French healthcare professionals are suing the government for negligence

So far in France, there are 2,606 deaths and 40,174 reported cases of COVID-19 (numbers of March 30th), and thousands of healthcare professionals are infected, and six doctors are already dead from the disease, anger is rising among staff and medical personnel against the government. The French Government, like governments across Europe, initially tried to downplay the disease and intentionally withheld vital information from the public. In return, hundreds of health-care professionals are filing a suit charging top officials of the government with criminal negligence.

The crisis exploded after former Minister of Health Agnès Buzyn spoke to Le Monde accusing Prime Minister Édouard Philippe of not calling off the first round of local elections on March 15 and claimed that she warned the general health directorate. On January 11, she sent a message to the president and on January 30, she warned Édouard Philippe that elections should be held/postponed for now.

Buzyn claimed that top French officials knew and hid the truth by not calling for a lock-down for COVID-19’s spread and as a result, they are responsible for exposing themselves and French people to danger.

She stated: “From the start, I was thinking of just one thing: the coronavirus. We should have stopped everything. We were playing a masquerade. The last weeks were a nightmare. Every time I went to a public meeting, I was terrified.” and added: “There will be thousands of deaths.”

As the number of death skyrocketed, growing anger and disappointment with the Macron government made healthcare professionals file a suit against Philippe, Buzyn and other top officials. Hundreds of doctors and health staff represented by Fabrica di Vizio filed a suit to the Court of Justice of the Republic which has the jurisdiction to investigated high crimes by government officials. Di Vizio claimed that they are suing based on Article 233, part 7 of the Criminal Code, which declares that anyone who voluntarily doesn’t take or launch measures that would allow, without risk for himself or third persons, for fighting a catastrophe that could threaten physical persons is punished with 2 years in jail and a 30,000 euro fine.

Di Vizio claimed that health staff discovered that the government’s assurances about protective equipment such as face masks were lies. He claimed: “The government told them at the end of February that the masks would arrive. At the beginning of March, when they understood that the masks were not coming, they started hearing from the government that masks were not really needed… This was simply an admission of impotence and a lie. The plain truth is that the government had stocked no supplies.”

Although French firms are producing face masks, the British government placed their orders first, so French has to wait. As a result of this, for the entire month of March, French healthcare professionals and staff did not receive any masks and many got sick and 6 doctors died.

The fight to hold government officials accountable for this fatal mistake of underestimating and downplaying the dangers of COVID-19 pandemic has big support in the working class, which can be seen in polls: %70 of the French people does not believe that the government is telling the truth and being transparent about the pandemic.

Manuel Marero is Cuba’s new Prime Minister

white concrete building under blue sky

The Cuban National Assembly appointed Manuel Marero as new prime minister last Saturday, an office that had ceased to exist in the Caribbean country since 1976 but was re-established this year, state media reported.

Marero, 56, who has studied architecture, has been the tourism minister since 2004.

The proposal to call Prime Minister Marero “was approved by the Political Bureau of the Communist Party,” President Miguel Diaz-Canel told members of parliament.

The National Assembly, which meets twice a year, convened Friday and Saturday morning to implement many of the reforms envisaged in the revision of the Constitution adopted in April, including the re-appointment of the chief of staff.

The former prime minister of the Cuban government (1959-1976) was Fidel Castro.

President Diaz Canel has overly broad powers and will now “assist the Prime Minister in fulfilling his duties“, Granma, a body of the Cuban Communist Party, had recently explained.

“The prime minister will be able to appoint or replace chiefs and functionaries” of public services, central government and the state and will exercise control over the work of provincial governors.

Marero began his career in 1999, when he became vice president of the large armed Gaviota hotel group, before retiring a year later.

Although an official of the Communist Party, it is not – unlike many other Cuban leaders – a member of the Central Committee at present, nor of its supreme body, the Political Bureau.

In proposing his appointment, President Diaz Canel praised the new prime minister’s “modesty, honesty, humility in his job, political sensitivity and loyalty to the party and the revolution”.

Marero “remarkably directed the tourism sector, one of the key development axes of the national economy,” the head of state added.

The head of the tourism ministry for 15 years turned this field of activity into the most important for the island’s economy, closing dozens of deals with foreign groups and cultivating relationships with the growing private sector. He has managed to bypass the sanctions imposed by the US.

In the one year and eight months since Miguel Diaz-Canel took office, most ministerial portfolios have changed hands, as the Cuban government mechanism is undergoing a generation change.

“The head of government will be the president’s right hand in the exercise of power,” commented the state-run Cubadebate news website.

According to William Liograd, a professor of public administration and a Cuban specialist at the American University of Washington, the role of a prime minister differs greatly from that in multi-party systems. “It’s a division of responsibilities rather than a division of powers,” he explains.

Fidel Castro remained prime minister until 1976, when the post was abolished and the emblematic leader of the Cuban revolution became head of the Communist Party, the State Council and the Cabinet. He handed over power to his brother Raul in 2006. He died in 2016. Raul Castro resigned as president in 2018, but remains head of the Communist Party.

Under the new constitution, President Diaz Canel is no longer the head of the State Council – the role of the president of the National Assembly is taken over by Esteban Lasso – nor of the cabinet. However, he retains the last word.

Government officials describe the changes of the Cuban government structures as a process of increasing scrutiny and transparency, improving bureaucratic management and a state-controlled economy.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner who promises to change Ethiopia

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Three “passions” have inevitably shaped the personality of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who was honored with the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize “for his efforts to achieve peace and international co-operation, and in particular for his resolute initiative to neighboring Eritrea ”: his love for education, his desire to be a leader and his ambition to resolve the crisis with Eritrea.

Ethiopia and Eritrea, longtime enemies involved in the 1998-2000 border war, restored their relations in July 2018 after years of hostility.

He was born on August 15, 1976, just two years after the overthrow of the monarchy and the assumption of power by the military regime of Derg.

Married and father of four children – three daughters and recently an adopted baby boy – the youngest leader of Africa is considered by many to be the liberator of his home from ethnic violence and political insecurity.

He took over as prime minister in April 2018 – following the unexpected resignation of Prime Minister Heilemariyam Dessalegn which led to the country declaring a state of emergency – with a rich agenda of radical reforms. Since then, he has released thousands of political prisoners, reintroduced hundreds of “censored” websites, ended the conflict with Eritrea, signed a historic “Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship”, lifted the state of emergency, and promoted investor-owned sectors. including the State carrier.

He is the first Ethiopian prime minister to come from the Oromos, the country’s most populous tribe, which accounts for more than one-third of the country’s 100 million people. “Bring down the walls, build bridges” is his message to the ethnic groups of his people.

He does not hesitate to embrace politicians publicly, take selfies with his supporters and smile on live television like a pop-star.


He was sleeping on the floor

His father is a Muslim Oromos, his mother a Christian and he speaks Oromo’s language, Amharic, Tigrinya as well as English.

He was born in the western city of Besasha and was “sleeping on the floor” in a house without electricity and water supply.

I used to bring water from the river,” he said in a recent interview, adding that he had not seen an electric field and an asphalted road until the second grade of high school.

However, he quickly climbed the power structures created by the ruling coalition, the Revolutionary People’s Democratic Front (EPRDF), since he took over from the military junta in 1991.

Charmed by technology, he joined the army as a wireless operator from his teens. He became Lieutenant Colonel before joining the government, initially as a security official -and later the founder of the country’s cyber-spy agency, the Information and Security Network Service.

He then became a Member of Parliament and later served as Minister of Science and Technology before leaving the central government to serve, from his post of Vice President, his home region of Oromia.

Abiy received his first degree in computer engineering in 2001 from Addis Ababa’s Microlink Information Technology College. In 2011, he pursued a master’s degree from London’s Greenwich University in collaboration with Addis Ababa’s International Leadership Institute and in 2013 received a second master’s degree in business administration from the Leadstar College of Management and Leadership of the Ethiopian capital in collaboration with Ashland University in 2013. In 2017 he completed his Ph.D. degree from the Department of Peace and Security Studies at the University of Addis Ababa.


Difficult task

The speed at which changes in Ethiopia have taken place has been so great since Abiy took over as prime minister, that a lot of people have the feeling that this is a different country, as many in the country point out. This is because the reforms he introduced were until recently, unimaginable.

Abiy has sought to shape the events in the ‘Horn of Africa’ but has drawn criticism from some who say he is trying to do many things at once. In addition to its rapprochement with Eritrea, he has played a central role in mediating the resolution of the political crisis in Sudan, while also attempting to revive the precarious peace deal in South Sudan.

Abiy has made significant strides in his foreign policy, but there has been over-optimism from abroad that he can transform the Horn of Africa,” says James Barnett, an analyst at the American Enterprise Institute specializing in East Africa. “The Horn is volatile. I am skeptical that a leader can undo decades of competition and suspicion. “

Analysts point out that his reforms are at the same time too numerous and too fast for the old political guard, but too few and too out of place for the angry youth of the country, whose political demonstrations have brought him to power.

Whether all these initiatives will succeed is an open question, but his allies believe his personal ambitions will lead him to success.

A few months after Abiy came to power, an attempt was made to assassinate him.

A man attacked with a grenade during a political rally in his favor, killing a man and injuring at least 83 others. The perpetrator, dressed as a police officer, came very close to the rally where Abiy would speak. He then threw the grenade under the podium, causing an explosion.

Last June, four senior Ethiopian officials were killed during a failed attempt by a general to seize power in the state of Amhara in the northwestern part of the country.

The coup was planned by General Asamniu Chige, the head of the state’s security services.

Abiy is well aware of the danger he faces, and from time to time publicly refers to the attempts made against his life. For the time being, as he stated in an interview with Sheger FM station, he is still in control. “There have been many attempts so far, but death did not want to visit me after all. “

An artificial intelligence system “guesses” what the neighborhood is voting for

codes on a screen

How many people in the neighborhood vote the same party as you? How many have a college degree? How Much Money Does Everyone Make? You would love to know, but unfortunately you can only guess. But a new artificial intelligence system for the first time is able to guess the answers to all of these questions quite accurately.

To accomplish this, it is enough to supply the relevant street photos algorithms with Google Street View and they then do their “magic” by making estimates of political preferences, educational level, income level and .a. for every neighborhood. This confirms the saying “you are what you drive”.

The researchers, led by Associate Professor of Computer Science Fey-Lee, director of the Stanford University of California’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, published the relevant issue in the 50th US Journal of the Journal of the American PAS Journal. , which were pulled by Google vehicles in 200 US cities.

Computer engineers used deep learning and computing algorithms to determine the brand, model and year of manufacture of the approximately 22 million cars in the photographs, which was accurately achieved for half the vehicles (52%). In the next stage, other algorithms were fed with demographic and electoral data and undertook the estimation from the standpoint of cars alone. Artificial intelligence proved unbelievably accurate in its estimates of the average household income in each neighborhood, the proportion of white, black and Asians living in each district, the level of education of residents, and how many people voted for the Democratic Party. and how much for Republican McCain in the 2008 presidential election.

In other words, it is possible to evaluate how progressive or conservative an area is, depending on the type of vehicles you see most often parked there. For example, the more sedan cars a neighborhood had, the more residents voted in favor of Obama, while the more pickup vehicles in an area, the greater the percentage favoring McCain.

If the number of sedans in a neighborhood were greater than the number of “pickups”, there was an 88% chance the neighborhood would vote Democratic. If the “pick-ups” were to exceed the salaries, then there was an 82% chance that the neighborhood would vote Republican.

Researchers said that in the future, with the increase in street cameras thanks to on-road vehicles, more and more data will be collected and an artificial intelligence system will be able to draw near-real-time conclusions.

Serious discussions in the US for Trump’s amendment for the Endangered Species Act

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The administration of US President Donald Trump has issued a highly controversial amendment to the Endangered Species Act, which is used to protect the country’s most endangered plants and animals.

The Endangered Species Act, signed by Republican President Richard Nixon in 1973, protects more than 1,600 species of plants and animals today, including crediting the rescue of the California condor, the Florida manat, Whale and the Grizzly Bear.

Driu Caputo, head of environmental law firm Earthjustice, described the changes as “an attempt to destroy the protection of endangered or threatened species”.

The Trump administration’s new directives amended the law to allow information on the economic impact of adding a species to the list of protected species.

Until now, decisions regarding wildlife management can only be based on science and “not concerned with the potential financial or other impact” of them.

The government has also made changes that critics say allow threats such as climate change to be ignored.

The Trump government’s revisions, which will take effect in 30 days, will change the law, but broader, backed by Republican amendments that have failed to pass through Congress.

“The completed reviews are exactly in line with the president’s mandate to lighten the regulatory burden on the American people without sacrificing our species protection and recovery goals,” said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

The changes were announced by the US Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the US Department of Commerce’s National Maritime Fisheries Service (NMFS).

The change in US environmental regulations comes at a time when UN scientists are warning that about one million plant and animal species face an immediate threat of extinction worldwide due to human activity.

Over 2,000 species are on the list of endangered or threatened species in the US.

The announcement sparked outrage by environmental activists and Democratic lawmakers. Chuck Sumer, the Democratic leader in the Senate, called the change “a slap in the face for those struggling to cope with the climate crisis”.

“Once again, the Trump administration puts the profits of the big oil companies above the health and safety of our planet and future generations,” Sumer underlined.

“The size of the media has nothing to do with its influence on public debate”

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Their size may be disproportionate to the influence of some media on a country’s public dialogue, mainly thanks to the contribution of social media, according to a new American scientific research, the first large-scale study in the field, which took five years to complete.

Researchers from Harvard, MIT and Florida Universities, led by Professor Garry King of the first, who published the relevant issue in the journal Science, experimented with randomly divided into groups of two to five media.

These media were invited to write and publish articles on topical issues such as immigration, race, the environment, climate change, unemployment and technology. These articles were of all kinds, from investigative journalism and interviews to comments and analysis, while readers had no idea of ​​the experiment.

apple applications apps cell phone

Then, using algorithms to analyze the messages on Twitter, they evaluated the impact of the articles in the particular week they ran, as well as the following. Only three small and medium-sized media outlets were found to be able to write relevant articles to increase the public debate in the US by 63% over the same policy area (environment, employment, immigrants, climate, etc.) over the same week. with the previous one.

In addition, public opinion seemed to shift more and more towards the ideological direction that the articles represented in each individual issue. Articles were estimated to influence 2.3% of public opinion in the ideological direction of publications, which means that in some cases people’s beliefs may have changed very quickly.

According to scientists, this is an indication of the influence of the media on society, but not only of the big ones, since the smaller media seem to be “heard” now, affecting the national “agenda”, mainly thanks to their reproduction through social media. media.

According to researchers, it is not only the New York Times with a few million readers that lead the public debate, but even print or electronic media with no more than 50,000 people.

Our findings show that the impact of the media is unexpectedly large. Every journalist has significant power and therefore equally important responsibility, “said King, director of the Harvard Institute for Quantified Social Science, who added that it was not easy to persuade 48 media to participate in such an experiment, 35 times.

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No difference was found between men and women or geographical areas in the impact of the articles. The researchers, however, estimated that if the same experiment had been done by major media, the degree of influence on public opinion would have been even greater.

For example, it was found that a New York Times publication on the impact of hydraulic fracturing technology on drinking water quality caused a 300% increase in just one day on Twitter on the subject. water quality.

Other scientists, however, such as Kathleen Hall Jameson, director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Center for Public Policy, told the New York Times that, although original to the new research, she may have “flagged” the new research. As he said, he was confined to just one social media tool, Twitter, where dialogue cannot be meaningful due to the brevity of his messages and where many tweets are simply a link-sharing for articles.

Among the media involved in the experiment were Truthout, In These Times, Nation, The Progressive, Ms Magazine, Yes! Magazine et al.

Hong Kong airline fires pilots for taking part in protests


Cathay Pacific Airways has terminated the employment of two pilots, the airline said today, after making them available last week to join protests in Hong Kong.

In response to media inquiries, Cathay Pacific confirms that the employment of two pilots has been terminated under the terms and conditions of their contract of employment,” the airline, which has its headquarters in Hong Kong, said in a statement.

The Chinese aviation regulator asked Cathay last week to halt personnel involved in illegal demonstrations in the city.

The airline later released a pilot who was among more than 40 people accused of participating in violent clashes with police near the Beijing representative’s office in Hong Kong.

Yesterday, a second pilot was made available.

European Commissioner for Competition wants a pan-European tax on internet giants

apps blur button close up

The need for Europe to decide on the digital tax and to show the way if there is not enough global consensus, European Commissioner for Competition Margrete Vestagger said today.

There is still a disagreement among EU members on how to apply the so-called “GAFA” tax – from the names of Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon – to ensure that global internet giants pay their share of taxes for their enormous activities in Europe.

France is pushing hard to enforce it but at a meeting of EU finance ministers over the weekend, Sweden, Finland, Ireland and Denmark have blocked the draft GAFA pan-European tax proposal, officials say.

We are becoming more and more a digital world and it will be a huge problem if we do not find a way to increase (digital) taxes,Vestagher told at France radio station France Inter.

Vestagher said that European countries need first an agreement that could lead to a Europe-wide harmonized tax.

The best is a global solution. But if we want to achieve results in a reasonable time period, Europe has to go ahead, “the Commissioner added.

turned on computer monitor on table

Members of the French National Assembly, the lower house of the French Parliament, will begin today to discuss the draft GAFA national tax law. The bill proposes a 3% tax on digital ads and other technology company revenue with a worldwide revenue of over € 750 million.

Vestager, a former Danish economy minister, is widely known in Brussels for its anti-tax evasion and monopoly positions among US multinationals and is seen as a potential candidate to become the next European Commission president. She has not officially announced her candidacy for this post, but if she does, she will probably need the support of French President Emmanuel Macron.

Asked if she was interested in the presidency of the Commission, she said: “I am very interested in the future of Europe. In my opinion, before we decide on any new person for the Commission, we really need to know what we want to achieve. “

Turkey: Voting day for 53 million people

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At the polls, 56,911,967 voters are currently coming to the municipal elections in Turkey. The whole range of candidates is 8,270. Of these, 30 mayors of metropolitan municipalities and 1,359 mayors will be elected for the subsequent 5 years. On 194,390 ballots set up, voters vote not only for mayors and municipal councils, but additionally for the respective martyrs who are elected in each regional.

Minister of internal affairs Suleyman Soylu stated that 53,099 Syrians who have taken Turkish citizenship will vote in this election.

The polls will open an hour earlier in eastern Turkey. From 7 o’clock the vote will begin in these cities and will stop at 4 pm while in the closing cities voters are invited to come from 8 am to 5 pm in the afternoon when the ballots will be closed.

According to the Electoral Council figures, 50.7% of the voters are ladies and 49.3% are men. In Istanbul, which has the majority of voters, 10,560,963 voters are called to vote. Twelve parties are involved in the elections. In most metropolitan municipalities and beyond, however, the parties come down with alliances.

The most essential are the ruling party with the Deputy Nationalist Party, Deputy Bahceli, and the alliance of the opposition, or the “People” alliance, which is made up of the Republican party and the “Iyi Party”, the new nationalist party of Meral Aksener which detached from Devlet Bahceli. This party had made its debut in the final parliamentary elections. In some cases, the alliance also consists of the Kurdish party, the Democratic Party of the People, informally informing the country that there has been strong criticism of Tayyip Erdogan to the Republican Party.

Thus, in most metropolitan municipalities, we have in actuality solely two candidates. This opposition alliance, according to polls, will cost the Tayyip Erdogan Party, the Ankara Metropolitan Municipality, with Mansur Yawas, a candidate from the nationalist world. In Ismir, which is historically a bastion of the Republican Party, there is no expectation of a reversal, while in Constantinople, according to polls, it appears that in order to be in a position to keep the metropolitan municipality that has been earning since Mayor Erdogan’s own mayor, the strong candidate for the Justice and Development Party used to be one-way. The country’s last prime minister, Binali Yildirim, looks to be fighting a chest with a chest to secure the victory. The numbers of the polls show that they are close in power.

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The opposition in Istanbul appears ahead to the votes of Kurdish voters, something that has aggravated Tayyip Erdogan and made specific reference at Saturday to the final two primary pre-election gatherings in the city. The intense nationalist rhetoric chosen via the President of the country in the rather polarized pre-election period gave the Opposition the probability to approach Kurdish voters. It should be noted that in the last parliamentary and presidential elections, voters of the republican party in Istanbul consciously voted for the Kurdish party to pass the electoral threshold and enter the House. Whether this informal alliance will be paid off in these municipal elections in favor of the Republican party’s candidate for the Metropolitan City of the City will be shown through the count number of votes on Sunday night.

Similarly, high expectations from the time of overseers in the Municipalities of Southeastern Turkey have the ruling party, as these appointed mayors, with efficient use of state funds, did infrastructure projects with the help of the government. The polls will additionally reflect the impact of this period on the voters in those regions, which are mostly of Kurdish origin.

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The whole election marketing campaign was conducted more in a parliamentary than a municipal election. President Tayyip Erdogan has made 102 main election gatherings in 50 days.

Election bans on publications and propaganda formally began at 18:00 on Saturday afternoon and will end at 21:00 on Sunday night time as happens in every elections in Turkey. The first outcomes are transmitted by lifting the bans, which is typically the choice of the Supreme Electoral Council normallyat 19:00 in the afternoon of the elections, after the count has begun. With the exception of the municipalities that may be struggling chest chest, in most cases shortly after 10 pm clear the outcomes of the election.

“Britain and the EU are stumbling to a bad Brexit”

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The new rejection with the aid of the House of Commons of the Retirement Agreement concluded with the aid of Britain and the European Union leads to chaos, warned yesterday Friday the head of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), Erik Schweitzer.

“Chaos is now absolute,” stated Schaitzer. “This means that the UK and Europe are now plunging into an uncoordinated UK retirement from the EU,” he added.

All businesses ought to urgently prepare for this scenario, he pointed out.

“In just a few days, we are threatening to face a lot of bureaucracy linked to Brexit and the demolition of supply chains involving the UK,” Schweizer explained, echoing the warnings of many different enterprise and exchangeplayers in Europe, the latter months.

“In addition, German companies will face tens of millions of customs procedures and billions of euros for customs duties on an annual basis,” he added.

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Especially the car companies, primarily based on materials of spare components and spare components from one country to another, are deeply worried about the prospect of so-called “hard” Brexit as Airbus, components of whose aircraft, such as wings, are manufactured in the UK.

DIHK represents 79 German Chambers of Industry and Commerce. It is placed in Berlin and Brussels.