Club of Rome 1968 Agenda21 global governance through climate fear
Reiterate old politicians not understanding the connected world
Greta Thunberg has 'surrendered completely to catastrophism' says billionaire fashion CEO | Daily Mail Online
Sun, 29 Sep 2019 11:07
Billionaire fashion CEO Bernard Arnault says Greta Thunberg has 'surrendered completely to catastrophism' and is demoralising for young peopleFashion CEO said Greta Thunberg 'dynamic' but 'demoralising' for young people He made the comments at his luxury giant LVMH sustainibility event Wednesday The teen activist on Friday led a 500,000-strong climate march in Montreal She met with PM Justin Trudeau earlier in the day, who praised her activismBy Sophie Tanno For Mailonline
Published: 16:09 EDT, 28 September 2019 | Updated: 17:23 EDT, 28 September 2019
French business magnate Bernard Arnault, 70, has described climate activist Greta Thunberg as 'demoralising for young people'.
The billionaire Chief Executive of LVMH made the comments while speaking at his luxury giant LVMH's sustainability event earlier this week.
Arnault said that while Greta was a 'dynamic young girl,' she has 'surrendered completely to catastrophism.'
Arnault's giant group boasts Fendi, Christian Dior and Givenchy among its brands.
French business magnate Bernard Arnault, 70, (pictured) has described climate activist Greta Thunberg as 'demoralising for young people'
Arnault said that while Greta Thunberg (pictured) was a 'dynamic young girl,' she has 'surrendered completely to catastrophism'
'I find that her views are demoralising for young people,' the fashion CEO continued.
'I prefer positive solutions that allow us to get towards a more optimistic position.'
He added that there was a positive side to economic growth, pointing out that it had helped to create jobs and lift many people from poverty.
'If we don't want to go backwards, we still need growth,' he said.
Thunberg met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier in the day on Friday (pictured), who praised her activism on climate change
The teen activist has become a symbol for climate change action and on Friday led a mass march in Montreal that was part of a second global wave of protests in cities around the world and saw half a million people turn out for the event.
Hundreds of thousands of people in Italy, Australia, Spain, New Zealand and other countries took part in the 'Fridays for Future' protests to demand immediate action on climate change.
Greta met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier in the day on Friday, who praised her activism on climate change.
Young activists and their supporters rally for action on climate change in Montreal, Canada, on September 27
'She is the voice of a generation, of young people who are calling on their leaders to do more and do better,' Trudeau said. 'And I am listening.'
Trudeau, who is in the middle of an election campaign, announced a plan to plant 2 billion trees over the next decade.
Thunberg, however, indicated that she expects more, even of leaders who welcome the movement.
Who We Are
Sun, 29 Sep 2019 04:40
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Agenda 21 - Wikipedia
Sun, 29 Sep 2019 05:12
Agenda 21 Cover of the first edition (paperback)
AuthorUnited Nations (1992)CountryUnited StatesLanguageEnglish, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, French, Spanish, PortugueseGenreNon-fictionPublisherUnited NationsPublication date
23 April 1993 (26 years ago) ( 1993-04-23 ) Media typePrint (Paperback), HTML, PDFPages300 ppISBN978-92-1-100509-7Agenda 21  is a non-binding action plan of the United Nations with regard to sustainable development. It is a product of the Earth Summit (UN Conference on Environment and Development) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. It is an action agenda for the UN, other multilateral organizations, and individual governments around the world that can be executed at local, national, and global levels.[citation needed ]
The "21" in Agenda 21 refers to the 21st century. It has been affirmed and had a few modifications at subsequent UN conferences. Its aim is achieving global sustainable development. One major objective of the Agenda 21 initiative is that every local government should draw its own local Agenda 21. Since 2015, Sustainable Development Goals are included in the Agenda 2030.[citation needed ]
Structure [ edit ] Agenda 21 is a 350-page document divided into 40 chapters that have been grouped into 4 sections:[citation needed ]
Section I: Social and Economic Dimensions is directed toward combating poverty, especially in developing countries, changing consumption patterns, promoting health, achieving a more sustainable population, and sustainable settlement in decision making.[citation needed ]Section II: Conservation and Management of Resources for Development includes atmospheric protection, combating deforestation, protecting fragile environments, conservation of biological diversity (biodiversity), control of pollution and the management of biotechnology, and radioactive wastes.Section III: Strengthening the Role of Major Groups includes the roles of children and youth, women, NGOs, local authorities, business and industry, and workers; and strengthening the role of indigenous peoples, their communities, and farmers.Section IV: Means of Implementation includes science, technology transfer, education, international institutions, and financial mechanisms.[citation needed ]Development and evolution [ edit ] The full text of Agenda 21 was made public at the UN Conference on Environment and Development (Earth Summit), held in Rio de Janeiro on June 13, 1992, where 178 governments voted to adopt the program. The final text was the result of drafting, consultation, and negotiation, beginning in 1989 and culminating at the two-week conference.[citation needed ]
Rio+5 (1997) [ edit ] In 1997, the UN General Assembly held a special session to appraise the status of Agenda 21 (Rio +5). The Assembly recognized progress as "uneven" and identified key trends, including increasing globalization, widening inequalities in income, and continued deterioration of the global environment. A new General Assembly Resolution (S-19/2) promised further action.[citation needed ]
Rio+10 (2002) [ edit ] The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, agreed to at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Earth Summit 2002), affirmed UN commitment to "full implementation" of Agenda 21, alongside achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and other international agreements.[citation needed ]
Agenda 21 for culture (2002) [ edit ] The first World Public Meeting on Culture, held in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in 2002, came up with the idea to establish guidelines for local cultural policies, something comparable to what Agenda 21 was for the environment. They are to be included in various subsections of Agenda 21 and will be carried out through a wide range of sub-programs beginning with G8 countries.[citation needed ]
Rio+20 (2012) [ edit ] In 2012, at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development the attending members reaffirmed their commitment to Agenda 21 in their outcome document called "The Future We Want". Leaders from 180 nations participated.[citation needed ]
Sustainable Development Summit (2015) [ edit ] Agenda 2030, also known as the Sustainable Development Goals, was a set of goals decided upon at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in 2015. It takes all of the goals set by Agenda 21 and re-asserts them as the basis for sustainable development, saying, ''We reaffirm all the principles of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development'...'' Adding onto those goals from the original Rio document, a total of 17 goals have been agreed on, revolving around the same concepts of Agenda 21; people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership.
Implementation [ edit ] The Commission on Sustainable Development acts as a high-level forum on sustainable development and has acted as preparatory committee for summits and sessions on the implementation of Agenda 21. The UN Division for Sustainable Development acts as the secretariat to the Commission and works "within the context of" Agenda 21.[citation needed ]
Implementation by member states remains voluntary, and its adoption has varied.[citation needed ]
Local level [ edit ] The implementation of Agenda 21 was intended to involve action at international, national, regional and local levels. Some national and state governments have legislated or advised that local authorities take steps to implement the plan locally, as recommended in Chapter 28 of the document. These programs are often known as "Local Agenda 21" or "LA21". For example, in the Philippines, the plan is "Philippines Agenda 21" (PA21). The group, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, formed in 1990; today its members come from over 1,000 cities, towns, and counties in 88 countries and is widely regarded as a paragon of Agenda 21 implementation.
Europe turned out to be the continent where LA21 was best accepted and most implemented. In Sweden, for example, all local governments have implemented a Local Agenda 21 initiative.
Regional levels [ edit ] This section
You can help by adding to it. ( June 2012 )The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs' Division for Sustainable Development monitors and evaluates progress, nation by nation, towards the adoption of Agenda 21, and makes these reports available to the public on its website.
Australia [ edit ] Australia is a signatory to Agenda 21 and 88 of its municipalities subscribe to ICLEI, an organization that promotes Agenda 21 globally. Australia's membership is second only to that of the United States.
Africa [ edit ] In Africa, national support for Agenda 21 is strong and most countries are signatories. But support is often closely tied to environmental challenges specific to each country; for example, in 2002 Sam Nujoma, who was then President of Namibia, spoke about the importance of adhering to Agenda 21 at the 2002 Earth Summit, noting that as a semi-arid country, Namibia sets a lot of store in the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Furthermore, there is little mention of Agenda 21 at the local level in indigenous media. Only major municipalities in sub-Saharan African countries are members of ICLEI. Agenda 21 participation in North African countries mirrors that of Middle Eastern countries, with most countries being signatories but little to no adoption on the local-government level. Countries in sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa generally have poorly documented Agenda 21 status reports.[citation needed ] By contrast, South Africa's participation in Agenda 21 mirrors that of modern Europe, with 21 city members of ICLEI and support of Agenda 21 by national-level government.[citation needed ]
North America [ edit ] United States [ edit ] The national focal point in the United States is the Division Chief for Sustainable Development and Multilateral Affairs, Office of Environmental Policy, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, U.S. Department of State. A June 2012 poll of 1,300 United States voters by the American Planning Association found that 9% supported Agenda 21, 6% opposed it, and 85% thought they didn't have enough information to form an opinion.
Support [ edit ] The United States is a signatory country to Agenda 21, but because Agenda 21 is a legally non-binding statement of intent and not a treaty, the United States Senate did not hold a formal debate or vote on it. It is therefore not considered to be law under Article Six of the United States Constitution. President George H. W. Bush was one of the 178 heads of government who signed the final text of the agreement at the Earth Summit in 1992, and in the same year Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Eliot Engel and William Broomfield spoke in support of United States House of Representatives Concurrent Resolution 353, supporting implementation of Agenda 21 in the United States. Created by a 1993 Executive Order, the President's Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD) is explicitly charged with recommending a national action plan for sustainable development to the President. The PCSD is composed of leaders from government and industry, as well as from environmental, labor and civil rights organizations. The PCSD submitted its report, "Sustainable America: A New Consensus", to the President in early 1996. In the absence of a multi-sectoral consensus on how to achieve sustainable development in the United States, the PCSD was conceived to formulate recommendations for the implementation of Agenda 21.[citation needed ]
In the United States, over 528 cities are members of ICLEI, an international sustainability organization that helps to implement the Agenda 21 and Local Agenda 21 concepts across the world. The United States has nearly half of the ICLEI's global membership of 1,200 cities promoting sustainable development at a local level. The United States also has one of the most comprehensively documented Agenda 21 status reports. In response to the opposition, Don Knapp, U.S. spokesman for the ICLEI, has said "Sustainable development is not a top-down conspiracy from the U.N., but a bottom-up push from local governments".
The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry successfully lobbied against an anti-sustainable development bill in 2012, arguing "It would be bad for business" as it could drive away corporations that have embraced sustainable development.
Opposition [ edit ] Anti-Agenda 21 conspiracy theories have circulated in the U.S. Some Tea Party movement activists and others promoted the notion that Agenda 21 was part of a UN plot to deny property rights, undermine U.S. sovereignty, or force citizens to move to cities. Activists believed that the non-binding UN resolution was "the linchpin in a plot to subjugate humanity under an eco-totalitarian regime." The conspiracy theory had its roots in anti-environmentalist ideology and opposition to land-use regulation.
Agenda 21 fears have played a role in opposition to local government's efforts to promote resource and land conservation, build bike lanes, and construct hubs for public transportation. The non-profit group ICLEI '-- Local Governments for Sustainability USA - was targeted by anti-Agenda 21 activists. In 2012 Glenn Beck co-wrote a dystopian novel titled Agenda 21 based in part on concepts discussed in the UN plan. In the same year, fears of Agenda 21 "went mainstream" when the Republican National Committee adopted a platform resolution stated that "We strongly reject the U.N. Agenda 21 as erosive of American sovereignty."
Several state and local governments have considered or passed motions and legislation opposing Agenda 21. Most such bills failed, "either dying in committee, getting defeated on the statehouse floor or '' in the case of Missouri's 2013 bill '' getting vetoed by the governor." In Texas, for example, broadly worded legislation that would prohibit any governmental entity from accepting from or granting money to any "nongovernmental or intergovernmental organization accredited by the United Nations to implement a policy that originated in the Agenda 21 plan" was defeated because it could have cut off funding for groups such as 4-H, the Boy Scouts of America, and the Texas Wildlife Association. In Arizona, a similarly sweeping bill was introduced in the Arizona State Legislature seeking to mandate that the state could not "adopt or implement the creed, doctrine, or principles or any tenet" of Agenda 21 and to prohibit the state "implementing programs of, expending any sum of money for, being a member of, receiving funding from, contracting services from, or giving financial or other forms of aid to" an array of sustainability organizations. The bill, which was opposed by the state chamber of commerce and the mayor of Phoenix, was defeated in 2012.Alabama was one state that did adopt an anti-Agenda 21 resolution, unanimously passing in 2012 a measure to block "any future effort to 'deliberately or inadvertently infringe or restrict private property rights without due process, as may be required by policy recommendations originating in, or traceable to 'Agenda 21.'"
Europe [ edit ] The Agenda 21 status of European countries is generally well-documented.[citation needed ]
France [ edit ] France, whose national government, along with 14 cities, is a signatory, promotes nationwide programs in support of the goals of Agenda 21.[citation needed ]
Baltic nations [ edit ] Baltic nations formed the Baltic 21 coalition as a regional expression of Agenda 21.
See also [ edit ] Agenda 2030Ecologically sustainable developmentEarthCheckEducation for sustainable developmentGlobal MapGlocalizationICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability USAInternational Council for Local Environmental InitiativesMan and the Biosphere ProgrammeNational Strategy for a Sustainable AmericaThink globally, act locallyWaste managementReferences [ edit ] ^ "Agenda 21 text (pdf)" (PDF) . unep.org. ^ "What is Agenda 21?". ICLEIUSA. Archived from the original on 12 December 2012 . Retrieved 8 December 2012 . ^ "About Major Groups and other stakeholders .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform". sustainabledevelopment.un.org. ^ "Culture 21 - Agenda 21 for culture". www.agenda21culture.net. Archived from the original on 25 December 2009 . Retrieved 27 April 2018 . ^ "United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015 .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform". sustainabledevelopment.un.org. Archived from the original on 11 December 2017 . Retrieved 6 December 2017 . ^ "Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform". sustainabledevelopment.un.org. Archived from the original on 5 December 2017 . Retrieved 6 December 2017 . ^ "Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 25 September 2015". www.un.org. Archived from the original on 10 November 2015 . Retrieved 6 December 2017 . ^ Manchester Metropolitan University Archived July 22, 2009, at the Wayback Machine ^ a b c Kaufman, Leslie; Kate Zernike (3 February 2012). "Activists Fight Green Projects, Seeing U.N. Plot". New York Times. Archived from the original on 19 August 2012 . Retrieved 15 August 2012 . ^ Smardon, Richard (2008). "A comparison of Local Agenda 21 implementation in North American, European and Indian cities". Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal. 19 (1): 118''137. doi:10.1108/14777830810840408. Archived from the original on 11 June 2015 . Retrieved 9 October 2013 . ^ J¶rby, Sofie (2002). "Local Agenda 21 in four Swedish Municipalities: a tool towards sustainability". Journal of Environmental Planning and Management. 45 (2): 219''244. doi:10.1080/09640560220116314. ^ UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. "Areas of Work - National Information by Country or Organization". United Nations. Archived from the original on 4 August 2012 . Retrieved 15 August 2012 . ^ a b ICLEI. "ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability: Global Members". Archived from the original on 25 July 2012 . Retrieved 15 August 2012 . ^ "Namibian president calls for implementation of Agenda 21". Xinhua News Agency. 2 September 2002. Archived from the original on 15 January 2013 . Retrieved 15 August 2012 . ^ "United States of America". Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform. United Nations. Archived from the original on 22 October 2013. ^ a b c d e f "Tea Party Activists Fight Agenda 21, Seeing Threatening U.N. Plot". Huffington Post. 15 October 2012. Archived from the original on 18 October 2012 . Retrieved 16 October 2012 . ^ "Senators attack sustainable development, Agenda 21". The Courier-Journal. 20 February 2013. Archived from the original on 12 October 2013. ^ "Secret agenda at city hall?". Wyoming Tribune Eagle. 4 November 2012. ^ Arnie Rosner (3 March 2012). "Agenda 21 Nancy Pelosi .mp4". Archived from the original on 23 March 2018 . Retrieved 27 April 2018 '' via YouTube. ^ "Agenda 21 - United States". www.un.org. Archived from the original on 8 October 2017 . Retrieved 27 April 2018 . ^ a b c Kaufman, Leslie; Kate Zernike (4 February 2012). "Activists Fight Green Projects, Seeing U.N. Plot". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 30 May 2013. ^ a b c d e f g h i Greg Harman, Agenda 21: a conspiracy theory puts sustainability in the crosshairs Archived 2017-06-26 at the Wayback Machine, The Guardian (June 24, 2015). ^ a b Hinkes-Jones, Llewellyn (29 August 2012). "The Anti-Environmentalist Roots of the Agenda 21 Conspiracy Theory". Archived from the original on 1 October 2012 . Retrieved 16 October 2012 . ^ "Agenda 21 By Glenn Beck, Harriet Parke". USA Today. 2012. Archived from the original on 9 September 2012. ^ Cypher, Sarah (19 November 2012). "I got duped by Glenn Beck!". Salon.com. Archived from the original on 16 January 2015. ^ "Best Sellers". The New York Times. 9 December 2012. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. ^ Jamison, Peter (30 August 2012). "Fears of Agenda 21 go mainstream in the Republican Party platform". Tampa Bay Times. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012 . Retrieved 23 October 2012 . ^ "Sustainable Development - Baltic 2030 - cbss.org". cbss.org. Archived from the original on 15 November 2017 . Retrieved 27 April 2018 . Bibliography [ edit ] Lenz, Ryan (Spring 2012). "Antigovernment Conspiracy Theorists Rail Against UN's Agenda 21 Program". Intelligence Report. Southern Poverty Law Center (145). Earth Summit 2012External links [ edit ] "Agenda 21 text (pdf)" (PDF) . unep.org. United Nations Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform
Sustainable Development Goals - Wikipedia
Sun, 29 Sep 2019 05:09
set of 17 global development goals defined by the United Nations for the year 2030
World map showing countries that are closest to meeting the SDGs (in dark blue) and those with the greatest remaining challenges (in the lightest shade of blue) in 2018. Data from the
Sustainable Development Report.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 for the year 2030. The SDGs are part of Resolution 70/1 of the United Nations General Assembly, the 2030 Agenda.
The Sustainable Development Goals are:
No PovertyZero HungerGood Health and Well-beingQuality EducationGender EqualityClean Water and SanitationAffordable and Clean EnergyDecent Work and Economic GrowthIndustry, Innovation, and InfrastructureReducing InequalitySustainable Cities and CommunitiesResponsible Consumption and ProductionClimate ActionLife Below WaterLife On LandPeace, Justice, and Strong InstitutionsPartnerships for the Goals.The goals are broad based and interdependent. The 17 sustainable development goals each have a list of targets which are measured with indicators.
Key to making the SDGs successful is to make the data on the 17 goals available and understandable. Various tools exist to track and visualize progress towards the goals.
1 History 1.1 Background 1.2 Ratification 2 Description 2.1 Goal 1: No poverty 2.1.1 "End poverty in all its forms everywhere." 2.2 Goal 2: Zero hunger 2.2.1 "End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture". 2.3 Goal 3: Good health and well-being for people 2.3.1 "Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages." 2.4 Goal 4: Quality education 2.4.1 "Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all." 2.5 Goal 5: Gender equality 2.5.1 "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls." 2.6 Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation 2.6.1 "Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all." 2.7 Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy 2.7.1 "Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all." 2.8 Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth 2.8.1 "Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all." 2.9 Goal 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure 2.9.1 "Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation". 2.10 Goal 10: Reducing inequalities 2.10.1 "Reduce income inequality within and among countries." 2.11 Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities 2.11.1 "Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable." 2.12 Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production 2.12.1 "Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns." 2.13 Goal 13: Climate action 2.13.1 "Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts by regulating emissions and promoting developments in renewable energy." 2.14 Goal 14: Life below water 2.14.1 "Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development." 2.15 Goal 15: Life on land 2.15.1 "Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss." 2.16 Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions 2.16.1 "Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels." 2.17 Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals 2.17.1 "Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.'' 3 Cross-cutting issues 3.1 Women and gender equality 3.2 Education and sustainable development 3.3 Education, gender and technology 3.4 SDG-driven investment 4 Implementation and support 4.1 Tracking progress 4.2 At country level 4.2.1 United States 4.2.2 Europe and Russia 4.2.3 India 4.2.4 Bangladesh 4.2.5 Bhutan 5 Public engagement 5.1 Le Temps Presse festival 6 Comparison with Millennium Development Goals 7 Cost of achieving the SDGs 8 Need for coordination and cooperation 9 Risk factors 10 Criticisms 10.1 Competing goals 10.2 Too many goals 11 See also 12 Further reading 13 Sources 14 References 15 External links History [ edit ] The Sustainable Development Goals are a UN Initiative.
Background [ edit ] UN SDG consultations in Mariupol, Ukraine
In 1972, governments met in Stockholm, Sweden for the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, to consider the rights of the family to a healthy and productive environment. In 1983, the United Nations created the World Commission on Environment and Development (later known as the Brundtland Commission), which defined sustainable development as "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". In 1992, the first United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) or Earth Summit was held in Rio de Janeiro, where the first agenda for Environment and Development, also known as Agenda 21, was developed and adopted.
In 2012, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), also known as Rio+20, was held as a 20-year follow up to UNCED. Colombia proposed the idea of the SDGs at a preparation event for Rio+20 held in Indonesia in July 2011. In September 2011, this idea was picked up by the United Nations Department of Public Information 64th NGO Conference in Bonn, Germany. The outcome document proposed 17 sustainable development goals and associated targets. In the run-up to Rio+20 there was much discussion about the idea of the SDGs. At the Rio+20 Conference, a resolution known as "The Future We Want" was reached by member states. Among the key themes agreed on were poverty eradication, energy, water and sanitation, health, and human settlement.
The Rio+20 outcome document mentioned that "at the outset, the OWG [Open Working Group] will decide on its methods of work, including developing modalities to ensure the full involvement of relevant stakeholders and expertise from civil society, Indigenous Peoples, the scientific community and the United Nations system in its work, in order to provide a diversity of perspectives and experience".
In January 2013, the 30-member UN General Assembly Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals was established to identify specific goals for the SDGs. The Open Working Group (OWG) was tasked with preparing a proposal on the SDGs for consideration during the 68th session of the General Assembly, September 2013 '' September 2014. On 19 July 2014, the OWG forwarded a proposal for the SDGs to the Assembly. After 13 sessions, the OWG submitted their proposal of 17 SDGs and 169 targets to the 68th session of the General Assembly in September 2014. On 5 December 2014, the UN General Assembly accepted the Secretary General's Synthesis Report, which stated that the agenda for the post-2015 SDG process would be based on the OWG proposals.
Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Secretary-General from 2007 to 2016, has stated in a November 2016 press conference that: "We don't have plan B because there is no planet B." This thought has guided the development of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).[citation needed ]
The Post-2015 Development Agenda was a process from 2012 to 2015 led by the United Nations to define the future global development framework that would succeed the Millennium Development Goals. The SDGs were developed to succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which ended in 2015. The gaps and shortcomings of MDG Goal 8 (To develop a global partnership for development) led to identifying a problematic "donor-recipient" relationship. Instead, the new SDGs favor collective action by all countries.
The UN-led process involved its 193 Member States and global civil society. The resolution is a broad intergovernmental agreement that acts as the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The SDGs build on the principles agreed upon in Resolution A/RES/66/288, entitled "The Future We Want". This was a non-binding document released as a result of Rio+20 Conference held in 2012.
Ratification [ edit ] Negotiations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda began in January 2015 and ended in August 2015. The negotiations ran in parallel to United Nations negotiations on financing for development, which determined the financial means of implementing the Post-2015 Development Agenda; those negotiations resulted in adoption of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda in July 2015. A final document was adopted at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015 in New York.
On 25 September 2015, the 193 countries of the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Development Agenda titled "Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development". This agenda has 92 paragraphs. Paragraph 51 outlines the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the associated 169 targets and 232 indicators.
Description [ edit ] There are 169 targets for the 17 goals. Each target has between 1 and 3 indicators used to measure progress toward reaching the targets. In total, there are 232 approved indicators that will measure compliance. The United Nations Development Programme has been asked to provide easy to understand lists of targets, facts and figures for each of the 17 SDGs. The 17 goals listed below as sub-headings use the 2-to-4 word phrases that identify each goal. Directly below each goal, in quotation marks, is the exact wording of the goal in one sentence. The paragraphs that follow present some information about a few targets and indicators related to each goal.
A diagram listing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals
Goal 1: No poverty [ edit ] "End poverty in all its forms everywhere." [ edit ] Extreme poverty has been cut by more than half since 1990. Still, around 1 in 10 people live on less than the target figure of international-$1.90 per day. A very low poverty threshold is justified by highlighting the need of those people who are worst off. SDG 1 is to end extreme poverty globally by 2030.
That target may not be adequate for human subsistence and basic needs, however. It is for this reason that changes relative to higher poverty lines are also commonly tracked. Poverty is more than the lack of income or resources: People live in poverty if they lack basic services such as healthcare, security, and education. They also experience hunger, social discrimination, and exclusion from decision-making processes. One possible alternative metric is the Multidimensional Poverty Index.
Children make up the majority '' more than half '' of those living in extreme poverty. In 2013, an estimated 385 million children lived on less than US$1.90 per day. Still, these figures are unreliable due to huge gaps in data on the status of children worldwide. On average, 97 percent of countries have insufficient data to determine the state of impoverished children and make projections towards SDG Goal 1, and 63 percent of countries have no data on child poverty at all.
Women face potentially life-threatening risks from early pregnancy and frequent pregnancies. This can result in lost hope for an education and for a better income.[citation needed ] Poverty affects age groups differently, with the most devastating effects experienced by children. It affects their education, health, nutrition, and security, impacting emotional and spiritual development.
Achieving Goal 1 is hampered by lack of economic growth in the poorest countries of the world, growing inequality, increasingly fragile statehood, and the impacts of climate change.
Goal 2: Zero hunger [ edit ] "End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture". [ edit ] Goal 2 states that by 2030 we should end hunger and all forms of malnutrition. This would be accomplished by doubling agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers (especially women and indigenous peoples), by ensuring sustainable food production systems, and by progressively improving land and soil quality. Agriculture is the single largest employer in the world, providing livelihoods for 40% of the global population. It is the largest source of income for poor rural households. Women make up about 43% of the agricultural labor force in developing countries, and over 50% in parts of Asia and Africa. However, women own only 20% of the land.
Other targets deal with maintaining genetic diversity of seeds, increasing access to land, preventing trade restriction and distortions in world agricultural markets to limit extreme food price volatility, eliminating waste with help from the International Food Waste Coalition, and ending malnutrition and undernutrition of children.
Globally, 1 in 9 people are undernourished, the vast majority of whom live in developing countries. Undernutrition causes wasting or severe wasting of 52 million children worldwide, and contributes to nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five '' 3.1 million children per year. Chronic malnutrition, which affects an estimated 155 million children worldwide, also stunts children's brain and physical development and puts them at further risk of death, disease, and lack of success as adults. As of 2017, only 26 of 202 UN member countries are on track to meet the SDG target to eliminate undernourishment and malnourishment, while 20 percent have made no progress at all and nearly 70 percent have no or insufficient data to determine their progress.
A report by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) of 2013 stated that the emphasis of the SDGs should not be on ending poverty by 2030, but on eliminating hunger and under-nutrition by 2025. The assertion is based on an analysis of experiences in China, Vietnam, Brazil, and Thailand. Three pathways to achieve this were identified: 1) agriculture-led; 2) social protection- and nutrition- intervention-led; or 3) a combination of both of these approaches.
A study published in Nature concluded that it is unlikely there will be an end to malnutrition by 2030.
Goal 3: Good health and well-being for people [ edit ] "Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages." [ edit ] Significant strides have been made in increasing life expectancy and reducing some of the common killers associated with child and maternal mortality. Between 2000 and 2016, the worldwide under-five mortality rate decreased by 47 percent (from 78 deaths per 1,000 live births to 41 deaths per 1,000 live births). Still, the number of children dying under age five is extremely high: 5.6 million in 2016 alone. Newborns account for a growing number of these deaths, and poorer children are at the greatest risk of under-5 mortality due to a number of factors. SDG Goal 3 aims to reduce under-five mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births. But if current trends continue, more than 60 countries will miss the SDG neonatal mortality target for 2030. About half of these countries would not reach the target even by 2050.
Goal 3 also aims to reduce maternal mortality to less than 70 deaths per 100,000 live births. Though the maternal mortality ratio declined by 37 percent between 2000 and 2015, there were approximately 303,000 maternal deaths worldwide in 2015, most from preventable causes. In 2015, maternal health conditions were also the leading cause of death among girls aged 15''19. Data for girls of greatest concern '' those aged between 10-14 - is currently unavailable. Key strategies for meeting SDG Goal 3 will be to reduce adolescent pregnancy (which is strongly linked to gender equality), provide better data for all women and girls, and achieve universal coverage of skilled birth attendants.
Similarly, progress has been made on increasing access to clean water and sanitation and on reducing malaria, tuberculosis, polio, and the spread of HIV/AIDS. From 2000-2016, new HIV infections declined by 66 percent for children under 15 and by 45 percent among adolescents aged 15''19. However, current trends mean that 1 out of 4 countries still won't meet the SDG target to end AIDS among children under 5, and 3 out of 4 will not meet the target to end AIDS among adolescents. Additionally, only half of women in developing countries have received the health care they need, and the need for family planning is increasing exponentially as the population grows. While needs are being addressed gradually, more than 225 million women have an unmet need for contraception.
Goal 3 aims to achieve universal health coverage, including access to essential medicines and vaccines. It proposes to end the preventable death of newborns and children under 5 and to end epidemics such as AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and water-borne diseases, for example. 2016 rates for the third dose of the pertussis vaccine (DTP3) and the first dose of the measles vaccine (MCV1) reached 86 percent and 85 percent, respectively. Yet about 20 million children did not receive DTP3 and about 21 million did not receive MCV1. Around 2 in 5 countries will need to accelerate progress in order to reach SDG targets for immunization.
Attention to health and well-being also includes targets related to the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, deaths and injuries from traffic accidents and from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination.
Goal 4: Quality education [ edit ] "Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all." [ edit ] Major progress has been made in access to education, specifically at the primary school level, for both boys and girls. The number of out-of-school children has almost halved from 112 million in 1997 to 60 million in 2014. Still, at least 22 million children in 43 countries will miss out on pre-primary education unless the rate of progress doubles.
Access does not always mean quality of education or completion of primary school. 103 million youth worldwide still lack basic literacy skills, and more than 60 percent of those are women. In one out of four countries, more than half of children failed to meet minimum math proficiency standards at the end of primary school, and at the lower secondary level, the rate was 1 in 3 countries. Target 1 of Goal 4 is to ensure that, by 2030, all girls and boys complete free, equitable, and quality primary and secondary education.
Additionally, progress is difficult to track: 75 percent of countries have no or insufficient data to track progress towards SDG Goal 4 targets for learning outcomes (target 1), early childhood education (target 2), and effective learning environments. Data on learning outcomes and pre-primary school are particularly scarce; 70 percent and 40 percent of countries lack adequate data for these targets, respectively. This makes it hard to analyze and identify the children at greatest risk of being left behind.
Goal 5: Gender equality [ edit ] "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls." [ edit ] According to the UN, "gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world." Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will nurture sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large. A record 143 countries guaranteed equality between men and women in their constitutions as of 2014. However, another 52 had not taken this step. In many nations, gender discrimination is still woven into the fabric of legal systems and social norms. Even though SDG5 is a stand-alone goal, other SDGs can only be achieved if the needs of women receive the same attention as the needs of men. Issues unique to women and girls include traditional practices against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, such as female genital mutilation.
Child marriage has declined over the past decades, yet there is no region that is currently on track to eliminate the practice and reach SDG targets by 2030. If current trends continue, between 2017 and 2030, 150 million girls will be married before they turn 18. Though child marriages are four times higher among the poorest than the wealthiest in the world, most countries need to accelerate progress among both groups in order to reach the SDG Goal 5 target to eliminate child marriage by 2030.
Achieving gender equality will require enforceable legislation that promotes empowerment of all women and girls and requires secondary education for all girls. The targets call for an end to gender discrimination and for empowering women and girls through technology Some have advocated for "listening to girls". The assertion is that the SDGs can deliver transformative change for girls only if girls are consulted. Their priorities and needs must be taken into account. Girls should be viewed not as beneficiaries of change, but as agents of change. Engaging women and girls in the implementation of the SDGs is crucial.
The World Pensions Council (WPC) has insisted on the transformational role gender-diverse that boards can play in that regard, predicting that 2018 could be a pivotal year, as "more than ever before, many UK and European Union pension trustees speak enthusiastically about flexing their fiduciary muscles for the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG5, and to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls."
Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation [ edit ] Example of sanitation for all: School toilet (IPH school and college, Mohakhali, Dhaka, Bangladesh)
"Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all." [ edit ] The Sustainable Development Goal Number 6 (SDG6) has eight targets and 11 indicators that will be used to monitor progress toward the targets. Most are to be achieved by the year 2030. One is targeted for 2020.
The first three targets relate to drinking water supply and sanitation. Worldwide, 6 out of 10 people lack safely managed sanitation services, and 3 out of 10 lack safely managed water services. Safe drinking water and hygienic toilets protect people from disease and enable societies to be more productive economically. Attending school and work without disruption is critical to successful education and successful employment. Therefore, toilets in schools and work places are specifically mentioned as a target to measure. "Equitable sanitation" calls for addressing the specific needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations, such as the elderly or people with disabilities. Water sources are better preserved if open defecation is ended and sustainable sanitation systems are implemented.
Ending open defecation will require provision of toilets and sanitation for 2.6 billion people as well as behavior change of the users. This will require cooperation between governments, civil society, and the private sector.
The main indicator for the sanitation target is the "Proportion of population using safely managed sanitation services, including a hand-washing facility with soap and water". However, as of 2017, two-thirds of countries lacked baseline estimates for SDG indicators on hand washing, safely managed drinking water, and sanitation services. From those that were available, the Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) found that 4.5 billion people currently do not have safely managed sanitation. If we are to meet SDG targets for sanitation by 2030, nearly one-third of countries will need to accelerate progress to end open defecation including Brazil, China, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
The Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) has made it its mission to achieve SDG6. SuSanA's position is that the SDGs are highly interdependent. Therefore, the provision of clean water and sanitation for all is a precursor to achieving many of the other SDGs.
Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy [ edit ] "Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all." [ edit ] Targets for 2030 include access to affordable and reliable energy while increasing the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. This would involve improving energy efficiency and enhancing international cooperation to facilitate more open access to clean energy technology and more investment in clean energy infrastructure. Plans call for particular attention to infrastructure support for the least developed countries, small islands and land-locked developing countries.
As of 2017, only 57 percent of the global population relies primarily on clean fuels and technology, falling short of the 95 percent target.
Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth [ edit ] "Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all." [ edit ] World Pensions Council (WPC) development economists have argued that the twin considerations of long-term economic growth and infrastructure investment were not prioritized enough. The fact they were designated as the number 8 and number 9 objective respectively was considered a rather "mediocre ranking [which] defies common sense".
For the least developed countries, the economic target is to attain at least a 7 percent annual growth in gross domestic product (GDP). Achieving higher productivity will require diversification and upgraded technology along with innovation, entrepreneurship, and the growth of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Some targets are for 2030; others are for 2020. The target for 2020 is to reduce youth unemployment and operationalize a global strategy for youth employment. Implementing the Global Jobs Pact of the International Labour Organization is also mentioned.
By 2030, the target is to establish policies for sustainable tourism that will create jobs. Strengthening domestic financial institutions and increasing Aid for Trade support for developing countries is considered essential to economic development. The Enhanced Integrated Framework for Trade-Related Technical Assistance to Least Developed Countries is mentioned as a method for achieving sustainable economic development.
Goal 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure [ edit ] "Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation". [ edit ] Manufacturing is a major source of employment. In 2016, the least developed countries had less "manufacturing value added per capita". The figure for Europe and North America amounted to US$4,621, compared to about $100 in the least developed countries. The manufacturing of high products contributes 80 percent to total manufacturing output in industrialized economies but barely 10 percent in the least developed countries.
Mobile-cellular signal coverage has improved a great deal. In previously "unconnected" areas of the globe, 85 percent of people now live in covered areas. Planet-wide, 95 percent of the population is covered.
Goal 10: Reducing inequalities [ edit ] "Reduce income inequality within and among countries." [ edit ] Target 10.1 is to "sustain income growth of the bottom 40 per cent of the population at a rate higher than the national average". This goal, known as 'shared prosperity', is complementing SDG 1, the eradication of extreme poverty, and it is relevant for all countries in the world.
Target 10.3 is to reduce the transaction costs for migrant remittances to below 3 percent. The target of 3 percent was established as the cost that international migrant workers would pay to send money home (known as remittances). However, post offices and money transfer companies currently charge 6 percent of the amount remitted. Worse, commercial banks charge 11 percent. Prepaid cards and mobile money companies charge 2 to 4 percent, but those services were not widely available as of 2017 in typical "remittance corridors."
Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities [ edit ] "Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable." [ edit ] The target for 2030 is to ensure access to safe and affordable housing. The indicator named to measure progress toward this target is the proportion of urban population living in slums or informal settlements. Between 2000 and 2014, the proportion fell from 39 percent to 30 percent. However, the absolute number of people living in slums went from 792 million in 2000 to an estimated 880 million in 2014. Movement from rural to urban areas has accelerated as the population has grown and better housing alternatives are available.
Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production [ edit ] "Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns." [ edit ] The targets of Goal 12 include using eco-friendly production methods and reducing the amount of waste. By 2030, national recycling rates should increase, as measured in tons of material recycled. Further, companies should adopt sustainable practices and publish sustainability reports.
Target 12.1 calls for the implementation of the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production. This framework, adopted by member states at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, is a global commitment to accelerate the shift to sustainable consumption and production in developed and developing countries. In order to generate the collective impact necessary for such a shift, programs such as the One Planet Network have formed different implementation methods to help achieve Goal 12.
[ edit ] "Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts by regulating emissions and promoting developments in renewable energy." [ edit ] The UN discussions and negotiations identified the links between the post-2015 SDG process and the Financing for Development process that concluded in Addis Ababa in July 2015 and the COP 21 Climate Change conference in Paris in December 2015.
In May 2015, a report concluded that only a very ambitious climate deal in Paris in 2015 could enable countries to reach the sustainable development goals and targets.The report also states that tackling climate change will only be possible if the SDGs are met. Further, economic development and climate change are inextricably linked, particularly around poverty, gender equality, and energy. The UN encourages the public sector to take initiative in this effort to minimize negative impacts on the environment.
This renewed emphasis on climate change mitigation was made possible by the partial Sino-American convergence that developed in 2015-2016, notably at the UN COP21 summit (Paris) and ensuing G20 conference (Hangzhou).
As one of the regions most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, the Asia-Pacific region needs more public-private partnerships (PPPs) to successfully implement its sustainable development initiatives.
In 2018, the International Panel of Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change, published a special report "Global Warming of 1.5°C". It outlined the impacts of a 1.5 °C global temperature rise above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, and highlighted the possibility of avoiding a number of such impacts by limiting global warming to 1.5 °C compared to 2 °C, or more. The report mentioned that this would require global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) to fall by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching "net zero" around 2050, through ''rapid and far-reaching'' transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities. This special report was subsequently discussed at COP 24. Despite being requested by countries at the COP 21, the report was not accepted by four countries '' the US, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait, which only wanted to "note" it, thereby postponing the resolution to the next SBSTA session in 2019.
Goal 14: Life below water [ edit ] "Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development." [ edit ] Sustainable Development Goal 14 aims ''to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.'' Effective strategies to mitigate adverse effects of increased ocean acidification are needed to advance the sustainable use of oceans. As areas of protected marine biodiversity expand, there has been an increase in ocean science funding, essential for preserving marine resources. The deterioration of coastal waters has become a global occurrence, due to pollution and coastal eutrophication (overflow of nutrients in water), where similar contributing factors to climate change can affect oceans and negatively impact marine biodiversity. ''Without concerted efforts, coastal eutrophication is expected to increase in 20 per cent of large marine ecosystems by 2050.''
The Preparatory Meeting to the UN Ocean Conference convened in New York, US, in February 2017, to discuss the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14. International law, as reflected in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), stressed the need to include governance instruments to consider ''anthropogenic activities taking place outside of the ocean''. Concerns regarding ocean health in destructive fishing practices and marine pollution were discussed, in looking at the role of local communities of small island developing States (SIDS) and least developed countries (LDCs) to not forget that oceans are a large part of their economies. The targets include preventing and reducing marine pollution and acidification, protecting marine and coastal ecosystems, and regulating fishing. The targets also call for an increase in scientific knowledge of the oceans.
Although many participating United Nations legislative bodies comes together to discuss the issues around marine environments and SDG 14, such as at the United Nations Ocean Conference, it is important to consider how SDG 14 is implemented across different Multilateral Environmental Agreements, respectively. As climate, biodiversity and land degradation are major parts of the issues surrounding the deterioration of marine environments and oceans, it is important to know how each Rio Convention implements this SDG.
Oceans cover 71 percent of the Earth's surface. They are essential for making the planet livable. Rainwater, drinking water and climate are all regulated by ocean temperatures and currents. Over 3 billion people depend on marine life for their livelihood. Oceans absorb 30 percent of all carbon dioxide produced by humans.[full citation needed ] The oceans contain more than 200,000 identified species, and there might be thousands of species that are yet to be discovered. Oceans are the world's largest sources of protein. However, there has been a 26 percent increase in acidification since the industrial revolution. A full 30 percent of marine habitats have been destroyed, and 30 percent of the world's fish stocks are over-exploited.[full citation needed ]Marine pollution has reached shocking levels; each minute, 15 tons of plastic are released into the oceans.[full citation needed ] 20 percent of all coral reefs have been destroyed irreversibly, and another 24 percent are in immediate risk of collapse.[full citation needed ] Approximately 1 million sea birds, 100 000 marine mammals, and an unknown number of fish are harmed or die annually due to marine pollution caused by humans. It has been found that 95 percent of fulmars in Norway have plastic parts in their guts.[full citation needed ]Microplastics are another form of marine pollution.
Individuals can help the oceans by reducing their energy consumption and their use of plastics. Nations can also take action. In Norway, for instance, citizens, working through a web page called finn.no, can earn money for picking up plastic on the beach. Several countries, including Kenya, have banned the use of plastic bags for retail purchases. Improving the oceans contributes to poverty reduction, as it gives low-income families a source of income and healthy food. Keeping beaches and ocean water clean in less developed countries can attract tourism, as stated in Goal 8, and reduce poverty by providing more employment.[full citation needed ]
Characterized by extinctions, invasions, hybridizations and reductions in the abundance of species, marine biodiversity is currently in global decline. ''Over the past decades, there has been an exponential increase in human activates in and near oceans, resulting in negative consequences to our marine environment.'' Made evident by the degradation of habitats and changes in ecosystem processes, the declining health of the oceans has a negative effect on people, their livelihoods and entire economies, with local communities that rely on ocean resources being the most affected. Poor decisions in resource management can compromise conservation, local livelihood, and resource sustainability goals. ''The sustainable management of our oceans relies on the ability to influence and guide human use of the marine environment.'' As conservation of marine resources is critical to the well-being of local fishing communities and their livelihoods, related management actions may lead to changes in human behaviour to support conservation programs to achieve their goals. Ultimately, governments and international agencies act as gatekeepers, interfering with needed stakeholder participation in decision making. The way to best safeguard life in oceans is to implement effective management strategies around marine environments.
Climate action is used as a way of protecting the world's oceans. Oceans cover three quarters of the Earth's surface and impact global climate systems through functions of carbon dioxide absorption from the atmosphere and oxygen generation. The increase in levels of greenhouse gases leading to changes in climate negatively affects the world's oceans and marine coastal communities. The resulting impacts of rising sea levels by 20 centimeters since the start of the 20th century and the increase of ocean acidity by 30% since the Industrial Revolution has contributed to the melting of ice sheets through the thermal expansion of sea water.
Sustainable Development Goal 14 has been incorporated into the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the United Nations on Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
Goal 15: Life on land [ edit ] "Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss." [ edit ] This goal articulates targets for preserving biodiversity of forest, desert, and mountain eco-systems, as a percentage of total land mass. Achieving a "land degradation-neutral world" can be reached by restoring degraded forests and land lost to drought and flood. Goal 15 calls for more attention to preventing invasion of introduced species and more protection of endangered species. Forests have a prominent role to play in the success of Agenda 2030, notably in terms of ecosystem services, livelihoods, and the green economy; but this will require clear priorities to address key tradeoffs and mobilize synergies with other SDGs.
The Mountain Green Cover Index monitors progress toward target 15.4, which focuses on preserving mountain ecosystems. The index is named as the indicator for target 15.4. Similarly, the Red Index (Red List Index or RLI) will fill the monitoring function for biodiversity goals by documenting the trajectory of endangered species. Animal extinction is a growing problem.
Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions [ edit ] "Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels." [ edit ] Reducing violent crime, sex trafficking, forced labor, and child abuse are clear global goals. The International Community values peace and justice and calls for stronger judicial systems that will enforce laws and work toward a more peaceful and just society. By 2017, the UN could report progress on detecting victims of trafficking. More women and girls than men and boys were victimized, yet the share of women and girls has slowly declined (see also violence against women). In 2004, 84 percent of victims were females and by 2014 that number had dropped to 71 percent. Sexual exploitation numbers have declined, but forced labor has increased.
One target is to see the end to sex trafficking, forced labor, and all forms of violence against and torture of children. However, reliance on the indicator of "crimes reported" makes monitoring and achieving this goal challenging. For instance, 84 percent of countries have no or insufficient data on violent punishment of children. Of the data available, it is clear that violence against children by their caregivers remains pervasive: Nearly 8 in 10 children aged 1 to 14 are subjected to violent discipline on a regular basis (regardless of income), and no country is on track to eliminate violent discipline by 2030.
SDG 16 also targets universal legal identity and birth registration, ensuring the right to a name and nationality, civil rights, recognition before the law, and access to justice and social services. With more than a quarter of children under 5 unregistered worldwide as of 2015, about 1 in 5 countries will need to accelerate progress to achieve universal birth registration by 2030.
Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals [ edit ] "Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.'' [ edit ] Increasing international cooperation is seen as vital to achieving each of the 16 previous goals. Goal 17 is included to assure that countries and organizations cooperate instead of compete. Developing multi-stakeholder partnerships to share knowledge, expertise, technology, and financial support is seen as critical to overall success of the SDGs. Public-private partnerships that involve civil societies are specifically mentioned.
Cross-cutting issues [ edit ] Young people holding SDG banners in Lima, Peru
According to the UN, the target is to reach the community farthest behind. Commitments should be transformed into effective actions requiring a correct perception of target populations. However, numerical and non-numerical data or information must address all vulnerable groups such as children, elderly folks, persons with disabilities, refugees, indigenous peoples, migrants, and internally-displaced persons.
Women and gender equality [ edit ] There is widespread consensus that progress on all of the SDGs will be stalled if women's empowerment and gender equality are not prioritized holistically '' by policy makers as well as private sector executives and board members.
Statements from diverse sources, such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), UN Women and the World Pensions Forum have noted that investments in women and girls have positive impacts on economies. National and global development investments often exceed their initial scope.
Education and sustainable development [ edit ] Education for sustainable development (ESD) is explicitly recognized in the SDGs as part of Target 4.7 of the SDG on education. UNESCO promotes the Global Citizenship Education (GCED) as a complementary approach. At the same time, it is important to emphasize ESD's importance for all the other 16 SDGs. With its overall aim to develop cross-cutting sustainability competencies in learners, ESD is an essential contribution to all efforts to achieve the SDGs. This would enable individuals to contribute to sustainable development by promoting societal, economic and political change as well as by transforming their own behavior.
Education, gender and technology [ edit ] Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are free open education offered through online platforms. The (initial) philosophy of MOOCs was to open up quality Higher Education to a wider audience. As such, MOOCs are an important tool to achieve Goal 4 ("Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all"). At the same time, MOOCs also contribute to Goal 5, in that they are gender neutral and can give women and girls improved access to education.
SDG-driven investment [ edit ] Capital stewardship is expected to play a crucial part in the progressive advancement of the SDG agenda:
"No longer absentee landlords', pension fund trustees have started to exercise more forcefully their governance prerogatives across the boardrooms of Britain, Benelux and America: coming together through the establishment of engaged pressure groups [...] to shift the [whole economic] system towards sustainable investment" by using the SDG framework across all asset classes.In 2018 and early 2019, the World Pensions Council held a series of ESG-focused discussions with pension board members (trustees) and senior investment executives from across G20 nations in Toronto, London (with the UK Association of Member-Nominated Trustees, AMNT), Paris and New York '' notably on the sidelines of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly. Many pension investment executives and board members confirmed they were in the process of adopting or developing SDG-informed investment processes, with more ambitious investment governance requirements '' notably when it comes to Climate Action, Gender Equity and Social Fairness: ''they straddle key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including, of course, Gender Equality (SDG 5) and Reduced Inequality (SDG 10) ['...] Many pension trustees are now playing for keeps''.
Implementation and support [ edit ] Implementation of the SDGs started worldwide in 2016. This process can also be called "Localizing the SDGs". All over the planet, individual people, universities, governments and institutions and organizations of all kinds work on several goals at the same time. In each country, governments must translate the goals into national legislation, develop a plan of action, establish budgets and at the same time be open to and actively search for partners. Poor countries need the support of rich countries and coordination at the international level is crucial.
The independent campaign "Project Everyone" has met some resistance. In addition, several sections of civil society and governments felt the SDGs ignored "sustainability" even though it was the most important aspect of the agreement.
A 2018 study in the journal Nature found that while "nearly all African countries demonstrated improvements for children under 5 years old for stunting, wasting, and underweight... much, if not all of the continent will fail to meet the Sustainable Development Goal target'--to end malnutrition by 2030".
There have been two books produced one by each of the co-chairs of the negotiations to help people to understand the Sustainable Development Goals and where they came from: "Negotiating the Sustainable Development Goals: A transformational agenda for an insecure world" written by Ambassador David Donoghue, Felix Dodds and Jimena Leiva as well as "Transforming Multilateral Diplomacy: The Inside Story of the Sustainable Development Goals" by Macharia Kamau, David O'Connor and Pamela Chasek.
Tracking progress [ edit ] The online publication SDG-Tracker was launched in June 2018 and presents data across all available indicators. It relies on the Our World in Data database and is also based at the University of Oxford. The publication has global coverage and tracks whether the world is making progress towards the SDGs. It aims to make the data on the 17 goals available and understandable to a wide audience.
The website "allows people around the world to hold their governments accountable to achieving the agreed goals". The SDG-Tracker highlights that the world is currently (early 2019) very far away from achieving the goals.
The Global SDG Index and Dashboards Report is the first publication to track countries' performance on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The annual publication, co-produced by Bertelsmann Stiftung and SDSN, includes a ranking and dashboards that show key challenges for each country in terms of implementing the SDGs. The publication features trend analysis to show how countries performing on key SDG metrics has changed over recent years in addition to an analysis of government efforts to implement the SDGs.
At country level [ edit ] United States [ edit ] 193 governments including the United States ratified the SDGs. However, the UN reported minimal progress after three years within the 15-year timetable of this project. Funding remains trillions of dollars short. The United States stand last among the G20 nations to attain these Sustainable Development Goals and 36th worldwide.
Europe and Russia [ edit ] Baltic nations, via the Council of the Baltic Sea States, have created the Baltic 2030 Action Plan.
The World Pensions Forum has observed that UK and European Union pension investors have been at the forefront of ESG-driven (Environmental, Social and Governance) asset allocation at home and abroad and early adopters of "SDG-centric" investment practices.
India [ edit ] The Government of India established the NITI Aayog to attain the sustainable development goals. In March 2018 Haryana became the first state in India to have its annual budget focused on the attainment of SDG with a 3-year action plan and a 7-year strategy plan to implement sustainable development goals when Captain Abhimanyu, Finance Minister of Government of Haryana, unveiled a '¹ 1,151,980 lakh (US$1.7 billion or '¬1.5 billion) annual 2018-19 budget.Also, NITI Aayog starts the exercise of measuring India and its States' progress towards the SDGs for 2030, culminating in the development of the first SDG India Index - Baseline Report 2018
Bangladesh [ edit ] Bangladesh publishes the Development Mirror to track progress towards the 17 goals.
Bhutan [ edit ] The Sustainable development process in Bhutan has a more meaningful purpose than economic growth alone. The nation's holistic goal is the pursuit of Gross National Happiness (GNH), a term coined in 1972 by the Fourth King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, which has the principal guiding philosophy for the long term journey as a nation. Therefore, the SDGs find a natural and spontaneous place within the framework of GNH sharing a common vision of prosperity, peace, and harmony where no one is left behind. Just as GNH is both an ideal to be pursued and a practical tool so too the SDGs inspire and guide sustainable action.Guided by the development paradigm of GNH, Bhutan is committed to achieving the goals of SDGs by 2030 since its implementation in September 2015. In line with Bhutan's commitment to the implementation of the SDGs and sustainable development, Bhutan has participated in the Voluntary National Review in the 2018 High-Level Political Forum. As the country has progressed in its 12th Five year plan (2019-2023), the national goals have been aligned with the SDGs and every agency plays a vital role in its own ways to collectively achieving the committed goals of SDGs.
Public engagement [ edit ] A proposal to visualize the 17 SDGs in a thematic pyramid.
UN agencies which are part of the United Nations Development Group decided to support an independent campaign to communicate the new SDGs to a wider audience. This campaign, "Project Everyone," had the support of corporate institutions and other international organizations.
Using the text drafted by diplomats at the UN level, a team of communication specialists developed icons for every goal. They also shortened the title "The 17 Sustainable Development Goals" to "Global Goals/17#GlobalGoals," then ran workshops and conferences to communicate the Global Goals to a global audience.
An early concern was that 17 goals would be too much for people to grasp and that therefore the SDGs would fail to get a wider recognition.[when? ] That without wider recognition the necessary momentum to achieve them by 2030 would not be archived. Concerned with this, British film-maker Richard Curtis started the organization in 2015 called Project Everyone with the aim to bring the goals to everyone on the planet. Curtis approached Swedish designer Jakob Trollb¤ck who rebranded them as The Global Goals and created the 17 iconic visuals with clear short names as well as a logotype for the whole initiative. The communication system is available for free. In 2018 Jakob Trollb¤ck and his company The New Division went on to extend the communication system to also include the 169 targets that describe how the goals can be achieved.
Le Temps Presse festival [ edit ] The annual "Le Temps Presse" festival in Paris utilizes cinema to sensitize the public, especially young people, to the Sustainable Development Goals. The origin of the festival was in 2010 when eight directors produced a film titled "8," which included eight short films, each featuring one of the Millennium Development Goals. After 2.5 million viewers saw "8" on YouTube, the festival was created. It now showcases young directors whose work promotes social, environmental and human commitment. The festival now focuses on the Sustainable Development Goals.
Comparison with Millennium Development Goals [ edit ] A commentary in The Economist in 2015 said that the SDGs are "a mess" compared to the eight MDGs used previously. The MDGs were about development while the SDGs are about sustainable development.[clarification needed ] Finally, the MDGs used a sole approach to problems, while the SDGs take into account the inter-connectedness of all the problems.[citation needed ]
Whilst the MDGs were strongly criticized by many NGOs as only dealing with the problems, the SDGs deal with the causes of the problems.[citation needed ]
Another core feature of the SDGs is their focus on means of implementation, or the mobilization of financial resources, along with capacity building and technology.[citation needed ]
Cost of achieving the SDGs [ edit ] The Economist estimated that alleviating poverty and achieving the other sustainable development goals will require about US$2''3 trillion per year for the next 15 years which they called "pure fantasy". Estimates for providing clean water and sanitation for the whole population of all continents have been as high as US$200 billion. The World Bank says that estimates need to be made country by country, and reevaluated frequently over time.
The Rockefeller Foundation asserts that "The key to financing and achieving the SDGs lies in mobilizing a greater share of the $200+ trillion in annual private capital investment flows toward development efforts, and philanthropy has a critical role to play in catalyzing this shift." Large-scale funders participating in a Rockefeller Foundation-hosted design thinking workshop (June 2017: Scaling Solutions) were realistic. They concluded that while there is a moral imperative to achieve the SDGs, failure is inevitable if there aren't drastic changes to how we go about financing large scale change.
Need for coordination and cooperation [ edit ] Three sectors need to come together in order to achieve sustainable development. These are the economic, socio-political, and environmental sectors in their broadest sense. This requires the promotion of multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary research across different sectors, which can be difficult, particularly when major governments fail to support it.
Risk factors [ edit ] The goal of achieving sustainable human population and lifestyle levels, and the scientific issues of matching ecosystems (and the Earth as a whole) to the number of human beings that they can sustainably support at a certain life-style level, seem neglected and largely unarticulated. Human population levels and reproductive rates are independent variables in trying to reach the SDGs and in aiming at an overall sustainable Earth/Human Community, they need to be scientifically recognized as such.[citation needed ]
Criticisms [ edit ] The SDGs have been criticized for setting contradictory goals and for trying to do everything first, instead of focusing on the most urgent or fundamental priorities.
Other views are more positive. The SDGs were an outcome from a UN conference that was not criticized by any major non-governmental organization (NGO). Instead, the SDGs received broad support from many NGOs.
Competing goals [ edit ] Some of the goals compete with each other. For example, seeking high levels of quantitative GDP growth can make it difficult to attain ecological, inequality reduction, and sustainability objectives.
In a 2019 research paper, anthropologist Jason Hickel argued that continued global economic growth of 3 percent (Goal 8) could not be reconciled with ecological sustainability goals, because the required rate of absolute global eco-economic decoupling is far higher than any country has achieved in the past and little empirical evidence supports the idea that it can be attained in the future. Hickel proposed that, instead of targeting aggregate GDP growth, the goals should instead target resource use per capita, with "substantial reductions in high'income nations."
Too many goals [ edit ] A commentary in The Economist in 2015 argued that 169 targets for the SDGs is too many, describing them as "sprawling, misconceived" and "a mess". The goals are said to ignore local context. All other 16 goals might be contingent on achieving SDG 1, ending poverty, which should have been at the top of a very short list of goals. In addition, Bhargava (2019) has emphasized the inter-dependence between the numerous sub-goals and the role played by population growth in developing countries in hampering their operationalization.
On the other hand, nearly all stakeholders engaged in negotiations to develop the SDGs agreed that the high number of 17 goals was justified because the agenda they address is all-encompassing.[citation needed ]
See also [ edit ] Action for Climate EmpowermentEconomics of climate change mitigationEducation 2030 AgendaPlanetary managementInternational efforts on marine protected areasSocial Progress IndexSustainable Development Goals and IranFurther reading [ edit ] Bhargava, A. (2019). "Climate change, demographic pressures and global sustainability", Economics and Human Biology, 33, 149-154.
Lietaer, Bernard (2019). "Towards a sustainable world - 3 paradigms to achieve", available as of Oct.31, 2019 ISBN 978-3-200-06527-7. Discusses "the law of sustainability" presented with Robert E.Ulanowicz and Sally J.Goerner.
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Animated video by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)"Project Everyone" Campaign Initial campaign on the SDGs"Global Goals" Campaign Continuing campaign on the SDGs published by Project EveryoneWomen and the SDGs (from UNWomen.org)The UN SDG Action CampaignThe World's Largest Lesson (for educators) with as leading figure Nobel prize laureate Malala YousafzaiThe 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals: An opportunity for Latin America and the CaribbeanResearch Guide on the Sustainable Development Goals, by the United Nations Library at GenevaResearch Guide on Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals with special focus on Latin America, prepared by the ECLAC LibraryThe Sustainable Development Goals Report 2017 UNGlobal SDG Indicators Database UNInteractive SDG PortalDevelopment Initiatives Strategies for Self-Sustainability - Tools for sustainable developmentSDG-Tracker.org '' the first and only publication that tracks whether the world is making progress towards the SDGs (from the University of Oxford)
Watch the 2019 Global Citizen Festival New York Live
Sun, 29 Sep 2019 04:40
Our ImpactSince 2012, 23.4 million actions by Global Citizens have helped generate commitments and policy announcements from leaders valued at over $47 billion. These commitments have affected the lives of 880 million people to date with interventions that range from vaccinating a child to providing one year of education. These things will ultimately help people lift themselves out of poverty.
Presented ByCiti Citi enables progress around the world by addressing and financially supporting societal challenges that impact our clients and communities. We strive to constantly evolve to connect with people on a more emotional level, as a bank that makes people feel optimistic about welcoming what's next. We're proud to partner with Global Citizen for the 8th consecutive year to help end extreme poverty through sustainable finance and innovation initiatives around economic empowerment, education and more.
Cisco At Cisco, we believe technology is the bridge to overcoming some of the world's greatest challenges, and we're proud to power Global Citizen's movement to end extreme poverty. For nearly 30 years, we have invested in core issues we all share '' the need for a home, food, clean water, an education, and the opportunity to make a living. Our hope is to create a digital economy in which everyone '' regardless of gender, background or location '' has the chance to thrive.
Presenting Media PartnersMSNBC MSNBC is committed to connecting our audience with the stories and values that bring purpose and action to our global community. Through our partnership with the Global Citizen Festival, we strive to elevate the stories of the individuals, corporations, and organizations who are working to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030. Whether the topic is education, climate change, women's empowerment, sustainability or energy access, our mission is to inspire and empower our audience.
Comcast NBCUniversal Comcast NBCUniversal is dedicated to using our media platforms and unparalleled reach to inform, advocate and inspire people to come together and make the world a better place. As a leading media and technology company, our support of Global Citizen's campaign to end extreme poverty and fight inequality and injustice helps empower our employees, customers and audiences to take on major social issues. Our collective strength and influence makes it possible to create a positive impact every day.
iHeartRadio iHeart Radio is a proud presenting media partner of Global Citizen. iHeart Radio will broadcast the Global Citizen Festival and support through radio ads across the country. iHeart is committed to supporting Global Citizen to build the movement to end extreme poverty.
Production PartnerLive Nation Entertainment Live Nation is proud to partner with Global Citizen on improving education for girls and women, health care, education, sustainable financing, ending hunger, providing clean water to all and taking care of the environment. Live Nation is committed to empowering its employees, artists and fans to become Global Citizens. Live Nation's global reach and scale will make a difference. Together, we will set the stage to make the world a better place for us all.
Major PartnersJohnson & Johnson Johnson & Johnson is committed to creating a world where a healthy mind, body and environment is within reach for all humanity and we're proud to partner with Global Citizen to further this commitment together. As partners, we will shape the health of future generations and pave the way to a healthier future for everyone, everywhere. Because good health changes everything.
P&G We believe it is our responsibility to be a good corporate citizen. We focus our efforts across several areas that are important to our business and the world. We start with Ethics & Corporate Responsibility, which is the foundation for the other focus areas: Community Impact, Diversity & Inclusion, Gender Equality and Environmental Sustainability. We know we have more work to do and look forward to the opportunities in front of us to make a difference and be a positive force for good every day.
Verizon At Verizon, we focus our business and resources to uplift people and protect the planet. By taking on the world's biggest problems and reimagining how we live, work and innovate - we don't wait for the future, we build it.
NYC Parks NYC Parks has been a partner with Global Citizen since the first Global Citizen Festival in 2012.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to print my tickets?
Yes, you must print your tickets ahead of time before you arrive at the park. If you do not have a paper ticket, you will not be allowed in. Due to NYC Parks regulations, we cannot accept tickets presented on your mobile device. We have plenty of recycling stations throughout the park for you to recycle your paper tickets, once you've entered!
What time do the gates to Central Park open? What time does the festival start and end?
The gates at Central Park will open at 2 p.m. and the show will start at 5 p.m. The show will end around 10 p.m.
Where is the exact location we should enter the park? My ticket only says West or East gate.
We have two main general admission entrances to the Global Citizen Festival. The West Gate is located at 72nd Street and Central Park West and the East Gate is located at 72nd Street and 5th Avenue.
What are the set times or order the artists are playing?
We're not releasing set times or the order of artists. With the amazing lineup, get there early to enjoy the whole show!
Is there anything I shouldn't bring to Global Citizen Festival?
The following items and actions are prohibited from the park: alcohol, audio recording devices, backpacks, bicycles or scooters, blankets, CamelBak backpacks, chains or chain wallets, cameras larger than point-and-shoot (if you can remove the lens, don't bring it), chairs, coolers, drones, fireworks, flags, Frisbees, glass or metal containers (including reusable water bottles such as Swells), illegal drugs or paraphernalia, laser pens or similar focused light, lighters, matches, musical instruments, pets or animals, selfie sticks, skateboards, vapes, smoking devices, sports balls, tents, tripods, umbrellas, unlicensed vending of any kind, weapons, video recording equipment, water squirt guns.
The NCT 127 light sticks will not be allowed into the Global Citizen Festival due to Central Park safety rules.
I am not able to attend the festival this year. How can I follow along during the day?
All of our Global Citizens are with us at the festival in spirit. If you'd like to follow along with the action of the day, the event will be broadcasted live on MSNBC (US), and on Global Citizen's YouTube and Twitter channels. iHeart Radio will also carry an audio broadcast of the Festival. You can tune in starting at 4 p.m. EST across all channels.
Nature paper on ocean warming retracted '' Retraction Watch
Thu, 26 Sep 2019 21:25
via WikipediaNature is retracting a 2018 paper which found that the oceans are warming much faster than predicted by previous models of climate change.
The article, ''Quantification of ocean heat uptake from changes in atmospheric O2 and CO2 composition,'' appeared at last October but quickly drew the attention of an influential critic who said the analysis was flawed.
The authors agreed, and within three weeks the paper received the following update:
We would like to alert readers that the authors have informed us of errors in the paper. An implication of the errors is that the uncertainties in ocean heat content are substantially underestimated. We are working with the authors to establish the quantitative impact of the errors on the published results, at which point in time we will provide a further update.
At the time, Ralph Keeling, of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif., and a co-author of the article, was gracious about the error. The San Diego Tribune quoted the researcher saying:
When we were confronted with his insight it became immediately clear there was an issue there. We're grateful to have it be pointed out quickly so that we could correct it quickly.
Now, nearly more than 10 months later, Nature is pulling the plug on the article. As the retraction notice states, the journal came to feel that the uncertainties in the analysis were too significant to let the paper stand:
Shortly after publication, arising from comments from Nicholas Lewis, we realized that our reported uncertainties were underestimated owing to our treatment of certain systematic errors as random errors. In addition, we became aware of several smaller issues in our analysis of uncertainty. Although correcting these issues did not substantially change the central estimate of ocean warming, it led to a roughly four-fold increase in uncertainties, significantly weakening implications for an upward revision of ocean warming and climate sensitivity. Because of these weaker implications, the Nature editors asked for a Retraction, which we accept. Despite the revised uncertainties, our method remains valid and provides an estimate of ocean warming that is independent of the ocean data underpinning other approaches. The revised paper, with corrected uncertainties, will be submitted to another journal. The Retraction will contain a link to the new publication, if and when it is published.
Keeling did not respond to a request for comment by deadline.
What about the 10-month lag? Lisa Boucher, the press manager for Nature Research, told us:
In general, when concerns are raised about papers we have published, whether by the original authors or by other researchers and readers, we look into them carefully, following an established process, consulting the authors and, where appropriate, seeking advice from peer reviewers and other external experts. These issues are often complex and as a result, it can take time for editors and authors to fully unravel them.
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No, Don't Listen to Greta Thunberg | National Review
Sat, 28 Sep 2019 21:03
Greta Thunberg speaks during the Climate Action Summit at the United Nations, September 23, 2019. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters) She is a pawn being used by adults for their own interests. G reta Thunberg needs to get a grip.
The celebrity teen climate activist addressed the United Nations and excoriated the assembled worthies: ''You all come to us young people for hope. How dare you! You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.''
Someone may have stolen her childhood, but the guilty parties can't be found at Turtle Bay. A 16-year-old from Sweden, Thunberg thundered, ''I should be back at school on the other side of the ocean,'' which would have been easy enough to achieve, beginning with not taking two weeks to sail across the Atlantic last month in a jet-travel-eschewing publicity stunt.
Greta Thunberg is the leading edge of a youth movement against climate change '-- including a global ''climate strike'' last week '-- that is being promoted and celebrated by adults who find it useful for their own purposes.
Kids are powerful pawns. The catchphrase ''for the children'' has a seductive political appeal, while kids offer their adult supporters a handy two-step. The same people who say, ''The world must heed this 16-year-old girl'' will turn around and say to anyone who pushes back, ''How dare you criticize a 16-year-old girl?'' (I can feel the tweets filling up my mentions right now.)
There's a reason that we don't look to teenagers for guidance on fraught issues of public policy. With very rare exceptions '-- think, say, the philosopher John Stuart Mill, who was a child prodigy '-- kids have nothing interesting to say to us. They just repeat back what they've been told by adults, with less nuance and maturity.
Much of the climate advocacy of young people boils down to the plaint that all parents know well: ''I want it, and I want it now.'' As one headline on a National Geographic story put it, ''Kids' world climate strikes demand that warming stop, fast.''
Behind the foot-stomping is the idea that a long-running global phenomenon could be quickly stopped, if only adults cared as much as the kids did. This fails to account for such recalcitrant factors as costs and complexity, but when do children ever think of those? (And who can blame them? They're children.)
Instead, the youthful climate activists claim they've been sold out by their elders. Greta Thunberg put it with her usual accusatory starkness at the U.N.: ''You are failing us, but young people are starting to understand your betrayal.''
This is laughable. By no global measure of social and economic well-being have we failed kids. According to HumanProgress.org, the global poverty rate fell from 28 percent in 1999 to 11 percent in 2013. Life expectancy increased from 63.2 years to 71.9 years from 1981 to 2015. The completion rate for primary school increased from 80 percent in 1981 to 90 percent in 2015. The same benign trends hold for hunger, child labor, literacy, and so on.
If climate change proves a significant challenge, today's youth will have more resources and technology to grapple with it than any other generation in the history of mankind.
Of course, the adults they listen to don't tell them any of this. Instead, they feed the kids a diet of apocalyptic warnings that children repeat back as if they were urgent insights. One speaker at the youth climate rally in Washington, D.C., last week said that we have just 18 months '-- yes, only until the beginning of 2021 '-- to forestall irreversible environmental harms.
According to National Geographic, ''more than a few teens who began as fervent activists have dropped out, citing depression, anxiety, and other fears that the world's leaders will not act in time to prevent their lives '-- and the lives of their children '-- from being irretrievably altered by climate change.''
This is nuts, and it's the adult enablers who are ultimately responsible. As for the kids, they'll be all right. One day, they will grow up, even in a warming world.
(C) 2019 by King Features Syndicate
Eating meat could be banned like smoking, says top barrister, as he calls for new crime of 'ecocide'
Sat, 28 Sep 2019 12:11
Michael Mansfield QC Credit: Jane Mingay E ating meat could be banned like smoking, one of Britain's foremost barristers has predicted, as he called for the offence of 'ecocide' to be introduced to prosecute those who damage the nature on a massive scale.
Michael Mansfield QC warned that the farming of livestock for meat was destroying the planet and called for legislation to criminalise those who cause global warming and the wilful destruction of wildlife . In a message delivered at the launch of the Vegan Now campaign, which encourages people to stop eating meat and dairy, Mansfield said he had a 'single message' to make ecocide a crime.
''I think when we look at the damage eating meat is doing to the planet it is not preposterous...
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Did the IPCC's new oceans report mean to cite a now-retracted paper? '' Retraction Watch
Sat, 28 Sep 2019 12:10
via WikipediaA major new report about the dramatic warming of the oceans cites a 2018 Nature paper on the topic that was retracted earlier this week '-- the same day, in fact, that the report dropped.
But one of the authors of that paper tells Retraction Watch that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report, released September 25, must have meant to cite a different paper by the same authors.
The report concluded that:
It is virtually certain that the global ocean has warmed unabated since 1970 and has taken up more than 90% of the excess heat in the climate system (high confidence). Since 1993, the rate of ocean warming has more than doubled (likely).
In a section on global carbon burden, the document states that:
The analyses of the steadily growing number of surface ocean CO2 observations (now more than 20 million observations, SOCATv6 (https://www.socat.info/index.php/2018/06/19/v6-release/) demonstrate that the net ocean uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere has increased from around 1.2±0.5 Pg C yr-1 in the early 1980s to 2.0±0.5 Pg C yr-1 in the years 2010-2015 (R¶denbeck et al., 2014; Landsch¼tzer et al., 2016). Once new estimates of the outgassing flux stemming from river derived carbon of 0.8 Pg C yr-1 (Resplandy et al., 2018) are accounted for, these new observations imply that the rate of global ocean uptake of anthropogenic CO2 increased from 2.0±0.5 Pg C yr-1 to 2.8±0.5 Pg C yr-1 between the early 1980s and 2010-2015 (R¶denbeck et al., 2014; Landsch¼tzer et al., 2016; Le Qu(C)r(C) et al., 2018). This increase is supported by the current generation of ocean carbon cycle models (Le Qu(C)r(C) et al., 2018), and commensurate with the increase in atmospheric CO2.
The Resplandy citation is the now-retracted article in Nature. Ralph Keeling, the second author on that paper, tells Retraction Watch that
From the context, it's clear they meant to cite a different paper, namely:
Resplandy, L., R. F. Keeling, C. Roedenbeck, B. B. Stephens, S. Khatiwala, K. B. Rodgers, M. C. Long, L. Bopp and P. P. Tans (2018). ''Revision of global carbon fluxes based on a reassessment of oceanic and riverine carbon transport.'' Nature Geoscience 11(7): 504-508.
We contacted the IPCC press office to ask what had happened, and received an auto-reply:
I'm afraid that everyone is travelling away from the venue back to their home countries, but we will endeavour to respond as soon as we can. We will be able to start arranging interviews on Monday.
What makes the flawed citation more remarkable is that researchers have been aware of errors in the analysis for more than 10 months. As we '-- and others '-- have reported, almost immediately after publication of the paper Nic Lewis blogged about his concerns with the analysis, concerns that eventually prompted the retraction.
Keeling told us:
I very much appreciate your drawing this to my attention. Obviously, they need to fix the citation.
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From the NonProfit Industrial Complex with Love >> The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg '' for Consent: The Political Economy of the Non-Profit Industrial Complex [ACT I]
Fri, 27 Sep 2019 20:27
January 17, 2019
''What's infuriating about manipulations by the Non Profit Industrial Complex is that they harvest the goodwill of the people, especially young people. They target those who were not given the skills and knowledge to truly think for themselves by institutions which are designed to serve the ruling class. Capitalism operates systematically and structurally like a cage to raise domesticated animals. Those organizations and their projects which operate under false slogans of humanity in order to prop up the hierarchy of money and violence are fast becoming some of the most crucial elements of the invisible cage of corporatism, colonialism and militarism.''
'-- Hiroyuki Hamada, artist
1958: ''17-year-old Bianca Passarge of Hamburg dresses up as a cat, complete with furry tail, and dances on wine bottles. Her performance was based on a dream and she practised for eight hours every day in order to perfect her dance.''
The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg '' for Consent series has been written in two volumes.
[Volume I: ACT I ' ACT II ' ACT III ' ACT IV ' ACT V ' ACT VI ' Addenda I] [Book form]
[Volume II: An Object Lesson In Spectacle ' ACT I ' ACT II ' ACT III ' ACT IV ' ACT V] [ACTS VI & VII forthcoming]
In ACT I, I disclosed that Greta Thunberg, the current child prodigy and face of the youth movement to combat climate change, served as special youth advisor and trustee to the foundation established by ''We Don't Have Time'', a burgeoning mainstream tech start-up. I then explored the ambitions behind the tech company We Don't Have Time.
In ACT II, I illustrate how today's youth are the sacrificial lambs for the ruling elite. Also in this act I introduce the board members and advisors to We Don't Have Time. I explore the leadership in the nascent We Don't Have Time and the partnerships between the well-established corporate environmental entities: Al Gore's Climate Reality Project, 350.org, Avaaz, Global Utmaning (Global Challenge), the World Bank, and the World Economic Forum (WEF).
In ACT III, I deconstruct how Al Gore and the Planet's most powerful capitalists are behind today's manufactured youth movements and why. I explore the We Don't Have Time/Thunberg connections to Our Revolution, the Sanders Institute, This Is Zero Hour, the Sunrise Movement and the Green New Deal. I also touch upon Thunberg's famous family. In particular, Thunberg's celebrity mother, Malena Ernman (WWF Environmental Hero of the Year 2017) and her August 2018 book launch. I then explore the generous media attention afforded to Thunberg in both May and April of 2018 by SvD, one of Sweden's largest newspapers.
In ACT IV, I examine the current campaign, now unfolding, in ''leading the public into emergency mode''. More importantly, I summarize who and what this mode is to serve.
In ACT V, I take a closer look at the Green New Deal. I explore Data for Progress and the targeting of female youth as a key ''femographic''. I connect the primary architect and authors of the ''Green New Deal'' data to the World Resources Institute. From there, I walk you through the interlocking Business & Sustainable Development Commission, the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, and the New Climate Economy '' a project of the World Resources Institute. I disclose the common thread between these groups and the assignment of money to nature, represented by the Natural Capital Coalition and the non-profit industrial complex as an entity. Finally, I reveal how this has culminated in the implementation of payments for ecosystem services (the financialization and privatization of nature, global in scale) which is ''expected to be adopted during the fifteenth meeting in Beijing in 2020.''
In the final act, ACT VI [Crescendo], I wrap up the series by divulging that the very foundations which have financed the climate ''movement'' over the past decade are the same foundations now partnered with the Climate Finance Partnership looking to unlock 100 trillion dollars from pension funds. I reveal the identities of individuals and groups at the helm of this interlocking matrix, controlling both the medium and the message. I take you back in time to briefly demonstrate the ten years of strategic social engineering that have brought us to this very precipice. I look at the relationship between WWF, Stockholm Institute and World Resources Institute as key instruments in the creation of the financialization of nature. I also take a look at the first public campaigns for the financialization of nature (''natural capital'') that are slowly being brought into the public realm by WWF. I reflect upon how mainstream NGOs are attempting to safeguard their influence and further manipulate the populace by going underground through Extinction Rebellion groups being organized in the US and across the world.
With the smoke now cleared, the weak and essentially non-existent demands reminiscent of the 2009 TckTckTck ''demands'' can now be fully understood.
Some of these topics, in addition to others, will be released and discussed in further detail as addenda built on the large volume of research. This includes stepping through the looking glass, with an exploration of what the real ''Green New Deal'' under the Fourth Industrial Revolution will look like. Also forthcoming is a look at the power of celebrity '' and how it has become a key tool for both capital and conformity.
[ *Note: This series contains information and quotes that have been translated from Swedish to English via Google Translator. ]
''How is it possible for you to be so easily tricked by something so simple as a story, because you are tricked? Well, it all comes down to one core thing and that is emotional investment. The more emotionally invested you are in anything in your life, the less critical and the less objectively observant you become.'' '-- David JP Phillips, We Don't Have Time board of directors, ''The Magical Science of Storytelling''
Greta Thunberg, We Don't Have Time, Facebook, October 26, 2018
August 2018, Finance Monthly, co-founder of We Don't Have Time, Ingmar Rentzhog
We Don't Have TimeA
s this term is quickly becoming the quote du jour as a collective mantra to address the ongoing environmental disaster that can best be described as a nod to the obvious, it's true that we don't have time. We don't have time to stop imperialist wars '' wars being the greatest contributor to climate change and environmental degradation by far '' but we must do so. Of course this is an impossible feat under the crushing weight of the capitalist system, a US war economy, and the push for a fourth industrial revolution founded on renewable energy. Yet, inconvenience has nothing to do with necessity in regards to addressing a particular situation. What is never discussed in regard to the so-called ''clean energy revolution'' is that its existence is wholly dependent on ''green'' imperialism '' the latter term being synonymous with blood.
But that's not what this series is about.
This series is about new financial markets in a world where global economic growth is experiencing stagnation. The threat and subsequent response is not so much about climate change as it is about the collapse of the capitalist economic system. This series is about the climate wealth opportunity of unprecedented growth, profits and the measures our elite classes will take in order to achieve it '' including the exploitation of the youth.
What is We Don't Have Time?
''Our goal is to become among the biggest players on the internet.'' '-- Ingmar Rentzhog, We Don't Have Time, December 22, 2017, Nordic Business Insider
On August 20, 2018 a tweet featuring a photo of ''a Swedish girl'' sitting on a sidewalk was released by the tech company, We Don't Have Time, founded by its CEO Ingmar Rentzhog:
''One 15 year old girl in front of the Swedish parliament is striking from School until Election Day in 3 weeks[.] Imagine how lonely she must feel in this picture. People where [sic] just walking by. Continuing with the business as usual thing. But the truth is. We can't and she knows it!''
Rentzhog's tweet, via the We Don't Have Time twitter account, would be the very first exposure of Thunberg's now famous school strike.
Above: We Don't Have Time tweet, August 20, 2018
Tagged in Rentzhog's ''lonely girl'' tweet were five twitter accounts: Greta Thunberg, Zero Hour (youth movement), Jamie Margolin (the teenage founder of Zero Hour), Al Gore's Climate Reality Project, and the People's Climate Strike twitter account (in the identical font and aesthetics as 350.org). [These groups will be touched upon briefly later in this series.]
Rentzhog is the founder of Laika (a prominent Swedish communications consultancy firm providing services to the financial industry, recently acquired by FundByMe). He was appointed as chair of the think tank Global Utmaning (Global Challenge in English) on May 24, 2018, and serves on the board of FundedByMe. Rentzhog is a member of Al Gore's Climate Reality Organization Leaders, where he is part of the European Climate Policy Task Force. He received his training in March 2017 by former US Vice President Al Gore in Denver, USA, and again in June 2018, in Berlin.
Founded in 2006, Al Gore's Climate Reality Project is a partner of We Don't Have Time.
The We Don't Have Time Foundation cites two special youth advisors and trustees: Greta Thunberg and Jamie Margolin. [Source]
M¥rten Thorslund, chief marketing and sustainability officer of We Don't Have Time took many of the very first photos of Thunberg following the launch of her school strike on August 20, 2018. In the following instance, photos taken by Thorslund accompany the article written by David Olsson, chief operating officer of We Don't Have Time, This 15-year-old Girl Breaks Swedish Law for the Climate, published August 23, 2018:
''Greta became a climate champion and tried to influence those closest to her. Her father now writes articles and gives lectures on the climate crisis, whereas her mother, a famous Swedish opera singer, has stopped flying. All thanks to Greta.
And clearly, she has stepped up her game, influencing the national conversation on the climate crisis'--two weeks before the election. We Don't Have Time reported on Greta's strike on its first day and in less than 24 hours our Facebook posts and tweets received over twenty thousand likes, shares and comments. It didn't take long for national media to catch on. As of the first week of the strike, at least six major daily newspapers, as well as Swedish and Danish national TV,  have interviewed Greta. Two Swedish party leaders have stopped by to talk to her as well.'' [Emphasis added]
The article continues:
''Is there something big going on here? This one kid immediately got twenty supporters who now sit next to her. This one kid created numerous news stories in national newspapers and on TV. This one kid has received thousands of messages of love and support on social media'.... Movements by young people, such as Jaime Margolin's #ThisIsZeroHour that #WeDontHaveTime interviewed earlier, speaks with a much needed urgency that grown-ups should pay attention to'...'' [Emphasis in original]
Yes '' there was, and still is, something going on.
It's called marketing and branding.
''Yesterday I sat completely by myself, today there is one other here too. There are none [that] I know.'' '-- Greta Thunberg, August 21, 2018, Nyheter newspaper, Sweden [Translation via Google]
The ''one kid immediately got twenty supporters'' '' from a Swedish network for sustainable business. What is going on '' is the launch of a global campaign to usher in a required consensus for the Paris Agreement, the New Green Deal and all climate related policies and legislation written by the power elite '' for the power elite. This is necessary in order to unlock the trillions of dollars in funding by way of massive public demand.
These agreements and policies include carbon capture storage (CCS), enhanced oil recovery (EOR), bio-energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), rapid total decarbonization, payments for ecosystem services (referred to as ''natural capital''), nuclear energy and fission, and a host of other ''solutions'' that are hostile to an already devastated planet. What is going on '' is a rebooting of a stagnant capitalist economy, that needs new markets '' new growth '' in order to save itself. What is being created is a mechanism to unlock approximately 90 trillion dollars for new investments and infrastructure. What is going on is the creation of, and investment in, perhaps the biggest behavioural change experiment yet attempted, global in scale. And what are the deciding factors in what behaviours global society should adhere to? And more importantly, who decides? This is a rhetorical question as we know full well the answer: the same Western white male saviours and the capitalist economic system they have implemented globally that has been the cause of our planetary ecological nightmare. This crisis continues unabated as they appoint themselves (yet again) as the saviours for all humanity '' a recurring problem for centuries.
''Our goal is to become at least 100 million users. It is an eighth of all who have climbed on social media. Only last month we managed to reach 18 million social media accounts according to a media survey that Meltwater news made for us. At Facebook, we are currently seven times the number of followers among the world's all climate organizations. We are growing with 10,000 new global followers per day on Facebook.'' '-- Ingmar Rentzhog interview with Milj¶ & Utveckling, October 15, 2018
We Don't Have Time identifies itself as a movement and tech startup that is currently developing ''the world's largest social network for climate action''. The ''movement'' component was launched on April 22, 2018. The web platform is still in the progress of being built, but is to launch on April 22, 2019 (coinciding with Earth Day). ''Through our platform, millions of members will unite to put pressure on leaders, politicians and corporations to act for the climate.'' The start-up's goal to rapidly achieve 100 million users has thus far attracted 435 investors (74.52% of the company's shares) via the web platform FundedByMe.
The startup intends to offer partnerships, digital advertising and services related to climate change, sustainability and the growing green, circular economy to ''a large audience of engaged consumers and ambassadors.''
We Don't Have Time is mainly active in three markets: social media, digital advertising and carbon offsets. [''In the US alone estimated market for carbon offsetting amount to over 82 billion USD of which voluntary carbon offset represents 191 million USD. The market is expected to increase in the future, in 2019 estimated 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions to be associated with any kind of cost for offsetting.''] As the company is a niche organization, social networks are able to provide services tailored to platform users. The startup has identified such an opportunity by offering its users the ability to purchase carbon offsets through the platform's own certification. This option applies to both the individual user of the platform, as well as whole organizations/companies on the platform.
One incentive of many identified in the start-up investment section is that users will be encouraged to ''communicate jointly and powerfully with influential actors.'' Such influencers are Greta Thunberg and Jamie Margolin who both have lucrative futures in the branding of ''sustainable'' industries and products, if they wish to pursue this path in utilizing their present celebrity for personal gain (a hallmark of the ''grassroots'' NGO movement). [Further reading: The Increasing Vogue for Capitalist-Friendly Climate Discourse]
The tech company is banking on creating a massive member base of ''conscious users'' that will enable ''profitable commercial collaborations, for example, advertising'':
''Decision makers '' politicians, companies, organizations, states '' get a climate rating based on their ability to live up to the users' initiative. Knowledge and opinion gather in one place and users put pressure on decision makers to drive a faster change.''
''The main sources of revenue come from commercial players who have received high climate rating and confidence in the We Don't Have Times member base. '... The revenue model will resemble the social platform of TripAdvisor.com's business model, which with its 390 million users annually generates over $ 1 billion in good profitability'...We will work with strategic partners such as Climate Reality leaders, climate organizations, bloggers, influencers and leading experts in the field.''
Video: We Don't Have Time promotional video, published April 6, 2018 [Running time: 1m:38s]
A ''state of conscious and permanent visibility assures the automatic functioning of power.'' '-- Michel Foucault's Discipline and Punish
Comparable to other social media endeavors where ''likes'', ''followers'', and unfathomable amounts of metadata determine financial success, the fact that the business is virtual enables high profit margins. The return on investment, best described as mainstream acquiescence and desirability by way of exposure, will be obtained through future dividends. In anticipation of this projected success, the tech company plans to take its business to the stock exchange in the near future. (Think Facebook and Instagram.) The most critical component to the success of this startup (like its predecessors) is achieving a massive member base. Therefore, according to the company it ''will work actively with both enlisting influencers and creating content for various campaigns linked to the hashtag #WeDontHaveTime.''
[Download: Prospectus WE DON'T HAVE TIME PDF ]
On April 18, 2018 the crowdfunding platform FundedByMe (utilized by We Don't Have Time to enlist investors) acquired Ingmar Rentzhog's Laika Consulting. Excerpts from the press release are as follows:
''FundedByMe today announced that they acquire 100% of the shares in the established financial company Laika Consulting AB, a leading communications agency in financial communications. As a result, the company doubles its investment network to close to 250,000 members, making it the largest in the Nordic region. The acquisition is a strategic step to further strengthen FundedByMe's range of financial services'...
[Ingmar Rentzhog] will continue to work on strategic client projects for FundedByMe and Laika Consulting in part-time. Moreover he takes a role in the company's board. The majority of his time he will focus on climate change through the newly established company, ''We Don't Have Time'', as a CEO and founder.'' [Emphasis added] [Source] 
We Don't Have Time Software App: The Latest Wave of Western & Corporate Ideology at Your FingertipsIn October 2016, Netflix aired the third season of Black Mirror, ''a Twilight Zone''esque anthology TV series about technological anxieties and possible futures.'' The first episode ''Nosedive'' posits a shallow and hypocritical populace in which ''social platforms, self-curation and validation-seeking'' have become the underpinning of a future society. [Black Mirror's third season opens with a vicious take on social media]. The disturbing episode shares parallels to the concept behind We Don't Have Time. The difference being instead of rating people exclusively, we will be rating brands, products, corporations and everything else climate related.
Acquisition International Magazine Issue 10, 2018
The not unintended results will be tenfold. The corporations with the best advertising executives and largest budgets will be the winners. Greenwashing will become an unprecedented method of advertising as will the art of ''storytelling'' (no one ever said a story has to be true). Small or local businesses with little financial means will more than often be the losers. Especially hit, will be migrant entrepreneurs whose cultures differ from ours in the West '' where ''Western democracy'' is the only democracy that is valid.
Adding to the conversation as to who is ultimately benefiting from this endeavor from a cultural, social, geographical and ethnic perspective is the fact that ''subconscious biases about race or gender, is a proven problem on many crowdsourced platforms.'' [Source] Ultimately, this means that in order to acquire the needed support as a multimedia platform, the self-interest of the Western world must be at the fore with no concern for the Global South '' other than what we can continue to steal from her. The inconvenient truth is that all roads lead to the same collective (if even subconscious) goal: the preservation of whiteness.
Rentzhog assures his audience that ''our core, though, will remain, namely to empower our users to put pressure on world leaders so that they move faster towards an emission-free world and environmentally sustainable solutions and policies.'' [Acquisition International Magazine Issue 10, 2018]
An ''emission-free world'' sounds enticing '' yet there are no plans whatsoever to retract our growth economies. ''Environmentally sustainable solutions'' '... according to who? According to a tribal elder who upholds the principles of ''the seventh generation'' (the Indigenous belief that humans must properly provide for its descendants by ensuring that our actions in the present allow the Earthly survival of seven succeeding generations '' not to be confused with Unilever's Seventh Generation acquisition) '' or according to the World Bank? (We all know the answer to this rhetorical question.)
Another inconvenient truth, regarding the above premise, is that there is growing pressure on governments to increase Federal research and development funding to develop and deploy ''deep decarbonisation'' technologies as one of the primary ''solutions'' to climate change. This was proposed at the Paris Climate Accord with Bill Gates' ''Mission Innovation'' initiative which committed to doubling government investment in energy technology.
''We want it to cost more, in terms of revenue, public support and reputation, to not work on lowering emissions and improve environmental sustainability, whereas those that lead the way should be recognized for this. Our vision is to create a race towards environmental sustainability and CO2 neutrality, making it the core priority for businesses, politicians and organizations worldwide.'' '-- Acquisition International Magazine Issue 10, 2018
Here again, we must look closely at language and framing. Who are ''those that lead the way''? Are they referring to Western citizens who can fit all their belongings in a duffle bag? [Here it must be said that the environmental heroes in the West are NOT the Richard Bransons or Leonardo DiCaprios of the world. The real heroes for the environment, due to their almost non-existent environmental footprint, are the homeless '' despite the scorn they receive from society as a whole.] Are they referring to the African Maasai who to this day, literally leave no trace? Or are ''those that lead the way'' Unilever and Ikea (represented on the We Don't Have time board). This is another rhetorical question we all know the answer to. Notice the mention of CO2 ''neutrality'' rather than a drastic reduction of CO2 emissions. Convenient language when one of the main pillars of the business model is the sale of carbon offsets '' rationalizing a continuance of the same carbon based lifestyle by constructing a faux fantasy one, that anyone with monetary wealth, can buy into.
As online reviews and ratings systems have become a Western staple of determining the worthiness of a person, group or corporation, the internet presently is a primary source of determining the quality of an entity. One example of this type of system is the online site Trip Advisor, which utilizes user feedback as a measuring stick of a hotel, airline, car rental, etc. As the Trip Advisor rating system is the revenue model We Don't Have Time seeks to emulate, we will explore this particular rating system.
Whereas a reputable and established website such as Trip Advisor is based on an actual experience '' We Don't Have Time evaluations are more geared toward promises into the future regarding a green technology revolution and/or the effectiveness of advertising in making people believe the veracity of these promises. By utilizing fake accounts (think Twitter and Facebook), strategically orchestrated campaigns will effectively allow the app to break political careers and demonize people and countries based on the numbers of ratings (''climate bombs''). These bombs can be administered against any foe that does not embrace the technologies (sought by the West to benefit the West) of this so-called revolution, regardless if the reason for doing so is justifiable or not.
The word ''bomb'' itself will become reframed. Rather than associating bombs with militarism (never touched upon by We Don't Have Time) the word bomb will eventually become first and foremost associated with ratings, bad products, bad ideas and bad people. Such is the power of language and framing when combined with social engineering. Here, the behavioural economics of hatred can be weaponized '' a virtual new form of soft power. The Nicaraguan Sandinista government who did not sign onto the Paris Agreement because it is too weak (and serves only Western interests) could quickly become a pariah on the global stage- as the West controls the stage. Already a target for destabilization, the soft power app would be applied as the ruling class sees fit.
When one contemplates the non-profit industrial complex, it must be considered the most powerful army in the world. Employing billions of staff, all inter-connected, today's campaigns, financed by our ruling oligarchs can become viral in a matter of hours just by the interlocking directorate working together in unity toward a common goal to instil uniform thoughts and opinions, which gradually create a desired ideology. This is the art of social engineering. Conformity and emotive content as tools of manipulation has been and always will be the most powerful weapons in the Mad Men's toolbox. If 300, 000 people have already voted with ''climate hearts'' on a ''trending'' topic in under 48 hours '' it must be a great idea.
''Nobody wants to be bottom of the class.'' Ingmar Retzhog, We Don't Have Time, December 22, 2017, Nordic Business Insider
To be clear, the West is in no position to ''teach'' (nudge/engineer) the ''correct'' value system regarding sustainability to the world, when the biggest polluters on the planet are manufactured into ''climate leaders'' and ''climate heroes''. This is reality turned on its head. A reality we are conditioned to accept. Institutions such as the United Nations in tandem with the media, spoon-feed this insanity (that defies all logic) to the global populace, in servitude to the ruling classes.
''Nudging'': Acquisition International Magazine Issue 10, 2018
Finally, this behavioral science platform lends itself to the continued devolvement of critical thinking. With virtually everything and everyone to rate all day long '' who has time to look in depth at any given policy or product that after all, sounds, looks and feels simply amazing due to sophisticated marketing coupled with behavioural change tactics? It is vital to keep in mind that social engineering '' and massive profit '' are the key merits and purpose of this application.
 TV 2 Danmark Danish public service, SVT Swedish public service, TV 4 News, Metro TV, Dagens Nyheter, Aftonbladet (August 20, 2018), Sydsvenskan, Stockholm Direkt, Expressen (August 20, 2018) , ETC, WWF, Effekt Magazin, G¶teborgsPosten,Helsingborgs Dagblad, Folkbladet, Uppsala Nya tidning, Vimmerby Tidning, Pite¥ Tidningen, Bor¥s Tidning, Duggan, VT, NT, Corren, OMNI, WeDontHaveTime CEO viral FaceBook post that mention it first. [Source]
 Click-based advertising based on highly rated companies that want to drive traffic to their websites; Targeted web advertising for companies that want to reach out to environmentally aware users in different segments; Business subscriptions where companies and organizations have the opportunity to interact with the members and get the right to use the We Don't Have Times brand and the company's rating in their marketing [Source]
 ''Laika Consulting was one of the first companies in Sweden to work with crowdfunding when we established the brand in 2004. I look forward to follow the company's growth closely. A combination of Laika's expertise in listed companies, together with FundedByMe with its international and digital presence, can create new opportunities for growth.''says Laika's CEO, Ingmar Rentzhog.'' [Source]
500 Climate Scientists Write To UN: There Is No Climate Emergency | Europe Reloaded
Fri, 27 Sep 2019 00:41
Professor Guus BerkhoutThe Hagueguus.firstname.lastname@example.org
23 September 2019
Sr. Ant"nio Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY 10017, United States of America.
Ms. Patricia Espinosa Cantellano, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC Secretariat, UN Campus, Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1, 53113 Bonn, Germany
There is no climate emergency.
A global network of more than 500 knowledgeable and experienced scientists and professionals in climate and related fields have the honor to address to Your Excellencies the attached European Climate Declaration, for which the signatories to this letter are the national ambassadors.
The general-circulation models of climate on which international policy is at present founded are unfit for their purpose. Therefore, it is cruel as well as imprudent to advocate the squandering of trillions on the basis of results from such immature models. Current climate policies pointlessly, grievously undermine the economic system, putting lives at risk in countries denied access to affordable, continuous electrical power.
We urge you to follow a climate policy based on sound science, realistic economics and genuine concern for those harmed by costly but unnecessary attempts at mitigation.
We ask you to place the Declaration on the agenda of your imminent New York session.
We also invite you to organize with us a constructive high-level meeting between world-class scientists on both sides of the climate debate early in 2020. The meeting will give effect to the sound and ancient principle no less of sound science than of natural justice that both sides should be fully and fairly heard. Audiatur et altera pars!
Please let us know your thoughts about such a joint meeting.
Yours sincerely, ambassadors of the European Climate Declaration,
Professor Guus Berkhout The Netherlands Professor Richard Lindzen USA Professor Reynald Du Berger French Canada Professor Ingemar Nordin Sweden Terry Dunleavy New Zealand Jim O'Brien Rep. of Ireland Viv Forbes Australia Professor Alberto Prestininzi Italy Professor Jeffrey Foss English Canada Professor Beno®t Rittaud France Morten J¸dal Norway Professor Fritz Vahrenholt Germany Rob Lemeire Belgium The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley UK
There is no climate emergency A global network of 500 scientists and professionals has prepared this urgent message. Climate science should be less political, while climate polities should be more scientific. Scientists should openly address the uncertainties and exaggerations in their predictions of global warming, while politicians should dispassionately count the real benefits as well as the imagined costs of adaptation to global warming, and the real costs as well as the imagined benefits of mitigation.
Natural as well as anthropogenic factors cause warming The geological archive reveals that Earth's climate has varied as long as the planet has existed, with natural cold and warm phases. The Little Ice Age ended as recently as 1850. Therefore, it is no surprise that we now are experiencing a period of warming.
Warming is far slower than predicted The world has warmed at less than half the originally-predicted rate, and at less than half the rate to be expected on the basis of net anthropogenic forcing and radiative imbalance. It tells us that we are far from understanding climate change.
Climate policy relies on inadequate models Climate models have many shortcomings and are not remotely plausible as policy tools. Moreover, they most likely exaggerate the effect of greenhouse gases such as CO2. In addition, they ignore the fact that enriching the atmosphere with CO2 is beneficial.
CO2 is plant food, the basis of all life on EarthCO2 is not a pollutant. It is essential to all life on Earth. Photosynthesis is a blessing. More CO2 is beneficial for nature, greening the Earth: additional CO2 in the air has promoted growth in global plant biomass. It is also good for agriculture, increasing the yields of crop worldwide.
Global warming has not increased natural disastersThere is no statistical evidence that global warming is intensifying hurricanes, floods, droughts and suchlike natural disasters, or making them more frequent. However, CO2-mitigation measures are as damaging as they are costly. For instance, wind turbines kill birds and bats, and palm-oil plantations destroy the biodiversity of the rainforests.
Policy must respect scientific and economic realities There is no climate emergency. Therefore, there is no cause for panic and alarm. We strongly oppose the harmful and unrealistic net-zero CO2 policy proposed for 2050. If better approaches emerge, and they certainly will, we have ample time to reflect and adapt. The aim of international policy should be to provide reliable and affordable energy at all times, and throughout the world.
Read full story here'...
There Is No Climate Emergency! | Frontier Centre For Public Policy
Fri, 27 Sep 2019 17:56
Speaking at the 13th International Conference on Climate Change, held July 25 in Washington, DC, Dr. Roy W. Spencer of the University of Alabama in Huntsville said: ''There is no climate crisis. Even if all the warming we've seen in any observational dataset is due to increasing CO2 (carbon dioxide), which I don't believe it is, it's probably too small for any person to feel in their lifetime.''
And yet, that same month, Democrat Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Earl Blumenauer and Democrat Senator Bernie Sanders introduced a non-binding resolution that demands a ''national, social, industrial and economic mobilization'' '' to ''halt, reverse, mitigate and prepare for the consequences of the climate emergency, and to restore the climate for future generations.'' Six Democrat presidential candidates immediately supported the resolution, as a way to spur ''sweeping reforms'' to stem a ''dangerous rise in global temperatures.''
In their view, apparently, asserting a climate emergency makes it a reality and justifies national or even global control and transformation of our energy, social, industrial, economic, legal and social systems.
Thus, in an effort to drum up support for its costly ''carbon tax,'' the Liberal government of Canada has also declared a climate emergency. So has Britain's Parliament, to back up a call by opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn for ''rapid and dramatic action'' to protect the environment , following weeks of protests by the Extinction Rebellion climate movement, the Reuters News Agency reported.
The Climate Mobilization group proclaimed that ''Over 790 local governments in 17 countries have declared a climate emergency and committed to action to drive down emissions at emergency speed.''
In considering whether this makes any sense, let's take a page out of Blumenauer's book and, as he put it, ''tell the truth about the nature of this threat.''
The so-called emergency is based on nothing but the over-active imaginations of activists who put too much faith in computer model forecasts, while ignoring historic records and observational data that tell us nothing extraordinary or unprecedented is happening '' and demonstrate that the models are wrong .
NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies asserts that between 1880 and 2017 there has been only slightly more than 1 degree C (1.8 F) rise in the so-called global average temperature, despite a supposed 40% rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) database of state-wide extreme weather records, arguably the best of its kind in the world, shows that so far in 2019 only one weather record has been set: the lowest temperature in Illinois history.
In 2018, the only records set were: the largest hailstone in Alabama history; the most rainfall in a 24-hour period in Hawaii; and the most precipitation in one year in Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia. Many of these records broke, sometimes barely, records that had stood for many decades.
In 2017, the only record set was for the fastest wind gust in California. No records were set in 2016. In 2015, only two records: the most precipitation in a year in Arkansas and the largest hailstone in Illinois history. In 2014, only one record: the most rainfall in a 24-hour period in New York.
And so it goes, year after year, as we move into the past with the occasional state record set, as one would expect due to natural climate variability. In the first 18+ years of the 21st century, only two states recorded their maximum temperatures: South Carolina in 2012 and South Dakota in 2006. Contrast that with 1936, when 15 states set their all-time maximum temperature records.
Meanwhile, NOAA's updated coastal sea level tide gauge data for 2016 show no evidence that the rate of sea level rise is accelerating. Seas are rising no faster than they have for many decades.
NOAA's hurricane records go back to 1851. The data show that for almost 12 consecutive years '' October 24, 2005 (after Wilma) until August 25, 2017 (Harvey) '' not one major or moderate (Category 3-5) hurricane made landfall in the continental United States. That is the longest such period in history. In 2018, for the first time ever, not one ''violent'' (F4-5) tornado touched down in the United States.
To the great frustration of climate alarmists, the real-world instrumental record clearly shows that, not only is no climate emergency underway, but today's climate is actually quite stable. Aside from the drive for world socialism, the climate scare is based on only one thing: computer model forecasts of what some say could happen someday if we do not restrict our use of fossil fuels to reduce CO2 emissions.
However, the models do not work. That's because they focus predominantly on greenhouse gases, and because scientists do not understand planetary climate processes well enough to know what mathematical equations to program into the models. Observations demonstrate that the actual rate of warming between 1979 and 2017 is one-third of what the average of 102 different climate models predicted. In fact, that climate model average is now almost one full degree Fahrenheit above what satellites have measured!
It is also important to realize that your own local weather forecasts just one week ahead are accurate only half the time. Let's drill a bit deeper into this scandal.
For the better part of three decades, governments have financed more than one hundred efforts to model our planet. They continue to do so even though none of the models has been able to recreate (hindcast) the known past, or after a decade of study accurately predict what was to happen just ten years later.
People are led astray, because generally speaking, the public has no clue what mathematical models actually are, how they work, and what they can and cannot do. To provide a simple insight into this complex subject, before we build airplanes or buildings, we make small scale physical models and test them against the stress and performances that will be required of them when they are actually built.
When dealing with systems that are totally beyond our control, we try to describe them with computer programs or mathematical equations that we hope may give answers to questions we have about how the system works today and in the future. We attempt to understand the variables that affect the system's operation. Then we alter the variables and see how the outcomes are affected. This is called sensitivity testing and is the very best use of mathematical models.
Historically, we were never foolish enough to make economic decisions based on predictions calculated from equations we think might control how nature works. Perhaps the most active area for mathematical modeling is the economy and stock market. No one has ever succeeded in getting it right, and they have far fewer variables than Earth's climate, which is governed by many powerful natural forces.
Yet, today, in the climate sphere, we are doing just that '' and using the models to justify massive changes in our energy and economic systems. While no one knows all the variables affecting climate, there are likely hundreds of them. Here are some important factors for which we have limited understanding:
1) seasonal, annual and decadal changes in solar irradiation; 2) energy flows between the ocean and atmosphere; 3) energy flows between the air and land; 4) balance between Earth's water, water vapor and ice; 5) the impacts of clouds, both trapping heat below and preventing solar radiation from reaching Earth; 6) understanding the planet's ice; 7) changes in mass among ice sheets, seal levels and glaciers; 8) our ability to factor in hurricanes and tornadoes; 9) the impact of vegetation on temperature; 10) tectonic movements on ocean bottoms; 11) differential rotation between Earth's surface and its core; and 12) solar system magnetic field and gravitational interactions.
Despite this vast uncertainty, today's modelers claim they can forecast our planet's climate for decades or even a century in the future '' by looking primarily or solely at ''greenhouse gases.'' And they want our leaders to manage our energy, economic, agricultural, transportation and other systems accordingly.
Yes, there is a climate-related emergency. It is the threat to our way of life in the free democratic world '' imposed on us by climate alarmists, many of whom do not really care about climate change, people or the environment. It is an assault no less frightening and damaging than the wars that have plagued mankind since the dawn of time. It's time for people and governments to stand up to the power-hungry alarmists.
Police officer forced to give up chase as Tesla electric patrol car runs low on battery | US News | Sky News
Thu, 26 Sep 2019 21:10
A policeman had to drop out of a pursuit because his electric Tesla patrol car was running low on battery.
Officer Jesse Hartman was chasing a suspect in San Francisco on Friday when he called the dispatch team to say he only had six miles of power left, NBC News reported.
Mr Hartman's shift began at 2pm and the pursuit started at 11pm.
Fremont Police Department spokeswoman Geneva Bosques said the officer was chasing a suspect wanted in connection with a crime in Santa Clara, California.
The police officer had asked the driver to stop, but he failed to pull over before taking off at high speed.
Ms Bosques said other police units were following behind and ultimately took over the pursuit with the help of the California Highway Patrol (CHP).
She added that the chase was called off after 10 minutes when it was deemed unsafe because of the way the suspect was driving.
CHP patrol officers later found the car abandoned in San Jose, California.
A felony warrant has been issued for the driver who has not yet been located.
Ms Bosques said it was unclear why Mr Hartman's Tesla Model S 85 did not have full battery when he started work.
She added that when then one of the vehicles is fully charged it usually has around 40% to 50% of power left once a shift is over.
Ms Bosques said the cars run out of power while out on patrol "from time to time", and added: "Especially if an officer returns to the station to take a report and then they never go back out in the street.
"The officer was monitoring the charge and responsibly notifying everyone of its status during the approximate 10 mile pursuit.
"We had other units behind the Tesla in the pursuit to take over and the CHP was also responding.
"Pursuits on the freeway are usually pretty short in duration, as we turn them over to CHP as soon as they get to our location."
Fremont Police said it is six months into a pilot programme testing the integration of the Tesla with the department.
The force added that it is keeping track off all the relevant data.
Ms Bosques said: "We have no written policy regarding gas or charging, but the general guideline is that it should be half full at the beginning of the shift, which this car was."
She added: "This is the second pursuit the Tesla has performed well in.
"This one instance does not in any way change our feeling regarding the performance of the vehicle for patrol purposes.
"So far the car is meeting or exceeding our expectations. We are still in our first six months of the pilot program and we're keeping track of all the data."
Here's why so many apps are asking to use Bluetooth on iOS 13 - The Verge
Sun, 29 Sep 2019 15:20
Apple's new iOS 13 update adds a new privacy measure that requires apps to get your consent in order to use your device's Bluetooth. After installing the latest version of iOS, trust me when I say you'll be surprised by the number of apps asking for Bluetooth permission the next time you open them. Some might seem very strange (like Dunkin' Donuts in my case), but others probably won't make you think twice about giving the thumbs-up.
The reason Apple implemented this is because Bluetooth has enabled companies to sneakily track your location over Bluetooth by using beacons in stores, shopping malls, and even on popular city streets if they're placed within range of a place you'd walk by.
This is entirely separate from your iPhone's location privacy settings, which makes it seem all the more underhanded. A beacon is very easily able to detect your device's Bluetooth chip and log that with a retailer or some other app on your phone. So getting more strict about Bluetooth is a good move by Apple to prevent unwanted tracking of its customers.
Similarly, the company is also getting even more transparent about location, showing you on a map how often and where apps have recorded your position. This prompt is much easier to understand, and will probably startle people into slimming down the list of apps that can monitor where they are. As it should!
But there's more room for confusion around the Bluetooth prompt.
At the most basic level, I think some iPhone owners are going to wonder and maybe even assume that they must grant Bluetooth permission for music and other media apps to continue working with their Bluetooth earbuds, headphones, or speakers. It's a reasonable question when you see that an app ''would like to use Bluetooth.'' (To be clear, you don't have to. Bluetooth audio is handled through system settings, is separate from apps, and will continue working for apps that you deny permission for.)
You'll see a Bluetooth request from stores and even fast food chains that might utilize beacons for in-store promotions or to help you find what you're looking for in the right aisle. Other common cases include companion apps for your fitness tracker, Bluetooth headphones, or apps from camera companies. (Most recent cameras support syncing photos over Bluetooth.)
Apps that support Google's Chromecast streaming platform often ask for Bluetooth access as well. While Chromecast streams content over Wi-Fi, the platform has a ''guest mode'' that makes it convenient for visitors to play videos or audio on your TV without having to know your home network password. But to find nearby Chromecasts for guest mode, these apps use Bluetooth. Thus the permission prompt. Google is now letting developers integrate Chromecast without guest mode to avoid the Bluetooth request altogether if they choose.
But the key for all app developers is to be direct about why they're requesting Bluetooth access. Apple's generic message is far too vague and leaves plenty of uncertainty around exactly what it is you're giving consent to. Here's Sling TV succeeding at being clear:
Fitbit also nails it:
ESPN, meanwhile, just sticks with the default notification, and that was enough to set off alarms for Nilay. (Again, in this case it was because of the app's Chromecast support.)
As more and more apps are updated, hopefully their wording around Bluetooth won't leave any room for confusion. For now, if you see a Bluetooth request that seems unusual, you might want to just pick ''don't allow.'' If a feature in that app stops working soon afterward, you'll know why and can go into settings and enable Bluetooth access.
Solomon: These once-secret memos cast doubt on Joe Biden's Ukraine story | TheHill
Sun, 29 Sep 2019 14:37
Former Vice President Joe Biden Joe BidenTrump rips impeachment as 'single greatest scam' Liberals keep foot on the gas on impeachment Sunday shows lineup: Trump impeachment dominates the talk circuit MORE , now a 2020 Democratic presidential contender, has locked into a specific story about the controversy in Ukraine.
He insists that, in spring 2016, he strong-armed Ukraine to fire its chief prosecutor solely because Biden believed that official was corrupt and inept, not because the Ukrainian was investigating a natural gas company, Burisma Holdings, that hired Biden's son, Hunter, into a lucrative job.
There's just one problem.
Hundreds of pages of never-released memos and documents '-- many from inside the American team helping Burisma to stave off its legal troubles '-- conflict with Biden's narrative.
And they raise the troubling prospect that U.S. officials may have painted a false picture in Ukraine that helped ease Burisma's legal troubles and stop prosecutors' plans to interview Hunter Biden during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
For instance, Burisma's American legal representatives met with Ukrainian officials just days after Biden forced the firing of the country's chief prosecutor and offered ''an apology for dissemination of false information by U.S. representatives and public figures'' about the Ukrainian prosecutors, according to the Ukrainian government's official memo of the meeting. The effort to secure that meeting began the same day the prosecutor's firing was announced.
In addition, Burisma's American team offered to introduce Ukrainian prosecutors to Obama administration officials to make amends, according to that memo and the American legal team's internal emails.
The memos raise troubling questions:
1.) If the Ukraine prosecutor's firing involved only his alleged corruption and ineptitude, why did Burisma's American legal team refer to those allegations as ''false information?"
2.) If the firing had nothing to do with the Burisma case, as Biden has adamantly claimed, why would Burisma's American lawyers contact the replacement prosecutor within hours of the termination and urgently seek a meeting in Ukraine to discuss the case?
Ukrainian prosecutors say they have tried to get this information to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) since the summer of 2018, fearing it might be evidence of possible violations of U.S. ethics laws. First, they hired a former federal prosecutor to bring the information to the U.S. attorney in New York, who, they say, showed no interest. Then, the Ukrainians reached out to President Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani Rudy GiulianiSunday shows lineup: Trump impeachment dominates the talk circuit The five Trump officials Democrats want to depose O'Rourke: Trump should resign MORE .
Ukraine's new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, told Trump in July that he plans to launch his own wide-ranging investigation into what happened with the Bidens and Burisma.
''I'm knowledgeable about the situation,'' Zelensky told Trump, asking the American president to forward any evidence he might know about. "The issue of the investigation of the case is actually the issue of making sure to restore the honesty so we will take care of that and will work on the investigation of the case.''
Biden has faced scrutiny since December 2015, when the New York Times published a story noting that Burisma hired Hunter Biden just weeks after the vice president was asked by President Obama to oversee U.S.-Ukraine relations. That story also alerted Biden's office that Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin had an active investigation of Burisma and its founder.
Documents I obtained this year detail an effort to change the narrative after the Times story about Hunter Biden, with the help of the Obama State Department.
Hunter Biden's American business partner in Burisma, Devon Archer, texted a colleague two days after the Times story about a strategy to counter the ''new wave of scrutiny'' and stated that he and Hunter Biden had just met at the State Department. The text suggested there was about to be a new ''USAID project the embassy is announcing with us'' and that it was ''perfect for us to move forward now with momentum.''
I have sued the State Department for any records related to that meeting. The reason is simple: There is both a public interest and an ethics question to knowing if Hunter Biden and his team sought State's assistance while his father was vice president.
The controversy ignited anew earlier this year when I disclosed that Joe Biden admitted during a 2018 videotaped speech that, as vice president in March 2016, he threatened to cancel $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, to pressure Ukraine's then-President Petro Poroshenko to fire Shokin.
At the time, Shokin's office was investigating Burisma. Shokin told me he was making plans to question Hunter Biden about $3 million in fees that Biden and his partner, Archer, collected from Burisma through their American firm. Documents seized by the FBI in an unrelated case confirm the payments, which in many months totaled more than $166,000.
Some media outlets have reported that, at the time Joe Biden forced the firing in March 2016, there were no open investigations. Those reports are wrong. A British-based investigation of Burisma's owner was closed down in early 2015 on a technicality when a deadline for documents was not met. But the Ukraine Prosecutor General's office still had two open inquiries in March 2016, according to the official case file provided me. One of those cases involved taxes; the other, allegations of corruption. Burisma announced the cases against it were not closed and settled until January 2017.
After I first reported it in a column, the New York Times and ABC News published similar stories confirming my reporting.
Joe Biden has since responded that he forced Shokin's firing over concerns about corruption and ineptitude, which he claims were widely shared by Western allies, and that it had nothing to do with the Burisma investigation.
Some of the new documents I obtained call that claim into question.
In a newly sworn affidavit prepared for a European court, Shokin testified that when he was fired in March 2016, he was told the reason was that Biden was unhappy about the Burisma investigation. ''The truth is that I was forced out because I was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into Burisma Holdings, a natural gas firm active in Ukraine and Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, was a member of the Board of Directors,'' Shokin testified.
''On several occasions President Poroshenko asked me to have a look at the case against Burisma and consider the possibility of winding down the investigative actions in respect of this company but I refused to close this investigation,'' Shokin added.
Shokin certainly would have reason to hold a grudge over his firing. But his account is supported by documents from Burisma's legal team in America, which appeared to be moving into Ukraine with intensity as Biden's effort to fire Shokin picked up steam.
Burisma's own accounting records show that it paid tens of thousands of dollars while Hunter Biden served on the board of an American lobbying and public relations firm, Blue Star Strategies, run by Sally Painter and Karen Tramontano, who both served in President Bill Clinton William (Bill) Jefferson ClintonWhy impeachment favors Democrats in the election Why trying to impeach Trump and oust Johnson may end in tears Why the Framers would reject the Democrats' impeachment criteria MORE 's administration.
Just days before Biden forced Shokin's firing, Painter met with the No. 2 official at the Ukrainian embassy in Washington and asked to meet officials in Kiev around the same time that Joe Biden visited there. Ukrainian embassy employee Oksana Shulyar emailed Painter afterward: ''With regards to the meetings in Kiev, I suggest that you wait until the next week when there is an expected vote of the government's reshuffle.''
Ukraine's Washington embassy confirmed the conversations between Shulyar and Painter but said the reference to a shakeup in Ukrainian government was not specifically referring to Shokin's firing or anything to do with Burisma.
Painter then asked one of the Ukraine embassy's workers to open the door for meetings with Ukraine's prosecutors about the Burisma investigation, the memos show. Eventually, Blue Star would pay that Ukrainian official money for his help with the prosecutor's office.
At the time, Blue Star worked in concert with an American criminal defense lawyer, John Buretta, who was hired by Burisma to help address the case in Ukraine. The case was settled in January 2017 for a few million dollars in fines for alleged tax issues.
Buretta, Painter, Tramontano, Hunter Biden and Joe Biden's campaign have not responded to numerous calls and emails seeking comment.
On March 29, 2016, the day Shokin's firing was announced, Buretta asked to speak with Yuriy Sevruk, the prosecutor named to temporarily replace Shokin, but was turned down, the memos show.
Blue Star, using the Ukrainian embassy worker it had hired, eventually scored a meeting with Sevruk on April 6, 2016, a week after Shokin's firing. Buretta, Tramontano and Painter attended that meeting in Kiev, according to Blue Star's memos.
Sevruk memorialized the meeting in a government memo that the general prosecutor's office provided to me, stating that the three Americans offered an apology for the ''false'' narrative that had been provided by U.S. officials about Shokin being corrupt and inept.
''They realized that the information disseminated in the U.S. was incorrect and that they would facilitate my visit to the U.S. for the purpose of delivering the true information to the State Department management,'' the memo stated.
The memo also quoted the Americans as saying they knew Shokin pursued an aggressive corruption investigation against Burisma's owner, only to be thwarted by British allies: ''These individuals noted that they had been aware that the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine had implemented all required steps for prosecution '... and that he was released by the British court due to the underperformance of the British law enforcement agencies.''
The memo provides a vastly different portrayal of Shokin than Biden's. And its contents are partially backed by subsequent emails from Blue Star and Buretta that confirm the offer to bring Ukrainian authorities to meet the Obama administration in Washington.
For instance, Tramontano wrote the Ukrainian prosecution team on April 16, 2016, saying U.S. Justice Department officials, including top international prosecutor Bruce Swartz, might be willing to meet. ''The reforms are not known to the US Justice Department and it would be useful for the Prosecutor General to meet officials in the US and share this information directly,'' she wrote.
Buretta sent a similar email to the Ukrainians, writing that ''I think you would find it productive to meet with DOJ officials in Washington'' and providing contact information for Swartz. ''I would be happy to help,'' added Buretta, a former senior DOJ official.
Burisma, Buretta and Blue Star continued throughout 2016 to try to resolve the open issues in Ukraine, and memos recount various contacts with the State Department and the U.S. embassy in Kiev seeking help in getting the Burisma case resolved.
Just days before Trump took office, Burisma announced it had resolved all of its legal issues. And Buretta gave an interview in Ukraine about how he helped navigate the issues.
Today, two questions remain.
One is whether it was ethically improper or even illegal for Biden to intervene to fire the prosecutor handling Burisma's case, given his son's interests. That is one that requires more investigation and the expertise of lawyers.
The second is whether Biden has given the American people an honest accounting of what happened. The new documents I obtained raise serious doubts about his story's credibility. And that's an issue that needs to be resolved by voters.
John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists' misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He serves as an investigative columnist and executive vice president for video at The Hill. Follow him on Twitter @jsolomonReports.
The Untold Story of the Trump-Ukraine 'Scandal': The Routine Corruption of US Foreign Policy '' Consortiumnews
Sun, 29 Sep 2019 15:03
The impeachment offensive against Donald Trump is another symptom of a partisan disease that ignores an even greater malignancy, writes Joe Lauria.
By Joe Lauria Special to Consortium News
T he most crucial aspects of the Trump-Ukraine ''scandal,'' which has led to impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump, are not being told, even by Republicans.
Trump was very likely motivated by politics if he indeed withheld military aid to Ukraine in exchange for Kiev launching an investigation into Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden, though the transcript of the call released by the White House between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelinsky does not make certain such a quid-pro-quo.
But what's not being talked about in the mainstream is the context of this story, which shows that, politics aside, Biden should indeed be investigated in both Ukraine and in the United States.
We know from the leaked, early 2014 telephone conversation between Victoria Nuland, then assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, and Geoffrey Pyatt, then U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, that then Vice President Biden played a role in ''midwifing'' the U.S.-backed overthrow of an elected Ukrainian government soon after that conversation.
That's the biggest crime in this story that isn't being told. The illegal overthrow of a sovereign government.
As booty from the coup, the sitting vice president's son, Hunter Biden, soon got a seat on the board of Ukraine's biggest gas producer, Burisma Holdings. This can only be seen as a transparently neocolonial maneuver to take over a country and install one's own people. But Biden's son wasn't the only one.
Left to right: Kerry, post-coup president Petro Poroshenko, Pyatt and Nuland, June 2014. (State Dept.)
A family friend of then Secretary of State John Kerry also joined Burisma's board. U.S. agricultural giant Monsanto got a Ukrainian contract soon after the overthrow. And the first, post-coup Ukrainian finance minister was an American citizen , a former State Department official, who was given Ukrainian citizenship the day before she took up the post.
After a Ukrainian prosecutor began looking into possible corruption at Burisma, Biden openly admitted at a conference last year that as vice president he withheld a $1 billion credit line to Ukraine until the government fired the prosecutor. As Biden says himself, it took only six hours for it to happen.
Exactly what Biden boasted of doing is what the Democrats are now accusing Trump of doing, and it isn't clear if Trump got what he wanted as Biden did.
Threats, Bribes and Blackmail
That leads to another major part of this story not being told: the routine way the U.S. government conducts foreign policy: with bribes, threats and blackmail.
Trump may have withheld military aid to seek a probe into Biden, but it is hypocritically being framed by Democrats as an abuse of power out of the ordinary. But it is very much ordinary.
Examples abound. The threat of withholding foreign aid was wielded against nations on the UN Security Council in 1991 when the U.S. sought authorization for the First Gulf War. Yemen had the temerity to vote against. A member of the U.S. delegation told Yemen's ambassador: ''That's the most expensive vote you ever cast.'' The U.S. then cut $70 million in foreign aid to the Middle East's poorest nation, and Saudi Arabia repatriated about a million Yemeni workers.
The same thing happened before the Second Gulf War in 2003, as revealed by whistleblower Katharine Gun (who will appear Friday night on CN Live! ). Gun leaked an NSA memo that showed the U.S. sought help from its British counterpart in signals intelligence to spy on the missions of Security Council members to get ''leverage'' over them to influence their vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq.
In 2001 the U.S. threatened the end of military and foreign aid if nations did not conclude bilateral agreements granting immunity to U.S. troops before the International Criminal Court.
More recently, the U.S. used its muscle against Ecuador, including dangling a $10 billion IMF loan, in exchange for the expulsion of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from its London embassy.
This is how the U.S. conducts ''diplomacy.''
As former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali wrote :
''Coming from a developing country, I was trained extensively in international law and diplomacy and mistakenly assumed that the great powers, especially the United States, also trained their representatives in diplomacy and accepted the value of it. But the Roman Empire had no need for diplomacy. Nor does the United States. Diplomacy is perceived by an imperial power as a waste of time and prestige and a sign of weakness.''
This fundamental corruption of U.S. foreign policy, which includes overthrowing elected governments, is matched only by the corruption of a political system that exalts partisan political power above all else. Exposing this deep-seated and longstanding corruption should take precedence over scoring partisan scalps, whether Biden's or Trump's.
Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Sunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at email@example.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .
If you value this original article, please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.
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Wait a MINUTE: Tweet Adam 'Schiffty' Schiff sent out a MONTH ago looks very, very familiar (hint, whistleblower) '' twitchy.com
Sun, 29 Sep 2019 15:03
Liddle' Adam Schiff sent this tweet out almost a month ago to the day.
Trump is withholding vital military aid to Ukraine, while his personal lawyer seeks help from the Ukraine government to investigate his political opponent.
It doesn't take a stable genius to see the magnitude of this conflict.
Or how destructive it is to our national security. https://t.co/X4yhTS2q1Z
'-- Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) August 29, 2019
It's almost like Schiff couldn't help himself and had to share something he thought he knew '... remember when he told the world he had proof that Trump colluded with Russia?
This guy is a train wreck.
Wait a minute. Check this out: Schiff tweeted this exact same Trump-Ukraine "collusion" narrative a month ago. Hmm '... Exactly how long have Schiffty-Schiff and Dems been working with this "whistleblower"? Smelling more and more like prefabrication https://t.co/cRXi222Zwi
'-- Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) September 27, 2019
How long indeed?
Democrats have proven themselves even dirtier than we realized, and Adam Schiff is leading that charge.
Letter to Schiff from WB dated 8/12, I believe. He's known for weeks.
'-- Bonny Wrightð' (@miamivandynyu) September 27, 2019
So why sit on it?
'-- Lisa (@kittywhisperer7) September 27, 2019
The complaint is dated Aug 12, 2019. It is addressed to Burr & Schiff himself. He had it all this time. @realDonaldTrump #WWG1WGA #MAGA2020 #GodWins #Qanon #LoveLikeJesus #KAG2020 pic.twitter.com/YHpPTqgKQp
'-- WWG1WGA_MD (@WWG1WGA_MD) September 27, 2019
Something stinks in Denmark.
What a coincidence.
'-- KMarie (@kmjohnson116) September 27, 2019
Look who responded to Schiff's Aug 28 tweet'....@tracybeanz pic.twitter.com/7yIw258SaJ
'-- Heartland (@Heart_landart) September 27, 2019
You're a parody
'-- Crib72 (@Crib722) September 26, 2019
He's proven that time and time again.
Yet Schiff claimed he didn't know and the information didn't flow to congress. Schiff is a liar.
'-- peonie (@whitepeoni) September 27, 2019
And a parody.
So Schiff really has been 'sitting' on this information, sort of like when Feinstein sat on the magical Christine Blasey-Ford letter '... how anyone can take these people the least bit seriously is beyond us.
Take SO many seats! AOC takes the self-own to a WHOLE new level lecturing GOP senators about what is 'literally their job'
HIGHLY boring: Kimberley Strassel's two-tweet takedown of Dems' handling of the whistleblower is brutally PERFECT
'What a DOUCHE': Lefty troll tries shaming Johnny Joey Jones for 'exhibiting his injured legs' and WOW talk about a butt-kickin'
Intel Community Secretly Nixed Whistleblower Demand Of First-Hand Info
Sat, 28 Sep 2019 14:43
Between May 2018 and August 2019, the intelligence community secretly eliminated a requirement that whistleblowers provide direct, first-hand knowledge of alleged wrongdoings. This raises questions about the intelligence community's behavior regarding the August submission of a whistleblower complaint against President Donald Trump. The new complaint document no longer requires potential whistleblowers who wish to have their concerns expedited to Congress to have direct, first-hand knowledge of the alleged wrongdoing that they are reporting.
The brand new version of the whistleblower complaint form, which was not made public until after the transcript of Trump's July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and the complaint addressed to Congress were made public, eliminates the first-hand knowledge requirement and allows employees to file whistleblower complaints even if they have zero direct knowledge of underlying evidence and only ''heard about [wrongdoing] from others.''
The internal properties of the newly revised ''Disclosure of Urgent Concern'' form, which the intelligence community inspector general (ICIG) requires to be submitted under the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act (ICWPA), show that the document was uploaded on September 24, 2019, at 4:25 p.m., just days before the anti-Trump complaint was declassified and released to the public. The markings on the document state that it was revised in August 2019, but no specific date of revision is disclosed.
The complaint alleges that President Donald Trump broke the law during a phone call with the Ukrainian president. In his complaint, which was dated August 12, 2019, the complainant acknowledged he was ''not a direct witness'' to the wrongdoing he claims Trump committed.
A previous version of the whistleblower complaint document, which the ICIG and DNI until recently provided to potential whistleblowers, declared that any complaint must contain only first-hand knowledge of alleged wrongdoing and that complaints that provide only hearsay, rumor, or gossip would be rejected.
''The [Intelligence Community Inspector General] cannot transmit information via the ICPWA based on an employee's second-hand knowledge of wrongdoing,'' the previous form stated under the bolded heading ''FIRST-HAND INFORMATION REQUIRED.'' ''This includes information received from another person, such as when an employee informs you that he/she witnessed some type of wrongdoing.''
''If you think that wrongdoing took place, but can provide nothing more than second-hand or unsubstantiated assertions, [the Intelligence Community Inspector General] will not be able to process the complaint or information for submission as an ICWPA,'' the form concluded.
Markings on the previous version of the Disclosure of Urgent Concern form show that it was formally approved on May 24, 2018. Here is that original Disclosure of Urgent Concern form prior to the August 2019 revision:
Here is the revised Disclosure of Urgent Concern form following the August 2019 revision:
The Ukraine call complaint against Trump is riddled not with evidence directly witnessed by the complainant, but with repeated references to what anonymous officials allegedly told the complainant: ''I have received information from multiple U.S. Government officials,'' ''officials have informed me,'' ''officials with direct knowledge of the call informed me,'' ''the White House officials who told me this information,'' ''I was told by White House officials,'' ''the officials I spoke with,'' ''I was told that a State Department official,'' ''I learned from multiple U.S. officials,'' ''One White House official described this act,'' ''Based on multiple readouts of these meetings recounted to me,'' ''I also learned from multiple U.S. officials,'' ''The U.S. officials characterized this meeting,'' ''multiple U.S. officials told me,'' ''I learned from U.S. officials,'' ''I also learned from a U.S. official,'' ''several U.S. officials told me,'' ''I heard from multiple U.S. officials,'' and ''multiple U.S. officials told me.''
The repeated references to information the so-called whistleblower never witnessed clearly run afoul of the original ICIG requirements for ''urgent concern'' submissions. The change to the ''urgent concern'' submission form was first highlighted on Twitter by researcher Stephen McIntyre.
The complainant also cites publicly available news articles as proof of many of the allegations.
''I was not a direct witness to most of the events'' characterized in the document, the complainant confessed on the first page of his August 12 letter, which was addressed to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the respective chairmen of the House and Senate intelligence committees. Hearsay is generally inadmissible as evidence in U.S. federal and state courts since it violates the constitutional requirement that the accused be given the opportunity to question his accusers.
The anti-Trump complaint also made several false claims that have been directly refuted and debunked. While the complaint alleged that Trump demanded that Ukraine physically return multiple servers potentially related to ongoing investigations of foreign interference in the 2016 elections, the transcript of the call between Trump and Zelensky shows that such a request was never made.
The complainant also falsely alleged that Trump told Zelensky that he should keep the current prosecutor general at the time, Yuriy Lutsenko, in his current position in the country. The transcript showed that exchange also did not happen.
Additionally, the complaint falsely alleged that T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, a U.S. State Department official, was a party to the phone call between Trump and Zelensky.
''I was told that a State Department official, Mr. T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, also listened in on the call,'' the complaint alleged. Shortly after the complaint was released, CBS News reported that Brechbuhl was not on the phone call.
In a legal opinion that was released to the public along with the phone call transcript, the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) determined that the complainant's submission was statutorily deficient and therefore was not required to be submitted to Congress. The White House nonetheless declassified and released the document to Congress late Wednesday evening.
''The complaint does not arise in connection with the operation of any U.S. government intelligence activity, and the alleged misconduct does not involve any member of the intelligence community,'' the September 3 OLC opinion noted. ''Rather, the complaint arises out of a confidential diplomatic communication between the President and a foreign leader that the intelligence-community complainant received secondhand.''
''The question is whether such a complaint falls within the statutory definition of ''urgent concern'' that the law requires the DNI to forward to the intelligence committees,'' the OLC opinion continued. ''We conclude that it does not.''
It is not known precisely when the August 2019 revision to the whistleblower complaint form was approved, nor is it known which, if any, version of the Disclosure of Urgent Concern form the complainant completed prior to addressing his complaint to Congress.
Reached by phone on Friday afternoon, a Director of National Intelligence official refused to comment on any questions about the secret revision to the whistleblower form, including when it was revised to eliminate the requirement of first-hand knowledge and for what reason.
Sean Davis is the co-founder of The Federalist.
Copyright (C) 2019 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved.
Maher on Hunter Biden's Ukraine ties: 'If Don Jr. did it, it would be all Rachel Maddow was talking about' | TheHill
Sat, 28 Sep 2019 21:16
HBO's Bill Maher William (Bill) MaherMaher: Republicans 'right' to say Democrats 'never got over Trump's behavior' Krystal Ball tears into 'Never Trump' Republicans Media and candidates should be ashamed that they don't talk about obesity MORE on Friday addressed Hunter Biden's lucrative work with a Ukrainian gas company while arguing that MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Rachel Anne MaddowKrystal Ball: Democrats on track to nominate Warren, lose to Trump Egos! Ratings! Marketing! Oh my '-- the real clash in every debate Conservative network files defamation lawsuit against Rachel Maddow, MSNBC MORE would be covering the story extensively if President Trump Donald John TrumpMcConnell challenger McGrath backs impeachment inquiry McConnell encouraged Trump to release transcript of Zelensky call: report Trump told Russian officials in 2017 he was unconcerned about Moscow's election interference: report MORE 's son was involved in a similar situation.
"The more I read about this ... no, I don't think he was doing something terrible in Ukraine," Maher said of the younger Biden during a panel discussion on "Real Time" on Friday night.
"But why can't politicians tell their f---ing kids, 'Get a job, get a goddamn job!'" he continued. "This kid was paid $600,000 because his name is Biden by a gas company in Ukraine, this super-corrupt country that just had a revolution to get rid of corruption."
The liberal comedian and host added that it "just looks bad."
Maher expressed the same sentiment on Twitter to his more than 11 million followers:
I hope like hell this Ukraine thing is what brings Trump down, but I gotta say, re Hunter Biden: politicians need to tell their fucking kids to get a fucking job. A real job. Not a "consulting" job cuz your somebody's kid. It looks swampy.
'-- Bill Maher (@billmaher) September 26, 2019"It does sound like something Don[ald] Trump Jr. would do," Maher later added on his show Friday. "And if Don Jr. did it, it would be all Rachel Maddow was talking about."
Maddow, MSNBC's top-rated host, covered possible Russian ties to President Trump and his campaign in the 2016 election extensively leading up to the release of special counsel Robert Mueller Robert (Bob) Swan MuellerFox News legal analyst says Trump call with Ukraine leader could be 'more serious' than what Mueller 'dragged up' Lewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network MORE 's report in April.
Maher's perspective comes as polling on impeachment has notably shifted in recent days following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Nancy PelosiMcConnell challenger McGrath backs impeachment inquiry McConnell encouraged Trump to release transcript of Zelensky call: report House panel to hold briefing with intel watchdog next week MORE 's (D-Calif.) announcement Tuesday that Democrats would launch a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump.
The president has faced scrutiny over a July phone call in which he pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden Joe BidenMcConnell challenger McGrath backs impeachment inquiry McConnell encouraged Trump to release transcript of Zelensky call: report Trump told Russian officials in 2017 he was unconcerned about Moscow's election interference: report MORE , a leading 2020 presidential candidate.
Biden as vice president in 2016 called for Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who was looking into the gas company on whose board his son Hunter Biden sat. No evidence has emerged that Biden acted with his son's interest in mind.
Democrats have blasted Trump's conversation with the Ukrainian leader, asserting it amounts to Trump seeking help from a foreign government heading into the 2020 elections while dangling hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. aid.
An NPR-PBS NewsHour-Marist poll released Thursday found 49 percent approval for impeachment, against 46 percent do not support, while the latest who said they disapprove, marking a 10-point rise in favor of impeachment over the same survey from April following the Mueller report.
A Hill-Harris X survey released Friday also found support for impeachment increasing 12 points to 47 percent versus 42 percent who oppose.
Talking points on Trump's Ukraine Biden call emailed to Democrats
Sat, 28 Sep 2019 14:11
President Donald Trump attends a multilateral meeting with Western Hemisphere leaders about Venezuela during the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at U.N. headquarters in New York, September 25, 2019.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
The subject line of the email was "What You Need To Know | President Trump's Call with President Zelenskyy."
Afterward, Democratic offices that had received the list of talking points from the director of Government Communications received an email announcing a "RECALL" of the original email containing the messaging about the call.
The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC when asked if the administration had created the talking points about the call.
During that call, Trump asked Zelensky to "look into" former Vice President Joe Biden, who is currently seeking the Democratic nomination for president, and his son, Hunter Biden.
Trump suggested, without evidence, that Joe Biden in 2016 had improperly thwarted a Ukrainian prosecutor's probe into a company in that nation whose board Hunter Biden served on.
At the time of the call, Trump had blocked the release of $400 million in military aid to Ukraine. That money since has been released.
Democrats in the House have launched an impeachment inquiry in connection with the call, which many of them believe represented improper pressure by Trump to get a foreign country to take action against a political opponent who is seeking to unseat Trump.
The inquiry also was spurred by the Trump administration blocking Congress from being briefed on a whistleblower's complaint related to the call.
The first talking point in the email Wednesday addresses that issue:
Press reports have given currency to flat-out falsehoods about the call.
The transcript clearly shows there was no quid pro quo or anything else inappropriate about the conversation between President Trump and President Zelenskyy.Myth: The President made a mysterious "promise" to Zelenskyy in return for Ukraine reviving an investigation relating to Joe Biden and his son.Fact: There was no such promise. The President wanted allegations of corruption potentially involving an American official to be investigated.Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said on MSNBC that he and other members of Congress were invited to the White House on Wednesday morning to talk with Trump about about the notes on the call before they were released.
"The bottom line here is that in this transcript there is no quid pro quo, there is no improper leverage and the overall tone of this transcript is that it is mutual laudatory," Gaetz said.
Read the rest of the talking points here:
Myth: The President offered a "quid pro quo" related to military aid for Ukraine.Fact: There was no quid pro quo; in fact there is no mention of the aid package to Ukraine at all.Myth: The President urged President Zelenskyy to work with Rudy Giuliani to investigate Biden's involvement in securing the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor eight times.Fact: The President mentioned Rudy Giuliani only after Zelenskyy mentioned him first and referred to Biden in only one exchange.Fact: The President mentioned Rudy Giuliani only after Zelenskyy mentioned him first and referred to Biden in only one exchange.What the President actually talked about was entirely proper.
President Trump asked President Zelenskyy to investigate any connection between Ukraine and attempts to interfere with the 2016 election, something he has publicly discussed in the past.It is entirely appropriate for the President to ask a foreign leader to investigate any connection between his country and attempted interference in the 2016 election.The President did not mention Rudy Giuliani or Vice President Biden until after President Zelenskyy had raised Giuliani first.Only after Zelenskyy brought up Giuliani related to addressing corruption issues did the President ask Zelenskyy to speak to Giuliani and raised Vice President Biden's role in the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor who had been investigating a Ukrainian company that had Biden's son on its board.When a high-ranking U.S. government official, like then Vice-President Biden, brags that he used his official position to derail an investigation in another country that could have impacted his son, it is appropriate for the President to suggest that the matter be looked into.That is not seeking foreign "interference" in a U.S. election, it is suggesting that allegations of an abuse of office merit looking into.The real scandal here is that leaks about a second-hand account of the President's confidential telephone call with a foreign leader triggered a media frenzy of false accusations against the President and forced the President to release the transcript.
· The country has already been put through over two years of investigation by the special counsel into a phony Russian collusion story, six months of congressional investigations into the same issue, and now Democrats want to trigger a new round of investigations into fake accusations.
· This case just shows another example of the "Deep State," the media, and Democrats in Congress damaging our national security by leaking confidential information in an attempt to seek political gain.
Let's be clear, there was no quid pro quo for Ukraine to get US aid in exchange for looking into Biden or his son.
Assistance to Ukraine was mentioned by President Trump only to stress how much the United States is doing and how other countries, like Germany, need to do their fair share.The President has said repeatedly that he wants other countries to be pitching in more to help Ukraine and President Zelenskyy agreed with him.These are unique circumstances that require the transcript to be released if the American people are to know the truth.
After Secretary Pompeo talked with the government of Ukraine, the President determined to release the transcript of his telephone conversation to end the wild speculation and to set the record straight.The President believes his private conversations with world leaders should be kept confidential and made this exception in the interests of transparency because of the amount of misinformation being spread in the press.The idea that someone can hear a second-hand account of a confidential conversation and use it in a complaint to start a partisan investigation fundamentally undermines the office of President.This is just another example of the "Deep State," the media, and Democrats damaging our national security for political gain.This complaint was handled absolutely by the book and it was properly determined that no further action should be taken.
After receiving the complaint from the ICIG, the DNI appropriately consulted with the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) at the Department of Justice.OLC determined that this complaint did not fall within the scope of the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act, and, therefore, that the DNI was not required to send the complaint to the intelligence committees.The DNI did not forward the complaint because it implicated significant, constitutionally based Executive Branch confidentiality interests and there was no applicable statutory requirement.While the DNI determined that the complaint should not be sent to Congress, that did not end the review of the complaint. To the contrary, the complaint was given to DOJ for appropriate review.DOJ officials reviewed the complaint in light of the legal issues identified by the ICIG in his cover letter to the DNI and determined that no further action was warranted.Myth: The President offered a "quid pro quo" related to military aid for Ukraine.Myth: The President urged President Zelenskyy to work with Rudy Giuliani to investigate Biden's involvement in securing the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor eight times.Fact: There was no quid pro quo; in fact there is no mention of the aid package to Ukraine at all.WATCH: Trump says he hopes Ukraine president and Putin can solve problems
Will Hunter Biden Jeopardize His Father's Campaign? | The New Yorker
Sat, 28 Sep 2019 13:26
Joe Biden's son is under scrutiny for his business dealings and tumultuous personal life. An Obama White House aide said that ''Hunter was on the loose, potentially undermining his father's message.''
Photograph by Philip Montgomery for The New YorkerJoe Biden's son is under scrutiny for his business dealings and tumultuous personal life. An Obama White House aide said that ''Hunter was on the loose, potentially undermining his father's message.''
Photograph by Philip Montgomery for The New YorkerIn today's political culture, people running for President may announce their candidacy on the steps of their home-town city hall or on ''The View,'' but the full introduction comes with their book. Some candidates' memoirs tell stories of humble beginnings and of obstacles overcome; some describe searches for identity; some earnestly set out detailed policy agendas. Nearly all are relentlessly bland. In 2017, Joe Biden, a longtime senator from Delaware, Barack Obama's Vice-President for eight years, and now a candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination, published an unusually raw memoir about the death, two years earlier, of his forty-six-year-old son, Beau, describing how it had threatened to undo him but ultimately brought his family closer. Beau, his father writes, was ''Joe Biden 2.0,'' a war veteran, a prosecutor, and a promising politician who ''had all the best of me, but with the bugs and flaws engineered out.''
In the early months of the 2020 race, Joe Biden holds a lead over his many Democratic Party rivals, but he is hardly invulnerable. He is seventy-six and sometimes shows it. He often stumbles when defending his five-decade public history. Some voters will not easily overlook his support for the Iraq War, his treatment of Anita Hill and loose management of the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, his handsy, close-talking behavior with women, or his descriptions of his ''civil'' working relationships with segregationist lawmakers. Even his admirers concede that he is prone to senatorial bloviation. What often seems to redeem him with voters, as a former senior White House aide put it recently, is ''how he's responded to tragedy and what he's learned from it.''
Yet the family story that Biden tells in ''Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose'' largely glosses over a central character in Biden's life. Biden writes, ''I was pretty sure Beau could run for President some day, and, with his brother's help, he could win.'' Hunter Biden, who is forty-nine, is described as a supportive son and sibling. In speeches, Biden rarely talks about Hunter. But news outlets on the right and mainstream media organizations, including the Times, have homed in on him, reprising old controversies over Hunter's work for a bank, for a lobbying firm, and for a hedge fund, and scrutinizing his business dealings in China and Ukraine.
There is little question that Hunter's proximity to power shaped the arc of his career, and that, as the former aide told me, ''Hunter is super rich terrain.'' But Donald J. Trump and some of his allies, in their eagerness to undermine Biden's candidacy, and possibly to deflect attention from their own ethical lapses, have gone to extreme lengths, promoting, without evidence, the dubious narrative that Biden used the office of the Vice-President to advance and protect his son's interests.
At the same time, the gossip pages have seized on Hunter's tumultuous private life. He has struggled for decades with alcohol addiction and drug abuse; he went through an acrimonious divorce from his first wife, Kathleen Buhle Biden; and he had a subsequent relationship with Beau's widow, Hallie. He was recently sued for child support by an Arkansas woman, Lunden Alexis Roberts, who claims that he is the father of her child. (Hunter has denied having sexual relations with Roberts.)
On May 17th, the day before Hunter planned to appear at one of his father's rallies, at Eakins Oval, in Philadelphia, Breitbart News published a story based on a Prescott, Arizona, police report from 2016 that named Hunter as the suspect in a possible narcotics offense.
Onstage at the rally, Jill Biden introduced her husband. ''The Biden family is ready,'' she said. ''We will do this as we always have'--as a family.'' Seated in white chairs to the side of the stage were Ashley Biden, Hunter's half sister; Ashley's husband, Howard Krein; Beau's children, Natalie and Robert Hunter; Hunter's three daughters, Maisy, Finnegan, and Naomi; and Naomi's boyfriend, Peter. The last seat in the row, with a piece of paper on it that said ''Reserved,'' remained empty.
In one of my early conversations with Hunter, he told me about his sadness at having missed his father's event. ''Beau and I have been there since we were carried in baskets during his first campaign,'' he said. ''We went everywhere with him. At every single major event and every small event that had to do with his political career, I was there. I've never missed a rally for my dad. The notion that I'm not standing next to him in Philadelphia, next to the Rocky statue, it's heartbreaking for me. It's killing me and it's killing him. Dad says, 'Be here.' Mom says, 'Be here.' But at what cost?''
Hunter speaks in the warm, circuitous style of his father. Through weeks of conversations, he became increasingly open about his setbacks, aware that many of the stories that he told me would otherwise emerge, likely in a distorted form, in Breitbart or on ''Hannity.'' He wanted to protect his father from a trickle of disclosures, and to share a personal narrative that he sees no reason to hide. ''Look, everybody faces pain,'' he said. ''Everybody has trauma. There's addiction in every family. I was in that darkness. I was in that tunnel'--it's a never-ending tunnel. You don't get rid of it. You figure out how to deal with it.''
Hunter Biden was born in 1970, a year and a day after Beau and a year and nine months before their sister, Naomi. His father was twenty-seven, and won his first election, to the New Castle County Council, in November of that year. Two years later, in an immense leap of ambition, he decided to run for the U.S. Senate.
Biden pledged that, in order to avoid potential conflicts of interest, he would never own a stock or a bond. Whatever money he had, he spent on property. His father, Joseph Biden, Sr., managed a Chevrolet dealership in Wilmington, and Joe grew up in a house with his parents, his three siblings, his aunt Gertie, and two uncles. He tried to re-create this arrangement for his own family. He liked historic houses, and bought a center-hall Colonial, built in 1723, on a four-acre lot in the village of North Star, about thirty minutes west of Wilmington. ''The large houses were a way for all of us, including aunts and uncles, to have something special,'' Hunter said.
Joe Biden depended on his family to help staff his campaigns. His sister, Valerie, who taught at the Quaker day school Wilmington Friends, served as his campaign manager. His brother Jimmy oversaw fund-raising; Frankie, the youngest, helped organize volunteers. When the children were babies, Biden's wife, Neilia, carried them to community meetings. In November, 1972, Joe Biden was elected to the Senate.
That December, while Biden was in Washington interviewing staff for his new office, Neilia took the children to Wilmington, to go Christmas-tree shopping. At an intersection, the family car collided with a truck. Neilia and Naomi were killed almost instantly. Beau sustained numerous broken bones, and Hunter suffered a severe head injury. Hunter has frequently said that his first memory is of waking up in a hospital bed next to Beau, who turned to him and said, ''I love you, I love you, I love you.'' On January 5, 1973, Biden was sworn in as a senator in his sons' hospital room.
Valerie and Jimmy devoted themselves to the boys' recovery while Biden took up his role in the Senate. In 1975, he sold the North Star property, and the family moved into a house in Wilmington that had once been owned by members of the du Pont family. Biden, on returning from Washington, often put on a hazmat suit and went into the basement to scrape asbestos off the pipes. He, Hunter, and Beau planted trees and painted the house. Hunter told me that his father would dangle him upside down from the third-floor windows so that he could reach the eaves with a brush. So many people came and went that Tommy Lewis, an old friend of Biden's who became one of his Senate aides, nicknamed the house the Station. Hunter recalled, ''No door was ever locked. The pool was everyone's pool.'' He and Beau were ''communal property,'' he said. ''Everyone had a hand in raising us.'' In 1977, Joe Biden married Jill Jacobs, a high-school teacher. (Hunter calls Jill ''Mom'' and refers to Neilia as ''Mommy.'')
Biden frequently took the boys to Washington with him when Congress was in session. Roger Harrison, who worked in Biden's office for seven years, recalled that one of them often sat on Biden's lap during staff meetings. If he was busy on the Senate floor, another senator would take Hunter and Beau to his office to hang out. Sometimes, to entertain themselves, the boys would wander over to the Senate gym and sit in a corner of the steam room, eavesdropping on lawmakers.
Beau and Hunter were fiercely close. They attended Archmere Academy, the Catholic high school that was their father's alma mater. Friends called Beau, a stickler for rules, the Sheriff. Hunter told me, ''If we wanted to jump off a cliff into a watering hole, I would say, 'I'm ready, let's go,' and Beau would say, 'Wait, wait, wait, before we do it, make sure there aren't any rocks down there.' '' Brian McGlinchey, a friend of Hunter's who attended Archmere with the brothers, said, ''Beau tended to lead with his head. Hunter often led with his heart.'' At Archmere, Beau, with the help of Hunter, who distributed flyers, was elected student-body president. It was clear to family and friends that Beau would follow his father into politics. ''Dad knew that is what Beau wanted,'' Hunter said.
Biden sold off some of the land at the Station to help pay for Beau to go to the University of Pennsylvania, in 1987. That year, Hunter and Beau encouraged their father to run for President, and they were crushed when he withdrew from the race over allegations of plagiarism. (He was accused of copying large portions of a law-review article as a student, and of mimicking a speech given by the British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock.) Soon afterward, when Biden took his sons to a football game at the University of Pennsylvania, a group of hecklers started a chant about the plagiarism scandal. Hunter jumped to his feet, throwing punches, and his father and Beau had to pull him back.
Hunter enrolled at Georgetown University in 1988. He and Beau took out student loans to cover their university costs. Hunter worked odd jobs'--parking cars at events and unloading sixty-pound boxes of frozen beef'--to help pay for his room and board. Ted Dziak, a chaplain-in-residence in Hunter's freshman dorm, told me, ''Hunter was always out there, doing something to gain a little bit of money.''
In July, 1992, after graduating with a B.A. in history, Hunter began a year as a Jesuit volunteer at a church in Portland, Oregon. During that time, he met Kathleen Buhle, the daughter of a Chicago schoolteacher and a ticket salesman for the White Sox. Three months after they started dating, Kathleen got pregnant, and the two were married in July, 1993.
Beau attended Syracuse Law School, and began thinking about government service. Hunter imagined a more artistic career for himself. He admired Raymond Carver and Tobias Wolff; his favorite novel at the time was Charles Bukowski's d(C)but, ''Post Office.'' On a whim, he applied to, and was accepted into, the creative-writing program at Syracuse University, where Carver and Wolff had taught. He considered getting a joint M.F.A.-law degree at Syracuse, but, with a baby on the way, he decided to go straight to law school. He was rejected from Yale, his first choice, and enrolled at Georgetown Law. In December, 1993, his daughter Naomi was born.
After a year at Georgetown, Hunter transferred to Yale Law, where he completed his degree, in 1996. Then he returned to Wilmington with Kathleen and Naomi. Joe Biden was running for relection in the Senate, and he appointed Hunter as his deputy campaign manager. Hunter rented an apartment close to his father's campaign headquarters, and also got a job as a lawyer with MBNA America, a banking holding company based in Delaware, which was one of the largest donors to his father's campaigns. At the age of twenty-six, Hunter, who was earning more than a hundred thousand dollars and had received a signing bonus, was making nearly as much money as his father. In January, 1998, the conservative reporter and columnist Byron York wrote, in The American Spectator, ''Certainly lots of children of influential parents end up in very good jobs. But the Biden case is troubling. After all, this is a senator who for years has sermonized against what he says is the corrupting influence of money in politics.''
Hunter shared his father's love of old houses. In 1997, he bought a dilapidated estate in Wilmington, the original structure of which dated to before the Revolutionary War. The previous owner, Anna Sasso, recalled, ''They seemed like the perfect family. They were teen-agers, practically. They were so enthusiastic.'' That year, Beau started working as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's office in Philadelphia, and moved in with his brother's family, taking over the third floor. Hunter was responsible for the mortgage and most of the expenses. In September, 1998, Hunter and Kathleen had their second daughter, Finnegan. On weekends, the house was a gathering place for friends, including a local woman named Hallie Olivere, whose parents owned a dry-cleaning business. Beau and Hallie married in 2002.
Hunter, by then an executive vice-president at MBNA, found the corporate culture stifling. ''If you forgot to wear your MBNA lapel pin, someone would stop you in the halls,'' he recalled. In 1998, he contacted William Oldaker, a Washington lawyer who had worked on his father's Presidential campaign in 1987, for advice about how to get a job in the Clinton Administration. Oldaker called William Daley, the Commerce Secretary, who had also worked on Biden's campaign. Daley, the son of the five-term mayor of Chicago, told me that, because of their shared experience growing up in political families, he empathized with Hunter, and asked his staff to evaluate him for a position as a policy director specializing in the burgeoning Internet economy. Hunter got the job, then sold the Delaware house for roughly twice what he'd paid for it and moved his family to a rental home in the Tenleytown neighborhood of Washington. Hunter and Kathleen sent Naomi and Finnegan'--and later Maisy, who was born in 2000'--to Sidwell Friends, one of Washington's most exclusive and expensive schools. Hunter's salary barely covered the rent, the school fees, and his family's living expenses. ''I've pretty much always lived paycheck to paycheck,'' Hunter told me. ''I never considered it struggling, but it has always been a high-wire act.''
In late 2000, near the end of President Clinton's second term, Hunter again consulted Oldaker, who was starting a lobbying business, the National Group. Oldaker asked the co-founder of the firm, Vincent Versage, to teach Hunter the basics of earmarking'--the practice of persuading lawmakers to insert language into legislation which directs taxpayer funds to projects that benefit the lobbyist's clients. In 2001, Robert Skomorucha, an old Biden family friend who worked in the government-and-community-relations department at St. Joseph's University, proposed that Hunter solicit earmarks for one of the university's student-volunteer programs, at an underprivileged high school in Philadelphia. Timothy Lannon, the university's president, who offered Hunter the contract, described Hunter to me as ''like his dad: great personally, very engaging, very curious about things and hardworking,'' adding that he had ''a very strong last name that really paid off in terms of our lobbying efforts.''
Versage told me that the National Group had a strict rule: ''Hunter didn't do anything that involved his dad, didn't do anything that involved any help from his dad.'' Oldaker advised Hunter to restrict his clients to mostly Jesuit universities. ''He wasn't doing McDonnell Douglas or something,'' Oldaker told me. Still, Hunter's name appeared regularly in newspaper stories decrying the cozy relationship between lobbyists and lawmakers. An informal arrangement was established: Biden wouldn't ask Hunter about his lobbying clients, and Hunter wouldn't tell his father about them. ''It wasn't like we all sat down and agreed on it,'' Hunter told me. ''It came naturally.''
Oldaker's office was across the street from the Bombay Club, an Indian restaurant that was popular with policymakers, lobbyists, diplomats, and journalists. The lounge there became an after-hours gathering place for Hunter, Versage, and a dozen of their colleagues. Irfan Ozarslan, the former general manager, said that he greeted Hunter at the door ''at least three or four times a week.'' The bartender at the time, Norman, told me that he would have a cigarette waiting for Hunter at his seat.
Joe Biden grew up around relatives with alcohol problems, and at a young age he decided to abstain. Hunter'--who spoke frankly to me about his struggles with addiction'--started drinking socially as a teen-ager. When he was a student at Georgetown, in the early nineties, he took up smoking Marlboro Red cigarettes, and occasionally used cocaine. Once, hoping to buy cocaine, he was sold a piece of crack, but he wasn't sure how to take the drug. ''I didn't have a stem,'' Hunter said. ''I didn't have a pipe.'' Improvising, he stuffed the crack into a cigarette and smoked it. ''It didn't have much of an effect,'' he said.
In 2001, Hunter, Kathleen, and their children moved back to Wilmington to be closer to the rest of the Biden family, and Hunter commuted to Washington on Amtrak, as his father did. Sometimes he missed the last train and stayed in a rental room at the Army and Navy Club. ''When I found myself making the decision to have another drink or get on a train, I knew I had a problem,'' he said. In 2003, Kathleen and the girls returned to Washington. Hunter recalled that Kathleen told him to get sober, starting by not drinking for thirty days. ''And I wouldn't drink for thirty days, but, on day thirty-one, I'd be right back to it,'' he said. That September, on a business trip, he looked up rehabilitation centers, and soon admitted himself to Crossroads Centre Antigua for a month. The day after his return, Beau accompanied him to his first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, in Dupont Circle.
By the mid-two-thousands, a growing number of lawmakers were criticizing earmarking as a waste of taxpayer money and a boon to special interests. Hunter was concerned about his future as a lobbyist, and his financial worries increased in 2006, when he bought a $1.6-million house in an affluent neighborhood. Without the savings for a down payment, he took out a mortgage for a hundred and ten per cent of the purchase price.
In 2006, Hunter and his uncle Jimmy Biden, along with another partner, entered into a twenty-one-million-dollar deal to buy Paradigm, a hedge-fund group that claimed to manage $1.5 billion in assets. Hunter said that the deal sounded ''super attractive,'' but that it fell apart after he and Jimmy learned that the company was worth less than they thought, and that the lawyer they were working with was a convicted felon awaiting sentencing. Hunter and Jimmy, who together went on to buy a stake in the company, estimated that they lost at least $1.3 million on the initial venture, which Hunter described as ''a tragicomedy.'' To help repay a law firm that had put up the money to initiate the transaction, Hunter obtained a million-dollar note against his house from Washington First Bank, which was co-founded by Oldaker. On January 5, 2007, two days before Biden announced his decision to run for President, Hunter and Jimmy were sued by their former partner in New York. The suit was settled but resulted in a flurry of headlines.
In the lead-up to the January, 2008, Iowa Democratic Presidential caucuses, Hunter drove from Washington to Des Moines to campaign with his father. ''I'm like his security blanket,'' Hunter said. ''I don't tell the staff what to do. I'm not there giving directions or orders. I shake everybody's hands. And then I tell him to close his eyes on the bus. I can say things to him that nobody else can.'' Biden did poorly in Iowa, and soon dropped out of the race. On August 23, 2008, Obama, the Democratic nominee, publicly introduced Biden as his running mate. He praised Beau, who had recently become Delaware's attorney general and was getting ready to deploy to Iraq with his National Guard unit.
Hunter had heard that, during the primaries, some of Obama's advisers had criticized him to reporters for his earmarking work. Hunter said that he wasn't told by members of the Obama campaign to end his lobbying activities, but that he knew ''the writing was on the wall.'' Hunter told his lobbying clients that he would no longer represent them, and resigned from an unpaid seat on the board of Amtrak, a role for which, Hunter said, the Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid had tapped him. ''I wanted my father to have a clean slate,'' Hunter told me. ''I didn't want to limit him in any way.''
In September, 2008, Hunter launched a boutique consulting firm, Seneca Global Advisors, named for the largest of the Finger Lakes, in New York State, where his mother had grown up. In pitch meetings with prospective clients, Hunter said that he could help small and mid-sized companies expand into markets in the U.S. and other countries. In June, 2009, five months after Joe Biden became Vice-President, Hunter co-founded a second company, Rosemont Seneca Partners, with Christopher Heinz, Senator John Kerry's stepson and an heir to the food-company fortune, and Devon Archer, a former Abercrombie & Fitch model who started his finance career at Citibank in Asia and who had been friends with Heinz at Yale. (Heinz and Archer already had a private-equity fund called Rosemont Capital.) Heinz believed that Hunter would share his aversion to entering into business deals that could attract public scrutiny, but over time Hunter and Archer seized opportunities that did not include Heinz, who was less inclined to take risks.
In 2012, Archer and Hunter talked to Jonathan Li, who ran a Chinese private-equity fund, Bohai Capital, about becoming partners in a new company that would invest Chinese capital'--and, potentially, capital from other countries'--in companies outside China. In June, 2013, Li, Archer, and other business partners signed a memorandum of understanding to create the fund, which they named BHR Partners, and, in November, they signed contracts related to the deal. Hunter became an unpaid member of BHR's board but did not take an equity stake in BHR Partners until after his father left the White House.
In December, 2013, Vice-President Biden flew to Beijing to meet with President Xi Jinping. Biden often asked one of his grandchildren to accompany him on his international trips, and he invited Finnegan to come on this one. Hunter told his father that he wanted to join them. According to a Beijing-based BHR representative, Hunter, shortly after arriving in Beijing, on December 4th, helped arrange for Li to shake hands with his father in the lobby of the American delegation's hotel. Afterward, Hunter and Li had what both parties described as a social meeting. Hunter told me that he didn't understand why anyone would have been concerned about this. ''How do I go to Beijing, halfway around the world, and not see them for a cup of coffee?'' he said.
Hunter's meeting with Li and his relationship with BHR attracted little attention at the time, but some of Biden's advisers were worried that Hunter, by meeting with a business associate during his father's visit, would expose the Vice-President to criticism. The former senior White House aide told me that Hunter's behavior invited questions about whether he ''was leveraging access for his benefit, which just wasn't done in that White House. Optics really mattered, and that seemed to be cutting it pretty close, even if nothing nefarious was going on.'' When I asked members of Biden's staff whether they discussed their concerns with the Vice-President, several of them said that they had been too intimidated to do so. ''Everyone who works for him has been screamed at,'' a former adviser told me. Others said that they were wary of hurting his feelings. One business associate told me that Biden, during difficult conversations about his family, ''got deeply melancholy, which, to me, is more painful than if someone yelled and screamed at me. It's like you've hurt him terribly. That was always my fear, that I would be really touching a very fragile part of him.''
For another venture, Archer travelled to Kiev to pitch investors on a real-estate fund he managed, Rosemont Realty. There, he met Mykola Zlochevsky, the co-founder of Burisma, one of Ukraine's largest natural-gas producers. Zlochevsky had served as ecology minister under the pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovych. After public protests in 2013 and early 2014, the Ukrainian parliament had voted to remove Yanukovych and called for his arrest. Under the new Ukrainian government, authorities in Kiev, with the encouragement of the Obama Administration, launched an investigation into whether Zlochevsky had used his cabinet position to grant exploration licenses that benefitted Burisma. (The status of the inquiry is unclear, but no proof of criminal activity has been publicly disclosed. Zlochevsky could not be reached for comment, and Burisma did not respond to queries.) In a related investigation, which was ultimately closed owing to a lack of evidence, British authorities temporarily froze U.K. bank accounts tied to Zlochevsky.
In early 2014, Zlochevsky sought to assemble a high-profile international board to oversee Burisma, telling prospective members that he wanted the company to adopt Western standards of transparency. Among the board members he recruited was a former President of Poland, Aleksander KwaÅniewski, who had a reputation as a dedicated reformer. In early 2014, at Zlochevsky's suggestion, KwaÅniewski met with Archer in Warsaw and encouraged him to join Burisma's board, arguing that the company was critical to Ukraine's independence from Russia. Archer agreed.
When Archer told Hunter that the board needed advice on how to improve the company's corporate governance, Hunter recommended the law firm Boies Schiller Flexner, where he was ''of counsel.'' The firm brought in the investigative agency Nardello & Co. to assess Burisma's history of corruption. Hunter joined Archer on the Burisma board in April, 2014. Three months later, in a draft report to Boies Schiller, Nardello said that it was ''unable to identify any information to date regarding any current government investigation into Zlochevsky or Burisma,'' but cited unnamed sources saying that Zlochevsky could be ''vulnerable to investigation for financial crimes'' and for ''perceived abuse of power.''
Vice-President Biden was playing a central role in overseeing U.S. policy in Ukraine, and took the lead in calling on Kiev to fight rampant corruption. On May 13, 2014, after Hunter's role on the Burisma board was reported in the news, Jen Psaki, a State Department spokesperson, said that the State Department was not concerned about perceived conflicts of interest, because Hunter was a ''private citizen.'' Hunter told Burisma's management and other board members that he would not be involved in any matters that were connected to the U.S. government or to his father. KwaÅniewski told me, ''We never discussed how the Vice-President can help us. Frankly speaking, we didn't need such help.''
Several former officials in the Obama Administration and at the State Department insisted that Hunter's role at Burisma had no effect on his father's policies in Ukraine, but said that, nevertheless, Hunter should not have taken the board seat. As the former senior White House aide put it, there was a perception that ''Hunter was on the loose, potentially undermining his father's message.'' The same aide said that Hunter should have recognized that at least some of his foreign business partners were motivated to work with him because they wanted ''to be able to say that they are affiliated with Biden.'' A former business associate said, ''The appearance of a conflict of interest is good enough, at this level of politics, to keep you from doing things like that.''
In December, 2015, as Joe Biden prepared to return to Ukraine, his aides braced for renewed scrutiny of Hunter's relationship with Burisma. Amos Hochstein, the Obama Administration's special envoy for energy policy, raised the matter with Biden, but did not go so far as to recommend that Hunter leave the board. As Hunter recalled, his father discussed Burisma with him just once: ''Dad said, 'I hope you know what you are doing,' and I said, 'I do.' ''
Hunter was not always at ease as the son of the Vice-President. He asked that the Secret Service stop deploying agents to accompany him, a request that was eventually granted. He also became offended when he felt that his father wasn't treated respectfully enough by Obama and his advisers. In 2012, Biden, responding to a question about same-sex marriage on NBC's ''Meet the Press,'' said that he was ''absolutely comfortable'' with all couples having the ''exact same rights.'' Obama had yet to publicly take a similar stance, and Biden's statement upset some White House officials. Hunter thought that Obama and his advisers should have acknowledged his father's good political instincts.
Hunter said that he limited his social interactions with Biden's White House colleagues, because he didn't want to be in a situation ''where I'm playing golf with the President or one of his aides and look at my phone and see another headline that reads 'President Makes Joke About Biden.' '' Kathleen felt differently about the White House. Their daughter Maisy was in the same class at Sidwell Friends as Sasha, the Obamas' younger daughter. The two girls became close, and Kathleen and Michelle Obama became friends, attending SoulCycle and Solidcore exercise classes together almost every day. Some evenings, they went out to dinner or had drinks at the White House. Kathleen went on vacations with Michelle, mutual friends, and their daughters.
Hunter saw himself as a provider for the Biden family; he even helped to pay off Beau's law-school debts. But he often wished that, like his father and his brother, he could contribute more to society. Through his business, he got to know an Australian-American former military-intelligence officer named Greg Keeley, who regaled him with stories about his career in the Royal Australian Navy. After moving to the United States, at forty, Keeley had obtained an age waiver to join the U.S. Navy as a reservist. While on reserve duty at a U.S. military base in southern Afghanistan on September 11, 2011, he and members of his unit watched Vice-President Biden deliver a speech at the Pentagon about the attacks of 9/11. After the speech, Keeley sent an e-mail to Hunter to tell him that members of his unit thought the Vice-President's message was ''spot on.'' Hunter passed the note on to his father, who wrote Keeley an e-mail. ''Keep your heads down,'' it said. ''You are the finest group of warriors in all of history.''
Keeley helped convince Hunter that it wasn't too late for him to join the Navy Reserves. He told me, ''My message to him was: If you feel the call to serve, which I encouraged, it doesn't really matter what your rank is and what's on your shoulder board'--it is that you're serving your country. Hunter took that message to heart and acted upon it.'' With a letter of recommendation from Keeley, Hunter applied for an age waiver, which the Navy granted. The service has a zero-tolerance drug-and-alcohol-abuse policy, and states that all recruits will be asked ''questions about prior drug and alcohol use.'' Hunter disclosed that he had ''used drugs in the past,'' but said that he was now sober, and the Navy granted him a second waiver.
Hunter had suffered his first relapse, after seven years of sobriety, in November, 2010, when he drank three Bloody Marys on a flight home from a business trip to Madrid. He continued to drink in secret for several months, then confided in Beau and returned to Crossroads Centre. He had another relapse in early 2013, after he suffered from a bout of shingles, for which he was prescribed painkillers. When the prescription ran out, he resumed drinking.
On May 7, 2013, he was assigned to a Reserve unit at Naval Station Norfolk. He had hoped to work in naval intelligence, but was given a job in a public-affairs unit. In a small, private ceremony at the White House, Hunter was sworn in by his father. Later that month, the night before Hunter's first weekend of Reserve duty, he stopped at a bar a few blocks from the White House. Outside, Hunter said, he bummed a cigarette from two men who told him that they were from South Africa. He felt ''amped up'' as he was driving down to Norfolk, and then ''incredibly exhausted.'' He told me that he called Beau and said, ''I don't know what's going on.'' Beau drove from Delaware to meet Hunter at a hotel near the naval station. ''He got me shipshape and drove me into the base,'' he said. On his first day, Hunter had a urine sample taken for testing.
A few months later, Hunter received a letter saying that his urinalysis had detected cocaine in his system. Under Navy rules, a positive drug test typically triggers a discharge. Hunter wrote a letter to the Navy Reserve, saying that he didn't know how the drug had got into his system and suggesting that the cigarettes he'd smoked outside the bar might have been laced with cocaine. Hunter called Beau, who contacted Tom Gallagher, a former Navy lawyer who had worked with Beau at the U.S. Attorney's office in Philadelphia. Gallagher agreed to represent Hunter pro bono, but it became clear that, given Hunter's history with drugs, an appeals panel was unlikely to believe the story that he had ingested cocaine involuntarily, and that appealing the decision would require closed-door hearings and the testimony of witnesses, increasing the likelihood of leaks to the press. Hunter decided not to appeal. Navy records show that Hunter's discharge took effect on February 18, 2014.
Hunter did not tell anyone except his father and his brother about the reason for his discharge, and he tried to get his drinking under control. In July, 2014, he went to a clinic in Tijuana that provided a treatment using ibogaine, a psychoactive alkaloid derived from the roots of a West African shrub, which is illegal in America. Hunter then drove to Flagstaff, Arizona, where he met with Thom Knoles, a practitioner of Vedic meditation, who said that he advised Hunter to meditate twice a day, to help keep ''his cravings for alcohol at bay.'' Knoles said that Hunter struck him as ''just a good man.'' He was ''nearly clean,'' Knoles said. ''But, to be honest, there is such a thing as a dry drunk. I could see that he was in a very delicate position.'' Knoles said that Hunter told him about how much he relied on Beau for support and confessed that ''his relationship with his other great, deep partner in life, his wife, had been brutalized by him through his loss of control.''
That fall, Hunter went to Big Sur, California, to attend a twelve-step yoga retreat at the Esalen Institute. Toward the end of his week there, a reporter from the Wall Street Journal contacted the Vice-President's office, seeking comment on Hunter's discharge from the Navy. At San Francisco International Airport, Hunter was waiting for his flight home when he saw the story on the front page of the Journal. ''I was heartbroken,'' he said.
In the summer of 2013, Hunter, Beau, and their families took a vacation together on Lake Michigan. During the trip, Beau became disoriented and was rushed to the hospital. He'd had a health scare in May, 2010, when'--six months after he returned from Iraq'--he suffered a stroke. He had appeared to recover quickly, and continued to work as Delaware's attorney general, but he struggled to remember certain words, and sometimes talked about hearing music playing when there was none.
Soon after Beau's admittance to the hospital, doctors identified a mass in his brain. It was glioblastoma multiforme, a type of brain tumor. Patients who receive similar diagnoses tend to live no longer than two years. As Beau received radiation treatment, his motor and speech skills started to decline. In the spring of 2015, he underwent an experimental procedure in which an engineered virus was injected directly into the tumor, but it was unsuccessful. In late May, doctors removed Beau's tracheostomy tube, telling the family that he would likely die within a few hours. Beau kept breathing on his own for almost a day and a half before he died, surrounded by his family.
On June 6, 2015, thousands of people paid their respects at a service at St. Anthony of Padua Church, in Wilmington. The next day, President Obama, Ashley Biden, and Hunter, who was fearful of public speaking, delivered eulogies. On the drive back to Washington, Hunter'--moved by the outpouring of support for him and his family at the funeral'--told Kathleen that he was thinking about running for public office. She pointed out that he had only recently been discharged from the Navy after testing positive for cocaine. They rode the rest of the way home in silence. (Kathleen declined to comment for this article.)
In couples therapy, Hunter and Kathleen had reached an agreement: if Hunter started drinking again, he would have to move out of the house. A day after their twenty-second anniversary, Hunter left a therapy session, drank a bottle of vodka, and moved out. Later that month, Zlochevsky, the Burisma co-founder, invited him to Norway on a fishing trip. Hunter brought along Maisy and Beau's nine-year-old son, Robert. Hunter said that, every night, he and his colleagues on the trip drank a single shot of liquor before going to bed. Kathleen found out and was angry. Hunter began to confide in Hallie, whom he was growing closer to.
Hunter said that, in July, 2015, ''I tried to show Kathleen: I want back in.'' He enrolled as an outpatient in the Charles O'Brien Center for Addiction Treatment, at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was prescribed two drugs, one to lessen his cravings and another to make him feel nauseated if he drank. He then enrolled in an inpatient program for executives at Caron Treatment Centers, where he used the pseudonym Hunter Smith. On returning to Washington, he began a program that required him to carry a Breathalyzer with a built-in camera.
That summer, Ashley Madison, a dating service for married people'--which used the slogan ''Life is short. Have an affair'''--disclosed that hackers had breached its user data. In late August, Breitbart reported that it had found a ''Robert Biden'' profile among the leaked files. Hunter denied that the account belonged to him, but Kathleen was deeply embarrassed by the story. Two months later, Hunter and Kathleen agreed to formally separate. On October 21, 2015, Joe Biden appeared in the White House Rose Garden, flanked by Jill and Obama, and announced that he would not run for President in 2016, talking about the time that it had taken the family to recover from Beau's death.
Until mid-December, Hunter practiced yoga daily. A teacher from his yoga studio told me, ''I don't think I've ever seen a person try as hard to heal as he did.'' When Hunter stopped coming to class, the teacher went to his apartment, near Logan Circle, and knocked on the door. Hunter told me that he pretended not to be at home. For weeks, he said, he left the apartment only to buy bottles of Smirnoff vodka at Logan Circle Liquor. Several times a day, his father called him, and Hunter assured him that he was O.K. Eventually, Biden showed up unannounced at the apartment. Hunter said that his father told him, ''I need you. What do we have to do?''
In February, 2016, Hunter went back to the Esalen Institute, and then spent a week skiing by himself at Lake Tahoe. When he returned to Washington, he enrolled in yet another addiction-treatment program, run by the Kolmac Outpatient Recovery Center. On his way to Kolmac, he passed several homeless people, including a middle-aged woman who went by the name Bicycles, because of the bike she took with her everywhere. Later, whenever Hunter saw Bicycles near his apartment, he would give her a twenty-dollar bill to buy him a pack of Marlboro Reds and tell her to keep the change. One rainy night, Hunter said, he offered Bicycles his spare bedroom, and she stayed for several months.
In 2016, Hunter was consulting for five or six major clients. Once or twice a year, he attended Burisma board meetings and energy forums that took place in Europe. He said that, in June, 2016, while in Monte Carlo for a meeting, he went to a hotel night club and used cocaine that a stranger offered him in the bathroom. He told his counsellors at Kolmac about his relapse but refused to take a drug test, out of concern that the results could be used against him and published in the press. When Kolmac's staff insisted that he take the test, he decided to leave the program.
In August, Hunter and Hallie went to the Hamptons with Hallie's children. They texted constantly after getting back, and Hunter started to spend most nights in Delaware, at Hallie's house, watching television until very late. ''We were sharing a very specific grief,'' Hunter recalled. ''I started to think of Hallie as the only person in my life who understood my loss.''
That fall, Hunter made plans to go to the Grace Grove Lifestyle Center, in Sedona, Arizona. During a layover at Los Angeles International Airport, before his connecting flight to Phoenix, he went to a nearby hotel bar and realized that he had left his wallet on the plane. It had belonged to Beau and still contained his attorney-general identification badge, and also Hunter's driver's license, without which he couldn't board his flight. Using a credit card he had in his pocket, Hunter checked into a hotel in Marina del Rey, where he waited for the airline to return the wallet.
Instead of going to Grace Grove, Hunter stayed in Los Angeles for about a week. He said that he ''needed a way to forget,'' and that, soon after his arrival in L.A., he asked a homeless man in Pershing Square where he could buy crack. Hunter said that the man took him to a nearby homeless encampment, where, in a narrow passageway between tents, someone put a gun to his head before realizing that he was a buyer. He returned to buy more crack a few times that week.
One night, outside a club on Hollywood Boulevard, Hunter and another man got into an argument, and a group of bouncers intervened. A friend of one of the bouncers, a Samoan man who went by the nickname Baby Down, felt sorry for Hunter and took him to Mel's Drive-In to get some food, and to his hotel to pick up his belongings. Early on the morning of October 26th, Baby Down dropped Hunter off at the Hertz rental office at Los Angeles International Airport.
Hunter said that, at that point, he had not slept for several days. Driving east on Interstate 10, just beyond Palm Springs, he lost control of his car, which jumped the median and skidded to a stop on the shoulder of the westbound side. He called Hertz, which came to collect the damaged car and gave him a second rental. Later, on a sharp bend on a mountainous road, Hunter recalled, a large barn owl flew over the hood of the car and then seemed to follow him, dropping in front of the headlights. He said that he has no idea whether the owl was real or a hallucination. On the night of October 28th, Hunter dropped the car off at a Hertz office in Prescott, Arizona, and Grace Grove sent a van to pick him up.
Zachary Romfo, who worked at the Hertz office in Prescott, told me that he found a crack pipe in the car and, on one of the consoles, a line of white-powder residue. Beau Biden's attorney-general badge was on the dashboard. Hertz called the Prescott police department, and officers there filed a ''narcotics offense'' report, listing the items seized from the car, including a plastic baggie containing a ''white powdery substance,'' a Secret Service business card, credit cards, and Hunter's driver's license. Later, according to a police report, Secret Service agents informed Prescott police that Hunter was ''secure/well.'' Subsequent test results indicated that the glass pipe contained cocaine residue, but investigators didn't find any fingerprints on it. Public prosecutors in the county and the city declined to bring a case against Hunter, citing a lack of evidence that the pipe had been used by him. Jon Paladini, Prescott's city attorney, told me that he was not aware of any requests by officials in Washington to drop the investigation into Hunter. ''It's a very Republican area,'' he said. ''I don't think political favors, necessarily, would even work, had they been requested.''
After a week at Grace Grove, Hunter checked into a resort spa called Mii Amo, and called Hallie, who flew to meet him. During her stay, Hunter said, they decided to become a couple. When they returned to Delaware, they tried, unsuccessfully, to keep their relationship secret.
On December 9, 2016, Kathleen filed for divorce, and on February 23, 2017, she filed a motion in D.C. Superior Court seeking to freeze Hunter's assets, alleging that he ''created financial concerns for the family by spending extravagantly on his own interests (including drugs, alcohol, prostitutes, strip clubs, and gifts for women with whom he has sexual relations), while leaving the family with no funds to pay legitimate bills.'' The motion was leaked to the New York Post, along with the revelation that Hunter and Hallie were dating.
Kathleen told friends that she felt ostracized by the Biden family. Hunter denied hiring prostitutes, and said that he hadn't been to a strip club in years. But, he said, the evening the story was published, ''I went directly to a strip club. I said, 'Fuck them.' ''
The first that Biden heard of the relationship was when the Post asked his office for comment. Hunter issued a statement saying that he and Hallie were ''incredibly lucky to have found the love and support we have for each other in such a difficult time.'' Hunter told me he appealed to his father to make a statement, too: ''I said, 'Dad, Dad, you have to.' He said, 'Hunter, I don't know if I should. But I'll do whatever you want me to do.' I said, 'Dad, if people find out, but they think you're not approving of this, it makes it seem wrong. The kids have to know, Dad, that there's nothing wrong with this, and the one person who can tell them that is you.' '' A former Biden aide confirmed that Biden agreed to issue a statement because of concerns about Hunter's well-being. Biden told the Post, ''We are all lucky that Hunter and Hallie found each other as they were putting their lives together again after such sadness. . . . They have mine and Jill's full and complete support and we are happy for them.'' The Post ran the statement under the headline ''Beau Biden's Widow Having Affair with His Married Brother.''
In August, Hunter rented a house in Annapolis, Maryland, where he, Hallie, and her two children hoped to have some privacy, but, several months later, they split up. ''All we got was shit from everybody, all the time,'' Hunter said. ''It was really hard. And I realized that I'm not helping anybody by sticking around.'' (Hallie declined to comment.) In early 2018, he moved to Los Angeles. The idea, he said, was to ''completely disappear.''
Hunter said that, in divorce proceedings, he offered to give Kathleen ''everything,'' including a monthly payment of thirty-seven thousand dollars for alimony, tuition, and child-care costs for a decade. Hunter told me that he was living on approximately four thousand dollars a month; he was hardly poor, but it was an adjustment. On occasion, transactions on his credit cards were declined.
One of Kathleen's motions contains a reference to ''a large diamond'' that had come into Hunter's possession. The motion seems to imply that it was one of Hunter's ''personal indulgences.'' When I asked him about it, he told me that he had been given the diamond by the Chinese energy tycoon Ye Jianming, who was trying to make connections in Washington among prominent Democrats and Republicans, and whom he had met in the middle of the divorce. Hunter told me that two associates accompanied him to his first meeting with Ye, in Miami, and that they surprised him by giving Ye a magnum of rare vintage Scotch worth thousands of dollars.
Hunter was on the board of the World Food Program USA, a nonprofit that generates support for the U.N. World Food Programme, and he had hoped that Ye would make a large aid donation. At dinner that night, they discussed the donation, and then the conversation turned to business opportunities. Hunter offered to use his contacts to help identify investment opportunities for Ye's company, CEFC China Energy, in liquefied-natural-gas projects in the United States. After the dinner, Ye sent a 2.8-carat diamond to Hunter's hotel room with a card thanking him for their meeting. ''I was, like, Oh, my God,'' Hunter said. (In Kathleen's court motion, the diamond is estimated to be worth eighty thousand dollars. Hunter said he believes the value is closer to ten thousand.) When I asked him if he thought the diamond was intended as a bribe, he said no: ''What would they be bribing me for? My dad wasn't in office.'' Hunter said that he gave the diamond to his associates, and doesn't know what they did with it. ''I knew it wasn't a good idea to take it. I just felt like it was weird,'' he said.
Hunter began negotiating a deal for CEFC to invest forty million dollars in a liquefied-natural-gas project on Monkey Island, in Louisiana, which, he said, was projected to create thousands of jobs. ''I was more proud of it than you can imagine,'' he told me. In the summer of 2017, Ye talked with Hunter about his concern that U.S. law-enforcement agencies were investigating one of his associates, Patrick Ho. Hunter, who sometimes works as a private lawyer, agreed to represent Ho, and tried to figure out whether Ho was in legal jeopardy in the U.S. That November, just after Ye and Hunter agreed on the Monkey Island deal, U.S. authorities detained Ho at the airport. He was later sentenced to three years in prison for his role in a multiyear, multimillion-dollar scheme to bribe top government officials in Chad and Uganda in exchange for business advantages for CEFC. In February, 2018, Ye was detained by Chinese authorities, reportedly as part of an anti-corruption investigation, and the deal with Hunter fell through. Hunter said that he did not consider Ye to be a ''shady character at all,'' and characterized the outcome as ''bad luck.''
Joe Biden is hardly the first politician to have faced scrutiny for the business dealings of a family member. In 1973, during the Watergate investigation, the Washington Post reported that Richard Nixon had the phone of his brother Donald tapped for at least a year, because he feared that Donald's ''various financial activities might bring embarrassment to the Nixon administration.'' In the late seventies, the F.B.I. investigated President Jimmy Carter's younger brother, Billy, after it emerged that he was on the payroll of the Libyan government. In an extensive report on the affair issued by the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Biden was a member, Billy was quoted as saying that ''he did not need anyone in Washington telling him how to conduct his private business.'' Carter said that he had tried, unsuccessfully, to ''discourage Billy from making any other trip to Libya'' and ''to keep him out of the newspapers for a few weeks.''
Hunter Biden and Melissa Cohen on the roof deck in L.A. where they were married.
Photograph by Philip Montgomery for The New YorkerBiden's approach was to deal with Hunter's activities by largely ignoring them. This may have temporarily allowed Biden to truthfully inform reporters that his decisions were not affected by Hunter. But, as Robert Weissman, the president of the advocacy group Public Citizen, said, ''It's hard to avoid the conclusion that Hunter's foreign employers and partners were seeking to leverage Hunter's relationship with Joe, either by seeking improper influence or to project access to him.''
It is clear that Hunter and Biden's decades-old decision not to discuss business matters has exposed both father and son to attacks. (Biden declined to comment for this article.) In March of last year, Peter Schweizer, a conservative researcher and a senior editor-at-large at Breitbart, published ''Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends.'' Schweizer is best known for ''Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Clinton Rich,'' which was released in May, 2015. Research for that book was funded by the Government Accountability Institute, which Schweizer co-founded, in 2012, with Stephen Bannon. Under the law, the G.A.I. is a nonpartisan organization. But, as Joshua Green wrote, in ''Devil's Bargain,'' his book about Bannon's role in Trump's rise, Bannon saw ''Clinton Cash'' as ''the key to orchestrating Hillary Clinton's downfall.'' It was, Green writes, ''the culmination of everything Bannon learned during his time in Goldman Sachs, Internet Gaming Entertainment, Hollywood, and Breitbart News.''
As Bannon and Schweizer had hoped, investigative journalists from the mainstream press followed up on Schweizer's many examples of the Clintons' purported conflicts of interest. In April, 2015, two weeks before Schweizer's book came out, the Times published a front-page article, by Jo Becker and Mike McIntire, that cited Schweizer's research alongside Becker's own reporting from 2008. The article singled out a Canadian mining magnate, Frank Giustra, who donated tens of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation. The story suggested that the donations of Giustra and others might have created conflicts of interest, at a time when the Obama Administration was negotiating to allow the Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom to gain control of a swath of America's untapped uranium deposits by purchasing the Canadian company Uranium One. The Times was criticized for building on Schweizer's work, and, two years later, Eileen Sullivan, in another Times article, wrote, ''There has been no evidence that donations to the Clinton Foundation influenced the Uranium One deal.'' Still, ''Clinton Cash'' did exactly what Bannon hoped it would do, Green writes, ''sullying Clinton's image in a way that she never fully recovered from.''
''Secret Empires,'' which details Hunter's activities in China and Ukraine, focusses on what Schweizer calls ''corruption by proxy,'' which he defines as a ''new corruption'' that is ''difficult to detect'' and that, though often legal, makes ''good money for a politician and his family and friends'' and leaves ''American politicians vulnerable to overseas financial pressure.'' Schweizer often relies on innuendo to supplement his reporting. At one point, he describes ''one of the few public sightings'' of Hunter in Beijing, when Hunter, ''dressed in a dark overcoat,'' followed Biden into a shop to buy a Magnum ice cream. ''Intentionally or not,'' Schweizer writes, ''Hunter Biden was showing the Chinese that he had guanxi'''--connections.
Schweizer asserts that ''Rosemont Seneca Partners had been negotiating an exclusive deal with Chinese officials, which they signed approximately ten days after Hunter visited China with his father.'' In fact, the deal had been signed before the trip'--according to the BHR representative, it was a business license that came through shortly afterward'--and Hunter was not a signatory. Hunter and Archer said that they never met with any Chinese officials about the fund. And the deal wasn't with Rosemont Seneca Partners but with a new holding company, established solely by Archer; Christopher Heinz was not part of the BHR transaction. Schweizer also asserts that the Chinese fund was ''lucrative'' for Hunter, but Hunter and his business partners told me that he has yet to receive a payment from the company.
In October, 2017, the special counsel Robert Mueller, investigating Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election, indicted Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, on twelve counts, including committing conspiracy against the United States by failing to register as a foreign agent of Ukraine. (Manafort pleaded guilty to that charge in September, 2018.) Making a case that Hunter had his own Ukrainian scandal, Schweizer implies that Joe Biden had been consulted in advance about Hunter and Archer's work with Burisma. On April 16, 2014, he notes, shortly before the announcement that Hunter and Archer had taken seats on the company's board, Archer made a ''private visit to the White House for a meeting with Vice-President Biden.'' Hunter, Archer, and Archer's son Lukas, who is now twelve, told me that the visit was arranged by Hunter for Lukas, who was working on a model of the White House for a grade-school assignment. Afterward, Lukas posted a picture on Instagram of himself shaking the Vice-President's hand. Hunter and Archer said that Burisma was never discussed.
Rudolph Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer, has also aggressively promoted what he has called the ''alleged Ukraine conspiracy'' in interviews and on social media. Giuliani told me that, in the fall of 2018, he spoke to Viktor Shokin, Ukraine's former prosecutor general. Shokin told him that Vice-President Biden had him fired in 2016 because he was investigating Burisma and the company's payments to Hunter and Archer. Giuliani said that, in January, 2019, he met with Yurii Lutsenko, Ukraine's current prosecutor general, in New York, and Lutsenko confirmed Shokin's version of events.
On April 1, 2019, John Solomon, an opinion contributor to The Hill, wrote about Shokin's claim that he had been conducting a corruption probe into Burisma and Hunter when he was dismissed. A month later, the Times reported that Hunter ''was on the board of an energy company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch who had been in the sights of the fired prosecutor general.'' The story, by Kenneth P. Vogel and Iuliia Mendel, provoked some Democrats to express concern that the Times was again lending credence to allegations made by Schweizer and other Trump allies. Giuliani retweeted the article, and Trump called for the Justice Department to investigate. Jon Favreau, a former speechwriter for President Obama, tweeted, ''Zero lessons have been learned from 2016: 1. Mainstream outlet credulously accepts Trump conspiracy about opponent 2. Trump propaganda machine uses story to spread the conspiracy on social media and through digital ads 3. Voters believe it, ignoring subsequent fact checks.''
There is no credible evidence that Biden sought Shokin's removal in order to protect Hunter. According to Amos Hochstein, the Obama Administration's special envoy for energy policy, Shokin was removed because of concerns by the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, and the U.S. government that he wasn't pursuing corruption investigations. Contrary to the assertions that Shokin was fired because he was investigating Burisma and Zlochevsky, Hochstein said, ''many of us in the U.S. government believed that Shokin was the one protecting Zlochevsky.'' In May, Giuliani scheduled a visit to Ukraine, and told the Times that he would look into Hunter's involvement with Burisma, ''because that information will be very, very helpful to my client,'' but then abruptly cancelled the trip, amid reports that Ukraine's President-elect was unwilling to meet with him. A week later, on May 16th, Lutsenko appeared to shift his position on Burisma, telling Bloomberg News that he saw no evidence of wrongdoing by Biden or his son, and that ''a company can pay however much it wants to its board.'' The reasons for his reversal were unclear, but Daria Kaleniuk, the head of the Anti-Corruption Action Center, in Kiev, speculated that Lutsenko, in talking with Giuliani, had been trying to ''pump his political muscle,'' a strategy that had proved ineffective in the new political climate.
That month, Hunter declined Burisma's offer to serve another term on the board, believing that the controversy had become a distraction. But he said that he was proud of his work there, and that he thought the criticism was misplaced. ''I feel the decisions that I made were the right decisions for my family and for me,'' he told me. ''Was it worth it? Was it worth the pain? No. It certainly wasn't worth the grief.'' He went on, ''I would never have been able to predict that Donald Trump would have picked me out as the tip of the spear against the one person they believe can beat them.''
And yet, to many voters, the controversy over Hunter's business dealings will appear to have been avoidable, a product of Biden's resistance to having difficult conversations, particularly those involving his family. Hunter said that, in his talks with his father, ''I'm saying sorry to him, and he says, 'I'm the one who's sorry,' and we have an ongoing debate about who should be more sorry. And we both realize that the only true antidote to any of this is winning. He says, 'Look, it's going to go away.' There is truly a higher purpose here, and this will go away. So can you survive the assault?''
In early May, Hunter met a thirty-two-year-old South African woman named Melissa Cohen, a filmmaker who was working on a series of documentaries about indigenous tribes in southern Africa. A few days after their first date, Hunter had the word ''shalom'' tattooed in Hebrew letters on the inside of his left bicep, to match a tattoo that Cohen has in the same spot. On May 15th, less than a week after they met, he proposed. The next morning, she accepted, and he bought the simplest gold wedding bands he could find, then called a marriage service, which sent over an officiant.
A month later, on the roof deck of Cohen's apartment, off the Sunset Strip, Cohen sat on a bench next to Hunter, who was wearing jeans and a T-shirt emblazoned with the slogan ''BE FUCKING NICE.'' Hunter recalled that, after the ceremony, ''I called my dad and said that we just got married. He was on speaker, and he said to her, 'Thank you for giving my son the courage to love again.' '' Hunter paused, his eyes filling with tears. ''And he said to me, 'Honey, I knew that when you found love again that I'd get you back.' '' Cohen rubbed his shoulders. He went on, ''And my reply was, I said, 'Dad, I always had love. And the only thing that allowed me to see it was the fact that you never gave up on me, you always believed in me.' ''
Hunter told me that, on a recent evening, he had seen reports on Twitter that Trump was calling for him to be investigated by the Justice Department. Then Hunter noticed a helicopter overhead. ''I said, 'I hope they're taking pictures of us right now. I hope it's a live feed to the President so he can see just how much I care about the tweets.' '' He went on, ''I told Melissa, 'I don't care. Fuck you, Mr. President. Here I am, living my life.' '' '...
A previous version of this article misspelled Brian McGlinchey's last name and mischaracterized the New York Times' interaction with Peter Schweizer and its reporting on Uranium One.
BHR Partners - Wikipedia
Sat, 28 Sep 2019 12:57
BHR Partners is a private investment fund founded in 2013 by Chinese and American partners to make investments outside of China.
History [ edit ] BHR was founded in 2013 by Chinese asset managers Bohai Industrial Investment Fund Management Co. and Harvest Fund Management Co. and U.S. investment and advisory firms Rosemont Seneca Partners, co-founded by Hunter Biden, Christopher Heinz and Devon Archer, and Thornton Group LLC. The company website in 2016 reported that Bohai Capital managed the RMB20 Billion and Harvest ranks among China's largest mutual fund management companies. The website said the company has "the support of Bank of China, China Development Bank Capital, and other major Chinese financial institutions. Bohai Harvest has also partnered with a subsidiary of China's conglomerate HNA Group.
The firm set out in 2014 to raise $1.5 billion for investments, some in dollars and some in yuan. The yuan investments wereto be converted to U.S. dollars through Shanghai Free-Trade Zone, facilitating offshore investment for Chinese investors. Rosemont Seneca is a Washington, D.C.-based investment and advisory firm run by Hunter Biden, the son of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. Hunter Biden partnered with James Bulger, son of former Massachusetts state Senate President William Bulger. According to The Intercept, business registration filings in China list Hunter Biden and James Bulger as key officials at Bohai Harvest. Thornton Group is a Boston-based cross-border investment advisory firm. The U.S. partners as a pair and the two Chinese partners each own a 30% stake in the joint management firm.
[ edit ] 2014 - Approximately RMB4 billion in the Chinese pilot State-Owned Enterprises reform deal "involving the segregation and capitalization of Sinopec Group's non-oil business into Sinopec Marketing Corporation";2015 - Henniges Automotive with strategic partner, AVIC Auto; total transaction valued at around US$600 million;Investments in China General Nuclear (CGN), 3Bio Inc., and Didi Taxi. In 2016, the U.S. Justice Department charged CGN with stealing nuclear secrets from the United States.In November, 2016, BHR agreed to purchase Lundin Mining Corp's minority stake in African copper mine Tenke Fungurume Mining S.A. for $1.14 billion in cash. Lundin held a 30% interest in TF Holdings, a holding company, and an effective 24% stake in the mining operation. Freeport-McMoRan Inc. currently owns the remaining 70% stake in TF Holdings (an effective 56% of the mine), but is in the process of selling its stake to China Molybdenum Co. for a reported $2.65 billion. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the Tenke mine is located, owns the remaining 20% of the mine. According to Oxfam, "the Government of DRC knew nothing about [transaction] until after it happened."In 2017, BHR invested in a Chinese technology company Megvii.References [ edit ] ^ a b "About Us", company webpage. Retrieved 2016-11-16. ^ "Will Hunter Biden Jeopardize His Father's Campaign?". The New Yorker. July 1, 2019. ^ a b Deng, Chao, "Bohai, Harvest and U.S. Investment Firms Expand Target for Outbound Fund" (possibly subscription only), Wall Street Journal, July 10, 2014. Retrieved 2016-11-16. ^ a b c d "Chinese Fund Backed by Hunter Biden Invested in Technology Used to Surveil Muslims". The Intercept. May 3, 2019. ^ "Henniges Automotive is back". The Gazette. April 25, 2010 . Retrieved 4 September 2017 . ^ "Henniges Automotive acquired by China's AVIC Automotive". Automotive News. September 11, 2015. ^ "Funds", company webpage. Retrieved 2016-11-16. ^ "U.S. tightens controls on China imports of nuclear components". Reuters. 11 October 2018. ^ Schweizer, Peter (11 May 2019). "The troubling reason why Biden is so soft on China". New York Post. ^ "Hinkley Point C: case against Chinese firm has the feel of a modern spy thriller". The Guardian. 11 August 2016. ^ McKinnon, Judy, "Lundin Mining to Sell Stake in African Mine for $1.14 Billion" (possibly subscription only), Wall Street Journal, November 15, 2016. Retrieved 2016-11-15. ^ "DRC's largest mine was just sold. And DRC got nothing". Oxfam America. August 3, 2016. ^ "Chinese facial recognition firm Megvii raises $750m". Financial Times. May 8, 2019. External links [ edit ] Official website
Joe Biden, His Son and the Case Against a Ukrainian Oligarch - The New York Times
Sat, 28 Sep 2019 12:50
Image Hunter Biden at a campaign event in 2008. He sits on the board of one of Ukraine's largest natural gas companies. Credit Credit Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times WASHINGTON '-- When Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. traveled to Kiev , Ukraine, on Sunday for a series of meetings with the country's leaders, one of the issues on his agenda was to encourage a more aggressive fight against Ukraine's rampant corruption and stronger efforts to rein in the power of its oligarchs.
But the credibility of the vice president's anticorruption message may have been undermined by the association of his son, Hunter Biden, with one of Ukraine's largest natural gas companies, Burisma Holdings, and with its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, who was Ukraine's ecology minister under former President Viktor F. Yanukovych before he was forced into exile.
Hunter Biden, 45, a former Washington lobbyist, joined the Burisma board in April 2014. That month, as part of an investigation into money laundering, British officials froze London bank accounts containing $23 million that allegedly belonged to Mr. Zlochevsky.
Britain's Serious Fraud Office, an independent government agency, specifically forbade Mr. Zlochevksy, as well as Burisma Holdings, the company's chief legal officer and another company owned by Mr. Zlochevsky, to have any access to the accounts.
But after Ukrainian prosecutors refused to provide documents needed in the investigation, a British court in January ordered the Serious Fraud Office to unfreeze the assets. The refusal by the Ukrainian prosecutor general's office to cooperate was the target of a stinging attack by the American ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey R. Pyatt, who called out Burisma's owner by name in a speech in September.
''In the case of former Ecology Minister Mykola Zlochevsky, the U.K. authorities had seized $23 million in illicit assets that belonged to the Ukrainian people,'' Mr. Pyatt said. Officials at the prosecutor general's office, he added, were asked by the United Kingdom ''to send documents supporting the seizure. Instead they sent letters to Zlochevsky's attorneys attesting that there was no case against him. As a result, the money was freed by the U.K. court, and shortly thereafter the money was moved to Cyprus.''
Mr. Pyatt went on to call for an investigation into ''the misconduct'' of the prosecutors who wrote the letters. In his speech, the ambassador did not mention Hunter Biden's connection to Burisma.
But Edward C. Chow, who follows Ukrainian policy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the involvement of the vice president's son with Mr. Zlochevsky's firm undermined the Obama administration's anticorruption message in Ukraine.
''Now you look at the Hunter Biden situation, and on the one hand you can credit the father for sending the anticorruption message,'' Mr. Chow said. ''But I think unfortunately it sends the message that a lot of foreign countries want to believe about America, that we are hypocritical about these issues.''
Kate Bedingfield, a spokeswoman for the vice president, said Hunter Biden's business dealings had no impact on his father's policy positions in connection with Ukraine.
Video Speaking during a visit to Ukraine, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. urged the country to weed corruption out of its system. Credit Credit Mikhail Palinchak/Ukrainian Presidential Press Service ''Hunter Biden is a private citizen and a lawyer,'' she said. ''The vice president does not endorse any particular company and has no involvement with this company. The vice president has pushed aggressively for years, both publicly with groups like the U.S.-Ukraine Business Forum and privately in meetings with Ukrainian leaders, for Ukraine to make every effort to investigate and prosecute corruption in accordance with the rule of law. It will once again be a key focus during his trip this week.''
Ryan F. Toohey, a Burisma spokesman, said that Hunter Biden would not comment for this article.
It is not known how Mr. Biden came to the attention of the company. Announcing his appointment to the board, Alan Apter, a former Morgan Stanley investment banker who is chairman of Burisma, said, ''The company's strategy is aimed at the strongest concentration of professional staff and the introduction of best corporate practices, and we're delighted that Mr. Biden is joining us to help us achieve these goals.''
Joining the board at the same time was one of Mr. Biden's American business partners, Devon Archer. Both are involved with Rosemont Seneca Partners, an American investment firm with offices in Washington.
Mr. Biden is the younger of the vice president's two sons. His brother, Beau, died of brain cancer in May. In the past, Hunter Biden attracted an unusual level of scrutiny and even controversy. In 2014, he was discharged from the Navy Reserve after testing positive for cocaine use. He received a commission as an ensign in 2013, and he served as a public affairs officer.
Before his father was vice president, Mr. Biden also briefly served as president of a hedge fund group, Paradigm Companies, in which he was involved with one of his uncles, James Biden, the vice president's brother. That deal went sour amid lawsuits in 2007 and 2008 involving the Bidens and an erstwhile business partner. Mr. Biden, a graduate of Georgetown University and Yale Law School, also worked as a lobbyist before his father became vice president.
Burisma does not disclose the compensation of its board members because it is a privately held company, Mr. Toohey said Monday, but he added that the amount was ''not out of the ordinary'' for similar corporate board positions.
Asked about the British investigation, which is continuing, Mr. Toohey said, ''Not only was the case dismissed and the company vindicated by the outcome, but it speaks volumes that all his legal costs were recouped.''
In response to Mr. Pyatt's criticism of the Ukrainian handling of Mr. Zlochevsky's case, Mr. Toohey said that ''strong corporate governance and transparency are priorities shared both by the United States and the leadership of Burisma. Burisma is working to bring the energy sector into the modern era, which is critical for a free and strong Ukraine.''
Vice President Biden has played a leading role in American policy toward Ukraine as Washington seeks to counter Russian intervention in Eastern Ukraine. This week's visit was his fifth trip to Ukraine as vice president.
Ms. Bedingfield said Hunter Biden had never traveled to Ukraine with his father. She also said that Ukrainian officials had never mentioned Hunter Biden's role with Burisma to the vice president during any of his visits.
''I've got to believe that somebody in the vice president's office has done some due diligence on this,'' said Steven Pifer, who was the American ambassador to Ukraine from 1998 to 2000. ''I should say that I hope that has happened. I would hope that they have done some kind of check, because I think the vice president has done a very good job of sending the anticorruption message in Ukraine, and you would hate to see something like this undercut that message.''
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The Vice President, His Son and the Case Against a Ukrainian Oligarch
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I Wrote About the Bidens and Ukraine Years Ago
Sat, 28 Sep 2019 12:49
It's strange to see my journalism twisted, perverted, and turned into lies and poisonous propaganda by Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and their enablers. But that's what has happened to a news story I wrote four years ago.
In 2015, I wrote a story for the New York Times about Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and Ukraine. Many observers now seem to think this suddenly hot story came out of nowhere this year, but that is not true.
The truth behind that story has been lost in a swamp of right-wing opposition research, White House lies, and bizarre follow-up stories. Now it appears that the Biden-Ukraine story will play a role in a new impeachment inquiry against Trump, amid evidence that he sought to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky by withholding U.S. aid unless Zelensky agreed to investigate the Bidens.
On Wednesday, the White House released a summary of the July conversation between Trump and Zelensky, in which Trump told the Ukrainian leader to work with Attorney General William Barr and Giuliani to find out what happened between the Bidens and a Ukrainian prosecutor. ''There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great,'' Trump told Zelensky, according to the summary. ''Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it '... It sounds horrible to me.''
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday that the House will launch an impeachment investigation, and the whistleblower who complained about the Trump-Zelensky call to the intelligence community inspector general is seeking to testify before Congress. Thus, just months after the completion of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into whether Trump and his campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election, Congress will investigate whether Trump sought to pressure another foreign leader to help him win the 2020 presidential race.
With so much now at stake, I thought it would be useful to revisit my original story and in the process, separate the truth from the gathering lies.
In December 2015, I was an investigative reporter in the Washington bureau of the Times. That month, I published a story reporting that Vice President Joe Biden had just traveled to Ukraine, in part to send a message to the Ukrainian government that it needed to crack down on corruption.
But I also wrote that his anti-corruption message might be undermined by the association of his son Hunter with one of Ukraine's largest natural gas companies, Burisma Holdings, and with its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky. Zlochevsky had been Ukraine's ecology minister under former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, a pro-Russian leader who had been forced into exile in Russia.
Hunter Biden had joined the board of Burisma in April 2014, the same month that British officials froze Zlochevsky's London bank accounts containing $23 million. Britain's Serious Fraud Office, an independent government agency, was conducting a money-laundering investigation and refused to allow Zlochevsky or Burisma Holdings, the company's chief legal officer, and another company owned by Zlochevsky access to the accounts.
But the British money-laundering investigation was stymied by Ukrainian prosecutors' refusal to cooperate. The Ukrainian prosecutors would not turn over documents needed in the British investigation, and without that documentary evidence, a British court ordered Britain's Serious Fraud Office to unfreeze the assets.
In September 2015, then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt gave a speech in which he attacked the Ukrainian prosecutor general's office for failing to cooperate with the British investigation. In his speech '-- which I quoted in my story '-- Pyatt mentioned Burisma's owner by name.
''In the case of former Ecology Minister Mykola Zlochevsky, the U.K. authorities had seized $23 million in illicit assets that belonged to the Ukrainian people,'' Pyatt said. Officials at the prosecutor general's office, he added, were asked by the United Kingdom ''to send documents supporting the seizure. Instead they sent letters to Zlochevsky's attorneys attesting that there was no case against him. As a result, the money was freed by the U.K. court, and shortly thereafter the money was moved to Cyprus.''
When Joe Biden arrived in Ukraine in December 2015 to press for more aggressive anti-corruption efforts by the government, Hunter Biden's role with Burisma made his father's demands, however well-intentioned, appear politically awkward and hypocritical. That was the point of my story. I quoted Edward C. Chow, who follows Ukrainian policy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, who said the involvement of the vice president's son with Zlochevsky's firm undermined the Obama administration's anti-corruption message in Ukraine.
''Now you look at the Hunter Biden situation, and on the one hand you can credit the father for sending the anticorruption message,'' Chow said. ''But I think unfortunately it sends the message that a lot of foreign countries want to believe about America, that we are hypocritical about these issues.''
In fact, Hunter Biden has been the black sheep of the Biden family for years. He was the younger son who could never live up to the example set by his older brother, Beau, an Iraq war veteran and the attorney general of Delaware who died of brain cancer in 2015, cutting short a promising political career.
In 2014, Hunter Biden was discharged from the Navy Reserve after testing positive for cocaine use. He had also been involved in a hedge fund with his uncle, James Biden, Joe Biden's brother, that went bad in the face of lawsuits involving the Bidens and a business partner.
Hunter Biden was the family millstone around Joe Biden's neck, the kind of chronic problem relative that plagues many political families. George H.W. Bush had his son Neil; Jimmy Carter had his brother Billy.
Still, when Joe Biden went to Ukraine, he was not trying to protect his son '-- quite the reverse.
The then-vice president issued his demands for greater anti-corruption measures by the Ukrainian government despite the possibility that those demands would actually increase '' not lessen '-- the chances that Hunter Biden and Burisma would face legal trouble in Ukraine.
When it first was published, my 2015 story seemed to have little impact, other than to irritate Joe Biden and his staff. It ran inside the print edition of the Times, not on the front page.
But somebody obviously read my piece, as well as others like it, because questions about the Bidens in Ukraine suddenly came roaring back this year. Giuliani, Trump, and their lackeys began spreading the false accusation that Biden had traveled to Ukraine to blackmail the government and force officials to fire the country's chief prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, to derail an investigation into Burisma.
In May, when this issue began to surface, The Intercept's Robert Mackey wrote an excellent piece debunking the lies in the new pro-Trump version of the Biden story. In the process, he provided greater detail than I had included in my 2015 story. He wrote that Shokin had been forced from office at Biden's urging because he had failed to thoroughly investigate corruption and stifled efforts to expose embezzlement and misconduct by public officials. Biden did threaten to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees unless Shokin was ousted. But that was because Shokin had blocked serious anti-corruption investigations, not because he was investigating Burisma.
Trump administration approves lethal arms sales to Ukraine - The Washington Post
Sat, 28 Sep 2019 12:32
Correction: A previous version of this blog post incorrectly reported that the Trump administration had approved the first-ever commercial sale of lethal weapons to Ukraine. It stated that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had publicly supported arms sales to Ukraine; Mattis did not explicitly do so. This post has been updated.
The Trump administration has approved the largest U.S. commercial sale of lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine since 2014. The move was heavily supported by top Trump national security Cabinet officials and Congress but may complicate President Trump's stated ambition to work with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Administration officials confirmed that the State Department this month approved a commercial license authorizing the export of Model M107A1 Sniper Systems, ammunition, and associated parts and accessories to Ukraine, a sale valued at $41.5 million. These weapons address a specific vulnerability of Ukrainian forces fighting a Russian-backed separatist movement in two eastern provinces. There has been no approval to export the heavier weapons the Ukrainian government is asking for, such as Javelin antitank missiles.
Congress authorized such sales in 2014 in the Ukraine Freedom Support Act, but the Obama administration never authorized large commercial or government sales, a move widely seen as a de facto decision not to provide lethal weapons to the Ukraine military. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who co-sponsored the law, praised the Trump administration's move.
''I'm pleased the administration approved the sale of defensive lethal arms to Ukraine,'' Corker told me. ''This decision was supported by Congress in legislation that became law three years ago and reflects our country's longstanding commitment to Ukraine in the face of ongoing Russian aggression.''
A State Department spokesperson, speaking on background, said that although the United States has now licensed the commercial export of lethal weapons to Ukraine, the U.S. government has not sold or given weapons directly to Ukraine. There's never been any official policy on such sales one way or another, the spokesperson said, adding that this license was granted on a case-by-case basis. There were licenses granted for small commercial sales of small arms to Ukraine before this year
Another senior Trump administration official said that Trump personally approved the decision to allow the issuing of the license after being presented a decision memo by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. While there was never a formal ban on such weapons transfers, the decision was discussed internally as a lifting of the de facto Obama administration restrictions, the official said.
As I reported in October, the decision over whether to allow lethal arms sales to Ukraine had been sitting on Trump's desk for months. The National Security Council's Principals Committee, which includes Cabinet members, met months ago and provided several options to the president.
Experts and officials said Trump's chosen option was measured; he didn't approve everything the Ukrainians asked for but nonetheless crossed the line of approving lethal sales, a significant shift in his administration's approach and U.S. policy overall.
''We have crossed the Rubicon, this is lethal weapons and I predict more will be coming,'' said one senior congressional official. It's likely no mere coincidence that Canada also approved lethal defense sales to Ukraine this week, which would happen only if the Canadian government knew the United States was on board, the official said.
The Trump administration notified leading congressional committees of the sale on Dec. 13 but didn't make any public announcements, which some say reflects the sensitivity of the decision and concern about how it will be received by Trump supporters who long opposed the move, as well as by Putin.
''The way it was not rolled out tells you something, that they are concerned about the perception of this. They are not trumpeting this as a major policy shift or signature policy priority,'' said Samuel Charap, senior political scientist at the Rand Corporation.
The administration's strategy of approving very limited arms sales is akin to a ''Goldilocks'' approach, he said, because it attempts to satisfy advocates while not sparking negative reaction by those who fear such a move could risk escalating the crisis.
One senior administration official who previously warned of this very risk is Fiona Hill, now the senior National Security Council director for Russia. She argued in a 2015 Post op-ed that if the United States arms Ukraine, ''the Ukrainians won't be the only ones caught in an escalating military conflict with Russia.''
It's unclear whether Hill still holds that view, but other top Trump officials have been clear they support sending lethal arms to Ukraine. Mattis said in Kiev in August that ''defensive weapons are not provocative unless you are an aggressor, and clearly Ukraine is not an aggressor.'' Tillerson declared his support in his Senate confirmation hearing.
Tillerson's part-time special envoy on the Ukraine crisis, former U.S. ambassador to NATO Kurt Volker, told me last month he also supports providing lethal weapons to Ukraine. Volker is working with Moscow to revive a peace plan known as Minsk2, but progress is scarce.
According to Volker, Russia has not fulfilled any of its obligations, which include removing its unacknowledged troops and heavy weapons from Ukrainian territory. His argument is that the costs of Russia's intervention should increase, making Putin choose whether to bear that burden or strike a deal.
Others, including Mattis, see the sales as a principled signal that the United States will support its allies. They say Ukraine is simply defending its own territory and therefore lethal weapons shouldn't be seen as a provocation.
Meanwhile, the fighting in Russian-occupied eastern Ukraine is heating up. According to a BBC report this week, Moscow is pulling all of its personnel from a Russian-Ukrainian joint center that is meant to monitor a frequently violated truce.
Trump himself has consistently stated his desire to work with Putin to resolve the Ukraine crisis, dating back to his presidential campaign.
During the 2016 GOP convention, the Trump campaign beat back efforts to have the Republican platform endorse lethal assistance to Ukraine. Trump campaign officials pushed to soften a proposed amendment to remove the language ''lethal defensive weapons'' and replace it with ''appropriate assistance.''
Trump has now decided that lethal defensive weapons constitute ''appropriate assistance.'' His decision to approve small amounts of weapons sales likely won't fundamentally change Putin's calculus or the trajectory of the war in Ukraine. But it's one sure sign that Trump's foreign policy views are evolving '-- or at least being influenced '-- as his presidency progresses.
''Gossip-blower'' is Male CIA Operative Formerly Part of White House NSC'... | The Last Refuge
Sat, 28 Sep 2019 12:26
Details are beginning to emerge about the deep state political operative within the intelligence apparatus who wrote a 'whistleblower' complaint based on second-hand information he heard on the intelligence grapevine about President Trump.
According to the New York Times the complaint derives from a male who was a former CIA operative on assignment within National Security Council (NSC), who left the White House and returned to the CIA:
WASHINGTON '-- The whistle-blower who revealed that President Trump sought foreign help for his re-election and that the White House sought to cover it up is a C.I.A. officer who was detailed to work at the White House at one point, according to three people familiar with his identity.
The man has since returned to the C.I.A., the people said. Little else is known about him. His complaint made public Thursday suggested he was an analyst by training and made clear he was steeped in details of American foreign policy toward Europe, demonstrating a sophisticated understanding of Ukrainian politics and at least some knowledge of the law. (more)
The outlined profile, in combination with the political motive, have led many people to begin searching through: (1) current CIA operatives; (2) who come from the era of Brennan; and (3) were previously assigned to the White House (NSC); and (4) then removed; and (5) then returned to the CIA. That profile has led to suspicions of identity.
A strong possibility for the identity, a person who checks all the boxes of known attributes, follows a trail to Michael Barry:
JULY 2018 '' A top intelligence official at the National Security Council (NSC) is reportedly leaving the White House.
Michael Barry, senior NSC director for intelligence programs, is leaving the council as part of national security adviser John Bolton's major staffing overhaul, two government officials told the Daily Beast.
One source quoted in the report Tuesday said that Barry is leaving on ''very good terms,'' but that his departure will be a ''tough loss.'' Barry is reportedly returning to the CIA, where he served before joining the NSC. (link)
An October 2017 Politico article outlines Barry as he replaced Ezra Cohen Watnick [SEE HERE]. CIA operative Michael Barry was put in place by National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster: ''Michael Barry, became the National Security Council's chief intelligence officer in September  and is the primary liaison between the NSC, which coordinates US national security policy, and the CIA.'' [LINK] ''Michael Barry once worked on a CIA assassination program.''
Michael Barry was later removed by John Bolton  after Bolton became National Security Advisor. [SEE HERE] ''Barry's departure is on ''very good terms,'' one source said, but it will be a ''tough loss for the NSC.'' According to the source, Barry is returning to the Central Intelligence Agency, where he served before joining the NSC staff. His detail from CIA to the NSC is coming up, The Daily Beast has learned'' [2018 LINK]
Though it is speculation, the known profile fits this specific individual. Given the 'whistleblower' hired a well-known partisan political lawyer to represent his current accusations; and given the political nature of his claims with no direct evidence to support them; the motive of the deep state also matches the profile of Michael Barry.
Today in a court filing:
86 Things Democrats Have Said Trump Could Be Impeached For :: Grabien News
Fri, 27 Sep 2019 13:56
1 For potentially ignoring court orders on his travel ban 02/01/2017 MSNBC Joaquin Castro 2 Because "we have to" 02/06/2017 Grabien Maxine Waters 3 For "creating chaos and division" 02/06/2017 CNN Maxine Waters 4 For potentially supplying damaging information 02/20/2017 MSNBC Jerry Nadler 5 For trying to "undermine Hillary Clinton and therefore undermine our democracy" 03/23/2017 Grabien Maxine Waters 6 Because his "motives and actions are contemptible" 04/15/2017 NTK Network Maxine Waters 7 For "collusion" 05/11/2017 MSNBC Maxine Waters 8 Because "he regards himself as above the law" 05/14/2017 ABC Lawrence Tribe 9 For firing Comey 05/15/2017 MSNBC Al Green 10 For allegedly disclosing classified info to Russia 05/16/2017 The Washington Free Beacon Maxine Waters 11 For Comey saying Trump asked him to drop Flynn probe 05/17/2017 MSNBC Jerry Nadler 12 For being "mentally unstable" 05/22/2017 MSNBC Ron Reagan 13 Because they've been able to "connect the dots" 05/28/2017 MSNBC Maxine Waters 14 Because "a plurality of polls" supports it 06/07/2017 ABC News Al Green 15 For being "abnormal" and possibly "crazy" 07/07/2017 NTK Network Maxine Waters 16 For banning transgenders from serving in the military 10/11/2017 Grabien Al Green 17 For "disrespecting and disparaging women" 10/11/2017 CSPAN Al Green 18 For saying NFL athletes should stand for the national anthem 10/19/2017 CSPAN Al Green 19 For being "friends" with Putin 10/24/2017 CNN Maxine Waters 20 For being "a clear and present danger" to Americans 10/25/2017 MSNBC Tom Steyer 21 For "putting the health and safety of Americans at risk" 10/28/2017 MSNBC Tom Steyer 22 For being an "inciter" of "ethnocentrism" 11/08/2017 CSPAN Al Green 23 For promoting "xenophobia" 11/08/2017 CSPAN Al Green 24 For inciting "bigotry" 11/08/2017 CSPAN Al Green 25 For being an "inciter" of "hatred" 11/08/2017 CSPAN Al Green 26 For "undermining the federal judiciary" 11/15/2017 Grabien Steve Cohen 27 For mocking a disabled journalist 11/16/2017 Bloomberg Maxine Waters 28 For the "Access Hollywood" tape 11/16/2017 Bloomberg Maxine Waters 29 For "threatening the media" 11/18/2017 MSNBC John Yarmuth 30 For "taking money from foreign governments" 11/26/2017 CNN Tom Steyer 31 For "dereliction of duty" 12/03/2017 MSNBC Ted Lieu 32 For being incompetent 12/04/2017 MSNBC Ezra Klein 33 For bringing "dishonor" upon the United States 12/06/2017 CSPAN Al Green 34 For being "psychologically deranged" 12/16/2017 MSNBC Richard Painter 35 For being "racist, sexist, and Islamaphobic" 12/30/2017 MSNBC Anushay Hossain 36 For not believing in the Constitution 12/30/2017 MSNBC Karine Jean-Pierre 37 For being "unfit" for office 01/08/2018 MSNBC Tom Steyer 38 For saying some countries are "shitholes" 01/14/2018 MSNBC Al Green 39 For his aides talking to Russians 01/26/2018 CNN Cory Booker 40 For urging Sessions to investigate Hillary 02/28/2018 MSNBC Chris Hayes 41 For not being respectful 03/04/2018 MSNBC Maxine Waters 42 For being "the most dangerous president in American history" 03/05/2018 MSNBC Tom Perez 43 For name calling 03/12/2018 MSNBC Maxine Waters 44 For A.G. Sessions firing Andrew McCabe 03/16/2018 MSNBC Danny Cevallos 45 For violating the "emoluments clause" 03/20/2018 MSNBC Tom Steyer 46 For possibly considering "firing" Mueller 03/23/2018 CNN Ted Lieu 47 For being "unwilling to make it clear" Russians can't hack America's "critical infrastructure" 03/26/2018 MSNBC John Garamendi 48 For being "unworthy" and "despicable" 03/27/2018 MSNBC Maxine Waters 49 Because "we have the grounds to do it" 06/27/2018 CNN Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez 50 For staffing Trump Tower with park rangers 01/16/2019 MSNBC Rashida Tlaib 51 For the BuzzFeed report on Cohen 01/18/2019 MSNBC Eugene Robinson 52 For the "so many things" he has done 01/20/2019 MSNBC Maxine Waters 53 Because Virginia's governor wore blackface 02/08/2019 CSPAN Al Green 54 To prevent his re-election 05/04/2019 MSNBC Al Green 55 Because the "system of checks and balances is at risk" 05/15/2019 C-SPAN Al Green 56 To prevent a "monarchy" 05/15/2019 C-SPAN Al Green 57 For not releasing his tax returns 05/16/2019 Campaign Ad Tom Steyer 58 To put a "stain" on his presidency 05/25/2019 MSNBC Karine Jean-Pierre 59 Because it's "critical to our national security" 05/27/2019 MSNBC Richard Painter 60 Because it would be "crazy not to do it" 05/30/2019 CNN John Hickenlooper 61 In order to "set a precedent" for future presidents 06/01/2019 MSNBC Karine Jean-Pierre 62 Because we have a "moral obligation" 06/02/2019 CNN Cory Booker 63 Because it will help "educate" and "inform" the American public 06/03/2019 MSNBC Mike Quigley 64 Because the president "is leaving us no choice" 06/04/2019 CNN Dan Kildee 65 Because it's our "constitutional duty" to "have this debate" 06/08/2019 MSNBC Seth Moulton 66 For failing to "produce evidence" 06/10/2019 CNN Steve Cohen 67 For saying the press is the "enemy of the people" 06/10/2019 CNN Steve Cohen 68 For saying he'd take "dirt" on rivals from foreigners 06/13/2019 CNN Steve Cohen 69 For Kellyanne Conway's alleged Hatch Act violation 06/14/2019 MSNBC Richard Painter 70 To ensure Robert Mueller's work is continued 06/19/2019 NTK Network Katie Porter 71 For being "above the law" 07/11/2019 C-SPAN Al Green 72 For "inhumane" conditions at the border 07/15/2019 MSNBC Rashida Tlaib 73 For "high crimes and misdemeanors" 07/15/2019 MSNBC Ilhan Omar 74 For administration officials defying congressional subpoenas 07/16/2019 C-SPAN Ann Kirkpatrick 75 For saying fellow Americans should "go back to other countries" 07/17/2019 C-SPAN Al Green 76 For Trump crowd's "send her back" chant 07/18/2019 CNN Al Green 77 For attacks on the judiciary 07/19/2019 MSNBC Steve Cohen 78 Because we're in a "constitutional crisis" 07/25/2019 C-SPAN Al Green 79 For offering to host G7 summit at Doral 08/31/2019 MSNBC House Judiciary Committee 80 For influencing the decision of the new FBI building's location 08/31/2019 MSNBC Mike Quigley 81 For publicising his own assets 08/31/2019 MSNBC Mike Quigley 82 For suggesting a company for Army Corps to award wall production contract 08/31/2019 MSNBC Richard Painter 83 For talking like Hitler 08/31/2019 MSNBC Richard Painter 84 Because every new impeachable offense makes it harder to take action 08/31/2019 MSNBC David Cicilline 85 For investigating Hunter Biden 09/22/2019 CNN Adam Schiff 86 For "hijacking" American foreign policy 09/23/2019 MSNBC Chris Hayes 87 For betraying his oath of office 09/24/2019 Politico Nancy Pelosi 88 For "coercing" a foreign government 09/25/2019 MSNBC Matthew Miller 89 For "extorting" a foreign government 09/25/2019 MSNBC Matthew Miller
Ukraine Documents re: Biden
Fri, 27 Sep 2019 12:39
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Update from Producer Tony on iQOS
I work in education, and as part of my job I sit on
health and safety teams, campus security, etc.
Over the last few years I have seen iQos come into the
Asian market. I can tell you, and I am not a smoker, that it must have some
secret sauce, because it drives everything else out.
In less than a year when I was living in Korea, we
stopped seeing (and confiscating on campus) the e-cigs, normal vaporizers, etc.
Everything was iQos. The stores were all pushing various versions of the
I still have no idea how to say it. I think that might be
part of the charm. The branding sticks out, and in Korea it was often right by
My staff were heavy smokers and they loved the iQos. They
even bragged they could smoke more because people couldn't really tell, and
there was no litter.
I found the normal vapes were still popular among kids
who wanted a small device to smuggle into the bathroom for a stress break. They
bought these online, but I have no idea if they were a brand. The units always
I am on the fence, but possibly going to do a stock buy,
Phillip Morris pays a decent dividend and their price seems low. I will see
what DH-Unplugged says.
I am in Texas now, and hopefully can do a meet-up.
Ads for vape showing up on podcast player in Amdroid
Benzoic Acid '' A Harmful Preservative - StopKillingMyKids.com
Sat, 28 Sep 2019 23:06
Preservatives are used in all processed foods to keep them from spoiling; unfortunately, most of these chemicals are extremely dangerous to our health and the health of our children. In fact, many of the problems our society is facing today, including the high number of obese children, child diabetes, and rising cancer rates, can be traced back to these artificial preservatives.
Most people will say that the preservatives keep food ''fresh''; you'll notice I didn't use that word, because in my opinion, once you add deadly chemicals (or any chemicals for that matter) to food, it's no longer fresh. The word ''fresh'' indicates that food is new, natural and unspoiled. Chemical preservatives being added to food to keep it ''fresh'' is an oxymoron, don't you think?
Benzoic Acid is one of these preservatives that you should avoid. You'll find Benzoic Acid in processed foods like cheeses, varying sauces as well as meats. Sadly, it's also in cosmetic products and many pharmaceutical products, so it can be hard to avoid.
Immediately, or shortly following being exposed to benzoic acid, the following can occur: eye damage, irritation of the skin (including rashes, redness, burning sensation, etc.). If Benzoic Acid is inhaled, it can irritate the nose, lungs, and throat, which can lead to coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Large amounts inhaled can also damage the nervous system. Source: Benzoic Acid '' Uses and Safety
Eaten in food, it's mildly toxic. Benzoic Acid has been linked to asthma problems and increased levels of hyperactivity in children. You know the problem our country has been having with ADHD? It's just a made up disease; the reason all of our children are so hyperactive can be traced back to preservatives, such as Benzoic Acid, sugar and other unnatural food additives.
To keep our children from contracting many of the problems that are plaguing our nation's children, we should do our best to keep them away from chemical preservatives like Benzoic Acid. The hard part is that our children are not only eating this dangerous preservative, we're also putting it on their skin.
Acne medicated face washes and creams contain benzoic acid, as do many hand and body lotions, lip glosses and lipsticks. Avon Skin-So-Soft, Avon Care Deeply Lip Balms, Avon Clearskin products, Avon Bath Time Body Paints and Aveeno Diaper Rash Cream are only a few examples of products for children that contain Benzoic Acid.
Since it's in our foods AND our skin care products, how are we supposed to keep it away from our kids? The best way is simply to read the labels; check the ingredients for any unhealthy or dangerous ingredients. There are also many organic options. With the increased knowledge of how unhealthy many of these chemicals are to our health, more and more companies are producing organic, all natural skin care and cleaning products.
Nicotine Salt vs Freebase? Why Nicotine Salt Is The New Craze '' Crafty E-liquids
Sat, 28 Sep 2019 22:33
Nicotine salts. It's the new thing on the block and smokers and vapers alike are flocking to it to quit cigarettes for good.
If you haven't heard of it before, nicotine salt basically allows you to vape at higher nicotine strengths without getting the rough throat hit you're typically used to. This also means you get more bang for your buck! You end up vaping less because you get a lot more nicotine. So, if you love that light headed feeling, but hate having to vape 24/7, nic salts may be right for you.
As you may already know, the higher nicotine level you go, the throat hit becomes harsher. It can turn off a lot of smokers transitioning into vaping if they have to endure the harsh throat hit while also not getting the level of buzz that you would otherwise get in a cigarette. Not to mention, it can be a hassle for new vapers to figure out how to get a simple nicotine fix with the advancements in vaping technology in the past several years.
For those who are interested in learning more about salt nicotine and what it can do for you, you're in the right place. So, what's the difference between salt nicotine and what people are vaping now?
WHAT IS FREEBASE NICOTINE?
The nicotine in your vape juice that you are familiar with is something called freebase nicotine. It is a method that tobacco companies have been using since the 60's.
Freebase means that the nicotine is in its purest form compared to the other nicotine derivatives. In turn, the nicotine is much more potent when heated and it can be absorbed much faster in your lungs and in your brain.
This method was found in the 1960's by Phillip Morris, the company that owns Marlboro. What they found is that if they manipulate the pH levels in nicotine, it can provide more of a kick than the previous cigarettes in the 1950's without increasing the dose, making Marlboro cigarettes more addictive. This was a major breakthrough for Marlboro and they enjoyed this competitive advantage for years as they became one of the most popular brands or addicting cigarettes in the world.
THE CHEMISTRY BEHIND IT
In order to understand what nicotine salt is, it's important to understand how freebase nicotine works. About to get science-y here so bear with me.
Nicotine in tobacco leaves has the chemical composition of a salt. A salt is made up of a chemical reaction that has a positive charge (Acid) and negative charge (Base).
Nicotine's chemical nature is a weak base and made up of negatively charged particles. As a base, it seeks to find positively charged particles (Protons) to find stability and become Ionized. Nicotine in tobacco leaves or ions is not the most effective way of delivering nicotine into our bodies because ions have a harder time moving across organic membranes and are not easily vaporized.
This is where freebasing comes in. Phillip Morris found that if the nicotine was de-protonated ( via ammonia ) or to remove its positive charge, it can go back to its free state where it will be much easier to travel across membranes in our bodies. In a nutshell, nicotine in its freebase form makes it more bioavailable to your lungs and to your brain which makes it more potent.
Phillip Morris found that impregnating tobacco with a salt like diammonium phosphate releases ammonium when the cigarette is combusted thereby freeing the nicotine into free base form.
If freebase nicotine is more potent, then why are smokers gravitating to nicotine salts?
WHAT IS NICOTINE SALT?
Nicotine salt as we explained above is the natural state that nicotine is in tobacco leaves.
We also mentioned that nicotine salt is much more stable and not as volatile as the freebase form. Salt nics also take higher temperatures to vaporize and the ions don't easily travel to your nicotine receptors in your body.
To put simply, it's not the most effective way to deliver nicotine to your body compared to the de-protonated freebase form.
So, what's all the craze about?
Pax Labs, the innovator of this new vaping method found a way to use nicotine salt as a means to make 50 mg nicotine palatable while making it more bioavailable than what we have currently in the vaping market. Their goal was to mimic the sensation of smoking a cigarette as closely as possible and so far, it looks like it's working.
How is this possible? Many of you are probably a little confuddled right now. The secret ingredient that makes all of the magic happen lies in the use of benzoic acid. Benzoic acid serves two key purposes in salt nicotine:
It helps nicotine salt vaporize at lower temperatures as well as lowering the pH levels in the salt nicotine which results in a smoother throat hit A chemical reaction occurs that makes the nicotine more absorbable like free base nicotine What this means is that you can vape comfortably at high nicotine levels such as 50 mg and it also makes it easier for your body to absorb nicotine contrary to the nature of nic salts. It seems from Pax's patent that it only works on specific salt nicotine formulation with certain types of acids. As you can see in the graph provided by PAX labs, the nicotine salt e-liquid can help you deal with your cravings more effectively than regular vape juices.
If you look at the purple and green line above, the amount of nicotine absorbed into the bloodstream is comparable to smoking a cigarette and can provide greater nicotine satisfaction than traditional e-liquids in the market.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FREEBASE NICOTINE AND NICOTINE SALT?
From a vaping perspective, the difference between freebase nicotine and nicotine salt is a matter of how it affects your vaping experience.
One noticeable difference is the harshness induced by higher nicotine levels. Freebase nicotine has a higher pH level which affects the alkalinity. What this does is that it makes freebase e-liquid taste harsher as you climb the nicotine ladder. Whereas, salt nicotine have a lower alkalinity due to the benzoic acid which gives you a reportedly smoother throat hit and makes vaping at 50 mg nicotine bearable.
The second difference is how the two travel through your body. Even though nicotine salts are known to be not the most effective way to deliver nicotine, Pax Labs have supposedly figured out a way to make it more effective than freebase nicotine. This is due to the benzoic acid added to the salt nicotine as the nicotine becomes much more readily available and more effective than traditional freebased e-liquids.
WHAT DEVICE TO USE FOR SALT NICS
One thing to keep in mind is that salt nics operate in lower wattage devices. It is strongly recommended to avoid using high powered devices to vape salt nicotine. Using sub-ohms to vape salt nicotine at 50 mg nic levels will give you excessive amounts of nicotine and would be fairly unpleasant.
As we have stated above, the salt nics are designed to be used in pod systems due to the higher amount of nicotine absorbed as well as not requiring to vaporize at higher temperatures.
Not only are the devices low profile and sleek, most of the low wattage devices are autofire meaning you only get vapour when you inhale it. This makes it a user-friendly device for any smokers who are new to vaping without the investment in figuring how all of the current devices work.
The pod systems that are currently on the market come with two available options:
Open System - you can refill manually by buying nicotine salt e-liquids Closed System - you can buy cartridges/pods that contain e-liquid which usually come in packs of 4 without creating a mess :) Side note: You can also consider getting lower nicotine levels like 3 mg and 6 mg in nicotine salt form for your sub-ohm device. As far as it being more effective at delivering nicotine than freebase nicotine as PAX lab claims in their study is up to debate. What you may notice is a smoother throat hit than freebase nicotine e-juices.
E-cigarette Product Use, or Vaping, Among Persons with Associated Lung Injury '-- Illinois and Wisconsin, April''September 2019 | MMWR
Fri, 27 Sep 2019 17:16
Isaac Ghinai1,2*; Ian W. Pray2,3*; Livia Navon1,4; Kevin O'Laughlin2; Lori Saathoff-Huber1; Brooke Hoots5; Anne Kimball2; Mark W. Tenforde2; Jennifer R. Chevinsky2; Mark Layer6,7; Ngozi Ezike1; Jonathan Meiman3; Jennifer E. Layden1 (View author affiliations)
View suggested citationSummaryWhat is already known about this topic?
An outbreak of lung injury of unknown source associated with electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use is ongoing in the United States.
What is added by this report?
Interviews about e-cigarette use were completed with 86 patients in Illinois and Wisconsin. Use of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-containing e-cigarette products, the majority of which were prefilled cartridges obtained from informal sources, was reported by 87% of patients during the 3 months preceding illness.
What are the implications for public health practice?
The cause of this outbreak is unknown but might be related to prefilled THC cartridges. While this investigation is ongoing, CDC recommends that persons consider refraining from using e-cigarette, or vaping, products, particularly those containing THC. Additional information from product testing and traceback could help to determine the source of the outbreak and prevent future illnesses.
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In July 2019, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services launched a coordinated epidemiologic investigation after receiving reports of several cases of lung injury in previously healthy persons who reported electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use, or vaping (1). This report describes features of e-cigarette product use by patients in Illinois and Wisconsin. Detailed patient interviews were conducted by telephone, in person, or via the Internet with 86 (68%) of 127 patients. Overall, 75 (87%) of 86 interviewed patients reported using e-cigarette products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and 61 (71%) reported using nicotine-containing products. Numerous products and brand names were identified by patients. Nearly all (96%) THC-containing products reported were packaged, prefilled cartridges, and 89% were primarily acquired from informal sources (e.g., friends, family members, illicit dealers, or off the street). In contrast, 77% of nicotine-containing products were sold as prefilled cartridges, and 83% were obtained from commercial vendors. The precise source of this outbreak is currently unknown (2); however, the predominant use of prefilled THC-containing cartridges among patients with lung injury associated with e-cigarette use suggests that they play an important role. While this investigation is ongoing, CDC recommends that persons consider refraining from using e-cigarette, or vaping, products, particularly those containing THC. Given the diversity of products reported and frequency of patients using both THC- and nicotine-containing e-cigarette products, additional methods such as product testing and traceback could help identify the specific cause of this outbreak.
During July''September 2019, possible cases of lung injury associated with e-cigarette use in Illinois and Wisconsin were investigated to determine symptoms, exposures, and medical care history related to the outbreak. Patients were classified as having confirmed or probable cases of lung injury associated with e-cigarette use according to CDC's interim outbreak case definitions (3). Interviews were conducted with patients or a proxy using a structured and scripted questionnaire that was developed jointly between Illinois and Wisconsin with guidance from CDC. The questionnaire asked detailed questions about e-cigarette use, including the names of e-cigarette, or vaping, products and devices, frequency of use, and product sources in the 3 months preceding illness onset. Most interviews were conducted by state or local health department staff members or in person by health care facility staff members during a patient's hospitalization; a small number of patients completed the same survey online. In total, 86 (68%) interviews were completed among the 127 confirmed and probable patients that had been identified in Illinois (75) and Wisconsin (52) as of September 20, 2019.
Among the 86 confirmed and probable patients that were interviewed, including 48 from Illinois and 38 from Wisconsin, 68 (79%) were male, and the median age was 21 years (range = 15''53 years) (Table 1). Hospitalization dates among patients were similar in Illinois and Wisconsin, ranging from April 24 to September 19, 2019, and closely reflected the national outbreak (2). Illinois cases predominantly occurred in the northeast region of the state (in Chicago and the surrounding counties, close to the Wisconsin border) but have since been reported in other regions of the state. Most Wisconsin cases were initially clustered in the southeastern region of the state but have since been reported throughout western and central Wisconsin as well.
Among the 86 interviewed patients, 75 (87%) reported using e-cigarette products containing THC, the principal psychoactive component of cannabis, during the 3 months preceding illness; 61 (71%) reported using nicotine-containing products; 50 (58%) reported using both THC- and nicotine-containing products. Twenty-five (29%) patients reported exclusive use of THC-containing products, whereas 11 (13%) reported exclusive use of nicotine-containing products (Table 2). Demographic characteristics of patients were similar among those who reported exclusive use of THC-containing products, exclusive use of nicotine-containing products, or use of both types of products (Table 1).
The chemical contents of reported THC-containing products are unknown. However, urinary THC screens were obtained for 32 patients who reported using THC-containing products, 29 (91%) of which were positive for THC; two patients who did not report using THC-containing e-cigarette products, out of four tested, also had positive urinary THC screens; one of these patients reported smoking combustible marijuana. Urinary THC levels for four patients who reported using THC-containing products exceeded 400 ng/ml, indicating intensive use of THC or THC-containing products (4,5). In Wisconsin, eight patients initially denied using THC-containing products in interviews, but five (63%) were later found to have used THC through review of medical charts, reinterview, or cross-referencing with friends who were also interviewed as patients.
Among the 86 interviewed patients, 234 unique e-cigarette, or vaping, products labeled with 87 different brand names were reported. Nicotine-containing product users reported a mean of 1.3 different nicotine brands (range = 1''4), and THC-containing product users reported a mean of 2.1 different THC brands (range = 1''7). Among 155 THC-containing products reported, nearly all (149, 96%) were packaged, prefilled cartridges, whereas 61 (77%) of 79 nicotine-containing products were sold as prefilled cartridges or ''pods.'' No patients reported adding other ingredients to the e-cigarette products they used. Although no single brand name was reported by all patients, a prefilled THC cartridge sold under the brand name Dank Vapes was reported by 57 (66%) patients (Figure). In Wisconsin, two groups of friends (two patients in one group and three in the second group) who became ill after using THC-containing cartridges specifically reported sharing Dank Vapes cartridges. Dank Vapes was the only e-cigarette product reported by one of the patients.
Among 112 THC-containing products for which the source was reported, 100 (89%) were acquired from informal sources (e.g., friends, family, school, dealers, or off the street). The remaining 12 were bought at an out-of-state cannabis dispensary (six), online (five), or from a vape or tobacco shop (one). In contrast, among 81 nicotine-containing products, 40 (49%) were obtained from a vape or tobacco shop, 22 (27%) from gas stations or convenience stores, 14 (17%) from friends or family, and five (6%) online.
A variety of e-cigarette and vaping device types (6) were used by patients to aerosolize THC- or nicotine-containing products. Overall, 78 (92%) of 85 patients reported using a device designed to aerosolize prefilled cartridges or pods. Within this category of vaping devices, some were closed-pod systems (also known as ''mods'') designed for use with proprietary nicotine-containing products (e.g., JUUL); however, most were universal ''vape pens'' that are adaptable to the prefilled THC cartridges reported by many patients. Use of devices with a tank designed to be filled with nicotine-containing liquid or THC oil was reported by 18 (21%) patients, and 14 (16%) reported aerosolizing THC concentrates, known as waxes or ''dabs,'' using either a ''dab rig'' or a ''dab pen'' device.'
Patients reported frequent daily use of e-cigarette products; among 75 users of THC-containing products, 49 (65%) reported using these products at least daily, and 45 (74%) of 61 nicotine-containing product users reported at least daily use of these products. Where more detailed information on frequency of use was provided, 21 (41%) of 51 THC-containing product users and 30 (65%) of 46 nicotine-containing product users reported use of at least one such product five or more times a day. In addition to e-cigarette products, among 83 patients who provided information on combustible product use, 43 (52%) reported smoking combustible marijuana, and 20 (24%) reported smoking combustible tobacco.
Only four (5%) of 86 interviewed patients reported prescription drug misuse or illicit drug use other than THC. Two patients reported using LSD, one reported misusing dextroamphetamine-amphetamine (Adderall), and one reported misusing oxycodone. Urinary toxicology screens were positive for substances other than THC (and for other substances that could not be explained by the medical treatment these patients had received) in six of 31 patients, including two patients who tested positive for benzodiazepines and opioids, one for benzodiazepines alone, one for opioids alone, one for amphetamines, and one for unspecified narcotics.
DiscussionIn this series of in-depth interviews with 86 e-cigarette'' or vaping-associated lung injury patients in Illinois and Wisconsin during July''September 2019, patients reported a wide range of e-cigarette products; however, the vast majority reported using illicit THC-containing products sold as prefilled cartridges and obtained from informal sources. Although no single brand or product was definitively identified, a high percentage of patients reported using Dank Vapes cartridges. Dank Vapes appears to be the most prominent in a class of largely counterfeit brands, with common packaging that is easily available online and that is used by distributors to market THC-containing cartridges with no obvious centralized production or distribution (7).
Previous reports highlighted that patients with lung injury associated with e-cigarette use have used both THC- and nicotine-containing products (1,3,8,9). The additional information presented here regarding the range and diversity of brands used by patients, acquisition patterns, and frequency of use helps to formulate hypotheses about the possible etiology of this outbreak. In particular, the high level of use of prefilled THC cartridges, used in a range of different devices, suggests that the cartridges might play an important role.
The findings in this report are subject to at least four limitations. First, interviews were not available for one third of patients; this nonresponse rate might introduce selection bias, although the demographics of the 86 interviewed patients were similar to those of all 127 patients. Second, because information was self-reported, there is the possibility that social desirability bias might affect reporting, particularly of illicit products; nonmedical THC use is currently illegal in both Illinois and Wisconsin. In this analysis, some patients did not disclose THC-containing product use to clinicians until late in their hospital admission or until a urinary THC screen was performed. Third, the time between urinary toxicology testing and last reported use of an e-cigarette product was not consistent and might explain the three negative results in patients who reported using THC-containing products. Finally, these data are largely drawn from patients living in the northeastern region of Illinois and southeastern region of Wisconsin, and therefore might not be generalizable to other states; however, the age and gender distribution of is consistent with nationwide trends (2,3).
The findings document that many, but not all, patients with lung injury associated with use of an e-cigarette product reported using THC-containing products. Similar findings have been noted in the national data, which include some of the data presented here (2). These data also reveal a predominant use of prefilled THC cartridges sold through informal and unregulated markets, although the origin of these products further back in the production and distribution chain is unknown. In addition, these data do not elucidate whether the causative exposure is THC itself or a substance associated with prefilled THC cartridges, such as a cutting agent or adulterant. Ascertaining the importance of these products in contributing to the current outbreak will require data from multiple states and analysis at the national level.
Given the number and diversity of products reported overall and by individual patients, as well as the high frequency of patients using both THC- and nicotine-containing products, the epidemiologic investigation could benefit from additional information, including product testing and traceback of e-cigarette products to identify the ultimate source of the outbreak. The Illinois Department of Public Health and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services are collaborating with CDC on a large nationwide public health response and with the Food and Drug Administration to coordinate laboratory testing of products associated with this outbreak. While this investigation is ongoing, CDC recommends that persons consider refraining from using e-cigarette, or vaping, products, particularly those containing THC.
AcknowledgmentsStaff members and leadership of the Illinois Department of Public Health and Wisconsin Department of Health Services; local health departments in Illinois and Wisconsin; CDC 2019 Lung Injury Response Group; all interviewed patients.
Corresponding author: Isaac Ghinai, Isaac.Ghinai@Illinois.gov, 217-782-2016.
1Illinois Department of Public Health; 2Epidemic Intelligence Service, CDC; 3Wisconsin Department of Health Services; 4Division of State and Local Readiness, Center for Preparedness and Response, CDC; 5Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC; 6National Center for Environmental Health, CDC; 7Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia.
ReferencesLayden JE, Ghinai I, Pray I, et al. Pulmonary illness related to e-cigarette use in Illinois and Wisconsin'--preliminary report. New Engl J Med 2019. Epub September 6, 2019. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1911614 external icon Perrine CG, Pickens CM, Boehmer TK, et al. Characteristics of a multistate outbreak of lung injury associated with e-cigarette use or vaping'--United States, 2019. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2019;68(39).Schier JG, Meiman JG, Layden J, et al.; CDC 2019 Lung Injury Response Group. Severe pulmonary disease associated with electronic-cigarette-product use'--interim guidance. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2019;68:787''90. CrossRef external icon PubMed external icon Spindle T, Cone E, Schlienz N, et al. Urinary excretion profile of 11-nor-9-carboxy Î--9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THCCOOH) following smoked and vaporized cannabis administration in infrequent cannabis users. Journal of Analytical Toxicology, 2019;43:233''58. CrossRef external icon Johansson E, Halldin M. Urinary excretion half-life of Î--tetrahydrocannabinol-7-oic acid in heavy marijuana users after smoking. Journal of Analytical Toxicology, 1989;13:218''223. CrossRef external icon Kirkham C, Dastin J. Explainer: one possible culprit in vaping lung illnesses''''dank vapes.'' Washington, DC: Reuters; 2019. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-vaping-industry-explainer/explainer-one-possible-culprit-in-vaping-lung-illnesses-dank-vapes-idUSKCN1VY2ET external icon US Department of Health and Human Services. Surgeon General's advisory on e-cigarette use among youth. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2018. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/surgeon-general-advisory/index.htmlDavidson K, Brancato A, Heetderks P, et al. Outbreak of electronic-cigarette-associated acute lipoid pneumonia'--North Carolina, July''August 2019. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2019;68:784''6. CrossRef external icon PubMed external icon Maddock S, Cirulis M, Callahan A, et al. Pulmonary lipid-laden macrophages and vaping. New Engl J Med 2019. Epub September 6, 2019. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc1912038 external icon Top
TABLE 1. Patient characteristics by type of electronic cigarette, or vaping, product used in the 3 months prior to illness onset '-- Illinois and Wisconsin, 2019Characteristicn/N (%)THC-containing products only (N = 25)Nicotine-containing products only (N = 11)Both THC- and nicotine-containing products (N = 50)Total (N = 86)Age group (yrs)<185/25 (20)3/11 (27)11/50 (22)19/86 (22)18''247/25 (28)4/11 (36)27/50 (54)38/86 (44)25''347/25 (28)3/11 (27)9/50 (18)19/86 (22)'¥356/25 (24)1/11 (9)3/50 (6)10/86 (12)GenderMale22/25 (88)8/11 (73)38/50 (76)68/86 (79)Female3/25 (12)3/11 (27)12/50 (24)18/86 (21)Race/Ethnicity*White, non-Hispanic' 13/22 (59)8/11 (73)39/46 (85)60/79 (76)Black, non-Hispanic' 2/22 (9)2/11 (18)3/46 (7)7/79 (9)Other, non-Hispanic' 0/22 (0)0/11 (0)2/46 (4)2/79 (3)Hispanic' 7/22 (32)1/11 (9)2/46 (4)10/79 (13)Other characteristicsAdmitted to ICU§12/19 (63)5/8 (63)25/44 (57)42/71 (59)Smoked combustible marijuana¶12/24 (50)5/11 (45)26/48 (54)43/83 (52)Smoked combustible tobacco¶3/24 (13)4/11 (36)13/48 (27)20/83 (24)Abbreviations: ICU = intensive care unit; THC = tetrahydrocannabinol.* Information missing for seven patients.' Blacks, whites, and persons of other races were non-Hispanic; Hispanic persons could be of any race.§ Information missing for 15 patients.¶ Information missing for three patients.
TABLE 2. Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette), or vaping, product use behaviors in the 3 months prior to illness onset in patients with lung injury associated with e-cigarette use '-- Illinois and Wisconsin, 2019Product use and behaviorsNo. (%)Illinois (n = 48)Wisconsin (n = 38)Total (N = 86)THC-containing product useAny use39 (81)36 (95)75 (87)Exclusive use13 (27)12 (32)25 (29)Dank Vapes use33 (73)24 (63)57 (66)Nicotine-containing product useAny use35 (73)26 (68)61 (71)Exclusive use9 (19)2 (5)11 (13)Both THC- and nicotine-containing product use26 (54)24 (63)50 (58)At least daily use of e-cigarette products*THC-containing products29 (60)20 (53)49 (57)Nicotine-containing products27 (56)18 (47)45 (52)Devices used with e-cigarette products' Device designed for prefilled cartridge use43 (91)35 (92)78 (92)Tank designed to be filled with product7 (15)11 (29)18 (21)Dab rig or a dab pen7 (15)7 (18)14 (16)No. of e-cigarette product brands reported per product type user' THC brands per THC user,§ mean (range)2.1 (1''7)2.1 (1''7)2.1 (1''7)Nicotine brands per nicotine user,¶ mean (range)1.3 (1''3)1.3 (1''4)1.3 (1''4)Packaging of e-cigarette products usedNo./total of THC products (%) that were packaged, prefilled cartridges69/72 (96)80/83 (96)149/155 (96)No./total of nicotine products (%) that were packaged, prefilled cartridges32/35 (91)29/44 (66)61/79 (77)Abbreviation: THC = tetrahydrocannabinol.* The denominator used here is all patients, not just those who reported using THC- or nicotine-containing products.' Patients could report using more than one type of device or product, thus the percentage totals sum to >100%.§ Patients were counted as THC users if they reported use of at least one THC-containing e-cigarette product in the past 3 months.¶ Patients were counted as nicotine users if they reported use of at least one nicotine-containing e-cigarette product in the past 3 months.
FIGURE. Frequently reported brand names of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)- and nicotine-containing electronic cigarette (e-cigarette), or vaping, products*,' ,§ reported by patients with lung injury¶ '-- Illinois and Wisconsin, 2019* Two brands of cannabidiol are not shown (each brand reported by one patient).
' 30 other THC-containing brands (including three brands of THC wax for ''dabbing'') were only reported by one patient each.
§ 22 other nicotine-containing brands were only reported by one patient each.
¶ Data are presented from interviews conducted with 86 of 127 patients with lung injury associated with e-cigarette use, or vaping.
Suggested citation for this article: Ghinai I, Pray IW, Navon L, et al. E-cigarette Product Use, or Vaping, Among Persons with Associated Lung Injury '-- Illinois and Wisconsin, April''September 2019. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 27 September 2019. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6839e2 external icon .
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Olathe Public Schools to consider lawsuit against Juul
Fri, 27 Sep 2019 03:43
KANSAS CITY, Mo. '-- The Olathe Public Schools District 233 School Board will consider authorizing a lawsuit against e-cigarette manufacturer Juul and its distributors and retailers Friday at a special meeting.
According to an agenda posted online Thursday night, Superintendent John Allison will recommend passing a resolution that permits Olathe Public Schools to allow ''legal counsel to initiate litigation and file suit against JUUL, a manufacturer, distributor and seller of electronic cigarettes and vaping products,'' the agenda said.
The federal government regulates the use and sale of e-cigarettes, which have been deemed unsafe for minors, and the Food and Drug Administration declared a vaping epidemic among teens last year.
Now, more than 800 lung illnesses and 12 deaths have been linked to vaping, including two deaths in Kansas and one in Missouri.
Based on the fact that the FDA warned Juul about improper ''marketing and labeling practices'' that target teens, which has led to a spike in underage usage, Olathe Public Schools will file suit because the district ''has experienced and continues to experience serious difficulties with students using JUUL devices,'' a copy of the resolution '-- which hasn't been formally adopted '-- says.
The district cites a disruption of educational programs, which has prompted a diversion of resources to combat the problem, and the increased health risk to students, faculty and staff among the damages Olathe Public Schools will seek to have recovered.
Several of the law firms cited in the draft of the unsigned resolution also are part of a lawsuit filed by the Goddard school district in suburban Wichita.
According to the presentation based on information from the CDC, which is scheduled to be presented at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, more than 20% of U.S. high school students have used e-cigarettes in the last month, an increase of 78% from 2017-18.
Juul said in a statement to 41 Action News that the company is "committed to eliminating combustible cigarettes, the number one cause of preventable death in the world. Our product has always only been intended to be a viable alternative for the one billion current adult smokers in the world. We have never marketed to youth and do not want any non-nicotine users to try our products."
Juul also touted its "aggressive action plan to combat underage use" and said it will continue to "strongly advocate for Tobacco 21 legislation" in the statement, saying it had halted "the sale of non-tobacco and non-menthol based flavored JUULpods to our traditional retail store partners, enhanced our online age-verification process, strengthened our retailer compliance program with over 2,000 secret shopper visits per month, and shut down our Facebook and Instagram accounts while working constantly to remove inappropriate social media content generated by others on those platforms."
Copyright 2019 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
VIDEO - Greta Thunberg sings Swedish Death Metal - YouTube
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VIDEO - The Simpsons predicted Greta Thunberg's climate change speech at the UN | indy100
Sun, 29 Sep 2019 11:04
A canny Twitter user has unearthed proof that The Simpsons predicted the rise of Greta Thunberg.
In the 2007 Simpsons feature film, still the only movie version of the long-running behemoth, Lisa (until recently the show's moral compass) attempts to save Springfield from the dangers of environmental catastrophe.
In one key sequence, Lisa gives a speech to her classmates about what could happen to Springfield in 50 years unless something is done to avert the inevitable damage of climate change.
The clip is remarkably similar to the speech given by Thunberg this week. See for yourself:
Now a picture is doing the rounds of Lisa glaring at Trump, just like Thunberg. But although the glare is in an episode and Trump is in others, an indy100 investigation has found that this appears to have been doctored.
But still, fine work from whoever is responsible. And the similarities between the speeches really are uncanny.
Should we be worried? After all, this is far from the first thing The Simpsons has predicted. From the discovery of the Higgs boson equation to the Trump presidency and the horsemeat scandal, this is all starting to get a little creepy.
More: This parody of the Simpsons opening credits is as bleak as you'll see
More: The differences in the French version of The Simpsons are oddly fascinating
VIDEO - (7) H.E.R. performs Fate | Global Citizen Festival NYC 2019 - YouTube
Sun, 29 Sep 2019 05:07
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VIDEO - (7) Leonardo DiCaprio Calls For Revolution on Climate Change | Global Citizen Festival NYC 2019 - YouTube
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VIDEO - (7) Carole King performs You've Got A Friend | Global Citizen Festival NYC 2019 - YouTube
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VIDEO - Cloudflare's CEO and COO on company's debut at the NYSE
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VIDEO - Oh No... Is She Running Again? Hillary Clinton Has a Full Slate of Media Appearances Next Week
Sat, 28 Sep 2019 19:09
The former First Lady is making appearances on CBS Sunday Morning, Stephen Colbert, and The View.
The media blitz is being billed as a way to promote her and her daughter Chelsea Clinton's new book, The Book of Gutsy Women '-- but comments she has been making recently have fueled theories that she may have ulterior motives.
In the interview with CBS Sunday Morning that is airing this weekend, Clinton said that things happened during 2016 campaign that will not happen again, implying that she may be planning to try again.
''Look, there were many funny things that happened in my election that will not happen again,'' Clinton said. ''And I'm hoping that both the public and press understand the way Trump plays the game.''
Clinton went on to call President Donald Trump a ''illegitimate president'' and accusing him of winning by using voter purging and suppression.
''I believe he understands that the many varying tactics they used '' from voter suppression and voter purging to hacking to the false stories '' he knows that there were just a bunch of different reasons why the election turned out like it did.''
Ironically, the Democratic National Committee was accused of using both of those tactics against Bernie Sanders supporters during the 2016 primaries in favor of Clinton.
Clinton also asserted that she supports impeachment and thinks that people are attempting to spread ''falsehoods'' about Joe Biden.
''My view is that, given the latest revelation, which is such a blatant effort to use his presidential position to advance his personal and political interests, there should be an impeachment inquiry opened,'' Clinton said. ''And I think, sadly, there are a number of grounds. But this one is incredibly troubling.''
''The most outrageously false things were said about me in 2016, and unfortunately, enough people believed them. So, this is an effort to sow these falsehoods against Biden,'' Clinton added.
VIDEO - (20) CNBC on Twitter: "Wall Street executives are fearful of an Elizabeth Warren presidency, according to @MadMoneyOnCNBC's @JimCramer. https://t.co/2HVoDtTE1k https://t.co/iQmevX4Gxw" / Twitter
Sat, 28 Sep 2019 14:36
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VIDEO - MAJOR: Trump Cancels $250 Million in ''Aid'' for Ukraine, Lamentations in New Ukrainian Parliament (VIDEO) - Fort Russ
Sat, 28 Sep 2019 12:34
WASHINGTON D.C./KIEV '' The new Verkhovnaya Rada (Parliament of Ukraine) has convened for the first time and the session is still on because there are a lot of portfolios and issues to be discussed. However, it doesn't seem they're having fierce disputes '-- the coalition consists of only one faction, the Servant of the People presidential party. It has already appointed the Prime Minister and the Speaker.
The government will be headed by Aleksey Goncharuk, who at the age of 35 has become the youngest Prime Minister in the history of the country, that is, since its ''independence'' in 1991. The head of the party, Dmitry Razumkov, was elected Speaker of the Verkhovnaya Rada. The main issue discussed was Donald Trump's cancelation of 250 million dollars in ''aid'' for the troubled Ukraine. It is possible that the rampant corruption and mismanagement of the allocated funds was the primary reason for the business-minded US President's move.
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VIDEO - (4) WATCH: Rep. Adam Schiff's full opening statement on whistleblower complaint | DNI hearing - YouTube
Sat, 28 Sep 2019 12:30
VIDEO - 3rifleshots on Twitter: "@StevePieczenik @billstill @starsandstripes @allidoisowen @adamcurry @Ukraine @realDonaldTrump @RealCandaceO @ScottPresler @gatewaypundit @zerohedge @EpochTimes Curtain close." / Twitter
Sat, 28 Sep 2019 04:13
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VIDEO - (2) TrumpPatriotðµð±ðºð¸ on Twitter: "Nancy Pelosi on Trump-Ukraine story: I think Russia has a hand in this https://t.co/zjrcTv1Uzn" / Twitter
Fri, 27 Sep 2019 20:20
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VIDEO - Boys Pin Down Black Classmate, Cut Her Dreadlocks at Virginia School, She Says - NBC4 Washington
Fri, 27 Sep 2019 18:21
The incident occurred at the evangelical Christian school where Vice President Mike Pence's wife, Karen Pence, teaches part-time By Julie Carey and NBC Washington StaffPublished Sep 26, 2019 at 4:30 PM | Updated 2 hours ago NEWSLETTERS Receive the latest local updates in your inboxThree sixth-grade boys at a Christian school in Northern Virginia pinned down a black classmate and cut off some of her dreadlocks while telling her her hair was "nappy" and "ugly," she told News4.
Twelve-year-old Amari Allen said the three boys, who she said are white, cut off her hair on Monday. She's a student at Immanuel Christian School in Springfield, Virginia, where Vice President Mike Pence's wife, Karen Pence, teaches part-time.
"They said my hair was nappy and I was ugly," she said.
Amari's grandmother, Cynthia Allen, was stricken as she spoke about the ambush.
California Outlaws Discrimination Based on Hair Styles"It was like she just died. That's how painful it was for me," she said.
Amari's grandfather also said it hurt him.
"My heart just broke," he said. "I was just paralyzed. I couldn't get myself together."
Though Karen Pence works at the school, the Allens said they did not see any connection between her and the attack.
Head of School Stephen Danish said administrators were "deeply disturbed by the allegations."
"We take seriously the emotional and physical well-being of all our students, and have a zero-tolerance policy for any kind of bullying or abuse," he said in a statement.
Virginia Referee Banned After Inspecting 10-Year-Old Girl's BraidsDanish said they asked police to conduct a thorough investigation.
Fairfax County Police confirmed Friday they are "actively investigating." A statement from Chief Ed Roessler said Virginia law prohibits the police department from disclosing further information about the case since it concerns juveniles.
Amari '-- a straight-A student and violin player '-- said the boys started bullying her at the beginning of the school year. She has attended the school since kindergarten and has always liked it.
But on Monday, she was at recess and about to go down a slide when one of the boys grabbed her and put a hand over her mouth. Another boy grabbed her arms. A third boy cut off some of her hair.
"They put their hands over my mouth. They put my hands behind my back. And they started cutting my hair and saying it was ugly," Amari said.
The bell rang and the boys ran off laughing.
Scared, Amari told no one. On Wednesday, her grandmother was doing her hair when she noticed long portions of it missing. The girl started crying and told the whole story.
The family called Fairfax County police, who took a report of the incident.
Amari's grandparents aren't sending her back to the school until the boys are punished.
"Some consequences should be implemented so that the school will send a strong message: We will not tolerate this, under any circumstances. No matter who you are," Cynthia Allen said, her voice powerful.
Immanuel Christian School is an evangelical private school that explicitly bars its employees from engaging in or condoning "homosexual or lesbian sexual activity" and "transgender identity," as NBC News reported earlier this year.
In January, Karen Pence started teaching art there two days a week after previously working at the school for 12 years.
The office of the second lady did not immediately respond to an inquiry about the incident this week.
VIDEO - Debbie Dabber on Twitter: "@RepAndyBiggsAZ @POTUS @realDonaldTrump @adamcurry" / Twitter
Fri, 27 Sep 2019 18:20
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VIDEO - Greta Thunberg's Terrifying Brand of End-Times Environmentalism [Montage] - YouTube
Fri, 27 Sep 2019 14:01
VIDEO - (2) All The President's Men Named In The Whistleblower Complaint | Deadline | MSNBC - YouTube
Fri, 27 Sep 2019 12:51
VIDEO - Former ICE Director Slams Democrats During Hearing (Video) '' MarkPantano.com
Fri, 27 Sep 2019 12:45
Most conservative witnesses who appear before congressional committees are cowards. Most of them are treated poorly by Democrats on the committee. Democrats insult them to their faces and they say nothing. They treat the congressmen who sit on these committees as kings and queens, sucking up and kissing their would-be royal asses.
Then there are people like Tom Homan. He is a former Director of ICE and he does not play games or suffer fools. He is not impressed by dim-witted congressmen looking down from their lofty perches at the little people who are summoned by subpoena to sit before them and take their abuse. To the contrary, Homan fights back. He tells these people exactly what he thinks of them. He is a man with confidence and respect for himself and his country. When he feels that either are under attack, he strikes back. This country needs more Tom Homans.
Homan recently appeared before a congressional committee to talk about the detention of illegal immigrants.
Mark Pantano is a Constitutional Conservative writer, lawyer and political analyst.
VIDEO - (1) The Child Abuse Of Greta Thunberg - YouTube
Fri, 27 Sep 2019 03:43
VIDEO - 11 things you should know about Amazon Echo Frames and Echo Loop - CNET
Thu, 26 Sep 2019 22:01
Amazon Echo Frames let you talk to Alexa wherever you go, but have no camera or HUD.
James Martin/CNET We knew that Amazon would announce a heap of devices like five new Echo smart speakers , more Ring smart home security and new Alexa commands at its news-packed smart home event on Wednesday , but the new Echo Frames smart glasses ($180) and Echo Loop smart ring ( $130) threw us for, well, something of a loop.
These two wearable devices put Amazon's digital Alexa assistant on your body in a way that's different than the more expected earbuds route (though there are new Echo Buds , too, for $130 or £120). By bringing Alexa to your face and your hand, Amazon might be trying to get more personal with the little voice in the device.
The Echo Frames and Echo Loop raise a host of questions about what they do, who they're for, what kind of customization options there are and even how to buy them (it's not as easy as walking into a store or buying them on Amazon.com). Here's what we know so far, and what we don't.
Now playing: Watch this: Amazon Echo Frames put Alexa on your face
Why did Amazon make the Echo Loop and Echo Frames? Wearables are a potentially huge technology sector, but so far only smartwatches and fitness trackers have really taken off. Several companies, notably Google and even Amazon itself, have already introduced smart glasses to the market (think Google Glass ), but they've hardly been mainstream.
At $179 and $129 respectively, Echo Frames and the Echo Loop offer consumers the ability to take Alexa and its extensive collection of skills with them wherever they go, at a relatively inexpensive price. This could help further expand Amazon's already healthy lead in the digital assistant and smart product space, a dominance achieved thanks in part to the popularity of Amazon Echo ($70 at Amazon) devices.
The Echo Loop is an Alexa-powered smart ring that dishes out reminders and can even function as a speakerphone.
James Martin/CNET This is what the Echo Frames doThe main purpose of the Echo Frames, like the Echo Loop, is to bring Alexa along wherever you go, as well as to give you novel, more intuitive ways of talking to the digital assistant.
At 31 grams, Echo Frames aren't any heavier than regular glasses, although the temple pieces do seem a bit wider than average. You interact with Alexa they way you always have, with your voice. Microphones, which can be shut off by double-tapping an action button, listen, then four beam-forming micro speakers aimed at your ears let you -- but only you -- hear Alexa's response.
Other than that, Alexa on Echo Frames is pretty much the same as Alexa anywhere else. Ask a question or issue a command and Alexa dutifully responds.
The new Amazon Echo Loop comes in four sizes: small, medium, large and extra-large.
James Martin/CNET Amazon also touts Echo Frames as an accessory to your phone, allowing you to hear alerts through your glasses. The Echo Frames have a VIP Filter setting, which allows you to choose what kinds of notifications you want to pass along, so you're not having every last ding, bing and chirp hitting your ears.
Here's what the Echo Loop is all aboutThe Echo Loop is the first Alexa-enabled smart ring. There's no camera or display on this gadget, either. Instead, it has an action button you use to wake up the device with a single click, a microphone to listen for your commands and a nearly microscopic speaker for replies.
The ring also has a vibrating haptic engine for notifications. The Echo Loop connects to your phone's Alexa app via Bluetooth and uses your existing data plan.
Now playing: Watch this: Amazon reveals Echo Frames smart glasses
Both the Frames and the Loop allow you to make phone calls, but the Loop only allows you to call one number, which you dial by double-clicking the action button. Moreover, calls on the Loop involve awkwardly shuffling your ringed finger between your ear to listen and your mouth to speak. That's probably why Amazon says they're only good for "short" phone calls.
Both the Frames and the Loop let you control smart home devices, set and receive reminders and manage lists.
This is how they workOn the Echo Frames smart glasses, Alexa receives instructions via a microphone and communicates back with directional speakers set in the earpieces, so only you can hear. You can also control some features by swiping along the earpiece. You turn off the microphone via touch controls on the glasses themselves.
The Echo Loop ring has a microphone, a microscopic speaker and a vibrating haptic engine. When you talk to it, the Echo Loop can respond with either voice, sound or vibration. There's no display, but you can monitor it through a companion smartphone app. You charge it on a wireless charging pad
They don't have camerasNeither the Echo Frames nor Echo Loop have a camera anywhere on them, so you won't have to worry about people taking photos or video of you.
You can use prescription lenses in the Echo FramesDuring the launch presentation, Dave Limp, Amazon's senior vice president of devices and services, noted that his demonstration pair had been fitted with his prescription lenses. According to Amazon, all you'll need to do is take your pair of Echo Frames to your optometrist to have lenses fitted and the glasses adjusted for you. Amazon even has a printable card with information for your eye doctor. If you have vision insurance with out-of-network coverage, you may be eligible for a reimbursement. Amazon has more information about reimbursements on its website.
Now playing: Watch this: Loop is an Alexa device you wear on your finger
The Echo Frames aren't a head-up display (HUD)Unlike the Google Glass, the Echo Frames don't function as a personal HUD. That is, they won't project information like turn-by-turn navigation or AR interlays on the world around you onto the frames in front of your face. They're solely there to talk to Alexa.
Echo Loop works with Google Assistant and Siri, but Echo Frames are Android-onlyThey're designed as a way to use Alexa, just like any other Amazon Echo device., but you can also summon Google Assistant on Amazon Echo Frames with a long press on the temple. Right now Echo Frames are only compatible with Android phones. On the Echo Loop, you can summon either Google Assistant or Siri, depending on if your phone uses Android or iOS, with a long press on the action button.
Aside from being slightly thicker than most glasses, Amazon Echo Frames aren't obviously hiding a computer.
Amazon There's not much customization wiggle roomRight now, Echo Frames are only available in one color -- black -- and one size: 54 - 18 - 145. Amazon has a nifty little popup on the Echo Frames product page to help customers determine if Frames will fit their face.
Echo Loop comes in only one finish -- black titanium -- and four size options: small, medium, large and extra-large. Those sizes correspond to 9, 10, 11 and 12 in ring size, respectively. Even if you know your ring size, Amazon still recommends ordering a free "fit kit" to ensure the proper fit if and when you get an invitation to purchase Loop. Amazon will hold your place in line while it ships you a set of four dummy rings to try on.
Echo Loop comes in a black titanium finish and is available in four sizes: small, medium, large and extra-large.
James Martin/CNET The Echo Loop is water-resistantAmazon says it's water-resistant, and you can safely wash your hands while the Loop is on. However, "showering and swimming are not recommended."
You need to request an invitation to buy the Echo Frames and LoopAmazon hasn't shared all the details, but we do know that you'll need an invitation, which you can request for the Echo Frames here and the Echo Loop here. (This is also how the company is managing the rollout of its Amazon Echo Auto device for cars.)
Once you get your email invitation, you'll be given a code that's good for 30 days and that you'll need to complete your order at Amazon. We also know that the Echo Frames and Echo Loop will sell in limited quantity.
You should expect more devices like theseAbsolutely. Part of the reason for the invitation system is that the wearables fall into a new class of products that Amazon calls Day 1 Editions. These are finished products, but with limited availability. These aren't going to be widely available in stores. However, Amazon stressed that these are not beta releases, but fully developed, ready-for-primetime gadgets.
Now playing: Watch this: Amazon Echo Buds take on AirPods with built-in Alexa
What we still don't know (and are working to find out) If there will be multiple color options for the Echo FramesHow to charge Echo FramesIf iOS compatibility will be coming to Echo Frames at a later date.If there's a visible light to indicate when the devices are recording your voiceWhile we find out more about the new Alexa-enabled wearables, catch up on Amazon's other announcements, including a new 8-inch Echo Show smart display , a color-changing Echo Glow night-light for kids and the smart wireless Echo Buds earbuds designed in conjunction with Bose. It also refreshed the original Amazon Echo speaker for 2019 , unveiled an upgraded the Echo Dot with an LED clock , and debuted a studio-class speaker called Echo Studio . Here's the complete list of every new product and service Amazon announced , as well as all the new Alexa features .
VIDEO - Are Facebook employees depressed? (H1B slavery visa & abuse) - YouTube
Thu, 26 Sep 2019 21:50