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Member since: Thu May 18, 2017, 11:36 AM
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Nearly 350 patients, some with COVID, evacuated after fire at Chile hospital

About 350 patients were evacuated Saturday following a fire that erupted at a hospital in Chile.

The fire, which began in a boiler room of Santiago’s San Borja Arriarán Hospital - one of the largest in Chile - might have been caused by an electrical short circuit, according to the capital’s metropolitan health agency, The Associated Press reports.

Urgent Medical Care workers and firefighters evacuate a COVID-19 patient from the San Borja Arriaran hospital in Santiago, Chile, Saturday where a fire broke out in a boiler room.

Some of the patients evacuated were hospitalized with coronavirus and were even hooked up to ventilators at the time.

No deaths nor injuries were reported as a result of the blaze, which firefighters said was contained Saturday morning.

At: https://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/ny-fire-evacuates-hundreds-chile-hospital-20210130-ayqr3rco4vavznntbs67kkcf5y-story.html

Smoke rises from today's massive fire at the San Borja Arriarán Hospital, just south of downtown Santiago and one of the country's largest.

The fire, which began in a boiler room, forced the evacuation of all 350 patients - and revived criticism of cuts to public health spending under the center-right Piñera administration.

Documentary film examines vulture funds' action against Argentine foreign debt

Joe Goldman, an ABC correspondent producer in Argentina, stars in the documentary Vultures, the Wild Face of Capitalism - which investigates and denounces the actions of opportunistic hedge funds against the renegotiation of Argentina's foreign debt between 2005 and 2015.

The documentary, directed by Mariano Mucci, will premiere on Thursday at eight on Argentina's Cine.ar TV. It will be available for a week and for free on the National Cinema Institute's (INCAA) platform, Cine.ar Play.

In 72 minutes, the film dares to chronicle the country’s economic disaster, its foreign debt, the decision to default after the December 2001 crisis - and President Néstor Kirchner plan in 2005 to recover defaulted foreign debt securities and thus end the association with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Debt trial of the century

The film focuses on this economic and political decision, as Goldman explores the actions of vulture funds - specifically on Paul Singer and his Cayman Islands-based NML Securities - in the context of the 2012-16 "debt trial of the century."

The dispute was ultimately settled by right-wing President Mauricio Macri in 2016. According to Columbia Prof. Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Singer's NML reaped an 1,180% payout ($2.25 billion).

NML had bought $48 million in defaulted Argentine bonds in 2008 from a reseller, and stocked up on another $129 million ahead of elections in 2015.

Singer and Sen. Marco Rubio - whose failed 2016 campaign he chaired - were prominent supporters of Macri's 2015 campaign.

The payout - hailed by Macri as "Argentina's return to the world" - was followed by a doubling in Argentina's public foreign debt to $197 billion by 2018, and renewed crisis.

At: https://www.penmediainc.com/a-documentary-film-revealing-the-eagle-funds-action-against-argentine-foreign-debt-diario-el-ciudadano-y-la-region/

U.S. economy closes out 2020 with lower than expected 4% gain; down 3.5% for the year

After a year in which a pandemic and politics posed challenges unlike the U.S. has seen in generations, the economy closed 2020 in fairly good shape.

Gross domestic product, or the sum of all goods and services produced, increased at a 4% pace in the fourth quarter, slightly below the 4.3% expectation from economists surveyed by Dow Jones.

Thursday’s report was the Commerce Department’s initial estimate of growth for the quarter.

In the Commerce report, the annualized pace closed out a 2020 that saw GDP overall decline 3.5% for the full year and by 2.5% from the fourth quarter of 2019. The economy fell into recession in February, a month before the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic.

The 3.5% decline is the worst year for the U.S. since 1946 - at the end of World War II.

At: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/28/fourth-quarter-gdp-increased-4point0percent-vs-4point3percent-estimate.html

Vacant storefronts in San Francisco in October.

While the 3.5% drop in real GDP during 2020 was milder than expected earlier in the year, the pandemic's effects on retailers was severe and widespread.

The recession may have been deeper but for a federal budget deficit that reached 15% of GDP - up from 4.5% in 2019, and the highest since 1945.

Near-Total Abortion Ban Takes Effect in Poland, and Thousands Protest

Source: New York Times

A contentious near-total ban on abortion in Poland went into effect late Wednesday, despite rampant opposition from hundreds of thousands of Poles who began protesting in the fall in the largest demonstrations in the country since the 1989 collapse of communism.

Thousands of outraged women, teenagers and allies returned to the streets Wednesday night bundled up against the cold after word that a ruling that halts the termination of abortions for fetal abnormalities — virtually the only kind of abortion performed in Poland — would come into force.

The decision had been made in October by the Constitutional Tribunal, but its implementation was delayed after it prompted a month of protests.

On Wednesday the government abruptly announced that the ruling was being published in the government’s journal, meaning it came into effect.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/27/world/europe/poland-abortion-law.html

Abortion rights supporters protest against a ruling that imposed a near-total ban on abortion in Warsaw, Poland.

The hard-right Andrzej Duda administration put the controversial October high court ruling into force today by decree.

The signs refer to hard-line Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński, calling on him to "play Sims, if you like deciding on people's lives."

Bruce Kirby, character actor in 'Columbo' and 'L.A. Law,' dies at 95

Bruce Kirby, a character actor best known for his roles in “Columbo” and “Stand by Me,” died in Los Angeles on Sunday. He was 95.

Kirby, born Bruno Giovanni Quidaciolu, began his career at the Actor’s Studio in New York and studied under the famed acting coach Lee Strasberg. He debuted on stage in the 1950s and then launched a steady career in television primarily playing smaller roles as unimposing law enforcement figures.

He played the gullible Sergeant George Kramer from the detective series “Columbo.” Kramer only saw the obvious details of a case, often falling for the murderer’s phony alibi. From 1973-1995, Kirby appeared in nine episodes of the show.

Kirby made many other television appearances in shows like “I Dream of Jeannie,” “Car 54, Where Are You?,” “Bonanza” and “M*A*S*H.”

He also played Sgt. Al Vine in the crime drama television series “Kojak,” and District Attorney Bruce Rogoff in the Emmy Award-winning legal drama “L.A. Law.”

He retired from acting in 2009.

At: https://variety.com/2021/tv/obituaries-people-news/bruce-kirby-dead-columbo-bruno-kirby-father-1234892476/

Prolific character actor Bruce Kirby, 1925-2021.

YouTube ban: Google extends suspension of former President Trump's channel

Source: USA Today

Former President Donald Trump's YouTube channel will remain suspended, the online video platform said Tuesday.

YouTube suspended Trump's official channel on Jan. 12 from uploading new content for at least a week, at the time citing the potential for violence following the deadly Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol.

"In light of concerns about the ongoing potential for violence, the Donald J. Trump channel will remain suspended," YouTube said in a statement to USA TODAY. "Our teams are staying vigilant and closely monitoring for any new developments."

The suspension prevents the uploading of new videos or livestreams to the channel. Comments on the channel, which has nearly 2.8 million subscribers, are also disabled indefinitely.

Read more: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2021/01/26/youtube-ban-former-president-trumps-channel-remain-suspended/4265336001/

"You too?": Trump fixer Rudy Giuliani and the former President have both had their YouTube accounts suspended over the past 24 hours.

Jane Fonda will receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2021 Golden Globes

Jane Fonda is hitting another milestone in her illustrious career.

The 83-year-old actress will receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2021 Golden Globe Awards, taking place on Feb. 28.

Fonda's career spans 57 credits in films such as Barbarella, Book Club, Barefoot in the Park, California Suite, 9 to 5, and in TV shows like Grace and Frankie.

"The Hollywood Foreign Press Association takes great pride in bestowing the 2021 Cecil B. DeMille Award to Jane Fonda," said Hollywood Foreign Press Association President Ali Sar in a statement.

"For more than five decades, Jane's breadth of work has been anchored in her unrelenting activism, using her platform to address some of the most important social issues of our time," Sar said.

At: https://people.com/movies/jane-fonda-will-receive-the-cecil-b-demille-award-at-the-2021-golden-globes/

Legendary actress Jane Fonda announces the Best Picture award at the 2020 Oscars.

Morris Pearl: U.S. should undertake prosperity tax, like Argentina, to assist with COVID disaster

Lawmakers in Argentina, a place hit tricky by COVID-19, a short while ago took a bold phase to respond to their country’s pandemic-fueled economic crisis: they decided to tax the rich.

The United States should adhere to Argentina’s direct and support enacting a related measure to support pandemic relief efforts.

On December 4, Argentina’s Senate handed a one-time, 2% tax on all wealth of over 200 million Argentine pesos, or about $2.4 million.

This “millionaires tax” is expected to add nearly $4 billion in federal income to support offset the price tag of COVID aid, in the approach shrinking a wealth gap that has only developed amidst the COVID disaster.

Argentina may be the very first place to go a evaluate like this in reaction to the world wide pandemic - but it should not be the final.

This variety of laws should really be a no-brainer for American lawmakers hunting for means to help save the American overall economy. Because even with a booming inventory market place, the overall economy that most U.S. citizens live in desperately requires saving.

We are residing in the midst of an financial crisis of biblical proportions, and the federal governing administration, blocked by a Republican Senate that refuses to supply enough support, has only handed compromise, not-practically-ample relief expenditures since March.

At: https://wilkensonknaggs.com/us-should-really-undertake-prosperity-tax-like-argentina-to-assistance-with-covid-disaster

Morris Pearl, chair of Patriotic Millionaires and former director at investment fund behemoth BlackRock.

Pearl has for years supported measures to address widening inequality - greatly exacerbated by a pandemic that has cost millions of jobs while bringing billion-dollar windfalls to the well-connected.

World Nears 100 Million COVID-19 Cases

Source: Voice of America

The world is on the verge of reaching 100 million COVID-19 infections, according to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center statistics. More than 2 million people have died from the virus.

The coronavirus continues to create an unyielding and staggering path of illness and death across the United States. Johns Hopkins reported early Sunday that the U.S. has nearly 25 million COVID infections, with more than 417,000 deaths. Both tolls are the world’s highest.

India follows the U.S. caseload with 10.6 million infections and more than 153,000 deaths. Brazil has nearly 9 million cases and more than 216,000 deaths.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said COVID vaccines could bring the global pandemic under control, with vaccinations under way in more than 50 countries.

However, all but two of those countries are high- or middle-income countries.

Read more: https://www.voanews.com/covid-19-pandemic/world-nears-100-million-covid-19-cases

A sign in Antwerp, Belgium, reminds passersby to wear masks.

Excluding microstates, the country has the world's highest per capita Covid-19 death rate so far in the now year-long pandemic.

German scientists make paralyzed mice walk again

German researchers have enabled mice paralyzed after spinal cord injuries to walk again, re-establishing a neural link hitherto considered irreparable in mammals by using a designer protein injected into the brain.

Spinal cord injuries in humans, often caused by sports or traffic accidents, leave them paralyzed because not all of the nerve fibers that carry information between muscles and the brain are able to grow back.

But the researchers from Ruhr University Bochum managed to stimulate the paralyzed mice's nerve cells to regenerate using a designer protein: hyper-interleukin-6.

"The special thing about our study is that the protein is not only used to stimulate those nerve cells that produce it themselves, but that it is also carried further (through the brain)," the team's head Dietmar Fischer told Reuters in an interview.

At: https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN29Q2GC

A lab mouse in the Department for Cell Physiology at Rühr University Bochum - before, and two to three weeks after treatment with hyper-interleukin-6 cytokines.

The findings may bring hope to millions who've become paralyzed, or may have been born that way.
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