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Links 10/21/2021

Summary:
A Drone Will Rescue Three Dogs Trapped by La Palma Volcanic Eruption Gizmodo Trapped in amber: Fossilized dinosaur-era crab bridges evolutionary gap ars techica (Chuck L) Goodbye, Columbus: Vikings crossed the Atlantic 1,000 years ago Reuters (Kevin W). This is news? A new report shows how climate change is hurting your health NPR (David L). Funny, I was more mosquito-chomped this fall than in recent summers. The Ocean Cleanup Successfully Hauls 20,000 Pounds of Plastic From the Pacific Ocean MyModernMet (David L) See How the Dixie Fire Created Its Own Weather New York Times America Has a Sperm Shortage. One Man Is Reaping All the Benefits Esquire (resilc) A salmonella outbreak is linked to onions from Mexico sold in the U.S. NPR (David L) #COVID-19 Covid: WHO warns pandemic will drag

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Lambert Strether writes Links 11/25/2021

Yves Smith writes Links 11/24/2021

Yves Smith writes Links 11/18/2021

Lambert Strether writes Links 11/17/2021

A Drone Will Rescue Three Dogs Trapped by La Palma Volcanic Eruption Gizmodo

Trapped in amber: Fossilized dinosaur-era crab bridges evolutionary gap ars techica (Chuck L)

Goodbye, Columbus: Vikings crossed the Atlantic 1,000 years ago Reuters (Kevin W). This is news?

A new report shows how climate change is hurting your health NPR (David L). Funny, I was more mosquito-chomped this fall than in recent summers.

The Ocean Cleanup Successfully Hauls 20,000 Pounds of Plastic From the Pacific Ocean MyModernMet (David L)

See How the Dixie Fire Created Its Own Weather New York Times

America Has a Sperm Shortage. One Man Is Reaping All the Benefits Esquire (resilc)

A salmonella outbreak is linked to onions from Mexico sold in the U.S. NPR (David L)

#COVID-19

Covid: WHO warns pandemic will drag on into 2022 BBC. Pathetic. Not a hard call given the calendar and surges.

Putin orders nonwork week as COVID numbers rise in Russia Associated Press

Science/Medicine

Contrast the WHO’s “Water is wet” prognostication above with GM’s cheery update:

So someone finally measured the neutralization reduction and other properties of C.1.2 (the highly divergent non-Delta South African variant)

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.10.19.463727v1.abstract

Not surprisingly, it is even more resistant than Mu/B.1.621, by a factor of 1.5-1.8 or so.

The scale of the assays is different, but in this one it is 7.8x for C.1.2 vs. 4.7x of B.1.621, while in the previous study that measured B.1.621, it was 12x for B.1.621. The 12x is probably the more accurate number because the other variants they tested there were close to their typical numbers, while here they are lower (e.g. this study finds 4.4x reduction for Beta/B.1.351 rather than the usually measured 8x)

Anyway, you get the picture, this is likely blitzing past existing antibodies with ease.

The good news is that ACE2 affinity seems to have decreased and that it is not as fusogenic as Mu/B.1.621. Which would imply lower transmissivity.

But, with one major caveat — there are actually quite a few variations of C.1.2 out there and they did not test the one that has many of the Mu/B.1.621 mutations, but the less mutated version. My bet is that C.1.2 + the R436 and T478 mutations is more dangerous.

In practice, it also seems to have not gone away in South Africa but even increased a bit in September:

https://outbreak.info/situation-reports?pango=C.1.2&selected=ZAF&loc=ZAF

So we will see what happens.

But in any case, this shows how easy it was to evolve really serious escape.

And since May 2021 the variant incubator that is South Africa has been working hard with a Delta template, so who knows what will come out of there. We will find out when the next wave starts.

Meanwhile we will still be injecting 2019 virus vaccines for most, if not all of 2022…

A cancer survivor had the longest documented COVID-19 infection. Here’s what scientists learned Science

US

A shocking number of US nurses are quitting, but a majority would stay for more money Quartz (resilc). Here because primarily a Covid effect, risk combined with lack of combat pay adjustment.

New York City Issues Covid-19 Vaccine Mandate for All Public Employees Wall Street Journal. No testing.

Right-Wing Radio Host Dennis Prager ‘Kept Hugging People’ to Give Himself COVID Vice

Finance/Economy

Moderna won’t share its vaccine recipe. WHO has hired an African startup to crack it NPR

China?

China Evergrande shares tumble after failure of sale talks Nikkei

Evergrande is ‘just the beginning’: Professor says more firms must exit China’s property sector CNBC

How Sen. Manchin just Positioned Chinese Firms to dominate the Green Energy Markets of the 21st Century, Leaving the US in the Dust Juan Cole

Biden’s pick for China ambassador says ‘we cannot trust the Chinese’ on Taiwan Guardian

India

US still sees India as ‘challenging’ for business Asia Times (Kevin W)

ECB pushes banks to boost their post-Brexit operations Financial Times

Old Blighty

UK facing ‘terrifying’ food and drink price rises, industry warns MPs Independent

UK music industry faces ‘slow, steady decline’ because of Brexit barriers Politico

Welcome to Britain, the bank scam capital of the world Reuters (reslic)

New Cold War

Sochi probes the Utopia of a multipolar world Pepe Escobar

Russia to suspend direct diplomatic ties with NATO from November with US-led bloc’s Moscow mission ordered to close – FM Lavrov RT (Chuck L)

Syraqistan

Afghan Officials Admit Driving Luxury Car in London As Country Fell to Taliban Vice (resilc). We have such good taste in allies.

Report: Israel Approves $1.5 Billion Budget for Potential Attack on Iran Antiwar

Vice President Harris Confronts a Reality Gap Counterpunch. Palestine.

Assange

House Intelligence Committee Seeks Answers from CIA on Plot Against Assange Joe Lauria (furzy)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Investors Use AI To Analyze CEOs’ Language Patterns and Tone Reuters

Imperial Collapse Watch

Economic Update: Signs of System Decline Richard Wolff, YouTube (furzy)

Sanctions Are an Inherently Indiscriminate Weapon Antiwar (resilc)

Trump

Trump announces new social media network called ‘TRUTH Social’ The Hill

Biden

Biden’s CBP Pick Supports Title 42 and Border Wall Construction Intercept. “Nothing fundamental will change.”

Biden accepts shredding of his social welfare/climate bill WSWS

Sinema’s Opposition Stymies Democrats’ Planned Tax-Rate Increases Wall Street Journal. WSJ exclusive:

Senate Democrats are considering abandoning central tax elements of their social policy and climate package, as a key senator continues to oppose any increase in marginal rates for businesses, high-income individuals or capital gains, according to people familiar with the matter.

Democrats Look for Tax Options If They Have to Ditch Rate Hikes Bloomberg

Democrats Face a Choice Whether to Expand Health Care Coverage to the Elderly or the Poor New Republic. Resilc: “EZ, poor don’t vote. USA USA. But another 10 bil a year for DoD.”

160 GOP reps warn Joe Biden to fix supply chain crisis before pushing his embattled spending plans they say is slowing America’s COVID recovery Daily Mail

Speaking of the elderly: “Kyrsten Sinema Fought For Seniors” Daily Poster

Fossil Fuel Drilling Plans Undermine Climate Pledges, U.N. Report Warns New York Times (Kevin W). U.N. apparently has to honor the fiction that the US is agreement capable.

Obstacles Biden could face in changing approach to climate cost-benefit analysis Yale Climate Connections

Hunter Biden pitched himself as expert in Russian oligarch targeted by FBI: Devine New York Post

Senate Republicans again block sweeping voting rights bill Guardian

LACERA files lawsuit against Los Angeles County Pensions & Investments (Joe R). LACERA wants to be CalPERS.

Supply Chain

Backlog of cargo ships at southern California ports reaches an all-time high Guardian

The MacBook Pro is the future of Apple’s ports mess Wired (Kevin W)

Mark Zuckerberg Will Be Added as a Defendant in Lawsuit Over Cambridge Analytica Scandal Gizmodo (Kevin W)

Tesla says new factories will need time to ramp up, posts record revenue Reuters

Price for drug that reverses opioid overdoses soars amid record deaths Guardian (Carla)

How to achieve full decolonization New Internationalist (Chuck L). MMT strikes again!

Class Warfare

Workers Wanted: Miners Offered $100k Per Year As Coal Prices Soar OilPrice

IATSE Struggles to Sell Proposed Deal to Membership Mike Elk

Antidote du jour (guurst):

Links 10/21/2021

And a bonus:

See yesterday’s Antidote du Jour here.

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