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Prominent COVID-19 conspiracy theorist dies from virus he questioned -- after spreading it at illegal parties
A Norwegian conspiracy theorist has died from the coronavirus he insisted was no big deal.
Hans Kristian Gaarder had gained notoriety by claiming COVID-19 was no worse than a cold or mild case of the flu before dying from the virus on April 6, just days after hosting illegal gatherings March 26 and 27 at his barn, reported Metro.
The 60-year-old Gaarder had insisted the virus did not spread through person-to-person contact, but several guests at those gatherings have been infected and passed the virus to others, and police are trying to determine how many people attended those events.
Gaarder, who also questioned mitigation efforts against the 2009 swine flu pandemic, refused to be tested for the virus and allegedly hid his symptoms from others, but local officials confirmed he had died from COVID-19.
Norway has experienced some of the lowest rates of infections and deaths during the pandemic but imposed stricter measures last month after a spike in hospitalizations blamed on more contagious variants.
A version of social network Parler updated to curb incitements to violence has been cleared to return to Apple's App Store, a US congressman said Monday.
A team at Apple devoted to reviewing whether apps submitted to its App Store conform to its policies has approved a modified version of Parler, which had become popular with conservatives before it was booted off online marketplaces.
The news came from a copy of a letter from Apple posted on Twitter by US Representative Ken Buck of Colorado.
"Parler has proposed updates to its app and the app's content moderation practices," read the letter signed by Apple senior director of government affairs in the Americas Timothy Powderly.
"Its proposed updated app will be approved for reinstallment in the App Store."
Apple, queried by AFP, offered no additional comment.
Powderly noted in the letter that Apple stood by its independent decision to remove Parler from the App Store in the aftermath of the January 6 attack on the US Capitol by supporters of former president Donald Trump.
Buck said in his tweet that Parler's return to the App Store is "a huge win for free speech."
Parler relaunched in February after being forced offline over incitements to violence on the platform.
Parler, which calls itself "the free speech social network", came under scrutiny following the deadly attack on the US Capitol.
Apple and Google pulled the network's app from their download platforms and Amazon's web hosting service cut ties as well.
Powderly said in the letter that Apple had found many posts violating the iPhone maker's rules about app content moderation.
He said there were "posts that encouraged violence, denigrated various ethnic groups, races and religions, glorified Nazism, and called for violence against specific people."
Apple chief executive Tim Cook said early this year that Parler could return the App Store if it changed how it moderates posts on the platform.
Nevada-based Parler, which launched in 2018, operates much like Twitter, with profiles to follow and "parleys" instead of tweets.
In its early days, the platform attracted a crowd of ultraconservative and even extreme-right users. It has since signed up many more traditional Republican voices.
Parler fired its chief executive John Matze soon after the deadly attack on the US Capitol.
During a 48-hour "FRANK-a-thon" event to promote the glitch-riddled launch of his new social media platform "FrankSpeech," MyPillow CEO and pro-Trump conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell took more than one phone call from pranksters.
Salon's Zachary Petrizzo shared two video showing Lindell fielding calls from pranksters. In one video, Lindell is led to believe that former president Donald Trump is calling in to the event.
"Well, we have the President here, our real president, everyone," Lindell says excitedly. "Hello, Mr. President."
But Lindell's excitement quickly turned sour as "the President" on the other line let out a stream of profanities, prompting Lindell to scramble to end the call.
Mike Lindell was just duped into thinking Trump was calling into the program. https://t.co/VUMy1etNA3— Zachary Petrizzo (@Zachary Petrizzo)1618852858.0
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