Supreme Court of Brazil resumes trial on fake news

Brasilia, Jun 17 (Prensa Latina) The Supreme Federal Court (STF) of Brazil will on Wednesday resume the trial on an investigation into fake news, accusations and threats against ministers of this court on social networks by allies of President Jair Bolsonaro.

On June 10, the STF opened the hearing to define whether the inquiry on the fake news is legal and can proceed or is dismissed.

According to STF Judge Edson Fachin, the process is constitutional, as long as rules are respected. This way, it limits the scope to the investigation carried out by Minister Alexandre de Moraes since early 2019.

The ten other STF magistrates will on Wednesday analyze the action by the Sustainability Network (REDE) party, submitted last year to challenge the way to open the inquiry.

Upon orders by Moraes, on May 27, the Federal Police made 29 raids and confiscated documents from politicians, entrepreneurs and other supporters of Bolsonaro related to this investigation.

The judicial orders were executed in the states of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Mato Grosso, Parana and Santa Catarina, as well as in the Federal District.

One of the targets was the president of the Brazilian Labor Party, former lawmaker Roberto Jefferson, who had a house raided by the federal agents in Rio de Janeiro.

In addition to Jefferson, other targets were Havan owner Luciano Hang, Sao Paulo lawmaker Douglas Garcia, activist Sara Winter, blogger Allan dos Santos and humorist Rey Biannchi.

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Why has Cuban biotechnology been successful against COVID-19?

Along with the successes achieved by Cuban drugs in the treatment of the disease, the island’s biotechnology faces new and old challenges, such as obtaining a vaccine and overcoming the effects of the U.S. embargo

The biotechnology sector has been fundamental in Cuba’s successful battle against COVID-19. Thanks to a more than 30-year-old structured and recognized industry, the talent and dedication of its scientists, and the results obtained over decades, the island’s biotechnology has been able to quickly make available to hospitals a battery of products, converted by their effectiveness into pillars of the Cuban medical protocol against the pandemic.

The recombinant interferon alpha 2b, of proven antiviral efficacy, the monoclonal Itolizumab and the CIGB 258 peptide, the latter two used in the treatment of patients who reach the severe phases of the disease, have been key in reducing the mortality rate from COVID-19 in Cuba, which has remained below 4%. They are not, logically, the only medicines produced on the island now redirected as part of this battle for life, but they are bulwarks of that effort, the most visible fruits today of a leafy tree still growing and with many challenges ahead.

“There are 70 ongoing research protocols in Cuba related to COVID-19, which in these months have been approved by the joint scientific committee. It may be difficult for someone to believe, but it is so,” says Dr. Tania Crombet, director of clinical research at the Center for Molecular Immunology (CIM), in an exclusive interview with OnCuba. “While there have been products that have had more visibility, such as interferons with their well-earned fame, and the two molecules that are being used in seriously or critically ill patients, we have other drugs that we have also been using successfully and are continuing to investigate.”

“For example,” she specifies, “from our center there is another molecule that is already known, recombinant human erythropoietin, which is also part of the protocol for the seriously or critically ill patients. In this case, it is a molecule that is used for two purposes: it is known to have a role in improving oxygenation, and these are patients with hypoxia, and we also introduced it knowingly that it has a cytoprotective role. We wanted to know how to prevent damage induced by ischemia, by hypoxia in the lungs and in other organs such as the heart, kidneys, liver; therefore, Cuban patients have the opportunity of getting another very expensive medicine from the biotechnological industry as part of the protocol used for those who unfortunately reach the condition of serious or critical, and thus they can be less affected by the damage the illness may have caused in them.”

Charles Barkley Says ‘Defund the Police’ Would Hurt Black Communities: ‘Who the Black People Gonna Call, Ghostbusters?’

NBA legend Charles Barkley slammed calls to “defund the police” as a measure that would disproportionately affect communities of color, saying police reform to “weed out the bad cops” is the better strategy after several cities announced budget cuts to their police departments.

Speaking Monday on ESPN’s morning show, Get Up, Barkley argued that “we just need police reform, because we need police.”

“We need to weed out the bad cops — you know I hear these guys getting on television these politicians talking about ‘defunding the police department.’ First of all, that would have a negative effect on the black communities — who the black people gonna call, Ghostbusters?” Barkley asked. “Because they’re not gonna defund the police in the good white neighborhoods, so we need police reform.”

Barkley has repeatedly argued against defunding the police in the wake of national protests following the death of George Floyd. “We need the cops, most of the cops do a fantastic job, but instead of defunding and all this other stuff, let’s just do police reform. Everybody should be on board for that whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, conservative or liberal,” Barkley said last week on CNN.

While prominent Democrats, including Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, have dismissed calls for defunding the police and have instead proposed more funding for departments, other liberal politicians have moved to cut funding for law enforcement.

“You can’t really reform a department that is rotten to the root,” Representative Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) said in a Sunday interview, after the Minneapolis City Council announced last week that a veto-proof majority had voted to dissolve the police.

Boston mayor Marty Walsh announced last week that the city’s government would divert 20 percent of the police department’s overtime budget — approximately $12 million — to other programs, while New York mayor Bill de Blasio has also revealed a similar measure.

The NYPD said Monday that it was eliminating its anti-crime unit, which includes 600 plainclothes officers, and the LAPD has announced a budget cut of more than $100 million to help “reinvest” in communities of color. The latter announcement came after Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti said he was dropping a proposal to increase the police budget.

“We all have to be part of this solution together. We all have to step up and say, ‘What can we sacrifice?’” Garcetti explained.

Murder rates in Los Angeles and New York City have both spiked in recent weeks.

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Ted Cruz Lambastes Google CEO for ‘Politically Motivated’ Crackdown on <i>The Federalist</i> Comments Section

that Google CEO Sundar Pichai explain why the platform threatened to demonetize the right wing news website The Federalist over comments on articles related to recent Black Lives Matter protests.

“As evidence by its actions yesterday, Google seems more than happy to play this censorship role by trying to break the financial back of a media publication it disagrees with,” wrote Cruz, who serves as chairman of the Senate Judiciary’s Constitution Subcommittee. Attorney General Bill Barr and Federal Trade Commission chairman Joseph Simons were also copied on the letter.

Cruz pointed to other liberal outlets and YouTube, a subsidiary company completely owned by Google that has “thousands of profane, racist, and indefensible comments posted” daily, as proof of a double standard.

“Google’s decision to target The Federalist is transparently politically motivated,” Cruz stated. “ . . . any objective review would no doubt demonstrate at least as many profane or indefensible user comments on these other sites that would equally violate Google’s alleged standards.”

He also challenged Google over its “deeply ironic” defense of Section 230, which grants it liability immunity for third-party content published on its platform.

“While Google demands that it cannot be held financially accountable for unlawful speech on its own platform, it is all too willing to use its market power to hold a conservative media outlet financially responsible for allowing disfavored speech on its platform,” Cruz argued.

After NBC News published a story quoting a Google spokesperson that said the platform had “removed” The Federalist’s “ability to monetize with Google,” the company clarified that it had not, in fact, demonetized the outlet, and had worked with The Federalist to address policy violations “related to the comments section.”

“As the comment section has now been removed, we consider this matter resolved and no action will be taken,” Google said.

We worked with them to address issues on their site related to the comments section.

Cruz ended his letter by requesting answers from Google over whether it was tipped off by NBC News or the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) that the Federalist had violated its policies.

The NBC “Verification Center” reporter who broke the initial story wrote that the demonetization came after NBC flagged a CCDH report on hate speech that implicated The Federalist. The reporter then congratulated the CCDH and its subsidiary project “Stop Funding Fake News” on the action and wrote that they had “collaborated” to get The Federalist demonetized.

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Lavrov reports on Astana meeting on Syria

Moscow, Jun 16 (Prensa Latina) Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday reported by on the Astana inter-Syria gathering during a meeting with his Iranian peer, Jabad Zarif.

Lavrov pointed out that the trio (Russia, Turkey and Iran) can hold a videoconference at the highest level before the next meeting of the Syrian Constitutional Committee, scheduled for August.

The online meeting could also be attended by the special envoy of the United Nations secretary general for Syria, Geir Pedersen, noted the head of Russian diplomacy, who was quoted by local television.

The meeting with Zarif was Lavrov’s first face-to-face encounter with a foreign official since the closure of international communications, due to the contention measures against the Covid-19 pandemic.

During the talks, both Zarif and Lavrov confirmed that there is no alternative to the agreements reached during the inter-Syria negotiations in Astana, in Kazakhstan, including the matters related to antiterrorism.

That must happen, evidently, with respect to Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the Russian foreign minister said.

During the meeting, the two parties discussed the tasks to guarantee stability in Syria, and pending issues related to the return of refugees and domestically displaced people, as well as the supply of humanitarian aid to the needy, he pointed out.

Last Sunday, Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu traveled to Turkey to hold consultations on regional issues of mutual interest, including the Syrian conflict and domestic confrontation in Libya.

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People’s caravan says goodbye to Cuba´s great vedette Rosita Fornes

Havana, Jun 16 (Prensa Latina) A prominent caravan paid its last respects to the outstanding dancer, singer and actress Rosita Fornes, with shouts and thunderous applause as a posthumous tribute to Cuba´s great vedette.

The funeral procession started after the emotional wake held at Jose Marti Theater, to which the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Raul Castro and the President of the Republic of Cuba Miguel Diaz-Canel sent their wreaths, while other personalities also paid tribute to the artist.

During the tour across the central avenues: Prado, Malecon and 23rd and 12th streets, the Cuban people bids farewell to the great vedette who will rest, as she asked, in her family pantheon at Colon Cemetery.

For its part, at 21:00 local time, national television will call for applauses to Rosita Fornes as a worthy popular tribute to one of the most beloved Cuban artists of all time.

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