Starlings in the Scottish skies Reuters (Re Silc). A murmuration.

Rescued endangered Loa water frogs have 200 offspring BBC

How The Bankruptcy Code Protects Lenders And Harms Student Debtors — And What One Lawyer Is Doing About It Above the Law

Digital Money Across Borders: Macro-Financial Implications International Monetary Fund

Got any signal up here? Nokia to build mobile network on the moon Reuters


Convalescent plasma in the management of moderate covid-19 in adults in India: open label phase II multicentre randomised controlled trial (PLACID Trial) British Medical Journal. Conclusion: “Convalescent plasma was not associated with a reduction in progression to severe covid-19 or all cause mortality. This trial has high generalisability and approximates convalescent plasma use in real life settings with limited laboratory capacity.”

What We Know So Far about How COVID Affects the Nervous System Scientific American

FDA OKs Remdesivir, First Drug for COVID-19 MedPage. The deck: “Approval comes a week after WHO trial showed no survival benefit.”

Players are terrified of COVID, but don’t want to speak up for fear of angering the NFL Deadspin

* * *

Ventilation and air filtration play a key role in preventing the spread of COVID-19 indoors USA Today. Note the importance of outside air. Also, leave the party early, before the “smoke” builds up.

Coronavirus pandemic is causing ‘unacceptable’ shortages in US drug supplies, report says CNN

The Missing Piece — SARS-CoV-2 Testing and School Reopening New England Journal of Medicine. Idea: Make testing free at the point of delivery.

Supply Chain Issues Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. A good aggregation.

* * *

Trump’s Vaccine Rush vs. the FDA: Inside Stephen Hahn’s “Existential Crisis” Vanity Fair

The COVID-19 response illustrates that traditional academic reward structures and metrics do not reflect crucial contributions to modern science (uncorrected proof) PLOS Biology

Chicago tightens restrictions as Covid cases spread across Midwest FT. Pretty slow reaction.


Xi Jinping says China ‘determined to defeat invaders’ in Korean war anniversary speech South China Morning Post

OpenStack at 10 years old: A failure on its own terms, a success in its own niche The Register. Read all the way to the end.

Electric-Car Mania Turns Asian Battery Makers Into Power Brokers Bloomberg


India buzzes with fake news of ‘civil war’ in Pakistan BBC

Doctors in Delhi see jump in breathing issues amid COVID-19, pollution Reuters

Why Telangana’s move to formalise land records could leave small farmers vulnerable The Scroll

Nigeria Sars protest: Prison break and gunshots heard as unrest continues BBC (Re Silc).


Grenfell boss binned crucial inquiry notes Morning Star

UK COVID-19 salary scheme fraud may hit $5 billion, watchdog says Reuters

Coronavirus: Why Spain is seeing second wave BBC

Chance for Chile to forge new path in vote to scrap Pinochet-era constitution Guardian

Argentina: A Second Falklands Brewing? Global Risk Insights

New Cold War

US to host Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict talks FT

Kyrgyzstan Sets New Polls as New PM Reassures Russia Agence France Presss

Battle for borshch: Ukraine lays claim to soup dish amid identity war with Russia The Atlantic Council. Now they’re just trolling us.

U.S. Broadens Sanctions to Thwart Completion of Russian Gas Pipeline WSJ

The ‘Caspian Sea Monster’ rises from the grave CNN

The Debate

The BidenCare mess:

“Fall through the cracks, according to Joe Biden. See the transcript:

What I’m going to do is pass Obamacare with a public option, and become Bidencare. The public option is an option that says that if you in fact do not have the wherewithal, if you qualify for Medicaid and you do not have the wherewithal in your state to get Medicaid, you automatically are enrolled, providing competition for insurance companies. That’s what’s going to happen.

“Available to all who want it,” according to the Biden campaign:

I assume the Democrats will go with what Biden actually said (and not “Joe’s Plan”) because that’s mean-tested, and doubles down on the “because markets” paradigm that would already have driven down costs under ObamaCare, were it true. In fact, costs increased, while gaps in coverage remained. Fortunately, it will only take another two or three Presidential cycles before the political class admits that the public option was a scam all along. You can do the math on the deaths; over time, they’re social murder on a pandemic scale.

* * *

“Who loses and who wins; who’s in, who’s out…” —King Lear

Trumpian “Hope and Change,” oh well:

The heel didn’t turn into a face:

Oh? Name them:

Trump Transition

Forget Antitrust Laws. To Limit Tech, Some Say a New Regulator Is Needed. NYT. Zephyr Teachout comments:

Mitch McConnell, 78, DENIES he has any health problems amid speculation over why his hands are badly bruised and covered in band-aids Daily Mail. VIvid photos, as is usual with the Mail.

The WTO Couldn’t Change China, so Robert Lighthizer Found Another Way WSJ

Barrett Confirmation

‘It’s a Very Determined Power Play to Pack Our Court’ FAIR. To which the Democrat answer was a boycott? Were they wearing Kente cloth, too?

Court Packing? It’s Already Happening at the State Level Governing


A BFD: Biden Finally Rejects The GOP’s Austerity Talking Points David Sirota, The Daily Poster vs. Fact check: Biden suggests Trump could deplete Social Security by 2023. Needs context NBC. So did he really?

Man arrested in Kannapolis with van full of guns and explosives, researched killing Joe Biden WBTV. The dude’s Mom suggested he jump bail.

Health Care

President Trump is benefiting from single-payer, single-provider health care. We all should STAT


House resolutions clearing leakers Snowden and Assange gain third co-sponsor in sole Libertarian Washington Times

‘The Guardian’s silence has let the UK trample on Assange’s rights in effective darkness’ Jonathan Cook

Our Famously Free Press

People Need to Reclaim the Internet Craig Murray. But:

What I Learned in Twitter Purgatory The Atlantic. From September, still german:

Former Google CEO Calls Social Networks ‘Amplifiers for Idiots’ Bloomberg


Airbus set to boost production of world’s most popular passenger jet FT. Well, I guess Boeing can always go into the repair business.

Class Warfare

Permanently remote workers seen doubling in 2021 due to pandemic productivity: survey Reuters

Appeals Court Says Uber and Lyft Must Treat California Drivers as Employees NYT

Imagining the End of Capitalism With Kim Stanley Robinson Jacobin. I quite liked New York 2140; hat tip to the reader who suggested it.

The Obligation of Self-Discovery Boston Review. Simone de Beauvoir.

No Matter Who Wins, The War Machine Wins Caitlin Johnstone

Antidote du Jour (via AM):

AM writes: “I think the fact that I took this picture makes me a bad cat parent but I couldn’t resist.”

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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