We are entering an era of pandemics – it will end only when we protect the rainforest

Exposing the Big Game

Peter Daszak

Reducing deforestation and the exploitation of wildlife are the first steps in breaking the chain of disease emergence

Tue 28 Jul 2020 01.00 EDTLast modified on Wed 29 Jul 2020 14.10 EDT


Transportation of timber logs, Amazon rainforest Brazil
Logging in the Brazilian rainforest. ‘Human activity has created a continuous cycle of viral spillover and spread.’ Photograph: Brazil Photos/LightRocket via Getty Images

In late 2013, in the village of Meliandou in rural Guinea, a group of children playing near a hollow tree disturbed a small colony of bats hiding inside. Scientists think that Emile Ouamouno, who later became the first tragic “index” case in the west AfricanEbola outbreak, was likely exposed to bat faeces whileplaying near the tree.

Every pandemic starts like this. An innocuous human activity, such as eating wildlife, can spark an outbreak that leads to a pandemic. In the 1920s, when

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Alarm over discovery of hundreds of Chinese fishing vessels near Galápagos Islands

Exposing the Big Game

The fleet, found just outside a protected zone, raises the prospect of damage to the marine ecosystemSeascape: the state of our oceans is supported byAbout this content

Dan Collynsin Lima@yachay_dc

Mon 27 Jul 202020.01EDTFirst published on Mon 27 Jul 202019.42EDT


Fishing and tourist boats are anchored in the bay of San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.
Fishing and tourist boats are anchored in the bay of San Cristóbal, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Photograph: Adrian Vasquez/AP

Ecuador has sounded the alarm after its navy discovered a huge fishing fleet of mostly Chinese-flagged vessels some 200 miles from theGalápagos Islands, the archipelago which inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

About 260 ships are currently in international waters just outside a 188-mile wide exclusive economic zone around the island, but their presence has already raised the prospect of serious damage to the delicate marine ecosystem, said a former environment minister, Yolanda Kakabadse.

“This fleet’s size and aggressiveness against marine species is…

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Marcus Garvey: A Giant of Black Politics

The Most Revolutionary Act

Marcus Garvey: A Giant of Black Politics

Directed by Howard Johnson (2008)

Film Review

This film is about Black journalist, entrepreneur, and activist Marcus Garvey, as remembered by those who worked with him in the Universal Negro Improvement Association.

Garvey was born in Jamaica in 1887, 50 years after slavery ended in that country. Sharing his father’s love of books and learning, he played an important role in educating Blacks in Jamaica and the US about advanced civilizations in ancient Africa.

Essentially the first Black nationalist, Garvey played the dual role of teaching former slaves (in Jamaica and the US) self-love and racial pride and campaigning to create a homeland in Africa for the African diaspora.

He ran into major resistance in Jamaica, where British colonists granted lighter skinned “mulattos” with special status and authority. The latter, direct descendants (usually via rape) of white slave masters, preferred to identify as…

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Joe Biden is a Trojan Horse: Inside is the Democrats’ New Right Wing Coalition

The Most Revolutionary Act

Due Dissidence

by Russell Dobular

In spite of what you might have heard, Democrats aren’t stupid. Nor are they spineless, cowardly, incapable of messaging, or any of the other things offered as explanations for their decades-long failure to win most elections in most places, or to secure meaningful policy reforms for their voters. In the now famous words of Marco Rubio, spoken during his campaign-ending broken robot moment on the 2016 debate stage, “Lets dispel with this fiction that Barrack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing.”

Yes, he does.  And so does the rest of the Democratic Party.  If you understand the Democrats as a party whose first priority is to win elections and then serve their voters once in office, then you have to look for far-fetched explanations for their actions, which often appear to be completely at odds with those objectives. What party eager to…

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Zombie capitalism

occasional links & commentary


Capitalism’s crises are clearly becoming deeper and more severe. After the crash of 2007-08, the United States (and much of the rest of the world) was subjected to the Second Great Depression, the worst economic downturn since the depression of the 1930s. Now, in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic, business activity has ground to a halt and unemployment has soared to levels reminiscent of the first Great Depression.

Not surprisingly, both Main Street and Wall Street firms have once again turned to the U.S. government to be bailed out through a series of programs that dwarf anything the world has seen before. The Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department have stepped in with a broad array of actions to keep capitalist enterprises afloat, including up to $2.3 trillion in direct lending to support employers and financial markets (including loans to 24 large financial institutions known as primary dealers)…

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