Day: 23 November 2021

News Round-Up

Dozens of Ships Stuck in Arctic as Ice Freezes Early, Contradicting Global Warming Claims

More than two dozen cargo vessels are stuck in Russia’s Arctic ice, waiting for ice-breakers to come to their rescue, after an inaccurate forecast from the country’s Met Office. The Telegraph has more.

Maritime traffic in the Northern Sea Route has been on the rise in recent years as rapidly warming winters reduce ice cover, and Russia invests in its Arctic ports in preparation for a further boom.

But this year several segments of the Northern Sea Route froze up about a fortnight earlier than usual, catching many ships unawares.

Alexei Likhachyov – director general of Russia’s state-owned nuclear energy company Rosatom, which manages the country’s nuclear-power fleet of ice-breakers – said on Monday that the ships included vessels sailing under the flags of Hong Kong and Marshall Islands.

He blamed the Russian Met office for a forecast that failed to predict the early ice, in comments to local media.

Worth reading in full.

Worth remembering that Antarctica recently recorded its coldest six months on record.

Five Bayern Munich Players Hit With Pay Cut For Refusing to Get Vaccinated

Five unvaccinated footballers who play for German club Bayern Munich have had their wages docked by the club as they have had to spend time in quarantine due to being in close proximity to a Covid-positive person. The football club had previously stated that they will not pay the wages of any player forced into self-isolation as a result of their personal choice not to receive the vaccine. Recently, the five footballers have also been banned from staying in the same hotel as the vaccinated players due to Germany tightening its Covid restrictions. MailOnline has the story.

Bayern Munich have docked the wages of their five unvaccinated players who were forced to quarantine due to coming into contact with a Covid-positive person. 

Serge Gnabry, Joshua Kimmich, Jamal Musiala, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Michael Cuisance have all been told by the German club that they will not be paid for every game or day of training they miss when self-isolating after they all refused to get the vaccine.

According to German news outlet Bild, Bayern told the players last week that they would be withholding pay if anyone missed work due to being unvaccinated.

The report comes days after Bayern suffered a shock 2-1 defeat at the hands of local rivals Augsburg on Friday, which saw Kimmich, the midfield star for both Bayern and Germany, miss the encounter after he was forced to quarantine.

Gnabry started that match, while Musiala and Choupo-Moting came on as substitutes, while Cuisance was an unused substitute. Those four players were all then placed into quarantine following a new exposure to Covid, hours after the reports about pay cuts emerged in Germany.

Their Bayern team-mates Niklas Sule and Josip Stanisic had tested positive for Covid last week, with the club confirming that those two players were vaccinated.

Tensions are high in Germany with the country in the grip of a fourth wave of cases and many hospitals full. It has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Western Europe, with 68% of people fully vaccinated. “By the end of this winter everyone in Germany will either be vaccinated, recovered or dead,” Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Monday.  

The news of withheld wages comes less than a week after the five Bayern players were told that they have been banned from staying in the same hotel as their team-mates ahead of a match and must travel to games separately too due to tightening restrictions in the country, which is experiencing a spike in Covid cases. 

German news publication Kicker are reporting that the five players are irritated that news of their docked wages has been leaked publicly.

The damning report also revealed that there has been a loss of trust from the players, with team morale low as a result.

Worth reading in full.

Australian Politician Smears Those Opposed to Vaccine Mandates as “Anti-vaxxers”

In a recent press conference, Michael Gunner (pictured), the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory in Australia has said that those who oppose mandatory vaccination mandates are “anti-vaxxers”. According to Gunner, “your personal vaccination status is utterly irrelevant”, meaning that even those who are fully vaccinated but disagree with the policy politically deserving of the label, with the Minister also proclaiming that “enforcement, rather than encouragement” should be the main method deployed to drive up vaccination rates. RT has the story.

People who oppose Covid vaccine mandates are “anti-vaxxers,” pure and simple, Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner said during a heated press conference, noting more positive cases in his state were “expected”.

Gunner made it more than clear during a press conference in which he was asked if his hardline stance on vaccine mandates might have turned some away from getting the jab that anyone who wasn’t 100% for the state’s increasingly draconian vaccination mandates was a true “anti-vaxxer“. Even if they themselves had been vaccinated, he argued, Australians were either with the virus or with the mandates.

If you give a green light, give comfort to, support anybody who argues against the vaccine, you are an anti-vaxxer. Your personal vaccination status is utterly irrelevant,” Gunner declared.

The term ‘anti-vaxxer’, previously used to denote a parent who opposed vaccination for their children, has seen its meaning expanded during the Covid pandemic to include anyone who opposes vaccination for themselves, and now, in the eyes of ardent vaccine supporters, anyone who opposes a mandate, whether or not they themselves have taken the shot.

If you’re out there in any way, shape or form campaigning against the mandate, then you are absolutely anti-vax,” he continued, insisting the state’s vaccination mandate was “absolutely critical” to saving lives. “I will never back away from supporting vaccines, and anyone out there who comes for the mandate, you are anti-vax,” Gunner snarled.

Worth reading in full.

Stop Press: Watch an interview with Alexander Tschugguel, one of the leaders of the anti-mandate movement in Austria, on the Sun’s YouTube channel.

Calls to Child Abuse Helplines Surged to Record High During the Pandemic

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) have reported that the charity experienced a 36% increase in calls to its helpline in the first six months of the 2021/22 financial year than it did in the same six month period of the previous year, leading to a record high. The Head Helpline of the NSPCC stated that “the risk of abuse has gone up since the start of the pandemic”, mentioning that vulnerable children were away from adults who could have provided support. RT has the story.

“The number of calls concerning child sexual abuse or exploitation reached a record level during the pandemic, a U.K. charity has reported.

“This reached a record high of 4,735 reports, a 36% increase in the first six months of 2021/22 when compared to the same six months of the previous year,” the NSPCC said in a statement.

The NSPCC specified that 40% of 3,560 messages on abuse where the time frame was known were reported to have happened in the last six months, while 60% of them referred to earlier dates. According to the Press Association news agency, which was provided with additional data, more than 1,500 messages received by the NSPCC were referred to authorities for further investigation.

According to NSPCC Helpline Head Kam Thandi, the organization is concerned that “the risk of abuse has gone up since the start of the pandemic” with children more vulnerable and out of sight of adults who can protect them.

The Everyone’s Invited website, launched in April by the NSPCC and the Department for Education as a helpline for those facing abuse and harassment in educational settings, has become an opportunity for many to raise their concerns, Thandi claimed. The helpline will be extended until the end of this year, the Department for Education confirmed.

Other charities and child abuse victims reacted to the NSPCC’s report by expressing support for those who contacted the charity. 

Worth reading in full.

Stop Press: The Everyone’s Invited website was not launched by the NSPCC and the DfE, as RT claims. That’s an absolute howler and is a reminder that RT is not always a reliable source.

Guardian Article Claims Covid in Hospitals Has “Largely Become a Disease of the Unvaccinated” – Yet Data Shows 71% of Adults Hospitalised with Covid Are Vaccinated

An article appeared in the Guardian this week written by an anonymous NHS respiratory consultant claiming that “in hospital, COVID-19 has largely become a disease of the unvaccinated”.

Of course, there are people who have their vaccinations but still get sick. These people may be elderly or frail, or have underlying health problems. Those with illnesses affecting the immune system, particularly patients who have had chemotherapy for blood cancers, are especially vulnerable. Some unlucky healthy people will also end up on our general wards with Covid after being vaccinated, usually needing a modest amount of oxygen for a few days.

But the story is different on our intensive care unit. Here, the patient population consists of a few vulnerable people with severe underlying health problems and a majority of fit, healthy, younger people unvaccinated by choice. … If everyone got vaccinated, hospitals would be under much less pressure; this is beyond debate. Your wait for your clinic appointment/operation/diagnostic test/A&E department would be shorter. Your ambulance would arrive sooner. Reports of the pressure on the NHS are not exaggerated, I promise you. … Most of the resources that we are devoting to Covid in hospital are now being spent on the unvaccinated.

This reads to me like a blatant attempt to stigmatise the unvaccinated as selfish, a burden on society and a threat to the vaccinated. (The clue is in the headline: “ICU is full of the unvaccinated – my patience with them is wearing thin.”) Given the polling (which may not be very reliable of course) showing that 45% of U.K. adults would support an indefinite lockdown of the unvaccinated, this is all starting to look and sound rather ugly.

The most frustrating thing about this anonymously written article is it doesn’t cite any data even though its arguments are based on claims which only data can validate. It consists instead only of a single medic’s subjective impressions, with no sources provided to see if his claims holds water.

Are the hospitalised mostly unvaccinated? Not according to Government data from the UKHSA. Here is the breakdown of hospitalisations by vaccination status in England for the four weeks up to November 14th from the latest Vaccine Surveillance report.