Secret British ‘black propaganda’ campaign targeted cold war enemies

The British government ran a secret “black propaganda” campaign for decades, targeting Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia with leaflets and reports from fake sources aimed at destabilising cold war enemies by encouraging racial tensions, sowing chaos, inciting violence and reinforcing anti-communist ideas, newly declassified documents have revealed. The effort, run from the mid-1950s through to the late 70s by a unit in London that was part of the Foreign Office, was focused on cold war enemies such as the Soviet Union and China, leftwing liberation groups and…

China and the World Wait

Beijing’s waiting game A new coronavirus outbreak in China’s capital has raised concerns that Beijing may become, after Shanghai, the next Chinese megacity to put life on hold to contain the spread of the Omicron variant. Seventy people have tested positive in Beijing since Friday. In the capital’s fashionable Chaoyang district, home to most of those cases, the government initially ordered all 3.5 million residents to take three P.C.R. tests over the next five days. Bloomberg later reported that mass testing would take place in 11 of the city’s 16…

Illegal overfishing by Chinese trawlers leaves Sierra Leone locals ‘starving’

Along Tombo’s crumbling waterfront, dozens of hand-painted wooden boats are arriving in the blistering midday sun with the day’s catch for the scrum of the market in one of Sierra Leone’s largest fishing ports. In a scrap of shade at the bustling dock, Joseph Fofana, a 36-year-old fisherman, is repairing a torn net. Fofana says he earns about 50,000 leone (£3.30) for a brutal, 14-hour day at sea, crammed in with 20 men, all paying the owner for use of his vessel. “This is the only job we can do,”…

‘Everyone’s Looking for Plastic.’ As Waste Rises, So Does Recycling.

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DAKAR, Senegal — A crowd of people holding curved metal spikes jumped on trash spilling out of a dump truck in Senegal’s biggest landfill, hacking at the garbage to find valuable plastic. Nearby, sleeves rolled up, suds up to their elbows, women washed plastic jerrycans in rainbow colors, cut into pieces. Around them, piles of broken toys, plastic mayonnaise jars and hundreds of discarded synthetic wigs stretched as far as the eye could see, all ready to be sold and recycled. Plastic waste is exploding in Senegal, as in many…

‘They want to remove us and take the rock’, say Zimbabweans living near Chinese-owned mines

A convoy of trucks laden with huge black granite rocks trundles along the dusty pathway as a group of villagers look on grimly. Every day more than 60 trucks take granite for export along this rugged road through Nyamakope village in the district of Mutoko, 90 miles east of Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare. The air reverberates with blasts and heavy machinery noises as the mountain above the village is slowly reduced, slab by slab. Quarrying has been happening here since the 1980s. Mutoko stone is sought after for its lustre. It…

Most of the World’s Vaccines Likely Won’t Prevent Infection From Omicron

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A growing body of preliminary research suggests the Covid vaccines used in most of the world offer almost no defense against becoming infected by the highly contagious Omicron variant. All vaccines still seem to provide a significant degree of protection against serious illness from Omicron, which is the most crucial goal. But only the Pfizer and Moderna shots, when reinforced by a booster, appear to have initial success at stopping infections, and these vaccines are unavailable in most of the world. The other shots — including those from AstraZeneca, Johnson…

Most of the World’s Vaccines Likely Won’t Prevent Infection From Omicron

most of the worlds vaccines likely wont prevent infection from omicron scaled

A growing body of preliminary research suggests the Covid vaccines used in most of the world offer almost no defense against becoming infected by the highly contagious Omicron variant. All vaccines still seem to provide a significant degree of protection against serious illness from Omicron, which is the most crucial goal. But only the Pfizer and Moderna shots, when reinforced by a booster, appear to have initial success at stopping infections, and these vaccines are unavailable in most of the world. The other shots — including those from AstraZeneca, Johnson…

Across the World, Covid Anxiety and Depression Take Hold

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PARIS — A recent cartoon in the French daily Le Monde featured a bedraggled man arriving at a doctor’s office for a Covid-19 vaccine. “I am here for the fifth shot because of the third wave,” he says. “Or vice versa.” His bewilderment as France suffers its fifth wave of the pandemic, with cases of the Delta variant rising sharply along with Omicron anxiety, captured a mood of exhaustion and simmering anger across the world two years after the deadly virus began to spread in China. Uncertainty bedevils plans. Panic…