    Nonetheless, the former New York mayor appears to have finally secured himself a spot at the upcoming Democrat debates in Las Vegas after a massive surge in polls.    According to a recent Quinnipiac poll, Bloomberg is supported by 15 percent of likely Democrat voters.    This puts him in third place as most popular, trailing Sanders and Joe Biden.
    “Sanders is pretty far left and Joe is more middle of the road,” stated Bloomberg.    “..my polls are going up and their polls are going down, so I don’t know why they keep that strategy, but I think each of us have to make the case to the voters.”
    As a way to do just that, Bloomberg has recently ramped up advertising across the U.S.    He has spent a total of $300 million on television and social media ads.    The former New York City mayor is particularly targeting Texas and California, where voters will head to polls on March 3.
    While acknowledging the importance of fair competition, Bloomberg said he will not embark on reciprocal attacks against his Democrat rivals.    His rising chances in the Democrat race also add to the worries of Joe Biden’s campaign that struggled to maintain the trust of donors after his dismal performance in Iowa.
    The deepening disarray in the Democrat field is prevalent, while voter sympathies are still uncertain.
[AS I HAVE SAID THE GLOBALIST AND DEEP STATE DID NOT SEE ANY OF THE DEMOCRATS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT DID NOT LOOK LIKE ANY OF THEM COULD RUN AGAINST TRUMP AND BEAT HIM SO THEY SENT ONE OF THEIR MEMBERS TO BRING HIS MONEY IN TO PUT OUT ADVERTISMENTS TO TRY TO DEMEAN TRUMP WITH NEGATIVE ADVERTISEMENTS AND TRY TO PROMOTE BLOOMBERG TO RUN AS A LAST RESORT SINCE THE ATTACKS THE DEMS HAVE TRIED TO DO TO TRUMP HAVE FAILED AND THEY ARE GETTING DESPERATE NOW].

2/14/2020 BLOOMBERG IS A GLOBALISTS AS WELL AS GEORGE SOROS AND BOTH WERE SENT TO RUN A CAMPAIGN TO DEFEAT TRUMP
AND NEITHER OF THEM ARE IN IT TO MAKE IT BETTER FOR AMERICANS AS DONALD TRUMP WHO IS A NATIONALIST
AND AT PRESENT IS TURNING IT ALL AROUND FROM THE 8 YEARS OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTGRATION SELLING US OUT TO THE GLOBALIST.

    And at presnt no one is holding Bloomberg responsible for these actions as he spends millions to try to influence the 2020 elections.
    Outside of his clueless policy, Bloomberg is also a terrible on any kind of a foreign policy.    That is because he is a globalist, and as such he is a supporter
    Thank God President Trump realized those accords were a political farce and pulled America out of the deal.
    Bloomberg, on the other hand, wrote a personal check to cover America's share of the funding.
    These are the games billionaires play when money is no object.
    At his recent speech to the U.N., Trump said: “The future does not belong to globalists.    The future belongs to patriots.”
    So Bloomberg in the White House would be the meddler-in-chief.
    He weaponizes government to impose lifestyles he prefers and eliminate jobs he dislikes – people, families and communities be damned.    He does not put people first domestically, nor America first internationally.    His largesse exempts him of the consequences of his own meddling.
    America deserves much – much better.    If nothing else, to be left alone.
Lord Maximus Farquaad is the main antagonist of the 2001 animated feature film Shrek and Lord Bloomberg is the new antagonist of the 2020 candidates.

2/17/2020 WTO gives somber goods trade outlook, sees virus threat
A traffic light is turned red in front of the WTO headquarters
in Geneva, Switzerland, December 10, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Growth of global trade in goods is likely to remain weak in early 2020, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said on Monday, adding that the below-trend performance could become even worse due to the new coronavirus.
    The Geneva-based trade body said its goods trade indicator fell to 95.5 from the 96.6 reading reported in November.    Readings of less than 100 indicate trade growth below medium-term trends.
    The WTO said the new figure did not take into account the most recent developments, such as the outbreak of the new coronavirus, which could dampen trade prospects further.
    Global merchandise trade fell by 0.2% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2019, the WTO said, with a possible pick-up in the fourth quarter.
    However, its new data indicated this recovery would not be sustained, with a decline now looking likely in the Jan-March period of 2020.
    The WTO trade outlook indicator is a composite of data on export orders in business surveys, air freight, container shipping, car production and sales and trade in electronic components and agricultural materials, particularly wood.
    It is designed to identify turning points and gauge momentum in global trade growth rather than to provide a specific short-term forecast.
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Alex Richardson)

2/17/2020 Mike Bloomberg under fire for jabs at senior citizens and farmers by OAN Newsroom
Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg talks
to supporters Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020 in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
    Presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg was under fire for comments he’s made, this time about the elderly and farmers.    Current and past comments by the former New York mayor have been gripping the media for his apparent jabs at both senior citizens and farmers.
    It began with a video of Bloomberg speaking on health care Sunday.    He claimed health care will bankrupt us if we don’t begin turning away the elderly.
    “If you show up with prosthetic cancer and you’re 95 years old, we should say go and enjoy, live a long life. If it’s a young person, we should do something about it,” stated the former New York City mayor.
    Following those remarks, Bloomberg said society isn’t ready for that yet.
    Later, a video from 2016 re-surfaced that showed Bloomberg giving an address at the University of Oxford’s School of Business.    The one hour speech covered topics such as leadership and equality in the workplace.    The topic that raised red flags across the nation was Bloomberg’s take on the farming industry.
    “I can teach anybody in this room to be a farmer, its a proccessy,” stated Bloomberg.
    The former New York City mayor claimed he could teach anyone in the lecture hall to farm, despite having no experience in the industry himself.    He quickly summarized modern agriculture saying, “dig a hole, put a seed, put dirt on top, up comes the corn.”
    Bloomberg went on to compare farming to information technology, saying IT requires more “grey matter,” which is a different skill set not everyone can learn.
    “Now comes the information economy fundamentally different,” stated the presidential candidate.    “It’s a skill set a lot more grey matter, not clear teachers can teach student can learn.”
    The remarks have been met with major backlash from both sides of the aisle who have said Bloomberg is sorely out of touch with the agriculture industry, which is a vital part of the nation’s economy.

2/19/2020 Democrats expected to slam Bloomberg in debate by OAN Newsroom
    Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg gives his thumbs-up after speaking during a campaign event
at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery in Richmond, Va., Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020. (James H. Wallace/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)
    A Democrat presidential candidate will be stepping into the debate ring for the first time in more than a decade.    On Tuesday, Mike Bloomberg qualified for Wednesday’s Democrat debate in Las Vegas.    However, the former New York City mayor is expected to face serious heat from his fellow candidates.
    Bloomberg’s Democrat opponents have a number of debates under their belt and a person working on his campaign recently said their team is concerned with the billionaire’s lack of experience in that arena.    His campaign said it’s expecting to receive a lot of negative attention from other candidates.
    For instance, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Miss.) took to social media Tuesday to blast Bloomberg for being an “egomaniac billionaire,” who allegedly bought his way into the debate.
    However, Bloomberg’s senior campaign adviser suggested this is not the case.    In a recent interview, Timothy O’Brien promised the former New York City mayor would release his tax returns and sell his company if he’s elected.
    “There will be no confusion about any of his financial holdings, blurring the line between public service and personal profiteering,” he stated.    “We will be 180 degrees where Donald Trump is on these issues.”
    Meanwhile, Bloomberg’s biggest rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), could potentially benefit from his late entrance in the debate.    According to Business Insider, candidates are expected to shift their attention off Sanders and onto Bloomberg.
Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks to hundreds of people on the campus
of the University on Nevada, Reno, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020, before leading several dozen on a two-block march to the
student union to cast their ballot on the final day of early voting ahead of Saturday’s presidential caucuses. (AP Photo/Scott Sonner)
    Bloomberg will not be on the ballots for Nevada’s caucuses, which are set to be held this Saturday.    He will prepare for Wednesday's debate for now, which will be a crucial battle ahead of Super Tuesday on March 3rd.

2/20/2020 Democrats take aim at Bloomberg, Sanders during Las Vegas debate by OAN Newsroom
From left, Democratic presidential candidates, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren,
D-Mass., Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., participate in a Democratic presidential primary debate
Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, in Las Vegas, hosted by NBC News and MSNBC. (AP Photo/John Locher)
    Six Democrat candidates went head-to-head in Las Vegas ahead of Nevada’s caucus, which is set to take place this weekend.
    Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg joined the debate stage for the first time Wednesday, where he was grilled over his treatment of women.
    Bloomberg attempted to defend his record, but was met with jeers from the crowd.
    “I’ve said we’re not going to get to end these agreements because they were made consensually and they have every right to expect that they will stay private,” he rebutted.
Democratic presidential candidates, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg speaks during a Democratic presidential
primary debate Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, in Las Vegas, hosted by NBC News and MSNBC. (AP Photo/John Locher)
    Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) faced criticism for the behavior of his supporters.    Last week, a prominent Nevada union alleged Bernie supporter harassed and threatened its members after urging them not to support candidates who would dismantle their health care.
    “When you say that you disown these attacks and you didn’t personally direct them, I believe you, but at a certain point, you got to ask yourself — why did this pattern arise?” asked former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.    “Why is it especially the case among your supporters that this happens?"
    Sanders has reportedly tried to ease tensions with Nevada’s
culinary union as the group is expected to play an important role in Saturday’s caucus.

2/21/2020 No deal in sight as “Frugal Four” stamp down on EU budget by Marine Strauss and Jakub Riha
FILE PHOTO: European Union leaders meet during a round table at an EU summit in
Brussels, Belgium February 20, 2020. Riccardo Pareggiani/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Denmark, Austria, Sweden and the Netherlands dug in their heels over the next European Union budget, insisting it cannot top 1% of economic output, to leave the EU no closer to a deal on Friday after all-night talks.
    Expectations for a breakthrough were low as the 27 national leaders reconvened on Friday.    They had spent a day and a night in talks that failed to bridge divisions between richer and poorer nations over the size of the next budget and what to spend it on.
    “I don’t think we are going to reach an agreement,” said Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.
    Her Romanian colleague, Klaus Iohannis, said another summit of EU leaders would be needed to break the deadlock.    Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis channeled frustration, saying the leaders “can go straight home” if the four frugals do not budge.
    Some EU countries want extra funding to match new ambitions to fight climate change and manage migration, some want a continued focus on development and farm aid, and some are pushing for greater realism in recognising the 75 billion-euro ($81 billion) fiscal shortfall left by net contributor Britain’s departure from the EU.
    A baseline proposal to cap the budget – which will run from 2021 to 2027 – at 1.074% of EU gross national income, or 1.09 trillion euros ($1.18 trillion), faced criticism from all quarters.
    Dubbed the Frugal Four, the bloc’s wealthy net contributors want a limit of 1% and refuse to pay more to make up for the loss of Britain’s fees.    Their less-developed peers want to keep generous aid coming.
    After an initial session of all 27 leaders on Thursday afternoon, they broke for separate face-to-face meetings that went through the night and until 0600 GMT on Friday.
    “The bilaterals took forever.    But it seems things have not moved, the frugals keep on insisting on their position,” one diplomat said on Friday morning.
    An EU official confirmed: “The position of the frugals has not changed an inch … so there is not much to go on.”
    A French diplomat echoed the sentiment: “I’m not very optimistic. Because of the frugals.”
(GRAPHIC: What the EU pays for – https://graphics.reuters.com/EU-BUDGET/0100B5EX3MM/EU-BUDGET.jpg)
LONG NEGOTIATIONS ON CARDS
    EU leaders have until the end of the year to agree, so chances of an early compromise appear low.
    Beyond the size of the budget, the other fight is what to spend it on.    The poorer eastern and southern nations want to hold on to development aid.    They are backed by France, Ireland and others in seeking to uphold major farm subsidies.
    But Germany, the Netherlands and others want to shift funds towards new priorities, including combating climate change, managing migration and expanding the digital economy.
    The Germans and Dutch are also leading a small group who want to preserve rebates that reduce their payments to the current 2014-20 budget.    Every other EU country is against that.
    Poland and Hungary – where nationalist and eurosceptic governments stand accused of flouting democratic standards – refuse to link EU aid to upholding the rule of law.
    “If we are so far apart, there is no basis for discussion,” Babis said.
(Reporting by Michel Rose, Marine Strauss, Gabriela Baczynska, Jakub Riha, Sabine Siebold; writing by Gabriela Baczynska; editing by Larry King)

2/22/2020 Twitter suspends group of pro-Bloomberg accounts over ‘platform manipulation’ by Elizabeth Culliford
FILE PHOTO: Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg holds a campaign
rally in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S., February 20, 2020. REUTERS/Ed Kosmicki
    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Twitter Inc on Friday said it had started suspending and restricting dozens of accounts posting content promoting U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg.
    “We took enforcement action on about 70 accounts, which includes a combination of permanent suspensions and account challenges to verify ownership,” a Twitter spokeswoman said in a statement to Reuters.
    The action was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.
    Twitter said the accounts violated its platform manipulation and spam policy, which prohibits coordination among accounts to amplify or disrupt conversation by using multiple accounts.
    This can refer to creating several accounts to post duplicative content but also includes “coordinating with or compensating others to engage in artificial engagement or amplification, even if the people involved use only one account.”
    “We ask that all of our deputy field organizers identify themselves as working on behalf of the Mike Bloomberg 2020 campaign on their social media accounts,” said Sabrina Singh, a Bloomberg campaign spokeswoman, adding that content “shared by staffers and volunteers to their network of friends and family” was “not intended to mislead anyone.”
    The billionaire candidate’s campaign, which has been pouring unparalleled amounts of money into an online advertising campaign, is also hiring hundreds of digital organizers to support the candidate, including by pushing content to their own social media channels.
    The Wall Street Journal reported that these organizers in California receive $2,500 a month to promote Bloomberg’s candidacy through actions such as posting on social media to their own networks.
    This month, a paid partnership between the former New York mayor’s campaign and popular Instagram meme accounts pushed Facebook Inc to announce it was allowing U.S.-based political candidates to run branded or sponsored content on its social networking platforms. [nL4N2AE3NM]
(Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford; Additional reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt in New York; Editing by Gerry Doyle and Franklin Paul)

2/23/2020 Hungarians march to protest PM Orban’s anti-Roma campaign by Krisztina Than
FILE PHOTO: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban gestures as he talks to the media during the second day of the European Union leaders
summit, held to discuss the EU's long-term budget for 2021-2027, in Brussels, Belgium, February 21, 2020. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir
    BUDAPEST (Reuters) – More than 2,000 Hungarians, including Roma families and civil groups, marched to parliament on Sunday to protest against the government’s refusal to pay compensation to Roma children who had been unlawfully segregated in a school in eastern Hungary.
    Nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has come under fire from the European Union for his perceived erosion of the rule of law, suggested the state should disobey court orders to pay compensation to Roma children in the village of Gyongyospata and provide training instead.
    Lower courts have ordered the state to pay damages in a lawsuit that has been dragging on for almost a decade.    Hungary’s top court is due to make a final ruling soon.
    With the economy slowing, and his anti-immigration campaign losing steam, analysts say Orban is seeking to mobilize his voters by targeting independent courts, the Roma minority, and the NGOs who help them.
    “The meddling of the government in the Gyongyospata restitution issue is unlawful and violates the rule of law and the independence of the courts,” protest organizers said on Facebook.
    Protesters held up banners saying “No one is above the law” and “The future cannot be built on hatred.”
    Orban has been in power since 2010 and his ruling Fidesz party is leading in opinion polls because of its anti-immigration stance.
    However, Fidesz suffered a surprise setback in a municipal election last October, losing Budapest to the opposition.
    Orban has said “a court ruling citing segregation has stirred up public opinion by awarding large sums of money to some Roma residents,” adding that everyone must work to receive money.
    He has also said “business-savvy lawyers” exploited overcrowded prison conditions to launch 12,000 lawsuits against the government for breaking EU prison standards.    Senior lawyers said Orban was undermining the rule of law.
    Fidesz has said people connected with Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros helped Roma launch the lawsuits.    The party has campaigned for years against Soros, who promotes liberal causes.
    By Sunday, close to 500 psychologists had signed a petition saying that the government campaign could fuel hatred between Roma and non-Roma.    Roma make up 5-7% of Hungary’s population.
    Robert Laszlo, an analyst at liberal think-tank Political Capital, said Orban was trying to energize his base with his new campaign.     This will include a “national consultation” next month when questionnaires will be sent to millions of Hungarians on the issues of payments to Roma and compensation for prisoners.
(Reporting by Krisztina Than; Editing by Giles Elgood)

2/24/2020 Warren Buffett: I would vote for Bloomberg over Sanders by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this May 5, 2019, file photo Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, speaks during a game of bridge following
the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in Omaha, Neb. Buffett will release his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders
on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. Buffett’s letter is always one of the most-read business reports every year. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)
    Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said he’s taking a “wait and see” approach to announcing his support for a Democrat presidential candidate.
    In an interview Monday, the Berkshire Hathaway chairman suggested he would support Michael Bloomberg over Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.).    However, he has yet to officially endorse either candidate.
    Buffett pointed out that “another billionaire” supporting Bloomberg might not be helpful at this time.    On the other hand, he said he doesn’t agree with Sanders in many ways, but does think we “ought to do better by the people who get left behind by the capitalist system.”
    “I don’t think we should kill the capital system in the process, I think we should make sure that the golden goose keeps laying more eggs,” he stated.    “And it’s worked wonderfully since 1776, but it doesn’t work as well for people whose talents aren’t really geared to a market economy.”
From left, Democratic presidential candidates, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg,
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., participate in a Democratic presidential
primary debate Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, in Las Vegas, hosted by NBC News and MSNBC. (AP Photo/John Locher)
    Buffett said he doesn’t consider himself a “card-carrying Democrat” and noted that he’s supported Republicans in the past.br>     Earlier this month, Buffett’s business partner said he believed Bloomberg could get the moderate vote, which would increase his chances in the election.

2/26/2020 Bloomberg almost says he ‘bought’ Congress in debate stage gaffe by OAN Newsroom
Democratic presidential candidates former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, speaks during a Democratic
presidential primary debate at the Gaillard Center, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, in Charleston, S.C., co-hosted
by CBS News and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    Democrat presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg made a gaffe on the debate stage by almost saying he “bought” congressional candidates.
    During the Democrat presidential debate in South Carolina Tuesday, he appeared to fumble his words when expressing his influence in getting Democrats into the House.    Bloomberg boasted spending more than $100 million to get 21 Democrats elected in the 2018 midterm elections.    The blunder seemed to come near the end of his remarks.
    Many of Bloomberg’s opponents have slammed the former New York City mayor by alleging he’s trying to buy his way through the election.    The Bloomberg campaign is waiting to see how the gaffe bodes going into the South Carolina primary on Saturday.

2/26/2020 De Blasio slams Bloomberg over stop-and-frisk policy by OAN Newsroom
Democratic presidential candidates, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, walks off stage during a
commercial break in a Democratic presidential primary debate at the Gaillard Center, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020,
in Charleston, S.C., co-hosted by CBS News and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    Bill De Blasio has claimed the only reason Mike Bloomberg has apologized for stop-and-frisk is because he’s running for president.    The New York City mayor issued his latest attack against Bloomberg in a tweet on Tuesday.
    During the South Carolina debates, Bloomberg said he was embarrassed for supporting stop-and-frisk while he was the mayor of New York City.
    “We started it…we adopted a policy which had been in place; the policy that all big police departments use of stop-and-frisk,” said Bloomberg.    “What happened, however, was it got out of control.”
    De Blasio noted that Bloomberg stood by stop-and-frisk until last year, adding that if he weren’t running for president then there would have never been an apology.

2/27/2020 Report: Bloomberg considering Andrew Yang for running mate, endorsement by OAN Newsroom
Democratic presidential candidate former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg speaks during a campaign
event at The Rustic restaurant, Thursday, February 27, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
    Democrat presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg has reportedly floated the idea of making former opponent Andrew Yang his running mate.    According to sources close to the matter, Bloomberg’s aides reached out to Yang to see how the pair of entrepreneurs could work together.
    Yang dropped out of the presidential race earlier this month after performing poorly in both the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary.
    “You know, I am the math guy, and it is clear tonight from the numbers that we are not going to win this race,” stated the former presidential contender.    “I am not someone who wants to accept donations and support in a race that we will not win, so tonight I am announcing that I am suspending my campaign for president.”
    Yang is currently a contributor on CNN, but has expressed interest in potentially running in other political races.
Democratic presidential candidate businessman Andrew Yang speaks during the
McIntyre-Shaheen 100 Club Dinner, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
    Meanwhile, Bloomberg has touted his enormous personal wealth and recently vowed to flip Texas blue in this year’s upcoming elections.
    “If you want somebody who has the resources to beat Trump, that’s me,” he stated.
    Bloomberg has also endorsed failed senatorial and presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke.    He has said he’s building a coalition of Democrats, Independents and moderate Republicans in Texas to undermine strong support for the president in that state.
    “That’s why I’m running: to stand up for every American who has lost their job, lost their insurance or can’t pay their college tuition,” he said.    “You’ve all heard the slogan, ‘Mike will get it done.’
    Bloomberg has also criticized his Democrat rivals in the race, who he claimed won’t be able to deliver on their promises and can only repeat slogans that are untrue.

[AS SEEN IN THE ARTICLE BELOW IT LOOKS LIKE THE BEAST THAT CAME OUT OF THE SEA WITH 10 HORNS AND 10 CROWNS IS GETTING A REVISION OF ITS PURPOSE].
2/29/2020 USTR vows to push for trade deals with Britain, EU; seeks reforms at WTO by Andrea Shalal
FILE PHOTO: A British Union flag (L), a U.S. flag (C) and an European Union flag are seen
flying above offices in London, Britain, March 30, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration on Friday said it would focus on concluding new trade agreements with Britain, the European Union and Kenya over the coming year, while strictly enforcing trade laws and pushing for reforms of the World Trade Organization.
    In its annual report to the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said members of the global trade body needed to fundamentally rethink what it called “an outdated tariff framework” that no longer reflected economic realities.
    USTR delivered a scathing indictment of the WTO in the 338-page document, calling it an organization that had “strayed far from its original mission and purpose,” while highlighting the Trump administration’s push over the past year to confront what it said were China’s unfair trade policies and practices.
    It said 2019 was “a historic year for American trade” in which the administration reached trade agreements with China and Japan, and secured congressional approval of a new North American trade deal with Mexico and Canada.
    It also hailed a WTO decision giving Washington the right to impose tariffs on $7.5 billion of EU goods in a long-running dispute over aircraft subsidies to Airbus .
    The U.S. government also initiated action against France over its digital services taxes that Washington says will harm U.S. tech companies such as Facebook , Alphabet Inc’s Google , Amazon Inc and Apple , and is monitoring developments in other countries, the report said.
    Washington and Paris have agreed to a truce staving off those tariffs through year-end to allow work on broader tax reforms by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
    “Going forward, President Trump will continue to rebalance America’s relationship with its trading partners, aggressively enforce our trade laws, and take prompt action in response to unfair trade practices by other nations,” the report said.
    In addition to pursuing trade agreements with Britain and the EU, USTR said it would work on trade agreements with new partners, including Kenya, which would be the first U.S. free trade deal in sub-Saharan Africa.
    USTR said it hoped a recent change in EU leadership and appointment of a new trade commissioner would lead to “more progress in the coming year” than was possible in the past.
    It said it also planned to conduct further negotiations with Japan and China to reach more comprehensive trade agreements, while continuing to push for reforms at the WTO.
    The WTO’s failure to keep pace with new developments in the global economy has resulted in significant advantages for non-market economies,” USTR wrote in the report, saying China in particular benefited from the WTO’s deficiencies.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Additional reporting by David Shepardson; editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Leslie Adler)

3/5/2020 Michael Bloomberg ends presidential campaign, joins moderate Democrats in supporting Biden by OAN Newsroom
Former Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg pauses as he speaks to supporters about the suspension of his campaign,
and his endorsement of former Vice President Joe Biden for president, in New York on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
    Former presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg has joined his moderate colleagues to back Joe Biden for president.    He suspended his campaign Wednesday after a disappointing performance on Super Tuesday.
    Bloomberg said the former vice president stands the best chance at taking on the president in the upcoming election.
    “I’ve known Joe for a very long time; I know his decency, his honesty, his commitment to the issues that are so important to our country,” he stated.    “And I’m glad to say I endorse Joe Biden and I hope you will join me in working to make him the next president of the United States of America.”
    The former New York mayor opted to skip campaigning in early states on the notion that a string of Super Tuesday victories would launch him to front-runner status.    However, despite spending more than half a billion dollars on advertising, Bloomberg only claimed a victory in the American Samoa territory.
    Bloomberg’s past as mayor and decision to self-fund his campaign drew controversy.    He faced criticism for his support of the stop-and-frisk policy and his use of non-disclosure agreements on former female employees working for him.
    Bloomberg has joined former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar in backing Biden.    The Democrats hope to gain the support of more moderate voters against self-proclaimed Democrat socialist Bernie Sanders.
    “And I will not be our party’s nominee, but I will not walk away from the most important political fight of my life and I hope you won’t walk away either,” said Bloomberg.    “Today, I am clear-eyed about our overriding objective and that is victory in November.”
    The business man has reportedly pledged to keep spending his own money in an effort to defeat the president.

3/18/2020 DOJ drops election interference charges against Russian companies by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this April 18, 2019, file photo, special counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted report on Russian
interference in the 2016 presidential election is photographed in Washington. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick, File)
    The Department of Justice has quietly scrapped one of the most prominent indictments that came as a result of the Mueller probe.
    On Monday, the department confirmed they will no longer seek prosecution against Concord Management and Consulting and Concord Catering, which were both included in a suit against 13 Russian nationals accused of conspiring to interfere in the 2016 elections.
    The decision came just two weeks before jury selection was slated to begin.    Officials familiar with the move have said going forward with the case could have presented security issues for the intelligence sector.
    Prosecutors filed a motion Monday, which said both companies plotted to use the “discovery phase” of the case as leverage to obtain information regarding how intelligence officials “detect and investigate” foreign election interference.    Letting the case move forward could have exposed the tactics intelligence officials use to obtain that information.
FILE – In this July 4, 2017 file photo, Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin is shown prior to a meeting of
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. The Justice
Department is moving to drop charges against some Russian companies that were accused of funding a social media campaign
to sway American public opinion during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. (Sergei Ilnitsky/Pool Photo via AP, File)
    Officials also said the case would likely have not resulted in any real punishment for either company.
    Despite the decision, the charges against the 13 Russian nationals and another company mentioned in the indictment are expected to remain in place.
[The Deep State and the Globalist are probably gnashing their teeth and throwing dirt on themselves over that ruling as it just shoots down more on the phony Russian Collusion that they pushed on the U.S. and hopefully it will lead back to who really did it.]

3/31/2020 Keep global food supply chains intact, WTO, U.N. agencies urge
FILE PHOTO: The World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters are pictured
in Geneva, Switzerland, July 26, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    GENEVA (Reuters) – Food supply chains must be protected from any trade-related measures taken during the COVID-19 pandemic, the heads of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and U.N. food and health agencies said on Tuesday, warning of possible shortages and price spikes.
    They voiced concern that disruptions to the movement of agricultural and food industry workers or food containers could result in the spoilage of perishables and increasing food waste and said protectionism was also a risk.
    “Uncertainty about food availability can spark a wave of export restrictions, creating a shortage on the global market,” WTO director-general Roberto Azevedo, and the heads of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization Qu Dongyu said.
    “Such reactions can alter the balance between food supply and demand, resulting in price spikes and increased price volatility.”
    Such measures are particularly damaging to low-income, food-deficit countries and aid agencies’ food procurement for those in desperate need, the joint statement said.
    Azevedo said last week that WTO projections show the economic downturn and job losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic would be worse than the 2008 recession.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

4/7/2020 GOP lawmakers demand WHO director general step down over alleged COVID-19, China cover-up by OAN Newsroom
FILE – Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization speaks during a news conference on updates regarding
on the novel coronavirus COVID-19, at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP, file)
    Republican’s on Capitol Hill are calling for the leader of the World Health Organization (WHO) to step down amid misinformation surrounding China’s coronavirus outbreak.
    During a recent interview, Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) claimed WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus violated the agency’s mandate to protect the health and well being of people worldwide. She said downplaying China’s mishandling of the virus may have killed thousands of people.
    “The WHO needs to stop covering for them (China)…I think Dr. Tedros needs to step down…we need to take some action to address this issue,” she insisted. “…It’s irresponsible, it’s unconscionable what they’ve done here.”
    A handful full of other GOP lawmakers also jumped into the fight by demanding accountability from the WHO.    Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) reportedly said Tedros let Beijing use the organization to mislead the global public and called him “either complicit or dangerously incompetent.”
    Starting in January, the WHO pushed Chinese propaganda by claiming they found no human-to-human transmission, which has proven to be a dangerously false and misleading statement.
    Then in February, President Trump took decisive action to restrict travel from China to which Tedros responded by stating there was no need for “unnecessary action interfering with international travel and trade.”
    Moving forward to March, Tedros used a Twitter post to praise China for claiming they had experienced their first day with no new virus cases.    At the same time, numerous others from around the world, including U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, zeroed in on the country for falsifying data relating to the illness.
    Tedros was elected to serve a five year term as chief of the WHO in 2017.    He is the first director general to lead the organization who is not a medical doctor.
People wear face masks as they exit a subway station in Beijing, Tuesday, April 7, 2020. China on Tuesday reported no new deaths from the
coronarivus over the past 24 hours and just 32 new cases, all from people who returned from overseas. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

4/8/2020 Sen. Rubio: U.S. must review WHO funding over China ties by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., talks to reporters before attending a Republican policy lunch on Capitol Hill in Washington,
Friday, March 20, 2020, to work on sweeping economic rescue plan amid the pandemic crisis and nationwide shutdown. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) recently called on President Trump to review funding for the World Health Organization (WHO) over its political proximity to mainland China.    On Wednesday, he said the WHO underestimated coronavirus risks at the beginning of the outbreak.
    The senator added the organization appears to be very “China-centric” and may have been politicized by Beijing’s influence and money.
    “There’s evidence that it’s been politicized, that the World Health Organization at its leadership level was politicized by Chinese influence and money,” said Rubio.    “That’s unfortunate, because that organization should not be political and should not be making public health pronouncements under duress from any country in the world.”
    This came after President Trump announced the U.S. might cut funding to the WHO over the same concerns.
    “They’re taking a lot of heat because they didn’t want the borders closed, they called it wrong,” stated the president.    “They really called, I would say, every aspect of it wrong.”
FILE – In this Monday, March 9, 2020 file photo, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the
World Health Organization speaks during a news conference on updates regarding on the novel coronavirus
COVID-19, at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP, file)
    The organization has since denied its ties to China and appeared to accuse U.S. officials of politicizing the matter.
    “No politicizing, no need to use COVID to score political points,” stated WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.    “You have many other ways to prove yourselves, this is not the one to use for politics.”
    Rubio went on to stress the WHO must rely on medical science instead of helping China cover up its failures to protect public health.
[It looks like another Globalist entity has gone to the dogs with lies, cover ups, and denial and it is going to take a Nationalist country with the right president to push back using good old U.S.A. politics to oust them.].

4/8/2020 WTO Chief: Int’l trade to drop 13-32% this year by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Nov. 4, 2019 file photo cargo cranes are used to take containers off of a Yang Ming Marine
Transport Corporation boat at the Port of Tacoma in Tacoma, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
    According to the World Trade Organization (WTO), international trade could drop as much as 32% this year due to the coronavirus outbreak.    On Wednesday, WTO Chief Roberto Azevedo claimed virus lockdowns have created major shocks to both supply and demand worldwide.
    “We project that trade will fall steeply in every region of the world and across all sectors of the economy,” stated Azevedo.
    He predicted global trade in goods could drop by 13% if major economies reopen soon.    If they don’t, Azevedo warned the global economy may not fully recover from virus inflicted losses.
    “Comparisons with the 2008 financial crisis, and even the Great Depression of the 1930s, are inevitable.    The economic engine is in decent shape, but the pandemic has cut the fuel line to the engine.    If the fuel line is reconnected properly, the global economy can recover quite rapidly.” – Roberto Azevedo, Director General of the World Trade Organization
    He added national governments must adopt fiscal stimuli and align their trade policies to avoid a financial and economic collapse this year.

[CHINA HAS BEEN GROOMING ETHIOPIA WHERE TEDROS COMES FROM AND CONTROLS MUCH OF IT WITH THEIR MONEY AND IT IS OBVIOUS THAT HE IS IN THEIR POCKETS SO HE MAY HAVE TO DO WHAT THEY SAY SO HE DOES NOT END UP IN ONE OF THE MANY CHINESE BODY BAGS.].
4/10/2020 WHO set to announce $1B appeal to help group fight against COVID-19 pandemic by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Feb. 24, 2020, file photo, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), addresses a press conference
about the update on COVID-19 at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP, File)
    The World Health Organization (WHO) is set to appeal for more money from its partners after President Trump announced he may cut U.S. funding to the group over its ties with China.    On Friday, reports showed the UN health agency is planning to ask for an additional $1 billion to help finance a strategy to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
    This came after President Trump said he may freeze aid to the agency for being too “China-centric.”
    The WHO’s director general has criticized the president for these remarks.    He emphasized countries should be working together right now.
    “If you want to be exploited and if you want to have many more body bags, then you do it,” stated Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.    “If you don’t want many more body bags, then you refrain from politicizing it.”
    The World Health Organization has received the bulk of its funding from the U.S. Last year, the U.S. gave it $400 million, while China only contributed $44 million.
    During Friday’s press briefing, President Trump confirmed he will likely make an announcement about funding for the agency “sometime next week.”
    “We are going to talk about the World Health Organization next week in great detail,” he said.    “We are going to be looking at it very, very closely.”
[TEDROS HAD THE BALLS TO ATTACK BACK AT TRUMP SO HE DOES NOT KNOW YET WHAT HE HAS GOT HIMSELF INTO SINCE HE WILL NOT EXPERIENCE POLITICAL HE WILL EXPERIENCE LESS MONEY FROM THE U.S. AND HE MAY HAVE TO MOVE TO CHINA TO SURVIVE BECAUSE YOU WERE THE ONE WHO SHOULD HAVE WARNED THE WORLD OF THE VIRUS AND WILL BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DEATHS AROUND THE WORLD.].

4/10/2020 WHO warns about dangers of premature lifting of COVID-19 restrictions by Stephanie Nebehay and John Revill
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization (WHO) during an executive board
meeting on update on the coronavirus outbreak, in Geneva, Switzerland, February 6, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    GENEVA/ZURICH (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) warned countries on Friday to be cautious about lifting restrictions introduced to curb the spread of the new coronavirus and voiced alarm it was taking hold in Africa.
    The United Nations agency would like to see an easing, but at the same time “lifting restrictions could lead to a deadly resurgence,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press conference.
    He said there had been a “welcome slowing” of epidemics in some European countries – Italy, Germany, Spain and France – but there had been an “alarming acceleration” elsewhere including community transmission in 16 countries of Africa.
    Nearly 1.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 92,000 deaths have been reported to the Geneva-based agency, Tedros said.
    Yemen reported its first case of the novel coronavirus on Friday as aid groups braced for an outbreak in a country where war has shattered health systems and spread hunger and disease.
    Tedros said he was particularly concerned by the large number of infections reported among health workers.
    “In some countries reports of up to 10 percent of health workers being infected, this is an alarming trend,” he said.
    A new U.N. supply task force will coordinate and scale up the procurement and distribution of protective gear, lab diagnostics and oxygen to the countries that need it most.
    “Every month we will need to ship at least 100 million medical masks and gloves, up to 25 million N-95 respirators, gowns and face shields, up to 2.5 million diagnostic tests and large quantities of oxygen concentrators and other equipment for clinical care,” he said.
    The World Food Programme – the U.N. agency that handles logistics – will deploy eight 747 aircraft, 8 medium-sized cargo aircraft and several smaller passenger planes to transport the goods and aid workers needed in the operation which will have 8 hubs, he added.
    Tedros urged donors to contribute to WFP’s operation which will cost an estimated $280 million, while the cost of procuring supplies will be “much greater.”
    Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme said the world owed a tremendous debt to front-line health workers, and it was vital they got the right protective gear.
    Tedros said no country was immune from the pandemic, which was spreading panic around the world.    Cases have recently been found in some parts of Japan with no known links to other outbreaks.
    “From this pandemic we have to try to learn…what the gaps are, this is a message even for the developed countries.    Across the board you see a lack of preparedness of the public health system,” Tedros said.
    “No country is immune.    No country can claim it has a strong health system.    We have to be really honest and assess and address this problem.”
(Reporting by John Revill and Stephanie Nebehey)
[THE REAL WARNING MAY BE BEWARE OF BAD INFORMATION FROM THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION.].


4/15/2020 Trump cuts WHO funding over coronavirus, global toll mounts by Jeff Mason and Paulina Duran
U.S. President Donald Trump attends the daily coronavirus task force briefing in the
Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 14, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis
    WASHINGTON/SYDNEY (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday halted funding to the World Health Organization over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, drawing condemnation from infectious disease experts as the global death toll mounted.
    Trump, who has reacted angrily to criticism of his administration’s response to the worst epidemic in a century, has become increasingly hostile towards the WHO.
    The Geneva-based organisation had promoted China’s “disinformation” about the virus that likely led to a wider outbreak than otherwise would have occurred, Trump said.
    “The WHO failed in this basic duty and must be held accountable,” Trump told a White House news conference on Tuesday.
    Nearly 2 million people globally have been infected and more than 124,000 have died since the disease emerged in China late last year, according to a Reuters tally.
    U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it was not the time to reduce resources for the WHO.
    “Now is the time for unity and for the international community to work together in solidarity to stop this virus and its shattering consequences,” he said in a statement.
    The United States is the biggest overall donor to the WHO, contributing more than $400 million in 2019, roughly 15% of its budget.
    Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he sympathised with Trump’s criticisms of the WHO, especially its “unfathomable” support of re-opening China’s “wet markets,” where freshly slaughtered, and live, animals are sold.
    The coronavirus is believed to have emerged from such a market in the city of Wuhan late last year.
    “But that said, the WHO also as an organisation does a lot of important work including here in our region in the Pacific and we work closely with them,” Morrison told an Australian radio station.
    “We are not going to throw the baby out of with the bathwater here, but they are also not immune from criticism.”
    More than 2,200 people died in the United States on Tuesday, a record toll according to a Reuters tally, even as it debated how to reopen its economy.
    New York City, the U.S. city hardest hit by the outbreak, revised its death toll sharply up to more than 10,000, to include victims presumed to have died of the lung disease but never tested.
    U.S. health advocacy group Protect Our Care said Trump’s WHO funding withdrawal was “a transparent attempt … to distract from his history downplaying the severity of the coronavirus crisis and his administration’s failure to prepare our nation.”
    “To be sure, the World Health Organization is not without fault but it is beyond irresponsible to cut its funding at the height of a global pandemic,” said Leslie Dach, the group’s chair.
‘NOT SEEING PEAK YET’
    The WHO said the number of new cases were tailing off in some places, such as Italy and Spain, but outbreaks were growing in Britain and Turkey.
    “The overall world outbreak – 90% of cases are coming from Europe and the United States of America.    So we are certainly not seeing the peak yet,” WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told a briefing in Geneva.
    Dozens of cases have been recorded among oil and gas workers in Brazil, the industry regulator told Reuters, exposing an outbreak far worse than thought.
    India extended a lockdown on its 1.3 billion people until May 3 as its tally of cases exceeded 10,000.    Prime Minister Narendra Modi said economic sacrifices were needed to save lives.
    New cases in China dropped to 46, compared with 89 the previous day, officials reported on Wednesday, with one more death.    Most cases were people returning from Russia.
    Asian share markets edged higher as China moved again to cushion its economy, cutting a key medium-term interest rate to record lows and paving the way for a similar reduction in benchmark loan rates. [MKTS/GLOB]
HEALTH/ECONOMY BALANCE
    The global economy is expected to shrink by 3% this year, the International Monetary Fund said, marking the steepest downturn since the Great Depression.
    Major international creditors will relieve the world’s poorest countries of debt payments this year, France announced.
    Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came under pressure to hand out more cash to help cushion the blow on top of a near $1 trillion package announced last week.
    Trump, who has declared he will decide when to lift U.S. lockdowns, suggested some Democratic state governors were “mutineers” after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he would refuse any order that risked reigniting the outbreak.
    Trump’s top infectious disease adviser, Dr Anthony Fauci, said the president’s May 1 target for restarting the economy was “overly optimistic.”
    Airlines have been hit hard as borders have closed and people stay at home.
    China’s airlines reported a total loss of $4.8 billion in the first quarter, its regulator said.
    The U.S. Treasury Department said major passenger airlines had agreed in principle to a $25 billion rescue package, ensuring their workers have jobs until October while the industry battles its biggest-ever crisis.
    In New Zealand, where a strict lockdown has limited the number of cases and deaths, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced she, her ministers and public service chief executives would take a 20% pay cut for six months.
(Open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in a separate browser for an interactive graphic to track the global spread.)
(Reporting from Reuters bureaux across the world; Writing by Lincoln Feast; Editing by Robert Birsel)

4/16/2020 China says WHO has said no evidence coronavirus was made in a lab
FILE PHOTO: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian attends a news
conference in Beijing, China April 8, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
    BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s foreign ministry said on Thursday the World Health Organization has said there is no evidence that the coronavirus that has infected more than 2 million people globally was made in a lab.
    Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian made the remark in response to a question about accusations the coronavirus originated in a lab in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the epidemic first emerged in late 2019.
    Zhao told reporters during a daily briefing in Beijing that the World Health Organization’s officials “have said multiple times there is no evidence the new coronavirus was created in a laboratory.”
    U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday his government is trying to determine whether the coronavirus emanated from a lab in Wuhan, China, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Beijing “needs to come clean” on what they know.
    Zhao did not directly address Trump’s comments.
(Reporting by Gabriel Crossley; writing by Se Young Lee; Editing by Toby Chopra)

4/15/2020 Pelosi: President Trump’s decision to halt WHO funding is illegal, will be challenged by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Feb. 6, 2020, file photo, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., talks during a news conference
at the Capitol in Washington. President Donald Trump and Pelosi have not spoken in five months at a time
when the nation is battling its worst health crisis in a century. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
    Nancy Pelosi said she intends to try and block President Trump’s decision to suspend aid to the World Health Organization (WHO).
    On Wednesday, the House Speaker told reporters she’s seeking to strike down the administration’s efforts to withhold funds for the WHO for their role in the coronavirus pandemic.    She said this decision is “senseless,” “illegal” and that it “will be swiftly challenged” in Congress.
    While taking to Twitter Tuesday, Pelosi claimed President Trump has been trying to blame others for mistakes he’s made amid the U.S. virus outbreak.    Top Democrats on the House Oversight Committee are also attacking the president over his proposal to cut the organization’s funding.
    In a letter Wednesday, Oversight chair Carolyn Maloney and congressman Stephen Lynch accused the president of failing to address the COVID-19 outbreak.    The two Democrats claimed President Trump proposed to defund the WHO to deflect responsibility onto others.
    This came after Taiwan released a letter that revealed it was asking the WHO about the virus outbreak back in December 2019.    Republican lawmakers have said they are looking at a growing pile of evidence of alleged conspiracy between China and the WHO.
FILE – In this March 14, 2020, file photo Taiwanese army soldiers wearing protective suits spray disinfectant over a road during a
drill to prevent community cluster infection of coronavirus in New Taipei City, Taiwan. The administration, backed by a bipartisan
collection of lawmakers, is pressing for Taiwan’s inclusion as a separate entity in international organizations like the World Health Organization and
the International Civil Aviation Organization, both of which have significant roles in anti-virus efforts. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying, File)

4/15/2020 President Trump halts funding to WHO by OAN Newsroom
The logo and building of the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, 15 April 2020. US President
Donald Trump announced that he has instructed his administration to halt funding to the WHO. The American president criticizes
the World Health Organization for its mismanagement of the Coronavirus pandemic Covid-19. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)
    The Trump administration is halting funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) pending an investigation into the group’s alleged “mismanagement” of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    While speaking at the White House Tuesday, the president accused the organization of covering up China’s misreporting about the spread of coronavirus.    Many are skeptical of the WHO’s handling of the virus, which reported that there was “no clear evidence” of human-to-human transmission of COVID-19 as late as mid-January.
    "Today I’m instructing my administration to halt funding of the World Health Organization while our review is conducted to assess the World Health Organization’s role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus,” he stated.
    President Trump went on to say the WHO made a “disastrous decision” by failing to support travel restrictions from China and other nations in the beginning stages of the pandemic.
    “American taxpayers provide between $400 million and $500 million per year to the WHO,” he continued.    “In contrast, China contributes roughly $40 million a year and even less…as the organization’s leading sponsor, the United States has a duty to insist on full accountability."
President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the Rose Garden of the White House, Tuesday, April 14, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Meanwhile, a WHO official said the organization knew “right from the start” there was a possibility of human-to-human transmission of COVID-19.
    During a recent press briefing at the WHO’s headquarters on Monday, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove said she was “immediately” suspicious of human transmission as early as December.    However, the WHO stated on social media and in a press release in mid-January that there was “no clear evidence of this in Wuhan, China.”
    “Right from the start, from the first notification we received on the 31st of December, given that this was a cluster of pneumonia — I’m a MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) specialist, so my background is in coronaviruses and influenza — so immediately thought, given that this is a respiratory pathogen, that of course there may be human-to-human transmission,” she stated.
    Many lawmakers are now pushing for an investigation into an alleged cover-up from the WHO of China’s misreporting on the coronavirus.    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has urged the organization to “do its job.”
    The White House official took aim at the WHO Tuesday by saying it needs to perform “its primary function” in providing “accurate, timely and real information” on what goes on in the global health space.    Pompeo went on to suggest China worked to prevent the WHO from declaring a pandemic.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing
Room of the White House, Wednesday, April 8, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

4/15/2020 Trump says US investigating whether virus came from Wuhan lab by Steve Holland and David Brunnstrom
U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the daily coronavirus task force briefing in
the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 15, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday his government is trying to determine whether the coronavirus emanated from a lab in Wuhan, China, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Beijing “needs to come clean” on what they know.
    The source of the virus remains a mystery. General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Tuesday that U.S. intelligence indicates that the coronavirus likely occurred naturally, as opposed to being created in a laboratory in China, but there is no certainty either way.
    Fox News reported on Wednesday that the virus originated in a Wuhan laboratory not as a bioweapon, but as part of China’s effort to demonstrate that its efforts to identify and combat viruses are equal to or greater than the capabilities of the United States.
    This report and others have suggested the Wuhan lab where virology experiments take place and lax safety standards there led to someone getting infected and appearing at a nearby “wet” market, where the virus began to spread.
    At a White House news conference Trump was asked about the reports of the virus escaping from the Wuhan lab, and he said he was aware of them.
    “We are doing a very thorough examination of this horrible situation that happened,” he said.
    Asked if he had raised the subject in his conversations with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump said: “I don’t want to discuss what I talked to him about the laboratory, I just don’t want to discuss, it’s inappropriate right now.”
    Trump has sought to stress strong U.S. ties with China during the pandemic as the United States has relied on China for personal protection equipment desperately needed by American medical workers.
    As far back as February, the Chinese state-backed Wuhan Institute of Virology pushed dismissed rumors that the virus may have been artificially synthesized at one of its laboratories or perhaps escaped from such a facility.
    Pompeo, in a Fox News Channel interview after Trump’s news conference, said “we know this virus originated in Wuhan, China,” and that the Institute of Virology is only a handful of miles away from the wet market.
    “We really need the Chinese government to open up” and help explain “exactly how this virus spread,” said Pompeo.
    “The Chinese government needs to come clean,” he said.
    The broad scientific consensus holds that SARS-CoV-2, the virus’ official name, originated in bats.
    Trump and other officials have expressed deep skepticism of China’s officially declared death toll from the virus of around 3,000 people, when the United States has a death toll of more than 20,000 and rising.
    He returned to the subject on Wednesday, saying the United States has more cases “because we do more reporting.”
    “Do you really believe those numbers in this vast country called China, and that they have a certain number of cases and a certain number of deaths; does anybody really believe that?” he said.
(Reporting by Steve Holland and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Stephen Coates)

4/16/2020 Explainer: Who’s WHO? The World Health Organization under scrutiny by Kate Kelland
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization (WHO) during an executive board meeting
on update on the coronavirus outbreak, in Geneva, Switzerland, February 6, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) is in the spotlight as it champions the global fight against the new coronavirus but faces a funding freeze from U.S. President Donald Trump’s government.
    Here are main features of the WHO and its work:
* What is it?
    The WHO is an agency of the United Nations set up in 1948 to improve health globally.    It has more than 7,000 people working in 150 country offices, six regional offices and its Geneva headquarters.
    Its director general – currently the Ethiopian Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus – is elected for a five-year term.    Tedros’ five-year term began on July 1, 2017.
* What does it do?
    The WHO’s stated aim is “to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable.”
    It has no power to impose health policies on national governments, but acts as an adviser and offers guidance on best practice in disease prevention and health improvement.
    It has three main strands of work:
– aiming for universal health coverage in every country
– preventing and responding to acute emergencies
– promoting health and wellbeing for all
* What doesn’t it do?
    Like a lot of international institutions, the WHO suffers from false perceptions about its scope and resources.
    The WHO is not “the world’s doctor”: it does not provide treatment or conduct disease surveillance – although it does advise national and international authorities on those matters.
    It has no powers of sanction, and the information it collates and publishes is only as good as the data and expertise it gets from member states and its technical specialists.
* Is every country part of it?
    The WHO has 194 member states: every country except Liechtenstein which is a member of the United Nations but not of its global health agency.    They appoint representatives to The World Health Assembly, which convenes annually and sets WHO policies.        These policies are implemented by the WHO’s Executive Board, composed of members technically qualified in health.
* Who pays for it?
    The WHO’s member states provide funding via two routes: assessed contributions and voluntary contributions.    The WHO’s budgets are biennial, spanning two years.    Its 2020-2021 budget is almost $4.85 billion, up 9% from the previous two-year period.
    Assessed contributions are calculated on the basis of a country’s wealth and population, while voluntary contributions are often targeted by the donor at specific regions or diseases – such as polio, malaria, or infant mortality in poor areas.
    Philanthropic foundations and multinational groups such as the European Commission are also major donors to the WHO.
    The United States is the biggest overall donor and had contributed more than $800 million by the end of 2019 for the 2018-2019 biennial funding period.    The Gates Foundation is the second largest donor, followed by Britain.
. * What are seen as its major successes and failures?
    The WHO is widely credited with leading a 10-year campaign to eradicate smallpox in the 1970s and has also led global efforts to end polio, a battle that is in its final stages.
    In the past few years, the WHO has also coordinated battles against viral epidemics of Ebola in Congo and Zika in Brazil.
    In the current COVID-19 disease outbreak, while many have praised the WHO’s leadership, Trump has accused it of being China-centric and giving bad advice about the emerging pandemic.
    This week, Trump said the WHO had “failed in its basic duty” and announced a temporary halt to U.S. funding – a move that prompted condemnation from many world leaders.
    In the past, the WHO was accused of overreacting to the 2009-10 H1N1 flu pandemic and also faced widespread criticism for not reacting quickly enough to the vast Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014 that killed more than 11,000 people.
(Reporting by Kate Kelland; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

4/16/2020 G7 seeks WHO review and reform, commits to coordinated virus response: White House
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured on the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) ahead of a meeting of the Emergency
Committee on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Geneva, Switzerland, January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Leaders from the G7 group of industrialized nations on Thursday called for a review and reform process at the World Health Organization and agreed to ensure a coordinated global approach to the coronavirus pandemic, the White House said.
    “G7 leaders agreed to remain committed to taking every necessary measure to ensure a strong and coordinated global response to this health crisis and the associated humanitarian and economic calamity and to launch a strong and sustainable recovery,” the White House said in a statement after a video conference call between the leaders.
    “The leaders recognized that the G7 nations annually contribute more than a billion dollars to the World Health Organization (WHO), and much of the conversation centered on the lack of transparency and chronic mismanagement of the pandemic by the WHO.    The leaders called for a thorough review and reform process,” it said.
    President Donald Trump announced earlier this week that the United States would suspend its funding to the WHO while it conducted a review of its handling of the pandemic.
    The decision prompted condemnation from world leaders.
    Trump has sought to blame the WHO for mismanaging the crisis and not doing more to press China for transparency when the virus first took hold.    The president has faced criticism for playing down the severity of the virus himself in its early stages.    He has also been complimentary of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s handling of the issue.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Steve Holland; Editing by Paul Simao and Lisa Shumaker)

4/17/2020 Report: WHO praised China for ‘containing’ COVID-19 just before dramatic rise in virus cases worldwide by OAN Newsroom
A volunteer looks out near a Chinese national flag during a farewell ceremony for the last group of medical workers who came from outside Wuhan to help
the city during the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province on Wednesday, April 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
    According to newly released evidence, the World Health Organization (WHO) director general had a clear pro-Chinese bias at the height of coronavirus pandemic.
    Thursday revealed the director general made a speech back in February, where he praised Mainland China and President Xi Jinping’s handling of COVID-19.    At the time, the WHO was criticizing President Trump for shutting down travel from China.
    In his speech, the WHO chief also claimed China had prevented the global spread of COVID-19.    The official’s remarks were later proven false. In the following weeks, Italy and the U.S. had an explosive surge of coronavirus cases.
    “I mean, the criticism about WHO having been to China friendly in January has come from several quarters,” Gian Luca Burci, former legal counsel for the WHO.    “By now — even though it’s a bit anecdotal, but it seems confirmed — China suppressed and obfuscated and concealed for a good month and a half, so I think that’s a fact.”
    Republican lawmakers have argued that the WHO failed to send experts to China to evaluate the scale of the outbreak and praised China without knowing the full picture.

4/17/2020 WHO: China revised COVID figures to leave no case undocumented by OAN Newsroom
In this Feb. 13, 2020, photo, a doctor checks the conditions of a patient in Jinyintan Hospital, designated
for critical COVID-19 patients, in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province. (Chinatopix Via AP)
    China has raised its official coronavirus death toll by 50 percent in Wuhan.    According to a local government task force, the revision reflected “incorrect reporting, delays and omissions.”
    The World Health Organization confirmed Chinese authorities had gone back and reviewed data from hospitals, care homes and funeral services.
    “We are aware of new numbers that were reported overnight from China, which added an additional 325 cases and 1,290 deaths from Wuhan,” stated epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove.    “This was done in an attempt to leave no case undocumented.”

The logo and building of the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, 15 April 2020. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)
    President Trump has suggested China is underestimating its death toll and has condemned the WHO for its continued support of China. On Friday, the president compared the latest data from both countries.
    On Twitter, he said the doubling of China’s death toll in Wuhan, at more than 3,800, is far higher than those in the U.S.    His comments followed weeks of speculation about the communist regime’s lack of transparency.
    China’s Foreign Ministry has denied a cover-up, instead blaming the rise in deaths on a delay in reporting by overwhelmed hospitals.

4/17/2020 China’s revised COVID figures are a bid to ‘leave no case undocumented’: WHO by Stephanie Nebehay and Michael Shields
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured on the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) ahead of a meeting of the Emergency
Committee on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Geneva, Switzerland, January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    GENEVA/ZURICH (Reuters) – A sharp upward revision in China’s coronavirus death toll on Friday was “an attempt to leave no case undocumented” after medical services in Wuhan were overwhelmed at the start of the outbreak, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
    Nearly 1,300 people who died of the coronavirus in the Chinese city of Wuhan, or half the total, were not counted in death tolls because of lapses, state media said on Friday, but Beijing dismissed claims that there had been any kind of cover-up.
    U.S. President Donald Trump has suggested that China has understated its toll of coronavirus deaths, and has condemned the WHO for the support it has given to China’s approach in the crisis.    He suspended funding to the U.N. agency this week.
    The virus has infected more than two million worldwide and killed 150,000, according to a Reuters tally.
    Maria van Kerkhove, a WHO epidemiologist who took part in an international mission to China in February, said of China’s revised figures: “This was done in attempt to leave no case undocumented.”
    She said the Chinese authorities had gone back over data from funeral services, care homes, fever clinics, hospitals and detention centres, and patients who had died at home, in Wuhan, Hubei province where the outbreak began late last year.
    “What they have reported is that the discrepancies in these cases were due to a number of factors.    First is that the health care system in Wuhan was overwhelmed at one point.    And some patients died at home,” van Kerkhove said.
    “Secondly is that medical staff were delayed in reporting of these cases because they were focused on providing care for those patients and they didn’t fill out the forms in time,” she said.
    Mild cases were treated in makeshift hospitals in Wuhan stadiums or other facilities, van Kerkhove said, adding: “In those situations the reporting wasn’t done in a timely manner and so those cases were added.”
    It was important to know the number of people who had died from the disease and to have “accurate reporting,” which can be a challenge during an outbreak, she said.
    “I would anticipate that many countries are going to be in a similar situation where they will have to go back and review records and look to see did we capture all of them,” she said.
    Dr. Mike Ryan, WHO’s top emergencies expert, said: “It is important that countries provide that data as quickly as they can in the interest of moving our collective efforts forward to control this pandemic.”
    The virus is believed to have originated among wild animals on sale in a seafood market in Wuhan that has been closed since January.    A common sight across Asia, wet markets traditionally sell fresh produce and live animals, such as fish, in the open air.
    Any wet markets allowed to reopen after lockdowns must conform to stringent food and hygiene standards, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
    “Governments must rigorously enforce bans on trade of wildlife for food,” he said.
(writing by Kevin Liffey and Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

4/18/2020 Factbox: IMF, World Bank disburse funds to help countries battle pandemic
FILE PHOTO: The logo of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is seen during a news
conference in Santiago, Chile, July 23, 2019. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank are providing emergency funds to developing and low-income countries across the world to strengthen their efforts to battle the rapidly spreading coronavirus.
    Following is a list of countries slated to receive funds from the two institutions’ emergency facilities, or as augmentation of existing programs, sorted by region:
AFRICA
Burkina Faso – $115.3 million (IMF)
Burundi – $5 million (World Bank)
Cabo Verde – $5 million (World Bank)
Chad – $115 million (IMF)
Democratic Republic of Congo – $47.2 million (World Bank)
Djibouti – $5 million (World Bank)
Ethiopia – $82.6 million (World Bank)
Gabon – $147 million (IMF)
Gambia – $10 million (World Bank) and $21.3 million (IMF)
Ghana – $35 million (World Bank) and $1 billion (IMF)
Ivory Coast – $886.2 million (IMF)
Kenya – $50 million (World Bank)
Liberia – $7.5 million
Madagascar – $166 million (IMF)
Mali – $25.8 million (World Bank)
Malawi – $37 million (World Bank)
Mauritania – $5.2 million (World Bank)
Morocco – $275 million (World Bank)
Niger – $114.5 million (IMF) and $13.95 million (World Bank)
Rwanda – $109.4 million (IMF) and $14.25 million (World Bank)
Sao Tome and Principe – $2.5 million (World Bank)
Senegal – $442 million (IMF) and $20 million (World Bank)
Sierra Leone – $7.5 million (World Bank)
South Sudan – $7.6 million (World Bank)
Tunisia – $745 million (IMF)
ASIA
Afghanistan – $100.4 million (World Bank)
Bangladesh – $100 million (World Bank)
Cambodia – $20 million (World Bank)
India – $1 billion (World Bank)
Kyrgyzstan – $120.9 million (IMF)
Laos – $18 million (World Bank)
Maldives – $7.3 million (World Bank)
Mongolia – $26.9 million (World Bank) and $2.2 million (World Bank)
Nepal – $29 million (World Bank)
Pakistan – $200 million (World Bank) and $1.39 billion (IMF)
Papua New Guinea – $20 million (World Bank)
Philippines – $500 million (World Bank)
Samoa – $5.1 million (World Bank)
Sri Lanka – $128.6 million (World Bank)
Tajikistan – $11.3 million (World Bank)
LATIN AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN
Argentina – $35 million (World Bank)
Bolivia – $327 million (IMF) and $20 million (World Bank)
Colombia – $250 million (World Bank)
Dominican Republic – $150 million (World Bank)
Ecuador – $20 million (World Bank)
El Salvador $389 million (IMF) and $20 million (World Bank)
Haiti – $20 million (World Bank) and $111.6 million (IMF)
Honduras – $143 million (IMF) and $139 million (World Bank)
Paraguay – $20 million (World Bank)
MIDDLE EAST
Egypt – $7.9 million (World Bank)
Lebanon – $40 million (World Bank)
West Bank and Gaza – $5.8 million (World Bank)
Yemen – $26.9 million (World Bank)
EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA
Albania – $190.5 million (IMF)
Armenia – $3 million (World Bank)
Georgia – $200 million (IMF)
Kazakhstan – $10 million (World Bank)
Kosovo – $56.5 million (IMF)
Moldova – $235 million (IMF)
North Macedonia – $191.83 million
Romania – $441 million (World Bank)
(EorgiaReporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Alistair Bell).

4/21/2020 WHO warns lifting of coronavirus lockdowns must be gradual
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured on the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) ahead of a meeting of the Emergency
Committee on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Geneva, Switzerland, January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    BEIJING (Reuters) – The World Health Organization warned on Tuesday that any lifting of lockdowns to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus must be gradual, and if restrictions were to be relaxed too soon, there would be a resurgence of infections.
    Lockdown measures have proved effective, and people must be ready for a new way of living to allow society to function while the coronavirus is being kept in check, said Takeshi Kasai, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific.
    We must adapt our lives and health systems along with the epidemic, Kasai told an online press conference.
    “At least until a vaccine, or a very effective treatment, is found, this process will need to become our new normal.”
    Governments considering lifting lockdown measures should do so carefully and in stages, and continue to monitor the epidemic situation, he said.    So long as the coronavirus is circulating, no country is safe from a potentially overwhelming outbreak, he said.
    “Individuals and society need to be ready for a new way of living,” he said.
    While the Western Pacific has in recent weeks been much less hard hit by the epidemic than the United States or Europe, there has been an increase in cases in Japan and Singapore, among other countries.
    Kasai also warned that the epidemic must not disrupt vaccination programmes against other diseases like polio, measles and rubella.     Otherwise the Western Pacific could face a new crisis when health systems are already strained, he said.
(Reporting by Gabriel Crossley; Writing by Ryan Woo; Editing by Michael Perry)

4/20/2020 Nothing hidden from member states, CDC experts on board: WHO chief by Stephanie Nebehay and Emma Farge
FILE PHOTO: Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference on
the situation of the coronavirus (COVID-2019), in Geneva, Switzerland, February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The head of the World Health Organization said on Monday that nothing in its coronavirus response had been “hidden” from the United States, as senior officials said U.S. technical experts had been an important part of the WHO’s effort.
    The comments appeared to be a rejoinder to U.S. President Donald Trump, who has criticised WHO’s handling of the pandemic, accusing it of promoting Chinese “disinformation,” and suspended U.S. funding last week.
    Some 15 staff from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have been seconded to the U.N. agency since January, joining two U.S. government officials assigned long-term.
    “Having U.S. CDC staff means there is nothing hidden from the U.S., from day one,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, told a news conference.
    “All countries get information immediately.”
    The United States, the WHO’s biggest donor by far, now has the world’s largest epidemic of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
    The WHO is leading the global fight against the virus, which has infected more than 2.4 million people and killed 165,000 since emerging in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.
    Tedros said that divisions between people and political parties were “fuelling” the pandemic, but was not specific.
    The WHO has placed orders for 30 million diagnostic tests over the next 4 months, Tedros said.    It is shipping nearly 180 million surgical masks in April and May, as well as 54 million face masks and more than 3 million pairs of protective goggles, he said.
    More than 600 hospitals are now ready to enrol patients in WHO’s so-called Solidarity Trial of drugs against the disease, he added.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay and Emma Farge; Editing by Kevin Liffey)
[WELL IT LOOKS LIKE TRUMP WILL HAVE TO GET OTHER COUNTRIES TO JOIN HIM IN INVESTIGATING THE WHO TO FIND OUT WHAT REALLY HAPPENED BETWEEN THEM AND CHINA AND SINCE IT HAS AFFECTED 184 NATIONS I THNK HE WILL GET THAT.]

4/22/2020 Secy. Pompeo: China failed to disclose COVID-19 on time by OAN Newsroom
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a press briefing at the State Department
on Wednesday, April 22, 2020, in Washington. (Nicholas Kamm/Pool Photo via AP)
    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently slammed mainland China and the World Health Organization for their lack of transparency at the onset of coronavirus outbreak.
    “We strongly believe that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) did not report the outbreak of the new coronavirus in a timely fashion to the World Health Organization (WHO),” stated Pompeo.
    On Wednesday, the secretary noted Beijing agreed to a set of rules when it joined the UN and the WHO. However, he has said it failed to uphold its international obligations.
    According to the State Department, the virus could have originated from a bioweapons lab in Wuhan, but such claims will require a thorough investigation.
    “I’m not going to comment on that.    What I will say is it’s always easier to know the answer to your question about whether these labs are in compliance, not only with the regulations, but if they’re handling this material in a way that is adequate, safe and secure.    If the world can have access to those places, if they will share that information openly and transparently.” – Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State
    Pompeo added China has destroyed virus samples, denied its human-to-human transmission and silenced doctors who warned of the new illness.    The secretary stressed such actions are unacceptable.

4/22/2020 Report: COVID-19 spread in U.S. weeks earlier than initially believed by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this April 2, 2020, file photo, a sign advising people to stay home due to COVID-19
concerns is displayed at a MUNI bus stop in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
    New information has lead California officials to believe the first American to die from coronavirus may have contracted it in late 2019.     The medical examiner’s office of Santa Clara County’s announced Tuesday the autopsies of two people, who died in February, showed they were infected with the virus.
    The two individuals died in their homes on February 6th and 17th, weeks before the first reported U.S. death, which was believed to be a man in Washington State.    The two victims died before testing was made available for those without a travel history to affected countries.
    According to officials, this may mean community spread was occurring in California for several weeks before being identified.    County executive Dr. Jeff Smith pointed out that with the way virus trends were heading in late March, COVID-19 must have gone unnoticed in the state for some time.
    “That’s because, in all likelihood, this virus has been around in our county since December,” he stated.
Member of the Los Angele Fire Dept. wear protective equipment as the conduct a COVID-19 test on a woman,
at left, in the Skid Row district Monday, April 20, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
    The doctor attributed this to the symptoms of the virus, which mirror those of the flu.    The flu was especially bad in the state around the same time.
    Investigators have said they will look to see if the two deaths in California are in any way connected to the cluster in Washington.    However, they believe it is likely the virus arrived in different parts of the country at varying times.
    Further autopsies are reportedly being conducted as officials seek to gain a better understanding of the pandemic’s timeline.

4/22/2020 Bloomberg helping northeast tri-state contact tracing program by OAN Newsroom
FILE – This March 16, 2012 file photo shows then New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, left, and New York Gov. Andrew
Cuomo at a bill signing ceremony in the Red Room at the Capitol, in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has confirmed former Mayor Michael Bloomberg is aiding a tri-state effort to initiate contact tracing.    On Wednesday, Cuomo announced Bloomberg will be spending upwards of $10 million to help track the contacts of people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus.
    “Good news is (former) Mayor Michael Bloomberg has volunteered to help us develop and implement the tracing program,” explained the governor.
    The alliance between New York, New Jersey and Connecticut comes as the states continue to push for more widespread testing of people, in order to get ahead of serious virus infections.
A smartphone belonging to Drew Grande, 40, of Cranston, R.I., shows notes he made for contact tracing Wednesday, April 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
    “We want to operate on a tri-state basis.    I’ve spoken to Governor Murphy in New Jersey, who’s doing a great job, and Governor Lamont in Connecticut,…who’ve been very great neighbors to New York.    The virus doesn’t stop at jurisdictional boundaries.” – Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York
    New York continues to show declining virus data, with hospitalizations falling for the ninth day in a row.    The state recently saw its lowest daily death total count since April 1st.
[UH OH WATCH OUT FOR LOSS OF PRIVACY AS THE FUTURE CONTACT TRACING POLICE WILL BE TRACKING YOUR LOCATION AND MOVEMENT AND HOPEFULLY BLOOMBERG AND HIS GLOBALIST BUDDIES DECIDE TO USE THIS INFORMATION TO TRACK ALL OF US EVENTUALLY.].

4/22/2020 WHO chief asks President Trump to resume funding by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Feb. 24, 2020, file photo, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), addresses a press conference
about the update on COVID-19 at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP, File)
    The director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) is pleading with President Trump to renew funding for the organization.    On Wednesday, the WHO chief claimed he is doing an important job of keeping the U.S. and its partners safe from global threats to public health.
    “I hope the freezing of the funding will be reconsidered,” he added.
    However, President Trump has said the organization failed to warn the world about COVID-19 and allegedly helped cover it up by relying on Chinese information.
    The WHO chief recently appeared to threaten America’s safety, unless the funding resumes.
    “I hope the U.S. believes this is an important investment, not just to help others but for the U.S. to stay safe also,” stated Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “For the U.S. to remain safe, the investment in other countries is very important.”
    According to the president, the WHO must undergo a series of reforms to reduce Chinese influence and corruption before U.S. funding can continue.

4/23/2020 Pompeo renews criticism of China over virus but welcomes supplies by David Brunnstrom and Humeyra Pamuk
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addresses a news conference at the
State Department in Washington, U.S., April 7, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis/Pool/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hit out at Beijing again on Wednesday over the coronavirus outbreak and accused it of taking advantage of the pandemic to bully neighbors, even as he welcomed China’s provision of essential medical supplies.
    Pompeo told a news briefing that the United States “strongly believed” Beijing had failed to report the outbreak in a timely manner, in breach of World Health Organization rules, and had failed to report human-to-human transmission of the virus “for a month until it was in every province inside of China.”
    Pompeo also said China had halted testing of new virus samples, “destroyed existing samples” and failed to share samples with the outside world, “making it impossible to track the disease’s evolution.”
    The Trump administration has repeatedly criticized China’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, which began late last year in the Chinese city of Wuhan and has grown into a global pandemic.    The outbreak has killed around 180,000 people globally, including more than 45,000 in the United States, according to a Reuters tally.
    Even after Beijing notified the WHO of the outbreak, Pompeo said, “It did not share all of the information it had.    Instead it covered up how dangerous the disease is.”
    President Donald Trump last week suspended U.S. funding of the WHO, accusing the U.N. agency of promoting China’s “disinformation” about the outbreak.    WHO officials have denied this and China has said it has been transparent and open.
    Pompeo said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom failed to use his ability “to go public” when a member state failed to follow the rules.    He said the WHO had an obligation to ensure safety standards were observed in virology labs in Wuhan and its director-general had “enormous authority with respect to nations that do not comply.”
    Pompeo repeated allegations that China was exploiting the world’s focus on the pandemic with “provocative behavior” to erode autonomy in Hong Kong, exert military pressure on Taiwan and coerce neighbors in the South China Sea.
    “The United States strongly opposes China’s bullying, we hope other nations will hold them to account,” he said.
    China’s Foreign Ministry denied the U.S allegations on Thursday. “One or two people in the U.S. are confusing right and wrong and sowing discord on these issues.    These schemes will not prevail,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang.
    Pompeo also expressed concern over a U.S. government-funded study that said China’s Mekong River dams held back large volumes of water during a drought in downstream countries last year despite China having higher-than-average water levels upstream.
    Beijing has disputed the study’s findings.
    The Secretary of State spoke later on Wednesday with counterparts from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and said the United States has called on China to close its wildlife wet markets permanently, citing links between the markets and zoonotic diseases, which can jump from animals to humans.
    The novel coronavirus is believed to have emerged in such a market in Wuhan late last year.
    While the Trump administration has stepped up criticism of China as the pandemic worsens, the crisis has exposed U.S. reliance on China for essential medical supplies.
    Asked about recent reports that supplies were being held up in China, Pompeo said: “The good news is we have seen China provide those resources; sometimes they’re from U.S. companies that are there in China, but we’ve had success. … We appreciate that."
    “We are counting on China to continue to live up to its contractual obligations and international obligations to provide that assistance to us and to sell us those goods … in a way consistent with all of the international trade rules.”
    White House adviser Peter Navarro, like Pompeo a persistent critic of Beijing, charged on Monday that China may be withholding data about early coronavirus infections because it wants to win the commercial race to create a vaccine.
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and David Brunnstrom; Additional reporting by Jonathan Landay, Kanishka Singh and Gabriel Crossley; Editing by Paul Simao, Leslie Adler and Tom Hogue)

4/23/2020 U.N. chief warns against repressive measures amid coronavirus crisis by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres attends a session of the Human Rights
Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, February 24, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Thursday the coronavirus could give some countries an excuse to adopt repressive measures for reasons unrelated to the pandemic as he warned that the outbreak risks becoming a human rights crisis.
    Guterres released a U.N. report highlighting how human rights should guide the response and recovery to the health, social and economic crisis gripping the world.    He added that while the virus does not discriminate, its impacts do.
    The new coronavirus, which causes the respiratory illness COVID-19, has so far infected some 2.57 million globally and 178,574 people have died, according to a Reuters tally.    The virus first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.
    “We see the disproportionate effects on certain communities, the rise of hate speech, the targeting of vulnerable groups, and the risks of heavy-handed security responses undermining the health response,” Guterres said.
    The U.N. report said migrants, refugees and internally displaced people are particularly vulnerable.    It said more than 131 countries have closed their borders, with only 30 allowing exemptions for asylum-seekers.
    “Against the background of rising ethno-nationalism, populism, authoritarianism and a pushback against human rights in some countries, the crisis can provide a pretext to adopt repressive measures for purposes unrelated to the pandemic,” he said.    “This is unacceptable.”
    The United Nations did not give any specific examples of such measures.
    Guterres called on governments to be transparent, responsive and accountable and stressed that civic space and press freedom were “critical.”    He said: “The best response is one that responds proportionately to immediate threats while protecting human rights and the rule of law.”
    With businesses shut down and hundreds of millions of people told to stay home to avoid spreading the virus, the International Monetary Fund has predicted the world will suffer its steepest downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
    The U.N. report said the pandemic was creating further hardship that “if not mitigated, will raise tension and could provoke civil unrest,” adding that this could then spark a heavy-handed security response.
    “In all we do, let’s never forget: The threat is the virus, not people,” Guterres said.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

4/22/2020 China to give additional $30M to WHO amid int’l pressure by OAN Newsroom
The logo and building of the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters
in Geneva, Switzerland, 15 April 2020. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)
    Mainland China has ramped up its funding of the World Health Organization (WHO) amid allegations it exerted political influence on health officials.    On Thursday, Beijing announced it will give another $30 million to the WHO to boost trust in the organization.
    Beijing gave a separate $20 million to the WHO last month.    According to Chinese officials, the money will go to improving health care systems in developing nations.
    A number of countries have called for an international probe, which would investigate allegations of China’s corruption of the organization’s director general.
    “China’s donation to the WHO is an expression of support and trust of the Chinese government, and the Chinese people for the WHO,” stated spokesman Geng Shuang.    “China is willing to work together with all parties, help each other to tide over the difficulties, contribute to the fight against the pandemic, maintain regional and international public health, and build a community with a shared future for mankind.”
    Critics claimed China may be buying political influence at the WHO to prevent an international probe into its alleged mishandling and proliferation of the coronavirus.
A volunteer looks out near a Chinese national flag during a farewell ceremony for the last group
of medical workers who came from outside Wuhan to help the city during the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan
in central China’s Hubei province on Wednesday, April 15, 2020.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
    Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the United States may never restore funding to the World Health Organization.    This week, he stated the WHO needs a massive reform after its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
    He noted this wouldn’t be the first time the agency underwent changes.
    “We reformed this back in 2007, so this isn’t the first time we’ve had to deal with the shortcomings of this organization that sits inside the United Nations,” added Pompeo.
    His remarks came after President Trump suspended funding for the organization last week.    The president defended the decision by claiming the WHO is “China-centric” and promotes China’s “disinformation.”
    “I’m instructing my administration to halt funding of the World Health Organization while a review is conducted to assess the World Health Organization’s role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus,” he stated.    “Everybody knows what’s going on there.”
President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of
the White House, Wednesday, April 22, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    The suspension will stay in place for between 60 to 90 days while the administration performs a review of the organization.
    The U.S. was the WHO’s largest donor, having pledged $893 million for the two-year budget cycle of 2018 and 2019. That’s more than half of what’s been provided by the U.K. and more than four times the amounts given by Japan, the European Commission, Canada, Australia and China.
    The WHO has said it is disappointed with the administration’s decision, but will work with its partners to fill financial gaps so it can continue to work uninterrupted.

4/25/2020 “No evidence” that recovered COVID-19 patients cannot be reinfected: WHO
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured on the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) ahead of a meeting of the Emergency
Committee on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Geneva, Switzerland, January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday that there was currently “no evidence” that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second coronavirus infection.
    In a scientific brief, the United Nations agency warned governments against issuing “immunity passports” or “risk-free certificates” to people who have been infected as their accuracy could not be guaranteed
.
    The practice could actually increase the risks of continued spread as people who have recovered may ignore advice about taking standard precautions against the virus, it said.
    “Some governments have suggested that the detection of antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, could serve as the basis for an ‘immunity passport’ or ‘risk-free certificate’ that would enable individuals to travel or to return to work assuming that they are protected against re-infection,” the WHO said.
    “There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection,” it said.
    Chile said last week it would begin handing out “health passports” to people deemed to have recovered from the illness.    Once screened to determine if they have developed antibodies to make them immune to the virus, they could immediately rejoin the workforce.
    The WHO said it continued to review the evidence on antibody responses to the virus, which emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.    Some 2.8 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 196,298 have died, according to a Reuters tally.
    Most studies have shown that people who have recovered from infection have antibodies to the virus, the WHO said.    However, some of them have very low levels of neutralizing antibodies in their blood, “suggesting that cellular immunity may also be critical for recovery," it added.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Louise Heavens and Helen Popper)

4/26/2020 Germany flips on smartphone contact tracing, backs Apple and Google by Douglas Busvine
FILE PHOTO: A sign with distancing rules and the notice that masks must be worn, is seen at the entrance of a shop,
as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Erfurt, Germany, April 24, 2020. REUTERS/Karina Hessland
    BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany changed course on Sunday over which type of smartphone technology it wanted to use to trace coronavirus infections, backing an approach supported by Apple and Google along with a growing number of other European countries.
    Chancellery Minister Helge Braun and Health Minister Jens Spahn told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that Berlin would adopt a ‘decentralized’ approach to digital contact tracing, in so doing abandoning a home-grown alternative.
    Nations are rushing to develop apps to assess at scale the risk of catching COVID-19, where the chain of infection is proving hard to break because the flu-like disease can be spread by those showing no symptoms.
    In Europe, most countries have chosen short-range Bluetooth ‘handshakes’ between devices as the best approach, but have differed over whether to log such contacts on a central server or on individual devices.
    Germany as recently as Friday backed an initiative called Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (PEPP-PT), whose centralized approach was criticized by hundreds of scientists in an open letter last Monday as opening the way to state surveillance.
    “We will back a decentralized architecture that will only store contacts on devices.    That is good for trust,” Braun told ARD public television in an interview.
    Although Bluetooth-based smartphone contact tracing is an untested technology and early results in countries like Singapore are modest, its development is already redefining the relationship between the state and individual.
    It would work by assessing the closeness and length of contact between people and, should a person test positive for COVID-19, tell recent contacts to call a doctor, get tested or self-isolate.
OFF THE CASE
    One of the members of PEPP-PT, Germany’s Fraunhofer HHI research institute, was told on Saturday that it was being taken off the project, correspondence seen by Reuters showed.
    “The project will be handed over and others will be able to make use of the results we have achieved so far to build a decentralized solution,” Fraunhofer HHI head Thomas Wiegand said in a message to colleagues.
    Germany’s change of tack would bring its approach into line with that taken by Apple and Alphabet’s Google, which said this month they would develop new tools to support decentralized contact tracing.
    Importantly, Apple’s iPhone would under the proposed setup only work properly with decentralized protocols such as DP-3T, which has been developed by a Swiss-led team and has been backed by Switzerland, Austria and Estonia.
    Health authorities are keen to get insights into the spread of infection and make use of digital contact tracing to support existing teams that work phones and knock on doors to warn those at risk.
    Backers of DP-3T, short for Decentralised Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing, say it is still possible for users to opt in to sharing their phone number to aid contact tracing – but this would be part of an app, not of the system architecture.
    And although using Bluetooth means the location of an infection event cannot be known to the authorities, it would still be possible for users, by opting in, to share epidemiologically useful data under a decentralized approach.
    DP-3T said in a statement that it is was “very happy to see that Germany is adopting a decentralized approach to contact tracing and we look forward to its next steps implementing such a technique in a privacy-preserving manner.”
    PEPP-PT said it planned to issue a statement in due course.
    The Fraunhofer HHI institute did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
(Additional reporting by Andreas Rinke; editing by Jason Neely)

4/27/2020 U.S. House committee launches probe of Trump WHO aid cutoff
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump participates in the daily coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak task
force briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S. April 24, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee launched an investigation on Monday of President Donald Trump’s blocking of funds for the World Health Organization, giving the State Department a week to provide information about the decision as the world faces the coronavirus pandemic.
    Democratic Representative Eliot Engel, the committee’s chairman, said the U.N. health agency is “imperfect” and that he would support reforms.    “But, certainly, cutting the WHO’s funding while the world confronts the COVID-19 tragedy is not the answer,” he said in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
    COVID-19 is the illness caused by the coronavirus.
    In the letter, Engel asked the State Department to provide 11 sets of documents or other information related to the decision to withhold funding no later than 5 p.m. on May 4.
    If it does not do so, Engel said the committee would consider all measures at its disposal.    A spokesman declined to provide specifics.    Engel has the authority as a committee chairman to issue subpoenas to federal agencies.
    The requested materials included a list of interagency meetings between Dec. 1 and April 14 at which funding for the WHO was discussed, a list of legal authorities under which the administration will execute the suspension of funds and documents related to the administration’s investigation of the WHO.
    The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
    Trump suspended U.S. contributions to the WHO on April 14, accusing it of being “China-centric" and promoting China’s “disinformation” about the coronavirus outbreak and saying his administration would launch a review of the organization.
    WHO officials have denied the claims and China insists it has been transparent and open.    The United States is the WHO’s biggest donor.
    Trump’s decision prompted immediate criticism from U.S. allies abroad, and within the United States, from health experts and Democrats.
    Some Democrats accused the Republican president of using the WHO and China as scapegoats to distract from what they view as Trump’s mishandling of a pandemic that has killed nearly 55,000 Americans and cratered the U.S. economy.
    But Trump’s fellow Republicans have largely backed the president, praising his handling of the health crisis and calling on WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to resign.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Aurora Ellis)
[UNTIL WE GET THE TRUTH FROM THE WHO WE SHOULD HOLD THEM TO THE IRON AND PRESS THEM FOR THAT.].

4/27/2020 WHO chief says pandemic ‘far from over’, worried about children
FILE PHOTO: Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference on the
situation of the coronavirus (COVID-2019), in Geneva, Switzerland, February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo/File Photo
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The coronavirus pandemic is “far from over” and is still disrupting normal health services, especially life-saving immunisation for children in the poorest countries, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday.
    The U.N. agency is concerned about rising numbers of cases and deaths in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and some Asian countries, even as the numbers flatten or decline in some wealthier nations.
    “We have a long road ahead of us and a lot of work to do,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual news conference in Geneva, adding that a second wave of infections could be prevented with the right actions.
    The novel coronavirus, which emerged late last year in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, has alrady infected 2.97 million and claimed 205,948 lives, according to the latest Reuters tally.
    Tedros expressed concern that the health of children was being threatened by the impact of the coronavirus emergency on vaccination programmes for other diseases.
    “Children may be at relatively low risk from severe disease and death from COVID-19 – the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus – but can be at high risk from other diseases that can be prevented with vaccines,” said Tedros.
    Some 13 million people have been affected worldwide by delays in regular immunisations against diseases including polio, measles, cholera, yellow fever and meningitis, he said.
    Shortages of vaccines against other diseases are being reported in 21 countries as a result of border restrictions and disruptions to travel caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Tedros said, citing the GAVI global vaccine alliance.
    “The number of malaria cases in sub-Saharan Africa could double,” he said, referring to the potential impact of COVID-19 on regular malaria services.    “That doesn’t have to happen, we are working with countries to support them.”
    WHO’s top emergencies expert Dr. Mike Ryan, asked about some U.S. states lifting restrictions despite a lack of contact-tracing and the government’s handling of the crisis, said the United States seemed to have a “very clearly laid-out,” science-based federal plan for fighting its coronavirus epidemic.
    “The federal government and the system of governors are working together to move America and its people through this very difficult situation,” Ryan said.
    But the federal system linking 50 states made the situation “complex,” he added.
    Ryan also repeated an earlier WHO warning against easing restrictions too soon.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay and Emma Farge in Geneva and Michael Shields in Zurich; editing by Gareth Jones)
[HE BETTER WORRY ABOUT TRUMP BECAUSE HE WILL COME AFTER YOU IN THE NEAR FUTURE.].

4/29/2020 Report: White House ordered Intel agencies to investigate if China, WHO hid COVID-19 information by OAN Newsroom
The logo and building of the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, 15 April 2020. U.S. President
Donald Trump announced that he has instructed his administration to halt funding to the WHO. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)
    The White House has instructed intelligence agencies to investigate if the World Health Organization (WHO) and China initially covered up crucial details about the coronavirus.
    That’s according to NBC News, which reported Wednesday that the CIA, the NSA and the Defense Intelligence Agency are looking into if these two groups withheld information about the virus earlier this year.
    Part of the probe will look into what the WHO knew about two coronavirus research labs in the pandemic’s epicenter of Wuhan, China.
    President Trump appeared to reference the agencies’ investigation during a press briefing Monday.
    “We are not happy with China, we are not happy with that whole situation because we believe it could have been stopped at the source,” he stated.    “It could have been stopped quickly and it wouldn’t have spread all over the world, and we think that should have happened…we’ll let you know at the appropriate time, but we are doing serious investigations.”
    Previously, President Trump has blasted the WHO for not reporting that the coronavirus could spread from human-to-human back in January when it had the evidence.

4/29/2020 UK envoy in Washington backs probe into origins of pandemic, WHO reforms
FILE PHOTO: Karen Pierce, Britain's Ambassador to the United Nations speaks at a Security Council meeting about Afghanistan
at United Nations Headquarters in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., March 10, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
    WASHINGTON/LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s ambassador to the United States on Wednesday backed calls for an investigation into the origins of the novel coronavirus and the response of the World Health Organization, but said the first priority should be containing the outbreak.
    The comments came after Britain’s foreign affairs parliamentary committee asked the government whether it plans to use international bodies to hold China to account over the COVID-19 pandemic.
    The cross-party body asked for the government’s strategy in dealing with China, taking into account Beijing’s role in giving early information on the pandemic, its role within medical and industrial supply chains and the reliance of the UK and its partners on the country.
    The committee asked if the government planned to make representations at international gatherings such as the World Health Organization, Group of Seven (G7) advanced economies or Group of 20 (G20) major economies to “hold China accountable for its attempts to mislead the international community in order to control the narrative around COVID-19.”
    Asked about the issue during an online event with The Washington Post newspaper, British Ambassador Karen Pierce said an investigation was certainly needed into how the virus emerged and the health risks associated with wet markets in China, which have spawned at least three virus outbreaks since 2000.
    The British government also favored a review of the WHO’s handling of the outbreak and reforms of the organization, she said.    “We need to learn after all these crises, just as we did after Ebola in 2014.    We need to learn how we can always do things better,” she said.
    However, she underscored that it was crucial now to focus on bolstering international cooperation to respond to the pandemic.
    “We would see these sorts of reviews and reforms and investigations as something to come later,” she said.
    The U.S. government has repeatedly criticized China’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, which began late last year in the Chinese city of Wuhan and has grown into a global pandemic.    The outbreak has killed nearly 217,000 people globally, including more than 27,000 in Britain and over 58,000 in the United States, according to a Reuters tally.
    U.S. President Donald Trump has suspended U.S. funding of the WHO, accusing the U.N. agency of promoting China’s “disinformation” about the outbreak.    WHO officials have denied this and China has said it has been transparent and open.
(Reporting by Kate Holton in London and Andrea Shalal in Washington; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Cynthia Osterman)

5/1/2020 China refuses to cooperate with WHO investigation of Wuhan origin by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Wednesday, March 11, 2020 file photo, a technician prepares COVID-19 coronavirus patient
samples for testing at a laboratory in New York’s Long Island. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
    The World Health Organization recently spoke out against China for refusing to let the agency investigate the origins of the coronavirus.
    In an interview with Sky News Friday, World Health Organization (WHO) representative Dr. Gauden Galea stated the group has not been allowed to join Beijing’s probe despite its repeated requests.    He went on to say WHO experts are convinced the virus was not manufactured and originated in Wuhan.
    However, they still need to investigate logs from two Wuhan laboratories.    Dr. Galea stressed it’s crucial to fully understand how the virus broke out in order to prevent future pandemics.
    “The origins of the virus are very important, the animal-human interface is extremely important and needs to be studied,” he explained.    “Priority is we need to know as much as possible to prevent the re-occurrence, you don’t want this whole thing to happen all over again.”
    Regarding the early days of when the virus broke out in China, Dr. Galea went on to say the WHO only knows what China has reported.    He added that it’s likely there were many more cases of coronavirus in early January than Chinese authorities let on.
[THE DRAGON IS SHOWING ITS TRUE COLORS COMMUNIST RED AND NOT LETTING THE WHO DO WHAT THEY NEED TO.]

5/3/2020 WHO’s Ryan says world is in ‘fight of our lives’, but there is hope by Kate Kelland and Stephanie Nebehay
FILE PHOTO: Executive Director of the World Health Organization's (WHO) emergencies program Mike Ryan speaks at a news
conference on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Geneva, Switzerland February 6, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    LONDON/GENEVA (Reuters) – Parts of the world are starting to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and to cautiously resume some sort of normal life, but the new coronavirus will pose significant risks until vaccines are developed, the WHO’s top emergencies expert said on Sunday.
    Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) emergencies programme, said while many countries are still in the eye of the storm, others were beginning to show it is possible to contain the disease to some extent.
    “In that sense, there’s hope,” Ryan told Reuters in an online interview from Geneva.
    “At a global level the situation is still very, very serious but the pattern of the disease and the trajectory of the virus is very different in different parts of the world right now,” he said.
    “What we’re learning is that it is possible to get this disease under control and it is possible to begin resuming normal economic and social life, with a new way of having to do that, and with extreme caution and vigilance.”
    However, some countries in Africa and in central and South America are still seeing “an upwards trajectory in cases” and although they may not appear to have a big problem yet, the availability of tests remains an issue, Ryan added.
    More than 3.44 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 243,015 have died, according to a Reuters tally as of Sunday.
    Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December.
    “We’re in the middle of the fight of our lives – all of us around the world,” Ryan said.    “There’s going to be a significant and extended risk until we reach a point where we have a safe and effective vaccine available to all.”
    Ryan said some countries, including China, South Korea, Singapore, New Zealand and others, had reached what he described as “a steady state” with regard to the spread of COVID-19.
    Meanwhile Europe and North America are beginning to emerge from “very intense epidemics” of the disease and are now trying to navigate a safe exit from severe restrictions on economic and social activities imposed in the past few months, he said.
    After months of severe lockdown, people in Italy and Spain were starting to enjoy a little more freedom on Sunday.    Israel has opened some schools, while South Korea said it would further relax social distancing rules from May 6, allowing a phased re-opening of businesses.
    Ryan said this showed “not that the virus can be beaten absolutely, but that we can reach a point where we have enough control over the virus that our social and economic lives can begin again.”
    He reiterated, however, that any government seeking to relax restrictions should do so with extreme caution.
    The WHO warned on Friday that countries must lift lockdowns gradually, while still being “on the look-out” for COVID-19 and ready to restore restrictions if the virus jumps back.
(Reporting by Kate Kelland and Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Frances Kerry)

5/4/2020 Apps cannot replace ‘boots-on-the-ground’ in virus fight: WHO
FILE PHOTO: Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference
on the situation of the coronavirus (COVID-2019), in Geneva, Switzerland, February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization on Monday stressed that contact-tracing apps and other technology cannot replace old-fashioned “boots-on-the-ground” surveillance measures as many countries begin easing lockdowns imposed to curb the new coronavirus.
    “We are very, very keen to stress that IT tools do not replace the basic public health workforce that is going to be needed to trace, test, isolate and quarantine,” the WHO’s top emergencies expert, Mike Ryan, told journalists at an online briefing in Geneva.
    He stressed the need for “shoe-leather epidemiology” and praised the success of places like South Korea and Singapore for their strategy.
    Many countries are easing lockdown restrictions to resurrect economies and contact-tracing apps are expected to play a role in helping identify new cases and contain clusters.
    In the same briefing, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged the world to unite to defeat the new coronavirus.
    “This virus will be with us for a long time and we must come together to develop and share the tools to defeat it,” he said.
    “We will prevail through national unity and global solidarity,” he added, praising pledges of $8 billion from world leaders for the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. [ID:nL8N2CM2QP]
    The Geneva-based body will launch this week its updated strategic preparedness and response plan, which will provide an update of its funding needs in order to support the international and national plans to fight the virus, Tedros said.
    Ryan said the WHO welcomed recent clinical trial data for Gilead Sciences Inc’s remdesivir drug, saying “there are signals of hope there for the potential use of the drug” in COVID-19 patients.
(Reporting by Emma Farge and Stephanie Nebehay, Editing by Michael Shields)

5/4/2020 U.S. Intel: China hid extent of COVID-19 outbreak in order to stockpile medical supplies by OAN Newsroom
A crew gets ready to unload medical supplies from an Antonov AN-225 cargo transporter upon arriving from China at Mirabel
Airport in Mirabel, Quebec, Friday, May 1, 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
    According to U.S. officials, China withheld critical information regarding the coronavirus outbreak in order to give itself time to hoard medical supplies.
    Reports Monday cited Department of Homeland Security intelligence documents, which stated Chinese leaders “intentionally concealed the severity” of the pandemic in early January.
    This followed comments by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Sunday who confirmed China did “all that it could” to make sure the world didn’t learn about the pandemic “in a timely fashion.”
    “This is an enormous crisis created by the fact that the Chinese Communist Party reverted to form, reverted to the kinds of disinformation, the kinds of concealment that authoritarian regimes do,” said the State Department chief.
    According to the analysis, while China was concealing the extent of the virus, it was simultaneously increasing imports and decreasing exports of vital medical supplies.
    The report said Chinese officials tried to cover this up by “denying there were export restrictions, and obfuscating and delaying provision of its trade data.”    China then went on to order medical supplies abroad, noting imports of face masks, gloves and surgical gowns “increased sharply.”
    White House trade advisor Peter Navarro made similar accusations in mid-April.    He said for six weeks China used its influence at the World Health Organization to hide the nature of the coronavirus, while buying up the world’s supply of medical equipment.
FILE – In this April 29, 2020, file photo Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a news conference at the State Department in
Washington. Chinese leaders “intentionally concealed the severity” of the pandemic from the world in early January, according to
a 4-page, Department of Homeland Security report dated May 1 and obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
    Pompeo also noted that the U.S. still hasn’t been granted the access it needs in order to effectively fight the pandemic.
    “We tried to get a team in there, the World Health Organization tried to get a team in there and they have failed,” he explained.    “No one’s been allowed to go to this lab or any of the other laboratories; there are many labs inside of China.”
    The secretary went on to stress that “this is an ongoing threat, an ongoing pandemic, and the Chinese Communist Party continues to block access to the western world.”

5/6/2020 Give us first-hand information to fight virus, Taiwan asks WHO by Ben Blanchard
Taiwan Health Minister Chen Shih-chung speaks to the Taipei Foreign Correspondents' Club about the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) outbreak, at Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control in Taipei, Taiwan, May 6, 2020. REUTERS/Ben Blanchard
    TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan’s health minister asked the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday to ensure the island had access to first-hand information about the coronavirus, saying that not having the full picture slows down epidemic-prevention work.
    Taiwan’s exclusion from WHO – China, which considers the island one of its provinces, objects to Taiwan’s membership – has infuriated Taipei.    Officials there say it has created a gap in the global fight against the coronavirus and threatened the island’s health.
    Speaking to foreign reporters in Taipei, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung said Taiwan wanted proper access to the WHO.
    “For Taiwan, what we want is first-hand information.    Any second-hand information slows down any actions we take, and distorts our judgement about the epidemic, like we’re unable to see the woods for the trees,” he said.
    “But if we can we get first-hand information within the organisation, we can see the whole picture and can react proactively by creating various systems or policies,” he added.
    “Our speed in reacting will become faster, so Taiwan does not become a gap” in epidemic prevention.
    Taiwan has produced a list of complaints against the WHO, including that it gave wrong case numbers for Taiwan, ignored requests for information, and has bent to Chinese pressure to interfere with the island’s requests for help.
    Both the WHO and China say Taiwan has been provided with the help it needs.    China says only it has the right to speak for Taiwan’s 23 million people internationally, a claim Taipei’s democratically elected government angrily rejects.
    Taiwan has stepped up its campaign to attend, as an observer, this month’s virtual meeting of the WHO’s decision-making body, the World Health Assembly (WHA), though government and diplomatic sources say China will not agree to that.
    Taiwan attended the World Health Assembly as an observer from 2009-2016, when Taipei-Beijing relations were warmer.
    But China blocked further participation after the election of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, whom China views as a separatist, a charge she rejects.
    Chen would not say whether he was optimistic or pessimistic about Taiwan’s chances of participating, but said there was “of course no problem” in trying to reach a consensus to allow this to happen.
    “Our only standard is that we cannot be belittled,” he said.
    Steven Solomon, the WHO’s principal legal officer, said on Monday that the WHO recognised the People’s Republic of China as the “one legitimate representative of China,” in keeping with U.N. policy since 1971, and that the question of Taiwan’s attendance was one for the WHO’s 194 member states.
    Taiwan says the 1971 decision, under which Beijing assumed the U.N. China seat from Taipei, only resolved the issue of who represented China, not the issue of Taiwan, and did not grant China the power to represent Taiwan internationally.
    Chen said the world should not be locked in the past and have to stick by something from almost five decades ago.
    “The times keep changing,” he added.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Additional reporting by Fabian Hamacher. Editing by Gerry Doyle)

5/5/2020 WHO urges countries to investigate early COVID-19 cases by Emma Farge and Stephanie Nebehay
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured on the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) ahead of a meeting of the
Emergency Committee on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Geneva, Switzerland, January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization said on Tuesday that a report that COVID-19 had emerged in December in France, sooner than previously thought, was “not surprising,” and urged countries to investigate any other early suspicious cases.
    The disease later identified as COVID-19 was first reported by Chinese authorities to the WHO on Dec. 31 and was not previously believed to have spread to Europe until January.
    “This gives a whole new picture on everything,” WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told a U.N. briefing in Geneva, referring to the French report.
    “The findings help to better understand the potential virus circulation of COVID-19,” he added, saying other earlier cases could emerge after retesting samples.
    A French hospital which retested old samples from pneumonia patients discovered that it treated a man who had COVID-19 as early as Dec. 27, nearly a month before the French government confirmed its first cases.
    There is not currently any suggestion that the virus emerged from anywhere other than Wuhan, China.    It is thought that, instead, the French case was somehow connected to a person who travelled from there in December before the virus had been identified or reported by China, the WHO spokesman said.
    However, the French patient, a fishmonger, is not thought to have a direct link to China or a history of recent travel and experts say the French case requires more investigation.
    Lindmeier encouraged other countries to check records for pneumonia cases of unspecified origin in late 2019, since this would give a “new and clearer picture” of the outbreak.
    Asked about the origins of the virus in China, Lindmeier stressed that it was “really, really important” to explore this.
    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says his country has evidence that the new coronavirus emerged from a laboratory in Wuhan, although scientists have advised the WHO that it is of animal origin.
    “That may need further missions or a mission (to China) so we are looking forward to this,” Lindmeier said.
    The WHO’s top emergencies expert, Dr Mike Ryan, said on Monday that the body’s chief had raised the issue of the origins of the virus “at the highest level” during a WHO mission to China in January.
(Reporting by Emma Farge and Stephanie Nebehay; editing by Philippa Fletcher and Giles Elgood)

5/5/2020 France’s early COVID-19 case may hold clues to pandemic’s start by Kate Kelland
Plastic circles are seen on the ground indicating where to stand to respect social distancing on a platform at the Gare du Nord
train station during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Paris, France, May 5, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
    LONDON (Reuters) – A study by French scientists which suggests a man was infected with COVID-19 as early as Dec. 27, nearly a month before France confirmed its first cases, could be important in assessing when and where the new coronavirus emerged, experts said on Tuesday.
    A man identified as the patient told a French TV station that he was surprised to learn that he had contracted COVID-19 since he thought he had flu at the time.
    French researchers led by Yves Cohen, head of resuscitation at the Avicenne and Jean Verdier hospitals, retested samples from 24 patients treated in December and January who had tested negative for flu before COVID-19 developed into a pandemic.
    The results, published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, showed that one patient – a 42-year-old man born in Algeria, who had lived in France for many years and worked as a fishmonger – was infected with COVID-19 “one month before the first reported cases in our country,” they said.
    The World Health Organization said the results were “not surprising.”
    “It’s also possible there are more early cases to be found,” WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told a U.N. briefing in Geneva.    He encouraged other countries to check records for cases in late 2019, saying this would give the world a “new and clearer picture” of the outbreak.
    French broadcaster BFM TV identified the man as Amirouche Hammar, a resident of Bobigny, a northeastern suburb of Paris.    In an interview with the station, Hammar said when he fell ill last year with a dry cough, fatigue and a fever, he thought he had flu.    Doctors at the time could not diagnose him.
    “I was surprised,” he said, about being told much later by doctors that he had been suffering from COVID-19.    He is fully recovered.    He said he had not travelled abroad for months before falling ill, and did not know where he could have been infected.
    His wife said she works at a retailer near a Paris airport, and frequently comes into contact with travellers from overseas.
    Independent experts said the findings of the French scientists needed more investigation.
    “It’s not impossible that it was an early introduction, but the evidence isn’t conclusive by any means,” said Jonathan Ball, a professor of molecular virology at Britain’s University of Nottingham.
    Stephen Griffin, an expert at the University of Leeds’ Institute of Medical Research, said it was “a potentially important finding” and added: “We must be cautious when interpreting these findings.”
    Cohen told French television on Monday it was too early to know if the patient, whose last trip abroad, to Algeria, had been in August 2019, was France’s “patient zero.”
    But “identifying the first infected patient is of great epidemiological interest as it changes dramatically our knowledge regarding SARS-COV-2 (the new coronavirus) and its spreading in the country,” he and his co-researchers wrote in the paper detailing their findings.
    They said the absence of a link with China and the lack of recent travel “suggest that the disease was already spreading among the French population at the end of December 2019.”
    France, where almost 25,000 people have died from COVID-19 since March 1, confirmed its first three cases on Jan. 24, including two patients in Paris and another in the southwestern city of Bordeaux.
    Rowland Kao, a professor of veterinary epidemiology and data science at Edinburgh University, said that even if it were confirmed, the identification of a positive COVID-19 in December “is not necessarily an indication that the spread of COVID-19 from France started this early.”
    “If confirmed, what this case does highlight is the speed at which an infection starting in a seemingly remote part of the world can quickly seed infections elsewhere,” he said.
(Additional reporting by Emma Farge in Geneva and Christian Lowe in Paris; Editing by Giles Elgood)

5/7/2020 China accuses Pompeo of telling lies over its handling of coronavirus
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
during a media briefing at the State Department in Washington, U.S., May 6, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/Pool
    BEIJING (Reuters) – China accused U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of telling one lie to cover up another in his continued attacks against Beijing over the coronavirus pandemic.
    The remarks were made by Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, who reiterated that Beijing has been transparent about the COVID-19 outbreak that emerged in China late last year and that U.S. politicians are making baseless accusations against China.
    The United States has accused Beijing of mishandling the outbreak.
    Hua also said Beijing opposes U.S. interference in its domestic affairs in response to a question about the State Department’s decision to delay a report to Congress assessing whether Hong Kong enjoys sufficient autonomy from China to continue receiving special treatment from the U.S.
Pompeo told a news conference on Wednesday the report will be delayed “to account for any additional actions” leading up to the annual meeting of Chinese parliament in late May. [nL1N2CO1BD]
(Reporting by Yew Lun Tian; writing by Se Young Lee; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

5/7/2020 China says supports WHO, opposes U.S., others trying to politicise COVID-19
A security guard stands outside a high school during a government-organised media tour as more students returned to
campus following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Shanghai, China May 7, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song
    BEIJING (Reuters) – China said on Thursday it supports World Health Organization efforts to investigate the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic, and opposes attempts by the United States and some other countries to politicise the issue and attack Beijing.
    Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, asked about U.S. President Donald Trump’s comments comparing the outbreak to Pearl Harbor and the 9/11 attacks, said the enemy the United States faced was the coronavirus and not China.
(Reporting by Yew Lun Tian; writing by Se Young Lee; editing by John Stonestreet)

5/6/2020 Study suggests coronavirus spread swiftly around world in late 2019 by Kate Kelland
FILE PHOTO: The ultrastructural morphology exhibited by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which was identified as the cause of
an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China, is seen in an illustration released by the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. January 29, 2020. Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM/CDC/Handout via REUTERS.
    LONDON (Reuters) – A genetic analysis of samples from more than 7,500 people infected with COVID-19 suggests the new coronavirus spread quickly around the world late last year and is adapting to its human hosts, scientists said on Wednesday.
    A study by scientists at University College London’s (UCL) Genetics Institute found almost 200 recurrent genetic mutations of the new coronavirus – SARS-CoV-2 – which the researchers said showed how it may be evolving as it spreads in people.
    Francois Balloux, a UCL professor who co-led the research, said results showed that a large proportion of the global genetic diversity of the virus causing COVID-19 was found in all of the hardest-hit countries.
    That suggests that the virus was already being transmitted extensively around the globe from early on in the epidemic.
    “All viruses naturally mutate. Mutations in themselves are not a bad thing and there is nothing to suggest SARS-CoV-2 is mutating faster or slower than expected,” said Balloux.    “So far, we cannot say whether SARS-CoV-2 is becoming more or less lethal and contagious.”
    In a second study also published on Wednesday, scientists at Britain’s University of Glasgow who also analysed SARS-CoV-2 virus samples said their findings showed that previous work suggesting there were two different strains was inaccurate.
    A preliminary study by Chinese scientists in March had suggested there may have been two strains of the new coronavirus causing infections there, with more of them more “aggressive” than the other.
    But publishing their analysis in the journal Virus Evolution, the Glasgow team said only one type of the virus was circulating.
    More than 3.68 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 256,000 have died, according to a Reuters tally.    Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since cases were first identified in China in December 2019.
    The UCL team’s findings, published in the journal Infection, Genetics and Evolution, confirm that the virus emerged in late 2019, Balloux said, before quickly spreading across the globe.
    His team screened the genomes of more than 7,500 viruses from infected patients around the world.    Their results add to a growing body of evidence that SARS-CoV-2 viruses share a common ancestor from late 2019, suggesting this was when the virus jumped from a previous animal host into people.
    This means it is unlikely the new virus was circulating in people for long before it was first detected, Balloux said.
    A study by French scientists published earlier this week found a man there was infected with COVID-19 as early as Dec. 27, nearly a month before France confirmed its first cases.
    The World Health Organization said the French case was “not surprising” and urged countries to investigate any other early suspicious cases.
    Balloux said the 198 small genetic changes, or mutations, that his and other studies have identified held helpful clues for researchers seeking to develop drugs and vaccines.
    “If we focus our efforts on parts of the virus that are less likely to mutate, we have a better chance of developing drugs that will be effective in the long run,” Balloux said.
(Reporting by Kate Kelland,; Editing by Peter Graff)

5/6/2020 Pompeo blames China for hundreds of thousands of virus deaths, denies inconsistency by Humeyra Pamuk and David Brunnstrom
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during a media briefing
at the State Department in Washington, U.S., May 6, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/Pool
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday renewed his aggressive criticism of China, blaming it for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people from the coronavirus and demanding again that it share information about the outbreak.
    “They knew.    China could have prevented the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.    China could have spared the world descent into global economic malaise,” Pompeo told a State Department news conference.
    “China is still refusing to share the information we need to keep people safe.”
    Pompeo pushed back against suggestions that he and other members of the Trump administration have issued conflicting statements about the exact origins of the novel coronavirus while blaming China for the initial outbreak in the city of Wuhan.
    On Sunday, Pompeo said there was “a significant amount of evidence” the virus emerged from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, having said the previous Thursday it was not known whether it came from the lab, a so-called wet market, or some other place.
    On Wednesday, he said the United State did not have certainty, but there was significant evidence it came from the lab.
    “Every one of those statements is entirely consistent,” he said.    “We are all trying to figure out the right answer.    We are all trying to get the clarity.    There are different levels of certainty assessed at different places," Pompeo said.
    Critics believe the U.S. administration is seeking to deflect attention from what they see as a slow U.S. response to the outbreak, which has killed more than 255,000 people around the world, including more than 70,000 in the United States, the worst-hit country, according to official statistics.
OPAQUE
    Republican President Donald Trump, who is seeking re-election in November, on Tuesday also urged China to be transparent about the origins of the outbreak.
    Pompeo said China was still withholding virus samples he says are needed for global vaccine research and rejected suggestions that Washington was being unfair to Beijing.
    “They continue to be opaque, they continue to deny access for this important information that our research or epidemiologists need,” he said.
    “People say, well America’s bullying the Chinese.    We are demanding of them only what we demand of every nation: be transparent, be open, be a reliable partner, the very things that they say.    The Chinese say they want to cooperate.    Great.    Cooperation is about action.”
    The Wuhan Institute of Virology, a Chinese state-backed institute, has dismissed allegations that the virus originated there. Most experts believe it originated in a Wuhan market selling wildlife and jumped from animals to people.
    Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force, said in an interview published on Monday that the best evidence showed the virus was not made in a lab, but appeared to have “evolved in nature and then jumped species.”
    Trump was asked last Thursday if he had seen evidence that gave him a “high degree of confidence” that the virus came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and replied that he had, although he declined to give specifics.
    Pompeo again took aim at the World Health Organization, which Trump has called “China-centric” and suspended U.S. funding to.
    “It’s not only that they didn’t enforce … the WHO needs to still demand that there be an investigation,” Pompeo said, adding that WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus needed to be “just as concerned as the United States … and other countries that we still don’t have access to the answers we need.”
    In an opinion article published in the Washington Post, China’s ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai, said “blaming China will not end this pandemic.”
    “It is time to end the blame game.    It is time to focus on the disease and rebuild trust between our two countries,” he said.
(Reporting By Humeyra Pamuk, Arshad Mohammed and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis)

5/6/2020 WHO warns of new lockdowns if transition not managed carefully by Emma Farge and John Revill
FILE PHOTO: Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference
on the situation of the coronavirus (COVID-2019), in Geneva, Switzerland, February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/
    GENEVA/ZURICH (Reuters) – The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday warned of the risks of returning to lockdown if countries emerging from pandemic restrictions do not manage transitions “extremely carefully and in a phased approach.”
    Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus listed a series of steps needed before countries lift measures designed to control the spread of the COVID-19 respiratory disease, such as surveillance controls and health system preparedness.
    “The risk of returning to lockdown remains very real if countries do not manage the transition extremely carefully and in a phased approach,” he said at a virtual briefing in Geneva.
    Tedros, who has come under fire for his handling of the outbreak, said that he would conduct an “after-action” assessment of the agency’s response, but wait until the pandemic recedes to do so.
    “While the fire is raging I think our focus should not be divided,” he said.
    He defended the WHO’s record on warning about the potential for human-to-human transmission of the new coronavirus, saying it informed the world of that in early January.
    The Geneva-based body has been accused of being “China centric” by top donor the United States, which has cut off funding to the body.
    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said he has “evidence” that the new coronavirus emerged from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, whereas scientists have advised the WHO that it is of animal origin.
    WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove said that the agency was discussing a further “academic” mission to China to look at the virus origins.
    “Without knowing where the animal origin is it is difficult for us to prevent this from happening again,” she said.
    “There is discussion with counterparts in China for a further mission which would be more academic in focus and really focus on looking at what happened at the beginning in terms of the exposures with different animals so that we can look to have an approach to find the zoonotic source,” she added.
    Tedros stressed the need for investment in health systems now to save lives later.
    “The COVID-19 pandemic will eventually recede but there can be no going back to business as usual,” he said.    He also urged countries to address inequalities that he said were “fuelling” the pandemic.
(Reporting by John Revill and Emma Farge; Editing by Michael Shields)

5/6/2020 EU wants WHO review of lessons learnt from coronavirus crisis: draft by Stephanie Nebehay
FILE PHOTO: Director-General of the WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, attends a news conference on the
coronavirus (COVID-2019) in Geneva, Switzerland February 24, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The European Union is backing calls for a timely review of the international response to the coronavirus pandemic, including the World Health Organization’s performance, according to the draft of a resolution for ministers to debate at the WHO.
    European diplomats said the United States and China have taken part in negotiations on the EU resolution, but gave no details of their input.    A Chinese spokesman confirmed Beijing had been involved, but U.S. officials declined comment.
    WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has defended the U.N. agency against fierce criticism by U.S. President Donald Trump but has promised a review of its performance after the pandemic eases, including by its independent oversight body.
    An initial draft of the EU resolution, to be debated by WHO health ministers meeting virtually on May 18-19 at the World Health Assembly, includes wording on “commending the WHO leadership” but calls for “an evaluation … at the earliest appropriate moment on lessons learnt from the international health response to COVID-19.”
    The draft, seen by Reuters, says the evaluation should address the long-term consequences on health and “gaps in pandemic preparedness” and reminds the 194 WHO member states they must report outbreaks of disease in a “timely manner.”
    “Negotiations have begun.    The Americans, Chinese and Europeans are taking part, almost everyone is.    It’s a very good sign that everyone is engaged,” a European diplomat said.
    If confirmed, the U.S. involvement in discussions about the text would signal that Washington is engaging in diplomacy at the WHO despite suspending its funding for the agency last month, accusing it of being “China centric” and issuing bad advice.
    China has been consulted despite criticism by several countries, including the United States, that it mishandled the early stages of the pandemic and was slow to reveal the extent of the threat it posed.
    Asked about consultations on the resolution, an EU spokeswoman said “there is a high level of participation," and that the text is evolving.    The bloc and its member states seek “to make it a truly inclusive process and produce a text that speaks for all,” she said.
    The U.S. mission to the U.N. in Geneva did not reply to a request for comment.
    Liu Yuyin, spokesman for China’s mission, confirmed the mission’s own participation.
    “It is important to demonstrate global solidarity and avoid disparity and confrontation in our common fight against the epidemic through this document.    China will continue to work with the EU and many other countries to achieve this goal,” he said.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

5/6/2020 China pushes back on int’l probe into COVID-19 origins by OAN Newsroom
FILE – Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying speaks during a briefing
at the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)
    China has pushed back against an international probe into the origins of the coronavirus.    On Wednesday, the Chinese envoy to the UN announced Beijing will not allow international investigators into Wuhan until the outbreak is defeated.
    The official accused the U.S. and its ‘Five Eyes’ intel partners of an “absurd and ridiculous” politicization of the probe.    This came after Australian and U.S. officials confirmed the virus originated from the Wuhan lab.
    According to Chinese diplomats, the U.S. has no evidence to blame Beijing for the virus outbreak.
    “We are opposed to individual politicians in the United States conducting investigations based on the presumption of guilt on China for domestic political reasons,” stated spokesperson Hua Chunying.    “We are opposed to using the epidemic to engage in political manipulation.”
    Beijing also slammed Taiwan by saying the island nation is using the virus outbreak to reassert its independence in international organizations.

5/6/2020 Soros using COVID-19 to push far-left policies by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this file photo dated Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011, chairman, Soros Fund Management, George Soros speaks
during a forum at the IMF/World Bank annual meetings in Washington. (AP Photo Manuel Balce Ceneta, FILE)
    As part of a new initiative, billionaire globalist George Soros is seeking to use the COVID-19 outbreak to enforce radical left policies in the U.S.    The new program, called the “People’s Bailout,” brings together 1,000 far-left groups and unions, as well as 100 members of Congress.
    According to Soros, the next virus relief package must be based off of “five principles.”    These include provisions of the Green New Deal, a $15 minimum wage and regular cash payments to each person.
    He added government unions and far-left groups must increase control in all spheres of life as part of the so-called “new normal.”
    Soros is also under fire for his latest attack on religious liberty in the U.S.
    In a recent statement, the Catholic League announced Soros-backed groups are leading a coordinated attack on the State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights.    The league has said he is working to elevate LGBTQ and abortion groups instead.
    The commission was established last year by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to defend the freedom of religion in the U.S. and beyond.    The Catholic League claimed Soros is attacking the church to enforce his far-left agenda of submission and control.

5/9/2020 U.S. lawmakers urge support for Taiwan at WHO, as U.S. criticizes China by Patricia Zengerle
FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) arrives to hear testimony from U.S. Ambassador to the
European Union Gordon Sondlandin Washington, U.S., October 17, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The leaders of U.S. congressional foreign affairs committees wrote to nearly 60 countries on Friday asking them to support Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Organization, citing the need for the broadest effort possible to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
    Taiwan, which is not a member of the United Nations, has been excluded from the WHO, which is a U.N. agency, due to objections from China.
    “As the world works to combat the spread of the COVID-19, a novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China, it has never been more important to ensure all countries prioritize global health and safety over politics,” the lawmakers said in their letter, sent on Friday and first reported by Reuters.
    It was signed by Representatives Eliot Engel, Democratic chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, and Michael McCaul, the panel’s ranking Republican member, as well as Senators Jim Risch, the Republican Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, and Bob Menendez, the panel’s ranking Democratic member.
    The letter was sent to “like-minded” countries, large and small, seen as friends and allies of Taiwan, including Canada, Thailand, Japan, Germany, Britain, Saudi Arabia and Australia.
    It was sent as President Donald Trump and other U.S. officials have ramped up criticism of China over the spread of the coronavirus, which causes the respiratory illness COVID-19.    The Trump administration has accused China of making the pandemic worse by hiding information.
    Last month, Trump announced that he was suspending aid to the WHO, accusing it of being “China-centric” and promoting China’s “disinformation” about the outbreak, assertions the WHO denies.
    Some of Trump’s fellow Republicans in Congress have echoed the president’s criticisms.    Democrats have criticized Trump for attacking the WHO during a global health crisis, while saying it needs reforms.
    Taiwan has been seeking to join a ministerial meeting this month of the WHO’s decision-making body, the World Health Assembly (WHA), with backing from Washington and several U.S. allies.
    But China, which considers Taiwan a breakaway province under its “one China” policy, said Taiwan’s effort to join the meeting will fail, insisting its efforts are based on politics, not health concerns.
    Taiwan has argued that its exclusion from the WHO has created a dangerous gap in the global fight against the coronavirus.
    In their letter, the U.S. lawmakers said Taiwan’s resources and expertise are assets that could benefit the world as it struggles with the pandemic.    They noted that Taiwan was invited to participate in WHA meetings from 2009 to 2016.
    “Diseases know no borders.    We urge your government to join us in addressing the pressing issue of Taiwan’s inclusion in global health and safety organizations.    Given what the world has endured as a result of COVID-19, UN Member States joining together to insist Taiwan be invited to the upcoming virtual WHA session in May 2020 is the right place to start,” the letter said.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Leslie Adler and Daniel Wallis)

5/8/2020 Countries must return to public health surveillance in COVID-19 fight: WHO’s Ryan
FILE PHOTO: Executive Director of the World Health Organization's (WHO) emergencies program Mike Ryan speaks at a news
conference on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Geneva, Switzerland February 6, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    ZURICH (Reuters) – Countries must return to “basic principles” of public health surveillance if they are to bring the coronavirus outbreak under control, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) top emergency health expert said on Friday.
    The WHO, which said it is facing a $1.3 billion funding deficit for its effort to tackle COVID-19, issued the call for more surveillance as many countries including the United States, Switzerland, Mexico and Germany have turned their efforts toward re-opening economies battered by the pandemic.
    Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s health emergencies programme, said during a media briefing from Geneva that all nations should focus on the fundamentals of the global coronavirus fight: scouting potential new infections, hunting them down, confirming them and then separating those afflicted, to save others from the disease.
    “We seem…to be avoiding the uncomfortable reality that we need to get back to public health surveillance,” Mike Ryan, the head of the WHO’s health emergencies programme, said during a media briefing. “We need to go back to where we should have been months ago — finding cases, tracking cases, testing cases, isolating people who are tested positive, doing quarantine for contacts.”
    WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ concerns over a funding crunch come after U.S. President Donald Trump last month told his administration to temporarily halt funding to the United Nations health agency.    U.S. officials are demanding a WHO overhaul, saying it mishandled the coronavirus crisis.
    WHO’s Ryan on Friday urged nations to stick together as the disease spreads from country to country, sometimes at different rates and with wide swings in death tolls.    Ryan highlighted how Russia appears to be dealing with a “delayed epidemic” as a spike in confirmed new infections in recent days has catapulted it past France and Germany in total number of cases.
    “Through solidarity we will win the fight and nobody is safe until everybody is safe,” Ryan said.    “There is a path out, but we must remain ever-vigilant, and we may have to have a significant alteration of our lifestyles until we get to a point where we have an effective vaccine.”
    There has been a slew of news in recent days about vaccine candidates, including announcements that tests in humans have begun with some trials expected by summer, though experts have warned a successful preventative treatment may still be many months away.
(Reporting by Michael Shields and Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi, editing by John Miller)

5/8/2020 Wuhan market had role in virus outbreak, but more research needed: WHO by Stephanie Nebehay
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured on the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) ahead of a meeting of the
Emergency Committee on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Geneva, Switzerland, January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    GENEVA (Reuters) – A wholesale market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan played a role in the outbreak of the novel coronavirus last year, as the source or possibly as an “amplifying setting,” the World Health Organization said on Friday, calling for more research.
    Chinese authorities shut down the market in January as part of efforts to halt the spread of the virus and ordered a temporary ban on trade and consumption of wildlife.
    “The market played a role in the event, that’s clear.    But what role we don’t know, whether it was the source or amplifying setting or just a coincidence that some cases were detected in and around that market,” said Dr Peter Ben Embarek, a WHO expert on food safety and zoonotic viruses that cross the species barrier from animals to humans.
    It was not clear whether live animals or infected vendors or shoppers may have brought the virus into the market, he told a Geneva news briefing.
    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said there is “a significant amount of evidence” the virus came from the Wuhan laboratory, although he has also said there wasn’t certainty.
    No public evidence has linked the outbreak to the lab in Wuhan and scientists have said the coronavirus appears to have developed in nature.    A German intelligence report cast doubts on Pompeo’s allegations, Der Spiegel reported.
    Ben Embarek did not address the accusations.
    He noted that it took researchers a year to identify camels as the source of the MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) virus, a coronavirus that emerged in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and spread in the Middle East, adding: “It’s not too late.”
    “What is important, what would be of great help, is to get hold of the virus before it adapted to humans, before the version we have now.    Because then we would better understand how it adapted to humans, how it evolved,” he said.
    “In terms of investigations, China has most probably, most likely, all the expertise needed to do these investigations. They have lot of very qualified researchers to that,” he said.
    A common sight across Asia, wet markets traditionally sell fresh produce and live animals, such as fish, in the open air.
    Many markets worldwide that sell live animals must be better regulated and hygiene conditions improved, and some should be closed down, Ben Embarek said.    “But the vast majority can be fixed, can be better organised.”
    It is often a question of controlling waste management, the movement of people and goods, and of separating live animals from animal products and from fresh goods, he said.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by Nick Macfie)

5/8/2020 WHO readies coronavirus app for checking symptoms, possibly contact tracing by Paresh Dave
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured at the World Health Organization (WHO) building in Geneva, Switzerland, February 2, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    OAKLAND, California (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) plans to launch an app this month to enable people in under-resourced countries to assess whether they may have the novel coronavirus, and is considering a Bluetooth-based contact tracing feature too, an official told Reuters on Friday.
    The app will ask people about their symptoms and offer guidance on whether they may have COVID-19, the potentially lethal illness caused by the coronavirus, said Bernardo Mariano, chief information officer for the WHO.    Other information, such as how to get tested, will be personalized according to the user’s country.
    Though the WHO will release a version on app stores globally, any government will be able to take the app’s underlying technology, add features and release its own version on app stores, Mariano said in a phone interview.
    India, Australia and the United Kingdom already have released official virus apps using their own technology, with common features including telling people whether to get tested based on their symptoms and logging people’s movements to enable more efficient contact tracing.
    Several countries are ramping up contact tracing, or the process of finding, testing and isolating individuals who crossed paths with an infectious individual.    It is seen as vital to safely opening economies, and apps that automate parts of the process could accelerate efforts.
    The WHO expects its app to draw interest in other countries, including some in South America and Africa where case numbers are rising.    They may lack the technology and engineers to develop apps or be struggling to offer testing and education.
    “The value is really for countries that do not have anything,” Mariano said.    “We would be leaving behind the ones that are not able to (provide an app), that have fragile health systems.”
    Engineers and designers, including some who previously worked at Alphabet Inc’s Google and Microsoft Corp, have been volunteering for weeks to develop the new app with about five of them overseeing the process.    They are designing it open-source on the hosting service GitHub, meaning code is open to public input.
    Several team members declined to comment.
    Mariano said he wants to include additional tools beyond the symptom checker, including a self-help guide for mental health care.
    The team also is considering what the WHO refers to as proximity tracing.
    Engineers have done preliminary work and talked to smartphone operating system makers Apple Inc and Google about possibly adopting technology the companies plan to release jointly this month to make tracing easier.
    The technology relies on virtual “handshakes” between phones that come within a few feet of each other for at least five minutes.    Phones keep anonymized logs of such encounters, allowing someone who later tests positive to anonymously send notifications to recent contacts about their possible exposure to the virus.
    But Mariano said legal and privacy considerations have prevented the WHO from committing to such a feature yet.    He expressed concern about the many businesses pitching proximity tools turning around and using any personal data they gather to generate revenue later.
    “We want to make sure we ring-fence all the risks around it,” he said.
    Apple and Google have said their system will not use any data for other purposes and will be stopped when the pandemic ends.
    The WHO plans to release guidance as soon as next week on issues countries should consider as they weigh their own proximity tracing apps.
    To reach people with limited internet access, the WHO is working to deliver information via text messages.    In March, it launched an account on Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp to provide users with information about the coronavirus, and it partnered with the company’s Free Basics program to make some information available without users incurring data charges.
    The WHO also plans to release an app next week to inform health workers globally about best practices for donning protective gear, washing hands and treating the virus.    The organization already has a general app, WHO Info, that largely mirrors its website.
(Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Greg Mitchell and Jonathan Oatis)

5/9/2020 China ‘shocked’ by U.S. reversal on U.N. coronavirus action: diplomat by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: The United Nations Headquarters is pictured as it will be temporarily closed for tours due to the spread of
coronavirus in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., March 10, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – China and the United States both supported a draft United Nations Security Council resolution confronting the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday and it was “shocking and regretful” that Washington changed its mind on Friday, a Chinese diplomat said.
    A U.S. diplomat refuted the Chinese comment, saying there was no U.S. agreement on the text.
    For more than six weeks the 15-member council has been trying to agree on a text that ultimately aims to back a March 23 call by U.N. chief Antonio Guterres for a ceasefire in global conflicts so the world can focus on the pandemic.
    But talks have been stymied by a stand-off between China and the United States over whether to mention the World Health Organization.    The United States does not want a reference, China has insisted it be included, while some other members see the mention – or not – of WHO as a marginal issue, diplomats said.
    Washington has halted funding for the WHO, a U.N. agency, after President Donald Trump accused it of being “China-centric” and promoting China’s “disinformation” about the outbreak, assertions the WHO denies.
    It appeared the Security Council had reached a compromise late on Thursday, diplomats said and according to the latest version of a French- and Tunisian drafted-resolution.
    Instead of naming the WHO, the draft referenced “specialized health agencies.”    The WHO is the only such agency.    But the United States rejected that language on Friday, diplomats said, because it was an obvious reference to the Geneva-based WHO.
    “The United States had agreed to the compromise text and it’s shocking and regretful that the U.S. changed its position,” said the Chinese diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, on Saturday, adding that China supported the draft.
    The U.S. diplomat, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said there was no U.S. agreement on the text, which the U.S. mission to the United Nations had sent to Washington for review on Thursday.
    Diplomats said that during negotiations both China and the United States had raised the prospect of a veto on the issue of whether WHO is mentioned or not.    A resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by France, Russia, Britain, the United States or China to pass.
    A State Department spokesperson said on Friday the United States had worked constructively and accused China of repeatedly blocking compromises during negotiations.
    While the Security Council – charged with maintaining international peace and security – cannot do much to deal with the coronavirus itself, diplomats and analysts say it could have projected global unity by backing Guterres’ ceasefire call.
    French U.N. Ambassador Nicolas de Rivière on Friday said “we are still trying to achieve a positive result and trying to see if there is a possible compromise.”
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Chris Reese)

5/10/2020 China refutes 24 ‘lies’ by U.S. politicians over coronavirus by Yew Lun Tian
FILE PHOTO: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian attends a news conference
in Beijing, China April 8, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/File Photo
    BEIJING (Reuters) – China has issued a lengthy rebuttal of what it said were 24 “preposterous allegations” by some leading U.S. politicians over its handling of the new coronavirus outbreak.
    The Chinese foreign ministry has dedicated most of its press briefings over the past week to rejecting accusations by U.S. politicians, especially Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, that China had withheld information about the new coronavirus and that it had originated in a laboratory in the city of Wuhan.
    A 30-page, 11,000-word article posted on the ministry website on Saturday night repeated and expanded on the refutations made during the press briefings, and began by invoking Abraham Lincoln, the 19th century U.S. president.
    “As Lincoln said, you can fool some of the people all the time and fool all the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time,” it said in the prologue.
    The article also cited media reports that said Americans had been infected with the virus before the first case was confirmed in Wuhan.    There is no evidence to suggest that is the case.
    Keen to quash U.S. suggestions that the virus was deliberately created or somehow leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the article said that all evidence shows the virus is not man-made and that the institute is not capable of synthesising a new coronavirus.
TIMELY” WARNINGS
    The article also provided a timeline of how China had provided information to the international community in a “timely,” “open and transparent” manner to rebuke U.S. suggestions that it had been slow to sound the alarm.
    Despite China’s repeated assurances, concerns about the timeliness of its information have persisted in some quarters.
    A report by Der Spiegel magazine last Friday cited Germany’s BND spy agency as saying that China’s initial attempt to hold back information had cost the world four to six weeks that could have been used to fight the virus.
    The article rejected Western criticism of Beijing’s handling of the case of Li Wenliang, a 34-year-old doctor who had tried to raise the alarm over the outbreak of the new virus in Wuhan.    His death from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, prompted an outpouring of rage and grief across China.
    It ministry article said Li was not a “whistle-blower” and he was never arrested, contrary to many Western reports.
    However, the article did not mention that Li was reprimanded by the police for “spreading rumours.”    Though Li was later named among “martyrs” mourned by China, an investigation into his case also drew criticism online after it merely suggested the reprimand against him be withdrawn.
    Rejecting suggestions by U.S. President Donald Trump and Pompeo that the new coronavirus should be called the “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus,” the article cited documents from the World Health Organization to say the name of a virus should not be country-specific.
(Reporting by Yew Lun Tian; Editing by Gareth Jones)

5/11/2020 China’s health authority to tighten rules on laboratory controls
FILE PHOTO: A worker in a protective suit examines specimens inside a laboratory following an outbreak
of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, Hubei province, China February 6, 2020. China Daily via REUTERS
    BEIJING (Reuters) – China will require local health authorities to tighten their supervision over how virus strains and their samples are handled in labs, the National Health Commission said in a draft rule issued on Monday.
    Provincial governments should prevent unapproved transport of strains and samples of the new coronavirus that has killed over 280,000 people globally and provide central health authorities with details on any between-lab transportation of the virus.
(Reporting by Judy Hua, Huizhong Wu and Roxanne Liu in Beijing, editing by Louise Heavens)
[TOO LITTLE TOO LATE CHINA AND RESPONSIBLE FOR MILLIONS OF DEATHS AROUND THE WORLD AND NOW YOU DECIDE TO DO SOMETHING.].

5/13/2020 WHO sees ‘potentially positive data’ in treating coronavirus by Emma Farge
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured on the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) ahead of a meeting of the Emergency
Committee on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Geneva, Switzerland, January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization said on Tuesday that some treatments appear to be limiting the severity or length of the COVID-19 disease and that it was focusing on learning more about four or five of the most promising ones.
    The Geneva-based WHO is leading a global initiative to develop safe and effective vaccines, tests and drugs to prevent, diagnose and treat COVID-19.    The respiratory illness has infected 4.19 million people around the world, according to a Reuters tally.
    “We do have some treatments that seem to be in very early studies limiting the severity or the length of the illness but we do not have anything that can kill or stop the virus,” spokeswoman Margaret Harris told a briefing, referring to the body’s so-called Solidarity Trial of drugs against the disease.
    “We do have potentially positive data coming out but we need to see more data to be 100% confident that we can say this treatment over that one,” she added, saying more research was needed and planned.
    Harris did not name the treatments.    Gilead Science Inc says its antiviral drug remdesivir has helped improve outcomes for COVID-19 patients.
    Click https://graphics.reuters.com/HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/yxmvjqywprz/index.html for a graphic of the drugs, vaccines and other therapies in development around the world.
    Clinical data released last month on remdesivir raised hopes it might be an effective treatment.    Several studies looking at combinations of antiviral medicines have also suggested they may help patients fight off the virus.
    Results of a trial in Hong Kong released this month showed a triple drug combination of antiviral medicines helped relieve symptoms in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 infection and swiftly reduced the amount of virus in their bodies.
    The trial, which involved 127 patients, compared those given the combination drug, made up of the HIV medicine lopinavir-ritonavir, the hepatitis drug ribavirin, and the multiple sclerosis treatment interferon beta, with a control group given just the HIV drug.
    A malaria treatment championed by U.S. President Donald Trump as a “game changer” in the fight against the coronavirus again failed to show a benefit in patients hospitalised with COVID-19, a study this month found.
    While the study had certain limitations, doctors reported that the use of hydroxycholoquine neither lessened the need for patients requiring breathing assistance nor the risk of death.
    See a graphic with some of the drugs, vaccines and other therapies in development around the world https://graphics.reuters.com/HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/yxmvjqywprz/index.html
    In Geneva, the WHO official sounded a note of caution around expectations for a vaccine, saying coronaviruses in general are “very tricky viruses” that are “difficult to produce vaccines against
    More than 100 potential COVID-19 vaccines are being developed, including several in clinical trials.    The WHO said in April a vaccine would take at least 12 months.
    Harris said that the Americas were the current “centre” of the pandemic, although she also noted rising cases in Africa.    However, she said the continent had a “big advantage” over other countries with little experience of infectious disease outbreaks.
    “They often have very good contact tracing infrastructure and a deep, deep, deep memory and understanding of why we take a new pathogen very, very seriously,” she said, singling out South Africa for its effective testing and contact tracing.
    Asked about the reasons for high case loads in the United States and Brazil, Harris said: “Around the world we have seen that the warnings we put out right from the start, very, very early on, were not seen as warnings about a very serious, lethal disease.”
    She restated that the WHO, which has come under criticism especially from the United States for its handling of the pandemic, would conduct an “after-action” review that would include a “free and frank” discussion on its performance.
    U.S. President Donald Trump is working to reopen the economy quickly against recommendations from health experts to move cautiously to avoid a resurgence of the virus that has so far killed more than 80,000 people in the United States, the highest death toll in the world.    He said he acted early to prevent the spread of the disease.
    Brazil has registered a total of 168,331 confirmed cases of the virus and 11,519 deaths, the most deadly outbreak in an emerging market nation.
(GRAPHIC: The lifeline pipeline – https://graphics.reuters.com/HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/yxmvjqywprz/index.html)
(Additonal reporting by Kate Kelland in London; Editing by Alison Williams, Catherine Evans and Nick Macfie)

5/14/2020 ‘This virus may never go away,’ WHO says by Emma Farge and Michael Shields
FILE PHOTO: Executive Director of the World Health Organization's (WHO) emergencies program Mike Ryan speaks at a news
conference on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Geneva, Switzerland February 6, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 could become endemic like HIV, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday, warning against any attempt to predict how long it would keep circulating and calling for a “massive effort” to counter it.
    “It is important to put this on the table: this virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities, and this virus may never go away,” WHO emergencies expert Mike Ryan told an online briefing.
    “I think it is important we are realistic and I don’t think anyone can predict when this disease will disappear,” he added.    “I think there are no promises in this and there are no dates.    This disease may settle into a long problem, or it may not be.”
    However, he said the world had some control over how it coped with the disease, although this would take a “massive effort” even if a vaccine was found — a prospect he described as a “massive moonshot.”
    More than 100 potential vaccines are being developed, including several in clinical trials, but experts have underscored the difficulties of finding vaccines that are effective against coronaviruses.
    Ryan noted that vaccines exist for other illnesses, such as measles, that have not been eliminated.
    WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus added: “The trajectory is in our hands, and it’s everybody’s business, and we should all contribute to stop this pandemic.”
    Ryan said “very significant control” of the virus was required in order to lower the assessment of risk, which he said remained high at the “national, regional and global levels.”
    Governments around the world are struggling with the question of how to reopen their economies while still containing the virus, which has infected almost 4.3 million people, according to a Reuters tally, and led to over 291,000 deaths.
    The European Union pushed on Wednesday for a gradual reopening of borders within the bloc that have been shut by the pandemic, saying it was not too late to salvage some of the summer tourist season while still keeping people safe.
    But public health experts say extreme caution is needed to avoid new outbreaks.    Ryan said opening land borders was less risky than easing air travel, which was a “different challenge.”
    “We need to get into the mindset that it is going to take some time to come out of this pandemic,” WHO epidemiologist Maria van Kerkhove told the briefing.
(Reporting by Michael Shields and Emma Farge; Writing by Alex Richardson; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

5/14/2020 WTO chief Roberto Azevedo to depart a year early by Emma Farge and Philip Blenkinsop
FILE PHOTO: Director-General of World Trade Organization Roberto Azevedo attends a session at the 50th World
Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 21, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    GENEVA/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – World Trade Organization head Roberto Azevedo will step down a year earlier than planned in August, he said on Thursday, in a surprise move as the trade body struggles to rein in global tensions and coordinate responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    The 62-year-old Brazilian has been director-general since 2013 and is serving a second term that was due to conclude at the end of August 2021.
    Azevedo said that he had taken a “personal decision” after talking with his family and that his move was not due to health reasons or because of specific political ambitions.
    According to the text of an address to the WTO’s members, Azevedo said he thought it was also in the best interests of the organisation.
    “As members start to shape the WTO’s agenda for the new post-COVID realities, they should do so with a new director-general,” he told a virtual meeting of national members on Thursday afternoon.
    His departure comes at a testing period for the 25-year-old body, which has seen its role in settling disputes undermined after its Appellate Body was paralysed in December by Washington’s decision to block the appointment of judges.
    Asked about Azevedo’s departure, U.S. President Donald Trump said he was “OK with it,” telling reporters the WTO was “horrible
    “We’ve been treated very badly,” he said.    “They treat China as a developing nation.    Therefore China gets a lot of the benefits that the U.S. doesn’t get.”

NEW NORMAL” AFTER COVID-19
    Since the COVID-19 crisis hit, Azevedo has called for governments to refrain from imposing export restrictions on food and medical supplies.
    The WTO club of 164 members, which is designed to set global trading rules, has also not produced any major international accord since abandoning its “Doha Round” of negotiations in 2015.
    Its members are negotiating an agreement to cut subsidies for fishing to allow a revival of depleted fish stocks, while a smaller group are discussing a possible deal on e-commerce.    However, key differences remain and they are far from the consensus required to agree both deals.
    Some members, notably the United States, Japan and the European Union, are pushing for more fundamental reforms.    They say global trading rules need to reflect new realities – notably a far stronger China – and address problems such as state-led subsidies and forced technology transfers.
    Such issues might have been addressed at the WTO’s biennial meeting due to have taken place in Kazakhstan in June.    That has now been pushed back to mid- or late-2021.    Azevedo said his departure would allow a successor to be in place before then.
    Azevedo said the WTO could not stand still while the world around it changed, nor ignore the “new normal” that emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic.
    U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Azevedo would be difficult to replace and that Washington looked forward to participating in the process of selecting a successor.
    EU trade commissioner Phil Hogan said it was a good time to find a new chief but this needed to be done this year not next as the WTO was encountering major challenges and louder voices demanding reform.
    Simon Evenett, professor of international trade and economic development at Switzerland’s University of St. Gallen, said the next director-general would need to put the WTO back together again.
    “The next leader of the WTO must command respect in the corridors of power of the major players.    This is not the time to promote another ambassador.    Someone with very senior government experience or global status is needed,” Evenett said.
    Azevedo was a career diplomat, while his predecessors have mostly had political backgrounds.
(Reporting by Emma Farge and Philip Blenkinsop; additional reporting by Jeff Mason in Washington; Editing by Peter Graff, Hugh Lawson and Lisa Shumaker)
[DON'T FORGET THE WTO IS WHAT I HAVE CALLED THE BEAST THAT CAME OUT OF THE SEA.].

5/14/2020 U.N. gathering of world leaders unlikely to be ‘business as usual’ by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: A worker erects a sign informing people that the United Nations Headquarters will be temporarily closed for tours due
to the spread of coronavirus in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., March 10, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo
    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations is looking at different ways to hold its 75th annual gathering of world leaders – traditionally held in New York City – because “we’re not going to have business as usual in September,” a U.N. spokesman said on Thursday.
    New York City is an epicenter for the global coronavirus pandemic.    The new coronavirus causes the respiratory illness COVID-19 and has killed hundreds of thousands of people globally.
    "It’s hard to imagine that the traditional General Assembly with thousands and thousands of people descending on New York and on the U.N. compound can be held this September as if nothing happened,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
    Dujarric was responding to questions about an interview given by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to Paris Match.    Guterres said it was “unlikely” the United Nations could bring together in New York thousands of people from around the world.
    “We are studying different alternatives that digital technology offers to enable us to hold this General Assembly which would correspond to the 75th anniversary of the U.N.,” Guterres said.    “It will be up to the member states to decide.”
    The 193-member United Nations General Assembly and the 15-member Security Council have been operating virtually for two months and that is likely to continue until at least the end of June.
    World leaders normally travel to New York to address the General Assembly.    Hundreds of other events are also held during the week-long gathering, but diplomats say those side events are likely to be cancelled this year.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols at United Nations; Additional reporting by John Irish in Paris; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

5/16/2020 President Trump considers restoring funding to the World Health Organization by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this May 15, 2020, file photo President Donald Trump speaks with reporters as he
departs the White House on Marine One in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
    President Trump is looking to reinstitute partial funding to the World Health Organization.    According to a new draft letter from the White House, the administration intends to continue working with the WHO and will match what China is paying.
    The U.S. was previously the WHO’s largest donor.    It contributed around $400 million a year before the president cut the organization off for allegedly promoting China’s disinformation.    By agreeing to pay the same amount as China, the funding will be 10 percent of its original amount.
    However, President Trump has emphasized no final decision has been made regarding restoring the funding.    On Twitter, he reiterated that funds for the agency are still frozen.
    According to the president, the decision to pay as much as China “is just one of numerous concepts being considered.”

FILE-In this Jan. 30, 2020 Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), talks to the
media at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. (Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone via AP)
    Meanwhile, the president called out top social media platforms for alleged bias.    On Saturday, President Trump pointed out the “radical left is in total command and control of Facebook, Instagram Twitter and Google.”
    He noted his administration is “working to remedy this illegal situation.”
    His comments came in response to a video of syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin, who gave a speech condemning the censorship of conservative voices.
    “Silicon Valley, at every level, is cracking down on dissident voices, citizen journalists, more than it ever has before.    The prevalence of these false narratives is being enabled, it’s being exacerbated by the people who control Silicon Valley.    All they have to do is say that our truth telling is misinformation.” – Michelle Malkin, syndicated journalist
    According to recent reports, social media outlets have been removing posts and videos deemed “misinformation” regarding the pandemic.

5/18/2020 China says premature to immediately begin a COVID-19 investigation
FILE PHOTO: People wearing face masks are seen at Wuhan Railway Station, in Wuhan, the Chinese city hit the hardest
by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in the Hubei province, China, May 17, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song
    BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s foreign ministry said on Monday it was premature to immediately launch an investigation into the origins and spread of the coronavirus that has killed more than 300,000 people globally.
    Spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters during a daily briefing that the vast majority of countries in the world believe the pandemic is not yet over.
    The ministry said in a separate statement that President Xi Jinping will give a video speech for the opening ceremony of the World Health Assembly later on Monday.
(Reporting by Cate Cadell; writing by Se Young Lee, Editing by Catherine Evans)
['CHINA CONTINUES COVID-19 COVER UP' SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE HEADLINES ABOVE.].

5/18/2020 Taiwan says did not receive WHO meeting invite, issue off the table for now
FILE PHOTO: Taiwan's Foreign Affairs Minister Joseph Wu speaks during an interview in Taipei, Taiwan November 6, 2019. REUTERS/Fabian Hamacher
    TAIPEI (Reuters) – Despite strong efforts Taiwan did not get invited to this week’s meeting of a key World Health Organization (WHO) body due to Chinese pressure, its foreign minister said on Monday, adding they had agreed to put the issue off until later this year.
    Non-WHO member Taiwan had been lobbying to take part in the WHO’s decision-making body the World Health Assembly, which opens later on Monday, saying that to lock it out was to create a gap in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
    Taiwan has said it wanted to share with the world its successful experience at fighting the coronavirus, having only reported 440 cases and seven deaths thanks to early detection and prevention work.
    But China, which considers democratically-ruled Taiwan its own with no right to attend international bodies as a sovereign state, strongly objected to Taiwan taking part in the assembly unless it accepted it was part of China, something the Taipei government refused to do.
    “Despite all our efforts and an unprecedented level of international support, Taiwan has not received an invitation to take part,” Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told reporters.
    “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses deep regret and strong dissatisfaction that the World Health Organization Secretariat has yielded to pressure from the Chinese government and continues to disregard the right to health of the 23 million people of Taiwan.”
    Both the WHO and China say Taiwan has been provided with the help and information it needs during the pandemic, which Taiwan has strongly disputed.
    The United States has repeatedly clashed with China over its refusal to allow Taiwan full access to the body, helping to further fuel tension between Washington and Beijing.
    Taiwan attended the assembly as an observer from 2009-2016 but China blocked further participation after the election of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, who China views as a separatist, an accusation she rejects.
    Wu said that Taiwan had agreed the issue of its participation would be put off until later in the year so the shorted assembly can focus on the coronavirus
    “Understandably, countries want to use the limited time available to concentrate on ways of containing the pandemic,” he said.
    “For this reason, like-minded nations and diplomatic allies have suggested that the proposal be taken up later this year when meetings will be conducted normally, to make sure there will be full and open discussion,” Wu added.
    “After careful deliberation, we have accepted the suggestion from our allies and like-minded nations to wait until the resumed session before further promoting our bid.”
(This story has been refiled to add dropped word in headline)
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Michael Perry)
[Taiwan warned the WHO about the virus in China and ignored them and now they are going to diss them from China pressure.].

5/18/2020 U.S. likely to back call for independent evaluation of WHO’s handling of coronavirus: envoys by Stephanie Nebehay
FILE PHOTO: Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference on the
situation of the coronavirus (COVID-2019), in Geneva, Switzerland, February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    GENEVA (Reuters) – Health ministers from around the world are expected to call for an independent evaluation of the World Health Organization’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic during a WHO meeting on Monday.
    Though they have opposing views of the WHO’s performance, China and the United States are likely to join the consensus for an independent evaluation during a virtual meeting of the World Health Assembly, the WHO’s decision-making body, diplomats said.
    The call will be made in a resolution being presented by the European Union (EU) at the Geneva-based WHO’s annual two-day meeting, starting at 1000 gmt.
    The text also calls for timely and equitable access to safe and efficacious diagnostics, medicines and vaccines against the disease which has killed more than 300,000 people worldwide.
    A fragile consensus emerged after more than a week of intense negotiations on the EU text, which could still change, the diplomats said.
    “It looks like the resolution will be adopted.    Politically speaking, there is agreement for now on an evaluation of the whole system and an investigation into the origin (of the virus), but not immediately,” a European diplomat told Reuters.
    “It is important we were able to agree to the resolution, everybody,” he said.
    The EU resolution is supported by a host of countries including Australia – a vocal critic of WHO and of China – as well as Britain, Canada, India, Japan and Russia.
    Names on a draft resolution seen by Reuters showed support from 116 of the 194 countries in the WHO.
    The text calls on WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to initiate an “impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation” of the WHO-coordinated international health response to COVID-19, including the effectiveness of existing mechanisms “at the earliest appropriate moment.”
    It backs continued work, including through scientific “field missions,” to identify the zoonotic or animal source of the virus and how it crossed the species barrier to reach humans.
XI TO ADDRESS MEETING VIA VIDEO
    The EU resolution does not refer to China.    The WHO and most experts say the virus is believed to have emerged in a market selling wildlife in the central city of Wuhan late last year.    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this month there is “a significant amount of evidence” the virus came from a laboratory in Wuhan, a charge China refutes.
    China’s foreign ministry said it was premature to launch an investigation into the origins and spread of the coronavirus, and the ministry said President Xi Jinping would give a video speech during WHO meeting’s opening ceremony.
    U.S. Ambassador Andrew Bremberg said in a brief statement: “My hope is that we will be able to join consensus.”
    But diplomats said that they expected the U.S. delegation, led by Alex Azar, Secretary of Health and Human Services, to “dissociate” itself from at least two passages in the resolution, while stopping short of blocking consensus.
    These sections involved reference to intellectual property rights for drugs and vaccines, and to continued provision of services for sexual and reproductive health during the pandemic, they said.
    The contentious issue of Taiwan’s participation in the assembly has been deferred to when the session resumes later this year, diplomats said.
    Despite strong efforts, Taiwan did not get invited to this week’s meeting following Chinese pressure, its foreign minister said on Monday, adding they had agreed to put the issue off until later this year.
(Additional reporting by Cate Cadell in Beijing and Kirsty Needham in Sydney, Editing by Timothy Heritag)

5/18/2020 U.S. savages WHO as it promises pandemic review, but China pledges $2 billion by Stephanie Nebehay and Emma Farge
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of World Health Organization (WHO) attends the virtual
73rd World Health Assembly (WHA) following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Geneva, Switzerland,
May 18, 2020. Christopher Black/WHO/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization said on Monday an independent review of the global coronavirus response would begin as soon as possible and it received backing and a hefty pledge of funds from China, in the spotlight as the origin of the pandemic.
    But the WHO’s chief critic, the U.S. administration of President Donald Trump, decried an “apparent attempt to conceal this outbreak by at least one member state.”
    Trump said later in Washington that the WHO, which he called a “puppet of China,” had “done a very sad job” in its handling of the coronavirus and he would make a decision about U.S. funding to the body soon.
    “The United States pays them $450 million a year; China pays them $38 million a year.    And they’re a puppet of China.    They’re China-centric, to put it nicer, but they’re a puppet of China,” Trump told reporters at a White House event.
    Trump has already suspended U.S. funding for the WHO after accusing it of being too China-centric, and at the same time led international criticism of Beijing’s perceived lack of transparency in the early stages of the crisis.
    Health Secretary Alex Azar did not mention China by name, but made clear Washington considered the WHO jointly responsible.
    “We must be frank about one of the primary reasons this outbreak spun out of control,” he said.    “There was a failure by this organization to obtain the information that the world needed, and that failure cost many lives.”
    Speaking after Azar, Chinese Health Minister Ma Xiaowei said Beijing had been timely and open in announcing the outbreak and sharing the virus’s full gene sequence, and urged countries to “oppose rumours, stigmatisation and discrimination.”
    Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged $2 billion over the next two years to help deal with COVID-19, especially in developing countries.
    The amount almost matches the WHO’s entire annual programme budget for last year, and more than compensates for Trump’s freeze of U.S. payments worth about $400 million a year.
    But White House National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot called it “a token to distract from calls from a growing number of nations demanding accountability for the Chinese government’s failure to … warn the world of what was coming.”
‘LEARN FROM EXPERIENCE’
    WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the U.N. body had “sounded the alarm early, and we sounded it often.”
    When it declared a global emergency on Jan. 30, there were fewer than 100 cases outside China, and no deaths, he said.     He was addressing a virtual meeting of the WHO’s decision-making body, the World Health Assembly, at which Xi said China had acted with “openness and transparency and responsibility.”

    Tedros, who has always promised a review, told the forum it would come “at the earliest appropriate moment” and make recommendations for the future.    He received robust backing from the WHO’s independent oversight panel.
    “Every country and every organisation must examine its response and learn from its experience,” he said, adding that the review must cover “all actors in good faith.”
    In its first report on the handling of the pandemic, the oversight committee said the WHO had “demonstrated leadership and made important progress in its COVID-19 response.”
    The panel endorsed a review but said conducting it now could hamper the WHO’s response to the pandemic.
    It also said “an imperfect and evolving understanding” was not unusual when a new disease emerged and, in an apparent rejoinder to Trump, said a “rising politicization of pandemic response” was hindering the effort to defeat the virus.
    Azar said the United States supported “an independent review of every aspect of WHO’s response” and that China’s conduct should be “on the table” too.
    A resolution drafted by the European Union calling for an independent evaluation of the WHO’s performance appeared to have won consensus backing among the WHO’s 194 states.    It was expected to be debated and adopted on Tuesday.
    German Health Minister Jens Spahn said the WHO must become “more independent from external interference” and that its role in “leading and coordination” must be strengthened
.
‘OPPOSE RUMOURS AND STIGMATISATION’
    China has previously opposed calls for a review of the origin and spread of the coronavirus, but Xi signalled that Beijing would accept an impartial evaluation of the global response, once the pandemic is brought under control.
    “This work needs a scientific and professional attitude, and needs to be led by the WHO,” he told the meeting via video.
    The WHO and most experts say the virus is likely to have emerged in a market selling wildlife in the central city of Wuhan late last year.    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this month there was “significant” evidence that it had come from a laboratory in Wuhan, a charge China rejects.
    Australian health minister Gregory Hunt said the planned review could look at strengthening the WHO’s mandate and powers of inspection, and also how to protect against “the global threat posed by wildlife and wet markets.”
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay and Emma Farge; Additional reporting by Cate Cadell, Gabriel Crossley and Se Young Lee in Beijing and Kirsty Needham in Sydney; and by Steve Holland, Jeff Mason, Tim Ahmann, David Brunnstrom and Doina Chiacu in Washington; Writing by Timothy Heritage and Kevin Liffey; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne, Mark Heinrich and Lisa Shumaker)

5/19/2020 China says U.S. trying to shift blame and smear Beijing over WHO
FILE PHOTO: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian attends a news conference
in Beijing, China April 8, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/File Photo
    BEIJING (Reuters) – China said the United States was trying to shift the blame for Washington’s own mishandling of the COVID-19 crisis, responding to President Donald Trump’s letter threatening to halt funding to the World Health Organization.
    Trump threatened on Monday to reconsider the United States’ membership of the World Health Organization (WHO) if the organisation did not commit to improvements within 30 days, and said the body had shown an “alarming lack of independence” from China.
    Chinese Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters on Tuesday that the United States was trying to smear China and had miscalculated by trying to use China to avoid its own responsibility.
(Reporting by Huizhong Wu; writing by Se Young Lee; Editing by Andrew Heavens)
[PROVE IT CHINA SO FAR YOU HAVE COVERED UP EVERYTHING AND YOUR PAST ACTIONS DO NOT SHOW ANYONE THAT YOU CAN BE TRUSTED SO UNTIL YOU LET INVESTIGATORS IN TO CHECK IT OUT YOU ARE THE CULPRIT TO THE DEATHS OF MULTI-MILLIONS OF PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD AND THE LONGER YOU KEEP COPPING OUT ON IT THE WORSE THE CONDITIONS YOU WILL EXPERIENCE WILL GET WORSE.].

5/19/2020 Australia and China spat over coronavirus inquiry deepens by Paulina Duran and Kirsty Needham
FILE PHOTO: Qantas planes are seen at Kingsford Smith International Airport, following the coronavirus
outbreak, in Sydney, Australia, March 18, 2020. REUTERS/Loren Elliott/File Photo
    SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia and China traded barbs on Tuesday in an increasingly acrimonious diplomatic spat over Australia’s support for a global inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, as Australia recorded its 100th COVID-19 fatality.
    Australia’s relative success in constraining the spread of the virus has been overshadowed by the rift with its largest trading partner, which was exacerbated by a World Health Assembly (WHA) resolution in favour of the inquiry.
    In an unusually blunt statement on the same day that China imposed hefty tariffs on Australian barley exports, China’s embassy in Canberra said it was “nothing but a joke” for Australia to claim the resolution was vindication of its push for a global review.
    “The draft resolution on COVID-19 to be adopted by the World Health Assembly is totally different from Australia’s proposal of an independent international review,” a Chinese embassy spokesman said in an emailed statement.
    Asked about the comments, Trade Minister Simon Birmingham told Sky News that “Australia is not going to engage in cheap politicking over an issue as important as COVID-19.”
    “I would have thought the appropriate response from China’s ambassador in Australia would have been to welcome these outcomes and welcome the opportunity for all of us to work together on this important issue.”
    Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday told the assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organisation, that China would support a comprehensive review after the pandemic is brought under control.
    Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s spearheading of the call for an inquiry, alongside the European Union, has been a lightning rod for a more assertive approach by Chinese embassies to criticism of its handling of the coronavirus outbreak.    That policy has been dubbed “Wolf Warrior” diplomacy in both Western and Chinese media.
    The Chinese ambassador had earlier warned of a consumer boycott of Australian goods, which prompted Australian accusations of “economic coercion.”    The subsequent barley tariffs and the suspension of the export licences of several of Australia’s largest beef processors were viewed by many as retaliatory.
    The row potentially undermines Australia’s shift to allow significantly more public activity this week under the first phase of a three-step federal government plan to reopen business, schools, restaurants, and other public life in a bid to give the economy a boost.
    The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) warned on Tuesday that the country was facing an “unprecedented” economic contraction, though massive fiscal and monetary policy stimulus would help cushion the blow.
    Qantas Airways Ltd said it was ready to restart 40-50% of its domestic capacity in July if states relax border controls, and expects to offer low fares to stimulate travel demand.
100 DEATHS
    While a grim milestone, Australia’s death toll of 100 from 7,060 confirmed cases remains well below the fatalities reported in China, North America, Europe and other parts of Asia despite Australia’s earlier exposure to the pandemic.
    “The outcome in Australia is better because we were lucky in that we saw what was happening in China and so we were able to prepare and put the testing in place,” Peter Collignon, an infectious diseases physician and microbiologist at Canberra Hospital, told Reuters.
    Australia’s rate of new daily infections peaked on March 23 with 430 cases, according to a Reuters tally based on official data.    New cases have averaged about 15 a day over the past week.
    The 100th fatality was a 93-year-old woman from a care home outside Sydney, a facility responsible for 19 deaths.
Australia’s first reported case on March 1 was a 78-year-old man who had been a passenger on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
    The two cases illustrate Australia’s biggest weaknesses in its fight against the disease, with the majority of the country’s deaths people aged 70 or over and many linked to either cruise ships or aged care homes.
(Reporting by Paulina Duran and Kirsty Needham in Sydney; Editing by Jane Wardell)

5/19/2020 After WHO setback, Taiwan president to press for global participation
FILE PHOTO: Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-Wen speaks at a non woven filter fabric factory, where the fabric is
used to make surgical face masks, in Taoyuan, Taiwan, March 30, 2020. REUTERS/Ann Wang/File Photo
    TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan will strive to actively participate in global bodies despite its failure to attend this week’s key World Health Organization (WHO) meeting, and will not accept being belittled by China, President Tsai Ing-wen will say on Wednesday.
    Tsai and her Democratic Progressive Party won January’s presidential and parliamentary elections by a landslide, vowing to stand up to China, which claims Taiwan as its own, to be brought under Beijing’s control by force if needed.
    China views Tsai, who will be sworn into office for her second and final term on Wednesday, as a separatist bent on formal independence for Taiwan.    She says Taiwan is already an independent state called the Republic of China, its official name.
    Tsai will say at her inauguration that Taiwan will seek to “actively participate” in international bodies and deepen its cooperation with like-minded countries, generally a reference to the United States and its allies, according to an outline of her speech provided by Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang.
    Taiwan sees the need for participation in WHO as all the more urgent because of the coronavirus pandemic, which was first reported in China.
    Taiwan is locked out of most global organisations like the WHO due to the objections of China, which considers the island one of its provinces with no right to the trappings of a sovereign state.
    Despite an intense lobbying effort and strong support from the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and others, it was unable to take part in this week’s meeting of the World Health Assembly.
    On relations with China, Tsai will reiterate her commitment to peace, dialogue and equality, but that Taiwan will not accept China’s “one country, two systems” model that “belittles” Taiwan.
    China uses this system, which is supposed to guarantee a high degree of autonomy, to run the former British colony of Hong Kong, which returned to Chinese rule in 1997.    It has offered it to Taiwan too, though all major Taiwanese parties have rejected it.
    Tsai will also pledge to speed up the development of “asymmetric warfare” capabilities, and boost renewable technologies in a move to position Taiwan as a hub of clean energy in the Asia Pacific.
(Reporting by Yimou Lee and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie)

5/19/2020 China protests at support of U.S. and others for Taiwan at WHO
FILE PHOTO: Ambassador of China to the United Nations Chen Xu attends a session of the Human Rights Council
at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, February 24, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The Chinese envoy to the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday denounced the support shown by the United States and others to Taiwan during its annual ministerial assembly and said that was undermining the global response to the pandemic.
    Taiwan lobbied hard to be included as an observer at the two-day virtual meeting and received strong support from the United States, Japan and others, but says it was not invited due to opposition from China.
    “There are still a few countries determined to plead for Taiwan authorities, seriously violating relevant U.N. and WHO resolutions and undermining global anti-epidemic efforts,” Chen Xu, the Chinese ambassador, told the virtual assembly.
    “China solemnly protests and firmly opposes this behaviour.”
    Taiwan is locked out of U.N. organisations such as the WHO due to the objections of China, which considers it a breakaway province with no right to the trappings of a sovereign state.
    The WHO says it is bound by U.N. protocol, and that Taiwan can only be included in WHO meetings if the members make a decision to do so.
    Several delegates protested at Taiwan’s exclusion in their speeches, including senior U.S. diplomat Howard Solomon in closing remarks as well as Haiti and Paraguay.
    Shortly after the U.S. speech, Chen dismissed the remarks as “political hype,” saying: “This conduct is not acceptable.”
    Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, is due to say on Wednesday that the island will continue to strive to participate actively in global bodies despite the setback at the WHO.
(Reporting by Emma Farge and Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Kevin Liffey)
[SUCK IT UP CHINA YOU HAVE TEED OFF A LOT OF COUNTRIES AND THE MEMBERS JUST MIGHT PUSH FOR TAIWAN’S ENTRY INTO THE WHO ESPECIALLY IF YOU KEEP DENYING WHAT YOU DID AND TRUMP MAY THREATEN TO CUT FUNDING IF TAIWAN IS NOT ADMITTED IF YOU KEEP PLAYING THE GAMES.].

5/19/2020 WHO chief says he will keep leading virus response after Trump threat
FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) are pictured during the World Health Assembly (WHA) following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Geneva, Switzerland, May 18, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization’s head said on Tuesday he would keep leading the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic, after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to cut off funding and quit the body.
    WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus defended the agency’s role after the United States again withheld full support for a resolution on the pandemic.
    “We want accountability more than anyone,” Tedros told a virtual meeting of the WHO’S 194 member states.    “We will continue providing strategic leadership to coordinate the global response.”
    Washington allowed the resolution calling for a review into the global response to the pandemic to pass by consensus, but said it objected to language about reproductive health rights and permission for poor countries to waive patent rules.
    WHO officials running the meeting clapped and cheered after the resolution was passed without a vote hours after Trump tweeted his threat to pull the United States out of the body.
    It calls for a review into the WHO-led global response, something the United States has demanded.
    But the U.S. mission in Geneva said in a statement that paragraphs on the right of poor countries to waive patents to obtain medicine during a health emergency would “send the wrong message to innovators” trying to produce new drugs and vaccines.
    The reproductive healthcare language could be interpreted as requiring countries to permit abortion.    “The United States believes in legal protections for the unborn,” it said.
    China and the United States also sparred in the closing moments of the assembly over the issue of Taiwan.    Taiwan lobbied hard to be included as an observer at the two-day meeting and received support from the United States, Japan and others, but says it was not invited due to opposition from China.
BACKING FROM CHINA
    Even as Trump has proposed quitting the WHO, the body has received backing and a two-year pledge of $2 billion in funds from China’s President Xi Jinping.
    Many other leaders expressed support for Tedros.
    European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called for international cooperation in response to the pandemic.
    “At times like these, the greatest act of courage is to play as a team,” she continued, without an overt reference to the United States.
    During his three years in office, Trump has criticised many international organisations and quit some.    Still, European diplomats said they were taken aback by Washington’s decision to stand aside at the WHO while China is boosting its role.br>     “It was so striking to see Xi Jinping seizing the opportunity to open up, with broad (cooperation), and make a proposal for $2 billion, and say if ever there is a vaccine they will share it with everyone,” a European diplomat said.
    “It’s exactly what we feared: the space liberated by Washington will be taken up by China.”
    The WHO declined to comment on Trump’s threat to quit, saying only that it had received his letter and was considering its contents.
    Tuesday’s resolution calls for a review into how the novel coronavirus spread after making the jump from animals to humans, believed to have happened in the Chinese city of Wuhan last year.
    Some countries including hard-hit Spain and Italy suggested the body could emerge stronger from the pandemic through reform.
    “This should be a time for renewing our organisation and we renew our strong commitment to the organisation,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said.
(Editing by Jon Boyle and Angus MacSwan)
[TRUMP MAY CUT THE U.S. FUNDS TO THE WHO DOWN TO THE SAME AS CHINA AND ASK FOR A DEVELOPING NATION STATUS TO LET THEM KNOW YOU MEAN BUSINESS AND TELL ALL THE OTHER NATIONS TO DO THE SAME.    IF NOT TRUMP MAY START A NEW WORLD HEALTH GROUP AND TAKE A LOT OF THOSE NATIONS WITH HIM AND THE BEST PERSONNEL FROM IT TO AND LEAVE CHINA AND ETC. WITH THE ETHIOPIAN TEDROS AND LOSS OF FUNDING.].

5/19/2020 U.N. chief suggests world leaders send videos for annual meeting by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres speaks during a Security Council meeting about the situation in
Syria at U.N. Headquarters in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo
    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has suggested that world leaders send video statements for the world body’s annual September meeting because it is “highly unlikely” they will be able to travel to New York during the coronavirus pandemic.
    New York is an epicenter for COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus that has infected more than 4.8 million people and killed over 319,000 globally.    The U.S. death toll has surpassed 90,000.
    In a letter to the president of the 193-member U.N. General Assembly on Monday, Guterres suggested a different format be considered for the 75th annual gathering “such as using pre-recorded messages provided by heads of state and government or ministers, with physical presence in the General Assembly Hall limited to one delegate per delegation based in New York.”
    Guterres said that while another option would be to postpone the high-level gathering until 2021, he believed it would be better for world leaders to be able to make their statements in September.
    “It would also allow for the work of the organization to continue, albeit in a different format, and for world leaders to convey their views on important international issues, including on the international response to the pandemic, as well as to hear the views of other leaders,” Guterres wrote.
    Ultimately, the decision on how to hold the gathering of world leaders will be made by the 193 U.N. member states.    Hundreds of other events are also normally held during the week-long gathering in September, but diplomats say they will be canceled this year.
    The U.N. General Assembly and the 15-member Security Council have been operating virtually for two months.    That is likely to continue until at least the end of June.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

5/19/2020 EU resolution on pandemic adopted at WHO assembly: official
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization (WHO) during an executive board meeting
on update on the coronavirus outbreak, in Geneva, Switzerland, February 6, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    GENEVA (Reuters) – A resolution on the need to investigate the global response to the coronavirus pandemic won endorsement at the World Health Organisation’s annual ministerial meeting on Tuesday.
    None of the WHO’s 194 member states – which include the United States – raised objections to the resolution brought by the European Union on behalf of more than 100 countries including Australia, China and Japan.
    “Is the (World) Health Assembly prepared to adopt the draft resolution as proposed?    As I see no requests for the floor, I take it that there is no objection and the resolution is therefore adopted,” said Keva Bain, the Bahamas ambassador who serves as the assembly’s president.    Applause erupted from officials hosting the annual gathering.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay and Emma Farge)

5/19/2020 U.S. praises Taiwan’s coronavirus response, hails ‘shared vision’
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to reporters during a media briefing
at the State Department in Washington, U.S., May 6, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/Pool/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday congratulated Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-Wen on her re-election, praised the country’s coronavirus response and called it a reliable partner, in a statement that sharply contrasted with recent U.S. criticism of China, which claims Taiwan as a province.
    “We have a shared vision for the region – one that includes rule of law, transparency, prosperity, and security for all," Pompeo said in a statement.    “The recent COVID-19 pandemic provided an opportunity for the international community to see why Taiwan’s pandemic-response model is worthy of emulation.”
    China views Tsai, who will be sworn into office for her second and final term on Wednesday, as a separatist bent on formal independence for Taiwan.
    At her inauguration, Tsai will say that Taiwan will seek to “actively participate” in international bodies and deepen its cooperation with like-minded countries, generally a reference to the United States and its allies.    One of the top international bodies is the World Health Organization, which currently has locked Taiwan out, at China’s request.
    Since the novel coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease was discovered in China’s Wuhan province less than six months ago, tensions have mounted between the United States and its trade-war foe China.
    President Donald Trump’s administration has cast China as secretive and ineffective in dealing with the virus now sweeping across the United States, and has pushed the massive Asian economy to uphold agreements on ending the countries’ trade war.
(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Bernadette Baum)

5/22/2020 George Soros says coronavirus threatens EU’s survival
FILE PHOTO: Billionaire investor George Soros speaks to the audience at
the Schumpeter Award in Vienna, Austria June 21, 2019. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner
    LONDON (Reuters) – George Soros, the billionaire financier, has cautioned that the European Union’s survival was threatened by the novel coronavirus unless it could issue perpetual bonds or “consols” to help weak members such as Italy.
    “If the EU is unable to consider it now, it may not be able to survive the challenges it currently confronts,”     Soros said in a transcript of a question-and-answer session emailed to reporters.    “This is not a theoretical possibility; it may be the tragic reality.”
    Soros said the EU would have to maintain its AAA credit rating to issue such debt – and thus have to have tax raising powers to cover the cost of the bonds – so suggested it could simply authorise the taxes rather than imposing them.
    “There is a solution,” said Soros, who earned fame by betting against the pound in 1992. “The taxes only have to be authorized; they don’t need to be implemented.”
    Asked about Brexit, Soros said he was particularly worried about Italy: “What would be left of Europe without Italy?
    “The relaxation of state aid rules, which favour Germany, has been particularly unfair to Italy, which was already the sick man of Europe and then the hardest hit by COVID-19,” Soros said.
    Soros used Quantum Fund in 1992 to bet successfully that sterling was overvalued against the Deutsche Mark, forcing then-British Prime Minister John Major to pull the pound out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM).
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Michael Holden)
[As you can see one of the biggest Globalist entity is trying to get the European Union up to par to become the main attack as it is required to promote the Globislist policies on the rest of the world since the U.S. with Trump getting out of all their controlling policies of the World Government that will envelop you.    It was nice knowing you EU, and you will find yourself in coexistense with China, Russia and Iran before long and Italy will be China's bitch and the Scarlet Woman will be riding on the back of the Beast as prophesied.].

5/22/2020 European NATO allies voice concern over U.S. plan to quit Open Skies
FILE PHOTO: Banners displaying the NATO logo are placed at the entrance of new NATO headquarters during
the move to the new building, in Brussels, Belgium April 19, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European members of NATO told the United States on Friday they were uneasy about its plan to withdraw from the 35-nation Open Skies treaty that allows unarmed surveillance flights over member countries, an official of the defence alliance said.
    Senior officials in President Donald Trump’s administration, which says Russia has repeatedly violated the treaty’s terms, said on Thursday that Washington would formally pull out of Open Skies in six months.
    The U.S. move deepens doubts about whether Washington will seek to extend the 2010 New START accord, which imposes the last remaining limits on U.S. and Russian deployments of strategic nuclear arms to no more than 1,550 each.    The accord expires in February.
    Envoys to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), meeting in response to the U.S. announcement, agreed “on the importance of arms control, and on the need to bring Russia back to compliance,” the NATO official said.
    “A number of allies expressed concern that the U.S. may be leaving the treaty,” the official added.
    Some allies worry that a U.S. exit from Open Skies, which will halt Russian overflights of the United States, could prompt Moscow’s withdrawal.    That would end overflights of Russia by the remaining members, weakening European security at a time when Russian-backed separatists hold parts of Ukraine and Georgia.
    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that for many years Russia had “imposed flight restrictions inconsistent with the treaty, including flight limitations over Kaliningrad, and restricting flights in Russia near its border with Georgia.”
    “Russia’s ongoing selective implementation has undermined the Open Skies Treaty,” he said in a statement after the meeting of ambassadors to the Brussels-based alliance.
    He noted that Washington would reconsider its withdrawal if Russia respected the treaty’s terms, and said NATO allies were engaging with Moscow to seek its early return to compliance.
(Reporting by John Chalmers; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

5/24/2020 China says WHO chief has done a good job
FILE PHOTO: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) attends the virtual 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA)
during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Geneva, Switzerland, May 19, 2020. Christopher Black/WHO/Handout via REUTERS
[THIS MUST BE WHAT AMERICA CALLS A CHINESE JOKE OR HUMOR AND OR A CHINESE UNFORTUNATE COOKIE.    HA! HA!.].

5/25/2020 WHO fears ‘silent’ virus epidemic unless Africa prioritizes testing
FILE PHOTO: The World Health Organization (WHO) logo is pictured at the entrance of
its headquarters in Geneva, January 25, 2015. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy/File Photo
    (Reuters) – Africa has so far been spared the worst impact of the coronavirus, but the World Health Organization is worried the continent could face a “silent epidemic” if its leaders do not prioritize testing for it, a WHO envoy said on Monday.
    “My first point for Africa, my first concern, is that a lack of testing is leading to a silent epidemic in Africa.    So we must continue to push leaders to prioritize testing,” special envoy Samba Sow told a news conference.
    The WHO’s director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said Africa was the region with the fewest diagnosed coronavirus cases, accounting for less than 1.5% of the global total and just 0.1% of deaths.
    The WHO regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, said some countries had taken measures to curb the disease at a high economic cost.    Those measures meant the pandemic was having a milder impact so far than some models had predicted, Moeti said.
    Tedros credited the continent’s experience dealing with other epidemics as helping it scale up its response to the coronavirus and be spared the impact seen elsewhere so far.
    All African countries had preparedness plans in place, he said, although there were still “gaps and vulnerabilities.”
(Writing by Peter Graff; editing by John Stonestreet)

5/26/2020 Exclusive: Indonesia, major advocate of hydroxychloroquine, told by WHO to stop using it by Kate Lamb and Tom Allard
FILE PHOTO: A nurse shows a pill of hydroxychloroquine, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at
Nossa Senhora da Conceicao hospital in Porto Alegre, Brazil, April 23, 2020. REUTERS/Diego Vara
    (Reuters) – The World Health Organization has urged Indonesia, one of the world’s biggest advocates of two malaria drugs to treat the coronavirus, to suspend such treatment over safety concerns, a source familiar with the advice told Reuters on Tuesday.
    Any decision by Indonesia to halt use of the drugs, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, in coronavirus patients would mark a major global shift away from a treatment which has been touted for months by U.S. President Donald Trump.
    Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous nation, had told doctors to use the drugs to treat all COVID-19 patients with symptoms from mild to severe.    The country has ramped up production since March, granting two dozen licenses to local manufacturers who have churned out millions of doses.
    The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a recommendation not yet made public, said the WHO had sent a notice to Indonesia’s health ministry advising that use of the drugs should be suspended.
    Erlina Burhan, a doctor who helped draft coronavirus treatment guidelines as a member of the Indonesian Association of Pulmonologists, confirmed that the association had also received new advice from the WHO to suspend use of the drugs.
    “We discussed the issues and there are still some disputes.    We have no conclusion yet,” she told Reuters.
    A spokesperson for the WHO mission in Indonesia did not immediately respond to a request for comment.    Indonesia’s health ministry, Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) and the spokesman for Indonesia’s COVID-19 taskforce were not immediately available to comment.
    Last week, the Lancet medical journal published the most comprehensive study to date on the drugs, which found that coronavirus patients prescribed them were more likely to experience heart rhythm disturbances and more likely to die.
GAMECHANGER
    On Monday, the WHO announced it was suspending the use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 patients in a global clinical trial.    It has advised against using the malaria drugs for the coronavirus outside such trials.
    Trump has touted hydroxychloroquine for months as a potential cure or preventive treatment for the coronavirus, and has said he was taking it himself to prevent infection.
    On March 21, Trump described hydroxychloroquine as a “gamechanger.”    Days later, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo said the drug, while not a cure, could help patients recover.
    According to a report from the ministry of health prepared for parliament, Indonesian companies were on course to produce 15.4 million doses of the two drugs between April and May.
    Indonesia’s food and drug agency published a COVID-19 “Informatorium” which included detailed dosage guidelines for the use of the drugs for adolescent and adult coronavirus patients suffering from moderate to severe symptoms.
    The guidelines, which include warnings about potential heart complications, recommend they be used in tandem with the antibiotic azithromycin, a combination some studies show elevates the risk of heart rhythm disturbances.
    Burhan said chloroquine and azithromycin have been routinely used.    Earlier this month she told Reuters it was “hard to tell” if chloroquine was increasing the death rate of coronavirus patients, as any links were yet to be investigated.
    Stephen Nissen, a cardiologist and chief academic officer of the Miller Family Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, said he was surprised Indonesian authorities had ever recommended widespread use of the drugs.
    “We know these drugs produce a rare, but very serious and potentially lethal cardiovascular side effects, which is a heart rhythm disturbance that is very difficult to treat,” he said.
    “So the idea of giving them routinely on the basis of the flimsiest of evidence of benefit makes absolutely no sense.”
    Jane Quinn, a pharmacology researcher at Australia’s Charles Sturt University, said the anti-malaria drugs could be more dangerous for Indonesians than for other groups, because of the enzyme profile of Indonesia’s population.
    “The evidence from looking at those enzymes globally is that populations in Indonesia are actually much less effective at breaking chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine down,” she said, adding this could make the drugs less effective and more toxic.
(Writing by Kate Lamb and Tom Allard; Editing by Matthew Tostevin and Peter Graff)

5/26/2020 WHO says the Americas are new COVID-19 epicenter as deaths surge in Latin America by Anthony Boadle
FILE PHOTO: Brazilian army officers wearing protective gears arrive to disinfect the shelter Stella Maris Complex
for elderly people, homeless and patients with mental disorders managed by the Rio de Janeiro City Hall amid concerns of the
spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil May 14, 2020. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares
    BRASILIA (Reuters) – The Americas have emerged as the new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a Tuesday briefing, as a U.S. study forecast deaths surging in Brazil and other Latin American countries through August.
    “Now is not the time for countries to ease restrictions,” Carissa Etienne, WHO director for the Americas and head of the Pan American Health Organization, said via videoconference.
    The Americas have registered more than 2.4 million cases of the new coronavirus and more than 143,000 deaths from the resulting COVID-19 respiratory disease.    Latin America has passed Europe and the United States in daily infections, she said.
    “Our region has become the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Etienne said, as other PAHO directors warned there are “very tough” weeks ahead for the region and Brazil has a long way to go before it will see the pandemic end.
    Also of concern to WHO officials are accelerating outbreaks in Peru, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua.
    As Brazil’s daily death rate became the world’s highest on Monday, a University of Washington study warned that the country’s total death toll could climb five-fold to 125,000 by early August.
    The forecast from the university’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) came with a call for lockdowns that Brazil’s right-wing president, Jair Bolsonaro, has resisted.
    The current data projects COVID-19 deaths in Peru totaling nearly 20,000 by August, IHME said, indicating demand is likely to outstrip of the supply of beds in intensive care units.
    The latest IHME model projections see deaths rising to nearly 12,000 in Chile, 7,000 in Mexico, 6,000 in Ecuador, 5,500 in Argentina and to 4,500 in Colombia by August.
    One country in the region doing relatively well against COVID-19 is Cuba, where the IHME forecasts a death toll of just 82 by August while testing continues to outpace the outbreak.
(Reporting by Anthony Boadle in Brasilia; Additional reporting by Diego Ore in Mexico City; Editing by Brad Haynes and Matthew Lewis)
[THE WHO SHOULD HAVE SAID THIS IS THE NEXT OUTBREAK CAUSED BY CHINAS NEGLIGENCE.].

5/27/2020 WHO creates foundation to boost funding in coronavirus fight by Emma Farge and Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi
FILE PHOTO: Director-General of the WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, attends a news conference on the coronavirus
(COVID-2019) in Geneva, Switzerland February 24, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    GENEVA/ZURICH (Reuters) – The World Health Organization announced on Wednesday the creation of a foundation to tap new sources of funding that could help ease a potential cash shortage as it leads the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
    Announcing the creation of the WHO Foundation at a virtual briefing, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus denied the move was related to “recent funding issues,” saying it had been in the works for years.
    President Donald Trump has threatened to halt funding from the United States, the WHO’s biggest donor, after criticising its handling of the pandemic and accusing it of being China-centric.    In a letter to Tedros last week, Trump called on the U.N. agency to initiate reforms within 30 days.
    Tedros told a news conference the body had warned “many times” about a pandemic in recent years.    Countries had identified gaps in their preparedness for fighting pandemics, but financing had not materialised, he said.
    “Finance these plans, and make sure that countries are prepared to fight – to finish the current one, but to prepare for the next epidemic, which may happen because we are still vulnerable,” he added.
    Tedros said this month that the WHO’s annual budget of around $2.3 billion was “very, very small” for a global agency, around that of a medium-sized hospital in the developed world.
    He also said that the funding sources were too uncertain.
    The WHO Foundation is being created as an independent grant-making entity that will support the U.N. agency’s efforts to address the most pressing global health challenges by raising new funding from “non-traditional sources.”
    Its founder Thomas Zeltner, Switzerland’s former health secretary, told Reuters he hoped for donations from high net-worth individuals as well as corporations and the general public.
    For a factbox on who finances the WHO, see:
    At the same briefing on Wednesday, the WHO head of emergencies programme Mike Ryan reiterated that the body advised against using hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 – a drug Trump has said he takes.
(Additional reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Pravin Char)
[TEDROS ARE YOU THAT STUPID EVERYONE WANTS YOU TO STEP DOWN AND THE ONLY ONE WHO WILL FUND YOU IS CHINA SINCE YOU ARE THEIR BITCH, GET OVER IT AND GET OUT AND LET THE REST OF THE WORLD MAKE THE WHO WHAT IT SHOULD BE AND EVEN THE CDC HAS SOME PLAYERS THAT NEED TO BE REMOVED ALSO WHO FAILED TELLING EVERYONE WHERE THE MEASLES OUTBREAK REALLY CAME FROM.].

5/27/2020 U.N. nuclear watchdog plans delayed board meeting because of coronavirus
FILE PHOTO: The flag of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) flutters in front of its
headquarters in Vienna, Austria September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
    VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog’s 35-nation board plans to hold next month’s quarterly meeting a week later than originally planned and mainly by video link because of the coronavirus pandemic, the board’s chairwoman told member states on Wednesday.
    The Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which was next scheduled to meet as of June 8, is due to discuss issues including Iran’s breaches of its nuclear deal with major powers, which the IAEA is policing.
    Because of the coronavirus pandemic, however, the U.N. centre in Vienna where the IAEA is headquartered has been closed to most staff, and began gradually reopening on May 15.    The board’s chairwoman, Swedish Ambassador to the IAEA Mikaela Kumlin Granit has been consulting board members on how and when to meet.
    “I have found that there is overwhelming support for holding the June board meeting as close as possible to the scheduled starting date,” she said in a note to member states seen by Reuters.    “The starting date of the June board meeting would be 15 June 2020, in order to allow sufficient time for preparations.”
    The wording is conditional in case there are objections from member states, which is unlikely.
    “The modality that commands consensus support among board members is to conduct a virtual meeting of the board,” the note said, adding that the IAEA “considers it necessary to make an exception with regard to a few safeguards issues.”
    Safeguards is the term that describes IAEA activities including inspections and other work related to potential proliferation, details of which are confidential.
    While it was not immediately clear what the safeguards issues it referred to were, the agency usually briefs member states on Iran’s nuclear activities before the board meets.
    The board is the IAEA’s main policy-making body, alongside an annual meeting of all member states.
(Reporting by Francois Murphy, Editing by William Maclean)

5/29/2020 Trump says terminating U.S. relationship with World Health Organization over virus by Steve Holland and Michelle Nichols
U.S. President Donald Trump makes an announcement about U.S. trade relations with China and Hong Kong in
the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., May 29, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
    WASHINGTON/UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said he is terminating the U.S. relationship with the World Health Organization over its handling of the coronavirus, saying the WHO had essentially become a puppet organization of China.
    Appearing in the White House Rose Garden, Trump went ahead with repeated threats to eliminate American funding for the group, which amounts to several hundred million dollars a year.
    Trump said the WHO had failed to make reforms to the organization that the president had demanded in a May 18 letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.    That letter had given the WHO 30 days to commit to reforms.
        At his Rose Garden appearance, Trump tied the WHO closely with China, where the coronavirus originated.
    He said Chinese officials “ignored their reporting obligations” about the virus to the WHO and pressured the WHO to “mislead the world” when the virus was first discovered by Chinese authorities.
    “China has total control over the World Health Organization despite only paying $40 million per year compared to what the United States has been paying which is approximately $450 million a year.    We have detailed the reforms that it must make and engaged with them directly but they have refused to act,” said Trump.
    “Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs,” he said.
    Cutting the U.S. contribution could have global implications as the WHO is involved in responding to the pandemic, which has hit dozens of countries.
    Trump has long questioned the value of the United Nations and scorned the importance of multilateralism as he focuses on an America First” agenda.    Since taking office, Trump has quit the U.N. Human Rights Council, the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO, a global accord to tackle climate change and the Iran nuclear deal.
    The World Health Organization is a U.N. specialized agency – an independent international body that works with the United Nations.    The WHO did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Trump’s decision.
    “We have consistently called for all states to support WHO,” said a spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres when asked about Trump’s decision.
(Reporting By Steve Holland and Michelle Nichols; Editing by Daniel Wallis)
[CHINA YOU’RE W.H.O. BITCH IS ALL YOURS NOW SO ENJOY SUPPORTING ITS DESPERATE NEEDS AS TRUMP DUMPS ANOTHER WORLD GOVERNMENT ENTITY AND HE IS SINGING THE SONG "ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST" AND TRUMP WILL CREATE A NEW HEALTH AGENCY TO HELP THE WORLD AND WILL PROBABLY BRING THE PEOPLE FROM THE W.H.O. TO GET OUT OF IT TO THE NEW AGENCY TO LET CHINA KNOW THAT IT IS NOT IN CONTROL.].

5/29/2020 Chinese officials slam U.S. for interference in Hong Kong affairs by OAN Newsroom
Security personnel wearing face masks to protect against the new coronavirus stand guard during the closing session of China’s
National People’s Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Thursday, May 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
    Chinese officials recently slammed the U.S. for urging the United Nations to involve themselves in Hong Kong affairs.    On Friday, Chinese officials denounced the United States’ request for a UN Security Council meeting, which would focus on the new security law in Hong Kong, and threatened retaliation if they continue.
    According to China, the U.S. is undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy and shouldn’t be involving itself in their domestic affairs.
    The communist country recently passed a new security law in Hong Kong, which has threatened the freedoms of the democratic city.
    “The U.S. has asked the UN to discuss Hong Kong affairs, which is publicly interfering in China’s domestic affairs and damaging the principles of international relations.    China, of course, opposes this.    Their plan won’t succeed, the UN isn’t a tool that they can play.    China and other countries who uphold justice won’t allow the U.S. to blackmail the UN for its own purposes.” – Zhao Lijian, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson
    Several nations have expressed concern over the new security law.    The UN has said it conflicts with international obligations under the legally binding Sino-British Joint Declaration.

5/30/2020 Hong Kong leaders say Trump ‘completely wrong’ for curbing ties by Jessie Pang and Greg Torode
U.S. President Donald Trump makes an announcement about U.S. trade relations with China and Hong Kong as
National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
listen in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., May 29, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
    HONG KONG (Reuters) – Senior Hong Kong government officials lashed out on Saturday at moves by U.S. President Donald Trump to strip the city of its special status in a bid to punish China for imposing national security laws on the global financial hub.
    Speaking hours after Trump said the city no longer warranted economic privileges and some officials could face sanctions, security minister John Lee told reporters that Hong Kong’s government could not be threatened and would push ahead with the new laws.
    “I don’t think they will succeed in using any means to threaten the (Hong Kong) government, because we believe what we are doing is right,” Lee said.
    Justice minister Teresa Cheng said the basis for Trump’s actions was “completely false and wrong,” saying the need for national security laws were legal and necessary.
    In some of his toughest rhetoric yet, Trump said Beijing had broken its word over Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy from Beijing, by proposing the national security legislation and that the territory no longer warranted U.S. economic privileges.
    “We will take action to revoke Hong Kong’s preferential treatment as a separate customs and travel territory from the rest of China,” Trump said, adding that Washington would also impose sanctions on individuals seen as responsible for “smothering – absolutely smothering – Hong Kong’s freedom.”
    Trump told reporters at the White House that China’s move on Hong Kong was a tragedy for the world, but he gave no timetable for the moves, leaving Hong Kong residents, businesses and officials to ponder just how far his administration will go.
    The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong said Saturday marked “a sad day” for China’s freest city.
    “This is an emotional moment for Americans in Hong Kong and it will take companies and families a while to digest the ramifications,” AmCham President Tara Joseph said in a statement.
    “Many of us … have deep ties to this city and with Hong Kong people.    We love Hong Kong and it’s a sad day,” she said, adding the chamber would continue to work with its members to maintain Hong Kong’s status as a vital business centre.
(For an explainer on how important Hong Kong is to China as a free finance hub, please click.)
    China’s parliament this week approved a decision to create laws for Hong Kong to curb sedition, secession, terrorism and foreign interference.    Mainland security and intelligence agents may be stationed in the city for the first time – moves critics say put the city’s extensive freedoms at risk.
    Authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong insist the legislation will target only a small number of “troublemakers” who threaten China’s national security.    They say such action is urgently needed after months of sometimes violent anti-government protests rocked the city last year.
    Protests are simmering again as Hong Kong emerges from its coronavirus shutdown.    Demonstrators are expected to take to the streets on Sunday.
    Trump did not name any sanctions targets but said the announcement would “affect the full range of agreements we have with Hong Kong,” including the U.S.-Hong Kong extradition treaty to export controls on dual-use technologies and more “with few exceptions.”
    China’s Global Times, published by the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party, said Trump’s decision was a “recklessly arbitrary” step.
    The Hong Kong government has had a long history of working ties with U.S. counterparts, distinct from Beijing, with cooperation on counter-terrorism, trade and money laundering.
    More than 1,300 U.S. firms have offices in Hong Kong and provide about 100,000 jobs.    In the past decade, the U.S. trade surplus with Hong Kong has been the biggest among all its trading partners, totalling $297 billion from 2009 to 2018.
(Reporting by Jessie Pang and Greg Torode; Additional reporting by Anne Marie Roantree; Editing by Daniel Wallis and William Mallard)

5/30/2020 China’s ‘nervous’ Xi risks new Cold War, last Hong Kong governor says by Guy Faulconbridge
FILE PHOTO: Former Hong Kong governor Chris Patten in Hong Kong, China November 25, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping is so nervous about the position of the Communist Party that he is risking a new Cold War and imperilling Hong Kong’s position as Asia’s pre-eminent financial hub, the last British governor of the territory told Reuters.
    Chris Patten said Xi’s ‘thuggish’ crackdown in Hong Kong risked triggering an outflow of capital and people from the city which funnels the bulk of foreign investment into mainland China.
    The West, he said, should stop being naive about Xi, who has served as General Secretary of the Communist Party since 2012.
    “We have long since passed the stage where, without wanting another Cold War, we have to react to the fact Xi seems to want one himself,” Patten said.
    Patten cast Xi as a dictator who was “nervous” about the position of the Communist Party in China after criticism of its early handling of the novel coronavirus outbreak and the economic impact of its trade disagreements with the United States.
    “One reason Xi Jinping is whipping up all this nationalist feeling about Hong Kong, about Taiwan and about other issues, is that he is more nervous than any official would allow about the position of the Communist Party in China,” he said.
    The Chinese embassy in London did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
    Patten, now 76, watched as the British flag was lowered over Hong Kong when the colony was handed back to China in 1997 after more than 150 years of British rule.
    Hong Kong’s autonomy was guaranteed under the “one country, two systems” agreement enshrined in the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration.    But thousands of Hong Kong protesters have defied Beijing in recent months.
HONG KONG
    China’s parliament this week approved a decision to create laws for Hong Kong to curb sedition, secession, terrorism and foreign interference.
    “Xi Jinping hates the things which Hong Kong has been promised under the ‘one country, two systems’ treaty lodged at the United     Nations which he is wilfully breaking,” Patten said.    “What he hopes he can do is to bash Hong Kong into shape.”
    Patten said Xi’s actions had placed Hong Kong’s position as Asia’s premier international financial hub under question.
    “What does it mean? It means serious question marks not just about Hong Kong’s future as a free society but also about Hong Kong’s ability to continue as probably the premier international financial hub in Asia,” Patten said.
    “A lot of people will try to leave Hong Kong,” Patten said, adding that he feared capital would also flow out.    “It is going to be pretty rough over the next few months.”
    The autonomy of Hong Kong has, until now, given investors faith in the territory’s legal and governance systems. China’s legal system is accountable to the Communist Party.
    “What you have coming into conflict is a dictatorial idea of what the law is with the common law which is undoubtedly going to cause a constitutional clash,” Patten said.
    He added the West had been even more naive with Xi’s China than it had with post-Soviet Russia.
    “What Xi has demonstrated so far is that unless you stand up to bullies they go on bullying you,” he said.
    Patten said the West should stand together when allies – such as Australia – were targeted by Beijing and be cautious with companies such as Huawei which Britain has allowed to help build its 5G network.
    “Huawei is an agent of an unpleasant Chinese state,” Patten said.    Huawei has repeatedly denied claims that it is agent of the Chinese state.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Kirsten Donovan)

5/29/2020 President Trump to terminate relationship with the WHO amid feud with China by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House, Friday, May 29, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    President Trump has announced a series of measures to push back against China’s growing threat to international freedom.
    While addressing the nation from the White House, the president confirmed he will be issuing a proclamation to better secure America’s vital research.    He noted he is planning to suspend entry of certain foreign nationals from China, who have been identified as a security risk.
    This followed tensions between both countries amid the pandemic, which were centered on the virus’s origin and how it spread so rapidly.
    He added the administration will end special exemptions for Hong Kong.    China recently passed a new security bill, which was aimed at cracking down on dissent in the territory.
    President Trump also revealed he is set to terminate the U.S.’s relationship with the World Health Organization. He has said he will redirect those funds to other “worldwide and deserving urgent public health needs.”
    This move followed the WHO’s record of appeasement towards China on the coronavirus outbreak.
    The president reaffirmed his goal to protect the financial industry by putting American investors first.
    “I am instructing my presidential working group on financial markets to study the differing practices of Chinese companies listed on U.S. markets, with the goal of protecting American investment,” stated President Trump.    “Firms should not be subjecting their clients to the risks of companies that do not play by the same rules.”
    He added American investors deserve transparency after being “ripped off like no one has ever done before” over the years.

6/3/2020 President Trump says inviting Russia to G7 summit is common sense by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this May 18, 2020 file photo, President Donald Trump tells reporters that he is taking zinc
and hydroxychloroquine during a meeting with restaurant industry executives about the
coronavirus response, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    The president has defended inviting Russia to rejoin the G7 summit this year.    On Wednesday, President Trump stated it is common sense to bring Russia’s President Vladimir Putin back into the fold and noted it would be easier to solve issues involving Russia with Putin in the room.
    He went on to discuss Russia’s recent cooperation during the pandemic, as well as the potential opportunity to discuss a new nuclear pact.
    The problem is many of the things that we talk about are about Putin, so we’re just sitting around wasting time.    Then you have to finish your meeting and somebody has to call Putin, or deal with Putin, on different things.    I say have him in the room.    It used to be the G8…” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States
[NOTE: See there was an 8th head that grew out of the beast with 7 heads with one head had 10 horns and 10 crowns (WTO World Trade Center) and the 8th head will return again].
    Russia was removed from the group in 2014 following Moscow’s annexation of Crimea.    President Trump previously claimed former President Barack Obama may have played a role in this.
    Other G7 nations, including Canada and Germany, have criticized the president’s decision.    Additionally, the U.K. has vowed to veto any attempt to bring Russia back into the group.
[Trump wants Putin there because he needs to bring forth “The Deal of the Century” for the Trump/Kushner peace plan for new Palestine State and many of these nations will be part of that to occur and Putin will be the key to get the Palesinians to come to the table.    If this does not happen then he will have to have a seperate meeting with Putin and Israel-Palestinians and the UN Security Council to do this business by Spetember 1st.].

6/9/2020 U.N. chief seeks to clarify protest advice, telling staff to fight racism by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres speaks during a Security Council meeting about the situation in Syria
at U.N. Headquarters in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – United Nations chief Antonio Guterres on Tuesday told staff they were not banned from joining anti-racism demonstrations sweeping the United States and other countries, in a letter that aimed to clear up any confusion on the world body’s guidance.
    “It does not in any way indicate that staff are to remain neutral or impartial in the face of racism,” Guterres wrote in a letter to staff.    “To the contrary, there is no ban on personal expressions of solidarity or acts of peaceful civic engagement, provided they are carried out in an entirely private capacity.”
    In the letter, obtained by Reuters, he said recent guidance by the Ethics Panel “was meant to emphasize the need to balance such activities with one’s best judgment as international civil servants and our official duties.”
    The largely peaceful U.S. protests over the past two weeks were sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis with a white policeman’s knee on his neck.    Some cities have had to deal with arson, looting and clashes between protesters and police.
    Earlier this month Guterres urged Americans protesting racial inequities and excessive police force to do so peacefully and called on U.S. leaders and authorities to listen to them and show restraint.
    People have also taken to the streets in countries including Britain, France and Australia for anti-racism protests.
    “The position of the United Nations on racism is crystal clear: this scourge violates the Charter and debases our core values,” Guterres wrote to staff.    “Every day, in our work across the world, we strive to do our part to promote inclusion, justice, dignity and combat racism in all its manifestations.”
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by David Gregorio)

6/9/2020 World leaders will not meet in person for UN General Assembly due to pandemic by OAN Newsroom
The flags of member nations fly outside the General Assembly building at the United Nations headquarters in New York, Sept. 13, 2005 (AP Photo)
    The head of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Tijjani Muhammad-Bandi, announced leaders will not be convening in-person for the group’s annual meeting in September due to the coronavirus pandemic.
    On Monday, the UNGA president said world leaders cannot come to New York City because they would have to be accompanied by staff, which would put them in violation of social distancing orders.    He said it would be “impossible” to hold the meeting in-person because of those restrictions.
    “They might have to have hotels, need for hotels at that time, stuff like that and we don’t know what the medical advice will be for the country and for the city,” explained President Muhammad-Bandi.    “Host government is very important in terms of what is possible, so I think what we have said is that it is my hope that within two weeks we will have clarity as to the mechanics.”
    This will be the first time in the United Nations’ 75 year history that world leaders will not be meeting in-person for the assembly.

6/10/2020 WHO official walks back comments on asymptomatic spread by Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY
    An official leading the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 response clarified comments made at a media briefing Monday that suggested coronavirus transmission by asymptomatic individuals is “very rare.”
    Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead, said in a video posted on the organization’s Twitter feed that she was referring to a small subset of studies and unpublished information from member states.
    “I wasn’t stating a policy of WHO or anything like that, I was just trying to articulate what we know,” she said.    “And in that I used the phrase ‘very rare,’ and I think that’s a misunderstanding to state that asymptomatic transmission globally is very rare.”
    In contact tracing efforts from other countries, secondary transmission from asymptomatic individuals was rarely found, Kerkhove said, but the subject is still “a major unknown.”
    She said models that attempt to estimate asymptomatic transmission vary greatly – some predict spread by people without symptoms may make up to 40% of transmissions.
    Monday’s comments fueled tweets by anti-lockdown activists questioning the country’s decision to shutter businesses, leading to record unemployment and job loss.
    “We shut our nation down, nearly destroyed the economy, and have people wearing masks for no reasons other than govt. control,” tweeted Newsmax TV host John Cardillo.
    Kerkhove reiterated some of her points in Tuesday’s clarification video, including that some pre-symptomatic cases may have been misidentified as asymptomatic.
    Other individuals, she said, may have been misidentified as asymptomatic because they didn’t present common COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath, instead exhibiting much milder symptoms.
    Kerkhove said much research is being done to determine when someone has COVID-19 and is truly asymptomatic and what proportion of that population actually transmits the disease.
    “That’s a big open question, and that remains an open question,” she said.
    Health and patient safety coverage at USA TODAY is made possible in part by a grant from the Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation and Competition in Healthcare.    The Masimo Foundation does not provide editorial input.
Maria van Kerkhove of the World Health Organization says the transmission of coronavirus
by people who don’t show symptoms is “a major unknown.” MARTIAL TREZZINI/AP

6/11/2020 IMF warns of coronavirus, reform risks in Ukraine after approving $5 billion deal by Matthias Williams
FILE PHOTO: International Monetary Fund (IMF) logo is seen outside the headquarters building in Washington, U.S., as IMF Managing
Director Christine Lagarde meets with Argentine Treasury Minister Nicolas Dujovne September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
    KIEV (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund on Thursday warned of “large risks” to Ukraine’s outlook after approving a new $5 billion deal for the country tumbling into a recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
    The IMF sees the eastern European country’s economy shrinking 8% this year, a steeper decline than the government’s estimate of around 5%, and said “output is not expected to reach its pre-crisis levels until 2023–24.”
    President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s government has said the IMF programme was needed to stave off default, as a nationwide lockdown to fight the spread of COVID-19 forced many businesses to shut or operate under restrictions.
    Ukraine received a first loan tranche of $2.1 billion this week but must continue to pass reforms to qualify for further disbursements.    These include further steps to clean up the banking sector and governance at major state-run companies.
    “Risks to a new programme are very large, stemming from a possible deepening of the COVID-19 crisis and a further deterioration in global economic and financial conditions, as well as possible domestic policy slippages and reversals, as vested interests may continue to push back against reforms,” the IMF said in a document.
    To secure the IMF deal, Ukraine had to pass legislation that prevents the former owners of insolvent banks from regaining their assets.
    The move was viewed as aimed at the interests of Ihor Kolomoisky, who formerly owned the country’s largest lender, PrivatBank – nationalized in 2016 – and who has waged a legal battle to regain control or receive government compensation.
    The IMF wants further amendments to the banking legislation by November.
    After Kiev secured the deal, the central bank on Thursday cut its main interest rate to the lowest level since the country’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
(Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

6/11/2020 President Trump signs executive order imposing sanctions on ICC by OAN Newsroom
FILE- In this Nov. 7, 2019 file photo, the International Criminal Court, or ICC, is seen in The Hague, Netherlands.
President Donald Trump has lobbed a broadside attack against the International Criminal Court. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)
    President Trump has signed an executive order to authorize economic sanctions on employees of the International Criminal Court.
    These penalties came after the ICC investigated U.S. military and intel personnel at the request of Russia.
    According to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the probe into possible U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan does not fall under the court’s jurisdiction.
    “These actions on the part of the ICC, in turn, threaten to infringe upon the sovereignty of the United States and impede the critical national security and foreign policy work of United States Government and allied officials, and thereby threaten the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” stated the order.
    The order will impose travel restrictions and financial penalties on members of the court.
    “We’re extending and expanding these restrictions, including to their family members,” added Pompeo.    “It gives us no joy to punish them, but we cannot allow ICC officials and their families to come to the United States to shop, travel and otherwise enjoy American freedoms as the same officials seek to prosecute the defender of those very freedoms.”
    The secretary has called the investigations illegitimate and an “ideological crusade” against U.S. service members.

6/12/2020 Antifa-like group reportedly funded by George Soros and Tom Steyer by OAN Newsroom
FILE- In this May 29, 2018, file photo George Soros is pictured. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)
    Investigative organization Project Veritas uncovered financial ties between an Antifa-like group and billionaires George Soros and Tom Steyer.
    Project Veritas released footage of a left-wing group called Refuse Fascism on Thursday, exposing their violent tactics and agenda to impeach President Trump.
    The left-wing group reportedly received a grant from Soros, who is the center of multiple conspiracy theories about the recent nationwide protests.
    The leftist organization also revealed in the video that they have been in contact with former Democrat presidential candidate Steyer’s staff.    However, one of the group’s organizers said Steyer likely doesn’t want his name to be connected with the group due to his own political ambitions.
    In the undercover video, Refuse Fascism leader Tee Stern revealed Soros’s role in the organization’s pro-choice efforts.
    You can watch the full video released by Project Veritas here: RefuseFa uses ANTIFA-like tactics, Organizer Claims they Secured Money from Soros, Met with Steyer

6/12/2020 Coronavirus hitting the Americas hardest says World Health Organization by John Revill and Stephanie Nebehay
FILE PHOTO: Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference on
the situation of the coronavirus (COVID-2019), in Geneva, Switzerland, February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    ZURICH/GENEVA (Reuters) – The Americas are bearing the brunt of the global coronavirus pandemic at present, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, with North and South America currently having four of the 10 worst hit countries in the world.
    The disease was “highly active” in Central and South America, the WHO’s top emergency expert Mike Ryan said, highlighting problems in Brazil and Mexico.
    The current situation in Brazil, now one of the global hot-spots for the virus, was of increasing concern especially in heavily-populated cities, he told a press conference.
    The country’s health system was “still coping,” although some intensive care units were at a critical stage and under heavy pressure with more than 90% bed occupancy rates, Ryan said.
    Mexico meanwhile has nearly 130,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and more than 15,000 deaths, the WHO said.
    Brazil is the second worst hit country in the world, with more than 800,000 cases and 41,000 deaths, according to a Reuters tally.
    Both countries lag behind the United States, the worst hit country, which has had more than 2 million cases and nearly 114,000 deaths
.
    “We are very much in the upswing of this pandemic, particularly in the global South,” Ryan said.    “Some countries are having trouble exiting of the so-called lockdowns as they are seeing an increase in cases.”
    It was possible the disease was spreading again as societies reopened and people began meeting again, especially when there was inadequate testing and social distancing was insufficient.
    Still, he acknowledged the pressures on countries to get back to normal especially to reduce the economic damage the crisis has wrought.”    There is a careful balance between keeping people at home… and the untoward effect of that on economic and society.    That is not an easy balance. There are no correct answers,” Ryan said.
    Ryan said that although some countries appeared to be over the worst of the virus, clusters of the disease were still occurring.
    WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Gheybreyesus said that vigilance was required worldwide against the “very dangerous virus” even in regions where it appeared to be on the wane.
    “Our fear is although it is declining in Europe it is increasing in other parts of the world.    Even Europe cannot be safe because the virus can be reintroduced to Europe,” he said.
    Tedros was also firm on the need for any vaccines had to be shared fairly between countries, amid concerns some could hoard any drugs they develop.
    Vaccines should be made available as a global public good, to ensure everyone had fair access to any life-saving products that are developed, Tedros said.
(Reporting by John Revill and Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Toby Chopra)
[NO THANKS TO YOU TEDROS SINCE YOU COVERED UP CHINA'S ASS AND NOW WONDER WHY WE HAVE A LOT OF CASES AND WHY HAVE THE WHO HAS NOT GOT RID OF YOU YET.].

6/12/2020 France calls on U.S. to withdraw measures targeting ICC
FILE PHOTO: French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian leaves the Elysee Presidential Palace
after a weekly cabinet meeting, in Paris, France May 27, 2020 as France eases lockdown measures taken
to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease COVID-19. Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
    PARIS (Reuters) – France said on Friday that a U.S. decision to impose sanctions against employees of the International Criminal Court is an attack on states party to the Rome Statute and called on the U.S. to withdraw those measures.
    French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a statement that the U.S. decision risks putting into question the independence of the justice system.
    President Donald Trump on Thursday authorized U.S. economic and travel sanctions against ICC employees involved in an investigation into whether American forces committed war crimes in Afghanistan.
(Reporting by John Irish; Editing by GV De Clercq and Chizu Nomiyama)

6/12/2020 U.N. regrets Trump move against ICC, says court must be protected
FILE PHOTO: The International Criminal Court building is seen in The Hague, Netherlands, January 16, 2019. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The U.N. human rights office on Friday regretted the impact that U.S. sanctions authorised by President Donald Trump may have on trials and investigations under way at the International Criminal Court (ICC), saying its independence must be protected.
    Trump on Thursday authorized U.S. economic and travel sanctions against employees of the Hague-based tribunal involved in an investigation into whether American forces committed war crimes in Afghanistan.
    “The independence of the ICC and its ability to operate without interference must be guaranteed so that it can decide matters without any improper influence, inducement, pressures, threats or interference, direct or indirect, from any quarter or for any reasons,” U.N. human rights spokesman Rupert Colville told a U.N. briefing in Geneva.    “Victims of gross human rights violations and serious violations of international humanitarian law and their families have the right to redress and the truth.”
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Catherine Evans)

6/13/2020 WHO concerned about second wave of coronavirus
FILE – In this Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020 file photo, Dr. Gauden Galea, the World Health Organization representative
in China, speaks during an interview at the WHO offices in Beijing. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
    The World Health Organization has warned governments about a second wave of coronavirus cases hitting countries around the world.    According to officials, some countries are struggling to reopen due to an increase in coronavirus cases.
    As of Saturday, more than 7 million people have been infected with COVID-19 globally.    The pandemic has devastated economies and global markets around the world.
    Officials are concerned many countries are not preparing to face a second wave, due to a lack of proper resources and funding.
    “The current uptick in cases in some countries can be represented as a second wave or a second peak,” stated WHO official Michael Ryan.    “In other words, the disease has not reached a very low level, maintained the low level, and then come back some time later in the year.”
    He added the reopening of borders, the lack of available tests and the number of people breaking social distancing guidelines have played a role in the increase of active cases.

6/13/2020 ICC criticizes President Trump’s decision to authorize sanctions against employees by OAN Newsroom
FILE- In this Nov. 7, 2019 file photo, the International Criminal Court, or ICC, is seen in The Hague, Netherlands. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)
    The International Criminal Court has criticized President Trump’s decision to approve sanctions against its employees.    On Friday, a spokesperson for the court said the organization profoundly regrets the president’s move and accused the U.S. of trying to prevent members from doing their jobs.
    They also claimed accusations of corruption recently raised by Attorney General William Barr are unsubstantiated.
    According to the official, the ICC has prior experience carrying out investigations in nations it is not welcome in.
    “For the ICC, we have the experience of conducting investigations even when we are not allowed inside a specific country, whether for political reasons, security reasons or other reasons,” stated Fadi El Abdallah.    “There has been, in the past, investigations that have been conducted and we have obtained the results, even without having the possibility to go physically to a certain place.”
    Under the president’s action, ICC employees have been barred from entering the U.S. and their financial assets have also been blocked.
[Trump told them where to stick their jobs.].

6/14/2020 Israel approves funding for new ‘Trump Heights’ settlement by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this June 16, 2019, file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, his wife Sara,
United States Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, left, and his wife Tammy pose during the
inauguration of a new settlement named after President Donald Trump in the Golan Heights. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit, File)
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has confirmed plans to construct a new settlement in the Golan Heights named after President Trump.    The funding for “Trump Heights” was approved on Sunday, which will allocate $2.3 million towards the settlement.
    This big move expressed gratitude for President Trump’s decision to steer clear from prior foreign policies that actively worked against the state of Israel.
    “Today, we will begin practical steps to construct the settlement ‘Trump Heights’ in the Golan Heights, which Israel’s sovereignty over it was recognized by President Trump,” stated the prime minister.

    Netanyahu also praised both the president and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for authorizing sanctions against anyone involved in an International Criminal Court investigation of Americans or U.S. allies.
[This ICC is another Globalist entity who is hassling the U.S. and Israel because they are not following their program for world government takeover and trying to stop any nationalism or sovereignty and the U.S. is the "Two Wings Of The Eagle" helping the "Woman with the 12 stars and have the protections of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and Jesus Christ who will return soon as this as we are at beginning of the end of the time, and times, and half a time 1948-2020 and soon to start the second half of the time, and times, and half a time 2021 to unknown.
Revelation 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
Revelation 12:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.].

6/15/2020 UN Human Rights Council to hold discussion on police brutality and racism in U.S. by OAN Newsroom
Delegates wearing protective face masks attend the resuming of the UN Human Rights Council session after the break in March over the coronavirus pandemic,
on Monday, 15 June 2020, in Geneva. The UN’s top rights body agreed on Monday to a request from African countries to urgently debate
racism and police brutality this week following unrest in the US and beyond over George Floyd’s death. (Fabrice Coffrini/Keystone via AP)
    The United Nations Human Rights Council is gearing up for a discussion about police brutality and racism in America.    According to reports Monday, the conversation will take place Wednesday following a request from from more than 50 African nations.
    The announcement came along with a statement signed by the head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Ghebreyesus, who called on the United Nations to “dismantle racist institutions.”
    “We got a request from the African group to have an urgent debate in the follow up to what happened in America with George Floyd and the whole tragedy, which showed the problem of racism, of police violence and the follow up to that,” said Elisabeth Tichy Fisslberger, President of the UN Human Rights Council.
    In 2018, Africa recorded the highest rate of modern day enslavement in the world, where certain nations refer to it as an institutionalized practice.
[See the Globalist World Government is on the attack from the actions caused by their help with the Black Lives Matter revolution on the U.S.A. who they think will change the opinion of the U.S. Sovereignty in the upcoming elections but the Make America Great Again will continue to defeat that, give it up George Soros and the real brutality is what they are doing to the U.S. cities.].


6/16/2020 WHO chief to speak at top Chinese university graduation ceremony
FILE PHOTO: Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks during a news conference
on the situation of the coronavirus (COVID-2019), in Geneva, Switzerland, February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    BEIJING (Reuters) – The director-general of the World Health Organization is scheduled to give a commencement speech to students at the elite Tsinghua University in Beijing, amid accusations from the United States that he is biased towards China.
    Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will deliver an online speech to Tsinghua’s School of Economics and Management on June 21, according to a notice from the university.
    U.S. President Donald Trump said in May the United States was ending its relationship with the WHO over the body’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, accusing the U.N. agency of becoming a puppet of China.
    The WHO has previously denied Trump’s assertions that it promoted Chinese “disinformation” about the virus.
(Reporting by Gabriel Crossley; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)
[I guess you will have to go to some place where they might actually listen to you and or trust you to do it their way.].

6/17/2020 G7 foreign ministers urge China not impose security law on Hong Kong
FILE PHOTO - Riot police stop and search pro-democracy demonstrators as they take part
a singing song protest at Mong Kok, in Hong Kong, China June 12, 2020. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The G7 foreign ministers issued a joint statement on Wednesday calling on China not to follow through with plans to impose national security legislation on Hong Kong.
    “The proposed national security law would risk seriously undermining the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle and the territory’s high degree of autonomy,” the foreign ministers of United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the EU’s High Representative said in the statement.
    “We strongly urge the Government of China to re-consider this decision,” it said.
(Reporting by Eric Beech)

6/19/2020 U.N. nuclear watchdog’s board raises pressure on Iran over suspect sites
FILE PHOTO: A sign marks the seat of Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) ahead of a
board of governors meeting at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria March 9, 2020. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner
    VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog’s 35-nation Board of Governors called on Iran on Friday to stop denying the agency access to two suspected former sites and to cooperate fully with it, diplomats attending the meeting said.
    A resolution, adopted in a vote called after China expressed opposition to it, raised pressure on Iran to let inspectors into the sites mentioned in two International Atomic Energy Agency reports because they could still host undeclared nuclear material or traces of it.
    The text of the resolution submitted by France, Britain and Germany and obtained by Reuters says the board “calls on Iran to fully cooperate with the Agency and satisfy the Agency’s requests without any further delay, including by providing prompt access to the locations specified by the Agency.”
    Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with major powers drew a line under what the IAEA and U.S. intelligence services believe was a covert, coordinated atomic weapons programme halted in 2003.    But Israel’s seizure of what is calls part of an “archive” of Iran’s past work appears to have yielded new clues on old activities.
    The IAEA suspects activities possibly related to developing nuclear weapons were carried out in the early 2000s at these sites.    Iran has suggested the IAEA is seeking access based on the Israeli information, which it argues is inadmissible.    It also says the IAEA file on its old activities has been closed.
    The resolution, the first by the board since 2015 and the implementation of the nuclear deal, was passed by a 25-2 margin with seven abstentions, diplomats said.    Iran’s allies China and Russia opposed the measure.
(Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
[Its about time that one of the Globalist agencies actually went after the corruption in some nations instead of ignoring it, I wondered if the pandemic has opened the eyes of some nations that cover ups and these one world government policies of no sovereignty could be bad for their nations health and annilation by bad players.].

6/19/2020 Exclusive: Europeans working with U.S. to restructure WHO, top official says by Francesco Guarascio and Elvira Pollina
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured on the headquarters of the World Health Orgnaization (WHO) ahead of a meeting of the
Emergency Committee on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Geneva, Switzerland, January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European governments are working with the United States on plans to overhaul the World Health Organization, a top health official for a European country said, signalling that Europe shares some of the concerns that led Washington to say it would quit.
    The European health official, who spoke on condition of anonymity while discussing initiatives that are not public, said Britain, France, Germany and Italy were discussing WHO reforms with the United States at the technical level.
    The aim, the official said, was to ensure WHO’s independence, an apparent reference to allegations that the body was too close to China during its initial response to the coronavirus crisis early this year.
    “We are discussing ways to separate WHO’s emergency management mechanism from any single country influence,” said the official.
    Reforms would involve changing the WHO’s funding system to make it more long-term, the official said.    The WHO now operates on a two-year budget, which “could hurt WHO’s independence” if it has to raise funds from donor countries in the middle of an emergency, the official said.
    U.S. President Donald Trump has accused the WHO of being too close to China and announced plans to quit and withdraw funding.
    European countries have occasionally called for reform of the WHO but have generally shielded the organisation from the most intense criticism by Washington. In public the European position has usually been that any reform should come only after an evaluation of the response to the coronavirus crisis.
EVALUATION AND REFORM
    But minutes of a videoconference of EU health ministers last week suggested European countries were taking a stronger line and also seeking more European influence at the WHO in future.    The German and French ministers told their colleagues “an evaluation and reform of the WHO was needed,” the minutes said.
    That was stronger wording than in a resolution last month which the EU drafted and which was adopted by all 192 WHO member countries.    That resolution called for an evaluation of the response to the coronavirus crisis, but it stopped short of calling for reforms.
    The German and French ministers also told their colleagues "The EU and its MS (member states) should play a bigger role at the global level," the minutes showed.
    A spokesperson for the German health ministry said Berlin sought stronger engagement with the WHO ahead of Germany taking over the EU presidency on July 1.
    A German government source told Reuters the aim of the intervention at the health ministers’ meeting was to encourage debate among EU member states about how to reform the WHO. Asked whether Germany was now pushing for quicker changes, instead of waiting until after the crisis, the official said: “Reforms of international organisations normally take years, not months.”
    A French health ministry spokesman also said the WHO would be on the agenda of Germany’s presidency of the EU, and Paris would work on it with Berlin.    France backed WHO reform but changes should follow the evaluation of the organisation’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis, he said.
    A British government spokesperson said Britain worked with organisations including the WHO “to encourage and support transparency, efficiency and good management.”
    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the WHO did not respond to requests for comment.
    The WHO drew criticism for public praise of China’s efforts to combat the disease in the early days of the crisis, even as evidence emerged that Chinese officials had silenced whistleblowers.
    The EU and its governments funded around 11% of the WHO’s $5.6 billion budget in the 2018-19 period, and the United States provided more than 15%.    China covered just 0.2%.
(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio in Brussels; additional reporting by Elvira Pollina in Milan, Andreas Rinke in Berlin, Matthias Blamont in Paris; Editing by Peter Graff)

6/19/2020 France, Germany, UK ‘accessories’ to Trump, Netanyahu, Iran’s Zarif says
FILE PHOTO - Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif speaks with the media on the sidelines
of a security conference in New Delhi, India, January 15, 2020. REUTERS/Alasdair Pal
    DUBAI (Reuters) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Friday accused France, Germany and Britain of serving Iran’s arch-foes the United States and Israel by drafting a nuclear resolution against Tehran.
    “Behind (the) facade, E3 are accessories to (U.S. President Donald) Trump & (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu—& in no position to counsel Iran,” Zarif tweeted.
    The U.N. nuclear watchdog’s 35-nation Board of Governors called on Iran in the resolution earlier on Friday to stop denying the agency access to two suspected former nuclear sites and to cooperate fully with it, diplomats attending the meeting said.
(Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Sandra Maler)

6/19/2020 China hits back at U.N. rights chief on Hong Kong legislation
FILE PHOTO: High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet at the High-Level Segment of the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council, at the
European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland June 17, 2020. Martial Trezzini/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
    GENEVA (Reuters) – China said on Friday that “improper” remarks by the United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet regarding the national security legislation proposed for Hong Kong “grossly interfere in China’s sovereignty and internal affairs.”
    Earlier on Friday, Bachelet issued a statement saying that any new national security laws imposed on Hong Kong “must fully comply with China’s human rights obligations” and international treaties protecting civil and political freedoms.
    Hours later, China’s mission to the U.N. in Geneva said in a statement: “These remarks grossly interfere in China’s sovereignty and internal affairs and violate the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, to which China expresses its strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition.    Solemn representations have been made to the High Commissioner and her Office.”    Legislation on national security “falls within the sovereignty of a State,” it added.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Sandra Maler)
[The release of the coronavirus on the world is starting to see some of the European countries are starting to put some pressure by way of the UN on China for issues that concern them.].

6/19/2020 EU should take China to U.N. court over Hong Kong, lawmakers say
FILE PHOTO - Pro-democracy demonstrators march holding their phones with flashlights on during a protest to mark the first
anniversary of a mass rally against the now-withdrawn extradition bill, in Hong Kong, China June 9, 2020. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union should take China to the International Court of Justice in The Hague if Beijing imposes a new security law on Hong Kong, the European Parliament voted on Friday, also calling on the bloc to use economic leverage to dissuade China.
    EU governments have already expressed “grave concern” over China’s security law for Hong Kong, which democracy activists, diplomats and some businesses say will jeopardise its semi-autonomous status and its role as a global financial hub.
    In a resolution, the European Parliament voted 565 in favour to 34 against, with 62 abstentions to protest the security law that Europe, Australia and the United States say would undermine the “one country, two systems” principle that governs Hong Kong’s autonomy.
    The European Parliament “calls on the EU and its member states to consider, in the event the new security law is applied, filing a case before the International Court of Justice,” the resolution said, referring to the highest United Nations legal body and based in The Hague.
    The parliament’s resolutions are non-binding but the political signals they provide can steer policy.
    The resolution also called on the EU to consider possible economic sanctions on China.
    The parliament “believes that the EU should use its economic leverage to challenge China’s crackdown on human rights by economic means,” the resolution said.
    The leaders of the EU institutions and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang are set to hold a summit by video on Monday.
(Reporting by Robin Emmott; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

6/19/2020 Iran slams U.N. nuclear watchdog resolution, says it worked with body
An Iranian flag flutters in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
headquarters in Vienna, Austria September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
    DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Friday blasted a resolution by the U.N. nuclear watchdog IAEA, saying Tehran has cooperated with the body, in a statement by state media.
    “While Iran has the highest level of cooperation with the IAEA, the issuance of a resolution by the Board of Governors is a completely unconstructive and disappointing step,” ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in the statement.
    The U.N. nuclear watchdog’s 35-nation Board of Governors called on Iran in the resolution earlier on Friday to stop denying the agency access to two suspected former sites and to cooperate fully with it, diplomats attending the meeting said.
(Reporting by Dubai newsroom)
[I guess the IAEA finally woke up to the reality that Iran is pulling their leg for many years and it is already out of control and they used Obama's money to build it, and I am sure that Joe Biden will say he knows nothing about it just like he does not know Tara Reade.].

6/19/2020 China sees European virus strain in Beijing, WHO says more study needed by Roxanne Liu and Stephanie Nebehay
People wearing protective masks walk in a street after a new outbreak of the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Beijing, China, June 19, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
    BEIJING/GENEVA (Reuters) – China said on Friday it had identified a European strain of coronavirus as having sparked the recent Beijing outbreak, while the World Health Organization said only that it had been imported from outside the city and needed further investigation.
    China has released genome sequencing data from samples taken in Beijing, which officials there said identified a European strain based on preliminary studies.
    Some 183 people have been infected in the resurgence that began eight days ago linked to Beijing’s sprawling wholesale food centre of Xinfadi.
    “Strains and viruses move around the world,” WHO’s top emergencies expert Mike Ryan told a Geneva news conference.
    “So I think it’s not indicating that Europe is the origin of the disease at all.    What it is saying most likely is the disease was most probably imported from outside Beijing at some point.”
    It was critical to establish when the virus arrived in Beijing, how many people were infected along the way, and what factors amplified its spread, Ryan said. But it was “reassuring” that the virus appeared to be of human origin and had not jumped the species barrier again, he added.
    China had come under pressure to make the data public sooner rather than later as COVID-19 cases mount in the capital.
    The U.S. administration has blamed the Chinese government for moving too slowly to contain the initial outbreak.
    China says it wasted no time in releasing information including the genome sequence of the first outbreak in Wuhan.
    The latest genome sequencing was published late on Thursday, and had also been shared with the WHO and the Global Influenza Data Initiative (GISAID), said the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
    Virus genome sequencing is a vital and rapidly-developing tool in the diagnosis of COVID-19 and in understanding the spread and control of the new coronavirus.
THREE SAMPLES
    Details published on China’s National Microbiology Data Center website revealed the Beijing genome data was based on three samples – two human and one environmental – collected on June 11.    That was the same day the Chinese capital reported its first new local COVID-19 infection in months.
    “According to preliminary genomic and epidemiological study results, the virus is from Europe, but it is different from the virus currently spreading in Europe,” CDC official Zhang Yong was cited as saying in an article published on Friday by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection on its website.
    “It’s older than the virus currently spreading in Europe.”
    Wu Zunyou, the CDC’s chief epidemiology expert, had told state media this week the Beijing strain was similar to Europe’s, although not necessarily directly transmitted from European countries.    Wu did not elaborate on those comments made before the genome data release.
    The strains found in the United States and Russia were mostly from Europe, he added.
    The first cluster of coronavirus infections was traced to the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan in December.    It has since infected almost 8.5 million people globally.
    On the origins of the strain that hit Beijing, Wu said it did not originate from the Chinese capital.
    “It must be some people or goods outside of the city that carried it into the (Xinfadi) market,” Wu said in a state television interview aired on Friday.
    “It’s unclear who, or what kind of goods, had brought the virus into Beijing.”
(Reporting by Ryan Woo, Roxanne Liu, Lusha Zhang, Se Young Lee and Guijuan Qu in Beijing and Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva; Editing by Himani Sarkar, Jane Wardell and Michael Perry)

6/19/2020 World Health Organization warns of second wave of COVID-19 by OAN Newsroom
WHO, World Health Organization Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, speaks during the relaunch
ceremony of the famous fountain ‘Le Jet d’Eau’, which was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak,
in Geneva, Switzerland, Thursday, June 11, 2020. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)
    According to the World Health Organization, the world has entered a “new and dangerous” phase when it comes to the coronavirus.
    The organization’s director general made the remark on Friday during a press conference.
    He said the number of daily confirmed coronavirus cases hit an unprecedented level Thursday, after more than 150,00 new cases were reported around the world.
    “Almost half of those cases were reported from the Americas.    …Many people are understandably fed up with being at home, countries are understandably eager to open up their societies and economies, but the virus is still spreading fast.    It is still deadly, and most people are still susceptible.” – Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization
    Officials went on to encourage everyone exiting lockdown to do so “carefully and in a stepwise manner.”
[Can we believe the WHO anymore since Tedros is still Director General?].

6/20/2020 World Health Organization: Highest number of COVID-19 cases reported in 1 day by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Monday, Feb. 24, 2020 file photo, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the
World Health Organization (WHO), addresses a press conference about the update on COVID-19 at the
World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP, File)
    The World Health Organization has called for “extreme vigilance” after coronavirus cases spiked in different nations this week.    On Friday, WHO officials reported COVID-19 saw its highest number of infections in one day, with more than 150,000 cases being confirmed on Thursday.
    Officials warned countries to take reopening slowly as several regions, such as India, are still under complete lockdown.
    According to WHO authorities, the world is entering a new phase with the virus.    The organization has called on world leaders to be vigilant as they move into reopening phases.
    “More than 150,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported to WHO yesterday, the most in a single day so far,” stated Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.    “…We call on all countries and all people to exercise extreme vigilance.”
    He went on to warn countries to be on the lookout during flu season and asked leaders to watch for overlap of the two viruses.
[These idiots are still only stating increases in cases but not a word of increases in deaths as their corruption continues to try to be something of nothing.].

6/20/2020 Pompeo: China is trying to create divide between U.S. and Europe by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this June 11, 2020, file photo, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks
at the State Department in Washington. (Yuri Gripas/Pool via AP)
    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently discussed disinformation China has allegedly been spreading through Europe.    During an online conference about democracy, Pompeo announced China is behind a “fear in Europe” campaign, which aims to drive a wedge between the United States and Europe.
    He also talked about the pandemic and China’s continuing lack of transparency surrounding the coronavirus.    He suggested the nation must adopt democracy if they want to continue growing.
    The secretary went on to accuse China of trying to throw away the progress made in the free world.
    We must take off the golden blinders of economic ties and see that the China challenge isn’t just at the gates.    Every investment from a Chinese state-owned enterprise should be viewed with suspicion.    Europe faces a China challenge, just as the United States, our South American, African, Middle Eastern and Asian friends do too.” – Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State
    The diplomat’s remarks came after he held a closed door meeting with one of China’s senior officials in Hawaii amid growing tensions between the two nations.
[The Globalist World Government is the wedge between the Donald Trump U.S.A. and the Democrats U.S.A.-Europe, etc.].

6/21/2020 Pope says coronavirus should spark new environmental awareness by Philip Pullella
Pope Francis leads a traditional Corpus Christi (Body of Christ) feast Mass in St. Peter's
Basilica at the Vatican, June 14, 2020. Tiziana Fabi/Pool via REUTERS
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The drastic reduction in pollution during coronavirus lockdowns around
the world should lead to greater concern for the environment as restrictions are lifted, Pope Francis said on Sunday.
    At his Sunday address in St. Peter’s Square, Francis said the pandemic made many people reflect on their relationship with the environment.    The square reopened to the public a month ago and Italy’s last travel restrictions were lifted on June 3.
    “The lockdown has reduced pollution and revealed once more the beauty of so many places free from traffic and noise.    Now, with the resumption of activities, we should all be more responsible for looking after our common home,” he said, using his term for the Earth.
    Air and water pollution levels plummeted in many places.
    In Venice, the usually dark waters of the city’s canals were so clean because of reduced boat traffic that fish could be seen for the first time in many years.
    Dolphins swam closer to ports, racoons emerged in New York’s Central Park and mountain goats roamed streets in Wales.
    In some cities, such as Milan, pollution reduction spurred officials to plan more pedestrian islands and cycling paths.
    The Roman Catholic Church is currently marking the fifth anniversary of Francis’ landmark encyclical “Laudato Si” (Praised Be) on the need to protect nature.
    In a 225-page manual released on Thursday, the Vatican said Catholics should disinvest from fossil fuel industries and closely monitor companies in sectors such as mining to check if they are damaging the environment.
    Francis, speaking a day after the United Nations World Refugee Day, also said the coronavirus crisis has highlighted the need to ensure protection for refugees because they had become more vulnerable to exploitation.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Frances Kerry)
[I rest my case about who has made their bed with the GLOBALIST WORLD GOVERNMENT and is riding on the back of the BEAST with the 7 heads to be protected from the secular world instead of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.]

6/21/2020 WHO reports record daily increase in coronavirus cases
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured on the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) ahead of a meeting of the
Emergency Committee on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Geneva, Switzerland, January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    (Reuters) – The World Health Organization reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases on Sunday, with the total rising by 183,020 in a 24-hour period.
    The biggest increase was from North and South America with over 116,000 new cases, according to a daily report https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200621-covid-19-sitrep-153.pdf?sfvrsn=c896464d_2.    Total global cases are over 8.7 million with more than 461,000 deaths, according to the WHO.
    The previous record for new cases was 181,232 on June 18.
(Writing by Lisa Shumaker; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

6/22/2020 WHO says it will issue guidance on air travel in coming days
FILE PHOTO: Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the World Health Organisation (WHO), attends a news
conference at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland May 3, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization will issue further guidance on air travel in coming days as countries open up from their coronavirus lockdowns, the WHO’s Mike Ryan said on Monday.
    “It’s not an easy dilemma… There is no zero-risk,” he told an online briefing.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, Emma Farge and John Revill, Writing by Nick Macfie; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

6/23/2020 WTO says record trade plunge could have been worse by Philip Blenkinsop
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured on the headquarters of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
in Geneva, Switzerland, June 2, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Global merchandise trade fell by a record amount in the first months of the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but stopped short of a worst-case scenario, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said on Tuesday.
    The Geneva-based body forecast in April that global trade in goods would fall by between 13% and 32% in 2020, numbers that the WTO chief described as “ugly,” before rebounding by 21-24% in 2021.
    The WTO did not set new figures on Tuesday, but said rapid responses by governments meant its pessimistic scenario for this year was unlikely.
    The volume of merchandise trade in fact shrank by 3% in the first quarter, the WTO said, and initial estimates pointed to a year-on-year decline of 18.5% for the second quarter.
    “The fall in trade we are now seeing is historically large – in fact, it would be the steepest on record.    But there is an important silver lining here: it could have been much worse,” said WTO director general Roberto Azevedo.
    The WTO said governments had reacted quicker than in the 2008-2009 crisis and income support had encouraged consumers to keep spending.    Some sectors such as automobiles had fallen sharply, but others such as electronics had held up well.
    If trade were to grow by 2.5% per quarter for the rest of the year, the more optimistic projection of minus 13% could be met, though that would still be worse than at the height of the financial crisis in 2009, when trade dropped by 12.5%.
    However, the WTO said weaker-than-expected growth, wider trade restrictions and a possible second wave of infections could see a 2021 rebound falling short.
    Trade could then recover only by about 5%, leaving it well short of the pre-pandemic trend.    Monetary, fiscal and trade choices will play a significant role, the WTO said.
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Emma Farge and Gareth Jones)

6/30/2020 U.N. agency urges Hungary to repeal tightened asylum rules
FILE PHOTO: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaks during a news conference with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic at the presidential
building in Belgrade, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Serbia, May 15, 2020. REUTERS/Marko Djurica/File Photo
    BUDAPEST (Reuters) – The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) has called on Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government to repeal a tightening of the Hungarian asylum system, provisions of which it says could violate international laws.
    Hungary shut so-called migrant transit zones on its borders last month, freeing about 300 refugees from prison-like conditions, but also hardened rules, in effect barring future asylum applicants.
    The new rules require asylum seekers to submit applications at consulates in neighbouring countries rather than at the Hungarian border.
    “This may expose asylum-seekers to the risk of refoulement and ill-treatment which would amount to a violation of the 1951 Refugee Convention and other international and regional human rights instruments to which Hungary is a State Party,” the UNHCR said in a statement late on Monday.
    “Effective access to territory is an essential pre-condition to be able to exercise the right to seek asylum.”
    A government spokesman said the new rules would provide a possibility for asylum seekers to submit their requests in a regulated manner.
    “Illegal migration goes against Hungarian and European Union regulations,” the spokesman said in an email.    “Therefore, in line with the opinion of the Hungarian people, Hungary will continue to protect the EU’s Schengen (agreement on visa-free travel) borders from illegal migration.”
    The UNHCR urged Orban’s government to withdraw the act and bring its asylum system in line with international human rights laws and EU law.
    During the peak of Europe’s 2015 migration crisis, Orban ordered Hungary’s southern border to be sealed, blocking a route for hundreds of thousands of migrants.
    Hungary moved to dismantle the migrant transit zones at its southern border after a European court ruling.    But human rights groups say the newly tightened rules will make it even harder for refugees to gain asylum in the EU via Hungary.
(Reporting by Gergely Szakacs; Editing by Kim Coghill and Timothy Heritage)
[THERES THAT PESTY OLD UNITED NATIONS TRYING TO CONTROL ANY COUNTRY THAT DOES NOT COMPLY WITH THEIR AGENDA WHICH IS WHY THE U.S. GOT OUT OF IT, MAKES MY CASE AGAINST THE GLOBALIST WORLD GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER AND CONTROL THAT TRUMP-REPUBLICANS AND ISRAEL ARE FIGHTING AGAINST.].

6/30/2020 WHO says ‘we cannot let our guard down’ after China pigs study
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured on the headquarters of the World Health Orgnaization (WHO)
in Geneva, Switzerland, June 25, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) will “read carefully” a Chinese study on a new flu virus found in pigs, a spokesman said on Tuesday, saying the findings underscored the importance of influenza surveillance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    A new flu virus found in Chinese pigs has become more infectious to humans and needs to be watched closely in case it becomes a potential “pandemic virus,” the study said.
    “We will read carefully the paper to understand what is new,” the WHO’s Christian Lindmeier told a Geneva briefing, saying it was important to collaborate on findings and keep tabs on animal populations.
    “It also highlights we cannot let our guard down on influenza and need to be vigilant and continue surveillance even in the coronavirus pandemic,” he added.
(Reporting by Emma Farge; Editing by Alison Williams)

7/4/2020 Russia says China would be needed in expanded G7 summit: TASS
FILE PHOTO: Russian deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov arrives for a meeting with U.S. special
envoy Marshall Billingslea in Vienna, Austria June 22, 2020. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
    MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia is not in talks with Washington about its potential role at an expanded Group of Seven summit later this year, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Saturday, insisting that China should also be included in the event.
    His comments to TASS news agency countered those of John Sullivan, U.S. ambassador to Russia, who told RBC TV on Friday that     Washington was “engaged with the Russian Foreign Ministry and with the other G7 governments about whether there is an appropriate role for Russia at the G7.”
    U.S. President Donald Trump has raised the prospect of Russia’s return to the group, which includes the world’s most advanced economies, after it was expelled in the wake of its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
    Trump said last month it was “common sense” to invite President Vladimir Putin to rejoin the group.
    Russia had been part the group, then known as the G8, since 1997.
    Other G7 nations, including Canada and France, have objected to Russia’s return, however.
    Ryabkov said that the absence of China from an expanded G7 summit would make it impossible to discuss international issues.
    The idea of this so-called extended G7 is flawed because it’s not clear how the authors of this initiative plan to address the Chinese factor,” he was quoted as saying.
    “Without China it’s simply impossible to discuss any issues in the modern world.”
    Trump in May announced he was postponing a G7 summit until September or later and expanding the list of invitees to include Australia, Russia, South Korea and India.
    Australia has accepted the U.S. invitation to take part.
(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Clelia Oziel)

7/6/2020 China slams U.S. as it joins global arms trade treaty at U.N by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: Zhang Jun, China's Ambassador to the United Nations speaks at a Security Council meeting about Afghanistan
at United Nations Headquarters in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., March 10, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – China on Monday joined a global arms trade treaty spurned by the United States, taking a swipe at U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration by accusing it of bullying, unilateralism and undermining efforts to combat global challenges.
    China’s U.N. ambassador, Zhang Jun, said he had deposited China’s instrument of accession to the treaty, which regulates a $70 billion global cross-border trade in conventional arms and seeks to keep weapons out of the hands of human rights abusers.
    China, which announced its plans in September, becomes the 107th party to the pact, approved by the U.N. General Assembly in 2013.    Then-U.S. President Barack Obama signed it, but it was opposed by the National Rifle Association and never ratified by the U.S. Senate.
    Trump said in April last year that he intended to revoke the status of the United States as a signatory.    In July 2019, the United States told U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that Washington did not intend to become a party to the treaty and that it had no legal obligations from its 2013 signature.
    Without naming the United States, but amid escalating tensions between Beijing and Washington, Zhang said in a statement that a “certain country … walked away from international commitments, and launched acts of unilateralism and bullying.”
    “This has brought huge uncertainties to the global strategic balance and stability, and seriously undermined the joint efforts of all countries to tackle global challenges,” he said, adding that “major powers need to … set an example by contributing to safeguarding the international order, the rule of law, the role of the U.N. and multilateralism.”
    The U.S. mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Zhang’s remarks.     China was the fifth-largest global arms exporter between 2014 and 2018, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, although China itself does not publish figures for how many arms it exports.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Peter Cooney)

7/8/2020 China challenges U.S. to cut nuclear arsenal to matching level
Fu Cong, head of arms control department of Chinese foreign ministry, speaks at a news conference in Beijing, China July 8, 2020. REUTES/Shubing Wang
BEIJING (Reuters) – China would “be happy to” participate in trilateral arms control negotiations with the United States and Russia, but only if the United States were willing to reduce its nuclear arsenal to China’s level, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Wednesday.
    Washington has repeatedly called for China to join in trilateral negotiations to extend New START, a flagship nuclear arms treaty between the United States and Russia that is due to expire in February next year.
    Fu Cong, head of the arms control department of Chinese foreign ministry, reiterated to reporters in Beijing on Wednesday that China has no interest in joining the negotiation with former Cold War-era superpowers, given that the U.S. nuclear arsenal is about 20 times the size of China’s.
    “I can assure you, if the U.S. says that they are ready to come down to the Chinese level, China would be happy to participate the next day,” he said.    “But actually, we know that’s not going to happen.”
    Fu asserted that for the United States, asking China to participate in trilateral negotiations is “nothing but a ploy to divert attention” and an excuse for the United States to walk away from the New START extension.
    “The real purpose is to get rid of all restrictions and have a free hand in seeking military superiority over any adversary, real or imagined,” said Fu.
    Fu maintained China is not “shying away from the international nuclear disarmament process” and is prepared to discuss within the framework of the United Nations Security Council’s five permanent members all issues related to the reduction of nuclear risks.
(Reporting by Yew Lun Tian; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Lincoln Feast.)

7/8/2020 WHO acknowledges ‘evidence emerging’ of airborne spread of COVID-19
A logo is pictured on the headquarters of the World Health Orgnaization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, June 25, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization on Tuesday acknowledged “evidence emerging” of the airborne spread of the novel coronavirus, after a group of scientists urged the global body to update its guidance on how the respiratory disease passes between people.
    “We have been talking about the possibility of airborne transmission and aerosol transmission as one of the modes of transmission of COVID-19,” Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead on the COVID-19 pandemic at the WHO, told a news briefing.
    The WHO has previously said the virus that causes the COVID-19 respiratory disease spreads primarily through small droplets expelled from the nose and mouth of an infected person that quickly sink to the ground.
    But in an open letter to the Geneva-based agency, published on Monday in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal, 239 scientists in 32 countries outlined evidence that they say shows floating virus particles can infect people who breathe them in.
    Because those smaller exhaled particles can linger in the air, the scientists in the group had been urging WHO to update its guidance.
    “We wanted them to acknowledge the evidence,” said Jose Jimenez, a chemist at the University of Colorado who signed the paper.
    “This is definitely not an attack on the WHO.    It’s a scientific debate, but we felt we needed to go public because they were refusing to hear the evidence after many conversations with them,” he said in a telephone interview.
    Speaking at Tuesday’s briefing in Geneva, Benedetta Allegranzi, the WHO’s technical lead for infection prevention and control, said there was evidence emerging of airborne transmission of the coronavirus, but that it was not definitive.
    “…The possibility of airborne transmission in public settings – especially in very specific conditions, crowded, closed, poorly ventilated settings that have been described, cannot be ruled out,” she said.
    “However, the evidence needs to be gathered and interpreted, and we continue to support this.”
    Jimenez said historically, there has been a fierce opposition in the medical profession to the notion of aerosol transmission, and the bar for proof has been set very high.    A key concern has been a fear of panic.
    “If people hear airborne, healthcare workers will refuse to go to the hospital,” he said.    Or people will buy up all the highly protective N95 respirator masks, “and there will be none left for developing countries.”
    Jimenez said the WHO panel assessing the evidence on airborne transmission was not scientifically diverse, and lacked representation from experts in aerosol transmission.
    Any change in the WHO’s assessment of risk of transmission could affect its current advice on keeping 1-metre (3.3 feet) of physical distancing. Governments, which rely on the agency for guidance policy, may also have to adjust public health measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.
    Van Kerkhove said the WHO would publish a scientific brief summarising the state of knowledge on modes of transmission of the virus in the coming days.
    “A comprehensive package of interventions is required to be able to stop transmission,” she said.
    “This includes not only physical distancing, it includes the use of masks where appropriate in certain settings, specifically where you can’t do physical distancing and especially for healthcare workers.”
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi, Kate Kelland and Julie Steenhuysen; Editing by Alex Richardson and Marguerita Choy)

7/8/2020 U.S. withdrawal from WHO over claims of China influence to take effect July 2021: U.N. by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: A logo of the World Health Organization (WHO), is seen before a
news conference in Geneva, Switzerland, June 25, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – The United States will leave the World Health Organization (WHO) on July 6, 2021, the United Nations said on Tuesday, after receiving notification of the decision by President Donald Trump, who has accused the agency of becoming a puppet for China during the coronavirus pandemic.
    Trump, who announced the decision over a month ago, has to give one-year notice of the U.S. withdrawal from the Geneva-based body and pay all Washington’s dues under a 1948 joint resolution of the U.S. Congress.    The United States currently owes the WHO more than $200 million in assessed contributions, according to the WHO website.
    After more than 70 years of membership, the United States moved to quit the WHO amid escalating tensions with China over the coronavirus pandemic.    The virus first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.
    The WHO has denied assertions by Trump that it promoted Chinese “disinformation” about the virus.
    U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi described Trump’s official withdrawal as “an act of true senselessness as WHO coordinates the global fight against COVID-19.”
    “With millions of lives at risk, the President is crippling the international effort to defeat the virus,” the Democratic leader posted on Twitter.
    So far there have been nearly 12 million cases of the coronavirus and more than 540,000 known deaths worldwide, according to a Reuters tally, with about 25% of both cases and deaths in the United States.
    Trump’s decision could be overturned before it takes effect if he is defeated by his Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, in a November election.
    Trump had halted funding for the 194-member organization in April, then in a May 18 letter gave the WHO 30 days to commit to reforms.    He announced the United States would quit less than two weeks later.
    Vice President Mike Pence, asked in a Fox News Channel interview whether it was the right time to break with the WHO, said: “It’s absolutely the right time.”
    “The World Health Organization let the world down … There have to be consequences to this,” Pence said.
    The WHO is an independent international body that works with the United Nations. U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said that the WHO is “absolutely critical to the world’s efforts to win the war against COVID-19.”
    “The Secretary-General … is in the process of verifying with the World Health Organization whether all the conditions for such withdrawal are met,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement on Tuesday.
    Since taking office, Trump has also quit the U.N. Human Rights Council, the U.N. cultural agency, a global accord to tackle climate change and the Iran nuclear deal.    He has also cut funding for the U.N. population fund and the U.N. agency that aids Palestinian refugees.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Additional reporting by Mohammad Zargham and Eric Beech; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Bill Berkrot)
[That list of things Trump quit is longer than that in he is getting us out of the control by a WORLD GOVERNMENT a.k.a. Globalist and he is trying to protect the United States Sovereignty that the Obama administration tried to give away and this is also the reason he is being rentlessly attacked by that entity and if they want to pay the WHO to give you bad information then live with it.].

7/8/2020 Trump admin. sends United Nations official notice of WHO withdrawal by OAN Newsroom
File – Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) is pictured. (Julio Cortez/AP Photo)
    The Trump administration kick-started the official process of withdrawing the U.S. from World Health Organization membership.
    In an email Tuesday, Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, corroborated reports on the move by saying that the United Nations received a letter from the State Department outlining the decision the day before.
    Democrat Sen. Robert Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, confirmed via Twitter that Congress received a similar notification as required by the 1948 act that originally ratified U.S. membership in the organization.
    This law also requires any move to withdraw U.S. membership be accompanied by a one-year notice, rendering America’s departure from the WHO effective July 6, 2021.
    The submission of notice to the UN marks the next step in President Trump’s purported plan to create an alternate global health network outside of World Health Organization’s purview and crucially removed from potential influence by Beijing. This is something the president has repeatedly claimed has overwhelming influence over the WHO, in turn, leading to critical failures during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.
    The WHO’s ties to China have been the subject of global criticism, prompting more than 120 countries to vote in May for an investigation into the organization’s response to the emergence of the novel coronavirus with a particular focus on possible omissions born out of an over-reliance on dubious reports from Beijing.
    Evidence of malfeasance on the part of Beijing abounds.    A joint report published in May by Foreign Policy and 100Reporters, compiled by scouring raw case data from a leak originating in a Chinese military academy, arrived at figures ranging from 640,000 to 2 million cases compared to China’s official tally at the time, which put reported cases at a statistically improbably 80,000.
    WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom has been the target of particularly sharp criticism over his deference to Beijing.    Not a medical doctor, Tedros was propelled to WHO leadership following a stint as Ethiopia’s minister of health.    He was a member of a political party once designated as a perpetrator by the Global Terrorism Database in a country deeply entangled and indebted to Chinese expansionist policies in Africa to the point of earning the moniker of East Africa’s “little China.”
    Even as reports of Chinese obfuscation of critical public health data abounded, Tedros has repeatedly praised the country’s response to the pandemic and helped to promote the Chinese Communist Party’s narrative of China as a global health leader.
    “So what we saw in terms of experience from China is really impressive and, as you know now, the outbreak in China is on the decline and there is a significant decline,” Tedros stated.    “And this is because of the government’s leadership and at the same time, the cooperation of the people of China.”
FILE – In this Thursday, June 25, 2020 file photo, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), attends a
press conference, at the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP, File)
    Thus, despite critics’ claims, withdrawal from WHO membership will leave the U.S. isolated and may weaken global health goals.     Supporters of the decision point out the current system is ineffective at promoting these very goals and safeguarding Americans’ health.
    However, given the one-year notice requirement, a full U.S. withdrawal is dependent on President Trump’s reelection as presumptive Democrat nominee Joe Biden has promised to reverse the decision on his first day in office if elected.
[Since you did not get Tedros who is in China's pocket out then the U.S. is pulling out and using the money they use to give WHO to create a new World Health System that protects the nations and the WHO may find in time several nations joining it and before you know it you do not have a budget to do anything unless China supports you.].

7/9/2020 WHO sets up panel to review handling of COVID-19 pandemic
FILE PHOTO: World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference
organized by Geneva Association of United Nations Correspondents (ACANU) amid the COVID-19 outbreak, caused by the
novel coronavirus, at the WHO headquarters in Geneva Switzerland July 3, 2020. Fabrice Coffrini/Pool via REUTERS
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday that it was setting up an independent panel to review its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the response by governments.
    The announcement follows strong criticism by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, which accused the WHO of being “China-centric,” and U.S. formal notification on Tuesday that it was withdrawing from the U.N. agency in a year’s time.
    Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf have agreed to head the panel and chose its members, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual meeting with representatives of WHO’s 194 member states, which was webcast.
    “This is not a standard report that ticks a box and is then put on a shelf to gather dust.    This is something we take seriously,” Tedros said, adding that the panel would provide an interim report to an annual meeting of health ministers being reconvened in November.
    Clark, addressing the meeting, said that the assignment “could only be described as exceptionally challenging.”
    Tedros noted that in May, WHO’s member states adopted unanimously a resolution put forward by the European Union calling for an evaluation of the global response to the pandemic.
    More than 12 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 548,429 have died, according to a Reuters tally.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, John Miller, and Brenna Hughes-Neghaiwi; Editing by Michael Shields)

7/10/2020 WHO Advance Team On Way To China To Set Up Probe Into Virus Origin
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured on the headquarters of the World Health Orgnaization (WHO) ahead of a meeting of the Emergency
Committee on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Geneva, Switzerland, January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    GENEVA (Reuters) – An advance team from the World Health Organization (WHO) has left for China to organise an investigation into the origins of the novel coronavirus which sparked the pandemic, a spokeswoman said on Friday.
    The two WHO experts, specialists in animal science and epidemiology, will work with Chinese scientists to determine the scope and itinerary of the investigation, WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told a U.N. briefing. “They are gone, they are in the air now, they are the advance party to work out the scope,” she said.
    The WHO will have no role in an independent panel, announced on Thursday, to review the global handling of pandemic, Harris said, adding: “From now on it is completely hands off
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Michael Shields)
[ITS ABOUT TIME YOU LOOKED AT THIS AND IF THE CHINESE PREVENT YOU FROM ACCESS TO INVESTIGATE THEN THAT SHOULD TELL YOU THAT TRUMP IS RIGHT AND THEY ARE GUILTY AND TEDROS NEEDS TO GO AND HOPEFULLY YOU DID NOT SEND HIM TO CHINA TO INVESTIGATE OR EVEN SO WILL CHINA PULL OUT ALSO AND YOU LOSE THEIR MEASLY 30 MILLION A YEAR.].

7/12/2020 WHO Reports Record Daily Increase In Global Coronavirus Cases, Up Over 230,000
FILE PHOTO: A woman wears a protective face mask outside at a shopping plaza after New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy
said he would sign an executive order requiring people to wear face coverings outdoors to prevent a resurgence
of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Edgewater, New Jersey, U.S., July 8, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar
    (Reuters) – The World Health Organization reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases on Sunday, with the total rising by 230,370 in 24 hours.
    The biggest increases were from the United States, Brazil, India and South Africa, according to a daily report. The previous WHO record for new cases was 228,102 on July 10.    Deaths remained steady at about 5,000 a day.
    Global coronavirus cases were approaching 13 million on Sunday, according to a Reuters tally, marking another milestone in the spread of the disease that has killed more than 565,000 people in seven months.
(Writing by Lisa Shumaker; Editing by Daniel Wallis)
[WHO stop trying to make it a big deal if increase in cases is okay 228,102 divided by 5.000 deaths is 0.022% which is better than 3%-10% deaths and 13 million divided by 565,000 is 0.043% so cases are not deaths, and you need to spend more time getting China to cop to their crime of releasing a pandemic on the world.].

7/13/2020 Secy. Pompeo Opposes Obama-Era Expiration Clause In Iran Arms Embargo by OAN Newsroom
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference at the State Department
in Washington, Wednesday, July 8, 2020. (Tom Brenner/Pool via AP)
    Mike Pompeo is ramping up pressure on the United Nations to extend its arms embargo on Iran’s Ayatollah regime, which is due to expire later this year.
    The secretary of state posted his recent video address on Twitter Sunday in which he said the Ayatollahs can’t be trusted due to their known history of illicit trade in weapons.
    Pompeo cited a report by the UN secretary general as the reason enough to maintain the embargo on Iran beyond its expiration date.
    The UN embargo were agreed upon as part of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, but the deal has since fallen apart due to the Ayatollah’s questionable nuclear endeavors.
    Iran is now pushing the UN to lift the weapons restrictions on October 18, 2020 as agreed with Barack Obama five-years ago.    In order to achieve that goal, Iran is leading a two-pronged assault against the U.S.    The first assault unraveled on the diplomatic front at the UN.
    “A permanent member of the Security Council is punishing law abiding states and private citizens for not violating a council resolution,” stated Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif.
    Iran’s official stance on the matter appears to be gaining popularity in the Islamic circles within the U.S. For example, Houston-based Shi’ite preacher Shamshad Haider recently endorsed the Ayatollah regime
.
    Statements like this are mostly ignored by mainstream media as they continue to portray the standoff with Iran as just another foreign policy matter.
    In reality, however, U.S. Intelligence has warned the Ayatollah regime is leading a massive diplomatic and propaganda effort to alienate America’s allies and weaken the U.S. from within.
    Some leaders and groups, both in European capitals and in America’s inner cities, are apparently buying into Iranian narratives.
    Pompeo, however, reiterated that both the U.S. and the UN have hard evidence of the Ayatollah’s violations of international law.    He added that all this goes to show the Iranian regime poses a threat to global peace and stability, which is a threat even greater than before.
    “Don’t just take it from me or from the U.S., listen to the countries in the region from Israel to Gulf,” said the secretary of state.    “Extend the arms embargo.”

7/14/2020 IMF Predicts Dire Economic Consequences Of Pandemic In Middle East by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Sept. 20, 2019 file photo, workers stand on a platform at a Saudi Aramco oil separator processing facility in Abqaiq,
near Dammam in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province. The International Monetary Fund said in the latest outlook released Monday, July 13, 2020,
that the Middle East’s energy producers are expected to earn $270 billion less in oil revenue compared to last year. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)
    Forecasts indicate Middle Eastern countries should expect to be hit particularly hard by the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
    Projections released by the International Monetary Fund Monday (IMF) indicate the region’s economy is expected to contract by 3.3 percent this year.    This is a worse outlook than the global average.    The world’s economy is expected to shrink by 3 percent this year.
    Of particular concern for the region are drops in oil revenue.    The IMF expects sales to be reduced by 7.3 percent, or $270 billion, this year.
    The organization is urging governments to prepare for the fallout as they fear social unrest under worsened conditions.
    “We are calling for revamping social protection, improving access to social services, and also increasing the level of financial inclusion to help and support those who are vulnerable,” stated Jihad Azour, Director of the Middle East and Central Asia IMF.
    Since the start of the pandemic, the IMF has approved roughly $17 billion in emergency aid to countries in the Middle East.

7/16/2020 Germany Urges WHO To Hasten Review Of Its Handling Of Pandemic
FILE PHOTO: World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference organized
by Geneva Association of United Nations Correspondents (ACANU) amid the COVID-19 outbreak, caused by the novel
coronavirus, at the WHO headquarters in Geneva Switzerland July 3, 2020. Fabrice Coffrini/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
    BRUSSELS/BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s health minister urged the World Health Organization (WHO) to speed up its review of how it has handled the coronavirus pandemic, apparently signalling Europe taking a tougher line on the United Nations body.
    Berlin, which holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, has so far largely shielded the Geneva-based organisation from the most intense criticism by Washington, which wants to leave the WHO because of its alleged excessive closeness to China.
    But now Germany seems to be taking a more assertive position.
    “When it comes to reappraising the work of the WHO during the crisis, I had the opportunity to talk to director general Tedros (Adhanom Ghebreyesus) on Tuesday in Paris as well as two weeks ago in Geneva, and in both conversations I encouraged him very clearly to launch this independent commission of experts and to expedite its launch,” Jens Spahn told a news conference in Berlin.
    The WHO said last week it was setting up an independent panel to review its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the response by governments.
    “The World Health Assembly resolution in May 2020 called for WHO to initiate such a panel and the panel has been set up to review experience gained and lessons learned from the WHO-coordinated international health response to COVID-19.    This involves the global response, including but not limited to, WHO,” a spokesman for WHO said.
    U.S. President Donald Trump has accused the WHO of being too close to China, where the coronavirus first emerged late last year, and not doing enough to question Beijing’s actions at the start of the crisis.    Tedros has dismissed the suggestions and said his agency kept the world informed.
    Tedros has said the panel will provide an interim report to an annual meeting of health ministers in November and present a “substantive report” next May.
    Spahn said the review was important now, while the pandemic is still raging across the world, because “we can already draw conclusions.”
    This could lead to quick actions over the body’s governance and improvement of “cooperation between the political and the scientific level” of the organisation, Spahn added.
    EU governments have said the review should be followed by a reform of the organisation, a possibility already being discussed with the United States and other members of the G7 group of rich countries, officials have told Reuters.
    One official had said the aim was to ensure the WHO’s independence.
(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio in Brussels, and Joseph Nasr and Andeas Rinke in Berlin, Editing by William Maclean and Rosalba O’Brien)

7/17/2020 WHO Reports Record Daily Increase In Global Coronavirus Cases, Up Over 237,000
Medical workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) tend to a patient suffering from the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) at Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) hospital, in New Delhi, India July 17, 2020. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
    (Reuters) – The World Health Organization reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases on Friday, with the total rising by 237,743 in 24 hours.
    The biggest increases were from the United States, Brazil, India and South Africa, according to a daily report.    The previous WHO record for new cases was 230,370 on July 12.    Deaths have held steady and averaged less than 5,000 a day in July.
    Total global coronavirus cases were approaching 14 million on Friday, according to a Reuters tally, marking another milestone in the spread of the disease that has killed more than 590,000 people in seven months.
(Writing by Lisa Shumaker; Editing by Chris Reese)
[5,000 / 237,743 = 0.021% Stop misleading the world with the increase if cases which was going to happen anyway but hardly anyone is dying from it which is what the leftist liberals are not telling you as 590,000 / 14,000,000 = 0.042%.].

7/18/2020 U.N. Chief To World Leaders: ‘Inequality Starts At The Top’ by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres speaks during a Security Council meeting about the situation
in Syria at U.N. Headquarters in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday accused world powers of ignoring inequality in global institutions, but said the coronavirus pandemic has created a “generational opportunity” to build a more equal, sustainable world.
    Delivering the annual lecture for the Nelson Mandela Foundation via internet, Guterres pushed for a so-called New Global Deal to ensure power, wealth and opportunity are shared more broadly and fairly at the international level.
    “The nations that came out on top more than seven decades ago have refused to contemplate the reforms needed to change power relations in international institutions,” Guterres said.    “The composition and voting rights in the United Nations Security Council and the boards of the Bretton Woods system are a case in point.”
    “Inequality starts at the top: in global institutions.    Addressing inequality must start by reforming them,” he added.
    The Bretton Woods system includes the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
    He said the pandemic has revealed, like an x-ray, “fractures in the fragile skeleton of the societies we have built.”
    “It is exposing fallacies and falsehoods everywhere: the lie that free markets can deliver healthcare for all; the fiction that unpaid care work is not work; the delusion that we live in a post-racist world; the myth that we are all in the same boat,” said Guterres during the virtual lecture.
    “Because while we are all floating on the same sea, it’s clear that some are in superyachts while others are clinging to the floating debris,” said Guterres, a former Socialist prime minister of Portugal.
    The coronavirus has infected more than 14 million people and there have been nearly 600,000 known deaths worldwide, according to a Reuters tally. The U.N. has appealed for $10.3 billion to help poor states, but has received only $1.7 billion.
    Guterres said rich countries have “failed to deliver the support needed to help the developing world” and that the pandemic has “brought home the tragic disconnect between self-interest and the common interest; and the huge gaps in governance structures and ethical frameworks.”
    He said a changing world needs new social protection policies with safety nets including universal health coverage and the possibility of a universal basic income.
    Guterres concluded: “Now is the time for global leaders to decide: Will we succumb to chaos, division and inequality?    Or will we right the wrongs of the past and move forward together, for the good of all?
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols in New York Editing by Matthew Lewis)

7/18/2020 G20 Officials Pledge To Keep Cooperating To Bolster Global Economy by Marwa Rashad and Andrea Shalal
    RIYADH/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Finance officials from the Group of 20 major economies vowed on Saturday to continue using “all available policy tools” to fight the coronavirus pandemic and bolster the global economy, warning that the outlook remains highly uncertain.
    G20 finance ministers and central bankers, in a communique issued after a virtual meeting on Saturday, said the global economy would recover as economies gradually reopen, but said further actions were needed to ensure growth.
    “We are determined to continue to use all available policy tools to safeguard people’s lives, jobs and incomes, support global economic recovery, and enhance the resilience of the financial system, while safeguarding against downside risks,” they said in statement after the meeting ended.
    COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, has infected more than 14.14 million people and killed 596,576, according to a Reuters tally.    The United States, the world’s largest economy, tops the list of deaths.
    Sweeping shutdowns aimed at halting the spread of the disease have caused massive disruption to the global economy, and are hitting the world’s poorest countries hardest.
    G20 finance officials said 42 of the world’s 73 poorest countries had requested a freeze in official bilateral debt payments through the end of the year, amounting to about $5.3 billion in deferred payments.
    Reflecting concerns raised by the World Bank that China, a G20 member and the largest creditor to developing countries, was not participating fully, the officials urged all official bilateral creditors to implement the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) fully and transparently.
    They also “strongly encouraged” private creditors to participate on comparable terms, and said they would consider extending the debt standstill in the second half of 2020.
    Private creditors had not received any formal requests from countries for debt service suspension under the G20 initiative, the Institute for International Finance (IIF) said on Wednesday, ahead of Saturday’s meeting.
    “We encourage the private sector investors to participate in this, but we need to be very careful not to interfere on private agreements,” Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan said in a press conference at the end of the meeting. Saudi Arabia is the current G20 chair.
    The officials also reaffirmed their commitment to resolving differences over how to tax digital services and reaching a broad, consensus-based solution this year.
    They said they expected to see proposals on international tax reform by October, when they meet again.
    “Fair taxation of international companies and large digital groups is more urgent than ever,” German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said after the meeting.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal in Washington, Davide Barbuscia in Dubai, Marwa Rashad in Riyadh, Raya Jalabi in London, Christian Kraemer in Berlin and Tom Sims in Frankfurt; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Frances Kerry)

7/23/2020 Iran Says Foreign States May Have Carried Out Cyberattacks, Plays Down Their Role In Fires
FILE PHOTO: A view of a damage building after a fire broke out at Iran's Natanz Nuclear Facility, in
Isfahan, Iran, July 2, 2020. Atomic Energy Organization of Iran/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS
    (Reuters) – Iran’s foreign ministry said on Thursday foreign governments may have been behind recent cyberattacks on Iranian facilities, but played down the possibility of them having a role in a series of fires and explosions at military and other installations.
    Since late June, several fires or explosions have been reported at military, industrial and nuclear sites in Iran as well as at oil refineries, power plants, factories and businesses.
    Some Iranian officials have said a fire at the underground Natanz nuclear facility this month may have been caused by cyber sabotage.    Other incidents have gone unexplained.
    “There are thousands of cyberattacks on the country’s infrastructure on a daily basis – which is nothing new – most of which are repelled by our defence systems,” Iranian media quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi as telling reporters.
    In recent months, there have been several cyberattacks with wider dimensions, and technical and forensic analyses have identified “governments or groups” who were behind the attacks, he said without naming them.
    But Mousavi also said fires in forests, refineries and other locations were common in summer.
    An article this month by Iran’s state news agency IRNA addressed what it called the possibility of sabotage by enemies such as Israel and the United States although it stopped short of accusing either directly.
[Whoever it was made sure that the IAEA is now aware of Iran’s illegal facilities where they were advancing their agenda to get nuclear weapons to destroy Israel and the United States or maybe the Iranian people have decided to fight back against the Mullahs wrongdoings to them.    On 6/5/2020 the International Atomic Energy Agency warned of Iran's refusal to let them investigate two sites where they conducted undeclared nuclear activities, which is possibly those sites above.].

7/22/2020 U.S. Gives China 72 Hours To Shut Houston Consulate As Spying Charges Mount by Cate Cadell and David Brunnstrom
Vehicles pass by the China Consulate General in Houston, Texas, U.S., July 22, 2020. REUTERS/Adrees Latif
    BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States gave China 72 hours to close its consulate in Houston amid accusations of spying, marking a dramatic deterioration in relations between the world’s two biggest economies.
    China’s foreign ministry called the move an “unprecedented escalation” and threatened unspecified retaliation. Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the Chinese Embassy in the United States had received “bomb and death threats” because of “smears & hatred” fanned by Washington.
    “The U.S. should revoke its erroneous decision,” she tweeted.    “China will surely react with firm countermeasures.”
    Communist Party rulers in Beijing were considering shutting the U.S. consulate in the central city of Wuhan in retaliation, a source with knowledge of the matter said.
    The State Department said the Chinese mission in Houston was closed “to protect American intellectual property and Americans’ private information.”
    The move comes in the run-up to the November U.S. presidential election, in which President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, have both tried to look tough in response to China.
    Speaking on a visit to Denmark, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo repeated accusations about Chinese theft of U.S. and European intellectual property, which he said were costing “hundreds of thousands of jobs.”
    While offering no specifics about the Houston consulate, Pompeo referred to a U.S. Justice Department indictment on Tuesday of two Chinese nationals over what it called a decade-long cyber espionage campaign that targeted defense contractors, COVID researchers and hundreds of other victims worldwide.
    “President Trump has said: ‘Enough.    We are not going to allow this to continue to happen,'” Pompeo told reporters.    “That’s the actions that you’re seeing taken by President Trump, we’ll continue to engage in this.”
    Republican Senator Marco Rubio, acting chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, described the Houston consulate on Twitter as the “central node of the Communist Party’s vast network of spies & influence operations in the United States.”
    Trump was due to hold a news conference at 5.30 p.m. (2130 GMT), the White House said.
    The New York Times quoted the top U.S. diplomat for East Asia, David Stilwell, as saying that the Houston consulate had been at the “epicenter” of the Chinese army’s efforts to advance its warfare advantages by sending students to U.S. universities.
    “We took a practical step to prevent them from doing that,” Stilwell told the Times.
    A Chinese diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, denied the spying allegations and said the Houston mission acted like other Chinese consulates in the United States – issuing visas, promoting visits and businesses.    The diplomat told Reuters it was not clear why Houston had become a target.
    Ties between the United States and China have worsened sharply this year over a range of issues, from the coronavirus and telecoms gear maker Huawei to China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea and clampdown on Hong Kong.
    Jonathan Pollack, an East Asia expert with the Brookings Institution think tank, said he could not think of anything “remotely equivalent” to the deterioration in ties since the U.S. and China opened full diplomatic relations in 1979.
    “The Trump Administration appears to view this latest action as political ammunition in the presidential campaign… It’s part of the administration’s race to the bottom against China.”
    Overnight in Houston, firefighters went to the consulate after smoke was seen. Two U.S. government officials said they had information that documents were being burned there.,br>     Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the consulate was operating normally.
    One of the U.S. government officials told Reuters the decision to close the consulate was “entirely justified” by classified intelligence, which he declined to describe, noting also that some cases of alleged Chinese spying have been made public.
RETALIATION THREAT
    “The unilateral closure of China’s consulate general in Houston within a short period of time is an unprecedented escalation of its recent actions against China,” Wang told a regular news briefing.
    Abraham Denmark, a senior Pentagon official for East Asia under former President Barack Obama, said there was no doubt China represented a “tremendous espionage threat” for the United States, but questioned whether the response was helpful.
    “The question here is not China’s culpability – I expect it’s solid – but rather if suddenly closing the consulate in Houston will address the problem,” he said.
    A source with direct knowledge of the matter said China was considering closing the U.S. consulate in the central Chinese city of     Wuhan, where the State Department withdrew staff and their families early this year due to the coronavirus outbreak that first emerged in the city.
    China’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether it would shut the consulate.
    Wang said the U.S. government had been harassing Chinese diplomats and consular staff for some time and intimidating Chinese students.    He said the United States had interfered with China’s diplomatic missions, including intercepting diplomatic pouches.    The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Chinese charges.
(Reporting by Cate Cadell and the Beijing newsroom; additional reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard in Copenhagen, David Brunnstrom, Patricia Zengerle, Daphne Psaledakis, Mark Hosenball, Steve Holland and Arshad Mohammed in Washington, Michelle Nichols and Echo Wang in New York and Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Writing by Huizhong Wu, Tony Munroe, David Brunnstrom and Nick Macfie; Editing by Louise Heavens, Robert Birsel, Bernadette Baum and Peter Graff)
[TRUMP, AG BARR AND THE FBI BEGIN THEIR PUSH TO STOP CHINA FROM STEALING OUR RESOURCES AND OUR INTELLECTAL PROPERTIES WHICH THE OBAMA-BIDEN ADMINISTRATION ALONG WITH THE GLOBALIST LET THEM TAKE WHATEVER THEY WANTED WITHOUT PERMISSION BUT NO LONGER NOW AND THE PURGE IS BEGINNING AS TRUMP WILL BRING OUR INDUSTRIES BACK TO THE U.S.A. AND NEVER LOOK BACK UNLESS BIDEN WINS AND SCREWS IT ALL UP AGAIN.].

7/22/2020 UK Concerned By Latest Evidence Of Chinese Hacking: Raab
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab reacts during the meeting with U.S. counterpart Mike Pompeo
(not pictured), at Lancaster House in London, Britain July 21, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/Pool
    LONDON (Reuters) – Foreign minister Dominic Raab said on Wednesday Britain was concerned by evidence published by the United States showing that China was involved in cyber attacks against medical and academic institutions in 11 countries including the U.K.
    “I am deeply concerned by the evidence announced yesterday that China is engaged in malicious cyber attacks against commercial, medical and academic institutions, including those working to respond to the coronavirus pandemic,” Raab said in a statement.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, writing by William James; editing by Stephen Addison)

7/23/2020 U.S. Diplomats Head To China Despite Row Over Houston Consulate by Humeyra Pamuk
FILE PHOTO: Vehicles pass by the China Consulate General in Houston, Texas, U.S., July 22, 2020. REUTERS/Adrees Latif/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A flight bound for Shanghai carrying U.S. diplomats has left the United States as Washington presses ahead with its plan to restaff its mission in China a day after a U.S. order to close the Chinese consulate in Houston sharply escalated tensions.
    A person familiar with the matter told Reuters the flight, carrying an unspecified number of U.S. diplomats, left Washington on Wednesday evening.    The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
    An internal State Department email dated July 17, seen by Reuters, said the department was working to arrange a charter flight to Shanghai from Washington’s Dulles International Airport departing on Thursday.
    The source said this flight had departed earlier than initially planned.
    The email said a tentative July 29 flight to Tianjin and Beijing was in the initial planning stages and a target date for another flight, to Guangzhou, was still to be determined.
    The memo said priority was being given to reuniting separated families and returning section/agency heads.
    The U.S. is working to fully restaff its mission in China, one of its largest in the world, which was evacuated in February because of COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus.
    Thursday’s flight went ahead despite a dramatic move by Washington to close China’s consulate in Houston amid sweeping espionage allegations.
    China warned on Thursday it would be forced to respond to the U.S. move, which had “severely harmed” relations.
    It gave no details, but the South China Morning Post reported that China may close the U.S. consulate in Chengdu, while a source told Reuters on Wednesday it was considering shutting the consulate in Wuhan, where the United States withdrew staff at the start of the coronavirus outbreak.
    Two flights have so far taken place to return some of the more than 1,200 U.S. diplomats with their families to China since negotiations for the returns hit an impasse in early July over conditions China wanted to impose on the Americans.
    The impasse caused the State Department to postpone flights tentatively scheduled for the first 10 days of July.
    U.S.-China relations have deteriorated this year to their lowest level in decades over a wide range of issues, including China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, bilateral trade and a new security law for Hong Kong.
    Washington and Beijing have been negotiating for weeks over the terms of how to bring U.S. diplomats back amid disagreement over COVID-19 testing and quarantine procedures as well as frequency of flights and how many each can bring back.
(Reporting by Humeyra Paumuk; Additional reporting by David Brunnstrom; Editing by Mary Milliken and Diane Craft)

7/23/2020 China Warns It ‘Must’ Retaliate After Closure Of Houston Consulate by Huizhong Wu and David Brunnstrom
FILE PHOTO: China’s national flag is seen waving at the China Consulate General in Houston, Texas, U.S., July 22, 2020. REUTERS/Adrees Latif
    BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China said the U.S. move to close its Houston consulate this week had “severely harmed” relations and warned it “must” retaliate, without detailing what it would do.
    Washington on Tuesday gave China 72 hours to close the consulate, which it said was “to protect American intellectual property and Americans’ private information,” a dramatic escalation of tension between the world’s two biggest economies.
    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin described the U.S. allegations as “malicious slander” and said the “unreasonable” move had “severely harmed” relations.
    “China must make a necessary response and safeguard its legitimate rights,” he said, declining to specify any measures.
    The South China Morning Post reported that China may close the U.S. consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu, while a source told Reuters on Wednesday that China was considering shutting the consulate in Wuhan, where the United States withdrew staff at the start of the coronavirus outbreak.
    Hu Xijin, editor of China’s Global Times tabloid, posted on Twitter: “Based on what I know, China will announce countermeasure on Friday Beijing time. One U.S. consulate in China will be asked to close.”
    He had earlier said that shutting the Wuhan consulate would be insufficiently disruptive and suggested that China could cut U.S. staff at its large consulate in Hong Kong, which he described as an “intelligence centre.”
    “This will make Washington suffer much pain,” he wrote.
    The other U.S. consulates in China are in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenyang.
    China has four other consulates in the United States – in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York – as well as an embassy in Washington.
    A U.S. law enforcement official, familiar with the reasons for the closure of Chinese consulate in Houston, said there was “not one singular incident” which led to the decision.    He said the consulate was part of a “continual pattern” of suspicious or potentially illegal activities by Chinese diplomatic missions.
    Republican Senator Marco Rubio, acting chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, described the Houston consulate on Twitter as the “central node of the Communist Party’s vast network of spies & influence operations in the United States
    President Donald Trump said in answer to a question at a news briefing on Wednesday it was “always possible” other Chinese missions could be closed too.
    Richard Grenell, special presidential envoy for Serbia and Kosovo who served until recently as acting director of U.S. national intelligence, told Reuters the U.S. strategy was “very much start with one and move on to others if need be.”
    “It’s the escalation strategy,” he said.
    “The whole goal is to change the behavior of the Chinese… this is emerging as the Trump doctrine, which is very harsh actions, sanctions and isolation while at the same time always offering a chance to exit if the behavior changes.”
    The Wall Street Journal said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would deliver a speech in California later on Thursday urging allied countries and the people of China to work with the United States to change the Chinese Communist Party’s behavior.
    In spite of the tensions, a flight bound for Shanghai carrying U.S. diplomats left the United States on Wednesday night, as     Washington pressed ahead with its plan to restaff missions in China evacuated due to the coronavirus pandemic.
ELECTION ‘GAMBIT’
    U.S.-China ties have deteriorated sharply this year over issues ranging from the coronavirus and telecoms-gear maker Huawei to China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea and its clampdown on Hong Kong.
    Chinese state media editorials said the U.S. move against the Houston consulate was an attempt to blame Beijing for U.S. failures ahead of Trump’s November reelection bid.
    Opinion polls show Trump trailing his Democratic rival Joe Biden ahead of the Nov. 3 election.    The candidates have appeared to compete in their campaigns over who can appear toughest towards Beijing.
    Separately, the Federal Bureau of Investigation alleged in U.S. court filings that a Chinese researcher accused of visa fraud and concealing ties to the military was now holed up in China’s consulate in San Francisco.
    Other Chinese researchers at U.S. universities have also been arrested for visa fraud, according to U.S. court filings.
    Wang said China would safeguard its citizens.
    “For some time, the U.S. has held ideological bias to continuously surveil, harass and even arbitrarily detain Chinese students and scholars in the U.S.,” he said.
    “We urge the U.S. to stop using any excuse to restrict, harass or oppress Chinese students and researchers in the U.S.
(Reporting by David Stanway, Tony Munroe and Huizhong Wu in China and Steve Holland, Daphne Psaledakis, Humeyra Pamuk, David Brunnstrom and Mark Hosenball in Washington; Editing by Nick Macfie and Rosalba O’Brien)

7/24/2020 China Orders U.S. To Shut Chengdu Consulate, Retaliating For Houston by Yew Lun Tian and Tony Munroe
FILE PHOTO: U.S. and Chinese flags are seen before Defense Secretary James Mattis welcomes Chinese Minister of National
Defense Gen. Wei Fenghe to the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., November 9, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
    BEIJING (Reuters) – China ordered the United States to close its consulate in the city of Chengdu on Friday, responding to a U.S. demand this week that China close its Houston consulate, as relations between the world’s two largest economies deteriorate.
    The order to close the consulate in Chengdu, in southwestern China’s Sichuan province, was seen as roughly reciprocal in terms of scale and impact, continuing China’s recent practice of like-for-like responses to U.S. actions.
    China had warned it would retaliate after it was unexpectedly given 72 hours – until Friday – to vacate its Houston consulate, and had urged the United States to reconsider.
    “The U.S. move seriously breached international law, the basic norms of international relations, and the terms of the China-U.S. Consular Convention.    It gravely harmed China-U.S. relations,” China’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
    “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China informed the U.S. Embassy in China of its decision to withdraw its consent for the establishment and operation of the U.S. Consulate General in Chengdu,” it said.
    The consulate opened in 1985 and has almost 200 employees including about 150 locally hired staff, according to its website.    It was not immediately clear how many are there now after a significant number of U.S. diplomats were evacuated from China during the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak.
    The consulate was given 72 hours to close, or until 10 a.m. on Monday, the editor of the Global Times newspaper said on Twitter.
    The U.S. Department of State and the U.S. embassy in Beijing did not immediately respond to requests for comment.     Chinese stock markets were sold off heavily after the announcement, leading regional losses with a 3.5% fall in the blue-chip index, while the yuan dropped to a two-week low. [MKTS/GLOB]
TROUBLED TIES
    Relations between Washington and Beijing have deteriorated sharply this year over a range of issues, from trade and technology to the novel coronavirus, China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea and its clampdown on Hong Kong.
    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a speech on Thursday the United States and its allies must use “more creative and assertive ways” to press the Chinese Communist Party to change its ways, calling it the “mission of our time.”
    A source had previously told Reuters that China was considering shutting the U.S. consulate in Wuhan, where the United States withdrew staff early this year as the coronavirus outbreak raged.
    A state newspaper editor had suggested that China could order a dramatic scale back of staff at the U.S. consulate in Hong Kong.
    “The Chengdu consulate is more important than the Wuhan consulate because that is where the U.S. gathers information about Tibet and China’s development of strategic weapons in neighbouring regions,” said Wu Xinbo, a professor and American studies expert at Fudan University in Shanghai.
    He said the Chengdu consulate was less important for trade and economic activity than U.S. consulates in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.
    The Chengdu consulate became notorious in 2012 when Wang Lijun, the police chief of nearby Chongqing city, attempted to defect there, a trigger point in a dramatic scandal that brought down rising political star Bo Xilai.
    Chinese social media users, who had denounced the U.S. order to close the Houston mission, applauded the response.
    The comment, “let’s renovate it into a hotpot restaurant!,” a reference to a popular dish in Chengdu, got 100,000 likes on the Weibo account of state broadcaster CCTV.
(Reporting by Tony Munroe and Yew Lun Tian; additional reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru, Tom Westbrook in Singapore; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore, Robert Birsel and Michael Perry)

7/24/2020 China Says Pompeo’s Speech Filled With Ideological Bias
FILE PHOTO: New spokesman for Chinese Foreign Ministry Wang Wenbin speaks during a news conference in Beijing, China July 17, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang
    BEIJING (Reuters) – The Chinese foreign ministry said on Friday a speech by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on China disregarded reality and was filled with ideological bias.
    Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for the foreign ministry, told a daily news conference in Beijing that China urged the United States to discard the “cold war mentality.”
    In a speech delivered on Thursday, Pompeo said Washington and its allies must use “more creative and assertive ways” to press the Chinese Communist Party to change its ways, calling it the “mission of our time.”
(Reporting by Huizhong Wu; Editing by Alex Richardson)

7/23/2020 FBI Interviewing Chinese Visa Holders Across U.S. About Possible Military Ties: Justice Department by Lisa Lambert
FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Department of Justice building is bathed in morning light at
sunrise in Washington, U.S., February 14, 2020. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The FBI has interviewed visa holders it believes to secretly be members of the Chinese military in more than two dozen U.S. cities, the Justice Department said on Thursday.
    The department said it has arrested three Chinese nationals for visa fraud, while a fourth remains a fugitive staying at China’s consulate in San Francisco.    The United States believes the four were members of China’s military posing as researchers.
    “In interviews with members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in over 25 cities across the U.S., the FBI uncovered a concerted effort to hide their true affiliation to take advantage of the United States and the American people,” John Brown, executive assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s national security branch, said in a statement.
    Court filings show that the FBI believed the San Francisco consulate was harboring a fugitive since late June.    U.S. law enforcement cannot enter a foreign embassy or consulate unless invited, and certain top officials such as ambassadors have diplomatic immunity.

7/23/2020 WHO Chief Denounces ‘Unacceptable’ Comments Questioning His Independence by Stephanie Nebehay
FILE PHOTO: World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference
organized by Geneva Association of United Nations Correspondents (ACANU) amid the COVID-19 outbreak, caused by
the novel coronavirus, at the WHO headquarters in Geneva Switzerland July 3, 2020. Fabrice Coffrini/Pool via REUTERS
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The head of the World Health Organization said on Thursday that reported comments by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo questioning his independence were untrue and would not distract the organisation from its work in fighting the coronavirus.
    Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has come under criticism, especially from U.S. President Donald Trump and Pompeo, who have accused him of being pro-China.
    “And the comments are untrue and unacceptable and without any foundation, for that matter,” Tedros said in response to a question at a Geneva briefing about remarks by Pompeo reported in London on Tuesday.
    “Our sole focus – and the focus of the entire organisation – is on saving lives."
    “…And WHO will not be distracted by these comments.    We don’t want the international community also to be distracted.”
    A WHO advance team has been in China for nearly two weeks, organising a WHO-led international mission to investigate the origins of the virus.    Scientists believe it emerged in a food market in the central city of Wuhan late last year.
    “We are already beginning to reach out to experts at the international level to see who will be available and most appropriate to be able to support an international mission in the coming weeks,” Mike Ryan, WHO’s top emergencies expert, said.
    Tedros said the WHO was seeing intense transmission of the coronavirus in relatively few countries.
    “Two-thirds of all cases are from 10 countries.    Almost half of all cases reported so far are from just three countries,” he said, referring to the United States, Brazil and India.
    Worldwide more than 15 million cases have been reported and nearly 620,000 deaths, he said.
    Recorded U.S. coronavirus infections exceeded 4 million on Thursday, with more than 2,600 new ones every hour on average, the highest rate in the world, according to a Reuters tally.
    Infections in the United States have rapidly accelerated since the first COVID-19 case was detected on Jan. 21.    It took the country 98 days to reach 1 million cases.    It took another 43 days to reach 2 million and then 27 days to reach 3 million.
    It has only taken 16 days to reach 4 million at a rate of 43 new cases a minute.
    Tedros said that just because cases may be at a low level where someone lives, it doesn’t mean they should let down their guard.
    “Know your situation – do you know how many cases were reported where you live yesterday?    Do you know how to find that information? Do you know how to minimise your exposure?
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Additional reporting by Michael Shields and Brenna Hughes-Neghaiwi in Zurich and Lisa Shumaker in Washington; Writing by Nick Macfie; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

7/24/2020 WTO Largely Upholds Russia’s Case Against EU Anti-Dumping Measures
FILE PHOTO: The logo of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is pictured ahead of a news conference by WTO
Director-General Roberto Azevedo after a General Council meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, July 23, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    GENEVA (Reuters) – A World Trade Organization (WTO) panel on Friday largely upheld a complaint brought by Russia against European Union anti-dumping measures, the third such ruling lost by the bloc.
    The panel found that the EU “cost adjustment” methodology for calculating dumping margins in the case violates WTO anti-dumping rules, particularly regarding prices for energy inputs.
    But it rejected claims that the EU’s framework anti-dumping regulation, known as “the basic regulation,” breaks WTO rules.
    Both sides have 60 days to appeal the decision in the case, brought in December 2016.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Michael Shields)

7/24/2020 Singaporean Pleads Guilty In U.S. To Acting As Chinese Intelligence Agent: Justice Department
FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Department of Justice building is bathed in morning light
at sunrise in Washington, U.S., February 14, 2020. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Singaporean man who set up a fake consulting site to solicit information from U.S. government and military workers has pleaded guilty to acting as an illegal agent of Chinese intelligence, the Justice Department said on Friday.
    Sentencing for Jun Wei Yeo, also known as Dickson Yeo, will be in October, according to the department.    The U.S. is cracking down on Chinese spying, with the FBI having interviewed dozens of visa holders about their possible ties to Chinese intelligence.
    On Friday a Chinese researcher who took refuge in the San Francisco consulate was expected to appear in court on allegations she lied about her Chinese military service, while the U.S. counterintelligence agency chief warned China and other nations could interfere with November elections.
(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; editing by Grant McCool)

7/29/2020 WTO Set To Skip Naming Acting Chief After U.S. Push Caused Deadlock
FILE PHOTO: A traffic light is turned red in front of the WTO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, December 10, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    WASHINGTON/GENEVA (Reuters) – World Trade Organization members are likely to refrain from appointing an interim director-general to succeed Roberto Azevedo when he steps down at the end of August, two sources following the process said on Wednesday, after Washington’s insistence on a U.S. candidate caused a deadlock.
    Under the new proposal, instead of appointing one of four deputies to serve as interim chief until Azevedo’s replacement is chosen later this year, those officials, from the United States, China, Germany and Nigeria, would keep their current responsibilities.
    “The U.S. is insisting on an American, but China and Europe put the brakes on that,” said a former WTO official familiar with the current process.
    A decision to finalise the interim arrangement could come as early as this week when WTO members are expected to meet. A new, permanent director-general is due to be named on by Nov. 7.
    The WTO has been under acute pressure and unable to resolve disputes because of criticism from President Donald Trump’s U.S. administration.
    No comment was immediately available from the U.S. Trade Representative’s office in Washington, or from a WTO spokesman.
    Some members say the say the controversy over the caretaker role, an administrative job described as a WTO official as “making sure the trains run on time,” bodes ill for the choice of director-general, which members must make by consensus.
    “It’s just a figurehead role.    If we can’t even decide on the interim, how will we choose a DG?” said one delegate.
    However, others following the process saw the absence of on an interim leader as a good thing as it could put pressure on WTO members to move forward on selecting a successor for Azevedo, who is the first chief in WTO history to leave early.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Emma Farge; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

8/4/2020 Proportion Of Youth With COVID-19 Triples In Five Months: WHO by Ankur Banerjee and Stephanie Nebehay
FILE PHOTO: Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks
during a news conference in Geneva, Switzerland January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    (Reuters) – Young people who are hitting nightclubs and beaches are leading a rise in fresh coronavirus cases across the world, with the proportion of those aged 15 to 24 who are infected rising three-fold in about five months, the World Health Organization said.
    An analysis by the WHO of 6 million infections between Feb. 24 and July 12 found that the share of people aged 15-24 years rose to 15% from 4.5%.
    Apart from the United States which leads a global tally with 4.8 million total cases, European countries including Spain, Germany and France, and Asian countries such as Japan, have said that many of the newly infected are young people.
    “Younger people tend to be less vigilant about masking and social distancing,” Neysa Ernst, nurse manager at Johns Hopkins Hospital’s biocontainment unit in Baltimore, Maryland told Reuters in an email.
    “Travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19,” she said, adding young people are more likely to go to work in the community, to a beach or the pub, or to buy groceries.
    The surge in new cases, a so-called second wave of infections, has prompted some countries to impose new curbs on travel even as companies race to find a vaccine for the fast-spreading virus that has claimed more than 680,000 lives and upended economies.
    Even countries such as Vietnam, widely praised for its mitigation efforts since the coronavirus appeared in late January, are battling new clusters of infection.
    Among those aged 5-14 years, about 4.6% were infected, up from 0.8%, between Feb. 24 and July 12, the WHO said, at a time when testing has risen and public health experts are concerned that reopening of schools may lead to a surge in cases.
    Anthony Fauci, the leading U.S. expert on infectious diseases, urged young people last month to continue to socially distance, wear masks and avoid crowds, and cautioned that asymptomatic people could spread the virus, too.
    Indeed, health experts in several countries have urged similar measures as they report that infected youth show few symptoms.
    “We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again: young people are not invincible,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news briefing in Geneva last week.
    “Young people can be infected; young people can die; and young people can transmit the virus to others.”
    Last month, Tokyo officials said they would conduct coronavirus testing in the city’s nightlife districts, and instructed nightclubs to provide customers with enough space with good ventilation and to ask them to avoid speaking loudly.
    In France last month, authorities shut down a bar where people breached hygiene rules and caused an outbreak.
(Reporting by Ankur Banerjee and Vishwadha Chander in Bengaluru and Stephanie Ulmer-Nebehay in Geneva; Editing by Sayantani Ghosh and Bernadette Baum)
[WELL THEY STILL HAVE TEDROS SPEWING HIS MISINFORMATION AND THEY HAVE NOT CANNED HIM YET.].

8/7/2020 Exclusive: Germany And France Quit WHO Reform Talks Amid Tension With Washington – Sources by Elvira Pollina, Andreas Rinke and Francesco Guarascio
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured on the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, November 22, 2017. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    (Reuters) – France and Germany have quit talks on reforming the World Health Organization in frustration at attempts by the United States to lead the negotiations, despite its decision to leave the WHO, three officials told Reuters.
    The move is a setback for President Donald Trump as Washington, which holds the rotating chair of the G7, had hoped to issue a common roadmap for a sweeping overhaul of the WHO in September, two months before the U.S. presidential election.
    The United States gave the WHO a year’s notice in July that it is leaving the U.N. agency – which was created to improve health globally – after Trump accused it of being too close to China and having mishandled the coronavirus pandemic.
    The WHO has dismissed his accusations.    European governments have also criticised the WHO but do not go as far as the United States in their criticism, and the decision by Paris and Berlin to leave the talks follows tensions over what they say are Washington’s attempts to dominate the negotiations.
    “Nobody wants to be dragged into a reform process and getting an outline for it from a country which itself just left the WHO,” a senior European official involved in the talks said.
    The German and French health ministries confirmed to Reuters that the two countries were opposed to the United States leading the talks after announcing their intention to leave the organisation.
    A spokesman for the Italian health ministry said that work on the reform document was still underway, adding however that Italy’s position was in line with Paris and Berlin.
    Asked about the position of France and Germany, a senior Trump administration official said: “All members of the G7 explicitly supported the substance of the WHO reform ideas.”
    “Notwithstanding, it is regrettable that Germany and France ultimately chose not to join the group in endorsing the roadmap,” he said.
    A spokesman for the British government declined to comment on the latest developments but added that Britain supported the WHO and urged a reform of the body “to ensure it remains flexible and responsive
    The talks on WHO reform began about four months ago. There have been nearly 20 teleconferences between health ministers from the Group of Seven industrialised nations, and dozens of meetings of diplomats and other officials.
    A deal by the G7, which also includes Japan and Canada, would facilitate talks at the G20 and United Nations, where any changes would have to be agreed with China, Russia and other major governments not in the G7.
    It is unclear whether a G7 summit in the United States, at which Trump hopes leaders will endorse the roadmap, will now go ahead in September as planned.
    U.S. officials have not said what reforms Washington has sought. But an initial reform roadmap proposed by Washington was seen by many of its allies as too critical, with one European official involved in the negotiations describing it as “rude.”
    Despite changes to the original text, Washington’s push remained unacceptable, mainly to Germany, sources familiar with the negotiations said.
FUNDING AND “POLITICIZED MANAGEMENT
    In the weeks before the collapse of the talks, negotiators had told Reuters positions were getting closer as Washington softened its approach and European negotiators started to see the reform process as a means to make the WHO more independent from political pressure.
    European governments had also began to make sceptical remarks about the WHO in public, with Germany’s health minister urging the WHO to hasten a review of its handling of COVID-19.
    In private, some Europeans have supported a tougher line, with some criticising WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and what they see as politicised management of the pandemic.
    “Everybody has been critical of Tedros,” a negotiator from a European G7 country told Reuters.
    A German government source said: “It must … be ensured in future that the WHO can react neutrally and on the basis of facts to global health events.”
    But European governments want to make the WHO stronger, better funded and more independent, whereas the U.S. withdrawal of funds is likely to weaken it – Washington is the single largest contributor, providing 15% of the budget.
    Some Europeans see Trump’s criticism of the WHO as an attempt in the run-up to the U.S. election to distract attention from his handling of COVID-19, and Berlin’s ties with Washington have been strained by his decision in July to withdraw thousands of U.S. troops from Germany.
    Plans to reform the WHO are unlikely to be definitively shelved, especially if Trump is defeated in the November election.    European governments want Washington to remain a WHO member and a financial supporter, and they have shown an interest in boosting their own funding to the body.
(Reporting by Elvira Pollina in Milan, Andreas Rinke in Berlin, Jeff Mason in Washington, Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva; additional reporting by Marisa Taylor, Giselda Vagnoni, Guy Faulconbridge, Thomas Escritt and Tangi Salaun; Writing by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio; editing by Timothy Heritage)

8/11/2020 U.S. Attempts To Win More Support With Streamlined Bid To Extend Iran Arms Embargo by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: The Iranian flag flutters in front the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
headquarters in Vienna, Austria July 10, 2019. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – The United States streamlined its bid on Tuesday to get the U.N. Security Council to extend an arms embargo on Iran, a move that could win Washington more support in the 15-member body but is unlikely to overcome opposition by veto-powers Russia and China.
    The new text, seen by Reuters, is just four paragraphs and would extend a weapons ban on Iran “until the Security Council decides otherwise,” stating that is “essential to the maintenance of international peace and security.”
    The 13-year-old arms embargo is due to expire in October under a 2015 nuclear deal among Iran, Russia, China, Germany, Britain, France and the United States that prevents Tehran from developing nuclear weapons in return for sanctions relief.
    The previous U.S. draft resolution was described by diplomats and analysts as maximalist.”    It was more than a dozen pages long, would have required countries to inspect cargo going to or coming from Iran and included an annex of individuals and entities for targeted sanctions.
    Diplomats said that while the new simple draft text might win the United States some more votes, it was unclear if Washington could get the minimum nine votes needed, and they said it was unlikely to convince Russia and China to abstain.
    “Don’t let the brevity of the new U.S. draft fool you.    The key point is that it authorizes an indefinite extension of the Iran arms embargo … and China and Russia will *not* like that,” Richard Gowan, U.N. director for conflict prevention advocacy body the International Crisis Group, posted on Twitter.
    “So good chance this U.S. draft will fail by Friday,” he said.
    The United States has asked council members for comments by Wednesday morning.    The council is operating virtually so once a vote is called, members would have 24 hours to submit their response.    The result would be announced at a public meeting.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

8/12/2020 Iran Says U.S. Arms Embargo Push At U.N. Will Fail – TV
FILE PHOTO: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, September 26, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
    DUBAI (Reuters) – U.S. efforts to get the U.N. Security Council to extend an arms embargo on Tehran would fail, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised speech on Wednesday, a day after U.S. officials circulated a revised proposal.
    Washington streamlined its bid on Tuesday to win more support in the 15-member Security Council but it is unlikely to overcome opposition by veto powers Russia and China to extending the weapons embargo that ends in October under Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six world powers.
    “Until today, the U.S. has failed politically, and it will fail again…if such a resolution is passed…Its initiators will be responsible for the consequences,” said Rouhani, without elaborating on what Tehran’s reaction could be.
    The new U.S. resolution would extend Iran’s arms ban “until the Security Council decides otherwise,” stating it is “essential to the maintenance of international peace and security.”
    The previous U.S. draft resolution was described by diplomats and analysts as “maximalist.”    It would have required countries to inspect cargo going to or coming from Iran and included an annex of individuals and entities for targeted sanctions.
    Separately, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the revised U.S. draft was a “very illegal” resolution.
    “I am certain that the Security Council will reject (it).”
    Although U.S. President Donald Trump exited the nuclear deal in 2018, Washington has threatened to use a provision in the accord to trigger a return of all U.N. sanctions on Iran if the Security Council does not extend the arms embargo indefinitely.
    Renewed sanctions – a move known as “snapback” – would likely kill the nuclear deal, under which Iran agreed to curb its sensitive uranium enrichment programme in exchange for lifting most sanctions on Tehran.
    Washington has reimposed harsh economic and financial sanctions on the Islamic Republic since 2018.    In retaliation, Iran has gradually scaled back its commitments set by the nuclear deal.
(Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

[AS YOU CAN SEE IN THE ARTICLE BELOW CHINAS PRESIDENT WORRIES ABOUT IS FEEDING THE LARGE POPULATION OF CHINA AND THIS WOULD BE A GREAT THING TO DO IS MAKE A THREAT TO STOP SENDING WHAT HE WANTS AND MAYBE DUE TO THAT WE MAY FINALLY GET A RESPONSE ABOUT THE TRUTH OF THE CREATION AND RELEASE OF THE CHINA WUHAN VIRUS ON THE WORLD AND SHOW THE BIAS OF THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION WHICH IS THE ONLY WAY THAT CHINA CAN RESTORE ITS CREDIBILITY WITH THE REST OF THE WORLD.].
8/13/2020 China, Worried About Food Security, Cracks Down On ‘Big Stomach Kings’
FILE PHOTO: Chinese President Xi Jinping claps his hands at the opening session of the National People's Congress
(NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China May 22, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
    SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s biggest short-video platforms said on Thursday they will punish users seen to be wasting food in their broadcasts, cracking down on so-called “big stomach kings” as the government urges against food wastage in the middle of a pandemic.
    President Xi Jinping called food wastage “shameful” this week as China also seeks to curb a growing trend among internet celebrities who have gained hordes of fans in recent years by eating large amounts of food in a short time on video.
    Short-video platform Douyin, which is owned by ByteDance, said users searching for keywords such as “eating broadcast” or “big stomach kings” would now be shown prompts urging them to “reject waste and eat reasonably.”
    “With respect to any actions that waste food, once discovered, the platform will at the first moment impose penalties according to the degree of the violations,” Douyin said in a statement.    “We call on users to cherish food.”
    China said in May it would draft a response plan for ensuring food security in 2020, as it worried about the disruptions to the agriculture supply chains from the global pandemic.
    Xi on Tuesday said in a speech published by state media that the amount of food that was wasted in China was “shocking” and urged the country to maintain a sense of crisis about food security, prompting many local governments to launch related campaigns and restaurants to raise penalties on buffet wastage.
    “Big stomach kings” livestreamers, in particular, were called out by a programme by state broadcaster CCTV on Wednesday as encouraging wastage.    The trend of celebrities, often with slim figures, eating copious amounts of food quickly first started in Japan and South Korea, according to local media.
    Another short-video platform Kuaishou said on Thursday it would shut down any live broadcasts or ban accounts if users were found to be promoting the eating of large amounts or encouraging vomiting to eat more.
    “We call on users to not overeat while creating,” it said.
(Reporting by Brenda Goh and Shanghai Newsroom; Additional reporting by Pei Li in Hong Kong; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

8/14/2020 What Is The U.S. Threat To Trigger ‘Snapback’ Of U.N. Sanctions On Iran? by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: The United Nations Headquarters is pictured in New York City, New York, U.S., March 10, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – The United States on Friday failed in its attempt to extend a U.N. arms embargo on Iran, and Washington could now act on a threat to trigger a return of all U.N. sanctions on Tehran.
    Here is a look at the events leading to the showdown and an explanation of what could happen next.
WHY IS THE ARMS EMBARGO ON IRAN EXPIRING?
    The United Nations Security Council imposed an arms embargo on Iran in 2007.
    The embargo is due to expire in mid-October, as agreed to under the 2015 nuclear deal among Iran, Russia, China, Germany, Britain,     France and the United States that prevents Tehran from developing nuclear weapons in return for economic sanctions relief.    That accord is enshrined in a 2015 Security Council resolution.
    In 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump quit the accord reached under his predecessor Barack Obama, calling it “the worst deal ever.”
    The United States failed on Friday in a bid to extend the arms embargo on Iran at the U.N. Security Council.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE 2015 NUCLEAR DEAL?
    Even though the United States has withdrawn from the nuclear deal, Washington has threatened to use a provision in the agreement to trigger a return of all U.N. sanctions on Iran if the Security Council does not extend the arms embargo.
    While diplomats have predicted that the so-called sanctions snapback process at the Security Council would be messy – with the remaining parties to the nuclear deal opposed to such a move – it could ultimately kill the nuclear deal because Iran would lose a major incentive for limiting its nuclear activities.
    After the United States quit the deal, it imposed strong unilateral sanctions.    In response, Iran has breached parts of the nuclear deal.
    Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday described the next few weeks and months as critical.
WHAT SANCTIONS WOULD SNAP BACK?
    A snapback of U.N. sanctions would require Iran to suspend all nuclear enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, and ban imports of anything that could contribute to those activities or to the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems.
    It would reimpose the arms embargo, ban Iran from developing ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons and reimpose targeted sanctions on dozens of individuals and entities.    Countries also would be urged to inspect shipments to and from Iran and authorized to seize any banned cargo.
HOW DOES THE UNITED STATES TRIGGER A SANCTIONS SNAPBACK?
    The United States would have to submit a complaint about Iran breaching the nuclear deal to the Security Council.
    The council would then have to vote within 30 days on a resolution to continue Iran’s sanctions relief.    If such a resolution is not put forward by the deadline, all U.N. sanctions in place before the 2015 nuclear deal would be automatically reimposed.
Some diplomats have said the United States could submit its complaint as early as next week.
CAN THE U.S. EFFORT BE STOPPED?
    It was not immediately clear how Russia, China or any other Security Council members might try to stop the United States from triggering a sanctions snapback or if procedurally there is any way they can.
    Diplomats have said several countries are likely to argue that the United States legally could not activate a return of U.N. sanctions and therefore they simply would not reimpose the measures on Iran themselves.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Will Dunham)

8/19/2020 WTO Goods Trade Index Hits Record Low, Detects Some Recovery Signs
FILE PHOTO: The logo of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is pictured after a
General Council meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, July 23, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    ZURICH (Reuters) – The World Trade Organization said on Wednesday its goods trade barometer hit a record low, suggesting global merchandise trade registered a historic fall in the second quarter of 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic raged.
    “Additional indicators point to partial upticks in world trade and output in the third quarter, but the strength of any such recovery remains highly uncertain: an L-shaped, rather than V-shaped, trajectory cannot be ruled out,” the WTO said https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news20_e/wtoi_19aug20_e.htm on its website.
    The barometer reading of 84.5 was down 18.6 points down from the year-ago period.    In normal times, it anticipates changes in the trajectory of trade by a few months, but volatility triggered by the pandemic has reduced its predictive value.
    “This reading – the lowest on record in data going back to 2007, and on par with the nadir of the 2008-09 financial crisis – is broadly consistent with WTO statistics issued in June, which estimated an 18.5% decline in merchandise trade in the second quarter of 2020 as compared to the same period last year,” the WTO said.
    The exact extent of the fall will become clear only when official trade data for April to June become available.
    The WTO had forecast in April that global trade in goods would fall between 13% and 32% in 2020 before rebounding by 21-24% in 2021, but in June said rapid responses by governments meant its pessimistic scenario for this year was unlikely.
    “The WTO’s June statistics implied a 14% drop in global merchandise trade volume between the first and second quarters of this year.    This estimate, together with the new Goods Trade Barometer reading, suggest that world trade in 2020 is evolving in line with the less pessimistic of the two scenarios outlined in the WTO’s April forecast,” it said on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Toby Chopra)

8/20/2020 U.S. Moves To Restore All U.N. Sanctions On Iran In Dispute Over Nuclear Deal by Michelle Nichols and Parisa Hafezi
FILE PHOTO: A sign marks the seat of Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) ahead of a board
of governors meeting at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria March 9, 2020. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner/File Photo
    UNITED NATIONS/DUBAI (Reuters) – The United States moved to restore all U.N. sanctions on Iran on Thursday, arguing Tehran was in violation of a nuclear deal it struck with world powers in 2015 even though Washington itself abandoned that agreement two years ago.
    The United States submitted a letter to the 15-member U.N. Security Council accusing Tehran of non-compliance, in theory starting a 30-day process that could lead to the “snapback” of U.N. sanctions even though major powers such as Russia reject the U.S. stance and say they will not restore the U.N. measures.
    Iran itself rejected the U.S. move, taken in part because of the impending October expiration of a U.N. arms embargo on Tehran, arguing Washington had no right trigger the re-imposition and asking Security Council members to reject the U.S. action.     U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration abandoned the Iran nuclear deal, which was designed to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons, arguing in part that its limitations on Iran’s atomic activities were inadequate.
    In a letter to the U.N. Security Council, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Iran had breached many of the deal’s central limits without acknowledging that most of the Iranian “non-performance” came only after Washington had pulled out.
    “Iran’s non-performance is incontestable and a matter of public record,” said the letter, citing Iran’s enrichment of uranium above 3.67%, amassing of an enriched uranium stockpile beyond the agreement’s 300 kg ceiling, and other violations.
    In a letter to the Security Council submitted before the United States action, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Washington had no right to trigger the “snapback” mechanism as it was no longer a party to the pact.
    “The U.S. push to reimpose U.N. sanctions on Iran will have dangerous consequences,” Zarif’s letter said.    “Now it is the international community’s turn to counter the unlawful push by the United States.”
    Iranian state TV said the letter was sent to the current president of the U.N. Security Council by Iran’s U.N. envoy Majid Takhteravanchi.
    Russia backed the Iranian stance.
    Russia’s U.N. ambassador rejected U.S. plans to restore U.N. sanctions on Iran as “nonexistent,” saying only a country that remains in the 2015 agreement can trigger the return of the sanctions in a process known informally as “snapback.”
    “We will not take it as snapback,” Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told reporters before Pompeo was to deliver the U.S. letter.
    “He’s not triggering a snapback. Snapback can be triggered by a country that is a participant of the JCPOA, which the U.S. is not,” he said, referring to the accord by its formal name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
    “We consider snapback as nonexistent.    We will not take it as a snapback,” Nebenzia added.
    When asked if Russia would reimpose U.N. sanctions on Iran, the Russian ambassador replied: “How can Russia reimpose U.N. sanctions on Iran if the resolution 2231 continues?

9/4/2020 IAEA Inspects One Of Two Sites In Iran After Long Stand-Off
FILE PHOTO: A flag with the logo of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) flutters in front
of their headquarters in Vienna, Austria July 10, 2019. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner/File Photo
    VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran has let the U.N. nuclear watchdog inspect one of the two sites it agreed last week to grant access to after a protracted standoff, while Tehran’s stockpile of enriched uranium has risen further, quarterly reports by the agency said on Friday.
    The International Atomic Energy Agency inspected one of the sites and took environmental samples there, one of the two reports obtained by Reuters said, referring to samples aimed at detecting traces of nuclear material that may have been present.
    The agency’s inspectors will visit the other site “later in September 2020 on a date already agreed with Iran, to take environmental samples,” the report said.
    The other report said that Iran’s stock of low-enriched uranium (LEU) rose by 534 kg in the most recent quarter, roughly the same amount as in the previous three months, to 2,105.4 kg.
    That is more than 10 times the 202.8 kg limit set by Iran’s 2015 nuclear accord with big powers, which Iran has been breaching in response to Washington’s withdrawal from the deal in 2018 and reimposition of sanctions against Tehran.
    The stockpile, however, remains far below the many tonnes of enriched uranium Iran had accumulated before the 2015 deal.
    Tehran is enriching up to a fissile purity of 4.5%, which while above the deal’s 3.67% limit is still far short of the 20% level it achieved before the deal. Roughly 90% purity is considered weapons-grade, suitable for an atomic bomb.
    Iran agreed on Aug. 26, during the first visit to Tehran by IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi, to allow access for U.N. inspectors to two sites suspected of once hosting covert uranium conversion and nuclear testing activities.
    While the IAEA says it has the right to examine such sites without permission, Iran objected because at least some of the information about them came from a trove of documents on its past activities that Tehran’s main Middle East adversary, Israel, says it seized inside Iran.
(Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

9/5/2020 IAEA: Iran continues to expand stockpile of enriched uranium
    VIENNA – Iran continues to increase its stockpile of enriched uranium in violation of limitations set in a landmark deal with world powers, but has begun providing access to sites where it was suspected of having stored or used undeclared nuclear material and possibly conducted nuclear-related activities.    The International Atomic Energy Agency reported in a confidential document distributed to member countries Friday that Iran as of Aug. 25 had stockpiled 2.32 tons of low-enriched uranium, up from 1.73 tons last reported on May 20.

[THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE IS VERY FUNNY AS IRAN THINKS IT HAS FRIENDS AND IF THEY DO IT IS NOT SOMEONE OF INTEREST]
9/5/2020 Iran’s Friends Should Have Defied U.S. Sanctions During Pandemic: President Rouhani
    (Reuters) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani bemoaned Iran’s friends on Saturday for not standing up to the United States and breaking crippling sanctions during the coronavirus pandemic.
    He also said that if the United States had a “bit of humanity or brain,” it would have lifted sanctions on Iran for the duration of the health crisis.
    Iran, with over 380,000 registered cases and over 22,000 deaths from the coronavirus, is one of the countries worst-hit by the pandemic in the Middle East.
    “Over the past months since the coronavirus arrived in our country… no one came to our help,” Rouhani said in remarks broadcast live on Iranian state television.
    If the United States “had a bit of humanity and brain,” he said, it would have offered to “lift the sanctions for a year because of the coronavirus.”
    But the United States “is far more heartless and evil than those things,” he added.
    Instead, it “imposed new sanctions and pressures on us over these past seven months of coronavirus,” Rouhani said.
    At the same time, he said, “not a single friendly country told us that in this time of coronavirus and hardship and for the sake of humanity ‘we will stand up to America'” and do business with Iran despite threats of U.S. retaliation.
    The United States has threatened to impose sanctions on whoever conducts business with Iran.
    The sanctions are part of the U.S. effort to slash Iranian revenues after U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew in 2018 from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
(Editing by Toby Chopra)

9/7/2020 UAE Planning First Official Visit To Israel On Sept. 22: Source by Dan Williams
FILE PHOTO: Israeli National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat elbow bumps with an Emirati official as he makes his
way to board the plane to leave Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates September 1, 2020. REUTERS/Nir Elias//File Photo
    JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates is planning to make its first official visit to Israel on Sept. 22 to build up the countries’ agreement to normalize relations, a source familiar with the provisional itinerary said on Monday.
    Israeli officials declined to comment and UAE officials did not respond to calls seeking comment.
    The two countries announced on Aug. 13 they would normalize diplomatic relations in a U.S.-brokered deal that was hailed as a breakthrough by Washington and Israel but spurned by the Palestinians.
    The UAE delegation’s trip to Israel, which has yet to be finalized, would come in reciprocation of a groundbreaking trip to Abu Dhabi last week by senior Israeli and U.S. envoys, the source told Reuters.
    The source said the UAE was expected to finalize the trip after a date is announced for a ceremony, likely in Washington, where the countries’ leaders will sign their normalization accord.    That ceremony is likely to take place in mid-September, the source added.
    The source declined to be identified by name or nationality due to the sensitivity of the evolving contacts.
    The trip would be the first publicly acknowledged visit to Israel by an official delegation from the UAE.
    Israel exchanged embassies with neighbors Egypt and Jordan under peace deals decades ago.    But until the UAE accord, all other Arab states had demanded Israel first cede more land to the Palestinians.
    An Israeli minister said on Monday annual trade between Israel and the UAE is expected to reach $4 billion.
(Additional reporting by Rami Ayyub in Jerusalem and Aziz El Yaakoubi in Dubai; Editing by Maayan Lubell and Andrew Heavens)

9/7/2020 Saudi King, France’s Macron Discuss G20: SPA
FILE PHOTO: Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz attends a virtual cabinet meeting in
Neom, Saudi Arabia August 18, 2020. Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo
    CAIRO (Reuters) – Saudi King Salman discussed with French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday the Group of 20 (G20) major economies and latest developments in the region, Saudi state news agency (SPA)reported.
    They discussed, in a phone call, efforts made by the group to work on supporting economies and health systems to face the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, SPA said.
(Reporting by Nayera Abdallah; Editing by Sandra Maler)

9/14/2020 IAEA In Wide-Ranging Talks With Saudi Arabia On Tougher Nuclear Checks
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi, wearing a protective mask, arrives for a news conference
during a board of governors meeting at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria September 14, 2020. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
    VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog is in wide-ranging talks with Saudi Arabia about tougher supervision of the kingdom’s nuclear activities, the agency said on Monday, part of a wider effort to eliminate a “weakness” in the global inspections regime.
    Saudi Arabia has a nascent nuclear programme that it wants to expand to eventually include proliferation-sensitive uranium enrichment.    It is unclear where its ambitions end, since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in 2018 it would develop nuclear weapons if regional rival Iran did.
    Riyadh has yet to fire up its first nuclear reactor, allowing its programme to still be monitored under the Small Quantities Protocol (SQP), an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency that exempts less advanced states from many reporting obligations and inspections.
    “We are in conversation with them.    They are interested in developing nuclear energy, for peaceful purposes of course,” IAEA chief Rafael Grossi said when asked about verification in Saudi Arabia.
    “So it is obvious that when they upgrade their activities including by the introduction of nuclear material in the kingdom, then we will have to have a stronger safeguards system.    And nothing makes me think that this is not going to be the case.”
    If Saudi Arabia were to introduce nuclear material into the research reactor in Riyadh that is near completion, it would void the SQP and its exemptions from regular safeguards.
    The sides are also discussing an extra agreement known as the Additional Protocol that provides for tougher checks including snap inspections at undeclared locations, Grossi said.
    Asked whether Riyadh should sign up to the Additional Protocol, he said: “We are discussing everything.”
    The talks are part of a push to get 31 states with early versions of the SQP to rescind them or switch to upgraded texts.
    “This is essential to address a weakness in the IAEA safeguards system,” Grossi said in a statement to the IAEA Board of Governors.
(Reporting by Francois Murphy, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

9/15/2020 U.N. Chief To Appoint Special Envoy To Broker Peace In Libya by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres poses for a photograph during an interview with
Reuters at U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., September 14, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar
    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The U.N. Security Council on Tuesday asked Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to appoint a special envoy to broker peace in Libya, although Russia and China abstained from voting on the resolution that also extended the U.N. mission in the country.
    Ghassan Salame, who headed the U.N. political mission and was also charged with trying to mediate peace, quit in March due to stress.     Guterres informally proposed a replacement, but the United States wanted the role split to have one person run the U.N. mission and a special envoy to focus on mediation.
    The Security Council agreed to that proposal on Tuesday.
    “With the new structure, we will have to present a new candidate and we will have to naturally consult with the Security Council for that purpose,” Guterres told Reuters in an interview on Monday.
    The Security Council traditionally agrees – informally – by consensus to such appointments.    Several months ago, the United States proposed that Guterres appoint former Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt to be special envoy, but diplomats said she had since withdrawn herself.
    Russia and China said they abstained on the resolution on Tuesday because it did not include their suggested amendments.
    Libya descended into chaos after the NATO-backed overthrow of leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.    Since 2014, it has been split, with an internationally recognized government controlling the capital, Tripoli, and the northwest, while military leader Khalifa Haftar in Benghazi rules the east.
    Haftar is supported by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Russia, while the government is backed by Turkey.
    “I’m shocked with the fact that so many spoilers, so many countries, have been interfering with the Libyan situation, building up military capacity on both sides … completely disregarding resolutions of the Security Council in relation to the arms embargo, or mercenaries,” Guterres told Reuters.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
[MAYBE THE UN SHOULD GET TRUMP TO MAKE A PEACE DEAL WITH LIBYA.]

9/15/2020 WTO Finds Washington Broke Trade Rules By Imposing Tariffs On China by Emma Farge and Philip Blenkinsop
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured on the headquarters of the World Trade Organization
(WTO) in Geneva, Switzerland, June 2, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    GENEVA/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The World Trade Organization found on Tuesday that the United States had breached global trading rules by imposing multi-billion dollar tariffs in President Donald Trump’s trade war with China, a ruling that drew anger from Washington.
    Washington says tariffs it imposed two years ago on more than $200 billion in Chinese goods were justified because China was forcing companies to transfer technology and intellectual property.
    But the WTO’s three-person panel said the U.S. duties broke trading rules because they applied only to China and were above maximum rates agreed by the United States.    Washington had not then adequately explained why its measures were a justified exception, the panel concluded.
    “This panel report confirms what the Trump administration has been saying for four years: the WTO is completely inadequate to stop China’s harmful technology practices,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement.
    China’s commerce ministry said Beijing supported the multilateral trading system and respected WTO rules and rulings, and hoped Washington would do the same.
    The United States could appeal against Tuesday’s ruling.    However, that would put the case into a legal void, because Washington has already blocked the appointment of judges to the WTO’s appellate body, preventing it from convening the minimum number required to hear cases.
    The WTO panel was aware it was stepping into hot waters.    It noted that it had looked only into the U.S. measures and not China’s retaliation, which Washington has not challenged at the WTO.
    “The panel is very much aware of the wider context in which the WTO system currently operates, which is one reflecting a range of unprecedented global trade tensions,” the 66-page report concluded.
TAKE STOCK
    The panel recommended the United States bring its measures “into conformity with its obligations,” but also encouraged the two sides to work to resolve the overall dispute.
    “…Time is available for the parties to take stock as proceedings evolve and further consider opportunities for mutually agreed and satisfactory solutions,” it said.
    Trump threatened tariffs on $500 billion worth of goods during his two year trade war with China, before signing a “Phase 1” trade deal with Beijing early this year.    Extra duties are still in place on some $370 billion worth of Chinese goods.
    The U.S. president has described the WTO as “horrible” and biased towards China, threatening to quit.    Josh Hawley, a Republican senator from Missouri, tweeted he should do just that: “USA should withdraw and lead the effort to abolish it.”
    Trump, critical of multilateral institutions, has already quit the UN cultural organisation UNESCO and plans to leave the World Health Organization.
(Writing by Philip Blenkinsop; Additional reporting by David Lawder in Washington and Meg Shen in Beijing; Editing by Peter Graff)

9/16/2020 ‘Be Courageous’ To Stand Up To Russia, Turkey, EU Executive Says by Robin Emmott
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen gives her first State of the Union speech at a plenary session
of European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium September 16, 2020. Olivier Hoslet/Pool via REUTERS
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union states must be quicker in their foreign policy to support pro-democracy protests in Belarus or to stand up to Russia and Turkey, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday.
    “Why are even simple statements on EU values delayed, watered down or held hostage for other motives?” Von der Leyen asked in her annual speech on the health of the Union.
    “When member states say Europe is too slow, I say to them be courageous and finally move to qualified majority voting,” she said, referring to blockages over finding unanimity among the EU’s 27 states.
    Von der Leyen said her EU executive would come forward with a proposal to freeze assets of those deemed responsible for human rights abuses, similar to the Magnitsky Act of 2012 in the United States.
    She also said nothing could justify Turkey’s intimidation of Greece and Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean and said it was wrong to think that a gas pipeline between German and Russia would help tense EU-Russia ties.
    “Turkey is and will always be an important neighbour.    But while we are close together on the map, the distance between us appears to be growing,” Von der Leyen told the European Parliament.
(Reporting by Robin Emmott; additional reporting by Marine Strauss, editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

9/16/2020 EU Chief Executive Calls For Unity To Get Europe Back On Its Feet by Foo Yun Chee and Robin Emmott
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen gestures as she addresses her first State of the European Union speech during a plenary session
of the European Parliament as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues, in Brussels, Belgium September 16, 2020. REUTERS/Yves Herman
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The EU’s chief executive on Wednesday painted a sober picture of Europe grappling with a pandemic and its deepest recession in its history, but laid out ambitious goals to make the 27-nation bloc more resilient and united to confront future crises.
    In her annual State of the Union address, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen doubled down on the flagship goals she set out on taking office last December: urgent action to tackle climate change and a digital revolution.
    She unveiled a plan to cut the European Union’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% from 1990 levels by 2030, up from an existing target of 40%, and pledged to use green bonds to finance its climate goals.
    “There is no more urgent need for acceleration than when it comes to the future of our fragile planet,” the former German cabinet minister told the European Parliament.
    “While much of the world’s activity froze during lockdowns and shutdowns, the planet continued to get dangerously hotter.”
    Von der Leyen also called for greater investment in technology for Europe to compete more keenly with China and the United States, and said the EU would invest 20% of a 750 billion euro economic recovery fund in digital projects.
    Officials said that, far from backing off the plans she laid out at the beginning of her term because of the coronavirus crisis, von der Leyen believes they will be key to Europe’s long-term economic and political survival.
    The EU has been buffeted for years by crises, from the financial meltdown of 2008 to feuds over migration and the protracted saga of Britain’s exit from the bloc.
    Solidarity among the 27 member states frayed badly at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, when countries refused to share protective medical kit with those worst-affected and closed borders without consultation to prevent the spread of the virus.
    The bloc’s leaders also jousted for months over a joint plan to rescue their coronavirus-throttled economies.
    But in July they agreed on a stimulus plan that paved the way for the European Commission to raise billions of euros on capital markets on behalf of them all, an unprecedented act of solidarity in almost seven decades of European integration.
    Von der Leyen told the EU assembly that “this is the moment for Europe” to trust each other and stand together.
    “The moment for Europe to lead the way from this fragility towards a new vitality,” she said.    “I say this because in the last months we have rediscovered the value of what we hold in common … We turned fear and division between Member States into confidence in our Union.”
CHANCES FOR A BREXIT DEAL FADING
    Turning to the troubled talks with London on the future relationship between the world’s fifth-largest economy and biggest trading bloc, von der Leyen said every passing day reduces chances for sealing a new trade deal.
    She stressed that both the EU and Britain negotiated and ratified their Brexit divorce deal and warned the UK, which has proposed a bill that would breach elements of the pact, that it “cannot be unilaterally changed, disregarded or dis-applied.”
    “This is a matter of law, trust and good faith… Trust is the foundation of any strong partnership,” she said.
    She said EU states must be quicker in their foreign policy to support pro-democracy protests in Belarus or to stand up to Russia and Turkey.
    “Why are even simple statements on EU values delayed, watered down or held hostage for other motives?” she asked.
    “When member states say Europe is too slow, I say to them be courageous and finally move to qualified majority voting,” she said, referring to blockages over finding unanimity among the EU’s 27 states.
(Writing by John Chalmers, Editing by William Maclean)

9/16/2020 EU Executive Wants Tougher 2030 Climate Target, Billions In Green Bonds by Kate Abnett
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union’s chief executive on Wednesday said the bloc should commit to deeper emissions cuts over the next decade, and pledged to use green bonds to finance its climate goals.
    With wildfires, drought and collapsing glaciers wreaking havoc around the world, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said ambitious action to tackle climate change could create millions of extra jobs, aiding Europe’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
    Von der Leyen said the EU should set a target to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, against 1990 levels, confirming plans laid out in draft Commission documents previously reported by Reuters.
    The EU’s current 2030 emissions target is for a 40% cut.
    Von der Leyen said the upgrade would put EU “firmly on track” for its plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050, and that Commission analysis had confirmed a 55% emissions cut was economically possible.
    But she acknowledged the proposal would divide the European Parliament and member states, who must approve the legally binding target but who disagree on how ambitious it should be.
    “I recognise that this increase from 40 to 55 is too much for some, and not enough for others,” she said in a speech in European Parliament.
    The goal will require huge investments in transport, heavy industry and energy – where businesses will also face higher carbon costs under EU plans to revamp its carbon market.
    Von der Leyen said 30% of the bloc’s 750 billion euro coronavirus recovery package of grants and loans, which the EU as a whole will borrow, should be raised through green bonds.
    Meanwhile, 37% of this package should be earmarked for projects to help industries decarbonise – by swapping coal for low-carbon hydrogen in industry, or installing electric car charging points.
    The EU is under pressure to agree its new climate target this year, to meet a deadline for countries to make new pledges under the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. So far, no large emitters have done so.
(Reporting by Kate Abnett, editing by Marine Strauss and Jon Boyle)

9/16/2020 EU Parliament Votes To Allow Some Gas Projects To Get Green Transition Money by Kate Abnett
FILE PHOTO: Members of the European Parliament wait for the start of a plenary session as the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues, in Brussels, Belgium September 16, 2020. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Parliament on Tuesday voted to allow some gas projects to get support from the European Union’s flagship green transition fund, teeing up tough talks with the EU Commission and national goverments, which have already agreed to exclude the fuel.
    The EU wants to launch a multi-billion-euro Just Transition Fund, using cash from the bloc’s coronavirus recovery fund and budget, to help fossil fuel dependent regions shift to cleaner industries.
    The money aims to push countries towards EU goals to reach net zero emissions by 2050, and a new, tougher 2030 emissions-cutting target, which the EU Commission will propose this week.
    But rules to decide who gets the money need to be finalised by the European Parliament, Commission and national goverments.
    The parliament will formally approve its position with another vote on Wednesday folowing the vote to support an amendment to allow some gas projects to receive the money.
    Its stance is at odds with that of the Commission and national governments, who must approval the final rules for the Fund, and have already said it should be off limits to all fossil fuels.
    Gas emits roughly 50% less CO2 than coal when burned in power plants, but it is also associated with leaks of methane, a potent planet-warming greenhouse gas.
    The divisions highlight the tough task facing the EU – which, having pledged ambitious climate action, must agree how to make that happen across its 27 member states.
(Reporting by Kate Abnett, editing by Marine Strauss and David Evans)
[I am still amused that many religious scholars and ministers think that the European Union is the 10 horns of one of 7 heads of the Beast but they are missing the entire point in that the Globalist and their World Government is the real entity which includes them and all the facilities of the United Nations and still pushing their control of the world.    Note that two, U.S. and Great Britain of the seven entities or heads of the Beast from either the G-7 and U.S. has left the United Nations and Great Britain the E.U. and it is prophesied a third will leave soon and also G-7 or Beast will gain the infamous eighth head most likely Russia as prophesied in Revelation 13.    As you know that I have the World Trade Orgination which has 10 regions which is the 10 horns or powers that are on the head of one of the 7 heads which to me is the United States World Trade Center in New York that was slain and lived as Rev. 13 states in the United States as many think I am crazy but predicted this 25 years ago and it is sometimes hard for people to admit that the systems they created with good intentions cannot believe that the system has grown into a Beast that is not in their control anymore.].

9/16/2020 President Trump Says The WTO Enabled China’s Expansion Of Economic, Political Influence by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks with reporters as he walks to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White
House, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in Washington. Trump is en route to Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    President Trump slammed the World Trade Organization (WTO) over its opposition to U.S. tariffs on Mainland China.    On Tuesday, he said the organization has aided Beijing in its push to extend its economic and political influence on the world at the expense of other countries.
    His remarks came after the WTO said U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods are illegal.    President Trump noted that the WTO is yet another globalist entity embracing the Chinese Communist Party.
    “They consider China to be a developing nation…we’ll take a look at that, but I’m not a big fan of the WTO,” he told reporters.    “That I can tell you right now, maybe they did us a big favor.”
    Currently, China also has tariffs on U.S. goods.    However, the Trump administration has not filed a complaint over them with the WTO.

9/16/2020 EU Chief, Set To Unveil Asylum Policy, Says Migration Is A Fact Of Life by Gabriela Baczynska
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen gives her first State of the Union speech during a plenary
session of European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium September 16, 2020. Olivier Hoslet/Pool via REUTERS
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union’s chief executive, set to unveil contentious new asylum policies for the bloc next week, described immigration on Wednesday as a normal fact of life and said the continent should learn to manage it.
    In a major policy speech to the European Parliament that drew applause and the occasional heckle, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said immigration policy must recognise “that each human being has a solemn diginity
    Since 2015, when more than a million people reached Europe by sea and thousands died trying, migration policy has been a source of quarrel within the bloc.
    The numbers of those arriving have fallen sharply since then, but EU members are still divided over how to share the responsibility of hosting them, and far right parties have gained votes across the bloc calling for a harder line.
    “Migration has always been a fact for Europe – and it will always be,” von der Leyen said.    “This is normality. We should be and we have to be able to manage that.”
    At one point in her speech she was interrupted by a right-wing German lawmaker, as she accused “the extreme right” of “preaching hate” on the immigration issue.    “But hate has never given any good advice,” von der Leyen said.
    Von der Leyen, whose family has helped a Syrian refugee start a new life in Germany, said some 2 million people come to live in Europe legally each year, while last year just 140,000 people sought asylum.
    U.N. data shows 124,000 people made it to the bloc across the Mediterranean last year and 1,319 died at sea, numbers that have fallen each year since 2015.
    Southern EU states where migrants arrive, such as Greece, Italy and Malta, have demanded help.    Wealthy northern countries where many head after their arrival, such as Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands, want an approach that would see asylum seekers distributed across the bloc.    But Eastern states led by Poland and Hungary refuse to host any.
OBLIGATORY RELOCATION
    Von der Leyen said the new strategy would aim to improve migration management on the bloc’s external borders, step up the fight against smugglers and reach more deals with third countries to house migrants in return for EU aid.    It would create clear, legal ways to reach Europe, and improve integration programmes.
    Sources told Reuters the proposal would still include the most contentious element: obligatory relocation of asylum seekers among all member states at times of immigration spikes.
    That means the proposal will face an uphill battle, and months are expected to go by before member states, the Commission and European Parliament reach a deal.
    Germany, which now holds the EU’s rotating presidency, hopes to have at least a “political road map” this year for a future agreement on migration.    On Tuesday, Germany said it would take more than 1,500 people stranded on Greek islands after a fire destroyed a migrant camp there last week.
(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Peter Graff)

9/19/2020 Iran’s Zarif Says World Should Oppose U.S. Sanctions Or Expect Same
FILE PHOTO: Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks at the presidential
palace in Baabda, Lebanon August 14, 2020. Dalati Nohra/Handout via REUTERS
    DUBAI (Reuters) – The world community should oppose the United States’ use of sanctions to impose its will as a “bully,” or expect to face sanctions itself, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Saturday.
    Separately the chief of the elite Revolutionary Guards rejected as a “bluff” any possibility of a military conflict with the United States.
    U.S. President Donald Trump plans to issue an executive order allowing him to impose U.S. sanctions on anyone violating an arms embargo against Iran, which is set to expire in October, sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
    The Trump administration says that on Saturday all United Nations sanctions on Iran have to be restored and the conventional arms embargo will no longer expire in mid-October.
    “The Americans as a rule act as a bully and impose sanction…    The world community should decide how to act towards bullying,” Zarif told Iranian state television hours before the U.S. move aiming to restore U.N. sanctions against Iran.
    “As they (other countries) will face the same thing tomorrow when America takes the same action towards the Nord Stream project, as well as other projects because a bully will continue to act as a bully if he is allowed to do it once,” Zarif said.
    The United States and many European countries oppose the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which they say will increase Europe’s reliance on Russian gas.
    “No power, including the United States, has the conditions to impose a new war on the Iranian nation, so people should not worry about these exaggerated bluffs by the U.S. president,” said Revolutionary Guards Commander Hossein Salami, quoted by the semi-official news agency ISNA.
    Salami was apparently reacting to a tweet by Trump this week in which he said any Iranian attack against the United States would be met by a response “1,000 times greater in magnitude.”
(Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Chris Reese)

9/20/2020 U.N. Chief Says No Action On U.N. Iran Sanctions Due To ‘Uncertainty’ by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during an interview with Reuters at
U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., September 14, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the Security Council on Saturday he cannot take any action on a U.S. declaration that all U.N. sanctions on Iran had been reimposed because “there would appear to be uncertainty” on the issue.
    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last month that he triggered a 30-day process at the council leading to the return of U.N. sanctions on Iran on Saturday evening that would also stop a conventional arms embargo on Tehran from expiring on Oct. 18.
    But 13 of the 15 Security Council members say Washington’s move is void because Pompeo used a mechanism agreed under a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, which the United States quit in 2018.
    “There would appear to be uncertainty whether or not the process … was indeed initiated and concomitantly whether or not the (sanctions) terminations … continue in effect,” Guterres wrote in a letter to the council, seen by Reuters.
    “It is not for the Secretary-General to proceed as if no such uncertainty exists,” he said.
    U.N. officials provide administrative and technical support to the Security Council to implement its sanctions regimes and Guterres appoints independent experts to monitor implementation.    He said that “pending clarification” of the status of the Iran sanctions, he would not take any action to provide that support.
    Washington argues it triggered the return of sanctions – known as “snapback” – because a U.N. resolution that enshrines the pact still names it as a participant. Diplomats say few countries are likely to reimpose the measures lifted under the 2015 deal that aimed to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
    “If U.N. Member States fail to fulfill their obligations to implement these sanctions, the United States is prepared to use our domestic authorities to impose consequences for those failures,” Pompeo said in a statement on Saturday.
    He said that in the coming days Washington would announce additional measures to strengthen the implementation of the U.N. sanctions and     “hold violators accountable.”    The United States is trying to push Iran to negotiate a new deal with Washington.
    Russia’s Deputy U.N. Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy responded on Twitter, “We all clearly said in August that U.S. claims to trigger snapback are illegitimate.    Is Washington deaf?
    Longtime U.S. allies Britain, France and Germany told the council on Friday that U.N. sanctions relief for Iran would continue and that any decision or action taken to reimpose U.N. sanctions “would be incapable of legal effect.”
    Iran’s U.N. Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi said on Twitter on Saturday, “U.S. illegal and false ‘deadline’ has come and gone … Swimming against international currents will only bring it more isolation.”
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by William Mallard)

9/21/2020 World Leaders To Mark United Nations At 75 As Pandemic Challenges Organization by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres poses for a photograph during an interview with
Reuters at U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., September 14, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo
    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – World leaders will come together, virtually, on Monday to mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, as the deadly coronavirus pandemic challenges the effectiveness and solidarity of the 193-member world body.
    As COVID-19, which emerged in China late last year, began to spread around the world, forcing millions of people to shelter at home and dealing a devastating economic blow, countries turned inward and diplomats say the United Nations struggled to assert itself.
    U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told Reuters that the pandemic has exposed the world’s fragilities.    He plans to tell world leaders on Monday that they need to work together at a time when there is a surplus of multilateral challenges and deficit of solutions.
    The 15-member Security Council took months to back a call by Guterres for a global ceasefire – to allow countries to focus on fighting COVID-19 – due to bickering between the world’s biggest powers: China and the United States.
    The 193-member General Assembly only adopted an omnibus resolution on a “comprehensive and coordinated response” to the pandemic earlier this month and it was not by consensus.    The United States and Israel voted no.
    A $10.3 billion U.N. appeal to fund fighting the pandemic in vulnerable and low-income countries is only a quarter funded.    Guterres now has taken a lead in pushing to make sure any vaccine for the coronavirus is made available to everyone globally.
    A senior European diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the General Assembly should have acted months ago, but “we were all hampered by, and hit, by the COVID-19.”
‘MOMENTS OF DISAPPOINTMENT’
    The United Nations headquarters is in New York, which was hit hard by the coronavirus.    U.N. member states had to decide how to work virtually, which they did for several months before resuming some in-person meetings recently.
    “We all suffered from the fact that we couldn’t meet … A lot of attention was paid to process more than substance unfortunately,” said the European diplomat.    “I wouldn’t put the blame on the U.N. as an organization, it’s the member states that have to be more assertive and positive.”
    A U.N. report released on Monday found that six out of ten people believe the United Nations has made the world a better place, but looking ahead three-quarters see the world body as essential in tackling global challenges.
    “However, at the same time, over half still see the U.N. as remote from their lives and say they don’t know much about it,” the report said.
    The one-day special event on Monday comes ahead of the annual meeting of world leaders at the United Nations, which starts on Tuesday with no presidents or prime ministers physically present in New York.    All statements have been pre-recorded and will be broadcast in the General Assembly hall.
    The United Nations was created when countries came together after World War Two to prevent another such conflict.    While there has not been World War Three, leaders will adopt a statement on Monday acknowledging “moments of disappointment.”
    “Our world is not yet the world that our founders envisaged 75 years ago.    It is plagued by growing inequality, poverty, hunger, armed conflicts, terrorism, insecurity, climate change and pandemics,” the statement says.
    “All this calls for greater action, not less,” it says.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; editing by Diane Craft)

9/22/2020 U.S.-China Tensions Take Center Stage At U.N. As Trump Accuses Beijing Of Unleashing ‘Plague’ by Michelle Nichols and Steve Holland
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the 75th annual U.N. General Assembly, which is being held mostly virtually due to the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., September 22, 2020. United Nations/Handout via REUTERS
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump told the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday that China must be held accountable for having “unleashed” COVID-19 on the world, prompting Beijing to accuse him of “lies” and abusing the U.N. platform to provoke confrontation.
    China’s President Xi Jinping struck a conciliatory tone in his pre-recorded virtual address to the General Assembly, calling for enhanced cooperation over the pandemic and stressing that China had no intention of fighting “either a Cold War or a hot war with any country.”
    But China’s U.N. ambassador Zhang Jun rejected Trump’s accusations against China as “baseless” and said “lies repeated a thousand times are still lies.”
    Trump and Xi, leaders of the world’s two largest economies, laid out competing visions at a time when relations have plunged to their worst level in decades, with coronavirus tensions aggravating trade and technology disputes.
    Trump, facing a November re-election battle with the United States dealing with the world’s highest official number of deaths and infections from the coronavirus, focused his speech on attacking China.
    He accused Beijing of allowing people to leave China in the early stages of the outbreak to infect the world while shutting down domestic travel.
    “We must hold accountable the nation which unleashed this plague onto the world, China,” he said in remarks taped on Monday and delivered remotely to the General Assembly due to the pandemic.
    “The Chinese government, and the World Health Organization – which is virtually controlled by China – falsely declared that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission,” he said.
    “Later, they falsely said people without symptoms would not spread the disease … The United Nations must hold China accountable for their actions.”
    The president promised to distribute a vaccine and said: “We will defeat the virus, and we will end the pandemic.”
‘GET THROUGH THIS TOGETHER’
    Xi’s address contained what appeared to be an implicit rebuke to Trump, calling for a global response to the coronavirus and a leading role for the WHO, which the U.S. president has announced plans to leave.
    “We should enhance solidarity and get through this together,” he said.
    “We should follow the guidance of science, give full play to the leading role of the World Health Organization and launch a joint international response … Any attempt of politicizing the issue, or stigmatization, must be rejected.”
    The WHO rejected Trump’s remarks.
    “No one gov’t controls us,” its communications director, Gabby Stern tweeted, adding: “On Jan. 14 our #COVID19 technical lead told media of the potential for human-to-human transmission.    Since February, our experts have publicly discussed transmission by people without symptoms or prior to symptoms.”
    Russian President Vladimir Putin told the General Assembly the WHO should be strengthened to coordinate the global response to the pandemic and proposed a high-level conference on vaccine cooperation.
    China has portrayed itself as the chief cheerleader for multilateralism at a time when Trump’s disregard for international cooperation has led him to quit global deals on climate and Iran, as well as the U.N. Human Rights Council and the WHO.
    Xi took an apparent swipe at Trump’s “America First” policy in a statement on Monday to a meeting celebrating the U.N.’s 75th anniversary.
    “No country has the right to dominate global affairs, control the destiny of others, or keep advantages in development all to itself.    Even less should one be allowed to do whatever it likes and be the hegemon, bully or boss of the world. Unilateralism is a dead end,” he said.
    The U.S. coronavirus death toll surpassed 200,000 on Monday, by far the highest official number of any country.
    Trump also attacked China’s record on the environment, but leveled no direct criticism at Beijing over human rights.
    Trump, a frequent critic of the U.N., said that if it was to be effective, it must focus on “the real problems of the world” like “terrorism, the oppression of women, forced labor, drug trafficking, human and sex trafficking, religious persecution, and the ethnic cleansing of religious minorities.”
    In his U.N. address, French President Emmanuel Macron called for an international mission under U.N. auspices to visit China’s Xinjiang region to look into concerns about alleged abuses of Muslims there.
    China’s envoy Zhang Jun issued a statement in response to Trump’s remarks, accusing the United States of “abusing the platform of the United Nations to provoke confrontation and create division.”
    In his speech, Xi announced plans to boost China’s Paris climate accord target and called for a green revolution, just minutes after Trump blasted China for “rampant pollution.”
    U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that the world was “moving in a very dangerous direction” with U.S.-China tensions.
    “We must do everything to avoid a new Cold War,” he said.    “Our world cannot afford a future where the two largest economies split the globe in a Great Fracture — each with its own trade and financial rules and Internet and artificial intelligence capacities."
    “A technological and economic divide risks inevitably turning into a geo-strategic and military divide.    We must avoid this at all costs.”
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols in New York and Steve Holland, Arshad Mohammed and David Brunnstrom in Washington; Writing by David Brunnstrom; Editing by Mary Milliken, Howard Goller and Tom Brown)
[You can clearly see the Globalist World Government control of the United Nations in this article.].

9/22/2020 At U.N., Trump Demands Action Against China Over Virus, Xi Urges Cooperation by Michelle Nichols and Steve Holland
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the 75th annual U.N. General Assembly, which is being held mostly virtually due to the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., September 22, 2020. United Nations/Handout via REUTERS
    (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump used the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday to attack China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying it must be held accountable for having “unleashed this plague onto the world.”
    By contrast, China’s President Xi Jinping struck a conciliatory tone in his pre-recorded virtual address to the General Assembly, calling for enhanced cooperation over the pandemic and stressing that China had no intention of fighting “either a Cold War or a hot war with any country.”
    The leaders of the world’s two largest economies laid out their competing visions as relations have plunged to their worst level in decades against the backdrop of the pandemic, with coronavirus tensions aggravating trade and technology disputes.
    Trump, facing a November re-election battle with the United States dealing with the world’s highest official number of deaths and infections from the coronavirus, focused his speech on attacking China.
    He accused Beijing of allowing people to leave China in the early stages of the outbreak to infect the world while shutting down domestic travel.
    “We must hold accountable the nation which unleashed this plague onto the world, China,” he said in remarks taped on Monday and delivered remotely to the General Assembly due to the pandemic.
    “The Chinese government, and the World Health Organization – which is virtually controlled by China – falsely declared that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission,” he said.
    “Later, they falsely said people without symptoms would not spread the disease … The United Nations must hold China accountable for their actions.”
    The president promised to distribute a vaccine and said: “We will defeat the virus, and we will end the pandemic.”
    In introducing Xi’s remarks, China’s U.N. ambassador Zhang Jun said China “resolutely rejects the baseless accusations against China.”
    “The world is at a crossroads.    At this moment, the world needs more solidarity and cooperation, but not confrontation.”
‘GET THROUGH THIS TOGETHER’
    Xi’s address contained what appeared to be an implicit rebuke to Trump, calling for a global response to the coronavirus and a leading role for the World Health Organization, which the U.S. president has announced plans to leave.
    “Facing the virus, we should enhance solidarity and get through this together,” he said.    “We should follow the guidance of science, give full play to the leading role of the World Health Organization and launch a joint international response to beat this pandemic.    Any attempt of politicizing the issue, or stigmatization, must be rejected.”
    The WHO rejected Trump’s remarks.
    “No one gov’t controls us,” it communications director, Gabby Stern, said in a tweet, adding: “On Jan. 14 our #COVID19 technical lead told media of the potential for human-to-human transmission.    Since February, our experts have publicly discussed transmission by people without symptoms or prior to symptoms.”
    Russian President Vladimir Putin told the General Assembly the WHO should be strengthened to coordinate the global response to the pandemic and proposed a high-level conference on vaccine cooperation.
    China has portrayed itself as the chief cheerleader for multilateralism at a time when Trump’s disregard for international cooperation has led to Washington quitting global deals on climate and Iran and leaving the U.N. Human Rights Council, as well as the WHO.
    Xi took an apparent swipe at Trump’s “America First” policy in statement to a meeting celebrating the 75th anniversary of the United Nations on Monday.
    “No country has the right to dominate global affairs, control the destiny of others, or keep advantages in development all to itself.    Even less should one be allowed to do whatever it likes and be the hegemon, bully or boss of the world.    Unilateralism is a dead end,” he said.
    The death toll from the spread of the coronavirus in the United States surpassed 200,000 on Monday, by far the highest official number of any country.
    Trump also attacked China’s record on the environment, but leveled no direct criticism at Beijing over human rights.
    The president, a frequent critic of the United Nations, said that if it was to be effective, it must focus on “the real problems of the world” like “terrorism, the oppression of women, forced labor, drug trafficking, human and sex trafficking, religious persecution, and the ethnic cleansing of religious minorities.”
    China’s envoy Zhang Jun issued a statement in response to Trump’s remarks, accusing the United States of “abusing the platform of the United Nations to provoke confrontation and create division.”
    “Lies repeated a thousand times are still lies,” he said.
    Earlier, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that the world was “moving in a very dangerous direction” with U.S.-China tensions.
    “We must do everything to avoid a new Cold War,” he told the assembly.    “Our world cannot afford a future where the two largest economies split the globe in a Great Fracture — each with its own trade and financial rules and internet and artificial intelligence capacities."
    “A technological and economic divide risks inevitably turning into a geo-strategic and military divide.    We must avoid this at all costs.”

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols, Steve Holland, Arshad Mohammed and David Brunnstrom; Writing by David Brunnstrom; Editing by Mary Milliken, Howard Goller and Tom Brown)

9/22/2020 President Trump Touts U.S. Coronavirus Response In Speech To UN General Assembly by OAN Newsroom
In this photo provided by the United Nations, U.S. President Donald Trump, is on video screens as his pre-recorded message is played during the 75th session
of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, at UN Headquarters in New York. (UN Photo/Rick Bajornas via AP)
    President Trump recently spoke on the fight against the coronavirus while addressing the United Nations General Assembly.
    “Seventy-five years after the end of World War Two and the founding of the United Nations, we are once again engaged in a great global struggle,” he stated.    “We have waged a fierce battle against the invisible enemy, the China virus.”
    In a per-recorded speech Tuesday, President Trump said the U.S. has produced a record supply of ventilators and pioneered life-saving treatments to reduce the fatality rate of the virus by 85-percent since April.    He also highlighted vaccine development efforts.
    “Thanks to our efforts, three vaccines are in the final stage of clinical trials,” he stated.    “We are mass producing them in advance, so they can be delivered immediately upon arrival.”
    The President pivoted to accuse China of infecting the world by continuing to allow flights out of the nation early on in the pandemic.    He then called on the UN to hold China accountable.
    “We will defeat the virus, we will end the pandemic and we will enter a new era of unprecedented prosperity, cooperation and peace,” President Trump continued.

9/22/2020 German Chancellor Angela Merkel Calls For UN Reforms by OAN Newsroom
German Chancellor Angela Merkel waits for the arrival of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen
for talks at the Chancellery in Berlin, Sept. 18, 2020. (Odd Andersen/Pool Photo via AP)
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel is calling to reform the United Nations.    In a pre-recorded address to the General Assembly Monday, the chancellor called for increased unity among member states.
    Her remarks came after Germany joined a list of nations seeking to increase multilateralism when it comes to global issues, including the coronavirus pandemic.
    “I wish the United Nations and its members the courage, stamina and sense of community that are required in order to tackle these shared tasks together,” said the chancellor.
    Merkel went on to call for the expansion of the Security Council, which is a branch of the UN tasked with ensuring international peace and security.
    “The United Nations must continue to develop in order to be in a position to master the global challenges of the 21st Century,” she stated.    “Germany stands ready to continue to shoulder responsibility and would be pleased to do so in an expanded Security Council.”
    Her remarks came as the UN marked its 75th anniversary with a series of General Assembly meetings at its headquarters in New York.    On Monday, ambassadors from key UN members states praised the organization’s work in preventing wars, protecting human rights and delivering humanitarian assistance worldwide.
    The UN was founded back in 1945 to prevent a potential third world war.    Diplomats have said the UN has many achievements to show for 75 years of its work, but there’s still more to be done.
    “The declaration also states our world is not yet the world that our founders envisaged 75 years ago…it is plagued by growing inequality, poverty, hunger, armed conflicts, terrorism, insecurity, climate change and pandemics,” stated Brenden Varma, spokesman for UN General Assembly president.    “Our challenges are interconnected and can only be addressed through reinvigorated multilateralism.”
    Diplomats warn, however, several UN members have not cooperated with international partners in good faith, which has resulted in regional conflicts in the past few years.

10/1/2020 Human Rights Lawyers Sue Trump Administration Over ‘Unconstitutional’ ICC Sanctions by Anthony Deutsch
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump looks on during a campaign rally at Duluth
International Airport in Duluth, Minnesota, U.S., September 30, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis
    AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Human rights lawyers launched a legal challenge on Thursday to U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order imposing economic sanctions on employees of the world’s permanent war crimes tribunal, arguing it breaches the U.S. constitution.
    A filing lodged at a district court in New York by the Open Society Justice Initiative, a public interest law centre that specialises in war crimes cases, names Trump, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and seven other members of his administration.
    It argues that the executive order violates constitutional rights, including freedom of speech, and prevents the plaintiffs from carrying out work in support of international justice.
    “By issuing this outrageous order, the Trump administration has betrayed Washington’s long-standing support for international justice, snubbed its allies, and violated the U.S. constitution,” Open Society Justice Initiative executive director James Goldston said in a statement.
    “We are going to court to end this reckless assault on a judicial institution and the victims it serves.”
    Trump authorised U.S. economic and travel sanctions against employees of the Hague-based International Criminal Court and anyone supporting its work on June 12, citing their involvement in an investigation into whether American forces committed war crimes in Afghanistan.
    On Sept. 2, Pompeo said ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda had been blacklisted.
    The ICC has said the measures are an attack on the court, the system of international criminal justice and the rule of law more generally.
    European Union countries and rights groups have rejected the U.S. sanctions as detrimental to efforts to secure international justice for war crimes.
    Measures include freezing the U.S. assets of those who help the ICC investigate or prosecute American citizens without U.S. consent, and barring them and their families from the United States.
    The main target of the move is Bensouda, who was granted approval in March to investigate possible crimes committed in Afghanistan between 2003 and 2014.
    These include alleged mass killings of civilians by the Taliban as well as the alleged torture of prisoners by Afghan authorities and, to a lesser extent, by U.S. forces and the CIA.
    Announcing the executive order in June, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described the ICC, established in 2002 by the international community to prosecute war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity, as a “kangaroo court.”
    Trump administration officials also said it threatened to infringe on U.S. national sovereignty and accused Russia of manipulating it to serve Moscow’s ends.
(Reporting by Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Catherine Evans)

10/4/2020 India And South Africa Ask WTO To Waive Rules To Aid COVID-19 Drug Production
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured outside the World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters next to a red
traffic light in Geneva, Switzerland, October 2, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    VIENNA (Reuters) – India and South Africa want the World Trade Organization (WTO) to waive intellectual property rules to make it easier for developing countries to produce or import COVID-19 drugs, a letter https://docs.wto.org/dol2fe/Pages/SS/directdoc.aspx?filename=q:/IP/C/W669.pdf&Open=True to the WTO shows.
    In their letter dated Oct. 2 the two countries called on the global trade body to waive parts of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which governs patents, trademarks, copyright and other intellectual property rules globally.
    “As new diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines for COVID-19 are developed, there are significant concerns (over) how these will be made available promptly, in sufficient quantities and at (an) affordable price to meet global demand,” the letter posted on the Geneva-based WTO’s website says.
    The two countries said that developing nations are disproportionately affected by the pandemic and that intellectual property rights, including patents, could be a barrier to the provision of affordable medicine.
    The letter asks that the WTO’s Council for TRIPS recommends a waiver to the General Council, the WTO’s top decision-making body in Geneva, “as early as possible.”    It does not say how much support India and South Africa have from other countries.
    A draft General Council decision text submitted with the letter says the waiver should last an as yet unspecified number of years and be reviewed annually.
(Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by David Goodman)

10/5/2020 Split EU Lawmakers Rap Bulgaria On Rule-Of-Law Failings
FILE PHOTO: European Union flags flutter outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium August 21, 2020. REUTERS/Yves Herman
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Parliament turned up the heat on Bulgaria on Monday as lawmakers debated a resolution that highlights flaws by the EU’s poorest member in respecting the rule of law, combating endemic corruption and supporting media freedom.
    A vote is expected later this week on the resolution that challenges Prime Minister Boyko Borissov’s governance after almost three months of anti-graft protests in Bulgaria that seek his resignation.
    Thousands of Bulgarians have been rallying daily since July, accusing three-times premier Borissov of eroding democratic rules and allowing corrupt practices that support oligarchs and businesses close to his centre-right GERB party.
    In a heated debate, lawmakers from the socialist party family, as well as the Greens and liberals slammed Bulgaria’s government for backsliding on democratic values and abuse of EU funds.
    MEPs from the centre-right group EPP, to which Borissov’s own party belongs, defended Borissov as a pro-European leader.
    Bulgaria ranks as the bloc’s most corrupt member state according to Transparency International’s index.    The country has dropped to 111th position in terms of media freedom from 51st in 2007, when it joined the EU, according to Reporters Without Borders.
    “Bulgarian citizens will deal with their government, but we need to stop feeding the vampires that are sucking the life blood out these wonderful people,” said Clare Daly from the group of the European United Left-Nordic Green Left.
    EPP chair Manfred Weber said the protests showed that democracy works in Bulgaria.    Borissov has refused to step down and on Monday Weber said protesters could have their say at an election scheduled for next March.
    A European Parliament resolution rapping Bulgaria for shortcomings in respecting the rule of law would have no practical consequences except political embarrassment for Borissov. But it would also be a signal that Brussels is not turning a blind eye.
    Unlike Hungary and Poland, Bulgaria has managed to avoid a formal EU process checking if rule-of-law is observed, by promising changes and setting up bodies to combat graft and overhaul the judiciary, while dragging its feet on delivering results.
    Last week the European Commission, in a milder tone, criticised Bulgaria’s shortcomings on courts’ independence and the lack of senior officials jailed on corruption charges in its first report on rule of law in the EU.
    Speaking on Monday, the EU’s top democracy official, Commissioner Vera Jourova said the EU Commission would press ahead in monitoring Bulgaria until it sees tangible results in fighting corruption and overhauling of the judiciary.
    “There is still unfinished business.    And we want to see the job done,” she said.
(Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova in Sofia and Jan Strupczewski in Brussels; editing by Richard Pullin)

10/6/2020 Hungary’s University Reform Is Unlawful, EU Top Court Says
FILE PHOTO: A view inside the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, November 14, 2018. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union’s top court said on Tuesday that Hungary’s reform of higher education rules, which forced a university founded by George Soros to move most of its activities out of the country, was in breach of EU law.
    The ruling follows a complaint from the European Commission and is one of many issues in which the EU has clashed with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s hardline stance on migration and minorities, as well as moves to increase state control of the courts, media and NGOs.
    Under the reform, passed in 2017, foreign-registered universities can no longer operate in Hungary unless they also provide courses in their home countries, a provision that the European Court of Justice said on Tuesday was against EU law.
    “The conditions introduced by Hungary to enable foreign higher education institutions to carry out their activities in its territory are incompatible with EU law,” the court said.
    Central European University transferred the bulk of its courses out of Hungary after a long legal battle between Hungarian-born Soros, who promotes liberal causes through his charities, and the government of Orban.
    The EU court also said the requirement introduced by the reform that non-EU universities could operate in Hungary only if their home country had a bilateral treaty with Hungary was in breach of the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights which protects academic freedom and the freedom to conduct a business.
    It was also against commitments made by Hungary as a member of the World Trade Organisation, the EU Court said.
(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio; Editing by Alison Williams and Tomasz Janowski)
[HERE IS AN EXAMPLE TO PROVE TO YOU THAT THE EUROPEAN UNION IS CONTROLLED BY THE GLOBALISTS AND GEORGE SOROS IS INVOLVED IN THAT AND I HOPE ORBAN CAN FIGHT BACK WITH THE PEOPLE’S HELP.].

10/10/2020 Iran Short Of ‘Significant Quantity’ Of Potential Bomb Material: IAEA Boss
FILE PHOTO: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi delivers his speech at the opening of
the IAEA General Conference at their headquarters in Vienna, Austria September 21, 2020. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
    ZURICH (Reuters) – Iran does not at this stage have enough enriched uranium to make one nuclear bomb under the U.N. atomic watchdog’s official definition, the agency’s head told an Austrian paper.
    “The Iranians continue to enrich uranium, and to a much higher degree than they have committed themselves to.    And this amount is growing by the month,” International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) head Rafael Grossi told Die Presse in an interview published on its website on Saturday.
    Asked about how long Iran would need to build a nuclear weapon — the so-called “breakout time,” he said:
    “In the IAEA we do not talk about breakout time.    We look at the significant quantity, the minimum amount of enriched uranium or plutonium needed to make an atomic bomb.    Iran does not have this significant quantity at the moment.”
    Iran denies ever having had a nuclear weapons programme, saying its nuclear programme is purely for energy purposes.
    The IAEA defines “significant quantity” as the approximate amount of nuclear material for which the possibility of manufacturing a nuclear explosive device cannot be excluded.
    The most recent quarterly IAEA report on Iran last month said it had 2,105.4 kg of enriched uranium, far above the 202.8 kg limit in a 2015 deal with big powers but a fraction of the enriched uranium it had before the accord.
    It is also enriching to up to 4.5% purity, far below the 20% it achieved before the deal and the 90% that is considered weapons-grade.
(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Frances Kerry)

10/10/2020 Pull Investments From Companies Not Committed To Environment, Pope Says by Philip Pullella
FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis speaks during a meeting with the Committee of Experts of the Council of Europe
at the Vatican, October 8, 2020, in this still image taken from a video. Vatican Media/ Handout/File Photo
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis on Saturday urged people to pull investments from companies that are not committed to protecting the environment, adding his voice to calls for the economic model that emerges from the coronavirus pandemic to be a sustainable one.
    Francis spoke in a video message for an online event called “Countdown Global Launch, A Call to Action on Climate Change.”
    “Science tells us, every day with more precision, that we need to act urgently … if we are to have any hope of avoiding radical and catastrophic climate change,” he said.
    The pope listed three action points: better education about the environment, sustainable agriculture and access to clean water, and a transition away from fossil fuels.
    “One way to encourage this change is to lead companies towards the urgent need to commit to the integral care of our common home, excluding from investments companies that do not meet (these) parameters … and rewarding those that (do),” he said.
    He said the pandemic had made the need to address the climate crisis and related social problems even more pressing.
    “The current economic system is unsustainable. We are faced with a moral imperative … to rethink many things,” he said, listing means of production, consumerism, waste, indifference to the poor, and harmful energy sources.
    In June, a Vatican document urged Catholics to disinvest from the armaments and fossil fuel industries and to monitor companies in sectors such as mining for possible damage to the environment.
    Other speakers and activists at the online event included actress Jane Fonda, Britain’s Prince William, former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
(Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Christina Fincher)

10/13/2020 Iran: UN Arms Embargo To Expire On Oct. 17 by OAN Newsroom
File – The Iranian flag flies in front of a UN building. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)
    The Ayatollah regime in Iran said it’s looking forward to the expiration of a United Nations arms embargo later this month.    On Monday, Iranian officials said the UN Security Council ban on the import and export of weapons by the Islamic Republic will expire on October 17.
    Tehran also slammed the U.S. for its calls to extend the UN embargo by stating “it’s not going to happen.”    Iran agreed to cease its trade in conventional weapons and freeze its nuclear program under the 2015 nuclear deal in exchange for financial benefits.
    The Ayatollah regime now claims the expiration of the embargo will hurt the U.S.
    “It is a historic failure for the U.S. that could not push forward with its intentions in spite of applying deception and unlawful actions in a world that has become multilateral,” stated Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for the Islamic Republic of Iran.    “The Islamic Republic proved, once again, that America is not the super power it pretends it is.”
    Iran is also refusing to pay $1.4 billion to the family of former FBI agent Robert Levinson who disappeared in the country.    The regime claims Levinson had left Iran before his disappearance.

10/13/2020 China, Russia Elected To U.N. Rights Council; Saudi Arabia Fails by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: Overview of the session of the Human Rights Council during the speech of U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle
Bachelet at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, February 27, 2020. Picture taken with a fisheye lens. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – China and Russia were elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday, but support for Beijing dropped by more than 20 percent compared with a 2016 vote and Saudi Arabia failed in its bid to win a seat on the Geneva-based body.
    The 193-member U.N. General Assembly also elected Ivory Coast, Gabon, Malawi, Cuba, Bolivia, Uzbekistan, France and Britain to the 47-member council.    Senegal, Nepal, Pakistan, Ukraine and Mexico were re-elected for a second three-year term.    Council members cannot serve more than two consecutive terms.
    Candidates are elected by secret ballot in geographical groups to ensure even representation.    The Asia-Pacific group, which included Saudi Arabia, was the only competitive race on Tuesday with five candidates vying for four seats.    The new members will begin their term on Jan. 1, 2021.
    “Saudi Arabia’s failure to win a seat on the Human Rights Council is a welcome reminder of the need for more competition in U.N. elections.    Had there been additional candidates, China, Cuba and Russia might have lost too,” said Human Rights Watch U.N. director Louis Charbonneau.
    Saudi Arabia received 152 votes when it was last elected in 2016 to be a council member from 2017 to 2019, but on Tuesday only 90 states voted for Riyadh – a 40 percent drop.    While China was elected on Tuesday with 139 votes, its support fell more than 20 percent compared to the last time it won a seat in 2016.
    Both countries have been criticized internationally for their human rights records.    Most recently China has been condemned by Western countries for its treatment of Uighur Muslims in the country’s Xinjiang region and handling of pro-democracy protests in Chinese-ruled Hong Kong.
    U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration quit the Human Rights Council in 2018 – half way through its term – over what it called chronic bias against Israel and a lack of reform.
    “The U.N. General Assembly once again elected countries with abhorrent human rights records,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday.    “These elections only further validate the U.S. decision to withdraw and use other venues and opportunities to protect and promote universal human rights.”
    Russia was elected on Tuesday four years after it was surprisingly ousted after one term, losing by two votes.    Former U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power, under President Barack Obama, revealed last year in her memoir that she had been directed by Washington to vote for Russia in the secret ballot, but did not.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Mary Milliken and Cynthia Osterman)

10/14/2020 U.S. Officials Condemn China’s Election To UN Human Rights Council by OAN Newsroom
Member state flags fly outside the United Nations headquarters during the 75th session of the
United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently highlighted U.S. efforts to truly take a stand for human rights worldwide, despite the United Nations’ elevation of authoritarian regimes.    Pompeo was bestowed with the International Republican Institute’s Freedom Award on Tuesday for his work promoting liberty and democratic ideals around the world.
    That same day, he spoke out in condemnation of the UN’s decision to name several countries that have a long history of human rights abuses as members of its Human Rights Council.    He noted this tasks oppressive states with safeguarding the very freedoms they routinely violate.
    This is not the first time the UN has elected an authoritarian regime to the HRC.    Last year, Venezuela was chosen to sit on the body for a three-year term, despite embattled President Nicolas Maduro’s long track record of oppression and human rights abuses.
    The decision was strongly condemned by U.S. officials at the time.    Meanwhile, American foreign policy leaders have lambasted this year’s slate of elected HRC members, including UN Ambassador Kelly Craft, who called it “a mockery” of the body’s intended purpose.
    She also asserted the move further validates America’s 2018 decision to withdraw from the Human Rights Council, which she characterized as fundamentally corrupt.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference at the State Department,
Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, POOL)
    Secretary Pompeo added the withdrawal has allowed the U.S. to more effectively promote and defend human rights around the world through institutions unburdened by the influence of authoritarian regimes.
    He has been an avid critic of UN corruption in the past.    While addressing the urgency of fighting against abuses perpetrated by oppressive regimes like China, the secretary previously lamented the consequences of the United Nations having lost its way.
    “We must defend unalienable rights today, because the international human rights project is in crisis,” stated Pompeo.    “Authoritarian governments are depriving our fellow human beings of their basic rights (and) many multinational organizations have lost their way, focusing on partisan policy preferences while failing to defend fundamental rights.”
    Indeed, it was not only U.S. officials who named UN corruption as the reason why regimes like Cuba, China and Venezuela were being tasked with protecting the very rights they routinely abuse.
    Louis Charbonneau, the United Nations director at Human Rights Watch, placed blame on the very structure of council elections.    According to him, nominations depend on countries cutting deals with their regional neighbors in order to run unopposed.
    Charbonneau emphasized this process “makes a mockery of the word ‘election.’

10/14/2020 G20 Vows To Do ‘Whatever It Takes’ To Support Global Economy by Jan Strupczewski, Christian Kraemer and Andrea Shalal
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire leaves following the weekly cabinet meeting at the
Elysee Palace in Paris, France, October 14, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
    BRUSSELS/BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Financial leaders from the Group of 20 major economies on Wednesday underscored the urgent need to bring the spread of the coronavirus pandemic under control, and vowed to “do whatever it takes” to support the global economy and financial stability.
    In a lengthy communique, G20 finance ministers and central bank governors also agreed in principle for the first time on a “Common Framework” to deal on a case-by-case basis with the rising number of low-income countries facing debt distress.
    That marks a significant step forward for China, which has become a major creditor to poor countries in recent years, but had balked at the prospect of writing off any debts, according to sources familiar with the G20 deliberations.
    The final draft of the communique, viewed by Reuters on Wednesday during the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, said the officials would finalize the new framework at an extraordinary meeting before G20 leaders meet next month.    An earlier draft had the ministers adopting the framework, but officials were unable to reach agreement on that step this week.
    G20 officials also agreed to extend a freeze in official bilateral debt payments by six months, given continued liquidity pressure on low-income countries, and expressed disappointment about the absence of private-sector creditors in the moratorium.
    World Bank President David Malpass told G20 officials it was critical to look beyond the G20’s Debt Service Suspension Initiative, which only defers payments but doesn’t reduce them.
    He said the urgency of the crisis – which threatens to leave 150 million more people in extreme poverty by 2021 – required more forceful and quicker action on debt reduction for the most indebted of the world’s poorest countries.
    “The recession in advanced economies is less severe than had been feared, but in most developing economies, it has become a depression, especially for the poorest,” he said.
    “It’s urgent to make rapid progress on a framework because the risk of disorderly defaults is rising,” he said.
    G20 leaders, recognizing the uneven and highly uncertain outlook for the global economy, also pledged to continue to address the disproportionate impact the crisis has had on women, young people and other vulnerable segments of society.
    IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told a news conference that more international cooperation was needed to work on a vaccine, and early progress could boost global income by $9 trillion by 2025.
    “Nine months into the pandemic, we are still struggling with the darkness of a crisis that has taken more than a million lives, and driven the economy into reverse, causing sharply higher unemployment, rising poverty, and the risk of ‘a lost generation’ in low-income countries,” she said.
    “A durable economic recovery is only possible if we beat the pandemic everywhere,” she said.
    The IMF projects a partial and uneven recovery in 2021, with global growth expected to reach 5.2%, but has warned that significant risks remain, including the resurgence of the virus.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal in Washington, Christian Kraemer in Berlin and Jan Strupczewksi in Brussels; additional reporting by Leigh Thomas in Paris and David Lawder in Washington; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Paul Simao)

10/18/2020 Iran Sees No Arms Buying Spree As It Expects U.N. Embargo To End
FILE PHOTO: Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attends a news conference following a meeting with Russia's
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, Russia September 24, 2020. Russian Foreign Ministry/Handout via REUTERS
    DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran said it was self-reliant in its defense and had no need to go on a weapons buying spree as a United Nations conventional arms embargo was due to expire on Sunday despite strong U.S. opposition.
    “Iran’s defense doctrine is premised on strong reliance on its people and indigenous capabilities … Unconventional arms, weapons of mass destruction and a buying spree of conventional arms have no place in Iran’s defense doctrine,” said a Foreign Ministry statement carried by state media.
    The 2007 Security Council arms embargo on Iran was due to expire on Sunday, as agreed to under the 2015 nuclear deal among Iran, Russia, China, Germany, Britain, France and the United States that sought to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons in return for economic sanctions relief.
    Tensions between Washington and Tehran have soared since U.S. President Donald Trump in 2018 unilaterally withdrew from the deal, however.
    In August, the Trump administration triggered a process aimed at restoring all U.N. sanctions, after the U.N. Security Council rejected a U.S. bid to extend the conventional arms embargo on the country.
    “Today’s normalization of Iran’s defense cooperation with the world is a win for the cause of multilateralism and peace and security in our region,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter.
    Days after triggering the process, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Russia and China not to disregard the reimposition of all U.N. sanctions on Iran which Washington has demanded.
    When asked whether the United States would target Russia and China with sanctions if they refuse to reimpose the U.N. measures on Iran, Pompeo said: “Absolutely.”
    “We have already done that, where we have seen any country violate … the current American sanctions, we’ve held every nation accountable for that.    We’ll do the same thing with respect to the broader U.N. Security Council sanctions as well,” he said.
    Iran has developed a large domestic arms industry in the face of international sanctions and embargoes that have barred it from importing many weapons.
    Western military analysts say Iran often exaggerates its weapons capabilities, although concerns about its long-range ballistic missile program contributed to Washington leaving the Iran nuclear deal.
(Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Sonya Hepinstall)

10/26/2020 U.S. Appeals WTO Ruling On Its Multi-Billion Tariffs On China
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured outside the World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters next
to a red traffic light in Geneva, Switzerland, October 2, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The United States lodged an appeal on Monday against a WTO ruling last month that found U.S. tariffs imposed on China in 2018 breached global trade rules, a World Trade Organization (WTO) official said.
    A three-person panel had ruled that Washington had not justified why the tariffs imposed after a Section 301 investigation against China were a justifiable exception to its obligations.
    The U.S. delegation, in a speech seen by Reuters announcing its appeal, said that the panel report “reflects a major, missed opportunity for the WTO to begin to address the most serious problem faced by every member that seeks a balanced and fair world trading system: namely, aggressive, state policies that seek to dominate broad industrial sectors.”
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Michael Shields)

10/27/2020 U.N. In New York Cancels In-Person Meetings Over Coronavirus Infections
FILE PHOTO: The United Nations Headquarters is pictured as it will be temporarily closed for tours due to the spread of
coronavirus in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., March 10, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – The United Nations on Tuesday canceled all in-person meetings at its New York headquarters for the rest of the week after five people in Niger’s U.N. mission were infected with the novel coronavirus.
    After largely operating virtually since New York became a global COVID-19 hotspot in March, the 193-member world body had been holding some in-person gatherings again, with precautions such as requiring diplomats to wear masks, social distancing and restricting the number of people at meetings.
    In a letter to U.N. General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that “out of an abundance of caution and following medical advice” all in-person meeting should be suspended for the rest of this week “to allow for a better understanding of the extent of the exposure and for full contact tracing.”
    Niger is a member of the 15-member Security Council, which last met in person on Thursday.    Diplomats said people who attended Thursday’s meeting were being tested and an in-person meeting on Syria planned for Tuesday was instead held virtually.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Grant McCool)

11/4/2020 Iran’s Rouhani Says U.S. Policies Important, Not Who Becomes President
FILE PHOTO: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a news conference on the sidelines of the United Nations
General Assembly in New York, U.S., September 26, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan Mcdermid/File Photo
    DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday the result of the U.S. election was not important for the country’s clerical rulers, but that the next president in Washington should respect international treaties and laws.
    “For Tehran, the next U.S. administration’s policies are important and not who wins the U.S. election,” Rouhani said in a televised cabinet meeting.
    Democratic challenger Joe Biden has promised to rejoin Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six powers if Iran returns to compliance with it.
    President Donald Trump abandoned the deal in 2018 and reimposed sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy.    In retaliation, Iran has gradually reduced compliance with the deal’s terms.
    “We want to be respected, not subject to sanctions (by the United States).    No matter who wins the U.S. election … For us, policies and principles are important,” Rouhani said.
    Trump has said he wants to strike a new deal with Tehran that would address Iran’s missile programme and support for regional proxies in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.
    Iran has ruled out any negotiations unless Washington first returns to the accord.
(Writing by Parisa Hafezi, ; editing by John Stonestreet)

11/10/2020 Blocking Taiwan At WHO Will Increase Hostility To China, Premier Says
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured on the headquarters of the World Health Orgnaization (WHO)
in Geneva, Switzerland, June 25, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    TAIPEI (Reuters) – China’s efforts to block Taiwan’s participation at the World Health Organization (WHO) during the coronavirus pandemic will only increase the world’s hostility towards the country, the island’s premier said on Tuesday.
    Chinese-claimed but democratically run Taiwan says its inability to fully access the WHO, because of China’s objections, has created a gap in global pandemic prevention.    China and the WHO say that is untrue.
    On Monday, WHO member countries rejected a U.S.-backed appeal on for Taiwan to be permitted at a meeting of its decision-making body, the World Health Assembly (WHA). China had labelled the proposal illegal and invalid.
    Speaking to reporters, Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang said many countries supported the island’s participation in the WHA.
    “But China, because of political factors, has obstructed Taiwan, which has prevented the pandemic the best,” Su said.
    “This is not only suppressing Taiwan, it is in fact also damaging to the whole world, creating a rupture in pandemic prevention,” Su added.
    “What China has done will only cause more and more countries and people to stand up and condemn them.”
    The WHO says it cooperates with Taiwan on health matters, including on aspects of the pandemic, and that the island has been provided with the help it needs, but that it is up to member states to decide whether to invite it to the meeting.
    Taiwan has won praise for its early and effective steps to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and life there has continued more or less normally.
    China says Taiwan can only take part in such international bodies if it accepts that it is part of China, something Taipei’s government has refused to do.
    Su said that in the face of China’s threats, more and more Taiwanese recognise that they are a “sovereign and independent country and that China is the most unfriendly country towards Taiwan.”
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard. Editing by Gerry Doyle)

11/10/2020 U.S. Denounces Terms For WHO-Led Inquiry Into COVID Origins by Stephanie Nebehay
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured on the headquarters of the World Health Orgnaization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, June 25, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The United States, which has accused China of having hidden the extent of its coronavirus outbreak, called on Tuesday for a “transparent and inclusive” WHO-led international investigation into the origin of the pandemic, criticising its current terms.
    The Trump administration has accused the World Health Organization of being “China-centric” and of being its puppet, which WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has denied.
    Tedros revealed the team’s composition on Tuesday, telling the WHO annual ministerial meeting: “These are very respected individuals in their areas.”
    Team members came from Russia, Australia, Sudan, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, Vietnam, the United Kingdom and the United States, he said.
    The virus, known as SARS-CoV-2, is believed to have emerged in the Chinese central city of Wuhan late last year, possibly from bats at a market with live animals.
    Chinese scientists are carrying out research into its origins and how it jumped the species barrier.    The WHO-led international team formed in September is to develop plans for longer-term studies building on China’s findings, according to its published terms of reference.
    Garrett Grigsby, of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, told the WHO’s assembly that member states had been informed of the investigation’s terms of reference only a few days ago.
    The terms were “not negotiated in a transparent way with all WHO member states” and “the investigation itself appears to be inconsistent” with its mandate, he said, without elaborating.
    “Understanding the origins of COVID-19 through a transparent and inclusive investigation is what must be done to meet the mandate,” Grigsby said.
    Britain called for prioritising the probe, adding: “We expect the investigation and its outcomes to be grounded in robust science.”
    Sun Yang, of China’s National Health Commission, did not mention the investigation in his speech on Tuesday, but said that China supports “WHO’s continued leadership role.”
    German Health Minister Jens Spahn, speaking for the European Union on Monday, called for “full transparency and cooperation” during all phases of the investigation.
    WHO’s top emergency expert Mike Ryan said on Oct. 30 that the WHO-led team and its Chinese counterparts had held a first virtual meeting regarding joint investigations and would deploy on the ground in time.
    Trump announced a temporary halt to U.S. funding to the WHO in April, prompting condemnation from many world leaders.    The United Nations said in July it had received formal notification of the U.S. decision to leave the body next July.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Catherine Evans and Nick Macfie)

11/18/2020 Poland And Hungary Dig In Over EU Budget Stand Off by Marton Dunai and Alan Charlish
FILE PHOTO: Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban arrives for the first face-to-face EU summit since the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Brussels, Belgium July 19, 2020. John Thys/Pool via REUTERS
    BUDAPEST/WARSAW (Reuters) – The prime ministers of Poland and Hungary accused European Union countries of blackmail on Wednesday, digging their heels in after vetoing the bloc’s budget and post-COVID recovery package.
    The two countries on Monday blocked the EU’s 2021-2027 budget and the recovery plan, worth a combined 1.85 trillion euros ($2.2 trillion), because access to the funds would be conditional upon respecting the rule of law.
    Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that he would ask lawmakers to vote on a resolution supporting the government’s stance regarding the veto, after an address to parliament in which he railed against what he said was unequal treatment of some member states.
    “If our partners do not understand that we do not agree to unequal treatment of states … then we will really use that veto in the end,” he said.
    “The EU must be built on a foundation of law and legal certainty …. Without this principle of legal certainty, the EU is a mechanism of arbitrary decision-making by Eurocrats and de facto by the European oligarchy,” he added.
    He said one reason that some EU states wanted to pressure and “blackmail” Poland was the country’s opposition to tax havens.    “We will not let ourselves be blackmailed,” he said.
    Poland has made reforms of the judiciary a key plank of its bid to reshape Poland and remove what it sees as a residue of Communist influence.    Critics, including the European Commission, say the reforms are designed to increase political control of the courts.
    Hungarian Premier Viktor Orban, whose nationalist government is under investigation for undermining the independence of Hungary’s courts, media and non-governmental organisations, linked his veto to his continued opposition to mass immigration into the EU.
    “Once this proposal gets adopted, there will be no more obstacles to tying member states’ share of common funds to supporting migration and use financial means to blackmail countries which oppose migration,” Orban said in a statement published by state news agency MTI earlier on Wednesday.
    There was no immediate reaction to his comments from the EU’s executive Commission.
    The budget and recovery package do not have any specific clauses about immigration, which Orban has long opposed as a threat to national and European identity and culture.
    Political Capital analyst Patrik Szicherle said Orban’s comments were aimed at shoring up support among his nationalist base and at broadening his options in upcoming talks.
    “He wants to dilute the conditions enough not to limit his room for manoeuvre,” he said.    “At the same time frugal states like the Netherlands want firm conditions (to disbursement of funds)… This is a stalemate we don’t see a clear path out of.”
    The eastern states are big recipients of EU subsidies.
    Germany, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency, said on Tuesday it was confident of finding a compromise.
    Czech and Slovak foreign ministers, at a joint news conference on Wednesday, urged swift action to ensure a speedy release of money sorely needed to revive Europe’s pandemic-stricken economy.
    Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek said the German presidency could probably end the deadlock before year-end.
    Slovak Foreign Minister Ivan Korcok said the deadlock “does not please anybody… there is still space to find a solution, to depoliticise the whole issue.”
(Additional reporting by Jason Hovet in PRAGUE, Alan Charlish, Joanna Plucinska, Agnieszka Barteczko, Pawel Florkiewicz and Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk in WARSAW; Editing by Gareth Jones, Bernadette Baum and Mark Potter)

11/18/2020 ‘Blood On Your Hands’: Polish Ruling Party Boss Slams Opposition Amid Protests by Alan Charlish
People take part in a protest organized by the Strajk Kobiet (Women's Strike) movement, following a court ruling imposing
a near-total abortion ban, in Warsaw, Poland, November 18, 2020. Slawomir Kaminski/Agencja Gazeta/via REUTERS
    WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland’s ruling party leader accused opposition politicians of having “blood on their hands” for supporting protests the government blames for helping to spread COVID-19, as police kept demonstrators against an abortion ruling away from parliament.
    Protesters had planned to blockade parliament as part of demonstrations against a top court ruling that amounted to a near-total ban on abortion.
    Police kept them away from the building and local media reported that scuffles broke out in the city centre.    A left-wing lawmaker said a member of their party was beaten by police.
Television footage showed a line of riot police blocking the route of protesters.
    A police spokesman could not be reached for comment.
    “All the demonstrations you supported have cost the lives of many people — you have blood on your hands,” Law and Justice (PiS) party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski told opposition lawmakers in the parliament.
    PiS have blamed the protests for spreading COVID-19.
    Earlier footage from private broadcaster TVN 24 showed protesters playing drums and dancing in the street, while others carried placards with slogans including “Womens’ Hell.”
    While centred on abortion, the protests have seen a broader outpouring of anger at Poland’s nationalist rulers and their allies in the     Catholic church, the latest manifestation of a battle between liberals and religious conservatives that this time touches on the government’s response to COVID-19.
    Pictures on social media showed large numbers of police vans outside parliament before the protest was due to start.
    “The fact that there are so many police officers … shows that PiS are afraid of women,” left-wing lawmaker Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus told Reuters by telephone.
    A PiS spokeswomen could not immediately be reached for comment.
    The protests took place as Polish lawmakers met in the parliament to discuss issues such as the country’s veto of the European Union’s budget and a post-COVID recovery package.
(Reporting by Alan Charlish, Editing by William Maclean and Tom Brown)

11/19/2020 George Soros Urges EU To Stand Up To Hungary And Poland On Recovery Fund
FILE PHOTO: Billionaire investor George Soros attends the Schumpeter Award in Vienna, Austria June 21, 2019. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner
    LONDON (Reuters) – Billionaire financier George Soros said the European Union must stand up to Hungary and Poland and cannot afford to compromise on the rule-of-law provisions it applies to the funds it allocates to member states.
    Hungary and Poland on Monday blocked the adoption of the 2021-2027 budget and recovery fund by European Union governments because the budget law included a clause which makes access to money conditional on respecting the rule of law.
    This delay the launch of the 1.8 trillion euro package that combines the EU’s long-term budget and the bloc’s economic recovery plan.
    In a Project Syndicate article published on Thursday, Soros said Hungary and Poland’s veto of the EU budget and coronavirus recovery plan could be circumvented.
    If there is no agreement on a new EU budget, the old budget could be extended on a yearly basis.    If this is the case, Poland and Hungary would risk not receiving any payments under new rule of law conditions, the financier and philanthropist argued.
    “The EU can’t afford to compromise on the rule-of-law provisions,” Soros wrote.    He added that in the case of Hungary, EU funds should be directed to local authorities.
(Reporting by Dhara Ranasinghe; editing by Sujata Rao)
[WELL SOROS IS TAKING A BREAK FROM TRYING FORCE THOUSANDS OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS FROM 3 SOUTH AMERICAN COUNTRIES WHICH A TRUMP WALL HAS STOPPED THAT NOW, THEN HE PAID FOR THE LEGALITY TO TRY TO IMPEACH TRUMP WITH A PHONY PHONE CALL INPUT WHICH FAILED AND MADE THE DEMOCRATS IN CONGRESS LOOK LIKE IDIOTS, AND WHATEVER HE WAS DOING BEFORE ALL THIS POSSIBLE RUSSIAN COLLUSION AND FLYNN DISMISSAL OCCURRED AND NOW THIS HE SEEMS TO HAVE HIS HANDS WITH STACY ABRAMS IN THE GEORGIA U.S.A. ELECTIONS WITH CORRUPTION BY THE DEMOCRATS WHICH HAS BEEN UNCOVERED NOW.    SO UNDERSTAND SOROS IS PURE EVIL HE IS PART OF THE GLOBALIST AND THEY ARE WHAT WE KNOW AS THE COUNCIL OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS WHICH IS A GROUP OF VERY WEALTHY WORLD-WIDE MULTII-BILLIONAIRE PERSONS OR BUSINESSES AND THIS IS WHAT WE REFER TO AS THE DEEP STATE WHO HAS ATTACKED TRUMP FROM DAY ONE AND IS GETTING PRETTY DESPERATE EPECIALLY IF THIS FAKE BIDEN PRESIDENCY FAILS AND TRUMP WINS FOR 4 MORE YEARS WHICH I HOPE WILL WAKE UP THE REST OF AMERICA TO WHAT IS REALLY HAPPENING.].

11/19/2020 Hungary Reiterates It Cannot Back EU Budget In Its Present Form
FILE PHOTO: Gergely Gulyas, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff speaks during
an interview in his office in Budapest, Hungary on September 16, 2019. REUTERS/Gergely Szakacs
    BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Hungary cannot accept the European Union’s budget and post-COVID recovery package in its present form as it amounts to “blackmail,” Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff reiterated on Thursday.
    “There is zero chance for the EU budget or the rescue package to take effect in its present form,” Gergely Gulyas told a briefing, saying Hungary’s veto was “in past tense.”
    Hungary and Poland on Monday blocked the EU’s 2021-2027 budget and recovery plan, worth a combined 1.85 trillion euros ($2.2 trillion), because access to the funds would be conditional upon respecting the rule of law.
    Orban, whose nationalist government is under investigation for undermining the independence of Hungary’s media and non-governmental organisations, has linked his veto to his continued opposition to mass immigration into the EU.
    Gulyas said that “in theory” the EU budget and the so-called Next Generation recovery fund could be treated separately.
    However, he said in practice it would be difficult because leaders considered them together in July, and there could be several member states which would find it unacceptable that the recovery fund takes effect, while the future of the budget is uncertain.
(Reporting by Krisztina Than; Editing by Giles Elgood)

11/22/2020 Erdogan Says Turkey Sees Itself A Part Of Europe
FILE PHOTO: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks after a cabinet meeting
in Ankara, Turkey, November 17, 2020. Presidential Press Office/Handout via REUTERS
    ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that his country, an official candidate for European Union membership, sees itself as an inseparable part of Europe but will not give in to attacks and double standards.
    “We see ourselves as an inseparable part of Europe…However this does not mean that we will bow down to overt attacks to our country and nation, veiled injustices and double standards,” Erdogan said in a speech to the members of its AK Party.
    Turkey’s drilling activities in a disputed part of the eastern Mediterranean have raised tensions with the EU as Turkey locked in a dispute with and Greece and Cyprus over the extent of their continental shelves and hydrocarbon resources.
    EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said this month that Turkey’s rhetoric on Cyprus was aggravating tensions with the EU and Ankara had to understand that its behaviour was “widening its separation” from the bloc.
    The EU will discuss Turkey’s pursuit of natural gas exploration in contested waters in the eastern Mediterranean at their next summit in December, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday.
    “We do not believe that we have any problems with countries or institutions that cannot be solved through politics, dialogue and negotiations,” Erdogan said.
    Erdogan, connected to the event through videolink, said that the EU should keep its promises regarding the migrants issue and making Turkey a full member of the bloc.    He was referring to a 2016 deal under which Ankara curbed migrant entries into Europe in exchange for financial help and visa-free travel in the Schengen region.
    Turkey recently extended the seismic survey work being carried out by its Oruc Reis ship in a disputed part of the eastern Mediterranean until Nov. 29, according to a naval notice.
(Reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by Andrew Heavens, William Maclean)
[I REMEMBER WHEN TURKEY LET THE POPE COME TO YOUR COUNTRY AND NO ONE KILLED HIM AND THE REASON FOR THAT IS WHY THE POPE CAME BECAUSE TURKEY WAS TRYING TO BE JOINED WITH THE EUROPEAN UNION AND THAT WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED IF THEY KILLED HIM AND NOW AFTER ALL THIS TIME YOU ARE NOT ONE OF THE ORIGINAL 10 NATIONS THAT THEY CLAIM IS THE ORIGIN COUNTRIES MINUS GREAT BRITAIN AND ALL THE OTHER 18 NEW MEMBERS ARE ASSOCIATE COUNTRIES WHICH IS A LOWER CLASS WITH I ASSUME IS A LESSER VOTE BLOCK.].

11/27/2020 WHO Says Would Be ‘Highly Speculative’ To Say COVID Did Not Emerge In China
Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the World Health Organisation (WHO) attends a news conference on the Ebola outbreak in
the Democratic Republic of Congo at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland May 3, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization’s top emergency expert said on Friday it would be “highly speculative” for the WHO to say the coronavirus did not emerge in China, where it was first identified in a food market in December last year.
    China is pushing a narrative via state media that the virus existed abroad before it was discovered in the central city of Wuhan, citing the presence of coronavirus on imported frozen food packaging and scientific papers claiming it had been circulating in Europe last year.
    “I think it’s highly speculative for us to say that the disease did not emerge in China,” Mike Ryan said at a virtual briefing in Geneva after being asked if COVID-19 could have first emerged outside China.
    “It is clear from a public health perspective that you start your investigations where the human cases first emerged,” he added, saying that evidence might then lead to other places.
    He repeated that the WHO intended to send researchers to the Wuhan food market to probe the virus origins further.>br>     The WHO has been accused by the Trump administration of being “China-centric,” allegations it has repeatedly denied.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay and Emma Farge in Geneva and Michael Shields in Zurich; Writing by Nick Macfie; Editing by Toby Chopra)
[AS YOU CAN SEE THE WHO HAS BOUGHT INTO THE WORLD GOVERNMENT SYSTEM WHICH IS IN WITH CHINA ALSO AND IF TRUMP DOES CONTINUE IN U.S. POLITICS HE WILL BE THE ONE WHO WILL HELP IN CREATING A NEW HEALTH ORGANIZATION FOR ALL COUNTRIES AS THE WORLD KNOWS THAT TRUMP CAN GET THINGS DONE AND PROTECT THE PEOPLE AND THEY WILL WANT TO JOIN IT JUST TO TEE THEM OFF AND THEY WILL HAVE MANY DOCTORS, ETC. MOVE TO IT WHICH WOULD DEVASTATE THE EXISTING WHO.].

11/28/2020 Iran Tells U.N. ‘Serious Indications’ Of Israeli Responsibility In Scientist’s Death
A view shows the site of the attack that killed Prominent Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh,
outside Tehran, Iran, November 27, 2020. WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS
    (Reuters) – Iran said there are “serious indications of Israeli responsibility” in the assassination of an Iranian scientist and it reserves the right to defend itself, the country wrote in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the U.N. Security Council on Friday.
    “Warning against any adventuristic measures by the United States and Israel against my country, particularly during the remaining period of the current administration of the United States in office, the Islamic Republic of Iran reserves its rights to take all necessary measures to defend its people and secure its interests,” Iran’s U.N. envoy, Majid Takht Ravanchi, wrote in the letter, which was seen by Reuters.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Leslie Adler)

11/29/2020 Opposition Calls On Hungary’s Orban To Sack Museum Head For Likening Soros To Hitler
FILE PHOTO: Billionaire investor George Soros speaks to the audience at the
Schumpeter Award in Vienna, Austria June 21, 2019. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner/File Photo
    BUDAPEST (Reuters) – A leading Hungarian opposition party joined calls on Sunday for Prime Minister Viktor Orban to sack the head of a state-funded museum for making extreme anti-Semitic comments likening U.S. financier George Soros to Adolf Hitler.     Nationalist Orban has long vilified Soros, a Hungarian Jew who emigrated after World War Two, as part of a general campaign against immigration.    Orban accuses Brussels of trying to force Hungary to accept migrants under the influence of Soros.
    In an op-ed published on Saturday, Szilard Demeter, who heads the Petofi Literary Museum and serves as a government cultural commissioner, called Soros “the liberal Fuhrer” and wrote that Europe was Soros’ “gas chamber” with “poisonous gas” flowing from the capsule of multicultural open society.
[I like this guys opinion because his eyes are open and not asleep like others.].
    Hungarian Jewish groups including the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities called the comments “unforgivable” and “an ugly provocation.”
    The main leftist opposition party the Democratic Coalition called for Demeter’s immediate dismissal.
    “The Democratic Coalition expects from the government that Szilard Demeter should be unemployed by the end of today.    A man like him has no place in public life, not just in a European country but anywhere in the world,” it said.
    The government has not replied to emailed Reuters questions on whether they shared Demeter’s views.
    Referring to a budget row between Poland and Hungary and the European Union, Demeter said Poles and Hungarians were the “new Jews” who were targeted by liberals who tried to expel them from the bloc.
    Poland and Hungary have said they would block a new European Union budget and coronavirus recovery fund if rule-of-law conditions are attached.
    Israel’s embassy tweeted that it utterly rejected “the use and abuse of the memory of the Holocaust for any purpose… There is no place for connecting the worst crime in human history, or its perpetrators, to any contemporary debate, no matter how essential.”
    Soros has been at odds with Orban’s government for years for pouring funds into liberal organisations and institutions in Hungary.    In 2019 the Central European University he founded said it was being forced out of the country by the nationalist government and moved most of its operations to Vienna.
(Reporting by Krisztina Than; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)
[Poland and Hungary are the only smart countries in the world who stopped the leftist liberals from taking over their universities before they pushed their values on their students like they have done to the United States universites, so they are smart and president Trump is now trying to fight back from that take over during the 8 years of the Obama administration and in his 4 year administration he has been attacked in every way possible while they let it fester in all the universities in Obama's push the agenda of Globalist policies to overthrow the U.S. and all must understand that George Soros who is a member of the Councel of Foreign Affairs associated with the New World Order or a World Government is forming who is what we call the DEEP STATE and has taken over the Washington D.C. Swamp also and has even reached into the corruption of our voting systems to push a takeover of the president position and the man in the picture above is one of those involved in that action.    So we all are praying to God to help Trump defeat them if not that will tell me that we are definitely in the end times that the Bible reveals.].

11/29/2020 Brazilian President: There Is Widespread Evidence Of Voting Fraud In US by OAN Newsroom
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL – JULY 27: President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro looks on before a match between Palmeiras and Vasco for the
Brasileirao Series A 2019 at Allianz Parque on July 27, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Miguel Schincariol/Getty Images)
    The president of Brazil said he plans to wait “a bit longer” to recognize a winner of the U.S. presidential election.
    On Sunday, Jair Bolsonaro told reporters he thinks it’s wise to allow President Trump’s legal arguments to go through in court before congratulating a winner.
    He also said there is evidence of widespread voting fraud, though he added he’s not sure whether it was enough to sway the election.
    “It is one of those countries that is the ‘mother of democracy,'” Bolsonaro stated.    “Now, the media does not report on this but I have my sources of information.    It’s no use talking to you, they won’t disclose it, but there was a lot of fraud there.”
    He also criticized his own country’s voting system by saying it would be much more secure if it switched back to paper ballots.

11/30/2020 EU Starts Debate On How Best To Improve Post-Trump U.S. Relations, Officials Say
FILE PHOTO: European Union flags flutter in front of the European Commission
headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, October 2, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union will begin discussions on Monday on how best to improve transatlantic relations after the departure of U.S. President Donald Trump, EU officials said.
    Ambassadors from the 27 EU countries are due to consider five broad policy areas on which they see greater opportunities for cooperation with President-elect Joe Biden after four strained years with Trump.
    Those areas on health, notably fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, boosting the economic recovery, combating climate change, promoting peace and security and upholding shared values, including a belief in multilateral rules.
    EU leaders are expected to debate transatlantic relations when they convene for a summit on Dec. 10-11.
    Charles Michel, the former Belgian prime minister who heads the grouping of EU nations called the European Council, has invited Biden to an in-person summit in the first half of 2021, with a virtual summit perhaps soon after he takes office.
    European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said the United States and the European Union need to forge a new transatlantic alliance in areas such as climate change and the digital economy.
    Many European leaders watched with shock as Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris climate change agreement and the Iran nuclear deal, slapped tariffs on EU goods and spurned multilateral bodies that America has backed for decades.
    Von der Leyen said the EU was looking forward to the United States rejoining the Paris agreement, which Biden has said he will do.
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop, editing by Robin Emmott)
[Well it is obvious that the European Union countries are into the World Government Globalist policies and why the UK got out knew that and we are unsure if Poland and Hungary will stay in it or not if the U.S. who has supported them is unsure of their future.].

12/1/2020 U.N. Security Council Unlikely To Act On Iran Scientist Killing, Diplomats Say
Members of Iranian forces carry the coffin of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh during a funeral ceremony
in Tehran, Iran November 30, 2020. Iranian Defense Ministry/ WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Just hours after the assassination of a top Iranian nuclear scientist, Tehran demanded the United Nations Security Council condemn the killing and take action against those responsible, but diplomats say the call is likely to go unheeded.
    At a minimum, the 15-member body could discuss Friday’s killing of nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh behind closed doors if a member requests such a meeting or it could agree on – by consensus – a statement on the issue.
    But South Africa’s U.N. ambassador, Jerry Matjila, council president for December, said on Tuesday that no member had so far requested to discuss the killing or Iran in general.    Diplomats also said there had been no discussion of a statement.
    The Security Council is charged with maintaining international peace and security and has the ability to authorize military action and impose sanctions.    But such measures require at least nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the United States, France, Britain, Russia or China.
    While no party has claimed responsibility for the killing of Fakhrizadeh – viewed by Western powers as the architect of Iran’s abandoned nuclear weapons program – Iran has accused Israel.    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office has declined to comment.
    The United States traditionally shields Israel from any action at the Security Council.    Washington has declined to comment on the assassination of the scientist.
    The U.N. investigator on extra-judicial executions, Agnes Callamard, said on Friday that many questions surrounded the killing of Fakhrizadeh, but noted the definition of an extraterritorial targeted killing outside of an armed conflict.
    Callamard posted on Twitter that such a killing was “a violation of international human rights law prohibiting the arbitrary deprivation of life and a violation of the U.N. Charter prohibiting the use of force extraterritorially in times of peace.”
    Iran also addressed its letter on Friday to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. In response, Guterres urged restraint and condemned “any assassination or extra-judicial killing,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Saturday.
    The Security Council is due to meet on Dec. 22 for its biannual meeting on compliance with a resolution that enshrines a 2015 nuclear accord between world powers and Iran, which U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration quit in 2018.
    Any council member or Iran could choose to raise the killing of Fakhrizadeh during that meeting.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Peter Cooney)

12/5/2020 Revamped, Less Political, UNESCO Sets Sights On Tricky U.S. Return by John Irish
FILE PHOTO: The UNESCO logo is seen during the opening of the 39th session of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at their headquarters in Paris, France, October 30, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo
    PARIS (Reuters) – Four years after the United States quit UNESCO, the United Nations’ cultural agency, over accusations of anti-Israel bias, diplomats say the Paris-based body has managed to put its house in order, potentially easing the way for Washington’s return.
    The agency, founded in the ashes of World War Two to protect the common cultural inheritance of humanity, was thrown into turmoil after the United States, which provided a fifth of its funding, pulled out.
    It underscored the skepticism expressed by Republican President Donald Trump about the need for the United States to remain engaged in multilateral bodies and set the tone for a review and exit of several international accords and organizations.
    But that could be about to change.    While no direct contact has taken place with the incoming administration, diplomats say Democratic President-elect Joe Biden is open to a return, although congressional issues may slow that down.
    “The U.S. withdrawal was tough, but it enabled it (UNESCO) to go back to basics,” said a European diplomat.    “That meant trying to depoliticize it, especially with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian issue, which took precedence over everything.”
    UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – is best known for designating and protecting archaeological and heritage sites, from the Galapagos Islands to the tombs of Timbuktu.
    Most of its activities are uncontroversial, but when it came to, say, resolutions about how religious sites should be run in Jerusalem, every word was studied for accusations of bias.
    According to diplomats, those tensions have calmed with resolutions now passing more easily after direct mediation between UNESCO and the two parties, even though Israel also pulled out of the organization.
    “UNESCO made very good improvements in terms of appeasing some of the political tensions and polarizations.    It’s better managed and better managed financially,” Henok Teferra Shawl, Ethiopia’s envoy to the body, told Reuters.
    He added that its director-general, Audrey Azoulay, was last week endorsed by a majority of the 58 Executive Board member states ahead of next year’s election, opening the door to her re-election – in stark contrast to a bitter campaign in 2017.
FINANCIAL HOLE
    The body has had to fill a gaping financial hole.    The United States left with $542 million in arrears.    By 2017, UNESCO’s budget of about $300 million was half of its 2012 budget, meaning it was forced to freeze hiring, cut programs and fill gaps with voluntary contributions.
    UNESCO says the budget from member states is now $534.6 million, with a further $189 million coming from extra voluntary budgetary contributions.
    A U.S. return, done through a letter informing the body, would also mean that Washington would repay its arrears at some stage.
    Biden has a history with the organization.    He went to UNESCO when he was vice president and his wife, Jill, has been involved in past teaching programs.
    But things may prove complicated given a U.S. law that forbids the United States from funding U.N. bodies that have admitted Palestine as a full member, although a waiver can be sought.
    “Biden has said that he wants to renew with multilateralism, so UNESCO should be one of those which benefits from that, but the Palestinian issue may complicate the speed of that return,” said a U.S. official who asked not to be identified.
(Reporting by John Irish; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
[Well it is easy to see that the Globalist World Government is drooling from its mouth to push back on the incoming Democrat takeover of the U.S. to get funding for the enemy of Israel.].

12/7/2020 European Powers Rebuke Iran After Uranium Enrichment Announcement
PARIS (Reuters) -France, Germany and Britain said on Monday they were alarmed by an Iranian announcement that it intended to install additional, advanced uranium-enriching centrifuges and by legislation that could expand its nuclear programme.
    “If Iran is serious about preserving a space for diplomacy, it must not implement these steps,” the three powers, who along with China and Russia are party to a 2015 nuclear containment deal with Tehran, known as the JCPoA, said in a joint statement.
    A confidential International Atomic Energy Agency report obtained by Reuters said Iran plans to install three more cascades, or clusters, of advanced IR-2m centrifuges in its enrichment plant at Natanz, which was built underground apparently to withstand any aerial bombardment.

12/7/2020 EU Tells UK’s Johnson To Decide As Time Runs Out For Brexit Deal by Gabriela Baczynska, John Chalmers and Guy Faulconbridge
FILE PHOTO: The British Union Jack and European flags fly in front city hall, in Sangatte, France, March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
    BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) – British and European Union negotiators made a last-ditch effort on Monday to bridge stubborn differences standing in the way of a post-Brexit trade deal, but they had at best 48 hours left to avoid a disorderly parting of ways at the end of this month.
    “EU-UK negotiations have entered the endgame, time is running out quickly,” said an EU diplomat after the bloc’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier gave member states’ envoys to Brussels a downbeat assessment of the state of play.    “It is for the UK to chose between … a positive outcome or a no deal outcome.”
    With growing fears of “no-deal” chaos after London finally leaves the EU’s orbit on Dec. 31, talks resumed before British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen review the situation in a call at 1600 GMT.
    Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin, whose country would be the hardest hit of the 27 EU states if there is no trade accord, put the chances of a deal at 50-50.    Investment bank JPMorgan said its odds on a no-deal had risen to one third from 20%.
    The British pound tumbled on concerns that there would be no agreement covering annual trade worth nearly $1 trillion.
    Barnier told members of the European Parliament in a separate briefing that negotiations could go on until Wednesday, but no further, Ireland’s RTE news said.
    EU diplomats said the ball was now in Johnson’s court.
    “People need to understand that the British are playing with fire here and the fire can burn everybody and that’s something we should all try to avoid,” said Mairead McGuinness, Ireland’s commissioner in the EU executive.
    However, the Sun newspaper reported that Johnson, a figurehead for Britain’s campaign that led to a ‘vote leave’ victory in a 2016 referendum, was ready to pull out of the talks within hours unless Brussels changed its demands.
    In London, a lawmaker in Johnson’s governing Conservative Party said France would have to make concessions on fishing, and the EU would have to drop what he said were new demands on fair competition known as the level playing field.
HIGH RISK FOR ECONOMIES
    Britain, which joined the EU in 1973, formally left the bloc on Jan. 31 but has been in a transition period since then under which rules on trade, travel and business remain unchanged.
    For weeks, the two sides have been haggling – as yet without a result – over fishing rights in British waters, ensuring fair competition for companies and ways to solve future disputes.
    Failure to secure a deal would clog borders, upset financial markets and disrupt delicate supply chains across Europe and beyond as the world tries to cope with the vast economic cost of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Sterling fell by more than 1% to six-week lows versus the euro and also dropped against the dollar to $1.327, a U-turn in market sentiment from Friday when it had risen above $1.35 for the first time this year.
    With just days left for a deal to be agreed, EU diplomats said it was a decisive moment for both the United Kingdom and the bloc which built the ruined nations of Europe into a global power after the devastation of World War Two.
    In a move that could further undermine the talks, the British government will press ahead with draft laws this week that would breach London’s earlier divorce treaty with the bloc.
    Junior Foreign Office Minister James Cleverly said on Monday the clauses that breach the treaty would be re-inserted.
(Additional reporting by Elizabeth Piper, Sujata Rao-Coverley, Paul Sandle and Sarah Young in London, and Conor Humphries in Dublin, Writing by Guy Faulconbridge and John Chalmers, Editing by Timothy Heritage, William Maclean)

12/7/2020 Chairman Of Smartmatic’s Parent Company To Become President Of George Soros’s ‘Open Society Foundations’ by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this June 21, 2019 file photo, George Soros, founder and chairman of the Open Society Foundations,
looks before the Joseph A. Schumpeter award ceremony in Vienna, Austria. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak, File)
    Billionaire George Soros has appointed the chairman of Smartmatic voting system’s parent company as president of his far-left global organization.
    Over the weekend, Open Society Foundations announced Lord Mark Malloch-Brown is set to take over the position next month.
    The move comes after b>Smartmatic sold voting technology to foreign-owned Dominion, which is the controversial software used to count votes in 24 U.S. states for the 2020 election.
    Meanwhile, Smartmatic-tied Dominion voting service is facing backlash over what President Trump has described as instances of fraud in the 2020 elections.
    “In one Michigan County as an example, that used Dominion Systems, they found that nearly 6,000 votes had been wrongly switched from Trump to Biden,” stated the President.    “And this is just the tip of the iceberg, this is what we caught.”
    Smartmatic has faced controversy in the past with allegations of rigging the 2013 election in Venezuela to favor socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

12/8/2020 Analysis: EU Sees No Abrupt End To Trump Tariffs When Biden Takes Charge by Philip Blenkinsop
FILE PHOTO: (L-R) EU Council President Donald Tusk, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe,
U.S. President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian Prime Minister
Justin Trudeau attend a work session during the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, August 26, 2019. Ian Langsdon/Pool via REUTERS
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – When EU leaders gather this week for their last summit of the Donald Trump era, expect fulsome declarations of hope for a renewed transatlantic alliance under Joe Biden, but rather less to be said about a sudden end to Trump’s trade war.
    Disputes over steel tariffs, tech taxes and airplane subsidies will not be resolved overnight: after four years of deep freeze, the best that officials hope for is a slow thaw.
    “Expecting a big bang on trade under Biden is unrealistic.    Buy America will still be there.    The tariffs will not just disappear,” said an EU official working on trade.    “A success might be just no new conflict.”
    From climate change to security, there is a wide range of issues on which Europeans hope for an almost immediate improvement in cooperation from a new U.S. president, after years of thinly veiled hostility from his outgoing predecessor.
    But trade is tougher. Not only are tariffs that Trump imposed on European steel and aluminium in 2018 hard to lift, but Washington could even impose new levies on French handbags and cosmetics as soon as next month, just before Biden takes office.
    “The United States has for many years not been a friendly partner for European countries,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on the day after the U.S. election last month, noting that the outcome would not alter U.S. interests.
    “They are rivals, sometimes with confrontation, when we are threatened and hit by American sanctions.”
EASY TO WIN
    Overturning decades of free trade consensus was a central part of Trump’s “America First” agenda.    In 2018, declaring that “trade wars are good, and easy to win,” he shocked allies by imposing tariffs on imported steel and aluminium from most of the world.
    While Trump later dropped tariffs against Australia, Japan, Brazil and South Korea in return for concessions, he kept them in place against more than $7 billion worth of EU metal.    The bloc retaliated with tariffs on more than $3 billion worth of U.S. goods, from orange juice and blue jeans to Harley Davidson bikes, and took its case to the World Trade Organization.
    EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the bloc would prefer a “friendly agreement” over a WTO legal challenge.    Nevertheless, the EU has said it will more than double its retaliatory tariffs if it secures a favourable WTO ruling, or in March 2021, whichever comes first.
    While Biden promises to be more predictable than Trump, he is not expected to lift the steel tariffs immediately.    Even if he wants to, he could run into reluctance from producers in “rust belt” states such as Michigan and Pennsylvania that secured his election win.
    Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, director of trade think tank ECIPE, said the United States was unlikely to award Europe a “free pass,” noting that countries that had offered concessions to have their tariffs lifted could complain if Europe won better treatment.
    The next big dispute coming down the path is over digital services taxes, which Europeans want to impose on global tech companies that now pay little tax in the countries where their customers live.
    Although international negotiations are under way on the issue, France has already introduced a levy on online revenues, and the EU says it will unveil a similar policy for the entire bloc from mid-2021 if the talks fail.
    If the Trump administration follows through on threats next month, Biden could inherit new 25% tariffs on French luxury goods, as well as pressure to defend America’s biggest companies, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft.
    The best prospect for an early rapprochement may come in a dispute that pre-dates Trump, a 16-year-old quarrel between Boeing and Airbus over state subsidies, which led to retaliation from both sides.    Sources have described high-level negotiations under way as “substantive.”
    “There’s a chance there could be progress, even before the inauguration,” said an EU source.
    Resolving future trade disputes could become easier, if Biden reverses Trump policy that paralysed the WTO by blocking the appointment of judges to its appellate body.    A first step could be backing a candidate agreed by others to fill the vacant post of WTO director general, said Reinhard Buetikofer, a German trade expert for the Greens in the European Parliament.
    “The disruption of trade relation under Trump will not just fade away when he leaves office.    It needs active trust-building,” Buetikofer said.    “This will be a step-by-step process, not a sudden revolution.”
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; additional reporting by Andrea Shalal in Washington, Leigh Thomas in Paris, Michael Nienaber in Berlin; Editing by Peter Graff)

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