• Thread by DataDrivenMD sur les progrès de la lutte contre le #covid19  : l’aération (pas chez nous) et les vaccins nasaux (abandonné précocement par Pasteur il y a un an).

    It’s been a while since I’ve read a COVID19 preprint worth highlighting. I found one today that is fascinating

    The study compares Delta vs. Omicron in terms of symptoms + rapid test results. Data was collected at a walk-up community testing site in San Francisco

    Strap in. 1/n
    They collected data from a HUGE study population— 63,277 persons over the course of 1 year (Jan 2021 to Jan 2022)

    The other neat thing is that the testing site used the same eligibility criteria throughout and the same rapid test the entire time. 2/n Image
    Another neat thing: the community testing site was located in a part of San Francisco that is predominantly Hispanic.

    Yet another neat thing: they collected vaccination status.

    Here’s a link to the study for anyone who wants to follow along. 3/n
    COVID-19 symptoms and duration of direct antigen test positivity at a community testing and surveillance site, January 2021-2022
    Importance: Characterizing clinical symptoms and evolution of community- based SARS Co-V-2 infections can inform health practitioners and public health officials in a rapidly changing landscape of pop…
    They found that symptomatic COVID-19 cases due to Omicron tended to experience cough (67%) and/or a sore throat (43%) and/or congestion (39%).

    They also found that fewer persons reported fever and/or loss of smell/taste as compared to the Delta wave.
    Another fascinating finding: fevers and body aches were less common among persons that had received boosters compared to those who received 0, 1, or 2 doses. 5/n Image
    OK, here’s one of the most interesting findings, that I haven’t seen reported anywhere else: the rate of “congestion” was highest among boosted persons. Yes, higher

    Now, that may seem bad and counter-intuitive but it’s great and makes perfect sense. Allow me to explain...
    6/n Image
    2 years in, we now know that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 invades our body by latching onto proteins on the surface of the cells that line our respiratory tract— these are known as ACE2 receptors and they’re found in our nose, all they way down into our lungs Image
    The key piece to note is that ACE2 receptors are not present in equal amounts throughout our respiratory tract— there are more of these proteins in our nose than our lungs

    There’s another thing to consider to understand how boosted persons might end up w/ more congestion

    8/n Image
    The other piece of the puzzle is Omicron’s much, much higher transmissibility. That’s due, in part, to Omicron’s ability to partially evade immunity from vaccination and/or prior infection. 9/n

    source: assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/upl… Image
    So, what seems to be going on, is that the immune system of persons who were boosted were able to respond more quickly to the first sign of an Omicron infection— in the nose. The congestion is the body’s way of slowing down the infection— it’s flooding the virus in sludge 10/n
    If that fails, the virus migrates down to your throat where it causes a sore throat, a cough, or croup in the case of young children.

    If that fails, then it makes it further, into the lungs, where it triggers a different kind of “congestion” that causes collateral damage 11/n
    Somewhere between a sore throat and a pneumonia, the body responds by raising your body temperature— a fever. And by mobilizing other parts of your immune system, a process that causes lymph nodes to swell...the swelling stretches surrounding tissue— those are body aches. 12/n Image
    So, putting it all together: although Omicron is able to partially evade our vaccines, the immune system of persons who were boosted responded earlier and more robustly. Sparing millions of persons from developing worse symptoms.
    Another way to say it: many people had at least a little immunity after Delta. This explains, in part, why many (not all!) Omicron cases have been “mild” thus far. And, why boosted persons experienced even milder symptoms, like congestion. 14/n

    covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tra… Image
    COVID Data Tracker
    CDC’s home for COVID-19 data. Visualizations, graphs, and data in one easy-to-use website.
    👀 Here’s the data that, IMO, really drives home the point that our vaccines helped to make Omicron “mild”— check out that massive jump in the % of persons that were boosted between the Delta vs. Omicron surges

    3% boosted during Delta ➡️ 25% boosted during Omicron 🔥🔥🔥

    15/n Image
    Here’s why I’m really excited by this study: it makes perfect sense in the context of the next big breakthrough. @VirusesImmunity is working on a nasal vaccine that could actually end this pandemic— by stopping the virus as soon as it enters the nose

    Opinion | The Answer to Stopping the Coronavirus May Be Up Your Nose
    Why nasal vaccines for Covid could be so effective.
    Another reason why I’m really excited: it underscores the fact that we have very powerful tools to bring the pandemic to a crawl right now— high-quality masks, ventilation, and air filtration.

    These, in combination with our vaccines, can extend the time between surges. 17/n
    This study also underscores why it is necessary to keep boosting using our current vaccines + masking up, while simultaneously developing the next generation of vaccines. These charts show that it takes up to 2 weeks to fully clear an Omicron infection

    18/n ImageImage
    And it doesn’t matter how you define it. It can take up to 2 weeks for a rapid test to go back to negative (-) and/or symptoms to resolve.

    The kicker: while boosters keep symptoms mild (great), they neither shorten the duration of symptoms nor test positivity (not great)

    19/n Image
    Anywho, there’s a lot more in this study that I’d like to discuss but this thread is long enough and I’ve other work to do right now. The upshot is: get boosted + mask up and there’s a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel— nasal vaccines.


  • Over 75 Percent of Long Covid Patients Were Not Hospitalized for Initial Illness, Study Finds - The New York Times

    Long Covid, a complex constellation of lingering or new post-infection symptoms that can last for months or longer, has become one of the most daunting legacies of the pandemic. Estimates of how many people may ultimately be affected have ranged from 10 percent to 30 percent of infected adults; a recent report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office said that between 7.7 million and 23 million people in the United States could have developed long Covid. But much remains unclear about the prevalence, causes, treatment and consequences of the condition.

    The new study adds to a growing body of evidence that, while patients who have been hospitalized are at greater risk for long Covid, people with mild or moderate initial coronavirus infections — who make up the vast majority of coronavirus patients — can still experience debilitating post-Covid symptoms including breathing problems, extreme fatigue and cognitive and memory issues.

  • We’re not all Ukrainians now
    L’article pointe l’écart entre la retenue relative des dirigeants occidentaux, qui ne donnent pas tout ce qu’elle veut à l’#Ukraine, et leurs discours, dans lesquels ils prétendent s’aligner sans réserve sur les objectifs ukrainiens et présentent la situation comme une guerre entre monde libre et autocratie. Cet écart est dangereux, selon les auteurs, pour plusieurs raisons.

    For one, it attracts domestic calls for escalation, including demands for maximal war aims, from the restoration of Crimea to direct military intervention.

    Secondly, the White House’s rhetoric also undermines its own refusal to comply with Ukraine’s demands for high-risk assistance in the form of no-fly zones, the complete economic shutdown of Russia or actual troop deployments, undercutting its own restraint.

    [...] Crucially, this rhetoric-policy gap could also raise excessive Ukrainian expectations of support. But those insisting the West should give Ukraine whatever it wants ignore that what Ukraine wants partly depends on what the West will give them — or at least what it says it will. And claims of fully aligned interests may fuel Ukrainian dreams of total victory that are probably untenable and only conducive to prolonging war.

    [...] The problem here isn’t helping Ukraine, it’s pretending the help is unconditional.

    [...] The idea that nations can heavily contribute to a war effort without any say in its execution is offensive. Those arming Ukraine may not be risking enough to suit Ukraine, but they aren’t risking nothing — the danger of Russian retaliation remains. And sanctions entail economic pain for those sanctioning as well as the sanctioned.

    • The War in Ukraine Is Getting Complicated, and America Isn’t Ready | THE EDITORIAL BOARD

      But as the war continues, Mr. Biden should also make clear to President Volodymyr Zelensky and his people that there is a limit to how far the United States and NATO will go to confront Russia, and limits to the arms, money and political support they can muster. It is imperative that the Ukrainian government’s decisions be based on a realistic assessment of its means and how much more destruction Ukraine can sustain.

      Confronting this reality may be painful, but it is not appeasement. This is what governments are duty bound to do, not chase after an illusory “win.” Russia will be feeling the pain of isolation and debilitating economic sanctions for years to come, and Mr. Putin will go down in history as a butcher. The challenge now is to shake off the euphoria, stop the taunting and focus on defining and completing the mission.

    • Ukraine’s Way Out

      But Kyiv’s right to fight for complete territorial sovereignty does not make doing so strategically wise. Nor should Ukraine’s remarkable success in repelling Russia’s initial advance be cause for overconfidence about the next phases of the conflict. Indeed, strategic pragmatism warrants a frank conversation between NATO and Ukraine about curbing Kyiv’s ambitions and settling for an outcome that falls short of “victory.”

  • Opinion | Crashing Crypto: Is This Time Different? - The New York Times

    By now, we’ve all heard of them, but what exactly are cryptocurrencies? Many people — including, I fear, many people who have invested in them — probably still don’t fully understand them. Saying that they’re digital assets doesn’t really get at it. My bank account, which I mainly reach online, is also a digital asset, for all practical purposes.

    What’s distinctive about cryptocurrencies is how ownership is established. I own the money in my bank account because the law says I do, and the bank enforces that legal claim by requiring, one way or another, that I prove that I am, in fact, me. Ownership of a crypto asset is established through what’s known as the blockchain, an encrypted (hence the name) digital record of all previous transfers of ownership that supposedly obviates the need for an external party, such as a bank, to validate a claim.

    In the past, cryptocurrencies kept going up by attracting an ever-growing range of investors. Crypto was once held by a small clique that often had the feel of a cult, motivated in part by a combination of libertarian ideology and fascination with the clever use of technology. Over time, rising crypto prices drew in large numbers of additional investors and some big Wall Street money.
    Editors’ Picks
    All Those Celebrities Pushing Crypto Are Not So Vocal Now
    Rescuing the Cuisine of Besieged Mariupol, Recipe by Family Recipe
    Leave the Sweatshirt at Home. Dining Dress Codes Are Back.

    And in the past year or so, crypto marketing has gone really mainstream, with endorsements from celebrities — including Matt Damon, Kim Kardashian and Mike Tyson — not to mention political figures like Mayor Eric Adams of New York and the (unsuccessful) Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel, who declared his intention to make Ohio “pro-God, pro-family, pro-Bitcoin.” Given all this, it’s hard to see who else there might be to recruit into crypto investing.

    One disturbing aspect of this marketing push, by the way, is that those who bought cryptocurrencies relatively recently — and have therefore lost a lot of money in the crypto crash — probably consist disproportionately of the kind of people most likely to be influenced by celebrity endorsements. That is, they are probably poorer and less sophisticated than the average investor and badly positioned to handle the losses they’ve taken over the past few months.

    As it is, cryptocurrencies play almost no role in economic transactions other than speculation in crypto markets themselves. And if your answer is “give it time,” you should bear in mind that Bitcoin has been around since 2009, which makes it ancient by tech standards; Apple introduced the iPad in 2010. If crypto was going to replace conventional money as a medium of exchange — a means of payment — surely we should have seen some signs of that happening by now. Just try paying for your groceries or other everyday goods using Bitcoin. It’s nearly impossible.

    And then there’s El Salvador, which tried to force the process by making Bitcoin legal tender and heavily promoting and subsidizing its use, in an attempt to make it a true medium of exchange. All indications are that the experiment has been an abject failure.

    #Cryptomonnaires #Monnaie_numérique #Paul_Krugman

  • Shireen Abu Akleh was executed to send a message to Palestinians
    Jonathan Cook | 12 May 2022 21:12 UTC | Middle East Eye

    (...) But in fact, even in Hook’s case, the UN investigation was quietly shelved. Accusing Israel of executing a UN official would have forced the international body into a dangerous confrontation both with Israel and with the United States. Hook’s killing was hushed up, and no one was brought to book.

    Nothing better can be expected for Abu Akleh. There will be noises about an investigation. Israel will blame the Palestinian Authority for not cooperating, as it is already doing. Washington will express tepid concern but do nothing. Behind the scenes, the US will help Israel block any meaningful investigation.

    For the US and Europe, routine statements of “sadness” and calls for investigation are not intended to ensure light is shed on what happened. That could only embarrass a strategic ally needed to project western power into the oil-rich Middle East.

    No, these half-hearted declarations from western capitals are meant to defuse and confuse. They are intended to take the wind out any backlash; indicate western impartiality, and save the blushes of complicit Arab regimes; suggest there is a legal process that Israel adheres to; and subvert efforts by Palestinians and the human rights community to refer these war crimes to international bodies, such as the Hague court.

    The truth is that a decades-long occupation can only survive through wanton - sometimes random, sometimes carefully calibrated - acts of terror to keep the subject population fearful and subdued. When the occupation is sponsored by the main global superpower, there is absolute impunity for those who oversee that reign of terror.

    Abu Akleh is the latest victim. But these executions will continue so long as Israel and its soldiers are shielded from accountability.


    • https://twitter.com/LocalFocus1/status/1525072190927998976

      Video: Dozens of ISF beating elements seen beating several Palestinians carrying the body of Shireen Abu Aqla; ISF elements kidnapped the body and are currently heading toward Jaffa Gate


      Une autre vidéo montre des FSI qui ont pris d’assaut l’hôpital Saint-Joseph en frappant un groupe de Palestiniens portant le corps de la journaliste Shireen Abu Aqla, abattue par les FSI lors d’une opération des FSI à Jénine il y a trois jours.

      Vidéo : Dehors l’église à la porte de Jaffa ; maintenant

      57 min
      ⭕ LIVE : les forces d’occupation israéliennes frappent la foule portant le cercueil de la journaliste d’Al Jazeera tuée Shireen Abu Akleh ⤵️.
      Al Jazeera English
      « L’armée israélienne demande aux gens s’ils sont chrétiens ou musulmans. Si vous êtes musulman, vous n’avez pas été autorisé à entrer ». - @ajimran

      Les forces d’occupation israéliennes attaquent les Palestiniens pendant les funérailles de la journaliste d’Al Jazeera tuée, Shireen Abu Akleh.

      autre angle de vue avec le son des grenades asourdissantes :


      Des images montrant un autre angle de vue des forces israéliennes agressant des personnes en deuil, faisant presque tomber le cercueil de la journaliste Shireen Abu Akleh, avant son service funèbre dans la vieille ville de Jérusalem.


    • Israeli Police Attack Funeral of Slain Palestinian Journalist
      By Patrick Kingsley and Raja Abdulrahim
      May 13, 2022, 9:31 a.m. ET - The New York Times

      JERUSALEM — Israeli police officers on Friday assaulted mourners at the funeral procession of a prominent Palestinian journalist killed this week in the occupied West Bank, forcing pallbearers to nearly drop the coffin.

      Video showed police officers in Jerusalem beating and kicking a mourner beside the coffin containing the body of the journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, forcing him to the ground and the pallbearers backward. Many around them waved Palestinian flags.

      In a statement, the Israeli police said they had been “forced to act” during the funeral because “rioters began throwing stones toward the policemen” and some mourners had been chanting “nationalist incitement.”

      Ms. Abu Akleh, a prominent Palestinian American journalist, was shot dead on Wednesday morning in the occupied West Bank during an Israeli raid on the city of Jenin. Witnesses said she was killed by an Israeli soldier.

      The Israeli Army said on Friday that while it was possible that Ms. Abu Akleh was mistakenly killed by Israeli fire, its initial investigation suggested that she might also have been hit by a Palestinian gunman.

    • Le temps des funérailles de Shireen Abu Akleh, Jérusalem s’affirme palestinienne
      Par Louis Imbert(Jérusalem, correspondant)
      Publié samedi 14 mai 2022 à 03h33, mis à jour à 08h18

      Ce jour de funérailles nationales palestiniennes commence sous les coups de matraque. Peu avant 14 heures, vendredi 13 mai, la police israélienne fait irruption dans la cour de l’hôpital Saint-Joseph, à Jérusalem-Est, d’où le corps de la journaliste Shireen Abu Akleh doit rejoindre la Vieille Ville. Des milliers de Palestiniens attendent de rendre un dernier hommage à cette femme, convaincus qu’elle a été tuée par un tir de l’armée israélienne, durant un raid à Jénine (nord de la Cisjordanie), le 11 mai.

      Les policiers chargent ceux qui se sont rassemblés dans la cour de l’hôpital. Ils poussent contre un mur les hommes qui s’étaient saisis du cercueil et qui avançaient vers les grilles, vers la rue. Ils s’acharnent sur deux des porteurs. L’un d’eux reçoit au moins dix coups de matraque dans les côtes et sur l’épaule, un coup de pied aux fesses, et finit par s’écrouler. Le cercueil bascule à 45 degrés, en direct devant les caméras, mais ne tombe pas.

      « Les policiers voulaient empêcher qu’ils l’emmènent en procession à travers le quartier de Cheikh Jarrah. Ils ont frappé sans distinction hommes, femmes âgées et enfants. Ils ont tiré des grenades assourdissantes à l’entrée du bâtiment, y sont entrés et ont terrifié des patients », raconte le directeur de l’établissement, Jamil Koussa. Quatorze personnes ont été blessées, dont trois touchées à la tête par des balles de métal cerclées de caoutchouc. Toutes sont rentrées chez elles en fin de journée.

      Un officier israélien avait mis en garde au préalable M. Koussa, le représentant de l’Union européenne et le consul de France – héritage de l’époque ottomane, Paris demeure le protecteur symbolique de l’hôpital Saint-Joseph. Il ne voulait pas voir de drapeaux palestiniens, ni entendre des chants nationalistes. « Mais personne ne peut contrôler cela ! Ce n’est pas dans nos mains ni dans celles de la famille », soupire le directeur. La veille, la police avait fait la même demande aux proches de Shireen Abu Akleh, selon le député arabe israélien Ahmad Tibi. L’après-midi de sa mort, déjà, des policiers avaient tenté de faire retirer un drapeau de leur maison à Jérusalem, où ils recevaient des condoléances.

      « Provocations nationalistes »

      La police affirme avoir réagi vendredi à des chants qu’elle qualifie de « provocations nationalistes ». Elle dit avoir reçu des pierres. Elle diffuse des vidéos, où l’on voit des hommes jeter des objets qui ressemblent à des bouteilles d’eau, peu avant son assaut, ainsi que d’autres images de cailloux sur le sol, sans contexte. A Washington, la Maison Blanche s’est dite « profondément troublée ». Puis, Jen Psaki, la porte-parole dont c’était le dernier briefing, a poursuivi : « Nous déplorons l’intrusion dans ce qui aurait dû être une procession dans le calme. »

      Depuis une décennie, la police de Jérusalem s’emploie avec une vigueur renouvelée à faire disparaître les drapeaux palestiniens de la ville. Quand bien même le droit israélien n’interdit pas de lever cet emblème, ni de chanter. Cette obsession a atteint un sommet ces trois derniers jours, mais en pure perte. L’ampleur nationale de l’enterrement de Mme Abu Akleh est indéniable.

      Des Palestiniens s’étaient rassemblés sur les trottoirs de Cisjordanie, pour voir passer l’ambulance qui transportait son corps à Jénine et à Naplouse, où il a été autopsié mercredi, puis à Ramallah jeudi. Ils avaient pénétré, intrigués, le bunker qu’est devenu le palais présidentiel, où Mahmoud Abbas, âgé de 87 ans, s’isole en fin de règne, auprès du mausolée de Yasser Arafat. Après une cérémonie d’hommage, dans la cour, un petit groupe a lancé des slogans, critiquant la coopération sécuritaire qu’entretient l’Autorité palestinienne avec Israël.

      M. Abbas a réaffirmé qu’il tenait Israël pour « pleinement responsable » de la mort de Mme Abu Akleh, à l’unisson de son employeur, la chaîne panarabe Al-Jazira, et de plusieurs confrères qui ont été témoins de sa mort à Jénine.

      L’Autorité palestinienne ne transmettra pas les résultats de l’enquête médico-légale aux autorités israéliennes « parce que nous ne leur faisons pas confiance », a précisé M. Abbas. Il
      les réserve à la Cour pénale internationale, qui a ouvert en 2021 une enquête sur les crimes perpétrés dans les territoires depuis 2018.

      L’armée israélienne, pour sa part, envisage que la journaliste ait été tuée par des tirs de Palestiniens. Mais elle a avancé vendredi la possibilité qu’un soldat ait fait feu sur elle depuis un véhicule situé à quelque 200 mètres de distance, alors qu’il visait à la lunette un tireur palestinien.

      Une messe « confuse, tendue »

      Après la cérémonie à la Mouqata’a, jeudi, des centaines de Palestiniens ont encore accompagné le cercueil jusqu’au point de contrôle de Qalandia, barrière de la Ville sainte. Sur Al-Jazira, le chef de bureau de Mme Abu Akleh, qui suivait l’ambulance, a raconté que des soldats israéliens l’y ont arrêté, ont fouillé sa voiture et confisqué le keffieh taché de sang de sa défunte consœur. Des Palestiniens de Jérusalem, brandissant encore des drapeaux, les attendaient de l’autre côté.

      Vendredi, une ambulance a fini par porter la dépouille jusqu’à la cathédrale grecque melkite catholique, près de la porte de Jaffa.

      Dans cette ruelle de la Vieille Ville, un chant est lancé en
      l’honneur de Mohammed Deif (dit « l’invité »), le chef militaire du mouvement islamiste Hamas dans la bande de Gaza. Il ne recueille que peu d’écho parmi les chrétiens. La messe est
      « confuse, tendue, parce que tout le monde veut être près de Shireen », note à la sortie l’évêque officiant, Yasser Ayyash, étole de fil d’or en main. Il n’avait pas vu sa ville se rassembler ainsi autour d’un mort depuis les funérailles de Fayçal Husseini, le représentant de l’Organisation de libération de la Palestine à Jérusalem, en 2001.

      Sous les fenêtres de l’hôtel de Pétra, dont une association de colons israéliens s’est arrogé le contrôle en mars, après dix-huit ans de bataille judiciaire, la porte de Jaffa est pleine à craquer. Des scouts catholiques – shorts kaki, bérets rouges en travers du crâne, tuyaux de cornemuse aux lèvres – descendent la rue du Patriarcat, en avant du cercueil qui flotte au-dessus des têtes. Ils battent un tambour grave, puis entraînent la foule sur un vieil air nationaliste – « J’écris le nom de mon pays sur le soleil. » D’autres suivront, alors qu’un cortège impressionnant s’étire vers le sud, le long du mur de la Vieille Ville, au-dessus de la vallée de la Géhenne. Des policiers voltigeurs y plongent, pour saisir un drapeau au vol. Mais ils ne peuvent accéder à ceux qui couvrent et entourent le cercueil.

      Cette procession est un rappel au réel. Israël a beau considérer Jérusalem comme sa capitale « réunifiée », depuis qu’il a conquis sa part orientale en 1967, la population palestinienne ne cesse de croître. La Ville sainte est aujourd’hui arabe à 40 % (25 % en 1967), la Vieille Ville à 90 %. Il est toujours difficile de prédire ce qui peut mettre cette cité en branle, ce qui peut la
      rassembler en dehors de la « défense » des lieux saints musulmans d’Al-Aqsa. Mais ce vendredi, elle se presse autour de la dépouille d’une femme de 51 ans, chrétienne, qui n’a joué
      aucun rôle politique ou militaire. Depuis deux décennies, elle tenait la chronique des petits et grandes misères de l’occupation des territoires, en direct dans les salons et les chambres à

      Après 16 heures, le cercueil de Shireen Abu Akleh rejoint la tombe de ses parents sur le mont Sion. Cette colline située hors les murs, au sud, a donné son nom au sionisme, mais elle
      demeure pour l’essentiel un cimetière chrétien. Des gardiens font poliment descendre de jeunes gens des toits des caveaux familiaux, où ils tentent de trouver un angle de vue. Les
      cloches de toutes les églises de la Vieille Ville résonnent de concert. Elles couvrent le vrombissement d’un hélicoptère israélien, qui demeure en vol stationnaire, pas bien haut à la
      verticale des tombes.

    • Tollé international après la charge de la police israélienne aux funérailles de Shireen Abu Akleh
      France 24 Publié le : 14/05/2022

      La communauté internationale a dénoncé l’intervention violente de la police israélienne, vendredi, aux funérailles, à Jérusalem, de la journaliste Shireen Abu Akleh. De son côté, le Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU a « fermement condamné » le meurtre de la reporter et réclamé « une enquête immédiate, approfondie, transparente et impartiale » sur cette affaire. La police israélienne a, de son côté, annoncé l’ouverture d’une enquête.

      La police israélienne a annoncé samedi 14 mai l’ouverture d’une enquête après le tollé international provoqué par l’intervention de ses membres lors des funérailles de la journaliste palestinienne Shireen Abu Akleh, dont le cercueil a failli tomber après les coups de matraque contre les porteurs. (...)

  • Biden Could Make the World Safer, but He’s Too Afraid of the Politics

    Since taking office, Mr. Biden has pledged to re-enter the #Iran nuclear deal that Barack Obama signed and Donald Trump junked. That’s vital, since Tehran, freed from the deal’s constraints, has been racing toward the ability to build a nuclear bomb. Now, according to numerous press reports, the United States and Iran have largely agreed on how to revive the agreement.

    But there’s one major obstacle left: The Trump administration’s designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps — a branch of the Iranian military charged with defending Iran’s theocratic political system — as a foreign terrorist organization. Tehran wants the designation lifted. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in late April that the United States wouldn’t do that, at least not without unspecified conditions that Tehran appears disinclined to meet. He also warned the senators that failing to reach a deal that arrests Iran’s nuclear progress would have grave consequences. The Islamic republic, he estimated, is only a “matter of weeks” from being able to construct a nuclear weapon.

    Given all of that, something else Mr. Blinken said is even more shocking. He said the terrorist designation doesn’t matter. “As a practical matter,” he explained, “the designation does not really gain you much because there are myriad other sanctions on the I.R.G.C.” By its own admission, the Biden administration is risking the Iran nuclear deal for nothing.

    [...] This timidity has become a pattern for the Biden administration. On foreign policy, it often retreats from the policies it believes are best in the face of political opposition.

  • A Note About Today’s Wordle Game - The New York Times

    At New York Times Games, we take our role seriously as a place to entertain and escape, and we want Wordle to remain distinct from the news.

    Today’s New York Times Wordle Answer is Fetus

    Emotions are running high around the word “fetus” after last week’s news about the possible end to Roe V. Wade and women’s right to safe abortion.

    F-E-T-U-S is also a five-letter word, so some people were more than a little surprised when it ended up as one of the answers to Monday’s Wordle.

    NYT’s Wordle swap part of an ongoing gaming debate

    The New York Times’ decision to change Monday’s Wordle answer is part of a long-running debate about how politically charged games should be.

    #jeu_vidéo #jeux_vidéo #jeu_vidéo_wordle #the_new_york_times #the_new_york_times_games #actualité #politique #mots_croisés #débat #polémique #fœtus #vocabulaire #justice #législation #états-unis #everdeen_mason #naomi_clark #jeu_vidéo_far_cry_6 #jeu_vidéo_call_of_duty #ian_bogost #roe_v_wade

  • U.S. Intelligence Is Helping Ukraine Kill Russian Generals, Officials Say

    The United States has provided intelligence about Russian units that has allowed Ukrainians to target and kill many of the Russian generals who have died in action in the #Ukraine war, according to senior American officials.

    Ukrainian officials said they have killed approximately 12 generals on the front lines, a number that has astonished military analysts.

    [...] “Clearly, we want the Russians to know on some level that we are helping the Ukrainians to this extent, and we will continue to do so,” said Evelyn Farkas, the former top Defense Department official for Russia and Ukraine in the Obama administration. “We will give them everything they need to win, and we’re not afraid of Vladimir Putin’s reaction to that. We won’t be self-deterred."

  • College-Educated Workers Help Unionize Places Like Starbucks - The New York Times

    Over the past decade and a half, many young, college-educated workers have faced a disturbing reality: that it was harder for them to reach the middle class than for previous generations. The change has had profound effects — driving shifts in the country’s politics and mobilizing employees to demand fairer treatment at work. It may also be giving the labor movement its biggest lift in decades.


  • Obama Calls for More Oversight of Social Media in Speech at Stanford - The New York Times

    PALO ALTO, Calif. — Former President Barack Obama on Thursday called for greater regulatory oversight of the country’s social media giants, saying their power to curate the information that people consume has “turbocharged” political polarization and threatened the pillars of democracy across the globe.

    Weighing in on the debate over how to address the spread of disinformation, he said the companies needed to subject their proprietary algorithms to the same kind of regulatory oversight that ensured the safety of cars, food and other consumer products.

    “Tech companies need to be more transparent about how they operate,” Mr. Obama said in a speech at Stanford University, long an incubator for the tech sector in Silicon Valley. “So much of the conversation around disinformation is focused on what people post. The bigger issue is what content these platforms promote.”

    The former president lent his support to proposals to revise a key legal shield for internet companies: Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects social media platforms from liability for content that their users post. Supporters of a change believe it would force companies to do more to curb illegal or dangerous behavior — from drug sales to disinformation with equally harmful consequences.

    Mr. Obama, while praising the internet’s transformative benefits, urged companies to put social responsibility ahead of the relentless quest for profits.

    “These companies need to have some other North Star than just making money and increasing profit shares,” he said.

    Mr. Obama spoke at a conference organized by Stanford’s Cyber Policy Center, which is dedicated to the challenges the digital world has created for democracy in the United States and beyond. He cited his own effective use of social media as a candidate but also his frustration with how Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, used social media to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

    “What does still nag at me was my failure to fully appreciate how susceptible we had become to lies and conspiracy theories, despite being a target of disinformation myself,” he said, referring to, among other things, the false debate over his U.S. birth certificate. “Putin didn’t do that. He didn’t have to. We did it to ourselves.”

    #Médias_sociaux #Barack_Obama #régulation

  • What Are Elon Musk’s Political Views? - The New York Times

    The billionaire in pursuit of Twitter has often been described as a libertarian, but he has not shrunk from government help when it has been good for business.

    But what no one seemed to be able to say with any certainty was what kind of political philosophy the enigmatic billionaire believes himself.

    That’s because Mr. Musk, 50, who was born in South Africa and only became an American citizen in 2002, expresses views that don’t fit neatly into this country’s binary, left-right political framework.

    He is frequently described as libertarian, though that label fails to capture how paradoxical and random his politics can be. He has no shortage of opinions on the most pertinent and divisive issues of the day, from Covid-19 lockdowns (“fascist,” he called them) to immigration restrictions (“Very much disagree,” he has said).

    There is not much consistency in the miscellany of his public statements or his profuse Twitter commentary — except that they often align with his business interests. And despite the intense partisan reaction to his unsolicited bid to buy Twitter, his opaque politics make it difficult to say whether the elation and fear about how he would run the company are justified.

    He has railed against federal subsidies but his companies have benefited from billions of dollars in tax breaks and other incentives from federal, state and local governments. He has strenuously opposed unionization, criticizing the Biden administration for proposing a tax credit for electric vehicles produced by union workers.

    His concerns about the way Twitter now censors content echo those of conservative activists and politicians who have argued that social media companies are poor arbiters of truth and should not be engaged in policing speech. One person who has worked closely with Mr. Musk said that it is Mr. Musk’s firmly held belief that in a functioning democracy, it is anyone’s right to say “whatever stupid thing you want.” This person, who spoke anonymously to not violate Mr. Musk’s trust, added dryly, “Which he occasionally does.”

    If he should become Twitter’s owner, Mr. Musk said he would scrap the current program of content monitoring and censoring. Conservatives were elated. “Elon Musk seems to be our last hope,” declared Tucker Carlson of Fox News.

    Mr. Musk tends to give only a few thousand dollars at a time — nothing like the tens of millions that Mr. Thiel has given this year to support candidates like J.D. Vance for Senate in Ohio, for instance. And his giving is fairly evenly distributed to candidates in both political parties. He has donated to stalwarts in the Democratic Party, including Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama. But he has also cut checks to Kevin McCarthy, the House Republican leader, and to the Republican National Committee.

    Here, too, his actions appear to reflect the moves of someone who is not thinking ideologically but pragmatically. Many of his donations were funneled to politicians in states where Tesla has manufacturing operations like Texas and California. He has given to both Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, and Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat.

    #Elon_Musk #Libertarianisme

  • A Billionaires’ World - The New York Times

    This wealth conveys vast power on a small group of people. They can attempt to shape politics, as the Koch family has done. They can create a global charity, as Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates have done. They can buy a national media organization, as Jeff Bezos has done.

    Or they can buy a social media network when its policies annoy them, as Elon Musk is in the process of doing.

    Twitter announced yesterday that its board had accepted a $44 billion bid for the company from Musk, the chief executive of Tesla and SpaceX and currently the world’s richest man. He is using $21 billion of his own cash in the deal.

    Musk, who calls himself a “free speech absolutist,” has suggested that he will be less aggressive than Twitter’s current management about blocking some content — including misinformation, in all likelihood. He plans to take the company private, which will give him tighter control than he would have over a public company.

    The deal is the latest example of how extreme inequality is shaping American society. A small number of very wealthy people end up making decisions that affect millions of others. That has always been true, of course. But it is truer when inequality is so high.

    #Elon_Musk #Twitter

  • The Perils of Legalization - The New York Times

    Drug overdose deaths in the U.S. reached their highest point ever recorded last year, with more than 100,000 deaths over 12 months. Deaths are up nearly 50 percent since the start of the Covid pandemic.

    Whenever I write about deadly overdoses, some readers ask: Why not legalize and regulate drugs? They argue that the government causes more harm by outlawing drugs and enforcing those bans through policing and incarceration. They suggest that legalization and regulation could better minimize the risks involved.

    So today I want to explain why that argument goes only so far — and why many experts are skeptical.

    “Drug warriors said we should have a drug-free nation, which was totally bogus,” Jonathan Caulkins, a drug policy expert at Carnegie Mellon University, told me. “But it is totally bogus on the other side to say we can legalize and all the problems will go away.”

    In fact, we are living through a crisis that shows the risks of legalization: the opioid epidemic.

    The problem began with a legal, regulated drug: prescription painkillers. Pharmaceutical companies promised the drugs would help address pain, a major public health issue. But when the pills were made widely available in the 1990s, their use skyrocketed — along with addiction and overdoses. And instead of carefully regulating the drugs, officials consistently gave in to profit-minded pharmaceutical companies, which sold opioids to millions of people.

    As we now know, those opioids were not as safe or as effective as claimed.

    But federal agencies consistently failed to act as painkiller overdose deaths quadrupled, the drug policy historian Kathleen Frydl argued:

    After approving OxyContin with faulty data, the Food and Drug Administration did not explicitly restrict its use until the 2010s.

    The Drug Enforcement Administration sets limits on how many opioids can be produced, but it increased those limits for years, until the mid-2010s. The quota for oxycodone was nearly 13 times higher at its peak in 2013 compared with 1998. Without higher quotas, “we wouldn’t have an opioid crisis,” Frydl told me.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not publish guidelines calling for stricter prescription of opioids until 2016, more than two decades after OxyContin was approved.

    The bottom line

    No one drug policy is perfect, and all involve trade-offs. “We’ve got freedom, pleasure, health, crime and public safety,” the Stanford drug policy expert Keith Humphreys has told me. “You can push on one and two of those — maybe even three with different drugs — but you can’t get rid of all of them. You have to pay the piper somewhere.”

    #Opioides #Légalisation #Drogues

  • The YouTube Rabbit Hole Is Nuanced - The New York Times

    Shira Ovide

    By Shira Ovide
    April 21, 2022

    Perhaps you have an image in your mind of people who get brainwashed by YouTube.

    You might picture your cousin who loves to watch videos of cuddly animals. Then out of the blue, YouTube’s algorithm plops a terrorist recruitment video at the top of the app and continues to suggest ever more extreme videos until he’s persuaded to take up arms.

    A new analysis adds nuance to our understanding of YouTube’s role in spreading beliefs that are far outside the mainstream.

    A group of academics found that YouTube rarely suggests videos that might feature conspiracy theories, extreme bigotry or quack science to people who have shown little interest in such material. And those people are unlikely to follow such computerized recommendations when they are offered. The kittens-to-terrorist pipeline is extremely uncommon.

    That doesn’t mean YouTube is not a force in radicalization. The paper also found that research volunteers who already held bigoted views or followed YouTube channels that frequently feature fringe beliefs were far more likely to seek out or be recommended more videos along the same lines.

    The findings suggest that policymakers, internet executives and the public should focus less on the potential risk of an unwitting person being led into extremist ideology on YouTube, and more on the ways that YouTube may help validate and harden the views of people already inclined to such beliefs.

    “We’ve understated the way that social media facilitates demand meeting supply of extreme viewpoints,” said Brendan Nyhan, one of the paper’s co-authors and a Dartmouth College professor who studies misperceptions about politics and health care. “Even a few people with extreme views can create grave harm in the world.”

    People watch more than one billion hours of YouTube videos daily. There are perennial concerns that the Google-owned site may amplify extremist voices, silence legitimate expression or both, similar to the worries that surround Facebook.

    This is just one piece of research, and I mention below some limits of the analysis. But what’s intriguing is that the research challenges the binary notion that either YouTube’s algorithm risks turning any of us into monsters or that kooky things on the internet do little harm. Neither may be true.

    (You can read the research paper here. A version of it was also published earlier by the Anti-Defamation League.)
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    Digging into the details, about 0.6 percent of research participants were responsible for about 80 percent of the total watch time for YouTube channels that were classified as “extremist,” such as that of the far-right figures David Duke and Mike Cernovich. (YouTube banned Duke’s channel in 2020.)

    Most of those people found the videos not by accident but by following web links, clicking on videos from YouTube channels that they subscribed to, or following YouTube’s recommendations. About one in four videos that YouTube recommended to people watching an extreme YouTube channel were another video like it.

    Only 108 times during the research — about 0.02 percent of all video visits the researchers observed — did someone watching a relatively conventional YouTube channel follow a computerized suggestion to an outside-the-mainstream channel when they were not already subscribed.

    The analysis suggests that most of the audience for YouTube videos promoting fringe beliefs are people who want to watch them, and then YouTube feeds them more of the same. The researchers found that viewership was far more likely among the volunteers who displayed high levels of gender or racial resentment, as measured based on their responses to surveys.

    “Our results make clear that YouTube continues to provide a platform for alternative and extreme content to be distributed to vulnerable audiences,” the researchers wrote.

    Like all research, this analysis has caveats. The study was conducted in 2020, after YouTube made significant changes to curtail recommending videos that misinform people in a harmful way. That makes it difficult to know whether the patterns that researchers found in YouTube recommendations would have been different in prior years.

    Independent experts also haven’t yet rigorously reviewed the data and analysis, and the research didn’t examine in detail the relationship between watching YouTubers such as Laura Loomer and Candace Owens, some of whom the researchers named and described as having “alternative” channels, and viewership of extreme videos.

    More studies are needed, but these findings suggest two things. First, YouTube may deserve credit for the changes it made to reduce the ways that the site pushed people to views outside the mainstream that they weren’t intentionally seeking out.

    Second, there needs to be more conversation about how much further YouTube should go to reduce the exposure of potentially extreme or dangerous ideas to people who are inclined to believe them. Even a small minority of YouTube’s audience that might regularly watch extreme videos is many millions of people.

    Should YouTube make it more difficult, for example, for people to link to fringe videos — something it has considered? Should the site make it harder for people who subscribe to extremist channels to automatically see those videos or be recommended similar ones? Or is the status quo fine?

    This research reminds us to continually wrestle with the complicated ways that social media can both be a mirror of the nastiness in our world and reinforce it, and to resist easy explanations. There are none.

    #YouTube #Influence #Extrêmiste #Recommandation

  • Opinion | They Are the Heirs of Nazi Fortunes, and They Aren’t Apologizing - The New York Times

    The backbone of Germany’s economy today is the car industry. It’s not just that it accounts for about 10 percent of G.D.P.; brands like Porsche, Mercedes, BMW and Volkswagen are recognized around the world as symbols of German industrial ingenuity and excellence. These companies spend millions on branding and advertising to ensure they are thought of this way. They spend less money and energy on discussing their roots. These corporations can trace their success directly back to Nazis: Ferdinand Porsche persuaded Hitler to put Volkswagen into production. His son, Ferry Porsche, who built up the company, was a voluntary SS officer. Herbert Quandt, who built BMW into what it is today, committed war crimes. So did Friedrich Flick, who came to control Daimler-Benz. Unlike Mr. Quandt, Mr. Flick was convicted at Nuremberg.

  • Apple’s Zipped Lips on Chips - The New York Times

    Intéressant cet article sur la géopolitique des puces et les délais d’autonomie des entreprises et des Etats.

    U.S. and European officials talk incessantly about making more of the world’s advanced computer chips anywhere other than Taiwan, which they consider vulnerable to Chinese invasion or influence. They’re on a mission to make more chips in the U.S. and Europe and want to spend taxpayer dollars to do so.

    Apple doesn’t seem so worried. For years to come, Apple has planned for devices rolling off assembly lines to continue relying on chips made largely in Taiwan.

    Apple has a track record of bending global technology manufacturing to its will, and the company has lobbied for more computer chips to be made in America. But Apple and other big buyers of chips do not seem to have made it a priority and are not seriously using their influence over suppliers to speed up the building of chip factories in the U.S., Japan or Europe.

    “The industry is not raising this as something that they need to see some action on immediately,” said Brett Simpson, a computer chip specialist and partner at the investment firm Arete Research.

    The apparent disconnect between Western governments and the biggest buyers of chips, like Apple, raises a question for both companies and policymakers: Who is right about the urgency of the economic and geopolitical risks of concentrating chip-making in Taiwan — the people who need votes or the companies that vote with their wallets?

    Government officials might be overstating the risks of concentrating chip-making in Taiwan, or chip buyers like Apple might be underestimating them. Or maybe these companies find it too daunting to shift more quickly away from the expertise of Taiwan’s chip factories. Whatever the reason, it’s as if elected leaders and the companies that need chips the most are working from a different sense of what is possible and necessary for the future of this essential industry.

    Let me recap why big businesses and big governments want to keep computer chips flowing but aren’t moving in lock step on how and how quickly to achieve that.

    Many important products — including smartphones, medical devices and fighter jets — need computer chips to function as their brains or memory. Some of us have become keenly aware of these teeny components because the manufacturing of computer chips hasn’t kept up with the demand of people who have wanted to buy cars, computers and other goods during the pandemic.

    The shortages of some products, and the increasing tensions between the U.S. and China, have turned the spotlight onto the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, or TSMC. It makes most of the world’s cutting-edge computer chips, including for Apple’s products, almost entirely in factories in Taiwan.
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    TSMC is expanding into other places, including Arizona, but it takes years to get new factories up and running. It’s in everyone’s interest to keep factories churning out computer chips without interruption, because the global economy sputters otherwise. The Biden administration and many tech experts also say that it’s strategically important to preserve America’s know-how in chip-making and counter China’s ambitions in chip-making and other essential tech areas.

    Changing the world’s reliance on chips made in Taiwan won’t be easy, and industry officials told me that Apple has been working behind the scenes to support legislation to manufacture more chips in America.

    Some big chip buyers also have said that they’re helping TSMC pay for its chip factories outside Taiwan and will buy chips manufactured there. The question is whether all this could move faster if influential customers put more of their muscle into it.

    Simpson told me that if Apple and other big customers such as Qualcomm and Nvidia wanted to more quickly spread manufacturing away from Taiwan, they could press TSMC to get new factories ready to go all at once rather than in phases, as TSMC has been doing. They could also commit to buying more chips from other manufacturers such as Samsung and Intel with factories outside Taiwan. Instead, Apple and others have mostly been doubling down on contracts with TSMC.

    When Washington and Silicon Valley don’t seem to share the same sense of urgency, it’s tough for all of us to know if it’s worth the collective effort to create a new world order in computer chips.

    #Puces #Géopolitique #Economie_numérique

  • Before Giving Billions to Jared Kushner, Saudi Investment Fund Had Big Doubts - The New York Times

    Le cadeau saoudien à Jared Kushner | Le blogue de Richard Hétu

    La transaction soulève plusieurs questions. L’investissement saoudien constitue-t-il un retour d’ascenseur pour les services rendus par un ancien conseiller présidentiel ? Après tout, Kushner a joué un rôle important pour défendre MBS après l’assassinat du journaliste Jamal Khashoggi ainsi que pour protéger les ventes d’armes à l’Arabie saoudite remises en question par le Congrès après la catastrophe humanitaire engendrée par les bombardements saoudiens au Yémen.

    Ou les 2 milliards de dollars représentent-ils une sorte d’acompte pour assurer la bienveillance de Kushner au cas d’un retour de Donald Trump au pouvoir ?

    Jared Kushner, faut-il préciser, n’est pas accusé d’avoir enfreint la loi en recevant ce cadeau, euh… cet investissement saoudien. Mais il y a quelque chose de profondément troublant dans cette transaction conclue quelques mois seulement après un séjour à la Maison-Blanche au cours duquel l’ex-conseiller a noué une relation étroite avec MBS, allant même jusqu’à communiquer avec lui via WhatsApp. Imaginez un peu quelle aurait été la réaction du New York Post et de Fox News si Hunter Biden avait réussi le même coup après avoir conseillé son père de président.


  • A Violent Crisis - The New York Times

    Three explanations help explain the increase in violence. The Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns disrupted all aspects of life, including the social services that can tame crime and violence. The high-profile police killings of 2020 and the protests that followed strained police-community relations. And Americans bought a record number of guns in recent years.

    Another explanation, covered in this newsletter before, ties these issues together: a growing sense of social discord and distrust. As Americans lose faith in their institutions and each other, they are more likely to lash out — sometimes in violent ways, Randolph Roth, a crime historian at Ohio State University, told me.

    Besides Covid and police brutality, the country’s increasingly polarized politics and poor economic conditions have also fueled this discord. That helps explain the murder spike, as well as recent increases in drug addiction and overdoses, mental health problems, car crashes and even confrontations over masks on airplanes.

    #Violence #Etats-Unis

  • New Drug Slashed Deaths Among Patients With Severe Covid, Maker Claims - The New York Times

    An experimental drug halved the death rate among critically ill Covid patients who were receiving supplemental oxygen and were at high risk for serious lung disease and death, the drug’s developer announced on Monday.

    There is a pressing need for new treatments for critically ill patients. Drugs like Paxlovid, made by Pfizer, are aimed primarily at patients who have mild or moderate disease. Other treatments administered to hospitalized patients in serious condition have shown limited effectiveness.

    The new drug, #sabizabulin, reduced deaths among hospitalized Covid-19 patients so drastically in a clinical trial that independent safety monitors recommended stopping it early, officials at Veru Inc., the drug’s maker, said. The trial was halted on Friday.