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One of the most notorious internet purveyors of conspiracy theories and debunked science has launched an entire website dedicated to attacking a single person: David Hogg, who survived the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
The people behind Natural News, who publish stories about the dangers of tap water and vaccinations, launched a new hub eight days ago called HoggWatch.com. The website is populated almost entirely with content from Natural News founder Mike Adams and senior writer J.D. Heyes.
Fringe websites have ridiculed the surviving teens from February’s shooting in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as they’ve spurred nationwide anti-gun protests in the last month. Hogg and classmate Emma Gonzalez have been the subject of high-profile conspiracy theories in the aftermath of the shooting — some even pushed by celebrities like Roseanne Barr and Frank Stallone.
Criticism of Parkland students has been met with its own counterattacks, including from the students themselves. Fox News host Laura Ingraham lost several major advertisers and apologized after attacking Hogg. But on the fringe parts of the internet, attacking Hogg remains a popular — if not lucrative — endeavor. On Monday, Hoggwatch pushed users to Natural News’ sprawling network of sites, where Adams sells dietary supplements, water defluoridation devices and doomsday preparation materials.
An article that was crossposted on both HoggWatch and Natural News received several call-outs on Monday from Alex Jones, whose InfoWars website also makes money from similar ads. Gateway Pundit, whose articles appear on Hoggwatch, have devoted much of their website’s coverage to criticizing Hogg’s media appearances since the shooting.
Adams has been publishing pseudoscience and conspiracy theories on the internet for decades, though it’s not known how much money he makes off his websites.
When asked for comment, a spokesperson for Adams named Lacey M., who declined to give her last name on the phone or in an email, said that “Mike’s schedule is completely booked and is not available for questions.” She did not respond to several more requests for comment. Heyes, the site’s other writer, also did not respond.
Every article on HoggWatch is about Hogg or refers to him in some way. HoggWatch hammers home many of the same conspiracy theories and inflammatory political talking points pushed by Natural News and InfoWars, but uses the Parkland student as a central antagonist.
Adams, whose flagship site Natural News was banned from YouTube in March, penned an article titled “Hogg Hitler! YouTube puts warning on hilarious David Hogg spoof video.” Several articles attack CNN, and other articles warn of an impending civil war.
In one story, titled “Gun control fascist youth front man David Hogg sides with MONSANTO, falsely claims atrazine herbicide doesn’t interfere with hormones,” Adams attacks Hogg for comments he made about InfoWars.
“For example, on InfoWars, one of his most famous statements is saying that tap water turns frogs gay, and it will turn you gay, too,” Hogg told C-Span. “First off, gay people are awesome. I don’t think that’s a problem at all.”
Hogg is referencing an Infowars segment in which Jones claimed that chemicals in tap water are “turning the freaking frogs gay.”
Adams then wrote on Hoggwatch that “it turns out Alex Jones is right, and David Hogg is scientifically illiterate.”
But according to a researcher cited within that same Hoggwatch article, Adams is off-base in his reading of her research.
COVID-19: India’s doctors warn against using cow dung to ward off coronavirus – amid rise in deadly ‘black fungus’ | World News
Hospitals in India have reported a rise in “black fungus” found in COVID-19 patients – as doctors warned people against using cow dung in the belief it will ward off the virus.
The disease can lead to blackening or discolouration over the nose, blurred or double vision, chest pain, breathing difficulties and coughing blood.
It is strongly linked to diabetes, which can in turn be exacerbated by steroids, such as dexamethasone, used to treat severe COVID-19.
Manchester University professor David Denning, an expert in fungal infections, told Reuters there have been cases reported in several other countries including the UK, US, France, Austria, Brazil and Mexico.
“The volume is much bigger in India,” he added.
“And one of the reasons is lots and lots of diabetes, and lots of poorly controlled diabetes.”
Doctors in India treating COVID patients and those with diabetes and compromised immune systems have been told to watch for early symptoms, including sinus pain or nasal blockage on one side of the face, one-sided headaches, swelling or numbness, toothache and loosening of teeth.
Meanwhile, Indians have been warned against the practice of using cow dung in the belief it will ward off COVID-19.
In the state of Gujarat in western India, some people have been going to cow shelters once a week to cover their bodies in cow dung and urine in the hope it will boost their immunity, or help them recover from the disease.
Dr J. A. Jayalal, national president at the Indian Medical Association, said: “There is no concrete scientific evidence that cow dung or urine work to boost immunity against COVID-19, it is based entirely on belief.”
Gujarat is one of the places said to have recorded cases of mucormycosis, according to media reports, along with Maharashtra and its capital Mumbai.
Indian authorities have not published national data on mucormycosis but insist there is no major outbreak.
P Suresh, a doctor working at Fortis Hospital in Mumbai, said it had treated at least 10 such patients in the past two weeks – roughly twice as many as in the entire year before the pandemic.
He said all had been infected with COVID-19 and most were diabetic or had received immunosuppressant drugs. Some had died, and some had lost their eyesight.
Other doctors spoke of a similar surge in cases.
Nishant Kumar, a consultant ophthalmologist at Hinduja hospital in Mumbai, said: “Previously if I saw one patient a year, I now see about one a week.”
It is an added complication for India’s overwhelmed hospitals, which are desperately short of beds as well as the oxygen needed for severely ill COVID-19 patients.
India has the world’s highest daily average number of new COVID deaths – accounting for one in every three fatalities reported worldwide each day.
Nearly 23 million coronavirus infections have been recorded in the country, with almost 250,000 deaths.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said the COVID variant first identified in India last year is being classified as a variant of global concern, with some preliminary studies showing that it spreads more easily.
Maria Van Kerkhove, from the WHO, told a briefing: “There is some available information to suggest increased transmissibility.”
Russia school shooting: Students among 11 killed in attack in Kazan – reports | World News
At least 11 people including students have been killed and several injured in a shooting at a school in southwest Russia, according to reports.
The RIA news agency said an explosion was heard at the school in the city of Kazan and a gunman has been detained by police.
Interfax news agency cited a source as saying that there were two attackers and the second could still be in the building.
Israel launches airstrikes on ‘Hamas military targets’ in Gaza Strip as it responds to rocket attacks | World News
The Israeli military has insisted it does all it can to avoid civilian deaths after 22 people, including nine children, were killed overnight in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli fighter jets, attack helicopters and drones hit more than 130 “Hamas military targets”, including the home of a Hamas commander, according to the Israeli military.
The airstrikes were a retaliation for a barrage of rockets fired into Israel from Gaza since 6pm on Monday including six rockets which landed near Jerusalem.
In total, more than 200 rockets were launched by Hamas and other militant Palestinian groups inside Gaza. Video was released by both Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) showing the rockets being fired.
In an early morning briefing, Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus said that more than 90% of the rockets fired from Gaza were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system.
He could not confirm whether the civilian casualties in Gaza were the result of Israeli airstrikes and suggested they could be the consequence of misfired Hamas rockets.
“Thirty-three percent of the rockets fell short and exploded inside Gaza, an abnormally high misfire rate, maybe indicating poor quality,” Lt Col Conricus said.
“Hamas rockets are falling short and causing damage inside Gaza…. we know they are falling short because of our radar systems.”
“Hamas is nurturing a narrative that the ISF is killing non-combatants. We take every effort to avoid killing non-combatants – but can’t confirm or deny yet whether Israeli strikes have hit civilians,” he added.
He said that current estimates suggest that Israeli strikes over a 12-hour period had killed 15 Hamas and PIJ fighters including a Hamas battalion commander whose home in a high rise block was hit.
The residential property was among a number of groups of targets identified in advance according to the IDF. The others included rockets manufacturing facilities, storage facilities, training facilities and military bases.
Gaza’s health ministry said at least seven members of one family, including three children, were killed in an explosion in northern Gaza but the origins of the explosion are unknown.
This morning, rockets continued to be fired from Gaza into southern Israel with a residential building in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon hit, injuring one person.
Hamas said in a statement this morning that it will “not stop its resistance action as long as the Israeli occupation continues its aggression against the Palestinians”.
The latest violence comes amid soaring tensions in Jerusalem and days of clashes at an important mosque in the holy city.
Hundreds of Palestinians were hurt in clashes with Israeli security forces in 24 hours in the courtyard outside the Al Aqsa mosque and in the narrow streets of the old city.
Hamas had given the Israeli government an ultimatum to withdraw its forces from the mosque area, release all Palestinians detained over the course of the day and remove Jewish settlers from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem.
The militant group said it would retaliate at 6pm on Monday if the demands were not met.
At just after 6pm explosions were heard in Jerusalem as the Hamas rockets landed eight miles to the west of the city.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Hamas attacks had “crossed a red line”.
“Israel will respond very forcefully. We will not tolerate attacks on our territory, our capital, our citizens and our soldiers. Whoever strikes us will pay a heavy price,” he said.
A US State Department spokesman had expressed deep concern over the events at the Al Aqsa mosque earlier in the day and called the Hamas rocket attack an “unacceptable escalation”.
Dominic Raab, the UK foreign secretary, tweeted: “The UK condemns the firing of rockets at Jerusalem and locations within Israel.
“The ongoing violence in Jerusalem and Gaza must stop. We need an immediate de-escalation on all sides, and end to targeting of civilian populations.”
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