Categories
Journalism

Coronavirus (COVID-19): New Developments, Calculating Discrepancies, and Analysing Intel Stories

UK-specific numbers

As of 17 April 2020:

TOTAL CASES: 108,692.

ACTIVE CASES: 93,772

PATIENTS WHO DIED: 14,576.

PATIENTS DISCHARGED: 344.

How can I check the UK numbers for myself?

The GOV (2020) has recently created a more accessible dashboard at coronavirus.data.gov.uk. By visiting such link you will be able to access the number of total cases, the number of lab-confirmed daily cases, the number of total deaths, and the number of daily deaths.

For more specific statistical information, such as the total number of active cases, and the percentage of cases per 1 million population, visit worldometers.info/coronavirus.

How can I calculate the number of recoveries?

You can calculate the recoveries by subtracting the total of active cases and the total deaths from the total number of cases, much like the following formula:

#total cases – #active cases – #deaths = #recoveries.

108692 – 93772 – 14576 = 344.

Is the number of recoveries being reported appropriately?

No. There is something suspicious about the number of recorded recoveries. The number ‘344’ as calculated above was first published on the 9th April, 2020. Since then, Worldometers (2020) has been showing “N/A” in the relevant UK box only. This gives the impression that nobody else has recovered, or has been discharged from hospital since then. However, the evidence shows that such is not the case. For instance, the media (Cooper, 2020) reported that prime minister Boris Johnson was discharged from hospital on the 12th April, 2020. Nevertheless, the number of recoveries continued to show as 344. Furthermore, there have also been news coverages of patients who have been treated successfully and have consequently been discharged from hospital, such as the story published on BBC News (2020) featuring a 106 years old patient who was discharged from Birmingham’s City Hospital on the 15th April, 2020. Yet, the numbers did not register this or any other recovery, and as can be seen from the above calculation, the number continues to add up to 344. All this shows that there is something wrong with the numbers, and this by all means causes anxiety to those who want to have a clear understanding of the death rate in the UK. It is also demotivating to those who are making efforts to follow the medical advice available.

Why are accurate numbers crucial to good mental health?

In order for people to make good decisions through the COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential that the threat is appraised correctly. With false information, life can feel too uncertain to cope with, and some might develop feelings of confusion, panic and consequential self-neglect. Trusting in our government and in our newspapers has never been more important. Losing such trust can elicit disorder, and reduce health behaviours associated with a stable response. In order for people to successfully follow protocol, and to be motivated to self-protect, the information has to be free from deception. In order to allow the public to feel efficient in their efforts, the number of recoveries should be publicised, not skewed or censored. Whilst death is indeed a tragic stimulus, taking into account recoveries can serve as a positive reinforcement to those working in the frontline, and to those self-isolating. We do not want to enter a collective state of despair and depression. We are already experiencing a collective state of grief. This is why it is so crucial to report all numbers accurately, not just the bad ones. As the government continues to neglect and censor the good news, hope is being taken away from the British people, and that is by all means unfair and unacceptable.

Are there any new major developments?

After things had relaxed in China, and as of the date of this writing, there has been a new high record of reported deaths. In the past few days and weeks, China had been reporting less than 10 deaths per day, however, today it has again reported 1,290 deaths (Worldometers, 2020) which is certainly a reason to worry as it was thought that the crisis was over in China, and this is why the Chinese government was easing on its restrictions as reported by the The Guardian (Falush, 2020) at the end of March. This is certainly worth taking into account, especially since there have been fears of a second wave of the outbreak.

Moreover, here I share 5 stories that I personally found worth mentioning:

  • 13th March: Barrett (2020) reported concerns from the United States about some statements made by the Chinese government which claimed that the US military allegedly took the coronavirus to Wuhan. The US has responded by classifying the meetings related this conversation. This has led some journalists to feel that the COVID-19 crisis has the potential to trigger WWIII [read here].
  • 30th March: Guy et al. (2020) reported that the Spanish Royal, Princess Maria Teresa died of coronavirus [read here].
  • 9th April: Fiorillo (2020) reported that at least 150 members of the Saudi Royal family have become infected with the coronavirus and patients are being moved from hospitals in order to make room for the privileged [read here].
  • 11th April: BBC Newsround (2020) reported that animals all around the world are taking over the empty cities since the global quarantine has made human beings disappear from normally crowded spaces [read here].
  • 12th April: Sabbagh (2020) reported that the UK’s intelligence agencies MI5 and MI6 have urged the government of the UK to reconsider the industrial relationship we have with China after the crisis has ended due to suspicions [read here].

References

Barrett, K. (2020) ‘US biological warfare against China could lead to World War III’, PressTV, 13 March [Online]. Available at https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2020/03/13/620800/US-biological-warfare-against-China-could-lead-to-WW3 (Accessed 17 April 2020).

BBC News (2020) ‘Coronavirus: “Oldest” patient discharged from Birmingham hospital’, 15 April [Online]. Available at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-52296196 (Accessed 17 April 2020).

BBC Newsround (2020) ‘Coronavirus: Animals takeover cities during self-isolation’, 11 April [Online]. Available at https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/51977924 (Accessed 17 April 2020).

Cooper, C. (2020) ‘Boris Johnson discharged from hospital’, Politico, 12 April [Online]. Available at https://www.politico.eu/article/boris-johnson-discharged-from-hospital/ (Accessed 17 April 2020).

Falush, D. (2020) ‘As the west is in lockdown, China is slowly getting back to business’, The Guardian, 30 March [Online]. Available at https://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2020/mar/30/lockdown-china-coronavirus-outbreak (Accessed 17 April 2020).

Fiorillo, C. (2020) ‘At least 150 Saudi royals have coronavirus as patients are moved out of top hospitals to make way for “the elite”‘, The Sun, 9th April [Online]. Available at https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/11362826/saudi-royal-family-coronavirus-elite-hospital/ (Accessed 17th April 2020).

GOV.UK (2020) ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the UK’, 17 April [Online]. Available at https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/ (Accessed 17 April 2020).

Guy, J., Ramsay, M. and Lister, T. (2020) ‘Spanish princess becomes first royal to die from coronavirus’, CNN, 30 March [Online]. Available at https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/30/europe/spanish-princess-coronavirus-death-scli-intl/index.html (Accessed 17 April 2020).

Sabbagh, D. (2020) ‘UK spy agencies urge China rethink once Covid-19 crisis is over’, The Guardian, 12th April [Online]. Available at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/12/uk-spy-agencies-urge-china-rethink-once-covid-19-crisis-is-over (Accessed 17 April 2020).

Worldometers (2020) ‘Reported Cases and Deaths by Country, Territory, or Conveyance’, in COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, 17 April [Online]. Available at https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries (Accessed 17 April 2020).

Categories
Journalism

Against Antisemitism

Yemenite Jews en route from Aden to Israel, during the Operation Magic Carpet (1949–1950).

Context:

NEWS REPORTS: “Last year, there were 1,652 antisemitic incidents in the UK, a 16% increase on the year before, including verbal abuse on the streets. If you fail to extend solidarity to a victim of antisemitism because you do not agree with their politics, then you do not truly oppose antisemitism at all”.

FACTS AND FIGURES: “The most common type of incident involved verbal antisemitic abuse directed at Jewish people, with 724 incidents. There was a fall of 17% in the number of violent antisemitic assaults, from 149 in 2017 to 123 last year, including one classified by the CST as “extreme violence”. There were 78 incidents of damage or desecration to Jewish property.”

TESTIMONY: “That isn’t to say someone who is the victim of abuse should not be criticised. I confess, dear reader, that I have one or two critics out there: I would never argue that I should be immune from scrutiny because I receive homophobia and death threats every day, or because I have been repeatedly chased by far-right activists “

(The Guardian, 2019)

References:

The Guardian: Whatever Luciana Berger’s Politics, Labour Members Must Stand with her Against Antisemitism

The Guardian: Antisemitic Incidents in UK at Record High for Third Year in a Row

Wikipedia: Antisemitism

Categories
Journalism

Factual Broadcasting: Meteorology

Article
References
Article

Hippocrates believed that in order to study medicine properly, it was essential to also study the seasons. In society, people consume and debate weather forecasts on a daily basis to plan their schedules and to review plans. Nevertheless, little is ever mentioned about the ways in which such forecasts represent the bigger picture, the circumstances to come, the methods used to conduct prediction, or the bureaucratic structures that drive forward the scientistic approach to broadcasting. How does it go from data to media? This essay aims to answer such question by exploring the science of meteorology, some of its historical contexts, and some of its wide

applications.

 

We are living in an age when weather forecasting is subject to the technological development of meteorology and climatology. There are many reasons why these sciences have made it to daily news and lifestyle. Not only does meteorology allow scientists to create a more accurate picture of the past, but it also helps society understand current events, as well as possible future catastrophes. That is essentially what weather forecasting is. “It is widely accepted that the weather is something of a British obsession… an awareness of the impact of ‘weather stories’ in the media is vital if information regarding changes in the Earth’s climate are to be conveyed effectively.” (Keeling, 2009).

 

Satellites, high-speed electronic computers and telecommunication systems are not something new. Weather stations, as well as military ships and aircraft have monitored these meteorological conditions for a while. Artificial satellites such as the International Space Station record polar orbital data, which is transmitted every 24 hours- the time it takes to map the full globe (The Open University, 2016). Additional information- which often comes in the form of images- is transmitted to ground stations for analysis every hour. Satellite images are powerful because they show things that the human eye cannot see, such as invisible radiation emitted from warm planetary bodies. These remote geostationary observations are able to record an electromagnetic spectrum from space. Once the hourly sequence of satellital data is transmitted to different stations through radio signals, it is then fed to the World Meteorological Organization for global sharing. All this, mixed with locally collected surface data (wind and air masses) is what forms a weather forecast that is then disseminated through television or the Internet to the public.

 

Common measurements found within a scientific weather forecast are atmospheric surface pressure, the temperature of the air; the speed and direction of the wind; rainfall and precipitations; humidity; cloud formations; and visibility, among other things. These elements become part of extreme weather reports and climatological archives. Analog instruments used to perform such observations must first be calibrated accordingly, and used in ways that can contribute to the forecast model and the weather chart. Nevertheless, automated electronic meteorological data can be fitted and distributed in something as small as a modern digital wristwatch. According the Open University: “An automated weather monitoring station is essentially a set of electronic sensors linked to a telecommunications channel that need be little more than a mobile phone or a wireless radio link” (The Open University, 2016). This is relevant to economists, who believe that data is now a more valuable resource than oil (Elvy, 2017).

 

Postmodernism looks into how technology challenges tradition, with the Internet of Things being an undeniable portal of global interaction implemented in local structures, similarly to weather stations. News broadcasts provide individuals and audiences with relevant, formalized and public information. Data transmitted in news coverages is rarely random or isolated. Its form is structured into understandable narratives that have social and public relevance. For instance, when it comes to television broadcasts, each frame is a perspective composed of information and form (Gronbeck, 1997). Weather forecasting has a technical nature, and its tempo is rapid in television (Lutcavage, 1992). Even though this art is something acknowledged as mundane, some of the information provided in journals about this practice is quite disturbing. In April 2009, the UK Meteorological Office (the Met Office) was subjected to a media scandal following the issued summer forecast. The audience expected a “barbecue summer”, but instead, they experienced a really wet summer. Since then, the trust the people placed on the forecasters decreased, nevertheless the industry made it out unscathed from such situation (Keeling, 2009).

“These forecasts by government meteorologists in Regional Forecast Offices, formerly present in every major city, though today often restricted to major metropolitan centers… The trials and tribulation in the workaday lives of these forecasters, as well as their defeats and victories, make an interesting story. But it is not so much a scientific story as a story of the sociology of work under conditions of close management in a bureaucratized regime… The Internet as we know it today embodies not one but a series of imagined worlds, conceived in the minds of people from a variety of backgrounds and brought into existence through their dedication and hard work and through chance” (Greene, 2009).

 

In contrast, The Latin American Studies Association published an article where the impact that climate is having on society and individual well-being was explored. Among their conclusions, they stated that such predictions have become more accurate and more widely distributed than in the past (Orlove, 2011). Since 1873, The WMO has strived towards the global cooperation of the forecast model (The Open University, 2016). According to a report published by them in 1975, “meteorology offers an extremely rich and varied field of activity. In the first place, it is a physical science with broad openings for research… a fact which cannot be ignored in the study and formulation of solutions to problems of such consequence to mankind as: hunger in the world; limited resources of raw materials; man’s considerable energy needs, and; the protection of the environment” (WMO, 1975)

 

In conclusion, weather forecasts are important in society because they provide information about the past, the present and future; as well as an idea of socio-economic factors that can arise from climatological conditions. Surface stations, meteorological satellites; as well as radiosondes and aircraft, are used to conduct the required measurements that compose a weather broadcast. The media industry has played a major role in the dissemination of such predictions, which are part of a global framework that is built through internationally shared data coordinated by the World Meteorological Organization since 1873, and consumed by the masses for planning and schedule. The role of the military in weather forecasting is an area where further research can be implemented for a better understanding of the bureaucratic nature of such sciences.

References

Burton, J. (1986). Robert FitzRoy and the Early History of the Meteorological Office. The British Journal for the History of Science, 19(2), 147-176. Available at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4026590 [accessed on April 1, 2018]

 

Elvy, S. (2017). PAYING FOR PRIVACY AND THE PERSONAL DATA ECONOMY. Columbia Law Review, 117(6), 1369-1459. Available at:  http://www.jstor.org/stable/44392955 [accessed on April 1, 2018]

Greene, M., and Fine, G. (2009). Isis, 100(1), 195-197.

Gronbeck, B. (1997). Tradition and Technology in Local Newscasts: The Social Psychology of Form. The Sociological Quarterly, 38(2), 361-374. Available at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4120741 [accessed on April 3, 2018]

 

Hippocrates (n.d). On Air, Waters and Places. Available at: classics.mit.edu/Hippocrates/airwatpl.mb.txt [accessed on April 1, 2018]

Keeling, S. (2011). Weather forecasts – a matter of trust. Geography, 96(1), 16-21. Available at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41320321 [accessed on April 1, 2018]

 

Lutcavage, C. (1992). Authentic Video in Intermediate German. Die Unterrichtspraxis / Teaching German. Available at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3530869 . [accessed on April 1, 2018]

 

OpenLearn, (2016). Watching The Weather. Milton Keynes: The Open University. Available at: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/science-maths-technology/science/environmental-science/watching-the-weather/content-section-0?active-tab=description-tab [Accessed on April 9, 2018]

 

Orlove, B., Taddei, R., Podestá, G., & Broad, K. (2011). ENVIRONMENTAL CITIZENSHIP IN LATIN AMERICA: Climate, Intermediate Organizations, and Political Subjects. Latin American Research Review, 46, 115-140. Available at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41261394 [accessed on April 1, 2018]

 

World Meteorological Organization (2014). Commission for Instruments and Methods of Observation. Saint Petersbourg, WMO-No. 1138. Available at: https://library.wmo.int/pmb_ged/wmo_1138_en.pdf [accessed on March 31, 2018]

 

World Meteorological Organization (2018). WMO Statement on the state of the global climate in 2017. Geneva, WMO-No. 1212. Available at: https://library.wmo.int/opac/doc_num.php?explnum_id=4453
[accessed on April 1, 2018]

 

World Meteorological Organization (1975). Seventh World Meteorological Congress. Geneva, WMO-No. 428. Available at: https://library.wmo.int/pmb_ged/wmo_428_en.pdf [accessed on April 1, 2018]

Categories
Journalism

101: Death of David Rockerfeller, Economics & Poverty

David Rockerfeller, the father of modern economics and consumer society (also known in the underground community as “the king of the New World Order”), expired on Monday 20/03/2017 whilst he slept, aged 101, as a result of congestive heart failure.

There are two sides to every coin, and Mr. Rockerfeller was no exception. When it comes to figures of great power, such as the members of this family; information tends to vary. This article aims to explore the different sides to David Rockerfeller in a neutral way, so the reader can make their own opinion based on facts, rather than hearsay.  

All links can be found in the “references” section.

 

BACKGROUND

He graduated at Harvard in 1936, before going to the London School of Economics, where he properly met John F. Kennedy.  He later returned to the US and received a Ph.D from the University of Chicago. Soon after that, he worked for eighteen months as the secretary to the New York major of the time, on “a dollar a year” public service salary.

He also served in the army during World War II, after which he started his successful career at Chase Bank in 1946 as an assistant manager, until he retired in 1981 as chief executive and chairman. During the time he was alive, he was highly influential, respected by the most powerful authority figures of the world (both, political and religious); and successfully became the oldest billionaire alive.

Mr. Rockerfeller accumulated great wealth from a young age, influenced by his mother, who helped him see what made any business work. He was seen as the guardian of the family’s fortune and he taught his children that wealth brings great responsibilities. [References]

 

YIN – “The Dark Legacy”

Mr. Rockerfeller was a figure of nobility, seen as the unspoken king of the “one world order”. Even though he was publicly involved with the global market, and the social change stemming from such; it is also believed that he had a dark side which he was extremely circumspect about. Anonymous News reports: “he was largely successful in hiding his most significant wrongdoings from public view… lived his entire life in the echelons of U.S. society, becoming symbolic of the elite who often direct public policy to a much greater extent than many realize, albeit often from the shadows”. [References]

In other words, he had much more influence over international politics than he admitted to. Some believe this is a result of his inherited, multi-generational, family power, position, and wealth. He had personal ties with members of the Central Intelligence Agency, and some even claim that he was directly involved with the second world war. The Israelite national press reported in 2010: “Sweden’s Center Party has promised to take action following the discovery that one of its candidates for Parliament [Ove Sviden] blames Jews and US magnate David Rockefeller for the second World War as well as the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States”. [References]

Moreover, he is blamed for specific dark traits that entered society, the market, and culture in general.During his time as Chase CEO, Rockefeller helped laid the foundation for repressive, racist and fascist regimes around the world, as well as architecture for global inequality”. He was also judged for the trades he attempted to consolidate during the cold war”. [References]

 

YANG – “The Light Legacy”

Rockerfeller was celebrated by many as a passionate art collector, a globalist, and a philanthropist. He was admired by A listers in the celebrity community and by political figures. “Many organizations have been promised vast sums of money upon Rockefeller’s death”. The Family Fund has sponsored many programs, among which are the Marshall Project, Free Press, and Free Speech for People. [References]

David Rockerfeller pledged $100 million to the Museum of Modern Art, $100 million to the Rockerfeller University, and $100 to Harvard. Furthermore, on his 100th birthday, he donated 1000 acres of land. In total, it is estimated that he gave away over two billions during his lifetime.

He is credited with the project that led to world trade center. David Rockefeller wielded power and influence without ever seeking public office. Among his many accomplishments were spurring the project that led to the World Trade Center”. [References]

 

THE LINK BETWEEN THE ECONOMY & POVERTY

When it comes to economy, one controversy stands: the platform of transparency that is expected of leading governments of the world has been tainted by the different crimes committed in the name of the oil industry. David Rockerfeller was a corporate master, and a pioneer. “He is part of a family dynasty whose name is associated with America and has become legend. His grandfather John D Rockefeller who died in 1937 was the founder of Standard Oil and the world’s richest individual.” [References]

First-world governments are worth trillions, and some spend over $500 billion (USD) per year in military alone . One question arises: Why is there poverty in a world where the bodies acting in people’s behalves (authorities, politicians, royalty) are given huge amounts of money from taxation to solve these things? But talking about world poverty… How much is it really needed to end global poverty? The Borgen Magazine reported in 2014: “According to a 1998 United Nations estimate, providing education, water, sanitation, nutrition and basic health care to the entire population of every developing country would cost $40 billion. Adjusted for inflation, the cost to end global poverty would be approximately $58 billion today”. Nevertheless, many believe that by 2017, the price is a lot higher than that. David Rockerfeller left a net worth of $3.3 billion. So he alone could not have eradicated poverty. [References]

Why are private, independent charities known to help more effectively than the people we have chosen as leaders? Questioning the system is essential if we want to truly understand the roots of inequality occurring in consumer society. Forbes stated on the matter: We just don’t count the money that alleviates poverty as actually reducing poverty. That’s it, really: spend vast sums but pretend that it has no effect… $550 billion is indeed spent on the poor so therefore there shouldn’t be any poverty.” [References]

 

FUN FACTS FOR INQUISITIVE MINDS

  • David Rockerfeller actually admitted to the conspiracy of the “One World Order” to being true in his autobiography. Although strangely, this information got heavily censored online and some links can only be viewed through the Web Archive.[References]
  • Wikileaks has 945 documents published in their archives about David Rockerfeller. [References]
  • He refused several political positions that were offered to him during his life, such as the United States Secretary of The Treasury role. [References]
  • His eldest son, David Rockerfeller Jr. is mentioned in the podesta series of Wikileaks. Moreover, Wikipedia is flagging his page as “to be deleted”. [References]

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REFERENCES

  1. [~BBC News: US Billionaire Philanthropist D. Rockerfeller Dies at 101]
  2. [~Anonews: The Real Story of David Rockerfeller]
  3. [~Fox Business: Billionaire Banker, Philanthropist]
  4. [~Anonews: Rockefeller Says Conspiracy About ‘One World Order’ is True]
  5. [~Wikipedia: David Rockerfeller]
  6. [~Rockerfeller Family Fund: Programs]
  7. [~Worlds Truth: The True Legacy of D. Rockerfeller]
  8. [~WKBN 27: Guardian of Rockerfeller Fortune]
  9. [~Wikileaks: Syria Files, “17 May Worldwide Media Report”]
  10. [~Fox News: David Rockerfeller]
  11. [~Cambridge Dictionary: Philanthropist]
  12. [~Oil Change International: The Price of Oil Corruption]
  13. [~Forbes: How Can There be Poverty in the US?]
  14. [~Wikileaks Archives: David Rockerfeller Documents]
  15. [~Web Archive: D.R. Says Conspiracy About ‘One World Order” is True]
  16. [~Borgen Magazine: How Much Money Would End Global Poverty?]
  17. [~Amazon Books: The End of Poverty, by Jeffrey Sachs]
  18. [~Wikiquotes: David Rockerfeller]
  19. [~Infowars: Globalist David Rockerfeller Dead at 101]
  20. [~Wikileaks: Podesta e-mails, “FW: More on the 17th”]