Authorization for companies to reduce wages by 40% and even, if their difficulties persist, to terminate employment contracts … The television announcements of the Saudi Minister of Finance, Mohammad al-Jadaan, Saturday, May 2, show the extent of the crisis in the Wahhabi kingdom.
The collapse of oil prices combined with the effects of confinement and the cancellation of pilgrimages to Meccaforce saudi arabia to “Take strict and extreme measures, which could be painful but necessary for the stability of public finances”, he hammered in front of his fellow citizens who did not expect such a cold shower.
→ LIVE. Coronavirus: the latest information in France and worldwide
The coming recession is likely to affect, to varying degrees, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait or Oman. But it is in India, the Philippines, Yemen or Egypt that its effects could be the most painful. “In the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, foreigners represent on average half of the population”, recalls Delphine Pagès-El Karoui, lecturer in geography at Inalco. This share varies between a third in Saudi Arabia, the most populous country, and 90% in Qatar or the Emirates.
Originally from Arab countries in the 1970s, “Guest workers” according to the official expression, most of them now come from India, Pakistan, Nepal or Bangladesh. Estimating precisely their contribution to the economy of their country of origin is not easy, especially since“Obtaining accurate and detailed data on the different nationalities of migrants from the Gulf is not an easy task”said Zahra Babar, deputy director of research at the Center for International and Regional Studies at Georgetown University (1).
But the number of migrants’ savings transfers each year gives an idea of the windfall they represent: India received 70 billion dollars in 2018, Egypt 20 ” and of that amount, 70% came from the Gulf “, underlines Delphine Pagès-El Karoui. Saudi Arabia is also the leading country of origin for transfers to Pakistan.
In Kerala or Upper Egypt, what will the families of these expatriate workers live on, unable to work due to confinement? In recent weeks, numerous testimonies have revealed their exposure to the coronavirus because of their conditions of accommodation in overcrowded dormitories, but also their difficulty in paying their rent and even to feed themselves when the authorities closed their quarters for fear of the contagion.
Concern for their job
“The most affected are the least qualified, those who work in construction, hotels or restaurants or trade. But even engineers, doctors and computer scientists are impacted because life is very expensive on the spot and some families can no longer pay the registration fees in schools “, observes Delphine Pagès-El Karoui.
Now, they are worried about their jobs, even beyond confinement. The few organizations that defend their rights fear that the discrimination – inherent in the system – will worsen with the crisis. The UAE human resources ministry has just adopted a resolution allowing companies to unilaterally modify contracts “Only for non-nationals”, notes the Migrants-rights.org website. “In principle, employers and employees must agree on unpaid leave or reduced wages, but in reality most workers are unable to negotiate”.
→ READ. In Saudi Arabia, “flogging does not disappear from the law”
The government of the Sultanate of Oman even called at the end of April the public companies to replace their foreign employees occupying positions of responsibility by national citizens ” as soon as possible “.
The very harsh remarks, recently made on television, by the Kuwaiti actress, Hayat al-Fahad, reveal the ambiguity of the citizens of the Gulf countries vis-à-vis the millions of foreign workers and the fragile position in which the current crisis places them: “Why should we care about them if their countries don’t want them? Aren’t these people supposed to leave during crises? We should expel them (…), put them in the desert ”.
The Russian Foreign Ministry urged the Czech Republic to realize that accusations against Russia of allegedly preparing poisoning of local politicians will have consequences for bilateral relations. Earlier, the Czech magazine Respekt wrote that Moscow decided to take revenge on the initiators of the demolition of the monument to Marshal Konev, and a spy with a diplomatic passport and poison arrived in the Czech capital from Russia. The leaders of Prague were taken under round-the-clock protection.
“We proceed from the fact that in Prague we should be fully aware of the seriousness of the consequences of using such methods of manipulation,” said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova at a briefing on Wednesday (quoted by RIA Novosti). She called the publication of the Czech edition “provocation bordering on painful delirium.”
Earlier, a spokeswoman for the Czech Foreign Ministry, Zuzana Stihova, said that the arrival of about three weeks ago in Prague from a business trip of an accredited Russian diplomat, “whom his colleagues really took from the airport,” is a confirmed fact. The Russian Embassy in the Czech Republic said that none of the diplomatic staff had arrived at the Prague airport since mid-March. It called the publication of Respekt magazine “speculation” that “has absolutely no basis”. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov also said that a journalistic investigation into a Czech newspaper is like a duck.
Recall that the monument to Marshal Ivan Konev was dismantled on April 3 in Prague by decision of the municipal authorities, it is planned to move it to another place.
On the transfer of the monument – in the material “b” “Soviet Marshal and a suitcase with poison.”
Analysis of how varies, but there is hardly any political discrepancy in how the health crisis forces us to undertake urgent and medium-term strategies to combat the economic impact of the coronavirus epidemic. That certainty, the complexity of management, the exceptional nature of the moment and the reading that citizens are inclined towards consensus in the institutions have brought forth covenant deals across the country, even without knowing what their route will be. The last one, this Thursday, in Andalusia. A proposal for a “great alliance” by the President of the Board, Juanma Moreno, before the socialist Susana Díaz advocated trying it in Parliament.
Autonomous governments and opposition are questioning these days with more or less skepticism about the result, for the “Ideological differences”, or effectiveness, by “room for maneuver” of each administration to face the crisis. “One thing is that the pact is viable and another that we do not try,” says, even so, a territorial leader with an eye toward 91.4% of Spaniards who, according to the latest CIS barometer, defend the search of consensus.
Those who share the argument, and are not oblivious to the polarization of the current political panorama, warn about the price of the temptations to break and therefore celebrate that Pedro Sánchez and Pablo Casado understood on Monday that the opposite of opening a space for dialogue it would have subtracted them both. Despite the obvious mistrust.
The PP president left the meeting exhibiting an achievement: having derived the conversations from the party table that the government intended, and that the popular had branded as a “trap”, to a parliamentary commission in Congress in which each political force is represented by weight. And the chief executive replied two days later, on Wednesday, with a proposal for an agreement in all the territories “whoever governs”.
Hours later, the socialist Ángel Gabilondo and the Madrid PSOE reached out to Isabel Díaz Ayuso, PP, for a reconstruction pact in the community that includes parliamentary groups, social agents and municipalities. This Friday, there will be a session in the Assembly after the telematic means failed this Thursday.
Appointment in parliaments
Also in Andalusia, where PP and Citizens govern, the appearance of Moreno is scheduled this Friday. The Chairman of the Board has already announced that he will try to promote the alliance. The PSOE urges, meanwhile, to articulate a table in the Autonomous Chamber to study the measures. The Socialists also offer to modify the Budgets.
A similar offer was extended by the PP on April 16 to the president of the Valencian Generalitat, the socialist Ximo Puig, to agree on some accounts that adapt to the new reality. The popular leader, Isabel Bonig, raised, on that occasion, a cut of 1,200 million euros.
This week, Puig promised to work for an agreement with the opposition without “any media urgency” or “blank checks.” The PP wants a parliamentary study commission, in the style of what is proposed in Congress, to address possible initiatives.
In other cases, calls to the deal have long been put on the table. On April 13, it was the socialist Emiliano García-Page who proposed a regional pact for recovery in Castilla-La Mancha once the emergency was overcome. And on April 5, his fellow member, the President of Aragon, Javier Lambán did the same. Last week there was a meeting in this region with parties, social agents and municipal representatives. In the same way, the Executive of Castilla y León, of PP and Citizens, defends working consensus. And in the Basque Country, part of the opposition and the PSE, the PNV’s government partner, press for sitting down to dialogue.
Cs closes ranks with the PP in the communities in which they govern and is running to chair the post-crisis commission in Congress
In Extremadura, however, the PP conditioned this Thursday the agreement that the president of the Board, Guillermo Fernández Vara, defends, to redirect the management of the health crisis. “You want to talk about pacts, so count the deceased well,” José Antonio Monago warned in the Assembly.
In some territories, moreover, given the financing conditions, they recognize that they are pending from both the European Union and the central government. The leader of Ciudadanos, in fact, responded this Thursday to Sánchez that the most necessary agreements are those of Congress. He also ran as the PP to preside over the commission that is set up. What saved from any new majority that can be articulated on account of the coronavirus are the government alliances with the popular ones.
La Moncloa says that unions and employers also want a pact
The business organizations CEOE and Cepyme and the trade union centers CC OO and UGT “have supported the proposal to promote large agreements for the economic and social reconstruction of the country”. This is the version that they gave in the Moncloa of the meeting by videoconference that the President of the Government held this Thursday for an hour and a half, accompanied by the economic vice-president, with the representatives of the employers and union organizations.
The dialogue table is the third axis of the agreements that Pedro Sánchez is looking for, and it may be the first in which understanding comes to fruition. The parliamentary commission advances at a tortuous pace and with great differences on the objectives between PSOE and PP. The institutional sphere centered on the autonomous communities has started, but the misgivings between the two great parties also threaten success.
Although the CEOE presidents, Antonio Garamendi, and Cepyme, Gerardo Cuerva, did not give this Thursday their version of the conversation with Sánchez, the general secretaries of CC OO, Unai Sordo, and UGT, Pepe Álvarez, confirmed the assessment made by government. “We have transferred the will of CC OO and all the social partners to participate in the state pacts that Spain needs,” said Sordo. Álvarez, in turn, confirmed the unions’ interest in being “protagonists” of these agreements.
Minimum vital income
But even though it was a first meeting, the union leaders put concrete issues on the table, such as the implementation as soon as possible of the minimum vital income. A measure that the Government plans to approve in May and that would benefit, according to government accounts, one million families who have been left out of the approved aid package to face the consequences of the pandemic. The monthly amount is yet to be determined, but some sources suggest that it would be between 400 and 500 euros.
They also called for the extension of the validity of the ERTES throughout the de-escalation despite the high cost they have for public coffers.
How to compensate for the lack of sun exposure essential for the production of vitamin D and our bones?
And the sun long awaited by the inhabitants of Nord – Pas-de-Calais has arrived … The first day of confinement. Since then, he taunts us almost without interruption. In exceptional situations, exceptional weather, we hardly exaggerate. This sun, which is said to be so good for morale, is also good for our organism, which uses it in particular to synthesize vitamin D, essential for the health of our bone and muscular tissues and our immune system.
Don’t panic, however. Two months of sun deprivation should not be dramatic for the inhabitants of the region, already in deficit, informs doctor Franck Roussel, secretary general of the order of doctors of the North. Your doctor will always be able to check your level and if necessary prescribe synthetic vitamin D.
Chronic diseases: lack of physical activity less dangerous than deprivation of doctor
For people with certain chronic diseases, such as diabetes or hypertension, minimal physical activity is generally recommended. This is still valid but as much as possible in the garden, on the balcony or in the living room with windows open for oxygen. ” The balance of benefits (of going out without protection) risks (of being contaminated) may be unfavorable if you have risk factors “, Considers Franck Roussel. There are lots of ways to exercise at home, the sports ministry has listed some on its website. By taking all the precautions, those who do not even have a balcony can obviously go to the air if they deem it necessary. And if you need to go to the doctor, no hesitation, reminds the doctor. Postponing the consultations of generalists or specialists can indeed prove to be dangerous. ” All the doctors have organized themselves so that they can receive patients safely. “
Calling the doctor is also the first reflex to have when you have symptoms that seem simply related to anxiety or a big blow of fatigue. And when we have the coronavirus symptoms.
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medications recommended by US authorities such as
President Donald Trump to fight the coronavirus, have had effects
direct in the sales of pharmacies in Tijuana, where in a matter of hours
They sold hundreds of boxes with the alleged cure.
put a thousand boxes on it, and they all left, “said Joe Flores, a pharmacist for more than
20 years on the Tijuana border, speaking of drug sales
known as hydroxychloroquine.
This Monday, April 6, the shelves of the pharmacies where these drugs were, are empty, because among the Americans who arrive in Tijuana, there has been a rumor of more drugs that cure the coronavirus.
medicines that prevent the common flu or that allegedly reinforce
Defenses end in Tijuana.
“Aderogyl 15 has been taken by people for up to 100 boxes, 50 boxes,” said Luis Alfonso Cruz, a pharmacist at Pey Pharma.
These purchases of
Medication panic is affecting people like the 65-year-old grandfather of
Emmelin, who needs hydroxychloroquine for a distant condition when
“It is enough
unpleasant, sad and worrying that people put themselves in this situation “,
assured Emmelin Aguilera, who said that she had to resort to the resale of
medicines, where a box valued at an average of $ 650 pesos, cost him up to
$ l, 100 pesos.
resellers, people who bought it to give it at a higher price that’s how
We did it ”, said Emmelin Aguilera.
The Secretariat of
Salud asked the community not to trust what they see on the Internet.
“They are studies
preliminaries, you’re not talking that they already work, “said Alonso Pérez,
secretary of health in Baja California, since each organism has reactions
and different complications, including coronavirus.
“There’s a lot
people who are being given hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and they don’t work, ”
assured Alonso Pérez, secretary of health in Baja California.
Health is urgent, but institutions are preparing for the day after, and especially in sectors, such as culture, which are at risk of suffering severely the crisis caused by the coronavirus. The Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa announces measures to mitigate these effects, and the Council of Arts and Culture promoted by the provincial institution will analyze next week a first panel of supporting actions to the cultural sector. «We are working to guarantee the sustainability of Gipuzkoa’s cultural projects and to launch initiatives that encourage consumption cultural «, Harkaitz Millán, deputy for Culture.
In this line, yesterday the approval of an important part of the aid lines for the current year was communicated, «in order that the requests can be made immediately after the period of sanitary emergency and thus speed up the financing of projects and the arrival of liquidity in the sector «.
Millán has addressed a letter to various representatives of the cultural sector “to convey the support of the local institution and its commitment to articulate measures to mitigate the effects of the health emergency caused by Covid19”, according to his department. «The cultural sector is going through a very delicate momentdue to the general suspension of activities and events. We have approached their representatives to learn first-hand about their situation and needs, start preparing a plan to restructure the Department’s aid and subsidies and create instruments that facilitate financing, “said the deputy.
In this sense, the services of the Department of Culture «work to guarantee the sustainability of the cultural projects currently underway in Gipuzkoa and study the adoption of initiatives that may encourage cultural creation and consumption«. Likewise, from the Diputación it is highlighted that »the adaptation of some lines of aid and the instruments of cultural promotion are being analyzed, as well as their possible reinforcement to face the effects of the current situation«.
In the communication addressed to cultural agents their participation is requested through the presentation of proposals that they can be incorporated into this panel of measures “and count, in this way, with the participation of the sector so that the actions are adjusted, as much as possible, to their needs”.
The Plan prepared by the Department of Culture, together with the contributions of cultural agents, has been transferred to the Arts and Culture Council, so that its members can analyze it and present the corresponding proposals. In the coming weeks, different meetings will take place electronically to share information “and establish an Action Plan to support the culture sector and strengthen it to face the crisis.” According to Millán, “our intention is to have a list strategy agreed with the sector that we can start applying as soon as the emergency period is over and start to get back to normal. ‘
The provincial head of Culture emphasizes his thanks “to the messages received from the sector to offer their collaboration.” Millán underlines his willingness to «listen, accompany and to establish joint lines of work with the cultural sectors to face the serious situation that we are going through ».
Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala in late February was busy with the usual chores. His city is an endless series of exhibitions, festivals, conferences, etc., national and international, and the head of the city is responsible for everything along with the organizers. The international shoe exhibition MICAM Spring (February 16–19) has just ended and Milan Fashion Week (February 18–24) was in full swing.
As early as January 31, it became known that in Rome two Chinese tourists were hospitalized with coronavirus, who had previously been in Milan. But it seemed a trifle: the capital of Italy is in the middle of the boot, and the capital of Lombardy is at the top of the boot. Moreover, Italy immediately, the first in the European Union, stopped air communication with China.
No one knew that on February 14, in the city of Codogno (Lombardy), a 38-year-old Italian named Mattia fell ill. Six days passed before he was changed from conventional flu to COVID-2019. After this, events grew like a snowball. On February 21, 16 cases of the disease were known, the next day the number exceeded fifty, and the first victims of the coronavirus died; one of them, a 77-year-old woman, in Lombardy. Just these days in Milan, in addition to the fashion week, residents walked at the carnival, and schoolchildren went with their parents all over the country for holidays.
The city was full of Chinese, especially at Fashion Week. “I was somewhat shocked by the situation – the story of Wuhan was just in full swing. Meanwhile, only a few fashion brands canceled parties and held shows online, without spectators in the hall, ”says the Russian-speaking manager of a luxury company based in Milan. But soon everything changed.
The future of Krefeld is at stake, a look ahead to 2030. This is the invitation from the local Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK). But the real attraction last Tuesday is the speaker: Prime Minister Armin Laschet, who is running for the CDU party chair and could be Germany’s next chancellor. The rush is correspondingly large, even in times of corona and growing hysteria everywhere.
But it is not that easy to see Laschet. A woman at the front door points to the disinfection dispenser in a friendly but determined manner. Each of the 400 visitors, entrepreneurs, politicians, cream their hands well. Everyone also fills out the “Infection Protection Declaration”. “Have you been in one of the risk areas in the last 14 days?”, “Have you been in contact with an infected person in the last 14 days?” Even sniffing is asked in Krefeld.
The health department actually had the event in Audi-Centre already canceled. The Mayor of Krefeld intervened, but in the end the Chamber of Commerce was allowed to open the doors – but only under strict conditions. The snack: canceled. Free choice of seats: prohibited.
Everyone is assigned a numbered seat and must provide their cell phone number. A precautionary measure if someone later proves the coronavirus. The health department can then determine exactly who was sitting in front of, next to or behind the infected person.
Ballet in Shanghai
The dancers must wear respirators during training.
Welcome to the new corona world! Whoever talks to the entrepreneurs in the audience does not hear complaints about the virus, but rather the seemingly absurdly sharp countermeasures. Deliveries don’t come, orders fail. “This crisis for human health can be followed by a major crisis in the global economy,” warns Laschet in his speech.
If a trade fair was canceled, this could be a “single catastrophe” for a medium-sized entrepreneur. Perhaps they only have the chance to present their products to the global market once a year. Such effects cannot yet be foreseen.
A special case of overreaction hit the headlines a few days ago. The US Federal Reserve cut the base rate by 50 basis points. No sensible step in the eyes of Mohamed El-Erian, US economist and advisor to the Allianz insurance group. “An unscheduled interest rate cut and then a further 0.5 percentage points signals an emergency situation.” That had unsettled the markets even more.
The question arises: are the measures against the corona virus and the rampant fear of infection still adequate? Of course, the danger should never be underestimated. Thousands of people have died of Covid-19. But: compared to other viral diseases, the new virus has so far been rather harmless. 99 percent of all people outside of China survived the disease safely.
Every day more people die in traffic in the world than at Covid-19. Nevertheless, we all get back into the car or bike every morning. In the eyes of most Germans, public reactions are exaggerated: 52 percent share this view, according to a survey commissioned exclusively for the Handelsblatt.
Why is the world reacting so dramatically anyway? The suddenness of the epidemic scares us deep down. “The fear of corona is somewhat comparable to the fear of terrorism,” explains Dan Ariely, behavioral economist and professor at Duke University – everyone is afraid, although the likelihood of becoming a victim is rather low.
Nevertheless, trade fairs, events, sporting events, conferences and premieres are canceled dozen times. It was announced on Wednesday that even the release of the new James Bond film, which is planned for early April, will be postponed until autumn. How should entrepreneurs, investors and politicians behave in such an environment?
“Individual decision-makers often do not have enough specialist knowledge and insight to make the appropriate decisions,” says Veronika Grimm, behavioral economist and Germany’s new business. She recommends a “rule-based approach”, only in this way can a “spiral” be prevented that “maximally risk-averse behavior takes place – just because nobody wants to do anything wrong”.
Specifically, Michael Hüther, head of the Institute of German Business, suggests aid measures such as corporate loans or the expansion of short-time work benefits for stabilization.
A trip to Bönen, a municipality in North Rhine-Westphalia, shows how this works. The location should be classified better by many with the Kamener Kreuz A1, which is very close. Kik’s headquarters are located in Bönen. The well-known textile discounter, which belongs to the realm of the family company Tengelmann, prepared exemplary for the crisis, if for other reasons.
Textile discounter Kik: well equipped for Corona
The former Tengelmann boss Karl-Erivan Haub did not actually know fear. He ventured on ski tours in extreme mountain conditions, ran marathons in remote areas of the world. But in business operations, the manager, who died in 2018, took great care and was afraid of natural disasters, power cuts – or even pandemics. That is why he obliged each subsidiary to set up a permanent crisis team that meets three to four times a year and draws up plans for all possible scenarios.
The textile discounter Kik was therefore ideally equipped for the corona virus. “We have already developed a certain routine for behavior in the event of a crisis,” says Jörg Oudshoorn, head of the crisis team. “We have a pandemic plan with clear processes that we now only have to adapt to the specific situation.” First, the most important employees for the business process were listed and equipped with protective clothing such as breathing masks.
All other employees have a laptop and other technology so that they can work from home if necessary. Finally, communication plans were drawn up to be able to maintain operations in the event of a crisis: who can be reached, how and when?
With the corona virus, Kik stopped business trips to Italy, Asia should be avoided if possible. Many deliveries come from there, the dealer currently has no replenishment problems because he already has most of the goods for autumn in the German warehouse. Nevertheless, discussions were held with each supplier and emergency plans were drawn up with the buyers in the event that the production break should take longer than expected. “It is extremely challenging for shopping,” says Kik boss Patrick Zahn.
“Dealing with this crisis has a lot to do with psychology,” observes Zahn. Panic can also be contagious, as you could see, for example, when buying hamsters in supermarkets. “When you comment on the corona virus, it’s a constant balancing act between duty of care for employees and the increase in general excitement.”
But despite all the preparations, the corona virus brought new insights to the Kik boss. “We know that communication must be earlier and clearer to give employees security.” The desire for reliable information in the workforce is high.
And Zahn learned something else. The company, which has very intensive business relationships with Asia, initially focused on China when solving problems. “But we quickly realized that the situation has an impact on all areas of the company.”
Like Kik, many entrepreneurs have to deal with an unsafe situation. The atmosphere can be captured well in Krefeld at the IHK evening. Even if the security precautions are drastic, hardly anyone shakes hands: Nobody is really afraid of the virus here.
The economic effects are much worse: “We have two companies in China, the supply chains there are completely damaged,” says Erich Bröker, managing director of the Krefeld subsidiary Kleinewefers, which has holdings in mechanical engineering, among other things. They would also notice the fear of viruses when they received the order. “In terms of sales it is very slow, companies order fewer machines and prefer to wait.”
Jana Bender is a few meters away. She also feels the crisis in her company. Krefelder Logistik Dienst GmbH often transports goods from China, is a lot for Amazon on road. “Orders are falling, fewer and fewer containers are in the warehouse,” says the boss of 15 employees. She personally is not afraid of the virus, you could also catch a normal flu. “But I’m afraid that Corona will completely paralyze the economy.”
A technological and economic issue, 5G also raises public health questions which have partly motivated the two associations behind anti-5G appeals filed before the Council of State, Agir pour l’Environnement and Priartem-electrosensibles.
→ TO READ. A dozen sites in France will test 5G
Commissioned by the government, ANSES (National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety) published a preliminary report on January 27 which highlights “A significant lack of scientific data on the potential biological and health effects” related to 5G. This one “Brings together several technologies: mobile phone, connected objects (household appliances, etc.), industrial uses, etc. It is therefore difficult to measure the extent and nature of future exposure of the population to electromagnetic waves, explains Olivier Merckel, at ANSES. In addition, the 5G antennas will operate with more mobile beams than 4G, with an impact on the intensity of the exposure which is difficult to anticipate. “
Sophie Pelletier, president of the Priartem-electrosensibles association, also recognizes this difficulty in evaluation. But one thing is certain for her: the exhibition “Can only increase due to the new uses announced in the wake of 5G, because the antennas will be more numerous, and because it will be added to existing networks (2G, 3G and 4G), explains this activist. The National Frequency Agency, responsible for managing radio frequencies, has already published figures to this effect. “
“We remain vigilant. It was this vigilance that led us, in 2013, to recommend limiting the exposure of children. “
ANSES will therefore have to solve an equation with several unknowns. The task promises to be particularly difficult for the study of the frequencies of 26 GHz, which will be used by 5G by 2025, which cause “Interactions with the human body different from what we already know with other lower frequencies”, explains Olivier Merckel. “We remain vigilant. It was this vigilance that led us, in 2013, to recommend limiting the exposure of children. “
In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (CIR, a specialized agency of the WHO) had in turn classified as “Possible carcinogen” frequencies between 3.5 kHz and 300 GHz. “Some studies have in fact highlighted the possibility of increased risks of brain cancer in the event of heavy use of mobile (30 minutes per day)”, explains Olivier Merckel, who plans with his teams to revisit all the scientific literature on these sensitive subjects. “We will also have to look into the case of electro-sensitive people”, adds Sophie Pelletier. Without forgetting “The health impacts of an hyperconnectivity of individuals which will inevitably be encouraged by 5G”.
→ MAINTENANCE. “Two thirds of the population will have access to 5G in 2025”
In 2015 and 2017, around 250 researchers and doctors from 40 countries had signed a petition asking for a moratorium. “Until independent studies have been conducted.” ANSES, for its part, must make its final report in a year, early 2021.
The enemy Hank Bolden
faced did not come from a distant front line.
It came from the skies.
It’s a battle that’s still going on 65 years later. Bolden, who is now 82 years old, is an atomic veteran – one of hundreds of thousands of American service members used in human testing by the United States government during post-WWII nuclear tests and sworn to a secret life.
“They wanted to see how the living soldiers would resist the exposure
to radiation, ”recalls Bolden. “Before using live soldiers they were using
mannequins. But you don’t get real results using mannequins as you would
live bodies. “
A DIFFERENT TIME
While accompanying a friend to a New Haven recruiting station in 1953, Bolden was invited to join the army. At just 16 years old then and already out of high school, he admits that he “pulled down” his birth certificate to move to the age of 18, joining the approximately 200,000 underage soldiers who would have served during the Second World War and the eras of the Korean War.
After basic training in
Fort Dix was assigned to work as a tank mechanic in Texas before moving to Texas
California and becoming a surface-to-air missile mechanic.
Despite an executive order issued in July
26, 1948, by President Harry S. Truman to desegregate the armed forces, the last one
the all black units of the army were not abolished until 1954. And in 1955, Bolden
he says, racist attitudes persist even after the units have been racially integrated.
“The residual thoughts of people were firm
linger, “he says.” My outfit was 800 people strong. Thirteen of us were
black. Ten were from the South, who were more tolerant of treatment
they got racially. But the three of us from the North couldn’t tolerate it,
so I have had many fights over this. So I was the guy they wanted
get rid of.”
It would not be the only race
discrimination Bolden would witness as a soldier.
In 1955, the seventeen year old
he was suddenly ordered to the Nevada desert without explanation.
“They don’t tell you what you’re going to face,” he said. “Nobody
they knew what they were going to face. ”
What he would eventually face was a classified operation known as Operation Teapot at the Nevada Test Site. In a series of 14 bomb throws, or “hits”, military officials tried to test the effects of nuclear bombs on structures and strategies, animals and people.
All races of military personnel
participated in the Teapot operation. But upon arrival in Nevada, Bolden was
astounded to accomplish all the other soldiers in his new specially selected unit
for a mysterious assignment they were also black.
“There was this myth about black people
be able to resist, tolerate certain things more than any other race “, he
He says. “So it was a test on that too.”
AN ATOMIC NIGHT
One morning in February, Bolden
the unit was ordered in a desert trench. Unbeknownst to them, it was excavated
the expected route of the fallout, only 2.8 miles away from what it would have become
ground zero for the launch of an atomic bomb.
Even though a countdown sounded on the speakers, Bolden says, the soldiers still had no idea what they were about to face. Without protective gear in addition to the normal fabrics and helmets, they waited and looked.
“They tell you to cover your eyes”
On February 18, 1955, Shot Wasp, the first nuclear test of Operation Teapot, detonated a Mark 6 nuclear bomb dropped by a B-36 exactly at noon. A monstrous cloud of mushrooms filled the sky, reaching 21,500 feet in height.
“With radiation, when you put your arms over your eyes or hands, you actually see the bones, you see the bones in your body from the exposure. You can see your skeleton. “
After the relapse the warning came.
“You swore not to speak
“said Bolden. The soldiers were threatened with imprisonment and fines for violation
For 60 years, Bolden didn’t tell anyone. No this
family, not his wife, not his children. Not even her doctors when she spies on her
tumors have started to show. He developed bladder and posterior subcapsular cancer
cataract and in 1990 multiple myeloma was diagnosed.
“They actually gave me three and a half years
four years to live, ”recalls Bolden. So in 1995 I should have been a statistic. “
But in 1995, Bolden was in remission. He is a citizen
the secret was coming to light.
Government figures estimate between 400,000 and 550,000 US military personnel who participated in a series of nuclear tests between 1946 and 1992. According to the Department of Defense’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency, this includes post occupation forces -Second World War of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, prisoners of war in Japan at the end of the Second World War, participants in the atmospheric nuclear tests in Nevada and the Pacific from 1945 to 1962 and participants in the underground nuclear tests in Nevada from 1951 to 1992.
Many of these “atomic veterans” have succumbed before their own
the stories have become public, their bodies are full of tumors. In
1990, the veil of secrecy began to lift.
After setting up the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments to investigate 10-year experiments, President Clinton made a formal apology to American atomic veterans on October 3, 1995. By order of the president, Congress would repeal the nuclear radiation agreement law. and secrecy, allowing atomic veterans to talk about their experiences without fear of fines or treason charges. And financial compensation has been opened to all qualified atomic veterans.
“Those who led the government when these decisions were made are no longer here to take responsibility for what they have done. They are not here to apologize to survivors, family members or their communities whose lives have been overshadowed by shadow of these choices So today, on behalf of another generation of American leaders and another generation of American citizens, the United States of America offers sincere apologies to those of our citizens who have undergone these experiments. the government is wrong, we have a moral responsibility to admit it, “said President Bill Clinton on October 3, 1995
But the television address has been obscured. The same happened
day when OJ Simpson’s verdict was issued in a live classroom feed, taking
on televisions and news cycles across America.
As a result, many skilled veterans had no idea of the ban
the secrecy had been lifted, nor that they could claim benefits. Bolden no
find out until he researched the Internet, he says, in 2015.
“I was once so angry and so aggravating with the government that I thought I would be murdered to keep me from talking,” he says.
When Bolden attempted to apply for subsidies, he found that the burden of proof was placed on his fellow atomic veterans. The government would give compensation from the date a complaint was filed, but not retroactively, and only if the veteran could prove that he had participated in the tests – which proved to be an almost impossible task after millions of military documents were destroyed in a 1973 fire against the National Staff Registration Center. As many as 18 million documents were burned, including 80% of all army personnel discharged between 1912 and 1960.
“They hoped for it
would have died sooner or would have been one of those guys who surrendered ”
says Anthony Bolden, Hank’s son. “No thanks. Hank doesn’t have it.”
After paying her
own pocket for a polygraph lie detector pouch, Hank eventually claimed
approved, setting a precedent for other atomic veterans whose records were
Photo: Hidden story: the atomic veterans of America
Hit a high note
“The love of music has
I’ve always been there. “
After his honorable discharge
from the army, Bolden went to work as an engineer before deciding to pursue a
career as a jazz musician who works while his family grows. Tell the story
while cradling the tenor saxophone that has been at his side since 1967. The “Rolls
Royce “of tools, he says.
The brand is Selmer. IS
in a strange coincidence, the model is a 6 sign. It is the same name as the shot
Wasp atomic bomb design.
But this is where the
the similarities end. The bomb was his nightmare. Music, his dream and his
outlet to work through the trauma of what lived in Nevada
“It’s like the blood inside
my veins. It takes away all my other thoughts, “he says
Bolden is finally
he receives compensation from the government and is now using it to help make his dream come true.
He returned to school, studying jazz performances at Hartt University of Hartford
“They are like the relic
here with all these kids, you know, “he chuckles.
Professor Javon Jackson
says that the 82-year-old is leaving a unique mark on the prestigious program.
“He has a lot of emotion,” says Jackson. “He is a very bluesy, very full of feeling, a natural player. His life, wisdom and the things he has acquired allow him to play the way it sounds.”
The vast majority of
Today, the American atomic veterans of the atmospheric test era are gone. About
400,000 veterans were present during these tests, according to the veterans
Administration. Survivors’ numbers vary, from around 10,000 to 80,000
Bolden believes he is one of only two surviving African American atomic veterans who are recognized and receive compensation from the government. He is on a mission to reach as many survivors as possible and help them request the long-awaited recognition and compensation.
And he’s sharing his story, he says, to make sure the plight of American atomic veterans is no longer ignored.
“When people like me pass by, this won’t be part of the story unless someone makes sure it’s kept alive.”