Nation-states – Creative Room 4 Talk Sat, 18 Sep 2021 10:00:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Nation-states – Creative Room 4 Talk 32 32 Tlali: Monumental controversies in Mexico | United States Sat, 18 Sep 2021 07:34:00 +0000
Monument to Christopher Columbus made by the artist Charles Cordier in 1877.

A new sculpture named “Tlali”, representing the head of an indigenous woman, is expected to replace a monument dedicated to Christopher Columbus on Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City. For decades, Christopher Columbus has occupied a pedestal on the capital’s main avenue, and his impeachment is just the most recent episode in a controversy that has sparked heated debate in Mexico and many other countries. . The question that arises: what and who should commemorate the public spaces of our cities? Who deserves to be dedicated in the eternal form of a statue and who should be removed once their reputation fades over time? What do the sculptures that adorn our avenues, our roundabouts and our parks say about our identity? And do the statues serve any purpose besides being a landing point for pigeon droppings and a point of reference for taxi drivers?

These busts and monuments are not as trivial as they seem – they appear in all recorded civilizations. The gods, heroes, kings and conquerors are popular, but also rebellious and rebellious, or characters considered admirable for their genius or their kindness. All of them have been celebrated in wood, stone or metal over the years. Other statues highlight abstractions or symbols that remind societies of their origins, aspirations or achievements. We could think of beauty, freedom, patriotism, motherhood, purity and hard work – all of them have been cast in bronze. The paradox arises when the needs of the moment and the aspiration for permanence collide.

Statues don’t just pop out of the ground and therefore can never be neutral, like a tree or a hill. A place is chosen and the statue is paid for, in an attempt to represent the dominant ideas of a certain era. But ordinary citizens do not have the time, money or – generally speaking – the desire to erect them on their own, so they tend to become a symbol of the opinions and interests of governments and nation states, who simply claim to interpret the will of the citizens. .

If we did an opinion poll, wouldn’t we run the risk of ending up with a giant Baby Yoda, instead of a patriotic figure?

Mexico is full of busts honoring patriotic heroes and erected by successive governments. Thanks to the brand of nationalism trumpeted by the Institutional Revolutionary Party [which led Mexico from 1929 to 2000], every town and village in the country has one or more statues of Benito Juárez, Miguel Hidalgo, José María Morelos and Lázaro Cárdenas. You could say that they are more or less established characters in the popular imagination and that no one expects them to be demolished. But there are dozens of them with a much narrower claim to consensus. General García Barragán, for example, who was Secretary of Defense at the time of the Tlatelolco massacre in 1968 and whose likelihood is usually stained with blood-red paint.

Those who argue that Mexicans do not feel represented by Columbus today, and who view him as a dubious or nefarious figure as a forerunner in the conquest and colonization of the Americas, are probably right. But what would citizens want to put in his place? The colossal head of Tlali, a supposedly Olmec woman who bears a Nahuatl name? If we did an opinion poll, wouldn’t we run the risk of ending up with a giant Baby Yoda, instead of a patriotic figure?

It is impossible not to think about the history of the Caballito (the little horse), the equestrian statue of King Charles IV of Spain, sculpted by the great Manuel Tolsá. It spent over a century on Paseo de la Reforma until it was decided in the 1970s that there was no reason to honor the foreign king from the colonizers. But we Mexicans, geniuses that we are, have found a solution worthy of our historical confusion: the Caballito has been preserved “out of respect for art”, but in another, less conspicuous place. It was replaced by a reinterpretation of the monument, a new metal Caballito, full of curves but at the same time angular, and without a mounted king. I don’t know anyone who likes this second Caballito, but at least taxi drivers can still use it as a point of reference …

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NATION / WORLD BRIEFS September 18, 2021 | Local News Sat, 18 Sep 2021 00:15:00 +0000

FDA Advisory Board Rejects Widespread Booster Injections From Pfizer

WASHINGTON – An influential federal advisory group overwhelmingly rejected a plan on Friday to offer Pfizer booster shots against COVID-19 to most Americans, dealing a blow to the Biden administration’s efforts to strengthen protection people in the midst of the highly contagious delta variant.

The vote of the external expert panel convened by the Food and Drug Administration was 16 to 12, with members expressing frustration that Pfizer provided little data on the safety of additional doses. Many have also expressed doubts about the value of mass boosters, rather than those targeted at specific groups.

In an extraordinary move, FDA officials and the panel indicated they were likely to hold a second vote on Friday afternoon on recommending booster shots for older Americans and other high-risk groups. .

This would help save some of the campaign from the Biden administration, but would still be a big step backwards from the radical plan proposed by the White House a month ago to offer booster shots of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to almost all Americans eight months after their second dose.

France recalls its ambassadors to the United States and Australia for a sub-agreement

PARIS – France said on Friday evening it was immediately recalling its ambassadors to the United States and Australia after Australia abandoned a large purchase of French conventional submarines in favor of nuclear submarines built with American technology .

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a written statement that the French decision, at the request of President Emmanuel Macron, “is justified by the exceptional gravity of the announcements” made by Australia and the United States.

Weather slows wildfires near California giant redwoods

THREE RIVERS, Calif .– Cooler weather on Friday helped teams try to keep California wildfires away from a grove of gigantic ancient redwoods, including the world’s tallest tree, nestled in a national park.

Unlike the raging wildfires that burned large swathes of the drought-stricken western United States this summer, the fires in Sequoia National Park were not explosive. The flames were about a mile from the famous Giant Forest, a grove of some 2,000 massive redwoods on a high plateau in the Sierra Nevada.

“Growth has been slow,” said Katy Hooper, fire information officer.

Lower temperatures and a blanket of smoke covering the area smothered the flames.

Firefighters placed fire-resistant aluminum wrap around the base of the General Sherman tree, the world’s largest by volume at 52,508 cubic feet (1,487 cubic meters), along with other trees and buildings.

He said Wednesday’s announcement of Australia’s submarine deal with the United States was “unacceptable behavior between allies and partners.”

Earlier Friday, a senior French diplomat spoke of a “crisis” in relations with the United States

The diplomat, who spoke anonymously in accordance with usual government practice, said that for Paris “this is a strategic issue concerning the very nature of relations between Europe and the United States in the subject of the Indo-Pacific strategy ”.

Pentagon backs off, calls deadly Kabul strike a mistake

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon withdrew from its defense of a drone strike that killed several civilians in Afghanistan last month, announcing Friday that a review found only civilians were killed in the attack, not a extremist of the Islamic State as it was initially believed.

“The strike was a tragic mistake,” Marine General Frank McKenzie, head of the US Central Command, told a Pentagon press conference.

McKenzie apologized for the mistake and said the United States was considering paying reparations to the families of the victims. He said the decision to hit a white Toyota Corolla sedan, after following it for hours, was made in a “sincere belief” – based on a standard of “reasonable certainty” – that it posed an imminent threat. for the American forces securing the Kabul airport. The car reportedly carried explosives in its trunk, he said.

For days after the August 29 strike, Pentagon officials claimed it was carried out correctly, despite the deaths of 10 civilians, including seven children. News organizations then cast doubts on this version of events, noting that the driver of the targeted vehicle was a long-time employee of a US aid organization and citing the lack of evidence to support the Pentagon’s claim that the vehicle contained explosives.

The airstrike was the latest in a US war that ended as it began in 2001 – with the Taliban ruling in Kabul.

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Finding a new vocabulary for the old foreign policy Fri, 17 Sep 2021 11:26:14 +0000

U.S. foreign policy has long focused more on the evocative vocabulary used to describe it than on the geopolitical reality it is meant to address. The vocabulary that politicians and the media use to define foreign policy is part of a web of artificially generated illusions that serve not so much to fabricate consent as to foster a sense of belonging to a world of technology and technology. finance that is no longer linked to human reality.

Every American government seeks to create the impression that the nation’s foreign policy reflects a reasoned mission. In the past, this has served to motivate the population to reflexively applaud actions – war, invasion, sanctions – that are often directly detrimental to the well-being of Americans themselves.

For 20 years in Afghanistan, ignorance was bliss


The shock of the American withdrawal from Afghanistan needs a new vocabulary to understand it. Four New York Times reporters came together as a creative team to make a major contribution to provide the kind of vocabulary that should reassure Americans baffled by the mixed signals the Biden administration sent after the debacle in Afghanistan.

The journalists summarize the whole subject in one sentence: “The Biden Doctrine sees China as America’s existential competitor, Russia as a disruptor, Iran and North Korea as nuclear proliferators, cyberthreats on the go. evolution and terrorism as spreading far beyond Afghanistan. “

Today’s Daily Devil’s Dictionary Definition:

Existential competitor:

A fantasy peculiar to the minds of paranoid people, who believe that their own survival depends on eliminating or neutralizing one or more specific rivals

Contextual note

The first question an impartial observer of contemporary history might ask is: why are journalists so obsessed with assigning a “doctrine” to every president? Is it a form of nostalgia for that heroic period in United States history in which James Monroe imposed an idea that posed a threat to the rest of the civilized world, claiming Latin America as the rear- Washington court?

The idea of ​​a presidential doctrine emerges as the answer to the question of whether the current president will deploy the incomparable and ever-expanding military might of the country? George W. Bush’s doctrine, although supposedly focused on terrorism, boiled down to the simplistic (and dangerous) idea that if we think a nation is failing to promote American interests, we reserve the right to call it terrorism and attack it preemptively. In the face of terror, terrorize the whole world with your threats.

The Times team sees China not only as the new focus of the Biden Doctrine, but as an “existential” threat. What can this really mean apart from the delusions of a paranoid? When, at the end of the 1950s, Russian Prime Minister Nikita Khrushchev pronounced the phrasing, “We’re going to bury capitalism,” the US media let the quote change to “we’re going to bury you,” which the public understandably interpreted as an existential threat.

The same medium, pushed by the CIA, was already busy rolling out everything in its toolbox, including Hollywood films, to make sure Americans felt constantly threatened by the prospect of nuclear war. The end result was to establish the idea that the American adversary of the Cold War was eager to bomb every American. After four years of supporting Russiagate’s wildest fantasies simply to discredit President Donald Trump, The New York Times is at least consistent with itself in making this fresh appeal to Cold War tropes to enlighten its readers on the Biden doctrine.

Interestingly, with Trump’s departure, the Times has now demoted Russia to “disruptor” status, although it’s unclear what Putin might seek to disrupt outside of social media and corporate software. The article points to Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s warning about China and Russia that they were “arguing in public and in private that the United States is in decline – so best to side with their authoritarian visions for the world than with our democracy. Is this a disruption or just a historical commentary?

After disruption, the authors identify the characteristics of other adversaries requiring a response according to the Biden Doctrine. They cite nuclear proliferation, cyberthreats and terrorism, suggesting that the field is wide open to oppose, through diplomacy or force, any nation on earth that plays any of these games. One obvious exception is Israel, which, like the United States, uses proliferation, cyberthreats and state terrorism for what General Milley might call “just.”

The Times has once again fulfilled one of its fundamental missions: to use its authority to shape the thinking of its readers on foreign policy. The methodology is to offer the kind of vague generalization about another regime that sums up its adversarial relationship with the United States and is easy to remember.

The whole process, continued over time, is designed to provoke standardized emotions that serve to justify the combined interests of the White House, the Pentagon, and the industrial and financial complex that the Times editorial board so consistently supports despite the exceptions.

“Existential” isn’t the only term the Times fails to define. In any article on foreign policy, readers will find two complementary terms that remain the foundation of all foreign policy discussions: national interest and national security. “The president’s withdrawal from Afghanistan,” the authors explain, “clearly shows that he considered risking more American lives there no longer in America’s national interest.” Why should something that has been “interesting” for 20 years suddenly no longer be of interest?

The article quotes the former Under-Secretary of Defense, Michèle Flournoy, who insists on distinguishing “between [Biden’s] appetite for nation building, which is essentially zero, against its appetite for the use of force if necessary to defend the national security of the United States, which I think remains quite strong. The Times clearly agrees with Flournoy and expects its readers to adhere to the modern principle that concern for national security automatically justifies the “use of force”.

Flournoy notes that “the president indicated that he was comfortable with the idea of ​​supporting American diplomacy with a muscular military posture”. All this aims to demonstrate that the withdrawal from Afghanistan does not mean the abandonment of a foreign policy designed for the needs of the military-industrial complex.

Historical Note

At a time of historic change, the public needs guidance. The New York Times team is not alone in seeking to forge the vocabulary that will help Americans navigate the headlines of U.S. actions abroad. In much less evocative terms, Democratic activist and sometimes Congressional candidate Dave Anderson describe the Biden doctrine as “a third way which … carves out an ambitious new center for itself in foreign affairs”. He says it is the will “to assert our own democratic ideals and to work with other established or emerging democracies, but we do not want to control the world or engage in nation building. “.

The Bangkok Post frames it in similar terms: “The Biden Doctrine is now focused on strengthening home base and like-minded friends in the Western world.” Daniel Johnson, writing for The Article, makes a important point: “The defense of the West or the free world plays no role in this doctrine, except to the extent that these concepts serve the geographically and temporally limited interests of the United States. The key word is not democracy, competition, disturbance or terrorism, but rather “interests”.

The intellectual notion of national interest appeared with the emergence of European nation-states from the 15the century and only appeared in the era of commercialism, when the idea of ​​”interest” revealed its strong connection with the bank and underwent a major transformation. In feudal times, political relations were defined in terms of power, territory, the well-being of the people and, of course, personal honor.

With the rise of the nation-state during a period of religious conflict and colonial conquest, the national interest became confused with both ideology (the cause justifying the conflict) and economic hegemony (rather than simple traditional war booty).

Since at least the 17the century, the indefinable notion of national interest has become the basis of the foreign policy of nations. The language of nationalism remains a magma of undefined terms, programmed emotions, and carefully crafted disinformation that not only the New York Times, but all media outlets use to reinforce the illusion of their authority.

*[In the age of Oscar Wilde and Mark Twain, another American wit, the journalist Ambrose Bierce, produced a series of satirical definitions of commonly used terms, throwing light on their hidden meanings in real discourse. Bierce eventually collected and published them as a book, The Devil’s Dictionary, in 1911. We have shamelessly appropriated his title in the interest of continuing his wholesome pedagogical effort to enlighten generations of readers of the news. Read more of The Daily Devil’s Dictionary on Fair Observer.]

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Fair Observer.

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AL-Hasakah Notables: We need Ocalan’s ideology to resolve Middle East crises – ANHA | HAWARNEWS Wed, 15 Sep 2021 06:58:00 +0000

Severe isolation has been imposed on the leader since February 15e, 1999, by the Turkish state, his family and lawyers were prevented from meeting him.

Well known to specters in northeastern Syria that the Turkish state’s goal is to isolate the leader from his people, as they well know he has a huge mass base that believes in his ideology, so they keep him away from the events of society and countries of the world.

In an interview with ANHA on this Turkish policy, the head of the Council of the Jabbour clan, Fawaz Al-Zawbaa, indicated that the thought of the leader Abdullah Ocalan and his project for the democratic nation in the Middle East is a project that serves all the peoples of the region and reveals the policies of nation states, foremost of which is Turkey.

He went to say that Turkey seeks to eliminate the ideology of Ocalan, because it recognizes that it is based on democracy and coexistence for the brotherhood of peoples, which for the states of the Middle East is a guarantee of security and stability.

Al-Zawbaa said that the capture of leader Abdullah Ocalan and the imposition of strict isolation on him by the Turkish authorities, amid international silence, “is nothing more than an international message through which he clarifies his attempt to eliminate the democratic project in the Middle East. in the East and keep its peoples at war. “

Head of the Jabbour Clan Council “As the peoples of the region, we are safe with the thinking and ideology of the democratic leader Abdullah Ocalan, who aims to unite the peoples of the region, to change the authoritarian mentality of the governing authorities of the region and not to distinguish between components and religions.

“We, NE, Syrians need Ocalan’s ideology.”

The role of the leader Ocalan in the resolution of the crises in the Middle East, Mohammed al-Mulla, the notable of the Al-Tahhin clan, indicated that they need the thought of the leader Abdullah Ocalan, who serves all the peoples of the region and which contributes to solving all the crises in the Middle East and to reducing their aggravation through its project based on fraternity, freedom of religion and belief and solidarity.

Despite the publication of the report of the European Committee against Torture (CPT), which highlighted the exercise of anti-rights policies in Imrali prison, and which documented numerous violations in its report, the Turkish authorities underlined the isolation of leader Abdullah Ocalan and taken negative measures towards him.

T / S


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Why nations that fail women fail Sat, 11 Sep 2021 05:23:52 +0000

AAFTER AMERICA and its allies overthrew the Taliban in 2001, the enrollment rate of Afghan girls in primary school has risen from 0% to over 80%. Infant mortality has halved. Forced marriage has been made illegal. Many of these schools were broken and many families ignored the law. But no one seriously doubts that Afghan women and girls have made great strides in the past 20 years, or that those gains are now under threat.

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The United States is “committed to advancing gender equality” through its foreign policy, according to the State Department. To bequeath billions of dollars in arms and a medium-sized country to a bunch of violent misogynists is a strange way to put it. Of course, foreign policy involves difficult compromises. But there is growing evidence that Hillary Clinton was on to something when she said ten years ago that “the subjugation of women is … a threat to the common security of our world.” Societies that oppress women are much more likely to be violent and unstable.

There are several possible reasons for this. In many places, girls are selectively aborted or fatally neglected. This has led to skewed sex ratios, meaning millions of young men are doomed to remain single. Frustrated young men are more likely to commit violent crimes or join rebel groups. Boko Haram and Islamic State recruiters know this and promise them “wives” as the spoils of war. Polygamy also creates a surplus of young single men. Multiple wives for men above mean celibacy for those below.

All conflicts have complex causes. But it may not be a coincidence that Kashmir has one of India’s most unbalanced sex ratios, or that the 20 most turbulent countries in the Fragile States Index compiled by the peace in Washington practice polygamy. In Guinea, where a coup d’état took place on September 5, 42% of married women aged 15 to 49 are in a polygamous union. The Chinese police state is staying the course on its many redundant men, but its neighbors sometimes wonder if their aggression could one day find an outlet.

Outside of wealthy democracies, the male family group remains the basic unit of many societies. Such groups emerged largely for self-defense: male cousins ​​would unite to fend off foreigners. Today, they mostly cause problems. Blow-by-blow clan feuds spill blood across the Middle East and the Sahel. Tribes compete for control of the state, often violently, so that they can share jobs and loot loved ones. These states are becoming corrupt and dysfunctional, alienating citizens and bolstering support for jihadists who promise to rule more just.

Societies based on the male bond tend to subjugate women. Fathers choose who their daughters will marry. Often there is a bride price – the groom’s family pays sometimes considerable sums to the bride’s family. This prompts fathers to marry their daughters early. This is no small problem. Dowries or bride prices are common in half the countries of the world. One-fifth of young women in the world were married before the age of 18; a twentieth before 15 years. Married children are more likely to drop out of school, less able to resist violent husbands, and less likely to raise healthy, well-educated children.

Texas researchers A&M and Brigham Young Universities compiled a global index of pre-modern attitudes towards women, including sexist family laws, unequal property rights, girl’s early marriage, patrilocal marriage, polygamy, bride price , preference for sons, violence against women and its legal indulgence (for example, can a rapist escape punishment by marrying his victim?). It turned out to be strongly correlated with the violent instability of a country.

Various lessons can be drawn from this. In addition to their usual analytical tools, policymakers should study geopolitics through the lens of gender. This clue of sexist customs, if it had existed 20 years ago, would have warned them about how difficult nation-building would be in Afghanistan and Iraq. Today, this suggests that stability cannot be taken for granted in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, or even India.

Peace talks should include women. Between 1992 and 2019, only 13% of negotiators and 6% of signatories to peace agreements were women. Yet peace tends to last longer when women are at the table. This may be because they are more inclined to compromise; or maybe because a play without women involves a prick between the men with guns without the input of non-combatants. Liberia was right and ended a horrific civil war; The new Afghan leadership did not.

More broadly, governments should think so when they say they want to liberate half of humanity. Educate girls, many of whom have left school to work or marry since covid-19 impoverished their families. Enforce bans on child marriage and female genital mutilation, even if this is difficult in remote villages. I do not recognize polygamy. Equalize inheritance rights. Teach boys not to hit women. Introduce public pensions, which undermine the tradition that couples are supposed to live with the parents of men, because the elderly have no other means of support.

Most of these tasks fall to national governments, but foreigners have some influence. Since Western donors began emphasizing girls’ education, more girls have gone to school (primary school enrollment has risen from 64% in 1970 to almost 90% today). Activists against early marriage have urged more than 50 countries to raise the minimum age since 2000. Boys should learn about nonviolence from local mentors, but ideas on how to design such programs are shared via a global network of charities and think tanks. . Donors such as YOU SAID and the World Bank have done a good job of promoting property rights for women, even though their Afghan efforts are about to go up in smoke.

The radical notion

Foreign policy should not be naive. Countries have vital interests and must deter their enemies. Geopolitics should not be viewed solely through a feminist lens, nor should it be viewed solely in terms of economics or nuclear non-proliferation. But policy makers who ignore the interests of half the population cannot hope to understand the world.

This article appeared in the Leaders section of the print edition under the headline “Why Nations That Fail Women Fail”

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Powerful earthquake near Acapulco, Mexico kills at least 1 Wed, 08 Sep 2021 05:25:51 +0000

A powerful earthquake struck Tuesday night near the Pacific resort town of Acapulco, killing at least one person, causing buildings to tip and sway in Mexico City nearly 200 miles away.

The US Geological Survey said the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.0 and was centered about 5 miles east-southeast of Pueblo Madero in Guerrero state, about 30 miles inland. of the lands of Acapulco.

Guerrero state governor Hector Astudillo told Milenio Television on Tuesday evening that a person was killed when a post fell in the town of Coyuca de Benitez, near Acapulco.

“We heard noise from the building, noise from the windows, things fell inside the house, the power was cut,” said Sergio Flores, a resident of Acapulco reached by phone. “We heard water running, the water came out of the pool and you heard people screaming, very nervous people.”

Flores said all he could do when he started to shake was give his wife a hug. He saw people leaving hotels around the bay and some rushing to parking lots to collect their cars, fearing a collapse.

“We were all worried about a change in the sea, but so far authorities have not said anything about a tsunami warning,” he said.

People check their cell phones outside the Veracruz General Hospital after Tuesday’s earthquake.

(Felix Marquez / Associated Press)

Astudillo said the tsunami warning center had not recorded any changes in sea level. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center later said the threat of potential waves had passed.

The mayor of Acapulco, Adela Román, said in a statement to the Milenio newscast that “there is no really serious situation” so far.

“There are nervous breakdowns; people are worried because there have been aftershocks, ”she said, adding that there are“ many gas leaks in many places ”as well as landslides and collapsed walls.

Before the first death was reported, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said via Twitter that authorities in the four states where the tremors were most severe told him there had been no casualties or damage. grave beyond some collapsed walls and falling rocks.

“Fortunately, there is no serious damage,” he said.

Mexico’s National Civil Defense said it was conducting reviews in 10 states, but had not received any reports of casualties or serious damage.

In Mexico City, the ground shook for nearly a minute in some parts of the capital, but the shaking was less evident in other parts. Some people briefly evacuated their buildings, but most quickly returned indoors on a rainy night.

“I was at home with my mother and my dogs and the earthquake alert started sounding,” said makeup artist Claudia Guarneros. “My mom was in another room and I started calling her. The house started to move, and in the last part of the earthquake the power went out and we couldn’t see anything, we just saw things fall.

Authorities in Mexico City said there were no first reports of significant damage in the capital, although electricity was cut in some neighborhoods. Broken windows in a downtown skyscraper covered the glass sidewalk.

Arturo Hernández stood in front of the relatively new building he had moved into three years ago. Next to it was a taller building that had been abandoned since the 7.1 magnitude earthquake of September 19, 2017, in neighboring Puebla state, which caused extensive damage in the capital.

Hernández heard the seismic alarm and got out before the ground started to shake. The abandoned building next to his continued to crackle and moan for three minutes after the shaking stopped, he said. When asked if he was worried about the damaged building next door, he replied, “Always, always.”

Tuesday’s earthquake came four years to the day after a magnitude 8.2 earthquake struck off the coast of the Mexican state of Chiapas, largely destroying the city of Juchitan in neighboring state of ‘Oaxaca and killing dozens.

Find out what to do before and during an earthquake near you by signing up for our Unshaken newsletter, which breaks down emergency preparedness into small steps over six weeks. Find out about the seismic kits, the apps you need, the most important tips from Lucy Jones and more at

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NSW COVID cases increasing, Victoria COVID cases increasing, ACT COVID cases increasing, NSW lockdown continues, Victoria lockdown continues, UK deal to increase Pfizer vaccine has ended Sat, 04 Sep 2021 04:41:23 +0000

Victoria’s director of health, Brett Sutton, says he believes it’s entirely possible the state could stabilize with high vaccine coverage and a relatively lower number of COVID-19 cases.

Speaking in Saturday’s COVID-19 update, he said that while Victorians are all “fed up” with being stuck at home and not being able to see their friends and family, “he There really is only one way to protect yourself, and that is to follow the rules ”.

A deserted Bourke Street shopping center during Melbourne’s 6th lockdown.Credit:Jason South

“There is no doubt that it is difficult, [however], the alternative is too horrible to consider, ”he said.

“Tens of thousands of cases could be our reality if we don’t maintain … these really delicate constraints on our life, [and] it’s just the terrible dilemma we went through.

“We held back a tsunami of cases for 20 months. He came to us in waves, we pushed him back in waves [and] we have perhaps the greatest challenge we have ever faced.

“But we also have a good path to get out of here with the vaccination, so hold the line over the last few weeks and months until we get high vaccination coverage, which means we can have a high level of immunization. more confidence in seeing people… initially outdoors, initially in these ventilated environments, and in smaller numbers, but we’ll get there.

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Australia’s biggest companies urge heads of state to end lockdowns once nation hits 80% vaccination rate Wed, 01 Sep 2021 04:46:29 +0000
An open letter signed by 80 Australians larger companies called on state prime ministers to stick to the national plan to reopen the country.
Doubts have arisen as to the likelihood of the blockages ending once the national vaccination rate reached 80%, although all states and territories have agreed to a unified plan under the National Cabinet.

Under the Australian Constitution, the power to control state borders rests solely with state governments.

Australia’s biggest companies are calling on states and territories to stick to the national reopening plan. (PAA)

Jennifer Westacott, chief executive of the Business Council, said the business world doesn’t want special consideration, but rather a clear plan with a timeline.

“The CEOs are asking nothing more than state and federal leaders to stick to the national plan to reopen so that businesses can start planning and give the country confidence that we will move forward,” said Mrs. Westacott.

A full copy of the letter can be read below.

A sample of some of the signatories of the open letter. (Provided)

Signed by companies such as Coles, Telstra, Shell, the Big Four Banks, Woolworths, Wesfarmers and Qantas, the letter represents the employers of nearly one million Australians.

“Australia is juggling a mental health emergency alongside a global pandemic. Some of the impacts of the current lockdowns are hidden and the effects will be long lasting,” the letter said.

“As vaccination rates increase, it will become necessary to open up society and live with the virus, just as other countries have done.

“The National Cabinet has accepted a roadmap that will get out of the blockages, with an easing of restrictions of 70% and 80% of vaccination rates. We must stay the course. “

The companies employ a total of one million Australians. (Janie Barrett)

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg joined the business community in his call to stick to the plan.

“I want to focus on the fact that today you saw an unprecedented number of CEOs from major Australian companies, BHP, Telstra, Coles, WestFarmers, Qantas, Commonwealth Bank, AGL, representing over one million workers in our country, that it was important for them to express their support at the national level ”, declared the treasurer.

“If we don’t stick to the national plan, jobs will be lost. If we do not stick to the national plan, our debt burden will increase. If we don’t stick to the national plan, the welfare of Australians will suffer. “

As of August 31, 2021, 35% of eligible Australians over the age of 16 were fully vaccinated.

Sydney’s CBD remains almost silent as the NSW lockdown continues. (Sam Mooy)

Read the open letter from the business world:

We, the undersigned, represent companies that employ nearly one million Australians and provide products and services to people across the country. We’ve seen how effectively this country can unite over the past 18 months – with state and federal governments working alongside communities and businesses.

We saw the effectiveness of blockages in suppressing the virus last year and slowing its spread today as we vaccinate the population as quickly as possible. We are encouraged by the growing momentum of the immunization program, with Australia now administering more doses per capita each week than the UK or US has ever achieved in their programs.

At the same time, we can also see the impact of lockdowns on our employees, on our customers, on our small business suppliers and on communities and families across the country. Australia juggles a mental health emergency alongside a global pandemic. Some of the impacts of the current blockages are hidden and the effects will be long-lasting.

As vaccination rates increase, it will become necessary to open up society and live with the virus, as other countries have done. The National Cabinet has approved a roadmap to break the blockages, with an easing of restrictions of 70% and 80% of vaccination rates. We must stay the course.

Informed by Doherty Institute modeling, it balances the risks of COVID in a more vaccinated population, with the risks of keeping our country divided and cut off from the world indefinitely, our children out of school, our friends separated from loved ones, and our small businesses. have closed.

Companies will continue to do everything possible to help our employees get vaccinated and provide a safe environment for our customers and the community, including prioritizing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, as originally planned.

We call on governments to work together to implement the national plan and chart a way out of the current bottlenecks. Providing a light at the end of the tunnel will encourage more Australians to get vaccinated. We have to give people something to look forward to, something to look forward to, something to plan for and to have confidence in their future.

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‘WA finances nation’: McGowan defends record, refutes criticism of hard border plans Sat, 28 Aug 2021 04:57:15 +0000 Western Australian Prime Minister Mark McGowan has broken with plans to reopen the National Cabinet instead of opting for stringent border controls underway after the country reached 80% immunization coverage.

Washington State Premier Mark McGowan effectively rejected Scott Morrison’s plan to reopen nationally, saying he would not “deliberately import the virus” by expanding borders once vaccine targets are met.

It comes after New South Wales on Saturday reported 1,035 new cases of COVID-19, a record high, which McGowan called ‘horrific’ at a press conference later in the afternoon .

“The idea that we are deliberately importing the virus into Western Australia by removing the border with a state like NSW would just mean a lot of people would die and I’m not ready to do that,” he said.

Mr McGowan said he would rather wait for higher vaccination rates when asked what he thought of the National Cabinet’s plans to move towards strategies that avoid lockdowns once the country hits the vaccination rate of 70 to 80%.

He pointed out that the 70% rate of double-dose vaccines would leave 30% of the adult population unvaccinated and did not include children who made up 20% of the population.

“We’re going to get there,” he said. “But we will need higher vaccination rates.”

The Prime Minister of Western Australia bragged about his state’s largely COVID-free record during the pandemic and rebutted criticism of his hard border tactics.

“We have the most prosperous economy in Australia.

“We have the most open society in Australia.

“We have kept our export industry, the mining industry, our agricultural industry open and functioning which funds the rest of Australia.”

He argued that he was following the national plan, but then listed a number of restrictions he could impose if needed.

“WA reserves the right to set up controls to ensure the safety of our staff and under limited circumstances we reserve the right to set up locks. It is fully in line with the national plan.

Australia is currently in the phase of COVID-19 removal and will move to phase B on the way out of the pandemic when 70% of those over 16 are fully vaccinated and phase C when 80% are inoculated .

Under phase B, vaccinated Australians returning from overseas will likely have a reduced quarantine period that could even be completed at home, while in phase C all restrictions on vaccinated citizens traveling abroad will be lifted.

Mr McGowan said opening up Western Australia as COVID-19 cases remain high in other Australian states would result in “huge economic dislocation”.

“I think we should be happy with where we are at,” he said.

“If people want to criticize us for funding the rest of the country, being COVID-free, having measures in place to keep the community safe, that’s up to them. “

In response to the Delta outbreak in New South Wales, Mr McGowan touted a range of support measures activated to support the COVID-stricken state.

Nearly 260,000 hospital masks have been sent to hospitals in New South Wales along with some healthcare workers in the western areas near Wilcannia which have experienced an outbreak.

A team of 50 WA contact tracers are also working around the clock to help NSW Health track and trace chains of transmission.

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Red Barn Equity Partners Announces Majority Investment in Leading National Cryostocking and Fertility Preservation Company Tue, 24 Aug 2021 12:00:00 +0000

NEW YORK, August 24, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Red Barn Equity Partners (“Red barn“) a new York and Floridaprivate investment company, today announced that it has invested mainly in ReproTech Limited (the “Company” or “ReproTech”), one of the country’s leading companies specializing in long-term cryostocking and fertility preservation. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

A pioneer in dedicated reproduction storage with over 30 years of experience, ReproTech has perfected the art of making long-term cryostorage safe, secure, reliable and affordable. The Company offers a wide range of fertility preservation services coupled with state-of-the-art security, monitoring and protocols, as well as facilities designed to withstand the danger of natural disasters, including hurricanes, tornadoes and forest fires. . ReproTech maintains four regional facilities across United States and intends to strategically expand its footprint as a result of The red barn growth investment.

“ReproTech has long been an industry leader in long-term cryopreservation and fertility preservation, and we believe the company has a significant opportunity to further develop its business,” said Luis A. Fernandez, Co-Founder and Partner, Red Barn Equity Partners. “We look forward to serving as a strategic capital partner for ReproTech and partnering with Brent and his team to help the company build on its proven track record of safety and reliability. “

In conjunction with The red barn investment, ReproTech’s management team will continue to lead the business on a day-to-day basis. The Company’s operating model of providing low-cost reproductive cryopreservation services to patients, financial support for those in need, and the safety of shipping and storage will also remain unchanged.

The red barn the proven track record as a business and capital partner, combined with the company’s existing leadership and expertise, is a logical next step to put ReproTech on track for continued success, ”said Brent Hazelrigg, President and CEO of ReproTech. “We expect a strong partnership in the years to come. “

About Red Barn Equity Partners

Red Barn Equity Partners is a new York and FloridaPrivate investment firm investing on behalf of family offices and high net worth individuals targeting lower middle market assets in the consumer, industrial, business services and healthcare sectors. The company focuses on sub-segments characterized by fragmented competitive landscapes with strong characteristics of secular growth. Red barn provides long-term patient capital unconstrained by the conventional timetables of alternative asset classes and seeks to transform undervalued and underrated assets into national leaders and create first-class professional organizations through thoughtful investments in growth and performance. For more information visit

About ReproTech Limited

ReproTech Limited specializes in long term cryostorage and safe transportation of reproductive tissue. In 2020, ReproTech celebrated its 30th anniversary as a leader in cryostocking by United States with four regional offices located in the metropolitan areas of Minneapolis, Minnesota; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Reno, NV; and Dallas / Fort Worth, Texas. ReproTech’s proven protocols, secure disaster rooms and 24/7 tank monitoring with data analysis and multi-layered redundancies provide patient peace of mind. ReproTech’s automatic transfer management and fertility preservation network programs also provide cost-effective off-site storage solutions to its fertility clinics and oncology centers. For more information visit

Media contact: Mike Geller, Prosek Partners, [email protected] or 914-715-8901

SOURCE Red Barn Equity Partners

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