Today, Dec. 3, 2021
December 3, 2021 by Steve Beckow
My thanks to Len, D, and Brian, the fruits of whose research make up these pages
A Double Resignation Shakes Austrian Politics in Aftermath of Scandal
nytimespost, December 2, 2021
BRUSSELS — Hours after the scandal-tainted former chancellor of Austria, Sebastian Kurz, announced on Thursday that he was leaving politics, his successor as chancellor also announced that he would step down.
The double departure injected a new jolt of angst into the unsettled politics of Austria, roiled for the past two months by Mr. Kurz’s abrupt resignation as chancellor.
His successor, Alexander Schallenberg, is a close ally and served him as foreign minister. But with Mr. Kurz quitting politics and the leadership of the ruling Austrian People’s Party, Mr. Schallenberg said he would step down as soon as a new party chief was named, saying he believed the party leader and the chancellor should be the same person.
A new party leader could be named as early as Friday, with the current interior minister, Karl Nehammer, who has taken a tough line on immigration, favored for the job, Austrian media reported.
Mr. Kurz, 35, quit as chancellor on Oct. 9 in the face of a growing scandal over influence-buying and corruption that is the subject of a criminal investigation.
He said Thursday that he wanted to spend more time with his partner and newborn son, claiming that “a new chapter begins in my life that I can open today.”
But many believe that Mr. Kurz, who at 31 became one of the world’s youngest democratically elected heads of government in 2017, will not stay out of politics forever.
Mr. Kurz, who has dominated Austrian politics, was considered a “Wunderwuzzi” — a whiz kid — and at 27, in 2013, he became foreign minister.
But even his first term as chancellor ended in scandal. He was criticized for having gained office by entering a coalition with the far-right Freedom Party. And then in 2019 the Freedom Party became engulfed in a massive corruption scandal, the coalition collapsed and Parliament dismissed Mr. Kurz, forcing new elections.
Mr. Kurz was re-elected in 2019, but his most recent difficulties came from within his own party, which is accused of paying off newspapers for favorable coverage.
In October, prosecutors ordered raids at the chancellery and the finance ministry, investigating allegations that Mr. Kurz and party insiders used public money to pay for opinion polls tailored to boost his image, and then put lucrative public advertisements in a tabloid newspaper, Österreich, so it would publish the polls and provide supportive coverage. The advertisements were worth a reported 1.3 million euros, or about $1.5 million.
Mr. Kurz and nine other individuals, as well as three organizations, are under investigation. Mr. Kurz denies any wrongdoing, as does the newspaper.
While resigning as chancellor, Mr. Kurz had retained his leadership of the party and of the party’s parliamentary group. Mr. Schallenberg, 52, a convivial former diplomat and former foreign ministry spokesman before becoming foreign minister, had been considered a placeholder carrying out Mr. Kurz’s policies until Mr. Kurz could clear his name and return to office.
Mr. Kurz’s decision to quit politics made Mr. Schallenberg’s resignation inevitable.
In a statement early Thursday evening, Mr. Schallenberg said: “I firmly believe that both positions — head of government and leader of the Austrian party with the most votes — should soon once again be held by the same person. I am therefore making my post as chancellor available as soon as the relevant course has been set within the party.”
Mr. Kurz spelled out his own epitaph — even if it’s possibly temporary — on Thursday. “I am neither a saint nor a criminal, I am a person with strengths and weaknesses,” he said. As a politician, he said, “you also constantly have the feeling you’re being hunted.”
Germany implements lockdown for unvaccinated, mulls vaccine mandate
Ryan King, Wahington Examiner, December 02, 2021
In response to surging COVID-19 cases and the new omicron variant, Germany implemented a string of new restrictions against the unvaccinated.
Chancellor Angela Merkel described the new restrictions as an “act of national solidarity” intended to break the country’s fourth wave.
FIRST OMICRON CASE FOUND IN US
“There should be a strict limit for all private meetings or contacts when there is an unvaccinated person,” Merkel said. “Wherever not all participants have been vaccinated and recovered, the limit applies: own household and a maximum of two other people.”
One of the new restrictions includes the so-called “2G” rule, which means that only vaccinated and previously infected individuals get access to nonessential retail, cultural events, and leisure events.
Children up to 14 would be excluded from this policy, and Merkel also suggested that booster shots may be required in order to be considered fully vaccinated. “Daily necessities” would not require vaccination.
Merkel also announced her support for a general vaccine mandate that may take place as soon as February if the Bundestag passes it. Merkel said this is intended to help the healthcare system, which is “on the brink of overload.”
The German government will close indoor clubs in areas with over 350 new infections per 100,000 people. It is also banning fireworks for New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve.
Merkel and her successor, Olaf Scholz, said at a press conference that their goal was to vaccinate and boost 30 million German citizens by the end of the year. Germany has a population of roughly 84 million people.
Germany has an estimated 69% of its population fully vaccinated with at least two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the New York Times COVID-19 world vaccine tracker . The United States, by contrast, has 59% of its total population fully vaccinated.
Germany is currently experiencing its strongest wave of COVID-19 cases during the pandemic so far, though the rate of new cases appears to have leveled off. Germany averaged just under 60,000 cases and 300 deaths Wednesday, according to the New York Times .
Covid Isolation Sites Activated in Canadian Province of Ontario
These people have completely lost the narrative and their minds. Power is such an awful addiction. https://t.co/DOREkhlBRT
— Theo Fleury (@TheoFleury14) November 30, 2021
A Questioning of State Violence in Australia
Rep. Paul Gosar started the “Gosar Minute:
Hundreds of thousands of ballot irregularities were documented in the final report of the Arizona 2020 election audit, according to reports, in a state where Biden was pronounced as having won the state by fewer than 10,500 votes.
Following the release of the final report regarding the Arizona 2020 election audit, Rep Paul Gosar took to Twitter to share “The Gosar Minute” video where host Beni Harmony dove into these very discrepancies that led her to saying that “We still don’t know who won the election in Arizona.” (https://www.redvoicemedia.com/2021/11/video-beni-harmony-from-the-gosar-minute-we-still-dont-know-who-won-the-election-in-arizona/)
Action4Canada Notice of Liability for Commission of a Crime Against Humanity
Action4Canada has posted this Notice of Liabiity to be served on employers, police, or anyone else who tries to force you to take the vaccine.