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“Stay at Home, Stay in the US”: Protesters in Mexico Demand Ban on American Tourists

Protesters held signs declaring: “This is a pandemic! Stay at home, stay in the United States!”

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(TMU) — Mexican protesters sealed off a border crossing at the U.S. southern border to demand that the flow of U.S. travelers into Mexico be halted by the national government in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Residents of the Mexican state of Sonora, which lies south of Arizona, sealed off all Mexico-bound lanes at the main border crossing in the twin border cities of Ambos Nogales, in protest of their national government’s perceived failure to take sufficient measures to fight the ongoing CoViD-19 outbreak, Arizona Republic reports.

While disruptive, the masked protesters numbered fewer than a dozen. However, they still managed to block two southbound lanes of the DeConcini crossing and gain media attention.

The group held signs declaring:

“This is a pandemic! Stay at home, stay in the United States!”

They also called on Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador—popularly known by his initials AMLO—to enforce tighter controls and restrictions on travelers going from the U.S. to Mexico.

The protesters from the group Sonorans for Health and Life (Sonorenses por la Salud y la Vida) claim that while the border is ostensibly closed to all but “essential” travel that includes trade, border authorities have done precious little to enforce the new controls or to test border crossers.

Dossier Politico reports that group member José Luis Hernández said that the action was the “first warning” to AMLO. He explained:

“There are no health screenings by the federal government to deal with this pandemic. 

That is why we are here in Nogales. We have taken this measure to ask [the president] to act now.”

Continuing, Hernández said that the government must temporarily ban tourism by both U.S. citizens and Mexican nationals living in the U.S., who often come to the region to undergo medical procedures that are far more expensive north of the border.

The state of Arizona has recorded over 400 infections, including one CoViD-19 case in every county bordering Mexico. With over 80,000 cases nationwide, the U.S. currently has the highest number of recorded coronavirus infections in the world.

President López Obrador has come under fire from health experts, media outlets, human rights monitors, and his center-right critics for his perceived unwillingness to take decisive, draconian measures to prevent the novel virus from dramatically spreading across Mexico.

AMLO has been criticized for urging Mexicans to carry on with normal routines, even as his own officials and local governments urge residents to follow social distancing guidelines. The popular left-wing president has also publicly broken the safe distancing protocols recommended by his own government while holding rallies where he has greeted supporters with handshakes, hugs, and kisses.

So far, Mexico has fewer than 500 confirmed cases of CoViD-19 and six deaths. However, critics have accused Mexican health authorities of failing to sufficiently conduct widespread coronavirus tests on the population.

Economists and officials also fear that a drastic response to the novel virus risks capsizing the Mexican economy, accelerating the peso’s depreciation, and disproportionately harming the poor and working class, 57 percent of whom work in the informal economy.

The Mexican president has also vowed that his government’s efforts to address the growing crisis would exclusively focus on helping the poor, rather than banks and big businesses.

At his regular Thursday morning press conference, however, AMLO began to radically alter his message about the virus in a clear sign that the criticism had sunken in.

López Obrador said:

“If you are a company that doesn’t have a basic social function, businessmen should help us, at least this month, until April 19, by sending their workers home with benefits.”

He also urged Mexican nationals within the U.S. to abstain from travel unless absolutely vital. However, all flights into Mexico will continue uninterrupted.

By Elias Marat | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Health

3D-Printed ‘Suicide Pod’ Gets Legal Approval in Switzerland, Could Roll Out In 2022

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Switzerland is among a small group of countries, mainly in Europe, that allows for people to end their own lives under strict provisions through the assistance of a licensed physician.

However, one company in the Alpine nation is hoping to streamline legalized euthanasia by removing doctors from the process through a new invention that allows people to end their own lives quickly and painlessly. And now, the device has passed an important review by Swiss legal authorities.

Nonprofit company Exit International has produced a 3D-printed suicide chamber dubbed the “Sarco,” reports  Swiss Broadcasting Corporation. The 21st-century sarcophagus-like machine could roll out as soon as 2022.

Those faced with terminal disease and other excruciating physical conditions, as well as severe psychological pain, will be able to make a clean exit from this mortal coil by lying comfortably inside the small chamber. At the press of a button, the chamber will then fill with nitrogen gas, depriving them of oxygen and terminating their life in 30 seconds.

“There is no panic, no choking feeling,” said Philip Nitschke, the nonprofit’s founder who has been dubbed “Dr. Death” by media.

The chamber is also easy to transport, allowing people to end their lives wherever they choose – be it in a cabin in the forest, at the beach, or anywhere else they might choose.

The device is controversial, however, due to the fact that it removes medical professionals from the process of euthanasia. However, Exit International hopes that it can develop an AI-assisted online exam that can gauge the mental acuity of those who wish to use Sarco.

“We want to remove any kind of psychiatric review from the process and allow the individual to control the method themselves,” Nitschke explained.

If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide and live in the United States, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). You can find a list of helpful resources at SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources. Resources in other countries can be found here.

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Health

Biden to Ban Menthol Cigarettes, Citing Health Impact on Youth and Black People

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The Biden administration is reportedly planning to propose an immediate ban on menthol cigarettes, a product that has long been targeted by anti-smoking advocates and critics who claim that the tobacco industry has aggressively marketed to Black people in the U.S.

On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that the administration could announce a ban on menthol and other flavored cigarettes as soon as this week.

Roughly 85 percent of Black smokers use such menthol brands as Newport and Kool, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Research has also found that menthol cigarettes are easier to become addicted to and harder to quit than unflavored tobacco products, along with other small cigars popular with young people and African Americans.

Civil rights advocates claim that the decision should be greeted by Black communities and people of color who have been marketed to by what they describe as the predatory tobacco industry.

Black smokers generally smoke far less than white smokers, but suffer a disproportionate amount of deaths due to tobacco-linked diseases like heart attack, stroke, and other causes.

Anti-smoking advocates like Matthew L. Myers, president of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, also greeted the move to cut out products that appeal to children and young adults.

“Menthol cigarettes are the No. 1 cause of youth smoking in the United States,” he said. “Eliminating menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars used by so many kids will do more in the long run to reduce tobacco-related disease than any action the federal government has ever taken.”

However, groups including the American Civil Liberties Group (ACLU) has opposed the move, citing the likelihood that such an action could lead to criminal penalties arising from the enforcement of a ban hitting communities of color hardest.

In a letter to administration officials, the ACLU and other groups including the Drug Policy Alliance said that while the ban is “no doubt well-intentioned” it would also have “serious racial justice implications.”

“Such a ban will trigger criminal penalties, which will disproportionately impact people of color, as well as prioritize criminalization over public health and harm reduction,” the letter explained. “A ban will also lead to unconstitutional policing and other negative interactions with local law enforcement.”

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Pollution Is Making Human Penises Shrink and Causing a Collapse of Fertility, Scientists Say

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With many still scoffing at the idea of rampant pollution posing a threat to humanity, a new study could drastically change the conversation: the chemicals across our environment could be the cause of shrinking human penises.

According to a new book by Dr. Shanna H. Swan, conditions in the modern world are quickly altering the reproductive development of humans and posing a threat to our future as a species.

The argument is laid out in her new book Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race.

The book discusses how pollution is not only leading to skyrocketing erectile dysfunction rates and fertility decline, but also an expansion in the number of babies born with small penises.

While it may seem like good fodder for jokes, the research could portend a grim future for humanity’s ability to survive.

Swan co-authored a study in 2017 that found sperm counts had precipitously fallen in Western countries by 59 percent between 1973 and 2011. In her latest book, Swan blames chemicals for this crisis in the making.

“Chemicals in our environment and unhealthy lifestyle practices in our modern world are disrupting our hormonal balance, causing various degrees of reproductive havoc,” she wrote in the new book.

“In some parts of the world, the average twentysomething woman today is less fertile than her grandmother was at 35,” she also wrote, noting that men could have only half the sperm count of their grandfathers.

Swan blames the disruption on phthalates, the chemicals used in plastic manufacturing that also have an impact on how the crucial hormone endocrine is produced

However, experts note that the proper implementation of pollution reduction measures could help humanity prevent the collapse of human fertility.

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