Wealthy Countries Are to Blame for the Omicron Variant’s Spread

On Monday, Joe Biden held a press conference to calm Americans concerned about the newly discovered omicron variant of Covid-19, which the World Health Organization recently described as a “variant of concern.” First sequenced in a lab in South Africa, omicron is the second strain, after the now-familiar delta, to cause alarm given its unique genetic profile. It’s the kind of mutation that’s incubated in places with particularly low vaccination rates.

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Op-Ed: Payouts for whistleblowers aren’t enough. Workers need to know they can make a difference

Last month, a former employee of Deutsche Bank hit the jackpot. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission awarded this publicly unnamed whistleblower almost $200 million for supplying “specific, credible, and timely original information” that aided the agency in its investigation into the illegal rigging of inter-bank interest rates. This was the largest whistleblower payment in history.
The former bank employee now joins a select group of whistleblowers who not only spoke out and were heard by the authorities, but also were rewarded handsomely for their effort.

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Here’s What We Know About the COVID-19 Omicron Strain So Far

Michael Ciaglo/Getty

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Yes, a new variant has emerged. On Friday, the WHO designated a fourth, possibly more transmissible “variant of concern”—B.1.1.529 or Omicron—after a steep increase in COVID-19 infections in South Africa.
Health officials have detected the variant in Belgium, Britain Botswana, Hong Kong, Israel, and the United Kingdom. As of Friday, there have been no cases of Omicron detected in the United States, according to the CDC.

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Trump stoked Covid in red states – but there are blue anti-vaxxers too | Robert Reich

Trump stoked Covid in red states – but there are blue anti-vaxxers too

Robert Reich

Among my neighbors in the bluest region of the bluest county of the bluest state in America, many don’t trust big pharma or the government – or simply choose to put themselves first

Protesters hold signs during an anti-vaccination rally at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Protesters hold signs during an anti-vaccination rally at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California.

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What you need to know about the omicron variant

A new Covid-19 variant, now named the omicron variant, was detected in South Africa on Wednesday, prompting renewed concern about the pandemic, a major stock market drop, and the imposition of new international travel restrictions to stop the spread.
Though the variant’s existence was first reported by South Africa, it has also been found in Belgium, Botswana, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, and the United Kingdom, meaning the variant has already spread — though how far is unclear, as new cases continue cropping up around the world.

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Project Censored, Part 2: The New Normal Is More Normalized Censorship

Project Censored’s State of the Free Press 2022, edited by Andy Lee Roth and Mickey Huff, is available for preorder now. Published in collaboration with Random Lengths News, this is the second of two parts. Read the first five stories on the list here. 
6. Canary Mission Blacklists Pro-Palestinian Activists, Chilling Free-Speech Rights
Before the “critical race theory” moral panic fueled a nationwide uprising to censor discussions of race in education, there was an opposite moral panic decrying “cancel culture” stifling certain people—especially in education.

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How to Talk to QAnon Loved Ones This Thanksgiving

After last year’s lockdown, Thanksgiving is back. For too many, this brings the promise of strained familial conversations about politics, especially with those who have flirted with the QAnon phenomenon. Engaging with die hard QAnon believers is easier for some than others—but behavioral science can offer some advice on how to talk to family members about these beliefs without anyone ending up covered in cranberry sauce.
Four years ago, an internet meme around Hillary Clinton went viral, and QAnon was born.

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CDC Director Rochelle Walensky Lauded the Success of China’s ‘Really Strict’ Lockdowns

A little over a year ago, Rochelle Walensky—then a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, now the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—gave an interview to WBUR in which she noted the purported successes of lockdown policies in authoritarian countries.
“To give you a sense of what lockdowns were able to do in other countries—and, I mean, really strict lockdowns—in China, their death rate is three per million,” she said, lamenting that the death rates in comparatively lax Sweden and the U.S. were much higher.

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9 charts to be thankful for this Thanksgiving

For most Americans, these feel like bleak times. More than 750,000 Americans and 5 million people worldwide have died from Covid-19. A mob tried to violently stop the winner of our most recent presidential election from taking office through an attack on the Capitol. Climate change is exacerbating wildfires and other natural disasters, and we are not on track to avoid large-scale warming by 2100.
This is all real, and truly alarming. But it would be a mistake to view that as the sum total of the world in 2021.

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