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Chinese death threats for Polish illustrator! Her boss wants to fire her

A Polish illustrator Greta Samuel began receiving death threats from the Chinese after she had published her illustration about the coronavirus and communist China on the popular website Behance.net. The Chinese cast curses on her, wishing her and her mother died. Unfortunately, the artist’s London-based employer – one of the largest British startups – Culture Trip, began to speak in one voice with Chinese trolls, implementing disciplinary action against her when she refused to remove the illustration from her website. “There is a Chinese army of 2 million paid trolls. Critical statements about the Chinese authorities face such threats quite often. I’m sure the so-called “50 Cent Army” (五毛党) is behind this. They try to intimidate and discourage people from viewing such materials” – says Hanna Shen, correspondent of Against The Tide TV in Taiwan.

Illustration by Greta Samuel
Illustration by Greta Samuel

The death threats of Chinese propaganda workers began to appear on Samuel’s profile after she published graphics used by Against The Tide TV. The illustration shows the slogan “CCP virus – No, thanks!” and presents Xi Jinping spreading the Chinese virus to the world. Comments that appeared in the comment section under the illustration of Greta Samuel read, among others “NMSL”, which in Chinese means “Your Mother Is Dead” (你妈死了). Threats also appeared under other illustrations of the Polish illustrator, e.g. under the graphics on the 30th anniversary of the Chinese crime at Tiananmen Square (“Tiananmen Square massacre: China 30 years later”).

Death threats from Chinese trolls against the Polish illustrator
Death threats from Chinese trolls against the Polish illustrator
Illustration by Greta Samuel
Illustration by Greta Samuel

“China has an army of 2 million paid trolls, who started its activities within the country, and later expanded it to the Chinese community abroad, and now also operate in other countries. Critical statements about the Chinese authorities very often face such threats. I’m sure the so-called „50 Cent Army” is behind this. They try to intimidate [authors criticizing communist China] and discourage people from viewing such materials. (…) If it can be determined that such threats are written by someone from Europe, it must be immediately reported to the police and in this case also to the administrator of Behance,” said Hanna Shen, Taiwan-based correspondent of Against The Tide TV, during the Against The Tide LIVE program. 

The name “50 Cents Army” derives from the fact that this is more or less how much the Chinese authorities pay the so-called online trolls for one entry.

“Moreover, the institutions of the Polish state absolutely do not respond to this type of activity of Chinese agents. The anti-communist environment of Against The Tide TV fell victim to physical abuse of the employees of the Chinese Embassy. It happened ​​when we were picketing on one of the main streets of Warsaw and speaking about the events that had taken place on Tiananmen Square. The authorities of the Polish state, the police, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not react to this, and Polish journalists did not even mention this terrible incident. The Polish state is so devoured by communist agents that even low-ranking officials know well not to touch on this topic “- said the editor-in-chief of Against The Tide TV, pastor Paweł Chojecki, during the Against The Tide LIVE program. 

“For institutions such as the police to respond properly to Chinese agents, the change must first be made at government level!” – pastor Chojecki added.

The employer gives Samuel an ultimatum: “DELETE THE ILLUSTRATION by noon!”

Unfortunately, the Polish employer – one of the largest British startups – Culture Trip, began to speak with one voice with Chinese trolls. Samuel works as Senior Editorial Illustrator at the startup. The company ordered her to remove the illustration “CCP virus – No, thanks!” from the artist’s private side, because it is allegedly “contrary to the views of the company.” She was given an ultimatum to delete the illustration by noon on May 8. Samuel decided not to remove her work, invoking artistic freedom and expression. Therefore, Culture Trip yesterday implemented disciplinary proceedings against the illustrator, which may end in dismissal.

Illustrations of a Polish woman raise the spirits of people who long for freedom

However, some Chinese people are very grateful for the work of Greta Samuel. One of them, a person from Wuhan, sent a message to the Polish artist regarding her illustration “Free Poles support Free Hong Kong” (Not for extradition to China). This work was in this year’s shortlist of the competition organized by Communications Arts, which is the largest international trade journal of visual communications.

“Sorry for seeing so many ugly comments in the project about Hong Kong, just ignore them and please do not regard every Chinese stands for such opinions, we just can’t say that. Life is so hard and complex. Admire your job, please just keep on your excellent work” – the Chinese person wrote.

Illustration by Greta Samuel
Illustration by Greta Samuel

Greta Samuel – Polish illustrator, educator. A graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. She worked there as a lecturer and assistant at the Faculty of Graphic Arts. In 2013, she received the award and scholarship of the Minister of Culture and Science. Her illustrations, comics, and graphics have been exhibited and awarded in Poland, the USA, Great Britain, Holland, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, Italy, Hungary, and Ukraine. Winner of illustration competitions, including: “A well-designed book, let’s start with children” (Katowice 2012), “illustration startup!” (Warsaw 2012). She received two awards in the international Fumetto competition (Switzerland, 2011, 2012). She participated in workshops and exhibitions in the Netherlands at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague (2013) and the School of Arts and Design in Halle (Slow Commute, Germany 2014). She collaborated with Amnesty International, ‘Playboy’ (Los Angeles), as well as ‘High Heels’, ‘Characters’ and the Praga Museum of Warsaw, the Museum of King Jan III’s Palace at Wilanów, the Jewish magazine ‘Cwiszn’ and the magazine ‘Kikimora’. Currently working as a Senior Editorial Illustrator in one of the largest British startups – Culture Trip in London. In 2019, the artist converted to Jesus and joined the Megachurch – a project by New Covenant Church in Lublin, Poland. She cooperates with Against The Tide (Idź Pod Prąd) magazine and television from Poland.

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Reporting mainly on the Asia Pacific region and the global Coronavirus crises in countries such as the United States, Mainland China, Brazil, Mexico, Italy and Germany. Love to Travel and report daily on destinations reopening with a focus on Domestic travel within Europe, North America and the Caribbean. Fan of the English Premier League , the German Bundesliga,, the Spanish La Liga.

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Travel Restrictions within Sweden to be Lifted

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Covid-19 infection and Cannabis

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The novel pathogen Covid-19 can become a danger to all people due to its high infectivity. At the same time, it is worrying that no standardized treatment options are known so far, with which disease courses can be alleviated and shortened, healing processes can be supported or the development of difficult courses can be slowed down. Whether symptoms appear after infection and how violently they develop depends primarily on the functioning of your own immune system.

Covid-19 infection and cannabis

There is serious evidence that vaporized tobacco-free cannabis could help manage a Covid-19 infection.

In the search for suitable remedies, some patients included the use of cannabis on their own initiative. After all, the already known medical effects of cannabis (including anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, anti-convulsion, enlargement of the bronchi, soothing) underline that the use of cannabis, especially the vaporising inhalation of cannabis flowers, could be a way to alleviate symptoms or to contribute to the healing of the disease. This survey aims to gather the experiences of Covid 19 patients who have used cannabis more or less specifically to cope with their own health situation.

Covid-19 patients are all people who have received a positive test result and have developed no or more or less severe symptoms of the disease. Anyone belonging to this group of people is asked to complete this questionnaire to the best of their knowledge and to make their personal experiences accessible to LimeSurvey.

Also particularly interesting are data that provide information about the further course of an infection / disease over a longer period of time. That is why LimeSurvey plans to collect and evaluate this experience again in four weeks with a questionnaire. It would therefore be helpful if patients provided LimeSurvey with this information via the second questionnaire that is then also available on the website.

The survey is carried out by: Prof. Dr. Gundula Barsch , Merseburg University of Applied Sciences, Eberhard-Leibnitz-Strasse 2, Department of Social Affairs, Media and Culture, 06217 Merseburg and Christoph Roßner, interdisciplinary cannabis expert, Ulmer Str. 11, 87700 Memmingen.

Drug use after lockdown

Drugs educators and drug testers from The Loop in Manchester (Great Britain) have started a survey on drug use and the changes in the drug black market (availability, prices, qualities).

A number of northern European drug counseling centers, including The Loop, have developed a very short, anonymous survey to collect data on how drug and alcohol use has changed during public lockdown. The link here leads to the English language version. This survey aims to collect comparable data across Europe to inform drug and harm reduction services and support drug and alcohol users in these challenging times.

3 versions of this survey will be released, which will be released in three phases of the Covid 19 pandemic. The phase 1 survey will initially take place during the period of the strongest lockdown. In phase 2, the restrictions will be relaxed across Europe in a few months, and in phase 3 the consequences in late summer or early autumn will be recorded. At the end of each phase of the survey, The Loop will immediately provide European drug advice centers with a summary of the results of each survey.

The short, anonymous survey, which mainly has to be ticked, and which takes around 10 minutes to complete, is being carried out as part of a trans-European COVID-19 and drug use survey.

 

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Coronavirus

Thailand in Crisis – No work without Tourists

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The holiday paradise lives from tourism, a dangerous addiction, as can now be seen in the corona crisis.

The corona crisis is leaving deep traces in Thailand, although not necessarily in the health sector. The number of infected people, at just over 3000, is relatively low – with a population of around 70 million people, but the government ordered border closed and the slowdown in the global economy have hit Thailand’s economy hard.

Airports closed

Thai Airways still advertises its services on the Internet with airy promises, but the Thai state carrier has not been flying since April and until the end of June, none of their planes will take off as Thailand’s airports are closed for international flights.

The over 20,000 employees of Thai Airways are hard hit as the airline cut the wages this month from EUR 2,500 to EUR 350, said a Thai Airways steward via WhatsApp and he fears that he will lose his job and doesn’t want his name mentioned.

Badly hit state airline

He didn’t know what would happen to the employees. “We only learn everything from the media,” but this practice suits Thai Airways, after all THAI was known for the opaque business practices, says the temporarily unemployed flight attendant.

The Thai economy has failed to promote innovation and prepare itself for a crises
Somprawin Manprasert – Chief Economist of the Thai Bank of Ayudhya

Even before the corona crisis, the state-owned Thai airline was badly hit. The airline has now asked the Thai government for a loan of almost EUR 2.3 billion, otherwise THAI would have to file for bankruptcy.

However, the government gave no money, but provided Thai Airways under the supervision of a bankruptcy judge. This is to ensure that the airline is restructured and the management is changed ao that the airline can continue to fly and keep its employees, it said.

Lack of innovative ability

For Somprawin Manprasert, chief economist at the Thai Bank of Ayudhya, the collapse of Thai Airways is a symbol of the state of the Thai economy. Thai Airways as a state-owned company has not adapted and improved in recent years, he says.

“That doesn’t work in a constantly changing world in which you have to remain competitive,” says Manprasert. “In the same way, other Thai industries have failed to promote innovation and prepare themselves for crises.”

A severe economic crisis threatens

In recent years, Thailand has mainly focused on tourism and the production and export of cars and electronic devices. Because of Corona and the closure of the borders, tourism has collapsed completely and exports fell drastically in the first quarter.

Experts emphasize that – as elsewhere in the world – Thailand’s economy will grow more slowly than before the crisis and some economists even predict that the country will slide into the worst economic crisis since the 1998 Asian crisis.

According to a World Bank report, many Thais will soon have difficulty meeting their basic needs.

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Coronavirus

China is said to have held back data on coronavirus for days

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At the beginning of the corona pandemic, China apparently provided the WHO with a minimum of information. Nevertheless, the WHO is said to have tried to make China appear in the best light – probably to persuade the country to provide more details.
China has withheld essential information about the novel corona virus for more than a week. The news agency AP has evaluated internal documents and emails and conducted numerous interviews. Accordingly, the Chinese authorities already had detailed knowledge of the genetic code of the virus for days – knowledge with which tests, medicines and vaccines can be developed.

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Coronavirus

Corona App in China : Fear of permanent surveillance

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China controls its citizens in the corona pandemic using a smartphone. Now there is growing fear that the spying could become permanent.

BEIJING | In the corona pandemic , a health app determines the everyday life of the Chinese. In front of supermarkets, bars or hospitals, every citizen must first scan a QR code with their smartphone. Access is usually only granted to those who can show a green lettering on their display: “No abnormal condition” is then displayed under a photographed ID card. The app thus proves that its user has neither Covid-19 nor a suspected case due to its movement sequences of the last 14 days.

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The population accepted the digital surveillance with stoic composure , after all it was used to search for infection lines. However, the fact that the QR code now threatens to become permanent has triggered a storm of indignation.

The local government in the metropolis of 9 million people, Hangzhou, south of Shanghai, proposes to “normalize the practice of the health code that was introduced in February”. In the future, every citizen should not only be assigned a traffic light color (from green to yellow to red) via QR code, but also a score from 0 to 100, which makes the state of health measurable.

The final grade would not only include medical records and health tests, but also personal data about the lifestyle of the citizens: alcohol consumption, smoking behavior and the general level of exercise. According to their own statements, the local health authorities even plan to use Big Data to create health profiles for individual residential complexes and companies.

Criticism on Weibo

The proposal caused outrage on Weibo, the dominant social medium in China. A health score could lead to discrimination in job interviews, it is said. But above all, the online debate revolves around cuts in privacy: “It is difficult to push back power once it has spread. That has always been the case in human history, ”says one user. Another scoffs: “If I get sick, do I have to let the whole world know?”

In Communist China, there are no concerns about data protection compared to Europe, but the increasing surveillance is primarily the cause of urban residents from the wealthy east coast region. Officials have also called for more data protection from the official side: The country’s cyberspace authority, for example, spoke out in favor of using the data collected from the users during the pandemic exclusively for disease prevention.

On Monday, the Communist Party announced during the National People’s Congress that it would introduce a new data protection law. So far, companies have had to pass on sensitive data to the government when it comes to national security interests.

During the corona crisis, most Chinese accepted digital surveillance. At the same time, however, the app has shown how citizens are exposed to technology that is prone to errors. For example, on a Sunday in April, the app for foreigners living in Beijing suddenly spit out a yellow QR code – a sign to stay at home – but for no apparent reason.

The health authorities in Hangzhou have not been deterred by technical shortcomings or indignation on social media and the permanent QR code could already be introduced in June.

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