/Links 11/20/2020

Links 11/20/2020

Scientists Create a Buzz With the First Ever Global Map of Bee Species Smithsonian (original). The original is worth a look because it’s structured in a way that makes it easy to pick out the (human-readable) high points. Thank you, Current Biology!

Millennium Seed Bank celebrates 20 years of preserving plant heritage Euronews

How hedge fund traders known as the SPAC Mafia are driving an $80 billion investment boom with a no-lose trade. Forbes

Why Google Dominates Advertising Markets (PDF) Dina Srinivasan, Stanford Technology Law Review

Judge smacks down Ernst & Young’s aggressive tax strategies for audit client Coca-Cola Francine McKenna, The Dig. Deck: “It’s not enough for auditor EY to be in the spotlight for frauds at Wirecard, NMC, and Luckin. EY is also defending dubious tax avoidance schemes in court.”

1 big thing: Small-town home runs Felix Salmon, Axios

California Wants Its Imperial Valley to Be ‘Lithium Valley’ Bloomberg

Climate change is bringing back long-lost forms of food poisoning The Counter

Prospects for life on Venus fade — but aren’t dead yet Nature


A Lack of Transparency Is Undermining Pandemic Policy Wired

Health experts clash over use of certain drugs for COVID-19 AP

A living WHO guideline on drugs for covid-19 (PDF) WHO. A change: “The latest version of this WHO living guidance focuses on remdesivir, following the 15 October 2020 preprint publication of results from the WHO SOLIDARITY trial. It contains a weak or conditional recommendation against the use of remdesivir in hospitalised patients with covid-19… Considering the low or very low certainty evidence for all outcomes, the panel interpreted the evidence as not proving that remdesivir is ineffective; rather there is no evidence based on currently available data that it does improve patient-important outcomes. The panel placed low value on small and uncertain benefits in the presence of the remaining possibility of important harms.”

The ‘very, very bad look’ of remdesivir, the first FDA-approved COVID-19 drug Science. Oddly, Fauci’s name goes unmentioned, though Fauci, on the basis of a press release, dubbed remdesivir “the standard of care.” If Science wants its political endorsements to drive its reporting, that’s fine, but let’s be clear that’s what’s going on, eh? (Yes, yes, it’s “a bad look.” And bipartisan!)

Secret ingredients behind the breakthrough Covid vaccines FT. Oh, “secret ingredients.”

Hospitals scramble to get ready for coronavirus vaccines Healthcare Dive

* * *

What the data say about asymptomatic COVID infections Nature

L.A. officials are still not sure how or why COVID cases are skyrocketing. It’s a huge handicap Los Angeles Times

FDA approves emergency use for first at-home Covid-19 test kit CNBC

This winter, fight covid-19 with humidity WaPo

Hedge Funds Inoculated Themselves Against Vaccine Profits Dealbreaker


The Elements of the China Challenge (PDF) Policy Planning Staff, Office of the Secretary of State (via Axios).

China deepens probes into the roles of rating agency, banks and brokers after AAA-rated Yongcheng Coal’s bond went bust South China Morning Post. Commentary:

China Urges New Era of Mass Migration—Back to the Countryside WSJ

China’s grain and soya imports upsurge Hellenic Shipping News


East Asia Decouples from the United States: Trade War, COVID-19, and East Asia’s New Trade Blocs (PDF) Petersen Institute for International Economics. Handy diagram:

As Michael Pettis points out, the RCEP members are all net exporters. So who buys the goods?

The Koreas

South Korea daily COVID-19 cases highest since August; nationwide infections feared Reuters

From a crab shack to Hyundai, China’s wrath over a U.S. missile defense system weighs on South Korea LA Times


EU leaders clash over Hungary and Poland budget veto Deutsche Welle

France’s Macron issues ‘republican values’ ultimatum to Muslim leaders BBC

The Repression of France’s Yellow Vests Has Left Hundreds in Jail — And Crushed Freedom of Protest Jacobin

Jeremy Corbyn ‘must make full apology’ before returning as Labour MP, says ex-PM Gordon Brown Sky News. Nothing Corbyn says or does will be enough for his detractors, so why worry?

Jeremy Corbyn row deepens as allies threaten to cut off Labour election cash Mirror

Bankers in Denmark See Sharp Rise in Threats From Angry Clients Bloomberg


Three EU countries call on Commission to step up no-deal Brexit preparations Politico

Brexit Britain Collides With Irish Soft Power in Washington Bloomberg

Trump Transition

US Treasury refuses to extend some of Fed’s crisis-fighting tools FT

‘We Basically Made Recovery Much, Much Harder Than It Has to Be’ FAIR

Biden Transition

Listening to the scientists on Biden’s Covid task force:

(Zeke Emmanuel: “Why I Hope to Die at 75.”)

Not just COVID: Nursing home neglect deaths surge in shadows AP


Georgia manual recount confirms Biden victory Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Trump campaign legal fight keyed to court of public opinion The Hill. The “faithless electors” strategy didn’t work for the Democrats in 2016, and it’s unlikely to work for Republicans in 2020. That said:

The Extremist At Dominion Voting Systems The American Conservative. “Dominion” as in “Dominion of Canada” (it’s a Canadian firm), not as in Dominionism (a perfectly valid inference; good wrap-up here, from one of those old-time blogs). DVS bought Diebold and Sequoia, FWIW. (One reason that voting machines are such a fertile field for “connecting the dots” is that privatizing “our democracy” has led to a horrid tangle of failed and/or acquired vendors, crooks, con artists, grifters, operatives, politicos on the take, plus white-hat hackers, and whistleblowers (some of whom are statisticians). On the role of DVS in election 2020, I’m still waiting on the affidavits (assuming they’d be reported, of course; the DVS Wikipedia entry has extensive, for up-to-the-minute edits on 2020, but the material on the acquisition of Diebold and Sequioa hasn’t been beefed up at all). When you’ve lost Tucker Carlson:

If one of the outcomes of election 2020 is the syllogism: “Election 2020 was legitimate, therefore electronic, privatized voting is legitimate”… Well, that would be pretty bleak.

Uptight City Tries to Silence Neighborhood Councils … and, CityWatch City Watch LA

What it took to investigate a suspicious town in the Mojave Desert High Country News

Our Famously Free Press

Covid anti-vaxxers should face action for spreading false information that ‘could cost lives’, Britain’s top counter-terror officer says Daily Mail. Paging Barbra Streisand

Digging the rabbit hole, COVID-19 edition: anti-vaccine themes and the discourse around COVID-19 Microbes and Infection

A Game Designer’s Analysis Of QAnon Medium (RC). Word of the day: apophenia. Well worth a read.

Meet the Censored: Ford Fischer Matt Taibbi, TK News

Boeing 737

Bjorn’s Corner: 737 MAX ungrounding, the technical background Leeham News and Analysis

Police State Watch

A cop shoots a Black man, and a police union flexes its muscle Reuters

Protests and Riots

Kenosha: How two men’s paths crossed in an encounter that has divided the nation (video) WaPo. Interview with Rittenhouse.

Imperial Collapse Watch

TAC Files Lawsuit Against State Department Over Venezuelan ‘Bay Of Pigs’ The American Conservative

America’s “Wars of Religion” Slate

Class Warfare

Social democracy or feudalism Interfluidity

Coronavirus: Facebook accused of forcing staff back to offices BBC (dk).

The Student Debt Crisis is a Crisis of Non-Repayment Marshall Steinbaum, Phenomenal World

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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