UAW member hit, killed by car near John Deere picket line

A vehicle struck and killed a United Auto Workers member Wednesday as he was walking to a picket line to join striking workers outside a John Deere distribution plant in northwest Illinois, the union and police said. The man, identified as 56-year-old Richard Rich, was struck at about 6 a.m. CDT at an intersection near a road that leads to the John Deere Parts Distribution Center in Milan, Illinois, Police Chief Shawn Johnson said. More than 10,000 Deere & Co. workers went on strike this month at 14 Deere factories in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Colorado and Georgia.

— source apnews.com | Oct 28, 2021

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Up to 180,000 health care workers have died from COVID-19

In the latest in a series of statistics showing the disastrous social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that as many as 180,000 health care workers have died from the ongoing pandemic worldwide. “Between 80,000 to 180,000 health and care workers could have died from Covid-19 in the period between January 2020 to May 2021,” the WHO stated. These workers are among the approximately 15 million people worldwide who have died from the pandemic, according to “excess death” statistics published by the Economist. Health care workers, who have been battling the pandemic for close to two years, are approaching exhaustion.

— source wsws.org | 22 Oct 2021

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12th Prisoner Dies at NYC’s Rikers Island

humanitarian crisis unfolding in the world’s largest jail complex, which is located right here in New York City, one of the world’s richest cities. It’s on an island in the middle of the East River between Queens and the Bronx. Most of the 5,700 people in the city’s jails are held at Rikers Island. Most of them are awaiting trial. Amid skyrocketing violence, staffing shortages, chronic medical neglect, some are calling Rikers a “death trap.” So far this year, 12 people have died at Rikers and the city’s jails — the most since 2016 — including five suicides: Wilson Diaz-Guzman, Javier Velasco, Tomas Carlo Camacho, Brandon Rodriguez, Segundo Guallpa, Thomas Braunson III, Richard Blake, Jose Mejia Martinez, Robert Jackson, Esias Johnson, Karim Isaabdul and Stephen Khadu. Last month, more than a dozen elected officials visited Rikers Island following reports of worsening conditions. This is New York Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas speaking after touring Rikers.

— source democracynow.org | Oct 15, 2021

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Under Cover of Mass Death, Billionaires to Build a High-Tech Dystopia

For a few fleeting moments during New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s daily coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, the somber grimace that has filled our screens for weeks was briefly replaced by something resembling a smile.

“We are ready, we’re all-in,” the governor gushed. “We are New Yorkers, so we’re aggressive about it, we’re ambitious about it. … We realize that change is not only imminent, but it can actually be a friend if done the right way.”

The inspiration for these uncharacteristically good vibes was a video visit from former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who joined the governor’s briefing to announce that he will be heading up a blue-ribbon commission to reimagine New York state’s post-Covid reality, with an emphasis on permanently integrating technology into every aspect of civic life.

“The first priorities of what we’re trying to do,” Schmidt said, “are focused on telehealth, remote learning, and broadband. … We need to look for solutions that can be presented

— source theintercept.com | Naomi Klein | May 8 2020

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The tiniest bit of air pollution makes COVID-19 more deadly

Dirty air in the United States is linked to higher death rates from COVID-19, according to a new study from researchers at Harvard’s school of public health. Scientists found that people who lived in counties in with elevated levels of fine particulate matter known as PM 2.5 in the air were more likely to die from the virus.

PM 2.5 is one of the world’s most dangerous invisible pollutants. It’s made up of tiny particles (smaller than 2.5 micrometers across) that can seep into human lungs and bloodstreams. It comes from automobile exhaust and dirty power plants, as well as from burning wood and coal. Many studies have linked high levels of PM 2.5 to heart disease, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, and other respiratory illnesses. Researchers have estimated that PM 2.5 contributed to 4.2 million deaths worldwide in 2015 alone.

According to the Harvard analysis, which has yet to be peer reviewed, just a small increase in long-term levels of PM 2.5 — even one microgram per cubic meter of air — could increase COVID-19 death rates by 15

— source grist.org | Shannon Osaka | Apr 9, 2020

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Texas School District Cancels Classes After 2 Teachers Die of COVID-19

In Arizona, more than 1,000 healthcare workers have signed an open letter to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, pleading with them to mandate masks in K-12 schools. This week, schools in and around Phoenix reported 227 active outbreaks, with nearly 1,700 students and 450 school employees infected.

In Central Texas, the Connally Independent School District near Waco has canceled classes after two teachers died of COVID-19 in the same week. Sixth-grade social studies teacher Natalia Chansler was just 41 years old. She died Saturday just days after her colleague, 59-year-old Andy McCormick, succumbed to the disease. Their school does not require that students or teachers wear masks.

— source democracynow.org | Sep 02, 2021

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Sierra Leone Abolishes Colonial-Era Death Penalty

On 23 July 2021, the Parliament of Sierra Leone voted in favour of a Bill abolishing the death penalty. The Bill is required to receive the assent of President Julius Maada Bio before it becomes law. In February, President Bio officially gave the directives for the death penalty to be abolished from Sierra Leone’s laws. In May, in response to the calls of the international community in Geneva during Sierra Leone’s United Nations Universal Periodic Review, the Deputy Justice Minister announced the commitment of President Julius Maada Bio’s cabinet to fully abolish the death penalty.

— source amnesty.org | 25 Jul 2021

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The hunger virus multiplies

A year and a half since the Covid-19 pandemic began, deaths from hunger are outpacing the virus. Ongoing conflict, combined with the economic disruptions of the pandemic and an escalating climate crisis, has deepened poverty and catastrophic food insecurity in the world’s hunger hotspots and established strongholds in new epicentres of hunger.

The worst is still yet to come unless governments urgently tackle food insecurity and its root causes head on. Today, 11 people are likely dying every minute from acute hunger linked to three lethal Cs: conflict, Covid-19, and the climate crisis. This rate outpaces the current pandemic mortality rate, which is at 7 people per minute.

Governments must focus on funding urgent hunger response and social protection programs to save lives now, rather than striking arms deals that perpetuate conflict, war and hunger. As equally important as stopping Covid-19 itself, is stopping it from killing more people through hunger. We need action to create fairer, more resilient and sustainable ways of feeding the world.

Click to access The%20Hunger%20Virus%202.0_media%20brief_EN.pdf

— source oxfam.org | 9 Jul 2021

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