1135: Miss Lawyer USA

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 48m
May 5th, 2019
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Executive Producers: Dave Duncan

Associate Executive Producers: Anonymous, Sir James of the Mountains

Cover Artist: MartinJJ

Chapters

0:00
Start of Show
Woodstock
6:05
Producer Note: Venezuela
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16:56
Venezuelan Opposition UK Ambassador Vanessa Neumann Appearance on BBC HARDtalk
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24:18
California Passes Bill to Ban Discrimination Against Hairstyles
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34:07
Miss USA Pageant 2019
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50:20
Untitled
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53:21
NPR: Facebook Bans Several Controversial Users From Its Platform
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1:07:13
Credits
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1:20:42
NPR: Opioid Executive John Kapoor Found Guilty In Landmark Bribery Case
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1:28:16
Measles Outbreak
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1:39:28
1000th Death Due to Ebola Outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo
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1:41:31
African Swine Fever
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1:53:50
Worldwide Reports of Countries Warming Up Twice as Fast as The Rest of The World
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1:55:21
James Hansen
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1:57:21
`Anti-Tech Revolution: Why and How` Book by Theodore Kaczynski
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1:58:32
Vice Media Raises $250 Million From 23 Capital
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2:04:30
Donations
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2:15:56
Birthdays & Title Changes
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2:19:17
Drunk or Not Drunk: Joe Biden
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2:22:11
Homeless Man Brings Dead Raccoon Into McDonalds
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2:23:53
The Washington Free Beacon: Maxine Waters Connected the Dots and Knew There Was Collusion All Along
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2:25:20
Brexit
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2:33:37
Untitled
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2:35:09
John Williams: Recession Already in Place, Watch Out
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2:41:41
End of Show
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Venezuela
The Techno Expert JCD Answered
You must correct your stance on
Venezuela! You have many donors belonging to the Venezuelan diaspora and
Trump/MAGA supporters!
You must support President Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo, Eliot Abrams and John
Bolton in seeking freedom and democracy for the Venezuelan people- just like
you currently enjoy!
Nicolás Maduro is an evil authoritarian dictator who has turned our once
wealthy and flourishing country into a basket case!
Please watch the video from Dr Steve Pieczenik on Youtube, it is highly
educational and informative!
Click link > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVI4tvEOz3g
I am sure if you change your stance, donations will rapidly increase and will
highlight the revolutionary success of the value for value model.
Last but not least, as an American you should genuinely support the dismantling
of the Russian, Chinese, Iranian and Hezbollah narco-terror project in
Venezuela.
From Techno Expert #1
Dearest Adam,
You sir are misleading your viewers
and painting a CIA led conspiracy theory on Venezuela. This behavior is utterly
shameful and short-sighted. The Venezuelan people are struggling under a
horrific and brutal regime, where women are raped and children are tortured as
political intimidation and retribution.
As you have cited numerous times, Dr
Steve Pieczenik is an individual of impeccable standing and credibility in the
field of foreign affairs.
I hereby refer you to his Youtube video on this matter, titled "OPUS 147 Venezuela Coup Slow
Start". You will find facts that you should repeat to your viewers on
the show this coming Sunday.
President Trump and his national security team are working diligently and
effortlessly to bring peace, tranquillity and prosperity to the Venezuelan
people. Unfortunately, the illegal Maduro regime and it's enablers- Russia,
Iran, Cuba and Hezbollah stand in the way.
We Venezuelan people wholeheartedly
welcome and encourage Trump to take the next step - Military intervention,
whether in the form of ground troops or precision strikes against the Maduro
regime. The suffering cannot continue, please do not be another enabler of the
Maduro communist regime. We witness enough of that with Codepink and Ilhan
Omar.
Your criticism of John Bolton and
Elliot Abrams is untoward. They have ushered in prospering democracies in Latin
America that have replaced totalitarian dictatorships.
Best wishes,
Rodolfo
From Techno Expert #2
Dear Mr Curry,
With utmost interest, I listened to
your show episode 1135 "opinion people", in which you discussed the
crisis in Venezuela.
Your views are not acceptable to the
Venezuelan people !! We are suffering under the vicious dictator Nicolás Maduro
who has used OUR country to provide safe haven to Russians, Cubans, Iranians
and Lebanese terrorist group Hizb'allah !! They will use Venezuelan territory
to instigate and launch attacks against the United States and it's people! This
is a threat to you and your family safety!!
In highest level of iillegitimate
Venezuelan government, right hand man to Maduro, is Lebanese Hizb'allah
operative Tareck El Aissami. The New York Times exposed his illegal
activities in a bombshell report a few days ago- https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/02/world/americas/venezuela-maduro-hezbollah-drugs.html (It
is public and you may read without subscription as this is important topic for
education of American people on Venezuela).
He has used Venezuelan national
resources to prop up Syrian mass-murdering dictator who gas his own people
Bashar al Assad. Till now, he sends to Syria Venez oil to prop up Russian
puppet Assad! He is a former ally of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Venezuela
is in hostage of Arab terrorists, Iranians, Russians and Cubans! Venezuela is
used as a transit and base to fund terrorism in the Middle East and abroad.
I hope that you reconsider and
change your tune for your show on Sunday. You must support liberation of
Venezuela from the crutches of these entites. Bolton and Abrams have the best
interest of Venezuelan people.
I suggest you listen to Dr. Steve
Pieczinik https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVI4tvEOz3g who
support liberation of Venezuelan people through coup or military action. We
understand if Trump must use military and precision strikes against Venezuelan
government to liberate us. You have previously stated Dr Steve is knowledgable
on these matters, listen to him and repeat on your show.
My kind regards,
------
Mr Alejandro Vasquez
Engineer, tecnoconsult
US, Venezuelan military had secret deal to arrest Maduro: reports
Fri, 03 May 2019 13:23
One of the negotiators on the Venezuelan side was allegedly Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez, who is thought to have had a last-minute change of heart.
The Trump administration had an agreement in place with Venezuela's military that President Nicolas Maduro would be arrested during this week's attempted coup, the Spanish newspaper ABC reports, citing a source in the US National Security Council.
Washington apparently reached the deal with Venezuelan Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez via phone talks conducted over the past few months.
Padrino, alongside other ministers and generals, is said to have accepted the agreements drafted by the self-proclaimed acting president, Juan Guaido. This roadmap would include a call for fresh elections within a month '-- one of Guaido's main promises '-- and the recognition of the opposition lawmaker as the ''legitimate and interim'' head of state.
In turn, president of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice Maikel Moreno, a Maduro ally, had reportedly planned to declare illegitimate the Constituent Assembly, a parallel legislature loyal to Maduro convened by a presidential decree in 2017 in defiance of the opposition-held National Assembly.
This move, as per the report, would legally allow the military to notify Maduro that he was either leaving the country for Cuba or would be detained by court order.
The agreements were supposed be signed at the military base La Carlota in Caracas, from where Guaido, on Tuesday, urged the armed forces and civilians in a video address to join what he called the final push to topple Maduro.
However, his coup attempt did not gain enough traction to oust the president, with the military leadership voicing their support for the government.
According to ABC, White House officials are not aware of what happened on Tuesday, while some sources apparently believe that the coup was derailed by Padrino, who backed out at the last minute.
Incidentally, the US special envoy to the Bolivarian republic, Elliott Abrams, said on Wednesday that the high-ranking Venezuelan officials who had earlier negotiated Maduro's departure had ''turned off their cellular''.
Maduro on Thursday met with top military officials, calling on them to repel ''any coup plotter''. ''No one can be afraid '-- it is the hour to defend our right to peace,'' he said at a ceremony attended by some 4,500 military personnel.
General Padrino, who also attended, said: ''We've come to ratify our loyalty'... to the supreme commander of the armed forces, who is our only president, President Nicolas Maduro.''
Cracks appear in U.S. bipartisan unity on Venezuela - Reuters
Sun, 05 May 2019 02:45
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's tough approach to Venezuela has won broad support from both Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Congress, but this rare display of bipartisan consensus is starting to show signs of strain as the crisis in the OPEC nation drags on.
Members of both parties remain in agreement that Venezuela's socialist president Nicolas Maduro must go. They credit the Trump administration for helping to forge an international coalition that recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's interim president.
But after Guaido's latest calls for a military uprising and street protests failed to oust Maduro this week, some Democrats urged the administration to work more closely with foreign allies to choke off Maduro's cash flow and to tone down its rhetoric, particularly threats of military action.
Cracks in bipartisan cooperation on Venezuela - a rare bright spot for the Republican president, who has seldom drawn support for his policies from across the aisle - came amid signs of disappointment within the administration over what many had hoped would be a turning point in the crisis.
More than three months after throwing U.S. support behind Guaido, head of the opposition-led National Assembly, Trump now has fewer levers to help pressure Venezuela's military to abandon Maduro.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Senator Bob Menendez, top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, said Washington must work harder to convince foreign partners to back multilateral sanctions against Maduro. Few countries have matched harsh U.S. punitive measures against Venezuela's vital oil sector and its banks.
''The sanctions that we have are unilateral. They're important,'' Menendez told reporters. But the United States should ''internationalize'' those sanctions, he said.
''Isolating Russia and Cuba, the bad actors, in Venezuela. I think that would have changed the dynamics significantly.''
Most Western countries have backed Guaido, but Maduro retains the support of Venezuela's major creditors Russia and China, as well as leftist regional allies like Cuba and Bolivia.
Democratic Representative David Cicilline urged legislation to bar Trump from any military action without congressional approval. Under current laws, a U.S. president has broad powers to order military action. With Republicans controlling the Senate, new legislation to curb that power is unlikely in the short-term.
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a rally in Caracas, Venezuela, May 1, 2019. REUTERS/Fausto Torrealba Cicilline also said administration officials should stop making statements that could be used as ''propaganda'' by Maduro's supporters.
The administration should ''sort of dial back that kind of rhetoric,'' he said at the House of Representatives.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday the United States was prepared to act militarily in Venezuela ''if that's what's required.'' Just hours later, the Pentagon appeared to downplay any active preparations for military intervention, but acknowledged detailed contingency planning.
SOME REPUBLICANS WANT U.S. MILITARY ROLE A few Republicans see a role for the U.S. military. Republican Senator Rick Scott of Florida said U.S. forces should be put in a position to help move aid convoys into Venezuela.
However, there is deep skepticism whether Trump, who is trying to extract the United States from Syria and Afghanistan, is ready to commit to new foreign conflict. Most Latin American partners have already made clear they oppose the idea.
''The United States is at its strongest and most legitimate when we are standing shoulder to shoulder with our Latin American and European allies,'' said Democratic Representative Tom Malinowski, a former State Department official. ''So whatever we do going forward, stick with that approach.''
He also called on the administration to temper its public pronouncements. ''This is a genuine popular democratic uprising,'' Malinowski told Reuters. ''It's not led by the United States. But we should not be saying things from Washington that create even the slightest impression to the contrary.''
Guaido invoked the constitution in January to assume the interim presidency, arguing that Maduro's 2018 re-election was illegitimate. Maduro calls Guaido a U.S. puppet seeking a coup.
Venezuelans heeded a call from Guaido to take to the streets on Wednesday in a bid to force Maduro from power, but there was little indication of any change in what looks increasingly like a political stalemate.
Asked whether he was disappointed with the outcome, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, who has played a key role in pushing Trump's anti-Maduro approach, told Reuters: ''No, because I think it's a mistake to view it as a one-day event.''
Slideshow (3 Images) U.S. officials said on Tuesday that three top Maduro loyalists purportedly had been in negotiations with the opposition to turn against Maduro but then reneged.
Maduro and key military figures made a show of unity in a television broadcast on Thursday.
Reporting by Patricia Zengerle and Matt Spetalnick, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien
Vaccine$
Hospital workers
When Obamacare first came through (a real time of healthcare
upheaval), the local hospital was insisting that pastors get flu shots and some
type of physical to visit the hospital. They did a blood test and looked at my
antibodies. They insisted that I get a new MMR, since mine was from 1973. Years
later, I'm upset about taking it. I'm not an antivaxer. But I now think some of
this is overboard, and a money grab. They do already want the requirement you predicted
on the last show.
The vaccination requirement has kind of fallen away. I guess
folks came to their senses, and the Obamacare overreach has relaxed a little.
-Rev Morgan Whitfield
Medical Workers take the test
Hi Adam,
I recently took a job that required me to have a series
of vaccines or prove that I had these vaccines.
It is in the health care industry, but in my position, I will likely
never face a customer, still I must have MMR, TDAP and Varicella.
Any records of my vaccines as a child are long gone, and
I either had to take the vaccines or prove my immunity with what is called a
titer test. This test can prove immunity or it may show that you do not have
immunity had you have to take the vaccines.
My insurance did not pay for the test, but it did pay for
the vaccines. I elected to get the vaccines.
Concerning losing your vaccination records, in Texas
there is a database that you can store your vaccination record in, and the
website is https://www.dshs.texas.gov/immunize/immtrac/
I did not store my record here, as I do not see how any
good could ever come of this.
Congrats on the wedding!
I live in Buda, and perhaps one day we can hang out after you get
settled.
ITM
Jim Mc
Possible Measles Exposure At Middlesex Co. Trampoline Park | Edison, NJ Patch
Thu, 02 May 2019 20:25
health & fitness The measles are highly contagious; anyone who visited the affected area should contact a doctor immediately. By Katie Kausch , Patch Staff | May 1, 2019 5:43 pm ET | Updated May 2, 2019 3:58 pm ET Exposure to measles '-- a very contagious disease '-- possibly happened at Sky Zone. (Google photo)SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ '-- The New Jersey Health Department is warning residents of a possible measles exposure threat at a South Plainfield trampoline park last week as the worst measles outbreak in 25 years continued.
Health officials say a New York City resident with a confirmed case of measles visited the Sky Zone trampoline park on Monday, April 22 from noon to 5 p.m. Anyone who visited Sky Zone during that specific time frame should contact their healthcare professional immediately.
Potentially affected residents should call their doctor before going to the office or the emergency room, the health department urges. Advanced notice lets healthcare professionals make special evaluation arrangements to help protect doctors and other patients.
The infected person also visited River 978 Banquet Hall (978 River Ave, Lakewood) on April 23, between 6 p.m. and 1 p.m. the next morning.
Officials did not say what borough the sick resident lived in; Brooklyn and Queens currently have the highest concentration of cases of anywhere in the country, with 359 confirmed cases. So far, 14 cases have been diagnosed in New Jersey. Nationwide, 695 cases have been confirmed in 22 different states.
Read More: NJ Measles Outbreak Grows: Where Exposure Might Have HappenedMeasles are highly contagious to unvaccinated people; the virus can live in the air for up to two hours after a sick person has left the room. The vaccine has a 97 percent prevention rate, Dr. Christina Tan, state epidemiologist, said.
The MMR vaccine is 97 percent effective in preventing both measles and rubella if given according to CDC guidelines, which call for two doses beginning at 1 year. There are some generally mild and short-lived side effects, such as a rash or fever.
Symptoms of measles include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. It can also cause pneumonia and encephalitis (swelling of the brain), and can lead to miscarriage or other complications in pregnant women.
Federal health data show that one out to two of every 1,000 children who contract measles die from complications. One in four people who contract measles will require hospitalization.
"We urge everyone to check to make sure they and their family members are up-to-date on measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine and all other age-appropriate immunizations. Getting vaccinated not only protects you, it protects others around you who are too young to get the vaccine or can't receive it for medical reasons. If you're planning an international trip, the World Health Organization recommends that adults or adolescents unsure of their immune status get a dose of measles vaccine before traveling," Dr. Tan said.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar warned that measles "is not a harmless childhood illness, but a highly contagious, potentially life-threatening disease."
"We have the ability to safely protect our children and our communities," he said. "Vaccines are a safe, highly effective public health solution that can prevent this disease. The measles vaccines are among the most extensively studied medical products we have, and their safety has been firmly established over many years in some of the largest vaccine studies ever undertaken."The outbreaks are linked to travelers who brought measles back from countries such as Israel, Ukraine and the Philippines, where large measles outbreaks are occurring, according to the CDC, which advises measles vaccinations before traveling abroad.
Peter Marks, the director of the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said the new numbers released Monday are troubling, especially in light of the World Health Organization's statement earlier this year that vaccine hesitancy is one of the top 10 threats to global health.
"It deeply concerns us when we see preventable diseases such as measles or mumps reemerging in the United States and threatening our communities," Marks said in a statement.
With previous reporting by Tom Davis, Patch staff
Read more local news from Edison-Metuchen
What does a measles outbreak mean for optometrists?
Sun, 05 May 2019 15:14
A resurgence of the measles infection has resulted in recent outbreaks in both California and New York'--51 and 25 cases, respectively.
Though measles was declared "eliminated" from the United States in 2000, according to the Centers for Disease Control, some experts blame the recent outbreaks on a growing number of parents who opt out of immunizations for their children.
Preparing optometrists for a measles outbreak''As physicians, we need to strongly encourage vaccinations.''The most common ocular complication associated with measles is bilateral non-purulent keratoconjunctivitis, says David Ardaya, O.D., member of the California Optometric Association (COA). This occurs in 60 to 75 percent of measles cases.
Rare but serious complications such as retinopathy can occur with measles, which may include disc and macular edema, hemorrhages and optic atrophy.
"Doctors who practice in measles hot spots should take the time to inquire about the patient's immunization status if any other signs are present," Dr. Ardaya says.
ODs should also be on the lookout for common signs of measles, including high fever and white spots inside cheeks early in the condition. The typical rash appears about 14 days after the virus is contracted.
Optometrists and their impact on immunizationsThe World Health Organization's strategy to eliminate measles includes recommending that all unvaccinated children receive the Measles Containing Vaccine (MCV) between 9 and 12 months of age as part of routine health services.
A second dose of MCV is suggested at 15 to 18 months of age or at school entry, because a single dose MCV will leave people unprotected and will not prevent large outbreaks.
David Redman, O.D., COA Legislation-Regulation Committee chair, says optometrists and other providers can help increase immunization rates.
"We believe every visit to a health care provider should be used as an opportunity to review adolescents' immunization histories and ensure that every adolescent is fully vaccinated," says Dr. Redman, who is also part of the AOA's Third Party Center executive committee.
The COA has even sponsored state Senate Bill 492, by Senator Ed Hernandez, which would authorize optometrists to administer immunizations.
Dr. Ardaya, father of two, understands that some parents opt out of vaccinations for their children, but he believes "it is an irrefutable fact that vaccinations save lives and protect children."
"As physicians, we need to strongly encourage vaccinations," he says.
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Measles | Cases and Outbreaks | CDC
Sun, 05 May 2019 15:14
Measles Cases in 2019From January 1 to April 26, 2019, 704** individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 22 states. This is an increase of 78 cases from the previous week. This is the greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1994 and since measles was declared eliminated in 2000.
States That Have Reported Measles Cases in 2019The states that have reported cases to CDC are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, Tennessee, and Washington.
*Cases as of December 29, 2018. Case count is preliminary and subject to change.**Cases as of April 26, 2019. Case count is preliminary and subject to change. Data are updated every Monday.
The majority of people who got measles were unvaccinated.Measles is still common in many parts of the world including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa.Travelers with measles continue to bring the disease into the U.S.Measles can spread when it reaches a community in the U.S. where groups of people are unvaccinated. Measles OutbreaksIn a given year, more measles cases can occur for any of the following reasons:
an increase in the number of travelers who get measles abroad and bring it into the U.S., and/orfurther spread of measles in U.S. communities with pockets of unvaccinated people.Reasons for an increase in cases some years:
2018: The U.S. experienced 17 outbreaks in 2018. Three outbreaks in New York State, New York City, and New Jersey, respectively, contributed to most of the cases. Cases in those states occurred primarily among unvaccinated people in Orthodox Jewish communities. These outbreaks were associated with travelers who brought measles back from Israel, where a large outbreak is occurring. Eighty-two people brought measles to the U.S. from other countries in 2018. This is the greatest number of imported cases since measles was eliminated from the U.S. in 2000.2017: A 75-case outbreak was reported in Minnesota in a Somali-American community with poor vaccination coverage.2015: The United States experienced a large (147 cases), multi-state measles outbreak linked to an amusement park in California. The outbreak likely started from a traveler who became infected overseas with measles, then visited the amusement park while infectious; however, no source was identified. Analysis by CDC scientists showed that the measles virus type in this outbreak (B3) was identical to the virus type that caused the large measles outbreak in the Philippines in 2014.2014: The U.S. experienced 23 measles outbreaks in 2014, including one large outbreak of 383 cases, occurring primarily among unvaccinated Amish communities in Ohio. Many of the cases in the U.S. in 2014 were associated with cases brought in from the Philippines, which experienced a large measles outbreak.2013: The U.S. experienced 11 outbreaks in 2013, three of which had more than 20 cases, including an outbreak with 58 cases. For more information see Measles '-- United States, January 1-August 24, 2013.2011: In 2011, more than 30 countries in the WHO European Region reported an increase in measles, and France was experiencing a large outbreak. These led to a large number of importations (80) that year. Most of the cases that were brought to the U.S. in 2011 came from France. For more information see Measles '-- United States, January-May 20, 2011.2008: The increase in cases in 2008 was the result of spread in communities with groups of unvaccinated people. The U.S. experienced several outbreaks in 2008 including three large outbreaks. For more information see Update: Measles '-- United States, January''July 2008.See also: The Surveillance Manual chapter on measles that describes case investigation, outbreak investigation, and outbreak control for additional information.
CDC: Stop washing your raw chicken | Fox News
Fri, 03 May 2019 12:02
Health officials once again warned consumers about the dangers of washing raw chicken before cooking it, citing the risk of spreading harmful bacteria to utensils or other foods. In a tweet sent out on April 26, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) linked to a series of steps that can help eliminate the chances of food poisoning while cooking at home.
''Americans eat more chicken every year than any other meat,'' the CDC said. ''Chicken can be a nutritious choice, but raw chicken is often contaminated with Campylobacter bacteria and sometimes with Salmonella and Clostridium perfringens bacteria. If you eat undercooked chicken or other foods or beverages contaminated by raw chicken or its juices, you can get a foodborne illness, which is also called food poisoning.''
The agency recommended placing raw chicken in a disposable bag before placing it in the shopping cart or refrigerator, washing hands with soapy water after handling it, using a separate cutting board to handle it, and never placing cooked food or fresh produce on the same surface as uncooked chicken.
Among other tasks, it also suggested using a food thermometer to ensure the chicken is cooked, and in bold the CDC advised against washing raw chicken because ''chicken juices can spread in the kitchen and contaminate other foods, utensils and countertops.''
While food poisoning can be an unpleasant experience for anyone, children under 5, people over 65 and those with weakened immune systems as well as pregnant women are at risk for developing serious illnesses. It is advised to call a doctor if temperatures reach over 102 degrees, diarrhea lasts more than three days, blood is found in stool, there is prolonged vomiting or if there are any signs of dehydration.
MMR Vaccine Licensing Called Into Question Following ICAN's Latest FOIA Exposure of FDA Coverup
Sun, 05 May 2019 14:08
AUSTIN, Texas , May 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- In another significant legal win for vaccine risk awareness non-profit Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN), a new Freedom of Information Act disclosure from the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has revealed that the MMR vaccine was licensed based on clinical trials which in total had less than 1,000 participants and far more adverse reactions than previously acknowledged.
Emmy-winner Del Bigtree hosts the weekly fact-based news series
"It's alarming that an appeal was required to get this information, but it's more alarming that every time ICAN prevails in obtaining a FOIA disclosure from the FDA, CDC or HHS, we learn about another serious shortcoming in their duties to assure Americans' health and health care," says Del Bigtree , ICAN founder and host of the weekly fact-based medical news show "The HighWire."
The MMR vaccine is at the heart of the vaccine debate. The following are some of the key facts learned from the clinical trial reports produced by the FDA, which the agency relied upon to license the MMR:
There were eight clinical trials that in total had less than 1,000 individuals, out of which only 342 children received the MMR vaccine The safety review period only tracked 'adverse events' for 42 days after injection More than half or a significant percent of all participants in each of the eight trials developed gastrointestinal symptoms and upper respiratory infections All adverse events were generically described as 'other viruses' and not considered in safety profile of licensure The control group received other vaccines for either rubella or measles and rubella, and none of the controls received a placebo (an inert substance such as a saline injection)Bigtree, an Emmy-Award winning producer, and director of the documentary "Vaxxed: From Coverup to Catastrophe," says the reason for increased vaccine hesitancy is not unreasonable fear, but a growth in awareness of the corruption, secrecy and obvious overt propaganda surrounding vaccines and the pharmaceutical industry.
"Thanks to the laws in this country that for now at least permit access to various government records, we now know the MMR vaccine was licensed using an irresponsibly small and limited group of children," says Bigtree.
"But what's even more alarming is learning about the serious adverse events that were known and acknowledged, yet ignored in order to license the MMR vaccine," Bigtree adds, noting "This was after only tracking adverse events for 42 days after injection '' imagine what they might have found had they tracked safety for three years against an appropriate control, like they do for drugs."
Cision
View original content to download multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/mmr-vaccine-licensing-called-into-question-following-icans-latest-foia-exposure-of-fda-coverup-300842503.html
Bubonic Plague: Terrified Tourists Quarantined After 'Black Death' Outbreak in Mongolia
Sun, 05 May 2019 14:04
Passengers have been taken off a plane and put under medical supervision over fears they had contact with a couple who died from the bubonic plague.
Emergency staff in protective clothing boarded the plane, which had arrived in the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar from the cities of Bayan, Uglii and Kohvd, The Siberian Times reported.
They were deployed amid concerns that passengers had been in contact, either directly or indirectly, with a husband and his pregnant wife, aged 38 and 37 and from Uglii, who had died from the disease on April 27.
Eleven passengers from the west of Mongolia were held at the airport and sent immediately for hospital checks, while more than 150 others were examined at the airport.
The couple were said to have contracted the killer disease after eating a marmot, which is a large squirrel.
Livestock wander along the frozen landscape March 14, 2010 in Bayantsogt, Tuv province in Mongolia. There has been a reported outbreak of Bubonic Plague in the landlocked central Asian country. Paula Bronstein/Getty Images Dr N. Tsogbadrakh, director of Mongolia's National Center for Zoonotic Dermatology and Medicine, said, according to The Siberian Times: ''Despite the fact that eating marmots is banned, Citizen T [the male victim] hunted marmot. He ate the meat and gave it to his wife, and they died because the plague affected his stomach. Four children are orphaned.'
In addition, a key border near the Russian city of Novosibirsk and the Mongolian city of Uglii was suddenly closed until May 5.
The World Health Organization says that the bubonic plague can kill an adult in less than 24 hours if not treated properly and is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, which is usually found in small mammals and their fleas.
Human symptoms of infection include fever, chills, headaches and often a swelling of lymph nodes under the armpit.
The bacterium was linked to the Black Death that killed more than a third of Europe's population in the 14th century.
The WHO said that between 2010 and 2015 there were 3,248 cases reported worldwide, including 584 deaths. There are plague vaccines but none are available to the general public, Mail Online reported.
Last year a young boy in Idaho was diagnosed with the disease in the first human case in the state since the early 1990s, Mail Online reported.
The disease is understood to infect around seven Americans a year and is generally treatable with antibiotic medication. There are still outbreaks of the disease in Africa. In 2017, some 200 people died of the plague in Madagascar.
Collaboration Agreement Aims to Produce a Plague Vaccine
Sun, 05 May 2019 14:03
Creating and testing a solid dose vaccine against plague is the goal of a collaborative agreement between Enesi Pharma and scientists at the Oxford Vaccine Group (OVG) at the University of Oxford.
1Plague is a serious infectious disease with a high mortality rate unless treated early with antibiotics.1 There are 3 forms of plague'--bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic2'--and no approved vaccine available.1-2
According to the World Health Organization, most cases of plague since 1990 have occurred in Africa (particularly in Madagascar), however, outbreaks have been reported worldwide, including in the United States.1
Plague is also recognized by public health authorities globally as a potential agent of bioterrorism with Y. pestis classed as a Category A priority pathogen by the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) and considered a priority pathogen by the UK Vaccine Network based on the high risk that plague poses to national security and public health.1
People most commonly acquire plague when they are bitten by a flea that is infected with the plague bacteria, according to the CDC. Individuals can also become infected from direct contact with infected tissues or fluids while handling an animal that is sick with or that has died from plague, and from inhaling respiratory droplets after close contact with cats and humans with pneumonic plague.2
"Vaccination represents a foundation of healthcare globally and our goal at OVG is to apply innovation to ensure people are protected from serious but preventable diseases wherever they live. We are pleased therefore that the collaboration with Enesi, through ImplaVax and solid dose vaccines, potentially offers an approach that could help address this challenge,'' said Christine Rollier, professor, OVG, in a prepared statement.1
Enesi and OVG aim to create a stable and easy-to-use solid dose plague vaccine for use in areas around the world where outbreaks occur as well as for building strategic stockpiles as part of government preparedness for rapid deployment in the event of a bioterrorism incident.1
The collaboration will leverage Enesi's needle-free technology (ImplaVax) and a proprietary vaccine against Y. pestis developed by OVG, based on a ChAdOx adenovirus vector.1
ImplaVax is a novel formulation and needle-free device technology that enables solid dose vaccine implants to be delivered quickly under the skin. The aim of the technology is for health care providers or individuals themselves to administer the vaccine using a simple, convenient, and reusable needle-free device.1
''This is our first collaboration to develop vaccines for infectious diseases based on adenovirus vectors and represents important progress with our broad strategy to assess the potential of our ImplaVax technology with the major immunogenic platforms on which global vaccines are based,'' said David Hipkiss, CEO, Enesi, in a prepared statement.1 ''Plague is a clear priority for governments and public health organizations around the world and there is a real need for a vaccine where none currently exists. We look forward to advancing this exciting project with OVG and benefiting from their insight to the requirements for successful vaccine development."
Human plague occurs in areas where the bacteria are present in wild rodent populations. Risks are generally highest in rural and semi-rural areas, including homes that provide food and shelter for various ground squirrels, chipmunks and wood rats, or other areas where you may encounter rodents. In the United States, plague is most common in the southwestern states, particularly New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado.2
ReferencesEnesi Pharma and University of Oxford Collaborate to Target Plague With a Novel ImplaVax®-enabled Adenovirus-based Solid Dose Vaccine [news release]. Oxford, England; April 9, 2019: Enesi. https://prnmedia.prnewswire.com/news-releases/enesi-pharma-and-university-of-oxford-collaborate-to-target-plague-with-a-novel-implavax-r-enabled-adenovirus-based-solid-dose-vaccine-884102762.html. Accessed April 9, 2019.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Plague: Frequently Asked Questions. CDC website. https://www.cdc.gov/plague/faq/index.html. Last reviewed November 27, 2018. Accessed April 9, 2019.
Pig 'Ebola' Virus Sends Shock Waves Through Global Food Chain - Bloomberg
Sun, 05 May 2019 15:11
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The Purge
Is Twitter gearing up to put POTUS in the penalty box?
Keeper: Facebook = old people and nonprofits
Cryptos Gain As Facebook Seeks Reported $1 Billion For FB Coin Amid Talks With Visa, MasterCard | Zero Hedge
Sun, 05 May 2019 13:14
Having erased, the dip from the BitFinex scandal, Bitcoin has pushed up to almost $5800 this morning - its highest since 11/14/18 - helped by reports that social media giant Facebook is seeking investments worth $1 billion for its rumored cryptocurrency stablecoin, according to the Wall Street Journal.
As CoinTelegraph.com reports, citing people familiar with the plans, WSJ revealed Facebook was currently talking to major payment networks Visa and MasterCard about potential support, along with payment processor First Data Corp.
image courtesy of CoinTelegraph
The cryptocurrency project, dubbed ''FB Coin,'' has fuelled rumors for around a year that Facebook wants to provide in-house payments to users.
As more information trickles down to the outside, it appears various options are under consideration by executives, including payments via a user's Facebook profile.
''Facebook is also talking to e-commerce companies and apps about accepting the coin, and would seek smaller financial investments from those partners, one of the people said,'' the WSJ added.
As Cointelegraph reported, interest in a fiat-centric FB Coin has already reportedly come from within cryptocurrency circles, specifically in the form of VC investment mogul Tim Draper.
Last month, plans surfaced that Draper, who is a well-known bitcoin (BTC) bull and supporter of altcoin Tezos (XTZ), would meet with Facebook to discuss investment options.
According to the WSJ sources, however, the huge fiat backing is further deliberately designed to remove perceived doubts about FB Coin versus bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Volatility, they said, should be avoided in order to boost uptake.
Facebook Bans Alex Jones, Milo in Hate Speech Crackdown - Bloomberg
Thu, 02 May 2019 20:36
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Mastercard Has Been Forced By Activists To Hold A Shareholder Vote That Could Cut Off Payments To The Far Right
Fri, 03 May 2019 04:19
Activists have successfully forced Mastercard to hold a vote by shareholders on a proposal which, if passed, could see the company monitoring payments to global far-right political leaders and white supremacist groups.
The proposal aims to see Mastercard establish an internal ''human rights committee'' that would stop designated white supremacist groups and anti-Islam activists, such as Tommy Robinson, from getting access to money sent from donors using the company's card payment services.
It's been conceived by US-based political activists SumOfUs, who want to escalate the battle against white supremacists and far-right groups from tech platforms like Facebook, Google, Twitter, Patreon, and PayPal to one of the biggest companies in world finance, in an attempt to choke off donations.
Robinson and several other leading figures in the global far right have been forced in recent months to solicit donations directly on their websites via Mastercard, Visa, and American Express after PayPal banned payments to them. Facebook also disabled the donation function on Robinson's fan page before deleting it completely.
''Spreading hate involves spending money,'' Eoin Dubsky, from SumOfUs, told BuzzFeed News. ''Whether it's paying for online advertising or organising violent rallies, white supremacist groups need financial services from companies like Mastercard.''
Over several months, SumOfUs has been locked in a battle with Mastercard executives behind the scenes in order to get the new committee proposal put to the shareholders ahead of the company's June annual general meeting.
It would see the formation of a ''human rights committee'' at the board level, which would monitor financial transactions with designated hate groups.
Documents seen by BuzzFeed News reveal that the US Securities and Exchange Commission has given the green light for shareholders to get the chance to vote on the formation of the committee, despite staunch opposition from the Mastercard board and executives.
In the material to be sent to shareholders, the activists refer to a website called Blood Money, which tracks online payments to white supremacist groups from the likes of Mastercard, American Express, and Stripe. The website currently claims that Mastercard services are being used by groups like Counter-Currents Publishing, Covenant People's Ministry, the United West, Sultan Knish, and the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation.
SumOfUs has also pointed to the activity of Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon. The former English Defence League founder is running as an independent in May's European election.
In November 2018, PayPal banned donations to the anti-Islam activist, with the online payment company saying that its services wouldn't ''be used to promote hate, violence, or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory''.
More recently, Robinson has been calling on his global network of supporters to donate to his election campaign through his website, which allows payments from Mastercard.
''Having a Mastercard logo on their website also gives these groups a veneer of legitimacy, and allows those who want to donate to do so quickly and quietly,'' Dubsky told BuzzFeed News.
''Mastercard also benefits, pocketing a transaction fee for each purchase or donation.''
Mastercard declined requests for comment, pointing instead to the board's position laid out in the information sent to shareholders ahead of the general meeting.
''Mastercard is committed to treating all people fairly and with dignity, and our interest in human rights extends to all areas in which our business is involved and where we have particular expertise,'' it reads. ''The Board does not believe that establishing a separate human rights committee is necessary to properly exercise its oversight of this important area.''
It's unclear whether the proposal stands a chance of succeeding at June's meeting. But the move to confront such a big, mainstream company like Mastercard over issues like the funding of white supremacy and the far right comes after action from smaller, online financial platforms like PayPal and Patreon in the area.
PayPal has banned payments to Robinson, US far-right group Proud Boys, and Canadian anti-Islam activist Laura Loomer. It also acted against several US anti-fascist groups because the company had no tolerance for groups that promoted ''hate'' and ''violence''.
Last year, Patreon banned YouTuber Sargon of Akkad over a 2015 video that featured the Gamergate leader repeatedly saying the n-word in a Google Hangout with the alt-right. According to the New York Times, Sargon of Akkad, whose real name is Carl Benjamin, had 3,000 subscribers and was being paid $12,000 a month on Patreon when he was removed from the site.
In a recent YouTube video, Benjamin and Robinson talked about being de-platformed by social media companies. But Robinson also suggested that he has long-term fears beyond the big tech companies.
''I am being completely un-personed,'' Robinson said. ''What's next'--my mobile-phone contract?''
YouTube 2019 brandcast advertiser event skips controversy - Vox
Fri, 03 May 2019 04:25
Youtube spent the last year confronting accusations that it had become a haven for people who used the video site to distribute disinformation, hatred and abuse.
Just like it did the year before.
And on Thursday night, YouTube gathered thousands of advertisers and told them it took those problems very seriously. Then it put on a glitzy show aimed at getting them to give YouTube all of their money.
Just like it did the year before.
If you attended this year's ''Brandcast'' event at New York City's Radio City Music Hall and last year's, it would be easy to come away with a sense you were watching a repeat. But there was a subtle difference: Even though YouTube faces the same problem trying to tame its just-about-anything-goes platform that it did a year ago, it has apparently decided to spend less time apologizing for it.
On Thursday, just like last year, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki opened her advertiser showcase with a speech extolling the many virtues of the world's largest video platform, and explaining why it was a great place to spend marketing dollars.
She also made an oblique reference to ''responsibility'', and said that ''living up to our responsibility is my number one priority. And we are making significant progress. My leadership team and I '-- along with thousands of people at YouTube '-- are laser-focused on this.''
Wojcicki listed a few steps YouTube was making to improve the site, including a promise to make sure that humans reviewed all videos in YouTube' ''Google Preferred'' program '-- a clean, well-lit place that YouTube has been telling advertisers is a safe place to spend their money.
''I recognize that there is still work to be done, but we are committed to getting this right,'' Wojcicki said.
Then on with the show, which included testimonials from advertisers, cameos from stars including Tiffany Haddish and Alicia Keys, and musical extravaganzas featuring the likes of Daddy Yankee and Dua Lipa.
But last year, Wojcicki was much more contrite and explicit '-- strikingly so, for a presentation that's supposed to be upbeat by default.
''We've also seen that with openness also comes challenges, as some have tried to take advantage of our services,'' she told advertisers in 2018. ''There isn't a playbook for how open platforms operate at our scale. But the way I think about it, is it's critical that we are on the right side of history.'' Then Wojcicki explained what YouTube would do to fix its problem '-- some of which she repeated this year.
Again, it's a small thing. Mostly tone. But a major point of big advertising showcases like the ones the big video companies hosted this week, and the ones the big TV networks will host in a couple weeks, is tone: The video or TV guys come to these events armed with facts about their marketing prowess and clips of their most promising programming. But what they're really selling is optimism and confidence: Trust us. Give us millions of your dollars and you won't regret it.
You can't blame Wojcicki and her team for putting the best face forward. Just like you won't expect CBS to spend time at its upcoming sales showcase referencing Les Moonves, the former CBS CEO bounced out of his job last year in the wake of horrifying allegations of sexual misconduct and a subsequent cover-up.
It's also quite likely that advertisers will indeed keep spending billions of dollars a year on YouTube: Both because they're generally happy to do so '-- as long as their ads don't appear on or next to some of the most objectionable stuff on the internet '-- and because of the site's giant user base of more than 2 billion people.
I recently talked to an advertising executive whose company had been a prominent critic of YouTube over the past few years, and who had pulled their ads from YouTube in the wake of various scandals. That company will continue to spend money on YouTube, the exec told me, at least in part because of its enormous size: ''We need to be there.''
Recode and Vox have joined forces to uncover and explain how our digital world is changing '-- and changing us. Subscribe to Recode podcasts to hear Kara Swisher and Peter Kafka lead the tough conversations the technology industry needs today.
James Woods Banned from Twitter Amid Silicon Valley's Conservative Blacklisting Campaign
Sat, 04 May 2019 05:11
James Woods, one of the few conservative stars in Hollywood, has been locked out of his Twitter account for over a week now for ''abusive behavior,'' once again demonstrating the double standard the tech giant holds when it comes to enforcing rules.Twitter suspended Woods for a tweet that read, '''If you try to kill the King, you best not miss' #HangThemAll,'' according to his girlfriend Sara Miller.
Of course Twitter doesn't inform his followers. @RealJamesWoods has received the following email: pic.twitter.com/2nnnVBVktQ
'-- Sara Miller (@Millerita) April 20, 2019
The tweet was apparently in reference to the Mueller report, which found no conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia. The quote is from Ralph Waldo Emerson and has been used in various forms in movies and TV shows like The Wire.
Nevertheless, this post apparently met the threshold on Twitter for ''abusive behavior.''
Twitter does not appear to have the same standard for leftists. As Breitbart News has reported, there are several examples of actual violent threats going unchecked by the social media company.
Twitter allowed a number of verified accounts to participate in doxxing and violent threats against teenagers from Covington Catholic high school in January.Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) was on the receiving end of vicious sexist Twitter abuse after she defended Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.Actor Peter Fonda said that Barron Trump should be taken away from his Melania and put in a cage with pedophiles. Fonda also called for Kirstjen Nielsen to be whipped. He later apologized.Hollywood star Jim Carrey posted a drawing of Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. getting bludgeoned to death by an elephant last year. The tweet is still up.In 2016, various accounts called for and cheered on the shooting of police officers.Woods has been locked out of his account before for posting a meme.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has previously claimed that while he is ''more left-leaning,'' his company does not target users over political views.
''I think the real question behind the question is, are we doing something according to political ideology or viewpoints? We are not. Period. We do not look at content with regards to political viewpoint or ideology. We look at behavior,'' he said last year.
Facebook Bans White Supremacists And Anti-Semites From Platform : NPR
Sat, 04 May 2019 05:25
This combination of 2018 file photos shows minister Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Facebook has banned their accounts for violating its rules against hate speech. AP hide caption
toggle caption AP This combination of 2018 file photos shows minister Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Facebook has banned their accounts for violating its rules against hate speech.
AP Right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan are running out of places to espouse their views online.
Facebook banned these high-profile personalities and several others from its social media platforms Thursday, becoming the latest tech company to officially declare them persona non grata. Many of them have already been banned from Twitter, YouTube and Apple's Podcasts app.
In addition to Jones and Farrakhan, Facebook also kicked out right-wing extremists Milo Yiannopoulos, Laura Loomer and Joseph Watson, who works for InfoWars; white supremacist Paul Nehlen, who unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2016 and 2018; and Jones' company, Infowars. The groups will also lose their accounts on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook.
"We've always banned individuals or organizations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology," Facebook said in a statement, according to The Verge. "The process for evaluating potential violators is extensive and it is what led us to our decision to remove these accounts today."
Facebook bans "dangerous individuals and organizations" that engage in violence or have an ideology that attacks individuals based on race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. A Facebook spokesperson told CNN that the company undertakes a lengthy review process before a ban, looking at factors such as whether someone has called for violence, and whether they use hateful slurs to describe themselves in their "About" section.
Jones told The Washington Post that Facebook's actions were "authoritarian," saying that they never gave him any direct notice that they found his posts "dangerous."
The social media network has come under pressure for allowing hate to spread online. Its move comes not long after the shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, in which the killer livestreamed a video that was viewed more than 4,000 times on Facebook before it was taken down.
"The timing is never an accident," Angelo Carusone, president of the liberal organization Media Matters, told the Post. "The reality is, people are getting killed. There are mass shootings and mass murders that are clearly being connected to ideas like white genocide, which are fueling radicalization. The conditions have changed. When you have these massive catalyzing moments that are connected to real-life consequences, it puts pressure on Facebook and others to look in the mirror."
Some free speech advocates have cautioned that Facebook's attempts to police hate speech could lead to unintended consequences. When Facebook announced in March that it was upping its efforts to ban white nationalism from its platform, ACLU staff attorney Vera Eidelman cautioned that "every time Facebook makes the choice to remove content, a single company is exercising an unchecked power to silence individuals and remove them from what has become an indispensable platform."
Eidelman told NPR nothing is stopping Facebook or other platforms from using that same power to censor content on other topics, such as abortion rights or climate change. "For the same reason that the Constitution prevents the government from exercising such power, we should be wary of encouraging its exercise by corporations that are answerable to their private shareholders rather than the broader public interest," she said.
In posts on other platforms, the banned individuals expressed their displeasure at the decision. "Reports are true. I have been banned by Facebook," Watson wrote on Twitter. "In an authoritarian society controlled by a handful of Silicon Valley giants, all dissent must be purged."
Because it took longer than expected for Facebook to purge the accounts, the banned individuals were able to let followers know which other platforms they'd be moving to. Loomer was pessimistic about her chances of being heard in the future. "Looks like you guys will probably never hear from me again. It's only a matter of time before they ban me here too," Loomer wrote on Instagram. "Thank you for all your support. But I guess it's time for me to go to the gulag." She added "#StopTheBias," a hashtag she has embraced to protest what some conservatives perceive as bias on the big social media platforms.
Reports are true.I have been banned by Facebook.
Was given no reason. I broke none of their rules.
In an authoritarian society controlled by a handful of Silicon Valley giants, all dissent must be purged.
Please visit https://t.co/4psjfSdF96 while it still exists.
'-- Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) May 2, 2019Last month, Facebook temporarily banned comments by President Trump's social media director, Dan Scavino, after his postings were flagged by an algorithm. A Facebook spokesperson apologized, explaining that Scavino was banned because he had tagged so many people in his comments that automated bots thought he was a spammer. "I will be looking into this!" Trump tweeted about Scavino's ban, adding: "#StopTheBias."
While the six individuals have been banned from the site, "users may still praise those figures on Instagram and share content related to them that doesn't violate other Instagram and Facebook terms of service," according to reporting in The Atlantic.
Mark Zuckerberg's 'hate ban' isn't about safety
Sat, 04 May 2019 19:04
May 4, 2019 | 9:49am | Updated May 4, 2019 | 9:58am
Enlarge Image Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has banned a half-dozen people with highly controversial views, because he's embarrassed by how they use Getty Images
Why is Alex Jones permitted to have a telephone?
It's a serious question.
Facebook on Thursday announced that a small assortment of kooks '-- Alex Jones, Laura Loomer, Milo Yiannopoulos, Paul Joseph Watson, Paul Nehlen, Louis Farrakhan '-- will be permanently banned from Facebook, Instagram and other platforms it controls. Jones' publication, Infowars, also will be banned. Praise of these figures, and expressions of support for them, also are to be prohibited.
Facebook is a private company and is under no legal obligation to provide accounts to figures whose views its executives find objectionable.
But how far do we want to extend that line of thinking?
There are about 30 cellphone-service providers in the United States, although the market is dominated by four of them: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint. Federal regulation might prohibit them from discriminating against customers based on their political views, but the principle is the same. Why should Louis Farrakhan be allowed to use a telephone to spread his hateful message? Why should anybody sell him paper '-- or a pencil, for that matter? Think of the damage he might do with them.
Why should people with unpopular political views be allowed to have jobs? If you employ people with ugly political beliefs, you are providing financial support for the cultivation of those beliefs. Imagine your next job interview: ''Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?'' Communists murdered 100 million people in the 20th century. If that isn't a hate group, I don't know what is. In most states, there is no law against corporations discriminating against employees and job applicants for their political views.
Facebook claims to be a neutral forum that does not discriminate politically but instead only imposes 'community standards' that serve the interest of 'safety.'
Why should we sell them houses or rent them apartments?
Why provide them with medical care? A medical practice is a private business, too.
Facebook claims to be a neutral forum that does not discriminate politically but instead only imposes ''community standards'' that serve the interest of ''safety.'' That is, without question, a lie.
Milo Yiannopoulos is a danger to no one except for those unfortunate enough to be standing between him and a camera or hair-care products. Laura Loomer is a dope who once interrupted a play in New York (but did it with no panache). Facebook is excluding them because Facebook's executives are sometimes embarrassed by the way their product is used, and they are easy to shame into submission in the political monoculture of Silicon Valley. The BS about ''safety'' is pure pretext.
There is blood on the streets in Venezuela. But the Democratic Socialists of America are free to defend the Maduro regime on Facebook. Why? Because socialists don't embarrass tech executives, but Alex Jones does.
The idea that a Woody Allen book '-- not the man himself, but a memoir written by him '-- presents a public danger is plainly absurd. But he has been blacklisted by publishers, and Amazon has pulled out of a distribution deal with him. One publisher insisted the ''risks of releasing a memoir by him were too daunting.'' The moral posturing is dishonest. What's happening here is not a profile in courage but its opposite.
This is purely a matter of tribal taboo. And if progressives are celebrating for the moment, it is only because they believe, wrongly, they have won a victory over their adversaries '-- when what has happened is that they have helped to establish the norm that our public discourse is to be moderated by the social sensibilities of the Fortune 500's chief executives and their boards of directors.
Laugh all you like at Alex Jones. He is a kook. But Facebook, and other online platforms, are not going to stop with him.
Any Collusion?
F.B.I. Sent Investigator Posing as Assistant to Meet With Trump Aide in 2016 - The New York Times
Thu, 02 May 2019 20:27
Image George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign aide, was the target of an F.B.I. investigation into connections between the campaign and Russia. Credit Credit Tom Brenner for The New York Times WASHINGTON '-- The conversation at a London bar in September 2016 took a strange turn when the woman sitting across from George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign adviser, asked a direct question: Was the Trump campaign working with Russia?
The woman had set up the meeting to discuss foreign policy issues. But she was actually a government investigator posing as a research assistant, according to people familiar with the operation. The F.B.I. sent her to London as part of the counterintelligence inquiry opened that summer to better understand the Trump campaign's links to Russia.
The American government's affiliation with the woman, who said her name was Azra Turk, is one previously unreported detail of an operation that has become a political flash point in the face of accusations by President Trump and his allies that American law enforcement and intelligence officials spied on his campaign to undermine his electoral chances. Last year, he called it ''Spygate.''
The decision to use Ms. Turk in the operation aimed at a presidential campaign official shows the level of alarm inside the F.B.I. during a frantic period when the bureau was trying to determine the scope of Russia's attempts to disrupt the 2016 election, but could also give ammunition to Mr. Trump and his allies for their spying claims.
Ms. Turk went to London to help oversee the politically sensitive operation, working alongside a longtime informant, the Cambridge professor Stefan A. Halper. The move was a sign that the bureau wanted in place a trained investigator for a layer of oversight, as well as someone who could gather information for or serve as a credible witness in any potential prosecution that emerged from the case.
A spokesman for the F.B.I. declined to comment, as did a lawyer for Mr. Halper, Robert D. Luskin. Last year, Bill Priestap, then the bureau's top counterintelligence agent who was deeply involved in the Russia inquiry, told Congress during a closed-door hearing that there was no F.B.I. conspiracy against Mr. Trump or his campaign.
The London operation yielded no fruitful information, but F.B.I. officials have called the bureau's activities in the months before the election both legal and carefully considered under extraordinary circumstances. They are now under scrutiny as part of an investigation by Michael E. Horowitz, the Justice Department inspector general. He could make the results public in May or June, Attorney General William P. Barr has said. Some of the findings are likely to be classified.
It is unclear whether Mr. Horowitz will find fault with the F.B.I.'s decision to have Ms. Turk, whose real name is not publicly known, meet with Mr. Papadopoulos. Mr. Horowitz has focused among other things on the activities of Mr. Halper, who accompanied Ms. Turk in one of her meetings with Mr. Papadopoulos and also met with him and other campaign aides separately. The bureau might also have seen Ms. Turk's role as essential for protecting Mr. Halper's identity as an informant if prosecutors ever needed court testimony about their activities.
Mr. Barr reignited the controversy last month when he told Congress, ''I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal.'' He backed off the charged declaration later in the same hearing, saying: ''I think spying did occur. The question is whether it was adequately predicated. And I'm not suggesting that it wasn't adequately predicated. But I need to explore that.''
Mr. Barr again defended his use of the term ''spying'' at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, saying he wanted to know more about the F.B.I.'s investigative efforts during 2016 and explained that the early inquiry likely went beyond the use of an informant and a court-authorized wiretap of a former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page, who had interacted with a Russian intelligence officer.
''Many people seem to assume that the only intelligence collection that occurred was a single confidential informant'' and the warrant to surveil Mr. Page, Mr. Barr said. ''I would like to find out whether that is in fact true. It strikes me as a fairly anemic effort if that was the counterintelligence effort designed to stop the threat as it's being represented.''
This account was described in interviews with people familiar with the F.B.I. activities of Mr. Halper, Ms. Turk and the inspector general's investigation. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the subjects of a continuing inquiry.
As part of Mr. Horowitz's investigation, his office has examined Mr. Halper's past work as an F.B.I. informant and asked witnesses about whether agents had adequate control of Mr. Halper's activities, people familiar with the inquiry have said.
While in London in 2016, Ms. Turk exchanged emails with Mr. Papadopoulos, saying meeting him had been the ''highlight of my trip,'' according to messages provided by Mr. Papadopoulos.
''I am excited about what the future holds for us :),'' she wrote.
Weeks before Mr. Papadopoulos met with Ms. Turk and Mr. Halper, the F.B.I. had opened its investigation into the Russia effort '-- based largely on information that Mr. Papadopoulos had relayed to an Australian diplomat about a Russian offer to help the Trump campaign by releasing thousands of hacked Democratic emails.
The F.B.I. received the information from the Australian government on July 26, 2016, the special counsel's report said, and the bureau code-named its investigation Crossfire Hurricane.
Investigators scrambled to determine whether Mr. Papadopoulos had any Russian contacts while deciding to scrutinize three additional Trump campaign aides who had concerning ties to Russia: Paul Manafort, its chairman; Michael T. Flynn, who went on to be the president's first national security adviser; and Mr. Page.
Secrecy was paramount for the F.B.I. officials because of the sensitivities of investigating campaign advisers during a presidential race. Had the investigation into Trump advisers' contacts with Russia become public, it could have devastated the Trump campaign. And top bureau officials were enduring fresh attacks over their handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
One of the agents involved in the Russia inquiry, a seasoned counterintelligence investigator out of New York, turned to Mr. Halper, whom he viewed as a reliable and trusted informant. They had a longstanding relationship; the agent had even spoken at an intelligence seminar that Mr. Halper taught at the University of Cambridge, discussing his work investigating a Russian espionage ring known as the illegals.
Mr. Halper had the right r(C)sum(C) for the task. He was a foreign policy expert who had worked for the Pentagon. He had been gathering information for the F.B.I. for about two decades and had good contacts in Chinese and Russian government circles that he could use to arrange meetings with high-ranking officials, according to a person briefed on Mr. Halper's relationship with the F.B.I.
The F.B.I. instructed Mr. Halper to set up a meeting in London with Mr. Papadopoulos but gave him few details about the broader investigation, a person familiar with the episode said.
His job was to figure out the extent of any contacts between Trump campaign advisers and Russia. Mr. Halper used his position as a respected academic to introduce himself to both Mr. Papadopoulos and Mr. Page, whom he also met with several times. He arranged a meeting with Mr. Papadopoulos in London to discuss a Mediterranean natural gas project, offering $3,000 for his time and a policy paper.
The F.B.I. also decided to send Ms. Turk to take part in the operation, people familiar with it said, and to pose as Mr. Halper's assistant. For the F.B.I., placing such a sensitive undertaking in the hands of a trusted government investigator was essential.
British intelligence officials were also notified about the operation, the people familiar with the operation said, but it was unclear whether they provided assistance. A spokeswoman for the British government declined to comment.
Mr. Trump has repeatedly claimed that British intelligence spied on his campaign, an accusation the British government has vigorously denied. Last month, the president quoted on Twitter an accusation that the British had spied on his campaign and added: ''WOW! It is now just a question of time before the truth comes out, and when it does, it will be a beauty!''
When Mr. Papadopoulos arrived in London on Sept. 15, he received a text message from Ms. Turk. She invited him for drinks.
In his book, ''Deep State Target,'' Mr. Papadopoulos described her as attractive and said she almost immediately began questioning him about whether the Trump campaign was working with Russia, he wrote.
Mr. Papadopoulos was baffled. ''There is no way this is a Cambridge professor's research assistant,'' he recalled thinking, according to his book. In recent weeks, he has said in tweets that he believes Ms. Turk may have been working for Turkish intelligence but provided no evidence.
The day after meeting Ms. Turk, Mr. Papadopoulos met briefly with Mr. Halper at a private London club, and Ms. Turk joined them. The two men agreed to meet again, arranging a drink at the Sofitel hotel in London's posh West End.
During that conversation, Mr. Halper immediately asked about hacked emails and whether Russia was helping the campaign, according to Mr. Papadopoulos's book. Angry over the accusatory questions, Mr. Papadopoulos ended the meeting.
The F.B.I. failed to glean any information of value from the encounters, and Ms. Turk returned to the United States.
Mr. Halper continued to work with the F.B.I. and later met with Mr. Page repeatedly in the Washington area. The two had coincidentally run into each other in July as well at Cambridge, according to people familiar with the episode.
At the urging of Mr. Page, he met another campaign aide, Sam Clovis, Mr. Trump's campaign co-chairman, to discuss foreign policy. While aware of the contact with Mr. Clovis, the F.B.I. did not instruct Mr. Halper to ask him questions related to the Russia investigation, according to a person briefed on the matter.
Mr. Clovis recounted his coffee with Mr. Halper in Washington with an Iowa radio station in May 2018. ''There was no indication or no inclination that this was anything other than just wanting to offer up his help to the campaign if I needed it,'' he said.
Mr. Halper's connections to the Trump administration strengthened from there. He was invited as part of a group of China experts to meet with White House advisers in 2017. Mr. Halper informed the F.B.I. of the invitation but was not provided with any guidance, people familiar with the episode said.
The group met briefly with Peter Navarro, the president's top trade representative, who had interviewed Mr. Halper years earlier at Mr. Halper's home in Virginia for a documentary. According to Axios, the administration also considered Mr. Halper for an ambassadorship.
In an interview with Fox Radio, Mr. Navarro said he viewed Mr. Halper's role as an F.B.I. informant as a betrayal, saying he felt ''duped.''
Follow Adam Goldman, Michael S. Schmidt and Mark Mazzetti on Twitter: @adamgoldmanNYT, @nytmike and @MarkMazzettiNYT
Here We Go '' FBI Admits Using Spies Against Trump Campaign'... '' The Last Refuge
Thu, 02 May 2019 20:26
A report in the New York Times, transparently timed and placed by officials within the intelligence apparatus trying to get out ahead of internal investigations, outlines how the FBI sent counterintelligence spies to engage with Trump campaign officials in 2016.
In a stunning admission The New York Times describes how the FBI enlisted a female agent to work the ''operation'' the U.K. in August-September 2016 posing as an aide for U.S. intelligence asset and FBI informant Stefan Halper. A Cambridge professor who set up meetings with Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos. The agent used a fake name, Azra Turk, and presented herself as an assistant to Stefan Halper; however, she was actually an undercover operative of the FBI.
NYT ['...] The woman had set up the meeting to discuss foreign policy issues. But she was actually a government investigator posing as a research assistant, according to people familiar with the operation. The F.B.I. sent her to London as part of the counterintelligence inquiry opened that summer to better understand the Trump campaign's links to Russia.
The American government's affiliation with the woman, who said her name was Azra Turk, is one previously unreported detail of an operation that has become a political flash point in the face of accusations by President Trump and his allies that American law enforcement and intelligence officials spied on his campaign to undermine his electoral chances. Last year, he called it ''Spygate.''
Ms. Turk went to London to help oversee the politically sensitive operation, working alongside a longtime informant, the Cambridge professor Stefan A. Halper. The move was a sign that the bureau wanted in place a trained investigator for a layer of oversight, as well as someone who could gather information for or serve as a credible witness in any potential prosecution that emerged from the case.
A spokesman for the F.B.I. declined to comment, as did a lawyer for Mr. Halper, Robert D. Luskin. Last year, Bill Priestap, then the bureau's top counterintelligence agent who was deeply involved in the Russia inquiry, told Congress during a closed-door hearing that there was no F.B.I. conspiracy against Mr. Trump or his campaign.
Obviously the group (CIA, DOJ and FBI) who constructed the political surveillance and spy operations are trying to present their side of the story, prior to investigation by AG Bill Barr and the soon-to-be-released IG report.
The London operation yielded no fruitful information, but F.B.I. officials have called the bureau's activities in the months before the election both legal and carefully considered under extraordinary circumstances.
They are now under scrutiny as part of an investigation by Michael E. Horowitz, the Justice Department inspector general. He could make the results public in May or June, Attorney General William P. Barr has said. Some of the findings are likely to be classified.
It is unclear whether Mr. Horowitz will find fault with the F.B.I.'s decision to have Ms. Turk, whose real name is not publicly known, meet with Mr. Papadopoulos.
Mr. Horowitz has focused among other things on the activities of Mr. Halper, who accompanied Ms. Turk in one of her meetings with Mr. Papadopoulos and also met with him and other campaign aides separately. The bureau might also have seen Ms. Turk's role as essential for protecting Mr. Halper's identity as an informant if prosecutors ever needed court testimony about their activities.
Notice how the leaker of this information to the New York Times appears to have direct knowledge of exactly what IG Horowitz has investigated. This leaked story is coming from within the still employed corrupt elements of the FBI.
['...] This account was described in interviews with people familiar with the F.B.I. activities of Mr. Halper, Ms. Turk and the inspector general's investigation. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the subjects of a continuing inquiry.
As part of Mr. Horowitz's investigation, his office has examined Mr. Halper's past work as an F.B.I. informant and asked witnesses about whether agents had adequate control of Mr. Halper's activities, people familiar with the inquiry have said.
While in London in 2016, Ms. Turk exchanged emails with Mr. Papadopoulos, saying meeting him had been the ''highlight of my trip,'' according to messages provided by Mr. Papadopoulos. ''I am excited about what the future holds for us :),'' she wrote.
Notice how The New York Times is intentionally conflating the timing and sequencing of events in this article.
['...] One of the agents involved in the Russia inquiry, a seasoned counterintelligence investigator out of New York, turned to Mr. Halper, whom he viewed as a reliable and trusted informant. They had a longstanding relationship; the agent had even spoken at an intelligence seminar that Mr. Halper taught at the University of Cambridge, discussing his work investigating a Russian espionage ring known as the illegals.
[That section tells the possibilities of who the FBI agent might be. [TWE] George J. Ennis, Jr. (ASAC NY Counterintelligence), Alan E. Kohler Jr. (SSA, NY Counterintelligence) and Stephen M. Somma (SA, NY Counterintelligence) attended the intelligence seminar by Stefan Halper in 2011 (LINK). Alan Kohler, FBI representative at the United States Embassy in London, returned to the seminar in May 2014 (LINK)]
Mr. Halper had the right r(C)sum(C) for the task. He was a foreign policy expert who had worked for the Pentagon. He had been gathering information for the F.B.I. for about two decades and had good contacts in Chinese and Russian government circles that he could use to arrange meetings with high-ranking officials, according to a person briefed on Mr. Halper's relationship with the F.B.I.
The F.B.I. instructed Mr. Halper to set up a meeting in London with Mr. Papadopoulos but gave him few details about the broader investigation, a person familiar with the episode said.
His job was to figure out the extent of any contacts between Trump campaign advisers and Russia. Mr. Halper used his position as a respected academic to introduce himself to both Mr. Papadopoulos and Mr. Page, whom he also met with several times. He arranged a meeting with Mr. Papadopoulos in London to discuss a Mediterranean natural gas project, offering $3,000 for his time and a policy paper.
['...] The F.B.I. also decided to send Ms. Turk to take part in the operation, people familiar with it said, and to pose as Mr. Halper's assistant. For the F.B.I., placing such a sensitive undertaking in the hands of a trusted government investigator was essential.
British intelligence officials were also notified about the operation, the people familiar with the operation said, but it was unclear whether they provided assistance. A spokeswoman for the British government declined to comment.
Mr. Trump has repeatedly claimed that British intelligence spied on his campaign, an accusation the British government has vigorously denied. Last month, the president quoted on Twitter an accusation that the British had spied on his campaign and added: ''WOW! It is now just a question of time before the truth comes out, and when it does, it will be a beauty!''
When Mr. Papadopoulos arrived in London on Sept. 15, he received a text message from Ms. Turk. She invited him for drinks.
In his book, ''Deep State Target,'' Mr. Papadopoulos described her as attractive and said she almost immediately began questioning him about whether the Trump campaign was working with Russia, he wrote.
Mr. Papadopoulos was baffled. ''There is no way this is a Cambridge professor's research assistant,'' he recalled thinking, according to his book.
The day after meeting Ms. Turk, Mr. Papadopoulos met briefly with Mr. Halper at a private London club, and Ms. Turk joined them. The two men agreed to meet again, arranging a drink at the Sofitel hotel in London's posh West End.
Notice how Ms. Turk is the primary focus of the interaction.
Turk emailed Papadopoulos; Turk text'd Papadopoulos; Turk met him for drinks etc. However, Halper only ''met briefly'' with Papadopoulos with Turk present. FBI agent Turk is the working operative here, agent Halper is simply the inconsequential cover.
During that conversation, Mr. Halper immediately asked about hacked emails and whether Russia was helping the campaign, according to Mr. Papadopoulos's book. Angry over the accusatory questions, Mr. Papadopoulos ended the meeting.
The F.B.I. failed to glean any information of value from the encounters, and Ms. Turk returned to the United States.
Mr. Halper continued to work with the F.B.I. and later met with Mr. Page repeatedly in the Washington area. The two had coincidentally run into each other in July as well at Cambridge, according to people familiar with the episode.
At the urging of Mr. Page, he met another campaign aide, Sam Clovis, Mr. Trump's campaign co-chairman, to discuss foreign policy. (read more)
It's obvious the people who ran these spy operations into the Trump campaign are nervous now. After years of denying spying; and after weeks of apoplectic pearl-clutching over AG Barr's use of the word ''spy''; the New York Times now outlines spying directly?
Make sure you go back and re-read the House testimony transcript of how Papadopoulos describes this interaction with Turk and Halper (embed below). Start around page 101
( Papadopoulos Testimony to House Committee start around page 10 1 )
.
Former US Attorney: Susan Rice Ordered Spy Agencies To Produce 'Detailed Spreadsheets' Involving Trump - The Daily Caller
Fri, 03 May 2019 04:23
Update: In response to a question Tuesday from NBC News reporter Andrea Mitchell, former Obama White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice denied that she ''prepared'' spreadsheets of surveilled telephone calls involving Donald Trump and his aides. The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group, however, reported that Rice ''ordered'' the spreadsheets to be produced.
In addition, former U.S. Attorney Joe DiGenova, one of TheDCNF's sources, said Tuesday in response to Rice that her denial ''would come as quite a surprise to the government officials who have reviewed dozens of those spreadsheets.''
Former President Barack Obama's national security adviser Susan Rice ordered U.S. spy agencies to produce ''detailed spreadsheets'' of legal phone calls involving Donald Trump and his aides when he was running for president, according to former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova.
''What was produced by the intelligence community at the request of Ms. Rice were detailed spreadsheets of intercepted phone calls with unmasked Trump associates in perfectly legal conversations with individuals,'' diGenova told The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group Monday.
''The overheard conversations involved no illegal activity by anybody of the Trump associates, or anyone they were speaking with,'' diGenova said. ''In short, the only apparent illegal activity was the unmasking of the people in the calls.''
Other official sources with direct knowledge and who requested anonymity confirmed to TheDCNF diGenova's description of surveillance reports Rice ordered one year before the 2016 presidential election.
Also on Monday, Fox News and Bloomberg News, citing multiple sources reported that Rice had requested the intelligence information that was produced in a highly organized operation. Fox said the unmasked names of Trump aides were given to officials at the National Security Council (NSC), the Department of Defense, James Clapper, President Obama's Director of National Intelligence, and John Brennan, Obama's CIA Director.
Joining Rice in the alleged White House operations was her deputy Ben Rhodes, according to Fox.
Critics of the atmosphere prevailing throughout the Obama administration's last year in office point to former Obama Deputy Defense Secretary Evelyn Farkas who admitted in a March 2 television interview on MSNBC that she ''was urging my former colleagues,'' to ''get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can, before President Obama leaves the administration.''
Farkas sought to walk back her comments in the weeks following: ''I didn't give anybody anything except advice.''
Col. (Ret.) James Waurishuk, an NSC veteran and former deputy director for intelligence at the U.S. Central Command, told TheDCNF that many hands had to be involved throughout the Obama administration to launch such a political spying program.
''The surveillance initially is the responsibility of the National Security Agency,'' Waurishuk said. ''They have to abide by this guidance when one of the other agencies says, 'we're looking at this particular person which we would like to unmask.'''
''The lawyers and counsel at the NSA surely would be talking to the lawyers and members of counsel at CIA, or at the National Security Council or at the Director of National Intelligence or at the FBI,'' he said. ''It's unbelievable of the level and degree of the administration to look for information on Donald Trump and his associates, his campaign team and his transition team. This is really, really serious stuff.''
Michael Doran, former NSC senior director, told TheDCNF Monday that ''somebody blew a hole in the wall between national security secrets and partisan politics.'' This ''was a stream of information that was supposed to be hermetically sealed from politics and the Obama administration found a way to blow a hole in that wall,'' he said.
Doran charged that potential serious crimes were undertaken because ''this is a leaking of signal intelligence.''
''That's a felony,'' he told TheDCNF. ''And you can get 10 years for that. It is a tremendous abuse of the system. We're not supposed to be monitoring American citizens. Bigger than the crime, is the breach of public trust.''
Waurishuk said he was most dismayed that ''this is now using national intelligence assets and capabilities to spy on the elected, yet-to-be-seated president.''
''We're looking at a potential constitutional crisis from the standpoint that we used an extremely strong capability that's supposed to be used to safeguard and protect the country,'' he said. ''And we used it for political purposes by a sitting president. That takes on a new precedent.''
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Barr's Review of FBI 'Spying' on Trump Campaign Has Wide Reach - Bloomberg
Sun, 05 May 2019 13:00
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MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace dating regular 'Deadline: White House' contributor - AOL
Sun, 05 May 2019 15:03
Nicolle Wallace and her husband of 14 years are getting a divorce, and she's reportedly dating one of her show's regular contributors.
The longtime host of MSNBC's "Deadline: White House" is dating New York Times writer Michael S. Schmidt, who appears on her show often. Page Six reports that the couple informed network execs about their romance, and they "were fine with it," especially following "Morning Joe" co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborbough's relationship going public.
See photos of Nicolle Wallace:
LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 790 -- Pictured: (l-r) Political commentator Nicolle Wallace during an interview with host Seth Meyers on January 29, 2019 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images) '–² NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 09: Nicolle Wallace attends 'James Comey in Conversation with Nicolle Wallace' at 92nd Street Y on December 9, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images) '–² LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 748 -- Pictured: (l-r) MSNBCs Nicolle Wallace during an interview with host Seth Meyers on October 25, 2018 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images) '–² LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 748 -- Pictured: MSNBCs Nicolle Wallace on October 25, 2018 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images) '–² BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 09: NBC News political analyst and host of MSNBC's Deadline:White House, Nicolle Wallace speaks onstage at Day 1 of the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit 2018 at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on October 9, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images) '–² TODAY -- Pictured: Nicolle Wallace on Thursday, September 27, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images) '–² TODAY -- Pictured: Nicolle Wallace on Monday, August 27, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images) '–² NBC News & MSNBC White House Correspondents? Dinner After Party On the grounds of the Organization of American States, Washington D.C. - Saturday, April 28, 2018-- Pictured: Milley, Stephanie Ruhle, Nicolle Wallace, Phil Griffin -- (Photo by: Paul Morigi/NBC News/MSNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images) '–² NBC NEWS & MSNBC EVENTS -- White House Correspondents' Dinner NBC News & MSNBC After-Party -- Pictured: (l-r) Andy Lack, Nicolle Wallace, Noah Oppenheim -- (Photo by: Paul Morigi/NBC News/MSNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images) '–² LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 546 -- Pictured: (l-r) Journalist Nicolle Wallace during an interview with host Seth Meyers on June 21, 2017 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images) '–² WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 29: Nicolle Wallace, Noah Oppenheim, NBC News president and Chris Matthews at the Comcast NBCUniversal NBC News and MSNBC White House Correspondents Dinner After Party at the Organization of American States on April 29, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kate Patterson for The Washington Post via Getty Images) '–² NBC NEWS - ELECTION COVERAGE -- Election Night 2016 -- Pictured: (l-r) Nicolle Wallace, Republican Strategist, NBC News Political Analyst, on Tuesday, November 8, 2016 in New York -- (Photo by: Heidi Gutman/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images) '–² MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r) -- Nicolle Wallace, Republican Strategist, NBC News Political Analyst, Chuck Todd, Host, Meet the Press appear on 'Meet the Press' in New York, Sunday Nov. 6, 2016. (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images) '–² David Plouffe, chief advisor of Uber Technologies Inc., right, speaks as Nicolle Wallace, political commentator and former White House communications chief, listens during a Bloomberg Politics panel discussion on the sidelines of the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., on Wednesday, July 20, 2016. Donald Trump's campaign and the U.K. movement to leave the European Union are seen to have similar themes about national sovereignty, trade, and immigration, but Plouffe said there are key differences. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images '–² MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r) Nicolle Wallace, Former White House Communications Director; left, and Jose Diaz-Balart, Anchor, NBC News and MSNBC, right, appear on 'Meet the Press' in Washington, D.C., Sunday April 24, 2016. (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images) '–² NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 16: Whoopi Goldberg and Nicolle Wallace sign copies of 'If Someone Says You Complete Me, RUN!: Whoopi's Big Book of Relationships' at Barnes & Noble Union Square on October 16, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage) '–² TODAY -- Pictured: Political commentator Nicole Wallace -- (Photo by: Heidi Gutman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images) '–² THE VIEW - Lea DeLaria is the guest today, Friday, August 7, 2015 ABC's 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) '–² THE VIEW - Judd Apatow is the guest today, Thursday, July 16, 2015 on ABC's 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)NICOLLE WALLACE '–²
The reveal comes after Wallace and husband Mark Wallace, who have been married since 2005, filed for divorce on March 18. Sources close to the couple say that they've been separated for "at least a year" and that their split is uncontested.
Page Six also reports that the couple was seen out and about at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, earlier this year.
See photos of Michael S. Schmidt:
MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r) -- Michael Schmidt, New York Times Correspondent; NBC News National Security Analyst, and Benjamin Wittes, Lawfare Editor-in-Chief; NBC News Legal Analyst, appear on 'Meet the Press' in Washington, D.C., Sunday, Jan. 13, 2018. (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC) '–² MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r) -- Michael Schmidt, New York Times Correspondent; NBC News National Security Analyst, Benjamin Wittes, Lawfare Editor-in-Chief; NBC News Legal Analyst, and moderator Chuck Todd appear on 'Meet the Press' in Washington, D.C., Sunday, Jan. 13, 2018. (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC) '–² NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06: Michael S. Schmidt speaks on stage at the 2018 New Yorker Festival - 'The Investigators' Featuring Jane Mayer, Ronan Farrow, Michael S. Schmidt, And Ginger Thompson Moderated By The New Yorker's Michael Luo on October 6, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for The New Yorker) '–² NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06: Michael S. Schmidt speaks on stage at the 2018 New Yorker Festival - 'The Investigators' Featuring Jane Mayer, Ronan Farrow, Michael S. Schmidt, And Ginger Thompson Moderated By The New Yorker's Michael Luo on October 6, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for The New Yorker) '–²
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Green New Deal
"twice as fast as the rest of the world" -canada - Google Search
Fri, 03 May 2019 19:41
About 374,000 results
The Arctic Is Warming Twice As Fast As the Rest of the World ...https://www.theinertia.com/.../the-arctic-is-warming-twice-as-fast-as-the-rest- of-the-world-according-to-noaa-report/ Dec 13, 2018 ... The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released their 2018 Arctic Report Card this week, concluding it has experienced its ''most unprecedented transition in history.''. And they believe the warming temperatures and melting ice there may be the root of extreme ... The Arctic Is Warming Twice as Fast as the Rest of the Globehttps://futurism.com/the-arctic-is-warming-twice-as-fast-as-the-rest-of-the- globe Dec 22, 2017 ... ... research branch and co-author of the report, told Futurism. The report's bottom line: the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world.
AOC documentary on Netflix
2020
Breitbart editor: Biden's son inked deal with Chinese government days after vice president's trip | TheHill
Fri, 03 May 2019 11:42
Hunter Biden, who arrived in China aboard Air Force Two alongside the vice president and the rest of the U.S. delegation, was at the time in control of Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC., a private equity firm that would go on to strike a deal with the state-owned Bank of China to create a $1 billion joint investment fund.
In excerpts from his upcoming book, ''Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends,'' Breitbart News senior editor-at-large Peter Schweizer writes that the China deal was part of a trend of high-stakes deals between the sons' investment firm '-- under the Rosemont entities umbrella '-- and foreign governments that were also in the middle of striking deals with the Obama administration.
Hunter Biden controlled the Rosemont entities, which describes itself as ''a $2.4 billion private equity firm."
In 2011, Hunter Biden met with top Chinese government fund leaders alongside managing partner Devon Archer and James Bulger, the nephew of notorious mobster Whitey Bulger, who controls a Massachusetts-based consultancy firm. The meeting took place just hours before the vice president would meet with Hu Jintao, then China's president, in Washington as part of a nuclear security summit.
A second meeting that year between Hunter Biden and other top Chinese officials would occur in Taiwan, just two weeks after the vice president opened up strategic talks with China in Washington.
In 2013, the younger Biden would be part of an official U.S. delegation to the country. Ten days later , Rosemont entities inked a $1 billion deal with the bank of China. The deal was eventually increased to $1.5 billion.
Deals made by the firm '-- co-owned by the government of China and the two sons of top American officials '-- would go on to have serious national security implications for the United States. One such deal was with the automotive subsidiary of Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), a major Chinese military contractor accused of frequently stealing U.S. military technology.
In late 2015, AVIC would go on to purchase 51 percent of American precision-parts manufacturer Henniges. Joe Biden's son bought the other 49 percent in a deal that was approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which includes members of numerous government agencies including the State Department.
''Rosemont Capital is not, and never was, a part of the Heinz Family Office and was a fully independent alternative investment fund manager," said Heinz spokesman Chris Bastardi.
"Chris Heinz was involved in Rosemont Capital. Rosemont Seneca was established under the same GP as Rosemont Capital, but Chris Heinz had no operating role in it. Chris and his family have no financial interest or investment in Bohai Harvest RST, he has never traveled to China, and he has never met with the firm's Chinese management team or investors."
Last week, the Trump organization donated $151,470 in profits earned from foreign government patronage at its hotels and other businesses in 2017 to the U.S. Treasury, a move not required by law.
This article was updated at 4:30 p.m. to correct one meeting date and note that Chris Heinz, John Kerry's son by marriage, was not a managing partner of Rosemont Seneca Partners or involved with Rosemont Seneca Bohai.
CA Senate Passes Bill to Keep Trump Off Primary Ballot Sans Tax Returns
Sat, 04 May 2019 05:28
In what could well be described as a direct shot at President Trump's reelection effort, California's state Senate passed a bill on Thursday that would require presidential candidates to release five years of income tax returns.Any candidate who doesn't comply with the new bill would risk being left off the primary ballot.
However, the bill and its concept are not at all new. An identical measure was passed through California's legislature in 2017. Ironically, the bill did not become law because the state was governed at the time by a Democrat, Jerry Brown, who didn't want to release his tax returns.
Brown said at the time, ''Today we require tax returns, but what would be next? Five years of health records? A certified birth certificate? High school report cards? And will these requirements vary depending on which political party is in power?''
Brown's description of the bill's partisan nature would become prophetic, as it turned out. Less than two years later. state lawmakers have attempted to thwart Trump's reelection efforts by offering the bill for approval again, this time to Governor Gavin Newsom.
Newsom, unlike Brown, has released his income tax returns '' a fact that did not go unnoticed by one of the bill's co-sponsors, Senator Mike McGuire.
''I never want to put words into his mouth, but here's what I'll say: Gov. Newsom has led by example.'' McGuire continued, ''We can all debate on the floor about the constitutionality of this bill. But we also have to look at what makes our democracy strong. The foundation of any successful government is transparency.''
Newsom's spokesman Brian Ferguson has made it clear, however, that the bill ''would be evaluated on its own merits.''
The bill, if it becomes law, would require candidates to submit their tax returns to the secretary of state's office. Then, the secretary of state's office would work with the candidates to redact any sensitive areas of their tax records prior to having them posted online.
Senator McGuire has made no attempt to hide the partisan nature of his bill or who in particular inspired it.
''President Trump's refusal to release his income tax returns has broken a time-honored, bipartisan tradition which has weakened our democracy and his jaw dropping business conflicts have now put the security of our nation at risk,'' McGuire said.
In late 2017, McGuire said he felt the disclosed tax returns would give all Americans an eye into the president's dealings with foreign powers.
Voters not only deserve full disclosure of their leader's tax returns, they should be entitled to them. If President Trump had released his tax returns we would know why he's ignoring intelligence agencies and snuggling up to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, who has been linked to the brutal killing of Jamal Khashoggi. Transparency is a nonpartisan issue and it's time to put the speculation to bed and bring to light any conflicts of interest that could drive an American president into the arms of a foreign power. It's time to make President Trump's tax returns public.
Every one of the California state Senate's ten Republicans voted against the bill, arguing that it's unconstitutional.
If California passes the bill into law, it could soon have company. Washington State and New Jersey are considering similar measures.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn
Shadow Stats
Recession Already in Place, Watch Out '' John Williams | Greg Hunter's USAWatchdog
Sun, 05 May 2019 05:11
By Greg Hunter's USAWatchdog.com (Early Sunday Release)
You might be wondering why the Trump Administration is calling for rate cuts and money printing with all the good news about the economy. Economist John Williams of ShadowStats.com knows why and contends, ''We have a recession in place. It's just a matter of playing out in some of these other funny numbers. The reality is on the downside, where you have mixed pressures right now. People who are really concerned about the economy right now, and that includes President Trump looking at re-election, he's been arguing that the Fed should lower rates, and I am with him. The Fed created this circumstance. They are pushing for the economy on the upside because they want to continue to keep raising rates. Banks make more money with higher rates, and they are still trying to liquidate the problems they created when they bailed out the banking system back in 2008.''
Williams strips out all the financial gimmicks in his work that make things look better than they really are to give a true picture of the real financial health. Take for example the recent reportedly good news of the trade deficit narrowing. Williams says, ''What we saw was the very unusual narrowing of the deficit . . . that's generally good news . . . but if you look at why the trade deficit was narrowing, it wasn't that we were having new surging exports . . . instead, we were having collapsing domestic consumption. People weren't buying things. People were not buying goods. So, the imports were falling off, and that narrowed the deficit. That is not a healthy sign. The last time you saw something like that was the beginning of the Great Recession (2008''2009). . . . We still haven't recovered from the Great Recession.''
If rate cuts don't happen soon, is the economy going to tank? Williams says, ''The economy is tanking, and I'll contend it already has, although we have not seen it in the GDP reporting. . . . The ultimate thing here is you have a collapse in the dollar. I am talking about a hyperinflationary collapse. Your purchasing power becomes worthless. What you have in gold or canned goods or real estate, that will be your assets '' hard assets.''
In closing, Williams says, ''The underlying weakness is with the consumer. Until the consumer gets turned around, you are not going to get a fundamental change in the economy. The economy is going to get weaker. The Fed is going to recognize that, and they probably already do recognize that. . . . They don't want to lower rates, but I think they are going to have to. I would look for easing by September and maybe quantitative easing (money printing) as the economy continues to deteriorate as it seems to be doing. I know the numbers are not there yet in the headlines, but watch out.''
Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with economist John Williams, founder of ShadowStats.com.
(To Donate to USAWatchdog.com Click Here)
After the Interview:
There is even more free information and analysis in the recently redesigned Shadowstats.com. If you want more detailed information and original analysis from John Williams, you can become a subscriber by clicking here.
For a free ''audio only'' download of this John Williams interview, click here.
About the Author Greg HunterGreg is the producer and creator of USAWatchdog.com. The site's slogan is ''analyzing the news to give you a clear picture of what's really going on.'' The site will keep an eye on the government, your financial interests and cut through the media spin. USAWatchdog.com is neither Democrat nor Republican, Liberal or Conservative. Before creating and producing the site, Greg spent nearly 9 years as a network and investigative correspondent. He worked for ABC News and Good Morning America for nearly 6 years. Most recently, Greg worked for CNN for shows such as Paula Zahn Now, American Morning and various CNN business shows.
Poppies
Billionaire founder of opioid firm guilty of bribing doctors to prescribe drug | US news | The Guardian
Fri, 03 May 2019 12:00
The head of a leading drug manufacturer has been found guilty of bribing doctors to prescribe a dangerous painkiller to patients who did not need it, in the first criminal conviction of a pharma chief over the opioid epidemic.
A Boston jury also found John Kapoor, the 75-year-old billionaire founder of Insys Theraputics, guilty of defrauding insurance companies in the push to sell Subsys, a spray made from fentanyl, a synthetic opioid many times stronger than morphine.
Subsys was approved for terminal cancer patients but the company targeted sales at a much bigger and more profitable market of people with non-life threatening chronic pain. Prosecutors said that fuelled the opioid epidemic and cost lives.
Four other Insys executives were also convicted on similar racketeering charges after the jury took two weeks to deliberate. They each face up to 20 years in prison.
The convictions will spur demands for executives of other opioid makers to be held to account for an epidemic that has claimed about 400,000 lives over the past two decades.
Drug manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies are already facing hundreds of civil lawsuits by states and cities seeking to recover the costs of the epidemic on public finances, from increased crime to addiction treatment and care for orphaned children. On Thursday, the drug distributor, McKesson, agreed to pay West Virginia $37m to settle a lawsuit over flooding the state with millions of opioid pills without abiding by proper controls.
But there is mounting anger that corporations have spent years paying civil settlements as ''the cost of doing business'' while continuing to rake in huge profits by illegally pushing the mass prescribing of the drugs or failing to obey laws intended to prevent their misuse. Political leaders in some of the worst hit parts of the country have called for criminal prosecutions of the executives who made the decisions calling them ''drug dealers in Armani suits''.
Kapoor oversaw a marketing strategy at Insys that hired doctors as speakers at educational seminars as cover to pay them more than $1m to prescribe high doses of Subsys to patients who did not need it. Prosecutors said the seminars were no more than social gatherings at expensive New York restaurants followed by company sales reps taking the physicians to strip clubs and bars.
Prosecutors showed the jury spreadsheets of payments to doctors and how much the company profited from each bribe. In one instance, the company paid nearly $260,000 to two New York doctors who wrote more than $6m worth of Subsys prescriptions in 2014. Insys employees also posed as doctors to give insurance companies invented diagnoses to get approval for payments for the drug.
The jury was also shown a promotional rap video of Insys sales reps dancing next to a large bottle of Subsys including the line, ''I got new patients, and I got a lot of 'em.''
Sales of Subsys surged as a result of the company's aggressive marketing, rising from $14m in 2012 when the drug came on the market to nearly half a billion dollars five years later. Fentanyl is a powerful and highly addictive drug that has killed more people than any other opioid over recent years, although most of those who overdose do so on illegal versions of the drug smuggled into the country.
Prosecutors said the kickback scheme was one factor in the opioid epidemic as doctors ''saw a huge payday that potentially put people's lives in danger''. They showed the jury emails in which a former Insys CEO said certain doctors were ''owned'' by the company because of the amount of Subsys they prescribed.
Prosecutors said the Insys executives risked the lives of patients out of greed.
''These patients were used. Their pain was exploited,'' US attorney Nathaniel Yeager told the jury. ''The decisions, the money, the strategy came from the top.''
The company's former vice-president of managed markets, Michael Gurry; its former national sales director, Richard Simon; and two sales directors, Sunrise Lee and Joseph Rowan, were also convicted.
Several other former Insys executives previously pleaded guilty over the scheme and gave evidence against Kapoor.
Michael Babich, the former Insys CEO, pleaded guilty earlier this year. Babich faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced later this year. Babich's wife, Natalie Levine, an Insys sales rep, is also awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty over the kickback scheme.
Others convicted include the company's vice-president of sales, Alec Burlakoff, who told the trial Kapoor devised a sales strategy to target doctors known to dispense opioids without too many questions in so-called ''pill mills''.
''Pill mills, for us, meant dollars,'' he said.
OTG
Doorbell cams from a delivery Knight
You mentioned last show that the UPS and FedEx drivers knock and
don't ring your doorbell. I've come to that conclusion for myself as
well. The biggest problem I have with those doorbells is the ability to
communicate through them. There have been many times that customers have
asked me to sign for packages through the doorbell, which is against
policy. If you'd like to see a driver get fired, there's usually no
quicker way than forging a signature, even if they "see you" do
it. Other times, customers will ask me to wait around for "5
minutes" until they can get back home. In the delivery business,
"5 minutes" doesn't exist. And, to most people "5
minutes" can easily be 10-15 minutes if they're quick. Now, that's
not to say drivers can't make the extra effort, time allowing, to drive back
by. But, in the regular course of day to day, that's not possible.
This has been brewing in my head for some time now. We can't
escape the security cameras within businesses. That's something I've been,
more or less, willing to deal with. In theory, a select few view those
tapes. Now, I'm not doing anything extreme or nefarious, but the idea of
everyone and their grandmother having a doorbell with a camera does bug
me. I had to come to grips with it, because I am a delivery person.
That's who I am to everyone that sees me, and that's all I will be to
them. It's where the facial recognition comes into play that ramps up my,
maybe excessive, worry.
When we deliver to an important company - Boeing, Microsoft,
Amazon, ect - we have to sign in, get a badge, and go on our merry way.
Now, again, that's a part of the job, it is what it is. But with the
advent of facial recognition, someone like Microsoft, would probably like to be
able to know more about who they're letting on their property. Even if I
have on a uniform with a logo in a branded truck, what's to stop a company like
that to do their own research on me?
Now, apply these doorbell companies. The people with these
bells are able to see through them on their phone or computer. These
products are made possible to the end user through the cloud and network
availability. They're not setup by the Average Joe. Netgear (with
Arlo) and I believe Amazon owns Ring doorbells, and whoever else is out there
offering home security monitoring will receive all the data flowing through
your camera and make the information available to the consumer.
What information are these companies harvesting? Will we
soon receive ads based on how many times UPS or FedEx comes to your door?
Will you start receiving coupons for Schwan's because they're cruising through
your neighborhood? Will the facial recognition kick in on these 3rd party
servers to determine who I am? What "data" can be retrieved
from that?
These may be excessive concerns, but they're there none the less for me.
Thank you for listening.
TYFYCAP
SOROS
Vice Media Gets $250 Million in Debt Funding From George Soros, Others '' Variety
Sun, 05 May 2019 03:08
Vice Media, looking to revitalize its flagging business, has gotten a $250 million cash infusion from an investment consortium that includes billionaire George Soros.
The company's new debt financing was led by 23 Capital, a financing firm focused exclusively on sports, music and entertainment sectors, with participation by Soros Fund Management, Fortress Investment Group and Monroe Capital, as first reported by the Wall Street Journal Friday.
''With this capital investment, Vice's growth plans can be accelerated, allowing us to execute our new leadership's strategic vision for the company,'' a Vice rep said in a statement.
The once high-flying Vice has suffered a shortfall in revenue goals, and laid off about 250 employees, or 10% of its staff, earlier this year.
Vice CEO Nancy Dubuc, hired last year to lead the company's turnaround efforts, has set a target of achieving profitability within the next fiscal year. The ex-CEO of A+E Networks restructured the company around five lines of business: digital, news, Vice Studios (film and TV production), the Viceland cable channel (a partnership with A+E), and in-house ad agency Virtue. ''Having finalized the 2019 budget, our focus shifts to executing our goals and hitting our marks,'' Dubuc wrote in a Feb. 1 memo to employees about the reorg.
The Brooklyn-based youth-culture company, launched 25 years ago as a punk-culture magazine in Montreal, was valued at $5.7 billion less than two years ago. Since then, its valuation has dropped: Disney disclosed a $157 million write-down on its Vice equity stake last year. Vice previously raised about $1.4 billion from investors including TPG Capital, which plowed $450 million into the company in the summer of 2017.
This week, Vice Media announced a strategy shift on the digital front designed to boost audience engagement and advertising: It eliminated separate web ''channels'' for topic verticals like Vice News, Noisey and Munchies, folding all of its content into vice.com. It outlined the plans at its Digital Content NewFronts marketing event Wednesday in New York.
Dubuc took the reins at Vice after the company was accused of fostering a bro culture hostile to women. Several execs were ousted over sexual harassment allegations, and last month Vice agreed to pay nearly $1.9 million to settle a class-action lawsuit claiming the company routinely paid women employees less than men.
At the NewFronts presentation this week, Dubuc said she joined Vice about 11 months ago not to provide ''adult supervision'' but because she was inspired by the vision of Shane Smith, exec chairman and former CEO. ''Change and evolution are in our DNA, thanks to Papa Shane,'' she said gesturing to Smith, who was seated in the audience.
Also at the event, Dom Delport, Vice's president of international and chief revenue officer who joined the company a year ago, said the company would exclude traffic from third-party affiliated sites from Vice Media's overall comScore metrics, effective May 15. He said the digital media business was suffering from inconsistent metrics and a lack of transparency in measurement.
According to Delport, based on the company's own calculations, Vice has a global digital audience of 300 million monthly users across its owned-and-operated properties as well as platforms like YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat. That includes 110 million monthly users in the U.S., he said. Those numbers represent unduplicated audience reach, according to Delport.
The Algos
Norman Lear and Rita Moreno on 'One Day at a Time' Cancellation | Hollywood Reporter
Thu, 02 May 2019 21:47
TV6:15 AM PDT 5/1/2019 by Norman Lear , Rita Moreno
Adam Rose/Netflix; Charley Gallay/Getty Images
Netflix announced March 14, that 'One Day at a Time' would not return after three seasons on the streamer; Producer Norman Lear and star Rita Moreno.
Two icons weigh in on how their sitcom reboot became a victim of the streaming algorithm: "There's a lesson here."Yes, of course we're disappointed that Netflix canceled One Day at a Time. And we fully understand that unless you're the evening news, eventually your show is over and you're on to "next." But if "over" and "next" were connected by a hammock, it would be considered living in the moment, which is where we find ourselves now. As elder statespeople of a business that continues to evolve, we find ourselves struggling to understand the irony of living at a time of supposed transparency '-- you can find anything on the internet '-- yet we have no understanding of the data that ultimately led to the cancellation of our beloved show.
It wasn't that the show failed to serve underrepresented audiences or address real-life issues with heart. We're told by critics and fans alike that our show was "smart, funny, and, most crucially, empathetic toward people who rarely get such attention and consideration." We've learned from our younger peers that we have 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and that we should be proud of that! We're assured that we never once failed to advance Netflix's stated commitment to representing diversity in its content '-- yet, because of the data, we're on to "next."
So we've learned that evidently all the details are in the "data." We get it; corporations are responsible to their stockholders. And one could argue that it's the data '-- what we've known through the years as Nielsen ratings '-- that inevitably drives the decision-making process. But something is missing if that is the only criterion for survival of a show, the only data point, the only litmus test. Perhaps media has gone the way of managed care '-- the focus no longer patient and doctor, but bottom line.
In this golden age of "content," the outlets are innumerable, the content vast. In our day, new technology was a "remote control," needed to navigate only between the big three '-- yes, only three: ABC, CBS and NBC. Today, our entertainment is no longer tethered to a box on the floor or a screen on the wall. It travels in a pocket and is viewed anywhere, anytime. And conversations don't require a watercooler or telephone but evolve around blurbs punctuated with emojis '-- texted and tweeted. We're becoming communities of one who cheer our heroes and boo our villains alone. Which we feel is inevitably why we woke up one morning to the news: "Canceled."
There's a lesson here for all of us '-- content creators, artists and consumers '-- to speak up. When you find a show you fall in love with, something that matters to you, something that makes you laugh louder and love harder, share it. Scream from the rooftops and swing from the chandeliers talking about it. Join your voice with others before, not after.
It's true, the Alvarez family is still looking for a home. And what we're hearing, according to the "online data," is that there happens to be an enormous audience hoping and praying we succeed.
We're hoping and praying, too '-- for the beloved fans, our incredible showrunners, Gloria Calder"n Kellett and Mike Royce, and our fabulous cast and, of course, for us two old farts who still enjoy waking up and going to work every day.
So here's some final data for your consideration: 183, our combined age, the Jew and the Puerto Rican. And, hey, we're still learning, too.
Seasons 1-3 of One Day at a Time continue to stream on Netflix.
This story first appeared in the April 30 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
GLITCH
A glitch is breaking all Firefox extensions | TechCrunch
Sat, 04 May 2019 05:23
Did you just open Firefox only to find all of your extensions disabled and/or otherwise not working?
You're not alone, and it's nothing you did.
Reports are pouring in of a glitch that has spontaneously disabled effectively all Firefox extensions.
Each extension is now being listed as a ''legacy'' extension, alongside a warning that it ''could not be verified for use in Firefox and has been disabled''.
A ticket submitted to Mozilla's Bugzilla bug tracker first hit at around 5:40 PM Pacific, and suggests the sudden failure is due to a code signing certificate built into the browser that expired just after 5 PM (or midnight on May 4th in UTC time).
Because the glitch stems from an underlying certificate, re-installing extensions won't work '-- if you try, you'll likely just be met with a different error message. Getting extensions back for everyone is going to require Mozilla to issue a patch.
In a post on the company's forum, Mozilla Add-ons Community Manager Caitlin Neiman writes:
At about 6:10 PST we received a report that a certificate issue for Firefox is causing add-ons to stop working and add-on installs to fail.
Our team is actively working on a fix. We will update as soon as we have more information.
Meanwhile, on Twitter:
So sorry for the issue we're having with add-ons right now!
We're working hard to fix it and will keep you updated.
'-- Firefox ðŸ--¥ (@firefox) May 4, 2019
Out There
India wants to be the 1st to land on uncharted Moon territory '-- RT Business News
Sun, 05 May 2019 05:17
India's space agency wants to touch down its rover on the Moon's south pole, an area on the Earth's natural satellite where no one has gone before. The launch is scheduled for July.
''All the [ISRO] missions, whatever we have had till now [to the moon], have all landed near the moon's equator. This is a place where nobody has gone,'' the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief, Kailasavadivoo Sivan, told the Hindu.
India's second lunar exploration mission, Chandrayaan-2, seeks to gain access to some ''new science'' and information, the chairman said. For example, one of the goals of the probe is to find water on the Moon.
Also on rt.com Greetings, Earthlings! 20,000 Russians snatch up land plots on the Moon The space agency earlier said all three modules of the mission, Orbiter, Lander (Vikram), and Rover (Pragyan), are set to lift off aboard the GSLV-MkIII rocket between July 9 and 16, with an expected Moon landing on September 6. The launch was initially expected last year, but it was delayed several times to conduct further tests.
India is not the only country attempting to reach the uncharted south pole of the Moon. China has recently announced plans to build a lunar research station in the same area. However, it will not happen in the near future, as Beijing's mission is to be launched in about 10 years, according to Xinhua.
''What they [China] are going to do, we don't know. The main reason [why India is going there] is nobody has gone [to] that side till now,'' Sivan said.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section
NASA Says Metals Fraud Caused $700 Million Satellite Failure - Bloomberg
Sun, 05 May 2019 14:53
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Elite$
Baltimore Mayor Resigns Amid Children's Book Scandal : NPR
Sun, 05 May 2019 14:54
Mayor Catherine Pugh offers background on her Healthy Holly book business during a City Hall news conference in March. Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images Mayor Catherine Pugh offers background on her Healthy Holly book business during a City Hall news conference in March.
Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images After weeks of growing pleas for her to step down, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh has resigned, her attorney said Thursday.
"I am sorry for the harm that I have caused to the image of the city of Baltimore and the credibility of the office of the mayor," she said in a letter read by her lawyer Steve Silverman.
"Baltimore deserves a mayor who can move our great city forward," the statement continued. Pugh, who has been suffering from health issues, did not appear at the news conference with her attorney.
In recent weeks, federal agents raided her two homes, her City Hall office and other locations. She has been on an indefinite paid leave of absence from her job as Baltimore's top elected official since April 1, citing health reasons.
Pugh, a Democrat, is under investigation for alleged "self-dealing" in connection to the sale of thousands of copies of a self-published children's book series. Many of those sales went to entities that she had influence over or that sought to do business with the city.
Maryland's Office of State Prosecutor and the city's ethics board have launched probes into whether any laws or ethics rules have been violated. At this time, no local, state, or federal authorities have charged her with any crime.
The mayor, who was elected in 2016, has been on leave to "recuperate from this serious illness," which her office said stemmed from a bout of pneumonia. She was hospitalized for five days in late March.
Baltimore City Council President Bernard "Jack" Young has been serving as acting mayor since April 2. He has said that he does not want the position on a permanent basis.
Pugh's leave came as the book scandal was heading toward a full-blown crisis, one that she was unable to tamp down.
At issue is how Pugh handled the sales of the Healthy Holly books, about a young black girl who promotes the benefits of nutrition and exercise.
The Baltimore Sun reported she has received roughly $800,000 over the years from the sale of the books. Some of the biggest benefactors include the University of Maryland Medical System.
UMMS is a private nonprofit for which Pugh served as a board member until mid-March, when she resigned from the position. It paid Pugh roughly $500,000 for copies of the books spread out in five payments from 2012-2018, according to the Sun.
A separate payment by health giant Kaiser Permanente of more than $100,000 for some 20,000 copies of the book between 2015 and 2018 was also reported by the Sun.
The payouts for the books came at a time when the company was seeking to provide coverage to city employees. The city's spending panel, which Pugh sat on, eventually awarded the company a $48 million contract with the city in 2017.
Pugh had been defiant in resisting calls for her resignation. Her office sent out a statement a week into her leave saying that "she fully intends to resume the duties of her office."
But a turning point for the mayor came on April 26, when FBI and IRS agents were seen carrying off boxes of paperwork from early morning raids '-- a clear sign that mayor's actions had piqued the interest of federal authorities.
As NPR reported at the time, an IRS spokesperson confirmed to NPR that the raid had been carried out at Pugh's homes, City Hall office and the Maryland Center for Adult Training, where Pugh previously chaired the board.
The IRS official, however, would not say whether the raids were related to the book deals.
Hours after the raid, Maryland's Republican Gov. Larry Hogan issued a statement urging her resignation, saying, "Mayor Pugh has lost the public trust. She is clearly not fit to lead."
That same day, Pugh's legal team confirmed federal agents also visited their offices seeking "original financial records belonging to Mayor Catherine Pugh," attorney Silverman said in a statement.
As member station WYPR's Emily Sullivan reported, Pugh's lawyers told reporters that evening that she was "becoming lucid" but not yet well enough to decide whether to resign.
It appears she has convalesced enough to realize her support as the city's top leader has all but evaporated.
Iran
Iran Readies For Attack As US Waivers On Iranian Oil Expire | OilPrice.com
Sun, 05 May 2019 15:13
Iran's armed forces should prepare as if an attack were imminent, General Abdolrahim Mousavi instructed on Thursday just as the US waivers on Iranian crude oil sanctions expired, according to Radio Farda.
''All forces should prepare themselves as though an attack can occur tomorrow and continuously engage in war exercises,'' Mousavi told IRNA, the official government news agency of Iran, accusing the United States of vigorously pursuing a regime change.
''We will crush the murderous America at the height of its power,'' Mousavi had said at the end of March, when a waiver extension was still a possibility.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei tweeted a similar warning on Wednesday, suggesting that ''the enemy's war posture'' was there, even if it did not appear to be so publicly. The United States has denied that it has a goal of changing the regime in Iran.
''Today enemy is attacking us on all areas: they devise plans to strike Iran on economy, intelligence infiltration & cyberspace,'' Khamenei said on Twitter in one of five tweets on the subject, adding that the current US administration was more transparent in its stance, contrary to previous US administrations ''who wore velvet gloves over their iron hands.''
The United States moved to end the eight waivers it had granted to purchasers of Iranian oil in an effort to bring the country's exports to zero, or as near zero as possible. The move has elicited numerous retaliatory comments from the sanctioned country toward the United States, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates as pressure over its crude oil exports intensifies.
''By using oil as a weapon against two founding members of OPEC [Venezuela and Iran], [they] turn OPEC solidarity into division and draw the death and collapse of OPEC,'' Iran's Oil Minister, Bijan Zanganeh said on Wednesday.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:
What's Behind The Mid-Week Oil Price Crash Mexico Puts The Squeeze On Fuel Theft Oil Prices Tank On Record U.S. Production, Surging Inventories
Fish
Wild shrimp test positive for cocaine and other drugs, pesticides in new study
Sun, 05 May 2019 15:16
SUFFOLK COUNTY, England '-- Scientists in England were surprised to find that freshwater shrimp from more than a dozen sites tested positive for cocaine and other chemical substances, according to a newly published study.
The study sought to determine to what extent shrimp (Gammarus pulex) and other marine animals have been exposed to micropollutants. Researchers took samples from 15 different river sites across 1,468-square-mile Suffolk County, two hours northeast of London. Their findings are detailed in a study published Wednesday in the journal Environment International.
Though cocaine was the most-detected chemical, found in every shrimp sample, researchers said some samples also tested positive for prescription drugs, recreational drugs and pesticides, including some that are no longer approved for use in the European Union.
The chemicals were found in low concentrations, according to study lead author Dr. Thomas Miller of King's College London, and the "potential for any effect is likely to be low." Nonetheless, researchers called for further investigation to determine exactly how the chemicals impact marine ecosystems.
"Environmental health has attracted much attention from the public due to challenges associated with climate change and microplastic pollution. However, the impact of 'invisible' chemical pollution (such as drugs) on wildlife health needs more focus in the UK as policy can often be informed by studies such as these," Professor Nic Bury from the University of Suffolk explained in a news release.
While it might be less surprising to detect cocaine and other substances in waterways closer to urban centers, the Suffolk County rivers where the team conducted their research are largely in more rural areas, according to Dr. Leon Barron.
Finding drugs and other chemical substances in waterways is not new. As conservation group American Rivers pointed out, a 2002 United States Geological Survey study tested samples from 139 streams in 30 American states, finding that "one or more chemicals were detected in 80 percent of the streams sampled," though generally in low concentrations.
Drugs, in particular, make their way into the environment through human waste that enters the sewage system and when unused medications are flushed down the toilet or washed down the sink instead of being disposed of properly.
Copyright 2019 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Clips
VIDEO - Ebola Outbreak: More than 1,500 cases of Ebola reported in DRC - YouTube
Sun, 05 May 2019 14:29
VIDEO - Russian Trolls Are Fueling The Anti Vaxxer Movement - YouTube
Sun, 05 May 2019 14:11
VIDEO - BANNED BY FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM by Paul Joseph Watson - YouTube
Sun, 05 May 2019 13:40
VIDEO - Joe Biden receives flak for controversial comments about 'the hood' - YouTube
Sun, 05 May 2019 13:36
VIDEO - Venezuelan Coup Fails & So Does CNN - YouTube
Sun, 05 May 2019 13:31
VIDEO - Measles Outbreak Prompts Question: Who Needs A Booster Shot? | Here & Now
Sun, 05 May 2019 13:18
Play May 02, 2019
A nurse prepares a patient's arm to receive a measles, mumps and rubella virus vaccine on April 29, 2019, in Provo, Utah. (George Frey/Getty Images)The global measles outbreak is raising a lot of questions in the U.S. about which adults may need to get a booster shot.
Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson speaks with Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University.
This segment aired on May 2, 2019.
VIDEO - Facebook Bans Several Controversial Users From Its Platform : NPR
Sun, 05 May 2019 13:07
Among the banned are Louis Farrakhan and Alex Jones for promoting or engaging in violence and hate. Rachel Martin talks to Paris Martineau of Wired magazine about the decision.
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
The story right now is about Facebook and who does and does not get to be on that platform. According to Facebook, there is a new list of people who cannot. And that includes right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Facebook has banned them because they are, quote, "dangerous individuals." That's according to Facebook. We should mention that Facebook is a financial supporter of NPR.
And this move comes as the social media giant and other social media companies face withering criticism for allowing hate speech and false information to spread and influence their users, especially in the run-up, obviously, to the 2016 elections. Paris Martineau covers social media and Internet culture for Wired magazine and joins us from our studios in New York.
PARIS MARTINEAU: Hi. Thanks so much for having me.
MARTIN: Hi, Paris. So exactly who are we talking about? Who was banned?
MARTINEAU: Yeah. So on Thursday afternoon, Facebook banned six high-profile extremists and one conspiracy theorist site. That includes inflammatory figureheads in the far right like Laura Loomer, Infowars' Alex Jones and Paul Joseph Watson, as well as white supremacist Paul Nehlen and radical Muslim preacher Louis Farrakhan.
MARTIN: So President Trump and other conservatives have accused various social media companies for censoring right-wing opinions. Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, Louis Farrakhan - they've been around for a long time. So why is Facebook doing this now?
MARTINEAU: So a Facebook spokesperson told me the company has always banned individuals and organizations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology. But the people and organization banned Thursday were just as extreme and peddled just as much misinformation and hate a year ago as they did Thursday.
MARTIN: What's been the fallout from this?
MARTINEAU: The fallout has largely been the people banned protesting their ban. There was a bit of a snafu in the fact that Facebook kind of ceded a number of media outlets on Thursday afternoon with this story in advance, then struggled to actually take down the accounts at the time the media outlets published the story, allowing these extremist figureheads to publish on their soon-to-be-banned Instagram accounts - follow me on the other platform.
MARTIN: So is this - I mean, is this setting a precedent? Are we going to see Facebook continue to ban accounts? And who makes those decisions?
MARTINEAU: Those are all great questions. I think that Facebook is, like Facebook often does, going to do whatever it wants. And it'll be interesting to see how it continues to apply this going forward, whether it'll stick with it.
MARTIN: OK. Lots of questions still. Paris Martineau, social media reporter at Wired. Thanks, we appreciate it.
MARTINEAU: Thanks so much.
Copyright (C) 2019 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio record.
VIDEO - Facebook Bans Several High-Profile Users : NPR
Sun, 05 May 2019 13:02
Facebook has banned some users known for espousing conspiracy theories and inflammatory rhetoric, among them Alex Jones and Louis Farrakhan. Washington Post reporter Tony Romm talks about the move.
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
A social media juggernaut says it's no longer OK with some of the things its users say. Facebook has banned several high-profile users known for espousing conspiracy theories and inflammatory rhetoric, among them Alex Jones, who created Infowars, and Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam. With us to explain more is Washington Post technology reporter Tony Romm. Thanks so much for coming in, Tony.
TONY ROMM: Thanks for having me.
MARTIN: So there are seven users who've been kicked off, right?
ROMM: Yeah, multiple users who have been permanently banned from Facebook. Now, the company has been under pressure for some time now to take action against content - posts, videos and otherwise - that users somewhat find repugnant, things like what Alex Jones and Infowars have been saying, conspiracy theories, attacks on the parents of Sandy Hook Elementary School victims from the shooting a few years ago and so forth.
And in some cases, Facebook had imposed smaller time-outs on these individuals when they violated their policies. But the decision that Facebook announced yesterday was that folks like Alex Jones have been permanently banned from the platform. They're not going to be allowed back. And it's a sign from Facebook that it's looking to take a new, more aggressive approach to content that folks find to be kind of disgusting.
MARTIN: So Facebook, and seemingly all social media sites, have been accused by conservatives as - of having a liberal bias. How is this decision to kick these people off - how is that going to affect that perception?
ROMM: Yeah, Facebook, Twitter, Google, all of them sort of face a very difficult conundrum. On one hand, there are new demands for those companies to take more aggressive action when people or individuals or groups say repugnant things online. On the other hand, when they go too far, people on the opposite side of the political spectrum are willing to needle them for censorship. And that's what we've seen in the context of conservative users who have attacked Facebook and Google and others for being biased against right-leaning causes or news sites or whatever the case may be.
These criticisms go right to the top of the White House, where President Trump has been regularly critical of Facebook and Twitter for being biased against conservatives. So it puts these companies in a bind. If you talk to experts, it says it makes them less willing sometimes to be moderators of their own platforms because they don't want to deal with the political criticism.
MARTIN: I mean, it's also a question of how you make these decisions, right? I mean, what are the criteria to say that someone is too, quote, "dangerous" to be on your site?
ROMM: You're exactly right. It's what's the criteria. How far is too far? Is Facebook and Twitter applying their policies equally all of the time, to everybody? They've long been faulted for not being equal in handing out justice on their platforms, so to speak. And then it's the people who do that sort of reviewing in the first place.
Remember, it's not just artificial intelligence and powerful software that spots and takes down these posts. At the end of the day, sometimes it's real human beings who are doing the review. And so they face a lot of criticism on allegations that human reviewers can be biased.
MARTIN: Meanwhile, you're reporting this morning a different Facebook story, that the company has agreed with the government to greater oversight. What can you tell us?
ROMM: Yeah, Facebook has been under investigation here in Washington for about a year now for mishandling users' data after promising the government it would do better in 2011. So that settlement is coming to a close. Facebook had said that it's willing to pay a fine into the billions of dollars. This has been under discussion with the Federal Trade Commission. But as part of that settlement, we could see new checks on individual Facebook executives, the decisions they make, the apps that they put out and so forth. So it would be a major new form of privacy oversight for the company.
MARTIN: Tony Romm, a technology reporter at The Washington Post. Tony, we appreciate it.
ROMM: Thanks for having me.
Copyright (C) 2019 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio record.
VIDEO - FDA Approves New Smokeless Tobacco Device | Here & Now
Sun, 05 May 2019 12:31
WBURwbur Search The FDA has given Philip Morris International the initial green light to sell its "heat-not-burn" tobacco product called iQOS. The move comes as the company tries to invest away from traditional cigarettes as use is plummeting. Here & Now's Peter O'Dowd speaks with Roben Farzad (@robenfarzad), who hosts the podcast and public radio show "Full Disclosure."
This segment aired on May 2, 2019.
VIDEO - Subsys Rap Video Created by Insys Pharmaceuticals (More info in description) - YouTube
Sun, 05 May 2019 12:21
VIDEO - Opioid Trial: Insys Executive John Kapoor Guilty Of A Racketeering Conspiracy : NPR
Sun, 05 May 2019 12:11
Insys Therapeutics founder John Kapoor departs federal court in Boston earlier this year. Steven Senne/AP hide caption
toggle caption Steven Senne/AP Insys Therapeutics founder John Kapoor departs federal court in Boston earlier this year.
Steven Senne/AP Updated 5:30 p.m. ET
A jury in Boston has found onetime billionaire and drug company executive John Kapoor and his four co-defendants guilty of a racketeering conspiracy. The verdict came Wednesday after 15 days of deliberation.
The federal government accused Kapoor, the founder of Insys Therapeutics, and his co-defendants of running a nationwide bribery scheme. Between 2012 and 2015, Insys allegedly paid doctors to prescribe its potent opioid medication and then lied to insurance companies to ensure that the expensive fentanyl-based painkiller would be covered.
Kapoor is among the highest-ranking pharmaceutical executives to face trial amid a national opioid epidemic. By pursuing this case, the federal government was seen as sending a message that it is holding drug companies accountable for their role in the epidemic.
The guilty verdict could strengthen the cases against other pharmaceutical executives implicated in the opioid crisis.
"Today's convictions mark the first successful prosecution of top pharmaceutical executives for crimes related to the illicit marketing and prescribing of opioids," U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling said in a statement. "Just as we would street-level drug dealers, we will hold pharmaceutical executives responsible for fueling the opioid epidemic by recklessly and illegally distributing these drugs, especially while conspiring to commit racketeering along the way."
"This is a landmark prosecution that vindicated the public's interest in staunching the flow of opioids into our homes and streets," he continued.
Brad Bailey, a criminal defense attorney in Boston and a former federal prosecutor, who has been following this case, said the 10-week trial represented a rare instance in which the federal government used criminal charges to go after corporate executives.
"That's always unusual. That's always an attention grabber," said Bailey. "The big issue is the use of racketeering charges, which had been originally designed to go after the Mafia." By charging Kapoor and his co-defendants with racketeering, Bailey said, the federal government was essentially saying that the practices at Insys Therapeutics resembled organized crime.
While the criminal charges set this case apart, the schemes detailed in this trial mirror the aggressive tactics that other pharmaceutical companies have allegedly used to push the sale of opioids.
Bribes and lies, or an unknowing executive?
Calling 39 witnesses, federal prosecutors argued that Kapoor was motivated by money and willing to put patients' lives at stake to improve his bottom line. They depicted Insys Therapeutics as a struggling company under intense pressure from Kapoor to succeed.
Prosecutors outlined a two-step approach that Insys followed to boost sales of its opioid painkiller, Subsys: first, bribe doctors and, then, lie to insurance companies.
Insys allegedly targeted doctors with a track record of liberally prescribing opioids, inviting them to participate in a "speakers program." According to the government, doctors were paid handsomely even if nobody showed up for the lectures, but only if the doctors wrote a lot of prescriptions for Subsys. Often, prosecutors say, this meant patients who didn't need the medication were prescribed it anyway.
Insys then allegedly set up a call center where drug company employees pretended to be from doctor's offices. Jurors heard phone calls in which Insys employees made up diagnoses to ensure that insurance companies covered Subsys, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars a month.
The defense attorneys for Kapoor and his four co-defendants called only a handful of witnesses. One was a patient who vouched for Subsys, saying it significantly reduced his pain after a car accident. The defense also emphasized Kapoor's personal story, arguing that he was motivated to create Subsys only after seeing his now-deceased wife struggle with severe pain.
However, the crux of the defense's argument was that Kapoor was unaware of the illegal schemes. They blamed several former employees, in particular Alec Burlakoff, the former vice president of sales at Insys. Burlakoff and several other former Insys executives pleaded guilty and testified for the prosecution in the hopes of getting a more lenient sentence. The defense emphasized Burlakoff's history of lying and his hatred of Kapoor, which was captured on tape by federal investigators.
In closing arguments, defense attorneys highlighted contradictions in the testimony of several star government witnesses.
While Kapoor has been on trial in Boston's federal courthouse, the company he founded has been facing financial troubles and management turmoil. Arizona-based Insys Therapeutics said in a statement that "there is substantial risk surrounding our ability to continue ... primarily due to mounting legal costs and uncertain legal settlement exposures."
Last year, the pharmaceutical company agreed to pay at least $150 million to end a Justice Department investigation into the bribery and kickback scheme. The insurance company Aetna, as well as patients, shareholders and state attorneys general, have also sued Insys.
On April 15, Insys replaced its CEO, Saeed Motahari, with the company's chief financial officer, Andrew Long. Since their high point in 2015, Insys shares have tumbled. Bloomberg News reported that shares had fallen 90 percent.
Bailey, the former federal prosecutor, says other pharmaceutical companies may see Insys' woes as a cautionary tale. However, some worry that the trial didn't strike at the root of the opioid crisis.
Leo Beletsky, a professor of law and health sciences at Northeastern University, says, "A lot of what pharmaceutical companies did in the context of the opioid crisis that we are dealing with now was not, in fact, illegal. It was maybe unethical, but it was not illegal."
While bribing doctors to write prescriptions and fabricating diagnoses is illegal, paying physicians to promote products to their peers is a common practice in the pharmaceutical industry. Off-label prescribing is also legal and common, although sales representatives are not technically supposed to advocate for off-label uses of a medication.
Beletsky says by focusing on individuals and their illegal schemes, this trial overlooked broader issues, such as drug companies legally spending billions of dollars to maximize the use of their medications.
For Beletsky, the answer lies in regulation. "We need to think much more deeply about how we regulate the pharmaceutical industry and how we prevent these kinds of practices from occurring in the first place," says Beletsky.
However, experts say, there are currently no major legislative efforts to regulate the pharmaceutical industry. For now, the pushback against marketing strategies that allegedly fueled the opioid crisis remains in the courts.
VIDEO - Newshour - Venezuela: Maduro claims victory over Guaid" 'coup' - BBC Sounds
Sun, 05 May 2019 12:07
NewshourPresident Maduro says he defeated an "attempted coup" by opposition leader Juan Guaid"
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NewshourVenezuela: Maduro claims victory over Guaid" 'coup'
President Maduro says he defeated an "attempted coup" by opposition leader Juan Guaid"
53 mins
Newshour01/05/2019 GMT
Interviews, news and analysis of the day's global events.
53 mins
Newshour01/05/2019 GMT
Interviews, news and analysis of the day's global events.
53 mins
NewshourMaduro claims victory over 'coup' attempt
Venezuela crisis: Defiant Maduro claims victory over Guaido 'coup'
53 mins
NewshourVenezuela: Maduro calls on the military to unite
President Maduro calls on the military to be united in their defence of the constitution
53 mins
Newshour02/05/2019 GMT
Interviews, news and analysis of the day's global events.
53 mins
NewshourUS Venezuela envoy: Military option still on the table
Venezuela unrest continues as US President Trump makes an offer of assistance
53 mins
NewshourUS Venezuela envoy: Military option still on the table
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Eamonn O'Neal and Jimmy Wagg05/05/2019
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VIDEO - John Williams '' The Economy is Tanking - YouTube
Sun, 05 May 2019 11:09
VIDEO - John Williams '' The Economy is Tanking - YouTube
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VIDEO - LIVE: Researchers share findings into activities of the 'White Helmets' in Syria at UN HQ - YouTube
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VIDEO - Burger King Roasts McDonald's With DGAF And Other UnHappy Meals | Fortune
Fri, 03 May 2019 04:35
Burger King's marketing team might have been sampling some of the fast food chain's newly released Salty Meal when creating its May promotion honoring Mental Health Awareness Month.
''No one is happy all the time,'' Burger King said Wednesday, unveiling its Real Meal boxes, which ''come in a variety of different moods '' and happy isn't one of them'''--an apparent jab at McDonald's iconic Happy Meal.
Customers can order their Whopper, fries, and drink inside a colorful Pissed, Blue, Salty, DGAF, or YAAAS box at select locations in Los Angeles, New York City, Austin, Seattle, and Miami while supplies last.
The mental-health awareness tie-in, also taps into an advertising trend.
''We see [quick serve restaurants] increasingly taking marketing risks to find cultural relevance and claim attention across social media spheres, especially in response to moves from their competitors,'' Corey Chafin, principal in the consumer and retail practice of A.T. Kearney, tells Fortune via email. ''From Dunkin Donuts' recent cheeky reaction to the McDonald's release of Donut Sticks to Wendy's well-known social media boldness, Burger King's provocative Real Meals promotion only adds to this list.''
Although the Real Meal may appear to be a snarky toward its rival, Burger King didn't present it that way. The new campaign, in partnership with Mental Health America, is a ''natural extension'' of its traditional brand messaging, the fast food chain said. This is illustrated in its new ad, below, that adapts its classic ''Have It Your Way'' jingle to have the lyrics: ''Feel Your Way.''
''Critically important is that these messages are executed carefully and authentically,'' Chafin said. ''Though potentially controversial, a positive reception is typically achieved, especially among millennials who are increasingly seeking relevant values-based brands rather than an exclusive focus on value.''
As can be expected with any promotion, there has been a mixed response on Twitter. While some consumers have praised the company for spreading mental health awareness.
And others poked fun.
Critics questioned the sincerity of Burger King's efforts in the mental health space beyond creating a trending campaign, particularly in terms of resources for its workers.
Although Burger King declined to comment for the article, it did note in a news release: ''With the pervasive nature of social media, there is so much pressure to appear happy and perfect.''
Mental Health America's president and CEO, Paul Gionfriddo, however, praised Burger King in a statement, noting the company was ''bringing much-needed awareness to this important and critical discussion '' and letting its customers know that [it] is OK to not be OK.''
VIDEO - Audioboom / Tales of the New Cold War: 1 of 2: What Mueller didn't investigate in the Russiagate Collusion fiction. Stephen F. Cohen @NYU @Princeton eastwestaccord.com.
Fri, 03 May 2019 04:16
Photo:
English: Abrikosov Hospital in Miusskaya Square by Illarion Ivanov-Schitz, 1900-1905.
Русский: АбÑикосовский Ñоддом на Ð'иусской ÐÐ>>ощади в Ð'оскве, аÑх. ÐÐ>>Ð>>аÑион Ðванов-Шиц, 1900-1905.
Fran§ais : Maison municipale d'accouchement Abricossoff.
Date Photo published in 1913
Source "Ð'uilders of Russia. Moscow at the turn of century" ("ÐтÑоитеÐ>>и России. Ð'осква в начаÐ>>е века", M, 2001, ISBN 5-9207-0001-7
First publication: photo plate 92 in АÐ>>бомъ зданiй, ÐÑинадÐ>>ежащихъ Ð'осковскому Ð'оÑодскому Общественному УÐÑавÐ>>енiю. Ð. I. (Album des btiments municipaux de Moscou. T. I.) 1913.
Author Architect: en:Illarion Ivanov-Schitz (1865-1937)
Anonymous photographer for P. P. Pavlov print house.
Permission
(Reusing this file)
Public domain This work is in the public domain i
Tales of the New Cold War: 1 of 2: What Mueller didn't investigate in the Russiagate Collusion fiction. Stephen F. Cohen @NYU @Princeton eastwestaccord.com.
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  • 0:00
    hiring people on voice NPR they just
  • 0:02
    hiring anybody
  • 0:25
    [Music]
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    [Music]
  • 0:37
    Wow that's your Mexican thing very
  • 0:42
    authentic as opposed to what I don't
  • 0:45
    know my guitar
  • 0:48
    well happy Cinco DeMayo by sombrero yes
  • 0:53
    yes so a bunch of other events today if
  • 0:55
    you look on the list it's unbelievable
  • 0:57
    how many things are going on in the day
  • 0:59
    like this well you know you know if I
  • 1:00
    this is the fourth 1904 405 1904 the
  • 1:05
    first no I'm sorry the first perfect
  • 1:07
    game was pitched by sai yeung I put that
  • 1:11
    in the newsletter but since nobody got
  • 1:13
    the newsletter I thought I'd mentioned
  • 1:15
    it on the show now is this really true
  • 1:16
    is this is this what happened that the
  • 1:18
    people didn't receive I received it but
  • 1:20
    of course I don't use Gmail and it was a
  • 1:22
    good newsletter email phenomenon I think
  • 1:25
    it's MailChimp how do I say that because
  • 1:27
    of all the different weather there are a
  • 1:28
    lot of people that use Gmail in the
  • 1:30
    background but it was I by asked and I
  • 1:33
    got note after note after no no I looked
  • 1:36
    here I looked in spam I looked at trash
  • 1:37
    I didn't see it hmm
  • 1:39
    and I brought all our names down and
  • 1:41
    this like dozens and I read I'm sure
  • 1:44
    that most people you know some people
  • 1:46
    read even get the second note but it
  • 1:48
    takes a little effort to I'm sure that
  • 1:51
    the the names email addresses I received
  • 1:54
    back saying they never could find it
  • 1:56
    he's only a portion because most people
  • 1:59
    aren't even a bother
  • 2:00
    do I have a theory about it I might my
  • 2:03
    theory now we were celebrating different
  • 2:05
    zanko's today and my theory is that the
  • 2:08
    adorable picture broke the internet
  • 2:12
    if an actual actually sucks it could be
  • 2:15
    but somebody actually came up with a
  • 2:17
    very interesting that little out there
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    and a little creepy
  • 2:21
    explanation which I noted might be a
  • 2:25
    possibility all right
  • 2:28
    in the caption on his picture in
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    particular I mentioned bank passwords oh
  • 2:37
    that's right yet Noah's family passwords
  • 2:40
    and bank accounts or something like that
  • 2:42
    yes and you think that they're going
  • 2:44
    that deep into the content to filter out
  • 2:46
    and that would be dangerous
  • 2:48
    or well I guess it would be seen as spam
  • 2:49
    you have passwords Bank hmm or at least
  • 2:53
    suspicious well the thing that got me is
  • 2:56
    man this kid looks just like you
  • 2:59
    that's I couldn't get past that it looks
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    just like my son is usually Wow dude
  • 3:06
    he's a little baby she's a mini JC D if
  • 3:09
    I ever saw one people's mouths fall open
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    when they see that picture of him way to
  • 3:14
    exploit him by the way Grahams good job
  • 3:16
    yeah nobody gets the email yeah well
  • 3:22
    alright so it's a Cinco de Mayo there
  • 3:26
    for Mexico it is Theodore Bulls is it
  • 3:31
    second birthday third second second
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    birthday and I'm on the list by the way
  • 3:36
    I never put him on the list
  • 3:38
    that's interesting no one put him on the
  • 3:40
    list the whole Dvorak clan left out
  • 3:42
    Theodore abused the kid for the
  • 3:45
    newsletter but don't give him any any
  • 3:47
    props or anything in the show huh so who
  • 3:50
    should I say this is coming from is it
  • 3:52
    from grandpa John yeah what does he call
  • 3:57
    you he's not a talker okay he's not a
  • 4:10
    talker
  • 4:12
    well I'd say as long as he's the entire
  • 4:16
    time he's not a talker talker is
  • 4:17
    probably good once they start it's all
  • 4:22
    over yeah yeah yeah yeah it
  • 4:25
    also Liberation Day in the Netherlands
  • 4:29
    which is celebrated quite largely with
  • 4:32
    the day bu day today I think that's nice
  • 4:36
    into the night yes yeah they moved it to
  • 4:38
    the 9th I don't know if anyone actually
  • 4:39
    celebrates it what do they do on EU Day
  • 4:45
    [Music]
  • 4:47
    will be able to celebrate it on the next
  • 4:50
    show I believe the 9th is Thursday so
  • 4:51
    there works out perfectly we can still
  • 4:53
    participate in EU Day nice and today is
  • 4:57
    also mine the keepers 4th anniversary of
  • 5:01
    our first date
  • 5:04
    do you have an anniversary of your first
  • 5:06
    kiss too it is interesting how women do
  • 5:12
    keep track of dates mine does because
  • 5:18
    actually today was the 15th ownership
  • 5:23
    you said mine mine what I put a ring on
  • 5:34
    that that's what you get to own it and
  • 5:37
    although the question is who's really
  • 5:39
    owned here in the relationship we
  • 5:43
    celebrated last night we went out to
  • 5:44
    dinner for uh we went to one of our
  • 5:50
    favorite places when we lived downtown
  • 5:51
    which you can only go to once in a while
  • 5:53
    it's true luxe
  • 5:56
    yeah the we talked about yeah yeah well
  • 6:00
    it was nice so yes lots to celebrate
  • 6:04
    today congratulations everybody and I
  • 6:07
    wanted to jump in with Venezuela for a
  • 6:12
    very specific reason because I received
  • 6:14
    after the last show I received three
  • 6:17
    separate emails one was addressed to
  • 6:20
    both of us and John you replied to it
  • 6:23
    did you remember when Hillary Clinton
  • 6:26
    State Department was recruiting and
  • 6:28
    training techno experts oh yeah that
  • 6:32
    we've made a big deal about that on the
  • 6:33
    show yeah she'd techno experts in there
  • 6:35
    that's when there that's when the
  • 6:37
    Internet in a box
  • 6:38
    was available that was part of it and
  • 6:41
    they were training kids all over the
  • 6:43
    world and getting him specially special
  • 6:46
    techno expert universities that I was
  • 6:49
    eventually handed over to Soros well I
  • 6:53
    have a feeling that we've looked at this
  • 6:57
    at this attempted coup and pretty much
  • 7:01
    what we said on the last show okay we
  • 7:04
    see what's going on but this is this is
  • 7:06
    5050 ideas I said 80s you correctly took
  • 7:10
    it back to the 50s they're doing it in a
  • 7:12
    way that is wag the dog style you know
  • 7:14
    it's not working we're not falling for
  • 7:16
    television doesn't work the same and so
  • 7:19
    now they bring out
  • 7:20
    I think the techno experts and for some
  • 7:23
    bizarre reason they've latched on to us
  • 7:25
    which could mean that were of some
  • 7:27
    importance I don't know we're honorably
  • 7:29
    think we're just on a list in the State
  • 7:32
    Department but all of these emails were
  • 7:34
    the same except they were from different
  • 7:36
    people and I found this to be
  • 7:37
    interesting so Regency I only got oh
  • 7:40
    well let's say that I got the one which
  • 7:43
    I responded to mhm and and now that you
  • 7:46
    mentioned it wasn't didn't really make
  • 7:48
    any sense because it was not based on
  • 7:51
    anything we said well exactly know if I
  • 7:56
    got the other two maybe you said oh no
  • 7:57
    the other two were just to me so I don't
  • 7:58
    know if you got any individually but
  • 8:00
    they were only sent to me so the one the
  • 8:02
    one that you replied to was from why
  • 8:06
    don't you read it and read my reply oh
  • 8:08
    okay well you don't have your reply
  • 8:11
    handy no I'm not ready for this segment
  • 8:14
    so always be ready excuse me Adam and
  • 8:21
    John you must correct your stance on
  • 8:24
    Venezuela you have many donors belonging
  • 8:26
    to the Venezuela diaspora and Trump
  • 8:28
    slash Magus a Porter's you must support
  • 8:30
    president Donald Trump Mike Pompeo
  • 8:32
    Elliot Abraham's and John Bolton in
  • 8:34
    seeking freedom and democracy for the
  • 8:36
    Venezuelan people just like you
  • 8:38
    currently enjoy this is where I'm
  • 8:40
    already like you're putting all those
  • 8:42
    people into the same list it's like yeah
  • 8:44
    we're supposed to support those those
  • 8:46
    douchebags
  • 8:48
    nicolas maduro is an evil authoritarian
  • 8:50
    dictator who's turned our once wealthy
  • 8:52
    and flourishing country into a basket
  • 8:54
    case and here comes the common thread
  • 8:57
    please watch the video from dr. steve
  • 8:59
    botanic on youtube
  • 9:00
    it is highly educational and informative
  • 9:02
    and there's a link i'm sure if you
  • 9:05
    change your stance donations will
  • 9:06
    rapidly increase and will highlight the
  • 9:08
    revolutionary success of the village for
  • 9:10
    value model uh-huh last but not least as
  • 9:13
    an American you should genuinely support
  • 9:16
    the dismantling of Russian Chinese
  • 9:17
    Iranian Hezbollah narco-terrorism a lot
  • 9:21
    and to which you responded I didn't
  • 9:28
    actually put the response in my show
  • 9:30
    notes in my show prep but I have it here
  • 9:32
    somewhere I thought was thought I did at
  • 9:39
    least what would you say you know we're
  • 9:45
    not here I said yeah we don't like the
  • 9:48
    Maduro guy we never liked Chavez but
  • 9:50
    we're here to deconstruct news and make
  • 9:53
    news more understandable for the public
  • 9:54
    and we're not here to promote revolution
  • 9:58
    anyplace it's not what we do we're news
  • 10:00
    and analysts period exact at that
  • 10:04
    because that's what we do we don't we're
  • 10:06
    not here to pound the drum for some
  • 10:09
    operation
  • 10:11
    interestingly that we think we even said
  • 10:14
    yeah you know we see what's going on we
  • 10:16
    can't have ballistic missiles from the
  • 10:19
    Russians just like the cube root crisis
  • 10:21
    quote too close to us but Trump should
  • 10:24
    just be honest and say here's what we're
  • 10:25
    doing here's what we're doing about it
  • 10:26
    so here's the next text of techno and
  • 10:28
    expert the similarities are interesting
  • 10:31
    user dearest Adam Curry you can your
  • 10:35
    wrist
  • 10:36
    dearest you can almost hear the the form
  • 10:38
    letter you sir are misleading your
  • 10:40
    viewers so this persuade all this is a
  • 10:43
    new one yeah this is a second one yeah
  • 10:45
    yeah oh yeah so they don't don't even
  • 10:47
    know what the show is but listen because
  • 10:49
    it's the same as what you receive so
  • 10:51
    this person does not know that there's
  • 10:53
    nothing to view so they've never heard
  • 10:55
    the show you sir are misleading your
  • 10:57
    viewers and painting a cia-led
  • 10:59
    conspiracy theory on Van
  • 11:01
    Wailer this behavior is utterly shameful
  • 11:04
    and short-sighted the Venezuelan people
  • 11:06
    are struggling under a horrific brutal
  • 11:08
    regime where women are raped and
  • 11:10
    children are tortured as political
  • 11:11
    intimidation and retribution as you have
  • 11:14
    cited numerous times here it is dr.
  • 11:16
    Steve Pacino is an individual of
  • 11:17
    impeccable standing and credibility in
  • 11:19
    the field of foreign affairs
  • 11:21
    I hear better if I refer you to his
  • 11:23
    YouTube video on the matter titled opus
  • 11:25
    147 Venezuela coup slow-start
  • 11:27
    he will find facts that you should
  • 11:29
    repeat to your viewers on the show this
  • 11:31
    coming Sunday hello viewers pay
  • 11:33
    attention President Trump and his
  • 11:35
    national security team are working
  • 11:37
    diligently and effortlessly to bring
  • 11:39
    peace tranquility and prosperity to the
  • 11:41
    Venezuelan people
  • 11:42
    unfortunately the illegal Maduro regime
  • 11:44
    and its enablers Russia Iran Cuba and
  • 11:46
    Hezbollah stand in the way we Venezuelan
  • 11:49
    people wholeheartedly welcomed and
  • 11:50
    encouraged Trump to take the next step
  • 11:52
    military intervention whether in the
  • 11:53
    form of ground troops or precision
  • 11:55
    strikes against the Maduro regime the
  • 11:57
    suffering cannot continue please do not
  • 11:59
    be another enabler of the Maduro
  • 12:01
    communist regime we witness enough of
  • 12:04
    that with code pink and elan Omar your
  • 12:06
    criticism of John Bolton and Elliott
  • 12:08
    Abrams is untoward untoward Wow who says
  • 12:14
    that any more untoward the 50s they have
  • 12:18
    us yes there you go they have ushered in
  • 12:20
    prospering democracies in Latin America
  • 12:23
    that have replaced totalitarian
  • 12:24
    dictatorships okay what name would best
  • 12:29
    wishes Rodolfo so you see the
  • 12:31
    commonalities and then the third one
  • 12:33
    dear Mr curry with utmost interest I
  • 12:35
    listen to your show episode 1134 titled
  • 12:39
    opinion people in which you discuss the
  • 12:41
    crisis in Venezuela your views our
  • 12:45
    people we are suffering under the
  • 12:48
    vicious dictator Nicolas Maduro who has
  • 12:50
    used our country to provide safe haven
  • 12:52
    to Russians Cubans Iranians and Lebanese
  • 12:55
    terrorist group Hezbollah they will use
  • 12:57
    Venezuelan territory to instigate and
  • 12:59
    launch attacks against the United States
  • 13:00
    and its people this is a threat to you
  • 13:02
    and your family safety in highest level
  • 13:04
    of an illegitimate Venezuelan government
  • 13:06
    right-hand man - Maduro is Lebanese
  • 13:08
    Hezbollah operative Tariq allah sawas
  • 13:11
    I Sami the New York Times exposed his
  • 13:14
    illegal activities in a bombshell report
  • 13:16
    a few days ago linked he has used
  • 13:20
    Venezuelan national resources to prop up
  • 13:22
    Syrian mass murdering dictator who gas
  • 13:24
    his own people bashar al-assad
  • 13:26
    till now he sends to syria venez oil to