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Large portions of the military remain unvaccinated despite looming deadlines and COVID-19 deaths

Businessinsider - Sun, 10/10/2021 - 21:03
Portions of the military remain unvaccinated as the varying deadlines for each branch approach.
  • Large swaths of the military remain unvaccinated as the varying deadlines for each branch approach, per the Washington Post.
  • Some branches have the same vaccination deadline but significant disparities in vaccination progress.
  • A group of service members represented by former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell are suing the Pentagon over the mandate.

Despite looming vaccination deadlines, large swaths of the military remain unvaccinated in the face of the Pentagon's vaccination mandate, according to data from the Washington Post.

The Pentagon's vaccination mandate was announced in August, on the heels of President Joe Biden's announcement that federal employees must be fully vaccinated. Different branches of the military have varying deadlines to reach full vaccination.

While both the active-duty Navy and active-duty Marine Corps must be fully vaccinated by November 28, the Navy stands at 90% fully vaccinated while the Marine Corps is 76.5%, according to the Post.

Active-duty Air Force members are 80.9% fully vaccinated ahead of the November 2 deadline. Active-duty army, with approximately 481,600 members, stands at 81% fully vaccinated ahead of a December 15 deadline.

At least 62 service members have died from COVID, according to data from the Department of Defense.

Sidney Powell - known for being on former President Donald Trump's legal team as he attempted to overturn the 2020 presidential election results - is representing over a dozen active duty service members who are suing the Pentagon over the mandate, Bloomberg reported. The Department of Defense told Insider it does "not comment on pending litigation."

Meanwhile, rumors and misinformation have spread regarding the vaccination mandates. Earlier this month, a viral Instagram post suggested that Biden ordered dishonorable discharges for service members who did not get vaccinated, despite the fact that he does not have the authority to make such orders.

Active duty military already has vaccination requirements, such as those for chickenpox, MMR, and Tdap. The coronavirus vaccines are the 18th to be mandated by the defense department, Insider's Jake Lahut reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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US couple accused of selling nuclear submarine secrets

BBC News - World - Sun, 10/10/2021 - 20:42
A US Navy nuclear engineer and his wife allegedly sold the secret data to an undercover FBI agent.
Categories:

Stephanie Grisham says Trump has become great at 'taking advantage' of the GOP base: 'He knows they'll do whatever he says'

Businessinsider - Sun, 10/10/2021 - 20:36
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham looks on as US President Donald Trump speaks to journalists on the South Lawn of the White House on October 4, 2019.
  • On NBC's "Meet the Press," Stephanie Grisham said that Trump is "taking advantage" of the GOP base.
  • The former White House press secretary points to the ex-president's continued false election claims.
  • "He will never admit to being wrong, or to losing anything," she said during the interview.

Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham on Sunday said that former President Donald Trump has become great at "taking advantage" of the Republican base, which includes many Americans who are "desperate for a voice" in government.

During an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," Grisham recalled some of Trump's actions while returns were still coming in from key battleground states on Election night last November.

The former president was incensed over the election results from Arizona, a longtime Republican stronghold-turned-swing state that Fox News called for now-President Joe Biden earlier than most news networks.

In the early hours of the morning after Election Day, Grisham said that there was an internal discussion about how Trump would proceed with his remarks given that no candidate had reached the 270-electoral vote threshold to declare victory.

"When they went down to take the stage, I remember specifically there was still kind of a debate on what he should say when he took the stage, and it was kind of decided [that] he should say, 'We'll see what happens,' which, obviously, he did not say that when he took the stage," she told host Chuck Todd. "So I think he just refused to give up. I mean, it's Donald Trump, right?"

The former president ended up giving a fiery speech, claiming that he had won the election, even while vote counting was still ongoing in many states.

"We were getting ready to win this election," Trump said at roughly 2:30 a.m. ET. "Frankly, we did win this election."

He added: "This is a major fraud on our nation," without providing any verifiable evidence of wrongdoing.

Grisham said that Trump's continued insistence on pointing to a stolen election has only served to take advantage of the people who have looked to him for leadership.

"He will never admit to being wrong, or to losing anything," she said. "And now he's doubling and tripling down because he's got so many people supporting that theory."

"I think one thing he's gotten really good at, or he did get really good at as president, is taking advantage of the base and this group of people who are, you know, so desperate for a voice, which I understand and support, but I think they're being taken advantage of now and I think he knows they'll do whatever he says," she added.

Grisham, who was former first lady Melania Trump's chief of staff and press secretary at the time of her resignation on Jan. 6, recently released a tell-all memoir, "I'll Take Your Questions Now," which chronicles her time in the Trump White House.

She also told Todd that she believes that Trump will run for his old job in 2024 and likely bring along "people of the January 6 mind," alluding to the deadly insurrection that occurred during the certification of the Electoral College count at the US Capitol.

"I don't want him to run again," Grisham said. "I think people aren't remembering that if he does run again in 2024, he'll have no guardrails because he'll never have to worry about reelection, so he will do whatever he wants."

She emphasized: "He will hire whomever he wants, and I think that includes people of the January 6 mind."

Read the original article on Business Insider
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Dansk Uber Cup-hold spiller sig i kvartfinale

DR Sporten - Sun, 10/10/2021 - 20:33
Categories: Sport

Neymar tvivler på sin mentale styrke og sætter udløbsdato på landsholdskarrieren

DR Sporten - Sun, 10/10/2021 - 19:45
Den brasilianske fodboldstjerne siger i en ny dokumentar, at VM i 2022 vil være det sidste, han deltager i.
Categories: Sport

New Yorkers are biking, scootering, and jogging to New Jersey to bet on sports games

Businessinsider - Sun, 10/10/2021 - 19:41
A cyclist rides onto the George Washington Bridge on August 16, 2011 in New York City.
  • New Yorkers are hitting the pavement to cross the George Washington Bridge into New Jersey.
  • They're biking, scootering, and jogging to cross state lines and virtually sports bet, according to the New York Times.
  • New York City has technically legalized online sports betting, but it hasn't rolled out yet.

If you're a New Yorker hoping to make a dime off a sports game - but without losing money to a toll - the place for you might just be a jog or e-scooter ride away.

The New York Times' David Waldstein reported that a group of bettors are taking to leg or wheel and traversing the George Washington Bridge to make their wagers. That's because the George Washington Bridge connects Upper Manhattan with New Jersey; in Manhattan, bettors still aren't able to legally gamble on games on their phones. But in New Jersey, they can. Cue the bikers, scooters, and runners.

One bettor, Colman Cooper, arrived in New Jersey via bike. He told the New York Times that if he won on 1 p.m. games, he might bike back from Manhattan to New Jersey to try his hand again for a 4 p.m. game.

The entrance to the George Washington Bridge is located in New York's Washington Heights. For New Yorkers residing in Upper Manhattan - which includes neighboring Inwood and Harlem - as well as the Bronx, the bridge is easily accessible. Once on the bridge, there's just about a mile and a half between you and New Jersey.

It's a byproduct of the ongoing rollout of sports betting - especially mobile sports betting - and the way that some bettors have gotten creative during the pandemic. In 2018, the Supreme Court lifted a federal ban on sports betting, Insider's Alexandra Licata reported. New Jersey launched its sports betting that year.

Currently, New Yorkers can only bet on sports in-person at a handful of casinos upstate, according to MarketWatch. In April 2021, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the state would soon have its own online sports betting but said the state needed to decide on an operator to run that outfit.

Since New York hasn't done that yet, it's still not legal to place mobile wagers in the state, according to the Times.

New Yorkers heading to Jersey isn't a new phenomenon. Sports Illustrated's Ben Pickman reported in August on how virtual sports bettors flock to Linwood Pizza, right across the bridge in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Owner Jim Missiris told Sports Illustrated that his specialty pizza output increases by 50% during football season.

"It's almost like a party being in here," Missiris told Sports Illustrated.

The pandemic also fueled a boom in online sports betting. The American Gaming Association said that a record 7.6 million Super Bowl bettors in 2021 would wager virtually, a 63% year-over-year increase. Meanwhile, the number of bettors planning to bet in person dropped.

And, as the New York Times highlighted, the bridge also saw a pandemic boom - because the in-person New Jersey casino closed. Biking and e-scootering also took off even more during the pandemic, as work-from-home denizens yearned to safely get around and get some air.

But while New Yorkers are getting their steps - and bets - in, the practice might not be so healthy for New York's wallet.

New York State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. chairs the racing, gaming, and wagering committee, and has been a proponent for legalizing virtual betting to help raise funds for state programs. Addabbo told the Times that New York's legislation includes funding for gambling addiction programs; the state's Office of Addiction Services and Supports calls gambling addiction a "hidden addiction," and advises that having a plan before gambling can help adults gamble responsibly.

"That's our money that's going over that bridge," Addabbo told the Times. "Money that should be going to New York's education system is going to New Jersey. It burns me up."

Read the original article on Business Insider
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8 pandemic spending habits I plan to keep up forever

Businessinsider - Sun, 10/10/2021 - 19:36
Melissa Petro with her youngest child.
  • Melissa Petro is a freelance writer based in New York with her husband and two young children.
  • During the pandemic, she adopted new spending habits that have worked well for her family.
  • Petro says she now supports more local farmers, invests in quality kitchen equipment, and splurges on fresh flowers.

According to a recent report by Axios, America's spending habits are reverting back to pre-pandemic ways. Not so in my household.

While I've always considered myself relatively frugal, I started spending money in what felt like "luxurious" ways once the pandemic hit. Blame cabin fever or existential dread; it was also a fact that - thanks to pandemic unemployment insurance - I had a little more disposable income.

Now, even though things in my community are relatively back to normal and pandemic unemployment benefits have come to an end, my spending habits remain the same. Because I realized that what felt like splurges were actually relatively modest purchases, and because of these products and services dramatically improved my life, the following pandemic spending habits just might be here to stay.

1. I stockpile cleaning supplies

While I've definitely never been one of those toilet-paper hoarders, at the start of the pandemic I did pick up a couple extra bottles of bleach spray, sanitizing wipes, and everything else we'd need if someone got sick. Eighteen months later, I've kept up the habit. I love never running out of dish detergent or laundry soap.

2. I support local farmers

When the grocery store in town shut down, I started patronizing a hyper-local delivery service called Two Birds Provisions. This past spring, I became a patron. This means that I get a cooler full of locally grown produce, butcher shop items, and other locally produced goods delivered weekly straight to my door. Everything is super fresh, I'm supporting a family-run business, and it all costs less than what I'd spend at the supermarket.

3. I have a flower subscription

Flowers from Parcel Flower Co.

When I signed up as Two Birds patron, I went buck wild and tacked on a weekly flower subscription. It feels like a total indulgence, but a bouquet of locally grown flowers and foliage delivered weekly from the Parcel Flower Co. costs less than a large deluxe pizza - and fresh flowers seriously brighten a home.

4. I regularly refresh my wardrobe

Dressing is fun even if you're staying at home.

My kids get an entirely new wardrobe every six months; you'd think I'd splurge on at least one pair of matching socks! Not so until last fall, when I looked down at my COVID wardrobe and realized it was time to retire the bleach-stained sweatshirts, house dresses from when I was pregnant, and worn-out leggings with holes in the crotch. Now, every time I shop for my kids, I pick up some new gear for myself as well.

5. I'm amassing a collection of actual pajamas

Back in December 2020, the Washington Post declared that pajamas are having a moment. I couldn't agree more. Instead of falling into bed every night in a t-shirt and sweats, last Spring I surrendered to my inner granny some time and began amassing a collection of cotton and flannel nightgowns similar to this amazing number (with pockets!).

6. I hire household help

As if a global pandemic wasn't stressful enough, last July I was hit by a car while crossing the street. Miraculously, I was mostly okay. But a fractured wrist made completing housework nearly impossible, so we hired a housekeeper to take over most chores. Sure, it isn't cheap, but in situations when you physically can't do something, or when time is truly of the essence, it's well worth the money to hire outside help. These days, we keep our housekeeper's number on file in case of emergencies, and - just as soon as we were vaccinated - we put Biden's child tax credit towards hiring the nanny of our dreams.

7. I'm investing in kitchen gear

Homemade cake with buttercream frosting thanks to my new KitchenAid mixer.

Months of eating in put my love of cooking to the test. It also tested my cookware. The past year or so, we bought at least one new pot, and invested in actual glassware (although I still prefer drinking out of an old jar). But my favorite culinary purchase so far? A KitchenAid mixer to indulge my inner Stepford wife. Brand-name stand mixers are notoriously pricey, but you can find one for half the price like I did if you shop secondhand.

8. Skin-care products galore

If it sounds like I started spending a lot of money on me, that's only because I didn't used to - ever. Now, thanks to the pandemic, caring for myself has become the norm. Take my skincare regimen, for example: infrequently washing my face has morphed into multi-step routine that includes a liquid exfoliant, Retinoid serum, and this Vitamin C serum recommended by the dermatologist that does my Botox - and oh, yeah, I started getting Botox, because you can't hide your "elevens" behind a face mask.

We're extremely fortunate that the pandemic has left us with more discretionary income instead of less, and I'm happy to spend it by supporting local businesses as well as treating myself. It shouldn't take an existential threat to invest in new underwear or adequate childcare, but here we are.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin intervened to block Ivanka Trump's appointment to the World Bank: report

Businessinsider - Sun, 10/10/2021 - 19:13
Ivanka Trump, daughter and advisor to President Donald Trump, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin listen at an event in Derry, N.H., on April 17, 2018.
  • Steven Mnuchin intervened to block Ivanka Trump from helming the World Bank, according to The Intercept.
  • A source told the news outlet that the pick "came incredibly close to happening."
  • Former President Donald Trump was a staunch advocate of his daughter's ascension to the top role.

Former President Donald Trump sought to name his daughter, Ivanka Trump, to lead the World Bank in 2019, but then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin intervened to block the appointment, according to The Intercept.

In January 2019, the physician and anthropologist Jim Yong Kim, who had led the World Bank since 2012, announced he would be stepping down from his role the following month, creating a frenzy to fill the coveted position.

Kim's surprise departure presented then-President Donald Trump with the ability to reshape the leadership of the World Bank, as the international financial organization has traditionally been led by an American citizen.

As the White House assembled a list of possible successors, Ivanka Trump emerged as a favorite to the then-president, who told The Atlantic that she would have been an excellent choice because "she's very good with numbers."

But in April 2019, Ivanka Trump told The Associated Press she passed on the opportunity to lead the World Bank, noting that she was "happy with the work" she was doing as a senior advisor to the president.

While Ivanka Trump didn't assume the role, she did help Mnuchin and then-White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney in selecting Kim's eventual successor, David Malpass, who at the time of his appointment was the Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs.

However, according to two sources who spoke to The Intercept, the discussion surrounding Ivanka Trump's possible ascent to the top of the World Bank was not simply from the Washington, DC rumor mill.

Then-President Trump wanted his daughter in the role, and Mnuchin had to step in to prevent the selection.

"It came incredibly close to happening," a source told The Intercept.

When contacted by The Intercept, representatives for Mnuchin and Ivanka Trump did not respond for comment. Queries from the news outlet to the World Bank and the Trump Organization also yielded no response.

The World Bank, which was created in 1944, seeks to promote economic development and poverty reduction by "providing technical and financial support to help countries reform certain sectors or implement specific projects" in areas including education and healthcare.

Before her time in the White House, Ivanka Trump was an executive vice president of development and acquisitions at the Trump Organization. She also had her own fashion line, which included clothes, shoes, and accessories, among other items.

After her father assumed the presidency, Ivanka Trump helped start the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, which was supported by the World Bank and was created to generate funding for female entrepreneurs in developing countries.

In January 2019, then-White House spokesperson Jessica Ditto pointed to Ivanka Trump's work with the initiative to justify the then-first daughter's possible elevation to the World Bank.

"She's worked closely with the World Bank's leadership for the past two years," Ditto said at the time.

However, she still lacked the depth of financial experience that previous leaders brought to the role.

"That's a very thin base to try to establish credibility in this multilateral institution," said Scott Morris, director of the US development policy program at the Center for Global Development, to The Intercept. "It's hard to imagine that she would have been viewed as a credible leader. It would be the worst kind of exercise of US power."

He added: "I have to think as a candidate she would have encountered some resistance. But maybe [the bank's members] would not have wanted to provoke the US president."

Morris told The Intercept that the near-appointment could raise concerns about the continued US role in unilaterally appointing the World Bank's leadership.

"A growing number of countries don't like this whole arrangement," he said. "For them to hear how close it was to being the US president's daughter probably adds fuel to the fire that the Americans are so cavalier about this."

Read the original article on Business Insider
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Facebook exec Nick Clegg said he couldn't give a 'yes or no answer' on whether its algorithms boosted insurrection sentiments ahead of Jan. 6 riot

Businessinsider - Sun, 10/10/2021 - 18:50
20 January 2020, Bavaria, Munich: Nick Clegg, Head of Policy at Facebook, speaks on stage during the DLD (Digital Life Design) innovation conference. Clegg has defended the decision to stick to advertising with political content, unlike Twitter and Google.
  • A Facebook executive told CNN he couldn't give "a yes or no answer" when asked whether its algorithms amplified pro-insurrection voices leading up to January 6.
  • A Facebook whistleblower testified before Congress last week, saying the company consistently resolves conflicts "in favor of its own profits."
  • A member of the congressional committee investigating the January 6 Capitol insurrection said the whistleblower should testify before the committee.

Facebook Vice President Nick Clegg sidestepped questions on Sunday about whether its algorithms worked to the benefit of insurrectionists leading up to the January 6 Capitol riot.

When Clegg, who appeared Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," was asked about whether the site's algorithms amplified pro-insurrection sentiments leading up to January 6, he said he couldn't answer the question because the site has "thousands" of algorithms that determine a Facebook user's experience. That includes "ranking algorithms" that determine which content a user sees frequently, he added.

"Given we have thousands of algorithms and you have millions of people using this, I can't give you a yes or no answer to the individual personalized feeds each person uses," Clegg told CNN's Dana Bash on Sunday.

Clegg said that if the algorithms were removed, users would see more hate speech and misinformation.

-State of the Union (@CNNSotu) October 10, 2021

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, a former data scientist at the company, testified before a Senate committee on October 5 after she leaked internal documents that raised questions about the company's business practices.

As Insider previously reported, Haugen shared the documents showing the company knew Instagram negatively impacted the mental health of its young users, and that employees were worried that a 2018 algorithm change further promoted sensationalistic and divisive content.

Facebook has largely denied Haugen's claims.

Since Haugen's testimony, Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat on the select committee investigating the Capitol insurrection, has said Haugen should testify before the committee to "get internal info from Facebook to flesh out their role."

In his interview with CNN, Clegg said the insurrectionists were the ones responsible for the Capitol siege.

"We cooperate with law enforcement, of course, to give them content that might have shown up on our platform, but let's be clear," he said. "Of course, January 6, the responsibility for that is for the people who broke the law, who inflicted the violence, who aided and abetted them, who encouraged them both in politics and in the media."

Bash pressed Clegg on Sunday, asking if the company's apparent uncertainty on the matter was problematic.

"The whole point, of course, of Facebook is that each person's newsfeed is individual to them. It's like a sort of individual fingerprint, and that's basically determined by the interaction of your choices, your friends, your family, the groups you choose to be part of, and those ranking algorithms that I referred to earlier," Clegg said.

In addition to fallout from the Congressional testimony, last week Facebook also dealt with a massive outage that impacted Facebook and all of its popular products, including Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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Dansk bryder taber bronzekamp ved VM

DR Sporten - Sun, 10/10/2021 - 18:42
Categories: Sport

'SNL' sketch on Facebook whistleblower hearing pokes fun at US senators' disconnect with social media

Businessinsider - Sun, 10/10/2021 - 18:19
SNL's Heidi Gardner portrayed Facebook Whistleblower Frances Haugen on Oct. 9 show
  • "Saturday Night Live" opened its show mocking the Facebook whistleblower hearing in DC this week.
  • Cast members portrayed former Facebook employee Frances Haugen, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and various US senators.
  • Haugen testified at a hearing this week criticizing Facebook's negative impacts on society.

"Saturday Night Live" proves once again that Silicon Valley drama isn't off-limits to the show's satirical bite.

The late night variety show began its October 9 episode, hosted by Kim Kardashian West, with its a C-SPAN cold open covering this week's Senate hearings from a Facebook whistleblower.

Former Facebook product manager Frances Haugen, played by SNL's Heidi Gardner, responded to questions from a panel of senators, including Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Mikey Day), Sen. Diane Feinstein (Cecily Strong), Sen. John Kennedy (Kyle Mooney), and Sen. Ted Cruz (Aidy Bryant).

Cecily's Feinstein kicked-off the proceedings, praising Gardner's Haugen for her decision to come forward with Facebook allegations, before undermining it and citing"higher-priority" issues, like passing an infrastructure bill, raising the debt ceiling, and prosecuting the January 6 rioters.

"As a former Facebook engineer, I'm here today because I have seen firsthand how Facebook products harm children, stoke division, and weaken our democracy," Gardner's Haugen said in a serious tone.

The various senators followed with a slew of random social media questions, alluding to the senators' generational disconnect when it comes to technology. Cecily's Feinstein asked if "2,000 Facebook friends" was "a lot," while Mooney's Kennedy mistook an algorithm for a tangible object, asking "how big is this 'algorithm?"

Bryant's Cruz also chimed-in to parallel bullying toward teens widespread criticism of the senator online, claiming that hypothetical Facebook groups like "Ted Cruz Sucks" should be flagged misinformation.

"Ted Cruz sucks' isn't really misinformation," Gardner's Haugen replied. "It's just one person's opinion."

The real Frances Haugen testified at a Senate hearing this week after revealing herself publicly as the Facebook whistleblower who leaked a trove of internal documents and research to the Wall Street Journal. The documents highlighted the tech company's controversial practices, including its prioritization of profits over managing misinformation, extremism, and division.

The skit also made references to the highly popular Netflix show, "Squid Game", and various online memes, further emphasizing the joke about the senators' pop culture and social media ignorance.

The cold open ended with a short-lived appearance by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, played by SNL's Alex Moffat, before cutting to MySpace cofounder, Tom Anderson, who Mikey Day's Blumenthal called the "OG social media king." In real-life, Mark Zuckerberg responded to Haugen's claims in a 1,300-word statement, saying they "don't make any sense."

Read the original article on Business Insider
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Southwest Airlines cancels more than 1,000 flights due to 'disruptive weather'

Businessinsider - Sun, 10/10/2021 - 18:15
  • Southwest Airlines canceled more than 1,000 flights on Sunday, leaving customers stranded.
  • The cancellations were caused by air traffic control problems and weather, according to the airline.
  • 1,007 flights were canceled and 383 have been delayed on Sunday, according to the flight tracking website Flight Aware.

Southwest Airlines canceled more than 1,000 flights, leaving hundreds of customers stranded.

The cancellations started on Saturday and went into Sunday and were caused by air traffic control problems and weather, according to a statement released by the airline on Twitter.

1,007 flights were canceled and 383 have been delayed on Sunday morning as of publishing, according to the flight tracking website Flight Aware. 808 flights, nearly 25% of the airline's total flights that day, were canceled by the airline Saturday. Southwest also experienced almost 1,200 delays on Saturday as well, Flight Aware reported.

"We experienced weather challenges in our Florida airports at the beginning of the weekend, challenges that were compounded by unexpected air traffic control issues in the same region, triggering delays and prompting significant cancellations for us beginning Friday evening," Southwest told Insider in an email. "We've continued diligent work throughout the weekend to reset our operation with a focus on getting aircraft and Crews repositioned to take care of our Customers."

-Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) October 9, 2021

However, several Southwest passengers have voiced concerns online that the delays are the result of pilots and crewmembers striking after the airline issued a coronavirus vaccine mandate for its employees. Southwest did not respond to Insider's request to comment on the claims of the rumored strike online.

"ATC issues and disruptive weather have resulted in a high volume of cancellations throughout the weekend while we work to recover our operation," Southwest Tweeted to concerned customers on Saturday. "We appreciate your patience as we accommodate affected Customers, and Customer Service wait times are longer than usual."

Recently airlines like JetBlue, Spirit, and American Airlines have come under fire by customers after issuing mass delays and cancellations in the US. Last month, United Airlines was fined $1.9 million by the Department of Transportation for keeping thousands of passengers stuck on planes for hours, in violation of federal rules, Insider reported. It was the largest penalty of its kind, according to Reuters.

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Study saying COVID-19 vaccines cause heart inflammation that was hyped by anti-vaxxers, withdrawn due to miscalculation

Businessinsider - Sun, 10/10/2021 - 18:10
  • A preprint study stated that 1 in 1,000 recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine could get myocarditis.
  • The study has been withdrawn after a miscalculation overestimated the risk of the heart condition.
  • The COVID-19 is safe to get, and there is more risk of getting myocarditis from COVID-19 than the jab.

A preprint study first published on MedRxiv that claimed a 1 in 1,000 risk of contracting myocarditis from a COVID-19 vaccination has been withdrawn due to miscalculations.

MedRxiv is a website that publishes studies that have yet to be peer-reviewed, according to Reuters.

The study was first published on September 16 and conducted by researchers at The University of Ottawa Heart Institute. It was widely used to promote the idea that the COVID-19 vaccine is unsafe for use.

Two articles using the now-defunct study to spread the idea that the COVID-19 vaccine isn't safe.

However, the study has been retracted due to a miscalculation, Reuters reported.

The rate of myocarditis - the inflammation of the heart muscle - was calculated by dividing the number of COVID-19 vaccines in Ottawa by the number of incidences of the heart condition.

By their calculations, the risk of myocarditis was 1 in 1,000 or 0.1%.

However, the numbers used by the study were wrong. The authors largely underestimated the amount of vaccines delivered, giving a number 25 times smaller than the actual amount.

They initially said that the number of vaccines delivered was 32,379 - when it was actually 854,930.

As a result of this miscalculation, the study was withdrawn on September 24, with the researchers saying in a statement: "Our reported incidence appeared vastly inflated by an incorrectly small denominator (ie number of doses administered over the time period of the study). We reviewed the data available at Open Ottawa and found that there had indeed been a major underestimation, with the actual number of administered doses being more than 800,000

"In order to avoid misleading either colleagues or the general public and press, we the authors unanimously wish to withdraw this paper on the grounds of incorrect incidence data," they added.

The University of Ottawa Heart Institute also issued a statement of apology for any misinformation being spread as a result of this study.

Using data from the Vaccine Safety Datalink, the CDC advised Reuters that other studies have shown that there was not "a significant association between myocarditis/pericarditis and mRNA vaccines," when looking at all age groups, although they did caution "an association between mRNA vaccines and myocarditis/pericarditis in younger individuals," particularly higher among young males.

However, a preprint study on the prevalence of myocarditis in young men found that they are six times more likely to develop myocarditis from COVID-19 than from the vaccine.

The CDC continues to stress the importance of getting the vaccine, stating that any known risks of the COVID-19 vaccine are far outweighed by the benefits.

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Photo Essay: As we celebrate the first malaria vaccine, remembering the epidemic's staggering toll

Businessinsider - Sun, 10/10/2021 - 18:01
Arek Nuoi, 32 and a mother of four, arrives unconscious at the health center in Panthou village, carried in by her three brother-in-laws. The family lifted Arek onto a chair that they had tied on top of a bicycle, and pushed from their home village of Maper to the health care center, a journey that took one and a half hours.
  • The first malaria vaccine has been approved. Malaria kills 400,000 people a year, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Photographer Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi documented the epidemic's toll during one of the most lethal outbreaks in South Sudan.

The little girl appeared to be sleeping in her uncle's arms when the guard rushed them through the crowded waiting area, and into the consultation room. A health care worker stepped away from the patient he had been attending to and checked the child's vital signs. "She's already dead," he said quietly.

Four-year-old Atony had been sick for days but it wasn't until the previous night that she developed a fever and stomach aches. She lived in a remote village in the northwest corner of South Sudan with her grandmother. Her parents worked in Aweil, the state's capital. So, Atony's grandmother had arranged a motorcycle taxi to take them to the health care center that she had heard was open and might be providing free treatment and medication. By the time they got there, it was too late for Atony.

This might sound like a heartbreaking story from one of the places hardest-hit by the Covid19 pandemic, but it isn't. This is a story about malaria, an infectious disease that kills about 500,000 people each year; more than half are children under the age of five.

Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) approved the first-ever malaria vaccine for widespread use.

Known as RTS,S, or Mosquirix, and developed by the UK pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline, the vaccine works against Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest of the five known malaria variants, and the most prevalent in Africa. Additionally, it's the first vaccine to target a parasitic disease, potentially spearheading the development of a whole new class of vaccines. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO's director-general, dubbed it "a breakthrough for science, child health and malaria control."

While this is promising news, questions about production, funding and distribution will need to be addressed, and other preventative measures will still be needed. As Ghebreyesus said: "Using this vaccine in addition to other tools to prevent malaria could save tens of thousands of children's lives each year."

The malaria vaccine did not generate nearly as much fanfare as the advent of the Covid19 vaccine earlier this year. And yet, in sub-Saharan Africa, where 94% of malaria cases occur, the vaccine could change the fabric of society.

***

In 2015, malaria hit South Sudan hardest. That year, 2.28 million cases of malaria were reported in South Sudan, and according to Doctors Without Borders, malaria killed more people than bullets, a startling statement given the country is host to one of the deadliest conflicts in the world.

That October, I traveled with Doctors Without Borders to Northern Bahr el Ghazal, the poorest state in the remote northwest corner of the country, to document the epidemic.

A nurse verifies blood-type compatibility before administering a blood transfusion to Adut Chuor Kujal, 8, who is receiving treatment for cerebral malaria at the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aweil city. Adut's family lives in a remote rural village so she had been sick for several days before her father made the journey to Aweil. He first took her to a local private clinic, but they had no malaria drugs in stock. Swamps surround the village of Panthou, where the only health center in the county providing free diagnosis and treatment of malaria was located. A typical part of the geography of most of South Sudan, swamps provided perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Abuk Akuoc, 18, semi-conscious and letting out cries of pain, receives an intravenous treatment of quinine as her family holds her still, at the health center in Panthou. She had also been to the health center a week prior, and was diagnosed with malaria and prescribed the oral medication ACT at the time. However, it was not in stock at the health center or the local pharmacy, so her condition severely deteriorated. A mother carries her sick daughter back to her hospital bed after bathing her. The young girl is receiving treatment for severe cerebral malaria at the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aweil city. A nurse uses a wet compress to provide relief from fever as Abuk Akuoc, 18, receives an intravenous treatment of quinine for malaria. Abuk's family comforts her.

Two years after gaining independence in 2011, South Sudan had descended into civil war due to a fallout between President Salva Kiir and Vice President Riek Machar. The war pitted Kiir's ethnic Dinka group against Machar's ethnic Nuer. By the time a fragile peace agreement was reached in 2018, an estimated 400,000 people were killed and 4 million - a third of the country's population - were displaced, resulting in the biggest refugee crisis in Africa since the Rwandan genocide of 1994.

I had just been in Bentiu, a camp for people displaced by the war with a population so large that it qualified as the second biggest city in South Sudan, where survivors recounted massacres, gang rapes, torture, and countless horrifying atrocities. And yet, when I arrived to Aweil, the quiet capital of Northern Bahr el Ghazar state, I was equally shocked by what I witnessed. Here there was no war, but everywhere I turned, I encountered suffering and death. The killer was a silent one - malaria.

Unsurprisingly, the disease was spreading across a territory dotted with swamps, the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes; malaria infects a person when he or she is bitten by a mosquito that is carrying the Plasmodium parasite. Also of concern was that the entire state, home to 1.2 million people, had only one full-service hospital, a facility in Aweil run by Doctors Without Borders in conjunction with South Sudan's Ministry of Health.

Malaria cases had filled all of the hospital beds, so the hallways were now lined with patients on mattresses placed on the floor. Once outside of the capital, nearly every other person I spotted on the side of the road was carrying a relative - often a child - who had fallen ill, and was rushing to get them medical attention.

Most government-run health care centers were closed for lack of staff qualified to administer treatment for malaria or for lack of medicines, and private clinics were prohibitively expensive for the average local. Often, by the time an infected person was delivered to proper medical care, it was too late. The malaria surge, coupled with drug shortages, the lack of adequate and accessible health care, and lack of prevention were painfully apparent.

At a government-run health care center in the town of Aquem, patients lay on mattresses or sheets outside on the ground, with IVs hanging from trees. There weren't enough beds in the wards, and with temperatures into the high 90s and even 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, it was stiflingly hot inside the building.

Back at the health care center where Atony had been brought, I again came upon her grandmother.

She was sitting on a bench in the health care center waiting area, looking down at the lifeless little girl across her lap in disbelief, clasping her tiny leg from time to time, as if to check if warmth had somehow returned.

A woman runs up when her name is called in the waiting area at the health care center at Panthou village, the only place in the county where patients might receive free treatment and medicine for malaria. The two medical assistants there - the only staff qualified to diagnose and treat patients - received approximately 150 malaria patients per day. The center had no rapid detection tests, so diagnosis could only be done clinically based on symptoms observed. Medicine was limited and sometimes out of stock entirely. Abdifatah Mohamed, a Doctors Without Borders nurse, administers a Rapid Detection Test (RDT) for diagnosing malaria to four-year-old Agok Yel. Atiel Akech, 3, lies sick in her mother's lap at the government-run health center in Aquem town. Patients here lie on mattresses outside, with IVs hanging from trees, because the wards are too hot and have very few beds. The center was supposed to give rapid detection tests and medication for free, but Atiel's mother said she was asked to pay for both. She did not have the money, so Atiel was diagnosed with malaria based on her symptoms - vomiting and fever - and given an IV of glucose. Unsurprisingly, her condition was deteriorating. A relative holds up Abuk Akuoc, 18, who is semi-conscious and clenches her body in feverish pain, as John Mayen, medical assistant and director of the health center at Panthou, prescribes her urgent treatment for acute, severe malaria. Abuk's family paid 30 SSP (2 USD) for a motorcycle to make the 15 minute journey from their village of Malithbuol. For a family in rural South Sudan, this was a high cost, but they had no choice - it would have taken one hour on foot, and they would have had to carry Abuk. Patients wait to receive medicine at the health care center in Panthou village. The center had just received a supply of oral medication for malaria, which would likely last one or two weeks, and had been out of stock for 2 months. The intravenous medication, quinine, was running out quickly, so it was reserved for serious cases only. A mother fans her feverish child as they wait for him to be admitted into the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aweil city. An overflow of malaria patients lay on mattresses on the floors of the hallways, as all the beds in the wards were already occupied. Abuk Akuoc, 18, receives an intravenous treatment of quinine for severe malaria at the health center in Panthou. Akuot Yel carries her ailing son, Agok, 4, from their village of Maluil to a private clinic in a neighboring town. Yesterday, Akuot had taken her son to the government-run health care unit nearby but they found it closed. The private clinic charged 15 SSP (1 USD) for the Rapid Detection Test, and 80 SSP (5.30 USD) for the medicine needed. She had two other children sick at home, but could not afford to pay for medication for all three at the same time. Since Agok was in the worst condition, she decided to prioritize his treatment first. Read the original article on Business Insider
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State senators call for resignation of North Carolina Lt. Gov. after he said teaching kids about LGBTQ people was 'filth' and 'child abuse'

Businessinsider - Sun, 10/10/2021 - 17:50
  • Footage has leaked of North Carolina Lt. Gov. calling homosexuality "filth."
  • As a result, lawmakers are calling for his resignation.
  • The White House press secretary has also condemned the comments, calling them "repugnant."

State senators are calling for the resignation of a Lieutenant Governor after a video surfaced on social media of him espousing homophobic views.

The videos show Mark Robinson of North Carolina saying "there's no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality -- any of that filth."

Now, North Carolina Democratic state senators Jeff Jackson and Wiley Nickel have called for Robinson to resign in light of his remarks.

The video, released by Right Wing Watch - an organization "dedicated to monitoring and exposing the activities and rhetoric of right-wing activists and organizations in order to expose their extreme agenda," according to its website - shows Robinson speaking at Asbury Baptist Church in Seagrove, North Carolina, in June 2021.

-Sen. Jeff Jackson (@JeffJacksonNC) October 7, 2021

He said that the teaching of LGBTQ facts, including homosexuality and transgenderism, is "child abuse".

"I'm saying this now, and I've been saying it, and I don't care who likes it -- those issues have no place in the school. There's no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality -- any of that filth. And yes, I called it filth, and if you don't like it that I called it filth -- come see me and I'll explain it to you," the lieutenant governor said in the video.

"Topics surrounding transgenderism and homosexuality should be discussed at home and not in public education," his office said in a statement to CNN.

Senator Jackson has said that these comments are "open discrimination" and "it is completely unacceptable," calling for Robinson's resignation.

-Sen. Jeff Jackson (@JeffJacksonNC) October 7, 2021

Senator Nickel described Robinson as a "disgrace and an embarrassment" to North Carolina, adding to the calls for the Lieutenant Governor's resignation.

"I stand with the LGBTQ Community and hope you will join me in condemning this hate speech from the most senior Republican elected official in our state," Nickel added.

-Senator Wiley Nickel (@wileynickel) October 8, 2021

White House Press secretary Andrew Bates also added to the condemnation of the comments according to the Charlotte Observer, saying "These words are repugnant and offensive. The role of a leader is to bring people together and stand up for the dignity and rights of everyone; not to spread hate and undermine their own office."

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Facebook exec Nick Clegg called Big Tobacco comparisons 'extremely misleading' but said the company needs to be 'held to account' after whistleblower testimony

Businessinsider - Sun, 10/10/2021 - 17:39
Facebook executive Nick Clegg defended Facebook amid mounting scrutiny during an appearance on ABC News' "This Week.".
  • Facebook executive Nick Clegg on Sunday defended the company against comparisons to Big Tobacco.
  • The social-media giant has been under intense scrutiny after a former employee publicly criticized the company.
  • While he defended the company, Clegg admitted Facebook needed to be "held to account."

Nick Clegg, who works as the vice president for global affairs and communications at Facebook, defended the social-media company Sunday in an interview amid mounting criticism and a turbulent week.

"I think it's extremely misleading analogy," Clegg said of comparisons to Big Tobacco. "We're a social media app that many, many people around the world use because it brings utility, it helps small businesses, it brings joy, it brings pleasure, it connects to you with people you care and love the most. That's what Facebook is about."

At a Senate hearing last week, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, said "Facebook and Big Tech are facing a Big Tobacco moment."

As Yahoo! News reported, the comparisons stem from the idea that Facebook is aware its products can be harmful in the same way tobacco companies knew their products were dangerous years before they publicly disclose them.

Clegg deemed such analogies "overblown and somewhat simplistic," comparing them to other analogies that equated video games to drugs.

"But I think if there's any silver lining to this week is that maybe we can now move beyond the slogans, the sound bites, the simplistic caricatures and actually look at solutions and, yes, of course, regulation," Clegg said.

In an interview the aired on CBS' "60 Minutes" last Sunday, former Facebook data scientist Frances Haugen claimed the company isn't actually fighting the spread of disinformation as it claims. She claimed that Facebook intentionally left harmful content on the platform because it was profitable and removing it would cost them users.

-This Week (@ThisWeekABC) October 10, 2021

As Insider previously reported, Haugen also shared the documents showing Facebook knew Instagram negatively impacted the mental health of its young users, and that employees were worried that a 2018 algorithm change further promoted sensationalistic and divisive content.

In testimony before the Senate last week, Haugen called on Congress to create a regulatory agency to regulate Facebook and other tech companies, though she rejected the idea that Facebook should be broken up into smaller companies.

"It's in everyone's interest," she said.

Facebook and its founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg have largely denied Haugen's claims.

When asked about the testimony on Sunday, Clegg said Facebook needed to be more transparent so the public could hold it accountable.

"We understand that with success comes responsibility, comes criticism, comes scrutiny, comes responsibility, and that's why we're, you know, the first Silicon Valley company to set up an independent oversight board that independently adjudicate on these difficult content decisions," he said.

Clegg said Facebook was submitting its data on content it removed from the platform to an independent auditor.

"Again, no one has done that before, because we realize we need to be held to account," he said.

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Wind turbine techs get paid $27 per hour to do one of the most dangerous jobs in the economy - and the profession is growing fast

Businessinsider - Sun, 10/10/2021 - 17:34
  • Wind-turbine technicians are the workers who service the very top of towering wind farms.
  • The median wage is $27 per hour, and most jobs don't require a four-year degree.
  • Employment is projected to increase 68% from 2020 to 2030 - significantly faster than other sectors.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

There are more than 65,000 land-based wind turbines across the US, according to the American Wind Energy Association, and more are coming online each year.

Each of the wind turbines that dots the landscape of a wind farm is generally made of a tower, blades, and a central unit called a nacelle. All three elements require specialists to install and maintain them throughout the life of a turbine.

The nacelles have the most going on, since that is the housing for the generator, gearbox, brakes, and circuitry that convert the mechanical energy into electricity to send down to the power grid.

In order to make repairs, wind techs typically have to climb as high as 300 feet up the narrow tube of the tower to the nacelle while hauling up all the tools, computers, and safety gear needed to get the job done. While some tasks require climbing outside the nacelle, most routine work is done within the enclosure.

Other crews are used to inspect, repair, or clean the fiberglass blades, which requires workers to rappel down from the nacelle to complete the job while dangling hundreds of feet above the ground.

The median wage for wind techs is $27 per hour, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, which works out to about $56,000 per year - about 33% higher than the national median earnings of $42,000.

A community college or technical degree is typically enough to qualify for the job, and many employers provide a year or more of on-the-job training. Most techs will need to understand electrical, hydraulic, braking, mechanical, and computers systems, as well as have first aid and rescue training.

With 6,900 workers in 2020, the field is small but one of the fastest growing in the entire economy, with BLS projections expecting a 68% increase in new jobs by 2030. That's nearly nine times faster than the projection for all other occupations tracked by the agency.

Beyond claustrophobia and acrophobia, a few things might dissuade someone from racing to find a wind-tech job.

For one thing, the schedule can be grueling. Most wind farms are located in remote areas, so travel times to job sites can take a long time. Plus, bad weather or other unpredictable events can knock out a turbine at any time of the day or night, and repairs need to happen as quickly as possible.

More importantly, the Labor Department says wind techs have one of the highest rates of injury and illness of all occupations. In particular, a 2017 study found that falls in the energy sector are quite common (though just a few are fatal) as are strains, sprains, and overexertion.

As the world shifts from carbon to renewable power sources, it will increasingly rely on workers like wind techs to do the high-risk jobs that keep the modern economy moving.

If you are a wind tech or a worker who has a job you consider high risk, please get in touch with Dominick Reuter via email. Responses to this story will be kept confidential.

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Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are among the 156 billionaires on the Forbes 400 who have given less than 1% of their wealth to charity

Businessinsider - Sun, 10/10/2021 - 17:31
Blue Origin CEO Jeff Bezos and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
  • Billionaires including Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk reached new record levels of wealth last year.
  • Billionaires are also less generous than ever in terms of share of wealth they've given away.
  • Of the Forbes 400, a record 156 - including Bezos and Musk - have given less than 1%.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

While Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk feud over who is wealthier and who is more litigious, the business titans are among a group of billionaires in the running for an even less desirable title: World's Stingiest Billionaire.

Although the pandemic era's surging stock market has ballooned the fortunes of billionaires to new heights, the wealthiest people in the world have chosen not to keep pace with their charitable giving, according to the Forbes Philanthropy Score.

The team at Forbes adds up all of the lifetime "out-the-door" giving a person has made, and divides that number by the sum of their total current wealth and the total giving amount. The results are categorized into five tiers: less than 1%; between 1% and 5%; between 5% and 10%; between 10% and 20%; and 20% or more.

Private foundations and donor-advised funds don't count for the Forbes measure, since those "donations" effectively remain under the control of the donor, and also come with generous benefits that enable wealthy people to avoid paying taxes.

If the median American household gave $1,200 to charity across their entire lives based on a present net worth of about $120,000, Forbes would consider that more generous than Bezos and Musk based on this metric.

Of the 400 billionaires on this year's list, just 19 have given away 10% or more of their wealth, while a record high 156 have given less than 1%. While Bezos and Musk have yet to crack out of the 1%, MacKenzie Scott has left them in the dust by giving away 13% of her fortune. Even with her pace of giving, Scott is wealthier now than she was last year.

Bezos did make headlines this summer with $400 million gifts to the Smithsonian, Van Jones, and Jose Andres, and has given $865 million from his pledge to fight climate change. But his actual gifts are a tiny fraction of the $22 billion gain he made this year alone, to bring his total net worth to $201 billion.

Warren Buffet continued as the list's most generous giver, having parted with $4.1 billion of Berkshire Hathaway stock in June to bring his lifetime total to $44 billion. He's now halfway through his pledge to give away all his Berkshire shares.

The most prolific giver in the Forbes ranking was George Soros, whose $16.8 billion of giving has outsized his $8.6 billion net worth. Former president Donald Trump was not ranked, since he fell $400 million shy of making the top 400 list.

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Photos show homeless heroin addicts in Afghanistan rounded up and forced into grim rehab by the Taliban

Businessinsider - Sun, 10/10/2021 - 17:29
Drug users detained in a Taliban raid wait to be taken to their room in the detoxification ward of the Avicenna Medical Hospital for Drug Treatment in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021.
  • Harrowing photos show homeless heroin addicts in Afghanistan forcibly detained in a treatment center.
  • The Taliban are cracking down on drug use, which is rife in the country.
  • Photos show the drug users being forced to live in prison-like conditions.

After coming to power in Afghanistan, the Taliban vowed to crack down on widespread drug addiction in the country.

The militant group has been conducting raids in Kabul to find and detain homeless men, often living under bridges, addicted to locally produced heroin and methamphetamine.

The Associated Press captured astonishing photos of one raid from earlier this week, where nearly 150 heroin addicts were rounded up, beaten, and forced into a rehab treatment center.

Heroin addicts in Kabul were rounded up by the Taliban and taken to a treatment center. Drug users detained during a Taliban raid wait to be shaved after arriving at the drug treatment center.

Homeless heroin users were rounded up by Taliban fighters and taken to the Avicenna Medical Hospital for Drug Treatment on the outskirts of Kabul.

The hospital was once Camp Phoenix, a military base established by the US army in 2003, but is now a drug treatment center that can accommodate 1,000 people.

 

The Taliban arrested heroin addicts in Kabul and burned all of their belongings in a pile. At least 150 men were taken to the district police station, where all their belongings were burned in a pile as they are forbidden from taking them to the treatment center.

The Taliban arrested most of the men under a bridge in Kabul's Guzargah district before taking them to the district police station.

The militants burned all of the addicts' possessions in a pile, including drugs, wallets, knives, rings, lighters, a juice box.

Most of the addicts' families don't know where they are, AP said.

The addicts were stripped and had their heads and face shaved. Drug users detained during a Taliban raid are shaved after arriving at the treatment center.

"These people are basically being kidnapped for three months and locked up," Mat Southwell, a British technical adviser for drug harm reduction NGOs in Afghanistan who has previously visited Avicenna, told VICE World News.

"They will receive very little medical treatment, and their needs will not be addressed. Once released, they will just start using drugs again."

A drug user detained during a Taliban raid has his face shaved. A drug user detained during a Taliban raid is shaved.

The Taliban has a history of intolerance towards drug users, saying that it is strictly against their interpretation of Islam.

Some health workers have said they agree with the militant group's harsh methods.

"We are not in a democracy anymore, this is a dictatorship. And the use of force is the only way to treat these people," Dr. Fazalrabi Mayar, working in a treatment facility, told AP.

Patients wait to have medical checks as they arrive at the detoxification ward. Drug users detained during a Taliban raid go through a medical check as they arrive to the detoxification ward.

Afghanistan is one of the world's largest producers of heroin because of its vast poppy fields, and it has also become a significant producer of methamphetamines. 

As a result, addiction has raged across the country.

According to people on the ground, there are an estimated 100,00 to 150,000 heroin injectors in Kabul, Vice News reported. Many also smoke and inject methamphetamine.

 

 

The patients float around the halls like ghosts. Drug users detained during a Taliban raid walk to a shower after arriving at the treatment center.

Around 700 patients are currently at the hospital, according to AP, and many have mental illnesses.

The outlet said the patients float around the halls like ghosts. Although some say they aren't being fed enough, doctors say hunger is part of the withdrawal process, the outlet said.

Addicts in matching pajamas walk to the detoxification ward. Drug users detained during a Taliban raid walk in line on their way to the detoxification ward of the Avicenna Medical Hospital for Drug Treatment.

"It's a brutal place surrounded by armed guards," Mat Southwell told VICE World News.

"It looks like a concentration camp because they shave people's heads and make them wear pyjamas."

Drug users detained during a Taliban raid rest at the detoxification ward. Drug users detained during a Taliban raid rest at the detoxification ward.

The medical opioids used to wean people off heroin, specifically buprenorphine and methadone, have started to run out, and staff in the hospital have not been paid for months, Vice News reported.

Patients were taken to their rooms at the treatment center. Drug users detained during a Taliban raid are taken to their room at the detoxification ward.

The Taliban have said cracking down on the addicts is just the first step.

"This is just the beginning, later we will go after the farmers, and we will punish them according to (Islamic) Sharia law," lead patrol officer Qari Ghafoor told AP.

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