Archive for June 5th, 2020

‘Dangerous’ prisoner escapes Northeast Nova Scotia Correctional Facility –

June 5th, 2020

Nova Scotia RCMP are advising people to stay away from the Coalburn and Priestville area after a prisoner described as “dangerous” at the Northeast Nova Scotia Correctional Facility escaped Friday evening.

Police say Kevin Edward Clarke-McNeil, 33, is believed to be on foot and may be trying to travel to Halifax.

A tweet from RCMP late Friday night states that he was incarcerated for serious criminal charges, including attempted murder, and is considered dangerous.

Police say anyone who sees Clarke-McNeil should not contact or approach him, but call 911.

Clarke-McNeil is white, five feet eight inches tall, 200 lbs, with long brown curly hair and a large beard. He has tattoos on both upper arms.

Police say he was last seen wearing grey jogging pants, but no shirt.

According to the Nova Scotia Justice Department, Clarke-McNeil is originally from Ontario and was on remand at the Northeast Nova Scotia Correctional Facility on several charges, including attempted murder, unlawful confinement, aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and resisting/obstructing a peace officer.

In a news release, the department said he had been in custody at the facility since December 2019 and escaped between 8 and 8:30 p.m. Friday. 

The department said anyone with knowledge of Clarke-McNeil’s whereabouts should call 911 or local law enforcement.

Correctional Services will conduct a full review of this incident, the department said.

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Mosquito tests positive for West Nile in The Woodlands –

June 5th, 2020

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas — A mosquito trapped near the Panther Creek area in The Woodlands has tested positive for West Nile virus, Montgomery County Precinct 3 Commission James Noack said.

It’s the first mosquito of the season to test positive for the virus, according to Noack.

The Precinct 3 mosquito abatement team will begin treating the area Saturday night, with another round of treatment Monday evening. Treatment includes spraying all streets and county right-of-ways. Residents are asked to stay indoors at the time.

Summer is a prime breeding time for mosquitoes. Noack asks residents to remove any standing water in their yards that can serve as a breeding ground.

“If you have areas where you can’t get rid of water, such as a bird bath or meter box, you can treat it with larvicide containing BTI instead,” said Montgomery County Mosquito Abatement Director Justin Fausek.


‘Law & Order: SVU’ to address George Floyd’s death and coronavirus pandemic in new season, showrunner says – Fox News

June 5th, 2020

Law & Order: SVU” will address the death of George Floyd — and the protests that followed — in future episodes of the long-running NBC series, according to showrunner Warren Leight.

Leight appeared on The Hollywood Reporter’s podcast “TV’s Top 5” on Friday, explaining that Floyd’s death “has to come up and it will” (via People magazine).

“There are ways, we will find our way in to tell the story,” Leight told the outlet. “Presumably our cops will still be trying to do the right thing but it’s going to be harder for them and they’re going to understand why it’s hard for them.”


Leight went on to share that the “SVU” writers’ room will see changes in an “effort to bring in new voices, fresh voices, different voices.”

As for the drama show itself, Leight explained that “SVU” has “tried really hard in the last year to show how class and race affect the outcomes of justice in society,” however, he noted that he’s “beginning to suspect ‘really hard’ wasn’t enough.”

Mariska Hargitay as Lieutenant Olivia Benson in the 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' episode titled, 'Info Wars.'

Mariska Hargitay as Lieutenant Olivia Benson in the ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ episode titled, ‘Info Wars.’ (Michael Parmelee/NBC)

“This has to be a moment where people make themselves uncomfortable — where people in power have to make themselves uncomfortable,” he said.


And when it comes to how cops are viewed on “SVU,” Leight said that he “can’t make every episode about a bad cop.” Still, he stated that Lieutenant Olivia Benson (played by Mariska Hargitay) “makes mistakes … but she’s empathic, which is I think what separates the cops on our television show from a lot of what we’re seeing these days on our livestreams.”

Leight added that he’s “been made uncomfortable by a number of shows that glorify the use of violence in interrogation or the use of threat.”

Across the country, people have been protesting against police brutality, specifically against members of the black community, in the wake of the death of Floyd, who died while in police custody after an officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes, moments that were captured on cellphone video. In the footage, Floyd, 46, shouts “I cannot breathe” and “don’t kill me,” before losing consciousness. He was later pronounced dead.


Since-fired Chauvin was later charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death. The other three officers at the scene — Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao — were also fired and charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

The future “SVU” episodes will also touch on the novel coronavirus pandemic, Leight said.

“We’re going to reflect New York in the pandemic. What happens to someone who is sexually assaulted during the height of the coronavirus outbreak,”  he shared.


Back in February, it was announced that “Law & Order: SVU” would be getting a three-year renewal.


Massive coronavirus study that said hydroxychloroquine doesn’t work has been retracted – BGR

June 5th, 2020
  • Two coronavirus drug research papers that were published recently have been withdrawn by some of the co-authors of the studies, as the validity of the dataset used in the observational trials could not be independently verified.
  • One of the studies said that hydroxychloroquine is actually worse for patients after looking at data from more than 15,000 COVID-19 cases that were treated with the controversial drug that President Trump favors.
  • The other retracted study analyzed the use of certain heart drugs and concluded they may lower the risk of death in COVID-19 cases.

A coronavirus study published a couple of weeks ago in The Lancet said that out of 96,000 patients treated for COVID-19 in hundreds of hospitals around the world, some 15,000 were given hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine. That’s the controversial COVID-19 treatment that Trump touted as a potential game-changer, a drug the president reportedly took to prevent infection. Given the broad scope of the study, the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as several countries, paused other hydroxychloroquine studies. Investigations that followed questioned the validity of the databases, prompting some of the co-authors of the study to ask for independent reviews. The Lancet posted an expression of concern following the reports, and the WHO announced it would go forward with its major hydroxychloroquine trial.

The co-authors of the study have now retracted it, announcing that an independent review of the data wasn’t possible. A study that used data from the same company, and had some of the same co-authors, was published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) several weeks ago. That study was also retracted.

The Lancet published the retraction on Thursday:

Today, three of the authors of the paper, “Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis”, have retracted their study. They were unable to complete an independent audit of the data underpinning their analysis. As a result, they have concluded that they “can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources.” The Lancet takes issues of scientific integrity extremely seriously, and there are many outstanding questions about Surgisphere and the data that were allegedly included in this study. Following guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), institutional reviews of Surgisphere’s research collaborations are urgently needed.

The retraction notice is published today, June 4, 2020. The article will be updated to reflect this retraction shortly.

Separately, the NEJM posted its own retraction.

Because all the authors were not granted access to the raw data and the raw data could not be made available to a third-party auditor, we are unable to validate the primary data sources underlying our article, “Cardiovascular Disease, Drug Therapy, and Mortality in Covid-19.”1 We therefore request that the article be retracted. We apologize to the editors and to readers of the Journal for the difficulties that this has caused.

“Our independent peer reviewers informed us that Surgisphere would not transfer the full dataset, client contracts, and the full ISO audit report to their servers for analysis as such transfer would violate client agreements and confidentiality requirements. As such, our reviewers were not able to conduct an independent and private peer review and therefore notified us of their withdrawal from the peer-review process,” three of the hydroxychloroquine study researchers wrote — Dr. Mandeep Mehra, Frank Ruschitzka and Amit Patel.

“Due to this unfortunate development, the authors request that the paper be retracted,” they said. “We all entered this collaboration to contribute in good faith and at a time of great need during the COVID-19 pandemic. We deeply apologize to you, the editors, and the journal readership for any embarrassment or inconvenience that this may have caused.” Mehra and Patel were involved in the second study as well.

Data analytics firm Surgisphere Corporation and its founder Sapan Desai, a co-author of the studies, were criticized in recent reports for an inability to explain the access to the impressive amount of patient data that the two observational studies were based on. The company stood by its databases and continues to stand by the findings.

The company defended its databases in a response on its website, but acknowledged that data from a hospital was misclassified, and the problem was remedied. According to Surgisphere, the results in The Lancet shouldn’t be affected.

Researchers around the world have submitted a treasure trove of studies since the novel coronavirus began. We’ve covered several of them, including studies that were in pre-print, non-peer-review form, and we’ve warned you that the conclusions need to be verified by independent researchers. We’ve recently seen critics deliver their concerns about research detailing promising COVID-19 cures, including remdesivir, Moderna, and Oxford. But the hydroxychloroquine and heart drug studies are the first to have been withdrawn. The immense scrutiny around hydroxychloroquine is likely a factor that prompted additional investigations.

Regardless of this massive hydroxychloroquine study, which should now be disregarded, other research about the drug indicates the anti-malarial isn’t effective against COVID-19 and can’t prevent infection.

Image Source: Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock

Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he’s not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.


CDC says 40 percent of Americans surveyed tried using bleach to wash food to prevent coronavirus – Fox News

June 5th, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that over a third of Americans who took its survey reportedly misused household cleaners by using them on their fruits and vegetables in the attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Calls to poison control centers regarding disinfectants and household cleaners reportedly went up since the beginning of the pandemic.

“Thirty-nine percent of respondents reported engaging in non-recommended high-risk practices with the intent of preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, such as washing food products with bleach, applying household cleaning or disinfectant products to bare skin, and intentionally inhaling or ingesting these products,” the CDC report read.


An online survey completed in the U.S. by 502 people in May, aimed to identify people’s knowledge and use of household disinfectants.

Respondents of the survey were between the ages of 18-86, with a median age of 46. Fifty-two percent of the respondents were women and the majority of respondents identified as non-Hispanic white.

Over 50 percent of the respondents said they “strongly agreed” that they knew how to properly clean and disinfect their homes safely.

The CDC report noted that the finding show a need to spread more information on safe practices surrounding household disinfectants.


“This survey identified important knowledge gaps in the safe use of cleaners and disinfectants among U.S. adults,” the CDC reported. “The largest gaps were found in knowledge about safe preparation of cleaning and disinfectant solutions and about storage of hand sanitizers out of the reach of children.”

The CDC also noted that cleaning fruits and vegetables with disinfectants can cause health risks like “severe tissue damage and corrosive injury,” and should be strictly avoided.

The need for public messaging from local, state and national health agencies regarding safe cleaning practices was recommended in the report.


There are ongoing efforts to identify other knowledge gaps when it comes to safe cleaning and disinfecting methods.

“These data will allow for development and evaluation of further targeted messaging to ensure safe cleaning and disinfection practices in U.S. households during and after the COVID-19 pandemic,” the CDC report added.


Justin Trudeau takes a knee but is silent on reforms to policing – The Guardian

June 5th, 2020

Justin Trudeau took a knee in solidarity with anti-racism demonstrators on Friday, but remained silent at the event as his government faces questions over how it plans to address police violence

Wearing a black mask and surrounded by bodyguards, the Canadian prime minister made a surprise appearance at the No justice = No peace rally in Ottawa.

After he knelt with protesters, a number of attendees thanked him for the gesture. But, for others, Trudeau’s actions rang hollow.

“I’m not interested in bullshit publicity stunts, especially now,” said Andray Domise, a Toronto-based writer. “How the hell can you kneel against police brutality? When everything in your record indicates you have no problem with it. It boggles the mind to watch him turn to the camera – almost like he was confirming that he was being filmed – and kneeling.”

The prime minister has previously received criticism for attending demonstrations. In September he joined a climate rally in Montreal, even though his government has been widely criticised by activists for bailing out a contentious pipeline expansion project

Dean Blundell

Trudeau takes a knee at BLM rally in Ottawa. Nice gesture but isn’t this a cop/protestor thing? Or is it a solidarity thing? Or is it a virtue-signaling thing? Because it’s him, I don’t know.

June 5, 2020

Earlier in the day, Trudeau acknowledged the country had problems within its policing systems, following a number of violent incidents – including the killing of Chantel Moore, a 26-year-old Indigenous woman shot dead by police early on Thursday morning. 

“Far too many Canadians feel fear and anxiety at the sight of law enforcement officers,” Trudeau told reporters. “Over the past weeks, we’ve seen a large number of Canadians suddenly awaken to the fact that the discrimination that is a lived reality for far too many of our fellow citizens is something that needs to end.”

Reporters asked Trudeau to name specific policy changes his government would implement, and if he believed police officers in Canada were racist, but he declined to answer either question directly. 

Earlier in the day, Indigenous Services minister Marc Miller condemned Moore’s killing. “I’m pissed. I’m outraged. There needs to be a full accounting of what has gone on,” he said. This is a pattern that keeps repeating itself.”

The march in Ottawa, attended by thousands, followed days of protest over police brutality and racism across the US, prompted by the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and the murder of Ahmaud Arbery

But activists pointed out that Canada had its own problems with race and policing: black residents of Toronto are 20 times as likely to be shot dead as white residents.

At a march in Toronto on Friday, the city’s police chief, Mark Saunders, also took a knee with other officers near police headquarters.

The city’s police service has come under fire in recent days, after a woman fell to her death following a police response to a mental health emergency. In light of the incident, which police are prohibited from speaking about, Saunders has pledged to expedite the rollout of body cameras on officers.

The incident closely mirrored an event in the city of London, Ontario last month, when the mother of 27-year-old Caleb Tubila Njoko called police for help after her son displayed erratic behaviour. Police arrived at the apartment and her son fell from the balcony. He died three days later.

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Google Assistant can directly answer ‘do black lives matter’ – 9to5Google

June 5th, 2020

CDC report: Some Americans are gargling with bleach and drinking household cleaners to prevent coronavirus – TribLIVE

June 5th, 2020

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Wear fabric masks where coronavirus is spreading: WHO updates guidelines –

June 5th, 2020

The World Health Organization now says if you live an an area where the virus is spreading, you should wear a mask if you can’t social distance.

The World Health Organization is broadening its recommendations for the use of masks during the coronavirus pandemic and said Friday it is now advising that in areas where the virus is spreading, people should wear fabric masks when social distancing is not possible, such as on public transportation and in shops.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said people over age 60 or with underlying medical conditions also should wear medical-grade masks in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained. WHO previously had recommended that only health care workers, people with COVID-19 and their caregivers wear medical masks, noting a global shortage of supplies.

During a press briefing discussing the revised guidance, Tedros added that “masks on their own will not protect you from COVID-19” and emphasized the importance of hand-washing, social distancing and other infection-prevention strategies.

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WHO also widened its mask guidance to specify that health workers in areas where the virus is spreading freely should always wear masks inside medical facilities. Doctors working in cardiology or other wards, for example, should wear medical masks even if the facilities had no known coronavirus patients, Tedros said.

Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead on COVID-19, said the updated recommendations were based on new research commissioned by the U.N. health agency.

Other health agencies, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have recommended for some time the wearing of masks or face coverings by the general public to slow the spread of the coronavirus. British authorities said this week that face coverings would be compulsory on subways and other mass transit.

April Baller, a WHO infection control expert, said the type of masks recommended for the general public are fabric or cloth coverings that can be made at home. She said part of the reason for the widening of WHO’s advice on face masks was the increasing evidence COVID-19 can be spread by people before they have symptoms.

WHO previously said that transmission from people who do not have symptoms was not believed to be a major driver of the virus pandemic.

“What (the masks) do is they prevent a person who may actually have the disease from transmitting it to somebody else,” Baller said.


Apple Watch ECG app likely coming to Brazil and Japan next – 9to5Mac

June 5th, 2020