Lambert and I, and many readers, agree that Ukraine has prompted the worst informational environment ever. We hope readers will collaborate in mitigating the fog of war — both real fog and stage fog — in comments. None of us need more cheerleading and link-free repetition of memes; there are platforms for that. Low-value, link-free pom pom-wavers will be summarily whacked.
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Why Woodpeckers Don’t Mind Hitting Trees With Their Faces New York Times (furzy)
In Malawi, 250 elephants are being carefully moved to a larger park Associated Press (David L)
The Secrets of America’s Greatest Math Team Wall Street Journal.
MIT’s building a time-traveling dark matter detector The Next Web (David L)
PTT to commercialise ‘rejuvenating DNA’ Bangkok Post
Art Is for Seeing Evil Point Magazine (Anthony L)
From GM: “Here is first data on BA.2.75 itself”:
Sharing some preliminary results just obtained regarding the new Omicron variants BA.2.75. In short, BA.2.75 is more neutralization evasive than BA.2.12.1, but less compared to BA.4/5. BA.2.75 also exhibits higher ACE2 affinity than BA.4/5. (1/n) pic.twitter.com/4GBSFuinXO
— Yunlong Richard Cao (@yunlong_cao) July 15, 2022
However, BA.2.75 seems to be more immune evasive than BA.4/5 in Delta-infection backgrounds, which may explain BA.2.75's growth advantage in India. Noteworthy, the sample size of Delta convalescents here is small. (2/n) pic.twitter.com/gEL0oqydbq
— Yunlong Richard Cao (@yunlong_cao) July 15, 2022
Two keys results:
1. receptor affinity has increased quite a bit
2. BA.4/5 shows more overall escape, but BA.2.75 escapes Delta immunity better.
This sort of effect will likely matter more and more in the future as different populations accumulate very different exposure histories.
Covid-19 Vaccines Temporarily Changed Menstrual Cycles, Study Shows New York Times (Kevin W). How many were “temporary” only because they had a medical intervention? We’ve heard of cases of child-bearing age women losing their periods for more than 2 months and seeking treatment.
More cities across China order partial Covid lockdowns South China Morning Post (resilc)
Zero-Covid policy killing off China’s growth Asia Times. Kevin W: “Translation – ‘Jump in. The water’s fine!'”
As alarm over plastic grows, Saudis ramp up production in the US Grist (Glenn F)
Floodworx: Smart Design for Easier Flood Protection Core77 (resilc)
The big default? The dozen countries in the danger zone Reuters (Kevin W))
Markets sink on contagion fears. Chinese bank stocks suffer their worst week since 2018. Some investment-grade property bonds trade at all-time lows. Iron ore futures drop almost 8% in a single day. 3/10https://t.co/A7SrHNjBam
— Sofia Horta e Costa (@SofiaHCBBG) July 15, 2022
China faces difficult decisions with slide in economic growth South China Morning Post
China Studies Ending Australia Coal Ban on Supply Fear Bloomberg. Says China still afraid of US secondary sanctions.
Biden’s I2U2 summit diminishes India Indian Punchline (Kevin W)
I see #BringbackBoris is trending. Tory supporters after watching the #C4LeaderDebate realise every one standing as potential leader is in fact, rubbish. Not even the Tories support the Tories. Now that is funny. So please they agree with me. Good morning. 😀 pic.twitter.com/cYIEajyWWP
— FishGirls23 💙 🇬🇧 🇪🇺 NHSPay15 (@FishGirls23) July 16, 2022
While we’re all distracted by the leadership race…
Govt is planning to pack the Lords with 39 more Tories
Because almost two thirds of recent govt defeats were by fewer than 50 votes
A terrifying death knell for democracy.https://t.co/BTAgkecsbx
— Marina Purkiss (@MarinaPurkiss) July 15, 2022
Italy. Remember that on top of everything else, Italy is the sick man of Europe, with particularly wobbly banks.
Taxi driver protests have caused Italy to spiral into political chaos. PM Draghi tendered his resignation on Thursday, but Italian Pres Mattarella REJECTED IT. Take a look at the scene in Rome:pic.twitter.com/Jnx8SeqDNB
— Steve Hanke (@steve_hanke) July 15, 2022
Huge bullshit!! Italian people are fed up with Draghi and his lobbies-compliant government! We want to get rid of the most corrupted governors in our history, we need JUSTICE, FREEDOM and WORK ! https://t.co/ZMWcUI102r
— Francesca Donato (@ladyonorato) July 15, 2022
New Not-So-Cold War
EU Slashes Ukraine Assistance Nine-Fold Amid Domestic Economic Troubles Sputnik (Kevin W)
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About Borisov’s New Post. Andrei Martyanov. See also a key point from Alexander Mercouris yesterday, that Russia is re-nationalizing military production and has put another top-top technocrat in charge. A point that can’t be made too often: what freaked the West out the most about Communism was that the USSR went from a peasant economy to an industrial power in a generation. No “free enterprise” country has come close. Moreover, some recent studies contend that the central planning model worked well initially, but then the Soviet analogue to middle level managers hopelessly corrupted the system, both via how they influenced targets and hid inventories. Mercouris opines, and this sounds right, that Russia spent 30 years experimenting with a Western-style private military procurement system and concluded the Soviet approach worked better.
Ukraine. Military Summary And Analysis 15.07.2022 YouTube. In the first few minutes, a discussion of a sighting of very recent recommendation by the US for all US citizens to leave Ukraine + the US embassy moving its operations from Kiev to Lvov. But Lambert went looking and couldn’t find it…..I found this version but it is only in Ukraine via a translator, which makes me question it.
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I know Tulsi has baggage but no one else is making clear and urgent statements like this:
NYC’s new PSA says if a nuclear bomb drops we should “1. Get inside 2. Stay inside 3. Stay Tuned” as if going inside is going to save us from a nuclear holocaust. It won’t. But the leaders who got us here? They don’t care about us – they will be safe in their bunkers. pic.twitter.com/63MDa4cLon
— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) July 16, 2022
G20: Canada claims Russian delegation are personally responsible for ‘war crimes’ in Ukraine Guardian. Resilc: “Unlike the merikin delegation in Somalia, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, West Bank/Gaza, Libya……….”
Permit me a linguistic nerd-out to show unbalanced nature of declaration. US & Israel jointly "commit" to 5 things; US further "commits" to 10 more alone. Israel commits to 0 alone. https://t.co/6Tkv27YOBQ via @whitehouse
— Michele Dunne (@MicheleDDunne) July 14, 2022
Joe Biden greeted by protests during brief visit to Palestine Guardian (resilc)
Big Brother is Watching You Watch
San Francisco cops want real-time access to private security cameras for surveillance The Register (David L)
BMW starts selling heated seat subscriptions for $18 a month The Verge. Li: “Internet of things.”
Imperial Collapse Watch
How the ‘great power competition’ model leads to costly entanglements Responsible Statecraft (resilc)
US warns it will defend Philippines in South China Sea DW. Resilc: “Who would believe this drivel?”
Manchin appears to doom Biden agenda The Hill
Biden expects Saudi Arabia to take ‘further steps’ to boost oil supply Financial Times (Kevin W). Erm…” Saudi official downplays US president’s remarks saying production will be based on demand.”
Our No Longer Free Press
Auditors Cheating on Ethics Exams – Who’s Surprised? Francine McKenna
Antidote du jour. Another image of littermates Cookie (with white) and Niblet who have Stephen T as their human:
And a bonus (guurst):
This footage by Scuba Ventures in Kavieng, Papua New Guinea, shows one of the rarest animal sightings in the world: a Chirodectes maculatus, an incredibly rare genus of box jellyfish which had only been sighted once before [source: https://t.co/2ho9MoWNQ8] pic.twitter.com/luEKZk20X1
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) July 13, 2022
And another bonus from guurst:
Everything is awful so here's Rico eating sweetcorn.
— Paul Bronks (@SlenderSherbet) June 26, 2022
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.