Former US president and January 6 coup-plotter Donald Trump celebrated on Friday the acquittal of the fascist teenage shooter Kyle Rittenhouse by a jury in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
In a statement released after Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all counts, Trump said, “Congratulations to Kyle Rittenhouse for being found INNOCENT of all charges. It’s called being found NOT GUILTY—And by the way, if that’s not self defense, nothing is!”
After more than three days of deliberations, the jury ruled unanimously in favor of Rittenhouse on the five charges remaining against him in a trial that was rigged by presiding Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder, who made no secret of his sympathies for the shooter and his right-wing political supporters.
On August 25, 2020, Rittenhouse fired his AR-15-style assault rifle at the protesters who had been demonstrating against police violence in Kenosha for three days. He shot and killed two men, Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and seriously injured Gaige Grosskreutz, 27.
While Judge Schroeder blocked any presentation or review by the prosecution of the political ideology and motivation behind Rittenhouse’s decision to volunteer with a right-wing militia group and then pull the trigger eight times against protesters, the jury was also instructed to accept the bogus “self-defense” narrative of the shooter’s legal team.
Immediately following the travesty of justice in Kenosha—which emboldens further armed attacks on protesters and left-wing and socialist political activity—right-wing and fascistic figures such as Trump have hailed the verdict as a vindication of their assault on the movement against police brutality and violence that swept across the US and internationally in the summer and fall of 2020.
Later Friday, Trump gave an audio interview with Laura Ingraham on Fox News and said that the case against Rittenhouse should never have been brought and “somebody should have ended it earlier … I thought the judge could have ended the case early.”
Trump went on to tell Ingraham that the verdict vindicated the use of federal police to repress the anti-police violence demonstrations, “I helped to save Kenosha, as you know. I went there and I sent in a lot of people, a lot of people … And if you look at Minneapolis, that place was burning down, and we really got it stopped. I would have liked to have done it a lot earlier, but we finally we got it done. We saved it and we saved Kenosha very early.”
The Rittenhouse verdict has also become a rallying point for those intimately involved with Trump in the conspiracy to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election through a mob riot and assault on the US Capitol on January 6.
For example, Republican US Representative Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina said, “Kyle Rittenhouse is not guilty, my friends. You have a right to defend yourself, so be armed, be dangerous and be moral.” Cawthorn was intimately involved in the planning of the right-wing assault on the Capitol with Trump and his inner circle of conspirators and spoke at the rally near the White House on January 6.
Following the offer made by Florida Republican Representative Matt Gaetz to Kyle Rittenhouse the day before, Cawthorn also said that Rittenhouse was welcome to take an internship in his office as did the fascist Republican Representative Paul Gosar from Arizona. On Wednesday, Gosar was censured by the House of Representative for his public threat of violence against Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Trump co-conspirator and QAnon supporter, Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, tweeted, “Kyle Rittenhouse ACQUITTED on ALL charges! May Kyle and his family now live in peace. Those who help, protect, and defend are the good guys. Kyle is one of good ones.”
Although Judge Schroeder blocked any discussion of the political context of Rittenhouse’s shooting rampage, it was precisely the open incitement of right-wing vigilante violence by then-President Trump and others against the protests that erupted following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derrick Chauvin on May 25, 2020, that created the environment for the events in Kenosha.
Throughout the protests against racism and police violence, which involved as many as 20 million people and took place in more than 2,000 towns and cities across the US, the Trump administration used federal police forces to attack the demonstrations. In numerous speeches, Trump labeled the protesters “domestic terrorists,” called for the use of “overwhelming force against the bad guys” and stated, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
It was precisely the whipping up of right-wing hysteria that encouraged armed vigilantes, white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups to begin patrolling the streets of cities such as Kenosha during the protests. It was a post on Facebook by a group calling itself the Kenosha Guard that urged armed individuals to take to the streets to “defend the city” from protesters following the brutal shooting of Jacob Blake by white Kenosha police officer Rusten Sheskey on August 23, 2020.
According to a report in the New York Times on Sunday, a former city alderman and local private investigator, Kevin Mathewson, created the Kenosha Guard and declared on Facebook his intention “to deter rioting/looting” during the demonstrations against the shooting of Blake.
The Times report said that Mathewson’s “call to arms was one of several in Kenosha that day, which collectively brought dozens of mostly white armed paramilitaries into the streets of the city’s small downtown, creating a heavily armed confrontation with demonstrators that came to a head with the Rittenhouse shootings.”
When asked by the Times about the verdict in Rittenhouse’s trial, Mathewson said, “It vindicates Kyle. I felt vindicated by it. It vindicates people that say, ‘Look, no one’s coming to help, we have to help ourselves.’”
India’S Daily Covid Tally Outnumbers Recoveries; Fatalities At 447
With 9,765 new coronavirus infections being reported in a day, India’s total tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 3,46,06,541, while the active cases increased to 99,763, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday. The death toll climbed to 4,69,724 with 477 fresh fatalities including, 403 from Kerala, according to the data updated at 8 am. The ministry said the daily rise in new coronavirus infections has been less than 50,000 for 158 consecutive days now. The active cases comprise 0.29 percent of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.35 percent, the ministry said. An increase of 740 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours The daily positivity rate was recorded at 0.89 percent. It has been less than two percent for the last 59 days. The weekly positivity rate was also recorded at 0.85 percent. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 3,40,37,054, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.36 percent.
First Published: IST
COVID-19: Here’s What Vaccine Makers are Saying on Protection Against Omicron Variant | The Weather Channel – Articles from The Weather Channel
With Omicron raising concerns about vaccines’ efficacy, drugmakers are stress-testing existing jabs while also racing to prepare new formulas, according to media reports.
All major drugmakers including Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, and AstraZeneca have said that they are working to quickly investigate and adapt their shots to a new and highly mutated variant of the virus.
Pfizer and BioNTech said they are investigating the new, heavily mutated variant, the Wall Street Journal reported. The companies added they can adapt their mRNA vaccine within six weeks and start shipping batches within 100 days if an escape variant is identified.
Although the company offered reassurance that the fully inoculated people would have a “high level of protection against severe disease” from the new variant, there is, as yet, no conclusive evidence on how immune protection holds up against the heavily mutated variant.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Omicron poses a “very high risk”. The global health body said that scientists all over the world are working to understand Omicron, its risks and whether it causes severe disease, and vaccine effectiveness. The data will be available within two weeks.
Stephane Bancel, chief executive at Moderna, said that currently available vaccines for COVID-19 could likely be less effective against the new Omicron variant. He added that it will take several months before pharma companies can manufacture variant-specific jabs at scale, The Financial Times reported.
The University of Oxford, which makes the coronavirus vaccine with AstraZeneca, in a statement, said there was “no evidence so far” that existing vaccines would not continue to provide protection against Omicron, as they have for previous variants of concern.
It added that they had the “necessary tools and processes in place for rapid development of an updated Covid-19 vaccine if it should be necessary”.
Meanwhile, China on Tuesday said it is ready to tackle the newly detected Omicron coronavirus variant, and it is confident that the country’s mainstream tests will block community transmission.
According to Xu Wenbo, from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the vaccines developed in China remain effective against the new mutated variant, yet to better cope it has made technological reserve preparations in vaccine development, Global Times reported.
Producers of inactivated vaccine, protein subunit vaccine or adenovirus vector vaccine have set about studying the new variant and they are in the process of gene sequencing design, Xu, head for National Institute for Viral Disease Control and Prevention with the China CDC, said at a press conference on Tuesday.
Russia’s Gamaleya Institute also believes that both Sputnik V and Sputnik Light will neutralise Omicron.
The Gamaleya Institute, based on existing protocols of immediately developing vaccine versions for variants of concern, has already begun developing the new version of the Sputnik vaccine adapted to Omicron, said Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund.
However, in an unlikely case, such modification is needed, the new Sputnik Omicron version can be made ready for mass-scale production in 45 days, he added.
As per Bancel, the high number of Omicron mutations on the spike protein, which the virus uses to infect human cells, and the rapid spread of the variant in South Africa, suggested that the current crop of vaccines may need to be modified next year.
He said scientists were worried because 32 of the 50 mutations in the Omicron variant are on the spike protein, which current vaccines focus on to boost the human body’s immune system to combat Covid.
As there is still a lack of reliable data on vaccine efficacy against Omicron, WHO’s Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan told the FT that “we believe it’s premature to draw any conclusions about the efficacy of vaccines against Omicron”.
“WHO has convened all our expert groups and scientists are working on experiments to test neutralisation capacity of stored sera from recovered patients or vaccinated individuals against the new variant. This will take a few weeks.”
Swaminathan said “we need to be patient”, pending full “clinical effectiveness studies to truly understand if this variant is able to overcome the immunity generated by existing vaccines”.
The above article has been published from a wire agency with minimal modifications to the headline and text.
E-auction of Uppal Bhagayath plots begins in Hyderabad
Hyderabad: The e-auction of 44 developed plots spread over 1,35,408 square yards in the Uppal Bhagayath Layout began here on Thursday. The auction is being held by the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) and on the online platform managed by Union government enterprise MSTC Limited.
The auction will be held in two sessions on Thursday. A total of 12 plots will go under hammer in the first session (9 am to 12 noon) and 11 plots will be auctioned in the second session (2 pm to 5 pm). The remaining plots will be auctioned on December 3.
The plots are of different sizes, starting from 150 square yards to 15,149 square yards. They are in the close proximity of Nagole Metro Station developed with amenities including storm water and underground sewerage system.
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