Adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei Dies of Coronavirus

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME MAGAZINE)

 

A woman wears a medical mask as a precaution against coronavirus (COVID-19) on March 01, 2020 in Tehran, Iran.

A woman wears a medical mask as a precaution against coronavirus (COVID-19) on March 01, 2020 in Tehran, Iran.
Fatemeh Bahrami–Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
MARCH 2, 2020 4:02 AM EST

(TEHRAN, Iran) — A member of a council that advises Iran’s supreme leader died Monday after falling sick from the new coronavirus, state radio reported, becoming the first top official to succumb to the illness that is affecting members of the Islamic Republic’s leadership.

Expediency Council member Mohammad Mirmohammadi died at a Tehran hospital of the virus, state radio said. He was 71.

The council advises Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as well as settles disputes between the supreme leader and parliament.

His death comes as other top officials have contracted the virus in Iran, which has the highest death toll in the world after China, the epicenter of the outbreak.

Those sick included include Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar, better known as “Sister Mary,” the English-speaking spokeswoman for the students who seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and sparked the 444-day hostage crisis, state media reported. Also sick is Iraj Harirchi, the head of an Iranian government task force on the coronavirus who tried to downplay the virus before falling ill.

Iran has reported 978 confirmed cases of the new virus with 54 deaths from the illness it causes, called COVID-19. Across the wider Mideast, there are over 1,150 cases of the new coronavirus, the majority of which are linked back to Iran.

Experts worry Iran’s percentage of deaths to infections, around 5.5%, is much higher than other countries, suggesting the number of infections in Iran may be much higher than current figures show.

Trying to stem the outbreak of the new coronavirus, Iran on Monday held an online-only briefing by its Foreign Ministry.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi opened the online news conference addressing the outbreak, dismissing an offer of help for Iran by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Iran and the U.S. have seen some of the worst tensions since its 1979 Islamic Revolution in recent months, culminating in the American drone strike that killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad and a subsequent Iranian ballistic missile counterattack against U.S. forces.

“We neither count on such help nor are we ready to accept verbal help,” Mousavi said. He added Iran has always been “suspicious” about America’s intentions and accused the U.S. government of trying to weaken Iranians’ spirits over the outbreak.

The British Embassy meanwhile has begun evacuations over the virus.

“Essential staff needed to continue critical work will remain,” the British Foreign Office said. “In the event that the situation deteriorates further, the ability of the British Embassy to provide assistance to British nationals from within Iran may be limited.”

While Iran has closed schools and universities to stop the spread of the virus, major Shiite shrines have remained open despite civilian authorities calling for them to be closed. The holy cities of Mashhad and Qom in particular, both home to shrines, have been hard-hit by the virus. Shiites often touch and kiss shrines as a sign of their faith. Authorities have been cleaning the shrines with disinfectants.

Police have arrested one man who posted a video showing himself licking the metal enclosing the Imam Reza shrine in Mashhad, the most-important Shiite saint buried in the country, according to reports by semiofficial news agencies. In the video, the man said he licked the metal to “allow others to visit the shrine with peace of mind.”

Meanwhile Monday, the virus outbreak saw itself dragged into the yearslong boycott of Qatar by four Arab nations over a political dispute.

A prominent columnist at Dubai’s government-owned Al-Bayan newspaper on Twitter falsely described the virus as being a plot by Qatar to hurt the upcoming Expo 2020 world’s fair in Dubai and Saudi Arabia. Noura al-Moteari later described the tweet as “satire” to The Associated Press after it gained widespread attention.

The Dubai Media Office similarly described the tweet as being written in a “cynical style” while distancing the Arabic-language daily from al-Moteari.

“Noura is a freelance writer and is not an employee of Al-Bayan nor does she represent the publication’s views,” it told the AP. “That being said, this has no relevance to any social media policy being practiced by the publication nor the state.”

The tweet comes after Qatar expressed disappointment Sunday that nearly all of its Gulf neighbors snubbed invitations to attend the weekend peace signing ceremony between the U.S. and the Taliban.

___

Gambrell reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

CONTACT US AT [email protected].

 

 

(VERY Sarcastic Poem: Don’t take this one seriously) Just Let The Poor Die

Just Let The Poor Die

 

Just let the poor disappear from my sight

Crime filled and dirty they are just a plight

They should all die and get off of my Earth

Why should real people care if they freeze

Like rabid rats they will steal just to eat

 

I created my wealth because I am from good stock and smart

So many poor just beggars not worthy of the air they breathe

Always demanding a free ride from real people the likes of me

If they haven’t a job thats their fault don’t you dare look at me

Harvesting them for parts is the only good that they ever will be

 

I own the factories, warehouses the politicians and the police

I use robots and computers to get rid of these beggars and thieves

Why should they live if they are only a cost for my family and me

Machines require no rest, insurance, pay raises or even work comp

The world is for the rich, I have no pity for the poor hungry sleaze

(VERY Sarcastic Poem: Don’t take this one seriously) Just Let The Poor Die

Just Let The Poor Die

 

Just let the poor disappear from my sight

Crime filled and dirty they are just a plight

They should all die and get off of my Earth

Why should real people care if they freeze

Like rabid rats they will steal just to eat

 

I created my wealth because I am from good stock and smart

So many poor just beggars not worthy of the air they breathe

Always demanding a free ride from real people the likes of me

If they haven’t a job thats their fault don’t you dare look at me

Harvesting them for parts is the only good that they ever will be

 

I own the factories, warehouses the politicians and the police

I use robots and computers to get rid of these beggars and thieves

Why should they live if they are only a cost for my family and me

Machines require no rest, insurance, pay raises or even work comp

The world is for the rich, I have no pity for the poor hungry sleaze

Shootout involving hijacked UPS truck in Florida leads to four deaths

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS)

 

Chase and shootout involving hijacked UPS truck in Florida leads to four deaths

“This is what dangerous people do to get away, and this is what people will do to avoid capture,” the police chief says.
By Alex Johnson

Four people were dead after a UPS truck was commandeered following an attempted armed robbery on South Florida’s glitzy Miracle Mile, leading police on a two-county rush-hour chase that ended in a hail of gunfire, authorities said.

Two people suspected to have been the robbers, the UPS driver and an uninvolved nearby motorist were killed 20 miles away after the nationally televised freeway pursuit, said George Piro, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Miami field office. Two other people were also killed, he said.

The incident began in Miami-Dade County at about 4:15 p.m., when two people tried to rob a jewelry store on the Miracle Mile, the downtown stretch of Coral Gables that is home to many glamorous stores and restaurants, Piro said.

The suspects exchanged gunfire with a jewelry shop worker, who was being treated for undisclosed injuries, Coral Gables Police Chief Ed Hudak Jr. said. At least one bullet hit a window at City Hall, where no injuries were reported, he said.

Download the NBC News app for breaking news

The robbers then hijacked a nearby UPS truck, abducting its driver, Hudak said. Alerted by a silent alarm that had been triggered in the jewelry store, a fleet of law enforcement vehicles gave chase in a pursuit that was broadcast across the country.

The chase was “terminated” 20 miles away in Miramar in Broward County, Hudak said.

News helicopter video appeared to show a person falling out of the truck after several shots were fired.

UPS said it was “deeply saddened to learn a UPS service provider was a victim of this senseless act of violence.”

Hudak said: “This is what dangerous people do to get away, and this is what people will do to avoid capture.”

“In matters like this, it is just difficult for all of us, not just in law enforcement but also in society,” he said.

The FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives joined state and local police in investigating.

India: 5 dead, school, colleges shut as rain wreaks havoc in Tamil Nadu

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

5 dead, school, colleges shut as rain wreaks havoc in Tamil Nadu

The heavy rain has left several places in Tamil Nadu water logged and forced authorities to evacuate about 1000 people in Cuddalore district.

INDIA Updated: Dec 02, 2019 05:56 IST

M Manikandan
M Manikandan

Hindustan Times, Chennai
A general view of the water-logged area during the heavy rain, in Rameswaram (ANI Photo)
A general view of the water-logged area during the heavy rain, in Rameswaram (ANI Photo)

The regional meteorological centre in Chennai on Sunday predicted more showers in the next two days and issued a red alert for six districts in Tamil Nadu while torrential rain over the past two days claimed five lives.

“Thiruvallur, Vellore, Thiruvannamalai, Thoothukkudi, Ramanathapuram and Tirunelveli districts in Tamil Nadu would receive extremely heavy rainfall (above 20cm) in the next 24 hours,” the IMD’s Chennai regional centre alerted.

In view of heavy rainfall forecast, examinations of Madras University and Anna University scheduled for Monday have been postponed.

As Chennai received 9cm rain in the past 36 hours and spells are continuing, Chennai district administration declared leave for schools and colleges on Monday. According to Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Agency, schools will be closed in Chengelpet, Thiruvallur, Ramanathapuram, Thoothukkudi, Ramanathapuram and Cuddalore districts too.

According to Puviyarasan, Director, Regional Meteorological Center (RMC) Chennai, Tamil Nadu will get heavy rainfall for the next two days.

“In the past 24 hours, Thoothukkudi’s Sathankulam town had recorded 19 cm rainfall. Cuddalore had received 17 cm, and Thirunelveli district got 16 cm of rainfall. Due to the low-pressure area near Lakshadweep storms could occur in the South-Eastern Arabian Sea. So, fishermen should not venture into the sea for the next few days,” the RMC director told reporters.

He said Tamil Nadu had received 39 cm of rainfall since October 1 during this North-East Monsoon season.

Due to the heavy rainfall Duraikkanu (70) a resident of Moonram Sethi village in Thanjavur district, Ravichandran (50) from Paravakkottai in Thiruvarur district, Poongodhai (50), a physically challenged person in Ariyalur district died on Saturday as portions of their houses collapsed.

Besides, 50-year-old Kandasamy died in Pudukkottai town when his two-wheeler crashed in heavy rain while Sheik Ali (46), a resident of Chennai Ambattur died after falling into a storm water drain Saturday night.

Following the IMD alert, the Puducherry government on Sunday ordered schools to remain shut on Monday.

The heavy rain has left several sub-urban areas of Chennai water logged. These include Shozhinganallur, Pallavaram, Tambaram, Nanmangalam and Selaiyur.

The rain has partially submerged more than 100 houses in the outskirts of Chennai. Chennai City Corporation has opened helplines for people who need assistance to drain out the water.

“We are ready to help people at any time. The corporation staffers are already on the job to drain out the water,” G Prakash, Chennai City Corporation Commissioner told the media.

Several places in Cuddalore, Nagapattinam and Thoothukkudi districts have also been waterlogged.

According to the locals in Cuddalore, around 5000 houses in low lying areas of the coastal town have been marooned. About 500 people from KS Pettai in Cuddalore town have been forced to take shelter in a private marriage hall.

Tamil Nadu Industries Minister M C Sampath who visited the flood-affected areas in Cuddalore district said actions have been taken for draining the water.

“Around 1000 people have been evacuated from flood-hit houses. People have been moved to temporary relief camps. Food and Medical assistance have been kept ready,” Sampath told the media.

Farmers in the delta district said that the sudden rain has inundated more than 5000 acres of the Samba (a variety of rice) crops.

“Samba crops cultivated in the tail-end of parts of Nagapattinam, Thiruvarur and Thanjavur districts have been inundated due to the heavy rain,” said S Ramadoss, Nagapattinam district president for Tamil Nadu Cauvery Farmers Association.

Opposition leader and DMK President MK Stalin urged the state government to work on a war footing to prevent damages and loss of life.

“Tamil Nadu has been receiving severe rainfall for the last few days. So all the district administrations should work on a war footing to prevent life and material loss,” he said in a tweet.

The Central government’s Water Resources department also had sent a warning to Tamil Nadu Government about increasing water levels in the state.

The water storage level in Chennai’s major reservoirs such as Chembaramkkam, Poondi Sathiyamoorthi, Redhills and Cholavaram have been increasing since Friday. These reservoirs had dried up in June last which led to severe water scarcity in Chennai.

Poem: Breathless

Breathless

 

Breathless as the womb expands

Breathless till child’s bottom receives it’s very first hand

The cry all parents long for, music to all Grand-Parents hearts

The only time that we ever wish to hear our child cry

Our child grows from crawling then walking and talking

 

 

The parents hold their breath

Watching and wondering

What choices will our little angel make

Breathless anticipation, the good we hope for

The bad we pray they will never have to learn

And never too let evil to darken their door

 

 

As age takes hold of our bodies

We look back upon the life that we lived

Traveling our nation’s back roads and highways

In the motor home that our child did give

The vistas of God’s beauty paintbrush surrounds us

Breathless beauty, where man’s footprint seldom tread

 

 

Nearly breathless as we are now but a step or two

From the calling of the earth, the destiny we all must face

Breathlessly we look back one last time upon our life

At the beauty of our children and theirs brought to us

 

 

Death has only a minute sting as we lay breathlessly in God’s earth

Knowing that at His trumpet we will fully see the Light of God

Breathlessly, hoping to behold our loved ones faces once again

Breathlessly now hoping for a smile, not anger, upon our Creators face

(Poem Of Reality) Too The Trees (A Soldiers Prayer Of Survival On The Battlefield)

TOO THE TREES

 

To the trees my Captain yells

Across this open field of green

Flowers blooming from spring rains

Will they be the last thing I smell or see

Are there Cross Hairs locked upon my brain

Will a gray pill be the last thing that I feel

 

 

All those trees, are those just branches looking at me

Or will this effort to reach them be the death of me

Leaving my bones to rot among the flowers in this field

Do I run as fast as I can with my breath held in prayer

Or do I play the coward using my brothers as a shield

Letting them taste first the fiery breath of Hell’s lead

 

 

If in the trees our enemy is waiting there for you and me to kill

When to the trees the Captain yells do we jump up and run like hell

Should we low crawl chins dug into the mud hoping were not shelled

Will we be a fool if we do stand up and charge toward the row of trees

Or will we die in this field of green if we raise our head above the weeds

Life is a war, every breath is a chance it will be the last one we breathe

 

 

To the trees like the charge ordered by General Robert E Lee

Like life itself no matter what we do, doubting itself is a gamble

Do we run in hope or do we cower in fear, do we die here, or there

This field to me so beautiful, there are worse places to be my grave

If we just cower here in the mud and never step out onto life’s field

We know we will never get out of this life alive, so what do we do

 

 

Hold your breath and pray, now step into this field of life or death

If in life we choose to never seek the thrills, then a cowards life we live

The fields of life we will not cross, nor the flowers will we ever smell

If we lived our life without the thrills, can we truly say we ever lived

To the trees child, to the trees, up off your ass and face your trees

More Than 100 Killed And Thousands Injured In Anti-Government Protests In Iraq

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NPR NEWS)

 

More Than 100 Killed And Thousands Injured In Anti-Government Protests In Iraq

Anti-government protesters set fires and close a street during a demonstration in Baghdad on Sunday after nearly a week of unrest throughout Iraq.

Khalid Mohammed/AP

Iraqi authorities say at least seven more people were killed in clashes between protesters and police in eastern Baghdad on Sunday, bringing the death toll from nearly a week of anti-government rallies throughout Iraq to more than 100 with thousands of others injured.

Protesters, who took to the streets on Tuesday frustrated over joblessness and corruption, have been met with live ammunition from security forces attempting to break up the mass demonstrations that have convulsed Baghdad and parts of southern Iraq for days.

So far, 104 people have been killed and 6,107 have been wounded in the unrest, according to figures released by Iraqi security officials. More than 1,200 security members are among the injured.

Demanding better basic public services like electricity and water and renouncing corruption, a small group of protesters assembled seemingly spontaneously last week before being dispersed by security forces.

Then the protesters put out a call to re-converge on social media and the response took observers and government officials aback: Thousands of mostly young adults in their 20s, outraged over inadequate services and poor job prospects in the oil-rich country, came out to push for more opportunity and an end to corruption.

The Iraqi army and police have responded by firing live rounds, tear gas and rubber bullets into crowds. As protests spread to other parts of the country, the bloody clashes continued.

The six days of street demonstrations mark the most serious challenge Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi has faced since he assumed office last October. He has committed to meeting with protesters without armed forces to have a dialogue about their demands.

“I will go and meet them without weapons and sit with them for hours to listen to their demands,” Abdul-Mahdi said on Saturday in remarks on state television.

Anti-government protesters run for cover while Iraqi security forces fire live ammunition in the air during a demonstration in Baghdad on Sunday.

Khalid Mohammed/AP

Abdul-Mahdi announced a plan to pay out unemployment assistance and provide government-backed housing for low-income residents in an attempt to satisfy the demonstrators who have set buildings aflame and sparred with authorities.

The United Nations envoy for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, took to Twitter on Saturday to denounce the violence, saying: “This must stop.”

“I call on all parties to pause and reflect. Those responsible for violence should be held to account. Let the spirit of unity prevail across Iraq,” wrote Hennis-Plasschaert.

Protesters called for top government officials to step down, as authorities cut of Internet service in Baghdad and across much of the country.

Demonstrators on Sunday also called for Iran to stop meddling in Iraqi politics.

Amid growing unrest, Marta Hurtado, a spokeswoman for the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, urged the Iraqi government to allow citizens to peacefully assembly and exercise their rights to freedom of expression without fear of a violent crackdown.

“The use of force should be exceptional, and assemblies should ordinarily be managed without resort to force,” Hurtado said in a statement.

All incidents in which security forces killed or injured protesters should be promptly and transparently investigated by the government, Hurtado said.

Hurtado also said reports that three journalists covering the protests were detained and the government cutting off Internet service were alarming and should be examined.

“Blanket internet shutdowns are likely to contravene freedom of expression, unduly restricting the right to receive and impart information and may exacerbate tensions,” she said.

NPR’s Daniel Estrin contributed to this report.

(Philosophy Poem) Living Under The Cross

Living Under The Cross

 

When we are born we unite the Soul and the Body

What did we know then that we have forgotten later

From the womb we are all known by our Creator

Did we know then that our Soul was actually older

Yet, in the darkness of the womb we do learn much

 

When our eyes are opened and our bottom is slapped

Our first scream will it be just the first of many to endure

The Soul enters the body and we all become a living Being

So much to learn about this new world we were now given

Life, skin color, flags, to us, what do they really represent

 

We learn to play, to live, also how to hate and how to love

Through parents, through school, life is filled with learning

What is important, what is not, how to steal and how to lie

Is there a place for faith, or is faith just a waste of our time

Like it or not, we all live and we die under the blood of the Cross

(Philosophy Poem) Dancing With The Devil

Dancing With The Devil

 

Born into a world that we know nothing of

From a Spirit up above to the flesh below

We know not, we see and understand not

Life eternal, not here but above and below

Innocent age for awhile this we all are

 

We see, hear and feel as we learn our place

Birthed from G-d, never separated from above

We learn what is good from that which is not

Children we were, we are and will always be

Not all parents teach us how not to be burned

 

The Mind and Soul is willing but the flesh is so very weak

We choose our own path with which to live or chose to die

To whose Music do we choose to move our life and our feet

Our Leaders heart and feet are molded in Hell’s  fiery heat

If we dance with the Devil then with Him in Hell we’ll be

RAMYA SOROOPAM

വിശ്വ തളിർ ഗ്രന്ഥം

mydatawords

Welcome to my blog

Cinzia and Holger's Travel Blog

TRAVELLING WITH AN EXPEDITION TRUCK

Dutch Americano: A Blog about Living in the Netherlands

Struggling with Dutch culture one day at a time.

LightHouse

In a quest..

Life in Copenhagen

Life in Copenhagen, Denmark, after moving during Covid-19.

Story in my live

"Viaţa nu este decât gândire." Sara Teasdale

Chirpy Home

Bringing Happiness to Your Home

%d bloggers like this: