From payments to armaments: the double life of Wirecard’s Jan Marsalek FT (Richard Smith). Quite a lead: “It was early 2018 when Jan Marsalek, the young chief operating officer of German fintech champion Wirecard, held a meeting in his palatial home in Munich to talk about a new special project he was interested in: recruiting 15,000 Libyan militiamen.” Second paragraph: “Mr Marsalek has now vanished…” Richard Smith comments: “Wirecard just keeps on giving.”
BCG vaccine protection from severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) PNAS. From the abstract: “[E]very 10% increase in the BCG index, [an estimation of the degree of universal BCG vaccination deployment in a country,] was associated with a 10.4% reduction in COVID-19 mortality. Results fail to confirm the null hypothesis of no association between BCG vaccination and COVID-19 mortality, and suggest that BCG could have a protective effect. Nevertheless, the analyses are restricted to coarse-scale signals and should be considered with caution.”
Trump Would Like to See You Now Jamelle Bouie, NYT. “Workers are kept on edge — and willing to accept whatever wage is on offer — by the threat of immiseration. This, for politicians who back both big business and existing social relations, is a feature and not a bug of our economic system, since insecurity and desperation keep power in the hands of capital and its allies.” Oddly, or not, Bouie applies this insight only to Trump. For a Democrat version, see NC here.
If it’s Not “Cancel Culture,” What Kind of Culture is it? (excerpt) Matt Taibbi (GF). “The woke version of erotica is writing an article for the Guardian about how ‘ejaculating’ skyscrapers are symbols of cisnormative dominance. They make the Junior Anti-Sex League seem like Led Zeppelin.”