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China Furious After US Abruptly Orders Closure Of Houston Consulate Sparking “Unprecedented Escalation”

EDITOR’S NOTE: In addition to coronavirus lies and totalitarianism, it appears we’re staring WW3 in the face. Buckle up, folks, and be ready. False flag or not, this is ramping up already heightened tensions with China.

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

Following a suspicious document fire that necessitated a visit from the local police yesterday, Washington has turned the tensions with Beijing up to ’11’ by ordering the immediate closure of the Chinese consulate.

Apparently, the incident occurred just as the US was ordering the abrupt closure of China’s consulate in Houston, citing a need to protect American intellectual property and data. The decision, which rattled global equity markets, has been decried as a dramatic escalation in bilateral tensions as Beijing condemned the order as an outrageous violation of international law. Spokespeople for the Chinese government also slammed the decision as outrageous and unprecedented.

Washington’s order, which according to WSJ was issued just yesterday, marks an “unprecedented escalation” and “a political provocation unilaterally launched by the US,” according to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, who addressed the issue during his regular press briefing in Beijing.

“China urges the US to immediately rescind its erroneous decision, otherwise China will undertake legitimate and necessary responses.”

Even Hu Xijin, the typically long-winded editor of the Global Times, could only manage a surprisingly brief “that’s crazy”.

State Department Spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus didn’t specify which specific actions, if any, inspired Washington’s decision, though she did say: “President Trump insists on fairness and reciprocity in U.S.-China relations.”

“The United States will not tolerate the PRC’s violations of our sovereignty and intimidation of our people, just as we have not tolerated the PRC’s unfair trade practices, theft of American jobs and other egregious behavior.”

So far, details from official sources are scant. However, it’s probably worth remembering the scene from yesterday’s ‘document fire’ incident: the Houston police and fire departments responded Tuesday night to a reported document fire at the Chinese Consulate. Footage taken from the building next door shows what appears to be barrels with burning material inside of them.

Seems like a totally normal and non-suspicious reaction to a closure order.

State Department Spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus didn’t specify which specific actions, if any, inspired Washington’s decision, though she did say: “President Trump insists on fairness and reciprocity in U.S.-China relations.”

“The United States will not tolerate the PRC’s violations of our sovereignty and intimidation of our people, just as we have not tolerated the PRC’s unfair trade practices, theft of American jobs and other egregious behavior.”

So far, details from official sources are scant. However, it’s probably worth remembering the scene from yesterday’s ‘document fire’ incident: the Houston police and fire departments responded Tuesday night to a reported document fire at the Chinese Consulate. Footage taken from the building next door shows what appears to be barrels with burning material inside of them.

Seems like a totally normal and non-suspicious reaction to a closure order.

Stocks slumped during the Asian trading session; the offshore yuan also slumped against the greenback.

 

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GOP Lawmaker Say “People Will Die” In A Violent US-China Clash

Watch for things like this because these politicians could very well be using predictive programming to get us ready for what they already have planned. One GOP lawmaker has said there could be a violent clash between the United States and China and that “people will die.”

According to a report by the Washington Examiner, a violent confrontation between the United States and China could take place within months, according to an American lawmaker wary of Beijing’s expansionist foreign policy. “I would predict there will be a clash within the next three to six months,” Florida Representative Ted Yoho, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee for Asia, told the Washington Examiner.

“Knowing China, I think what they would do is ram one of our ships and say it was a mistake,” Yoho said while discussing U.S. naval exercises in the South China Sea.  Keep in mind, this could be nothing more than predictive programming so we will accept this false flag that will ignite WW3.

U.S. Pacific Fleet officials rebuked China for risking a collision in 2018 through a warship’s “an unsafe and unprofessional” approach to an American guided-missile destroyer. And a Chinese admiral also has boasted about the possibility of attacking U.S. carriers, wagering that such a loss of American life would leave U.S. leaders and the broader public “frightened” of Chinese military power in the disputed area.

“I think all those are possibilities,” Yoho said. “To sink a carrier would be a huge mistake, to attack any of our ships would be a huge mistake, but I think they’re willing to risk that to test the waters. And unfortunately, people will die. It would just be a mistake if they did that, for them.”

As the coronavirus plandemic fears continue to drop off in spite of the mainstream media’s constant hype about it, any number of crises are still possible.  Keep your eyes and mind open, and now is not the time to put anything past the government. If they think they can start a war and get away with it, they will. A Chinese foreign minister actually alluded to this as well:

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Thursday: “If the U.S. lacks confidence, openness, and inclusiveness to such an extent, and chooses to conjure up ‘China Threats’ of various kinds, its paranoia may turn into self-fulfilling prophecies at the end of the day.”

Predicting The Next Crisis, Programming Behavior: “The Ability To Track Entire Population”

Yoho also said: “The United States is willing to stand up to them, and that may force China’s hand. That’ll be something that they will lose, and they will regret, but we can’t be intimidated because that might happen. I think the real threat is, if we don’t do anything, we know that it’ll happen. And then, that’ll give more strength to China to keep doing what they’re doing. So, you know, let’s just hope that diplomacy works and China backs off.”

This sounds like Yoho is all but coming out and saying that a violent clash is going to occur with China.  This predictive programming is a tool that’s been used for decades, and we should all be leery of ANYTHING that comes out of the mouth of a central banker or politician at this point.

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Chinese capital district in ‘wartime emergency mode’ after COVID spike originating at major food market

Beijing, China’s capital city, has entered “wartime emergency mode” after a spike in coronavirus cases that reportedly originated at a major food market in the city of more than 20 million people.

According to Reuters, 45 people out of 517 who were tested for COVID-19 at the Xinfadi market in the city’s southwestern Fengtai district have tested positive for the virus, district official Chu Junwei said. However, none showed symptoms of the virus, he said.

In response, authorities locked down 11 neighborhoods that surround the market, which is one of the largest in the world, by deploying around-the-clock armed guards.

Chu reportedly said the capital district is officially under “wartime emergency mode.”

“In accordance with the principle of putting the safety of the masses and health first, we have adopted lockdown measures for the Xinfadi market and surrounding neighborhoods,” Chu said.

More from Reuters:

The entire Xinfadi market was shut down at 3 a.m. on Saturday (1900 GMT on Friday), after two men working at a meat research centre who had recently visited the market were reported to have the virus. It was not immediately clear how they had been infected.

On Saturday, market entrances were blocked and police stood guard. Beijing authorities had earlier halted beef and mutton trading at the market and had closed other wholesale markets around the city. They plan for more than 10,000 people at the Xinfadi market to take nucleic acid tests to detect coronavirus infections.

Additionally, tourism and sporting events have been banned in the capital region. Another Chinese city in a neighboring province has also temporarily banned the sale of raw seafood and other animal products following reports that COVID-19 was detected on chopping boards at the Xinfadi market.

The development comes as global leaders fear a possible “second wave” of COVID-19 as countries continue to ease lockdown restrictions.

In the U.S., Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN on Friday that a second wave is “not inevitable,” despite some states seeing an increase of infections.

“It is not inevitable that you will have a so-called ‘second wave’ in the fall or even a massive increase if you approach it in the proper way,” Fauci explained.

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War for Hong Kong?

This article was originally published by  Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. at Lew Rockwell. 

President Trump faces trouble, and he is handling it in a dangerous way. Our economy is reeling, as the Fed pours out billions of dollars in a futile effort to avert disaster. We know to our cost that politicians, faced with crisis at home, provoke war “to busy giddy minds with foreign quarrels.”

Unfortunately, this is just what Trump is doing. According to a CNN news report on Friday, May 28, “President Donald Trump launched a blistering attack on Beijing Friday, naming misdeeds that range from espionage to the violation of Hong Kong’s freedoms, and announced a slew of retaliatory measures that will plunge US-China relations deeper into crisis.

‘They’ve ripped off the United States like no one has ever done before,’ Trump said of China, as he decried the way Beijing has ‘raided our factories’ and ‘gutted’ American industry, casting Beijing as a central foil he will run against in the remaining months of his re-election campaign.

Trump called out China for ‘espionage to steal our industrial secrets, of which there are many,’ announced steps to protect American investors from Chinese financial practices, accused Beijing of ‘unlawfully claiming territory in the Pacific Ocean’ and threatening freedom of navigation.

The President also blasted Beijing for passing a national security law that fundamentally undermines Hong Kong’s autonomy, announcing that going forward the US will no longer grant Hong Kong special status on trade or in other areas and instead will apply the same restrictions to the territory it has in place with China. Trump outlined that the US will strip Hong Kong of the special policy measures on extradition, trade, travel, and customs Washington had previously granted it.”

Let’s look at Hong Kong first, as this is the issue most likely to get the American public roused up. “Isn’t it terrible,” some people will say, “that the Chinese government has rounded up and imprisoned rioters against its authority in Hong Kong?” In answer to this, you need to bear in mind a key fact. The American government instigated the Hong Kong protests and egged them on in a direct challenge to the Chinese government. As Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially known for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook,” pointed out last September, “even US policymakers have all but admitted that the US is funneling millions of dollars into Hong Kong specifically to support ‘programs’ there. The Hudson Institute in an article titled, ‘China Tries to Blame US for Hong Kong Protests’ would admit:

A Chinese state-run newspaper’s claim that the United States is helping pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong is only partially inaccurate, a top foreign policy expert said Monday. 

Michael Pillsbury, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, told Fox News National Security Analyst KT McFarland the U.S. holds some influence over political matters in the region.

The article would then quote Pillsbury as saying:

We have a large consulate there that’s in charge of taking care of the Hong Kong Policy Act passed by Congress to ensure democracy in Hong Kong, and we have also funded millions of dollars of programs through the National Endowment for Democracy [NED] … so in that sense, the Chinese accusation is not totally false.

A visit to the NED’s website reveals an entire section of declared funding for Hong Kong specifically. The wording for program titles and their descriptions is intentionally ambiguous to give those like US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plausible deniability.

However, deeper research reveals NED recipients are literally leading the protests.”

Given this provocative US behavior, the Chinese government could not back down. As Pat Buchanan warned back in December: “There is another issue here — the matter of face.”

China has just celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Revolution where Mao proclaimed, ‘China has stood up!’ after a century of foreign humiliations and occupations.

Can Xi Jinping, already the object of a Maoist cult of personality, accept U.S. intervention in the internal affairs of his country or a city that belongs to China? Not likely. Nor is China likely to accede to demands for greater sovereignty, self-determination or independence for Hong Kong.

This would only raise hopes of the city’s eventual escape from its ordained destiny: direct rule by Beijing when the 50-year China-U.K. treaty regarding the transfer of Hong Kong expires in 2047. For Xi to capitulate to the demands of Hong Kong’s demonstrators could cause an outbreak of protests in other Chinese cities and bring on a crisis of the regime.”

In thinking about what to do, we need to be guided by the wisdom of Murray Rothbard. He long ago pointed out that we should oppose American intervention in foreign countries. It isn’t our job to act as a world rights enforcing agency. We should mind our own business. As he put it, “We must say rather that, given the unfortunate existence of the State, we must limit and reduce its power, anywhere and everywhere, and wherever possible. We must try constantly to abolish or at least lower taxes-whether for ‘defense’ or for anything else-and never, never advocate any tax increase. Given the existence of the State, we must try to abolish, and if not abolish to limit and reduce, its internal power-its internal exercise of taxation, counterfeiting, police state aggression, controls, regulations, or whatever. And similarly, we must try to abolish its external power-its power over the citizens of other States. The criminal State must be reduced as much as we can everywhere-whether it be in its internal or external power. In contrast to the usual right-wing partiality for – foreign over domestic intervention, we must recognize that foreign intervention tends to be far worse.”

What Murray said about intervention in Eastern Europe when it was under communist control applies perfectly to our situation: “Now don’t misunderstand me; I have not abandoned the moral principle for cynicism. My heart yearns for ethnic justice, for national self-determination for all peoples. . . . But, to paraphrase Sydney Smith’s famous letter to Lady Grey, please let them work this out for themselves! Let us abandon the criminal immorality and folly of continual coercive meddling by non-Eastern European powers (e.g. Britain, France, and now the U.S.) in the affairs of East Europe. Let us hope that one day Germany and Russia, at peace, will willingly grant justice to the peoples of East Europe, but let us not bring about perpetual wars to try to achieve this artificially.”

Trump’s complaints about China’s trade policies again ignore the role of American provocation. Eric Margolis identifies the core fallacy in Trump’s strategy: “Trump’s wars are economic.  They deploy the huge economic and financial might of the United States to steamroll other nations that fail to comply with orders from Washington.  Washington’s motto is ‘obey me or else!’  Economic wars are not bloodless.  Imperial Germany and the Central Powers were starved into surrender in 1918 by a crushing British naval blockade.

Trade sanctions are not making America great, as Trump claims.  They are making America detested around the globe as a crude bully.  Trump’s efforts to undermine the European Union and intimidate Canada add to this ugly, brutal image.

Trump’s ultimate objective, as China clearly knows, is to whip up a world crisis over trade, then dramatically end it – of course, before next year’s elections.  Trump has become a master dictator of US financial markets, rising or lowering them by surprise tweets.  No president should ever have such power, but Trump has seized it.

Trade wars rarely produce any benefits for either side.  They are the equivalent of sending tens of thousands of soldiers to be mowed down by machine guns on the blood-soaked Somme battlefield in WWI.  Glory for the stupid generals; death and misery for the common soldiers.”

Trump also mentioned Chinese claims of territory in the Pacific Ocean.  He ignored the fact that the South China Sea belongs to them, not to us, yet we send our ships there and insist we have a right to control what happens there. Also, a great deal of China’s industry and agriculture is privately owned, so an attack on China would be an attack on private property. Both the neocons and the nationalist “Right” want war with China. We should aim at peace instead, as Murray Rothbard and Ron Paul have taught us.

It is ironic that Trump accused China of industrial espionage. The US has for decades spied and monitored governments and industries all over the world, of course including China.

As the writer “Moon of Alabama” has said, “European countries do not fear China or even Chinese spying. They know that the U.S. is doing similar on a much larger scale. Europeans do not see China as a threat and they do not want to get involved in the escalating U.S.-China spat. . . Every nation spies. It is one of the oldest trades in this world. That the U.S. is making such a fuss about putative Chinese spying when it itself is the biggest sinner is unbecoming.”

The Chinese people are highly productive and intelligent, and their success doesn’t depend on industrial espionage against the United States. Rather than condemn the Chinese, Trump should commend them for their monumental steps toward a free market, with unprecedented economic growth, after suffering the carnage of Maoist communism.

Trump spoke about suing the Chinese for the damage caused by the Covid-19 epidemic. As I wrote in an article last month, “There is good reason to believe that the coronavirus epidemic is part of an American biological warfare campaign against China and Iran. The brilliant physicist Ron Unz, who has time and time again been proved right by events, makes this case in a scintillating analysis.”

Even if the US didn’t do this, it would be highly irregular to sue a nation just because a virus began there. Besides, if America wants to go that route, wouldn’t many countries have grounds to sue America for what the American government did to them? What about Iraq, which has suffered from US bombing and blockades in a war now widely admitted to be a mistake? What about people all over the world who have been killed with arms supplied to foreign governments by the US?

Rather than stir up trouble with China, President Trump should promote free trade. How can it help the people of Hong Kong to deny them its free port, with no tariffs on imports or exports? America needs to confront its domestic crisis, brought on by the terrible lockdown and financial irresponsibility.  War with China will only make our present crisis immeasurably worse.

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China Furious After Twitter Retroactively Tags Tweets From Top Officials

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge.

Aside from a string of tweets from Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s PR machine has been strangely quiet during the dust-up over the extremely controversial decision to tag several tweets from President Trump as “misinformation”.

And now we know why. Among the reasons Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg cited for why social media companies shouldn’t strive to be “arbiters of truth” is the Sisyphean task of filtering, screening, and analyzing an endless stream of information. Given the massive user bases of these companies, consistency would be nearly impossible, opening the door to yet more accusations of bias. And for what?

Perhaps that’s why Twitter has spent the last day or so retroactively tagging tweets from certain officials with the Chinese government that also contain “misinformation” – some of it claiming that the coronavirus originated in the US.

Mouthpieces for Beijing, and for practically every government, even Venezuela and Iran (two countries that have drawn scrutiny from Twitter in the form of mass account-deletion) are active on Twitter. And one of the most effective arguments against Twitter’s decision to label Trump’s tweets is that the company hasn’t done nearly enough to filter out far more sinister actors, like ISIS recruiters, or stooges from Russia, China, Iran and America’s myriad geopolitical enemies – and some of our allies too.

Interestingly, a quick look at the foreign ministry spokesman’s feed shows that only a few tweets have been labeled.

Furthermore, aside from the occasional reference to the “terrorists” threatening law and order in Hong Kong, the feed looks almost identical to one of those left-wing rose emoji accounts with 5k-10k followers.

Meanwhile, Taiwan has continued to poke and prod at Beijing by speaking out in defense of Hong Kong. A top Taiwanese official said prosperity and stability cannot be easily disrupted by separatist forces, rebutting Beijing’s accusations of “terrorism”.

As the conversation about Twitter’s role in moderating ‘the conversation’ unfurls on twitter, two analysts with Height Capital Markets argued that the White House’s new executive order has “more bark than bite”. Investors, looking at this morning’s performance, have taken a decidedly different view.

President Donald Trump’s pending social media executive order is likely “more bark than bite,” Height Capital Markets analysts Chase White and Clayton Allen wrote in a note, citing news reports suggesting the order will address Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the liability shield intended to protect Internet platforms from content posted on their sites.

Meanwhile, we’re seeing some interesting action in twitter shares premarket…

…buybacks?

But whatever happens, we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on the Ayatollah’s twitter feed. Will the company dare to apply these misinformation labels to Iran’s supreme leader?

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Iran Reports 9 Coronavirus-Linked Deaths As WHO Warns Number Of Cases Outside China ‘Won’t Stay Low For Very Long’

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

Update (1010ET): Talk about a spike in deaths: Iran is now reporting 9 deaths after shocking the world by revealing that two Chinese nationals infected with the virus had died in the city of Qoms earlier this week.

The Iranian regime has reportedly imposed a China-style crackdown on Qoms, deploying military and crowd-control police across the city.

It’s just the latest sign that the cases and deaths ex-China are accelerating.

CNBC’s Eunice Yoon reports that Beijing has warned Hubei not to allow people back to work before March 10.

Local leaders said yesterday that they would launch a special financing vehicle to help struggling companies in the province survive the outbreak.

Following the WHO’s daily press conference, Director-General Dr. Tedros said the WHO had confirmed 1,000 cases outside mainland China (with more than half of them infected aboard the ‘Diamond Princess’), and 7 deaths, likely exclude some of the deaths announced over the past 12 hours. Though he added that the data coming out of China “appeared to show a decline in new cases.”

“Outside China, we have seen a steady drip of new cases, but we have not yet seen sustained local transmission, except in specific circumstances like the Diamond Princess cruise ship,” he added.

More ominously, Dr. Tedros exclaimed that the outbreak is far from over, and if governments don’t take adequate steps to fight the virus, the number of cases outside China “won’t stay low for very long.”

Worried about more shortages of personal protective equipment like facemasks, Dr. Tedros pleaded with a dozen different manufacturers to do whatever they can to keep up appropriate global supplies.

The director said the WHO expects to have more data from two clinical trials for treatments in roughly 3 weeks.

Since we haven’t posted a breakdown of new cases yet today, we figured we’d share this list of countries, cases and deaths courtesy of the Associated Press:

According to the Associated Press, the latest figures provided by each government’s health authority as of Thursday in Beijing are:

  • Mainland China: 2,118 deaths among 74,576 cases, mostly in the central province of Hubei
  • Hong Kong: 65 cases, 2 deaths
  • Macao: 10
  • Japan: 727 cases, including 634 from a cruise ship docked in Yokohama, 3 deaths
  • Singapore: 84
  • South Korea: 51, 1 death
  • Thailand: 35
  • Taiwan: 24 cases, 1 death
  • Malaysia: 22
  • Vietnam: 16
  • Germany: 16
  • United States: 15 cases; separately, 1 U.S. citizen died in China
  • Australia: 14
  • France: 12 cases, 1 death
  • United Kingdom: 9
  • United Arab Emirates: 9
  • Canada: 8
  • Iran: 5 cases, 2 deaths
  • Philippines: 3 cases, 1 death
  • India: 3
  • Italy: 3
  • Russia: 2
  • Spain: 2
  • Belgium: 1
  • Nepal: 1
  • Sri Lanka: 1
  • Sweden: 1
  • Cambodia: 1
  • Finland: 1
  • Egypt: 1

In other news, UK passengers aboard the ‘Diamond Princess’ will be evacuated by their government on Friday. The chartered evacuation flights (following the standard template) will land at Boscombe Down airbase in Wiltshire. Elsewhere in the anglosphere, Australia has extended its travel ban for arrivals from China into the fourth week. It will last until Feb. 29, the Guardian reported.

* * *

Hours after Japanese press reports claimed that two passengers who contracted COVID-19 aboard the ‘Diamond Princess’ died yesterday – news that was later confirmed by Japanese authorities – South Korea reported its first fatality while one of its major cities asked citizens to stay inside and avoid venturing outdoors, according to the Washington Post.

According to Japanese government officials, both of the virus-related fatalities were Japanese citizens in their 80s who had been moved off the ship more than a week ago for treatment in a Japanese hospital, though the government has so far declined to release names.

The latest reports Thursday morning confirmed another 13 cases aboard the DP bringing the total to 634. The odds that individuals being released from the 2-week quarantine on Thursday and Friday might have contracted the virus, but have yet to show symptoms, remains high. The death in South Korea raised the death toll ex-China to 10.

The speed is hardly a surprise for those who have been paying attention to all of the new research, instead of dismissing it for being ‘alarmist’ and ‘not peer-reviewed’.

Finally, earlier this week, researchers published the largest study yet of the outbreak, which confirmed that COVID-19 is more contagious than SARS and MERS, leaving it on par with seasonal influenza.

Still, experts insist that the virus’s fatality rate is probably around 2%, meaning that it’s less deadly than SARS, but the wider spread will result in more deaths, CNN reports.

“My sense and the sense of many of my colleagues, is that the ultimate case fatality rate … is less than 2%,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s Jim Sciutto on “New Day” Tuesday. “What is likely not getting counted is a large number of people who are either asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic, so the denominator of your equation is likely much much larger.”

“So I would think at tops it’s 2% and it likely will go down when all the counting gets done to 1% or less. That’s still considerable if you look at the possibility that you’re dealing with a global pandemic,” he added.

Even as President Xi does everything in his power to present an image of success to the Chinese people – in his speeches, he claims the Chinese government’s strict quarantines have been an unmitigated success – global experts, including the WHO, have warned that the disease will continue to spread globally and that the end of this crisis is still far from certain.

And as new confirmed cases dropped substantially on Wednesday in Hubei, everywhere else, the rate of new infections is accelerating.

In South Korea, the number of cases soared by almost two-thirds to 104 overnight, further emphasizing our observation that the number of cases ex-China has started to accelerate notably as the curve starts to resemble an exponential progression.

One WHO health expert told a Japanese TV station on Thursday that the virus is “a moving target” making it difficult to collect information and treat people: “Nobody has ever had to deal with this situation before, this is a new virus on a ship with 4,000 people, there are no guidelines for that.” He added that he suspects there was a substantial amount of transmission before it arrived in Yokohama, adding that it was “not possible” to isolate everybody individually.

The WHO senior epidemiologist was responding to claims made by another expert in infectious disease that the Japanese had failed to observe proper quarantine protocols.

Back in Korea, the mayor of Daegu, a city of 2.5 million where 10 South Koreans contracted the disease from a church service, asked residents to stay indoors. Iran also reported two infected that then died.

Experts suspect that one woman in Daegu may have infected at least 40 others by going to her Christian church, according to Yonhap. The alleged ‘superspreader’ is the reason for the huge jump in new cases on Thursday. Experts say the city is now facing an “unprecedented crisis” following the spike in cases.

“We are in an unprecedented crisis,” Daegu’s mayor, Kwon Young-jin, told the press.

Cases are also surging in Singapore, where Deutsche Bank confirmed that an employee in its Singapore office had contracted the virus.

Adding to its woes, Iran reported three new cases on Thursday a day after it confirmed two virus-related deaths in the city of Qom.

Warnings about the virus’s economic blowback are increasing, as Goldman said Thursday that stocks aren’t completely pricing in the risks from the virus.

Meanwhile, Air France-KLM, Qantas, and the global container shipping giant Maersk became the latest companies to warn about the financial impact of the continued spread of the coronavirus.

As President Xi balances the risks to tens of thousands of lives on one hand and keeping his promise to double the size of China’s economy by 2020 on the other, it seems the leadership in Beijing are beginning to believe their own propaganda. Premier Li Keqiang, Xi’s No. 2 who is in charge of the committee managing the crisis, local governments should seek to increase the rate of resumed production and work, according to China Central Television.

Put another way: Come on in, the water’s fine, and if you get the virus and die, we’ll cremate your body and tell your family you died of “pneumonia.”

China’s smartphone shipment declined 50%-60% during the 2020 Spring Festival holidays due to the coronavirus outbreak. About 60 million smartphones remain unsold.

Chinese officials are pulling out all the fiscal and monetary steps to protect China’s damaged economy, and on Thursday local officials from Hubei announced a new lending scheme – a “special financing vehicle” – worth 50 billion yuan (more than $7 billion) to stabilize financing for local companies.

To be sure, the drop in new cases last night was largely caused by health officials reversing their decision to include “clinically diagnosed” patients – i.e. those who haven’t yet tested positive due to a shortage of effective tests – in the case totals.

The spate of deaths rattled investors overnight, and US equity futures are pointing to a lower open on Thursday, and a rush of risk-off trading in Asia has pushed the BBG dollar index to a 4-month high following the latest piece of evidence that the coronavirus isn’t simply “another flu”.

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