Returning from Spain, Italy – no screening – Americans only asked if they visited China


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Trump crosses out “corona” in briefing notes – adds “Chinese”

When Pam Mundus and a friend landed in Milan for a weeklong vacation on Feb. 23, uniformed airport workers in face masks, attempting to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, took their temperatures.

But when Ms. Mundus returned home on a direct flight from Rome to New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport on March 1, no one questioned her about her time in Italy or whether she might have been exposed to the illness. At that stage, the State Department had already urged Americans to reconsider travel to Italy; there were at least 1,500 cases there and 34 deaths related to the coronavirus by then.

“The only question we were asked was, ‘Have you been to China?’” Ms. Mundus, 62, said in a phone interview from her home on eastern Long Island, where she has been in self-quarantine since her return…

But several experts say the experience of Ms. Mundus shows the limited effectiveness of the administration’s travel restrictions, which followed outbreaks in affected countries by days or weeks. The administration never even imposed restrictions on passengers who had been to South Korea, which also faced a large outbreak.

And the restrictions applied only to foreign citizens, despite the fact that the virus could be transmitted just as easily by the many Americans returning home in droves, who were getting confusing and inconsistent messages on how to protect themselves and their communities — or in many cases, no advice at all…

“The policy makes no sense,” said Danielle Ompad, an epidemiologist at the N.Y.U. School of Public Health. “It was based on nationality, not risk of infectiousness, and the two are not synonymous.”

The Fake President’s policies often make no sense. Some of them, like these creepy incidents, stink of the bigotry and racism that characterizes the leadership of today’s Republican Party.

China donates coronavirus supplies to Italy via China Red Cross


A Chinese team of experts with head of the Italian Red Cross, Francesco Rocca

A planeload of medical supplies, including masks and respirators, has arrived in Italy from China to help the European country deal with its growing coronavirus crisis…

Italy is now the worst-affected nation in the world after China, since the contagion came to light there on February 21…

The outbreak risks overwhelming Italian hospitals, and some key supplies are running low.

In contrast to China, Italy’s partners in the European Union earlier this month refused Rome’s requests for help with medical supplies as they looked to stockpile face masks and other equipment to help their own citizens.

A team of nine Chinese medical staff arrived late on Thursday with some 30 tonnes of equipment on a flight organised by the Red Cross Society of China.

“In this moment of great stress, of great difficulty, we are relieved to have this arrival of supplies. It is true that it will help only temporarily, but it is still important,” said the head of the Italian Red Cross, Francesco Rocca.

In a separate development, Chinese businessman Jack Ma, who is the founder of the Alibaba Group and among the world’s richest people, offered to donate 500,000 coronavirus testing kits and one million masks to the United States, which on Friday declared a national emergency over the outbreak.

…Jack Ma said: “Drawing from my own country’s experience, speedy and accurate testing and adequate protective equipment for medical professionals are most effective in preventing the spread of the virus.”…”We hope that our donation can help Americans fight against the pandemic!”

Over the past weeks, Ma’s organisations have helped provide similar supplies to virus-hit countries such as Japan, South Korea, Italy, Iran and Spain.

I’m not certain if today’s generations know much of the history, of the role often assumed by charities like the Red Cross, globally and in individual nations in time of disaster. Whether war or natural disasters, the Red Cross societies can typically be counted upon to provide aid and comfort to victims regardless of political context. Flags and elections don’t count as much as lives at risk.

BTW, I didn’t learn of this aid to Italy from the mainstream channels on American television. Which is why I rely on more international news sources, anyway.

China boycotts diseased Saudi shrimp

❝ China has formally banned shrimp imports from Saudi Arabia after a batch was found with white spot syndrome virus. China quickly moved to stop the virus spreading into their country.

Shortly after the ban, China confirmed that they had granted market access to 40 Iranian companies to begin exporting shrimp…

❝ Iran is hoping that seafood exports can be a growth industry, and help the country overcome U.S. economic attacks. The country already exports 22,000 tonnes of shrimp worth around $150 million. They are planning to boost that to 60,000 tonnes.

The Saudis can just ship the diseased shrimp to the United States. Our Fake President will eat it and love it.


The same way Trump eats hot dogs, pasta, steak & shrimp = overcooked + catsup added

Sometimes the Cops of the World are told to obey the rule of law

❝ The European Union has announced the setting up of a payment mechanism to secure trade with Iran and skirt US sanctions after Washington pulled out of the landmark nuclear deal last May.

The proposal of a financial instrument has been a key element in the EU’s strategy to keep Iran from quitting the 2015 nuclear agreement, which was signed to prevent Tehran from building nuclear weapons in exchange for sanctions relief.

❝ The new institution, named INSTEX – Instrument In Support Of Trade Exchanges – will allow trade between the EU and Iran without relying on direct financial transactions. It is a project of the governments of France, Germany and Britain and will receive the formal endorsement of all 28 EU members…

The mechanism is the first concrete step by the EU to counter Trump’s unilateral decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal.

Overdue. Sometimes the Cops of the World have to be told to obey the rule of law.

Iran Sanctions hasten the move to drop the “petrodollar”

❝ Painful sanctions on Iran have demonstrated the long reach of the U.S. Treasury, forcing much of the globe to fall in line and cut oil imports from Iran despite widespread disagreement over the policy. Yet, we are only in the first few chapters of what may ultimately be a long story that ends with the erosion of the power of the U.S. dollar.

The role of the greenback in the international financial system is the reason why the U.S. can prevent much of the world from buying oil from Iran. Oil is traded in dollars, and so much of international commerce is based in dollars. In fact, as much as 88 percent of all foreign exchange trades involve the greenback…

❝ The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said a few days ago in a speech that the euro should be elevated as a reserve currency in order to break European dependence on the U.S. dollar. Juncker noted that the EU paid for 80 percent of its energy imports in dollars even though only 2 percent of imports come from the U.S. “There’s no logic at all in paying energy imports in dollar not euro…”

Nothing new about imperial powers requiring their currency’s primacy. Take it all the way back to the Roman Empire. Now, folks are not only acting to upgrade two existing reserve currencies to replace the dollar in transactions involving little or no US presence – the Euro and Japan’s Yen – contractors along the dual routes of the Belt and Road Initiative from China to the Netherlands are beginning to pay their bills in China’s RMB, the Renminbi.

Certainly no tidal wave, the process has been considered inevitable by Foreign Exchange traders for a while. The world’s second largest economy is trading globally in a range of currencies; but, it makes as much sense to both sides of most deals to use the currency native to the vendor in the first place.

The backwards ideology of our fake president provides another small nudge in the direction of expanded currencies, reserve and otherwise.

Boeing-Iran Deal for $16.6 Billion — unless Trump and his Republican flunkies screw it up

❝ The agreement Iran’s national carrier reached with Boeing to buy 80 aircraft valued at $16.6 billion is the first deal of its kind since 1979 — and one that will force Congress and President-elect Donald Trump to balance their diplomatic priorities with U.S. job growth…

❝ The pact reopens a market where Boeing hasn’t delivered a plane since 1977 — two years before a revolution roiled Iran and set off four decades of tension with the U.S. Those feelings still reverberate, with Trump critical of a nuclear accord that opened a path to the plane deal and the U.S. Congress considering legislation that could scuttle the transaction.

❝ Boeing noted that the deal was reached under the conditions of a U.S. government license issued in September and that the agreement with Iran Air will support almost 100,000 jobs in the U.S. aerospace industry. Iran is a critical market for Boeing in its competition with Airbus Group SE, said Loren Thompson, a defense analyst…

“Boeing can’t compete with Airbus if it can’t sell to places like Iran and China,” Thompson said. “Selling to Iran is a business imperative for Boeing.”

Iran – like the rest of the industrial world – realizes that Trump’s Amerika First policies in the hands of Congressional neo-cons and TeaPublicans are quite ready to cut off the noses, etc., of American workers to spite furriners’ business dealings with the United States. Fortunately, for Iran and other nations who might buy long-haul aircraft from Boeing there remains an alternative in Europe. A Europe unlikely to jump when ordered by Daddy Warbucks.

Who knows. Before Trump returns to counting money in his realty business, China might even have something to offer.

British Journalist denied flight to U.S. because she was born in Iran

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We can’t go to your cousin’s birthday party…

Amid confusion over new United States visa rules intended to deter terrorists, a British journalist who works for the BBC was denied permission to board a flight to New York at Heathrow Airport on Tuesday because she was born in Iran.

The journalist, Rana Rahimpour, had hoped to surprise her brother in New Jersey this week by appearing at his son’s sixth birthday party with her daughter, but was turned away from her flight because of a new regulation that requires European Union citizens who are dual nationals of Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan, or have traveled to those countries in the past five years, to obtain a visa in advance. Other Europeans are able to travel to the United States for up to 90 days through a longstanding visa waiver program.

Ms. Rahimpour, who has not been able to travel to Iran for many years because of her work for the BBC’s Persian-language service in London, said in an email that her request for the sort of routine visa waiver that British citizens are entitled to was not denied until she appeared at the airport.

Secretary of State John Kerry had assured Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, last month that the Obama administration would try to keep the new rules from penalizing dual nationals or Europeans who wanted to visit Iran for business or tourism after sanctions were lifted as part of the recently completed nuclear accord.

❝“To be told that I can’t fly despite the assurances that Secretary Kerry gave in a letter to Foreign Minister Zarif that this won’t affect ordinary Iranians is just crazy,” Ms. Rahimpour wrote. “Here I am denied a flight, because I am by birth an Iranian citizen — something I can’t change even if I wanted to.”

I can’t fathom how this helps U.S. security not to mention its image among the Iranian public,” she wrote.

There are two levels of explanation to the problem: first, our bureaucratic chain of communications is less-than-competent. Hey, that’s the way it is.

Second, we’re Americans and whatever we feel like doing to anyone else is OK. USA, USA, USA!

Sad, but, true.