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A history of the Peckham Boys - from the Giggs era to Zone 2/Hitsquad (Part 2)
submitted by KeezyLDN to ukdrill [link] [comments]
Part 2 of the history of Peckham
in south London. From the early Peckham Boys
era to Zone 2
. This part covers Peckham from 2009 to 2013 (the start of the Zone 2/Hitsquad era).
For Part 1 of the 'History of Peckham' click here
| For the history of Brixton's 410 click here
A brief recap of 2008 in Peckham. The year was marked by improving relations with Ghetto Boys (Lewisham) on one side, and worsening relations with Brixton on the other.
Recap of improving Ghetto-Peckham relations in 2008
Following major internal divisions within the Ghetto Boys, the decades-long beef between the Peckham Boys and Ghetto Boys had ended. The end of the beef was publicly announced by Giggs
when he dropped the 'Ruthless Freestyle
' in early 2008.
That was a major moment in South London street history, as one of London's worst street wars came to an end. From that moment it even became safe
to play Giggs's music publicly in Lewisham (Ghetto territory).
In August 2008, Killa Ki
(OPB) organised the linkup of Peckham Boys and Ghetto Boys members for the Notting Hill Carnival. Up to 180 members
from both gangs linked up and started making their way to the carnival, but the police stopped them before they could reach it: Ghetto Boys 2 Peckham Boys - South East Link Up - Carnival
In the song 'Black Gang
' released in late 2008, Killa Ki shouts out Toner (YGB) - a Ghetto Boys member who was jailed for murder following a shootout and didn't snitch, despite not firing the fatal shot.
Recap of worsening Brixton v Peckham relations in 2008
There were various back and forth shootings between Peckham (SI/PYG) and Brixton (OC/GAS) in 2008. In one infamous incident
, OC members caught SI members slipping on Walworth Road and shot at them as they ran for cover into a supermarket. A teenager ended up dying in the crossfire. That summer, OC/GAS members released 'OC/GAS - Bullet Riddim
', mocking SI members for running in the incident.
In October 2008, 20-year old SN1 member Termz
was shot dead on his doorstep
by Brixton olders. This further heated up the Brixton and Peckham war. Termz had made one music video
before his death.
In November 2008, Sense (OC) was shot dead
by SN1 at a nightclub in Bermondsey. The gunman walked up on him and shot him dead at close range.
In late 2008, the younger PYG members started releasing music videos. Most of the bars at this time were disses towards Brixton's OC & GAS.
A senior British politician (the MP for Peckham & Camberwell, and the Leader of the House of Commons) made national headlines
in 2008 for wearing stab-proof vest whilst walking through Peckham.
2009 Giggs momentum in music continues
Following his success in 2008, Giggs
started the new year by releasing 'Freestyle 09'. Part of the video was filmed in the SN1 Wear store
, a pop-up unit in Rye Lane Market that sold SN1 merchandise and mixtapes:
In January, Giggs dropped the 'Another Quick One' mixtape
which featured other Peckham (SN1/SI/OPB/PYG) members:
- Video: Gunna Dee (SN1) - Get It In - the music video is famous for footage of a snowball fight between Peckham members and the police 🚓
In March, Giggs dropped the 'Who Said That' mixtape
in collaboration with Tiny Boost
In May, Giggs linked up with Skepta to drop the track 'Look Out'. It's the first major link-up between top members of the 'Road Rap' and Grime families:
Giggs crowned 2009 by linking back up with Blade Brown to drop 'Hammer Em Down':
Death of Big Larry
In February 2009, a Peckham older Big Larry
was shot dead by SN1 in Dulwich in broadday. He had fallen out with the Peckham members over time, resulting in his execution:
Shoot Instant release the 'Respected By Most, Feared By Many' mixtape
In early 2009, Shoot Instant members released the 'Respected By Most, Feared By Many
. The mixtape heavily features S.I members Young Snap (Snap Capone), Nuttie, Butch, Blacks and Rico. The mixtape was accompanied by multiple video releases:
S.I, OPB and PYG also released several music videos in this period:
Tim Westwood creates the 'Crib Session'
Giggs had been under mad pressure from the Metropolitan Police who wanted to end his career in rap. The police were actively warning record labels not to sign Giggs, banning his music from television and radio, and banning him from performing at live events.
With these circumstances, Tim Westwood started the Crib Session, a space within his house that Giggs could be recorded and uploaded to YouTube without police interference. The first ever Crib Session took place in March 2009, featuring Giggs
(SN1) and his brothers Joe Grind
(SN1) and Gunna D
In recent times, the Westwood Crib Session has been a major platform for UK Drill groups that otherwise wouldn't get television or radio play.
Brixton v Peckham in music continues
The beef between Brixton (OC/GAS) and Peckham (SI/PYG) was cracking at this point. It was popularly followed by young Londoners across the city, in the same way that UK Drill beef is now.
PYG responded to 'OC/GAS - Bullet Riddim
', in which OC mocked Peckham members for running during a shooting on Walworth Road (Wooly Road):
- Video: PYG (Young Size, Stigs, Tiny Snap) - Real Ryderz - You had two turners but never turned nothing, when I roll up on your block I'ma turn something off. He thinks he can try come Wooly Road and bark it off, but when I ride up on your block, little dickheads sliding off" ... "Niggas get touched in Somerleyton" (etc)
After Giggs dropped 'Freestyle 09' at the start of 2009, Brixton's OC/GAS members dropped the 'Ard 3Style
' over the same beat, dissing Giggs and SN1. In response, PYG members Young Size
and Young Shak
dropped a track over the same beat, dissing OC/GAS back. The music video was filmed in the North Peckham Estate:
In May 2009, PYG members Stigs
dropped a music video for Rec A G, filmed on the Bells Gardens Estate. It is considered one of the most legendary tracks to be dropped by youngers in the UK scene:
A month later, OC/GAS dropped a block Freestyle
in which they diss Peckham back. They reference lyrics in 'Rec A G' and mock Shocks' adlib "ya liar".
In summer 2009, PYG and Inna Circle released 'Police & Thief'. In the track, Shocks
and Young Size
takes shots at GAS. There was a music video but it got removed long ago:
In response, OC/GAS released 'Police & Thief In A Shootout
', dissing Peckham over the same beat.
In late 2009, GAS and Young Roadside G's (YRS) members released their 'English Town Riddim Freestyle
' dissing Peckham, Tulse Hill and Stockwell. In response, PYG members released a freestyle over the same beat:
Peckham v Brooklyn heats up
Brooklyn (OBY, formerly GME) was a set based on Old Kent Road. They were once affiliated with Peckham, but after a dispute between members they began beefing, with numerous shootouts and stabbings taking place. Brooklyn member Baby Ryder was murdered in 2008
by Thamesmead, allies of Peckham.
Brooklyn were linked up with Brixton (OC/GAS) in their war against Peckham, signified by the track 'Brooklyn to Baghdad
'. In June 2009, Brooklyn member John Wayne released 'Fresh Home
', a highly rated freestyle from that era, taking shots at Peckham.
In response, Young Size
(PYG) and Young Shak
(PYG) released a track dissing GAS and John Wayne, claiming that Wayne went in hiding from Peckham and wasn't actually 'fresh home' from prison:
Brooklyn released other tracks dissing Peckham, including 'Back On This Hood Shit
'. Peckham youngers responded through a Stigs
(PYG) freestyle. PYG members label Brooklyn members as "Pecknarm Rejects", which is a reference to the time they fell out:
'The Truth' CCTV video
In 2009, the police were investigating certain Peckham (PYG) members due to their war with Brixton (OC/GAS). Police sent the Peckham members' lawyers CCTV footage of Brixton and Peckham sliding on each others' territories, as proof that they had evidence of their involvement. A PYG associate took the footage, annotated it and uploaded it to Youtube.
Part 1 of the footage shows PYG members sliding to Angell Town Estate in Brixton at night. Part 2 shows OC/GAS members sliding to the Peckham frontline in broad daylight. The annotations were written to to make OC/GAS look bad. The original upload was in better quality and gained over a million views, but this is the only clip left on YouTube:
After PYG uploaded the footage, OC/GAS and their allies YRS (Young Roadside G's) and OBY (Brooklyn) released the video 'Ur Liars'
, accusing PYG of lying in the annotations and cooperating with the police for the CCTV footage.
Death of Mimer
In November 2009, a member of MOB called Mimer was shot dead. MOB was 'Mandem on Brandon', a set based on the Brandon Estate in SE17:
In the following year, Peckham members Snap
(S.I) and Tem
(S.I) went on trial for the murder but beat the case. A yute from the Aylesbury Estate (S.I territory) was sent to prison for hiding the gun used in the murder:
Over the years, the relationship between the Brandon Estate and Peckham has become one of the biggest storylines in UK Drill. On the Brandon Estate, 'Moscow' became the new generation of MOB. Tweets of Moscow members saluting MOB:
2010 Last PYG releases
2010 was the last year that members of PYG were active together in music, before the Peckham Civil War (more on that below). They started the year with 'Test Out Da Nine', directly dissing GAS members Sneakbo and JJ:
PYG members made a neighbourhood anthem called 'Pecknarm London'. It didn't get released properly because of the Peckham Civil War:
The murder of Samuel Ogunro Nuttie
(S.I) was on remand in prison on a firearm charge after being caught purchasing guns OT. A 17-year old called Samuel Ogunro was also facing charges but got bail. He was offered money to take the gun charge but refused to do so. Because of this, the execution of Samuel was arranged so that he wouldn't speak at the trial.
In June 2010, Samuel was shot dead in a car in Peckham, just before the trial was due to start. A few days later the car was set on fire with his body inside. Nuttie was given 32 years in prison for arranging the murder, and CS
(PYG) was given 4 years for setting the car on fire. No-one was ever convicted of actually shooting Samuel dead.
Police cancel Giggs nationwide tour
In September 2009, Giggs
had signed to XL Records. The Metropolitan Police actively tried to persuade XL not to sign Giggs, but XL didn't give into the pressure:
With the momentum that Giggs had built, his first UK tour was due to start in March 2010. However, the sold-out tour was effectively cancelled by the police at late notice:
Giggs channelled these injustices into his second album 'Let Em Ave It'
, which dropped in June 2010:
Peckham Civil War
There was a civil war in Peckham in 2003 (see part 1), but the major civil war in Peckham took place in the late 2000s.
One of the Peckham Boys blocks was the Lettsom Estate
in Camberwell, and many prominent Peckham Boys members came from there: Grem, Darko, Shower Malik, Crime, Tame, Young Size, Young Shak etc.
Over time there were growing rifts between senior members from Lettsom, and senior members from main Peckham. The tensions started around 2008 times but grew over time, escalating into the Peckham Civil War. Members from the Lettsom Estate split from their Peckham sets (SN1/SI/OPB/PYG) and formed the Lettsom G's.
From this point, Peckham v Lettsom was a very hot war. I can't mention the specifics of what happened in this period, but there were multiple shootings and stabbings between members of Lettsom and Peckham.
With all this turmoil, the remaining PYG
members (M1, Tiny Snap, Young Termz etc) flipped its name to Anti.
They rolled closely with GMG
members (Jungle, Moey Black, Deej etc), another young set within the Peckham Boys family.
The death of Taz and Lil Grem
On 6 September 2010 there was a shooting on the Lettsom Estate. That afternoon, Taz
(OPB) died in Peckham in a motorbike crash during a chase. Later the same day, Lil Grem
(Lettsom) visited the roadside shrine set up for Taz in Peckham and got shot dead there.
Lil Grem was a family friend of Rio Ferdinand, a professional footballer that grew up in Peckham: Snap
(the older of Young Snap/Snap Capone) was later jailed for 35-years for the murder of Lil Grem: Billy Da Kid
(OPB) released a track after Taz's death, in his honour:
These were some of the last tracks that Taz featured in, all released after his death:
Shoot Instant release the 'Zero Tolerance' mixtape
In September 2010, Shoot Instant dropped the 'Zero Tolerance' mixtape.
With everything going on in Peckham at the time, only one music videos was shot for the project (and it has since been taken down):
The death of CGE's Sammy Gunz
At this time there had been tension between senior members of Peckham and Stratford/Plaistow in Newham, East London.
At one point, members from Stratford/Plaistow violated the yard of a Peckham member's relative in Newham. In retaliation, two Peckham Boys (SN1 member and Anti member) slid to Newham and shot dead 16-year old Sammy Gunz (CGE) in October 2010. Another CGE member was also shot but survived:
CGE members released the music video 'Stratford 2 Plaistow' in Sammy's honour, which included his last verse before his death:
The death of Vesta
Crane Block (the Pelican Estate) is a block in Peckham. With the turmoil of the Peckham Civil War, that block began beefing with the main Peckham sets. A Crane Block music video from summer 2010:
In December 2010, Vesta, Tiny Mantis and Cookie were posted on Crane Block. That night Vesta ended up getting shot to death, with Tiny Mantis and Cookie getting stabbed:
As the police investigated the murder, hundreds of 'stop snitching' leaflets were posted around Crane Block: Tiny Nuttie
(Anti) and Jungle
(GMG) were convicted of the murder. Tiny Nuttie received a minimum 26-year sentence and Jungle received a minimum 30 years, on the testimony of Cookie.
Youngest Peckham members (PK) become active in music
In 2010, members of PK became active in music. PK were the youngest members of Peckham and included members like Killa Reekz
(Young Deej). Their main beef was with young members of Brixton:
Lettsom members active together music
From late 2010, members of Lettsom became active together in music. In the track 'Gunshot', Shower Malik
(Lettsom) shouts out MOB (Brandon Estate), which is notable because Mimer (MOB) was shot dead by Peckham a year earlier:
Lettsom also released 'Gal Call Mi Up', with a hook from Stylo G: Young Size
(Lettsom) was shot 5 times outside his house by the Roadside G's but survived. He addresses this in 'Hard On The Pave':
Anti and GMG members active together music
From late 2010, members of Anti and GMG were active in music. Their first video was a remix of 'SI - The History
'. The music video features members of Anti and GMG:
Towards the end of the year, Anti and GMG members released an anthem which at the time was considered one of the best 'Road Rap' tracks ever released. The music video got removed from Youtube:
There's various Anti tracks from this era still up on YouTube.
2011 The murder of Daniel Graham
In January 2011 at a party in East Dulwich, some Anti & GMG members got into it with members/affiliates of CG (a set from Wooly Road that were linked with Brooklyn). Inside the place shots were let off and the rave got locked. Anti & GMG members chased a CG affiliate onto the 176 bus, and ended up stabbing him 24 times. Yung Rev
(Anti) and another member got sent to prison for murder:
Yung Rev's last release before prison was a collaboration with Tiny Snap
(Anti) and Slayer
Giggs drops 'Take Your Hats Off'
In January 2011, Giggs dropped the 'Take Your Hats Off' mixtape
. The mixtape was hosted by DJ Whoo Kid, a legendary mixtape host in the US rap scene:
Stigs given the UK's first gang injunction
In Spring 2011, Stigs
(Anti) became the first ever person to in the UK to be served with a gang injunction, preventing him from entering Brixton territory and banning him from making music or appearing in music videos:
Southwark Council then sought to hit more Peckham members with the same injunction:
This is the origins of the powers that police now use to censor UK Drill artists.
Kyze and Snap jailed Kyze
(SN1) was sent to prison for 6 years for shooting Meano. He was caught when his conversations at Belmarsh Prison were recorded by the police. Kyze had been charged for double murder (the murders of Sense and Big Larry) - who were both shot and killed by the same gun as Meano - but he beat those cases at the trial:
In an unrelated case, Snap Capone
was given a 6 year prison sentence in June 2011 for possession of a handgun. He was credited for time spent on remand while fighting the murder case in 2010.
Murder at GAS member's funeral
Jozey (GAS Gang) - aged 17 - died in a motorway crash and his funeral took place in Dulwich in November 2011. An Anti member was local, things got mad, and he shot up the funeral. Two people got shot and one died, the murder remains unsolved:
In 2016 the Metropolitan Police were officially criticised for not patrolling the funeral, despite it being considered a 'high risk' event:
The return of Chester Big Chess
was a prominent younger in Peckham in the early-mid 2000s, in the same generation as Spender. However, an incident/betrayal involving Chess and an SN1 older made many members in Peckham turn on Chess, and he was effectively cut from the ends. During that time he was stabbed by Brixton and put in critical condition, but survived.
A few years later things had cooled down and Chess was back in Narm. He also jumped on music, dropping the mixtape 'Slap A Snitch
Boost drops 'Gangsta's Pain' Boost
(SN1) was from the same generation as Raver and Knuckles, and is the older of Young Boost. Like many Peckham Boys members that had gone to jail, he ended up getting deported from the UK.
In 2011, Boost released the 'Gangsta's Pain' mixtape
from Ghana. It included several visuals:
M1 releases 'Survivor'
In 2011, M1
(Anti) released a highly rated solo track called 'Survivor'. He was considered one of the best young Peckham rappers, but he took the roads more seriously than music:
In 2012, Nutcase
(PS) and other youngins from Peckham dropped several freestyles on YouTube channel MMTV, their earliest releases before the days of Zone 2:
Giggs arrested on firearms charge
In February 2012, Giggs was riding through South London with three others when the police stopped their car. They searched it and found a loaded semi-automatic gun. All four people were charged with gun possession, and Giggs was remanded in prison. Following his trial, Giggs was acquitted of all charges and released:
Killa Reekz releases the 'My Attitude Reekz' mixtape
In 2012, PK member Reekz
(aka Young Deej) released his first mixtape 'My Attitude Reekz'. PK was the youngest Peckham set at the time:
Breadset and Lettsom members active in music Ceej
(formerly Young Killa Ki) was an original member of PYG. However he fell out with Peckham members during a trial involving him and Young Butch. At this time the Peckham Boys were fragmenting (splitting) as a gang, a direct consequence of the Peckham civil war.
Ceej and other Peckham members including Slumps
rose up a new Peckham set called Breadset
, and started dropping music under that name. In 2012, Breadset were very active with music releases:
Lettsom member Shower Malik
was also active in music in this period. His most notable release was a track honouring Mimer (MOB) and Lil Grem (Lettsom), who were both killed by Peckham:
Peckham Breadset members jailed for M16 rifle
In October 2012, armed police raided Peckham Breadset members including Ceej
, finding various guns including an M16 assault rifle. The police also seized £40,000 worth of drugs:
CS returns from prison
In 2012, CS
(Anti) was released after serving half his sentence for the case in 2010. He returned dropping his highly anticipated 'Fresh Home' track, alongside several others with Anti members:
2013 Giggs releases 'When Will It Stop'
In 2013, Giggs released 'When Will It Stop'
. In this project Giggs experimented with a more mature sound, including hip hop beats with live instrumentation:
365 jump on music
The 365/DankBoys (now known as Zone 2) were youngers of the PK set in Peckham. In 2013 they started jumping on music together.
In 2013, Young Mares
(DSqueezo) released 'Pumped Up': Nutcase
(Kwengface) dropped several music videos in 2013, with other 365 members visible in the background:
In 2013, Preacher
(PS) was consistently releasing music with Riddz
. 'Off To The Clouds' was filmed in the Aylesbury Estate, before AY and Peckham started beefing:
In 2013, Shay
(Shay Squeeze) dropped the track 'Real Talk':
One of the early 365 group tracks from 2013:
Tiny Grem jailed
In September 2013, the police caught Tiny Grem
(Lettsom) in possession of a Mac-10, a Smith & Wesson revolver, ammunition and £3,000 in drugs. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison:
Deej and Brantz jailed
In October 2013, Deej
(GMG) and Brantz
(Anti) went to Oceana nightclub, and got into an argument with Bullet, a member of HBlock in West London. Bullet ended up getting stabbed to death in the club, with Deej and Brantz getting sent to prison for murder:
This was Deej's last video before being jailed for murder:
YR murder conviction overturned
In 2013 Yung Rev
(GMG) ended up having a retrial over the 2011 murder of Daniel Graham in Dulwich, and his 22-year murder conviction got overturned. This was his first release after he buss case:
The gentrification of Peckham reaches public consciousness
For decades, Peckham had been one of the most deprived and dangerous areas in London. Due to its relatively low house prices, and its close proximity to central London, the area has been slowly gentrifying.
With gentrification, new bars, cafes, restaurants and modern residential developments started popping up in Peckham. As a result, prices in the area have been rising and things are becoming increasingly unaffordable for existing residents. From 2013 the gentrification of Peckham reached national awareness, as it started to become one of the 'cool' places to be:
In recent times several films have been made about the changing character of Peckham. These two are standouts, worth a watch:
is a demonstration of how Peckham gained the notorious reputation it has, and the environment that PYG and Zone 2 members grew up in. Part 2
is a demonstration of how hot Peckham became and how the civil war ended up splitting the Peckham Boys, with new Peckham sets rising in the aftermath.
The era of 2014 to the present, including the rise of the Zone 2 generation, will be covered in Part 3. \
I had originally intended for 'Part 2' to be the final part, but it violated Reddit's posting limit.*
So how bad has it been? When I started this, it was because I was bored. I wanted to see just how much shit has happened. Midway through, I was shocked. Then finally sad and angry. submitted by SDBolt to WritingHub [link] [comments]
Jan 1 -Australia is on fucking fire. Like all of it. And Hong Kong is too?
Jan 2 I think Turkey just murdered an Iranian general in broad daylight. Great start so far, 2020. HK police are reported to have used excessive force. See, America is still an influence on the world!
Jan 7. I heard there is a virus named because you drink Corona beer?? Shit sign me up, I can use a few days off.
Jan. 8. Remember when Iran launched two missiles at a US Base? Also, Russia may have shot down a Ukrainian airline killing 173 but I'm not sure.
Jan 11. That virus just killed someone. Shit don’t sign me up.
Jan 16. Seriously, does anyone remember that the impeachment of President Trump was this year? I sure as shit didn't.
Jan 20. The first 'Rona case in the US. Yes, this thing has a meme.
Jan 23. Lockdown in Wuhan. Not the rap song, an actual lockdown of 11 million
Jan. 26 fuck.
Jan 31 I am sorry, did you say Brexit actually HAPPENED?
Well January, you sucked. Taking Kobe was a real dick punch, but February has to be better.
Feb 4. Iowa Caucus-shmacus, what is the hold up here?
Feb. 5 How do you fuck this up? Trump really gets to stay. Wow.
Feb 11 Due to the impact on Latin-created beer the virus is now known as Covid-19
Feb 24 Is this really the highlight of the year? Harvey goes to jail for being a rapist.
Feb 27 Dow drops over 1100 in one day. Speculators rejoice! Meanwhile in Syria, Russia shows how much fucks it gives again and strikes 33 Turkish soldiers dead.
God damn it, what the hell 2020?
Mar 5 ICC allows for the Afghan War Crimes inquiry allowing US citizens to be investigated. Bet you didn’t know that one, huh?
March 9 Dow drops 2013 in one day making Feb 27 look like baby cakes.
March 10 Hey, remember when they locked down an entire city? Italy said, "I think that we can top it."
March 11 The WHO declares the coronavirus a pandemic. What. The. Fuck.
Mar 12 Dow drops 2352 in one day making 1929 look like baby cakes. Also, MLB postpones their season and I can decide which is more important here.
Mar 13 RIP Breonna Taylor. President Chump, err... Trump declares national emergency finally.
Mar 14 Spain lock-down
Mar 15 Ides of March, aye?
Mar 16 Dow drops 2352 in one day making... wait, is this the new norm?
Mar 17 Iran announces millions may be infected. 90% of cases so far in the Middle East are here. Sorry Iran, shitty year for everyone, we will get through it.
Mar 20 20k dead from Covid-19 so far. Oh man this is going to be bad. CA becomes first US state to lock-down. Ahh, no place like home.
Mar 24 India goes into full lock-down. India. Yeah, the billion-plus India. Plus, no Olympics this year. Bummer.
Mar 27 North Macedonia becomes the 30th country to join NATO. God damn it I am reaching for something good but I got nothing. NOTHING!
Mar 30 A passenger train derails near Chenzhou, China, killing one person and leaving 127 people injured. Oil drops below $23, lowest since 2002 - ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.
April will be better. April will be better. April will be better. April will be better. April will be better.
Apr. 1 What the hell is Tiger King?
Apr 2 Covid-19 coming in hot, number of cases passes 1M worldwide
Apr. 4 Turkey hides Ministry of Interior after riots erupt in a large prison due to fears of Covid-19.
Apr 5 QE II addresses the UK for the 5th time in 68 years. Also, do people really think 5G will give you Covid-19?
Apr 6 Russian Imperial Movement is labeled a terrorist group. They are, but it also happened today.
Apr 7 Japan passes $990B in relief of Covid-19. or 20% of their GDP.
Apr 8 Say it ain’t so, Joe? Biden becomes presumptive dem nominee as Bernie drops out.
Apr 9 NY state declares more Covid-19 cases than any country in the world. Yep, you read that right.
Apr 10 Russia shows how much fucks it gives yet again by saying they do not have plans to discuss oil market turmoil. Death toll for Covid-19 hits 100k worldwide. And the first case of Ebola since Feb...wait, what the fuck? One virus at a goddamn time, 2020!
Apr 12 Pope Francis live streams the Urbi et Orbi blessing for the second time in just a month. This is only supposed to happen at Christmas or Easter. Jesus. Christ. Literally.
Apr 14 US President Trump announces the US is suspending funding of the World Health Organization (WHO). Yeah you read that right. Suspend during a fucking pandemic. Your President ladies and gentlemen. IMF also says we are going into something akin to the Great Depression.
Apr 15 Tax Day delayed, so there is that. Covid-19 passes 2M cases worldwide. Tour de France also delayed. I guess steroids don’t work on the virus.
Apr 17 UN announces Myanmar has been carrying out daily airstrikes that at least 32 civilians (mostly women and children) have been killed since March 23
Apr 19 Israel hits the streets in protest to Bibi and his corrupt government. 17 dead in a killing spree in Nova Scotia. Unrest starts to break out in Paris, Berlin and other cities opposing the lockdown
Apr. 20 So let me get this straight, oil is so cheap you will pay me to take it? I see you, 2020, I see you. Also, The Industrial Bank of Korea to pay US$86M and will enter a 2yr deferred prosecution agreement to settle with US DoJ and the state of NY for a 2011 scheme to help transfer US$1B to Iran. Bibi finds a way somehow again to stay. Tom Thabane resigns from Lesotho as PM, showing that killing your ex-wife is wrong there too.
Apr 21 Mozambique police say 52 male villagers were killed by Islamist militants for not joinging.
Apr 22 Iran's Islamic RG Corps deploys the country's first military satellite.
Apr 25 separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) announces the establishment of a self-rule administration in southern Yemen. This is bad, like, really bad. Also, the global death toll from COVID-19 exceeds 200,000.
Apr 27 The Pentagon formally releases three videos of "unidentified aerial phenomena" encountered by the United States Navy. Cases of COVID-19 passes 3 million worldwide
Apr 28 Protests erupt in major cities across Lebanon for the second day over the country's continuing economic problems.
Apr. 29 Who didn’t see this one coming? An asteroid zooms past Earth with an approach of 0.042 AU (6.3 million km; 16 LD). That’s pretty effing close, man.
Apr 30 The government of Sudan criminalizes female genital mutilation. OH MY GOD SOMETHING POSITIVE!!!!!!
I don’t want to do this anymore.
May 3-4 Silvercorp USA and Operation Gideon. Blackwater eat your heart out. Silvercorp, you too. Please. Literally. I think we lost the driver of this bus somewhere in 2019.
May 5 The UK death toll from COVID-19 became the highest in Europe at 32,313 after exceeding the death toll of 29,029 in Italy.
May 6 New evidence indicates that an Algerian-born French fishmonger, who had not traveled to China and did not have contact with any Chinese nationals, was treated for pneumonia from an unknown source, now identified as COVID-19, on December 27, 2019.
May 7 11 people die and over 5,000 fall ill from a styrene gas leak in India
May 9 Chinese and Indian soldiers are injured in a cross-border clash at Nathu La
May 10 The Iranian Navy frigate Jamaran accidentally strikes the Iranian support vessel Konarak with a missile, killing nineteen sailors in friendly fire. The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 passes 4 million worldwide. Wuhan, the original epicenter of the pandemic, reports its first coronavirus cases in more than a month
May 12 Gunmen storm a maternity hospital and kill 24 people in Kabul. In Kuz Kunar a suicide bomber kills 32 at a funeral.
May 14 The global death toll from COVID-19 exceeds 300,000.
May 18 UN announces 700k affected in recent 2020 East Africa floods
May 25 RIP George Floyd
May 26 And the people react.
May 27 RIP Tony McDade. RIP Calvin Horton, Jr. RIP David McAtee. RIP David Patrick Underwood. RIP Myqwon Blanchard.
Also, China closes autonomous Hong Kong with legislation. U.S. death toll passes for Covid-19 100,000 - more Americans than were killed in the Vietnam War and Korean War combined and approaching WW1 levels.
May 28 The Denver Post photographer is struck with pepper bullets. Not an accident.
May 29 Omar Jiménez arrested while giving a live CNN television report in Minneapolis. Linda Tirado, a freelance photojournalist, was hit in the eye with a rubber bullet or a pellet by the police in the same city. In Louisville, Kentucky, an officer fired pepper bullets at a reporter from NBC affiliate WAVE who was reporting live on air for her station.
May 30 RIP Barry Perkins. RIP James Scurlock. RIP Sarah Grossman. RIP Chris Beaty. RIP Marvin Francois. RIP John Tiggs. NYPD vehicles were recorded ramming into protesters. a Reuters crew were fired on with rubber bullets in Minneapolis. Deutsche Welle journalist Stefan Simons and his team were shot at by police in Minneapolis. Lesson of the day: DO NOT EVER GO TO MINNEAPOLIS.
May 31 RIP Dorian Murell. Police pull Taniyah Pilgrim and Messiah Young over, breaking the windows, yanking Taniyah out of the car and tasing Messiah. Justin Howell. Minneapolis PD thinks they are in GTA San Andreas and do drive-by chemical sprays. Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, a reporter for Los Angeles NPPRI affiliate KPCC was hit in the throat with a rubber bullet. Los Angeles Times reporter Molly Hennessy-Fiske reported reporters and camera crews being at the receiving end of tear gas by Minnesota State Patrol, while the same happened to an KABC-TV news crew in Santa Monica. Detroit Free Press journalists were pepper sprayed by the city's police, as was KSTP reporter Ryan Raiche along with other journalists. BBC cameraman, Peter Murtaugh, was purposely attacked by police on May 31 outside the White House. Murtaugh filmed a line of police officers charging without warning, whereby a shield-wielding officer tackled Murtaugh to the ground. Also, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 passes 6 million worldwide
We are killing each other.
I. Don’t. Want. To. Do. This. Anymore.
June 1 David McAtee RIP. Italia Marie Kelly RIP. In Cicero, Illinois, two men were fatally shot in separate incidents following an "afternoon of unrest" - Jose Gutierrez and Victor Cazares Jr RIP. In Las Vegas, police shot and killed Jorge Gomez RIP. Australian journalist Amelia Brace and cameraman Tim Myers assaulted by United States Park Police. President Dickhead clears a path to an old church for a photo op with a bible. That path is cleared by tear gas, rubber bullets, and flash grenades.
June 2 Blackout Tuesday. Unidentified looter in Philly shot and killed and another severely injured while attempting to break into an ATM. RIP David Dorn. RIP Sean Monterrosa. Leslie Furcron shot between the eyes with a bean bag. Grand Rapids PD goes ballistic and pepper sprays everyone. $5B class action lawsuit is filed against Alphabet Inc. and Google, alleging the company violates users' right to privacy .
June 3 RIP Robert Forbes. General Keith Ellison increases the charge against Derek Chauvin. Cyclonic Storm Nisarga hits Mumbai. 20,000 tons of oil leaked into the Ambarnaya River.
June 4 Buffalo PD shows just how tough they are when they almost kill a 75 year old man. Then say Martin Gugino attacked them, only to change the story yet again when the video comes out. I see a running theme here with these folks. Also, Prez Chump puts new fencing to expand the White House perimeter, and continues to hide in a bunker.
June 7 COVID-19 pandemic: The global death toll from COVID-19 exceeds 400,000.
June 8 In Seattle, wannabe anarchists attempt to steal BLM movement with Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone. COVID-19 pandemic: The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 passes 7 million worldwide
June 9 George is finally laid to rest, RIP.
June 11 NASCAR bans Stars and Bars 150 years after those traitorous assholes lost. I guess better late than never. But 150 fucking years! Oh yeah and some jackass named Ray Ciccarelli quits because of it. Ugh, it never ends does it?
June 12 Ok at this point 2020, can you please just give me a week where nothing happens that signals The End is near? How about a rainbow, you got any of those anymore?
Covid-19 update Monday 20th April
submitted by Fwoggie2 to supplychain [link] [comments]
Good morning from the UK. I am late today but with good reason, my wife has had a really tough time this weekend with mental health (she is on meds for OCD, anxiety and Bipolar Type 2). Lockdown is tough for us all, but believe me it’s harder still for those with pre-existing mental difficulties. It could be worse, one of her friends (who has been sectioned before for mental breakdowns) is having to manage her mental health whilst fulfilling her duties as an A&E (ER) doctor in Wales. How my wife’s friend does it I have no idea, the stories coming out of UK hospitals are deeply disturbing
(this link is 2 weeks old).
Anyway, onto supply chain; this morning I read an article from Forbes about the problems supply chain disruptions can cause. Here’s a lengthy quote:
“Our firm recently polled executives at major corporations around the world to ask them about the operational risks they perceived to their supply chains, and the response strategies they had in place. The results were enlightening. Executives identified a broad range of risks (see chart below), from volatile commodity prices (which 43% considered a major challenge), to protectionism (31%), to piracy (just 7%). That executives identified such a broad range of risks told us that global supply disruption is indeed a top-of-mind issue for managers of global corporations.
When we asked a subsequent question about the strategies in place to mitigate these risks (see chart below), we found no favorites. Rather executives were across the board, choosing a number of different approaches, but not necessarily those best suited to the operational risks they were facing: 33% of respondents indicated that they would make no changes to their supply chains, 20% intended to decrease the number of production locations, and 15% planned to increase the same; and a range of other options as well.
Given the nature of the modern, global corporation and the complex supply network that has developed around it, it is unsurprising that executives have not aligned on a unified strategy to mitigate supply chain risk. No longer does a supply chain consist of a simple process from factory to warehouse to delivery (if indeed it ever did). Rather, as new sources of supply have arisen, new markets have opened, and companies have sought greater scale and specialization. Supply chains have evolved into a network of hundreds of suppliers, sub-contractors and distribution centers, adding tremendous complexity…
...I was recently at a conference of supply chain executives in the United States who told me that planning is dead – the best they could hope to do was respond to risks as they arose. Who has the time, and what is the benefit, of planning in a world of continuous change, demand-driven marketing, and intense pressure for instantaneous responses?...
...In an environment where changes in global supply chain can be as sudden as they are unscripted, companies have to arm themselves with both foresight and peripheral vision, an understanding of the long-term, and agility to deal with the short-term. More than ever, companies have to provision for multiple scenarios and they can only do that by engaging in a dynamic and multi-dimensional scenario-based strategic planning process.”
I like the last two paragraphs of the article in particular. In case anyone wants to read the rest of the article, it’s dated May 2010 and written in reaction to the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull and the chaos it caused to supply chains around the world. Plus ça change; it seems some boardrooms didn’t adjust their supply chains after that black swan event (maybe due to the cost and the resulting negative shareholder pushback). Link to the story.
Virus news in depth Our Pandemic Summer: The fight against the coronavirus won’t be over when the U.S. reopens. Here’s how the nation must prepare itself.
- The Atlantic has written a lengthy article
about what the mid-long term looks like for the US in relation to getting back to normal after Covid-19. “I think people haven’t understood that this isn’t about the next couple of weeks,” said Michael Osterholm, an infectious-disease epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota. “This is about the next two years.” The article goes on to look at the pharmaceutical supply chain; “According to a University of Minnesota analysis, about 40 percent of the 156 drugs that are essential parts of critical care are becoming limited. Many of these depend on supply chains that involve China (where the pandemic began), Italy (the hardest-hit region in Europe), or India (which halted several exports)” … “Albuterol, the drug used in asthma inhalers, is scarce. Antibiotics, which control the secondary bacterial infections that afflict COVID-19 patients, are being depleted. Basic painkillers and sedatives, which are needed to keep patients on ventilators, are being exhausted. Hydroxychloroquine, the drug that Trump has repeatedly touted as a COVID-19 treatment despite a lack of good evidence, is running out, to the detriment of people with lupus and arthritis who depend on it. “It’s like everything we give to patients, we’re in short supply of,” said Esther Choo, an emergency physician at Oregon Health and Science University. “We’re now scrambling to find the backup medications, and we’ll run out of those too.””
(cont’d) If it turns out that, say, 20 percent of the U.S. has been infected, that would mean the coronavirus is more transmissible but less deadly than scientists think. It would also mean that a reasonable proportion of the country has some immunity. If that proportion could be slowly and safely raised to the level necessary for herd immunity—60 to 80 percent, depending on the virus’s transmissibility—the U.S. might not need to wait for a vaccine. However, if just 1 to 5 percent of the population has been infected—the range that many researchers think is likelier—that would mean “this is a truly devastating virus, and we have built up no real population immunity,” said Michael Mina, an epidemiologist and immunologist at Harvard. “Then we’re in dire straits in terms of how to move forward.” The article is lengthy and also discusses options for reopening the economy and society in the USA.
Virus news in brief
My usual sources are as normal The Guardian
live blogs unless otherwise specified.
- The price of US crude oil plunged almost 20%, to below $15, in early trading on Monday – its lowest point since 1999 – as stockpiles continued to build owing to a crash in demand caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
- In Australia, three of Sydney’s beaches were cautiously reopened on Monday but only for exercise. “Activities such as sitting on the sand, sun-baking or gathering in groups will not be permitted,” said the local mayor Danny Said.
- Video: the centre of Adelaide city in Australia (population circa 1.3m) is so deserted that this Kangaroo was spotted hopping through the heart of the business district: South Australia Police tweet
- Problems building in Japan - an infections disease expert at Kyoto hospital has warned that Japan’s hospitals were struggling to deal with Covid-19 patients, adding that the government’s response to the recent rise in infections had been too slow. He said Japan’s initial approach – to identify and contain infection clusters – had worked well until major cities such as Tokyo and Osaka started reporting significant rises in cases from the second half of March. “Japan’s government should have changed strategy earlier,” Iwata said, referring to the shift to wider testing combined with social distancing. “There was a tremendous delay and that has caused huge problems,” he said. Hospitals initially designated to treat patients with the illness had become unable to deal with the growing number of cases, leaving other hospitals unprepared to fill the treatment gap. “If you aren’t prepared and your staff aren’t trained, you can’t just admit Covid-19 patients,” Iwata said. “Many hospitals are not ready to fight against Covid-19. That’s why there have been reports of ambulances going from one hospital to another” in Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe and other cities. He added: “We needed to change strategy immediately, but traditionally, Japan isn’t good at doing that. When we have a plan A we are poor at converting it into a plan B. Bureaucrats don’t like admitting that their original plan failed – that was the main shortcoming.”
- The same infections disease expert is also querying whether holding the Olympics next year is realistic. “I don’t think the Olympics are likely to be held next year. People will be coming from hundreds of nations ... and although Japan might have the disease under control by next summer, I don’t think that will be the case everywhere.” Devi Sridhar, chair of global health at the University of Edinburgh, said last week that hosting the event in just over a year’s time would be “very unrealistic” unless a vaccine became available. “If we do get a vaccine within the next year then actually I think that (the Olympics) is realistic,” Sridhar said, according to the BBC website. “The vaccine will be the game changer - an effective, affordable, available vaccine. If we don’t get a scientific breakthrough then I think that looks very unrealistic.” John Coates, the head of the IOC’s coordination commission, told reporters last week that it was still “too early to say” if the outbreak could further impact the Olympics, including forcing another delay or banning spectators.
- Hong Kong authorities have reported zero new cases of Covid-19 today. The last time Hong Kong had no new cases was on 5 March. The city is currently under strict - but sometimes complicated- social distancing rules, including no more than four people gathering together. Bars, pubs and clubs, as well as gyms, game halls, and beauty parlours are closed.
- Singapore has confirmed an additional 1,426 cases of Covid-19 infection, a record daily jump that took the city-state’s tally to 8,014. Its health ministry said the vast majority of the new cases were among migrant workers living in dormitories. As many as 90% of infections have reportedly been linked to these workers. Singapore’s number of deaths currently stands at 11. The latest rise means the city-state, which has a population of 5.6 million, has seen its total confirmed cases soar from 2,800 to more than 8,000 in the past seven days, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
- India has recorded its biggest single-day rise in coronavirus cases, the Associated Press reports. as the government eased one of the world’s strictest lockdowns. An additional 1,553 cases were reported over the past 24 hours, raising the total past 17,000. At least 543 people have died and epidemiologists forecast the peak may not be reached before June.
- In Iran, where the outbreak has killed at least 5,000 people, some social distancing rules were relaxed last week and on Monday some major shopping centres and inner-city highways were reopened. Stores from high-end malls to the meandering alleyways of Tehran’s historic Grand Bazaar opened their doors, the Associated Press reports, though the government limited their working hours until 6 pm. Restaurants, gyms and other locations remain closed.
- Spain has reported 399 coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, lower than Sunday’s figure of 410 and confirming the downward trend. A total of 20,852 people have died of the disease in Spain, with over 200,000 infected and more than 80,000 cured. Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez is expected to ask parliament tomorrow to extend the lockdown until 11 May.
- French schools will begin to open next month at the planned end to the strict lockdown but the return to classes will be gradual, the prime minister Édouard Philippe has said. In an address last week, Emmanuel Macron announced nurseries, primary and secondary schools would open again on 11 May. The lockdown had led to fewer contacts bringing the contamination rate down to one contaminated person spreading the disease to 0.6 others. When the lockdown is lifted the authorities will be looking at keeping the rate at one person contaminating at the most one other, the PM added.
- UK: There’s increasing anger at the (right wing) UK government in major newspapers at a lack of PPE for UK medical staff. Headlines include Guardian (left wing broadsheet): “Hospital leaders attack government as anger grows over PPE shortage”, Daily Mail (right wing tabloid): “Betrayal of our bravest: Hospitals run out of protective gowns TODAY a airlift of 400,000 replacements grounded. Now doctors face stark choice: save patients or themselves.”, Mirror (left wing tabloid) “Now lifesaving kit for NHS heroes doesn’t turn up”. The usually strongly supportive Daily Telegraph (right wing broadsheet) goes with “Two thirds of children fail to log on for lessons” but has a large picture of a protesting medical worker holding a sign “Protect healthcare workers”. Officials admitted on Sunday that PM Boris Johnson missed five emergency meetings in the early stages of the pandemic.
- Violence and looting point to food crisis in S.Africa lockdown. France 24 has an article warning that with poor people running out of food due to no income as a result of the lockdown in South Africa, hundreds of angry people have fought running battles with the police, hurling rocks and setting up street barricades with burning tyres in Mitchells Plain over undelivered food parcels on Tuesday. Police fired rubber bullets and teargas to disperse them. Social commentators fear such violent episodes could escalate. "There's a bunch of us at home getting fat and there's a bunch of people who really have nothing," said Julian May, director of the Centre of Excellence in Food Security, at the University of the Western Cape. "And it speaks a lot about the inequalities in South Africa (that) are likely to come out," said May. "As people are not getting food parcels or hear of other people getting parcels they are starting to react. And I don't think that's going to ease unless there's more rapid delivery of food to people in poor areas."South Africa is ranked one of the most unequal countries in the world.
- US: Multiple governors have accused Donald Trump of making “delusional” and “dangerous” statements amid mounting tensions between the president and state leaders over coronavirus testing and pressure to roll back stay-at-home measures. The United States has by far the world’s largest number of confirmed coronavirus cases, with more than 730,000 infections and over 39,600 deaths. Many state leaders have said they cannot embark on Trump’s recommended three-phrase programme to ease stay-at-home restrictions without a robust and widespread system of testing in place. The Guardian has more here or you can see Republican Maryland Governor Larry Hogan being interviewed about it here.
- US: The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be an active one according to researchers at North Carolina State University, says a local CNBC affiliate. This continues a trend for many organizations who have issued tropical forecasts for the upcoming season. The NC State University team forecast calls for 18-22 named storms, 8-11 hurricanes, 3-5 majors (i.e. cat 3 or higher) with the Gulf of Mexico identified as particularly at risk. Colorado State University, Accuweather, the university of Arizona have all issued an above average forecasts for above average hurricane season. (
Personal note: If you are on the Eastern seaboard of the US and in a hurricane prone area, it would be a good idea to review your hurricane plans and supplies now, e.g do you have a generator and does it work, spare fuel, batteries, candles, do you have enough long life food already stored + cleaning products, do you have an alternative method of cooking food, what’s your evacuation plan, etc etc. See https://www.weather.gov/safety/hurricane-plan
for help with this and note FEMA is already under a lot of strain due to the virus and would thus likely struggle with a major hurricane impact on the US seaboard - see also this USA Today article
dated 6th April this year on that topic).
- Anti lockdown protestors and medical staff have faced off in Denver (link).
- Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro joined a rally in the country's capital on Sunday, where protesters called for an end to quarantine measures and some urged military intervention to shut down Congress and the Supreme Court. Congress and the Supreme Court have supported social isolation measures imposed by governors. The President didn’t wear a mask and coughed several times while speaking to the crowd of a couple of hundred supporters in Brasilia. “(Everyone must) do whatever is necessary for the country to have the prominent place it deserves,” he said. “We will not negotiate anything.”
Supply chain news in depth
Susceptibilities of Solar Energy Supply Chains -
The Global policy journal has written a detailed review of the supply chain disruption faced by the solar panel industry here
. Whilst manufacturing was significantly reduced from January to March in China (down 13.5%) and is now almost fully recovered, its reliance on materials from around the world mean the supply chain is exposed in other parts. China has the majority market share in the mining or processing of most minerals used in solar panels, such as: silicon, aluminum, selenium, tellurium, arsenic, cadmium, and gallium. However, China still depends on many other countries to complete their solar panels, such as Peru for copper, Saudi Arabian oil for energy, and Japan for silicon wafers. In mid-March, Chinese owned mining company MMG Ltd reduced operations at its Peruvian copper mine after Peru declared a state of emergency in response to the coronavirus. Due to the damaged mining link in the supply chain, an initial spike in solar module price is expected due to shortages of materials for solar wafers and module glass, affecting the solar industry for months to come. Kangping Chen, the CEO of the top solar module supplier in the world, JinkoSolar, stated that around 400-500MW of Q1 2020 shipments are likely to be postponed to Q2 2020. The 500 MW postponement is approximately 14% of JinkoSolar’s 3.6GW quarterly solar panels production last year. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) stated that “before the pandemic hit, the solar industry was poised to set a record for deployment in 2020,” with solar installers being America’s fastest growing profession. A new SEIA survey now suggests cancellation rates for residential solar systems in the US are now at 19%, with postponement rates hitting upwards of 50% in some areas.
Illinois adjusts on the fly to meet medical supply needs in a coronavirus ‘Wild West’ -
The Chicago Sun Times details a story
from about two weeks ago where Illinois officials tracked down a supply of 1.5 million potentially life-saving N95 respirator masks in China through a middleman in the Chicago area and negotiated a deal to buy them. One day before they were expecting to complete the purchase, they got a call in the morning from the supplier informing them he had to get a check to the bank by 2 p.m. that day, or the deal was off. Other bidders had surfaced. Realizing there was no way the supplier could get to Springfield and back by the deadline, Illinois assistant comptroller Ellen Andres jumped in her car and raced north on I-55 with a check for $3,469,600. That’s just a taste of the “Wild West” world of emergency procurement taking place over the past several weeks as the state fights for equipment and supplies to protect frontline workers and patients in the battle against COVID-19. Most of that work is being performed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration through a rapid-procurement strike team, pulling together procurement specialists from around state government under the auspices of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. As Pritzker has made clear at his daily briefings, it’s an effort made all the more difficult by the absence of a strong, coordinated White House response. That’s left Illinois competing against other states, foreign nations and even our own federal government for the same materials. They’re all looking for what we have come to know as PPE or personal protective equipment — masks, gloves, gowns and face shields — plus coronavirus testing kits and swabs and, most prized of all, ventilators to help those most seriously ill keep breathing.
SWABS, STAT! Inside the Maine factory racing to supply America with virus test swabs. -
If you’ve ever used a home DNA kit, opened wide and said “ahh,” or measured the depth of a knife wound in a stabbing victim, chances are you’ve used a device made by Puritan Medical Products Co, says Bloomberg
. And if you’re tested for Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, it’s quite likely that the swab used to collect a sample from inside your nose will have been made by Puritan, too. Located in Guilford, Maine (population 1,521), Puritan is one of two companies that make essentially all of the swabs used for coronavirus testing. (The other, Copan Diagnostics Inc., is in Italy, an epicenter of the deadly virus.)
(Cont’d) “Swabs could be a weak link in broadening testing,” former U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb tweeted on March 16. That was four days after Puritan first started getting calls from the U.S. government, according to Timothy Templet, executive vice president for global sales, who entered the conversations himself shortly thereafter. “I’ve been on the phone since Saturday with many government organizations—Health and Human Services, FDA, working groups—just trying to provide accurate information regarding the ability to produce as many swabs for the country as we possibly can,” he says. The federal government, however, doesn’t buy directly from Puritan. Instead it helps coordinate with Puritan and other medical suppliers and distributors to get the swabs where they need to go. “We are ramping up to produce and wrap a million swabs a week that we need to put into the supply chain across the U.S.,” Templet says. His problem? Not enough machines or labour to meet demand.
**In Pursuit of PPE (**Or if you prefer, “how I managed to buy some PPE on the American black market for my hospital”) -
The New England Journal of Medicine is not something I often read (Actually I’ve never read it before in my life
) but this article caught my eye
: As a chief physician executive, I rarely get involved in my health system’s supply-chain activities. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed that. Protecting our caregivers is essential so that these talented professionals can safely provide compassionate care to our patients. Yet we continue to be stymied by a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), and the cavalry does not appear to be coming. Deals, some bizarre and convoluted, and many involving large sums of money, have dissolved at the last minute when we were outbid or outmuscled, sometimes by the federal government. Then we got lucky, but getting the supplies was not easy.
(Cont’d) A lead came from an acquaintance of a friend of a team member. After several hours of vetting, we grew confident of the broker’s professional pedigree and the potential to secure a large shipment of three-ply face masks and N95 respirators. The latter were KN95 respirators, N95s that were made in China. We received samples to confirm that they could be successfully fit-tested. Despite having cleared this hurdle, we remained concerned that the samples might not be representative of the bulk of the products that we would be buying. Having acquired the requisite funds — more than five times the amount we would normally pay for a similar shipment, but still less than what was being requested by other brokers — we set the plan in motion. Three members of the supply-chain team and a fit tester were flown to a small airport near an industrial warehouse in the mid-Atlantic region. I arrived by car to make the final call on whether to execute the deal. Two semi-trailer trucks, cleverly marked as food-service vehicles, met us at the warehouse. When fully loaded, the trucks would take two distinct routes back to Massachusetts to minimize the chances that their contents would be detained or redirected.
(Cont’d) Hours before our planned departure, we were told to expect only a quarter of our original order. We went anyway, since we desperately needed any supplies we could get. Upon arrival, we were jubilant to see pallets of KN95 respirators and face masks being unloaded. We opened several boxes, examined their contents, and hoped that this random sample would be representative of the entire shipment. Before we could send the funds by wire transfer, two Federal Bureau of Investigation agents arrived, showed their badges, and started questioning me. No, this shipment was not headed for resale or the black market. The agents checked my credentials, and I tried to convince them that the shipment of PPE was bound for hospitals. After receiving my assurances and hearing about our health system’s urgent needs, the agents let the boxes of equipment be released and loaded into the trucks. But I was soon shocked to learn that the Department of Homeland Security was still considering redirecting our PPE. Only some quick calls leading to intervention by our congressional representative prevented its seizure. I remained nervous and worried on the long drive back, feelings that did not abate until midnight, when I received the call that the PPE shipment was secured at our warehouse.
Supply chain news in brief
- Some people have been querying why farmers are being forced to dump food whilst at the same time there’s difficulty elsewhere in supplying food banks or supermarkets fast enough. The reason is that b2b (business to business) supply chains are set up very differently to b2c (Business to consumer) supply chains and it’s harder than you’d initially think to rapidly switch from one to the other; effectively they’re having to adjust on the fly on a day by day basis. Civileats.com has a good explanation of why it’s hard to change things around quickly and what firms are doing to try to reroute food to where it’s most needed.
- The UN states in a press release (here) that cereal supplies are plentiful at the moment and prices remain low - at least for now. Given the highly globalized nature of food production and supply, commodities need to move from the world’s ‘breadbaskets’ to where they are consumed – and COVID-19-related containment measures are starting to make this more challenging. “Disruptions are so far minimal; food supply is adequate, and markets are relatively stable,” said WFP Senior Spokesperson, Elizabeth Byrs, noting that global cereal stocks are at comfortable levels and the outlook for wheat and other staple crops is positive for the rest of this year. “But we may soon expect to see disruptions in food supply chains”, she said, explaining that if big importers lose confidence in the reliable flow of basic food commodities, panic buying could ensue, driving prices up. For low-income countries, the consequences could be devastating, with long-term repercussions, with coping strategies coming at the expense of such essential services as health and education.
- Honeywell has announced that its Rhode Island facility is starting to produce masks. Normally it would take 9 months to set up a production line; they managed it in 5 weeks. See here for a PR from them.
- UK government stockpiles containing protective equipment for healthcare workers in the event of a pandemic fell in value by almost 40% over the past six years, the Guardian has found. Analysis of official financial data suggests £325m was wiped off the value of the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) emergency stockpile, reducing it from £831m in 2013 under the Conservative-led coalition government to £506m by March last year. The finding is likely to raise further questions for the health secretary, Matt Hancock, who faced criticism over the weekend after urging healthcare workers not to “overuse” personal protective equipment (PPE). More on that here.
- Amazon is tweaking its algorithms to get you to buy less not more; Business Standard reports that Amazon is trying to get you to reduce your purchase of non essential products to help it keep up with shipping of the more essential products. Normal promotions have been stopped, prime day is postponed, it doesn’t tell you any more what other people have bought. The article goes on to point out that it isn’t just Amazon doing this; Expedia expects its advertising spend to drop by more than 80% this year.
- Budget airline Indigo (fabulous name for an airline) is the latest to start doing cargo only flights with its passenger airlines (Stat Times link)
Good news section
Deserted Thai beaches lure rare turtles to build most nests in 20 years -
Thailand has found the largest number of nests of rare leatherback sea turtles in two decades on beaches bereft of tourists because of the coronavirus pandemic, environmentalists say. In Thailand, with 2,765 infections and 47 deaths, travel curbs ranging from a ban on international flights to an appeal to citizens to stay home have brought a collapse in tourist numbers, but freed up the beaches for wildlife. The 11 turtle nests authorities have found since last November were the highest number in 20 years, said Kongkiat Kittiwatanawong, the director of the Phuket Marine Biological Center. “This is a very good sign for us because many areas for spawning have been destroyed by humans,” he told Reuters. No such nests had been found for the previous five years. Leatherbacks are the world’s largest sea turtles. They are considered endangered in Thailand, and listed as a vulnerable species globally by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. They lay their eggs in dark and quiet areas, scarce when tourists thronged the beaches. People have also been known to dig into their nests and steal eggs. (link
Minnesota trooper's roadside gesture during traffic stop brings doctor to tears -
A state trooper pulled over a doctor for speeding on an east-central Minnesota interstate, told her she should know better and sent her on her way grateful for receiving only a warning and not a ticket. The trooper also gave her a fistful of coveted N95 medical masks that were issued for his protection from the deadly coronavirus pandemic. “I burst into tears,” Dr. Sarosh Ashraf Janjua, a Boston native and cardiologist, wrote in a detailed Facebook account of the traffic stop on March 21 along Interstate 35 in North Branch as she traveled from work in Duluth for a break in Minneapolis. “I think he teared up a little as well before wishing me well and walking away.” Janjua also saw the masks handed to her as having value beyond their role in stemming the virus’ spread. “This complete stranger, who owed me nothing and is more on the front lines than I am, shared his precious masks with me, without my even asking,” she wrote. “The veil of civilization may be thin, but not all that lies behind it is savage. We are going to be OK.” (Star Tribune link
Covid-19 update Wednesday 16th April
submitted by Fwoggie2 to supplychain [link] [comments]
Good morning from the UK. It’s Thursday April 16th.
Virus news in depth
U.S. International Aid Groups Sending Help Home -
PBS in the USA is reporting
that international aid groups (so often the grateful recipients of donations from American sources) are now setting up emergency responses in the US due to the severity of the situation in the country. Doctors without borders has set up just a few streets away from its office in New York by supporting soup kitchens, setting up hand-washing stations, and training local officials how to prevent the spread of infection. Samaritan’s Purse International has erected a 14-tent field hospital with an ICU in Central Park. “That international aid groups are supporting the U.S. healthcare system shows how dire the need is domestically, and how inadequate the federal response has been.” says PBS. “Clearly, we have been caught flat-footed,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, director of Harvard University’s Global Health Institute. “The fact that resources from these organizations are coming to the U.S. is, on one hand, helpful to Americans, but pathetic in terms of what it says about American responsiveness.” CARE, a 75-year-old humanitarian group, is sending relief packages to medical workers, caregivers and individuals in need. “CARE has never delivered in the US before now, but this pandemic has meant a scale up in our response internationally and here at home as well,” said CEO Michelle Nunn. Dr. Jean Fritz Jacques, a general surgeon in Haiti who runs Healing Arts Mission Clinic, is bracing for the worst. His country is utterly unprepared for the pandemic, and he’s watching the group’s U.S.-based donors supply American institutions. In Haiti, private hospitals are closing for lack of supplies and equipment, and public hospitals aren’t ready, he said. “We are just praying that the chaos will not happen,” Jacques said.
Virus news in brief
- President Donald Trump has said that he will on Thursday announce the first plans for lifting lockdowns after the US - the worst-hit country with the most virus deaths and infections - passes the “peak on new cases”.
- Jennifer Jacobs (senior report for Bloomberg) is tweeting that the US government’s Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection plan which has $349bn to help small businesses cover payroll needs has run out of money already. Bloomberg has more.
- New York City revises its death toll sharply upwards to more than 10,000 people. It added 3,778 people who were not tested but who are nevertheless presumed to have died from Covid-19.
- The French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and its two frigate escorts are reporting that out of nearly 2,000 sailors 668 have tested positive for the virus (although one of the frigates is unaffected). 31 sailors have been hospitalised with 1 in ICU. The carrier is currently docked on the French Mediterranean coast after finishing an Atlantic deployment early.
- In more positive news for France, the Tour De France has been rescheduled to start 29th August.
- Decode genetics has tested 10% of the Icelandic population for Covid-19 so far and believes it should be “even easier” for the US. (CNBC video)
- A study of blood donors in the Netherlands has discovered that around 3% have developed antibodies against the new coronavirus, giving an indication of what percentage of the Dutch population may have already had the disease.
- The president of Afghanistan has asked the Taliban to declare a ceasefire in an effort to instead fight coronavirus as the number of confirmed cases reached 840, triggered by a surge of infections in Kabul. The country’s president, Ashraf Ghani, has asked for a ceasefire across the country so health workers can fight the virus. “I call on the Taliban to give a positive response to the rightful demand of United Nations secretary general, regional governments, people of Afghanistan and the government to stop war and declare a ceasefire,” he said.
- Authorities in the India state of Kashmir have issued an unusual order as part of their efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus: the felling of thousands of poplar trees. The Jammu and Kashmir administration said pollen from the millions of Russian poplar trees in the region risked causing hay fever and allergies, which could result in sneezing and coughing, which might then increase the spread of coronavirus and make people more vulnerable.
- The South Korean general election results are in: President sMoon’s left-leaning Democratic party and its smaller affiliate won a landslide 180 seats in the 300-seat assembly – the biggest majority in the national assembly by any party since South Korea’s transition to democracy in 1987 – according to the Yonhap news agency. The conservative opposition United Future party and its smaller sister party won 103 seats. Turnout was 66.2%, higher than any parliamentary elections held in South Korea since 1992.
- Asia’s economic growth this year will grind to a halt for the first time in 60 years, the IMF said on Thursday, as the coronavirus crisis takes an “unprecedented” toll on the region’s service sector and major export destinations.
- Amazon has ordered the temporary closure of all six of its French distribution centres, one day after a French court ruled it was not doing enough to protect its workers in the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Supply chain news in depth
US factory shutdowns near Second World War demobilization levels -
Supply professional reports
that American industry collapsed in March as the pandemic wreaked havoc on the US economy. Manufacturing and overall industrial production posted the biggest declines since the United States demobilized after World War II. The Federal Reserve reported Wednesday that manufacturing output dropped 6.3 per cent last month, led by plunging production at auto factories that have entirely shut down. Overall, industrial production, which includes factories, utilities and mines, plummeted 5.4 per cent. The declines were the biggest since 1946 and far worse than what economists had expected. Production of autos and auto parts went into freefall, dropping 28 per cent. The lockdowns and travel restrictions imposed to combat COVID-19 have brought economic activity to a near-standstill. Output dropped 3.9 per cent at utilities and 2 per cent at mines as oil and gas drilling plunged, the Fed said. Factories were running at 70.2 per cent of capacity last month, down from 75.1 per cent in February and lowest since 2010 when the US economy was still recovering from the 2007-2009 Great Recession.
‘Unprecedented disruption’ to supply chain slams US port volumes -
that the ports of Seattle, Tacoma, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, Houston, Jacksonville and Charleston have all reported volume drops in March 2020. Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) Chief Executive Officer John Wolfe said during a press conference Wednesday he expects second-quarter volumes will be soft as the “unprecedented disruption” to the global supply chain continues and container shipping lines cancel more sailings. “Total container volumes in March were down approximately 21% as compared to March of 2019,” Wolfe said. “That brings our year-to-date first-quarter decline to 15.4%.” The NWSA, which operates the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, Washington, said it handled 264,133 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in March. Full imports in March declined 28.2%, while full exports decreased 8.6% year-over-year.
Coronavirus in the Caribbean: Container volumes plunge -
that container volumes for Carribean destinations are down 30-50% - a main cause of which is the collapse in tourism. The tourism shutdown doesn’t just erase cargoes that would have gone to hotels and restaurants; it slashes islanders’ spending power. “All the people who worked in hotels and restaurants won’t be able to go to the supermarkets because they’ll have no money to spend,” Tom Paleinck Executive vice president of Caribbean Feeder Services (CFS), a neutral carrier that provides intraregional connections for mainline carriers said. “They’ll fall back on buying from local farmers. Imported corn flakes from the U.S. have suddenly become a luxury item.” Tourism is not the only headwind. Oil-producing nations in the Caribbean Basin such as Trinidad and Colombia — and those that hoped to be big players, such as Suriname and Guyana — are being hit hard by plunging crude prices. “Each island and each country have a different story,” Paelinck said. The ones with oil exposure “got a double whammy.” On a positive note, he sees one trade that’s not being affected: Caribbean Basin fruit and vegetable exports. “Fruits are still growing, people in the U.S. on lockdown are still eating fresh fruit, and I haven’t seen any coronavirus effect on this yet,” he said.
Supply chain news in brief
- India’s merchandise exports shrank by more than one-third from a year ago, hit by a fall in global demand and shipments due to the new coronavirus, and analysts warned of a grim outlook for exports in 2020 as global economic activity collapses. Merchandise exports fell 34.6% to $21.41 billion in March from a year earlier, while imports were down 28.7% to $31.16 billion during the same period, a trade ministry statement said on Wednesday. Oil imports, the biggest item in the import bill, fell 15% to $10.01 billion, helped by fall in global crude oil prices and slowdown in domestic demand. India meets nearly 80 percent of its fuel demand from imports. (Reuters link)
- Alphaliner points out that as of the end of 2019 - so before widespread disruption from the virus started - 7 out of 11 of the biggest sea carriers were at risk of bankruptcy (link). Since the end of March, credit rating agency Moody’s has changed the credit outlook for Hapag-Lloyd, Maersk, MOL and NYK from ‘stable’ to ‘negative’ and placed CMA CGM’s credit ratings under review for potential downgrades.
- The major container sea carrier MSC has finally resolved its IT issues (link)
- How Nike avoided the worst of the Covid-19 fall out; an article on medium.com discusses the power of Nike’s digital marketing and supply chain tools and how it’s enabled it to flex and pivot with the rapidly changing circumstances brought on by lockdowns. The quarter that closed at the end of February included the most drastic economic effects of the virus in China, and the closure of, at one point, 75% of all retail stores selling Nike products in the country. Meanwhile, Nike’s digital sales rose 30% in China during that period. To be sure, there was still damage: The brand’s overall sales in China fell by a bit more than 5%. Still, as one Wall Street analyst put it in a research note: “The impact from the coronavirus in China was more muted than anticipated, and business there has begun to normalize,” adding that Nike’s rebound looks like “a good proxy” for recovery in Western markets.
- Canada - the two main railway operators CN and CP are expected to experience significant reductions in volumes in April and even more in May according to analysts with volumes already down 17% year on year. Canada is forecast to experience an economic contraction of 6.2% in 2020 according to an International Monetary Fund forecast that came out on Tuesday (Supply chain Pro link).
- The worlds biggest airplane - the Antonov AN-225 - has finished unloading medical supplies in Warsaw and is back off to China to get more, this time it’ll deliver to Paris (Twitter link)
- Cologne / Bonn airport’s freight throughput has risen since the outbreak; CargoLux has started to operate 14 flights a week from the airport, EgyptAir Cargo has doubled its flight frequency and Swiftair will commence charter flights for moving medical cargo (Airport business link).
- Amazon Air looks like it’s about to launch out of Leipzig says The Loadstar (link) - currently it does not operate in Europe.
- For anyone interested in passenger numbers through US airports, the latest TSA stats vs this time last year are available on their website here. You don’t need to draw a graph to spot the reduction in numbers, it’s fairly obvious.
- The US Federal Aviation Authority has banned pilots from taking malaria drugs recently hailed by President Trump as having Covid-19 defeating properties says Airlive.net. “The use of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine to prevent coronavirus infection is disqualifying while on the medication and for 48 hours after the last dose before reporting for flight or other safety related duties”, said the FAA, adding “Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine were both reviewed by the FAA Federal Air Surgeon when they entered the market and have long been considered generally incompatible for those performing safety related aviation duties”. (Personal note; the drugs potential remains unproven).
I flagged a story yesterday of 99 year old Capt Tom Moore’s sponsored walk round his garden
- he wanted to do 100 laps of the 25m walk before he hits 100 at the end of April. Good news, he finished with a guard of honour this morning live on BBC 1. His fundraising appeal continues to attract considerable attention and donations though; it’s currently at £12.3m.
Several asked if they can send me $/£/€ via Patreon (in some cases because I've saved them time or money, others for no reason at all). I don't need the cash (that's lovely though) but food bank charities are getting really hit hard with all this panic buying. Please consider giving whatever you'd have given me to a foodbank charity instead:
Thanks in advance for any donations you give. If there's foodbank charities in your country and it's not listed above, please suggest it and I will include it going forward.
/r/Scams Common Scam Master Post
submitted by EugeneBYMCMB to Scams [link] [comments]
Hello visitors and subscribers of scams
! Here you will find a master list of common (and uncommon) scams that you may encounter online or in real life. Thank you to the many contributors who helped create this thread!
If you know of a scam that is not covered here, write a comment and it will be added to the next edition.
Previous threads: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/search?q=common+scams+master+post&restrict_sr=on Blackmail email scam thread: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/comments/g8jqnthe_blackmail_email_scam_part_5//
Some of these articles are from small, local publications and refer to the scam happening in a specific area. Do not
think that this means that the scam won't happen in your area.
Spoofing Caller ID spoofing
It is very easy for anyone to make a phone call while having any number show up on the caller ID of the person receiving the phone call. Receiving a phone call from a certain number does not mean that the person/company who owns that number has actually called you. Email spoofing
The "from" field of an email can be set by the sender, meaning that you can receive scam emails that look like they are from legitimate addresses. It's important to never click links in emails unless absolutely necessary, for example a password reset link you requested or an account activation link for an account you created. SMS spoofing
SMS messages can be spoofed, so be wary of messages that seem to be from your friends or other trusted people.
The most common scams The fake check scam
(Credit to nimble2
for this part)
The fake check scam arises from many different situations (for instance, you applied for a job, or you are selling something on a place like Craigslist, or someone wants to purchase goods or services from your business, or you were offered a job as a mystery shopper, you were asked to wrap your car with an advertisement, or you received a check in the mail for no reason), but the bottom line is always something like this:
General fraudulent funds scams
- The scammer sends you a very real looking, but fake, check. Sometimes they'll call it a "cashier's check", a "certified check", or a "verified check".
- You deposit the check into your bank account, and within a couple of days your bank makes some or all of the funds available to you. This makes you think that the check is real and the funds have cleared. However, the money appearing in your account is not the same as the check actually clearing. The bank must make the funds available to you before they have cleared the check because that is the law.
- For various and often complicated reasons, depending on the specific story line of the scam, the scammer will ask you to send someone some of the money, using services like MoneyGram, Western Union, and Walmart-2-Walmart. Sometimes the scammer will ask for you to purchase gift cards (iTunes, Amazon, Steam, etc) and give them the codes to redeem the gift cards. Some scammers may also give you instructions on how to buy and send them bitcoins.
- Within a couple of weeks, though it can take as long as a month, your bank will realize that the check you deposited was fake, and your bank will remove the funds that you deposited into your account and charge you a bounced check fee. If you withdrew any of the money from the fake check, that money will be gone and you will owe that money to the bank. Some posters have even had their bank accounts closed and have been blocked from having another account for 5 years using ChexSystems.
If somebody is asking you to accept and send out money as a favour or as part of a job, it is a fraudulent funds scam. It does not matter how they pay you, any payment on any service can be fraudulent and will be reversed when it is discovered to be fraudulent. Phone verification code scams
Someone will ask you to receive a verification text and then tell you to give them the code. Usually the code will come from Google Voice, or from Craigslist. In the Google version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Google Voice account that the scammer will use to scam people with. In the Craigslist version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Craigslist posting that the scammer will use to scam people. There is also an account takeover version of this scam that will involve the scammer sending a password reset token to your phone number and asking you for it. Bitcoin job scams
Bitcoin job scams involve some sort of fraudulent funds transfer, usually a fake check although a fraudulent bank transfer can be used as well. The scammer will send you the fraudulent money and ask you to purchase bitcoins. This is a scam, and you will have zero recourse after you send the scammer bitcoins. Email flooding
If you suddenly receive hundreds or thousands of spam emails, usually subscription confirmations, it's very likely that one of your online accounts has been taken over and is being used fraudulently. You should check any of your accounts that has a credit card linked to it, preferably from a computer other than the one you normally use. You should change all of your passwords to unique passwords and you should start using two factor authentication everywhere. Boss/CEO scam
A scammer will impersonate your boss or someone who works at your company and will ask you to run an errand for them, which will usually be purchasing gift cards and sending them the code. Once the scammer has the code, you have no recourse. Employment certification scams
You will receive a job offer that is dependent on you completing a course or receiving a certification from a company the scammer tells you about. The scammer operates both websites and the job does not exist. Craigslist fake payment scams
Scammers will ask you about your item that you have listed for sale on a site like Craigslist, and will ask to pay you via Paypal. They are scamming you, and the payment in most cases does not actually exist, the email you received was sent by the scammers. In cases where you have received a payment, the scammer can dispute the payment or the payment may be entirely fraudulent. The scammer will then either try to get you to send money to them using the fake funds that they did not send to you, or will ask you to ship the item, usually to a re-shipping facility or a parcel mule. General fraudulent funds scams
The fake check scam is not the only scam that involves accepting fraudulent/fake funds and purchasing items for scammers. If your job or opportunity involves accepting money and then using that money, it is almost certainly a frauduent funds scam. Even if the payment is through a bank transfer, Paypal, Venmo, Zelle, Interac e-Transfer, etc, it does not matter. Credit card debt scam
Fraudsters will offer to pay off your bills, and will do so with fraudulent funds. Sometimes it will be your credit card bill, but it can be any bill that can be paid online. Once they pay it off, they will ask you to send them money or purchase items for them. The fraudulent transaction will be reversed in the future and you will never be able to keep the money. This scam happens on sites like Craigslist, Twitter, Instagram, and also some dating sites, including SeekingArrangement. The parcel mule scam
A scammer will contact you with a job opportunity that involves accepting and reshipping packages. The packages are either stolen or fraudulently obtained items, and you will not be paid by the scammer. Here
is a news article about a scam victim who fell for this scam and reshipped over 20 packages containing fraudulently acquired goods. The Skype sex scam
You're on Facebook and you get a friend request from a cute girl you've never met. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. She'll ask you to send pictures or videos or get on webcam where she can see you naked with your face in the picture. The scam: There's no girl. You've sent nudes to a guy pretending to be a girl. As soon as he has the pictures he'll demand money and threaten to send the pictures to your friends and family. Sometimes the scammer will upload the video to a porn site or Youtube to show that they are serious.
What to do if you are a victim of this scam: You cannot buy silence, you can only rent it. Paying the blackmailer will show them that the information they have is valuable and they will come after you for more money. Let your friends and family know that you were scammed and tell them to ignore friend requests or messages from people they don't know. Also, make sure your privacy settings are locked down and consider deactivating your account. The underage girl scam
You're on a dating site or app and you get contacted by a cute girl. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. Eventually she stops communicating and you get a call from a pissed off guy claiming to be the girl's father, or a police officer, or a private investigator, or something else along those lines. Turns out the girl you were sexting is underage, and her parents want some money for various reasons, such as to pay for a new phone, to pay for therapy, etc. There is, of course, no girl. You were communicating with a scammer.
What to do if you are a victim of this scam: Stop picking up the phone when the scammers call. Do not pay them, or they will be after you for more money. Phishing
Phishing is when a scammer tries to trick you into giving information to them, such as your password or private financial information. Phishing messages will usually look very similar to official messages, and sometimes they are identical. If you are ever required to login to a different account in order to use a service, you should be incredibly cautious. The blackmail email scam
The exact wording of the emails varies, but there are generally four main parts. They claim to have placed software/malware on a porn/adult video site, they claim to have a video of you masturbating or watching porn, they threaten to release the video to your friends/family/loved ones/boss/dog, and they demand that you pay them in order for them to delete the video. Rest assured that this is a very common spam campaign and there is no truth behind the email or the threats. Here
scam. The blackmail mail scam
This is very similar to the blackmail email scam, but you will receive a letter in the mail. Rental scams
Usually on local sites like Craigslist, scammers will steal photos from legitimate real estate listings and will list them for rent at or below market rate. They will generally be hesitant to tell you the address of the property for "safety reasons" and you will not be able to see the unit. They will then ask you to pay them a deposit and they claim they will ship you the keys. In reality, your money is gone and you will have no recourse. Craigslist vehicle scams
A scammer will list a vehicle on Craigslist and will offer to ship you the car. In many cases they will also falsely claim to sell you the car through eBay or Amazon. If you are looking for a car on Craigslist and the seller says anything about shipping the car, having an agent, gives you a long story about why they are selling the car, or the listing price is far too low, you are talking to a scammer and you should ignore and move on. Advance-fee scam
, also known as the 419 scam, or the Nigerian prince scam. You will receive a communication from someone who claims that you are entitled to a large sum of money, or you can help them obtain a large sum of money. However, they will need money from you before you receive the large sum. Man in the middle scams
Man in the middle scams are very common and very hard to detect. The scammer will impersonate a company or person you are legitimately doing business with, and they will ask you to send the money to one of their own bank accounts or one controlled by a money mule. They have gained access to the legitimate persons email address, so there will be nothing suspicious about the email. To prevent this, make contact in a different way that lets you verify that the person you are talking to is the person you think you are talking to. Cam girl voting/viewer scam
You will encounter a "cam girl" on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to go to their site and sign up with your credit card. They may offer a free show, or ask you to vote for them, or any number of other fake stories. Amateur porn recruitment scam
You will encounter a "pornstar" on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to create an adult film with hehim, but first you need to do something. The story here is usually something to do with verifying your age, or you needing to take an STD test that involves sending money to a site operated by the scammer. Hot girl SMS spam
You receive a text from a random number with a message along the lines of "Hey babe I'm here in town again if you wanted to meet up this time, are you around?" accompanied by a NSFW picture of a hot girl. It's spam, and they'll direct you to their scam website that requires a credit card. Identity verification scam
You will encounter someone on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask that you verify your identity as they are worried about catfishing. The scammer operates the site, and you are not talking to whoever you think you are talking to.
This type of scam teases you with something, then tries to make you sign up for something else that costs money. The company involved is often innocent, but they turn a blind eye to the practice as it helps their bottom line, even if they have to occasionally issue refunds. A common variation takes place on dating sites/dating apps, where you will match with someone who claims to be a camgirl who wants you to sign up for a site and vote for her. Another variation takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where the scammers setup fake rental scams and demand that you go through a specific service for a credit check. Once you go through with it, the scammer will stop talking to you. Another variation also takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where scammers will contact you while you are selling a car and will ask you to purchase a Carfax-like report from a specific website. Multi Level Marketing or Affiliate Marketing
You apply for a vague job listing for 'sales' on craigslist. Or maybe an old friend from high school adds you on Facebook and says they have an amazing business opportunity for you. Or maybe the well dressed guy who's always interviewing people in the Starbucks that you work at asks if you really want to be slinging coffee the rest of your life. The scam: MLMs are little more than pyramid schemes. They involve buying some sort of product (usually snake oil health products like body wraps or supplements) and shilling them to your friends and family. They claim that the really money is recruiting people underneath you who give you a slice of whatever they sell. And if those people underneath you recruit more people, you get a piece of their sales. Ideally if you big enough pyramid underneath you the money will roll in without any work on your part. Failure to see any profit will be your fault for not "wanting it enough." The companies will claim that you need to buy their extra training modules or webinars to really start selling. But in reality, the vast majority of people who buy into a MLM won't see a cent. At the end of the day all you'll be doing is annoying your friends and family with your constant recruitment efforts. What to look out for: Recruiters love to be vague. They won't tell you the name of the company or what exactly the job will entail. They'll pump you up with promises of "self-generating income", "being your own boss", and "owning your own company." They might ask you to read books about success and entrepreneurs. They're hoping you buy into the dream first. If you get approached via social media, check their timelines. MLMs will often instruct their victims to pretend that they've already made it. They'll constantly post about how they're hustling and making the big bucks and linking to youtube videos about success. Again, all very vague about what their job actually entails. If you think you're being recruited: Ask them what exactly the job is. If they can't answer its probably a MLM. Just walk away.
You should generally avoid answering or engaging with random phone calls. Picking up and engaging with a scam call tells the scammers that your phone number is active, and will usually lead to more calls. Tax Call
You get a call from somebody claiming to be from your countries tax agency. They say you have unpaid taxes that need to be paid immediately, and you may be arrested or have other legal action taken against you if it is not paid. This scam has caused the American IRS
, Canadian CRA
, British HMRC
, and Australian Tax Office
to issue warnings. This scam happens in a wide variety of countries all over the world. Warrant Call
Very similar to the tax call. You'll get a phone call from an "agent", "officer", "sheriff", or other law enforcement officer claiming that there is a warrant out for your arrest and you will be arrested very soon. They will then offer to settle everything for a fee, usually paid in giftcards. [Legal Documents/Process Server Calls]
Very similar to the warrant call. You'll get a phone call from a scammer claiming that they are going to serve you legal documents, and they will threaten you with legal consequences if you refuse to comply. They may call themselves "investigators", and will sometimes give you a fake case number. Student Loan Forgiveness Scam
Scammers will call you and tell you about a student loan forgiveness program, but they are interested in obtaining private information about you or demanding money in order to join the fake program. Tech Support Call
You receive a call from someone with a heavy accent claiming to be a technician Microsoft or your ISP. They inform you that your PC has a virus and your online banking and other accounts may be compromised if the virus is not removed. They'll have you type in commands and view diagnostics on your PC which shows proof of the virus. Then they'll have you install remote support software so the technician can work on your PC, remove the virus, and install security software. The cost of the labor and software can be hundreds of dollars. The scam: There's no virus. The technician isn't a technician and does not work for Microsoft or your ISP. Scammers (primarily out of India) use autodialers to cold-call everyone in the US. Any file they point out to you or command they have you run is completely benign. The software they sell you is either freeware or ineffective. What to do you if you're involved with this scam: If the scammers are remotely on your computer as you read this, turn off your PC or laptop via the power button immediately, and then if possible unplug your internet connection. Some of the more vindictive tech scammers have been known to create boot passwords on your computer if they think you've become wise to them and aren't going to pay up. Hang up on the scammers, block the number, and ignore any threats about payment. Performing a system restore on your PC is usually all that is required to remove the scammer's common remote access software. Reports of identity theft from fake tech calls are uncommon, but it would still be a good idea to change your passwords for online banking and monitor your accounts for any possible fraud. How to avoid: Ignore any calls claiming that your PC has a virus. Microsoft will never contact you. If you're unsure if a call claiming to be from your ISP is legit, hang up, and then dial the customer support number listed on a recent bill. If you have elderly relatives or family that isn't tech savvy, take the time to fill them in on this scam. Chinese government scam
This scam is aimed at Chinese people living in Europe and North America, and involves a voicemail from someone claiming to be associated with the Chinese government, usually through the Chinese consulate/embassy, who is threatening legal action or making general threats. Chinese shipping scam
This scam is similar to the Chinese government scam, but involves a seized/suspicious package, and the scammers will connect the victim to other scammers posing as Chinese government investigators. Social security suspension scam
You will receive a call from someone claiming to work for the government regarding suspicious activity, fraud, or serious crimes connected to your social security number. You'll be asked to speak to an operator and the operator will explain the steps you need to follow in order to fix the problems. It's all a scam, and will lead to you losing money and could lead to identity theft if you give them private financial information. Utilities cutoff
You get a call from someone who claims that they are from your utility company, and they claim that your utilities will be shut off unless you immediately pay. The scammer will usually ask for payment via gift cards, although they may ask for payment in other ways, such as Western Union or bitcoin. Relative in custody
Scammer claims to be the police, and they have your son/daughtenephew/estranged twin in custody. You need to post bail (for some reason in iTunes gift cards or MoneyGram) immediately or the consequences will never be the same
. Mexican family scam
This scam comes in many different flavours, but always involves someone in your family and Mexico. Sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been detained, sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been kidnapped, and sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member is injured and needs help. General family scams
Scammers will gather a large amount of information about you and target your family members using different stories with the goal of gettimg them to send money. One ring scam
Scammers will call you from an international number with the goal of getting you to return their call, causing you to incur expensive calling fees.
Online shopping scams THE GOLDEN RULE OF ONLINE SHOPPING: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Dropshipping
An ad on reddit or social media sites like Facebook and Instagram offers items at huge discounts or even free (sometimes requiring you to reblog or like their page). They just ask you to pay shipping. The scam: The item will turn out to be very low quality and will take weeks or even months to arrive. Sometimes the item never arrives, and the store disappears or stops responding. The seller drop-ships the item from China. The item may only cost a few dollars, and the Chinese government actually pays for the shipping. You end up paying $10-$15 dollars for a $4 item, with the scammer keeping the profit. If you find one of these scams but really have your heart set on the item, you can find it on AliExpress or another Chinese retailer. Influencer scams
A user will reach out to you on a social media platform, usually Instagram, and offer you the chance to partner with them and receive a free/discounted product, as long as you pay shipping. This is a different version of the dropshipping scam, and is just a marketing technique to get you to buy their products. Triangulation fraud
Triangulation fraud occurs when you make a purchase on a site like Amazon or eBay for an item at a lower than market price, and receive an item that was clearly purchased new at full price. The scammer uses a stolen credit card to order your item, while the money from the listing is almost all profit for the scammer. Instagram influencer scams
Someone will message you on Instagram asking you to promote their products, and offering you a discount code. The items are Chinese junk, and the offer is made to many people at a time. Cheap Items
Many websites pop up and offer expensive products, including electronics, clothes, watches, sunglasses, and shoes at very low prices. The scam: Some sites are selling cheap knock-offs. Some will just take your money and run. What to do if you think you're involved with this scam: Contact your bank or credit card and dispute the charge. How to avoid: The sites often have every brand-name shoe or fashion item (Air Jordan, Yeezy, Gucci, etc) in stock and often at a discounted price. The site will claim to be an outlet for a major brand or even a specific line or item. The site will have images at the bottom claiming to be Secured by Norton or various official payment processors but not actual links. The site will have poor grammar and a mish-mash of categories. Recently, established websites will get hacked or their domain name jacked and turned into scam stores, meaning the domain name of the store will be completely unrelated to the items they're selling. If the deal sounds too good to be true it probably is. Nobody is offering brand new iPhones or Beats or Nintendo Switches for 75% off. Cheap Amazon 3rd Party Items
You're on Amazon or maybe just Googling for an item and you see it for an unbelievable price from a third-party seller. You know Amazon has your back so you order it. The scam: One of three things usually happen: 1) The seller marks the items as shipped and sends a fake tracking number. Amazon releases the funds to the seller, and the seller disappears. Amazon ultimately refunds your money. 2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to re-order the item directly from their website, usually with the guarantee that the order is still protected by Amazon. The seller takes your money and runs. Amazon informs you that they do not offer protection on items sold outside of Amazon and cannot help you. 2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to instead send payment via an unused Amazon gift card by sending the code on the back via email. Once the seller uses the code, the money on the card is gone and cannot be refunded. How to avoid: These scammers can be identified by looking at their Amazon storefronts. They'll be brand new sellers offering a wide range of items at unbelievable prices. Usually their Amazon names will be gibberish, or a variation on FIRSTNAME.LASTNAME. Occasionally however, established storefronts will be hacked. If the deal is too good to be true its most likely a scam. Scams on eBay
There are scams on eBay targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who privately message you regarding the order, especially if they ask you to ship to a different address or ask to negotiate via text/email/a messaging service. As a buyer you should look out for new accounts selling in-demand items, established accounts selling in-demand items that they have no previous connection to (you can check their feedback history for a general idea of what they bought/sold in the past), and lookout for people who ask you to go off eBay and use another service to complete the transaction. In many cases you will receive a fake tracking number and your money will be help up for up to a month. Scams on Amazon
There are scams on Amazon targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who message you about a listing. As a buyer you should look out for listings that have an email address for you to contact the person to complete the transaction, and you should look out for cheap listings of in-demand items. Scams on Reddit
Reddit accounts are frequently purchased and sold by fraudsters who wish to use the high karma count + the age of the account to scam people on buy/sell subreddits. You need to take precautions and be safe whenever you are making a transaction online. Computer scams Virus scam
A popup or other ad will say that you have a virus and you need to follow their advice in order to remove it. They are lying, and either want you to install malware or pay for their software.
Assorted scams Chinese Brushing / direct shipping
If you have ever received an unsolicited small package from China, your address was used to brush
. Vendors place fake orders for their own products and send out the orders so that they can increase their ratings. Money flipping
Scammer claims to be a banking insider who can double/triple/bazoople any amount of money you send them, with no consequences of any kind. Obviously, the money disappears into their wallet the moment you send it.
Door to door scams As a general rule, you should not engage with door to door salesmen. If you are interested in the product they are selling, check online first. Selling Magazines
Someone or a group will come to your door and offer to sell a magazine subscription. Often the subscriptions are not for the duration or price you were told, and the magazines will often have tough or impossible cancellation policies. Energy sales
Somebody will come to your door claiming to be from an energy company. They will ask to see your current energy bill so that they can see how much you pay. They will then offer you a discount if you sign up with them, and promise to handle everything with your old provider. Some of these scammers will "slam" you, by using your account number that they saw on your bill to switch you to their service without authorization, and some will scam you by charging higher prices than the ones you agreed on. Security system scams
Scammers will come to your door and ask about your security system, and offer to sell you a new one. These scammers are either selling you overpriced low quality products, or are casing your home for a future burglary. They ask to enter your home
While trying to sell you whatever, they suddenly need to use your bathroom, or they've been writing against the wall and ask to use your table instead. Or maybe they just moved into the neighborhood and want to see how you decorate for ideas.
They're scoping out you and your place. They want to see what valuables you have, how gullible you are, if you have a security system or dogs, etc.
Street scams Begging With a Purpose
"I just need a few more dollars for the bus," at the bus station, or "I just need $5 to get some gas," at a gas station. There's also a variation where you will be presented with a reward: "I just need money for a cab to get uptown, but I'll give you sports tickets/money/a date/a priceless vase." Three Card Monte, Also Known As The Shell Game
Unbeatable. The people you see winning are in on the scam. Drop and Break
You bump into someone and they drop their phone/glasses/fancy bottle of wine/priceless vase and demand you pay them back. In reality, it's a $2 pair of reading glasses/bottle of three-buck-chuck/tasteful but affordable vase. CD Sales
You're handed a free CD so you can check out the artist's music. They then ask for your name and immediately write it on the CD. Once they've signed your name, they ask you for money, saying they can't give it to someone else now. Often they use dry erase markers, or cheap CD sleeves. Never use any type of storage device given to you by a random person, as the device can contain malware. White Van Speaker Scam
You're approached and offered speakers/leather jackets/other luxury goods at a discount. The scammer will have an excuse as to why the price is so low. After you buy them, you'll discover that they are worthless. iPhone Street Sale
You're approached and shown an iPhone for sale, coming in the box, but it's open and you can see the phone. If you buy the phone, you'll get an iPhone box with no iPhone, just some stones or cheap metal in it to weigh it down. Buddhist Monk Pendant
A monk in traditional garb approaches you, hands you a gold trinket, and asks for a donation. He holds either a notebook with names and amounts of donation (usually everyone else has donated $5+), or a leaflet with generic info. This is fairly common in NYC, and these guys get aggressive quickly. Friendship Bracelet Scam
More common in western Europe, you're approached by someone selling bracelets. They quickly wrap a loop of fabric around your finger and pull it tight, starting to quickly weave a bracelet. The only way to (easily) get it off your hand is to pay. Leftover sales
This scam involves many different items, but the idea is usually the same: you are approached by someone who claims to have a large amount of excess inventory and offers to sell it to you at a great price. The scammer actually has low quality items and will lie to you about the price/origin of the items. Dent repair scams
Scammers will approach you in public about a dent in your car and offer to fix it for a low price. Often they will claim that they are mechanics. They will not fix the dent in your car, but they will apply large amounts of wax or other substances to hide the dent while they claim that the substance requires time to harden. Gold ring/jewelry/valuable item scam
A scammer will "find" a gold ring or other valuable item and offers to sell it to you. The item is fake and you will never see the scammer again. Distraction theft
One person will approach you and distract you, while their accomplice picks your pockets. The distraction can take many forms, but if you are a tourist and are approached in public, watch closely for people getting close to you.
Site to report scams in the United Kingdom: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
Site to report scams in the United States: https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx
Site to report scams in Canada: www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/reportincident-signalerincident/index-eng.htm
Site to report scams in Europe: https://www.europol.europa.eu/report-a-crime/report-cybercrime-online
FTC scam alerts: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts
Microsoft's anti-scam guide: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/safety/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams.aspx https://www.usa.gov/common-scams-frauds https://www.usa.gov/scams-and-frauds https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/scam-alerts https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-fraud-schemes
The unsolved murder of Kelvin Odunuyi
Apologies- was not sure which flair to add, however, I would just like to provide details on the murder of Kelvin Odunuyi, who was murdered execution style at a cinema in Wood Green, North London (UK). submitted by ST312 to UnsolvedMysteries [link] [comments]
Kelvin was part of the Wood Green gang, in North London. He went by the street name DipDat/Lampz. However, previously Kelvin lived in Nottingham, then Harrow in North West London, where he attended a private school. However, after hanging around with members of Wood Green, he soon became a part of them.
The Wood Green set have some heavy rivalries with other gangs, most notably NPK (Northumberland Park Killers), N15, OFB (Original Farm Boys), AP (Albany Park), Hornsey and Hoxton, all situated around the North London boroughs of Haringey and Enfield, as well as the East London borough of Hackney (may I add that Wood Green itself is situated in Haringey). Their main allies included Edmonton and TPL, also situated in the Enfield and Haringey London boroughs. There was always heavy tension between these sets, with murders, stabbings and shootings taking place on a regular basis. These areas were notorious for gang activity dating back to the 1980’s, and are some of the most dangerous areas in England let alone London.
Murder of Kelvin
Kelvin’s murder took place on the 8th of March 2018 at 12.30 am. He was only 19 years old at the time. Kelvin a group of friends were at the Vue cinema in Wood Green, North London, and he posted his location on his instagram story, which alerted his killers. A moped consisting of 2 people was making its way to the location, from Tottenham. Once outside the cinema, they spotted Kelvin and his friends and let off shots from most likely a pistol. However, these shots missed and Kelvin and his friends ran back into the cinema. Kelvin then assumed the shots were blank so ran to the front doors armed with a knife he had on him. However, the bullets proved to be real as the next round of shots hit Kelvin in the head, which lead to his death. After the shots were fired, the moped sped off, leaving cineam goers and Kelvin’s friends in shock.
The murder as mentioned remain unsolved, and no specific names of suspects were ever brought forward. However, the most obvious speculation is gang rivalry, most specifically either NPK or Hornsey. Kelvin was a threat to his rivals, and he himself has committed numerous stabbings against them. His DNA was even found on the murder scene of Kwabena (Kobi) Nelson, who was an NPK/OFB affiliate and was stabbed to death by rivals from Wood Green on February 2018 (this murder has been solved). Therefore, it would make sense as to why NPK would want to kill him.
Other speculations include personal rivalry, or a paid hit. This speculation arose due to Wood Green members informing that Kelvin was not killed by any of the gangs previously mentioned. The case to this day, remains unsolved.
Due to Kelvin’s gang status, it really escalated the rivalries between the gangs. More murders, stabbings and shootings took place. The most notable murders were Tanesha Melbourne, who was a girlfriend of an NPK member, who was shot in a drive by shooting in April 2018. She was only 17. Another notable murder was of Wood Green gang member Kamali Gabbidon-Lyncks, who was stabbed 5x at a hair salon in 2019 (his killers have been jailed).
Various OFB and NPK members have mocked Kelvin’s death in drill rap songs. The most notable song being “Kelvin’s Coffin” released by NPK members (the Met police later took this video down).
The Met Police in London released a BBC documentary on the murder of Kelvin. The documentary shows events leading up to the murder, and the murder itself via CCTV footage. This is the documentary that also revealed Kelvin’s DNA was found in the Kwabena Nelson murder scene. If Kelvin was live, he would be in jail right now for this murder.
Overall, this murder may remain unsolved in my opinion due to lack of forensice and DNA evidence, and the fact that the killers concealed their identities by keeping the helmets on which covered their faces. Regardless, I would like to send condolences to Kelvin’s family, and all other murder victims, and hope the gang rivalry and postcode wars stop soon for everyone’s sake.
Thank you all for reading :)
Lee Kuan Yew Book Review, Part Four: The Pathway to Power
submitted by TracingWoodgrains to singapore [link] [comments]
! I'm back for one last look at From Third World to First
, this time focusing on how and why Lee Kuan Yew remained in charge in Singapore and was able to create a stable mostly-one-party system in a democracy. I've had a lot of fun sharing this review series with you all and getting commentary and perspective from you all. Thanks for reading! This is part four of a four-part series. If this is your first time seeing this, parts 1-3 provide useful context.
Part one: Growth & redistribution
Part two: You are free to agree
Part three: Race, language, and uncomfortable questions
The Pathway to Power
So far, my review has mostly left out one massive elephant in the room. Lee Kuan Yew was Prime Minister of Singapore from 1959 to 1990. When he stepped down from office, he went straight into a close advisory role, sticking around the government in some official capacity until 2011. How was he in power so long? What was his approach to opposition and to political disagreements, beyond lawsuits? Where did he fall on the scale of democratically elected leader to dictator?
As with every other topic, LKY is pretty candid about this all. The best place to start, though, is likely not with the overt political battles. Instead, I'll focus where he focused early: the unions.
This section will dive into the weeds a bit more than most of my writing. It's for a good cause, I promise.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Singapore had, to put it bluntly, a union problem. Between July 1961 and September 1962, the country faced 153 strikes. In LKY's telling, most unions were under communist control, and all "had turned combative," having learned from British trade unions "all the bad habits and practices of how to squeeze employers for more pay and benefits regardless of the consequences to the company." (83)
So Lee Kuan Yew, ardent reactionary that he was, tore unions down, stripped protections and regulations away, and ushered in a new and gloriously productive era of unfettered capitalism.
Those of you who've followed this review so far won't be surprised to hear that's just about exactly not
what happened. This chapter came early in the book, and it's where LKY's personal story started becoming really, really interesting to me. Why? Well, it's when he casually mentioned his political experience before becoming Prime Minister:
He was a legal advisor and negotiator, fighting on behalf of trade and student unions (and, unrelated to our current focus but fun to note, moonlighting as a free speech defender
when a university socialist club published a "seditious" article). You might remember the quote from part one of my review, when a Labour party leader emphasized how committed a socialist LKY was. What did that mean when he took charge and faced trouble with unions? As he was urging unions to abandon some destructive practices, he was facing down against policies he was responsible for, protections he had fought for when his country's workers were being exploited, but that were damaging his country enough he regretted his decision.
He cites as an example triple pay on public holidays, which "led to cleansing workers deliberately allowing garbage to accumulate before public holidays to ensure that they would have to work on these holidays." (84)
Elsewhere, he cites the trouble of employers investing in expensive machinery to minimize need for workers, leading to "a small group of privileged unionized workers getting high pay and a growing band of underpaid and underemployed workers." (84)
With these and related concerns in mind, he went in 1966 to a meeting of union leaders from around Asia, asked them not to "kill the goose whose golden eggs [they] needed," (84)
and got to work encouraging changes like pay for performance over time on job.
Union leaders objected. He pushed forward, but "took care to meet the union leaders privately to explain [his] worries... [in] off-the-record meetings [to] make them understand why [he] had to get a new framework in place." (85)
That actually worked for most. Step one, then: come up with a careful plan, explain it in private, draw support. Step two?
Well, it's Singapore. One "irrational and ignorant" (85)
union leader over cleaners and other daily-paid workers delivered an ultimatum asking for a pay raise and then called for some 2400 cleaning workers to strike. LKY ordered the dispute to arbitration to make the strike unlawful. When the union went on strike anyway, the police arrested the leader and 14 others. The union registrar issued notices of potential deregistration to the union. The ministry of health told the workers they had sacked themselves and could reapply for employment the next day.
And, the next day, ninety percent of the workers applied for reemployment, LKY had the support of the public, and union culture started to shift to a give-and-take. He went first to the union leaders, then to employers, urging cooperation and fairness, and emphasized that "unless [they] made a U-turn from strikes and violence toward stability and economic growth, [they] would perish" (88).
On to step three. In 1968, Singapore passed comprehensive laws covering leave, bonuses, and other points of contention. In 1969, they had their first full year without strikes. In 1972, they established a council between union members, employers, and government to determine annual wage increases. LKY requested his colleague Devan Nair return to Singapore to lead the union congress, and under his lead union delegates decided to focus their attention on setting up co-ops in taxis, supermarkets, insurance, and afterwards a strikingly broad array of industries.
The whole thing, at least in LKY's telling, was a spiraling and mutually beneficial arrangement. As union leaders got experience directing co-ops, they gained greater appreciation for the role of good management. To help "reduce the feeling that workers belonged to a lower order," (91)
the government subsidized union land purchases for clubs, resorts, and other facilities. To nurture talent, the unions set up a labor college per LKY's urging, and he encouraged talented students returning from overseas to work in the unions and strengthen them.
Why do I emphasize this in so much detail? Primarily to underscore this quote:
Strict laws and tough talk alone could not have achieved this. It was our overall policy that convinced our workers and union leaders... but ultimately it was the trust and confidence they had in me, gained over long years of association, that helped transform industrial relations from one of militancy and confrontation to cooperation and partnership. (88)
And later, this reminder of his guiding ethos as he discusses the checks and balances of unions:
The key to peace and harmony in society is a sense of fair play, that everyone has a share in the fruits of our progress. (93)
As in tensions around race and language, as he approached the unions Lee Kuan Yew balanced strict, hard policy with the reassurance that he understood his people and wanted to help them--and, we Westerners don't fail to note, a side of authoritarianism. Reason and careful negotiation for most, coordinated and overwhelming force when negotiation breaks down, and pragmatic, prosperity-centered policy in the aftermath. It's a pattern you can see again and again. This pattern is one major reason to focus on the unions. The other is that both LKY and his greatest early rivals had their roots in that movement.
Communists I: Disclaimer: I am entirely unqualified to provide a thorough, balanced account of Lee Kuan Yew's rise and the controversies in Singapore's early history. My intent here is to present the story largely as LKY writes it. For other sides of the story, consider this BBC article, Wikipedia on the opposition Barisan Sosialis, biographies of those LKY names as communists in his book: 1 2 3 4 5, a couple of reddit threads 1 2 3 plus a journal articleScihub if you're feeling particularly ambitious. tl;dr: There was definitely strong communist influence in Singapore; some LKY accuses of being communists vehemently deny it and likely shouldn't be considered communist; even these non-communist leftists were heavily influenced by Mao and the Cultural Revolution.
Here's an understatement for you: Lee Kuan Yew was not fond of communism. Understandable, given that China went through the full sweep of the Cultural Revolution as he rose into influence. Throughout his book, he speaks of communists with a fascinating mix of fear and respect.
In his telling, the early history of post-colonial Singapore is framed almost entirely as a struggle between his People's Action Party (PAP) and communists. In the 1950s, there was a sort of uneasy alliance between LKY's moderate wing of the PAP, a left wing headed by Lim Ching Siong
, and the underground communist organizations in place in Singapore, all eager for independence from Britain. As soon as the PAP became the majority party in 1959, though, that alliance splintered. By 1961, the PAP expelled its left wing (13 of its 39 members), which became the Barisan Sosialis. That's where the real fun began.
If you ask the Barisan, they were non-communist leftists. If you ask LKY, they were a front organization for communism. He takes evident delight throughout a chapter of his book outlining the rise and collapse of their party. The government was contested through the 60s, in and out of an attempted union with Malaysia. In 1968, though, the Barisan declared Singaporean elections illegitimate and refused to participate, electing instead to take inspiration from Mao and call the people of Singapore to "smash all the trammels that bind them and rush forward along the road to liberation" (Cheng 226
). The people did not smash the trammels. Instead, the Barisan left the PAP virtually unopposed, granting it uncontested control of the government, and faded quickly from relevance. LKY mentions that it was this "costly mistake... [that] gave the PAP unchallenged dominance of Parliament for the next 30 years." (110)
From there, as he tells it, communist influence shifted into terrorist attacks and bombings during the 70s and a relentless "hardcore following of some 20 to 30 percent of the electorate" (111),
as Maoist organization worked throughout the Chinese-speaking part of Singapore. LKY rushes through this, preferring to more specifically outline the falls of several of their leaders (and a few overt communists). Each spent years to decades in jail or exile, only permitted to reenter Singapore upon cutting links with the party and disclosing all past activity.
That may be too passive. Put more bluntly: LKY tossed them in jail
, with British approval but without trial, and makes no secret of having done so. He is extremely open
about his willingness to take whatever measures necessary to stop communism. His description of their conflicts sounds, simply, like an all-out war:
We learned not to give hostages to our adversaries or they would have destroyed us. (112)
Could we have defeated them if we had allowed them habeas corpus and abjured the powers of detention without trial? I doubt it. Nobody dared speak out against them, let alone in open court. (113)
They were formidable opponents. We had to be as resolute and unyielding in this contest of wills. ...Their ability to penetrate an organization with a cadre of influential activists and take control of it was fearsome. (114)
Despite ruthless methods where the ends justified the means, the communists failed, but not before destroying many who stood up against them, and others who after joining them decided that their cause was mistaken. (119)
From 1963 to 1989, Singapore detained some 690 people, often holding them for years without trial. They required any political actors to affiliate with parties explicitly to "force [communists] out into the open and make them easy to monitor" (115).
LKY spoke of the impossibility of progress while "communists retained their baleful influence" (108).
In short, he did everything he possibly could to stamp communism and Maoist influence out of Singapore. Your level of comfort with these decisions will likely depend either on your opinion of communism or your commitment to free expression. Charitably, LKY saw the horrors of the Cultural Revolution and determined to stop it within his sphere. Uncharitably, he saw an opportunity to destroy his opposition and take absolute power, and he took it.
For me, though, far more compelling than his opposition to communism was his commitment to learn from their methods. II:
See, even while LKY lays out his fight against communism, you hear fascinating hints of respect in his descriptions of them. He describes how the PAP, when they took office, were "sickened by the greed, corruption, and decadence of many Asian leaders" (157),
and how a similar disgust led Chinese-school students in Singapore to support communism. They "saw the communists as exemplars of dedication, sacrifice, and selflessness, the revolutionary virtues displayed in the spartan lives of the Chinese communist leaders." (157)
Later, when describing his conviction that "candidates must not need large sums of money to get elected" (164),
he again cites communists, pointing out that they didn't use money to win votes.
Much earlier, when discussing his own need for security, he mentions that while "threats from racial fanatics [were] unpredictable... the communists were rational and calculating and would see no benefit in [attacking his family]" (5).
And return to his description of communists failing. He mentions "the skillful and tough methods of the unyielding communists... were unforgettable lessons in political infighting." (112)
When dismissively comparing a later opponent to them, he mentions they were "formidable adversaries... serious men, committed to their cause." (125)
Why am I harping so much on this point? Well, much has been made of Singapore's near–one-party system. From a two-party system like the USA, or the multi-party systems in much of the rest of the developed world, it's hard to picture a setting where one party wins every election, time in and time out, without assuming corruption. Lee Kuan Yew provides an explanation for it, and as with many of his lessons in the groundwork of politics, it comes straight from his encounters with the communists. This next quote is pretty long, but I'm sharing it in full because it strikes me as one of the most important insights LKY provides, one that is relevant for every ideological movement:
We had learned from our toughest adversaries, the communists. Present-day opposition leaders go on walkabouts to decide where they will do well, based on the way people respond to them at hawker centers, coffee shops, food courts, and supermarkets, and whether people accept the pamphlets they hand out. I have never believed this. From many unhappy encounters with my communist opponents, I learned that while overall sentiment and mood do matter, the crucial factors are institutional and organizational networks to muster support. When we went into communist-dominated areas, we found ourselves frozen out. Key players in a constituency, including union leaders and officials of retailers' and hawkers' associations, and clan and alumni organizations, would all have been brought into a network by communist activists and made to feel part of a winning team. We could make little headway against them however hard we tried during elections. The only way we could counter their grip of the ground was to work on that same ground for years between elections.
I emphasize this quote so strongly because it speaks directly to my own frustrations with ideologies. Anyone who steps away from an ideology because they believe something in it is untrue will almost inevitably notice, and grow frustrated, with just how many people brush off those same untruths. Lee Kuan Yew doesn't present a new concept here, but he articulates it clearly and directly: Absolute truth is mostly disconnected from success. Organized ideas thrive; scattered ideas fail. People need rallying flags. They lunge for teams. Truth matters a bit, yes, but much more importantly, what are you doing for people?
Good organization beats a good idea every time.
If you want the best ideas to win, organize for them.
Did Lee Kuan Yew have good policy ideas? From my angle, yes. There's nothing remarkable about that, though. Plenty of people have those ideas. What truly sets him apart as a figure worth studying, in my eyes, is not just the quality of his ideas but the way he combines them with a depth of understanding of institutions and power.
And in part, he had his deepest adversaries, the communists, to thank for it.
So how did he do it? Why, 60 years later, does the PAP still hold 83 of 89 seats in Singapore's parliament?
Staying in power I.
After winning all the seats, I set out to widen our support in order to straddle as broad a middle ground as possible. I intended to leave the opposition only the extreme left and right. We had to be careful not to abuse the absolute power we had been given. I was sure that if we remained honest and kept faith with the people, we would be able to carry them with us, however tough and unpalatable our policies. (111)
Our critics believed we stayed in power because we have been hard on our opponents. This is simplistic. If we had betrayed the people's trust, we would have been rejected. (121)
What do you do, as a new political party struggling to gain a foothold, then an abruptly dominant force, to get the trust of everyday citizens? How do you organize?
One tool LKY used was the People's Association (PA). He intended the association to be a hub, not just of political activity, but of useful community resources in general: literacy classes, technology instruction, cooking courses, so forth. To aid in this, he invited influential community members from "clan associations, chambers of commerce, recreational clubs, and arts, leisure, and social activity groups" (122),
and set up more than a hundred community centers throughout Singapore.
Next came the "welcoming" and "goodwill" committees--activists in local communities called up to discuss things like road improvements, street lights, and drains on the one hand, delicate race relations on the other. Successful and eager members of these turned into leadership for community centers and "citizens' consultative committees" who received funds to provide public works, welfare grants, and scholarships.
None of these institutions were explicitly partisan. They were aimed at the maintenance tasks of community life, the uncontroversial but useful background structures. LKY mentions that many wanted to avoid active association with political parties, largely as a holdover from colonial times and threats of retribution. These institutions allowed the government to work with "elders who were respected in their own communities" (123),
making it easier to reach out to people at all levels. Recall the time LKY worked with Malaysian community leaders to create plans for education--this structure was the means by which he managed it.
Add government housing to this (with its own "residents' committees", and you begin to see the strength of this soft power: layers and layers of semi-political community figures, helping people day-to-day, working alongside the People's Action Party even when not directly affiliated with them. As LKY puts it, "Opposition leaders on walkabouts go through well-tended PAP ground." (123)
He credits his own political strength to public speaking skill, which he took advantage of in an annual unscripted address in Malay, Hokkien Chinese, Mandarin, and English, and in rallies around the country.
Voting another party into power, then, would mean in part needing to figure out a whole new system of organization at all levels. The PAP wasn't shy about using this sort of advantage, either. LKY rather proudly mentions one election where they promised priority public housing upgrades for constituencies that voted more strongly for the PAP, then follows it up with one of those lines that could only come from him:
This was criticized by American liberals as unfair, as if pork barrel politics did not exist elsewhere.
Honest. To a fault.
Viable opposition came in a few districts, eventually. That, too, he aimed to turn to his advantage. He spends time on one opponent voted into one precinct in 1981, a "sound and fury" (124)
demagogue who took mostly opportunistic stands and who "probably kept better opponents out" (125).
Realizing that some MPs hadn't ever faced serious opposition, LKY says, he "decided he was useful as a sparring partner" (125).
There's a great moment, too, when he mentions a "shrewder" opponent who apparently reflected the population better by saying the PAP was doing well, but "could do better and should listen more to criticism." (125)
In response, the PAP was respectful, aiming to encourage "nonsubversive opposition." II.
As much as my American instincts lead me to look at this all and want to talk about how controlling and oppressive the idea of this sort of single-party rule is, I find it difficult to do so without proving too much. The US, after all, has two major political parties and a bunch of nearly inconsequential competitors, choked out by organization and history and election rules. On Singapore's scale, one-party leadership isn't unusual here. My home state of Utah has voted for the Republican party since 1968. Chicago, only a little smaller than Singapore, has been under one party since 1927. Organizing, providing services to encourage people to keep them around, criticizing opposition, and promising to help those who support them sounds like, well, every political party on the planet. And when measuring corruption, Singapore compares rather favorably
to the US--and, well, almost anywhere else.
Take one element LKY focuses on: money and special interests in politics. Singapore made voting compulsory in 1959 and has enforced strict spending limits
in elections throughout the PAP's time as majority party. LKY mentions that neither communists, nor the PAP, nor opposing parties have ever spent much money to win elections. In 2015, the PAP spent $5.3 million
between 89 general election candidates. Sticking with Chicago as a point of comparison, their most recent mayoral elections saw a single candidate
LKY is dismissive as well of the idea of anchoring ministerial salaries low. He explains: "Singapore will remain clean and honest only if honest and able men are willing to fight elections and assume office. They must be paid a wage commensurate with that men of their ability and integrity are earning for managing a big corporation or a sucessful legal or other professional practice." (166)
He points out with distaste the "revolving door" system in the US, where high-paid private sector workers are appointed to posts by the president, then return to the private sector with "enhanced value". Part of avoiding this was the decision to remove most perks and allowances and provide benefits as lump sums. The rest was a gradual process: freezing ministerial wages until 1970, then raising them from S$2,500 to S$4,500 monthly while his own was "fixed at S$3,500 to remind the public service that some restraint was still necessary." (168)
In 1995, after periodically raising wages, Singapore fixed salaries of senior public officials at two-thirds of their private sector equivalents.
Despite this relative high pay, he shares several stories of times he persuaded people to take salary cuts for government work: a bank GM making S$950,000 per year who he persuaded to become minister of state at a third that salary; a chief justice who went from making S$2 million a year as a banker to S$300,000 in the court, who according to LKY "accepted [the] offer out of a sense of duty" (218). III.
Most interesting, for me, is how LKY closes his chapter on maintaining control in the political system:
Will the political system that my colleagues and I developed work more or less unchanged for another generation? I doubt it. Technology and globalization are changing the way people work and live. ...Will the PAP continue to dominate Singapore's politics? How big a challenge will a democratic opposition pose in the future? This will depend on how PAP leaders respond to changes in the needs and aspirations of a better-educated people, and to their desire for greater participation in decisions that shape their lives. Singapore's options are not that numerous that there will be unbridgeable differences between differing political views in working out solutions to our problems. (134)
I get the sense that in aiming to maintain power, as in all else, LKY was a pragmatist. He did not aim to set up a dynasty that lasted generations or seek to obtain glory at all costs. He found a system that suited his country's needs at the time and put it in place, anticipating that Singapore would change as it needed to. Make no mistake: he wielded near-absolute power, and he knew it. But he did not abuse it.
One last question remains to be answered, not about Lee Kuan Yew, but about this review:
Why have I spent 12,000 words and the better part of a month poring over the policy of a tiny country of five million, and a leader who hasn't formally been in charge since 1990? What's my agenda?
Put simply, I think it's worth paying attention to. Not the specifics of the policy, so much: Singapore is a unique country, and solutions adapted to its culture and position are unlikely to translate perfectly to other environments. More than that, I am fascinated by the way LKY's approach cleaves at right angles the modern Western political landscape. Three points stood out from Lee Kuan Yew's achievement in Singapore:
- It was not inevitable. It's easy to frame things like this in retrospect as certainties of history, but I honestly think that's the wrong view of Singapore. It came close to collapsing in the 60s, and while it used its unique advantages as a port city to the full, LKY took it where he did with a series of careful, rational decisions. Policy specifics like welfare and health care, measured approaches to racial and political tensions, and the others detailed through the book could have gone a myriad of other ways under different leadership, resulting in a very different city even if it still developed. His political power came because he organized and planned for it.
- It was not evil. Growing up, I knew little about Singapore, but what I heard could be summed up as "clean place, pretty developed, freaky authoritarian, canes people, bans chewing gum." I've heard it referred to as "China lite" and generally seen, if not outright dismissal, at least heavy skepticism. I think some of that is unwarranted. Lee Kuan Yew had some 50 years in a position of influence to show his true colors, and from what I can see seems to have spent that time sincerely and single-mindedly focused on his country's welfare. Don't get me wrong, his approach has flaws and clearly doesn't align fully with US values, but I cannot find more to object to in his politics than in any other politician's.
- It was not reactionary. I said this before and deliberately emphasize it again. Lee Kuan Yew was not looking to the past and pushing against social change. He stood at the vanguard of his country's growth, mixing traditionally progressive and traditionally conservative ideas in surprising ways. One of the most consistent of LKY's messages was a focus on the future: short-term sacrifices for long-term gain, relentlessly pushing to apply new ideas and change his approach rather than seeking to preserve or return to the past. Framing it as reactionary instead of pragmatic leads to poor predictions and a distorted view.
We focus on political issues through the lens of our own culture. For Americans like me, that means viewing things in terms of constitutional rights, red and blue states with their increasing cultural divide, and confidence that we are positioned neatly at the center of the world. I enjoy looking at Singapore both to see when its challenges and responses mirror US ones and to notice where they diverge. For someone like me, dissatisfied with political systems close to home, not fitting cleanly into any local political subculture, feeling disenfranchised, it serves as both an example and an admonishment.
As an example, it is more personal. Lee Kuan Yew is one of the first politicians I've found who almost always discusses and solves problems in a way that makes sense to me and aligns with my ideals. While there are meaningful criticisms to aim towards him, I am mostly not the one to make them. I admire him and believe the world would benefit if more political movements shared his level-headed approach to difficult problems. If the US had a political party with principles similar to LKY's, I would join.
The admonishment, though, should speak to all who would like to see the world change somehow. I repeat it from above. The sheer frequency of people gaining power only to abuse it should warn against any notion that LKY gained and won influence because he was good or right. He gained influence because he understood influence, and his country was fortunate that he chose to use it for their good. Movements don't win influence because they are true or good. They win because they organize to fill people's needs. So what should you do if you want truth, effective policy, or your ideals to gain ground? Organize. Build structure. Help people.
Thanks for sticking with me through this review! My notes can be found here
, for anybody who wants yet more and is curious about Singapore's military, banks, or other areas I didn't touch on. If you're interested in reading the book for yourself, particularly if you'd like to see the extensive foreign policy review that takes up the latter two-thirds or write a more scathing critique, I'd encourage you to go pick it up
I'll close my review quoting Lee Kuan Yew one last time, this time the final paragraph of his book:
The future is as full of promise as it is fraught with uncertainty. ... That we have succeeded in the last three decades does not ensure our doing so in the future. However, we stand a better chance of not failing if we abide by the basic principles that have helped us progress: social cohesion through sharing the benefits of progress, equal opportunities for all, and meritocracy, with the best man or woman for the job, especially as leaders in government. (691)
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