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Links 5/22/2023 | naked capitalism

Inside A Billionaire Bee Colony Forbes

Neural mechanisms of parasite-induced summiting behavior in ‘zombie’ Drosophila (accepted manuscript). From the Abstract: “For at least two centuries, scientists have been enthralled by the ‘zombie’ behaviors induced by mind-controlling parasites.” Indeed!

Trust and public policies Bank of International Settlements


Wildfire’s Toxic Legacy Leaves Children Gasping for Air Years Later Bloomberg


Panama Canal imposes shipping restrictions to cope with worsening drought Bloomberg


Maternal SARS-CoV-2, Placental Changes and Brain Injury in 2 Neonates (case reports) Pediatrics. “The constellation of clinical findings, placental pathology, and immunohistochemical changes strongly suggests that second-trimester maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection with placentitis triggered an inflammatory response and oxidative stress injury to the fetoplacental unit that affected the fetal brain. The demonstration of SARS-CoV-2 in the deceased infant’s brain also raises the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 infection of the fetal brain directly contributed to ongoing brain injury. In both infants, the neurologic findings at birth mimicked the presentation of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy of newborn and neurologic sequelae progressed well beyond the neonatal period.”

Diminished antiviral innate immune gene expression in the placenta following a maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. From the Comment: “[P]regnant people with even a mild COVID-19 disease course at any time in pregnancy and of any body habitus are equally susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 placental innate immune suppression. Whether an impaired placental immune response correlates with other vital functions and might underlie the increased stillbirth risk associated with maternal COVID-19 is unknown. Interestingly, our findings parallel that of other studies in mice indicating ‘viral priming,’ by which an initial viral infection impairs placental and cervical immunity, thereby increasing the risk of subsequent infection.”

A good question:

IIRC, New York was short on freezer space.


Hong Kong mask manufacturers report ‘surprise’ uptick in sales as Covid-19, flu cases climb 3 months after mandate scrapped SCMP. If it’s surprising, that just shows CCP “Covid is over” propaganda is just as thick as USA! USA!’s.

From over the transom, a friend of GF reports on hospital ventilation in China:

This afternoon, I went to a local hospital in Y, Z Major Municipality, where I spoke with Doctor X, who is managing the Covid-19 virus control department. They were very helpful, providing all kinds of details about the way they keep the virus under control:

There are two main technical changes they made on all rooms, including ICU and A&E rooms:

According to Doctor X:

They switched off and blocked all central air conditioning systems. Instead, they installed separate air conditioning devices in each room. The installed UVC germicidal lamps in each and every room. The laps have to be switched on every 6 hours for 30 minutes. That’s highly inconvenient, she said, because there should be no-one in the room when the UVC lamp is on.

Interesting on UVC. This is hospitals only. I wonder if China is building out this approach to the rest of the country, not? And why they are only doing it now?

* * *

China Bans Some Sales of Chips From U.S. Company Micron NYT

‘Silly balloon’ changed it all: says US President Biden on US-China ties Business Standard. Fulll quote: “[T]his silly balloon that was carrying two freight cars worth of spying equipment.” Oh.

Biden says US, China should see a ‘thaw very shortly’ Channel News Asia

Why nations seeking to hedge between US and China should look to Vietnam, not the Philippines South China Morning Post


Pakistan needs a new vision — an intra-elite war isn’t the answer Al Jazeera

Against the stream: Iraq artist battles to save boating tradition France24

European Disunion

“I Should Sue Them For Defamation” – Patrick Lefevere Hits Back at Gazzetta Dello Sport’s Accusations that Evenepoel Fled Giro D’Italia CyclingUptoDate. Press just as ghoulish on “Covid is over” in Italy as here.

Facebook parent Meta hit with record fine for transferring European user data to US AP

‘Very impressive’ election win for Greece’s conservatives France24

Dear Old Blighty

They’re openly saying it: Brexit has failed. But what comes next may be very dark indeed Guardian

New Not-So-Cold War

Why Are We in Ukraine? Harpers. Grab a cup of coffee. (I’m not sure there’s a diplomatic solution, however. The United States would need to be agreement-capable. How would that be possible?)

It’s Not Enough for Ukraine to Win. Russia Has to Lose. Eliot Cohen, The Atlantic

Put Ukraine on the U.N. Security Council Bernard-Henri Lévy, WSJ

* * *

Biden said Zelenskyy gave ‘flat assurance’ he won’t use F-16s in Russia: Ukraine live updates USA Today. Actually, “Russian geographic territory,” so in Big Z’s mind, he now has permission to use F-16s in Crimea. Getting Big Z ready for the shiv?

Russia says F-16 transfer to Ukraine would raise NATO question Al Jazeera

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Military briefing: how Russia is fortifying its frontline for Ukraine’s counteroffensive FT

A top Ukrainian commander fighting around Bakhmut says military experts who portray Russian soldiers as only ‘stupid and miserable’ are wrong Business Insider

Ukraine war – live: Kyiv aims to ‘encircle’ Putin’s troops in Bakhmut as Russia claims to have captured city Independent. Let me know how that works out.

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Time for Ukraine to launch an anti-corruption counteroffensive Politico

Leaked recordings expose shocking state corruption in ‘US governed’ Moldova The Grayzone

South of the Border

5 trade moves China has made in 2023 in Latin America – the traditional backyard of the US South China Morning Post

Mexico refuses to hand over trade bloc presidency to Peru’s de facto president People’s Dispatch. From last week, but the most informative and timely English-language post I can find. Readers?

Biden Administration

Yellen says June 1 is ‘hard deadline’ for raising debt ceiling Reuters

Debt-Ceiling Talks Devolve Into Finger Pointing and Frustration as Deal Remains Elusive WSJ. Meanwhile:

McCarthy says Biden call on debt limit ‘productive,’ leaders to meet Monday The Hill

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Crunch Week on the Debt Ceiling FOX

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Monopoly Round-Up: The Debt Ceiling and a Major Win against Airlines Matt Stoller, BIG


Hunter Biden Faces Call for Key Business Associates in the Arkansas Proceedings Jonathan Turley

The Bezzle

Part 2: What is KPMG’s bank audit quality history with the PCAOB and SEC? (excerpt) Francine McKenna, The Dig

Digital Watch

OpenAI CEO Predicts AI Will Someday Give Birth To Twins, Their Names Will Be God And Satan The Onion

The crackdown on risky chemicals that could derail the chip industry FT

Supply Chain

COVID boom not over yet for ‘landlords’ of shipping lines Hellenic Shipping News

Zeitgeist Watch

How the American Dream convinces people loneliness is normal AP. “During the pandemic, Murthy’s report found, people tightened their groups of friends and cut time spent with them. According to the report, Americans spent 20 minutes a day with friends in 2020 — down from an hour daily two decades ago. Granted, that was during peak COVID. The trend, though, is clear — particularly among young people ages 15 to 24.” Yes, that’s why non-pharmaceutical interventions to clean the air in public spaces would have been important, given that vaccines do not prevent transmission.

Imperial Collapse Watch

America’s Trains and Buses Are Speeding Toward a Cliff New York Magazine

America’s surprise revival: The suburbs Axios

Taught For America Year Zero

The strange death of education reform, part one Matt Yglesias, Slow Boring. Part two.

Class Warfare

Warner Bros. CEO jeered at Boston University graduation: ‘Pay your writers!’ MarketWatch. More like this, please.

The Subminimum Wage Plus Tips: A Bad Bargain for Workers CEPR

Striking Writers Find Their Villain: Netflix NYT

Rigged Capitalism and the Rise of Pluto-populism: On Martin Wolf’s “The Crisis of Democratic Capitalism” Los Angeles Review of Books

Waste Your Time, Your Life May Depend On It The Convivial Society

What Number Comes Next? The Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences Knows. NYT. The examples given show a lot of interplay between numeral and number. But what if the numerals are, say, Katovik numerals? Or cunieform? It seems strange that an integer sequence would not be portable across representations.

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Rayna Prime

Rayna Prime

Rayna Prime Editor