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  • Writer's pictureWatch and Pray

Weekly round-up of news: 3 April

The past few weeks has been very difficult to source news for my weekly updates. Every media outlet whether mainstream or alternative are reporting only on the Coronavirus.

At a time when the nation is under lockdown in an effort to try and combat the spread of Covid-19 - with over 38,000 reported cases in the UK at time of publishing and a death toll exceeding 3,000 - you would think the last thing on anyone’s mind would be to add to the numbers of dead. Strangely, however, that is not the case. On the contrary, abortion providers have taken advantage of the crisis to ramp up pressure in their campaign to reduce the number of doctors required to sign off on abortions from two to one, and to allow women to take the pills at home without medical supervision. Specifically, they called for an amendment to be attached to emergency coronavirus legislation legalising what has been branded ‘telemedicine abortion’: allowing women to talk to a doctor over the phone or online and then have the two pills sent to her to take unsupervised at home.

A woman was fined £660 after being wrongly charged under coronavirus laws, British Transport Police has admitted. Marie Dinou, 41, from York, was arrested at Newcastle Central Station on Saturday after she refused to tell police why she needed to travel. The dangerous breakdown of the rule of law - People are being arrested and convicted for crimes that do not exist.

The Coronavirus Bill, having sailed through the House of Commons, is expected to become law today. The Bill gives the government and the authorities unprecedented new powers, unheard of in a democracy during peacetime. Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch, has warned that these powers are unreasonably draconian, and could be here to stay long after the threat of the virus has dissipated. spiked caught up with Carlo to find out more.

Buried in the vast Act is a clause that will increase the risk of those who are already most vulnerable. This clause removes local councils’ duties to provide care for disabled people unless it is a breach of their human rights. Under normal circumstances, this would have disastrous consequences for many people, but at a time when a large number of the 1.5 million of us will be self-isolating and shielding for months on end — to protect not only ourselves but also the functioning of our extremely precious NHS — this could be potentially devastating.

The CDU and FDP are actually planning a legislative package that should allow the state government to act quickly. But paragraph 15 is a tough one: Anyone who has an apprenticeship in a healthcare profession should be allowed to work. The contact details of all medically trained personnel should be given. The basic rights to physical integrity and freedom of the person "can be restricted", says the law. If nurses who are called in are opposed, they face a fine of up to 500,000 euros.

As the lockdowns go into place and the military takes to the streets in country after country, the decades of preparation for medical martial law are finally paying off for the pandemic planners. Today on this emergency edition of The Corbett Report podcast, James lays out the steps that have led us to the brink of martial law and the steps that are being taken to implement it now. Please help to spread this important information and to raise awareness of the crisis that we are facing.

As people from Europe to India, to the US, to Latin America are being asked to stay at home to stop the coronavirus contagion, the question on everyone’s mind is: how will they earn a living? That’s why UBI is making its comeback…. So far, no government has taken the step of launching UBI, even if some of the measures adopted provide for direct cash payments to affected citizens. Are we being timid? Is the coronavirus pandemic the time to launch UBI, in every country, forever? According to Guy Standing, a Soas professor and a co-founder of the Basic Income Earth Network, definitely. Standing worked with the Labour party to sketch out a UBI pilot that found its way into its 2019 election manifesto, and has just published a book, Battling Eight Giants, detailing all the reasons why UBI has become an urgent necessity.

Former UK prime minister Gordon Brown has urged world leaders to create a temporary form of global government to deal with the coronavirus crisis….. On Thursday, G20 leaders agreed during a virtual summit to do “whatever it takes” to minimise the social and economic damage of the COVID-19 pandemic. A statement issued after the meeting said G20 members had undertaken a $5 trillion (€4.5 trillion) stimulus through targeted fiscal policy and insurance schemes, and members would look to increase funding to multilateral bodies as required. Central bank governors were urged to draw up an action plan with finance ministers.

The central bank of France has launched an experimental program to test the integration of digital euro in settlement procedures. Announcing the news on Monday, the central bank said the program has a three-fold objective: to show how traditional interbank settlement can be carried out using central bank digital currency (CBDC), identify the benefits of CBDC, and analyze effects of CBDC on financial stability and monetary policy.

In proposals, BoE sees opportunity to improve “expensive, slow, and opaque” cross-border payments system. The BoE (Bank of England) this month released a 57-page discussion paper entitled “Central Bank Digital Currency, Opportunities, challenges and design”, outlining the future of payments in the UK and the global implications of digital currencies. BoE Governor Mark Carney introduced the document stating “A CBDC could provide households and businesses with a new form of central bank money and a new way to make payments” whilst also raising some “significant challenges for maintaining monetary and financial stability”.

Fears for those without bank cards as shoppers switch to contactless to avoid virus. Cash usage in Britain has halved in the past few days, according to Link, which operates the UK’s biggest network of ATMs. The closure of shops, a shift to contactless payments, plus concerns that notes may harbour the virus has contributed to the dramatic decline.

The coronavirus pandemic has spread to many aspects of life. But one of its early and unexpected impacts seems to be on cash — or, more specifically, cash transactions….. Concerns about coronavirus may be stymying cash transactions, but the use of notes and coins has been in decline for years. Global firm Research and Markets predicted last year that Australia could become the Asia-Pacific's "first cashless society" by 2022.

Further reading: Covid-19, cash, and the future of payments - The Covid-19 pandemic has fanned public concerns that the coronavirus could be transmitted by cash…. Looking ahead, developments could speed up the shift toward digital payments. This could open a divide in access to payments instruments, which could negatively impact unbanked and older consumers. The pandemic may amplify calls to defend the role of cash - but also calls for central bank digital currencies. The technology of retail central bank digital currency (from the Bank for International Settlements Quarterly Review) - Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) promise to provide cash-like safety and convenience for peer-to-peer payments.

This week a technology startup called Unacast launched a new app called "Social Distancing Scoreboard," which tracks the GPS location of smartphones and grades geographical regions, such as a town, county, and or even a state, on how well residents in those areas are abiding by the government-enforced social distancing rules.

In recent weeks, EU member states have closed their borders, banned exports of critical supplies and withheld humanitarian aid. The European Central Bank, the guarantor of the European single currency, has treated with unparalleled disdain the eurozone's third-largest economy, Italy, in its singular hour of need. The member states worst affected by the pandemic — Italy and Spain — have been left by the other member states to fend for themselves. Europe Struggles to Find a Joint Approach to the Corona Catastrophe -

While the unemployment rate stood at just 4% prior to the coronavirus outbreak, over 844,000 individuals applied for unemployment benefits since the start of March. The vast majority - nearly 90% - are employees placed on unpaid leave. A further 6.4% have been made redundant. Netanyahu, much of Israeli top brass in quarantine as health minister gets virus

The world’s aviation industry has been hit hard by the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, and one of the most pressing issues for airlines is figuring out where to park their fleets. Currently, an estimated 7,500 of the world’s 8,800 commercial planes are grounded.

Among the airliners grounded are at least 383 Boeing Max 737s, which have been banned from flying since March 2019, following two fatal accidents involving the American manufacturer’s aircraft.

"[Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus], he's the director-general of the World Health Organization. He got his job with Chinese support after he covered up cholera outbreaks in his home country [Ethiopia]," Carlson said on "Tucker Carlson Tonight." "A perfect man to lead the World Health Organization. And he has subsequently set the standard for corruption there." Please note that this is not first time WHO has failed the public. Back in 2003, they did the same thing with the SARS, please watch this Canadian documentary, Inside the SARS outbreak: What went wrong? (2003) - The Fifth Estate which covered the incompetence of the WHO. The whole of the UN is corrupt and it doesn’t help that the majority of their leaders are socialists and communists. China Uncensored also has been covering the latest cover up by China and WHO.

Blue and White leader Benny Gantz opposes unilateral settlement annexation, sources close to him said on Sunday, as negotiations continued for a unity government. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to apply Israeli law to all Israeli towns in the West Bank, in the framework of US President Donald Trump’s peace plan, which allows for annexation beyond just the settlements, of 30% of the West Bank. The other 70% would become a demilitarized Palestinian state. Gantz met with Trump in Washington in January, the day before the plan was presented to the public, and said: "I will work toward implementing it from within a stable, functioning Israeli government in tandem with other countries in our region." Several days later, Blue and White, which he led at the time, said it would bring the entirety of the Trump plan to a vote in the Knesset.

The Joint Arab List is an alliance of parties that rejects Israel's right to exist. Its members work openly in the Knesset, in the courts and in the international arena to delegitimize the Jewish people's right to self-determination and to undermine Israel's ability to defend itself from external attack and internal subversion. Blue and White's willingness to work with the alliance called into question the Israeli Center-Left's commitment to the continued existence of the Jewish state. The public outcry their actions provoked compelled Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz and his fellow former IDF chief Gabi Ashkenazi reverse course and seek a unity government with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the right-wing bloc. By abandoning their coalition with the Joint Arab List, Gantz and Ashkenazi prevented large-scale civil unrest which would have been devastating at any time. In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, it would have been disastrous.

The enmity between Turkey and Syria is a longstanding component of the modern Middle Eastern political arena. It is concealed from time to time by other regional trends and events, but it is always present. Syria was the only state of the Arab League’s 22 member states to recognize the Armenian Genocide (though Lebanon eventually recognized it as well). This mutual hostility has deep roots. In 1918-21 the Turkish Guney Cephesi (the “southern front”) saw a series of conflicts. On one side were French, Arab, and Armenian forces penetrating from Aleppo and Idlib in northern Syria, and on the other were Turkish national forces led by the government of the Grand National Assembly in Ankara. At issue was control over Adana, Mersin, and Cilicia. Erdoğan Battles on Multiple Fronts in Risky Regional Power Bid

Evangelicals slam NYC's threat to 'permanently' close churches that defy coronavirus order

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s assertion that churches and synagogues will be “permanently” closed if they refuse to obey a stay-at-home order banning large gatherings in light of the coronavirus pandemic has drawn the ire of national Christian leaders. At a March 27 press briefing, de Blasio singled out Christian and Jewish congregations and threatened that agents would shut down their houses of worship if they held in-person services….. Across the country, a small minority of pastors and churches are continuing to hold in-person religious services despite social distancing orders in their states. Meanwhile, many congregations are holding services online only….. How come he doesn’t mention mosques?

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