Art for episode 1131

1131: CHUD

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 48m
April 21st, 2019
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Executive Producers: Knight Lennart, Sir Craig Porter the Ronin, Sir Dwayne Melancon, Grand Duke of the PNW

Associate Executive Producers: E Brett Heenan Jr, Nick Eizmendi Sir Nick, Dragon of the Four Domains, Baron Dirty Dick Bangs of DC

Cover Artist: Uncle Cave Bear

Chapters

0:00
Start of Show
Woodstock
2:16
Terrorist Attacks in Sri Lanka
Woodstock
3:21
AC's New Studio
Woodstock
7:49
The Mueller Report
Woodstock
42:17
CIA Director Gina Haspel's Auburn University Speech
Woodstock
48:05
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's Texas A&M University Speech
Woodstock
49:23
China Airlines Manager Pleads Guilty to Transporting Packages for Chinese Government
Woodstock
52:27
Glenn Greenwald NPR Interview About Julian Assange
Woodstock
1:00:51
Act 23 of the Yellow Vests Protests
Woodstock
1:02:27
Notre-Dame Reconstruction Design Competition
Woodstock
1:04:14
Notre-Dame Fire Likely Caused by Technical Glitch
Woodstock
1:05:53
Credits
Woodstock
1:23:56
Lil Dicky - Earth
Woodstock
1:37:27
James Cook University's Dismissal of Professor Peter Ridd Ruled Unlawful
Woodstock
1:45:48
CBS News: Pollen in North Carolina
Woodstock
1:49:59
Untitled
Woodstock
1:50:50
CBS News Poll Shows 65 Percent of Americans Support Legalizing Weed
Woodstock
1:52:21
San Francisco 4/20 Celebration
Woodstock
1:54:05
Pooping is Free Speech
Woodstock
1:55:25
Sudan's President Bashir Arrested During Military Coup
Woodstock
2:00:03
Trump Impeachment
Woodstock
2:02:19
ABC Announces One-Time Reboot of The Jeffersons and All in the Family
Woodstock
2:07:34
BlacKkKlansman
Woodstock
2:09:13
Donations
Woodstock
2:19:15
Meetups
Woodstock
2:22:05
Birthdays & Title Changes
Woodstock
2:23:57
Egyptian Constitutional Amendment Referendums
Woodstock
2:24:35
Hungarian Opera Asks White Cast to Declare They Are African-American
Woodstock
2:26:17
Man's Heartbeat Stabilized After Ambulance Hits Pothole
Woodstock
2:27:36
FDA Approves New Device For Treating ADHD Using Electrical Shocks To the Forehead
Woodstock
2:29:14
CDC Reports 2019 Has The Longest Flu Season in a Decade
Woodstock
2:30:22
Victoria Nuland Returns to Albright Stonebridge Group as Senior Counceler
Woodstock
2:31:40
Bill Clinton Interrupted by Hackler at Book Tour Event
Woodstock
2:32:48
Judge Rules Flint Residents Are Allowed to Sue EPA Over Lead Water Crisis
Woodstock
2:37:26
PBS NewsHour: Citizenship Shift Leaves Dominican-Haitians Stateless
Woodstock
2:41:36
Caribbean Challenge Initiative
Woodstock
2:42:20
End of Show
Woodstock
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Any Collusion?
Robert Mueller Did Not Merely Reject the Trump-Russia Conspiracy Theories. He Obliterated Them.
Sat, 20 Apr 2019 13:09
The two-pronged conspiracy theory that has dominated U.S. political discourse for almost three years '' that (1) Trump, his family and his campaign conspired or coordinated with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election, and (2) Trump is beholden to Russian President Vladimir Putin '-- was not merely rejected today by the final report of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. It was obliterated: in an undeniable and definitive manner.
The key fact is this: Mueller '' contrary to weeks of false media claims '' did not merely issue a narrow, cramped, legalistic finding that there was insufficient evidence to indict Trump associates for conspiring with Russia and then proving their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That would have been devastating enough to those who spent the last two years or more misleading people to believe that conspiracy convictions of Trump's closest aides and family members were inevitable. But his mandate was much broader than that: to state what did or did not happen.
That's precisely what he did: Mueller, in addition to concluding that evidence was insufficient to charge any American with crimes relating to Russian election interference, also stated emphatically in numerous instances that there was no evidence '' not merely that there was insufficient evidence to obtain a criminal conviction '' that key prongs of this three-year-old conspiracy theory actually happened. As Mueller himself put it: ''in some instances, the report points out the absence of evidence or conflicts in the evidence about a particular fact or event.''
With regard to Facebook ads and Twitter posts from the Russia-based Internet Research Agency, for example, Mueller could not have been more blunt: ''The investigation did not identify evidence that any U.S. persons knowingly or intentionally coordinated with the IRA's interference operation'' (emphasis added). Note that this exoneration includes not only Trump campaign officials but all Americans:
To get a further sense for how definitive the Report's rejection is of the key elements of the alleged conspiracy theory, consider Mueller's discussion of efforts by George Papadopoulos, Joseph Misfud and and ''two Russian nationals'' whereby they tried ''to arrange a meeting between the Campaign and Russian officials'' to talk about how the two sides could work together to disseminate information about Hillary Clinton. As Mueller puts it: ''No meeting took place.''
Several of the media's most breathless and hyped ''bombshells'' were dismissed completely by Mueller. Regarding various Trump officials' 2016 meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, Mueller said they were ''brief, public and nonsubstantive.'' Concerning the much-hyped change to GOP platform regarding Ukraine, Mueller wrote that the ''evidence does not establish that one campaign official's efforts to dilute a portion of the Republican platform was undertaken at the behest of candidate Trump or Russia,'' and further noted that such a change was consistent with Trump's publicly stated foreign policy view (one shared by Obama) to avoid provoking gratuitous conflict with the Kremlin over arming Ukrainians. Mueller also characterized a widely hyped ''meeting'' between then-Senator Jeff Sessions and Kislyak as one that did not ''include any more than a passing mention of the presidential campaign.''
Regarding one of the most-cited pieces of evidence by Trump/Russia conspiracists '' that Russia tried once Trump was nominated to shape his foreign policy posture toward Russia '' Mueller concluded that there is simply no evidence to support it:
In other crucial areas, Mueller did not go so far as to say that his investigation ''did not identify evidence'' but nonetheless concluded that his 22-month investigation ''did not establish'' that the key claims of the conspiracy theory were true. Regarding alleged involvement by Trump officials or family members in the Russian hacks, for instance, Mueller explained: ''the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.''
As for the overarching maximalist conspiracy '' that Trump and/or members of his family and campaign were controlled by or working for the Russian government '' Mueller concluded that this belief simply lacked the evidence necessary to prosecute anyone for it:
And Mueller's examination of all the so-called ''links'' between Trump campaign officials and Russia that the U.S. media has spent almost three years depicting as ''bombshell'' evidence of criminality met the same fate: the evidence could not, and did not, establish that any such links constituted ''coordination'' or ''conspiracy'' between Trump and Russia:
Perhaps most amazingly, even low-level, ancillary, hangers-on to the Trump campaign that even many Russiagate skeptics thought might end up being charged as Russian agents were not.
All the way back in March, 2017, in reporting that even anti-Trump intelligence officials were warning Democrats that there was no solid evidence of a Trump/Russia conspiracy, I predicted that the appointment of a Special Counsel (which I vehemently favored) would likely end up finding evidence of financial impropriety by Paul Manafort unrelated to the 2016 election, as well as a possible indictment of someone like Carter Page for acting in concert with the Russian government:
But so vacant is the Mueller investigation when it comes to supporting any of the prevailing conspiracy theories that it did not find even a single American whom it could indict or charge with illegally working for Russia, secretly acting as a Russian agent, or conspiring with the Russians over the election '' not even Carter Page. That means that even long-time Russiagate skeptics such as myself over-estimated the level of criminality and conspiracy evidence that Robert Mueller would find:
In sum, Democrats and their supporters had the exact prosecutor they all agreed was the embodiment of competence and integrity in Robert Mueller. He assembled a team of prosecutors and investigators that countless media accounts heralded as the most aggressive and adept in the nation. They had subpoena power, the vast surveillance apparatus of the U.S. government at their disposal, a demonstrated willingness to imprison anyone who lied to them, and unlimited time and resources to dig up everything they could.
The result of all of that was that not a single American '' whether with the Trump campaign or otherwise '' was charged or indicted on the core question of whether there was any conspiracy or coordination with Russia over the election. No Americans were charged or even accused of being controlled by or working at the behest of the Russian government. None of the key White House aides at the center of the controversy who testified for hours and hours '' including Donald Trump, Jr. or Jared Kushner '' were charged with any crimes of any kind, not even perjury, obstruction of justice or lying to Congress.
These facts are fatal to the conspiracy theorists who have drowned U.S. discourse for almost three years with a dangerous and distracting fixation on a fictitious espionage thriller involved unhinged claims of sexual and financial blackmail, nefarious infiltration of the U.S. Government by familiar foreign villains, and election cheating that empowered an illegitimate President. They got the exact prosecutor and investigation that they wanted, yet he could not establish that any of this happened and, in many cases, established that it did not.
The anti-climactic ending of the Mueller investigation is particularly stunning given how broad Mueller's investigative scope ended up being, extending far beyond the 2016 election into years worth of Trump's alleged financial dealings with Russia (and, obviously, Manafort's with Ukraine and Russia). There can simply be no credible claim that Mueller was, in any meaningful way, impeded by scope, resources or topic limitation from finding anything for which he searched.
Despite efforts today by long-time conspiracist theorists to drastically move goalposts so as to claim vindication, the historical record could not be clearer that Mueller's central mandate was to determine whether crimes were committed by Trump officials in connection with alleged Russian interference in the election. The first paragraph of the New York Times article from May, 2017, announcing Mueller's appointment, leaves no doubt about that:
The Justice Department appointed Robert S. Mueller III, a former F.B.I. director, as special counsel on Wednesday to oversee the investigation into ties between President Trump's campaign and Russian officials, dramatically raising the legal and political stakes in an affair that has threatened to engulf Mr. Trump's four-month-old presidency.
As recently as one month ago, former CIA Director and current NBC News analyst John Brennan was confidently predicting that Mueller could not possibly close his investigation without first indicting a slew of Americans for criminally conspiring with Russia over the election, and specifically predicted that Trump's family members would be included among those so charged:
John Brennan has a lot to answer for'--going before the American public for months, cloaked with CIA authority and openly suggesting he's got secret info, and repeatedly turning in performances like this. pic.twitter.com/EziCxy9FVQ
'-- Terry Moran (@TerryMoran) March 25, 2019
Obviously, none of that happened. Nor were any of the original accusations that launched this three-year-long mania '-- from an accusatory August, 2016 online commercial from the Clinton campaign '-- corroborated by the Mueller Report:
[embedded content]Indeed, so many of the most touted media ''bombshells'' claiming to establish Trump/Russia crimes have been proven false by this report. Despite an extensive discussion of Paul Manafort's activities, nothing in the Report even hints, let alone states, that he ever visited Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy, let alone visited him three times, including during the 2016 election. How the Guardian could justify still not retracting that false story is mystifying.
Faring even worse is the Buzzfeed bombshell from January claiming that ''President Donald Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow'' and that ''Cohen also told the special counsel that after the election, the president personally instructed him to lie '-- by claiming that negotiations ended months earlier than they actually did '-- in order to obscure Trump's involvement.'' Mueller himself responded to the story by insisting it was false, and his Report directly contradicts it, as it makes clear that Cohen told Mueller the exact opposite:
Equally debunked is CNN's major blockbuster by Jim Sciutto, Carl Bernstein, and Marshall Cohen from last July that ''Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal attorney, claims that then-candidate Trump knew in advance about the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower.'' The Mueller Report says the exact opposite: that Cohen had no knowledge of Trump's advanced knowledge.
And the less said about the Steele Dossier, pee-pee tapes, secret meetings in Prague, and indescribably unhinged claims like this one, the better:
But beyond the gutting of these core conspiracy claims is that Mueller's investigation probed areas far beyond the initial scope of Trump/Russia election-conspiring, and came up empty. Among other things, Mueller specifically examined Trump's financial dealings with Russia to determine whether that constituted incriminating evidence of corrupt links:
Because Trump's status as a public figure at the time was attributable in large part to his prior business and entertainment dealings, this Office investigated whether a business contact with Russia-linked individuals and entities during the campaign period'--the Trump Tower Moscow project, see Volume I, Section IV.A.1, infra'--led to or involved coordination.
Indeed, Mueller's examination of Trump's financial dealings with Russia long pre-dates the start of the Trump campaign, going back several years before the election:
Mueller additionally made clear that he received authorization to investigate numerous Americans for ties to Russia despite their not being formally associated with the Trump campaign, including Michael Cohen and Roger Stone. And regarding Cohen, Mueller specifically was authorized to investigate any attempts by Cohen to ''receive funds from Russia-backed entities.'' None of this deep diving to other individuals or years of alleged financial dealings with Russian resulted in any finding that Trump or any of his associates were controlled by, or corruptly involved with, the Russian government.
Then there is the issue of Manafort's relationship with the Ukrainians, and specifically his providing of polling data to Konstantin Kilimnik, an episode which Trump/Putin conspiracist Marcy Wheeler, along with many others, particularly hyped over and over. To begin with, Mueller said his office ''did not identify evidence of a connection'' between that act and ''Russian interference in the election,'' nor did he ''establish that Manafort otherwise coordinated with the Russian government on its election-inteference efforts'':
Also endlessly hyped by Wheeler and other conspiracists were the post-election contacts between Trump and Russia: as though it's unusual that a major power would seek to build new, constructive relationships with a newly elected administration. Indeed, Wheeler went so far as to cite these post-election contacts to turn her own source into the FBI on the ground that it constituted smoking gun evidence, an act for which she was praised by the Washington Post (nothing Wheeler claimed about the evidence ''related to the Mueller investigation'' that she claimed to possess appears to be in the Mueller Report). Here again, the Mueller Report could not substantiate any of these claims:
The centerpiece of the Trump/Russia conspiracy '' the Trump Tower meeting '' was such a dud that Jared Kushner, halfway through the meeting, texted Manafort to declare the meeting ''a waste of time,'' and then instructed his assistant to call him so that he could concoct a reason to leave. Not only could Mueller not find any criminality in this meeting relating to election conspiring, but he could not even use election law to claim it was an illegal gift of something of value from a foreigner, because, among other things, the information offered was of so little value that it could not even pass the $2,000 threshold required to charge someone for a misdemeanor, let alone the $25,000 required to make it a felony.
Neither the Trump Tower meeting itself nor its participants '' for so long held up as proof of the Trump/Russia conspiracy '' could serve as the basis for any finding of criminality. Indeed, the key Trumpworld participants who testified about what happened at that meeting and its aftermath (Trump Jr. and Kushner) were not even accused by Mueller of lying about any of it.
None of this is to say that the Mueller Report exonerates Trump of wrongdoing. Mueller makes clear, for instance, that the Trump campaign not only knew that Russia was interested in helping it win the election but was happy to have that help. There's clearly nothing criminal about that. One can debate whether it's unethical for a presidential campaign to have dirt about its opponent released by a foreign government, though anyone who wants to argue that has to reconcile that with the fact that the DNC had a contractor working with the Ukrainian government to help Hillary Clinton win by feeding them dirt on Trump and Manafort, as well as a paid operative named Christopher Steele (remember him?) working with Russian officials to get dirt on Trump.
As is true of all investigations, Mueller's team could not access all relevant information. Some was rendered inaccessible through encryption. Other information was deleted, perhaps with corrupt motives. And some witnesses lied or otherwise tried to obstruct the investigation. As a result, it's of course possible that incriminating evidence existed that Mueller '' armed with subpoena power, unlimited resources, 22 months of investigative work, and a huge team of top-flight prosecutors, FBI agents, intelligence analysts and forensic accountants '' did not find.
But anything is possible. It's inherently possible that anyone is guilty of any crime but that the evidence just cannot be found to prove it. One cannot prove a negative. But the only way to rationally assess what happened is by looking at the evidence that is available, and that's what Mueller did. And there's simply no persuasive way '' after heralding Mueller and his team as the top-notch investigators that they are and building up expectations about what this would produce '' for any honest person to deny that the end of the Mueller investigation was a huge failure from the perspective of those who pushed these conspiracies.
Mueller certainly provides substantial evidence that Russians attempted to meddle in various ways in the U.S. election, including by hacking the DNC and Podesta and through Facebook posts and tweets. There is, however, no real evidence that Putin himself ordered this, as was claimed since mid-2016. But that Russia had done such things has been unsurprising from the start, given how common it is for the U.S. and Russia to meddle in everyone's affairs, including one another's, but the scope and size of it continues to be minute in the context of overall election spending:
To reach larger U.S. audiences, the IRA purchased advertisements from Facebook that promoted the IRA groups on the newsfeeds of U.S. audience members. According to Facebook, the IRA purchased over 3,500 advertisements, and the expenditures totaled approximately $100,000.
The section of Mueller's report on whether Trump criminally attempted to obstruct the investigation is full of evidence and episodes that show Trump being dishonest, misleading, and willing to invoke potentially corrupt tactics to put an end to it. But ultimately, the most extreme of those tactics were not invoked (at times because Trump's aides refused), and the actions in which Trump engaged were simply not enough for Mueller to conclude that he was guilty of criminal obstruction.
As Mueller himself concluded, a reasonable debate can be conducted on whether Trump tried to obstruct his investigation with corrupt intent. But even on the case of obstruction, the central point looms large over all of it: there was no underlying crime established for Trump to cover-up.
All criminal investigations require a determination of a person's intent, what they are thinking and what their goal is. When the question is whether a President sought to kill an Executive Branch investigation '' as Trump clearly wanted to do here '' the determinative issue is whether he did so because he genuinely believed the investigation to be an unfair persecution and scam, or whether he did it to corruptly conceal evidence of criminality.
That Mueller could not and did not establish any underlying crimes strongly suggests that Trump acted with the former rather than the latter motive, making it virtually impossible to find that he criminally obstructed the investigation.
The nature of our political discourse is that nobody ever needs to admit error because it is easy to confine oneself to strictly partisan precincts where people are far more interested in hearing what advances their agenda or affirms their beliefs than they are hearing the truth. For that reason, I doubt that anyone who spent the last three years pushing utterly concocted conspiracy theories will own up to it, let alone confront any accountability or consequences for it.
But certain facts will never go away no matter how much denial they embrace. The sweeping Mueller investigation ended with zero indictments of zero Americans for conspiring with Russia over the 2016 election. Both Donald Trump, Jr. and Jared Kushner '' the key participants in the Trump Tower meeting '' testified for hours and hours yet were never charged for perjury, lying or obstruction, even though Mueller proved how easily he would indict anyone who lied as part of the investigation. And this massive investigation simply did not establish any of the conspiracy theories that huge parts of the Democratic Party, the intelligence community and the U.S. media spent years encouraging the public to believe.
Those responsible for this can refuse to acknowledge wrongdoing. They can even claim vindication if they want and will likely be cheered for doing so.
But the contempt in which the media and political class is held by so much of the U.S. population '' undoubtedly a leading factor that led to Trump's election in the first place '' will only continue to grow as a result, and deservedly so. People know they were scammed, that their politics was drowned for years by a hoax. And none of that will go away no matter how insulated media and political elites in Washington, northern Virginia, Brooklyn, and large West Coast cities keep themselves, and thus hear only in-group affirmation while blocking out all of that well-earned scorn.
Correction: A paragraph was originally included that misread a tweet from earlier today by the New York Times' Kenneth Vogel, in which he asserted that the Mueller Report confirmed, not negated, the New York Times' original, now-retracted report about Paul Manafort. In that tweet, Vogel was suggesting that the NYT's retraction was wrong (as Marcy Wheeler argued), not that the original story was wrong. That paragraph, which also critiqued Wheeler's analysis of the New York Times' retraction, was in error and was deleted almost immediately after publication of this article.
Opinion | We've All Just Made Fools of Ourselves '-- Again - The New York Times
Fri, 19 Apr 2019 16:04
Opinion | We've All Just Made Fools of Ourselves '-- Again The awful corruption of scandal politics.
March 25, 2019 Image Representative Adam Schiff speaking in 2017 about the House Intelligence Committee's investigation into possible ties between the Trump administration and Russia. Credit Credit Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times ''You have a president who, in my opinion, beyond a shadow of a doubt, sought to, however ham-handedly, collude with the Russian government, a foreign power, to undermine and influence our elections.'' '-- Beto O'Rourke, presidential candidate
''I think there's plenty of evidence of collusion and conspiracy in plain sight.'' '-- Adam Schiff, chairman of House Intelligence Committee
''I called [Trump's] behavior treasonous, which is to betray one's trust and aid and abet the enemy, and I stand very much by that claim.'' '-- John Brennan, former C.I.A. director
''The biggest scandal in U.S. history is coming into focus. On Friday Rachel Maddow made it clear. Donald Trump conspired with the enemy.'' '-- Rob Reiner, film director
Maybe it's time to declare a national sabbath. Maybe it's time to step back from the scandalmongering and assess who we are right now.
Democrats might approach this moment with an attitude of humility and honest self-examination. It's clear that many Democrats made grievous accusations against the president that are not supported by the evidence. It's clear that people like Beto O'Rourke and John Brennan owe Donald Trump a public apology. If you call someone a traitor and it turns out you lacked the evidence for that charge, then the only decent thing to do is apologize.
Republicans and the Sean Hannity-style Trumpians might also approach this moment with an attitude of humility and honest self-examination. For two years they've been calling the Mueller investigation a witch hunt. For two years they've been spreading the libel that there are no honest brokers in Washington. It's all a deep-state conspiracy, a swamp. They should apologize for peddling the sort of deep cynicism that undermines our country's institutions.
And what about the rest of us? What about all the hours we spent speculating about the Mueller report, fantasizing about the Trump ruin or watching and reading speculation about these things? What about the superstructure of scandal politics we have built and live in today?
The sad fact is that Watergate introduced a poison into the American body politic. Richard Nixon's downfall was just and important, but it opened up the mouthwatering possibility that you don't need to do the hard work of persuading people to join your side. Instead, you can destroy your foes all at once through scandal.
Politics since Watergate has been defined by a long string of scandals and pseudo-scandals '-- Iran-contra, Whitewater, Valerie Plame, Benghazi, Solyndra, swift-boating. Politico last year compiled a list of 46 scandals that were at one time or another deemed ''worse than Watergate.''
The nation's underlying divides are still ideological, but we rarely fight them honestly as philosophical differences. We just accuse the other side of corruption. Politics is no longer a debate; it's an attempt to destroy lives through accusation.
The political media, especially on TV, now has a template it can apply whenever a scandal looms into view, to hook viewers into the speculative story line. According to the Tyndall Report, the three main broadcast networks made the Russia collusion investigation the second-most-covered news event of 2018, trailing only the Kavanaugh hearings, another scandal.
All the players slip into their assigned roles. Straight reporters are doing good, hard work. But the flow of information is not fast enough to keep up with 24/7 programming, so you get this toxic deluge of raw speculation.
The accused's political opponents assume maximum guilt. Imaginative pundits take a few dots of information and connect them to vast if speculative constellations of guilt. ''I hear the indictments are coming down next week,'' they whisper to one another.
Members of the accused's party attack the investigators themselves. They get to enjoy their own sense of spiritual superiority when it turns out the scandal is much smaller than it appeared, which is almost always the case.
It's all a wonderful game. You don't have to know anything about a boring policy subject like economics, poverty or foreign affairs. You can have a long career in politics and media by simply treating public life as an arena of life-or-death gossip.
Since Watergate launched this Age of Investigation, government has become much more transparent. As a result, public trust in institutions has plummeted. The scandal culture hasn't ultimately helped one party over the other. It's just spread a corrosive cynicism that has disabled government altogether.
The ray of hope is that out on the campaign trail voters rarely ask about the scandals du jour, which obsess the cognoscenti. Most of the Democratic presidential candidates spent the last few months trying not to talk about Russian collusion. They have found a vein of voters who would rather focus on the substance of our historical moment: What motivated so many Americans to vote for a presidential candidate they knew was untrustworthy? How do you provide affordable health security? Is China a mortal foe?
The Democrats won the 2018 midterms by focusing on the issues, not collusion. For most voters, politics is about their lives, not a self-righteous TV show.
The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We'd like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here's our email: letters@nytimes.com.
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David Brooks has been a columnist with The Times since 2003. He is the author of ''The Road to Character'' and the forthcoming book, ''The Second Mountain.'' @ nytdavidbrooks
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Mitt Romney says he is 'sickened' by what he read in the Mueller report '-- here's his full statement - TheBlaze
Sat, 20 Apr 2019 13:48
Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) released a scathing statement Friday condemning dishonesty that was documented in the Mueller report.
"It is good news that there was insufficient evidence to charge the President of the United States with having conspired with a foreign adversary or with having obstructed justice," Romney said in the statement. "The alternative would have taken us through a wrenching process with the potential for constitutional crisis. The business of government can move on."
"Even so," he continued, "I am sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land, including the President. I am also appalled that, among other things, fellow citizens working in a campaign for president welcomed help from Russia '-- including information that had been illegally obtained; that none of them acted to inform American law enforcement; and that the campaign chairman was actively promoting Russian interests in Ukraine."
"Reading the report is a sobering revelation of how far we have strayed from the aspirations and principles of the founders," he concluded.
The Mueller report was released in a redacted form on Thursday, with Democrats reacting by emphasizing sections damaging to the Trump administration, while Republicans pointing to the lack of conclusive evidence of collusion.
Some Democrats, like presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have called for impeachment proceedings to begin as a result of the Mueller report, but the leadership appears to be very reticent to do so.
Here's the latest on the Mueller report release: Trump lashes out at Mueller report findings on Twitterwww.youtube.com
After a $354 Billion U.S. Bailout, Germany's Deutsche Bank Still Has $49 Trillion in Derivatives
Sat, 20 Apr 2019 13:52
When it comes to derivatives exposure, Deutsche Bank is in the same league as the bank holding companies of U.S. juggernauts JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. But its financial health is much weaker.
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens and cross-posted from Wall Street on ParadeOn July 21, 2011, when the GAO released its audit of the Federal Reserve's secret $16.1 trillion in bank loans during the financial crisis, a foreign bank ranked number 9 on the list of the largest borrowers. The loans went not just to the largest banks on Wall Street but to foreign derivative counterparties to the Wall Street banks. The foreign bank that ranked 9 on the list of the largest borrowers was Germany's largest bank, Deutsche Bank, which took $354 billion in revolving loans from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
According to an article in the Financial Times last week ''Germany's federal and state governments have spent '‚¬70 billionn on bailing out banks since the financial crisis, according to an estimate by Gerhard Schick, head of lobby group Finance Watch.'' The figure of '‚¬70bn is about 79 billion U.S. dollars. Why did the U.S. Fed throw $364 billion at one German bank when its country of origin has only reached in its pocket to the tune of $79 billion for all of its troubled banks? (Read on for the answer.)
During 2018, the serially troubled Deutsche Bank '' which still has a vast derivatives footprint in the U.S. as counterparty to some of the largest banks on Wall Street '' trimmed its exposure to derivatives from a notional '‚¬48.266 trillion to a notional '‚¬43.459 trillion (49 trillion U.S. dollars) according to its 2018 annual report. A derivatives book of $49 trillion notional puts Deutsche Bank in the same league as the bank holding companies of U.S. juggernauts JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, which logged in at $48 trillion, $47 trillion and $42 trillion, respectively, at the end of December 2018 according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). (See Table 2 at this link.)
Deutsche Bank's feeble 10 percent reduction in mind-numbing derivatives stands in stark contrast to the reduction in Deutsche Bank's share price last year. On the first trading day of 2018, Deutsche Bank opened at $19.27. On the last trading day of the year, December 31, 2018, Deutsche Bank closed at $8.15 '' a reduction in shareholder value of 58 percent'...
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Bill Binney States that the NSA Has 32 Pages of Communications Between Seth Rich and Julian Assange, As Revealed by a FOIA Request '' GOVERNMENT SLAVES
Sat, 20 Apr 2019 14:40
About six months ago, a blogpost by ''Publius Tacitus'' appeared regarding attorney Ty Clevenger's FOIA request regarding Seth Rich:
''But now there is new information that may corroborate what the human sources quoted in the Fox article claimed about Seth's role in getting the DNC documents to Wikileaks. Borne from a FOIA request filed in November 2017 by attorney Ty Clevenger, who requested any information regarding Seth Rich and Julian Assange. The NSA informed Clevenger in a letter dated 4 October 2018 that:
Your request has been processed under the provisions of the FOIA. Fifteen documents (32 pages) responsive to your request have been reviewed by this Agency as required by the FOIA and have found to be currently and properly classified in accordance with Executive Order 13526. These documents meet the criteria for classification as set forth in Subparagraph (C) of Section 1.4 and remains classified TOP SECRET and SECRET.
If NSA had come back and said, ''No, we do not have anything pertaining to Seth Rich,'' that would have been news. It would have been especially unwelcome news for those who believe that Seth was the source on the DNC emails. But now the opposite is true. The NSA says that it has documents that are classified TS and S. What do those documents say or prove? That remains to be seen.''
At the time this appeared, I felt that it was of high significance, but I wasn't quite sure what it meant. What is meant by ''any information regarding Julian Assange and Seth Rich?'' Reports generated within the NSA that mention both? Communications in which either mentions the other? Direct communications between the two? What was the actual language of Clevenger's request?
The final sentence of the blogpost seems to muddy the waters even more:
Eighth, the NSA has confirmed that it has Top Secret and Secret documents responsive to a FOIA request for information concerning contact between Seth Rich and other people including Julian Assange.
''And other people''?
Although I was somewhat confused by the meaning of this revelation, I commented on its significance. At the very least, it meant that the view that Seth was the source of the Wikileaks DNC releases was more than the brainless and callous conspiracy theory that mainstream media were making it out to be.
So Why Does the NSA Have 32 Pages of Secret/Top Secret Documents on Seth Rich?Most people probably missed this intriguing blogpost by Publius Tacitus which appeared yesterday.:medium.com
CONTINUE @ MEDIUM
What Was Obama's Role in the Trump Investigations?
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 04:14
Commentary
Now that special counsel Robert Mueller's report has been published, we have a definite answer to the question of whether President Donald Trump colluded with Russia.
There are many questions that remain, however, about the origins of the investigation into Trump.
For example, why did the FBI investigate a presidential candidate using false information paid for by the opposing political campaign?
And why was the British government spying on members of the Trump campaign and passing this information on'--as unofficial intelligence'--to the CIA director at the time, John Brennan, who then used it to push FBI Director James Comey to open the investigation into Trump?
But perhaps the most significant, yet largely unexplored, question is this: What was President Barack Obama's involvement in the investigations?
We know that several senior members of Obama's cabinet either played an active role in the investigations, were spying on the Trump campaign, or received the false information that he colluded with Russia.
Obama's secretary of state, John Kerry, for example, had been made aware of the false information contained in the so-called Steele dossier. We know as much from an op-ed published by former Obama State Department official Jonathan Winer, who said he had received the information from Christopher Steele, and had passed it on to high-ranking official Victoria Nuland, who ''felt that the secretary of state needed to be made aware of this material.''
Obama himself had also been given a summary of the Steele dossier, which was attached to an intelligence report by CIA Director John Brennan, FBI Director James Comey, and DNI James Clapper in January 2017. It is possible Obama might have received information contained in the Steele dossier from Brennan as early as August 2016.
Obama's national security adviser, Susan Rice, along with his ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power, had made hundreds of unmasking requests for the identities of members of the Trump campaign in intelligence reports. Power would later claim that someone else in the Obama administration had made the requests in her name.
Then there was an Oval Office meeting between Obama, Rice, FBI Director James Comey, and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates on Jan. 5, 2017.
The meeting was recollected by Rice in an unusual email she addressed to herself, sent fifteen days after the meeting, on Jan. 20, 2017, the day of Trump's inauguration. The email was marked TOP SECRET, but parts of it have since been declassified.
In the email, Rice said, ''The President stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective. He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book.''
This raises the question of why Obama felt it was necessary to say those things, and why Rice felt it was necessary to recollect these statements to herself in an email on the day she was leaving the White House.
Rice's email also states that Obama told the officials to be ''mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia'' with the incoming Trump administration. Does this mean that potentially vital national security information was withheld from the Trump transition team as it relates to Russia over the false Russia-collusion allegations?
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), then-chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) felt compelled to question Rice in a Feb. 8, 2018, letter about the email, asking her'--among other things'--''Did President Obama ask about, initiate, or instruct anything from any other perspective relating to the FBI's investigation?''
Rice's lawyer would respond to the letter later that month saying she sent herself the email ''upon the advice of the White House Counsel's Office.''
These are serious questions that deserve to be investigated. For over two years, the American public has been sold a fake narrative that Trump colluded with Russia to manipulate the 2016 presidential election in his favor.
Getting to the bottom of how these investigations were started, what the exact actions were by officials entrusted with power'--including the former president'--and whether any of them were politically motivated is key to restoring public trust in our institutions.
Green New Deal
Help the Cause | We Love the Earth
Sat, 20 Apr 2019 20:10
How You Can Help How You
The Earth needs our help. If we don't make massive changes to our behavior over the next twelve years, the damage we've done to this planet will be irreversible. Oceans will be destroyed, super storms will become even more super, cities will flood, the air will suck, and we'll run out of food and energy. And not in a couple of hundred years either, scientists say it's right around the corner. But the power to prevent this is in our hands! We can save the Earth!!! Check out the links below to learn how to get involved.
Learn Even More The Earth is our home, but we aren't showing it the love and care it deserves. It's such an amazing place, and we all need to do our part to not only keep it that way, but to start reversing the damage we've already done. Learn more about the organizations that are making a difference and all the ways you can help.
Learn More Act Now There are some easy ways you can help right now. Sign a petition to protect nature, take a quiz to test your carbon footprint or, if you're in the United States, register to vote to make sure your voice is heard!
Take Action Support the Song As the song gets more and more streams, not only will we all become more aware, but we'll also generate more and more profits to donate to various environmental organizations. So share the heck out of it! And cop some sustainable Earth merch to help us raise even more money and wear your support for your planet proudly.
Help Out ''The Earth'' is an awesome new email list that will give you a monthly curation of the most interesting environmental stories from around the world and what you can do to make a difference to protect our planet. The Earth is run by our friends at the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.
You're now a member of The Earth! The next two years are going to be super important for our planet with two major United Nations conventions coming up at the end of 2020 '' one on Climate Change change and one on Biological Diversity. So we need to band together to make sure the world's governments guarantee a healthy, thriving environment for everyone. We'll keep you up to date on the most important developments and how you can make a difference!
The profits generated from ''Earth,'' including merchandise printed on sustainable materials, will be donated to a select group of nonprofits that work to help fight climate change. The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation will distribute this support to specific organizations across three pillars connected to solving climate change'--nature, energy and farming. Learn more about the organizations below or head to the store and pick up some Earth merch.
Buy Swag Learn More
'Shell in 2030 grootste elektriciteitsbedrijf ter wereld' - AutoRAI.nl
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 12:47
Dat Shell bezig is met duurzame energie en investeert in elektriciteitsopwekking, wisten we al. Wat we nog niet wisten is dat Shell in 2030 'het grootste elektriciteitsbedrijf ter wereld' denkt te zijn. Het zijn de woorden van Shell-topman Maarten Wetselaar, Director Integrated Gas and New Energies, opgetekend in de Financial Times. Beleggers reageren sceptisch op het nieuws.
LEES OOK: Waarom je juist nu een Japanse klassieker moet kopen
De shift van Shell zou een aardverschuiving van jewelste zijn. Shell is bekend om z'n oliewinning en investeert daarnaast de afgelopen 10 jaar fors in aardgas. Op dit moment produceert Shell per dag zelfs al meer aardgas dan olie, blijkt uit de jaarcijfers over 2018. Die verschuiving lijkt zich door te zetten naar (groene) stroom.
Shell investeert in duurzame energieShell steekt al 1 of 2 van de 25 miljard van de investeringen in duurzame energie en dan vooral in elektriciteitsopwekking. Wetselaar: ''Dat is om te testen of het rendement interessant kan zijn. Als onze hypothese klopt, gaan we binnen een paar jaar de schaal van onze investeringen vergroten. En als we onze emissiedoelstellingen halen tegen 2030, zal de hoeveelheid stroom '' groene stroom '' die we daarvoor nodig hebben van Shell het grootste elektriciteitsbedrijf ter wereld maken.''
Overname EnecoDe investeringen van de laatste tijd bevestigen het verhaal van Wetselaar. Zo kocht Shell energieleverancier First Utility in Groot-Brittani en het Duitse Sonnen, een start-up voor thuisbatterijen. En dichter bij huis: de multinational kocht oplaadpalenexploitant NewMotion, investeerde in windmolenparken op de Noordzee en is de belangrijkste gegadigde om energieleverancier Eneco over te nemen.
Beleggers sceptischBeleggers reageren nog sceptisch over de elektriciteitsplannen van Shell. De reden: het rendement ligt in de elektriciteitsmarkt een stuk lager dan in de olie- en gasmarkt. Wetselaar pareert de sceptici met 'Shell stapt niet in de opwekking en verkoop van elektriciteit vanwege de resultaten in de afgelopen 20 jaar, maar vanwege de verwachte rendementen in de komende 20 jaar.'
Elektrificatie de toekomstShell schat in dat het aandeel elektriciteit in de wereldenergieconsumptie de komende tientallen jaren heel fors gaat stijgen. Op dit moment schommelt dat aandeel rond de 18 procent, de rest zijn brandstoffen. Tussen 2050 en 2080 moet het aandeel elektriciteit boven de 50 procent uitkomen, denkt Shell.
FAKE PROTEST: EXTINCTION REBELLION |
Sat, 20 Apr 2019 13:39
''Extinction Rebellion.'' Police facilitate Fake Protests.Updated information on the founders of Extinction Rebellion and their links to global corporates and the agenda behind this controlled opposition cult Here.
In response to requests for information about the cult one activist was threatened by agents of ER known as Foxtrot Echo and Foxtrot Tango along with others in the cult. The founder of ER Gail Bradbrook requested to be taken off the e mail list and did not apologise for the threats made against a member of the public. E mails available on request.
The cult is facilitated by mainstream media, the police and teachers who are encouraging children to join in with the indoctrination which has no factual basis and no scientific evidence to back up their apocalyptic claims.
INFO ON THE PERSONNEL AND GLOBALIST LINKS TO EXTINCTION REBELLION:
Globalist Fake Revolution
Listen Here:
Fake Protest: Extinction Rebellion, Part 1
Fake Protest: Extinction Rebellion Part 2
Fake Protest, Fake News Special.
Globalist Warming Hoax Day!
EXTINCTION REBELLION PAYROLL OF PAID ACTIVISTS 22 12 18
State and Globalist backed protests are nothing new. The Globalists need the Antiglobalists to implement their policies.
The ''Useful Idiot'' Antiglobalists turn up and do the work of their puppet masters, it is a tried and tested formula and relatively inexpensive as the participants on the whole (apart from a few trained facilitators) do not get paid.
The most effective way to take over an organization or even a whole country is to ''infiltrate from within''. It is the tactic where all objectives are in time achieved. In the UK it is done through the intelligence services, designated Change Agents, NGO's and Think Tanks. We have also covered the charities such as Hope Not Hate who are linked to Antifa and are merely another arm of MI5 as are Think Tank DEMOS.
This infliltration from within was apparent in the global takeover of Occupy. See our films The Puppet Masters of Occupy and The Puppet Masters of Occupy Revisited. . See also the film we did on The Fake squat in a Swiss Bank in The City of London (how is that possible?) which undermined Occupy and promoted Climate Change idealogy: Inside Occupy and The Bank of Ideas
See also our articles:
Womens March and New World Order Social Engineers
Fake News and Fake Protests
One of our contributors sent in this information regarding ER Finances:
I've taken screen shots, and it's interesting that Gail is recommending that the potential income bit, I mentioned over the phone, she now want's removed. Below are screenshots from when I first discovered this page (7/12/18).
Notes:
The crowd funding figure has now gone down to the November level, but grand total now stands over £100.000.
20% going overseas now standing at £15,830. 5% to TCM (The Climate Mobilisation) which featured in the ER's presentation given in Carmarthen. Amongst other industrial wish lists, TCM want geo engineering '' carbon sequestration.
UPDATE: More coming soon!
https://steemit.com/news/@francesleader/from-occupy-to-extinction-rebellion-exposing-the-common-purpose
Gail Bradbrook, (Check out her Linkedin profile) one of, if not the main organiser of # ExtinctionRebellion , is a former director, and now in charge of programme development at Citizens Online, where she works as a ''a digital inclusion strategy specialist, consulting with a wide range of clients such as EE, London Connects and the Cabinet Office.''
https://www.citizensonline.org.uk/meet-the-team/
The Board of Directors @ Citizens Online also contains a former head of Exxon Mobil'....
'... as well as Lord Anthony Tudor St John who is heavily invested the same satellite and aerospace industries who'll be involved in the roll-out of planetary-wide 5G coverage.
'... strange bed-fellows our media-darling 'environmental activists' keep.
Oil-barons, plutocrats, financial oligarchs, MP's, lords of the realm'...
The 'Climate Change' policies Extinction Rebellion are pushing for Agenda21/ 2020 ARE the survival strategies of the oligarchs in the post-oil, 'sustainable' future they have planned for us. Smart-grid compact Cities, 5G connected to everything, monitoring us and controlling those who misbehave, much of the land becoming an 'eco-reserve'/ no-go-zone'... it ain't gonna pretty, that is for sure!(research & text by Thom Forester
Since the announcement that ''The Big Society'' would train Change Agents to use Saul Alinsky's Rules For Radicals the nature of ''protest'' is now in the hands of Corporate Governance and Globalist Stake Holders. The government organized protests such as ''The People Assembly'' have made sure the narrative of public opinion is tightly controlled. The recent corporate funded ''Womens March'' and all other controlled groups who promote the UN Climate Change Agenda for are relying on the roll out of full spectrum dominance and control of population through the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN.
Fake Protest: Extinction RebellionThe Fake Protest groups which followed the takeover of Occupy formed other fake activict groups such as Reclaim The Power and Climate Camp, all money was drained from the Occupy finances by the state. These unimaginative intelligence controlled groups use a carbon copy template employing change agents, trained facilitators and repetetive soundbites. Their agents train Useful Idots in their soundbite propaganda and all narratives are strictly controlled.
They identify opposition through their ''Dragons'' and remove anyone who sees through their state backed subversion with their ''Tranquility team''.
All this can be seen in the latest Globalist backed Fake Protest Group ''Extinction Rebellion'' taking direct action which cynically uses a 15 year old girl with aspergers as a mouthpiece for their propaganda.
The Extinction Rebellion encourages blocking roads. obstruction and criminal damage. There have been many arrests already and the willing victims of this will not only have criminal records but will also have to face the fact they have been used and manipulated for corporate governance.
15 year old Greta Thunberg cynically used by Globalists.The Global Action Plan needs Fake Protestors who demand enslavement through Climate Change Policy and their latest Direct Action group ''Extinction Rebellion'' aimed at gaining mass publicity by sitting in roads and taking over public spaces is the latest in a long line of tried and tested controlled opposition publicity stunts.
With Useful Idiots like those signing up for this latest pantomime the Globalists will be laughing all the way to the bank.
Check out their Template Soundbites:
Rebellion Earth
Extinction Rebellion
Think Tank DEMOS made this statement:
Unlike the Fake Protestors we recieve no funding, if you benefit from our information you can make a donation here:
Lil Dicky
This Song was made for Earth Day and Climate Change by a
rapper Lil Dickey - It became the top trending video on YouTube on Friday. It
features about 20 Celebs as animals, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Snoop Dog ,
Kevin Hart, Adam Levine many others:
But then it links to this website, where the same rapper Lil
Dickey explains the 12 years to LIVE meme not wearing shoes:
On the website there are petitions which are connected to
this organization, The Action Network
It was also tied into this
Carbon Tax website:
Finally, they were connected to
the Rock The Vote: https://welovetheearth.org/act-now/
Lil Dicky - Wikipedia
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 10:29
David Andrew Burd (born March 15, 1988), better known by his stage name Lil Dicky or LD, is an American rapper and comedian. He came to prominence with the release of the music video of his song "Ex-Boyfriend", which went viral with more than one million views on YouTube in 24 hours. He released his debut album Professional Rapper on July 31, 2015. In 2018, his song "Freaky Friday", featuring Chris Brown, became a worldwide hit.
Early life [ edit ] Burd grew up in an upper-middle-class Jewish family in the Elkins Park neighborhood of Cheltenham Township, on the north border of Philadelphia.[1] He attended Cheltenham High School. Speaking about his time in high school, Burd said "I was a pussy. I was really awkward looking. I wasn't getting any girls at all, but I was very class-clownish and I got good grades.'' After graduating from high school, Burd began attending the University of Richmond,[2] where fellow 2016 XXL Freshman and rapper Dave East also attended at the same time.[3] Burd graduated summa cum laude in 2010.[4] He then relocated to San Francisco, California,[5] where he worked in account management at the advertising agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. After reimagining his monthly progress report as a rap video, the company brought him to work in their creative department, where he wrote copy for ads such as the NBA's "BIG" campaign.[1]
Burd's interest in music started when he was a child, listening to hip-hop music and alternative rock, Burd began rapping in the fifth grade after doing a history report on Alexander Pushkin using rap music.[6] In his youth, the hip-hop and rap music artists Burd listened to most were Nas and Jay-Z.[3]
Career [ edit ] Lil Dicky performing at
SXSW on March 14, 2014
Burd says he initiated his rap career "simply to get attention comedically, so I could write movies, write TV shows and act". However, he "fell in love with rapping" and says he's "not leaving that game until [he's] proved [his] point".[7]
Burd began working on his debut mixtape, So Hard in 2011. The mixtape took Burd over two years to finish[6] because he still had his day job at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners during its development.[8] Burd recorded a majority of his early material for So Hard on his MacBook Pro and a $400 microphone; in 2013 he began releasing one song per week for five months straight.[9] On April 23, 2013, Burd released the music video for his song "Ex-Boyfriend", the mixtape's leading single. The music video went viral, receiving one million views within 24 hours of being posted on YouTube.[2][10][11] Burd released a new song or music video, in a series titled Hump Days. Following the release of 32 songs and 15 music videos, Burd launched a Kickstarter, stating, "I've officially run out of money... In a nutshell, you are funding phase two of my rap career." The month-long crowdfunding period began on November 20, 2013, with the goal of raising $70,000 in order to enable Lil Dicky to create and produce more music, music videos, and go touring.[12][13] The Kickstarter well exceeded its target, raising $113,000.[14]
Lil Dicky held his first live concert at TLA in Philadelphia on February 19, 2014.[15] Burd signed with CMSN, which also manages Tyga and Chiddy Bang.[13][16] He plans "on having two concurrent careers going on, as a rapper, and as a comedian/actor/writer".[7]
Burd released his debut album Professional Rapper on July 31, 2015, and features artists Snoop Dogg, T-Pain, Rich Homie Quan, Fetty Wap, Brendon Urie (Panic! at the Disco), RetroJace and Hannibal Buress.
Lil Dicky appeared in a 2016 Funny or Die video "Watch Yo Self" with Mystikal and Trinidad James.[17]
On June 13, 2016, XXL Magazine released the 2016 Freshmen line-up. It included Lil Dicky, along with Anderson .Paak, Kodak Black, Lil Uzi Vert, 21 Savage, Dave East, Denzel Curry, Desiigner, G Herbo, and Lil Yachty.
On April 12, 2017, Lil Dicky released a music video for "Pillow Talking". Its special effects made it the 49th most expensive music video ever created.[18] In an interview with XXL in April 2017, Burd mentioned that he was creating a new project and that he was also attempting to pitch a TV show to networks.[19]
In September 2017, Lil Dicky released an EP under his alter ego Brain, I'm Brain.[20]
On March 15, 2018, Lil Dicky released a new single, "Freaky Friday", featuring Chris Brown, and the associated music video. By April 9, 2018, the video had reached over 100 million views and topped the charts in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.[21]
On April 2, 2018, Lil Dicky announced his first Australian tour; he previously studied abroad for two years in Melbourne.[22]
On April 19, 2019, Lil Dicky released a new single called "Earth," featuring Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran, and Shawn Mendes. They all voice various animated animals in the music video. The music video, which was created in partnership with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, aimed at encouraging better environmental practices worldwide.
Musical style and influences [ edit ] Lil Dicky's style blends the comical with the relatable. According to Boston magazine, "Content-wise, Lil Dicky comes up with his material from everyday occurrences and everyday experiences. From there, he crafts his videos around those topics to create a visual narrative that accompanies his talent as an emcee. 'It's like a comedian. They are out in the world, and writing things down,' he said. What followed 'Ex-Boyfriend' was a series of other videos that covered similarly average everyday experiences'--songs about staying in for the night, songs about being a Jewish kid'--he also has a rap battle with Adolf Hitler in one of his videos."[10]
Lil Dicky describes his style as a response to the excessive egotistical nature of rap today: "I really wanted to embody the exact opposite of that, and I think people are appreciating it. There just hasn't been a voice for that normal dude when it comes to rap."[10] He added, "I think a lot of rap is just escalated to a place that many people can't relate to... My niche is that I'm relatable. I don't rap about going to the club and popping bottles."[23] In terms of his rapping skills, Lil Dicky is able "to manipulate words at an excessive speed, and weave rhyme patterns together in a way that's funny while also making viewers want to rewind parts of his videos".[10]
Burd says his musical inspirations are J. Cole, A$AP Rocky, Snoop Dogg, as well as Childish Gambino, whom he refers to "as a guy with similar aspirations."[24]
Discography [ edit ] Professional Rapper (2015)Tours [ edit ] YearTour Name2014Professional Rapper Tour2015Looking for Love Tour2016(Still) Looking For Love Tour2016Dick Or Treat Tour2018Australia and New Zealand Tour2018Life Lessons TourReferences [ edit ] ^ a b "Cheltenham Rapper Lil Dicky Kicks Off His First Live Tour at TLA Wednesday". Philadelphia Magazine. 18 February 2014. ^ a b "Meet Kickstarter's Newest Musical Star". Bloomberg News. 6 December 2013. ^ a b "Lil Dicky - 2016 XXL Freshman Class". 2017 XXL Freshman Class . Retrieved 2017-09-15 . ^ "Before pop stardom, many of today's young musicians earn college degrees". Washington Post. 2 January 2016. ^ "S.F.'s Lil Dicky Wants To Be the Larry David of Rap -- Watch Him Get "Too High " ". SF Weekly. 16 September 2013. ^ a b Martin, Clay Skipper,Matt (2015-09-17). "Meet Lil Dicky, the Funny Rapper Whose New Album Is No Joke". GQ . Retrieved 2017-09-15 . ^ a b "Lil Dicky Talks Upgrading His Rap Career Via $100,000 Kickstarter Campaign". HipHopDX. 10 April 2014. ^ "Lil Dicky Isn't a White Supremacist, He's Just an Asshole". Noisey . Retrieved 2017-09-15 . ^ Betker, Ally. "It's Time to Take Lil Dicky, Hip Hop's Goofball, Seriously". W Magazine . Retrieved 2017-09-15 . ^ a b c d "Rapper Lil Dicky Talks Stereotypes, Expectations, and Battling Hitler in a Music Video". Boston. 11 February 2014. ^ "Lil Dicky - Ex-Boyfriend (Official Video)". YouTube. 25 April 2013. ^ "Lil Dicky's Kickstarter - Album, Videos, Touring". Kickstarter. ^ a b "Rapper Lil Dicky Reaches Kickstarter Goal". Variety. 27 November 2013. ^ "THANK YOU". Lil Dicky's Kickstarter. 20 December 2013. ^ "Cheltenham Rapper Lil Dicky Kicked Off His First Live Tour at TLA". Philadelphia Magazine. 20 February 2014. ^ "Lil Dicky signs to Pop-Up Music". Jingle Punks. 16 January 2014. ^ "Watch Yo Self". Funny or Die . Retrieved 2017-04-26 . ^ "A Complete Breakdown of Lil Dicky's Bizarre "Pillow Talking" Short Film". DJ Booth. 13 April 2017 . Retrieved 13 April 2017 . ^ "Lil Dicky Focuses on Creating His New TV Show - XXL". XXL Mag . Retrieved 2017-09-15 . ^ "Brain Gets Lil Dicky & The Game On His "I'm Brain" EP" . Retrieved 2017-09-15 . ^ "It's Freaky Friday! Lil Dicky & Chris Brown are Number 1". ^ "ANNOUNCES DEBUT AUSTRALIAN & NEW ZEALAND SHOWS THIS JULY" . Retrieved 2018-04-06 . ^ "Lil Dicky Talks Rapping, YouTube, and How To Make A Viral Video". Maxim. 2 July 2013. Archived from the original on May 12, 2014. ^ "Rapper hopes to gain fame with comedy". Daily Trojan. 21 April 2014. External links [ edit ] Official website Lil Dicky on SoundCloudLil Dicky on YouTubeWikimedia Commons has media related to Lil Dicky.
Sunrise Detroit meeting BOTG
I attended a Sunrise Movement town
hall in Detroit recently and I thought I’d do my job as a producer and deliver a
boots on the ground report. I apologize for the long note in advance but I like
to be diligent.
A friend of mine and man overboard Ryan invited me to come and I couldn’t pass
up the chance. Of course I had my eyes peeled for what the current consensus was
on how many climate scientists agreed with climate change, and the new number
is 100% according to the head of the Democratic Socialists (DSA) in Detroit. I
hadn’t heard of a new poll, so maybe it was posterior extraction.
One thing I noticed was they kept
saying "Detroit will be the engine of the green new deal" and kept
saying it while never acknowledging the pun. Because Detroit was the Motor City
after all.
At one point Abdul El-Sayed (Former
MI gubernatorial candidate) asked the crowd "What are we defending in the
middle east", and everyone answered back “OIL!” and I shouted right after
“Poppy fields!"
They groused about GM closing car
factories because the organization is VERY left-wing. They want to reclaim the
plant (built on land taken with eminent domain) and turn it into a “green
space”. As a Manufacturing Engineering student, this is preposterous. If
nothing else, make electric cars there rather than tear it down. Additionally,
they didn’t ship the factory out to Mexico or China, they just stopped making
those cars because sedans and the Chevy Volt don’t sell.
A spokesperson from “Good Jobs Now!”
was repeating a lie about the polar vortex where “temperatures dropped to -50F”
which was the WIND CHILL, not the temperature.
Not as much Trump hate as I guess I
expected, he was only mentioned twice in 90 minutes.
The goal of the sunrise movement is
to make climate change a central issue in the 2020 election and pressure
candidates to support the green new deal. In a few months there will be a Democratic
debate in Detroit and they plan on protesting and I’ll try to be there. For the
show!
Videos were well done, good
branding. Is it young tech savvy people or a marketing firm? Not sure.
Rashida Tlaib was honestly a pretty
good speaker and so was the snake person in charge running the show. Jumping up
and down, led a song at the end, very effective.
Thank you for your courage and thank
you for the show.
Sean Florian
MI Local 1
Additional info:
Did some research on the venue, the Bonstelle Theatre. It’s an incredible
building. Apparently it’s going to be decommissioned, “Earlier this year, Wayne
State’s Board of Governors approved a plan to expand the Hilberry Theatre and
permanently close the Bonstelle Theatre.” Very sad.
Sean F
After a $14-Billion Upgrade, New Orleans' Levees Are Sinking - Scientific American
Sat, 20 Apr 2019 13:51
The $14 billion network of levees and floodwalls that was built to protect greater New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina was a seemingly invincible bulwark against flooding.
But now, 11 months after the Army Corps of Engineers completed one of the largest public works projects in world history, the agency says the system will stop providing adequate protection in as little as four years because of rising sea levels and shrinking levees.
The growing vulnerability of the New Orleans area is forcing the Army Corps to begin assessing repair work, including raising hundreds of miles of levees and floodwalls that form a meandering earth and concrete fortress around the city and its adjacent suburbs.
''These systems that maybe were protecting us before are no longer going to be able to protect us without adjustments,'' said Emily Vuxton, policy director of the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, an environmental group. She said repair costs could be ''hundreds of millions'' of dollars, with 75% paid by federal taxpayers.
''I think this work is necessary. We have to protect the population of New Orleans,'' Vuxton said.
The protection system was built over a decade and finished last May when the Army Corps completed a final component that involves pumps.
The agency's projection that the system will ''no longer provide [required] risk reduction as early as 2023'' illustrates the rapidly changing conditions being experienced both globally as sea levels rise faster than expected and locally as erosion wipes out protective barrier islands and marshlands in southeastern Louisiana.
Of primary concern are the earthen levees that form the backbone of the 350-mile maze of protection that includes concrete floodwalls, pump stations and gated structures, Army Corps spokesman Matthew Roe said.
The levees are losing height as they start to settle'--a natural phenomenon that is exacerbated by the soft soils in southern Louisiana. Some floodwalls are built into the levees.
But ''the global incidence of sea level rise'' also is contributing to the inadequacy of the levees, the Army Corps said in the April 2 Federal Register notice announcing that it is studying system improvements.
''It's happening a little bit faster than our projections in 2007,'' Roe said.
Numerous studies in recent years have warned of New Orleans' unusual vulnerability to sea-level rise. The National Academy of Sciences projected in 2016 that New Orleans could be one of the hardest-hit cities in the world along with Manila, Philippines; Jakarta, Indonesia; and Bangkok.
''The public may feel complacent. The [protective] system was built, and they think it's done. They look at that levee as a static monolith,'' said John Lopez, director of the coastal and community program for the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, an environmental group. ''But the crisis never really was over. We improved the system, but we have always been under threat.''
Sea-level rise raises questions about whether the protective system'--known officially as the Greater New Orleans Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System'--should be built to a higher standard.
When Congress approved funding after Katrina, it required the system to protect against a so-called 100-year flood, which has a 1% likelihood of occurring in any year.
''We should be looking at higher than a 100-year standard, but not through levees alone,'' Lopez said, calling for Congress to pay for natural barriers that build up coastal buffers. ''We need a higher standard, but it should never be a single-type solution because we've seen that doesn't work.''
As the Army Corps studies reinforcing the system, it will model the effect of roughly 150 storms ranging from a small tropical depression to a mammoth 500-year storm that has only a 0.2% chance of occurring each year, said Roe, the agency spokesman. A first draft of a report is scheduled to be done by December, after which the Army Corps will accept public comments.
Reinforcing the levees'--a process known misleadingly as ''lifting"'--involves scraping off the top layer of grass and a fabric mattress and piling on additional earth before restoring the surface layer. It is unclear how much earth will need to be added to the levees, which stand as high as 35 feet.
But the Army Corps said in its Federal Register notice that ''absent future levee lifts to offset consolidation, settlement, subsidence, and sea level rise, risk to life and property in the Greater New Orleans area will progressively increase.''
Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from E&E News. E&E provides daily coverage of essential energy and environmental news at www.eenews.net.
Climate Change and the Ten Warning Signs for Cults '' Will '' Medium
Sat, 20 Apr 2019 12:42
Will, @Oil_Guns_Merica
Have you thought to yourself that the Climate Change movement seems more and more like a religious movement?
I have, so I researched how to identify a religious cult. Rick Ross, an expert on cults and intervention specialist, developed a list of ten warning signs for unsafe groups, which is published by the Cult Education Institute. So let's take a look at all ten signs and compare:
1. Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.
The leading advocates of the Climate Change movement are politicians, entertainers, and even children. Climate preachers such as Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio lack any formal scientific training whatsoever, and live personal lives of unparalleled luxury while prescribing carbon austerity for the masses. Yet no one is permitted to point out their scientific ignorance or call attention to their hypocritical lifestyles.
Child advocates such as Greta Thuneberg and the crudely indoctrinated children of the ''Sunrise movement'' are essentially sock puppets for their shameless activist handlers. Refuse to bend the knee to these tiny fascists, as Diane Feinstein most recently did, and the mainstream left will relentlessly attack you as an accessory to mass murder.
The authority of Climate Change leaders is entirely unmerited and absolute, yet no one is permitted to hold them accountable for their ignorance, inexperience, or brazen lies. Thus, the Climate Change movement clearly meets the first warning sign for unsafe groups.
2. No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.
The conclusions of the Climate Change movement may not be challenged or questioned under any circumstances. Those who dare scrutinize the conclusions, methodology, or prescriptions of ''climate scientists'' are categorically dismissed as a ''Climate Denier'', an excommunicated untouchable whose opinion is no longer valid on any subject.
Questions and critical inquiry aren't merely dismissed or refuted. The unfortunate heretic immediately experiences a relentless ad hominem onslaught of scorn and hatred from the political and media left, and is often subjected to accusations of outright murder. Simply question the effectiveness of a ''carbon tax'' and you may find yourself tied to a stake.
There is no tolerance for questioning the Climate Change movement, and thus it clearly meets the second warning sign for unsafe groups.
3. No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.
Hardly anyone knows just how much money is spent on ''Climate research'' every year. The cost is spread out among laughably useless study grants, wind and solar farm subsidies, carbon offset credits, ''green'' building code evaluation and enforcement, salaries for bureaucrats solely dedicated to ''climate concerns'''...'...you get the idea, it's a lot of hazy money.
The abhorrent practice of ''sue and settle'' was a flat out money laundering scheme that allowed sympathetic government officials to transfer millions of tax dollars to radical leftist environmental groups. The practice only ended when the Trump administration used executive power to clamp down on it.
The total amount of yearly financial expenditure on the Climate Change movement is vague, difficult to track, and often carried out in unethical manners. Thus, the Climate Change movement exhibits the third warning sign for unsafe groups.
4. Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.
This one is pretty obvious. The Climate Change movement always shouts out revised and updated apocalypse predictions, eerily reminiscent of the stereotypical bum on the sidewalk with that ''The End Is Near'' sign. ''The world will end in X years if we don't do X'' is the constant refrain. The years always pass, and the apocalypse never happens. Interestingly, this is a characteristic of multiple religious cults (such as the Seekers of Chicago, and the Order of the Solar Temple). At the moment, we apparently have 12 years to nationalize the entire economy and phase out fossil fuels before we all die a fiery death.
There's also no shortage of conspiracy theories about who they consider to be Earth's greatest saboteurs. They have an enemies list. The fossil fuel industry is at the top of it, with widespread tinfoil hat theories about oil companies burying patents for efficient renewable fuel recipes to keep us all guzzling gasoline.
The ''repent or burn'' doomsday preaching is the most well-known staple of the Climate Change movement, and quite clearly exemplifies the fourth warning sign for unsafe groups.
5. There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.
Climate alarmists who leave, step back from, or even lightly criticize the movement are immediately subjected to vicious smear campaigns. Dutch professor Richard Tol experienced this phenomenon firsthand when he removed his name from an IPCC climate report and criticized the reports excessively apocalyptic predictions.
The smear campaign was led by Bob Ward, director of policy at the London School of Economics' Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change 'This has all the characteristics of a smear campaign'', Tol said. ''It's all about taking away my credibility as an expert.''
The treatment of Professor Tol is not uncommon, and clearly demonstrates that the Climate Change movement exhibits the fifth warning sign for unsafe groups.
6. Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.
Professor Tol is not an anomaly. Dr. Richard Lindzen of MIT, Dr. Nils-Axel M¶rner, and countless other former IPCC in-crowd climate experts were subjected to smear campaigns from their colleagues and the news media for the crime of throwing cold water on the outlandish predictions of the Climate Change movement.
This pattern is all too familiar to anyone who has studied what happens to individuals who leave the Church of Scientology, and clearly meets the sixth warning sign for unsafe groups.
7. There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader.
The abuses of the Climate Change movement are loud and proud. They vociferously attack their perceived enemies for public consumption, and are cheered on by fellow travelers in the journalism class. Most recently they brainwashed a bunch of kids and marched them into an octogenarian Democrat Senator's office to beg not to be murdered by a 'No' vote on impossible legislation. Have you seen those kids in Diane Feinstein's office? You should, it's creepy, here they are:
https://twitter.com/_waleedshahid/status/1099076130089459712
These tantrums and protests aren't only meant to rally supporters of the Climate Change movement. They are a form of intimidation, a tactic used to silence those who question the gospel. There is ample evidence that the Climate Change movement meets the seventh warning sign of an unsafe group.
8. Followers feel they can never be ''good enough''.
The atonement process for Climate warriors always demands more. It started with using a recycling bin and grocery bags. Now, in 2019, being a good follower means imposing veganism on the masses and issuing fatwahs against innocuous objects such as plastic straws and grocery bags. Despite all the efforts of the faithful, Climate minions maintain a constant state of dread and despair, knowing they can never truly do enough to stop the coming doom.
Clearly, the eighth warning sign for unsafe groups applies to the Climate Change movement.
9. The group/leader is always right.
When have the climate leaders been called wrong for their failed predictions? Regardless of the weather, they are always intrinsically correct.
Flood? Climate Change. Drought? Climate Change.
No Snow? Climate Change. Too much snow? Climate Change.
Tornado? Climate Change. Hurricane? Climate Change. Lack of hurricanes? Climate Change.
See how this works?
One of the best aspects of the movement is ''weather is climate until it isn't''. The acolytes of Climate Change will point out the window in a heat wave and say, ''See? We're right!''
If a skeptic points out the window during a blizzard, the same acolytes will simply cry ''Weather isn't climate!'' It's a game they can never lose, one in which they are never wrong and always right.
Thus, the ninth warning sign for unsafe groups clearly applies.
10. The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing ''truth'' or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.
The path to discovery for the Climate Change movement is an intentionally vague discipline referred to as ''climate science''.
Did you carry out a study on gender and glaciers? Climate Science.
Did you think up the worst possible scenarios that have no actual chance of happening (actual portion of latest National Climate Assessment)? Climate Science.
https://twitter.com/Oil_Guns_Merica/status/1066697180428279809
Any ''science'' that confirms the tenets of the Climate Change movement is deemed ''climate science'', while actual scientific research that disputes their conclusions is derided as ''denialism''.
The tenth warning sign for unsafe groups is clearly met.
The Verdict: It's a cultAccording to the established, scientific guidelines developed by cult experts, the Climate Change movement fits the bill for a potentially unsafe group.
When I looked up these established warning signs, I honestly expected Climate Changeists to meet two or three of them, NOT TEN! The disturbingly religious nature of this supposedly ''scientific'' movement should alarm any thinking human being, especially since the movement now openly seeks to nationalize the entire economy.
It's time for conservatives to realize what they are dealing with, and act accordingly. Rather than debating Climate Change activists, it may be time to start staging interventions.
If someone you know is a member of the Climate Change Movement, and you are interested in intervention strategies, please visit https://culteducation.com/prep_faq.html.
Teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg meets Pope Francis ahead of protest - ABC News
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 13:18
Teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg met the pope in Rome Wednesday ahead of a youth rally against climate change this week.
Thunberg, 16, met Pope Francis at the end of his weekly audience in St Peter's Square, shaking hands with the pontiff and showing him a banner adorned with the slogan "Join the Climate Strike."
"The Holy Father thanked and encouraged Greta Thunberg for her commitment in defense of the environment, and in turn Greta, who had requested the meeting, thanked the Holy Father for his great commitment in defense of creation," the director of the Holy See Press Office, Alessandro Gisotti, told reporters about the meeting Wednesday morning in the Vatican.
The teenage climate change activist rose to worldwide fame after addressing the United Nations climate change summit in Poland at the age of 15 in August. She has since become one of the most influential leaders in the worldwide School Strike for Climate movement, also known as Fridays for Future.
After Thunberg embarked on a solo climate change protest at her school in Sweden in August, a movement spread. Thousands of students have joined her in protesting in over 1,325 places in 98 countries over the past six months, according to Thunberg.
Thunberg was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by three Norwegian lawmakers in March for her services to environmental campaigning. In response to the news, she said she was "honored and grateful."
Thunberg is in Rome ahead of another youth climate strike scheduled for Friday, which is expected to draw huge crowds as her activities garner more and more media coverage around the globe. Over 1.6 million people from 131 countries took part at the last "School Strike for Climate" global protest on March 15, in which schoolchildren boycott their school day, according to the Fridays for Future website.
"Youth throughout the world are voicing what many people are feeling: that national leaders simply must do more if we're going to have any chance at achieving our collective goal under the Paris Agreement of limiting climate change to 1.5C.," Patricia Espinosa the Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change told ABC News. "These youth understand just how urgent it is that we find solutions; after all, our window of opportunity is closing rapidly."
Thunberg's meeting with the Pope followed a speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday, where she told European politicians that "cathedral thinking" was needed in order to tackle climate change, in apparent reference to the fire at Notre Dame.
"It is still not too late to act," she told lawmakers, according to The Guardian. "It will take a far-reaching vision. It will take courage, it will take fierce, fierce determination to act now . I ask you to please wake up and make changes required possible."
The Brussels Times - Electric vehicles emit more CO2 than diesel ones, German study shows
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 13:31
Electric vehicles in Germany account for more CO2 emissions than diesel ones, according to a study by German scientists.
When CO2 emissions linked to the production of batteries and the German energy mix - in which coal still plays an important role - are taken into consideration, electric vehicles emit 11% to 28% more than their diesel counterparts, according to the study, presented on Wednesday at the Ifo Institute in Munich.
Mining and processing the lithium, cobalt and manganese used for batteries consume a great deal of energy. A Tesla Model 3 battery, for example, represents between 11 and 15 tonnes of CO2. Given a lifetime of 10 years and an annual travel distance of 15,000 kilometres, this translates into 73 to 98 grams of CO2 per kilometre, scientists Christoph Buchal, Hans-Dieter Karl and Hans-Werner Sinn noted in their study.
The CO2 given off to produce the electricity that powers such vehicles also needs to be factored in, they say.
When all these factors are considered, each Tesla emits 156 to 180 grams of CO2 per kilometre, which is more than a comparable diesel vehicle produced by the German company Mercedes, for example.
The German researchers therefore take issue with the fact that European officials view electric vehicles as zero-emission ones. They note further that the EU target of 59 grams of CO2 per km by 2030 corresponds to a ''technically unrealistic'' consumption of 2.2 litres of diesel or 2.6 litres of gas per 100 kms.
These new limits pressure German and other European car manufacturers into switching massively to electric vehicles whereas, the researchers feel, it would have been preferable to opt for methane engines, ''whose emissions are one-third less than those of diesel motors.''
Oscar SchneiderThe Brussels TimesCorrection: A previous version of this story said the German energy mix used charcoal, not coal
Cooling Down the Hysteria About Global Warming
The best data comes from
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) which set up 114
rural temperature monitoring stations in the US in 2002 (USCRN). When we look
at these, we see no persistent increase in US temperatures.[6] In fact, 2018
was .3°F colder than the first two years measured. February and March 2019
combined to be the coldest two-month period (temperature anomaly) ever recorded
by the USCRN.
Big Oil
Midwest floods hammer US ethanol industry, push some gas prices toward five-year high
Thu, 18 Apr 2019 20:49
The March floods that punished the U.S. Midwest have roiled the ethanol industry, hammering prices and trapping barrels in the country's interior while the U.S. coasts suffer from shortages of the biofuel.
The historic March floods have dealt a series of blows to large swaths of an ethanol industry that was already struggling with high inventories and sluggish domestic demand growth. And the ethanol shortages are one factor pushing gasoline prices in Los Angeles and Southern California to the highest in the nation and they could top $4 a gallon for the first time since 2014, according to tracking firm GasBuddy.
Benchmark price for ethanol used in most supply contracts initially jumped on news of the floods but has been hobbled by rising waters around the Chicago hub that have halted barges and sales. That stands in contrast to prices on the coasts, which rose dramatically - drawing in heavy imports from Brazil, the main U.S. ethanol competitor.
The floods inflicted billions of dollars in damage to crops and homes in the U.S. Midwest, and knocked out roughly 13 percent of ethanol capacity.
Scott Olson | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Homes and businesses are surrounded by floodwater on March 20, 2019 in Hamburg, Iowa.
U.S. ethanol is made from corn and required by the government to be blended into the nation's fuel supply to reduce emissions.
While some ethanol plants were flooded, the primary effect of the rising waters was to shut rail lines that serve as the main arteries for corn and ethanol deliveries.
Ethanol prices on the coasts spiked due to shortages, but Midwest producers have been unable to take advantage because of washed-out rail lines, market sources told Reuters.
"Unfortunately for anyone who was impacted by logistics issues it was a double whammy. You couldn't capture the rally," said one trader.
At Chicago's Argo terminal, the nation's main ethanol pricing hub, the cash price for ethanol fell for an eighth straight session last week to $1.29 a gallon, the longest downward skid since April of last year, according to Oil Price Information Service, which does daily assessments.
Initially, fears of widespread plant outages boosted that benchmark, but plants proved more resilient than expected, continuing to produce despite logistical challenges.
While some ethanol plants were flooded, the primary effect of the rising waters was to shut rail lines that serve as the main arteries for corn and ethanol deliveries.
Ethanol prices on the coasts spiked due to shortages, but Midwest producers have been unable to take advantage because of washed-out rail lines, market sources told Reuters.
"Unfortunately for anyone who was impacted by logistics issues it was a double whammy. You couldn't capture the rally," said one trader.
At least one county in California has already surpassed $4 a gallon. The highest recorded average price for the state was $4.67 a gallon, in October 2012, according to AAA.
The high coastal prices attracted barrels from the biggest U.S. competitor: Brazil. Overall ethanol imports to the United States totaled 558,279 barrels in March, the most seasonally since 2013, according to Refinitiv Eikon ship tracking data. Most of the imports during the month came from Brazil, according to the tracking data.
Notre Dame GLITCH
The battle for France continues
Sat, 20 Apr 2019 13:29
Yellow vest demonstrators have again clashed with riot police in the French city of Toulouse as President Emmanuel Macron prepared a series of policy announcements aimed at quelling 22 consecutive weekends of anti-government protests.The southern city resembled a war zone today as police fired teargas and arrested several people after hundreds of demonstrators started throwing objects, burning rubbish bins and trying to enter areas where protests have been banned.Around 2,000 protesters had gathered on the Allee Jean Jaures - a wide avenue in the city centre - and on nearby side streets.Labels: EU, war
Yellow Vest Anger Burns in France, Fueled by Notre Dame Fire
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 04:15
PARIS'--French yellow vest protesters set fires along a march route through Paris on Saturday, April 20, to drive home their message to a government they see as out of touch with the problems of the poor: that rebuilding the fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral isn't the only problem France needs to solve.
Like the high-visibility vests the protesters wear, the scattered small fires in Paris appeared to be a collective plea to the government to ''look at me'--I need help too!''
Police fired water cannon and sprayed tear gas to try to control radical elements on the margins of the largely peaceful march, one of several actions around Paris and other French cities.
A man waves a flag near the Notre Dame Cathedral as he takes part in a yellow vest demonstration in Paris, on April 20, 2019. (Francisco Seco/AP Photo)The protesters were marking the 23rd straight weekend of yellow vest actions against economic inequality and President Emmanuel Macron's government, which they see as favoring the wealthy and big business at the expense of ordinary workers. Protesters see themselves as standing up for beleaguered French workers, students, and retirees who have been battered by high unemployment, high taxes, and shrinking purchasing power.
Associated Press reporters saw a car, motorbikes, and barricades set ablaze around the Place de la Republique plaza in eastern Paris. The smell of tear gas fired by police mixed with the smoke, choking the air.
Police walk among burning vehicles during a yellow vest demonstration in Paris, on April 20, 2019. (Francisco Seco/AP Photo)Paris firefighters'--who struggled earlier this week to prevent the 12th-century Notre Dame from collapsing'--quickly responded to extinguish the flames at Saturday's protest.
One masked protester dressed in black jumped on a Mercedes parked along the march route, smashing its front and back windshields.
Paris police headquarters said authorities detained 137 people by early afternoon and carried out spot checks on more than 14,000 people trying to enter the capital for Saturday's protests.
The tensions focused on a march of several thousand people that started at the Finance Ministry in eastern Paris to demand lower taxes on workers and retirees and higher taxes on the rich.
Police seal off an area around the Place de la Concorde prior to a yellow vest demonstration in Paris, Saturday, on April 20, 2019. (Michel Euler/AP Photo)Another group of about 200 people tried to march to the president's Elysee Palace in central Paris, but riot police blocked them at the neo-classical Madeleine Church.
Yet another group tried to demonstrate yellow vest mourning over the Notre Dame blaze while also keeping up the pressure on Macron. They wanted to march to Notre Dame itself, but were banned by police, who set up a large security perimeter around the area.
One protester carried a huge wooden cross resembling those carried in Good Friday processions as he walked on a nearby Paris embankment.
A man carries a wooden cross outside the Notre Dame Cathedral as part of a demonstration in Paris, Saturday, on April 20, 2019. (Francisco Seco/AP Photo)Some 60,000 police officers were mobilized for Saturday's protests across France. The movement is largely peaceful but extremists have attacked treasured monuments, shops, and banks and clashed with police.
A demonstrator throws back a tear gas canister during a yellow vest demonstration in Paris, on April 20, 2019. (Michel Euler/AP Photo)The heavy police presence meant subway stations and roads around Paris were closed Saturday, thwarting tourists trying to enjoy the French capital on a warm spring day.
''Paris is very difficult right now,'' said Paul Harlow, of Kansas City, Missouri, as he looked sadly at the damaged Notre Dame.
He and his wife Susan were in Paris only for a few days and didn't make it in time to see the cathedral. On Saturday, their efforts to visit museums were derailed by closed subways and barricaded roads.
''I don't think we'll be back,'' he said.
Two people walk by a closed metro station near the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, on April 20, 2019. (Francisco Seco/AP Photo)Other visitors showed solidarity with the yellow vest cause.
''I am not interested in joining them, but I can understand what they're angry about,'' said Antonio Costes, a retiree from the Paris suburb of Montreuil who came Saturday to see the damage to Notre Dame. ''There is a lot of injustice.''
Macron had been scheduled to lay out his responses to yellow vest concerns on Monday night'--but canceled the speech because the Notre Dame fire broke out. He's now expected to do so next Thursday.
Some yellow vest critics accuse Macron of trying to exploit the fire for political gain. One protester carried a sign targeting Macron that read: ''Pyromaniac'--we are going to carbonize you.''
Another huge sign read: ''Victor Hugo thanks all the generous donors ready to save Notre Dame and proposes that they do the same thing with Les Miserables,'' referring to the famed author's novels about the cathedral and the struggles of France's poor.
A protestors waves a French flag during a yellow vest demonstration in Paris, on April 20, 2019. (Francisco Seco/AP Photo)Some prominent yellow vest figures who had stopped protesting said they were returning to the streets Saturday out of an even greater sense of being overlooked since the Notre Dame tragedy.
By Angela Charlton and Michel Euler
The Latest: Computer glitch 'one possible cause' of fire | Fox News
Fri, 19 Apr 2019 13:07
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Tourists walk nearby Notre Dame cathedral, in Paris, Friday, April 19, 2019. Rebuilding Notre Dame, the 800-year-old Paris cathedral devastated by fire this week, will cost billions of dollars as architects, historians and artisans work to preserve the medieval landmark. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
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Workers prepare to remove a statue from the damaged Notre Dame cathedral, in Paris, Friday, April 19, 2019. Rebuilding Notre Dame, the 800-year-old Paris cathedral devastated by fire this week, will cost billions of dollars as architects, historians and artisans work to preserve the medieval landmark. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
PARIS '' The Latest on the fire that ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris (all times local):
1:05 p.m.
The rector of Notre Dame says a "computer glitch" might have caused the fire that ravaged a large part of the cathedral this week.
Speaking during a meeting of local business owners, Patrick Chauvet did not elaborate on the glitch, adding that "we maybe find out what happened in two or three months."
Le Parisien newspaper has reported that investigators are looking at whether the fire could have been linked to a computer glitch, or related to the temporary elevators used in the renovation work, among other things.
Chauvet added that investigators are still unable to access the cathedral's nave for security reasons.
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9:35 a.m.
French President Emmanuel Macron is hosting officials from the United Nations' cultural agency, where he is expected to set out ideas for the reconstruction of Notre Dame Cathedral.
He will meet with state delegates from UNESCO, which oversees global heritage issues, in the Elysee Palace Friday.
Macron's push for a speedy rebuild indicates he wants the fire-ravaged monument's reconstruction to be part of his legacy, and is seizing the moment to try to move on from the divisive yellow vest protests. His initial wish for it to be rebuilt in just five years was met with incredulity.
Macron had been due to deliver an uneasy speech Monday setting out long-awaited plans to quell anti-government protests that have marred his presidency, but it was postponed after the fire broke out.
___
Read and watch all AP coverage of the Notre Dame fire at https://apnews.com/NotreDameCathedral
'Computer glitch' may have caused the fire that ravaged Notre Dame, the cathedral's rector says | Daily Mail Online
Sat, 20 Apr 2019 12:30
A 'computer glitch' may have been behind the fast-spreading fire that ravaged Notre Dame, the cathedral's rector said on Friday.
Bishop Patrick Chauvet did not elaborate on the nature of the cause but said 'we may find out what happened in two or three months.'
The area surrounding Notre Dame has been cordoned off since the inferno on Monday night, as stones and debris have continued to tumble.
On Thursday, Paris police investigators said they think an electrical short-circuit most likely caused the fire.
Flames and smoke rise from the blaze at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris on Monday evening
Archbishop of Paris and Dean of Notre-Dame Cathedral Jean-Marc Chauvet makes a speech in front of the Paris city hall on Thursday
The Parisien newspaper has reported that investigators are considering whether the fire could be linked to a computer glitch or related to temporary elevators used in the renovation that was underway at the time the cathedral caught fire.
Chauvet said there were fire alarms throughout the building, which he described as 'well protected.'
Despite warnings of toxicity from environmental activists, art experts headed into the stricken cathedral to remove all the remaining paintings on Friday.
Officials from the culture ministry were allowed into the 850-year-old landmark to begin retrieving the artworks after fire service officials declared the scorched structure safe enough to go inside.
Firefighters and engineering experts have been working on the fragile landmark since the blaze, erecting scaffolding and other wooden supports to stop any of the stonework collapsing.
'The paintings inside the cathedral have been saved from the flames and can now be taken down and transported to safe areas,' France's Culture Minister Franck Riester told reporters at the scene on Friday.
'All of the paintings will be removed today,' Riester added, saying that he was feeling 'very positive' given how most of the priceless canvasses, many of them dating from the 17th or 18th century, had been saved.
The artworks were taken to the Louvre museum, a centre of restoration, where experts will repair relatively minor damage caused by smoke or water before storing the paintings until they can be returned.
A worker prepares to remove a statue from the damaged Notre Dame cathedral in Paris on Friday
A crane works at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris on Friday as art experts attended to remove all of the paitings
Statues which sat around the spire of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris avoided destruction as they were stored in SOCRA workshop before restoration
Charlotte Hubert, president of a group of French architects who specialise in historic monuments, told BFM television that experts plan to spread a custom-made peaked tarpaulin across the cathedral's roof, with enough space to also shield workers rebuilding the frame.
French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to set out reconstruction ideas during meetings Friday with officials from the United Nations' cultural agency, UNESCO.
Macron is moving quickly on the fire-ravaged monument's reconstruction, which is being viewed both as a push to make it part of his legacy and a way to move past the divisive yellow vest protests over economic issues in France.
A crane works at Notre Dame cathedral on Friday, experts plan to spread a custom-made peaked tarpaulin across the cathedral's roof, with enough space to also shield workers rebuilding the frame.
Notre Dame's reconstruction is prompting widespread debate across France, with differing views emerging over whether it should involve new technologies and designs. Macron's office has, for example, said the president wants a 'contemporary architectural gesture to be considered' for the collapsed spire, which wasn't part of the original cathedral.
Macron hasn't offered any specifics on his vision for the roof or whether the frame should be wood, metal or concrete, according to his cultural heritage envoy, Stephane Bern. He has named a general, Jean-Louis Georgelin, former chief of staff of the armed forces, to lead the reconstruction effort.
Over $1 billion has already poured in from people from all walks of life around the world to restore Notre Dame.
Judith Kagan, a conservation official at France's Culture Ministry, said the artworks inside Notre Dame had suffered no major damage from the fire and the pieces were being removed from the building for their protection.
The fire delayed Macron's long-awaited plans to quell anti-government protests that have marred his presidency. The French leader abandoned a planned TV address to the nation on the evening of the fire, heading to the scene instead and declaring: 'We will rebuild Notre Dame.'
According to an opinion poll by BVA institute published Friday - the first carried out since the fire - Macron has gained three points in popularity in the past month with an approval rating of 32%. That advance puts him back at the support level of September, before the yellow vest crisis, BVA said.
Although all French polls show that Macron's popularity has remain depressed since a tax increase on retirees last year, they suggest his party may be ahead in France's May 26 European Parliament election, with Marine Le Pen's far-right party, the National Rally, close behind.
Large artworks are seen on a specialised truck after being removed from Notre Dame Cathedral on Friday
Workers stand by wooden planks supporting Notre Dame cathedral on Friday
Macron is now expected to detail his new measures next week. Macron earlier was planning to respond to demonstrators' concerns over their loss of purchasing power with tax cuts for lower-income households and measures to boost pensions and help single parents.
Despite the destruction of Notre Dame dominating the news in France, a new round of yellow vest protests is planned on Saturday across the country, including in Paris.
In a hopeful development Friday, 180,000 bees being kept in in hives on Notre Dame's lead roofing were discovered alive.
'I am so relieved. I saw satellite photos that showed the three hives didn't burn. I thought they had gone with the cathedral,' Nicolas Geant, the monument's beekeeper, told the AP.
Geant has looked after the bees since 2013, when they were installed as part of a city-wide initiative to boost declining bee numbers.
Since the insects have no lungs, Geant said the CO2 in the fire's heavy smoke put the bees into a sedated state instead of killing them. He said when bees sense fire they 'gorge themselves on honey' and protect their queen. He said European bees never abandon their hives.
Artist Wim Delvoye enters design competition to reconstruct Notre Dame | The Art Newspaper
Sat, 20 Apr 2019 20:12
Wim Delvoye's Tour (Brussels, 2010) at the Bozar, Centre for Fine Arts Brussels in 2010 Courtesy of Studio Wim Delvoye
The Belgian artist Wim Delvoye says he will take part in the international competition for the reconstruction of Notre Dame, and is already working on proposals to restore the fire-ravaged Medieval cathedral.
Yesterday, the prime minister of France, Edouard Philippe, launched an international architectural competition to rebuild the spire of the gutted medieval cathedral.
''According to Philippe, a new spire, adapted to contemporary techniques and interpretations, is one of the possible outcomes of the competition. The Wim Delvoye team is therefore working hard on a first proposal,'' according to a statement issued by the artist's studio.
Wim Delvoye's Suppo (2012) at the Mus(C)e du Louvre in 2012 Courtesy of Studio Wim Delvoye
The 93-metre spire, which collapsed in the devastating fire at the cathedral on Monday, was erected in the 1860s when the cathedral was dramatically reshaped by the architect Eug¨ne-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc. ''The international competition will allow us to ask the question of whether we should even recreate the spire as it was conceived by Viollet-le-Duc,'' Philippe told French press.
Delvoye is known for his laser-cut stainless steel works, creating trucks, concrete mixers and towers in a neo-Gothic style. In 2012, he unveiled a corkscrew-like tower at the Louvre called Suppo which was inspired by Flemish Gothic architecture.
''Based on the many years of deepening in the Gothic architectural style, Wim Delvoye feels strongly encouraged to contribute to the reconstruction of this monument [Notre Dame],'' the statement adds.
Read more of our coverage on the fire of Notre Dame here
Notre Dame rector says 'computer glitch' likely started fire
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 13:22

PARIS '-- A ''computer glitch'' may have been behind the fast-spreading fire that ravaged Notre Dame, the cathedral's rector said Friday, as architects and construction workers tried to figure out how to stabilize the damaged structure and protect it from the elements.
The fire burned through the lattice of enormous oak beams supporting the monument's vaulted stone ceiling, dangerously weakening the building. The surrounding neighborhood has been blocked off, and stones have continued to tumble off the sides of the cathedral since Monday evening's devastating blaze.
Speaking during a meeting of local business owners, rector Patrick Chauvet did not elaborate on the exact nature of the glitch, adding that ''we may find out what happened in two or three months.''
On Thursday, Paris police investigators said they think an electrical short-circuit most likely caused the fire.
The Parisien newspaper has reported that investigators are considering whether the fire could be linked to a computer glitch or related to temporary elevators used in the renovation that was underway at the time the cathedral caught fire. Chauvet said there were fire alarms throughout the building, which he described as ''well protected.''
Charlotte Hubert, president of a group of French architects who specialize in historic monuments, told BFM television that experts plan to spread a custom-made peaked tarpaulin across the cathedral's roof, with enough space to also shield workers rebuilding the frame.
French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to set out reconstruction ideas during meetings Friday with officials from the United Nations' cultural agency, UNESCO.
Macron is moving quickly on the fire-ravaged monument's reconstruction, which is being viewed both as a push to make it part of his legacy and a way to move past the divisive yellow vest protests over economic issues in France.
Notre Dame's reconstruction is prompting widespread debate across France, with differing views emerging over whether it should involve new technologies and designs. Macron's office has, for example, said the president wants a ''contemporary architectural gesture to be considered'' for the collapsed spire, which wasn't part of the original cathedral.
Macron hasn't offered any specifics on his vision for the roof or whether the frame should be wood, metal or concrete, according to his cultural heritage envoy, Stephane Bern. He has named a general, Jean-Louis Georgelin, former chief of staff of the armed forces, to lead the reconstruction effort.
Over $1 billion has already poured in from people from all walks of life around the world to restore Notre Dame.
Judith Kagan, a conservation official at France's Culture Ministry, said the artworks inside Notre Dame had suffered no major damage from the fire and the pieces were being removed from the building for their protection.
The Notre Dame fire delayed Macron's long-awaited plans to quell anti-government protests that have marred his presidency. The French leader abandoned a planned TV address to the nation on the evening of the fire, heading to the scene instead and declaring: ''We will rebuild Notre Dame.''
According to an opinion poll by BVA institute published Friday '-- the first carried out since the fire '-- Macron has gained three points in popularity in the past month with an approval rating of 32%. That advance puts him back at the support level of September, before the yellow vest crisis, BVA said.
Although all French polls show that Macron's popularity has remain depressed since a tax increase on retirees last year, they suggest his party may be ahead in France's May 26 European Parliament election, with Marine Le Peassn's far-right party, the National Rally, close behind.
Macron is now expected to detail his new measures next week. Macron earlier was planning to respond to demonstrators' concerns over their loss of purchasing power with tax cuts for lower-income households and measures to boost pensions and help single parents.
Despite the destruction of Notre Dame dominating the news in France, a new round of yellow vest protests is planned on Saturday across the country, including in Paris.
In a hopeful development Friday, 180,000 bees being kept in hives on Notre Dame's lead roofing were discovered alive.
''I am so relieved. I saw satellite photos that showed the three hives didn't burn. I thought they had gone with the cathedral,'' Nicolas Geant, the monument's beekeeper, told the AP.
Geant has looked after the bees since 2013, when they were installed as part of a city-wide initiative to boost declining bee numbers.
Since the insects have no lungs, Geant said the CO2 in the fire's heavy smoke put the bees into a sedated state instead of killing them. He said when bees sense fire they ''gorge themselves on honey'' and protect their queen. He said European bees never abandon their hives.
New theory on what caused Notre Dame fire in Paris
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 13:17

A ''computer glitch'' may have been behind the fast-spreading fire that ravaged Notre Dame, the cathedral's rector said overnight, as architects and construction workers tried to figure out how to stabilise the damaged structure and protect it from the elements.
The fire burned through the lattice of enormous oak beams supporting the monument's vaulted stone ceiling, dangerously weakening the building. The surrounding neighbourhood has been blocked off, and stones have continued to tumble off the sides of the cathedral since Monday evening's devastating blaze.
Speaking during a meeting of local business owners, rector Patrick Chauvet did not elaborate on the exact nature of the glitch, adding that ''we may find out what happened in two or three months'', the New York Post reports.
On Thursday, Paris police investigators said they think an electrical short-circuit most likely caused the fire.
The Parisian newspaper has reported that investigators are considering whether the fire could be linked to a computer glitch or related to temporary elevators used in the renovation that was underway at the time the cathedral caught fire.
Mr Chauvet said there were fire alarms throughout the building, which he described as ''well protected.''
Charlotte Hubert, president of a group of French architects who specialise in historic monuments, told BFM television that experts plan to spread a custom-made peaked tarpaulin across the cathedral's roof, with enough space to also shield workers rebuilding the frame.
French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to set out reconstruction ideas during meetings Friday with officials from the United Nations' cultural agency, UNESCO.
Mr Macron is moving quickly on the fire-ravaged monument's reconstruction, which is being viewed both as a push to make it part of his legacy and a way to move past the divisive yellow vest protests over economic issues in France.
Notre Dame's reconstruction is prompting widespread debate across France, with differing views emerging over whether it should involve new technologies and designs.
Mr Macron's office has, for example, said the president wants a ''contemporary architectural gesture to be considered'' for the collapsed spire, which wasn't part of the original cathedral.
Mr Macron hasn't offered any specifics on his vision for the roof or whether the frame should be wood, metal or concrete, according to his cultural heritage envoy, Stephane Bern.
He has named a general, Jean-Louis Georgelin, former chief of staff of the armed forces, to lead the reconstruction effort.
Over $US1 billion ($A1.4 billion) has already poured in from people from all walks of life around the world to restore Notre Dame.
Judith Kagan, a conservation official at France's Culture Ministry, said the artworks inside Notre Dame had suffered no major damage from the fire and the pieces were being removed from the building for their protection.
The Notre Dame fire delayed Mr Macron's long-awaited plans to quell anti-government protests that have marred his presidency. The French leader abandoned a planned TV address to the nation on the evening of the fire, heading to the scene instead and declaring: ''We will rebuild Notre Dame.''
According to an opinion poll by BVA institute '-- the first carried out since the fire '-- Mr Macron has gained three points in popularity in the past month with an approval rating of 32 per cent. That advance puts him back at the support level of September, before the yellow vest crisis, BVA said.
Although all French polls show that Mr Macron's popularity has remain depressed since a tax increase on retirees last year, they suggest his party may be ahead in France's May 26 European parliament election, with Marine Le Peassn's far-right party, the National Rally, close behind.
Mr Macron is now expected to detail his new measures next week.
Mr Macron earlier was planning to respond to demonstrators' concerns over their loss of purchasing power with tax cuts for lower-income households and measures to boost pensions and help single parents.
Despite the destruction of Notre Dame dominating the news in France, a new round of yellow vest protests is planned on Saturday across the country, including in Paris.
In a hopeful development Friday, 180,000 bees being kept in hives on Notre Dame's lead roofing were discovered alive.
''I am so relieved. I saw satellite photos that showed the three hives didn't burn. I thought they had gone with the cathedral,'' Nicolas Geant, the monument's beekeeper, told the AP.
Mr Geant has looked after the bees since 2013, when they were installed as part of a citywide initiative to boost declining bee numbers.
Since the insects have no lungs, Mr Geant said the CO2 in the fire's heavy smoke put the bees into a sedated state instead of killing them. He said when bees sense fire they ''gorge themselves on honey'' and protect their queen. He said European bees never abandon their hives.
This story originally appeared in the New York Post and is republished here with permission
Fire-ravaged Notre Dame now stabilized, firefighters leave
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 13:23
PARIS (AP) '-- Architects and construction workers have stabilized the damaged structure of Notre Dame cathedral, four days after a fast-spreading fire ravaged the iconic Paris building, and firefighters were leaving the site Friday night, a fire service official said.
The promising development came as Notre Dame's parishioners celebrated Good Friday in a nearby church, praying for the damaged monument and celebrating its rescued relics such as the Crown of Thorns believed to have been worn by Jesus at his crucifixion.
''There is no more risk the edifice's walls could fall down,'' Lt. Col. Gabriel Plus, chief spokesman for the Paris fire service, told The Associated Press. Plus said firefighters have been able to cool down the walls and debris from the roof inside the cathedral, and there are no more ''hot points'' inside.
''It's a miracle that the cathedral is still standing, and that all the relics were saved,'' he said.
Investigators believe the fire was an accident and are studying multiple factors that could have contributed.
The cathedral's rector said a ''computer glitch'' may have played a role in the rapidly spreading blaze that devastated the 850-year-old architectural masterpiece.
Rector Patrick Chauvet did not elaborate on the exact nature of the glitch. ''We may find out what happened in two or three months,'' he told local business leaders and construction workers.
Newspaper Le Parisien reported that a computer bug could have misdirected firefighters responding to the initial fire alarm. The unsourced report said investigators are also looking into whether the fire was linked to temporary elevators being used in a renovation that was underway at the time the cathedral caught fire.
The fire burned through the network of enormous centuries-old oak beams supporting the monument's vaulted stone ceiling, dangerously weakening the building. Chauvet said there were fire alarms throughout the building, which he described as ''well protected.''
Firefighter spokesman Plus said there could have been ''a smoldering fire inside the frame'' of the Notre Dame roof that was fueled by the wind.
Paris police investigators said they believe an electrical short-circuit most likely caused the fire. It's believed to be one of multiple leads being investigated.
''Is it linked to the renovation work? A human error? The investigation will say,'' Plus said.
He warned that ''the central nave remains dangerous'' but said the stones are drying out from the water sprayed from hoses during nine hours of firefighting efforts.
The last artworks were taken out of the cathedral Friday and taken to the Louvre for safekeeping pending renovation, he said.
Catholic worshippers carried out the Way of the Cross ritual near the cathedral to mark Good Friday, and the Crown of Thorns relic saved from the fire was presented to worshippers at the nearby Saint-Sulpice Church.
A public veneration of the crown is normally part of the ceremonies leading up to Easter at Notre Dame. But because of the fire, the crown was shown at a service Friday evening at Saint-Sulpice instead.
Judith Kagan, a conservation official at France's Culture Ministry, said Friday the artworks inside Notre Dame had suffered no major damage from the fire.
French President Emmanuel Macron met Friday with officials from the United Nations' cultural agency, UNESCO. UNESCO representatives have offered their technical expertise to help with the reconstruction.
Macron is moving quickly on the fire-ravaged monument's reconstruction, which is being viewed both as a push to make it part of his legacy and a way to move past the divisive yellow vest protests over social inequality in France.
Notre Dame's reconstruction is prompting widespread debate across France, with differing views over whether it should involve new technologies and designs.
Macron hasn't offered any specifics on his vision for the roof or whether the frame should be wood, metal or concrete, according to his cultural heritage envoy, Stephane Bern. He has named a general, Jean-Louis Georgelin, former chief of staff of the armed forces, to lead the reconstruction effort.
Over $1 billion has already poured in from people from all walks of life around the world to restore Notre Dame.
According to an opinion poll by BVA institute published Friday '-- the first carried out since the fire '-- Macron has gained three points in popularity in the past month with an approval rating of 32%. That puts him back at the support level of September, before the yellow vest crisis, BVA said.
Although all French polls show that Macron's popularity has remain low since a tax increase on retirees last year, they suggest his party may be ahead in France's May 26 European Parliament election, with Marine Le Pen's far-right party, the National Rally, close behind.
Despite the destruction of Notre Dame dominating the news in France, a new round of nationwide yellow vest protests was planned for Saturday. Interior minister Christophe Castaner said 60,000 police officers were being mobilized and demonstrations near Notre Dame would be be banned as he expects some protests to turn violent.
In a hopeful development Friday, 180,000 bees being kept in in hives on Notre Dame's lead roof were discovered alive.
''I am so relieved. I saw satellite photos that showed the three hives didn't burn. I thought they had gone with the cathedral,'' Nicolas Geant, the monument's beekeeper, told the AP.
Geant has looked after the bees since 2013, when they were installed as part of a city-wide initiative to boost declining bee numbers.
Geant said the carbon dioxide in the fire's heavy smoke put the bees into a sedated state instead of killing them, adding that when bees sense fire they ''gorge themselves on honey'' and protect their queen. European bees never abandon their hives, he said.
__
Associated Press writers Thomas Adamson and Samuel Petrequin contributed to this report.
OTG
Tracking Phones, Google Is a Dragnet for the Police - The New York Times
Sat, 20 Apr 2019 14:01
When detectives in a Phoenix suburb arrested a warehouse worker in a murder investigation last December, they credited a new technique with breaking open the case after other leads went cold.
The police told the suspect, Jorge Molina, they had data tracking his phone to the site where a man was shot nine months earlier. They had made the discovery after obtaining a search warrant that required Google to provide information on all devices it recorded near the killing, potentially capturing the whereabouts of anyone in the area.
Investigators also had other circumstantial evidence, including security video of someone firing a gun from a white Honda Civic, the same model that Mr. Molina owned, though they could not see the license plate or attacker.
But after he spent nearly a week in jail, the case against Mr. Molina fell apart as investigators learned new information and released him. Last month, the police arrested another man: his mother's ex-boyfriend, who had sometimes used Mr. Molina's car.
The warrants, which draw on an enormous Google database employees call Sensorvault, turn the business of tracking cellphone users' locations into a digital dragnet for law enforcement. In an era of ubiquitous data gathering by tech companies, it is just the latest example of how personal information '-- where you go, who your friends are, what you read, eat and watch, and when you do it '-- is being used for purposes many people never expected. As privacy concerns have mounted among consumers, policymakers and regulators, tech companies have come under intensifying scrutiny over their data collection practices.
The Arizona case demonstrates the promise and perils of the new investigative technique, whose use has risen sharply in the past six months, according to Google employees familiar with the requests. It can help solve crimes. But it can also snare innocent people.
Technology companies have for years responded to court orders for specific users' information. The new warrants go further, suggesting possible suspects and witnesses in the absence of other clues. Often, Google employees said, the company responds to a single warrant with location information on dozens or hundreds of devices.
Law enforcement officials described the method as exciting, but cautioned that it was just one tool.
Opinion
The Privacy Project
The New York Times is launching an ongoing examination of privacy. We'll dig into the ideas, history and future of how our information navigates the digital ecosystem and what's at stake.
''It doesn't pop out the answer like a ticker tape, saying this guy's guilty,'' said Gary Ernsdorff, a senior prosecutor in Washington State who has worked on several cases involving these warrants. Potential suspects must still be fully investigated, he added. ''We're not going to charge anybody just because Google said they were there.''
It is unclear how often these search requests have led to arrests or convictions, because many of the investigations are still open and judges frequently seal the warrants. The practice was first used by federal agents in 2016, according to Google employees, and first publicly reported last year in North Carolina. It has since spread to local departments across the country, including in California, Florida, Minnesota and Washington. This year, one Google employee said, the company received as many as 180 requests in one week. Google declined to confirm precise numbers.
The technique illustrates a phenomenon privacy advocates have long referred to as the ''if you build it, they will come'' principle '-- anytime a technology company creates a system that could be used in surveillance, law enforcement inevitably comes knocking. Sensorvault, according to Google employees, includes detailed location records involving at least hundreds of millions of devices worldwide and dating back nearly a decade.
The new orders, sometimes called ''geofence'' warrants, specify an area and a time period, and Google gathers information from Sensorvault about the devices that were there. It labels them with anonymous ID numbers, and detectives look at locations and movement patterns to see if any appear relevant to the crime. Once they narrow the field to a few devices they think belong to suspects or witnesses, Google reveals the users' names and other information.
''There are privacy concerns that we all have with our phones being tracked '-- and when those kinds of issues are relevant in a criminal case, that should give everybody serious pause,'' said Catherine Turner, a Minnesota defense lawyer who is handling a case involving the technique.
Investigators who spoke with The New York Times said they had not sent geofence warrants to companies other than Google, and Apple said it did not have the ability to perform those searches. Google would not provide details on Sensorvault, but Aaron Edens, an intelligence analyst with the sheriff's office in San Mateo County, Calif., who has examined data from hundreds of phones, said most Android devices and some iPhones he had seen had this data available from Google.
In a statement, Richard Salgado, Google's director of law enforcement and information security, said that the company tried to ''vigorously protect the privacy of our users while supporting the important work of law enforcement.'' He added that it handed over identifying information only ''where legally required.''
Mr. Molina, 24, said he was shocked when the police told him they suspected him of murder, and he was surprised at their ability to arrest him based largely on data.
''I just kept thinking, You're innocent, so you're going to get out,'' he said, but he added that he worried that it could take months or years to be exonerated. ''I was scared,'' he said.
Detectives have used the warrants for help with robberies, sexual assaults, arsons and murders. Last year, federal agents requested the data to investigate a string of bombings around Austin, Tex.
The unknown suspect had left package bombs at three homes, killing two people, when investigators obtained a warrant.
They were looking for phones Google had recorded around the bombing locations.
The specific data resulting from the warrants in the Austin case remains sealed. This illustration is based on the warrant's description of the process, but the dots do not represent actual phone locations.
After receiving a warrant, Google gathers location information from its database, Sensorvault, and sends it to investigators, with each device identified by an anonymous ID code.
Investigators review the data and look for patterns in the locations of devices that could suggest possible suspects. They also look for devices that appear in multiple areas targeted by the warrant.
They can then get further location data on devices that appear relevant, allowing them to see device movement beyond the original area defined in the warrant.
After detectives narrow the field to a few devices they think may belong to suspects or witnesses, Google reveals the name, email address and other data associated with the device.
Rich Harris / The New York Times
Austin investigators obtained another warrant after a fourth bomb exploded. But the suspect killed himself three days after that bomb, as they were closing in. Officials at the time said surveillance video and receipts for suspicious purchases helped identify him.
An F.B.I. spokeswoman declined to comment on whether the response from Google was helpful or timely, saying that any question about the technique ''touches on areas we don't discuss.''
Officers who have used the warrants said they showed promise in finding suspects as well as witnesses who may have been near the crime without realizing it. The searches may also be valuable in cold cases. A warrant last year in Florida, for example, sought information on a murder from 2016. A Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokeswoman declined to comment on whether the data was helpful.
The approach has yielded useful information even if it wasn't what broke the case open, investigators said. In a home invasion in Minnesota, for example, Google data showed a phone taking the path of the likely intruder, according to a news report and police documents. But detectives also cited other leads, including a confidential informant, in developing suspects. Four people were charged in federal court.
According to several current and former Google employees, the Sensorvault database was not designed for the needs of law enforcement, raising questions about its accuracy in some situations.
Though Google's data cache is enormous, it doesn't sweep up every phone, said Mr. Edens, the California intelligence analyst. And even if a location is recorded every few minutes, that may not coincide with a shooting or an assault.
Google often doesn't provide information right away, investigators said. The Google unit handling the requests has struggled to keep up, so it can take weeks or months for a response. In the Arizona investigation, police received data six months after sending the warrant. In a different Minnesota case this fall, it came in four weeks.
But despite the drawbacks, detectives noted how precise the data was and how it was collected even when people weren't making calls or using apps '-- both improvements over tracking that relies on cell towers.
''It shows the whole pattern of life,'' said Mark Bruley, the deputy police chief in Brooklyn Park, Minn., where investigators have been using the technique since this fall. ''That's the game changer for law enforcement.''
Location data is a lucrative business '-- and Google is by far the biggest player, propelled largely by its Android phones. It uses the data to power advertising tailored to a person's location, part of a more than $20 billion market for location-based ads last year.
In 2009, the company introduced Location History, a feature for users who wanted to see where they had been. Sensorvault stores information on anyone who has opted in, allowing regular collection of data from GPS signals, cellphone towers, nearby Wi-Fi devices and Bluetooth beacons.
People who turn on the feature can see a timeline of their activity and get recommendations based on it. Google apps prompt users to enable Location History for things like traffic alerts. Information in the database is held indefinitely, unless the user deletes it.
''We citizens are giving this stuff away,'' said Mr. Ernsdorff, the Washington State prosecutor, adding that if companies were collecting data, law enforcement should be able to obtain a court order to use it.
Current and former Google employees said they were surprised by the warrants. Brian McClendon, who led the development of Google Maps and related products until 2015, said he and other engineers had assumed the police would seek data only on specific people. The new technique, he said, ''seems like a fishing expedition.''
The practice raises novel legal issues, according to Orin Kerr, a law professor at the University of Southern California and an expert on criminal law in the digital age.
One concern: the privacy of innocent people scooped up in these searches. Several law enforcement officials said the information remained sealed in their jurisdictions but not in every state.
In Minnesota, for example, the name of an innocent man was released to a local journalist after it became part of the police record. Investigators had his information because he was within 170 feet of a burglary. Reached by a reporter, the man said he was surprised about the release of his data and thought he might have appeared because he was a cabdriver. ''I drive everywhere,'' he said.
These searches also raise constitutional questions. The Fourth Amendment says a warrant must request a limited search and establish probable cause that evidence related to a crime will be found.
Warrants reviewed by The Times frequently established probable cause by explaining that most Americans owned cellphones and that Google held location data on many of these phones. The areas they targeted ranged from single buildings to multiple blocks, and most sought data over a few hours. In the Austin case, warrants covered several dozen houses around each bombing location, for times ranging from 12 hours to a week. It wasn't clear whether Google responded to all the requests, and multiple officials said they had seen the company push back on broad searches.
Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that a warrant was required for historical data about a person's cellphone location over weeks, but the court has not ruled on anything like geofence searches, including a technique that pulls information on all phones registered to a cell tower.
Google's legal staff decided even before the 2018 ruling that the company would require warrants for location inquiries, and it crafted the procedure that first reveals only anonymous data.
''Normally we think of the judiciary as being the overseer, but as the technology has gotten more complex, courts have had a harder and harder time playing that role,'' said Jennifer Granick, surveillance and cybersecurity counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union. ''We're depending on companies to be the intermediary between people and the government.''
In several cases reviewed by The Times, a judge approved the entire procedure in a single warrant, relying on investigators' assurances that they would seek data for only the most relevant devices. Google responds to those orders, but Mr. Kerr said it was unclear whether multistep warrants should pass legal muster.
Some jurisdictions require investigators to return to a judge and obtain a second warrant before getting identifying information. With another warrant, investigators can obtain more extensive data, including months of location patterns and even emails.
Investigators in Arizona have never publicly disclosed a likely motive in the killing of Joseph Knight, the crime for which Mr. Molina was arrested. In a court document, they described Mr. Knight, a 29-year-old aircraft repair company employee, as having no known history of drug use or gang activity.
Detectives sent the geofence warrant to Google soon after the murder and received data from four devices months later. One device, a phone Google said was linked to Mr. Molina's account, appeared to follow the path of the gunman's car as seen on video. His carrier also said the phone was associated with a tower in roughly the same area, and his Google history showed a search about local shootings the day after the attack.
After his arrest, Mr. Molina told officers that Marcos Gaeta, his mother's ex-boyfriend, had sometimes taken his car. The Times found a traffic ticket showing that Mr. Gaeta, 38, had driven that car without a license. Mr. Gaeta also had a lengthy criminal record.
While Mr. Molina was in jail, a friend told his public defender, Jack Litwak, that she was with him at his home about the time of the shooting, and she and others provided texts and Uber receipts to bolster his case. His home, where he lives with his mother and three siblings, is about two miles from the murder scene.
Mr. Litwak said his investigation found that Mr. Molina had sometimes signed in to other people's phones to check his Google account. That could lead someone to appear in two places at once, though it was not clear whether that happened in this case.
Mr. Gaeta was arrested in California on an Arizona warrant. He was then charged in a separate California homicide from 2016. Officials said that case would probably delay his extradition to Arizona.
A police spokesman said ''new information came to light'' after Mr. Molina's arrest, but the department would not comment further.
Months after his release, Mr. Molina was having trouble getting back on his feet. After being arrested at work, a Macy's warehouse, he lost his job. His car was impounded for investigation and then repossessed.
The investigators ''had good intentions'' in using the technique, Mr. Litwak said. But, he added, ''they're hyping it up to be this new DNA type of forensic evidence, and it's just not.''
Google's Sensorvault Can Tell Police Where You've Been '' GOVERNMENT SLAVES
Sat, 20 Apr 2019 14:01
Do you know where you were five years ago? Did you have an Android phone at the time? It turns out Google might know'--and it might be telling law enforcement.
In a new article, the New York Times details a little-known technique increasingly used by law enforcement to figure out everyone who might have been within certain geographic areas during specific time periods in the past. The technique relies on detailed location data collected by Google from most Android devices as well as iPhones and iPads that have Google Maps and other apps installed. This data resides in a Google-maintained database called ''Sensorvault,'' and because Google stores this data indefinitely, Sensorvault ''includes detailed location records involving at least hundreds of millions of devices worldwide and dating back nearly a decade.''
The data Google is turning over to law enforcement is so precise that one deputy police chief said it ''shows the whole pattern of life.'' It's collected even when people aren't making calls or using apps, which means it can be even more detailed than data generated by cell towers.
One deputy police chief said Google's location data ''shows the whole pattern of life.''
The location data comes from GPS signals, cellphone towers, nearby Wi-Fi devices and Bluetooth beacons. According to Google, users opt in to collection of the location data stored in Sensorvault. However, Google makes it very hard to resist opting in, and many users may not understand that they have done so. Also, Android devices collect lots of other location data by default, and it's extremely difficult to opt out of that collection.
Using a single warrant'--often called a ''geo-fence'' or ''reverse location'' warrant'--police are able to access location data from dozens to hundreds of devices'--devices that are linked to real people, many of whom (and perhaps in some cases all of whom) have no tie to criminal activity and have provided no reason for suspicion. The warrants cover geographic areas ranging from single buildings to multiple blocks, and time periods ranging from a few hours to a week.
So far, according to the Times and other outlets, this technique is being used by the FBI and police departments in Arizona, North Carolina, California, Florida, Minnesota, Maine, and Washington, although there may be other agencies using it across the country. But police aren't limiting the use of the technique to egregious or violent crimes'--Minnesota Public Radio reported the technique has been used to try to identify suspects who stole a pickup truck and, separately, $650 worth of tires. Google is getting up to 180 requests a week for data and is, apparently, struggling to keep up with the demand.
Law enforcement appears to be seeking warrants to access this extremely detailed location data. However, it's questionable whether the affidavits supporting those warrants truly establish probable cause and also questionable whether judges fully understand what they're authorizing when issuing these warrants.
According to the Times, the warrants frequently rely on an officer's assertion that the fact that ''Americans owned cellphones and that Google held location data on many of these phones'' somehow supports probable cause for the warrant. The warrants also list GPS coordinates that supposedly ''geo-fence'' the geographic area for which they are requesting data, but many don't include a map showing the area itself. Without a visual representation, there's almost no way to tell how large or small the geographic area covered by the warrant is.
Law enforcement seems to be using a three-step process to learn the names of device holders (in some cases, a single warrant authorizes all three steps). In the first step, the officer specifies the area and time period of interest, and in response, Google gives the police information on all the devices that were there, identified by anonymous numbers'--this step may reveal hundreds of devices.
After that, officers can narrow the scope of their request to fewer devices, and Google will release even more detailed data, including data on where devices traveled outside the original requested area and time period. This data, which still involves multiple devices, reveals detailed travel patterns. In the final step, detectives review that travel data to see if any devices appear relevant to the crime, and they ask for the users' names and other information for specific individual devices.
This technique is problematic for several reasons. First, unlike other methods of investigation used by the police, the police don't start with an actual suspect or even a target device'--they work backward from a location and time to identify a suspect. This makes it a fishing expedition'--the very kind of search that the Fourth Amendment was intended to prevent. Searches like these'--where the only information the police have is that a crime has occured'--are much more likely to implicate innocent people who just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Every device owner in the area during the time at issue becomes a suspect'--for no other reason than that they own a device that shares location information with Google.
Second, as the Supreme Court recognized in Carpenter v United States last summer, detailed travel data like this can provide ''an intimate window into a person's life, revealing not only his particular movements, but through them his 'familial, political, professional, religious, and sexual associations.''' This is exactly what the deputy police chief recognized when he said Google location data ''shows the whole pattern of life.''
Third, there's a high probability the true perpetrator isn't even included in the data disclosed by Google. For these kinds of warrants, officers are just operating off a hunch that the unknown suspect had a cellphone that generated location data collected by Google. This shouldn't be enough to support probable cause, because it's just as likely that the suspect wasn't carrying an Android phone or using Google apps at the time.
Techniques like this also reveal big problems with our current warrant system. Even though the standard for getting a warrant is higher than other legal procedures'--and EFF pushes for a warrant requirement for digital data and devices'--warrants, alone, are no longer enough to protect our privacy. Through a single warrant the police can access exponentially more and more detailed information about us than they ever could in the past. Here, the police are using a single warrant to get access to location information for hundreds of devices. In other contexts, through a single warrant, officers can access all the data on a cell phone or a hard drive; all email stored in a Google account (possibly going back years); and all information linked to a social media account (including photos, posts, private communications, and contacts).
We shouldn't allow the government to have such broad access to our digital lives. One way we could limit access is by passing legislation that mandates heightened standards, minimization procedures, and particularity requirements for digital searches. We already have this in laws that regulate wiretaps, where police, in addition to demonstrating probable cause, must state that they have first tried other investigative procedures (or state why other procedures wouldn't work) and also describe how the wiretap will be limited in scope and time.
The Fourth Amendment itself also supports limits on the scope of individual warrants. It states that warrants must ''particularly describ[e] the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.'' However, many courts merely rubber stamp warrant requests without questioning the broad scope of the request.
As the Times article notes, this technique implicates innocent people and has a real impact on people's lives. Even if you are later able to clear your name, if you spend any time at all in police custody, this could cost you your job, your car, and your ability to get back on your feet after the arrest. One man profiled in the Times article spent nearly a week in police custody and was having trouble recovering, even months after the arrest. He was arrested at work and subsequently lost his job. Due to the arrest, his car was impounded for investigation and later repossessed. These are the kinds of far-reaching consequences that can result from overly broad searches, so courts should subject geo-location warrants to far more scrutiny.
This article first appeared at EFF.
Facebook: we logged 100x more Instagram plaintext passwords than we thought
Sat, 20 Apr 2019 13:40
About a month ago, Facebook owned up to a programming blunder that's been a top-of-the-list coding ''no-no'' for decades.
The social networking behemoth admitted that it had been logging some passwords in plaintext, saving a record of exactly what your password was, character by character, rather than just keeping a cryptographic hash used for verifying that your password was correct.
Well, it's just updated its March 2019 admission to state that the number of plaintext passwords found scattered round its systems in various logfiles is greater that originally thought.
Back in March, the damage was said to involve hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users, tens of millions of Facebook users, and tens of thousands of Instagram users, but yesterday the company updated its bulletin to say:
Since this post was published, we discovered additional logs of Instagram passwords being stored in a readable format. We now estimate that this issue impacted millions of Instagram users. We will be notifying these users as we did the others. Our investigation has determined that these stored passwords were not internally abused or improperly accessed.
Simply put, the chance that your Instagram password was stored somewhere in a logfile, somewhere in Facebook's network, turns out to be 100 times greater than you might have thought last month.
Should you be worried?We didn't get an alert about either our Instagram or Facebook password having been affected back in March 2019, but we followed our own advice and changed our password anyway, so we're not worried about this new announcement.
If anyone at Facebook had been able to retrieve our password from somewhere in Facebook's sea of data '' and we suspect they'd have gone directly after all our other data anyway, rather than bothering to log in with our account '' then that old password is valueless now.
We've also had two-factor authentication (2FA) turned on for ages, and we are in the habit of logging out formally from both Facebook and Instagram, on both our laptop and our mobile phone, on a regular basis.
Regular logouts are mildly annoying, given that we have to log back in using both our password and 2FA code, but we think it's a small price to pay to make life harder for the crooks.
It also gets us in the habit of checking through the ''who logged in from where and on which device'' logs regularly, which gives us a better chance of spotting wrongdoing against our account.
So, once again, we're not panicking, and we're not advising you to close either your Facebook or your Instagram account '' at least, not on this basis alone.
To repeat our advice from last time:
Should you close your Instagram account?We can't answer that for you.
Given that the wrongly stored passwords weren't easily accessible in one database, or deliberately stored for routine use during logins, we don't think this breach alone is enough reason to terminate your account.
(For what it's worth, we're not closing ours.)
Should your change your Instagram password?Why not?
It's highly unlikely that any passwords were acquired by any crooks as a result of this, but if any plaintext passwords do end up in the wrong hands, you can be sure that the crooks will try them out right away.
So our advice is: don't wait for Facebook or Instagram to warn you '' change your password now.
(We already changed ours, back in March 2019 when the first warning came out.)
Should you turn on two-factor authentication?Yes.
We've been urging you to do this everywhere you can anyway '' it means that a password alone isn't enough for crooks to raid your account.
(We did it it ages ago.)
Watch our advice videoHere's the special edition of Naked Security Live that we presented back in March 2019 '' all the advice we give in this video is still relevant, and covers a range of questions, including:
What happened?Was this a blunder or was Facebook being deliberately sneaky?Should I close my account because of this?What steps should I take right now?
(Watch directly on YouTube if the video won't play here.)
Government Seeks to Eliminate Internet Anonymity '' With Severe Penalties - Netzpolitik - derStandard.at 'º Web
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 14:16
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Canada Line, Langara college possible measles exposure sites as new cases confirmed
Fri, 19 Apr 2019 11:52
VANCOUVER (NEWS 1131) '' If you took the Canada Line recently, went to a gym in Richmond or were at Langara College, you may have been exposed to the measles virus, that is coming from Vancouver Coastal Health this hour as it confirms two additional cases.
There are now 10 confirmed cases associated with the current outbreak across the Lower Mainland, eight of those cases were previously linked to three Vancouver schools. One unrelated measles case was identified in Vancouver earlier in February.
Vancouver Coastal Health says it's trying to figure out the exact source of exposure. It says places that may be the source of contamination include the Canada Line at certain stations at particular times and dates, at least one gym in Richmond, the tech building at Langara College, and a spa in Whistler.
Timeline of possible exposure shared by VCH:
The health authority adds people going north or south on the Canada Line during that time may have been exposed.
''These locations include Russell Sean Fitness in Richmond, the Canada Line and certain stations at particular times and dates, Langara College tech building, the Sports Check in Richmond, the Starbucks in Steveston on Number 1 Road, Dave's Fish and Chips in Steveston, the Scandinave Spa in Whistler and the McDonald's restaurant in Squamish,'' said Dr. Althea Hayden with VCH.
She also says there may be other locations where people may have possibly been exposed, noting staff have been directly notifying them.
RELATED: Petition asks for mandatory vaccines in B.C.
''Measles is a highly infectious disease that spreads through the air. Close contact is not needed for transmission. The disease can also be spread through sharing food, drinks, cigarettes, or kissing an infected person,'' read a release from VCH.
Hayden says no shortage of #measles vaccine available and she's pleased there's been a big spike in people who may be under-vaccinated reaching out to make sure they are safe. She reiterates current levels of immunity are better than 95%. @NEWS1131
'-- Marcella Bernardo (@Bernardo1131) February 23, 2019
Exposure confirmed at Langara CollegeLangara College is confirming there has been a measles exposure at the college campus. Anyone who was at the schools' Science and Technology Building between 9:30 and 4:30 p.m. on Friday Feb. 15 may have been exposed.
No one is being asked to stay home just yet, but if it turns out the disease has spread on campus, people who aren't immunized against measles will be asked to stay home.
Mark Dawson with the school says they will be keeping on top of the situation.
''Over the weekend our various departments at the college will continue to stay in touch with Vancouver Coastal Health, and help them reach out to anybody in our community if necessary,'' he says. ''We've updated our community and we're just continuing to take our lead from VCH.''
For now, he says there's no reason to believe it's spread further at this time.
If you're showing symptoms you're asked to call a public health nurse or communicable disease control at VCH.
-With files from Marcella Bernardo
Measles Elimination in the United States | The Journal of Infectious Diseases | Oxford Academic
Fri, 19 Apr 2019 15:46
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National Immunization Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
,
Atlanta, Georgia
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Melinda E. Wharton In 1962, immediately preceding the licensure of the first measles vaccines in the United States, when measles was a nearly universal disease, Alexander Langmuir described the medical importance of measles to the country and put forth the challenge of measles eradication [1]. Although most patients recovered without permanent sequelae, the high number of cases each year made measles a significant cause of serious morbidity and mortality Langmuir showed that >90% of Americans were infected with the measles virus by age 15 years [1]. This equated to roughly 1 birth cohort (4 million people) infected with measles each year. Not all cases were reported to the public health system; from 1956 to 1960, an average of 542,000 cases were reported annually.By the late 1950s, even before the introduction of measles vaccine, measles-related deaths and case fatality rates in the United States had decreased markedly, presumably as a result of improvement in health care and nutrition. From 1956 to 1960, an average of 450 measles-related deaths were reported each year ('¼1 death/ 1000 reported cases), compared with an average of 5300 measles-related deaths during 1912''1916 (26 deaths/ 1000 reported cases) [2]. Nevertheless, in the late 1950s, serious complications due to measles remained frequent and costly. As a result of measles virus infections, an average of 150,000 patients had respiratory complications and 4000 patients had encephalitis each year; the latter was associated with a high risk of neurological sequelae and death. These complications and others resulted in an estimated 48,000 persons with measles being hospitalized every year [3]. In 1966, 3 years after licensure of the first measles vaccines, Sencer et al. [4] announced the first of 3 efforts to terminate indigenous measles transmission in the United States. Subsequent measles-elimination goals were announced in 1978 and in 1993. The fundamental strategy for all 3 elimination efforts consisted of achieving high vaccination coverage among preschool- and school-aged children, careful surveillance of cases, and rigorous outbreak control [4''6]. Although the first 2 elimination efforts did not achieve elimination, they resulted in a substantial reduction in measles incidence: An average of 1.3 cases per 100,000 population was reported during 1982''1988, compared with an average of 313 cases per 100,000 during 1956''1960 (figure 1). Nevertheless, a resurgence of measles occurred during 1989''1991, again demonstrating the serious medical burden of the disease. More than 55,000 cases, 123 deaths, and 11,000 hospitalizations were reported [7]. Two major causes of this epidemic were vaccine failure among a small percentage of school-aged children who had received 1 dose of measles vaccine and low measles vaccine coverage among preschool-aged children.
Figure 1.
Reported US measles incidence, 1950''2001. *, First initiative was termed "eradication."
Figure 1.
Reported US measles incidence, 1950''2001. *, First initiative was termed "eradication."
The measles resurgence also demonstrated the high financial cost of measles in a developed country. Mason et al. [8]. found that the average expense for a measles hospitalization at Los Angeles Children's Hospital during the resurgence was $9264 [8]. Hatziandreu et al. [9].estimated that the average cost (direct and indirect) of a measles case in 1994 was $1000. The same study estimated total annual costs of measles in the absence of a vaccination program of $3.8 billion with 1859 deaths. The United States spends '¼$45 million annually for the measles component of measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, to avoid this burden [9].
On the basis of the lessons learned from the measles resurgence and the first 2 elimination efforts, the elimination strategy for the third effort was refined. Four major lessons were learned. First, high coverage with the first dose of measles vaccine is required by age 2 years to prevent measles in preschool-aged children. Second, school students require especially high levels of immunity because of their high risk of exposure to measles. Higher immunity can be achieved with 2 doses of measles vaccine. Third, well-implemented state requirements for immunization are very effective in achieving high 1-dose measles vaccine coverage among students (requirements that were amended to achieve high 2-dose coverage). Fourth, molecular epidemiology is a powerful tool for tracking measles virus strains and for identifying potentially endemic strains [10].
The refined strategies of the third ongoing measles-elimination effort have achieved success. Measles is no longer endemic in the United States [11]. Since 1997, the reported annual incidence has been <1 case/1 million population. The majority of cases are international importations or the result of limited domestic spread following imported cases. All other cases in recent years are believed to be due to unidentified importations. The end of endemic measles transmission in the United States has both domestic and international importance. Domestically, the absence of endemic exposure to measles means few persons in the United States will be infected and risk complications of measles. This decreased risk of exposure provides protection to groups not protected directly by vaccination: children too young for routine vaccination; the few persons who, although vaccinated, are not protected, primarily from failure to mount an adequate response to vaccine; persons for whom vaccine is contraindicated (e.g., those with immunodeficiency); and persons who choose not to be vaccinated.
Although the absence of endemic measles in the United States has substantial domestic benefits, the greatest benefit lies in its meaning for international measles control programs (12).
Measles is the greatest vaccine-preventable killer of children in the world today and the eighth leading cause of death among persons of all ages worldwide[13''14] . In many countries, resources are not available to treat measles cases or for adequate hospital care for patients with complications. Coupled with poor nutritional status, the lack of access to high-quality medical care leads to case fatality rates of >150 deaths/1000 cases in some populations [15]. In the absence of measles vaccination, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 4.5 million children would die annually as a result of measles and its complications. As recently as 1998, WHO estimated that 888,000 measles deaths occurred [16]. Global eradication of measles could prevent these deaths in perpetuity.
The Dahlem Conference on Eradication specified certain criteria that must be met before eradication of a disease can be considered feasible from a scientific perspective. Among these criteria are that humans must be essential to the life cycle of the agent, sensitive and specific diagnostic tests must be available, and there must be an effective intervention. To these 3 criteria, many would add a fourth'--demonstration of prolonged interruption of transmission in a large geographic area [17]. The first 3 criteria have been satisfied for measles [18]; however, the fourth remains of great concern.
The United States, with a population of 288 million, is the largest country to have documented sustained interruption of endemic measles. The US experience demonstrates that endemic measles can be eliminated in a large, diverse, developed country with a routine 2-dose measles vaccine strategy. The US experience in elimination plus those of other countries that have interrupted endemic measles transmission support the scientific basis for the feasibility of global measles eradication. We hope that the experience of the United States and other countries that have interrupted endemic measles will encourage other countries to accelerate efforts to better protect their populations from this disease.
Much more work is needed before a worldwide goal for measles eradication is established. Feasibility must be demonstrated in more countries, particularly in Asia and Africa, with densely populated cities. Scientific feasibility is a necessary precondition for a global eradication effort but alone is not sufficient. The political will of both developed and developing countries is also needed. Specifically, the developed countries must be convinced that measles is a sufficiently serious burden in their populations to warrant the steps needed to eliminate endemic measles transmission within their borders. In the near term, developing countries must be convinced that strengthening measles-control and -elimination efforts will benefit their populations immediately in many ways, including reducing measles morbidity and mortality, and in strengthening routine health programs to deliver other preventive services, including other vaccines. Their near-term success in control and elimination will pave the way for attaining global eradication.
In summary, a milestone has been reached. For the first time, the public health community has documented that one of the most contagious diseases, a disease that has thwarted >2 decades of attempts to eliminate it, is no longer endemic in the United States. The evidence for this achievement is presented in this supplement of The Journal of Infectious Diseases.
We congratulate the US health professionals for achieving this success by building strong immunization programs nationwide. In particular, we recognize the thousands of nurses, doctors, and pharmacists in the public and private sectors who have participated in measles vaccination. Their diligent efforts have translated the possibility of ending endemic measles within our borders into a reality We dedicate this supplement on measles elimination in the United States to them.
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(C) 2004 by the Infectious Diseases Society of America
Guest Editor:
Walter A. Orenstein
Guest Editor
National Immunization Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
,
Atlanta, Georgia
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Walter A. Orenstein Mark J. Papania
Guest Editor
National Immunization Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
,
Atlanta, Georgia
Reprints or correspondence: Dr. Mark Papania, National Immunization Program, Mailstop E-61, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd., Atlanta, GA 30333 (
mpapania@cdc.gov)
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Mark J. Papania Related articles in PubMed Candiolo, Candiolo, Turin
Measles outbreak Patient Zero infected 39 people in Detroit-area Orthodox Jewish community - The Washington Post
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 13:37
'Patient Zero' offers a cautionary tale about how speedily one of the most infectious pathogens on the planet can spread A woman passes a Brooklyn health clinic where measles shots are being administered after New York City declared a public health emergency. (Sharon Pulwer for The Washington Post)Last month, a traveler raising money for charity in Brooklyn's ultra-Orthodox Jewish community drove through the night to Detroit '-- his next fundraising stop. He felt sick en route and saw a doctor when he got there. But the doctor, who had never seen measles, misdiagnosed the man's fever and cough as bronchitis.
During the next two weeks, the traveler would become Michigan's Patient Zero, spreading the highly contagious respiratory virus to 39 people as he stayed in private homes, attended synagogue daily and shopped in kosher markets. His case offers a cautionary tale about how easily one of the most infectious pathogens on the planet spreads within close-knit communities '-- especially those whose members live, work and socialize outside the mainstream.
''Every one of our cases has had a link to the initial case,'' said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for Oakland County, a Detroit suburb where all but one case was reported.
In the past five years, 75 percent of measles cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention occurred in various insular communities, among them the Amish in Ohio, the Somali community in Minnesota, Eastern European groups in the Pacific Northwest and the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in New York.
In the current outbreak, the New York contagion has spread through Patient Zero and other travelers to predominantly ultra-Orthodox communities in Westchester and Rockland Counties in New York; Oakland County in Michigan, and Baltimore County in Maryland. On Friday, Connecticut officials said an adult contracted measles while visiting Brooklyn in late March. New Jersey officials are investigating possible links between 11 cases in the Ocean County area and those in New York.
''What's similar about all of these communities is that they live in proximity to each other and spend a lot of their time interacting with each other,'' said Daniel Salmon, a professor of international health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and director of the school's Institute for Vaccine Safety. ''That's what matters. Measles doesn't care what your cultural heritage is."
Many of these communities are wary of government, avoid television and the Internet, and often rely on their own clinicians for medical care. In such a void, anti-vaccine misinformation has sometimes gained a foothold, deterring parents from fully vaccinating their children.
The traveler had come from Israel last November to Brooklyn, the epicenter of a measles outbreak, and stayed for about two months before going on to the Detroit area in early March, said Russell Faust, Oakland County's medical director. The man, whom Michigan health officials are not identifying, told them he was visiting ultra-Orthodox communities in the United States to raise money for charity.
Feverish and coughing after his arrival, he saw a doctor, who prescribed antibiotics.
When the man called back to complain of a rash the next day, the doctor thought he was having an allergic reaction. But after the doctor thought more about it, he worried about the possibility of measles and decided to leave a voice message for the health department with the man's cellphone number. Health officials jumped on the case '-- but couldn't reach the man because of a problem with his cellphone.
They turned to Steve McGraw, head of Oakland emergency medical services and longtime member of the Detroit-area Hatzalah, the ultra-Orthodox community's emergency medical response group, an all-volunteer effort with deep ties to many families. McGraw alerted rabbinical leaders, then jumped in his car and drove to the area the traveler was supposed to be staying to look for the man's rental car, a blue sedan, knowing it would stand out among the minivans used by virtually every family.
Hatzalah members and rabbinical leaders also mobilized to search for the traveler, who was staying in a neighborhood guesthouse. When they found him a few hours later, the traveler was stunned. He told McGraw and the rabbi who found him they had to be wrong since he believed he had had the measles.
''There is only one disease, and you have it,'' McGraw recalled saying, as one rabbi translated into Hebrew. ''He put his head down and was very emotional. I could tell from the look on his face that he was devastated. He was doing the math in his head,'' counting all the people he had been in contact with, McGraw said.
The traveler, as it turned out, had had hundreds of contacts with community members that health officials needed to trace. He had stayed mostly in private homes in the areas of Oak Park and Southfield. He had visited synagogues three times a day to pray and study and frequented kosher markets and pizza parlors, among 30 locations in one week.
''This guy was walking around all over the community and contagious,'' McGraw said. ''We knew we had a really significant exposure.''
Measles virus is so infectious that if an unvaccinated person walks through a room up to two hours after someone with measles has left, there's a 90 percent chance the unvaccinated person will get sick. People can spread measles for four days before and four days after the telltale rash. Because measles is so infectious, at least 96 percent or more of a community need to be vaccinated to prevent risk of outbreak.
On March 13, blood tests confirmed the traveler's measles. The strain matched the genetic fingerprint of the New York City outbreak, McGraw said. The same day, health officials alerted the public.
To get information out to the ultra-Orthodox community, health officials used its internal messaging system known as a calling post. Recorded voice messages ring on about 1,200 mobile phones. McGraw recorded a message that rabbinical leaders approved for delivery, the first of several that provided information about the disease and vaccination clinics.
Over the next few weeks, Janet Snider, a pediatrician for many ultra-Orthodox families, and Gedalya Cooper, an emergency medicine doctor, both members of the Hatzalah, visited people in their homes to diagnose and test them for measles.
The Council of Orthodox Rabbis of Greater Detroit issued an unequivocal statement, saying Jewish law obligated every community member to be ''properly and fully vaccinated'' according to the CDC. The agency recommends children get two measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) doses, starting with the first dose at age 12 through 15 months and the second dose at age 4 through 6 years.
''In order to protect and safeguard each and every individual within the larger community, every individual, family and institution must take the necessary precautions against anyone who chooses not to be vaccinated,'' the statement said.
The Hatzalah and rabbinical leaders helped the health department set up three clinics at one synagogue, immunizing nearly 1,000 people in one week. As of early April, health officials have given more than 2,100 vaccinations. Vaccine refusal does not appear to be a major factor in the Oakland County cluster, officials said.
In Michigan, at least, the close collaboration between health officials and the religious community appears to have controlled the spread of the disease, which can cause severe complications including deafness, pneumonia, brain damage and death.
Now, with 555 measles cases in 20 states '-- the highest in five years '-- other localities are looking at that model. Hatzalah groups in other parts of the country are reaching out to county officials for advice on boosting vaccination within the ultra-Orthodox community, Faust said.
Oakland County had something else going for it: Measles outbreaks typically start with children. But Patient Zero had spent most of his time with adults, and most of the 39 cases are in adults. Many adults who got sick had believed they were immune, as some had been told they had the disease as children or were vaccinated.
''There are a fair number of nonimmunized or under-immunized adults,'' said Faust, the medical director. Some of the adults infected also were born before 1957, when most people caught measles and are thought to have natural immunity.
[Do adults need another MMR vaccine shot and other measles questions answered]
Officials said the risk remains high for those who are unvaccinated or under-vaccinated and who travel to communities here or abroad where measles cases are raging.
Gaps in vaccination coverage have led to a 20-year high in measles cases in Europe. Major outbreaks also are taking place in parts of the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Japan. More than 1,200 people have died in Madagascar. With spring break and summer vacations approaching, travelers visiting European countries with outbreaks, such as France and Italy, have a much higher chance of bringing infections back to ''islands or pockets of vulnerability,'' said Saad Omer, an infectious disease expert at Emory University.
''Measles is a very unforgiving disease,'' he said. ''Even if most people are vaccinated, that number may not be high enough.''
Read more:
Do I need another MMR vaccine shot and other questions about measles
The first measles vaccine was named after him. But he didn't vaccinate his son.
New York City vaccination order shines spotlight on insular Jewish community
Anti-vaxxers trolled this doctors' office. Here's how the pediatricians fought back.
Big Brother and Big Pharma Collude to Choke Vaccine Skeptics Off Crowdsourcing Platforms - Big League Politics
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 14:19
After successfully targeting Trump supporters with a repressive crackdown, Big Brother is heading onto their next target: so-called antivaxxers. GoFundMe is booting all vaccine skeptics from being able to raise funds on their platform, as they bend their knee to the digital lynch mob.
''Campaigns raising money to promote misinformation about vaccines violate GoFundMe's terms of service and will be removed from the platform,'' GoFundMe spokesman Bobby Whithorne said of his company's Big Brother push.
''We are conducting a thorough review and will remove any campaigns currently on the platform,'' Whithorne added, making it clear that the Orwellian censorship crackdown is far from over.
Larry Cook, who runs a website arguing against mandatory vaccines, was one of the activists who was targeted by this campaign against Big Pharma's critics. He has been hit by many different media reports in an obviously coordinated harassment campaign designed to de-platform him and destroy his credibility.
Trending: Senior Staff Leaving Struggling Beto O'Rourke Campaign
This is Cook's message that Big Pharma and their operatives do not want the public to see:
While Cook's assertions may be rejected by the so-called medical experts, individuals were able to discern whether they were credible for themselves. Those days are coming to an end, as a corporate truth commission will now be tasked to decide what information is fit for public consumption. Welcome to 1984.
''Whether you believe it's true or not, everyone is entitled to their opinion,'' said Melissa Sullivan, a vaccine skeptic who serves as executive vice president for Health Choice Connecticut, to the Daily Beast. ''I would hope they would reconsider. This movement needs to be able to get funds in order to fight pharma giants like Merck and other vaccine manufacturers.''
GoFundMe acts as if they are committing censorship in the name of the public interest, but after seeing what interests are behind the crowdsourcing business, a monetary incentive is discovered. GoFundMe's owners own a considerable stake in Big Pharma and are compelled to censor voices that may interfere with their profits.
GoFundMe was acquired by an investor team led by Accel Partners from its original founders in 2015 for a cool $600 million. Accel is a venture capital organization that heavily invested in the pharmaceutical industry. Information skeptical to vaccinations could hold back a multi-billion dollar industry so personal liberty must be curtailed to protect Big Pharma's bottom line.
With more and more Americans being targeted by Big Brother, expect other dissident activists rallying against the political establishment to be targeted with Orwellian crackdowns in the future.
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Lear Foundation
All In The Family: Woody Harrelson As Archie Bunker '-- New ABC Special | TVLine
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 13:23
If the phrase ''Woody Harrelson as Archie Bunker'' is at all up your alley, you've come to the right place. ABC is staging one-night-only revivals of two iconic Norman Lear sitcoms, All in the Family and The Jeffersons, Jimmy Kimmel announced during his show on Thursday.
Airing Wednesday, May 22 at 8/7c, the 90-minute live event stars Woody Harrelson and Marisa Tomei as All in the Family's Archie and Edith Bunker (originally played by Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton), along with Ellie Kemper as Gloria Stivic (originally played by Sally Struthers).
The Jeffersons' portion of the special features Jamie Foxx and Wanda Sykes as George and Louise Jefferson (originally played by Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford), plus Will Ferrell as Tom Willis (originally played by Franklin Cover) and Justina Machado as Florence Johnston (originally played by Marla Gibbs).
Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's All in the Family and The Jeffersons will be hosted by Lear and Kimmel, and directed by the legendary James Burrows. Executive producers include Ferrell, Brent Miller, Adam McKay and Justin Theroux.
''They have said over and over again that these two shows were meant for the '70s and would not work today. We disagree with them and are here to prove, with two great casts depicting All in the Family and The Jeffersons, the timelessness of human nature,'' Lear said in a statement. ''I cannot wait to see what these glorious performers make in our time of these indelible characters, and I couldn't be more grateful for Jimmy Kimmel, Sony and ABC for their collective willingness to conceive and pursue this never-been-done-before event.''
Your thoughts on ABC's throwback event? Drop 'em in a comment below.
Trump Rotation - trumprotation.com
Florida White House (disambiguation) - Wikipedia
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 03:55
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigationJump to searchSee also:
List of residences of Presidents of the United StatesFlorida White House may refer to:
Nixon's Florida White House, a compound in Key Biscayne, Florida used by U.S. President Richard Nixon.Harry S. Truman Little White House, the winter White House for President Harry S Truman for 175 days during 11 visits.Mar-a-Lago, a resort and National Historic Landmark in Palm Beach, Florida, owned by Donald Trump since 1985 and used by him frequently during his presidency. Disambiguation page providing links to topics that could be referred to by the same search term
This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the title Florida White House. If an internal link led you here, you may wish to change the link to point directly to the intended article. Retrieved from "
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Cancel Culture
FIREWORKS! Mike Huckabee Calls For April Ryan's White House Credentials to be Revoked For Saying Sarah Sanders' Head Should be "Lopped Off"
Sat, 20 Apr 2019 12:36
FIREWORKS! Mike Huckabee Calls For April Ryan's White House Credentials to be Revoked For Saying Sarah Sanders' Head Should be ''Lopped Off'' by Cristina Laila April 19, 2019April Ryan
Mike Huckabee sprung into action Friday to defend his daughter, White House Press Sec Sarah Sanders after CNN's April Ryan called for Sanders' head to ''lopped off.''
April Ryan demanded Sarah Sanders be fired over a discrepancy in a statement she made about the rank and file at the FBI losing confidence in Comey.
April Ryan flipped out over Sarah Sanders' statement (via NewsBusters):
''Not only does she not have credibility, she lied. She out and out lied,'' she declared as emotion welled up in her voice. ''And the people, the American people can't trust her. They can't trust what's said from the President's mouthpiece-spokesperson from the people's house. Therefore, she should be let go. She should be fired, end of story.''
Things got very dark as Ryan rhetorically suggested that since there was ''a lack of credibility there, you have to start and start lopping the heads off.'' She added: ''It's fire me Thursday or fire me Good Friday. She needs to go.''
Mike Huckabee was furious over April Ryan's statements about his daughter.
''So liberals'--is this okay? Does CNN have the integrity to deal with this incitement to murder? CNN's April Ryan Says Sarah Sanders' Head Should Be ''Lopped Off'''' Mike Huckabee said in a tweet Friday evening, linking to an article from Red State.
Huckabee followed up by calling for April Ryan's White House credentials to be revoked. ''If not, they are gutless tools,'' Huckabee said of the White House Correspondents' Association.
Will the '...@whca'(C) revoke April Ryan's credentials? If not, they are gutless tools. CNN's April Ryan Says Sarah Sanders' Head Should Be "Lopped Off" https://t.co/8fdYiOzggf
'-- Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) April 19, 2019
April Ryan clapped back at Mike Huckabee in a series of tweets Friday evening.
April Ryan tweeted to Huckabee that he will not get into heaven.
Will you get into heaven? The answer is no! https://t.co/oUpSVVbLx2
'-- AprilDRyan (@AprilDRyan) April 20, 2019
Ms. Ryan then called Huckabee and Sarah Sanders liars.
You and your daughter are liars and Why is she getting paid to be press secretary if there are no briefings. Why is she afraid? https://t.co/oUpSVVbLx2
'-- AprilDRyan (@AprilDRyan) April 20, 2019
Ryan then fired off a warning shot to Mike Huckabee!
As I thank God this day and for his sacrifice as you should be doing, I have a warning for you! If anything happens to me or mine or anyone connected to me, you and your daughter and this administration will be held accountable! So you better stop now! https://t.co/oUpSVVbLx2
'-- AprilDRyan (@AprilDRyan) April 20, 2019
This isn't the first time April Ryan has viciously attacked Sarah Sanders.
April Ryan previously accused Sarah Sanders of wanting to poison her with her homemade pecan pie, also known as #PieGate.
Venezuela
Venezuela's Guaido calls for 'largest march in history' to ...
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 15:00
CARACAS, April 19 (Reuters) - Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido on Friday called on supporters to take to the streets on May 1 for what he called "the largest march in the history" of the South American country to keep the pressure on President Nicolas Maduro to leave power.
Guaido, the head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly who in January invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency on the basis that Maduro's 2018 re-election was illegitimate, reiterated his call for the country's armed forces to take his side in the three-month power struggle.
"They will need to listen to the people saying: enough," Guaido told a crowd gathered at a plaza in eastern Caracas, setting the date for the march for May 1, International Workers' Day.
"We call on all the people to join in the largest march in the history of Venezuela to demand the end to the usurpation so this tragedy can end."
Guaido has been recognized by the United States and most Western nations as the South American country's rightful leader. The oil-rich country is in a sixth year of recession, marked by hyperinflation and shortages of basic goods that have prompted more than three million to emigrate.
Maduro calls Guaido a U.S. puppet seeking to oust him in a coup and blames the country's economic woes on a U.S.-led "economic war." His ruling socialist party has frequently responded to Guaido's calls for protests over the past few months with simultaneous marches of their own.
Guaido did not specify the final destination of the May 1 demonstration. But some in attendance on Friday called out suggestions that they march on the Miraflores presidential palace.
"He is not alone," said Ileidi Vargas, a 58-year-old retired teacher who attended the opposition rally on Friday. "Each day we are moving forward, and there is no turning back. It might not happen tomorrow, but it will be soon."
Despite Guaido's offers of amnesty to members of the military who facilitate a transition, Maduro remains in control of the armed forces and the day-to-day functions of government. (Reporting by Mayela Armas and Deisy Buitrago Writing by Luc Cohen Editing by Marguerita Choy)
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Build The Wall
Americans Can Legally "Citizen's Arrest" Illegal Aliens | TheNetSpies
Fri, 19 Apr 2019 15:56
CITIZENS TAKING THEIR COUNTRY BACK, ONE ILLEGAL AT A TIME.San Francisco, CA- Did you know that every American citizen has the power, and the right, to place illegal aliens under arrest and detain them until ICE agents arrive and take them into federal custody?
Most states have codified the common law rule that a warrantless arrest may be made by a private person for a felony, misdemeanor or breach of peace. Breach of peace covers a multitude of violations in which the Supreme Court has even included misdemeanor violations such as seatbelt laws.
Only North Carolina and Washington state do not subscribe to Citizen's Arrest laws, in the strictest sense. Even psychotically liberal California allows their citizens to arrest people and detain them for breaking the law. California Penal Code 837 states that, ''A private citizen may arrest another: 1)For a public offense committed or attempted in his/her presence, 2)When the person arrested has committed a felony, although not in the citizen's presence, or 3)When a felony has been, in fact, committed, and he or she has reasonable cause for believing the person arrested to have committed said crime.''
''Public Offense'' is read similarly as breach of peace in this case, and includes felonies, misdemeanors and infractions. ''Holding them until the police, or ICE, get there'', is simply a form of arrest. The officer is accepting the arrest and processing the prisoner on behalf of the private person.
In general, a private person is justified in using non-deadly force upon another if they reasonably believe that: 1) Such other person is committing a felony, or a misdemeanor, amounting to a breach of the peace, and 2) The force used is necessary to prevent further commission of the offense and to apprehend the offender. The force must be reasonable under the circumstances to restrain the individual arrested. This includes the nature of the offense and the amount of force required to overcome resistance.
The citizen making the arrest does bear some liability in the matter. One should be certain that the arrestee is, in fact, an illegal alien to avoid civil liabilities and possible criminal charges.
8 U.S. Code § 1325 '' Improper entry by alien.(a)Improper time or place; avoidance of examination or inspection; misrepresentation and concealment of facts.Any alien who (1) enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or (2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers, or (3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.
8 U.S. Code § 1325 makes it abundantly clear that any alien who has been deported and returns to the United States illegally is subject to Citizen's Arrest for their felonious reentry under federal law. While the initial entry is likely a misdemeanor, a Citizen's Arrest would still be valid in most localities, providing the arrestee is, in fact, in the country illegally.
The United States Congress has also made it abundantly clear that they have zero intention of solving the country's myriad immigration problems. The US Border Patrol and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are understaffed and overwhelmed. It appears that, in the absence of true leadership from our elected officials, in a country of the people, by the people and for the people, that the people must begin the arduous task of helping to enforce the rule of law. Once the citizens begin to flex their legally appointed muscles, the Congress will have no choice but to quickly hammer out, and overwhelmingly pass, significant and lasting comprehensive immigration reform.
While THENETSPIES.COM is not advocating that anyone take immigration enforcement upon themselves, if you, as a true American Patriot, decide to aid the brave men and women of ICE by performing a Citizen's Arrest and detaining criminal illegal aliens, please first do your due dilligence in regards to your local and state laws concerning Citizen's Arrest.
Militia in New Mexico Detains Asylum Seekers at Gunpoint
Fri, 19 Apr 2019 16:00
Image Members of the United Constitutional Patriots patrolling the border in Sunland Park, N.M., last month. Credit Credit Paul Ratje/Agence France-Presse '-- Getty Images [Read the latest edition of Crossing the Border, a limited-run newsletter about life where the United States and Mexico meet. Sign up here to receive the next issue in your inbox.]
ALBUQUERQUE '-- A right-wing militia group operating in southern New Mexico has begun stopping groups of migrant families and detaining them at gunpoint before handing them over to Border Patrol agents, raising tension over the tactics of armed vigilantes along the border between the United States and Mexico.
Members of the group, which calls itself the United Constitutional Patriots, filmed several of their actions in recent days, including the detention this week of a group of about 200 migrants who had recently crossed the border near Sunland Park, N.M., with the intention of seeking asylum. They uploaded videos to social media of exhausted looking migrant families, blinking in the darkness in the glare of what appeared to be the militia's spotlights.
Professed militias have long operated along the border with attempts to curb the flow of undocumented migrants into the United States. But targeting the recent influx of families, who are legally allowed to request asylum and often quickly surrender to Border Patrol agents, is raising tension with human rights activists in this part of the West.
The American Civil Liberties Union denounced the militia's actions in a letter on Thursday that asked New Mexico's governor and attorney general to investigate the group. The A.C.L.U. said the militia had no legal authority under New Mexico or federal law to detain or arrest migrants in the United States.
''We cannot allow racist and armed vigilantes to kidnap and detain people seeking asylum,'' two lawyers for the A.C.L.U., Mar­a Mart­nez Snchez and Kirsten Greer Love, said in the letter.
In a statement, Hector Balderas, New Mexico's attorney general, said: ''These individuals should not attempt to exercise authority reserved for law enforcement.''
Jim Benvie, a spokesman for the United Constitutional Patriots, said in a telephone interview that his group had been camped near El Paso for the past two months. Mr. Benvie contended that his group's actions were legal, comparing the detention of the migrants to ''a verbal citizen's arrest.''
''We're just here to support the Border Patrol and show the public the reality of the border,'' said Mr. Benvie, 43, who recently came to New Mexico from Minnesota. He said the organization plans to remain on the border until the extended wall proposed by President Trump is built or Congress changes immigration laws to make it harder for migrants to request asylum.
Militias have recently stepped up their activities in New Mexico and other states as the authorities scramble to respond to a surge in families from Central America, with total apprehensions on the border reaching more than 92,000 in March. Elsewhere on the border, the mayor of Yuma, Ariz., declared an emergency this week as the city sought federal and state assistance to deal with migrant arrivals.
Mr. Benvie, the spokesman for the United Constitutional Patriots, declined to specify how many of its members were in Sunland Park, a city in New Mexico about nine miles west of El Paso. He said the group included people with military or law enforcement experience.
''If these people follow our verbal commands, we hold them until Border Patrol comes,'' Mr. Benvie said. ''Border Patrol has never asked us to stand down.''
The governor of New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham, said in a statement that it was ''completely unacceptable'' that migrant families ''might be menaced or threatened in any way, shape or form when they arrive at our border.''
''It should go without saying that regular citizens have no authority to arrest or detain anyone,'' she added.
The video of this week's episode in the New Mexico desert shows Border Patrol agents arriving on the scene at some point after members of the militia have already come into contact with the migrants. Before the arrival of the federal agents, a woman narrating the video tells a man who appears to be a militia member ''Don't aim the gun'' in the direction of the families. The migrants can be seen kneeling on the ground and embracing one another.
Mr. Benvie said that members of the militia gave a ''verbal order of arrest'' to the migrants, telling them to wait where they were until Border Patrol agents arrived. Members of his group offered $20 to any of the migrants who could identify the smuggler who helped them cross the border, he said, but none took them up on the offer.
Mr. Benvie said that members of his group were told not to point their weapons at any of the migrants. He added that the group has a new rule in which members are not allowed to go on patrol with military-style rifles, but can still carry handguns. ''We can't make them stay if they don't want to,'' he said.
Carlos A. Diaz, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection, the federal agency that includes the Border Patrol, declined to discuss the episode or the United Constitutional Patriots, but said the agency ''does not endorse private groups or organizations taking enforcement matters into their own hands.''
The responses to the militia's videos on Facebook included an array of antagonistic or racist descriptions of the asylum seekers.
''Got to stop being sympathetic because of the kids,'' said one commentator, Linda Ellen Sweeney. ''Got to consider them as collateral damage now. We are DONE.''
Ursela Ojeda, a policy adviser in Washington for the Women's Refugee Commission, an organization seeking to protect the rights of women and children displaced by conflict and crisis, called the actions of the militia ''highly problematic.''
''These are families, and lots of young children, fleeing dangerous situations,'' Ms. Ojeda said. ''I have a hard time seeing how someone has a right to point a loaded weapon at these families.''
EuroLand
'Revolutionary party' Saoradh in paramilitary parade through Dublin
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 11:43
Self-styled ''revolutionary party'' Saoradh, which paraded in paramilitary style through Dublin on Saturday, said ''if republicans were involved'' in the killing of journalist Lyra McKee in Derry on Thursday night, ''then the IRA should apologise''.
Ms McKee (29) was shot dead during riots on the Creggan estate in Derry. The PSNI have said they believe those responsible for her death are connected to the ''New IRA''. Two men have been arrested in connection with with the shooting .
Up to 200 members and supporters of Saoradh who joined an Easter 1916 commemoration in Dublin on Saturday, heard national executive member Dee Fennell say the McKee family was ''suffering an intolerable loss''.
Mr Fennell said his own family had suffered due to the killing of a family member in the past and he reiterated that if republicans had shot Ms McKee ''then the IRA should publicly accept responsibility and apologise''.
Ms McKee had been ''tragically killed'' he said and such killings had never been the policy of republicans. He recalled that when he lived in the Ardoyne, the IRA had apologised for the killing of two women in the 1970s and 1990s ''publicly or privately''.
Earlier, as marchers gathered at the Garden of Remembrance at Parnell Square, the Wolfe Tone Republican Flute Band engaged in practice banging of drums which could be heard a kilometre away on D'Olier Street. A large number of uniformed garda­ were present, and plain-clothed detectives passed thorough the crowd.
Tricolours and the slogan ''unfinished revolution'' were hung from lampposts and shortly before the 3pm start of the march, a group in military uniforms wearing berets and sunglasses appeared. The paramilitaries were followed by a group in 1916-style clothing, seemingly re-enacting the Good Friday 1916 rebellion.
As the march got underway one man walked to the centre of the road hands on his head, blocking the march, but stewards instructed the marchers to ''go around him''.
A number of flute players passing down the street jostled the man who stood his ground. After a while a march organiser stood in front of the man, directing marchers away.
A statement issued by Saoradh on Friday claimed 29-year-old McKee was ''accidentally killed''.
Garda­ said the march dispersed with no incidents.
Boeing vs Airbus
Claims of Shoddy Production Draw Scrutiny to a Second Boeing Jet - The New York Times
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 14:40
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. '-- When Boeing broke ground on its new factory near Charleston in 2009, the plant was trumpeted as a state-of-the-art manufacturing hub, building one of the most advanced aircraft in the world. But in the decade since, the factory, which makes the 787 Dreamliner, has been plagued by shoddy production and weak oversight that have threatened to compromise safety.
A New York Times review of hundreds of pages of internal emails, corporate documents and federal records, as well as interviews with more than a dozen current and former employees, reveals a culture that often valued production speed over quality. Facing long manufacturing delays, Boeing pushed its work force to quickly turn out Dreamliners, at times ignoring issues raised by employees.
Complaints about the frenzied pace echo broader concerns about the company in the wake of two deadly crashes involving another jet, the 737 Max. Boeing is now facing questions about whether the race to get the Max done, and catch up to its rival Airbus, led it to miss safety risks in the design, like an anti-stall system that played a role in both crashes.
Safety lapses at the North Charleston plant have drawn the scrutiny of airlines and regulators. Qatar Airways stopped accepting planes from the factory after manufacturing mishaps damaged jets and delayed deliveries. Workers have filed nearly a dozen whistle-blower claims and safety complaints with federal regulators, describing issues like defective manufacturing, debris left on planes and pressure to not report violations. Others have sued Boeing, saying they were retaliated against for flagging manufacturing mistakes.
Joseph Clayton, a technician at the North Charleston plant, one of two facilities where the Dreamliner is built, said he routinely found debris dangerously close to wiring beneath cockpits.
''I've told my wife that I never plan to fly on it,'' he said. ''It's just a safety issue.''
In an industry where safety is paramount, the collective concerns involving two crucial Boeing planes '-- the company's workhorse, the 737 Max, and another crown jewel, the 787 Dreamliner '-- point to potentially systemic problems. Regulators and lawmakers are taking a deeper look at Boeing's priorities, and whether profits sometimes trumped safety. The leadership of Boeing, one of the country's largest exporters, now finds itself in the unfamiliar position of having to defend its practices and motivations.
''Boeing South Carolina teammates are producing the highest levels of quality in our history,'' Kevin McAllister, Boeing's head of commercial airplanes, said in a statement. ''I am proud of our teams' exceptional commitment to quality and stand behind the work they do each and every day.''
All factories deal with manufacturing errors, and there is no evidence that the problems in South Carolina have led to any major safety incidents. The Dreamliner has never crashed, although the fleet was briefly grounded after a battery fire. Airlines, too, have confidence in the Dreamliner.
But workers sometimes made dangerous mistakes, according to the current and former Boeing employees, some of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because they feared retaliation.
Faulty parts have been installed in planes. Tools and metal shavings have routinely been left inside jets, often near electrical systems. Aircraft have taken test flights with debris in an engine and a tail, risking failure.
On several planes, John Barnett, a former quality manager who worked at Boeing for nearly three decades and retired in 2017, discovered clusters of metal slivers hanging over the wiring that commands the flight controls. If the sharp metal pieces '-- produced when fasteners were fitted into nuts '-- penetrate the wires, he said, it could be ''catastrophic.''
Image John Barnett, a former Boeing quality manager, said bosses had refused his repeated efforts to deal with production issues. He has filed a whistle-blower complaint. Credit Swikar Patel for The New York Times Mr. Barnett, who filed a whistle-blower complaint with regulators, said he had repeatedly urged his bosses to remove the shavings. But they refused and moved him to another part of the plant.
A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, Lynn Lunsford, said the agency had inspected several planes certified by Boeing as free of such debris and found those same metal slivers. In certain circumstances, he said, the problem can lead to electrical shorts and cause fires.
Officials believe the shavings may have damaged an in-service airplane on one occasion in 2012, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
The F.A.A. issued a directive in 2017 requiring that Dreamliners be cleared of shavings before they are delivered. Boeing said it was complying and was working with the supplier to improve the design of the nut. But it has determined that the issue does not present a flight safety issue.
''As a quality manager at Boeing, you're the last line of defense before a defect makes it out to the flying public,'' Mr. Barnett said. ''And I haven't seen a plane out of Charleston yet that I'd put my name on saying it's safe and airworthy.''
'It Could Have Locked Up the Gears' Image The head of the 787 program reminded workers in North Charleston this month that stray objects left inside planes ''can potentially have serious safety consequences when left unchecked.'' Credit Travis Dove/Bloomberg Less than a month after the crash of the second 737 Max jet, Boeing called North Charleston employees to an urgent meeting. The company had a problem: Customers were finding random objects in new planes.
A senior manager implored workers to check more carefully, invoking the crashes. ''The company is going through a very difficult time right now,'' he said, according to two employees who were present and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
So-called foreign object debris is a common issue in aviation. Employees are supposed to clean the bowels of the aircraft as they work, often with a vacuum, so they don't accidentally contaminate the planes with shavings, tools, parts or other items.
But debris has remained a persistent problem in South Carolina. In an email this month, Brad Zaback, the head of the 787 program, reminded the North Charleston staff that stray objects left inside planes ''can potentially have serious safety consequences when left unchecked.''
The issue has cost Boeing at other plants. In March, the Air Force halted deliveries of the KC-46 tanker, built in Everett, Wash., after finding a wrench, bolts and trash inside new planes.
''To say it bluntly, this is unacceptable,'' Will Roper, an assistant secretary of the Air Force, told a congressional subcommittee in March. ''Our flight lines are spotless. Our depots are spotless, because debris translates into a safety issue.''
Boeing said it was working to address the issue with the Air Force, which resumed deliveries this month.
At the North Charleston plant, the current and former workers describe a losing battle with debris.
''I've found tubes of sealant, nuts, stuff from the build process,'' said Rich Mester, a former technician who reviewed planes before delivery. Mr. Mester was fired, and a claim was filed on his behalf with the National Labor Relations Board over his termination. ''They're supposed to have been inspected for this stuff, and it still makes it out to us.''
Image Rich Mester, a former technician who reviewed planes before delivery, described a losing battle with debris: ''I've found tubes of sealant, nuts, stuff from the build process.'' Credit Swikar Patel for The New York Times Employees have found a ladder and a string of lights left inside the tails of planes, near the gears of the horizontal stabilizer. ''It could have locked up the gears,'' Mr. Mester said.
Dan Ormson, who worked for American Airlines until retiring this year, regularly found debris while inspecting Dreamliners in North Charleston, according to three people with knowledge of the situation.
Mr. Ormson discovered loose objects touching electrical wiring and rags near the landing gear. He often collected bits and pieces in zip-lock bags to show one of the plant's top executives, Dave Carbon.
The debris can create hazardous situations. One of the people said Mr. Ormson had once found a piece of Bubble Wrap near the pedal the co-pilot uses to control the plane's direction, which could have jammed midflight.
On a Dreamliner that Boeing had already given a test flight, Mr. Ormson saw that a bolt was loose inside one of the engines. The small piece of metal could have caused the engine to malfunction.
American Airlines said it conducted rigorous inspections of new planes before putting them into service. ''We have confidence in the 787s we have in our fleet,'' said Ross Feinstein, a spokesman for the airline.
A Pool of Nonunion Workers Image Boeing had trouble finding qualified workers for its North Charleston plant. There was no work force comparable to the generations of aerospace professionals the company has nurtured in the Seattle area. Credit Randall Hill/Reuters When it was unveiled in 2007, the 787 Dreamliner was Boeing's most important new plane in a generation. The wide-body jet, with a lightweight carbon fiber fuselage and advanced technology, was a hit with carriers craving fuel savings.
Airlines ordered hundreds of the planes, which cost upward of $200 million each. Spurred by high demand, Boeing set up a new factory.
North Charleston was ideal in many ways. South Carolina has the lowest percentage of union representation in the nation, giving Boeing a potentially less expensive work force.
South Carolina doled out nearly $1 billion in tax incentives, including $33 million to train local workers. Boeing pledged to create 3,800 jobs.
While Boeing has nurtured generations of aerospace professionals in the Seattle area, there was no comparable work force in South Carolina. Instead, managers had to recruit from technical colleges in Tulsa, Okla., and Atlanta.
Managers were also urged to not hire unionized employees from the Boeing factory in Everett, where the Dreamliner is also made, according to two former employees.
''They didn't want us bringing union employees out to a nonunion area,'' said David Kitson, a former quality manager, who oversaw a team responsible for ensuring that planes are safe to fly.
''We struggled with that,'' said Mr. Kitson, who retired in 2015. ''There wasn't the qualified labor pool locally.'' Another former manager, Michael Storey, confirmed his account.
The 787 was already running years behind schedule because of manufacturing hiccups and supplier delays. The labor shortages in North Charleston only made it worse.
The initial excitement when the first Dreamliners entered service in late 2011 was short lived. A little more than a year later, the entire fleet was grounded after a battery fire on a Japan Airlines plane.
Boeing was forced to compensate carriers, hurting profit. All the while, the production delays mounted, and Airbus was close behind with a rival plane, the A350.
In North Charleston, the time crunch had consequences. Hundreds of tools began disappearing, according to complaints filed in 2014 with the F.A.A. by two former managers, Jennifer Jacobsen and David McClaughlin. Some were ''found lying around the aircraft,'' Ms. Jacobsen said in her complaint.
The two managers also said they had been pushed to cover up delays. Managers told employees to install equipment out of order to make it ''appear to Boeing executives in Chicago, the aircraft purchasers and Boeing's shareholders that the work is being performed on schedule, where in fact the aircraft is far behind schedule,'' according to their complaints.
The F.A.A. investigated the complaints and didn't find violations on its visit to the plant in early 2014. But the agency said it had previously found ''improper tool control'' and the ''presence of foreign object debris.''
Both managers left after they were accused of inaccurately approving the time sheets of employees who did not report to them. They both claim they were retaliated against for flagging violations. Through their lawyer, Rob Turkewitz, they declined to comment.
Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for Boeing, said, ''We prioritize safety and quality over speed, but all three can be accomplished while still producing one of the safest airplanes flying today.''
Planes were also damaged during manufacturing. A Dreamliner built for American Airlines suffered a flood in the cabin so severe that seats, ceiling panels, carpeting and electronics had to be replaced in a weekslong process.
While inspecting a plane being prepared for delivery, Mr. Clayton, the technician currently at the plant, recently found chewing gum holding together part of a door's trim. ''It was not a safety issue, but it's not what you want to present to a customer,'' he said.
An employee filed a complaint about the gum with the F.A.A. The agency is investigating, an F.A.A. official said.
[If you've worked at Boeing and want to discuss your experience, reach us confidentially here.]
The disarray frustrated one major carrier. In 2014, factory employees were told to watch a video from the chief executive of Qatar Airways.
He chastised the North Charleston workers, saying he was upset that Boeing wasn't being transparent about the length or cause of delays. In several instances, workers had damaged the exterior of planes made for the airline, requiring Boeing to push back delivery to fix the jets.
Ever since, Qatar has bought only Dreamliners built in Everett.
In a statement, Qatar Airways said it ''continues to be a long-term supporter of Boeing and has full confidence in all its aircraft and manufacturing facilities.''
Defective Parts Disappear
Image A spokesman for Boeing, Gordon Johndroe, said, ''We prioritize safety and quality over speed, but all three can be accomplished while still producing one of the safest airplanes flying today.'' Credit Travis Dove/Bloomberg In the interest of meeting deadlines, managers sometimes played down or ignored problems, according to current and former workers.
Mr. Barnett, the former quality manager, who goes by Swampy in a nod to his Louisiana roots, learned in 2016 that a senior manager had pulled a dented hydraulic tube from a scrap bin, he said. He said the tube, part of the central system controlling the plane's movement, was installed on a Dreamliner.
Mr. Barnett said the senior manager had told him, ''Don't worry about it.'' He filed a complaint with human resources, company documents show.
He also reported to management that defective parts had gone missing, raising the prospect that they had been installed in planes. His bosses, he said, told him to finish the paperwork on the missing parts without figuring out where they had gone.
The F.A.A. investigated and found that Boeing had lost some damaged parts. Boeing said that as a precautionary matter, it had sent notices to airlines about the issue. The company said it had also investigated the flawed hydraulic tube and hadn't substantiated Mr. Barnett's claims.
Image Cynthia Kitchens, a former quality manager at the plant, said her superiors penalized her in performance reviews after she flagged wire bundles rife with metal shavings and defective metal parts that had been installed on planes. Credit Swikar Patel for The New York Times ''Safety issues are immediately investigated, and changes are made wherever necessary,'' said the Boeing spokesman, Mr. Johndroe.
But several former employees said high-level managers pushed internal quality inspectors to stop recording defects.
Cynthia Kitchens, a former quality manager, said her superiors penalized her in performance reviews and berated her on the factory floor after she flagged wire bundles rife with metal shavings and defective metal parts that had been installed on planes.
''It was intimidation,'' she said. ''Every time I started finding stuff, I was harassed.''
Ms. Kitchens left in 2016 and sued Boeing for age and sex discrimination. The case was dismissed.
Some employees said they had been punished or fired when they voiced concerns.
Mr. Barnett was reprimanded in 2014 for documenting errors. In a performance review seen by The Times, a senior manager downgraded him for ''using email to express process violations,'' instead of engaging ''F2F,'' or face to face.
He took that to mean he shouldn't put problems in writing. The manager said Mr. Barnett needed to get better at ''working in the gray areas and help find a way while maintaining compliance.''
Liam Wallis, a former quality manager, said in a wrongful-termination lawsuit that Boeing had fired him after he discovered that planes were being manufactured using obsolete engineering specifications. Mr. Wallis also said in the suit, filed in March, that an employee who didn't exist had signed off on the repairs of an aircraft.
His boss had criticized him in the past for writing up violations, according to the lawsuit and emails reviewed by The Times. Boeing said it had fired Mr. Wallis for falsifying documents.
Through his lawyers, Mr. Wallis declined to comment for this article. Boeing has denied his claims and moved to dismiss the case.
In North Charleston, the pace of production has quickened. Starting this year, Boeing is producing 14 Dreamliners a month, split between North Charleston and Everett, up from the previous 12. At the same time, Boeing said it was eliminating about a hundred quality control positions in North Charleston.
''They're trying to shorten the time of manufacturing,'' said Mr. Mester, the former mechanic. ''But are you willing to sacrifice the safety of our product to maximize profit?''
[The reporters on this article can be reached at Natalie.Kitroeff@nytimes.com and David.Gelles@nytimes.com.]
Sheelagh McNeill contributed research.
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Poop Patrol
People are pooping more than ever on the streets of San Francisco - SFGate
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 13:06

A Community Guide, (declined to give his name) cleans along 6th st. between Mission and Howard streets on Mon. April 23, 2018, in San Francisco, Calif. San Francisco City Hall politicians continue to struggle with a fix for the real public health menace on our sidewalks the dirty needles, tent encampments, feces and foul garbage.
lessA Community Guide, (declined to give his name) cleans along 6th st. between Mission and Howard streets on Mon. April 23, 2018, in San Francisco, Calif. San Francisco City Hall politicians continue to struggle
... more Photo: Michael Macor / The Chronicle Photo: Michael Macor / The Chronicle
A Community Guide, (declined to give his name) cleans along 6th st. between Mission and Howard streets on Mon. April 23, 2018, in San Francisco, Calif. San Francisco City Hall politicians continue to struggle with a fix for the real public health menace on our sidewalks the dirty needles, tent encampments, feces and foul garbage.
lessA Community Guide, (declined to give his name) cleans along 6th st. between Mission and Howard streets on Mon. April 23, 2018, in San Francisco, Calif. San Francisco City Hall politicians continue to struggle
... more Photo: Michael Macor / The Chronicle One of America's wealthiest cities has a huge problem with public poop.
Between 2011 and 2018, San Francisco experienced a massive increase in reported incidents of human feces found on public streets.
In 2011, just over 5,500 reports were logged by the San Francisco Department of Public Works; in 2018, the number increased to more than 28,000.
The government watchdog Open the Books documented the sharp increase over time in a stunning chart, first spotted by the BuzzFeed editor John Paczkowski.
Open the Books/City of San Francisco
Notably, this is a chart of only documented reports '-- the actual amount of feces on San Francisco's streets is likely even higher than these statistics suggest.
"I will say there is more feces on the sidewalks than I've ever seen growing up here," San Francisco Mayor London Breed told NBC in a 2018 interview. "That is a huge problem, and we are not just talking about from dogs '-- we're talking about from humans."
San Francisco has struggled with a feces problem for years. The city even employs a "Poop Patrol" that attempts to keep the streets clean and focuses on the Tenderloin neighborhood.
But the problem is bigger than just keeping the streets clean '-- the issue appears to be related to the city's struggle to accommodate its homeless population amid skyrocketing rent prices and a decreasing supply of affordable housing.
A 2017 survey of San Francisco's homeless population counted nearly 7,500 people living on the street. That population faces limited public resources, and public bathrooms are no exception.
Whether the Poop Patrol is able to reverse the trend on San Francisco's streets remains to be seen, but there's an indication that the crew is a bandage on a problem much bigger than dirty streets.
Join the conversation about this story >>
NOW WATCH: Watch Apple debut its own no-fee credit card
See Also:
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Elites
Seagram Heiress Clare Bronfman Pleads Guilty In NXIVM Sex Cult Case
Sat, 20 Apr 2019 13:52
Just weeks before they were set to face a jury in the NXIVM trial, two high profile members of the sex cult have decided to plead guilty.
On Friday, April 19, Seagram liquor empire heiress Clare Bronfman pleaded guilty to federal charges in her role as a member of the cult's executive board. Co-defendant Kathy Russell, the cult's longtime bookkeeper, also pleaded guilty to charges implicating both women in the sex-trafficking conspiracy case against the upstate New York self-help group.
According to court documents obtained by Radar, Bronfman, 40, pleaded guilty to one count of ''Conspiracy to Conceal and Harbor Illegal Aliens for Financial Gain'' and another count of ''Fraudulent Use of Identification.''
Bronfman was not charge with sex trafficking in the indictment, the court confirmed to Radar.
The estimated sentencing guideline for the two counts that she pleaded guilty to (21 to 27 months) is the same guideline estimate had she pled guilty to racketeering.
Check out the court documents here!
She faces a maximum of 25 years in prison.
Before taking the plea deal, a source told Radar with all the evidence against her, it was the smart move, and the only way to lower her prison sentence.
''Clare will realize that her money in this situation is not going to buy her out of this,'' the source said. ''She will take a plea because she's not going to want to go to jail as long as she might.''
Bronfman and Russell's change-of-pleas leaves Keith Raniere, the group's ''spiritual leader,'' as the only member left denying the allegations, and heading for trial.
''I predict he will never take a plea,'' the source said. ''I believe that he will take his chances with a trial hoping that maybe, just maybe, if the glove doesn't fit you can't acquit like in OJ Simpson.''
''Also because he's narcissistic, he's a megalomaniac and he's crazy. Somewhere in his head he thinks he's innocent,'' the source confessed. ''I don't believe he'll take a plea. And if he does, it's just minutes before the trial starts. This is what I've always felt.''
As Radar has reported, leaders of the sex cult are accused of blackmailing and branding female members with a symbol incorporating the initials ''KR.''
Earlier this month, former Smallville star Allison Mack pleaded guilty to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy charges as part of the group. She now faces a maximum of 40 years in prison.
Mack's guilty plea came after former co-defendants Nancy and Lauren Salzman pleaded guilty to their own racketeering charges.
Jury selection in the trial against Raniere is scheduled to begin on April 22, 2019. Opening arguments are expected May 7.
News | Albright Stonebridge Group
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 13:36

Contact:
Mary Clare Rigali
VICTORIA NULAND REJOINS ASG
April 18, 2019 (Washington, DC) '' Albright Stonebridge Group (ASG), the premier global strategy and commercial diplomacy firm, announced today that Victoria Nuland has returned to ASG. As ASG Senior Counselor, she draws on decades of senior-level experience in government and international affairs to serve clients, with a focus on Europe and Eurasia .
''We are thrilled that Toria is back,'' said Jim O'Brien, ASG Vice Chair and Europe practice lead. ''She has been at the top of her class in everything she's done. We have seen companies benefit from her experience and network in Europe and around the world. Europe is preparing new pushes on manufacturing, trade, and digital policy, and Toria is one of the best guides there is.''
Victoria Nuland served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs from 2013-2017, where she managed diplomatic relations with 50 countries, as well as with NATO, the European Union, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Previously, she served as State Department Spokesperson, Special Envoy for Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, and as United States Permanent Representative to NATO from 2005-2008. Most recently, she was CEO of the Center for a New American Security. She also served as ASG Senior Counselor from 2017-2018.
ASG's Europe practice includes senior experts on-the-ground across Europe, including in Berlin, Brussels, Istanbul, London, Lisbon, Moscow, Madrid, Stockholm, Warsaw, and Washington, DC.
Albright Stonebridge Group (ASG) is the premier global strategy and commercial diplomacy firm. We help clients understand and successfully navigate the intersection of public, private, and social sectors in international markets. ASG's worldwide team has served clients in more than 120 countries. To learn more, visit albrightstonebridge.com.
Author name:
Albright Stonebridge Group
BTC
Congress Slams IRS Over Bitcoin Tax Law; Here's the Major Loophole for Crypto Investors | NewsBTC
Thu, 18 Apr 2019 20:51
The United States tax deadline has came and went, and thanks to overwhelmingly confusing tax laws, crypto and Bitcoin investors are left scratching their heads, with many outright refusing to report their crypto earnings and losses on their annual tax filing.
It's not U.S. taxpayers who are alone in feeling confused by the complex tax laws and lack of clear guidance. Congress has issued a scathing letter to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) asking for clarity on how U.S. residents should go about paying their taxes on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The letter itself, suggests a leading tax attorney with experience in advising crypto clients, creates a major loophole for crypto investors who are at risk to become audited or worse.
Congress Issues Letter to IRS Requesting Bitcoin Tax Clarity Tax day in the United States was this past Monday '' a day many U.S. taxpayers dread. Tax laws in the country are already complicated, and confusing, requiring many taxpayers to either invest in software or pay a tax advisor to help guide them through the process and ensure all gains and losses are accurately reported.
Related Reading | Overwhelming Majority of Bitcoin and Crypto Investors Refuse to Report Taxes
The confusion is significantly amplified when you take into account an emerging asset class that is not fully understood, is unregulated, and has a multitude of potential use cases that walk the line of different classifications. Making matters worse, the IRS has only issued one public notice back in 2014 on how to pay taxes on cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin since its inception, yet carries fines of up to $500,000 and up to five years in prison if taxes aren't reported properly.
The glaring issue has prompted Congress to issue a letter to the IRS, demanding answers for U.S. taxpayers who are lost on how to report crypto-related transactions on their taxes.
''Taxpayers deserve clarity on several basic unanswered questions regarding federal taxation of these emerging exchanges of value,'' the letter read. ''Guidance is long overdue and essential to proper reporting of these emerging assets. The bipartisan support this letter has received should send a clear message to the IRS that clear guidelines for reporting virtual currency are necessary,'' added Minnesota Congressman Tom Emmer.
Letter Inadvertently Provides Major Loophole for Crypto Investors The letter itself Congress sent to the IRS, may further complicate things for the U.S. government, according to San Francisco-based tax lawyer Alex Kugelman who is familiar with advising cryptocurrency clients. Kugelman says that the letter could act as a sort of protection for any crypto investors that may have been targeted by the IRS's crackdown on crypto tax evaders.
Related Reading | Confusing U.S. Tax Laws Lead to $5 Billion In Unrealized Crypto Losses
Kugelman explained that ''if any of my clients are audited, I am going to present this to auditors '' how can the IRS take enforcement action against taxpayers when there is such an obvious lack of guidance?''
With fines as steep as $500,000 and charges that could lead to up to five years in prison, having this added layer of protection on what is a complex and confusing situation, can be an ace up the sleeve for crypto investors or traders who find themselves in a precarious situation with the IRS.
Disclaimer: This information should not be taken as tax advice. Seek a certified public accountant for any crypto tax related questions.
Self-Described Bitcoin Creator Craig Wright Sues Podcaster - Bloomberg
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 13:40
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Clips
VIDEO - Robert de Niro says autistic son changed 'overnight' after MMR jab | Daily Mail Online
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 14:54
Robert De Niro says he regrets pulling a controversial film linking the MMR vaccine to autism after his son changed 'overnight' following the jab.
The veteran actor and founder of the Tribeca Film Festival came under fire last week after announcing he would screen Vaxxed: From Cover-up To Catastrophe. He reversed his decision on Saturday.
Today he insisted he was not anti-vaccine but was 'pro-safe vaccine' as he admitted part of him regretted axing the movie.
The 72-year-old said he made the decision as he did not want the backlash to affect the film festival but insisted that 'the movie is something that people should see.'
Scroll down for video
Robert De Niro says he regrets pulling a controversial film linking the MMR vaccine to autism after his son changed 'overnight' following the jab
De Niro was joined by fellow Tribecca Film Festival founder and producer Jane Rosenthal on The Today Show as he discussed his decision to pull the documentary
'All I wanted is for the movie to be seen and people can make up their own judgement but you must see it,' he said during an appearance on The Today Show.
'Let's find out the truth, let's just find out the truth.'
He added that he hadn't yet 'fully explored' the fierce backlash against the documentary 'and I will.'
De Niro, who has an 18-year-old Elliot son with autism, said he had hoped that screening the film could have started a 'discussion' about the alleged link between the vaccine and autism.
'There's a lot of things that are not said. Nobody seems to want to address that, or they say they've addressed it and it's a closed issue.
'But it doesn't seem to be because there are many people who say they saw their kid change overnight.
'My wife says that (is what happened to my son). I don't remember. But my child is autistic.
'I, as a parent, of a child who has autism, I'm concerned, I want to know the truth.'
De Niro also suggested that people should watch another documentary, Trace Amounts, which focuses on the now disproved link between autism and vaccines.
'There's a lot of information about things that are happening with the CDC, the pharmaceutical companies, there's a lot of things that are not said,' De Niro added.
De Niro admitted he was 'not too sure' about the disgraced former British doctor, Andrew Wakefield, who is at the center of the documentary.
While saying he had played no part in the selection of the film for the festival, he said he hoped it would foster discussion about alleged links between common childhood vaccines and autism. His son Elliot, 18, is autistic
Discredited: Andrew Wakefield directed the documentary in which he sets forth his own theories about an alleged link between the MMR vaccine and autism. His 1998 study was widely discredited for being based on fraudulent data
But he wanted to help overcome the reluctance to talk about the issue, both in the scientific community and in the general public.
He felt that people were trying to 'shut down' discussions around vaccines and autism.
'There's more to this than meets the eye, believe me,' he warned. 'There's something that people aren't addressing. And for me to get so upset here, on the Today show, with you guys, means there's something there.'
The actor said he simply had not anticipated the 'knee jerk' reaction from filmmakers - many of whom had threatened to pull out the festival.
'Part of me does (regret pulling it), and part of me says let it go for now and I'll deal with it later in another way.
'Because I didn't want the festival to be affected.'
De Niro told the presenters he was skeptical of the scientific community's findings that there is no link between the vaccine and autism.
'I believe it's much more complicated than that. I'm not a scientist but i know because I've seen so much reaction.
'I'm not anti-vaccine, but I'm pro-safe vaccine.'
The 72-year-old went onto compare the reactions of some children to medications such as penicillin - and claimed it could be the same with vaccines.
He even questioned the rise in cases of preventable diseases, such as measles, across the country since the MMR controversy.
'There's a kind of hysteria, a knee jerk reaction. Everybody should have choice whether to take vaccines or not. But it does benefit big drug companies.'
The actor and producer had first announced he would be screening the documentary at the festival in a personal statement last week.
De Niro, pictured here with his autistic son Elliot (centre) and his wife Grace Hightower (right), said he watched Vaxxed with members of the scientific community and that it doesn't 'further' discussion on autism
Parents: Robert De Niro and his wife Grace (pictured together) are the parents of an autistic child
'Grace and I have a child with autism and we believe it is critical that all of the issues surrounding the causes of autism be openly discussed and examined,' he said, referring to his wife of 18 years, Grace Hightower.
The statement continued: 'In the 15 years since the Tribeca Film Festival was founded, I have never asked for a film to be screened or gotten involved in the programming.
'However this is very personal to me and my family and I want there to be a discussion, which is why we will be screening Vaxxed.
'I am not personally endorsing the film, nor am I anti-vaccination; I am only providing the opportunity for a conversation around the issue.'
However, he later said that after reviewing the film alongside Tribeca organizers and members of the scientific community, the decision to screen the movie had been reversed.
He continued: 'The Festival doesn't seek to avoid or shy away from controversy. However, we have concerns with certain things in this film that we feel prevent us from presenting it in the Festival program. We have decided to remove it from our schedule.'
The documentary claims that US health authorities 'sliced and diced' data linking the triple jab for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) to rising autism rates.
It was directed by Wakefied, who began the MMR controversy 18 years ago with an article published in British medical journal The Lancet.
That report said that there was a link between a bowel disease, autism and the MMR jab, and kick-started a suspicion of vaccinations that, according to the Associated Press , led to immunization rates in the UK dropping from 92 percent to 73 percent, and as many as 125,000 US children not being immunized.
That triggered outbreaks of measles - a potentially deadly disease - across Europe and the US on a scale not seen in decades.
Wakefield's article was savaged by critics, who questioned his methods and results, and he was found guilty of gross lapses of medical ethics by the UK's General Medical Council, which removed his doctor's license - the strongest punishment it can inflict.
The former doctor has always protested his innocence and the value of his research, and Vaxxed was his attempt to reignite the controversy.
In Vaxxed he claims the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention manipulated data, adding: 'The CDC had known all along there was this MMR/autism risk.'
Professor Sir Liam Donaldson, England's chief medical officer during the MMR scare, said: 'Wakefield can't appear to accept he has been wrong, wrong, wrong.'
Spoke out: Robert De Niro issued a statement on Friday defending the decision to screen the controversial anti-vaccine documentary Vaxxed at the Tribeca Film Festival, that he co-founded. He reversed it the following day
De Niro has said previously that he decided to star in David O. Russell's film Silver Linings Playbook because he has a child with 'special needs.'
While promoting the film in February 2013, he teared up during an appearance on NBC's Today as he talked about why he chose to do the movie, in which he played the father of a bipolar man played by Bradly Cooper.
'If you're a father, you certainly understand what it's like to go through the worry about your kids, especially if they've got issues like Bradley's character has,' he explained.
'Sometimes it can be overwhelming. It can be nightmarish and upsetting. There's nothing much you can do but deal with it.'
De Niro and Hightower also have a young daughter Helen Grace, five, and the Raging Bull star also has four older children from previous relationships.
The Tribeca Film Festival runs from April 13-24.
AUTISM AND THE MMR VACCINE: HOW THE MYTH BEGAN The MMR controversy began after a 1998 study, published in The Lancet journal, by disgraced former doctor Andrew Wakefield, raised the possibility of a link between the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, bowel disease and autism.
Rarely has one piece of misinformation single-handedly caused so much damage. Autism is usually diagnosed in preschool children, and the second dose of MMR is given between ages three and four. The two can coincide, but there is no causality.
A formal inquiry found the research fraudulent and unethical '' the children with autism were subjected to unnecessary invasive procedures such as colonoscopies and lumbar punctures.
Wakefield's study was widely discredited and he was permanently stripped of his license to practice medicine.
Yet, it was 12 years before The Lancet journal finally retracted the discredited paper in 2010 as a result of an investigation by a British newspaper.
By then, the damage was done. The paper led to an anti-vaccination movement which has resulted in a growing number of preventable illnesses in the U.S.
Homegrown measles, for example, was declared eliminated from the United States in 2000. But health officials say cases imported by travelers from overseas continue to infect unvaccinated U.S. residents. The sometimes deadly viral disease can spread swiftly among unvaccinated children.
The MMR controversy began after a 1998 study, published in The Lancet journal, by disgraced former doctor Andrew Wakefield
Last year alone saw 189 people from 24 states and the District of Columbia contract the disease while one outbreak at Disneyland in January 2015 was responsible for at least 80 cases.
There is no treatment for measles which can cause serious complications including blindness, encephalitis, severe diarrhea, ear infection and pneumonia
Incidents of whooping cough, which killed 10,000 Americans annually before the vaccine slashed deaths to 30, has also been on the rise.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has since said all children should get the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella between 12 and 15 months of age and again between 4 and 6 years old.
Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg waded in on the debate earlier this year after he posted a photo on the social networking site of his two-month-old daughter in the doctor's surgery waiting to be vaccinated.
It provoked a storm on social media with millions debating the pros and cons of vaccination.
The Centers for Disease Control and other health officials say that no link between vaccination and the complications exist.
VIDEO - Venezuela's Cocaine Highway To The U.S. | Here & Now
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 14:22
Play April 19, 2019
Venezuela is fast becoming the cocaine courier to the U.S., smuggling tons of Colombian cocaine with a street value of $40 billion, according to a months-long CNN investigation. Here & Now's Lisa Mullins speaks with CNN senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh (@npwcnn).
This segment aired on April 19, 2019.
VIDEO - Mueller's Report Shows All The Ways Russia Interfered In 2016 Presidential Election : NPR
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 14:21
Special counsel Robert Mueller's report lays out all of the ways in which Russia interfered in the 2016 election, including hacking Democrats' emails and using social media to mobilize U.S. citizens.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
The redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report released today gives us the clearest big-picture look at how exactly Russia sought to interfere in the 2016 election. It was a multipronged effort that involved a huge amount of planning and resources. NPR's Miles Parks has been combing through it all. He's in the studio now. Hey there, Miles.
MILES PARKS, BYLINE: Hi there.
CORNISH: So the report starts with a section about Russia's efforts to use social media. What did you learn?
PARKS: So this didn't happen overnight. Russian agents start making covert research visits to the United States all the way back in 2014. They used that information to then begin these social media accounts about different political issues, and they start gaining momentum, getting hundreds, then thousands, then hundreds of thousands of likes and follows, even gaining legitimacy and reach by getting retweets and engagement from people in President Trump's orbit, people like Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump Jr., engaged with this content.
And then you think back to 2016 when these social media companies were basically saying, we don't have much of a role in election interference. And this report really shows that that's not true. This content was seen by as many as 126 million people on Facebook alone.
CORNISH: Now let's talk about the issue of hacking the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign. What does the report say there?
PARKS: So this section got really technical, but the report detailed exactly how these Russian agents ended up getting a hold of these emails that ended up on WikiLeaks. It all starts with a phishing campaign. They're able to break into the account of one account holder with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and they basically leveraged that access into being able to start exploring the entire Democratic national party network between the DNC and the DCCC.
Over the next two months, the report says that Russian agents compromised as many as 59 different computers. They also broke into the network of Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta. The report also gets into how these attackers communicate with WikiLeaks and how Julian Assange falsely tried to pin these attacks on a DNC staffer and not on Russia.
CORNISH: Another topic the Mueller investigation looked at was the targeting of America's voting system. What did you see there?
PARKS: So we really learned something new here, and it's that these agents - the report says that these agents were actually more successful than we thought at breaking into local governments. We knew that they had sent phishing emails to dozens of local election officials in Florida in an effort to try and break into their systems, but we had no indication that they were ever successful.
The report says that the FBI thinks they were successful in at least one Florida county government. We know nothing yet about which county that was, and no county in the last three years has announced that they were breached. I even talked to the head of the Supervisor of Elections Association in Florida, and he says he hasn't heard anything about a breach. So there's still a lot of details to come. But we did hear something new here.
CORNISH: Right. As you just mentioned, you've been doing some reporting on this topic. How different does the landscape look in terms of how vulnerable these aspects are going forward?
PARKS: I think it's clear that there is much more awareness about cyber security on a whole. Specifically with the social media companies, they say they're doing a lot on their platforms, but we haven't seen any real concrete reforms. Government regulation in the social media space is obviously really difficult. From the campaign side, I think the awareness is the biggest thing. The likelihood that the chairman of the - of a major party nominee clicking a phishing email is just significantly less in 2019 or 2020 than it was three years ago because of this report.
CORNISH: That's NPR's Miles Parks. Thanks for your reporting.
PARKS: Thank you.
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VIDEO - Reporters Conclude That Reporters Succeeded In Covering The Mueller Investigation | The Daily Caller
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 14:20
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\n HomeVideoPoliticsUSWorldEntertainmentSportsBusinessOpinionOutdoorsShopDaily Caller ShopDaily DealerWine ClubIssuesDefenseEducationEnergyHealthMediaSend a Tip12:48 PM 04/19/2019 | MediaVirginia Kruta | Associate Editor
As media, pundits, Congress and the American people begin to digest the Mueller report released Thursday, a number of reporters have already raised their own hands to declare victory.
Washington Post correspondent Philip Bump argued that Mueller's report made it ''clear that the vast amount of reporting by mainstream outlets about Trump and Russia was on the mark.'' (RELATED: Washington Post's Preview Of Friday Front Page Leaves Out Principal Conclusion: No Collusion)
This report makes clear that the vast amount of reporting by mainstream outlets about Trump and Russia was on the mark.
'-- Philip Bump (@pbump) April 18, 2019
He then dismissed criticisms of his assessment as proof that many people live in alternate universes:
The replies to this are quite instructive about the extent to which there are diverging universes in which people live.
'-- Philip Bump (@pbump) April 18, 2019
Karen Tumulty, Washington Post political columnist, called the report ''an exoneration of the mainstream media'':
And by ''mainstream media,'' I'm talking about reporting by journalists, not cable chatter by pundits. It held up very well, as the many lies of Trump and White House officials were exposed under oath.
'-- Karen Tumulty (@ktumulty) April 19, 2019
Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhip claimed that ''the press reports were accurate,'' and the fake news ''came from Trump and his aides'':
According to Mueller, the press reports were accurate. The false news came from Trump and his aides. Something I wrote: https://t.co/4Elk1ryvyY
'-- Paul Farhi (@farhip) April 19, 2019
GQ Magazine correspondent Julia Ioffe claimed that it proved the ''vast majority'' of reporting on Trump and Russia to be ''extremely accurate'':
Explanation (because some of you clearly need one): of the evidence presented in the Mueller report, there is a ton we already knew from the REPORTING on the investigation. I say REPORTING'--rather than hot take analysis on TV, Twitter, and elsewhere'--deliberately.
'-- Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) April 18, 2019
CNN's Brian Stelter and Oliver Darcy teamed up to write the following:
Over in one world, established news organizations reported the news. 1) The Mueller report detailed the Russian contacts with the Trump campaign, but did not establish a criminal conspiracy, and 2.) That Trump repeatedly attempted to curtail the investigation. Journalists also pointed out that the Mueller report corroborated much of the reporting that's been done for the last two years.
But over in the other world, the one dominated by pro-Trump, right-wing media personalities, a completely different narrative unfolded. Commentators exclaimed ''NO COLLUSION'' while willfully drowning out the other findings of the report. The focus was on revenge. This universe also favored the demeaning of journalists, asserting the report had forever tarnished the reputation of the press.
CNN guest Shimon Prokupecz claimed that Mueller had ''corroborated a lot of the good journalism that was done.'' (RELATED: CNN Contributer Hopes 'Nobody Missed Leg Day' Because 'Goalposts Are Going To Be Heavy')
This report has ''really corroborated a lot of the good journalism that was done,'' @ShimonPro points out pic.twitter.com/KT6HlaxfDw
'-- Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) April 18, 2019
CNN analyst Bill Carter praised the media for its stalwart refusal ''to let go of the tail of the real narrative'':
>> @wjcarter: ''It's essential that the media refuse to let go of the tail of the real narrative: the truth about what the Russians did, what the Trump campaign did to embrace what the Russians did, and what Trump did to try to cover all that up'...'' https://t.co/PwJ8PEtgKc
'-- Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) April 19, 2019
Daniel Dale of the Toronto Star agreed:
After all the Media Reckoning talk after the Barr summary, the Mueller report corroborates a lot of reporting from big news outlets.
'-- Daniel Dale (@ddale8) April 18, 2019
What none of them appeared to acknowledge was the fact that a number of their own Trump-Russia ''bombshells'' had been disproven '-- some even before the Mueller report was made public. And the collusion narrative they had pushed for months on end died without so much as a nod to its passing.
Over the last two years, every Trump-Russia ''bombshell'' dropped by the media was wrong. We now know that Mueller found no evidence of collusion, but the media found evidence a number of times'... and then had to retract it. Here's a look back (thread):
'-- Eddie Zipperer (@EddieZipperer) April 18, 2019
This headline doesn't even mention that Trump was cleared of any Russian collusion '' which was the whole point of the Mueller investigation. The US media's bias laid bare. https://t.co/pngDgQLvwA
'-- Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 19, 2019
What was that you were saying about the Mueller finding of zero collusion being ''an exoneration of the media?'' https://t.co/q6YAFpoM8z
'-- Sean Davis (@seanmdav) April 19, 2019
Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer quoted Wall Street Journal opinion writer Holman W. Jenkins Jr., who argued that the larger outlets had failed so miserably that they may have ''sewn themselves into a moral straitjacket.''
''For many of the country's most prestigious news organizations, the question becomes whether they have sewn themselves into a moral straitjacket and now must abdicate coverage of the biggest story of the next two years to upstart rivals on the right.'' https://t.co/VQqMCZpcuR
'-- Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) April 18, 2019
Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich offered an open challenge to media, saying they should, ''analyze the Mueller report and compare it to their own fake news reports over the last two years. They [don't] have the courage to be honest about how wrong they were.''
The news media should be challenged to analyze the Mueller report and compare it to their own fake news reports over the last two years. They dont have the courage to be honest about how wrong they were.
'-- Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) April 18, 2019
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VIDEO - Donald Trump Sings Fireflies by Owl City - YouTube
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 13:10
VIDEO - Several explosions rock churches and hotels on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka - YouTube
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 12:37
VIDEO - Peter Ridd's Fight for Freedom of Speech on Climate Change - YouTube
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 12:07
VIDEO - (1) Rozner: What I Think Of Ridd Case Outcome - YouTube
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 11:57
VIDEO - Man suffered racing heartbeat until his ambulance hit a pothole
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 11:47
April 18, 2019 at 3:56 PM HST - Updated April 19 at 12:13 PM
GRETNA, NE (WOTW/Gray News) - Everyone complains about potholes popping up in the spring, but a Nebraska man may have potholes to thank for saving his life.
Monday afternoon, Gretna paramedics rushed to help a 59-year-old man with a racing heart at work. He had no history of heart problems.
The squad had a 20-minute drive to the emergency room, and at one point, the patient's heart was beating at a rate of 200 beats per minute.
During the seven-mile ride from 144th and Interstate 80 to Lakeside Hospital, the rig hit a pothole.
Medics told the hospital, as relayed by the Omaha Scanner on Twitter, that the jolt of the pothole converted the patient's racing heart to normal rhythms.
"It's rare, but it's a well-described phenomenon," Nebraska Medicine's Dr. Andrew Goldsweig said.
He wasn't the physician on the case, but provided WOWT with the details on how the jarring from the pothole could be so helpful.
"One way to treat that is with an electrical shock. Classically, you'll see it on television. The paddles, 'Clear' and a big jolt. Turns out, you can do that with a pothole," Goldsweig said.
Gretna Fire and Rescue's chief decline to talk about where the lifesaving pothole was located so that the patient's privacy would not be violated.
Friends of the patient said he will surely be looking at potholes a little differently from now on.
Goldsweig said there's one well-documented case from the late 1970s where the patient was jolted into a normal heart rhythm by a speed bump.
Copyright 2019 WOTW via Gray Television Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
VIDEO - Bill Binney on Vimeo
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 11:29
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VIDEO - Jonathan Lalonde on Twitter: ""I was the CIA Director; we lied, we cheated we stole. We had entire training courses." -@SecPompeo'... "
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 10:53
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VIDEO - French Architect Says Timber Used In Notre Dame Would Not Burn Without Kindling
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 10:51
There is a massive investigation underway to determine the official cause of last week's fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. Authorities have not made an official announcement, but Paris public prosecutor R(C)my Heitz said that his office was ''favoring the theory of an accident.''
Still, there are many questions that remain unanswered.
This week, Benjamin Mouton a former chief architect and general inspector of French historical monuments expressed his doubts about how fast he saw the wood burn. Mouton even worked on the Notre Dame Cathedral himself, and has a great deal of experience with the building.
Mouton says that the interior of the building was mostly constructed with old oak, which according to him is very difficult to burn without a lot of kindling.
A view of the cross and the sculpture 'Pieta' by Nicholas Coustou behind debris inside the Notre-Dame de Paris in the aftermath of a fire that devastated the cathedral, in Paris, France, 16 April 2019. Photo Credit: Christophe Petit Tesson Shutterstock
During an interview, a host asked Mouton, ''So, you're telling us that this type of timber doesn't burn like that?''
Mouton responded by saying, ''Oak that is 800-years-old is very hard '' try to burn it. Old oak, it is not easy at all. You would need a lot of kindling to succeed'... It stupefies me.''
One explanation given by authorities is that this was the result of some type of electrical fire, however, Mouton says that this is not possible.
''In the Nineties, we updated all the electrical wiring of Notre Dame. So there is no possibility of a short circuit. We updated to conform with the contemporary norms, even going very far '' all the detection and protection systems against fire in the cathedral,'' Mouton said.
BREAKING: Architect of restorations for Notre Dame Speaks Out!
Media: "So your're telling us that this type of timber doesn't burn like that?"
Notre Dame Architect: "NO, You know, oak that is 800 years old doesn't burn like that'....You would need a lot of kindling to succeed." pic.twitter.com/NBF86wOxDF
'-- Amy Mek (@AmyMek) April 17, 2019
Mystery still surrounds the incident, considering the fact that some type of open flame or fire would have been needed to start the blaze if it was not electrical. So far, investigators have not announced that any workers were responsible for the fire, and it is not clear that there was even anyone working in that part of the building at the time it occurred. Since there were no deaths or injuries, and it did not seem like anyone had trouble escaping, it is strange that there is no explanation at this point, especially in a building with such high security.
PROOF Notre Dame COULD NOT have been an Electrical Fire!
This is a short clip from a documentary on Notre Dame Cathedral, made Sept. 16th, 2018
There were no workers in the cathedral, no heat sources near the timber frame. Was this arson? Would Authorities tell us if it was? pic.twitter.com/VR34kTcok2
'-- Amy Mek (@AmyMek) April 17, 2019
According to the Associated Press, 16 historic statues were removed from the Notre Dame Cathedral just four days before the massive fire that destroyed a large portion of the building.
On April 11th it was reported that ''Religious statues set atop Notre Dame Cathedral have come down for the first time in over a century as part of a restoration of the monumental Paris church's towering spire. A 100-meter-high (105-yard) crane lowered the copper statues representing the 12 apostles and four evangelists onto a truck, giving the public a ground-level look for the first time on Thursday. The 3-meter-tall statues are being sent to southwestern France for work that is part of a 6 million-euro ($6.8 million) renovation project on the cathedral spire and its 250 tons of lead.''
At the time of the fire, the cathedral was in the middle of a massive renovation project which was expected to cost at least '‚¬150 million or $169 million. Since the fire, donations have poured in from around the world to assist with the building's restoration. Over a billion dollars has been raised at time of publishing, most of those donations coming from extremely wealthy donors.
Some of these donations were hundreds of millions of dollars, coming from wealthy families behind clothing brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton, as well as energy and cosmetic companies. Tim Cook of Apple even said that the multi-billion dollar technology company would contribute to the restoration.
The overwhelming charity displayed in the aftermath of the fire brought some backlash from working class people who argued that there were far better uses for the money. As very large portions of the global population is in poverty, and as countless environmental problems need serious attention, billionaires took out their checkbooks to preserve a monument to their cultural dominance, while looking the other way when the rest of the world burns.
VIDEO - wlctv.ca on Twitter: "Just in case tis goes by the way of the dodo bird'... "
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VIDEO - Chicago Mayor-Elect Lori Lightfoot Says She Will Welcome Shipments of Illegals
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 04:27
Chicago's first black, gay, female mayor who will take office in May says that she would welcome shipments of illegals if the Trump administration were to send them to the Windy City.Lightfoot's exclamation was in response to a tweet by President Donald Trump, who said he agreed with the idea of sending busloads of illegals to so-called sanctuary cities.
The mayor-elect, though, didn't seem to think any shipments of illegals would occur and said she thought Trump was just being ''provocative,'' according to Fox News. She added that Trump's rhetoric was ''much ado about nothing.''
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper asked Lightfoot if she agreed with outgoing Mayor Rham Emanuel that illegals are welcome in Chicago, to which she replied, ''of course.''
''We have people who are routinely coming to this city. We have a whole infrastructure that's built up to make sure that their rights are protected while the city of Chicago has, under the current administration, provided funding for various groups to help support asylum seekers and other people that are going through the immigration court system. I expect it will continue, if not expand upon, those kinds of resources,'' the first-time elected official told CNN.
Lightfoot added that people need to take President Trump for what he is and not jump in outrage every time he makes a provocative tweet.
''What I'm saying is I don't think we should take the bait every time the president puts out a provocative tweet. What I think we need to do is make sure that we are being very clear and speaking our values,'' Lightfoot said.
She continued: ''We are a city that is a sanctuary city. We have immigrants from all over the world who call Chicago their home. They'll continue to do that, and we're going to continue to make sure that this is truly a welcoming community for those immigrants, and we want them to come to the city of Chicago,'' the newly elected mayor concluded.
But the Windy City could ill afford any large number of illegals. The city already has a nearly $250 million budget shortfall, and the city already leads the nation in the number of productive citizens moving out to other states. A flood of illegals who would need public assistance would further burden an already overstretched city.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.
VIDEO - Planned Parenthood kept aborted babies alive to harvest heart, brain: ex-technician - Washington Times
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 04:22
In an undercover video released Wednesday, a former technician for a tissue-harvesting company details how an aborted baby was kept alive so that its heart could be harvested at a California Planned Parenthood facility, raising more legal questions about the group's practices.
Holly O'Donnell, a former blood and tissue procurement technician for the biotech startup StemExpress, also said she was asked to harvest an intact brain from the late-term, male fetus whose heart was still beating after the abortion.
A StemExpress supervisor ''gave me the scissors and told me that I had to cut down the middle of the face. And I can't even describe what that feels like,'' said Ms. O'Donnell, who has been featured in earlier videos by the Center for Medical Progress, a pro-life group that previously had released six undercover clips involving Planned Parenthood personnel and practices.
David Daleiden, the video project leader, said the undercover footage and interviews show that fetuses are sometimes delivered ''intact and alive'' before their organs are harvested.
The federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002 says that when a child is born alive, including having a beating heart, he or she is a legal person and has a right to lifesaving medical care.
California law also prohibits any kind of experimentation on a fetus with a discernible heartbeat, said the Center for Medical Progress, which is calling for the federal government to cease its $500 million a year support to Planned Parenthood and for it to be investigated.
''Today's video is especially gruesome, and it shows, once again, the barbarity of what takes place at Planned Parenthood clinics across the country,'' said Rep. Joseph R. Pitts, Pennsylvania Republican and chairman of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on health, one of several congressional panels investigating Planned Parenthood.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Utah Republican and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said Wednesday that all the videos are ''disturbing,'' and his committee's investigation will look into whether ''any federal funding supported transactions involving fetal tissue.''
''Top-level employees of Planned Parenthood admit to changing their procedures to harvest intact bodies of unborn children for body-part trafficking,'' said Rep. Trent Franks, Arizona Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution and civil justice.
Mr. Franks and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Virginia Republican, also said Wednesday that they have written to 58 Planned Parenthood affiliates. They are seeking 10 years of data about all abortions, late-term abortions, ''born-alive'' infants, fetal tissue collections and any modifications of abortion techniques to ''increase the odds of preserving intact fetal tissue and organs.''
Five states '-- Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Utah and New Hampshire '-- already have defunded Planned Parenthood.
A request for comment from Planned Parenthood Federation of America about the new video was not immediately available, but the nonprofit organization has denounced earlier undercover videos as fraudulent and misleading.
''These extremists show a total lack of compassion and dignity for women's most personal medical decisions,'' Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood, said earlier this month after a video release.
Meanwhile, pro-life groups are using the videos to step up their calls for investigations and defunding of Planned Parenthood.
Rallies and protests at nearly 300 Planned Parenthood clinics are planned for Saturday.
Mixed poll results
On Wednesday, Reuters/Ipsos released a rolling poll of hundreds of people that found stable support for federal funding of Planned Parenthood. Between Aug. 13 and Aug. 18, about 54 percent of Americans consistently said they support taxpayer funding for the reproductive health and abortion group. Federal funds are not permitted to be used for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or endangerment of the life of the mother.
But when pollsters changed their question and asked a smaller sample of people for their views on ''current efforts'' to defund Planned Parenthood, the rolling poll showed a shift: Those who agreed that Planned Parenthood should be defunded grew to 39 percent, while those opposing defunding shrank to 34 percent; another 27 percent said they didn't know.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll further asked people if the undercover videos had affected their views on Planned Parenthood or abortion. The rolling poll found that 45 percent of people said the videos made them ''more negative'' about Planned Parenthood, while 33 percent said it hadn't changed their views, 19 percent said it made them ''more positive,'' and 3 percent said they didn't know.
As for abortion in general, 51 percent said the videos had not changed their views, while 31 percent said it made them ''more negative'' about abortion, 16 percent said it made them ''more positive'' about abortion, and 3 percent said they didn't know.
In June, the Senate voted to defund Planned Parenthood and send the money to community health clinics, but it failed by seven votes.
Separately, StemExpress was in a California court Wednesday in its effort to block the release of a Center for Medical Progress video featuring a recorded conversation with three employees.
The biotech firm, based in Placerville, California, recently ended its relationship with two California Planned Parenthood affiliates to purchase their aborted fetus parts and resell them for scientific experimentation.
Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik lamented StemExpress' decision to ''bail'' on Planned Parenthood, and condemned the undercover videos as ''pure harassment by antiabortion activists, conniving with opportunistic politicians.''
In Wednesday's video '-- the seventh released this summer '-- the Center for Medical Progress said state and federal laws require that the same treatment be given to an infant born alive after an abortion as to a normally delivered baby.
Ms. O'Donnell said she observed a ''beating heart'' in a nearly intact, late-term male fetus at the Planned Parenthood Mar Monte's Alameda clinic in San Jose.
A StemExpress supervisor asked to show her something ''kind of cool'' and tapped the heart of the aborted fetus, ''and it starts beating,'' Ms. O'Donnell said.
''And I'm sitting here, and I'm looking at this fetus, and its heart is beating, and I don't know what to think,'' she said.
Then Ms. O'Donnell was asked to harvest the aborted child's brain, which meant slicing open his face to get at the organ.
''Oh my God, this '... just what am I doing?'' she recalled thinking to herself after she had complied. ''That was the moment when I knew I couldn't work for the company anymore.''
The seventh video includes an interview with an official with another biotech company who says, ''So, you know, there are times when after the [abortion] procedure is done that the heart actually is still beating.''
It also contains a brief interview with another biotech official who says that feticides, like digoxin, are not used when an aborted fetus is going to be dissected for parts because feticides taint the tissues.
Mr. Daleiden, the video project leader, said that not using drugs to kill the fetus before the abortion raises the risks that a child will be born alive.
' David Sherfinski contributed to this report.
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VIDEO - Former Chinese Airline Manager and US Citizen Pleads Guilty to Acting as Chinese Agent
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 04:19
Ying Lin, a former manager at the Chinese state-owned airline Air China, pleaded guilty at a federal court in New York City on April 17 to acting as an agent of the Chinese regime when she smuggled luggage onboard flights for several Chinese military officers.
For acting as a foreign agent without informing U.S. authorities, she faces up to 10 years in prison, according to a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) press release.
While working for Air China at airports in the New York and New Jersey area, Lin encouraged her fellow employees to give their primary loyalty to China and assist the military officers.
Lin Pleads GuiltyLin, 48, was born in China and became a U.S. citizen by naturalization. She owns several residences in the New York area.
Lin had worked for Air China for 14 years in its United States operations. According to court documents, Lin worked as a counter manager at the John F. Kennedy International airport from 2002 to 2015, and then was promoted to station manager at the Newark Liberty International airport until April 2016.
Lin pleaded guilty at a federal court in Brooklyn on Wednesday to shipping luggage from New York to Beijing for military officers assigned to China's permanent mission to the United Nations. She placed the luggage onto Air China flights as ''unaccompanied baggage'' or checked them in under the names of other passengers flying on those flights.
As the Chinese military officers did not travel on those flights, Lin's actions violated federal TSA (Transportation Security Administration) regulations.
''I acted at the direction of the officials and my employer, Air China,'' Lin told U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly at court on April 17. ''I did not notify the attorney general of the United States.''
The court did not disclose what was inside the luggage that Lin helped to ship. But in return for her work, Lin received benefits from the Chinese UN Mission and Chinese consulate in New York City, according to court documents, including free work on interior decorating at her two Queens homes, and getting to make tax-exempt purchases of Apple electronic products, watches, cigarettes, and liqueurs.The interior work was done by Chinese construction workers who received visas to work only on Chinese government facilities in the United States.
Lin was also involved in a high-profile UN corruption case, for which she was first arrested in August 2015 and charged by U.S. prosecutors with structuring bank deposits to avoid transaction reporting requirements, according to a Reuters report. The case was an investigation of how Macau real estate tycoon Ng Lap Seng bribed UN diplomats in exchange for support for his construction plans. Ng was convicted and sentenced to four years imprisonment in May 2018.
In that case, Lin was also charged with obstruction of justice for helping Qin Fei, a Chinese national and suspected associate of Ng, board a flight on Oct. 28, 2015 to China, after Qin was suspected of being a Chinese agent by U.S. authorities.
On April 17, the court freed her from these and other related charges in the Ng case as part of her plea deal.
Agent of Chinese GovernmentLin encouraged other Air China employees to assist the Chinese military officers, according to the DOJ press release, ''instructing those employees that because the Air Carrier was a PRC [People's Republic of China] company, their primary loyalty should be to the PRC.''
''This case is a stark example of the Chinese government using the employees of Chinese companies doing business here to engage in illegal activity,'' Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers said in the press release. ''Covertly doing the Chinese military's bidding on U.S. soil is a crime, and Lin and the Chinese military took advantage of a commercial enterprise to evade legitimate U.S. government oversight.''
In court, Lin agreed to forfeit $170,000 as part of her guilty plea.
Lin's sentencing has been scheduled for September 10.
Cai Rong contributed to this report.
VIDEO - ENGLISH SLANG 2019 | WHAT THE KIDS ARE SAYING | Superholly - YouTube
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 00:38
VIDEO - (1) Lil Dicky - Earth (Official Music Video) - YouTube
Sat, 20 Apr 2019 20:06
VIDEO - Karli Bonne''­¸'­¸'­¸ on Twitter: "Donna Brazile just said DNC handed over replica servers? WTH @Fuctupmind I smell some major bs ðŸ'(C)'... "
Sat, 20 Apr 2019 19:37
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VIDEO - (1) Media goes into a frenzy in the wake of the Mueller report - YouTube-ARCHIE BUNKER
Sat, 20 Apr 2019 18:54
VIDEO - (1) Lil Dicky - Earth (Official Music Video) - YouTube
Sat, 20 Apr 2019 14:15
VIDEO - Voter stuns MSNBC reporter with his message to Democrats after Mueller report release - TheBlaze
Sat, 20 Apr 2019 13:55
A reporter for the progressive cable news channel MSNBC was stunned by a New Hampshire voter who warned the Democratic party that they would lose in 2020 if they kept pushing the Mueller report after its release.
"But I do want to bring in one of the voters who I've been talking to this morning," said Ali Vitali. "Harold Chase, and you're someone who, now that you've seen the report come out, what are you thoughts?"
"Well my thoughts are that, like I said earlier, it's just, it's all false, the reports, there's nothing in there that shows the President of the United States is guilty of anything," Chase told her.
"There's no Russian collusion and there's no obstruction," he continued, "you know they're gonna try to find something, looking at that report, pick it apart and they'll try to find something and run with it, and nothing's gonna happen."
"So you say 'they' I think you're talking about Democrats," Vitali added. "When you say they're gonna run with it, do you think that they should talk about this as they campaign for president?"
"Absolutely not," he responded, "absolutely not, it's just gonna destroy them they won't get in, they won't win in 2020 if they keep pushing this."
"And what do you think," Vitali asked, "to you, the most important thing is, now that this report is out, what do you want to see happen next?"
"Well, the report is out," he replied. "I think they just need to move on, and just drop it, you know if they just keep going forward, they're not getting anywhere."
"They're just destroying themselves," he concluded.
Here's the video of NH voter Harold Chase: NH Voter To MSNBC On Mueller Investigation: Democrats Need To ''Move On And Just Drop It"www.youtube.com
VIDEO - MSNBC's Joy Reid badgers Democratic Rep for not wanting to impeach Donald Trump - TheBlaze
Sat, 20 Apr 2019 13:42
MSNBC's Joy Reid attempted to badger Democratic Rep. Sean Maloney of New York in an angry exchange about his reticence to support impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
"First of all, do you believe that Donald Trump has committed impeachable offenses?" Reid asked.
Maloney tried to answer but she interrupted, whereupon he said that he believed Trump deserved impeachment.
"The Constitution doesn't anticipate that Congress shall discharge its duty to impeach a president who has committed high crimes and misdemeanors only if it's electorally convenient," Reid pressed, "it says that that is your duty!"
"So if you believe he deserves it," she continued, "if you don't do it for this president, what president would be eligible for impeachment? What would he have to do?"
"Joy," Maloney responded, "ask yourself this question, why are the Republicans so eager for us to impeach the president?
"And it doesn't say I have a duty to impeach the president..." he said.
"If you believe that he committed high crimes and misdemeanors," she interrupted.
"Excuse me, I don't believe the word 'duty' is in the Constitution," Maloney interjected, "I think that I am elected to use my brain and to be smart about this, to represent my district, to hold the president accountable, I think that's the right thing to do."
"And to do that in a way that is effective for goodness' sake," he added, "and that gets this country going in a real direction."
Maloney chided Reid by adding that impeachment "might feel pretty good" but that it may not work out in the end.
The Democratic party appears to be divided on the issue, with some like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and presidential contender Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) affirming that Trump should be impeached.
Democratic leader Rep. Steny Hoyer (N.Y.) on the other hand, said impeachment was not worth the trouble after the release of the Mueller report, which echoed a similar sentiment from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-N.Y.).
Here's the video of the debate on MSNBC:
VIDEO - 'The Colbert Report'? Stephen's Hilarious Take On Mueller | Crooks and Liars
Sat, 20 Apr 2019 13:41
On Thursday's Late Night with Stephen Colbert, Stephen returned us firmly to Planet A. ''If you just returned to this dimension from the Phantom Zone, I want you to know that today the Mueller report was released.''
''You know how for a couple years now you've been thinking, 'There's probably bad stuff in the Mueller report that makes Donald Trump look terrible,' but then something like three weeks ago Attorney General Bill Barr put out his four-page valentine to Donald Trump, and then you thought, 'Maybe I'm crazy?' I'm here to tell you, you're not crazy.''
Colbert reacted to the report's release on CD-ROM. ''I'm disappointed. Everyone knows obstruction sounds more authentic on vinyl.''
Colbert also reacted to Trump's response to the Special Counsel appointment, when Trump made the now infamous comment, "This is the end of my presidency. I'm fu*ed.''
''I'm guessing that's not how an innocent person reacts,'' said Colbert.
Colbert then imagined the comment happening to a married couple: '''Honey, it's late, where have you been?' 'Oh my God, this is terrible. This is the end of our marriage. I'm f-----.'''
Colbert also responded to this Trump tweet:
''That picture, by the way, is Trump posing next to all the smoke that William Barr just blew up his ass.''
Open thread below...
VIDEO - Why Blacks, Latinos Are Being Shut Out Of Cannabis Industry (VIDEO)
Sat, 20 Apr 2019 12:54
Activist and legal marijuana trailblazer Wanda James talks about racial equity in the cannabis industry.
America's War on marijuana seems to be coming to a close as more and more states legalize weed, but the people who suffered most from tough drug laws may now be facing a different type of discrimination.
Minorities have largely been left out of the business of selling marijuana -- a booming industry that made an estimated $10.4 billion last year.
Wanda James is a rare success story for black people in the cannabis industry. She and her husband opened Simply Pure, a dispensary, cultivation facility and marijuana edible company in Denver, Colorado.
They are the first African-Americans legally licensed to own a cannabis company in the U.S.
James says its important to have more diversity in marijuana businesses because "the cannabis industry has been bought and paid for on the backs of people of color."
And though there are no official statistics on the racial makeup of the cannabis industry, one study found that only 19 percent of marijuana business owners identify as minorities. Less than five percent were African-American. Another analysis found that less than 1 percent of dispensaries in the U.S. were owned by black Americans.
And while white Americans and people of color consume marijuana at the same rate, studies show that blacks and Latinos have been arrested and incarcerated at least four times more than whites for the possession and sale of weed.
"We wanted to put a black face on cannabis. I found out that my brother was arrested at age 17 or 18. For four ounces of cannabis that cost him ten years of his life in the prison system and four of those years he spent picking cotton in a maximum security prison to purchase his freedom," James said.
James' award-winning cannabis, which they grow in small-batches, is considered some of the best in Denver. But she says her success didn't come easy. The biggest challenge? Not getting arrested.
"I mean we were actually raided and at one point we got a call from the sheriff's department telling us that they were in the process of raiding our facility," James said. "We did not know if we were going to be arrested day in and day out."
And it wasn't cheap. James says opening the Simply Pure dispensary cost her and her husband, who own several businesses around Denver, about one million dollars.
"It is damn near impossible for a person of color to get started in this business," James said. "We're finding out that the licensing process is extremely flawed in every state which is at a detriment to black owned Latino owned women and vets. And then you add in the idea of the amount of millions that you need to be able to enter into a into a market right now and most people of color can't call their mom and dad and say Hey Mom Dad I need five million dollars."
Cost and access are the biggest hurdles facing minorities looking to enter the cannabis industry. A license to sell marijuana can go for tens of thousands of dollars in places like New York and California. And the process for granting them has been called discriminatory. In some states you can't get a license if you've got a conviction, even for marijuana.
And that's just the first step. The industry faces a host of other unique financial challenges because marijuana is still federally illegal.
James says the best way to even the playing field is for states and the federal government to figure out a way to help people of color secure funding for their businesses.
"So yes, we can give you a license but if you are not funded to be able to grow that license and to be able to open that business that license may be your financial downfall. It could cause bankruptcy it could cause a whole host of other issues," she said.
Congress has one solution in the works. A bill making its way through both the House and Senate would allow banks to work with legal cannabis businesses, so entrepreneurs could open accounts and get loans to pay for licensing fees and cover other costs.
The bill has strong bipartisan support, but it's unclear how it will fare in the GOP-controlled Senate.
For now, James says cannabis companies should put more effort into integrating their businesses at every level, from the C-suite down to the budtenders.
And for people of color who want to get into the industry, James' advice is to find a way to use the talents you already have.
"Bloom where you're planted," she said. "The best way to get into this industry is do what you do. So if you're a real attorney I guess this industry needs people that can find spaces for real estate places or dispensaries and office spaces a cultivation. If you're a designer guess what we need somebody to design all of this amazing packaging and point of sale information."
VIDEO - ðŸŒ" Royal Oak ðŸŒ"'''¸ðŸ‘‘ðŸ‡¬ðŸ‡§ðŸ´ó §ó ó ¥ó ®ó §ó  on Twitter: "i can't ðŸ'... "
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All Clips

Chip Todd says Mueller validates M5M Reporting - No FakeNews.mp3
Chuck ToddCast with Phil Rucker WaPo-Trump not raising enough money.mp3
CNN Reporters Conclude That Reporters Succeeded In Covering The Mueller Investigation.mp3
Donna Brazille, now at FOX on Replicated Server.mp3
NPR-Mueller report-Assange smeared Seth Rich over DNC emails.mp3
NPR-Mueller Report-Voting systems hacked or not.mp3
Trey Gowdy On Democrats Thought Crimes.m4a
Bill Binney of Seth Rich FOIA.mp3
Glenn Greenwald pwns NPR over Assange arrest.mp3
Former Chinese Airline Manager and US Citizen Pleads Guilty to Acting as Chinese Agent.mp3
Lil Dicky-Earth-2-Animal intros.mp3
Lil Dicky-Earth-3-Internet+orgasms.mp3
Lil Dicky-Earth-4-Grand FInale with Leonardo DiCaprio.mp3
No New Homes in California with Natural Gas.PDF
Peter Ridd-1-Hunted by James Cook University-emails read etc.mp3
Peter Ridd-2-Is the Great Barrier Reef Dying.mp3
Peter Ridd-3-crappy science is being perfomed in the University.mp3
Peter Ridd-4-Universities have become totalitarian regimes-FUNDING.mp3
Barrier Reef Scientist Peter Ridd court victory against firing from James Cook university Australia.mp3
Lil Dicky-Earth-1-Intro news report.mp3
Heckler at Clinton Listening Tour-Lolita Express Epstein.mp3
EPA getting sued for good reason water.mp3
flue season continues CBS.mp3
Haiti versus Domican Republic PBS.mp3
legalize it polls CBS.mp3
lone woof ISO.mp3
major gordon cooper on UFOs.mp3
new impeachment talk beto is out CBS.mp3
pollen count and global warming BS CBS.mp3
report on Trump kvetching Hari PBS usage.mp3
trump new tweets about mueller CBS.mp3
women have taken over the CIA.mp3
yellow vest updtes PBS.mp3
CBS weekend using our theory about impeachment.mp3
CIA spies on Lone woof americans Gina.mp3
Clapper on Russian taint CNN.mp3
egypt election now makes you wonder.mp3
Archie Bunker returns with Lear and Kimmel.mp3
Hawaii pothole fixed over speeding heart rate.mp3
ADHD Brain Zapper approved for Kids by FDA. I Lobotomy.m4a
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Pompeo this week at Texas A+M-I was the CIA Director; we lied, we cheated we stole..mp3
Sudan Coup [wes clark 7].mp3
  • 0:00
    now he's lazy's lazy he doesn't do it
  • 0:02
    right this is no agenda right made a
  • 0:26
    very interesting observation about some
  • 0:28
    train earlier today I'm well I'm waiting
  • 0:37
    for your interesting train observation
  • 0:40
    okay I think this is important so
  • 0:43
    there's a train that goes from Seattle
  • 0:45
    to I guess LA I'm not sure where it ends
  • 0:47
    up but it's a bit cold it's the coastal
  • 0:49
    and it's a big train it's like the
  • 0:51
    Zephyr same kind of configuration except
  • 0:54
    when I started watching this train as it
  • 0:56
    goes by on the way down south about
  • 0:59
    anywhere between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. so
  • 1:04
    it's in to our window and when I first
  • 1:08
    started seeing this train which is a
  • 1:09
    couple we're paying attention to it
  • 1:11
    which was a couple of years ago it had
  • 1:12
    two observation cars those semi-dome
  • 1:15
    cars that are just there's no we just
  • 1:17
    sit in there and you can see it's a very
  • 1:19
    nice car and they have one on this
  • 1:21
    effort up in Sacramento about a year ago
  • 1:24
    the same exact train stopped having the
  • 1:29
    two dumb cars and they just had the one
  • 1:33
    and it's always been one and I realized
  • 1:35
    what it is nobody goes to the dome car
  • 1:38
    to look and see the nice scenery then
  • 1:40
    you could get from sight they're on
  • 1:41
    their phones yeah I think you're right
  • 1:49
    of course of course they are so why they
  • 1:52
    gonna waste a dope car nobody cares no
  • 1:54
    in fact when I was going up to
  • 1:56
    Sacramento I said I said most of the
  • 1:58
    time in that car because it's kind of
  • 2:00
    interesting to see what's out there
  • 2:01
    especially as the train goes into on
  • 2:04
    some rot does not near the highways and
  • 2:06
    you find all kinds of homeless
  • 2:08
    encampments it's very entertaining
  • 2:11
    we're entertaining well it's
  • 2:14
    entertaining to me well Happy Easter
  • 2:17
    jean-claude I'd be Easter to you happy
  • 2:19
    Easter to everybody else this is your
  • 2:21
    Easter program let's say so sorry about
  • 2:24
    this Sri Lankan yeah no Easter
  • 2:28
    celebrators there did anyone claim this
  • 2:30
    yet there we know who's who's claimed
  • 2:31
    this these atrocities no I haven't heard
  • 2:34
    anyone claim anything and the media
  • 2:36
    recaptured seven people and the media
  • 2:39
    refused to say who it is I checked all
  • 2:42
    the Canadian outlets they refused to say
  • 2:44
    who it is yes Sri Lankan news won't say
  • 2:47
    who it is an ardent and the New York
  • 2:48
    Times had an article they won't say who
  • 2:50
    it is although they hinted it was
  • 2:52
    Muslims no gosh going through this now
  • 2:56
    yeah is it what a crappy thing to do it
  • 3:02
    was it was churches and hotels yeah
  • 3:06
    there was a three churches and then a
  • 3:08
    slew of hotels all high-end hotels were
  • 3:11
    tourists in this day rich tourists damn
  • 3:16
    well yeah sorry about that don't have
  • 3:19
    much more for anyone on that coming to
  • 3:22
    you from the new studio today Jean yeah
  • 3:25
    sound good yes sounds pretty good it's
  • 3:27
    still booming there's nothing on the
  • 3:29
    walls so just before we started you told
  • 3:32
    me you gave me a very handy pro tip
  • 3:34
    which is to openly open the door it does
  • 3:40
    help it makes a difference does I was
  • 3:43
    telling you at him how I yeah I think
  • 3:48
    was a CES of 9 or 10 years ago into
  • 3:50
    digital amplifiers were first coming out
  • 3:52
    and Texas instrument instrument was
  • 3:55
    making most of the chips for him and
  • 3:57
    they also bought this very high-end
  • 3:59
    digital amp company and so they took us
  • 4:02
    into this room inside one of the suites
  • 4:04
    in the hotel where they were gonna give
  • 4:06
    us a demo of the digital amplifier
  • 4:08
    technology using cheap speakers and then
  • 4:12
    then then modeling expensive speakers on
  • 4:17
    the cheap speakers using a DSP yeah back
  • 4:22
    in there listening to
  • 4:23
    and then tuning and so the guy was the
  • 4:26
    guy this engineer was tuning the room
  • 4:29
    and he'd opened he to get this he'd
  • 4:31
    listen and then he opened the bathroom
  • 4:33
    door and I said well I asked him but
  • 4:35
    what was earlier this raises it lessens
  • 4:37
    the base effect move some of the base
  • 4:39
    out of the room and and it makes the
  • 4:41
    room bigger and then he started moving
  • 4:43
    the cushions from the went into the
  • 4:46
    bedroom of the suite and pulled off the
  • 4:48
    mattress and he leaned it over in some
  • 4:52
    spot where he sensed there was a some
  • 4:55
    sort of a standing wave or something I
  • 4:57
    have I have put Studios together in so
  • 5:00
    many hotel rooms where I've done just
  • 5:01
    that with the pillows and you know
  • 5:03
    against the wall and I could probably do
  • 5:05
    that here it's just not facing the wall
  • 5:09
    I'm facing my back is to the wall so the
  • 5:11
    it's literally bouncing off the wall I
  • 5:14
    can hear it I know you can't but I can
  • 5:16
    hear it so I'll have that fixed egg
  • 5:19
    cartons a garden it's not the prettiest
  • 5:22
    look egg cartons I'd I might go square
  • 5:29
    blue was 24 anything it's anything but
  • 5:32
    cool no that's not cool here's the thing
  • 5:36
    I really want to and I can't believe I
  • 5:39
    said so here's the thing I have to stop
  • 5:41
    that this is this is this is a lot of
  • 5:44
    people are doing this in the media so
  • 5:46
    here's the thought pay attention to it a
  • 5:48
    lot of people are doing it do I just I'm
  • 5:53
    thinking of just going sparse with the
  • 5:55
    egg cartons or some professional
  • 5:57
    alternative or I could just hang all
  • 6:00
    kinds of memorabilia shit on the wall
  • 6:02
    which would also work yeah I got you
  • 6:06
    know the commemorative platinum records
  • 6:08
    I've got pictures I've got tons of stuff
  • 6:11
    I just feel like I want to keep it
  • 6:13
    that's a bit much I want to keep it
  • 6:15
    completely sparse and I'm a little tired
  • 6:17
    of MTV guy on the wall I think you you
  • 6:21
    were in a room full of with egg cartons
  • 6:24
    on this you know all over the place
  • 6:27
    would be very cool-looking even though
  • 6:30
    you don't think so I think it would be
  • 6:31
    so especially if there's those blue 24
  • 6:34
    egg square
  • 6:35
    those than what you want well that would
  • 6:37
    help with a name for the studio they
  • 6:41
    called the chicken coop the chicken coup
  • 6:44
    the curry the curry coop me write this
  • 6:46
    down
  • 6:47
    hurry coop curry curry coop to maybe
  • 6:51
    just the chicken coop cuz that's what it
  • 6:54
    would be hmm interesting
  • 6:56
    well I'm taking ideas I'm open to ideas
  • 7:01
    Dick Clark usually works too okay so we
  • 7:07
    moved Friday which was I'm I am hurting
  • 7:11
    I don't know when the last time is that
  • 7:12
    you moved a house yeah exactly but I
  • 7:18
    refuse to take part my core you know my
  • 7:23
    midriff my back the soles of my feet
  • 7:26
    everything hurts
  • 7:28
    it's it's it's an undertaking every
  • 7:31
    single time you do it and I think this
  • 7:32
    is the last time Tina keeps saying I'm
  • 7:34
    dying in this house easy easy
  • 7:38
    we got to get married first first first
  • 7:43
    I'm coming out of this place yeah we're
  • 7:46
    really happy though but oh man and so
  • 7:48
    and meanwhile while all this is while
  • 7:50
    the moving is going on I'm also trying
  • 7:53
    to read as much as I can of the Muller
  • 7:55
    report volumes 1 and volume 2 now all 13
  • 7:59
    hits I'm sure you didn't take a look at
  • 8:02
    it I did I took a look at how what did
  • 8:04
    you have one of those PDFs that the guy
  • 8:07
    had the searchable PDF team changed the
  • 8:10
    PDF so searched beyond searchable PDF
  • 8:11
    yeah I like to search it for this in
  • 8:14
    that I like that um well before we come
  • 8:18
    into any conclusions I do have a few
  • 8:20
    let me see I got a few I see this was
  • 8:24
    kind of you know volume 1 which is the
  • 8:28
    no collusion part there's not much
  • 8:31
    discussion about that it's all about the
  • 8:36
    conduct and the what do you call it the
  • 8:42
    possible obstruction of justice but this
  • 8:44
    is what I'm hearing
  • 8:46
    everyone say in the mainstream media
  • 8:48
    based upon what they read in volume
  • 8:51
    - here's chip Todd one item worth noting
  • 8:53
    before we go to break the Muller report