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Eight people in Indonesia refused to wear face masks. They were ordered to dig graves for COVID-19 victims as punishment.




Eight people in Indonesia refused to wear face masks. They were ordered to dig graves for COVID-19 victims as punishment.
Workers dig holes at a burial site for victims of the Covid-19 coronavirus in Jakarta on September 11, 2020. Indonesia’s capital Jakarta plans to re-impose a partial lockdown as early as September 14 over fears that surging coronavirus cases could “collapse” its under-pressure hospitals, the sprawling city’s governor said.

Eight people in Indonesia who refused to wear masks in public were ordered by a local official to dig graves for COVID-19 victims.

As Indonesia faces an uptick of COVID-19 cases, leaders in Cerme, a district located in East Java, established stricter enforcement of social distancing and mask-wearing policies.

For the eight people who violated the local mask mandate, that meant digging graves. The district’s leader, identified by Indonesian news site Tribun News as Suyono, proposed the punishment due to a lack of gravediggers in the area.

“There are only three available gravediggers at the moment, so I thought I might as well put these people to work with them,” he told Tribun News. “Hopefully, this can create a deterrent effect against violations,” he said.

Two people are assigned to each grave — one to dig the grave, and another to insert wooden boards in the holes to support the bodies. Cremation and embalming are not permitted in Indonesia, and bodies are traditionally buried without a casket.

The non-mask wearers were not permitted to take part in any traditional ceremonies, reported the Jakarta Post. Per SBS News in Australia, they were also forbidden from touching the corpses. Instead, local officials wearing protective equipment were to bury the bodies.

Indonesia has the highest current coronavirus death toll in Southeast Asia, with nearly 8,900 deaths as of Tuesday, per Johns Hopkins University. The country has required people to wear masks since April.

Contributing: The Associated Press.

Follow Joshua Bote on Twitter: @joshua_bote. 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: COVID-19: Indonesia punishes non-mask-wearers with grave digging


Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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White House touts improvements in COVID-19 testing (again)




White House touts improvements in COVID-19 testing (again)

WASHINGTON — The setting was familiar, and so were the assurances. Speaking from the Rose Garden on Monday afternoon, President Donald Trump promised a “massive and groundbreaking expansion” in the nation’s ability to perform diagnostic tests for the coronavirus. 

“We are now at an inflection point in testing,” said Adm. Brett Giroir, a high-ranking Department of Health Human Services official who is in charge of testing on the White House Coronavirus Task Force. He said that 920,000 coronavirus diagnostic tests were now being performed nationwide each day. Some seven million Americans have tested positive.

The expansion was made possible by Abbott Laboratories, whose rapid BinaxNOW test can return results in mere minutes without requiring the intrusive nasal swab that can make a coronavirus test an acutely unpleasant experience. 

The Trump administration purchased 150 million such tests for $760 million. They will go to nursing homes, schools and other institutions, including historically Black colleges and universities. 

Admiral Brett Giroir shows a nasal swab during a coronavirus testing event with President Trum. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Admiral Brett Giroir shows a nasal swab during a coronavirus testing event with President Trum. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump first promised that any American could get a coronavirus test in early March. That was untrue at the time, and though the availability of tests has greatly increased, shortages persist in the United States. So do days-long waits to receive results from laboratories. The BinaxNOW test does not need to be sent to a laboratory.

Ever the nation’s cheerleader, Trump tried to use Monday’s announcement as a pivot away from a summer marked by persistently high death counts and fears of a second lockdown.

“We’re rounding the corner,” Trump said on Monday afternoon. He said much the same thing from the Rose Garden in May, telling the nation that “we have met the moment, and we have prevailed.” In subsequent weeks and months, COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, while receding in New York and other early hotspots, would erupt in Sun Belt states like Florida, Arizona and Texas, where Republican governors eagerly followed the president’s call to reopen businesses and places of gathering. 

Giroir demonstrated administration of the BinaxNOW test from a podium at the Rose Garden, dribbling six drops of test reagent onto a square of cardboard, swabbing his nostrils with a probe and then dipping it into the liquid. The results would be available in 15 minutes, he said. He did not disclose what they were. 

“This is a very sophisticated little piece of cardboard,” Giroir said as he concluded his demonstration.

“This is not a home test,” he warned, a reminder that the day when a COVID-19 diagnostic test is a household item as common as the hairbrush is still far away. A medical professional has to supervise the test, but it can be done anywhere: at the entrance to the school, or in the parking lot of a concert venue.

President Trump leaves after an event about coronavirus testing strategy. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Trump leaves after an event about coronavirus testing strategy. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The tests in use until now mostly require sending specimens to laboratories equipped with special equipment.

The advent of a quick, relatively accurate point-of-care test does mark an important advance, especially as the nation prepares for a cold-weather coronavirus test. 

Notably absent from the event were prominent members of the coronavirus task force, including Drs. Deborah Birx and Anthony Fauci. Instead, there were remarks by Dr. Scott Atlas, a Stanford brain-imaging specialist whose controversial opinions on the pandemic have earned him the ire of Dr. Robert Redfield, the chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Redfield was overheard complaining on a commercial flight about Atlas, who has consistently misrepresented where the nation stands in its battle against the coronavirus.

Trump’s announcement came as the death toll from COVID-19 topped 209,000 in the U.S. Public health officials fear it could greatly increase throughout the fall and winter, as cold weather drives people indoors and quarantine fatigue sets in. 

About two-thirds of Americans disapprove of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, according to polls from mid-September. Just how much he can do to change those opinions at this point is unclear, and earlier assurances of victory have likely jaded some who want to see real gains before celebrating. 

“We’ve passed through a challenging time,” Vice President Mike Pence said on Monday.  This, too, was a reprise of sorts. “We are winning the fight against the invisible enemy,” Pence wrote in a widely discussed Wall Street Journal editorial. That was in June.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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People are editing photos of celebrities to give them Instagram-inspired faces. Experts say it could be harmful.




Instagram account @goddess.women edited this photo of Julia Roberts. <p class="copyright"><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Steve Granitz/Getty Images and Goddess Women/Instagram" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Steve Granitz/Getty Images and Goddess Women/Instagram</a></p>
Instagram account @goddess.women edited this photo of Julia Roberts.

  • Numerous Instagram accounts are editing photos of actors, models, and musicians almost beyond the point of recognition.

  • While the anonymous editors haven’t explained the purpose of their accounts, they seemingly aim to give celebrities certain idealized features, like pore-less skin and straight teeth.

  • Some celebrities seem to like the edits and occasionally re-post them, though other social-media users have criticized the pages for creating unrealistic beauty standards.

  • Experts argue that looking at heavily-edited photos, as well as “transformation” images, can be extremely harmful to viewers and lead them to body-shame themselves.

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Stars like Rihanna and Julia Roberts are often considered some of the most beautiful women in the world. But online, pictures of these celebrities and other Hollywood stars are being edited almost beyond recognition. 

Across Instagram, you can find numerous accounts dedicated to altering photos of actors, models, and musicians. Many of the original images are taken at movie premieres, award shows, and other red-carpet events where celebrities already look their best. They’re later edited by fans with contemporary, and oftentimes unattainable, beauty standards in mind, like pore-less skin and large lips.

Last week, Iva Dixit of The New York Times Magazine pointed out the accounts on Twitter.

“There’s this trend among ~aesthetic~ IG accounts of taking old pictures of female movie stars and running them through the face alteration apps to give the (already very strikingly beautiful women) generic Instagram Faces (thick lips, ski slope nose, teeth white as toilet bowls),” she wrote.

She also described the photos as being “depressing in an uncanny valley way,” referencing the disturbing and unreal look that plague many humanoid robots and computer-generated figures.


Miley Cyrus and Rihanna are among the stars whose photos have been heavily edited by Instagram users

At the time of writing, numerous accounts dedicated to editing celebrity photos exist on Instagram. Some of those pages, like @goddess.women, @dirtybabiez, and @luxybook, have between 53,000 and 179,000 followers. At the top of their Instagram pages, they often credit websites like Getty Images and Splash News for the original photos.

Pages like @goddess.women and @dirtybabiez also say in their Instagram bios that you can send them a private message to receive your own edited photo — so long as you also send payment.

While many of the anonymous editors don’t explain the purpose of their accounts, some occasionally remind viewers that anyone who doesn’t like their altered images of celebrities can leave their pages.

“I photoshop for fun. If you don’t like it, leave 🙂,” @luxybook, who has more than 63,000 followers on the platform, says in their bio.

Instagram account @luxybook says that those who don't like their pictures shouldn't look at them. <p class="copyright"><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:LuxyBook/Instagram" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">LuxyBook/Instagram</a></p>
Instagram account @luxybook says that those who don’t like their pictures shouldn’t look at them.

The three accounts listed above have not responded to Insider’s requests to be interviewed for this article.

Some celebrities seem to be fans of the Instagram pages. Many of their fans, however, are not

Photos from @goddess.women have previously been re-shared by stars like Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian, and Sophia Richie on their Instagram stories. Other stars, like Pamela Anderson and model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, have gone one step further and re-posted edited photos from the page on their accounts.

In a previous Instagram story, the anonymous account said that Huntington-Whiteley — who follows @goddess.women on Instagram — also once asked for a copy of an edited photo of herself to share on her page.

Representatives for Huntington-Whiteley did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Instagram user @luxybook says Rosie Huntington-Whiteley sent this message. <p class="copyright"><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Goddess.Women/Instagram" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Goddess.Women/Instagram</a></p>
Instagram user @luxybook says Rosie Huntington-Whiteley sent this message.

While some celebrities seem to be fans of such images, other Instagram users have taken issue with the edited photos.

Many of their comments can be seen underneath a heavily-edited image of Julia Roberts, where the actress is seen with perfect eyeliner, pore-less skin, thick eyebrows, and straight, white teeth — all of which look different in the original photo taken in 2002.

“Young Julia Roberts edited within an inch of her life**” one person wrote in response to the photos.

“What on Earth have you done to her face?!” another person said. “And we wonder why so many young woman have body-image problems and self-esteem issues. Please just stop.”

“The concept of this page is so messed up,” an Instagram user wrote. “These celebrities are already incredibly beautiful. This page can do a lot of harm to young girls who already think they’re not attractive enough and now it turns out that these celebs apparently aren’t either???”

Similar comments can be found underneath one of the Instagram account’s edits of Meghan Markle.

“This is so over-edited that it barely looks like her,” someone wrote. “Why do people do that? Hard to tell what’s real any more.👎🏽”


While it doesn’t appear that celebrities have publicly expressed dislike for these Instagram pages, stars including Bella Thorne, Lili Reinhart, and Zendaya have all previously criticized magazines for editing photos of them.

Experts have previously warned that highly-edited photos can harm our perceptions of body image

Back in 2017, a postdoctoral researcher named Jasmine Fardouly explained to Insider how social media can negatively affect women. She had previously conducted a study “with female undergraduates to determine how often, if at all, they compare themselves to others while on social media,” Emily DiNuzzo reported.

“In our study, comparisons to attractive others on social media were particularly harmful because they put women in a more negative mood, and made them feel worse about their appearance,” Fardouly said. “The same effect may occur when looking at a comparison photo depending on how attractive the person looks in the before and after image.”

While accounts like @goddess.women do not compare their edited photos to the originals, it’s still clear to viewers that the celebrities’ features have been changed — leading them to make their own comparisons. In the long run, this could lead viewers to body-shame themselves, develop disordered-eating habits, and turn to cosmetic surgery.

“Women can not only objectify other women, but can also internalize an observer’s perspective of themselves — for example, self-objectification,” she said. “If women self-objectify, it can be associated with negative outcomes, such as body shame and anxiety.” 

Renowned photographer Rankin also studied photo-editing habits amongst young women in 2019. He found that all 15 girls included in his research altered their selfies, often “mimicking” the features of “their idols.”

“I found it disturbing how big even the small changes are,” Rankin told Insider. “It’s so simple, almost like creating a cartoon character of yourself.”

He added, “It’s time to acknowledge the damaging effects that social media has on people’s self-image.”

Read the original article on Insider


Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Hedge Funds Keep Buying BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (BCRX)




Yahoo Finance

We know that hedge funds generate strong, risk-adjusted returns over the long run, which is why imitating the picks that they are collectively bullish on can be a profitable strategy for retail investors. With billions of dollars in assets, professional investors have to conduct complex analyses, spend many resources and use tools that are not always available for the general crowd. This doesn’t mean that they don’t have occasional colossal losses; they do. However, it is still a good idea to keep an eye on hedge fund activity. With this in mind, let’s examine the smart money sentiment towards BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX) and determine whether hedge funds skillfully traded this stock.

Is BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX) going to take off soon? Prominent investors were betting on the stock. The number of long hedge fund positions went up by 1 in recent months. BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX) was in 26 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of June. The all time high for this statistics is 25. This means the bullish number of hedge fund positions in this stock currently sits at its all time high. Our calculations also showed that BCRX isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q2 rankings and see the video for a quick look at the top 5 stocks). There were 25 hedge funds in our database with BCRX positions at the end of the first quarter. Video: Watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

In the financial world there are a large number of tools investors have at their disposal to grade stocks. A pair of the most under-the-radar tools are hedge fund and insider trading indicators. We have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the best fund managers can outperform the broader indices by a solid amount. Insider Monkey’s monthly stock picks returned 101% since March 2017 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by more than 56 percentage points. Our short strategy outperformed the S&P 500 short ETFs by 20 percentage points annually (see the details here). That’s why we believe hedge fund sentiment is a useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.

Felix Baker – Baker Bros.

Felix Baker of Baker Bros.

At Insider Monkey we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. For example, legal marijuana is one of the fastest growing industries right now, so we are checking out stock pitches like “the Starbucks of cannabis” to identify the next tenbagger. We go through lists like the 10 most profitable companies in the world to pick the best large-cap stocks to buy. Even though we recommend positions in only a tiny fraction of the companies we analyze, we check out as many stocks as we can. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. You can subscribe to our free daily newsletter on our website to get excerpts of these letters in your inbox. Now we’re going to review the recent hedge fund action encompassing BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX).

Hedge fund activity in BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX)

At the end of the second quarter, a total of 26 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 4% from the previous quarter. On the other hand, there were a total of 14 hedge funds with a bullish position in BCRX a year ago. So, let’s see which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

The largest stake in BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX) was held by Baker Bros. Advisors, which reported holding $65.6 million worth of stock at the end of September. It was followed by Citadel Investment Group with a $40.4 million position. Other investors bullish on the company included Millennium Management, Eversept Partners, and Deerfield Management. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position DG Capital Management allocated the biggest weight to BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX), around 4.47% of its 13F portfolio. Eversept Partners is also relatively very bullish on the stock, earmarking 3.73 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to BCRX.

As one would reasonably expect, specific money managers have been driving this bullishness. DG Capital Management, managed by Dov Gertzulin, initiated the largest position in BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX). DG Capital Management had $5.5 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Alex Denner’s Sarissa Capital Management also made a $5.1 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new BCRX investors: Efrem Kamen’s Pura Vida Investments, Matthew L Pinz’s Pinz Capital, and Ryan Tolkin (CIO)’s Schonfeld Strategic Advisors.

Let’s now review hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX) but similarly valued. These stocks are Vista Outdoor Inc (NYSE:VSTO), Accelerate Diagnostics Inc (NASDAQ:AXDX), Autolus Therapeutics plc (NASDAQ:AUTL), Amyris Inc (NASDAQ:AMRS), 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD), Neenah Inc. (NYSE:NP), and i3 Verticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:IIIV). This group of stocks’ market valuations resemble BCRX’s market valuation.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position VSTO,22,186374,3 AXDX,13,51021,4 AUTL,13,49993,0 AMRS,16,141634,6 DDD,18,50869,0 NP,13,15298,0 IIIV,12,61006,1 Average,15.3,79456,2 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 15.3 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $79 million. That figure was $250 million in BCRX’s case. Vista Outdoor Inc (NYSE:VSTO) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand i3 Verticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:IIIV) is the least popular one with only 12 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX) is more popular among hedge funds. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for BCRX is 86. Stocks with higher number of hedge fund positions relative to other stocks as well as relative to their historical range receive a higher sentiment score. Our calculations showed that top 10 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 41.4% in 2019 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 10.1 percentage points. These stocks gained 21.3% in 2020 through September 25th and still beat the market by 17.7 percentage points. Unfortunately BCRX wasn’t nearly as popular as these 10 stocks and hedge funds that were betting on BCRX were disappointed as the stock returned -23.5% since the end of the second quarter and underperformed the market. If you are interested in investing in large cap stocks with huge upside potential, you should check out the top 10 most popular stocks among hedge funds as most of these stocks already outperformed the market in 2020.

Get real-time email alerts: Follow Biocryst Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:BCRX)

Disclosure: None. This article was originally published at Insider Monkey.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Continue Reading