Cover for No Agenda Show 1258: Dummy Placebo
July 9th, 2020 • 3h 22m

1258: Dummy Placebo


Every new episode of No Agenda is accompanied by a comprehensive list of shownotes curated by Adam while preparing for the show. Clips played by the hosts during the show can also be found here.

Models and data
Austin's top doctor says he'll recommend city shutdown soon if changes aren't made now | KXAN Austin
Mon, 06 Jul 2020 15:51
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Austin-Travis CountyMore Coronavirus StoriesTop StoriesMore StoriesTop StoriesMore InvestigationsLatest Central Texas COVID-19 CasesTrending StoriesDon't Miss
ICUs could be overrun in 10 days amid coronavirus spike, Austin mayor says - News - Austin American-Statesman - Austin, TX
Mon, 06 Jul 2020 15:48
Austin Mayor Steve Adler, seen here at a COVID-19 briefing at City Hall on March 6, says he is worried that a recent spike in coronavirus cases will overwhelm local hospitals. [RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]'–²
Austin-area intensive care units are in danger of being overrun in the next 10 days to two weeks if the number of people admitted to the hospital for the coronavirus continues its current pace, Austin Mayor Steve Adler said Sunday.
"Hopefully we will see that trajectory slow and we will know whether or not that happens this week," he told the American-Statesman.
The Austin area has about 1,500 hospital beds for coronavirus patients. A total of 446 people were hospitalized in those beds on Saturday night, Adler said.
Health officials on Sunday recorded 59 new hospital admissions for COVID-19, the disease linked to the coronavirus, continuing a troubling trend. The seven-day average number of new hospitalizations was at 61.6, uncomfortably close to the threshold into Stage 5, when the virus poses the highest risk to populations with existing health issues and compromised immunity.
Austin Public Health's guidelines under Stage 5 include recommending that all residents avoid gatherings outside of their households and allowing only essential businesses to stay open.
Travis County has reported a total of 11,679 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Sunday, including 8,460 recoveries and 137 deaths.
The county reported 548 new cases on Sunday. Although health officials recorded only 122 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, that was an incomplete number because of a lack of staff available to do the counting during the July 4 holiday, Adler said.
Travis County's rolling seven-day average of new known coronavirus cases was 459.7 as of Sunday, according to figures from the city. The past seven days included a daily tally of 597 new cases last Wednesday and 571 new cases last Thursday.
If the escalation in coronavirus cases doesn't stop, then authorities will have to consider "whether or not to pull back from the reopening of the economy," Adler said. He would not detail what further restrictions could be or when they might be made but he said there will be a briefing about the situation at the Austin City Council's meeting on Thursday.
"Everything is being looked at now," the mayor said. He later added that he had observed around Austin that more people were wearing masks.
"We still have a ways to go," Adler said. "There still seems to be pockets of people that seem to be ignoring their responsibility to help keep others safe."
Adler wouldn't say where he had seen people not wearing masks.
"I want people to put on masks and pay attention to social distancing," he said. "It's the best thing we can do to give the opening of the economy the best chance possible to protect people and their lives, and also to give schools the best chance of being able to open up in the fall."
As the rest of Texas has seen similar spikes in COVID-19 cases, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statewide mask order last week on Thursday.
On Sunday, Texas reported 3,449 new cases '-- a significant drop from Saturday's record number of 8,258 new cases, but reporting also may have been affected by holiday staffing.
The state also reported 29 new fatalities, bringing the death toll during the pandemic to 2,637 among 195,239 confirmed cases.
Abbott's mask order requires Texans in counties with more than 20 positive coronavirus cases to wear masks in public spaces. The order allows only a handful of exceptions, including for children younger than 10 or while consuming food and drink, swimming, exercising outdoors or sitting at a restaurant.
Adler followed suit with his own proclamation that prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people in Austin. The order expires Aug. 15, a few days before the school year begins for the Austin school district.
Exceptions include religious gatherings, recreational sports and child-care services.
The city of Austin also closed all their parks and swimming pools indefinitely on Thursday because of the rising number of coronavirus cases.
CORONAVIRUS IN TEXAS: What we know, latest updates
Adjustments Made to New Hospital Admission Data |
Thu, 09 Jul 2020 03:58
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Release Date: Jul. 07, 2020
Austin Public Health is issuing the following statement regarding changes in new hospital admission numbers and how they're determined:
The data for new hospital admissions per day has been adjusted today, July 7, to address discrepancies dating back to June 23 between the number of new admissions and the total increase in hospitalized individuals.
Previous data sets did not retroactively adjust new hospital admissions for patients who were admitted to the hospital but did not receive a positive COVID-19 test result until after their initial admission date. Our updated data corrects for these discrepancies, putting us at 74.9 for the 7-day moving average of new hospital admissions per day, which is reflected in the COVID-19 dashboard and the Key Indicators dashboard.
Utilizing the moving average of the new hospital admissions as the primary indicator, current Austin Public Health Risk-Based Guidelines recommend either Stage 4 or Stage 5 level of risk. The exact hospitalization trigger ranges from 70-123 new hospital admissions per day on the 7-day moving average, depending on the rate of increase. A more rapid increase in the daily average will trigger Stage 5 risk recommendations when the number reaches the lower end of this range.
We are currently evaluating the impact of passing the threshold of 70 as well as updated modeling and secondary indicators, such as doubling times of cases, hospitalizations, and ICU patients, to make a final determination of the stage of risk for the City of Austin and Travis County later this week.
Fauci and Collins with Biden ad Screen Capture
Dale's bar closed for good
younger people were being targeted to get them infected and ready for vaccine trials
red book: vaccine trails will show overnight results in surge areas
Get The Vaccine $1000 and be allowed to GO OUT ANYWHERE!
Fauci: "False narrative" to take comfort in lower COVID-19 death rate - Axios
Thu, 09 Jul 2020 04:05
Anthony Fauci said at an event with Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) on Tuesday "that it's a false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death" from the coronavirus in the U.S., warning: "There's so many other things that are dangerous and bad about the virus. Don't get into false complacency."
The big picture: The mean age of Americans currently being infected by the virus has declined by 15 years compared to where it stood several months ago. This has been one contributing factor in the lower death rate the U.S. has experienced during the recent surge in cases, since "the younger you are, the better you do, and the less likely you're gonna get seriously ill and die," Fauci said.
Another reason for the lower death rate is that treatments and therapies for those with advanced coronavirus symptoms have improved in the U.S., Fauci said. He noted that "the idea that the virus is mutating and so is less damaging to people, has not yet been proven at all."President Trump tweeted earlier Tuesday: "We have the lowest Mortality Rate in the World. The Fake News should be reporting these most important of facts, but they don't!"Where it stands: The United States' alarming rise in coronavirus cases isn't due to increased testing '-- particularly not where cases have grown fastest over the last month, Axios' Andrew Witherspoon and Caitlin Owens report.
Fauci said on Tuesday that there have been "multiple examples of young people who are getting sick, getting hospitalized, and some of them even requiring intensive care" as cases rise in younger Americans.He urged local officials to implement mask mandates and condemned the politicization of the issue: "If you say 'it doesn't matter whether you put it on or take it off,' you're giving a wrong, mixed signal," Fauci said. "The message should be, 'Wear a mask, period.'Go deeper: Case growth outpacing testing in coronavirus hotspots
COVID INSANITY CONTINUES: US Has Seen No Increase in Overall Deaths in 2020 - Yet Americans Continue to Cede All God Given Rights to the State
Thu, 09 Jul 2020 04:09
Americans are faced with the following choice '' continue to follow the government mandated lock down while watching their life savings erode (based on faulty projections and models regarding the China coronavirus) '' or get back to work.In the movie the Matrix, the lead character, Neo, is faced with the stark reality '' that we are all slaves. But Neo is given an opportunity. He is given a choice between taking a red pill or the blue pill. The red pill will allow Neo to the ability
After this there is no turning back. You take the blue pill, your story ends. You wake up in bed and believe whatever you want to.
You take the red pill and you stay in wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember, all I'm offering is the truth.''
TRENDING: Biden Says Police Have "Become the Enemy" and Calls For Defunding the Police (VIDEO)
At the site Unconstrained Analytics, the Matrix is explained and today's reaction to the China coronavirus as well:
Real science neither requires nor asks for assent. In contrast, pseudo-sciences, demand obedience to the narratives they propagate '-- even when these narratives conflict with hard science.
It's time for America to wake up and look at the real numbers behind the China coronavirus. If we are truly experiencing a ''historic'' pandemic with unprecedented deaths then this should be obvious in the data. We should see our total deaths for the first four months of 2020 greatly exceed the previous years' numbers where there was no pandemic, but this is not the case.
The CDC website indicates U.S. death totals for 2015 through 2020 for the first four months of the year average (Jan '' Apr) to be at 921,603. This year the total deaths during this period were 944,251 which is slightly more than average but slightly less than the number of deaths in 2017 (Note '' to obtain below data we summed up all deaths for weeks 1 through 16 for each year from the data in the CDC website):
We know that 99% of all COVID deaths are related to individuals with more than one other comorbidity (i.e. the individuals had cancer or some other medical condition). We also know that the majority of COVID deaths are those people over age 70.
Children are virtually free from any risk of death from the China coronavirus. Healthy individuals under the age of 65 are also at very low risk.
When looking at the data it is difficult to understand why the US (and the world for that matter) would close down their economies for this virus. The economies stayed open in 2017 and the number of deaths were greater.
Americans need to take the red pill. It's time to wake up and see that we were lied to and continue to be lied to. The current response to the coronavirus is madness. Liberty is at stake.Hat tip Chris
Hundreds of scientists write letter to WHO arguing coronavirus is airborne: NYT | TheHill
Mon, 06 Jul 2020 03:34
A group of 239 scientists representing 32 countries is reportedly preparing to ask the World Health Organization (WHO) to revise its recommendations for the novel coronavirus due to evidence it says supports the claim the disease is airborne.
The scientists are expected to publish an open letter making the request in a scientific journal next week, according to The New York Times. The letter is set to offer evidence that supports the position that smaller particles of the coronavirus can travel through the air and infect people.
The WHO has held that COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, is transmitted mostly by large respiratory droplets that fall to floor after being discharged via a sneeze or cough. The agency has said the virus is primarily spread through person-to-person contact and indirect contact with surfaces in the immediate environment of an infected individual.
A segment of the scientific community says evidence shows that the virus is borne through the air and can infect individuals upon being inhaled, the Times reported, noting that small particles can travel quickly following a sneeze. Exhaled droplets of the virus can travel more gradually the length of a room, some scientists say.
Airborne transmission would reportedly become a significant factor for response efforts. Masks would possibly be necessary in all indoor settings, regardless of whether social distancing was maintained. Health care workers would also likely require N95 masks that can filter out minuscule coronavirus particles.
Benedetta Allegranzi, technical lead on infection control for the WHO, told the Times that there is still a lack of solid evidence on airborne transmission.
"Especially in the last couple of months, we have been stating several times that we consider airborne transmission as possible but certainly not supported by solid or even clear evidence," she said. "There is a strong debate on this."
WHO did not immediately return a request for further comment from The Hill.
The letter is expected to come as parts of the world, including the U.S., experience a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations stemming from the disease. The WHO reported more than 200,000 cases of the virus on Saturday, marking a new high in infections over a 24-hour period.
As of Sunday, health officials had reported more than 11 million cases of COVID-19 and roughly 530,000 deaths stemming from it worldwide, according to a Johns Hopkins University database.
Tom Precious on Twitter: "Here is the Cuomo admin's 33-page report that concludes, basically, that NYS policy issued 3/25 re mandatory admission of Covid+ patients by state-reg nursing homes was not "a significant factor" for thousands of nursing home dea
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 04:37
Tom Precious : Here is the Cuomo admin's 33-page report that concludes, basically, that NYS policy issued 3/25 re mandatory admiss'...
Mon Jul 06 15:09:37 +0000 2020
Kevin : @TomPreciousALB 👇👇👇
Tue Jul 07 04:32:21 +0000 2020
LiberalsЯNutz : @TomPreciousALB So if you print it out, makes a good substitute for TP
Tue Jul 07 04:22:22 +0000 2020
NoneYa : @TomPreciousALB I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, that they were seriously concerned that hospit'...
Tue Jul 07 04:14:38 +0000 2020
Luis Monroy-G"mez-Franco on Twitter: "He is using international students as bargain chips with colleges in order to achieve this ICE issued an statement that says that if a college remains in online mode, online courses will not count for visa status, th
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 12:05
Luis Monroy-G"mez-Franco : He is using international students as bargain chips with colleges in order to achieve thisICE issued an statement'...
Mon Jul 06 18:43:22 +0000 2020
Harvard and M.I.T. Sue to Stop Trump Visa Rules for Foreign Students - The New York Times
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 22:16
Universities opposed a policy that would require students to take at least one in-person class or be denied permission to study in the United States.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard, both in Cambridge, Mass., plan to teach mostly online this fall. They said some 9,000 foreign students enrolled on their campuses could be denied visas under a new Trump administration policy. Credit... Charles Krupa/Associated Press July 8, 2020Updated 5:51 p.m. ET
Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology sued the Trump administration in federal court on Wednesday, seeking to block a directive that would strip foreign college students of their visas if the courses they take this fall are entirely online.
University leaders and immigrant advocates called the new policy cruel and reckless, with several education groups saying they planned to join the legal battle. The Massachusetts attorney general vowed to support Harvard and M.I.T.'s efforts to block the rules, which were announced Monday by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
''Massachusetts is home to thousands of international students who should not fear deportation or be forced to put their health and safety at risk in order to advance their education,'' Maura Healey, the attorney general, said in a statement. ''This decision from ICE is cruel, it's illegal, and we will sue to stop it.''
The universities argued that the policy was politically motivated and would throw higher education into chaos. It was widely seen as an effort by the White House to pressure colleges and universities into reopening and abandoning the cautious approaches that many have adopted to reduce coronavirus transmission.
''The political intent cannot be clearer,'' said Miriam Feldblum, executive director of the Presidents' Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, which includes the leaders of about 450 public and private universities. ''They want to force campuses into the position they have to declare themselves open, or at least in a hybrid model.''
Harvard is planning to teach its classes entirely online over the next year, and many other universities are planning a hybrid model, with some in-person instruction but mostly remote classes. M.I.T. will have a small selection of in-person classes, but said that most will be online.
Harvard's president, Lawrence S. Bacow, called the administration's action reckless and said in a statement that it appeared to have been designed to pressure universities to hold in-person classes ''without regard to concerns for the health and safety of students, instructors and others.''
The two universities said that the new directive would prevent many of their 9,000 combined international students '-- and hundreds of thousands of students at other universities across the country '-- from staying in the United States. Their suit, filed in federal court in Boston, seeks a temporary restraining order preventing the government from enforcing the policy because it violates the Administrative Procedure Act.
The American Council on Education, an industry group, said it planned to file a brief in support of the lawsuit, and some 25 higher education associations, including the American Association of Community Colleges, the Association of American Universities and the Association of Land Grant Universities, were expected to join.
''We have heard from many of our members, and they all share the same concerns about the nature of the guidance,'' said Pedro Ribeiro, a spokesman for the Association of American Universities, which represents 65 research institutions.
ICE said it would not comment on pending litigation.
Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, the acting deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, defended the agency's order in an interview Tuesday on CNN, saying that the agency was providing more flexibility for international students than in the past, when in order to qualify for a visa, they could take no more than one of their courses online. Now they can take more, as long as at least some of their instruction is in person.
''If they're not going to be a student or they're going to be 100 percent online, then they don't have a basis to be here,'' Mr. Cuccinelli said, adding, ''They should go home, and then they can return when the school opens.''
The Harvard and M.I.T. suit says that the government recognized that the pandemic posed a unique crisis on March 13, when it suspended a rule that students in the country on F-1 student visas had to attend most classes in person. ''The government made clear that this arrangement was in effect for the duration of the emergency,'' the lawsuit says.
In reversing that earlier guidance on Monday, the universities say, the government has put the ability of international students to continue studying and working in the U.S. in jeopardy, and it has disrupted the careful planning process that many universities have used to restart higher education in the fall, after shutting down campuses in mid-March.
''The effect '-- and perhaps even the goal '-- is to create as much chaos for universities and international students as possible,'' the universities said in the lawsuit.
International students, many of whom pay full tuition, are a major source of revenue for American universities, and losing them would be a huge blow to the finances of many public and private schools, which are already suffering losses because of the pandemic.
''The financial repercussions to institutions are potentially very traumatic,'' said Daniel J. Hurley, chief executive of the Michigan Association of State Universities, which represents the state's public universities. He cited studies showing that 33,236 international students contributed $1.2 billion to Michigan's economy in 2018.
The leaders of many universities, including the University of California Los Angeles, Princeton and Cornell, issued statements this week supporting their foreign students and criticizing the administration's directive.
''The impact will be devastating '-- on the lives of international students, on the ability of America's top research universities to recruit the world's best and brightest, and on our economy,'' wrote Daniel Diermeier, the chancellor of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, and Susan R. Wente, the school's provost.
Ayantu Temesgen, a student at Harvard Medical School, is one of the students who would be forced to leave the country under the new directive as the school moves all of its courses online. She is from Ethiopia, where the government shut down the internet in the country last week during an outbreak of deadly civil unrest.
She might defer attending for a year, she said, though her M.D.-Ph.D. program already requires about eight years of study.
''If I go, I will be concerned for my own safety because of the political chaos,'' she said. ''But also, I won't be able to continue my education as planned.''
Dan Levin contributed reporting.
Tulsa health official: Trump rally 'likely contributed' to COVID-19 surge | TheHill
Thu, 09 Jul 2020 12:26
A Tulsa, Okla., health official said Wednesday that President Trump Donald John TrumpKimberly Guilfoyle reports being asymptomatic and 'feeling really pretty good' after COVID-19 diagnosis Biden says he will rejoin WHO on his first day in office Lincoln Project offers list of GOP senators who 'protect' Trump in new ad MORE 's rally and the accompanying protests ''likely contributed'' to the surge in COVID-19 cases in the county.
Tulsa City-County Health Department Director Bruce Dart during a Wednesday press conference attributed the increase in new cases over the past two days to the rally and the associated protests. On Monday, the county identified 261 new cases, the highest daily increase during the pandemic, and on Tuesday, officials confirmed 206 new cases, he said.
''In the past two days, we've had almost 500 new cases, and we knew we had several large events a little over two weeks ago, which is about right, so I guess we just connect the dots,'' Dart said.
The health department has a policy not to publicly identify settings where people may have contracted the virus.
But when asked how Tulsa County ended up having the most cases in the state, Dart said, ''We did have some significant events in the past few weeks that more than likely contributed to that.''
''We have to follow different rules now,'' he said, adding, ''If we're going out in public and we're engaging with other people and we're not taking precautions, we're gonna have transmissions. I mean, that's just the bottom line.''
Tulsa County has confirmed 4,571 cases of COVID-19, leading to 72 deaths and 3,451 recoveries, according to Oklahoma data . The county makes up more than 25 percent of the cases and more than 17 percent of the deaths in the state.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health recorded its highest increase in new cases on Tuesday, with 858 new cases identified, bringing the state's total to 17,893.
Asked about the Tulsa health official's comments during a press briefing, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said she had ''no data'' indicating the rally was the source of an increase in cases.
''I have no data to indicate that on my end, but it's the decision of individuals whether to go. We encourage the wearing of masks. As the president said, if he couldn't distance, he would [wear a mask], but it's the individual choice of the person,'' McEnany said.
McEnany also indicated that Trump had no plans to make changes to the health protocols at his rallies, noting that the campaign is distributing hand sanitizer and masks and that individuals choose whether to attend events.
Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign's communications director, said in a statement that there were "no health precautions to speak of" during the protests over George Floyd's death across the country and noted that "the media reported it did not lead to a rise in coronavirus cases," citing a CNN report.
"Meanwhile, the President's rally was 18 days ago, all attendees had their temperature checked, everyone was provided a mask, and there was plenty of hand sanitizer available for all," he said. "It's obvious that the media's concern about large gatherings begins and ends with Trump rallies.''
Dart had expressed concerns about the rally ahead of time, saying the pandemic was still a serious health threat and the indoor event posed a ''huge risk'' to the county.
''COVID is here in Tulsa, it is transmitting very efficiently,'' Dart had said last month. ''I wish we could postpone this to a time when the virus isn't as large a concern as it is today.''
A reporter who attended the rally is among those who tested positive for the virus, along with two members of the Trump campaign. Six other campaign members tested positive before the event and were not allowed to attend .
Former presidential candidate Herman Cain Herman CainTulsa health official: Trump rally 'likely contributed' to COVID-19 surge Trump campaign taps White House aide to oversee rallies Trump to hold outdoor rally in New Hampshire on Saturday MORE and Kimberly Guilfoyle Kimberly Ann GuilfoyleKimberly Guilfoyle reports being asymptomatic and 'feeling really pretty good' after COVID-19 diagnosis Tulsa health official: Trump rally 'likely contributed' to COVID-19 surge The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Teachers' union President Randi Weingarten calls Trump administration plan to reopen schools 'a train wreck'; US surpasses 3 million COVID-19 cases MORE , a top fundraising official for the Trump campaign and the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr., both tested positive for the virus after attending the rally .
Morgan Chalfant contributed. Updated at 6:22 p.m.
Vaccines and such
Anthony Fauci's Boss on Why Things Could Be Much Better Soon
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 12:03
National Institutes of Health director Dr. Francis Collins. Photo: Andrew Harnik/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
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Even before he became the point person in a global effort to find a coronavirus vaccine, Dr. Francis Collins occupied an interesting perch in government. One of the few Obama appointees still serving in a major role in the Trump administration, Collins, who rose to prominence in 1990s as leader of the Human Genome Project, is the head of the National Institutes of Health, the federal government's gargantuan hub for medical research. With an annual budget of $42 billion, the NIH is essentially unrivaled in the world as a research center. Among its 20,000 employees is Dr. Anthony Fauci, who runs the division focused on infectious diseases. Fauci was a mentor to Collins when the latter joined the NIH decades ago, and they remain close, talking at length on the phone most evenings. Intelligencer chatted with Collins about the prospects for a coronavirus vaccine '-- he's optimistic '-- and about winning the $1 million Templeton Prize, awarded each year for remarkable work exploring the deepest questions of human existence.
We're obviously at a critical stage in the evolution of this pandemic. What's your perspective on this moment, and what do you feel like we've learned over the past three months?Well, this is an unprecedented global pandemic in the lifetime of any of us. This virus has the ability to be transmitted even from people with no symptoms, which has made it extremely difficult to manage from a public-health perspective. We have seen now more than 125,000 deaths and millions of people infected just in the United States, and we're not done with it. When you see what's happening in the last few days, the really significant increases in the number of cases, particularly in the Southeast, tells us that any hope that somehow summer weather was going to be an antidote does not seem to have held up.
Until we have a vaccine that can be widely applied and provide immunity, most of our country is still at risk. This is not the time to relax.
What are the big questions that you and the NIH are most focused on unraveling? Obviously there is still a lot of uncertainty about immunity and new mutations. Well, this virus is still brand new, although it's a member of the coronavirus family that includes SARS and MERS and even some common cold viruses. But it's sufficiently different from all of those that its biology is still not that well understood. There are a lot of mysteries about this virus, particularly why individuals respond so variably to exposure. We know some of the things that are associated with high risk: being older, which might mean your immune system's not quite as vigorous, or having chronic illnesses '-- but we still don't understand a lot of the differences between individuals.Some of that might be genetics. Some of that might be the initial exposure. Did you get a heavy dose or a light dose of the virus? But the variability is really quite striking from person to person in terms of what the consequences are.
A big question is whether somebody who has had COVID-19 is now immune from getting it again. So far we don't see compelling evidence of people getting reinfected, but that's still a bit early to say for sure. That's going to make a huge difference in everything we try to do about this going forward. A vaccine, of course, depends upon the idea that immunity is protective.
The usual way you conclude that is because people who've had the natural illness don't get it again. We think that's true for COVID-19, but it would be great to be more sure of that. The other big question mark is if you are immune, how long does that last? Is this going to be a condition where you've had it once and you're protected for the rest of your life? Or will you gradually become susceptible again? That will translate into decisions about whether a vaccine will need to be readministered, whether you'll need to get a booster shot now and then. We don't know. There are lots of uncertainties.
Is there any emergent thinking on that question of how long immunity might last '-- whether it's months or years, or maybe it will vary by individual? Is there any theory on that that is starting to gather momentum?It's all pretty hypothetical. There are a couple factors that will relate to whether immunity lasts a long time. One is whether the antibodies that somebody generates after infection are around for years afterward or whether they fade away. There hasn't been enough time yet to be able to say that. The other is whether the virus itself changes its biology and then evades the immune response that people have had. Obviously that's a big deal with influenza, which is why we have to get a flu shot every year. And it's been a horrible deal with HIV '-- and why we've never been able to get a vaccine for it, because HIV is changing its coat almost hourly.I think we have reason to be much more optimistic about SARS-CoV-2 [the virus that causes COVID-19]. There doesn't seem to be compelling evidence of it being that highly mutable. It's a typical RNA virus that seems to have a typical mutation rate. It doesn't look like it's doing a lot of changing of its coat proteins. So I'm fairly reassured by what we've learned so far, after looking at the viral genome of thousands of isolates, that this one is not changing that rapidly.
If you had to guess what the next two to three years looks like in terms of vaccine development '-- how do you see the process shaping up? A first wave of vaccines that are less effective, then working toward a better one? I am guardedly optimistic that by the end of 2020 we will have at least one vaccine that has been proven safe and effective in a large-scale trial. Nobody should accept it as safe and effective without that large-scale trial. There are at least four vaccines that will be getting into such large trials this summer beginning as early as July. Each one of those trials will involve roughly 30,000 volunteers, half of whom will get the vaccine, half of whom will get a dummy placebo. You have to have that control or you will never know if the vaccine worked or not.
Those trials will have to be conducted in areas where the virus is actively spreading because that's the only way you're going to know whether it was protective. With four different vaccines with four different approaches, we've kind of hedged our bets against putting too much emphasis on one particular strategy. That's good '-- because vaccines are really interesting science, but every new virus presents surprises in terms of how the vaccine turns out to work. So I'd be very worried right now if we had one platform that everybody was counting on. Having four makes me feel a lot better.Maybe all four of them will work. As long as one of them works, we'll be in a far better position by the end of the year to see our way out of this global pandemic mess. But there will be, then, a time of having to do the scale-up to have billions of doses, which might be what the world needs. So there will still be some time involved, even though we are doing everything possible to prepare for that by manufacturing millions of doses of each of those vaccines even before we know if they would work, so that the highest-risk people can get access right away. So I'm guardedly optimistic that we will see all that happen. But again '-- this is uncharted territory.
We've got the best scientists in the world working on this. We have incredible resources being put into it. People are working 24/7 to make sure that no mistakes get made and no obstacles are left that might slow this down. But also, everybody is committed to cutting no corners when it comes to the safety part. I know people might be worried about that because this is going so fast compared to the traditional five-year period to develop a vaccine. We will not compromise on the safety. We'll speed up a lot of other parts, but we will not compromise on that.
So you're feeling good about the fast-track process and how it's taking shape?I am. The things that are making it possible to go so much more quickly are more the strategies and the way in which the regulatory process kicks in. Normally, when you're testing a vaccine, you start with a phase-one trial. Then you stop and examine the data. If it looks like maybe things are okay, then you have to set up a phase-two trial of maybe 1,000 people, which takes a while since you have to find a location and get all the mechanics going. And then after you run that trial, which may take many months, you analyze that data and decide, Okay, it's time to go for the big 30,000-person trial.
That takes you a long time to set up. After the trial is run, there then has to be a regulatory decision, which often takes several months. You can see why it can add up to five years '-- all those steps that are not really part of determining whether it worked, and the mechanics are being shortened up here in a very substantial way. There is this investment in manufacturing tens of millions of doses of these vaccines, even before we know if they're going to work, to prevent long delay at the end. It would be really sad if we were celebrating in December, saying, ''Hey, we've got a vaccine that works,'' and there were no doses left to offer to the people who need it.
So that has to be planned for, even if it means throwing out the doses of the vaccines that failed. We're prepared to do that.
So we're hitting all the key steps '-- just reducing the in-between periods to as close to zero as we can?Exactly. All of the vaccines that are starting into the large-scale trial in the next couple of weeks are those for which the manufacturing is already getting underway, even before we know whether they are going to work. The first vaccine to reach phase 3 also depends on a scientific strategy that is particularly amenable to rapid development, because this is the one which only needs to know the genome sequence of the virus to be able to design the vaccine. That sequence was released by the Chinese on January 10. The vaccine was getting designed by our Vaccine Research Center that very night. That is the very first one that then was possible to put into phase-one trials in just 63 days. Normally, between when you decide you're going to make a vaccine and when you'd have your first phase-one trial would be a year, year and a half.
63 days is a world record. That one looks really good. The phase-one data looks very promising. It will need to go though into this big trial before we'll really know whether it's safe and effective. If it isn't, well, we'll throw it out.
How would you describe the NIH's role in this entire process?The NIH is the largest supporter of biomedical research in the world. It has research going on from basic science to clinical trials, from rare diseases to common conditions like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. But it has a particular institute focused on infectious disease which is poised, when there's an outbreak of this sort, to bring all kinds of scientific talent and resources to tackle the problem and put together an effort to design vaccines, but also clinical trials to test them. That same institute has been, in just the last tem years, leading the effort against Ebola, against Zika, and now against COVID-19.
On top of that, the NIH works particularly well in this situation by linking up with our colleagues in the private sector, because the industry has a huge investment in this area that we want to be sure is tightly coordinated. So back in April, I formed a partnership called ACTIV, which stands for Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines, that is now comprised of 18 pharmaceutical companies, multiple parts of NIH, the FDA, the CDC, the Department of Defense, the Veterans Administration, and part of HHS called BARDA [the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority] '-- bringing all hands on deck to coordinate everything we're doing, both for vaccines and also for therapeutics.
That kind of partnership has been really crucial to make progress, but it's happened at an unprecedented pace. Usually partnerships like that between private and public sectors take a couple of years and a lot of lawyers to work out. This was basically set up in two weeks. Paul Stoffels, who's the head of R&D at Johnson & Johnson, and I are the co-chairs of the executive committee of that group '-- which now involves about 100 people who are literally working 24/7 to try to move all of this agenda forward. That has been astounding.
And what has you feeling best on the therapeutics front right now?Well, we have made some progress. The antiviral drug Remdesivir, in a rigorously designed, NIH-managed clinical trial, did show benefit in terms of reducing hospitalization time and probably improving survival '-- although statistically that was not quite at the level of significance we generally consider proof. Ten days ago, our colleagues in the U.K., which is a group we've been working closely with, announced that their rigorous trial of dexamethasone, a steroid, showed that it improved survival, particularly for patients on ventilators. So those are two significant steps forward.
Right now, I think one of the things we're most hopeful about is to utilize the antibodies that are being made by people who have survived COVID-19. They got over it. Their antibodies apparently worked. Could we utilize that in a way that would help people who are really sick? That means trying such things as convalescent plasma '-- getting units of plasma from survivors and giving those to sick people. It's been done now on a fairly large scale, and we're just looking at the data to try to see how much benefit it provided. But an even more powerful way to approach this is to purify antibodies that you know bind tightly to the virus and inactivate it, so-called monoclonal antibodies, and make those in an industrial format.
There will be trials of those, from about six companies that have been pushing that forward, starting in the next few weeks '-- again managed through this ACTIV partnership that I've mentioned, trying them on both outpatients and inpatients who have been infected by COVID-19 to see what benefit they might provide. I'm pretty optimistic about those. We know those antibodies have contributed to people getting better from this virus. So giving them to people who are currently ill ought to help.
All of the sudden you have arguably the most famous doctor in the world, Anthony Fauci, now reporting to you. What's the emergence of Fauci as a global celebrity been like from inside the NIH?Well, Tony's been a hero within the NIH for a long time. I guess the rest of the world knows about him now. As the head of the Infectious Diseases Institute since 1984, he has certainly been through an incredible number of these frightening outbreaks of infectious diseases, starting with HIV and working through all the various influenza episodes, Ebola, Zika, and now COVID-19. Tony is a physician of enormous credibility. He is a doc who still takes care of patients, so he knows everything there is to know about what it's like at the bedside. But he is also one of the most knowledgeable and highly regarded experts in the science of infectious disease.
He's also just an incredibly effective communicator and has been playing that role brilliantly, as a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, to speak to the American public.
I've known Tony for 27 years. Initially, he was kind of a mentor to me when I first got to NIH and didn't know what the heck that was going on around this government facility. Now I'm his boss. But he and I, I think, have a very effective relationship. We talk virtually every night to catch up on what happened that day and what each of us is trying to accomplish the next day. I think that partnership has been extremely helpful, and it's very satisfying for me to work with somebody with such remarkable skills.
What's your broad assessment of the American response to this pandemic '-- spanning federal government, state governments, local governments, and just us as a society?I think, for the most part, Americans have been willing to sacrifice a lot to try to address this issue. I think most Americans have understood that's not just for themselves; it's for other people around them, because we can't really put a stop to such a rapidly infectious pandemic unless we all take responsibility for that. The consequences have been quite severe for people who have lost their livelihood. The economic strain that has happened to many families has been totally unexpected and incredibly painful.
I especially look at the way in which this disease has hit underserved populations that were already suffering from health disparities and have now been hit even harder by COVID-19. I'm particularly thinking of African-Americans and Hispanics, but also anybody who's in a lower socioeconomic state and can't afford to sequester themselves at home because they've got to be out there in order to put food on the table. Those folks have been hit very hard.
I think for the most part Americans have been willing to say, ''We've got to do everything we can to try to protect the vulnerable people around us.'' I am concerned, however, that the willingness to sustain this individual behavior seems to have been slipping a bit and maybe, in some instances, has been encouraged as if we're now past this pandemic. We are not past this now. In fact, when you see what's happening just in the last week or so, it's clear that we are at risk for a surge of more cases and ultimately more serious consequences as people have gotten more relaxed. I think most Americans are still being careful, but it doesn't take a huge proportion of those being careless to give the virus its chance. We may be tired of COVID-19, but the virus doesn't care. It's out there, and 90 percent of Americans haven't yet developed any immunity to it and are still totally vulnerable. The chance of having major consequences is just as significant as it was back in February.
Again, I think most Americans have been appropriately sacrificial, but it's time to renew our attention to how you need to wear a mask because you might be the person who has the virus and is spreading it around without realizing it. That mask is not for you. That's for everybody around you. If you care about your neighbors, your family, the people that you encounter in the store '-- wear that mask. Social distancing is an important part of this, not gathering indoors '-- especially without masks '-- packed together. That's the worst thing you can do right now.
We Americans tend to be pioneers in individual behavior, but this is a time for individuals to moderate their behavior.
Yeah, this has unfortunately emerged as a new front in the culture war. As someone who is both an acclaimed scientist and a public Christian, what's your perspective on the pandemic as a cultural issue? Do you see any clear way around that?It's one of the great tragedies of this current moment that scientifically based public-health measures have somehow been captured as cultural or political phenomena. Your chance of spreading the coronavirus to a vulnerable person has nothing to do with what culture you come from or what political party you belong to. Your responsibility is to try to prevent that from happening to vulnerable people around you. But our country's polarization is so extreme that it even seems to extend into a place like this '-- where it absolutely doesn't belong. That is really troubling because it's putting people at risk who shouldn't be.
On a happier note, what was it like to recently win the Templeton Prize, the prestigious annual award recognizing individuals for their efforts to bridge the gap between science and faith? That must have been a nice surprise.It was stunning to get that phone call and to look at the list of previous winners and try to imagine how this could possibly have happened '-- the first prize winner being Mother Teresa, and other prize winners along the way people I have incredible respect for, like Billy Graham and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. I could only conclude the committee must have made a terrible mistake. I'm really grateful, just the same, because I'm an amateur theologian. I'm a pretty good scientist. But to be put on this roster with those heroic figures was beyond any expectation I ever could have had.
You have worked, in your capacity as a scientist, to fund a fair amount of brain research, and you've also written a book called The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief. Before taking over at NIH, you started a foundation called BioLogos, which makes the case for a harmony between science and Christianity. What's your perspective, at this point in your career, on what consciousness is?That's the big question in all of neuroscience. In terms of the scientific basis of consciousness, we really don't have a clue. In terms of the spiritual significance, obviously it's pretty important that we human beings seem to be special in our awareness of ourselves and our ability to imagine what other people are feeling at a given moment. All that is part of consciousness. I was an atheist when I entered medical school. I was a Christian when I left '-- and it was much driven by this experience of trying to integrate the reductionist aspects of science into the much more fundamental issues I saw my patients wrestling with, like is there a God and does God care about me and what happens after I die?
Those are uncomfortable questions for an atheist 23-year-old, but ultimately they became totally compelling and required some investigation and some answers. Ultimately, out of that, it came to me that it makes a lot more sense to believe in God than to deny God's existence. A scientist isn't supposed to make assertions that you would call universal negatives, because you can never have enough evidence to do that, and yet that's what atheism calls you to do.
I surprised myself as I began to look at the pros and cons of belief versus nonbelief '-- that actually through science there seem to be a fair number of pointers, not proofs, but pointers toward the idea of a creator and a creator who was not only interested in creating something out of nothing, but also in having that something ultimately give rise to creatures with big brains who would have consciousness, who would have self-awareness, and who would have curiosity not just about nature, but also about who they are and what kind of spiritual creatures they might be.
It took me a couple of years to get through those many thickets of intellectual debate, but it led me then at that point in my life to see science and spirituality as not in conflict but actually quite compatible, quite harmonious, quite self- and co-reinforcing. People said my head was going to explode, that it would not be possible to both study genetics and read the Bible. I've never found a problem with this at all, despite the way in which some scientists have caricatured faith to make it seem incompatible. Most of those caricatures don't resemble my faith.
Similarly, the way that some people have caricatured science as a threat to God, that doesn't resemble the science that I'm doing. It's been a terrible, I think, consequence of our last century or so that this polarization has been accepted as inevitable when I see it not at all in that light. There are many interesting scientific questions that tap into the kind of area that you're asking about, like what is the neuroscientific basis of consciousness? What is the neuroscientific basis of a spiritual experience? If there is such a neuroscientific basis, does that make this spiritual experience less meaningful or more so? Those are fun conversations to have.
Very few people seem to stand publicly and effectively at the juncture of those two worlds. There are certainly some, but not as many as one might expect. From your perspective as head of the NIH, and someone who has also won the Templeton Prize '-- when you lie in bed at night, what gives you hope about the next 50 or 100 years for humanity? What are the really hard problems that test your optimism and your faith?Boy, that's a big one. What is our future? I don't want to see a future where this science-versus-faith conflict leads to a winner and a loser. If science wins and faith loses, we end up with a purely technological society that has lost its moorings and foundation for morality. I think that could be a very harsh and potentially violent outcome. But I don't want to see a society either where the argument that science is not to be trusted because it doesn't agree with somebody's interpretation of a Bible verse wins out. That forces us back into a circumstance where many of the gifts that God has given us through intellectual curiosity and the tools of science have to be put away.
So I want to see a society that flourishes by bringing these worldviews together by being careful about which worldview is most likely to give you the truth, depending on the question you're asking.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
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Francis Collins - Wikipedia
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 13:51
Francis Sellers Collins (born April 14, 1950) is an American physician-geneticist who discovered the genes associated with a number of diseases and led the Human Genome Project. He is director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, United States.
Before being appointed director of the NIH, Collins led the Human Genome Project and other genomics research initiatives as director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), one of the 27 institutes and centers at NIH. Before joining NHGRI, he earned a reputation as a gene hunter at the University of Michigan.[1] He has been elected to the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Science.
Collins also has written a number of books on science, medicine, and religion, including the New York Times bestseller, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief. After leaving the directorship of NHGRI and before becoming director of the NIH, he founded and served as president of The BioLogos Foundation, which promotes discourse on the relationship between science and religion and advocates the perspective that belief in Christianity can be reconciled with acceptance of evolution and science, especially through the advancement of evolutionary creation.[2] In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Collins to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.[3]
Early years Edit Collins was born in Staunton, Virginia, the youngest of four sons of Fletcher Collins and Margaret James Collins. Raised on a small farm in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, Collins was home schooled until the sixth grade.[4] He attended Robert E. Lee High School in Staunton, Virginia. Through most of his high school and college years he aspired to be a chemist, and he had little interest in what he then considered the "messy" field of biology. What he referred to as his "formative education" was received at the University of Virginia, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry in 1970. He went on to graduate as a Doctor of Philosophy in physical chemistry at Yale University in 1974.[5] While at Yale, a course in biochemistry sparked his interest in the subject. After consulting with his mentor from the University of Virginia, Carl Trindle, he changed fields and enrolled in medical school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, earning a Doctor of Medicine degree there in 1977.[6]
From 1978 to 1981, Collins served a residency and chief residency in internal medicine at North Carolina Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill. He then returned to Yale, where he was a Fellow in Human Genetics at the medical school from 1981 to 1984.
Genetics research Edit At Yale, Collins worked under the direction of Sherman Weissman, and in 1984 the two published a paper, "Directional cloning of DNA fragments at a large distance from an initial probe: a circularization method".[7] The method described was named chromosome jumping, to emphasize the contrast with an older and much more time-consuming method of copying DNA fragments called chromosome walking.[8]
Collins joined the University of Michigan faculty in 1984, rising to the rank of professor in internal medicine and human genetics. His gene-hunting approach, which he named "positional cloning",[9][10] developed into a powerful[11] component of modern molecular genetics.
Several scientific teams worked in the 1970s and 1980s to identify genes and their loci as a cause of cystic fibrosis. Progress was modest until 1985, when Lap-Chee Tsui and colleagues at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children identified the locus for the gene.[12] It was then determined that a shortcut was needed to speed the process of identification, so Tsui contacted Collins, who agreed to collaborate with the Toronto team and share his chromosome-jumping technique. The gene was identified in June 1989,[13][14] and the results were published in the journal Science on September 8, 1989.[15] This identification was followed by other genetic discoveries made by Collins and a variety of collaborators. They included isolation of the genes for Huntington's disease,[16] neurofibromatosis,[17][18] multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1,[19] inv(16) AML[20] and Hutchinson''Gilford progeria syndrome.[21]
Genomics Edit In 1993 National Institutes of Health Director Bernadine Healy appointed Collins to succeed James D. Watson as director of the National Center for Human Genome Research, which became National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) in 1997. As director, he oversaw the International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium,[22] which was the group that successfully carried out the Human Genome Project.[23]
In 1994 Collins founded NHGRI's Division of Intramural Research,[24] a collection of investigator-directed laboratories that conduct genome research on the NIH campus.
In June 2000 Collins was joined by President Bill Clinton and biologist Craig Venter in making the announcement of a working draft of the human genome.[25] He stated that "It is humbling for me, and awe-inspiring to realize that we have caught the first glimpse of our own instruction book, previously known only to God."[26][27][28] An initial analysis was published in February 2001, and scientists worked toward finishing the reference version of the human genome sequence by 2003, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of James D. Watson and Francis Crick's publication of the structure of DNA.
Another major activity at NHGRI during his tenure as director was the creation of the haplotype map of the human genome. This International HapMap Project produced a catalog of human genetic variations'--called single-nucleotide polymorphisms'--which is now being used to discover variants correlated with disease risk. Among the labs engaged in that effort is Collins' own lab at NHGRI, which has sought to identify and understand the genetic variations that influence the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
In addition to his basic genetic research and scientific leadership, Collins is known for his close attention to ethical and legal issues in genetics. He has been a strong advocate for protecting the privacy of genetic information and has served as a national leader in securing the passage of the federal Genetic Information and Nondiscrimination Act, which prohibits gene-based discrimination in employment and health insurance.[29] In 2013, spurred by concerns over the publication of the genome of the widely used HeLa cell line derived from the late Henrietta Lacks, Collins and other NIH leaders worked with the Lacks family to reach an agreement to protect their privacy, while giving researchers controlled access to the genomic data.[30]
Building on his own experiences as a physician volunteer in a rural missionary hospital in Nigeria,[31] Collins is also very interested in opening avenues for genome research to benefit the health of people living in developing nations. For example, in 2010, he helped establish an initiative called Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa)[32] to advance African capacity and expertise in genomic science.
Collins announced his resignation as NHGRI director on May 28, 2008, but has continued to lead an active lab there with a research focus[33] on progeria and type 2 diabetes.[34]
NIH director Edit Nomination and confirmation Edit Collins with Health and Human Services Secretary
Kathleen Sebelius after swearing-in ceremony
On July 8, 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Collins as director of the National Institutes of Health,[35] and the Senate unanimously confirmed him for the post. He was sworn in by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on August 17, 2009.[36]
Science writer Jocelyn Kaiser opined that Collins was "known as a skilled administrator and excellent communicator," that Obama's nomination "did not come as a big surprise" and that the appointment "ignited a volley of flattering remarks from researchers and biomedical groups." Yet, she wrote, Collins "does have his critics," some of them who were concerned with the new director's "outspoken Christian faith."[37]
Washington Post staffer David Brown wrote, however, that Collins' status as a "born-again Christian . . . may help him build bridges with those who view some gene-based research as a potential threat to religious values."[38] Collins' appointment was welcomed by the chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science[38] and by Bernadine Healy, the former head of the National Institutes of Health.[39]
In October 2009, shortly after his nomination as NIH director, Collins stated in an interview in The New York Times: "I have made it clear that I have no religious agenda for the N.I.H., and I think the vast majority of scientists have been reassured by that and have moved on."[40]
On October 1, 2009, in the second of his four appearances on The Colbert Report, Collins discussed his leadership at the NIH and other topics such as personalized medicine and stem cell research. And, in November 2011, Collins was included on The New Republic's list of Washington's most powerful, least famous people. Collins appeared on the series finale of The Colbert Report, participating in a chorus with several other famous people singing "We'll Meet Again".[41][42]
On June 6, 2017, President Donald Trump announced his selection of Collins to continue to serve as the NIH Director.
Projects Edit Collins was instrumental in establishing the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) on December 23, 2011.[43] In January 2013, Collins created two senior scientific positions on Big Data [44] and the diversity of the scientific workforce.[45] Other projects he took on early in his tenure included increased support for Alzheimer's disease research, which was announced in May 2012;[46] the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, announced by President Obama and Collins on April 2, 2013, at the White House; and, in February 2014, the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP), a public-private partnership between NIH, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 10 biopharmaceutical firms, and multiple non-profit organizations.
In 2014, Collins worked with the larger biomedical research community to create principles and guidelines to foster rigor and reproducibility[47] in preclinical research, including incorporating sex as a biological variable to ensure differences in treatment response between men and women are addressed.[48]
In January 2015 President Obama announced the NIH-led Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI), later renamed the All of Us Research Program, in his State of the Union address.[49] All of Us seeks to extend precision medicine to all diseases by building a national research cohort of 1 million or more U.S. participants.
In other precedent-setting actions during his time as NIH director, Collins announced in November 2015 that NIH will no longer support any biomedical research involving chimpanzees.[50] In December 2015, Collins and other NIH leaders released a detailed plan that charted a course for NIH's efforts over the ensuing five years The NIH-Wide Strategic Plan, Fiscal Years 2016-2020: Turning Discovery Into Health was aimed at ensuring the agency remains well positioned to capitalize on new opportunities for scientific exploration and to address new challenges for human health.[51]
In January 2016, President Obama announced a new initiative to galvanize the nation's research efforts against cancer.[52] Fueled by an additional $680 million in the proposed fiscal year 2017 budget for NIH, the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative aims to accelerate progress toward the next generation of interventions to reduce cancer incidence and improve patient outcomes.[53] In 2016, Collins instituted a number of clinical trial reforms[54] to enhance protection of participants in research and improve reporting of research results in[55] In 2017, Collins implemented the Next Generation Researchers Initiative[56] to improve the odds for early investigators to win NIH grants.[57]
To support the Administration's Stop Opioid Abuse Initiative, Collins launched the NIH HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-termSM) Initiative in April 2018.[58] The NIH HEAL InitiativeSM bolsters research across NIH to improve treatments for opioid misuse and addiction and enhance pain management. Also in 2018, Collins launched an initiative to address sexual harassment in science and change a culture that sends messages to women and other underrepresented groups that they don't belong in biomedical research.[59]
Music Edit Collins' love of guitar playing and motorcycle riding is often mentioned in articles about him.[60]
While directing NHGRI, he formed a rock band with other NIH scientists. Sometimes the band, called the Directors, dueled with a rock band from Johns Hopkins University led by cancer researcher Bert Vogelstein. Lyrics of the Directors' songs included spoofs of rock and gospel classics re-written to address the challenges of contemporary biomedical research.[61] Collins has performed at TEDMED 2012, StandUpToCancer,[62] The 2017 Southern Methodist University Commencement[63] and Rock Stars of Science.[64]
His passion for music also inspired him to partner with the Kennedy Center to expand the Sound Health Initiative, which was announced in February 2017.[65] Sound Health aims to expand current knowledge and explore ways to enhance the potential for music as therapy for neurological and other disorders.[66]
Awards and honors Edit While leading the National Human Genome Research Institute, Collins was elected to the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences. He was awarded the Canada Gairdner International Award in 1990. He was a Kilby International Awards recipient in 1993.[67] Collins received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement in 1994.[68] He received the Biotechnology Heritage Award with J. Craig Venter in 2001, from the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and the Chemical Heritage Foundation.[69][70] Collins and Venter shared the "Biography of the Year" title from A&E Network in 2000.[71] In 2005, Collins and Venter were honored as two of "America's Best Leaders" by U.S. News & World Report and the Harvard University Center for Public Leadership.[72]
In 2005 Collins received the William Allan Award from the American Society of Human Genetics. In 2007 he was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.[73] In 2008 he was awarded the Inamori Ethics Prize[74] and National Medal of Science.[75] In the same year, Collins won the Trotter Prize where he delivered a lecture called "The Language of God".
Collins also received the Albany Medical Center Prize in 2010 and the Pro Bono Humanum Award of the Galien Foundation in 2012, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Public Service Award in 2017,[76] the Pontifical Key Scientific Award in 2018,[77] and the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize in 2018.[78] In 2020 he received the Templeton Prize.[79]
Views Edit Christianity Edit By graduate school, Collins considered himself an atheist. However, a conversation with a hospital patient led him to question his lack of religious views, and he investigated various faiths. He familiarized himself with the evidence for and against God in cosmology, and on the recommendation of a Methodist minister used Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis as a foundation to develop his religious views. He believes that people cannot be converted to Christianity by reason and argument alone, and that the final stage of conversion entails a "leap of faith".[80] After several years of deliberation, he finally converted to Christianity during a trip to the Cascade Mountains, where he describes a striking image of a frozen waterfall as removing his final resistance, resulting in his conversion the following morning.[80] He has described himself as a "serious Christian".[29]
In his 2006 book The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, Collins wrote that scientific discoveries were an "opportunity to worship" and that he rejected both Young Earth creationism and intelligent design. His own belief, he wrote, was theistic evolution or evolutionary creation, which he preferred to call BioLogos. He wrote that one can "think of DNA as an instructional script, a software program, sitting in the nucleus of the cell".[81] He appeared in December 2006 on The Colbert Report television showand in a March 2007 Fresh Air radio interview to discuss this book.[82][83] In an interview with D. J. Grothe on the Point of Inquiry podcast, he said that the overall aim of the book was to show that "one can be intellectually in a rigorous position and argue that science and faith can be compatible", and that he was prompted to write the book because "most people are seeking a possible harmony between these worldviews [science and faith], and it seems rather sad that we hear so little about this possibility.[84] Collins said he had been a Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, and Episcopalian, emphasizing that denominational differences were not essential to him.[85] He recalled that, growing up, he participated in the choir of an Episcopal church.[86]
Collins is a critic of intelligent design, and for this reason he was not asked to participate in the 2008 documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. Walt Ruloff, a producer for the film, claimed that by rejecting intelligent design, Collins was "toeing the party line", a claim which Collins called "just ludicrous".[87] In an interview he stated that "intelligent design is headed for collapse in the not too distant future" and that "science class ought to be about science, and opening the door to religious perspectives in that setting is a big mistake."[84] In 2007, Collins founded the BioLogos Foundation to "contribute to the public voice that represents the harmony of science and faith". He served as the foundation's president until he was confirmed as director of the NIH.[88] Collins has also spoken at the Veritas Forum on the relationship between science and religion and the existence of God.[89]
Christopher Hitchens referred to Francis Collins as "one of the greatest living Americans" and stated that Collins was one of the most devout believers he had ever met.[90] He further stated that Collins was sequencing the genome of the cancer that would ultimately claim Hitchens's life, and that their friendship despite their differing opinion on religion was an example of the greatest armed truce in modern times.
Agnosticism Edit In an interview with National Geographic in February 2007, writer John Horgan criticized Collins' description of agnosticism as "a cop-out". In response, Collins clarified his position on agnosticism so as to exclude:
"earnest agnostics who have considered the evidence and still don't find an answer. I was reacting to the agnosticism I see in the scientific community, which has not been arrived at by a careful examination of the evidence. I went through a phase when I was a casual agnostic, and I am perhaps too quick to assume that others have no more depth than I did."[91]
Abortion Edit In a 1998 interview with Scientific American, Collins stated that he is "intensely uncomfortable with abortion as a solution to anything" and does not "perceive a precise moment at which life begins other than the moment of conception". However, in the same interview it was said that Collins also "does not advocate changing the law".[92]
Books Edit Principles of Medical Genetics, 2nd Edition, with T.D. Gelehrter and D. Ginsburg (Williams & Wilkins, 1998)The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief (Free Press, 2006)The Language of Life: DNA and the Revolution in Personalized Medicine (HarperCollins, published in early 2010)Belief: Readings on the Reason for Faith (HarperOne, March 2, 2010)The Language of Science and Faith: Straight Answers to Genuine Questions with Karl Giberson IVP Books (February 15, 2011)See also Edit List of events in National Human Genome Research Institute historyScience and religionReferences Edit ^ "Gene Therapy Cures Cystic Fibrosis In Lab". tribunedigital-chicagotribune . Retrieved January 5, 2018 . ^ "About The BioLogos Foundation". The Biologos Foundation . Retrieved May 3, 2014 . We embrace the historical Christian faith, upholding the authority and inspiration of the Bible. We affirm evolutionary creation, recognizing God as Creator of all life over billions of years. We seek truth, ever learning as we study the natural world and the Bible. ^ "Human genome and embryology experts named to Pontifical Academy of Sciences". Catholic News Agency . Retrieved January 5, 2018 . ^ Google Book Search The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, Chapter 1 ^ Collins, Francis Sellers (1974). Semiclassical theory of vibrationally inelastic-scattering, with application to proton + hydrogen molecule (Ph.D.). Yale University. OCLC 702791906 '' via ProQuest. ^ "225 Years of Tar Heels: Francis Collins | UNC-Chapel Hill". The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. March 25, 2019 . Retrieved May 11, 2020 . ^ Francis S. Collins; Sherman M. Weissman (November 1984). "Directional cloning of DNA fragments at a large distance from an initial probe: a circularization method". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 81 (21): 6812''6816. doi:10.1073/pnas.81.21.6812. PMC 392022 . PMID 6093122. ^ Leon. E. Rosenberg (2006). "Introductory Speech for Francis S. Collins". Am J Hum Genet. 79 (3): 419''20. doi:10.1086/500276. PMC 1559551 . PMID 16909377. ^ "Positional cloning of human disease genes: a reversal of scientific priorities" (PDF) . University of Alberta, Department of Biological Science. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 25, 2012 . Retrieved October 16, 2011 . ^ Collins F (1992). "Positional Cloning: Let's not call it reverse anymore". Nature Genetics. 1 (1): 3''6. doi:10.1038/ng0492-3. PMID 1301996. ^ Nelson, David L. (June 1995). "Positional cloning reaches maturity". Curr Opin Genet Dev. 5 (3): 298''303. doi:10.1016/0959-437X(95)80042-5. PMID 7549422. ^ Tsui, LC; Buchwald M; Barker D (November 29, 1985). "Cystic fibrosis locus defined by a genetically linked polymorphic DNA marker". Science. 230 (4729): 1054''1057. Bibcode:1985Sci...230.1054T. CiteSeerX . doi:10.1126/science.2997931. PMID 2997931. ^ Pines, Maya (2008). "Blazing a Genetic Trail/.../Jumping Toward the Gene". Howard Hughes Medical Institute . Retrieved October 16, 2011 . ^ Pines, Maya (2008). "Stalking a Lethal Gene:Discovering the Gene for Cystic Fibrosis". Howard Hughes Medical Institute . Retrieved October 16, 2011 . ^ Marx, J. (1989). "The cystic fibrosis gene is found". Science. 245 (4921): 923''5. Bibcode:1989Sci...245..923M. doi:10.1126/science.2772644. PMID 2772644. ^ MacDonald, M (1993). "A novel gene containing a trinucleotide repeat that is expanded and unstable on Huntington's disease chromosomes" (PDF) . Cell. 72 (6): 971''83. doi:10.1016/0092-8674(93)90585-E. hdl:2027.42/30901. PMID 8458085. ^ Rubin, Raphael; Strayer, David S. (2008). Rubin's Pathology: Clinicopathologic Foundation of Medicine (5th ed.). Baltimore: Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. pp. 201''3. ISBN 978-0-7817-9516-6. ^ Fauci; et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine (Small textbook) (16th ed.). p. 2453. ^ Chandrasekharappa, S. C.; Guru, S. C.; Manickam, P; Olufemi, S. E.; Collins, F. S.; Emmert-Buck, M. R.; Debelenko, L. V.; Zhuang, Z; Lubensky, I. A.; Liotta, L. A.; Crabtree, J. S.; Wang, Y; Roe, B. A.; Weisemann, J; Boguski, M. S.; Agarwal, S. K.; Kester, M. B.; Kim, Y. S.; Heppner, C; Dong, Q; Spiegel, A. M.; Burns, A. L.; Marx, S. J. (1997). "Positional Cloning of the Gene for Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia-Type 1". Science. 276 (5311): 404''7. doi:10.1126/science.276.5311.404. PMID 9103196. ^ Science 261 (5124): 1041''4 ^ Eriksson, Maria; Brown, W. Ted; Gordon, Leslie B.; Glynn, Michael W.; Singer, Joel; Scott, Laura; Erdos, Michael R.; Robbins, Christiane M.; Moses, Tracy Y.; Berglund, Peter; Dutra, Amalia; Pak, Evgenia; Durkin, Sandra; Csoka, Antonei B.; Boehnke, Michael; Glover, Thomas W.; Collins, Francis S. (2003). "Recurrent de novo point mutations in lamin a cause Hutchinson''Gilford progeria syndrome". Nature. 423 (6937): 293''8. Bibcode:2003Natur.423..293E. doi:10.1038/nature01629. hdl:2027.42/62684 . PMID 12714972. ^ "IHG Sequencing Centers". National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) . Retrieved March 29, 2018 . ^ "Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. Biography and Interview". American Academy of Achievement. ^ National Human Genome Research Institute (ed.). "The Division of Intramural Research" . Retrieved October 16, 2011 . ^ Jamie Shreeve, "The Blueprint of Life Archived November 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine," U.S. News and World Report, 10/31/05, URL accessed January 30, 2007. ^ Simon, Stephanie. "Faithful to God, Science". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved May 3, 2014 . "It is humbling for me, and awe-inspiring," he said, standing at Clinton's side, "to realize that we have caught the first glimpse of our own instruction book, previously known only to God." That moment moved Collins -- who is married and has two grown daughters '-- to talk more publicly about his faith and to write the book. "It's been a bit like taking a public bath," he said. ^ Lennox, John C. (2009). God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?. Lion Books. p. 176. ISBN 9780745953717. At the public announcement of the completion of the Human Genome Project, its director, Francis Collins, said: 'It is humbling for me and awe-inspiring to realize that we have caught the first glimpse of our own instruction book, previously known only to God.' ^ "President Clinton, British Prime Minister Tony Blair Deliver Remarks on Human Genome Milestone". CNN. June 26, 2000 . Retrieved May 3, 2014 . ^ a b "Transcript, Bob Abernethy's interview with Dr. Francis Collins, director of the Human Genome Project at the National Institutes of Health". PBS, Religion and Ethics Newsweekly . Retrieved October 16, 2011 . ^ "The HeLa Genome: An Agreement on Privacy and Access". June 13, 2016 . Retrieved March 29, 2018 . ^ "Scientist at work: Francis S. Collins; unlocking the secrets of the Genome". The New York Times. November 1993. ^ National Institutes of Health, "NIH and Wellcome Trust Announce Partnership to Support Population-Based Genome Studies in Africa," NIH News, June 22, 2010 ^ "Principal Investigators". NIH Intramural Research Program . Retrieved July 30, 2019 . ^ Chemical & Engineering News, Vol. 86 No. 31, August 4, 2008, p. 33, "Francis Collins leaves NIH" ^ " " President Obama Announces Intent to Nominate Francis Collins as NIH Director," Press Office, the White House, July 8, 2009". Archived from the original on September 21, 2012 . Retrieved March 29, 2018 . ^ Secretary Sebelius Announces Senate Confirmation of Dr. Francis Collins as Director of the National Institutes of Health Archived September 21, 2012, at WebCite 7-Aug-09 ^ Kaiser, J. (2009). "White House Taps Former Genome Chief Francis Collins as NIH Director". Science. 325 (5938): 250''1. doi:10.1126/science.325_250a. PMID 19608881. ^ a b "Obama picks Francis Collins as new NIH Director". Washington Post. July 8, 2009 . Retrieved October 16, 2011 . ^ Francis Collins Leader for the 21st Century NIH US News & World Report 9-June-09 ^ Harris, Gardiner (October 6, 2009). "For N.I.H. Chief, Issues of Identity and Culture". The New York Times . Retrieved May 2, 2010 . ^ The Editors (November 3, 2011). "Washington's Most Powerful, Least Famous People". The New Republic . Retrieved October 25, 2011 . ^ "Francis Collins". The Colbert Report. October 1, 2009 . Retrieved October 18, 2009 . ^ "NIH establishes National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences". September 18, 2015 . Retrieved March 29, 2018 . ^ Sarrao, John Louis (June 4, 2018). "Prepared Statement of Dr. John Sarrao, Principal Associate Director, Science, Technology & Engineering, Los Alamos National Laboratory". doi:10.2172/1440505. OSTI 1440505. ^ Valantine, Hannah A. (November 2017). "50 Years to Gender Parity: Can STEM Afford to Wait?: A Cardiologist and NIH Chief Officer of Scientific Workforce Diversity Reflects on What It Will Take to Keep Women in Biomedicine". IEEE Pulse. 8 (6): 46''48. doi:10.1109/mpul.2017.2750839. ISSN 2154-2287. PMID 29155378. ^ " " Researchers, Advocates Gather to Accelerate Alzheimer's Research," NIH Record, June 22, 2012". Archived from the original on March 26, 2013 . Retrieved August 30, 2013 . ^ Collins, Francis S.; Tabak, Lawrence A. (January 30, 2014). "Policy: NIH plans to enhance reproducibility". Nature News. 505 (7485): 612''3. doi:10.1038/505612a. PMC 4058759 . PMID 24482835. ^ Clayton, Janine A.; Collins, Francis S. (May 15, 2014). "Policy: NIH to balance sex in cell and animal studies". Nature News. 509 (7500): 282''283. doi:10.1038/509282a. PMC 5101948 . PMID 24834516. ^ "FACT SHEET: President Obama's Precision Medicine Initiative". January 30, 2015 . Retrieved April 29, 2016 . ^ "NIH to reduce significantly the use of chimpanzees in research". July 28, 2015 . Retrieved March 29, 2018 . ^ "NIH-Wide Strategic Plan". National Institutes of Health (NIH). October 6, 2015 . Retrieved April 29, 2016 . ^ "FACT SHEET: Investing in the National Cancer Moonshot". February 1, 2016 . Retrieved April 29, 2016 . ^ "Blue Ribbon Panel Announced to Help Guide Vice President Biden's National Cancer Moonshot Initiative". National Institutes of Health (NIH). April 4, 2016 . Retrieved April 29, 2016 . ^ Collins, Francis S.; Lauer, Michael S.; Hudson, Kathy L. (October 4, 2016). "Toward a New Era of Trust and Transparency in Clinical Trials". JAMA. 316 (13): 1353''1354. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.14668. ISSN 0098-7484. PMC 5101947 . PMID 27636028. ^ "HHS takes steps to provide more information about clinical trials to the public". National Institutes of Health (NIH). September 14, 2016 . Retrieved July 30, 2019 . ^ "Next Generation Researchers Initiative |". . Retrieved July 30, 2019 . ^ "Launching the Next Generation Researchers Initiative to Strengthen the Biomedical Research Enterprise". National Institutes of Health (NIH). June 8, 2017 . Retrieved July 30, 2019 . ^ "NIH launches HEAL Initiative, doubles funding to accelerate scientific solutions to stem national opioid epidemic". National Institutes of Health (NIH). April 3, 2018 . Retrieved July 30, 2019 . ^ "Changing the culture of science to end sexual harassment". National Institutes of Health (NIH). September 17, 2018 . Retrieved July 30, 2019 . ^ *"Jesus Goes to Bethesda: Just how religious is Obama's nominee for director of the NIH?". Chris Wilson. Slate. July 9, 2009 ^ *"Science Writers Entertained By High-Powered Battle Of The Bands" Archived July 3, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. The NIH Catalyst. Celia Hooper. Jan/Feb 1998. ^ Kaplan, Karen (September 18, 2010). "To scientists, he's the real rock star". Los Angeles Times. ^ Kaplan, Karen (May 20, 2017). "NIH Director Francis Collins addresses SMU students at 102nd Commencement" . Retrieved June 4, 2017 . ^ [1] Rock S.O.S. program, 2009 ^ "Sound Health Announcement" (PDF) . ^ "Sound Health". National Institutes of Health (NIH) . Retrieved July 30, 2019 . ^ Nelson, Richard William (September 18, 2012). "The Extinction of "Junk DNA " ". Then & Now . Retrieved November 30, 2018 . ^ "Golden Plate Awardees of the American Academy of Achievement". American Academy of Achievement. ^ "Biotechnology Heritage Award". Science History Institute . Retrieved March 22, 2018 . ^ Strickland, Debbie (June 13, 2001). "Genomic Leaders Receive 2001 Biotechnology Heritage Award". BIO . Retrieved February 5, 2014 . ^ "Montgomery County, Maryland, Press Releases Archived October 13, 2006, at the Wayback Machine," December 19, 2000, URL accessed January 30, 2007. ^ "U.S. News & World Report Archived January 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine," 2005, URL accessed February 4, 2008. ^ "NIH Record '' Collins Wins Presidential Medal of Freedom". Archived from the original on May 28, 2010 . Retrieved August 2, 2010 . ^ "Inamori Ethics Prize, Past Recipients," Case Western Reserve University Archived September 10, 2012, at WebCite ^ "The President's National Medal of Science: Recipient Details - NSF - National Science Foundation". . Retrieved March 29, 2018 . ^ "FASEB > Home". . Retrieved July 30, 2019 . ^ jdyork. "2018 Pontifical Key Scientific Award". Global Health Care Initiative . Retrieved July 30, 2019 . ^ "Prize Recipients | Warren Alpert Foundation Prize". . Retrieved July 30, 2019 . ^ Templeton Prize 2020 ^ a b "The believer". August 7, 2006 . Retrieved March 29, 2018 . ^ Collins, Francis (September 4, 2008). The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9781847396150. ^ "Francis Collins". The Colbert Report. December 6, 2006 . Retrieved March 15, 2020 . ^ "Francis Collins on 'The Language of God ' ". Fresh Air. March 29, 2007. ^ a b D.J. Grothe (August 31, 2007). "Dr. Francis Collins - The Language of God". Point of Inquiry . Retrieved September 3, 2015 . ^ "July 21, 2006 ~ Dr. Francis S. Collins Interview | July 21, 2006 | Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly | PBS". Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly. July 21, 2006 . Retrieved May 9, 2020 . ^ "The Question of God . Other Voices . Francis Collins | PBS". . Retrieved May 9, 2020 . ^ Dean, Cornelia (September 27, 2007). "Scientists Feel Miscast in Film on Life's Origin". The New York Times . Retrieved May 2, 2010 . ^ BioLogos website Archived September 2, 2009, at the Wayback Machine ^ "Francis Collins - The Veritas Forum". . Retrieved March 29, 2018 . ^ ilisbaani (April 23, 2011). "Christopher Hitchens says "I'm dying. " " . Retrieved March 29, 2018 '' via YouTube. ^ Francis Collins: The Scientist as Believer Feb. 2007 ^ Beardsley T (1998). "Profile: Where Science and Religion Meet". Scientific American. 278 (2): 28''29. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0298-28. PMID 9490474. Further reading Edit "Dr. Francis S. Collins: On The Trail Of Disease Genes". Businessweek. John Carey. May 9, 2005"Collins Forms BioLogos Foundation". Newsletter of the American Scientific Affiliation. Jul/Aug 2009External links Edit The BioLogos FoundationNIH BioNHRGI BioAppearances on C-SPANFrancis Collins at TED
The Chronicles of Narnia - Wikipedia CS Lewis his inspiration!!
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 14:39
The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of fantasy novels by British author C. S. Lewis. Written by Lewis, illustrated by Pauline Baynes, and originally published in London between 1950 and 1956, The Chronicles of Narnia has been adapted for radio, television, the stage, and film. The series is set in the fictional realm of Narnia, a fantasy world of magic, mythical beasts, and talking animals. It narrates the adventures of various children who play central roles in the unfolding history of the Narnian world. Except in The Horse and His Boy, the protagonists are all children from the real world who are magically transported to Narnia, where they are sometimes called upon by the lion Aslan to protect Narnia from evil. The books span the entire history of Narnia, from its creation in The Magician's Nephew to its eventual destruction in The Last Battle.
The Chronicles of Narnia is considered a classic of children's literature and is Lewis's best-selling work, having sold over 100 million copies in 47 languages.
Background and conception Edit Although Lewis originally conceived what would become The Chronicles of Narnia in 1939 (the picture of a Faun with parcels in a snowy wood has a history dating to 1914),[2] he did not finish writing the first book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe until 1949. The Magician's Nephew, the penultimate book to be published, but the last to be written, was completed in 1954. Lewis did not write the books in the order in which they were originally published, nor were they published in their current chronological order of presentation. The original illustrator, Pauline Baynes, created pen and ink drawings for the Narnia books that are still used in the editions published today. Lewis was awarded the 1956 Carnegie Medal for The Last Battle, the final book in the saga. The series was first referred to as The Chronicles of Narnia by fellow children's author Roger Lancelyn Green in March 1951, after he had read and discussed with Lewis his recently completed fourth book The Silver Chair, originally entitled Night under Narnia.
Lewis described the origin of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in an essay entitled "It All Began with a Picture":
The Lion all began with a picture of a Faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy wood. This picture had been in my mind since I was about sixteen. Then one day, when I was about forty, I said to myself: 'Let's try to make a story about it.'[2]Shortly before the start of World War II, many children were evacuated to the English countryside in anticipation of attacks on London and other major urban areas by Nazi Germany. As a result, on 2 September 1939, three school girls named Margaret, Mary and Katherine came to live at The Kilns in Risinghurst, Lewis's home three miles east of Oxford city centre. Lewis later suggested that the experience gave him a new appreciation of children and in late September[6] he began a children's story on an odd sheet of paper which has survived as part of another manuscript:
This book is about four children whose names were Ann, Martin, Rose and Peter. But it is most about Peter who was the youngest. They all had to go away from London suddenly because of Air Raids, and because Father, who was in the Army, had gone off to the War and Mother was doing some kind of war work. They were sent to stay with a kind of relation of Mother's who was a very old professor who lived all by himself in the country.In "It All Began With a Picture" C. S. Lewis continues:
At first, I had very little idea how the story would go. But then suddenly Aslan came bounding into it. I think I had been having a good many dreams of lions about that time. Apart from that, I don't know where the Lion came from or why he came. But once he was there, he pulled the whole story together, and soon he pulled the six other Narnian stories in after him.[2]Although Lewis pled ignorance about the source of his inspiration for Aslan, Jared Lobdell, digging into Lewis's history to explore the making of the series, suggests Charles Williams's 1931 novel The Place of the Lion as a likely influence.[8]
The manuscript for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was complete by the end of March 1949.
Name Edit The name Narnia is based on Narni, Italy, written in Latin as Narnia. Green wrote:
When Walter Hooper asked where he found the word 'Narnia', Lewis showed him Murray's Small Classical Atlas, ed. G.B. Grundy (1904), which he acquired when he was reading the classics with Mr [William T.] Kirkpatrick at Great Bookham [1914''1917]. On plate 8 of the Atlas is a map of ancient Italy. Lewis had underscored the name of a little town called Narnia, simply because he liked the sound of it. Narnia '-- or 'Narni' in Italian '-- is in Umbria, halfway between Rome and Assisi.[10]Publication history Edit The Chronicles of Narnia's seven books have been in continuous publication since 1956, selling over 100 million copies in 47 languages and with editions in Braille.[11][12][13]
The first five books were originally published in the United Kingdom by Geoffrey Bles. The first edition of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was released in London on 16 October 1950. Although three more books, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Horse and His Boy, were already complete, they were not released immediately at that time, but instead appeared (along with The Silver Chair) one at a time in each of the subsequent years (1951''1954). The last two books (The Magician's Nephew and The Last Battle) were published in the United Kingdom originally by The Bodley Head in 1955 and 1956.
In the United States, the publication rights were first owned by Macmillan Publishers, and later by HarperCollins. The two issued both hardcover and paperback editions of the series during their tenure as publishers, while at the same time Scholastic, Inc. produced paperback versions for sale primarily through direct mail order, book clubs, and book fairs. HarperCollins also published several one-volume collected editions containing the full text of the series. As noted below (see Reading order), the first American publisher, Macmillan, numbered the books in publication sequence, whereas HarperCollins, at the suggestion of Lewis's stepson, opted to use the series' internal chronological order when they won the rights to it in 1994. Scholastic switched the numbering of its paperback editions in 1994 to mirror that of HarperCollins.
Books Edit The seven books that make up The Chronicles of Narnia are presented here in order of original publication date:
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950) Edit The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, completed by the end of March 1949 and published by Geoffrey Bles in the United Kingdom on 16 October 1950, tells the story of four ordinary children: Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie, who have been evacuated to the English countryside from London following the outbreak of World War II. They discover a wardrobe in Professor Digory Kirke's house that leads to the magical land of Narnia. The Pevensie children help Aslan, a talking lion, save Narnia from the evil White Witch, who has reigned over the land of Narnia for a century of perpetual winter with no Christmas. The children become kings and queens of this new-found land and establish the Golden Age of Narnia, leaving a legacy to be rediscovered in later books.
Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia (1951) Edit Completed after Christmas 1949 and published on 15 October 1951, Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia tells the story of the Pevensie children's second trip to Narnia, a year after their first. They are drawn back by the power of Susan's horn, blown by Prince Caspian to summon help in his hour of need. Narnia as they knew it is no more, as 1,300 years have passed, their castle is in ruins, and all Narnians have retreated so far within themselves that only Aslan's magic can wake them. Caspian has fled into the woods to escape his uncle, Miraz, who has usurped the throne. The children set out once again to save Narnia.
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952) Edit Written between January and February 1950 and published on 15 September 1952, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader sees Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, along with their priggish cousin, Eustace Scrubb, return to Narnia, three years after their last departure. Once there, they join Caspian's voyage on the ship Dawn Treader to find the seven lords who were banished when Miraz took over the throne. This perilous journey brings them face to face with many wonders and dangers as they sail toward Aslan's country at the edge of the world.
The Silver Chair (1953) Edit Completed at the beginning of March 1951 and published 7 September 1953, The Silver Chair is the first Narnia book not involving the Pevensie children, focusing instead on Eustace. Several months after The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Aslan calls Eustace back to Narnia along with his classmate Jill Pole. They are given four signs to aid them in the search for Prince Caspian's son Rilian, who disappeared ten years earlier on a quest to avenge his mother's death. Fifty years have passed in Narnia since the events from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; Eustace is still a child, but Caspian, barely an adult in the previous book, is now an old man. Eustace and Jill, with the help of Puddleglum the Marsh-wiggle, face danger and betrayal on their quest to find Rilian.
The Horse and His Boy (1954) Edit Begun in March and completed at the end of July 1950, The Horse and His Boy was published on 6 September 1954. The story takes place during the reign of the Pevensies in Narnia, an era which begins and ends in the last chapter of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The protagonists, a young boy named Shasta and a talking horse named Bree, both begin in bondage in the country of Calormen. By "chance", they meet and plan their return to Narnia and freedom. Along the way they meet Aravis and her talking horse Hwin, who are also fleeing to Narnia.
The Magician's Nephew (1955) Edit Completed in February 1954and published by Bodley Head in London on 2 May 1955, The Magician's Nephew serves as a prequel and presents Narnia's origin story: how Aslan created the world and how evil first entered it. Digory Kirke and his friend Polly Plummer stumble into different worlds by experimenting with magic rings given to them by Digory's uncle. In the dying world of Charn they awaken Queen Jadis, and another world turns out to be the beginnings of the Narnian world (where Jadis later becomes the White Witch). The story is set in 1900, when Digory was a 12-year-old boy. He is a middle-aged professor by the time he hosts the Pevensie children in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe 40 years later.
The Last Battle (1956) Edit Completed in March 1953 and published 4 September 1956, The Last Battle chronicles the end of the world of Narnia. Jill and Eustace return to save Narnia from the ape Shift, who tricks Puzzle the donkey into impersonating the lion Aslan, thereby precipitating a showdown between the Calormenes and King Tirian. This leads to the end of Narnia as it is known throughout the series, but allows Aslan to lead the characters to the "true" Narnia.
Reading order Edit Fans of the series often have strong opinions over the order in which the books should be read. The issue revolves around the placement of The Magician's Nephew and The Horse and His Boy in the series. Both are set significantly earlier in the story of Narnia than their publication order and fall somewhat outside the main story arc connecting the others. The reading order of the other five books is not disputed.
A 1970 Collier-Macmillan edition paperback boxed set (cover art by
Roger Hane), where the books are presented in order of original publication
When first published, the books were not numbered. The first American publisher, Macmillan, enumerated them according to their original publication order, while some early British editions specified the internal chronological order. When HarperCollins took over the series rights in 1994, they adopted the internal chronological order. To make the case for the internal chronological order, Lewis's stepson, Douglas Gresham, quoted Lewis's 1957 reply to a letter from an American fan who was having an argument with his mother about the order:
I think I agree with your [chronological] order for reading the books more than with your mother's. The series was not planned beforehand as she thinks. When I wrote The Lion I did not know I was going to write any more. Then I wrote P. Caspian as a sequel and still didn't think there would be any more, and when I had done The Voyage I felt quite sure it would be the last, but I found I was wrong. So perhaps it does not matter very much in which order anyone read them. I'm not even sure that all the others were written in the same order in which they were published.In the 2005 HarperCollins adult editions of the books, the publisher cites this letter to assert Lewis's preference for the numbering they adopted by including this notice on the copyright page:
Although The Magician's Nephew was written several years after C. S. Lewis first began The Chronicles of Narnia, he wanted it to be read as the first book in the series. HarperCollins is happy to present these books in the order in which Professor Lewis preferred.Paul Ford cites several scholars who have weighed in against this view, and continues, "most scholars disagree with this decision and find it the least faithful to Lewis's deepest intentions". Scholars and readers who appreciate the original order believe that Lewis was simply being gracious to his youthful correspondent and that he could have changed the books' order in his lifetime had he so desired.[24] They maintain that much of the magic of Narnia comes from the way the world is gradually presented in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe '' that the mysterious wardrobe, as a narrative device, is a much better introduction to Narnia than The Magician's Nephew, where the word "Narnia" appears in the first paragraph as something already familiar to the reader. Moreover, they say, it is clear from the texts themselves that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was intended to be read first. When Aslan is first mentioned in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, for example, the narrator says that "None of the children knew who Aslan was, any more than you do" '-- which is nonsensical if one has already read The Magician's Nephew. Other similar textual examples are also cited.[26]
Doris Meyer, author of C. S. Lewis in Context and Bareface: A guide to C. S. Lewis, writes that rearranging the stories chronologically "lessens the impact of the individual stories" and "obscures the literary structures as a whole". Peter Schakel devotes an entire chapter to this topic in his book Imagination and the Arts in C. S. Lewis: Journeying to Narnia and Other Worlds, and in Reading with the Heart: The Way into Narnia he writes:
The only reason to read The Magician's Nephew first [...] is for the chronological order of events, and that, as every story teller knows, is quite unimportant as a reason. Often the early events in a sequence have a greater impact or effect as a flashback, told after later events which provide background and establish perspective. So it is [...] with the Chronicles. The artistry, the archetypes, and the pattern of Christian thought all make it preferable to read the books in the order of their publication.Main characters Edit Aslan Edit Aslan, the Great Lion, is the eponymous lion of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and his role in Narnia is developed throughout the remaining books. He is also the only character to appear in all seven books. Aslan is a talking lion, the King of Beasts, son of the Emperor-Over-the-Sea. He is a wise, compassionate, magical authority (both temporal and spiritual) who serves as mysterious and benevolent guide to the human children who visit, as well as being the guardian and saviour of Narnia. C. S. Lewis described Aslan as an alternative version of Jesus as the form in which Christ might have appeared in an alternative reality.[28][citation not found ][29]
Pevensie family Edit The four Pevensie siblings are the main human protagonists of The Chronicles of Narnia. Varying combinations of some or all of them appear in five of the seven novels. They are introduced in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (although we do not learn their surname until The Voyage of the Dawn Treader), and eventually become Kings and Queens of Narnia reigning as a tetrarchy. Although introduced in the series as children, the siblings grow up into adults while reigning in Narnia. They go back to being children once they get back to their own world, but feature as adults in The Horse and His Boy during their Narnian reign.
All four appear in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian; in the latter, however, Aslan tells Peter and Susan that they will not return, as they are getting too old. Susan, Lucy, and Edmund appear in The Horse and His Boy '' Peter is said to be away fighting giants on the other side of Narnia. Lucy and Edmund appear in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, where Aslan tells them, too, that they are getting too old. Peter, Edmund, and Lucy appear as Kings and Queens in Aslan's Country in The Last Battle; Susan does not. Asked by a child in 1958 if he would please write another book entitled "Susan of Narnia" so that the entire Pevensie family would be reunited, C. S. Lewis replied: "I am so glad you like the Narnian books and it was nice of you to write and tell me. There's no use just asking me to write more. When stories come into my mind I have to write them, and when they don't I can't!..."[30][citation not found ]
Lucy Pevensie Edit Lucy is the youngest of the four Pevensie siblings. Of all the Pevensie children, Lucy is the closest to Aslan, and of all the human characters who visit Narnia, Lucy is perhaps the one who believes in Narnia the most. In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe she initiates the story by entering Narnia through the wardrobe, and (with Susan) witnesses Aslan's execution and resurrection. She is named Queen Lucy the Valiant. In Prince Caspian she is the first to see Aslan when he comes to guide them. In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, it is Lucy who breaks the spell of invisibility on the Dufflepuds. As an adult in The Horse and His Boy she helps fight the Calormenes at Anvard. Although a minor character in The Last Battle, much of the closing chapter is seen from her point of view.
Edmund Pevensie Edit Edmund is the second child to enter Narnia in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, where he falls under the White Witch's spell from eating the Turkish Delight she gives him. Instantiating that book's Christian theme of betrayal, repentance, and subsequent redemption via blood sacrifice, he betrays his siblings to the White Witch. But he quickly realizes her true nature and her evil intentions, and is redeemed by the sacrifice of Aslan's life. He is named King Edmund the Just. In Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader he supports Lucy; in The Horse and His Boy he leads the Narnian delegation to Calormen and, later, the Narnian army breaking the siege at Anvard.
Susan Pevensie Edit In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Susan accompanies Lucy to see Aslan die and rise again. She is named Queen Susan the Gentle. In Prince Caspian, however, she is the last of the four to believe and follow Lucy when the latter is called by Aslan to guide them. As an adult queen in The Horse and His Boy she is courted by Prince Rabadash of Calormen but refuses his marriage proposal, and his angry response leads the story to its climax. In The Last Battle, we are told that she has stopped believing in Narnia and remembers it only as a childhood game, though Lewis mentioned in a letter to a fan that he thought she may eventually believe again: "The books don't tell us what happened to Susan ... But there is plenty of time for her to mend, and perhaps she will get to Aslan's country in the end'--in her own way."
Peter Pevensie Edit Peter is the eldest of the Pevensies. In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe he kills a Talking Wolf to save Susan, and leads the Narnian army against the White Witch. Aslan names him High King, and he is known as Peter the Magnificent. In Prince Caspian he duels the usurper King Miraz to restore Caspian's throne. In The Last Battle it is Peter whom Aslan entrusts with the duty of closing the door on Narnia for the final time.
Eustace Scrubb Edit Eustace Clarence Scrubb is a cousin of the Pevensies, and a classmate of Jill Pole at their school Experiment House. He is portrayed at first as a brat and a bully, but comes to improve his nasty behaviour when his greed turns him into a dragon for a while. His distress at having to live as a dragon causes him to reflect upon how horrible he has been, and his subsequent improved character is rewarded when Aslan changes him back into a boy. In the later books, Eustace comes across as a much nicer person, although he is still rather grumpy and argumentative. Nonetheless, he becomes a hero along with Jill Pole when the pair succeed in freeing the lost Prince Rilian from the clutches of an evil witch. He appears in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, and The Last Battle.
Jill Pole Edit Jill Pole is a schoolmate of Eustace Scrubb. She appears in The Silver Chair, where she is the viewpoint character for most of the action, and returns in The Last Battle. In The Silver Chair Eustace introduces her to the Narnian world, where Aslan gives her the task of memorising a series of signs that will help her and Eustace on their quest to find Caspian's lost son. In The Last Battle she and Eustace accompany King Tirian in his ill-fated defence of Narnia against the Calormenes.
Digory Kirke Edit Digory Kirke is the character referred to in the title of The Magician's Nephew. He first appears as a minor character in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, known only as "The Professor", who hosts the Pevensie children when they are evacuated from London and defends Lucy's story of having found a country in the back of the wardrobe. In The Magician's Nephew the young Digory, thanks to his uncle's magical experimentation, inadvertently brings Jadis from her dying homeworld of Charn to the newly-created world of Narnia; to fix his mistake Aslan sends him to fetch a magical apple which will protect Narnia and heal his dying mother. He returns in The Last Battle.
Polly Plummer Edit Polly Plummer appears in The Magician's Nephew and The Last Battle. She is the next-door neighbour of the young Digory Kirke. She is tricked by a wicked magician (who is Digory's uncle) into touching a magic ring which transports her to the Wood between the Worlds and leaves her there stranded. The wicked uncle persuades Digory to follow her with a second magic ring that has the power to bring her back. This sets up the pair's adventures into other worlds, and they witness the creation of Narnia as described in The Magician's Nephew. She appears at the end of The Last Battle.
Tumnus Edit Tumnus the Faun, called "Mr Tumnus" by Lucy, is featured prominently in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and also appears in The Horse and His Boy and The Last Battle. He is the first creature Lucy meets in Narnia, as well as the first Narnian to be introduced in the series; he invites her to his home with the intention of betraying her to Jadis, but quickly repents and befriends her. In The Horse and His Boy he devises the Narnian delegation's plan of escape from Calormen. He returns for a brief dialogue at the end of The Last Battle. A mental image of a faun in a snowy wood was Lewis's initial inspiration for the entire series; Tumnus is that faun.[2]
Caspian Edit Caspian is first introduced in the book titled after him, as the young nephew and heir of King Miraz. Fleeing potential assassination by his uncle, he becomes leader of the Old Narnian rebellion against the Telmarine occupation. With the help of the Pevensies, he defeats Miraz's army and becomes King Caspian X of Narnia. In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader he leads an expedition out into the eastern ocean to find Seven Lords whom Miraz had exiled, and ultimately to reach Aslan's Country. In The Silver Chair he makes two brief appearances as an old, dying man, but at the end is resurrected in Aslan's Country.
Trumpkin Edit Trumpkin the Dwarf is the narrator of several chapters of Prince Caspian; he is one of Caspian's rescuers and a leading figure in the "Old Narnian" rebellion, and accompanies the Pevensie children from the ruins of Cair Paravel to the Old Narnian camp. In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader we learn that Caspian has made him his Regent in Narnia while he is away at sea, and he appears briefly in this role (now elderly and very deaf) in The Silver Chair.
Reepicheep Edit Reepicheep the Mouse is the leader of the Talking Mice of Narnia in Prince Caspian. Utterly fearless, infallibly courteous, and obsessed with honour, he is badly wounded in the final battle but healed by Lucy and Aslan. In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader his role is greatly expanded; he becomes a visionary as well as a warrior, and ultimately his willing self-exile to Aslan's Country breaks the enchantment on the last three of the Lost Lords, thus achieving the final goal of the quest. Lewis identified Reepicheep as "specially" exemplifying the latter book's theme of "the spiritual life".
Puddleglum Edit Puddleglum the Marsh-wiggle guides Eustace and Jill on their quest in The Silver Chair. Though always comically pessimistic, he provides the voice of reason and as such intervenes critically in the climactic enchantment scene.
Shasta / Cor Edit Shasta, later known as Cor of Archenland, is the principal character in The Horse and His Boy. Born the eldest son and heir of King Lune of Archenland, and elder twin of Prince Corin, Cor was kidnapped as an infant and raised as a fisherman's son in Calormen. With the help of the talking horse Bree, Shasta escapes from being sold into slavery and makes his way northward to Narnia. On the journey his companion Aravis learns of an imminent Calormene surprise attack on Archenland; Shasta warns the Archenlanders in time and discovers his true identity and original name. At the end of the story he marries Aravis and becomes King of Archenland.
Aravis Edit Aravis, daughter of Kidrash Tarkaan, is a character in The Horse and His Boy. Escaping a forced betrothal to the loathsome Ahoshta, she joins Shasta on his journey and inadvertently overhears a plot by Rabadash, crown prince of Calormen, to invade Archenland. She later marries Shasta, now known as Prince Cor, and becomes queen of Archenland at his side.
Bree Edit Bree (Breehy-hinny-brinny-hoohy-hah) is Shasta's mount and mentor in The Horse and His Boy. A Talking Horse of Narnia, he wandered into Calormen as a foal and was captured. He first appears as a Calormene nobleman's war-horse; when the nobleman buys Shasta as a slave, Bree organises and carries out their joint escape. Though friendly, he is also vain and a braggart until his encounter with Aslan late in the story.
Tirian Edit The last King of Narnia is the viewpoint character for much of The Last Battle. Having rashly killed a Calormene for mistreating a Narnian Talking Horse, he is imprisoned by the villainous ape Shift but released by Eustace and Jill. Together they fight faithfully to the last and are welcomed into Aslan's Kingdom.
Antagonists Edit Jadis, the White Witch Edit Jadis, commonly known during her rule of Narnia as the White Witch, is the main villain of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and The Magician's Nephew '' the only antagonist to appear in more than one Narnia book. In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, she is the witch responsible for the freezing of Narnia resulting in the Hundred Year Winter; she turns her enemies into statues and kills Aslan on the Stone Table, but is killed by him in battle after his resurrection. In The Magician's Nephew she is wakened from a magical sleep by Digory in the dead world of Charn and inadvertently brought to Victorian London before being transported to Narnia, where she steals an apple to grant her the gift of immortality.
Miraz Edit King Miraz is the lead villain of Prince Caspian. Prior to the book's opening he has killed King Caspian IX, father of the titular Prince Caspian, and usurped his throne as king of the Telmarine colonizers in Narnia. He raises Caspian as his heir, but seeks to kill him after his own son is born. As the story progresses he leads the Telmarine war against the Old Narnian rebellion; he is defeated in single combat by Peter and then murdered by one of his own lords.
Lady of the Green Kirtle Edit The Lady of the Green Kirtle is the lead villain of The Silver Chair, and is also referred to in that book as "the Queen of Underland" or simply as "the Witch". She rules an underground kingdom through magical mind-control. Prior to the events of The Silver Chair she has murdered Caspian's Queen and then seduced and abducted his son Prince Rilian. She encounters the protagonists on their quest and sends them astray. Confronted by them later, she attempts to enslave them magically; when that fails, she attacks them in the form of a serpent and is killed.
Rabadash Edit Prince Rabadash, heir to the throne of Calormen, is the primary antagonist of The Horse and His Boy. Hot-headed, arrogant, and entitled, he brings Queen Susan of Narnia '-- along with a small retinue of Narnians, including King Edmund '-- to Calormen in the hope that Susan will marry him. When the Narnians realize that Rabadash may force Susan to accept his marriage proposal, they spirit Susan out of Calormen by ship. Incensed, Rabadash launches a surprise attack on Archenland with the ultimate intention of raiding Narnia and taking Susan captive. His plan is foiled when Shasta and Aravis warn the Archenlanders of his impending strike. After being captured by Edmund, Rabadash blasphemes against Aslan. Aslan then temporarily transforms him into a donkey as punishment.
Shift the Ape Edit Shift is the most prominent villain of The Last Battle. He is an elderly Talking Ape '' Lewis does not specify what kind of ape, but Pauline Baynes' illustrations depict him as a chimpanzee. He persuades the na¯ve donkey Puzzle to pretend to be Aslan (wearing a lion-skin) in order to seize control of Narnia, and proceeds to cut down the forests, enslave the other Talking Beasts, and invite the Calormenes to invade. He loses control of the situation due to over-indulging in alcohol, and is eventually swallowed up by the evil Calormene god Tash.
Title characters Edit The Magician's Nephew '-- Digory Kirke (Andrew Ketterley is the magician)The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe '-- Aslan, JadisThe Horse and His Boy '-- Bree, ShastaPrince Caspian '-- Prince CaspianAppearances of main characters Edit CharacterBookThe Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950)Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia (1951)The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952)The Silver Chair (1953)The Horse and His Boy (1954)The Magician's Nephew (1955)The Last Battle (1956)TotalAppearances
AslanMajor7Peter PevensieMajorMinor3Susan PevensieMajorMinor3Edmund PevensieMajorMinorMinor5Lucy PevensieMajorMinorMinor5Eustace ScrubbMajorMajor3Jill PoleMajorMajor2(Professor) Digory KirkeMinorMajorMinor3Polly PlummerMajorMinor2(Mr) TumnusMajorMinorMinor3Prince/King CaspianMajorMinorCameo4Trumpkin the DwarfMajorMinorCameo3Reepicheep the MouseMinorMajorMinor3PuddleglumMajorCameo2Shasta (Prince Cor)MajorCameo2Aravis TarkheenaMajorCameo2BreeMajorCameo2King TirianMajor1Jadis (The White Witch)MajorMajor2King MirazMajor1The Lady of the Green KirtleMajor1Prince RabadashMajor1Shift the ApeMajor1Narnian geography Edit The Chronicles of Narnia describes the world in which Narnia exists as one major landmass encircled by an ocean. Narnia's capital sits on the eastern edge of the landmass on the shores of the Great Eastern Ocean. This ocean contains the islands explored in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. On the main landmass Lewis places the countries of Narnia, Archenland, Calormen, and Telmar, along with a variety of other areas that are not described as countries. The author also provides glimpses of more fantastic locations that exist in and around the main world of Narnia, including an edge and an underworld.
Influences Edit Lewis's life Edit Lewis's early life has parallels with The Chronicles of Narnia. At the age of seven, he moved with his family to a large house on the edge of Belfast. Its long hallways and empty rooms inspired Lewis and his brother to invent make-believe worlds whilst exploring their home, an activity reflected in Lucy's discovery of Narnia in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.[35] Like Caspian and Rilian, Lewis lost his mother at an early age, spending much of his youth in English boarding schools similar to those attended by the Pevensie children, Eustace Scrubb, and Jill Pole. During World War II many children were evacuated from London and other urban areas because of German air raids. Some of these children, including one named Lucy (Lewis's goddaughter) stayed with him at his home The Kilns near Oxford, just as the Pevensies stayed with The Professor in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.[36]
Influences from mythology and cosmology Edit Drew Trotter, president of the Center for Christian Study, noted that the producers of the film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe felt that the books' plots adhere to the archetypal "monomyth" pattern as detailed in Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces.[37]
Lewis was widely read in medieval Celtic literature, an influence reflected throughout the books, and most strongly in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. The entire book imitates one of the immrama, a type of traditional Old Irish tale that combines elements of Christianity and Irish mythology to tell the story of a hero's sea journey to the Otherworld.[38][39]
Planet Narnia Edit Michael Ward's 2008 book Planet Narnia proposes that each of the seven books related to one of the seven moving heavenly bodies or "planets" known in the Middle Ages according to the Ptolemaic geocentric model of cosmology (a theme to which Lewis returned habitually throughout his work). At that time, each of these heavenly bodies was believed to have certain attributes, and Ward contends that these attributes were deliberately but subtly used by Lewis to furnish elements of the stories of each book:
In The Lion [the child protagonists] become monarchs under sovereign Jove; in Prince Caspian they harden under strong Mars; in The "Dawn Treader" they drink light under searching Sol; in The Silver Chair they learn obedience under subordinate Luna; in The Horse and His Boy they come to love poetry under eloquent Mercury; in The Magician's Nephew they gain life-giving fruit under fertile Venus; and in The Last Battle they suffer and die under chilling Saturn.Lewis's interest in the literary symbolism of medieval and Renaissance astrology is more overtly referenced in other works such as his study of medieval cosmology The Discarded Image, and in his early poetry as well as in Space Trilogy. Narnia scholar Paul F. Ford finds Ward's assertion that Lewis intended The Chronicles to be an embodiment of medieval astrology implausible, though Ford addresses an earlier (2003) version of Ward's thesis (also called Planet Narnia, published in the Times Literary Supplement). Ford argues that Lewis did not start with a coherent plan for the books, but Ward's book answers this by arguing that the astrological associations grew in the writing:
Jupiter was... [Lewis's] favourite planet, part of the "habitual furniture" of his mind... The Lion was thus the first example of that "idea that he wanted to try out". Prince Caspian and The "Dawn Treader" naturally followed because Mars and Sol were both already connected in his mind with the merits of the Alexander technique.... at some point after commencing The Horse and His Boy he resolved to treat all seven planets, for seven such treatments of his idea would mean that he had "worked it out to the full".A quantitative analysis on the imagery in the different books of The Chronicles gives mixed support to Ward's thesis: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Horse and His Boy, and The Magician's Nephew do indeed employ concepts associated with, respectively, Sol, Luna, Mercury, and Venus, far more often than chance would predict, but The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, and The Last Battle fall short of statistical correlation with their proposed planets.[44]
Influences from literature Edit George MacDonald's Phantastes (1858) influenced the structure and setting of "The Chronicles".[clarification needed ] It was a work that was " a great balm to the soul".[45]
Plato was an undeniable influence on Lewis's writing of The Chronicles. Most clearly, Digory explicitly invokes Plato's name at the end of The Last Battle, to explain how the old version of Narnia is but a shadow of the newly revealed "true" Narnia. Plato's influence is also apparent in The Silver Chair when the Queen of the Underland attempts to convince the protagonists that the surface world is not real. She echoes the logic of Plato's Cave by comparing the sun to a nearby lamp, arguing that reality is only that which is perceived in the immediate physical vicinity.[46]
The White Witch in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe shares many features, both of appearance and character, with the villainous Duessa of Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene, a work Lewis studied in detail. Like Duessa, she falsely styles herself Queen; she leads astray the erring Edmund with false temptations; she turns people into stone as Duessa turns them into trees. Both villains wear opulent robes and deck their conveyances out with bells. In The Magician's Nephew Jadis takes on echoes of Satan from John Milton's Paradise Lost: she climbs over the wall of the paradisal garden in contempt of the command to enter only by the gate, and proceeds to tempt Digory as Satan tempted Eve, with lies and half-truths. Similarly, the Lady of the Green Kirtle in The Silver Chair recalls both the snake-woman Errour in The Faerie Queene and Satan's transformation into a snake in Paradise Lost.
Lewis read Edith Nesbit's children's books as a child and was greatly fond of them.[50] He described The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe around the time of its completion as "a children's book in the tradition of E. Nesbit".[51] The Magician's Nephew in particular bears strong resemblances to Nesbit's The Story of the Amulet (1906). This novel focuses on four children living in London who discover a magic amulet. Their father is away and their mother is ill, as is the case with Digory. They manage to transport the queen of ancient Babylon to London and she is the cause of a riot; likewise, Polly and Digory transport Queen Jadis to London, sparking a very similar incident.[50]
Marsha Daigle-Williamson argues that Dante's Divine Comedy had a significant impact on Lewis's writings. In the Narnia series, she identifies this influence as most apparent in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Silver Chair. Daigle-Williamson identifies the plot of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader as a Dantean journey with a parallel structure and similar themes. She likewise draws numerous connections between The Silver Chair and the events of Dante's Inferno.
Colin Duriez, writing on the shared elements found in both Lewis's and J. R. R. Tolkien's works, highlights the thematic similarities between Tolkien's poem Imram and Lewis's The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.[55]
Influences on other works Edit The Chronicles of Narnia is considered a classic of children's literature.[56][57]
Influences on literature Edit The Chronicles of Narnia has been a significant influence on both adult and children's fantasy literature in the post-World War II era. In 1976, the scholar Susan Cornell Poskanzer praised Lewis for his "strangely powerful fantasies". Poskanzer argued that children could relate to Narnia books because the heroes and heroines were realistic characters, each with their own distinctive voice and personality. Furthermore, the protagonists become powerful kings and queens who decide the fate of kingdoms, while the adults in the Narnia books tended to be buffoons, which by inverting the normal order of things was pleasing to many youngsters. However, Poskanzer criticized Lewis for what she regarded as scenes of gratuitous violence, which she felt were upsetting to children. Poskanzer also noted Lewis presented his Christian message subtly enough as to avoid boring children with overt sermonizing.[58]
Examples include:
Philip Pullman's fantasy series, His Dark Materials, is seen as a response to The Chronicles. Pullman is a self-described atheist who wholly rejects the spiritual themes that permeate The Chronicles, yet his series nonetheless addresses many of the same issues and introduces some similar character types, including talking animals. In another parallel, the first books in each series '' Pullman's Northern Lights and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe '' both open with a young girl hiding in a wardrobe.[59][60][61]
Bill Willingham's comic book series Fables makes reference at least twice to a king called "The Great Lion", a thinly veiled reference to Aslan. The series avoids explicitly referring to any characters or works that are not in the public domain.[citation needed ]
The novel Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson has Leslie, one of the main characters, reveal to Jesse her love of Lewis's books, subsequently lending him The Chronicles of Narnia so that he can learn how to behave like a king. Her book also features the island name "Terabithia", which sounds similar to Terebinthia, a Narnian island that appears in Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Katherine Paterson herself acknowledges that Terabithia is likely to be derived from Terebinthia:
I thought I had made it up. Then, rereading The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis, I realized that I had probably gotten it from the island of Terebinthia in that book. However, Lewis probably got that name from the Terebinth tree in the Bible, so both of us pinched from somewhere else, probably unconsciously."[62]
Science-fiction author Greg Egan's short story "Oracle" depicts a parallel universe in which an author nicknamed Jack (Lewis's nickname) has written novels about the fictional "Kingdom of Nesica", and whose wife is dying of cancer, paralleling the death of Lewis's wife Joy Davidman. Several Narnian allegories are also used to explore issues of religion and faith versus science and knowledge.[63]
Lev Grossman's New York Times best-seller The Magicians is a contemporary dark fantasy about an unusually gifted young man obsessed with Fillory, the magical land of his favourite childhood books. Fillory is a thinly veiled substitute for Narnia, and clearly the author expects it to be experienced as such. Not only is the land home to many similar talking animals and mythical creatures, it is also accessed through a grandfather clock in the home of an uncle to whom five English children are sent during World War II. Moreover, the land is ruled by two Aslan-like rams named Ember and Umber, and terrorised by The Watcherwoman. She, like the White Witch, freezes the land in time. The book's plot revolves heavily around a place very like the "wood between the worlds" from The Magician's Nephew, an interworld waystation in which pools of water lead to other lands. This reference to The Magician's Nephew is echoed in the title of the book.[64]
J. K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, has said that she was a fan of the works of Lewis as a child, and cites the influence of The Chronicles on her work: "I found myself thinking about the wardrobe route to Narnia when Harry is told he has to hurl himself at a barrier in King's Cross Station '-- it dissolves and he's on platform Nine and Three-Quarters, and there's the train for Hogwarts."[65] Nevertheless, she is at pains to stress the differences between Narnia and her world: "Narnia is literally a different world", she says, "whereas in the Harry books you go into a world within a world that you can see if you happen to belong. A lot of the humour comes from collisions between the magic and the everyday worlds. Generally there isn't much humour in the Narnia books, although I adored them when I was a child. I got so caught up I didn't think CS Lewis was especially preachy. Reading them now I find that his subliminal message isn't very subliminal."[65] New York Times writer Charles McGrath notes the similarity between Dudley Dursley, the obnoxious son of Harry's neglectful guardians, and Eustace Scrubb, the spoiled brat who torments the main characters until he is redeemed by Aslan.[66]
The comic book series Pakkins' Land by Gary and Rhoda Shipman in which a young child finds himself in a magical world filled with talking animals, including a lion character named King Aryah, has been compared favorably to the Narnia series. The Shipmans have cited the influence of C.S. Lewis and the Narnia series in response to reader letters.[67]
Influences on popular culture Edit As with any popular long-lived work, contemporary culture abounds with references to the lion Aslan, travelling via wardrobe and direct mentions of The Chronicles. Examples include:
Charlotte Staples Lewis, a character first seen early in the fourth season of the TV series Lost, is named in reference to C. S. Lewis. Lost producer Damon Lindelof said that this was a clue to the direction the show would take during the season.[68] The book Ultimate Lost and Philosophy, edited by William Irwin and Sharon Kaye, contains a comprehensive essay on Lost plot motifs based on The Chronicles.[69]
The second SNL Digital Short by Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell features a humorous nerdcore hip hop song titled Chronicles of Narnia (Lazy Sunday), which focuses on the performers' plan to see The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at a cinema. It was described by Slate magazine as one of the most culturally significant Saturday Night Live skits in many years, and an important commentary on the state of rap.[70] Swedish Christian power metal band Narnia, whose songs are mainly about the Chronicles of Narnia or the Bible, feature Aslan on all their album covers.[71][72] The song "Further Up, Further In" from the album Room to Roam by Scottish-Irish folk-rock band The Waterboys is heavily influenced by The Chronicles of Narnia. The title is taken from a passage in The Last Battle, and one verse of the song describes sailing to the end of the world to meet a king, similar to the ending of Voyage of the Dawn Treader. C. S. Lewis is explicitly acknowledged as an influence in the liner notes of the 1990 compact disc.
During interviews, the primary creator of the Japanese anime and gaming series Digimon has said that he was inspired and influenced by The Chronicles of Narnia.[73]
Christian themes Edit Lewis had authored a number of works on Christian apologetics and other literature with Christian-based themes before writing the Narnia books. The character Aslan is widely accepted by literary academia as being based on Jesus Christ.[74] Lewis did not initially plan to incorporate Christian theological concepts into his Narnia stories. Lewis maintained that the Narnia books were not allegorical, preferring to term their Christian aspects a "supposition".[75][76]
The Chronicles have, consequently, a large Christian following, and are widely used to promote Christian ideas. However, some Christians object that The Chronicles promote "soft-sell paganism and occultism" due to recurring pagan imagery and themes.[77][78][79][80][81][82]
Criticism Edit Accusations of gender stereotyping Edit In later years, both Lewis and the Chronicles have been criticised (often by other authors of fantasy fiction) for gender role stereotyping, though other authors have defended Lewis in this area. Most allegations of sexism centre on the description of Susan Pevensie in The Last Battle when Lewis writes that Susan is "no longer a friend of Narnia" and interested "in nothing nowadays except nylons and lipstick and invitations".
Philip Pullman, inimical to Lewis on many fronts, calls the Narnia stories "monumentally disparaging of women".[83] His interpretation of the Susan passages reflects this view:
Susan, like Cinderella, is undergoing a transition from one phase of her life to another. Lewis didn't approve of that. He didn't like women in general, or sexuality at all, at least at the stage in his life when he wrote the Narnia books. He was frightened and appalled at the notion of wanting to grow up.[84]
In fantasy author Neil Gaiman's short story "The Problem of Susan" (2004),[85][86][87] an elderly woman, Professor Hastings, deals with the grief and trauma of her entire family's death in a train crash. Although the woman's maiden name is not revealed, details throughout the story strongly imply that this character is the elderly Susan Pevensie. The story is written for an adult audience and deals with issues of sexuality and violence and through it Gaiman presents a critique of Lewis's treatment of Susan, as well as the problem of evil as it relates to punishment and salvation.[86]
Lewis supporters cite the positive roles of women in the series, including Jill Pole in The Silver Chair, Aravis Tarkheena in The Horse and His Boy, Polly Plummer in The Magician's Nephew, and particularly Lucy Pevensie in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Alan Jacobs, an English professor at Wheaton College, asserts that Lucy is the most admirable of the human characters and that generally the girls come off better than the boys throughout the series (Jacobs, 2008: 259)[citation not found ].[88][unreliable source? ][89][unreliable source? ] In her contribution to The Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy, Karin Fry, an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, notes that "the most sympathetic female characters in The Chronicles are consistently the ones who question the traditional roles of women and prove their worth to Aslan through actively engaging in the adventures just like the boys."[90] Fry goes on to say:
The characters have positive and negative things to say about both male and female characters, suggesting an equality between sexes. However, the problem is that many of the positive qualities of the female characters seem to be those by which they can rise above their femininity ... The superficial nature of stereotypical female interests is condemned.[90]
Taking a different stance altogether, Monika B. Hilder provides a thorough examination of the feminine ethos apparent in each book of the series, and proposes that critics tend to misread Lewis's representation of gender. As she puts it "...we assume that Lewis is sexist when he is in fact applauding the 'feminine' heroic. To the extent that we have not examined our own chauvinism, we demean the 'feminine' qualities and extol the 'masculine' - not noticing that Lewis does the opposite."[91]
Accusations of racism Edit In addition to sexism, Pullman and others have also accused the Narnia series of fostering racism.[83][92] Over the alleged racism in The Horse and His Boy, newspaper editor Kyrie O'Connor wrote:
While the book's storytelling virtues are enormous, you don't have to be a bluestocking of political correctness to find some of this fantasy anti-Arab, or anti-Eastern, or anti-Ottoman. With all its stereotypes, mostly played for belly laughs, there are moments you'd like to stuff this story back into its closet.[93]
Gregg Easterbrook, writing in The Atlantic, stated that "the Calormenes, are unmistakable Muslim stand-ins",[94] while novelist Philip Hensher raises specific concerns that a reader might gain the impression Islam is a "Satanic cult".[95] In rebuttal to this charge, at an address to a C. S. Lewis conference,[96] Dr. Devin Brown argued that there are too many dissimilarities between the Calormene religion and Islam, particularly in the areas of polytheism and human sacrifice, for Lewis's writing to be regarded as critical of Islam.
Nicholas Wanberg has argued, echoing claims by Mervyn Nicholson, that accusations of racism in the books are "an oversimplification", but he asserts that the stories employ beliefs about human aesthetics, including equating dark skin with ugliness, that have been traditionally associated with racist thought.[97]
Critics also argue whether Lewis's work presents a positive or negative view of colonialism. Nicole DuPlessis favors the anticolonial view, claiming "the negative effects of colonial exploitations and the themes of animals' rights and responsibility to the environment are emphasized in Lewis' construction of a community of living things. Through the negative examples of illegitimate rulers, Lewis constructs the 'correct' relationship between humans and nature, providing examples of rulers like Caspian who fulfill their responsibilities to the environment."[98] Clare Etcherling counters with her claim that "those 'illegitimate' rulers are often very dark-skinned" and that the only "legitimate rulers are those sons and daughters of Adam and Eve who adhere to Christian conceptions of morality and stewardship '' either white English children (such as Peter) or Narnians who possess characteristics valued and cultivated by the British (such as Caspian)."[99]
Adaptations of The Chronicles of Narnia Edit Television Edit Various books from The Chronicles of Narnia have been adapted for television over the years.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was first adapted in 1967. Comprising ten episodes of thirty minutes each, the screenplay was written by Trevor Preston, and directed by Helen Standage.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was adapted again in 1979, this time as an animated cartoon co-produced by Bill Mel(C)ndez and the Children's Television Workshop, with a screenplay by David D. Connell.
Between 1988 and 1990, the first four books (as published) were adapted by the BBC as three TV serials. They were also aired in America on the PBS/Disney show WonderWorks.[100] They were nominated for a total of 14 Emmy awards, including "Outstanding Children's Program", and a number of BAFTA awards including Best Children's Programme (Entertainment / Drama) in 1988, 1989 and 1990.[101][102][103]
On 3 October 2018, the C.S. Lewis Company announced that Netflix had acquired the rights to new film and television series adaptations of the Narnia books.[104] According to Fortune, this was the first time that rights to the entire Narnia catalogue had been held by a single company.[105] Entertainment One, which had acquired production rights to a fourth Narnia film, also joined the series. Mark Gordon, Douglas Gresham and Vincent Sieber will serve as executive producers.[106] There's no release date yet for this adaptation.
Radio Edit A critically acclaimed BBC Radio 4 dramatisation was produced in the 1980s, starring Maurice Denham as Professor Kirke. Collectively titled Tales of Narnia, the programs covered the entire series with a running time of approximately 15 hours. In the UK, BBC Audiobooks release both audio cassette and compact disc versions of the series.[citation needed ]
Between 1998 and 2002, Focus on the Family produced radio dramatisations of the entire series through its Radio Theatre program.[107] Over one hundred performers took part including Paul Scofield as the storyteller and David Suchet as Aslan. Accompanied by an original orchestral score and cinema-quality digital sound design, the series was hosted by Lewis's stepson Douglas Gresham and ran for just over 22 hours. Recordings of the entire adaptation were released on compact disc between 1999 and 2003.[citation needed ]
Stage Edit Many stage adaptations of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe have been produced over the years.
In 1984, Vanessa Ford Productions presented The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at London's Westminster Theatre. Adapted by Glyn Robbins, the play was directed by Richard Williams and designed by Marty Flood. The production was later revived at Westminster and The Royalty Theatre and went on tour until 1997. Productions of other tales from The Chronicles were also staged, including The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1986), The Magician's Nephew (1988) and The Horse and His Boy (1990).[citation needed ]
In 1997, Trumpets Inc., a Filipino Christian theatre and musical production company, produced a musical rendition of "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" that Douglas Gresham, Lewis's stepson (and co-producer of the Walden Media film adaptations), has openly declared that he feels is the closest to Lewis's intent. The book and lyrics were written by Jaime del Mundo and Luna Inocian, while the music was composed by Lito Villareal.[108][109]
The Royal Shakespeare Company premiered The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1998. The novel was adapted as a musical production by Adrian Mitchell, with music by Shaun Davey.[110] The show was originally directed by Adrian Noble and designed by Anthony Ward, with the revival directed by Lucy Pitman-Wallace. Well received by audiences, the production was periodically re-staged by the RSC for several years afterwards.[111]
Film Edit Sceptical that any cinematic adaptation could render the more fantastical elements and characters of the story realistically, Lewis never sold the film rights to the Narnia series.[113] In answering a letter with a question posed by a child in 1957, asking if the Narnia series could please be on television, C. S. Lewis wrote back: "They'd be no good on TV. Humanized beasts can't be presented to the eye without at once becoming either hideous or ridiculous. I wish the idiots who run the film world [would] realize that there are stories [which] are for the ear alone."[114][citation not found ]
The first novel adapted was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Released in December 2005, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was produced by Walden Media, distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, and directed by Andrew Adamson, with a screenplay by Ann Peacock, Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus.
The second novel adapted was The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Released in 2008, it was co-produced by Walden Media and Walt Disney Pictures, co-written and directed by Andrew Adamson, with Screenwriters including Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely.
In December 2008, Disney pulled out of financing the remainder of the Chronicles of Narnia film series.[115][116] However, Walden Media and 20th Century Fox eventually co-produced The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which was released in December 2010.
In May 2012, producer Douglas Gresham confirmed that Walden Media's contract with the C.S. Lewis Estate had expired, and that there was a moratorium on producing any Narnia films outside of Walden Media.[117] On 1 October 2013, it was announced that the C.S. Lewis Company had entered into an agreement with the Mark Gordon Company to jointly develop and produce The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair.[118] On 26 April 2017, Joe Johnston was hired to direct the film.[119] In October, Johnston said filming is expected to begin in late 2018. In November 2018, these plans were halted because Netflix had begun developing adaptations of the entire series.[120][121]
See also Edit Outline of NarniaNotes Edit ^ a b c d Lewis, C. S. (1982). On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature. p. 53. ISBN 0-15-668788-7. ^ Edwards, Owen Dudley (2007). British Children's Fiction in the Second World War . p. 129. ISBN 978-0-7486-1650-3. ^ Lobdell, Jared (2016). Eight Children in Narnia: The Making of a Children's Story. Chicago, IL: Open Court. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-8126-9901-2. ^ Grundy, G. B. (1904). "Plate 8". Murray's small classical atlas. London: J. Murray . Retrieved 20 November 2019 . ^ Kelly, Clint (2006). "Dear Mr. Lewis". Response. 29 (1) . Retrieved 22 September 2008 . The seven books of Narnia have sold more than 100 million copies in 30 languages, nearly 20 million in the last 10 years alone ^ Edward, Guthmann (11 December 2005). " ' Narnia' tries to cash in on dual audience". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on 15 May 2012 . Retrieved 22 September 2008 . ^ Goodknight, Glen H. (3 August 2010). "Narnia Editions & Translations". Archived from the original on 3 March 2011 . Retrieved 6 September 2010 . ^ Hooper, Walter (1979). "Outline of Narnian history so far as it is known". Past Watchful Dragons: The Narnian Chronicles of C. S. Lewis. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co. pp. 41''44. ISBN 0-02-051970-2. ^ Brady, Erik (1 December 2005). "A closer look at the world of Narnia". USA Today . Retrieved 21 September 2008 . ^ Rilstone, Andrew. "What Order Should I Read the Narnia Books in (And Does It Matter?)". The Life and Opinions of Andrew Rilstone, Gentleman. Archived from the original on 30 November 2005. ^ See Walter Hooper's C. S. Lewis: A Companion and Guide ^ "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis : Christian Allegory - Theme Analysis". SparkNotes . Retrieved 10 May 2020 . ^ Private collection, Patricia Baird ^ Lewis, C. S. (1990). Surprised by Joy. Fount Paperbacks. p. 14. ISBN 0-00-623815-7. ^ Wilson, Tracy V. (7 December 2005). "How Narnia Works". HowStuffWorks . Retrieved 28 October 2008 . ^ Trotter, Drew (11 November 2005). "What Did C. S. Lewis Mean, and Does It Matter?". Leadership U . Retrieved 28 October 2008 . ^ Huttar, Charles A. (22 September 2007). " " Deep lies the sea-longing": inklings of home (1)". Mythlore / The Free Library . Retrieved 28 March 2011 . ^ Duriez, Colin (2004). A Field Guide to Narnia. InterVarsity Press. pp. 80, 95. ^ Barrett, Justin L. (2010). "Some Planets In Narnia: a quantitative investigation of the Planet Narnia thesis" (PDF) . Seven: an Anglo-American literary review (Wheaton College) . Retrieved 28 April 2018 . ^ Downing, David C. (2005). Into The Wardrobe: C.S. Lewis and the Narnia Chronicles. Jossey Bass. pp. 12''13. ISBN 978-0-7879-7890-7. ^ Johnson, William C.; Houtman, Marcia K. (1986). "Platonic Shadows in C. S. Lewis' Narnia Chronicles". Modern Fiction Studies. 32 (1): 75''87. doi:10.1353/mfs.0.1154 . Retrieved 1 October 2018 . ^ a b Lindskoog, Kathryn Ann (1997). Journey into Narnia: C. S. Lewis's Tales Explored. Hope Publishing House. p. 87. ISBN 0-932727-89-1. ^ Walsh, Chad (1974). C. S. Lewis: Apostle to the Skeptics. Norwood Editions. p. 10. ISBN 0-88305-779-4. ^ Duriez, Colin (2015). Bedeviled: Lewis, Tolkien and the Shadow of Evil. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books. pp. 180''182. ISBN 978-0-8308-3417-4. ^ "CS Lewis, Chronicles of Narnia author, honoured in Poets' corner". The Telegraph. Retrieved 24 February 2013 ^ "CS Lewis to be honoured in Poets' Corner". BBC News. Retrieved 23 November 2012 ^ Poskanzer, Susan Cornell (May 1976). "Thoughts on C. S. Lewis and the Chronicles of Narnia". Language Arts. 53 (5): 523''526. ^ Miller, Laura (26 December 2005). "Far From Narnia". The New Yorker. ^ Young, Cathy (March 2008). "A Secular Fantasy '' The flawed but fascinating fiction of Philip Pullman". Reason. ^ Chattaway, Peter T. (December 2007). "The Chronicles of Atheism". Christianity Today. ^ Paterson, Katherine (2005). "Questions for Katherine Paterson". Bridge to Terabithia. Harper Trophy. ^ Egan, Greg (12 November 2000). "Oracle". ^ "Decatur Book Festival: Fantasy and its practice PWxyz". Publishers Weekly blog. Archived from the original on 11 September 2010. ^ a b Renton, Jennie. "The story behind the Potter legend". The Sydney Morning Herald . Retrieved 10 October 2006 . ^ McGrath, Charles (13 November 2005). "The Narnia Skirmishes". The New York Times . Retrieved 29 May 2008 . ^ "Artist weaves faith into acclaimed comics". Archived from the original on 27 September 2015 . Retrieved 17 January 2019 . ^ Jensen, Jeff, (20 February 2008) "'Lost': Mind-Blowing Scoop From Its Producers", Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 29 October 2008. ^ Irwin, William (2010). Ultimate Lost and Philosophy Volume 35 of The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series. John Wiley and Sons. p. 368. ISBN 9780470632291. ^ Levin, Josh (23 December 2005). "The Chronicles of Narnia Rap". Slate . Retrieved 19 December 2010 . ^ Brennan, Herbie (2010). Through the Wardrobe: Your Favorite Authors on C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia. BenBella Books. p. 6. ISBN 9781935251682. ^ "Narnia". Encyclopedia Metallum . Retrieved 15 December 2010 . ^ "Digimon RPG". Gamers Hell . Retrieved 26 July 2010 . ^ Carpenter, The Inklings, p.42-45. See also Lewis's own autobiography Surprised by Joy ^ Root, Jerry; Martindale, Wayne (12 March 2012). The Quotable Lewis. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. pp. 59''. ISBN 978-1-4143-5674-7. ^ Friskney, Paul (2005). Sharing the Narnia Experience: A Family Guide to C. S. Lewis's the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Standard Publishing. pp. 12''. ISBN 978-0-7847-1773-8. ^ Chattaway, Peter T. "Narnia 'baptizes' '-- and defends '-- pagan mythology". Canadian Christianity. ^ Kjos, Berit (December 2005). "Narnia: Blending Truth and Myth". Crossroad. Kjos Ministries. ^ Hurst, Josh (5 December 2005). "Nine Minutes of Narnia". Christianity Today Movies. Archived from the original on 12 March 2008. ^ "C.S. Lewis, the Sneaky Pagan". Christianity Today. 1 June 2004. Archived from the original on 26 May 2011. ^ "The paganism of Narnia". Canadian Christianity. ^ See essay "Is Theism Important?" in Lewis, C. S. (15 September 2014). Hooper, Walter (ed.). God in the Dock. William B. Eerdmans Publishing. pp. 186''. ISBN 978-0-8028-7183-1. ^ a b Ezard, John (3 June 2002). "Narnia books attacked as racist and sexist". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 8 February 2015 . Retrieved 26 March 2015 . ^ Pullman, Philip (2 September 2001). "The Dark Side of Narnia". The Cumberland River Lamppost. ^ Gaiman, Neil (2004). "The Problem of Susan". In Sarrantonio, Al (ed.). Flights: Extreme Visions of Fantasy Volume II . New York: New American Library. ISBN 978-0-451-46099-8. ^ a b Wagner, Hank; Golden, Christopher; Bissette, Stephen R. (28 October 2008). Prince of Stories: The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman . St. Martin's Press. pp. 395''. ISBN 978-1-4299-6178-3. ^ Neil Gaiman (9 February 2010). Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-051523-2. ^ Anderson, RJ (30 August 2005). "The Problem of Susan". ^ Rilstone, Andrew (30 November 2005). "Lipstick on My Scholar". ^ a b Fry, Karin (2005). "13: No Longer a Friend of Narnia: Gender in Narnia". In Bassham, Gregory; Walls, Jerry L. (eds.). The Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy: The Lion, the Witch and the Worldview. Chicago and La Salle, Illinois: Open Court. ^ Hilder, Monika B. (2012). The Feminine Ethos in C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia. New York: Peter Lang. p. 160. ISBN 978-1-4331-1817-3. ^ "Pullman attacks Narnia film plans". BBC News. 16 October 2005. ^ O'Connor, Kyrie (1 December 2005). "5th Narnia book may not see big screen". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on 14 December 2005. ^ Easterbrook, Gregg (1 October 2001). "In Defense of C. S. Lewis". The Atlantic . Retrieved 21 March 2020 . ^ Hensher, Philip (1 March 1999). "Don't let your children go to Narnia: C. S. Lewis's books are racist and misogynist". Discovery Institute. ^ Brown, Devin (28 March 2009). "Are The Chronicles of Narnia Sexist and Racist?". Keynote Address at The 12th Annual Conference of The C. S. Lewis and Inklings Society Calvin College. NarniaWeb. ^ Wanberg, Nicholas (2013). "Noble and Beautiful: Race and Human Aesthetics in C. S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia". Fafnir: Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research. 1 (3) . Retrieved 28 October 2015 . ^ DuPlessis, Nicole (2004). "EcoLewis: Conversationism and Anticolonialism in the Chronicles of Narnia". In Dobrin, Sidney I.; Kidd, Kenneth B. (eds.). Wild Things: Children's Culture and Ecocriticism. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. p. 125. ^ Echterling, Clare (2016). "Postcolonial Ecocriticism, Classic Children's Literature, and the Imperial-Environmental Imagination in The Chronicles of Narnia". The Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association. 49 (1): 102. ^ "Wonderworks Family Movie Series". Archived from the original on 3 April 2012. ^ "Children's Nominations 1988". BAFTA . Retrieved 31 March 2011 . ^ "Children's Nominations 1989". BAFTA . Retrieved 31 March 2011 . ^ "Children's Nominations 1990". BAFTA . Retrieved 31 March 2011 . ^ Beatrice Verhoeven (3 October 2018). "Netflix to Develop Series, Films Based on CS Lewis' 'The Chronicles of Narnia ' ". the wrap . Retrieved 3 October 2018 . ^ Jenkins, Aric (1 November 2018). "Netflix Looks in the Wardrobe to Find a Fantasy Hit". Fortune (Paper). 178 (5): 19. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (3 October 2018). "Netflix To Develop 'The Chronicles of Narnia' TV Series & Films" . Retrieved 3 October 2018 . ^ Wright, Greg. "Reviews by Greg Wright '' Narnia Radio Broadcast". Archived from the original on 10 July 2005 . Retrieved 31 March 2011 . ^ Garceau, Scott; Garceau, Therese (14 October 2012). "The Stepson of Narnia". The Philippine Star . Retrieved 9 July 2015 . ^ Simpson, Paul (2013). A Brief Guide to C. S. Lewis: From Mere Christianity to Narnia. Little, Brown Book Group. ISBN 978-0762450763 . Retrieved 9 July 2015 . ^ Cavendish, Dominic (21 November 1998). "Theatre: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe". The Independent . Retrieved 31 March 2011 . ^ Melia, Liz (9 December 2002). "Engaging fairytale is sure to enchant all". BBC . Retrieved 31 March 2011 . ^ All My Road Before Me, 1 June 1926, p. 405 ^ Patricia Baird, private collection ^ Sanford, James (24 December 2008). "Disney No Longer Under Spell of Narnia". ^ "Disney opts out of 3rd 'Narnia' film". Orlando Business Journal. 29 December 2008 . Retrieved 27 March 2011 . ^ "Gresham Shares Plans for Next Narnia Film". NarniaWeb . Retrieved 19 November 2017 . ^ McNary, Dave (1 October 2013). "Mark Gordon Producing Fourth 'Narnia' Movie". Variety . Retrieved 3 November 2017 . ^ Kroll, Justin (26 April 2017). " ' Captain America' Director Joe Johnston Boards 'Narnia' Revival 'The Silver Chair' (Exclusive)". Variety . Retrieved 3 November 2017 . ^ "The Silver Chair to Begin Filming 2018, Johnston Says". NarniaWeb . Retrieved 3 November 2017 . ^ Beatrice Verhoeven (3 October 2018). "Netflix to Develop Series, Films Based on CS Lewis' 'The Chronicles of Narnia ' ". the wrap . Retrieved 28 November 2018 . References Edit Daigle-Williamson, Marsha (2015). Reflecting the Eternal: Dante's Divine Comedy in the Novels of C. S. Lewis. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers. ISBN 978-1-61970-665-1. CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) Dorsett, Lyle W.; Mead, Marjorie Lamp (1995). C. S. Lewis: Letters to Children. Touchstone. ISBN 0-684-82372-1. CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) Ford, Paul (2005). Companion to Narnia: A Complete Guide to the Magical World of C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia (Revised ed.). San Francisco: Harper. ISBN 978-0-06-079127-8. CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) Green, Roger Lancelyn; Hooper, Walter (2002). C. S. Lewis: A Biography (Fully revised & expanded ed.). HarperCollins. ISBN 0-00-715714-2. CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) Hardy, Elizabeth Baird (2007). Milton, Spenser and The Chronicles of Narnia: literary sources for the C. S. Lewis novels. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-2876-2. CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) Hooper, Walter (2007). The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Volume III. HarperSanFrancisco. ISBN 978-0-06-081922-4. CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) Schakel, Peter (1979). Reading with the Heart: The Way into Narnia. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans. ISBN 978-0-8028-1814-0. CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) Ward, Michael (2008). Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-531387-1. CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) Further reading Edit Bruner, Kurt; Ware, Jim (2005). Finding God in the Land of Narnia. Tyndale House Publishers. Bustard, Ned (2004). The Chronicles of Narnia Comprehension Guide. Veritas Press. Goldthwaite, John (1996). The Natural History of Make-believe: A Guide to the Principal Works of Britain, Europe and America . Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-503806-4. Gopnik, Adam (21 November 2005). "Prisoner of Narnia". The New Yorker. Gormley, Beatrice (2005). C. S. Lewis: The Man behind Narnia. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Books for young readers. ISBN 0-8028-5301-3. Green, Jonathon (2007). "The recycled image". Times and Seasons. Hein, Rolland (2002). Christian Mythmakers: C. S. Lewis, Madeleine L'Engle, J. R. R. Tolkien, George MacDonald, G.K. Chesterton, & Others (second ed.). Chicago: Cornerstone Press. ISBN 978-0-940895-48-5. Holbrook, David (1991). The Skeleton in the Wardrobe: C. S. Lewis's Fantasies '-- A Phenomenological Study. Bucknell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8387-5183-1. Jacobs, Alan (2005). The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C. S. Lewis. HarperSanFrancisco. Jacobs, Tom (2004). Remembering a Master Mythologist and His Connection to Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara News-Press. ISBN. Archived from the original on 17 June 2004. McIntosh, Kenneth (2006). Following Aslan: A Book of Devotions for Children. Anamchara Books. Moynihan, Martin, ed. (2009). The Latin Letters of C. S. Lewis: C. S. Lewis and Don Giovanni Calabria. St. Augustine's Press. ISBN 978-1-890318-34-5. Pearce, Joseph (2004). Literary Giants, Literary Catholics. Ignatius Press. ISBN 978-1-58617-077-6. External links Edit C. S. Lewis entry at BBC ReligionsThe secret of the wardrobe BBC News, 18 November 2005
NIH Chief Francis Collins Awarded 2020 Templeton Prize : Coronavirus Live Updates : NPR
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 12:27
National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins, right, received the Templeton Prize for his work to de-escalate mistrust between scientists and people of faith. Andrew Harnik / Pool via Reuters hide caption
toggle caption Andrew Harnik / Pool via Reuters National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins, right, received the Templeton Prize for his work to de-escalate mistrust between scientists and people of faith.
Andrew Harnik / Pool via Reuters Francis Collins, the evangelical Christian who as a physician and scientist directs the National Institutes of Health, has been awarded the prestigious Templeton Prize for his commitment to challenging the idea that science and religion are at odds.
The prize, established in 1972 by the philanthropist Sir John Templeton, is meant to honor those who demonstrate "the insights that science brings to the deepest questions of the universe and humankind's purpose and place within it." The prize, one of the world's largest individual awards, provides the recipient 1.1 million British pounds ($1.3 million).
Collins is one of the most accomplished scientists in the country, having directed the Human Genome Project to completion, thus illuminating the genetic blueprint of the human species. As the NIH director, Collins oversees the federal government's biomedical and public health research efforts, including the effort to find and develop a vaccine to prevent COVID-19.
As a medical student, Collins was an unapologetic atheist, but he gradually developed strong religious beliefs, inspired in part by the faith of patients who were near death.
Collins' 2006 book, The Language of God, argued that "belief in God can be an entirely rational choice, and that the principles of faith are, in fact, complementary with the principles of science."
In a response to the Templeton Prize announcement on Twitter, Collins said he was "profoundly humbled" by the recognition. Past honorees include Mother Teresa, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama. "The realization that principles of faith & science are complementary has been of great comfort to me in the search for truth," Collins said.
As the NIH director, Collins supervises the work of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious disease expert and a prominent spokesman for the nation's response to the coronavirus pandemic. Fauci has recently roused the ire of conservatives over his contradiction of President Trump's claim that the pandemic is under control. But Collins told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he considers Fauci "an incredible public servant and a dedicated scientist and a wonderful human being."
Because of his deep religious convictions, Collins has played a role in persuading his fellow evangelical Christians to heed the advice of health experts when it comes to the importance of social distancing and support for vaccine development. Some evangelical Christian leaders have expressed skepticism about the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic and opposed government orders to keep churches closed.
Francis Collins Awarded 2020 Templeton Prize - John Templeton Foundation
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 13:41
WEST CONSHOHOCKEN, PA '-- Geneticist and physician Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, who led the Human Genome Project to its successful completion in 2003 and throughout his career has advocated for the integration of faith and reason, was announced today as the 2020 Templeton Prize Laureate.
In his scientific leadership, public speaking, and popular writing, including his bestselling 2006 book, The Language of God, Collins has demonstrated how religious faith can motivate and inspire rigorous scientific research. ''This book argues that belief in God can be an entirely rational choice,'' he writes in the introduction, ''and that the principles of faith are, in fact, complementary with the principles of science.'' In the book, he endeavors to encourage religious communities to embrace the latest discoveries of genetics and the biomedical sciences as insights to enrich and enlarge their faith.
Collins, 70, was selected as the 2020 Laureate by the Prize judges late last year, but the announcement was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
From 1993 to 2008, Collins directed the National Human Genome Research Institute, guiding the Human Genome Project in its mapping and sequencing of the three billion DNA letters that make up the human genetic instruction book.
Before joining the NIH, Collins served as professor of internal medicine and human genetics at the University of Michigan, where he was known as the ''gene hunter'' for his pioneering technique of ''positional cloning'' to pinpoint disease-related genes. His research groups have been responsible for the discovery of the genes responsible for cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, Huntington's disease, and Hutchinson-Guilford progeria syndrome, a rare form of premature aging.
These and other genetic breakthroughs have helped launch a new era of precision medicine in which researchers and providers can customize treatment programs for individual patients, and have shed new light on human well-being and the nature and possibilities of the human species.
The announcement was made online at today by the Templeton philanthropies: the John Templeton Foundation, based in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, and by the Templeton World Charity Foundation and Templeton Religion Trust, based in Nassau, The Bahamas.
The Templeton Prize, valued at 1.1 million British pounds, is one of the world's largest annual individual awards, and honors individuals whose exemplary achievements advance Sir John Templeton's philanthropic vision: harnessing the power of the sciences to explore the deepest questions of the universe and humankind's place and purpose within it.
In a statement prepared for the announcement, at, Dr. Collins said: ''As I write this, almost my every waking moment is consumed by the effort to find treatments and a vaccine for COVID-19. The elegant complexity of human biology constantly creates in me a sense of awe. Yet I grieve at the suffering and death I see all around, and at times I confess I am assailed by doubts about how a loving God would permit such tragedies. But then I remember that the God who hung on the cross is intimately familiar with suffering. I learn and re-learn that God never promised freedom from suffering '' but rather to be ''our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble'' (Psalm 46).''
Heather Templeton Dill, president of the John Templeton Foundation, in a prepared statement at, said: ''In his role as a scientist, government official, and public intellectual, Francis Collins has used his platform to engage groups of diverse perspectives, and encouraged greater curiosity, open-mindedness, and humility among scientists and religious believers with the aim of illuminating a pathway toward, as he has written, 'a sober and intellectually honest integration' of the scientific and spiritual perspectives. Dr. Collins embodies the ideals and core convictions that inspired my grandfather, Sir John Templeton, to establish the Templeton Prize in 1972: that rigorous research, especially in the sciences, can help humanity confront the deepest and most challenging questions of existence.''
Templeton, the investor and philanthropist who died in 2008, created the Templeton Prize because he wanted to recognize discoveries that yielded new insights about religion especially through science, and he set the award amount above that of the Nobel Prizes in order to recognize the importance of what he called ''progress in religion.''
His understanding of progress in religion evolved during his lifetime and is shown in the variety among the 50 Laureates who have received the Prize. Winners have come from all major faiths and dozens of countries and have included Nobel Prize winners, philosophers, theoretical physicists, and one canonized saint. For the first few decades of the Prize, HRH Prince Philip presented the award, and distinguished leaders such as Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Presidents George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford served as judges.
This year, the Templeton philanthropies updated the description of the Prize, focusing it on research, discovery, public engagement, and religious leadership that advance understanding of and appreciation for the insights of science.
Francis Sellers Collins, M.D., Ph.D., was born in Staunton, Virginia, to parents who sought to raise him in an idealized agrarian lifestyle, homeschooling him until he was 10 on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley. He received a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Yale. A biochemistry course, however, opened his eyes to the revolutionary possibilities emerging in the field, and led him to shift his career path and enroll in medical school at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
In his youth, Collins wrestled with issues of religion, veering from comfortable agnosticism to unapologetic atheism. But while a third-year medical student serving his residency, he was struck by the power of faith professed by his patients, many of whom faced imminent death. Unable to articulate his own belief, a neighbor, a Methodist minister, introduced him to the writings of C.S. Lewis, the legendary Oxford scholar who himself had tested the tenets of faith through the lens of logic before embracing Christianity. Collins's journey to Christian belief would evolve and strengthen over the next three decades.
After serving his residency and earning an M.D., Collins was named a Fellow in Human Genetics at Yale Medical School under the direction of Sherman Weissman, who still serves as the school's Sterling Professor of Genetics. In Weissman's lab, Collins developed the technique of ''chromosome jumping'', allowing the cloning of an entire genetic strand by skipping over lengthy, perhaps unsearchable parts of the strand without going through the sequence gene by gene in order to read the entire strand.
After nine years at the University of Michigan where he became the school's Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, he was appointed director of the National Center for Human Genome Research in 1993. There he was responsible for the Human Genome Project, an international consortium which remains the largest biological collaboration project in history. He resigned his position in 2008 but continued to lead an active laboratory focused on progeria and type 2 diabetes.
The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, Collins's first book for a general audience, was published in 2006. In it, he recounts his journey from agnosticism to atheism to Christian belief, explaining why science does not conflict with the Bible, and outlining how modern science and robust personal faith can reinforce each other. Collins has said he was astounded by the response to the book '' it was a New York Times bestseller for 16 weeks and has been translated into 24 languages.
In response to that overwhelming interest, and seeing the need to create a platform for further dialogue about science and religion, Collins and his wife, Diane Baker, founded the non-profit BioLogos Foundation in 2007, to foster discussion about harmony between science and biblical faith. The organization publishes articles and podcasts from scientists who are also Christians and promotes the view that an evolutionary creation position is correct and compatible with Christianity.
In 2009, newly-inaugurated President Barack Obama nominated Collins as the 16th director of the National Institutes of Health. He received unanimous Senate confirmation, and was reappointed to the position by President Donald Trump in 2017. He is the longest-serving director in the agency's history.
Collins has written three other books aimed at a general audience: The Language of Life: DNA and the Revolution in Personalized Medicine and Belief: Readings on the Reasons for Faith, both in 2010, and The Language of Science and Faith: Straight Answers to Genuine Questions, in 2011.
Among the many initiatives launched under Collins's direction at NIH are ''BRAIN: Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies,'' to develop tools to examine the brain's cells and circuits; ''Sound Health: Music and the Mind,'' examining how music can have health and wellness applications; and ''HEAL: Helping to End Addiction Long Term,'' in response to the national opioid crisis.
In early 2020, Collins and his NIH colleagues shifted major parts of their attention and resources to accelerating treatments and a vaccine for the novel coronavirus causing a global pandemic.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Collins has urged faith communities to trust science while debunking various internet conspiracies, to link inevitable bad news to opportunities for hope, and to remain strong in their faith. In a recent Washington Post interview, he referenced a favorite verse from Joshua 1:9: ''Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.''
''That encourages me,'' said Collins, ''and faith leaders can spread that kind of exaltation around in a way that I think will encourage others.''
Collins and his wife, Diane Baker, a founding faculty member and director of the genetic counseling program at the University of Michigan, live in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Collins joins a list of 50 Prize recipients including Mother Teresa (the inaugural award in 1973), the Dalai Lama (2012), and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (2013). Last year's Templeton Prize went to theoretical physicist Marcelo Gleiser for his writings that present science, philosophy, and spirituality as complementary expressions of humanity's need to embrace mystery and the unknown. The 2018 Laureate was His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan for his efforts to promote peace-affirming Islam and to seek religious harmony within Islam and between Islam and other religions. Other scientists who have won the Prize include Martin Rees (2011), John Barrow (2006), George Ellis (2004), the late Freeman Dyson (2000), and Paul Davies (1995).
Francis Collins will formally receive the Templeton Prize in a virtual ceremony later this year.
John Templeton - Wikipedia
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 13:35
Sir John Marks Templeton (29 November 1912 '' 8 July 2008)[1] was an American-born British investor, banker, fund manager, and philanthropist. In 1954, he entered the mutual fund market and created the Templeton Growth Fund.[2] In 1999, Money magazine named him "arguably the greatest global stock picker of the century."[2]
Early life and education Edit John Marks Templeton was born in the town of Winchester, Tennessee, and attended Yale University, where he was an assistant business manager for campus humour magazine Yale Record and was selected for membership in the Elihu society.[3] He financed a portion of his tuition by playing poker, a game at which he excelled.[4] He graduated in 1934 near the top of his class. He attended the Balliol College in Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and earned an M.A. in law. He was a CFA charterholder[5] and was a student of the "father of value investing", Benjamin Graham.[6][7]
Investment career Edit Templeton, during the Depression of the 1930s, bought 100 shares of each NYSE listed company which was then selling for less than $1 a share ($18 today) (104 companies, 34 in bankruptcy, in 1939), later making many times the money back when USA industry picked up as a result of World War II.[8] According to Templeton, he called his broker the day World War II began and instructed him to purchase every stock trading at less than a dollar. This stratagem helped make him a wealthy man.
Templeton became a billionaire[9][10][11][12][13][14] by pioneering the use of globally diversified mutual funds. His Templeton Growth Fund, Ltd. (investment fund), established in 1954, was among the first to invest in Japan in the middle of the 1960s.[15] Templeton also created funds specifically in certain industries such as nuclear energy, chemicals, and electronics. By 1959, Templeton went public, with five funds and more than 66 million dollars under management.[1]
In 2006 he was listed in a seven-way tie for 129th place on The Sunday Times ' s "Rich List". He rejected technical analysis for stock trading, preferring instead to use fundamental analysis.[12] Money magazine in 1999 called him "arguably the greatest global stock picker of the century".[16]
Investment philosophy Edit Templeton attributed much of his success to his ability to maintain an elevated mood, avoid anxiety and stay disciplined.[17] Uninterested in consumerism, he drove his own car, never flew first class and lived year-round in the Bahamas.[18]
Templeton became known for his "avoiding the herd" and "buy when there's blood in the streets" philosophy.[19] He also was known for taking profits when values and expectations were high.[20]
Templeton was a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter-holder. He received AIMR's first award for professional excellence in 1991.[21] In 2005, he wrote a brief memorandum predicting that within five years there would be financial chaos in the world. It was eventually made public in 2010.[citation needed ]
Personal life Edit Templeton married Judith Folk in 1937, and the couple had three children: John, Anne, and Christopher. Judith Templeton died in February 1951 in a motorbike accident. He remarried, to Irene Reynolds Butler in 1958; she died in 1993.[citation needed ] A Christian, he was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church. He served as an elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Englewood (Englewood, New Jersey). He was a trustee on the board of Princeton Theological Seminary, the largest Presbyterian seminary, for 42 years and served as its chair for 12 years.[citation needed ]
On 8 July 2008, Templeton died at Doctors Hospital in Nassau, Bahamas, of pneumonia at 12:20 local time. He was 95,[1] and was survived by two sons, one of whom, John Templeton Jr., has since died, in 2015, of brain cancer.
Wealth and philanthropy Edit Templeton was one of the most generous philanthropists in history, giving away over $1 billion to charitable causes.[22][23] Templeton renounced his US citizenship in 1964, allowing him to avoid paying $100 million that he would have paid in US income taxes when he sold his international investment fund, instead channeling the funds toward his philanthropy efforts.[24][25][26] He held dual naturalised Bahamian and British citizenship and lived in the Bahamas.
In 2007, Templeton was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People (Time 100) under the category of "Power Givers". Templeton was given this honour for his "pursuit of spiritual understanding, often through scientific research" through his establishment of the John Templeton Foundation.[27]
As a philanthropist, Templeton established
the Templeton Prize for Progress Toward Research or Discoveries about Spiritual Realities in 1972;the Templeton Library in Sewanee, Tennessee;the Templeton College of the University of Oxford (by endowing the Oxford Centre for Management Studies to become a full college of the university having as a focus business and management studies).Templeton College is now closely associated with Oxford's Sa¯d Business School. In 2007, Templeton College transferred its executive education program to Sa¯d Business School. In 2008, Templeton College merged with Green College to form Green Templeton College.[28] This is one of the exceptional mergers in recent history of the University of Oxford.
He was created a Knight Bachelor in 1987 for his philanthropic efforts. Templeton was inducted into the Junior Achievement US Business Hall of Fame in 1996, and in 2003 awarded the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership.[29]
Templeton Religion Trust Edit Templeton Religion Trust (TRT) is a global charitable trust chartered by Sir John Templeton in 1984, with headquarters in Nassau, The Bahamas, where Sir John lived until his death in 2008. TRT has been active since 2012 and supports projects and the dissemination of results from projects seeking to enrich the conversation about religion via three broad initiatives:
Improving the methods of inquiry into the existence and nature of spiritual realities.Bringing about and enhancing the ''conditions of possibility'' of cooperative, constructive engagement (aka ''Covenantal Pluralism'') in the context of religion.Establishing the fact and improving our understanding of the underlying dynamics of the often overlooked or unforeseen benefits of religious faith and practice at its best.TRT's aim is to improve the well-being of individuals and societies through spiritual growth and an ever-improving understanding of spiritual realities and spiritual information.[30]
TRT is the first of three charitable entities established by Sir John Templeton. The other entities are the John Templeton Foundation and the Templeton World Charity Foundation. While all three organizations have similar aims, they operate as separate charitable entities.
John Templeton Foundation Edit As a member of the Presbyterian Church, Templeton was dedicated to his faith. However, Templeton eschewed dogma and declared relatively little was known about the divine through scripture, espousing what he called a "humble approach" to theology and remaining open to the benefits and values of other faiths.[31] Commenting on his commitment to what he called spiritual progress, "But why shouldn't I try to learn more? Why shouldn't I go to Hindu services? Why shouldn't I go to Muslim services? If you are not egotistical, you will welcome the opportunity to learn more."[18] Similarly, one of the major goals of the John Templeton Foundation is to proliferate the monetary support of spiritual discoveries. The John Templeton Foundation encourages research into "big questions" by awarding philanthropic aid to institutions and people who pursue the answers to such questions through "explorations into the laws of nature and the universe, to questions on the nature of love, gratitude, forgiveness, and creativity."[32]
In an interview published in the Financial Intelligence Report in 2005, Templeton asserts that the purpose of the John Templeton Foundation is as follows:"We are trying to persuade people that no human has yet grasped 1% of what can be known about spiritual realities. So we are encouraging people to start using the same methods of science that have been so productive in other areas, in order to discover spiritual realities."[33]
Publications and works Edit Riches for the Mind and Spirit: John Marks Templeton's Treasury of Words to Help, Inspire, and Live By, 2006. ISBN 1-59947-101-9Golden Nuggets from Sir John Templeton, 1997. ISBN 1-890151-04-1Discovering the Laws of Life, 1994. ISBN 0-8264-0861-3Is God the Only Reality? Science Points to a Deeper Meaning of the Universe, 1994. ISBN 0-8264-0650-5Templeton Plan: 21 Steps to Personal Success and Real Happiness, 1992. ISBN 0-06-104178-5The humble approach: Scientists discover God, 1981. ISBN 0-8164-0481-XWorldwide Laws of Life: 200 Eternal Spiritual Principles, 1998. ISBN 1-890151-15-7.Investing the Templeton Way: The Market Beating Strategies of Value Investings Legendary Bargain Hunter, 2007. ISBN 978-0-07-154563-1Buying at the Point of Maximum Pessimism: Six Value Investing Trends from China to Oil to Agriculture, 2010. ISBN 978-0-13-703849-7See also Edit John Templeton FoundationTempleton PrizeJohn Templeton Jr.Franklin Templeton InvestmentsBenjamin Graham, another famous value investor and teacher of TempletonWarren Buffett, another famous value investor and student of Benjamin GrahamReferences Edit ^ a b c McFadden, Robert D. (9 July 2000). "Sir John M. Templeton, Philanthropist, Rockstar, Dies at 95". The New York Times. ^ a b "Life Story | The John Templeton Foundation". Archived from the original on 11 January 2017 . Retrieved 3 February 2017 . ^ Herrmann, Robert L. (1998). Sir John Templeton: From Wall Street to Humility Theology. Radnor, Pennsylvania: Templeton Foundation Press. p. 112. ^ Adeney, Martin (9 July 2008). "Obituary: Sir John Templeton". the Guardian. ^ "John Templeton CFA". ^ Chapman, Scott A. (20 August 2019). Empower Your Investing. Post Hill Press. p. 41. ISBN 978-1-64293-238-6. Archived from the original on 6 January 2020. ^ Berryessa, Norman; Kirzner, Eric (22 December 1988). Global Investing: The Templeton Way. McGraw-Hill Education. p. 125. ISBN 978-1556238734. ^ John Templeton Foundation. "Sir John Templeton, Pioneer Investor and Philanthropist" Archived 10 January 2007 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed August 24, 2015. ^ "The Devout Donor" Archived 19 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine Business Week. 28 November 2005. ^ "Positive Psychology Network Concept Paper" Archived 24 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine by Martin E. P. Seligman. University of Pennsylvania. ^ "Free Cash for Savvy Fools" [dead link ] ,, 12 April 2007. ^ a b Mark Stousen. "John Templeton's Five Steps for Financial Success" Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine,, 11 December 2005. ^ "Testing the role of trust and values in financial decisions",, 21 January 2007. ^ Bernard Condon. "An Investment Legend's Advice",, 4 February 2004. ^ "The Great Investors: John Templeton" [permanent dead link ] ,, 15 January 2008 ^ "Templeton Saw It Coming",, 7 July 2008. ^ LanczGlobal, LLC. "Templeton disciple stays loyal to contrarian faith". ^ a b Jefferson, Rodney; Laura Tillman (8 July 2008). "John Templeton, billionaire U.S. philanthropist, dies at 95". Archived from the original on 22 January 2009 . Retrieved 9 July 2008 . ^ LanczGlobal, LLC. "Sir John Templeton: One Great Man-One Great Philosophy". ^ LanczGlobal, LLC. "Our Latest Interview with Sir John Templeton". Archived from the original on 5 December 2008. ^ aimr_timeline_2000 Archived 10 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine ^ The 50 Most Generous Philanthropists Archived 22 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine ^ The Philanthropy Hall of Fame, John Templeton ^ McCormick, Jason (11 July 2012). "5 citizens who left the U.S. to avoid paying tax". . Retrieved 17 June 2014 . ^ Bauman, Robert E. (2007). Where to Stash Your Cash ... Legally, Offshore Havens of the World (2 ed.). The Sovereign Society. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-9789210-2-6 . Retrieved 16 December 2011 . ^ "The Long Good-Bye",, 28 March 2005. ^ Caplan, Jeremy, and Coco Masters. "Time 100." Time 14 May 2007: 84. ^ "Welcome - GTC Homepage". ^ "404 Page". ^ "Templeton Religion Trust website". ^ "Sir John Templeton Biography" Archived 30 December 2012 at the Wayback Machine The John Templeton Foundation. Accessed May 2012 ^ "About Us." Archived 2 January 2007 at the Wayback Machine The John Templeton Foundation. 5 January 2007. 17 May 2007 ^ "Sir John Templeton Reveals the Future of the Stock Market, Real Estate and Life - Sir John Templeton". External links Edit John Templeton FoundationProfile of the John Templeton Foundation in The NationObituary of Sir John Templeton in Philanthropy magazineGod's Venture Capitalist Slate article by David Plotz16 Rules for Investment Success by Sir John TempletonThe John Templeton Award for Theological Promise A research award funded by the John Templeton FoundationContrarian, a documentary film about John Templeton
The Biologos Foundation Inc - GuideStar Profile
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 13:30
What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?
Source: IRS Form 990
BioLogos - God's Word. God's World. - BioLogos
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 13:18
Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases across the country, what should be the Christian response? Bible scholar N.T. Wright and BioLogos founder Francis Collins, two influential Christian figures, will ponder this question and more during a live recording of the Language of God podcast on Sunday at 2 PM ET.
Set A Reminder Watch Subscribe to Podcast About BioLogos 01/08 Featured Resources Browse All Resources Joseph Graves | The Genetics of Race (Part 2) We dig into the genetic science of race and we talk about some common misconceptions, such as whether race affects athletic abilities and what you can actually find out from genetic ancestry testing.
Joseph Graves | The Genetics of Race (Part 2) We dig into the genetic science of race and we talk about some common misconceptions, such as whether race affects athletic abilities and what you can actually find out from genetic ancestry testing.
Joseph Graves | The Genetics of Race (Part 2) We dig into the genetic science of race and we talk about some common misconceptions, such as whether race affects athletic abilities and what you can actually find out from genetic ancestry testing.
Many people today, both secular and Christian, want us to believe that science and religion cannot live together. Not only is this untrue, but we believe that a thoughtful dialogue between science and faith is essential for engaging the hearts and minds of individuals today. BioLogos provides an important first step towards that end.
Tim Keller, Pastor & Author 01/08 Thinking on Race, Science, and FaithResources to help us better process the moment we're in.
One Human Family We abhor the misuse of the science of evolution to promote racist ideas. We celebrate the unity of the human race, which has been abundantly confirmed by scientific evidence.
Joseph Graves | The Genetics of Race (Part 2) We dig into the genetic science of race and we talk about some common misconceptions, such as whether race affects athletic abilities and what you can actually find out from genetic ancestry testing.
Why Black Lives Matter for Science and Faith Listen to the panel of Black science and faith voices talk about the disparities in STEM, and how we can achieve greater representation for the Black community and other people of color in our fields.
Scientist Spotlight: Georgia M. Dunston The study of human genomics not only discredits the biological basis of our socially constructed racial categories, but also has the potential to reframe the way in which we understand human identity.
One Human Family We abhor the misuse of the science of evolution to promote racist ideas. We celebrate the unity of the human race, which has been abundantly confirmed by scientific evidence.
Joseph Graves | The Genetics of Race (Part 2) We dig into the genetic science of race and we talk about some common misconceptions, such as whether race affects athletic abilities and what you can actually find out from genetic ancestry testing.
Why Black Lives Matter for Science and Faith Listen to the panel of Black science and faith voices talk about the disparities in STEM, and how we can achieve greater representation for the Black community and other people of color in our fields.
Scientist Spotlight: Georgia M. Dunston The study of human genomics not only discredits the biological basis of our socially constructed racial categories, but also has the potential to reframe the way in which we understand human identity.
One Human Family We abhor the misuse of the science of evolution to promote racist ideas. We celebrate the unity of the human race, which has been abundantly confirmed by scientific evidence.
Start ExploringNew to BioLogos? Check out these introductory resources to see what we're all about! What is evolution? Properly understood, evolution is a scientific theory about the development of life and is consistent with Christian theology.
01/03God's Word. God's World. The Mission of BioLogos.Are science and religion at war? Many people today believe they are in conflict. BioLogos exists to show that you don't have to choose between modern science and biblical faith. Watch the video to learn more '...
01/06 Latest Podcast EpisodesSubscribe to Language of God, a BioLogos Podcast on Faith & Science
Subscribe Now Joseph Graves | The Genetics of Race (Part 2) We dig into the genetic science of race and we talk about some common misconceptions, such as whether race affects athletic abilities and what you can actually find out from genetic ancestry testing.
Joseph Graves | The Genetics of Race (Part 2) We dig into the genetic science of race and we talk about some common misconceptions, such as whether race affects athletic abilities and what you can actually find out from genetic ancestry testing.
01/10 BioLogos Basics VideosCheck out this series of short, snappy videos introducing topics for those new to the Christianity and evolution discussion.
8. What is Genetics? Some of the strongest evidence for the common ancestry of all life forms comes from genetics. Genetics is the study of how changes are passed down from generation to generation through DNA.
9. What Happens to Christian Theology if Evolution is True? What happens to Christian theology if evolution is true? Perhaps the best way of exploring this question is keeping in mind that God is the author of both Scripture and the natural world, and so, ultimately, these can't contradict each other.
10. What's the Point? In this video series we've taken a whirlwind tour through questions people have about evolutionary creation: from the age of the earth and evidences for common ancestry, to biblical interpretation and theological controversies.
1. What is BioLogos? So what is BioLogos? Well it all began with a scientist and a book. Francis Collins, the physician and geneticist who led the Human Genome Project, wrote the book, The Language of God.
2. Is God the Creator? Does BioLogos believe that God is the creator? Yes, all Christians believe this; the question is, how did God create?
3. What about the Bible? Doesn't evolutionary creation contradict a plain reading of the Bible? Well, that depends on whose plain reading you mean.
4. How did God create the ingredients for life? So how did God bring about the diversity of life we see on earth today? First he needed a place where life could survive'--a planet that is just the right distance from the sun, and full of the right kinds of elements.
5. How Old is the Earth? So how old is the earth? Some people think the Bible says it was created about 6,000 years ago. While the Bible does include a number of genealogies, many conservative Bible scholars believe that these lists are not intended to be a complete method of dating the age of the earth.
6. How Evolution Works, Part 1 We often hear critics of evolution saying things like, ''A dog could have never evolved from a cat'' or ''If humans evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys around?'' These kinds of statements reveal a misunderstanding of what scientists mean by evolution.
7. How Evolution Works, Part 2 Whales provide a clear example of macroevolution. They are superficially similar to fish, but are, in fact, mammals! Darwin himself wondered whether whales had evolved from mammals on land, but he had no real empirical evidence for such a claim. Now we have impressive evidence.
8. What is Genetics? Some of the strongest evidence for the common ancestry of all life forms comes from genetics. Genetics is the study of how changes are passed down from generation to generation through DNA.
9. What Happens to Christian Theology if Evolution is True? What happens to Christian theology if evolution is true? Perhaps the best way of exploring this question is keeping in mind that God is the author of both Scripture and the natural world, and so, ultimately, these can't contradict each other.
10. What's the Point? In this video series we've taken a whirlwind tour through questions people have about evolutionary creation: from the age of the earth and evidences for common ancestry, to biblical interpretation and theological controversies.
1. What is BioLogos? So what is BioLogos? Well it all began with a scientist and a book. Francis Collins, the physician and geneticist who led the Human Genome Project, wrote the book, The Language of God.
2. Is God the Creator? Does BioLogos believe that God is the creator? Yes, all Christians believe this; the question is, how did God create?
3. What about the Bible? Doesn't evolutionary creation contradict a plain reading of the Bible? Well, that depends on whose plain reading you mean.
4. How did God create the ingredients for life? So how did God bring about the diversity of life we see on earth today? First he needed a place where life could survive'--a planet that is just the right distance from the sun, and full of the right kinds of elements.
5. How Old is the Earth? So how old is the earth? Some people think the Bible says it was created about 6,000 years ago. While the Bible does include a number of genealogies, many conservative Bible scholars believe that these lists are not intended to be a complete method of dating the age of the earth.
6. How Evolution Works, Part 1 We often hear critics of evolution saying things like, ''A dog could have never evolved from a cat'' or ''If humans evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys around?'' These kinds of statements reveal a misunderstanding of what scientists mean by evolution.
7. How Evolution Works, Part 2 Whales provide a clear example of macroevolution. They are superficially similar to fish, but are, in fact, mammals! Darwin himself wondered whether whales had evolved from mammals on land, but he had no real empirical evidence for such a claim. Now we have impressive evidence.
8. What is Genetics? Some of the strongest evidence for the common ancestry of all life forms comes from genetics. Genetics is the study of how changes are passed down from generation to generation through DNA.
9. What Happens to Christian Theology if Evolution is True? What happens to Christian theology if evolution is true? Perhaps the best way of exploring this question is keeping in mind that God is the author of both Scripture and the natural world, and so, ultimately, these can't contradict each other.
10. What's the Point? In this video series we've taken a whirlwind tour through questions people have about evolutionary creation: from the age of the earth and evidences for common ancestry, to biblical interpretation and theological controversies.
01/06 Upcoming EventsSee what events BioLogos is involved in!
See All Events 22 Aug
Dahlonega, GAUniversity of North Georgia '-- University of North Georgia
24 Sep
Cambridge, UKFaraday Institute for Science and Religion '-- Lucy Cavendish College
11 Nov
Birmingham, ALSamford University '-- Samford University
16 Jul
Norwich, UKScience and Faith in Norfolk '-- Norwich Cathedral Nave
27 Jul
San Diego, CAAmerican Scientific Affiliation '-- Point Loma Nazarene University
27 Jul
Oxford, UKC.S. Lewis Foundation '-- St. Catharine's College
22 Aug
Dahlonega, GAUniversity of North Georgia '-- University of North Georgia
24 Sep
Cambridge, UKFaraday Institute for Science and Religion '-- Lucy Cavendish College
11 Nov
Birmingham, ALSamford University '-- Samford University
16 Jul
Norwich, UKScience and Faith in Norfolk '-- Norwich Cathedral Nave
27 Jul
San Diego, CAAmerican Scientific Affiliation '-- Point Loma Nazarene University
27 Jul
Oxford, UKC.S. Lewis Foundation '-- St. Catharine's College
22 Aug
Dahlonega, GAUniversity of North Georgia '-- University of North Georgia
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Cambridge, UKFaraday Institute for Science and Religion '-- Lucy Cavendish College
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ACTIV | National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 16:14
OverviewOn April 17, 2020 the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) public-private partnership to develop a coordinated research strategy for prioritizing and speeding development of the most promising treatments and vaccines.
Coordinated by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), ACTIV brings NIH together with its sibling agencies in the Department of Health and Human Services, including the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA); other government agencies including the Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA); the European Medicines Agency (EMA); and representatives from academia, philanthropic organizations, and numerous biopharmaceutical companies.
ChallengeThe COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global crisis that has been met with a swift and extraordinary response. Since the novel coronavirus was first reported in late 2019, institutions and organizations around the world have launched hundreds of research studies on diagnosis, prevention, and treatment strategies'--all of which are critical to the world's ability to return to normal.
With limited resources, there is a need to coordinate and streamline processes to make the best use of biomedical research resources and testing of preclinical compounds.
The research community is sifting through more than 100 potential preventives and treatments. However, because so many studies are recruiting patients, many of those studies could fail to enroll enough participants to answer their research questions. In addition, lack of coordination could make interpretation and comparison of the results difficult. Meanwhile, healthcare providers on the front lines are taking care of critically ill patients every day. They need solid information grounded in research.
With limited resources, there is a need to coordinate and streamline processes to make the best use of biomedical research resources and testing of preclinical compounds. There is also a need to prioritize the most promising vaccine candidates and move them into clinical trials in a way that is safe and efficient.
OpportunityThrough the ACTIV initiative, NIH is pursuing four fast-track focus areas most ripe for opportunity, each of which is led by a working group of senior scientists representing government, industry, non-profit, philanthropic, and academic organizations.
Fast Track Area #1Develop a collaborative, streamlined forum to identify preclinical treatments.
How we plan to accomplish this:
Establishing a centralized process and repository for harmonizing and sharing methods and evaluating animal modelsExtending access to high-throughput screening facilities, especially in biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) labsIncreasing access to validated animal modelsEnhancing comparison of approaches to identify informative assaysFast Track Area #2Accelerate clinical testing of the most promising vaccines and treatments.
How we plan to accomplish this:
Establishing a steering committee with relevant expertise to set criteria for and rank potential candidates submitted by industry partners for testingDeveloping a complete inventory of potential candidates with different mechanisms of action and acceptable safety profilesDesigning, launching, and openly sharing master protocols with agreed-upon endpoints, sampling, and analysis for evaluating candidatesUsing a single control arm to enhance trial efficiencyFast Track Area #3Improve clinical trial capacity and effectiveness.
How we plan to accomplish this:
Specializing in different populations and disease stagesLeveraging infrastructure and expertise from across NIH and non-NIH networks and clinical research organizationsEstablishing a coordinated mechanism across networks to expedite trialsTracking incidence across sites and projecting future capacityFast Track Area #4Accelerate the evaluation of vaccine candidates to enable rapid authorization or approval.
How we plan to accomplish this:
Harmonizing efficacy trials to enable analysis of correlates of protection across vaccinesCreating a collaborative framework to share insights into natural immunity and vaccine candidate-induced immune responseLeadership OrganizationsThrough ACTIV, NIH brings together government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and numerous biopharmaceutical companies.
GovernmentBiomedical Advanced Research and Development AuthorityCenters for Disease Control and PreventionDepartment of DefenseDepartment of Veterans AffairsEuropean Medicines AgencyNational Institutes of HealthU.S. Food and Drug AdministrationIndustryAbbVieAmgenAstraZenecaBristol Myers SquibbEisaiEli Lilly and CompanyEvotecGileadGlaxoSmithKlineJohnson & JohnsonKSQ TherapeuticsMerck & Co., Inc.NovartisPfizerRoche-GenentechSanofiTakedaVir BiotechnologyNon-ProfitBill & Melinda Gates FoundationFred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterFoundation for the National Institutes of HealthRTI InternationalOrganization ChartDownload the PDF
Bill Gates celebrates research collaborations with NIH - Fogarty International Center @ NIH
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 14:55
COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.
Latest COVID-19 public health information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Latest COVID-19 research information from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) COVID-19 resources for global health researchers from Fogarty January / February 2014 | Volume 13, Number 1 Photo by Bill Branson/NIH
Bill Gates, speaking at the 13th annual David E. Barmes Global Health Lecture, thanked NIH for partnering with his foundation on research.
Watch the recorded webcast of Why the Future Needs Biomedical Innovation.
By Cathy KristiansenGlobal health philanthropist Bill Gates paid tribute to the numerous flourishing partnerships between his family foundation and the NIH, during a recent visit to the Bethesda campus. Research innovations are helping reduce the toll of malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malnutrition, but Gates noted much is left to be accomplished before global health equity is achieved.
Gates said the two organizations are united by their common goals of improving health and understanding the root causes of disease so that effective interventions can be developed. He thanked NIH for the relationship, adding, "It's great to see that the partnership is growing over time."
The co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation visited NIH to deliver the annual David E. Barmes Global Health Lecture, titled "Why the Future Needs Biomedical Innovation." The event honors its namesake for his career spent improving health in low-income countries and is co-sponsored by NIH's National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) and Fogarty.
Photo by Bill Branson/NIH
Global health philanthropist Bill Gates and NIH Director Dr. Francis S. Collins see synergies in their efforts to find new vaccines for HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other diseases.
In introducing Gates, NIH Director Dr. Francis S. Collins hailed him as "one of the makers of the modern world" and a "visionary" in global health. "Bill Gates sees what is absent. And he sees what should exist in that space," Collins said. "He sees solutions from the micro to the macro level that no one envisioned before him. More than that, he has the energy and the perseverance to give concrete form to his visions and so transform the world."
Collins credited the foundation with catalyzing the private sector, pioneering agreements in intellectual property to improve patient access and funding development of lifesaving interventions such as the meningitis vaccine, a point-of-care diagnostic for TB and synthetic artemisinin to ensure supply of this critical malaria therapeutic.
NIH-Gates Foundation collaborations include research on a biomarker for the river blindness parasite, studies to better understand how enteric infections and malnutrition undermine the immune system (the MAL-ED project), and development of low-cost methods to control malaria and dengue.
Vaccines hold promiseGates recalled the early days of his interest in global health, when he and his wife, Melinda, learned from an article that hundreds of thousands of children died every year of rotavirus - a diarrheal disease they'd not heard of - mainly in poor countries, and vaccines to protect them were just nearing licensure. Today, one of their foundation's key goals is to provide disadvantaged children with protection against rotavirus and other killers.
"Vaccines, after all, are pretty magical," said Gates, who toured several NIH vaccine labs during his visit. "Over time, the cost of making most vaccines will get down to something like 20 or 25 cents per child treated and yet it can give you lifelong protection."
One disease he hopes to eliminate by 2018 is polio. In addition, he is promoting distribution of vaccines against child-killing pneumococcus bacteria and rotavirus - including a new rotavirus vaccine produced by India's Bharat Biotech International - that could save 2.3 million lives by the end of this decade. Such success would be "very worthwhile, kind of a miracle compared with all the other health problems we talk about," Gates said.
He added he's "thrilled" that NIH researchers and foundation-backed investigators are "pushing forward" on HIV and other vaccine research, for instance in investigating pathogens for which natural immunity is almost nonexistent and studying additional vaccine constructs, such as those involving DNA/RNA and viral vectors. Whether researchers can devise an HIV vaccine, he said, "Certainly, I'm optimistic, although you couldn't give a time frame for it."
Photo courtesy of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation / Prashant Panjiar
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation partners with NIH in vaccine development and other global health research to lessen the world's disease burden.
Making wise funding choicesPrioritizing research projects is a challenge, he noted, with NIH and the Gates Foundation together accounting for about half of all global health research funding. Gates said his foundation identifies which health areas to support by analyzing how to bring the highest possible disease reduction for each dollar spent. "We want to have as much impact as we can," he said, noting his funding decisions incorporate the extent to which a particular disease undermines a person's ability to be productive - a measure known as DALY or disability adjusted life years lost.
Although the foundation focuses on infectious diseases with high DALYs, it also supports research into chronic health conditions with long-term impact, such as child under-nutrition and an often detrimental condition that affects every country in the world - preterm birth. Gates added that if NIH eventually devises a cost-effective intervention for a chronic disease such as cancer or diabetes, "we will get right on making sure that it gets delivered to the poor world. We're all about health equity."
Photo by Ernie Branson/NIH
Fogarty Director Dr. Roger I. Glass discusses global health research and training with Bill Gates, who delivered the annual Barmes Lecture, co-sponsored by Fogarty and NIH's NIDCR.
Given the enormous value of NIH's contributions to global health, Gates said he is "disappointed" that its funding is dwindling even as other countries are increasing theirs. Bolstering research spending is a wise decision that will help check rising health care costs at home as well as abroad, he explained. "Investing in research has huge paybacks, paybacks in improving the human condition and paybacks in reducing health costs as you get new tools," he said. "I am an optimist. I think we'll be able to convince people that those investments should be restored and grow."
Only hours after Gates' talk, President Obama announced a new NIH initiative to seek an HIV cure supported by $100 million in re-prioritized funds over the next three years. Obama also promised the U.S. will match $1 for every $2 contributed to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria by its multiple governmental and private partners. This could mean as much as $5 billion from the U.S. over the next three years. For its part, the Gates Foundation pledged up to $500 million in matching funds, adding onto the total $1.4 billion it has already given.
Improving health with technologyGates, whose technological innovations and wealth as co-founder of Microsoft have enabled him to devote billions of dollars to global health, commented on how solutions can be found by harnessing innovations from diverse disciplines. "Sometimes the technology you want to use is not obvious ... so we need to challenge people from different realms," he said. As an example, he cited chemists who created a 'superthermos' that could sustain cold temperatures without substantial energy input, but who had not automatically seen its application for global health - keeping vaccines cold in low-resource settings.
Technology such as Internet access and cellphones can improve global clinical practice in a "phenomenal" way, he noted, for instance in advancing record keeping, measurement and quality of care, monitoring cold storage and providing advice and training to health care workers. Diagnosis might also be enhanced in some cases by use of digital cameras and processing software, he added.
Yet, new technology should be introduced in a measured way, he cautioned, saying, "In many countries, you don't want to force [the introduction] prematurely. You've got to have a certain level of quality before it becomes a net benefit."
Expanding training through online coursesGates noted that technology could play an important role in expanding the number of health care professionals trained in countries with heavy disease burden, particularly Africa. "It would be ideal if you can get the scientific knowledge there and the treatment knowledge there to be much higher," he said. "The gaps are pretty huge and we're only making modest progress."
One important way to advance learning is by increased use of free and interactive online teaching tools. The Gates Foundation is a significant funder of massive open online courses, or MOOCs. "People watching a video lecture with somebody interesting who's giving examples and who's forcing them to answer a few questions to see if they're gaining the knowledge, that works better than if you're just throwing them the textbook," Gates said.
Students still need ways to have questions answered in a timely way, so further refinement of this teaching tool is needed, he added. But, he said, overall "it's very exciting that a large cohort that otherwise wouldn't have had access to a world class education will be able to get it through these online means."
Working toward health equityGates concluded that his foundation will continue to prioritize global health for many decades to come and he welcomes facing the challenges ahead in partnership with NIH. "Most people are born and die and never see a doctor," Gates said. "As long as there's health inequity, poor children have more risk of getting these diseases and there'll be a lot that we can do."
More InformationWatch the recorded webcast, Bill Gates presents the 2013 David E. Barmes Global Health Lecture: Why the Future Needs Biomedical Innovation.Access details about the 2013 David E. Barmes Global Health Lecture.Learn more about the Foundation for NIH global health programs, supported in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. To view Adobe PDF files, download current, free accessible plug-ins from Adobe's website.
NIH clinical trial of investigational vaccine for COVID-19 begins | National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 15:44
News Release
Monday, March 16, 2020
Study enrolling Seattle-based healthy adult volunteers.
3D print of a spike protein of SARS-CoV-2'--also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19'--in front of a 3D print of a SARS-CoV-2 virus particle. The spike protein (foreground) enables the virus to enter and infect human cells. On the virus model, the virus surface (blue) is covered with spike proteins (red) that enable the virus to enter and infect human cells. For more information, visit NIHA Phase 1 clinical trial evaluating an investigational vaccine designed to protect against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has begun at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) in Seattle. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, is funding the trial. KPWHRI is part of NIAID's Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Consortium. The open-label trial will enroll 45 healthy adult volunteers ages 18 to 55 years over approximately 6 weeks. The first participant received the investigational vaccine today.
The study is evaluating different doses of the experimental vaccine for safety and its ability to induce an immune response in participants. This is the first of multiple steps in the clinical trial process for evaluating the potential benefit of the vaccine.
The vaccine is called mRNA-1273 and was developed by NIAID scientists and their collaborators at the biotechnology company Moderna, Inc., based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) supported the manufacturing of the vaccine candidate for the Phase 1 clinical trial.
''Finding a safe and effective vaccine to prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2 is an urgent public health priority,'' said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. ''This Phase 1 study, launched in record speed, is an important first step toward achieving that goal.''
Infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can cause a mild to severe respiratory illness and include symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. COVID-19 cases were first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. As of March 15, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported 153,517 cases of COVID-19 and 5,735 deaths worldwide. More than 2,800 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 58 deaths have been reported in the United States as of March 15, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Currently, no approved vaccines exist to prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2.
The investigational vaccine was developed using a genetic platform called mRNA (messenger RNA). The investigational vaccine directs the body's cells to express a virus protein that it is hoped will elicit a robust immune response. The mRNA-1273 vaccine has shown promise in animal models, and this is the first trial to examine it in humans.
Scientists at NIAID's Vaccine Research Center (VRC) and Moderna were able to quickly develop mRNA-1273 because of prior studies of related coronaviruses that cause severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Coronaviruses are spherical and have spikes protruding from their surface, giving the particles a crown-like appearance. The spike binds to human cells, allowing the virus to gain entry. VRC and Moderna scientists already were working on an investigational MERS vaccine targeting the spike, which provided a head start for developing a vaccine candidate to protect against COVID-19. Once the genetic information of SARS-CoV-2 became available, the scientists quickly selected a sequence to express the stabilized spike protein of the virus in the existing mRNA platform.
The Phase 1 trial is led by Lisa A. Jackson, M.D., senior investigator at KPWHRI. Study participants will receive two doses of the vaccine via intramuscular injection in the upper arm approximately 28 days apart. Each participant will be assigned to receive a 25 microgram (mcg), 100 mcg or 250 mcg dose at both vaccinations, with 15 people in each dose cohort. The first four participants will receive one injection with the low dose, and the next four participants will receive the 100 mcg dose. Investigators will review safety data before vaccinating the remaining participants in the 25 and 100 mcg dose groups and before participants receive their second vaccinations. Another safety review will be done before participants are enrolled in the 250 mcg cohort.
Participants will be asked to return to the clinic for follow-up visits between vaccinations and for additional visits across the span of a year after the second shot. Clinicians will monitor participants for common vaccination symptoms, such as soreness at the injection site or fever as well as any other medical issues. A protocol team will meet regularly to review safety data, and a safety monitoring committee will also periodically review trial data and advise NIAID. Participants also will be asked to provide blood samples at specified time points, which investigators will test in the laboratory to detect and measure the immune response to the experimental vaccine.
''This work is critical to national efforts to respond to the threat of this emerging virus,'' Dr. Jackson said. ''We are prepared to conduct this important trial because of our experience as an NIH clinical trials center since 2007.''
Adults in the Seattle area who are interested in joining this study should visit For more information about the study, visit and search identifier NCT04283461.
NIAID conducts and supports research '-- at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide '-- to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID website.
About the National Institutes of Health (NIH):NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit
NIH'...Turning Discovery Into Health®
NoteAdults in the Seattle area who are interested in joining this study should visit People who live outside of this region will not be eligible to participate in this trial.
Coronavirus vaccine trials start in Australia - New York Daily News
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 12:17
American biotech company Novavax has started human trials of its coronavirus vaccine, hoping to release a vaccine as early as the end of the year.
The Maryland-headquartered vaccine development firm announced that it began injecting 131 volunteers in Australia Tuesday.
Phase 1 of trials aim to prove the safety and effectiveness of its vaccine, named NVX-CoV2373.
A number of other experimental vaccines against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, are in different stages of early testing in the U.S., China and Europe.
Drugmakers Moderna and Pfizer, in collaboration with BioNTech, have already started clinical trials. Novavax joined that group Tuesday, with volunteers in Melbourne and Brisbane.
''We are in parallel making doses, making vaccine in anticipation that we'll be able to show it's working and be able to start deploying it by the end of this year,'' Dr. Gregory Glenn, the company's research chief said during a virtual news conference, according to The Associated Press.
Early testing in animals suggested the vaccine is effective in low doses, Glenn said. The results of the human testing phase are expected in July. If all goes according to plan, thousands of volunteers across the world would be involved in the second phase of testing.
''Administering our vaccine in the first participants of this clinical trial is a significant achievement, bringing us one step closer toward addressing the fundamental need for a vaccine in the fight against the global COVID'‘19 pandemic,'' Stanley C. Erck, the company's CEO and president, said in a statement.
Most of the vaccine trials currently in progress aim to train the body's immune system to recognize so-called ''spike'' proteins '-- which the coronavirus uses to invade human cells '-- to prepare the body to react to the real virus.
To achieve that result some vaccines use a dead or harmless virus, while others use the genetic code for that protein.
Novax is using a different approach, called the recombinant vaccine.
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The company genetically engineered harmless copies of the coronavirus spike, purified the protein and then packaged it into virus-sized nanoparticles.
''The way we make a vaccine is we never touch the virus,'' Novavax told the AP. But ultimately, ''it looks just like a virus to the immune system.''
Wall Street reacted positively to the news. Novavax stocks jumped 17.3% after the company's Tuesday announcement.
Production of the vaccine received a $388-million investment boost by Norway-based Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations since March, Glenn said.
Novavax has the capacity to manufacture at least 100 million doses this year, and 1.5 billion more in 2021, he added.
MERS-CoV spike protein: Targets for vaccines and therapeutics - ScienceDirect
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 15:43
Highlights'A licensed vaccine or therapeutic against MERS-CoV remains unavailable to date.
'The S protein plays a pivotal role for virus entry and thus is an ideal target for vaccine and antiviral development.
'DNA vaccines expressing the S protein merit further development for potential human application.
'nAbs and peptides targeting the S protein needs to be evaluated in NHPs before clinical trials.
AbstractThe disease outbreak caused by Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is still ongoing in the Middle East. Over 1700 people have been infected since it was first reported in September 2012. Despite great efforts, licensed vaccines or therapeutics against MERS-CoV remain unavailable. The MERS-CoV spike (S) protein is an important viral antigen known to mediate host-receptor binding and virus entry, as well as induce robust humoral and cell-mediated responses in humans during infection. In this review, we highlight the importance of the S protein in the MERS-CoV life cycle, summarize recent advances in the development of vaccines and therapeutics based on the S protein, and discuss strategies that can be explored to develop new medical countermeasures against MERS-CoV.
Keywords Coronavirus
Spike protein
Animal models
View Abstract (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Benchmark Research - Participate In a Study
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 16:22
If you'd like to participate in a current or upcoming study select Current Studies for your city to discover all the latest study information in your area. If you enroll in a trial, you will be paid for your participation!
Locations/StudiesAustin3100 Red River Street, #1
Austin, TX 78705
Study DateStudy TypeDrug Type Basic Criteria Screening Now
Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine Injection Healthy adults & seniors needed for COVID-19 Vaccine Trial. Ages 18 & older. Screening now.
**If you are not able to participate in any of these studies, please give us a call or register so we can contact you about future opportunities**
New Orleans4517 Veterans Boulevard
Metairie, LA 70006
Study DateStudy TypeDrug Type Basic Criteria Pre-Screening Now
Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine Injection Adults & Seniors needed for investigational COVID-19 Vaccine Trial. Ages 18 & older. Pre-Screening now.
**If you are not able to participate in any of these studies, please give us a call or register so we can contact you about future opportunities**
Sacramento4345 Arden Way
Sacramento, CA 95864
Study DateStudy TypeDrug Type Basic Criteria Pre-Screening Now
Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine Injection Adults & Seniors needed for investigational COVID-19 Vaccine Trial. Ages 18 & older. Pre-Screening now.
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Fort Worth4504 Boat Club Road,
Suite 400A
Fort Worth, TX 76135
Study DateStudy TypeDrug Type Basic Criteria Pre-Screening Now
Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine Injection Adults & Seniors needed for investigational COVID-19 Vaccine Trial. Ages 18 & older. Pre-Screening now.
**If you are not able to participate in any of these studies, please give us a call or register so we can contact you about future opportunities**
San Angelo3605 Executive Drive
San Angelo, TX 76904
Study DateStudy TypeDrug Type Basic Criteria Screening Now
Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine Injection Healthy adults & seniors needed for COVID-19 Vaccine Trial. Ages 18 & older. Screening now.
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Investigational Osteoarthritis Knee Injection Injection Adults who are 40-80 years old with knee pain due to Osteoarthritis. Contact us for specific study requirements.
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San Francisco450 Sutter Street
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San Francisco, CA 94108
There are currently no studies available in this location.
FAQsParticipants in clinical trials can play a more active role in their own health care, gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available, and help others by contributing to medical research.
All clinical trials have guidelines about who can participate. Using inclusion/exclusion criteria is an important principle of medical research that helps to produce reliable results. The factors that allow someone to participate in a clinical trial are called "inclusion criteria" and those that disallow someone from participating are called "exclusion criteria." These criteria are based on such factors as age, gender, the type and stage of a disease, previous treatment history, and other medical conditions. Before joining a clinical trial, a participant must qualify for the study. Some research studies seek participants with illnesses or conditions to be studied in the clinical trial, while others need healthy participants. It is important to note that inclusion and exclusion criteria are not used to reject people personally. Instead, the criteria are used to identify appropriate participants and keep them safe. The criteria help ensure that researchers will be able to answer the questions they plan to study.
Ideas for clinical trials usually come from researchers. After researchers test new therapies or procedures in the laboratory and in animal studies, the treatments with the most promising laboratory results are moved into clinical trials. During a trial, more and more information is gained about a new treatment, its risks and how well it may or may not work.
Benchmark research trials pay patients differently for every trial. It depends on the nature and complexity of the trial. Give us a call at 1-888-902-9605 to find out the payment schedule for a particular trial.
People should know as much as possible about the clinical trial and feel comfortable asking the members of the health care team questions about it, the care expected while in a trial, and the possible risks of the trial. The following questions might be helpful for the participant to discuss with the health care team. Some of the answers to these questions are found in the informed consent document.
What is the purpose of the study?Who is going to be in the study?Why do researchers believe the new treatment being tested may be effective? Has it been tested before?What kinds of tests and treatments are involved?How do the possible risks, side effects, and benefits in the study compare with my current treatment?How might this trial affect my daily life?How long will the trial last?Will hospitalization be required?Who will pay for the treatment?Will I be reimbursed for other expenses?What type of long-term follow up care is part of this study?How will I know that the treatment is working? Will results of the trials be provided to me?Who will be in charge of my care?Informed consent is the process of learning the key facts about a clinical trial before deciding whether or not to participate. It is also a continuing process throughout the study to provide information for participants. To help someone decide whether or not to participate, the doctors and nurses involved in the trial explain the details of the study. Then the research team provides an informed consent document that includes details about the study, such as its purpose, duration, required procedures, and key contacts. Risks and potential benefits are explained in the informed consent document. The participant then decides whether or not to sign the document. Informed consent is not a contract, and the participant may withdraw from the trial at any time.
A protocol is a study plan on which all clinical trials are based. The plan is carefully designed to safeguard the health of the participants as well as answer specific research questions. A protocol describes what types of people may participate in the trial; the schedule of tests, procedures, medications, and dosages; and the length of the study. While in a clinical trial, participants following a protocol are seen regularly by the research staff to monitor their health and to determine the safety and effectiveness of their treatment.
A placebo is an inactive pill, liquid, or powder that has no treatment value. In clinical trials, experimental treatments are often compared with placebos to assess the treatment's effectiveness. In some studies, the participants in the control group will receive a placebo instead of an active drug or treatment.
A control is the standard by which experimental observations are evaluated. In many clinical trials, one group of patients will be given an experimental drug or treatment, while the control group is given either a standard treatment for the illness or a placebo.
A clinical trial (also called clinical research) is a research study of human volunteers to answer specific health questions. Carefully conducted clinical trials are the fastest and safest way to find treatments that work in people and ways to improve health. Interventional trials determine whether experimental treatments or new ways of using known therapies are safe and effective under controlled environments. Observational trials address health issues in large groups of people or populations in natural settings.
The clinical trial process depends on the kind of trial being conducted (See What are the different types of clinical trials?) The clinical trial team includes doctors and nurses as well as social workers and other health care professionals. They check the health of the participant at the beginning of the trial, give specific instructions for participating in the trial, monitor the participant carefully during the trial, and stay in touch after the trial is completed.
Some clinical trials involve more tests and doctor visits than the participant would normally have for an illness or condition. For all types of trials, the participant works with a research team. Clinical trial participation is most successful when the protocol is carefully followed and there is frequent contact with the research staff.
Clinical trials are conducted in phases. The trials at each phase have a different purpose and help scientists answer different questions:
In Phase I trials, researchers test a new drug or treatment in a small group of people (20-80) for the first time to evaluate its safety, determine a safe dosage range, and identify side effects.In Phase II trials, the study drug or treatment is given to a larger group of people (100-300) to see if it is effective and to further evaluate its safety.In Phase III trials, the study drug or treatment is given to large groups of people (1,000-3,000) to confirm its effectiveness, monitor side effects, compare it to commonly used treatments, and collect information that will allow the drug or treatment to be used safely.In Phase IV trials, post marketing studies delineate additional information including the drug's risks, benefits, and optimal use.There are five types of clinical trials:
Treatment trials test new treatments, new combinations of drugs, or new approaches to surgery or radiation therapy.Prevention trials look for better ways to prevent disease in people who have never had the disease or to prevent a disease from returning. These approaches may include medicines, vitamins, vaccines, minerals, or lifestyle changes.Diagnostic trials are conducted to find better tests or procedures for diagnosing a particular disease or condition.Screening trials test the best way to detect certain diseases or health conditions.Quality of Life trials (or Supportive Care trials) explore ways to improve comfort and the quality of life for individuals with a chronic illness.Clinical trials that are well-designed and well-executed are the best approach for eligible participants to:
Play an active role in their own health care.Gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available.Help others by contributing to medical research.There are also risks to clinical trials:
There may be unpleasant, serious or even life-threatening side effects to treatment.The treatment may not be effective for the participant.The protocol may require more of their time and attention than would a non-protocol treatment, including trips to the study site, more treatments, hospital stays or complex dosage requirements.Side effects are any undesired actions or effects of a drug or treatment. Negative or adverse effects may include headache, nausea, hair loss, skin irritation, or other physical problems. Experimental treatments must be evaluated for both immediate and long-term side effects.
The ethical and legal codes that govern medical practice also apply to clinical trials. In addition, most clinical research is federally regulated with built in safeguards to protect the participants. The trial follows a carefully controlled protocol, a study plan that details what researchers will do in the study. As a clinical trial progresses, researchers report the results of the trial at scientific meetings, to medical journals, and to various government agencies. Individual participants' names will remain secret and will not be mentioned in these reports (See Confidentiality Regarding Trial Participants).
Yes. Most clinical trials provide short-term treatments related to a designated illness or condition, but do not provide extended or complete primary health care. In addition, by having the health care provider work with the research team, the participant can ensure that other medications or treatments will not conflict with the protocol.
Yes, Benchmark Research pays qualified participants at every study visit. We care about our patients. So, when our patients asked us if we could pay them every time they came in, we listened. It's just our way of saying "thank you."
Yes. A participant can leave a clinical trial, at any time. When withdrawing from the trial, the participant should let the research team know about it, and the reasons for leaving the study.
There may be. Benchmark conducts studies at convenient locations in Austin, Fort Worth, New Orleans, Sacramento, San Angelo and San Francisco.
Coronavirus Researchers Compete to Enroll Subjects for Vaccine Tests - WSJ
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 16:20
Vaccine researchers are trying new tacks in an unprecedented effort to recruit the tens of thousands of healthy volunteers needed to finish testing coronavirus shots in late stages of development.
Quickly lining up all the subjects for so many studies at the same time poses several challenges, creating competition among companies.
Given the urgency, researchers are taking unusual steps, such as recruiting at pharmacies, enlisting churches in searches for subjects and even requesting employees and families to ask around.
Researchers are also rolling out algorithms to target recruitment in places at risk of getting hit with the virus.
Finding the patients will be crucial to conducting the trials to evaluate whether the experimental vaccines safely protect against the virus. The broader population can't start getting vaccines until the shots pass muster in the trials.
The trials must enroll enough patients, in enough different parts of the U.S. and overseas, so that sufficient numbers are exposed to the virus to enable researchers to measure whether it works.
So many vaccines are nearing the pivotal testing phase that researchers and companies feel they must go to extraordinary lengths to recruit all the subjects needed.
''We not only have to find the number of volunteers, but they need to be in an area where the virus is currently spreading, otherwise you learn nothing about the effectiveness of the vaccine,'' National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins said in an interview.
''It is a big task, and it means pulling together all of the clinical trial capacity that we can,'' he added.
Health authorities and scientists view vaccines as the best way to stop the spread of the new coronavirus. Dozens are in development to increase the odds that some will prove to work and then can be supplied as broadly and rapidly as possible.
Several coronavirus vaccine candidates have shown promise in small, early studies, but they still must be tested on thousands more patients before regulators allow them to be widely available.
Normally, drugmakers recruit patients to test potential products through advertising, on social media or when patients visit doctors. Trials can take years from start to finish, and vaccines on average take more than a decade to develop. But the luxury of time has all but disappeared with Covid-19.
''It really is a major project beyond the scope of anything I've done before,'' said Mark Mulligan, director of the Vaccine Center at NYU Langone Health, which will be involved in late-stage trials and is devoting extra clinics for the testing.
Several of the final-stage, or phase 3, trials are expected to begin in coming weeks, after what researchers and industry officials describe as a remarkably fast time line for designing the vaccines and studying their safety, dosing and signs of effectiveness in earlier phases.
The U.S. federal government is planning to fund three 30,000-person trials starting this summer: Moderna Inc.'s vaccine starting this month, followed in August by a vaccine co-developed by University of Oxford and AstraZeneca PLC, and in September, a vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson . Oxford's vaccine recently began late-stage testing outside the U.S.
Pfizer Inc. and partner BioNTech SE plan to start their own 30,000-person trial of their vaccine this month, too.
Researchers have planned to enroll more subjects than are typical in vaccine trials to ensure enough people are exposed to the virus so they can determine quickly if the vaccines work safely, Dr. Mulligan said.
The scale is so large it means trials are effectively competing with each other for recruits.
''One volunteer cannot be in two different studies. It's a zero-sum game in that regard,'' said Dr. Joseph Kim, chief executive of Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc., which last week announced positive results in a small study and is preparing for a larger study.
PRA Health Sciences Inc., which helps recruit trial patients, is mining busy Covid-19 testing locations, including public-health departments, testing labs and pharmacies, to find healthy volunteers, said Kent Thoelke, PRA's chief scientific officer.
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, which is preparing to test the Oxford shot, is contacting participants from non-Covid trials, emailing the hospital's 16,000 employees, urging them reach out to friends and families, and following up with 7,000 people who contacted the hospital after it was identified as a site for Pfizer's early-stage vaccine study, said Robert Frenck, professor of pediatrics at the hospital.
''We're kind of pulling out all the stops,'' he said. ''I want to make it so that if people want to have the opportunity to participate, they can.''
Complicating the recruitment efforts, industry officials say, is making sure not only that the trials reach a set number of subjects, but also that they include sufficient numbers of elderly, ethnic-minority and other participants at higher risk of infection. Public-health officials have said representing high-risk groups is important, and regulators have encouraged their inclusion.
Dr. Frenck said he is also meeting with community groups and churches to ensure trials include high-risk populations. The hospital plans to dispatch mobile physician offices to retirement communities.
Speed is a concern. The trials can't finish until enough vaccinated volunteers become exposed to the virus in everyday living. To meet that goal quickly, researchers are trying to identify areas at risk of spreading virus and recruit there, said Kathleen Neuzil, professor of vaccinology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, who helps lead one of the clinical-trial networks participating in the large vaccine studies.
Sanofi SA, which plans to begin testing its first Covid-19 vaccine in humans as early as September, is using algorithms and artificial intelligence to anticipate hot spots around the world where it can recruit patients.
''I am concerned that if you don't choose the right sites and we don't make the right predictions, we may not have successful studies,'' said Sanjay Gurunathan, who oversees vaccine trials at the French company.
Among the areas being targeted in the U.S. and outside the country, industry officials say, are places where people generally aren't following preventive measures like social distancing or wearing masks. Some testing sites for Pfizer's vaccine trial will be in states that have seen recent increases in infections, such as Florida, Arizona and Texas, Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla said during a recent online event hosted by the Milken Institute.
The NIH trial networks have previously been used for HIV or tuberculosis and are being adapted, said Dr. Collins, the NIH director. He said the government also created software that analyzes the network availability with Covid-19 community spread.
Benchmark Research, an Austin, Texas, company helping to run a midstage study of Moderna's vaccine, is recruiting volunteers for phase 3 studies partly by calling schools, meatpacking plants and other places where the coronavirus could spread easily, Chief Executive Mark Lacy said.
To make it easy for people to participate in a trial, Benchmark will explore the unusual option of setting up vaccine-trial clinics at the sites, Mr. Lacy said. ''We are entering uncharted territory,'' he said.
After studies begin, the virus poses a challenge that will require health-care workers and study volunteers to take precautions. Both groups will be expected to wear protective gear including face masks at trial sites, Dr. Neuzil said.
NYU will speak to subjects via text or telephone, and may have them do self-swabs at home and send them to researchers by courier to limit exposure, Dr. Mulligan said.
''It's a complex operation because you can't ask sick people to get on the subway in New York City, where my clinics will be,'' Dr. Mulligan said.
Write to Jared S. Hopkins at and Peter Loftus at
AstraZeneca advances response to global COVID-19 challenge as it receives first commitments for Oxford's potential new vaccine
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 16:19
This announcement contains inside information
Company working on a number of agreements in parallel to ensure broad and equitable supply of the vaccine throughout the world at no profit during the pandemicFirst agreements to supply at least 400 million doses; Company has total capacity sourced for one billion doses through 2020 and into 2021; continues to increase capacity furtherMore than $1bn US BARDA investment to support development and production of the vaccine
AstraZeneca is advancing its ongoing response to address the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19, collaborating with a number of countries and multilateral organisations to make the University of Oxford's vaccine widely accessible around the world in an equitable manner.
The Company has concluded the first agreements for at least 400 million doses and has secured total manufacturing capacity for one billion doses so far and will begin first deliveries in September 2020. AstraZeneca aims to conclude further agreements supported by several parallel supply chains, which will expand capacity further over the next months to ensure the delivery of a globally accessible vaccine.
AstraZeneca today received support of more than $1bn from the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for the development, production and delivery of the vaccine, starting in the fall. The development programme includes a Phase III clinical trial with 30,000 participants and a paediatric trial.
In addition, the Company is engaging with international organisations such as the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi the Vaccine Alliance and the World Health Organisation (WHO), for the fair allocation and distribution of the vaccine around the world. AstraZeneca is also in discussions with governments around the world to increase access. Furthermore, AstraZeneca is in discussions with the Serum Institute of India and other potential partners to increase production and distribution.
AstraZeneca recently joined forces with the UK Government to support Oxford University's vaccine and has progressed rapidly in its efforts to expand access around the world. The Company will supply the UK starting in September and is thankful for the Government's commitment and overall work on vaccines.
Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, said: ''This pandemic is a global tragedy and it is a challenge for all of humanity. We need to defeat the virus together or it will continue to inflict huge personal suffering and leave long-lasting economic and social scars in every country around the world. We are so proud to be collaborating with Oxford University to turn their ground-breaking work into a medicine that can be produced on a global scale. We would like to thank the US and UK governments for their substantial support to accelerate the development and production of the vaccine. We will do everything in our power to make this vaccine quickly and widely available.''
AstraZeneca has now finalised its licence agreement with Oxford University for the recombinant adenovirus vaccine. The licensing of the vaccine, formerly ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and now known as AZD1222, follows the recent global development and distribution agreement with the University's Jenner Institute and the Oxford Vaccine Group. AstraZeneca has also agreed to support the establishment of a joint research centre at Oxford University for pandemic preparedness research.
A Phase I/II clinical trial of AZD1222 began last month to assess safety, immunogenicity and efficacy in over 1,000 healthy volunteers aged 18 to 55 years across several trial centres in southern England. Data from the trial is expected shortly which, if positive, would lead to late-stage trials in a number of countries. AstraZeneca recognises that the vaccine may not work but is committed to progressing the clinical program with speed and scaling up manufacturing at risk.
The Company's comprehensive pandemic response also includes rapid mobilisation of AstraZeneca's global research efforts to discover novel coronavirus-neutralising antibodies to prevent and treat progression of the COVID-19 disease, with the aim of reaching clinical trials in the next three to five months. Additionally, the Company has quickly moved into testing of new and existing medicines to treat the infection, including CALAVI and ACCORD trials underway for Calquence (acalabrutinib) and DARE-19 trial for Farxiga (dapagliflozin) in COVID-19 patients.
Financial considerations
Today's announcement is not anticipated to have any significant impact on the Company's financial guidance for 2020; expenses to progress the vaccine are anticipated to be offset by funding by governments.
ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, now known as AZD1222, was developed by Oxford University's Jenner Institute, working with the Oxford Vaccine Group. It uses a replication-deficient chimpanzee viral vector based on a weakened version of a common cold (adenovirus) virus that causes infections in chimpanzees and contains the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. After vaccination, the surface spike protein is produced, priming the immune system to attack COVID-19 if it later infects the body.
The recombinant adenovirus vector (ChAdOx1) was chosen to generate a strong immune response from a single dose and it is not replicating, so cannot cause an ongoing infection in the vaccinated individual. Vaccines made from the ChAdOx1 virus have been given to more than 320 people to date and have been shown to be safe and well tolerated, although they can cause temporary side effects such as a temperature, influenza-like symptoms, headache or a sore arm.
AstraZeneca (LSE/STO/NYSE: AZN) is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three therapy areas - Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology. Based in Cambridge, UK, AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. Please visit and follow the Company on Twitter @AstraZeneca.
For details on how to contact the Investor Relations Team, please click here. For Media contacts, click here.
Adrian KempCompany SecretaryAstraZeneca PLC
About Us - Science-Based Solutions for the Greater Good | RTI
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 16:15
RTI International is an independent, nonprofit research institute dedicated to improving the human condition. Our vision is to address the world's most critical problems with science-based solutions in pursuit of a better future. Clients rely on us to answer questions that demand an objective and multidisciplinary approach'--one that integrates expertise across the social and laboratory sciences, engineering, and international development.
Combining scientific rigor and technical proficiency, we deliver reliable data, thorough analysis, innovative methods, novel technologies, and sustainable programs that help clients inform public policy and ground practice in evidence. We scale our approach to fit the demands of each project, delivering the power of a global leader and the passion of a local partner.
We believe in the promise of science, and we push ourselves every day to deliver on that promise for the good of people, communities, and businesses around the world.
Our experts hold degrees in more than 250 scientific, technical, and professional disciplines across the social and laboratory sciences, engineering, and international development fields. Our staff of nearly 6,000 works in more than 75 countries'--tackling hundreds of projects each year to address complex social and scientific challenges on behalf of governments, businesses, foundations, universities, and other clients and partners. And our separate business operations'--including RTI Health Solutions and Syntegrity'--serve commercial clients across a wide range of industries around the world.
We maintain offices on four continents, with our headquarters in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, reflecting our roots in the area's distinguished universities. Founded in 1958 with support from North Carolina government, education, and business leaders, we maintain close ties with North Carolina State University, Duke University, North Carolina Central University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Our dedication to innovative, objective research and technical services makes RTI an outstanding partner for clients around the world whose greatest challenges demand rigorous approaches and science-based solutions. It also makes RTI a great working environment for people who share our mission to improve the human condition.
RTI | Delivering the Promise of Science for Global Good
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 16:14
Critical Issue Black lives matter. We shall not tolerate injustice, bias, and bigotry.Our intolerance for racial inequality, police brutality and injustices drives us to not only continue work in service of our mission, but to recommit ourselves to making a difference in improving the lives of people and conditions in communities in the United States and around the world.
Featured Topic RTI Center for Global Noncommunicable DiseasesWe create multidisciplinary, sustainable solutions to address the global burden of noncommunicable diseases '' the leading cause of human death and illness worldwide.
Our Experts By The Numbers > 0 million deaths per year from noncommunicable diseases
0 % of these deaths are in low- and middle-income countries
COVID-19 Experts Available for InterviewRacial DisparityLaShawn Glasgow is the Director of Community and Workplace Health at RTI. Dr. Glasgow is available to comment on COVID-19's impact on the health of racial and ethnic minority groups across the U.S.
Food Waste and SupplyMary Muth, PhD, conducts research studies to analyze the impacts of policies, regulations, and other initiatives affecting food and agriculture. Dr. Muth can speak on a range of topics involving food in relation to COVID-19, with an emphasis on food waste.
EpidemiologyPia MacDonald, PhD, is focused on strengthening countries' capacities to prevent, detect, and respond to disease outbreaks. She can speak to the global impact and threat of COVID-19.
MisinformationBrian Southwell, PhD, is an expert on the spread of misinformation and how to best counter it. Misinformation has heavily impacted the COVID-19 pandemic and the public's perception of the virus.
U.S. signs $450 million contract with Regeneron for COVID-19 therapy - Reuters
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 19:27
(Reuters) - The U.S. government signed a $450 million contract with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (REGN.O ) for its potential COVID-19 antibody cocktail, the drugmaker said on Tuesday.
FILE PHOTO: A computer image created by Nexu Science Communication together with Trinity College in Dublin, shows a model structurally representative of a betacoronavirus which is the type of virus linked to COVID-19, better known as the coronavirus linked to the Wuhan outbreak, shared with Reuters on February 18, 2020. NEXU Science Communication/via REUTERS
The agreement, the first by the Trump administration to support a therapy, comes under the government's ''Operation Warp Speed'' program that is aimed at faster distribution of vaccines and treatments to fight the new coronavirus when trials are successful.
The United States is also funding manufacturing and several trials for potential vaccines and has rushed to secure billions of doses of the vaccines being tested by companies around the world.
Earlier in the day, Novavax Inc (NVAX.O ) received a $1.6 billion grant, the biggest award yet from Operation Warp Speed, to cover testing, manufacturing and sale of a potential coronavirus vaccine.
Under the contract with Regeneron, signed with the HHS' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and the Department of Defense, the doses manufactured under the project will be owned by the federal government.
Regeneron's cocktail, REGN-COV2, contains an antibody made by the company and another isolated from recovered COVID-19 patients. Rivals Eli Lilly (LLY.N ) and AbbVie (ABBV.N ) are also pursuing antibody therapies for the respiratory illness.
REGN-COV2 is being tested separately for both preventing and treating COVID-19, with a late-stage prevention trial being run jointly with the National Institutes of Health.
The agreement covers a fixed number of bulk lots intended to be completed in the fall of 2020, Regeneron said.
A range of 70,000 to 300,000 potential treatment doses or 420,000 to 1,300,000 prevention doses are expected to be available from these lots, with initial doses to be ready as early as end of summer.
The U.S. government would make the doses available to Americans at no cost, if EUA or product approval is granted, Regeneron said.
Shares of Regeneron were up 1.4% at $636.11. They have risen 67% so far this year.
Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli
Vaccine Bait & Switch: As Millions Pulled From WHO, Trump Gives Billions To Gates-Founded GAVI
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 01:00
Loading ... In mid-May US President Donald Trump announced that the US would be ending their financial support for the World Health Organization (WHO) and COVID-19 relief. The move was lambasted in the mainstream press as an out of touch politician pulling funding from a vital global health organization during the middle of a pandemic. To Trump's supporters the decision was met with the typical cheering and celebrated as another Trump victory against the ''globalists.'' To understand what is actually going on we need to examine Donald Trump's actions, not his tweets or media statements.
Let us start by looking at the funding provided by the US government to the WHO in previous years. The latest numbers from fiscal year 2018 (numbers are not available for 2019-20) show an estimated $281.6 million to the WHO from the US. The records indicate that after the US government, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, are the 2nd and 3rd top financiers of the WHO. The US defunding the WHO actually tightens the technocrats already firm grip on another global institution.
This means when Donald Trump stated the US will no longer fund the WHO, the Gates Foundation and GAVI stepped into the top financial role. Additionally, GAVI was founded by and largely funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000. Either way, Bill Gates is the top donor and will continue to expand his influence and dominance of global health policy. As reported in Part 2 of my Bill Gates investigation, in 2010 the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation launched the ''Decade of Vaccines'' and called for a ''Global Vaccine Action Plan.'' Since that time they have only grown their network and influence on WHO, GAVI and other organizations in order to shape public health policy in a way that reaps profits for the Gates themselves.
While Trump's supporters viewed the US withdrawal from WHO financing as a win for nationalism or a black eye to the globalists, the truth is a bit more nuanced.
In early June, the Trump administration declared support for GAVI to the tune of a $1.16 billion USD donation. Trump's support for GAVI came via the first ever virtual Global Vaccine Summit . At this summit GAVI surpassed the goal of $7.4 billion, instead raising $8.8 billion USD and securing commitments from most major nations around the world. GAVI even received a $5 million dollar donation from the Rockefeller Foundation . GAVI stated that the funding will go to ''routine immunization programs'' and will also help the public-private partnership ''play a major role in the rollout of a future Covid-19 vaccine.''
More than 25 heads of state and 50 leaders of international agencies, NGOs and private industry attended the fundraising event. Participants included Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, UN Secretary General Ant"nio Guterres, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and World Health Organization Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
UN Secretary Guterres stated that the vaccine would not be enough and instead called for '' global solidarity' ensure that every person everywhere gets access to the vaccine.'' Guterres also noted that ''our individual health depends on our collective health.''
Donald Trump, GAVI, and Bill Gates
It was at this Global Vaccine Summit where a pre-recorded message from Donald Trump was played. In his video statement Trump said UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked him to record a message.
During his short speech, Donald Trump stated, ''It's great to be partnering with you. We will work hard, we will work strong.'' Trump also called COVID-19 ''mean'' and ''nasty'' and said it has shown ''there are no borders, it doesn't discriminate.''
Trump's support for GAVI was echoed on the twitter account for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). ''USAID echo's @Realdonaldtrump 's words and is proud to be partnering with @Gavi by committing $1.16 billion to protect people through vaccines, because #VaccinesWork , '' the tweet reads. (It should be noted that USAID has also been accused of creating fake social media networks in an attempt to foment unrest in foreign nations.)
''As the Coronavirus has shown, there are no borders.''
USAID echo's @Realdonaldtrump's words and is proud to be partnering with @Gavi by committing $1.16 billion to protect people through vaccines, because #VaccinesWork
'-- USAID (@USAID) June 4, 2020
It was actually USAID who first announced the pledge of US $1.16 billion in February. The Trump administration included that $1.16 commitment as part of the budget for Fiscal Years 2020-2023. The budget for Fiscal Year 2021 included $290 million for GAVI. Remember that the records from fiscal year 2018 show an estimated $281.6 million to the WHO from the US. The Trump administration's announcement of an initial $290 million investment easily surpassed the US investment in the WHO. Over the next three years the US will give more than $800 million to GAVI for their vaccination programs.
Once again, this puts Bill Gates and his organizations at the top of the global health pyramid. So what did Mr. Gates have to say about the success of the Global Vaccine Summit?
''Since its inception GAVI has helped vaccinate more than three-quarters of a billion children '... And now, it's stepping up and saying it's willing to deliver a Covid-19 vaccine as soon as one is available to end the pandemic as soon as possible,'' he said at the Summit. ''We must also renew our commitment to delivering every life-saving vaccine there is to every child on earth.''
The Trump administration's support for the development of vaccines to fight COVID-19 is also visible in a more recent virtual event organized by Global Citizen and the European Commission. On June 27, Global Citizen hosted the ''Global Goal: Unite for Our Future '' The Concert'' which was supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust, and Corporate Partners Citi, Procter & Gamble, SAP, Verizon and Vodafone. Once again, the funds raised at the event went to the Gates-founded GAVI.
During this event, Kelly Craft, United States Ambassador to the United Nations announced the US commitment of $545 million for GAVI towards COVID-19 relief efforts. ''Together, we must work in an open, transparent, and supportive manner to build a safer, more resilient world. We must be the true multilateralist in the best sense of the word, working toward the common good,'' Craft said .
At a May 2020 virtual summit , also organized by the European Commission, the Trump administration committed to giving another $775 million in emergency health, humanitarian, economic and development aid for governments, international organizations and charities fighting the pandemic. At this same event the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation contributed $125 million.
Either Way, Gates Wins Taken together '' the May payment of $775 million; the early June announcement of $1.16 billion; and the late June gift of $545 million '' these taxpayer funded investments will provide abundant resources for GAVI, and subsequently, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. These funds easily outweigh the paltry $281.6 million the US was giving to the WHO.
It is important to understand that the WHO is a part of the United Nations, which itself is an ''intergovernmental organization'' that is attempting to replace nation-states as we know them today in favor of global governance schemes. GAVI is a ''public-private partnership'' where governmental bodies and private organizations partner up to provide some sort of public service. Neither of these organizations has been elected by the free people of the nations in which they operate.
Despite this fact, the Trump administration is continuing to give billions to GAVI and in doing so, furthering Bill Gates' goal to vaccinate 7 billion people. Trump may have pulled funds from the WHO, but that decision allows Gates to take full control of WHO policy and continue to use US taxpayer dollars to fund vaccine projects, including a rushed vaccine for COVID-19. This was likely the plan the whole time.
As we have clearly demonstrated in previous reports, Gates has an outsized influence on the COVID-19 recovery and global health in general. A 2015 report titled, Philanthropic Power and Development: Who shapes the agenda? , examines the influence of global philanthropy and provides examples of the undue influence Gates and others can wield. The report noted that researchers have been critical of GAVI for following a ''Gates-approach'' on global health challenges, ''focusing on disease-specific vertical health interventions (through vaccines), instead of horizontal and holistic approaches (e.g., health system strengthening).''
Further, in May 2019, Gavi CEO Seth Berkley referred to ''anti-vaccine sentiment'' as a disease that needs to be censored from the internet. Berkley's statements are perfectly in line with Bill Gates' vision and the larger agenda of eugenics. The public cannot be allowed to question the safety of vaccines '-- no matter how rushed they are.
This is why the Trump administration appointed a Big Pharma lackey to head ''Operation Warp Speed,'' Trump's plan to fast track the development of vaccines for COVID-19. In May, Trump appointed Moncef Slaoui , a former executive with vaccine manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline, to serve in a volunteer position, assisted by Army Gen. Gustave Perna, the commander of United States Army Materiel Command. According to the Trump administration, Operation Warp Speed program is focusing on four vaccines, with the hopes of testing and producing 100 million doses by October 2020, 200 million by December, and 300 million doses by January. Slaoui has said he believes the goal of vaccines by January 2021 is a ''credible goal.''
Once again, Gates' fingerprints are all over the situation. Slaoui himself has a long history with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, sitting on the boards of companies that are connected to the organization.
It appears that despite the public pronouncements of divesting from the WHO or tweets about standing up to the globalists, the Trump administration continues to push the agenda to vaccinate every person on the planet.
Question Everything, Come To Your Own Conclusions.
Asthma inhalers being trialed for treatment of COVID-19
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 10:56
Researchers from Queensland University of Technology and Oxford University are working in collaboration to begin human clinical trials of inhaled corticosteroids, commonly used for asthma patients, on patients with COVID-19. The researchers believe that this could be useful for patients with the novel coronavirus infection.
Asthma inhaler. Image Credit: New Africa / Shutterstock
The COVID-19 pandemicThe novel coronavirus or severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has infected over 11.79 million people around the world and killed over 543,000 individuals to date.
The virus has led to severe respiratory complications and hospitalization in some individuals. These individuals have needed intensive care and ventilation, and the outcome of these patients is usually poor.
As of now, there are no definitive medications to treat and cure the infection, and there are no effective vaccines to prevent viral infection.
Researchers around the world are in search of drugs that could help reduce the severity of complications of COVID-19. There are currently 21 candidate vaccines in clinical evaluation and 139 candidate vaccines at the preclinical evaluation stage.
Role of corticosteroids in COVID-19COVID-19 is known to cause severe respiratory illness in some individuals. Studies have shown that some corticosteroids, such as dexamethasone, could reduce the inflammation of the respiratory tract in these patients and benefit them by alleviating the symptoms of severe disease.
Researchers in this new trial are studying if the steroid inhalers used for reducing the exacerbations of asthma could be useful for patients with early COVID-19 and reduce their risk of severe disease.
The paradoxLead researcher on this team Dan Nicolau, an associate professor at QUT, explained that the asthmatics and those with chronic lung disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were on regular inhaler therapy with corticosteroids, were found to have a lesser risk of severe illness in the early phase of the pandemic. He said that this was paradoxical because those with long term lung disease were initially considered to be at a higher risk of a respiratory viral infection such as SARS-CoV-2. He said in his statement, ''This seemed paradoxical because COVID-19 affects the lungs '' and these patients have lung problems '' so they should be more at risk of severe disease from the virus.''
Nicolau said, ''One explanation for the low numbers was that something these people were doing regularly was protecting them and that, logically, was that they routinely used inhalers for their chronic lung problems.'' ''Ideally, it may be that the corticosteroid therapy would be given to anyone with a new, dry cough, and while they are awaiting their COVID test results,'' he added.
He explained that based on their speculation, the earlier a corticosteroid inhaler is started for those with symptoms of COVID-19, the lesser their risk of getting severely ill. This speculation, he said, was based on the mathematical modeling by the research team.
The STOIC trial planThe clinical trial has been registered under the name of STOIC (STerOids In COVID-19). It has begun recruiting patients at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford, England.
The study is being led by Associate Professor Nicolau, who is also a mathematician, physician, and Australian Research Council Future Fellow.
As per the trial details, the researchers have plans to recruit a total of 478 participants in the study. Some of the patients would be administered the corticosteroid (Budesonide) containing inhaler while others would be prescribed a placebo inhaler. Budesonide is widely used for control of symptoms of asthma and prevent its exacerbations.
The trial participants would be those with new-onset symptoms of COVID-19. The researchers wrote that the trial aims to ''Evaluate the effect of inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) therapy compared to standard care in participants with early CoVID-19 illness in reducing COVID related emergency department presentations or hospital admissions''. Both male and female patients over the age of 18 years would be included in the trial.
The trial endpoints that would be recorded for each of the participants would be the need for hospitalization within 28 days of inclusion into the trial. Participants would be evaluated and followed up at baseline and then on days 7, 14, and 28.
ImplicationsIf successful, Budesonide inhaler therapy could be a low cost and readily available therapy for early COVID-19 patients. It would reduce their risk of getting severe respiratory complications, Nicolau said. Panic buying and hoarding the inhalers could be a problem in some countries, but in Australia, this should not be a problem.
Nicolau said, ''There wouldn't be the kind of panic buying you see with consumer goods, because there are checks in place... There is a lot of stock around, and, as above, checks and balances on the dispensation of the inhalers would come into play to stop any [panic buying].''
Nicolau added that it would be September before any conclusive results could be obtained from the trial and the efficacy of the inhalers proven. Before that, it is important to wait for concrete evidence, he warned.
Even without a Covid-19 vaccine, there's reason for hope (opinion) - CNN
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 22:01
Opinion by William Haseltine
Updated 7:00 AM EDT, Wed July 08, 2020
Editor's Note: (William Haseltine, PhD, is chair and president of the global health think tank, ACCESS Health International. He is author of numerous books, including the recently released, "A Family Guide to COVID-19: Questions and Answers for Parents, Grandparents and Children." The views expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion on CNN.)
(CNN) A lot of hope has been placed on the possibility of a Covid-19 vaccine by the end of this year.
However, overcoming the technical challenges of developing a vaccine -- and the safety issues inherent in making one that works for the populations most at risk -- is no easy feat.
William Haseltine
While it may be possible to deliver a vaccine by the end of this year, absolutely every step of its development would have to go perfectly. From experience, I can tell you how rare that is.
Vaccines don't act as impenetrable shields that prevent viruses from entering our bodies. Rather, they teach our bodies how to rapidly mobilize our immune defenses against a foreign invader. The rapid immune response helps us clear the virus from the body before it wreaks its damage.
But in the case of Covid-19, according to one study, not everybody infected by the virus makes the neutralizing antibodies that are necessary to clear the virus and fewer still make them in high numbers. What we know from nearly 60 years of observing coronaviruses is that even if a body's immune system can clear the virus, the pathogen can likely reenter the system and cause illness again.
Of the more than 100 vaccines currently in development, the ones tested on primates have not prevented nasal infections, though in one case the vaccine prevented the disease from spreading to the lungs where it is known to cause severe damage. However, since Covid-19 progresses somewhat differently in monkeys than in humans, it's hard to know how effective these vaccines will be in human trials.
One thing we do know is that some of the vaccines currently being tested in humans are already causing serious side effects. The side effects are likely a result of the powerful ingredients added to the vaccine to help inflame the body's immune system. These ingredients -- called adjuvants -- help vaccines work better, but if they can land the young and healthy patients in the clinical trial in the hospital because of high fevers and fainting, imagine what they might do to those already ill with secondary conditions or to those who are older. Indeed, the elderly may need repeated doses of the vaccine, given how resistance to some vaccinations becomes progressively more profound with time.
But even without a vaccine, there is reason for hope that a medical solution to the crisis will soon be at hand. It will likely take the form of anti-Covid drugs that will be able to treat patients newly infected and prevent others from becoming ill. These drugs can likely help us bridge the gap between where we are today -- with only masks, hand hygiene and physical distancing to protect us -- to where we hope to be tomorrow -- with a vaccine in hand.
Recent studies have shown two types of drugs with particular promise. The first are antivirals -- drugs that act on the virus itself and prevent it from replicating. Antivirals generally target either the enzymes a virus needs to copy its genome (polymerases) or those needed to cut larger proteins into smaller functional fragments (proteases). Coronaviruses, in general, are a target-rich environment for antivirals and this coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, is no different than the others since it uses an active protease, a key protein responsible for the reproduction of the virus, to copy itself.
In a study published last month in Science, researchers announced their discovery of two new drug candidates that inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 protease. In test tube experiments, they found that the chemicals could bind to the protease and prevent replication, with one of them -- a chemical designated 11a -- more promising than the other. Chemical 11a will soon be tested for safety in humans, but early results from this study in dogs and mice suggest that the drug is both effective and non-toxic.
The other set of drugs showing promise are monoclonal antibodies, which are lab-created antibodies that work by blocking SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins from attaching to the ACE2 cell receptors in our body. By blocking the attachment, they prevent infection altogether. In another study published in June in Science, a separate set of scientists discovered two antibodies that each prevented different parts of the SARS2 spike protein from binding to the ACE2 receptor. While each of the antibodies on its own can neutralize the virus, together they are even more effective at preventing infection.
Just this week, late stage trials were announced for another double antibody cocktail that will be tested in 2,000 people across the United States for their ability to prevent infection and treat those in the early stages of Covid-19. With this drug -- and with the other set of monoclonal antibodies already researched -- there is a question of whether they are going to be effective against a virus like SARS-CoV-2 that lives primarily in the nose and the lungs instead of in the blood. That said, monoclonal antibodies have worked against the respiratory syncytial virus, which has many similarities to SARS-CoV-2.
Much like the vaccines that have showed early promise, these drugs too will need more testing before their safety and efficacy can be proven. But the timeline for testing these drugs is much shorter than for a vaccine, in large part due to how quickly and easily their efficacy can be determined. For antivirals and monoclonal antibodies, you know whether the virus works within a matter of days -- either the viral load in the patient goes up or it goes down -- and with very few individuals. Our first effective treatment for HIV, an antiviral, was proven in a group of just 19 patients given the drug.
What this means is that even if our path to a Covid vaccine is much longer and harder than we currently estimate, we can still have drugs in hand as early as the beginning of next year that can keep those most vulnerable from becoming infected and could, potentially, treat those already ill.
The science will eventually save us. In the meantime, we must use what we know for certain will work today -- masks, physical distancing and quarantine -- to reduce lives lost unnecessarily while we wait.
He had a severe reaction to Moderna Covid-19 vaccine. He's still a believer
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 22:02
P atients in clinical trials are usually faceless. But as the experimental Covid-19 vaccine being developed by Moderna Therapeutics has begun advancing through studies, it has found a much more visible advocate: trial volunteer Ian Haydon, a 29-year-old in Seattle.
Haydon has spoken about the vaccine on CNN and CNBC. He even said he'd volunteer to be exposed to the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, if researchers want to test to see if the vaccine was actually effective. But up until now he has left out a key detail: He is, apparently, one of three people in the trial who had a systemic adverse reaction to the vaccine.
Twelve hours after receiving his second dose, he developed a fever of more than 103 degrees, sought medical attention, and, after being released from an urgent care facility, fainted in his home. He recovered within a day.
He has not brought up the side effects previously, he said, out of ''an abundance of caution.''
''I understand that sharing the story, it's going to be frightening to some people,'' he said. ''I hope that it doesn't fuel any sort of general antagonism towards vaccines in general or towards even this vaccine.''
But he decided to speak now because he hopes his story counterbalances the desperation that some people feel to push a vaccine to market regardless of the consequences. Haydon points out that the whole purpose of the study he was in, known as a Phase 1 clinical trial, is to find the right dose of the vaccine going forward. That means to find a dose that causes the body to produce antibodies, but does not result in too many side effects.
''As we rush to get a vaccine developed as quickly as possible, the reality of vaccine development is that it can only be rushed so much and the trial still needs to take place,'' Haydon said. ''They have to move at the speed they move at. And stories like what happened to me, they matter because they shape the approval process.''
In the 45-person Moderna study, four participants experienced what are known as ''Grade 3'' adverse events '-- side effects that are severe or medically significant but not immediately life-threatening. Neither the company nor the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is running the trial, have previously detailed the nature of those incidents, but Moderna did disclose that three, likely including Haydon, received the highest dose of the vaccine that was tested, and had reactions that involved their whole bodies. A fourth received a lower dose and had a rash at the injection site.
Such side effects are ''noteworthy, but it doesn't stop the train,'' said William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The goal of studies is to establish a threshold at which something might go wrong.
With drugs, Schaffner said, patients tolerate the risk of side effects because they want to get better. ''In contrast,'' Schaffner said, ''we give vaccines to healthy people in anticipation that they might contact the germ, the virus, down the road. But because we give them to healthy people, actually our standards for safety are higher than they are for drugs.''
In Haydon's words: ''The point of the Phase 1 trial is to look out for health problems.'' He said he received great medical care, and though he felt more sick than he ever has before, he was never afraid for his long-term health. ''I don't regret the decision I made to enroll in this study.''
Haydon, a communications manager at a university, initially found out about the study, which was being run in Seattle, from a colleague who sent him a link. He, along with thousands of other people, applied. They called him 11 days after he applied.
He went to the trial site for a physical, and signed a 20-page consent form. The vaccine, it told him, could conceivably cause severe anaphylactic shock, and there was no way to predict exactly how his immune system would respond to the new vaccine. He'd looked at research on other Moderna experimental vaccines, which work via an entirely new technology that uses messenger RNA, the body's key envoy of genetic information inside cells, and thought they seemed relatively safe. During the physical, researchers took blood; the lab work came back a week later, and he received his first dose of the vaccine on April 8.
Haydon doesn't like needles, and was as worried about the blood draw '-- which uses a bigger needle '-- than the actual shot. He remembers waiting, and being told that the reason he was waiting was because researchers were giving doses in ascending order, and he was to receive the high dose of the vaccine. But the injection was uneventful. If his eyes were closed, he said, he would not have felt it. He was given a paper log on which to write down any symptoms, a digital thermometer, and a small ruler to measure any reactions at the injection site.
He had arm pain the next day, ''like being punched in the arm,'' he said, and for a day he had trouble lifting his arm at the shoulder. But within days he was back to normal.
Haydon said he was slightly nervous before the second dose. He knew that second doses were given to increase the immune system's response, and wondered if he might have more side effects. His arm became sore much more quickly this time. He got home from the clinic at about noon. At around 10 p.m., he started to get chills. He's normally too hot at night, but he bundled up in sweats. His fingertips felt cold. He fell asleep, but woke up a few hours later with a raging fever.
At 1:30 a.m., his temperature was 103.2 degrees. At 3:45, it was 103 degrees. He was nauseous, and his muscles hurt.
The clinic where he was vaccinated had given him a 24-hour phone number to call, but he'd been reticent. His girlfriend, with whom he lives, called. They said to go to urgent care. It was a 10-minute drive. They arrived at 5 a.m.
The doctors met him in what looked like space suits. Even though he'd had a vaccine, he was also a potential Covid patient. They took him into an exam room, took a lot of blood, and gave him a nasal swab. He asked them to avoid his left arm, where he'd gotten the vaccine, but they ended up taking blood from both of his arms. His fever had already fallen to 99.8 degrees. They gave him Tylenol. The physician taking care of him offered to try to get him admitted to a neighboring hospital, but he decided to head home.
He and his girlfriend arrived home at 7 a.m., and he slept until noon. His temperature was 101.5. He got up to go to the bathroom, and became so nauseous he threw up. On his way back from the bathroom, he fainted. His girlfriend caught him and kept his head from hitting the floor.
She then called one of the doctors working in the study, and asked what they should do. The doctor told them he could go back to urgent care, or call 911, and reminded them that all his medical costs would be covered by the study.
But he got to a couch and was given sports drinks. He spent the afternoon there, with a wet towel on his head, fighting the fever. By 9:45 p.m., it was back down to 99.1. It tapered off. He says he felt better within a few days, and has had no side effects since.
Haydon said the experience left him as sick as he'd ever felt. But standard flu-like symptoms that resolve within a day are not necessarily considered a reason not to use a vaccine that prevents a more serious illness.
Given the stakes of a Covid-19 vaccine, the side effects described in the Moderna release would likely be seen as acceptable even if they turned out to be seen in future studies. The severe effects were only seen at high doses that are not being taken forward. The other vaccine for which early data are available caused fever in almost half of recipients.
But it's also not clear what will happen as the vaccine moves into larger studies. ''Humans have a very diverse immune system,'' said Larry Schlesinger, the president and CEO of the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, a nonprofit. ''And then you add on top of that diabetes or, you know, age 70 and you can imagine that the immune response will be very, very different.''
The difficulty, Schlesinger said, is that right now we are only getting ''tidbits'' of information about the new vaccine.
''Tidbits of science are always dangerous for the public to read because they give a false understanding, or a false sense of security, that we're making progress or not,'' Schlesinger said. ''And then tomorrow we hear something completely opposite. And before you know it, the credibility of the scientific process is undermined and people stop listening.'' What does he think now? ''It's just not enough information at the current time.'' That's why we need clinical trials '-- and volunteers like Ian Haydon.
Masks and Muzzles
The Condoms of the Face: Why Some Men Refuse to Wear Masks - Scientific American
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 14:03
In the midst of rapidly rising case counts and hospitalizations during the COVID-19 pandemic, a small but incredibly loud segment of U.S. society has adamantly refused to wear masks. Many of them are men, who seem to view masks as emasculating face condoms that must be rejected. For example, a look at Donald Trump's debacle of a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 20, shows that men in his base, like Trump himself, avoid wearing masks. Women like Ivanka Trump, by contrast, can choose a mask or not because they have no masculinity to protect.
In reality, whether it's a mask or a condom, resistance to these barrier methods of protection'--both of which keep the wearer from transmitting a virus to someone else'--clearly presents a danger to public health. A man without a mask is willfully endangering people around him by refusing to block his spit and the viruses it could contain. Why would he take these risks to himself and to others?
When HIV emerged in the United States, a key part of the public health response was to urge consistent condom use. Although the advice made obvious sense, in some pockets of the population, people resisted it. Researchers began to dig into the social factors that motivated this resistance. They found that among men who were having sex with women, ''masculine ideology'' was associated with rejection of condom use.
At the time the research was being conducted, three factors were cited as the pillars of this ideology: status, toughness and anti-femininity. Today, the concept has been expanded a bit to encompass other features. The American Psychological Association has defined this ideology as a ''particular constellation of standards'' that demands that men ascribe to ''adventure, risk, and violence.'' Certainly, choosing not to wear the simplest of protective gear during a pandemic is both a risk and an adventure.
Perhaps not surprisingly, where this conceptualization of manliness prevails, the dominant avatars who embody it are white men with epic swagger. As one researcher described it, this ''celluloid masculinity'' muscling around on screens, perhaps most famously in the form of characters played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, represents a ''dominant Western exemplar of manhood.'' These characters, you see, despite the copious body armor and weaponry they tote around in their films, would never, ever don simple barrier protection devices because viruses can sense fear.
In today's refusal to wear a mask, we see echoes of this condom rejection embedded in white masculine ideology. Led by the Masculinity Performer in Chief, these men are making what increasingly looks like the last stand for that celluloid masculinity. As in another infamous ''last stand,'' they risk ending up dead on the battlefield they insisted on creating, along with the casualties they take with them.
A lot of people are baffled at this behavior'--at balking at something so basic, a disease transmission preventative that has such a low barrier to access. Why do these men perform this mask-free ''celluloid masculinity'' in the literal face of a threat? The reason is that eschewing a mask sends a strong social signal, in which the bare face is the performance. But who is the audience?
Understanding this behavior requires understanding the level of investment that these men have made in their masculine ideology. Trump, reality notwithstanding, is the high priest of this ideology. When he rejected masks, his became the performance to imitate. These men have made a deep commitment and probably engaged in some willful self-deception to remain loyal to Trump. Donning a mask would mean wasting their investment and the perceived fruits of all that self-compromise.
So, they go maskless. In doing so, they expect that their masculine ideology group will accept them, respect them and not reject them.
The irony is that these men think they're manifesting the ideal of the rugged, individualistic American, when their refusal really traces in part to a fear of what other people will think about them. Drunk on a toxic brew of self-interest and that masculine ideology, they mistake their refusal to protect themselves and others as a mark of character when instead, it's a mark on their characters.
Some people who would like to mitigate the harm of these behaviors have clearly recognized the value of turning to those personifications of celluloid masculinity. On June 18, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statewide order requiring that people wear masks in public places. The hot reaction he drew would have been suitable if he'd, say, required all Californians to adopt a baby cobra. There was even a briefly trending ''recall Newsom'' hashtag on Twitter.
Likely anticipating this bizarro-world backlash, Newsom joined forces with his surviving predecessors'--Jerry Brown, Gray Davis, Pete Wilson and Arnold Schwarzenegger'--to make a public service announcement urging people to wear masks. Each governor had a couple of lines to deliver. Schwarzenegger's lines, were spoken with all the hypermasculine gravitas of his celluloid hero John Matrix: ''This is not about being weak'.... Just do it.''
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)Emily Willingham Emily Willingham, Ph.D., is a science writer and author of Phallacy: Life Lessons from the Animal Penis, to be published in September 2020 by Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group.
H.R. 2'--INVEST in America Act [Moving Forward Act] | House of Representatives Committee on Rules
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 15:50
1Version 1Takano (CA)DemocratAdds "battery storage technologies" for residential, industrial, and transportation applications.Made in Order2Version 1Moore (WI)DemocratRequires the Office of Tribal Affairs to have and implement regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration with Tribes and Tribal officials as required by Executive Order 13175.Made in Order3Version 1Moore (WI)DemocratRequires certain airports applying to impose a Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) to detail any good faith efforts they will undertake to ensure that disadvantaged business enterprises and small businesses, including those owned by veterans, can fairly compete for work funded with the PFC.Submitted4Version 1Moore (WI)DemocratCreates an office of Equity, Inclusion, and Environmental Justice within the Office of the Secretary of Transportation.Submitted5Version 1Beyer (VA), Napolitano (CA), Katko (NY)Bi-PartisanAuthorizes a study by GAO to determine the effectiveness of suicide barriers on physical structures other than bridges.Made in Order6Version 1Moore (WI)DemocratStrengthens Disadvantage Business Enterprise (DBE) requirements, including that states maintain accurate and updated lists of DBE's, make that information available on line, include a process to correct errors, and require that the Highway Trust Fund Transparency and Accountability Report include information about whether DBE contractors or subcontractors worked on the project.Submitted7Version 1Moore (WI)DemocratDirects funds to combat combined sewer overflows in the Great Lakes region.Submitted8Version 1Levin, Andy (MI)DemocratAmends the pilot program to improve laboratory infrastructure to prioritize the reduction of wait times for COVID-19 test results.Made in Order9Version 1Thompson, Bennie (MS), Lowey (NY)DemocratMandates the conversion of all covered employees and positions within the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to the personnel management provisions of title 5, United States Code, which provides TSA employees with the same rights and civil service protections afforded most Federal workers; sets forth transition rules that restrict certain personnel authorities of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and protect the rate of pay and other rights of TSA employees; and requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to consult with the labor organization representing TSA employees to carry out the conversion of covered employees and positions.Submitted10Version 1Scott, Austin (GA), Schrader (OR)Bi-PartisanClarifies the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's definition for an agricultural commodity to include aquacultural, horticultural, and floricultural commodities, fruits, vegetables, and any non-human living animal and the products thereof; and other agriculture products that are sensitive to temperature or climate; and at risk of perishing in transit.Submitted11Version 1Quigley (IL), Rooney (FL)Bi-PartisanIncludes text of the bipartisan H.R.1572, the Botanical Sciences and Native Plant Materials Research, Restoration, and Promotion Act.Submitted12Version 1Quigley (IL)DemocratRequires GSA to incorporate strategies, features, and practices to reduce bird fatality resulting from collisions with public buildings which GSA owns, acquires, or alters.Made in Order13Version 1Tlaib (MI), Barragn (CA), Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Brownley (CA)DemocratAdds to the Climate Resilient Transportation Infrastructure Study a requirement to outline how Federal infrastructure planning, design, engineering, construction, operation, and maintenance impact the environment and public health of disproportionately exposed communities. A disproportionately exposed community is defined as a community in which climate change, pollution, or environmental destruction have exacerbated systemic racial, regional, social, environmental, and economic injustices by disproportionately affecting indigenous peoples, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, people experiencing homelessness, people with disabilities, people who are incarcerated, or youth.Made in Order14Version 1Moulton (MA)DemocratExpands public benefits considered in cost-benefit analyses for Passenger Rail Improvement, Modernization, and Expansion (PRIME) Grants to include induced demand and regional and local economic gains, including increased competitiveness, productivity, efficiency, and economic development.Made in Order15Version 1Norcross (NJ)DemocratAmends Sec. 1614(B)(2) by adding labor organizations as a listed member of the working group on construction resources.Made in Order16Version 2Norcross (NJ)DemocratRevised Amends the definition of pre-apprenticeship to include training (including a curriculum for the training), aligned with industry standards and reviewed and approved annually by sponsors of the registered apprenticeships within the documented partnership.Revised17Version 1Norcross (NJ)DemocratAmends sec. 1611 workforce training and development section that the state annual workforce plan to market apprenticeships. Specifically marketing and conducting outreach about apprenticeship to employers, secondary students, schools, and underrepresented populations.Submitted18Version 4Norcross (NJ), Stauber (MN), Bost (IL), Fitzpatrick (PA), Davis, Rodney (IL), Davis, Susan (CA), Lamb (PA)Bi-PartisanRevised The Secretary of Transportation shall require each prospective contractor on a construction project carried out directly by the Department of Transportation or a recipient of Federal assistance under section 117, to certify that, if awarded a contract for the project, the prospective contractor and its subcontractors shall make a good faith effort to meet or exceed the apprenticeship employment goal on such project.Revised19Version 1Courtney (CT), Larson, John (CT), Lynch (MA)DemocratEnsures that the list of activities eligible for Community Development Block Grant funds from Division J of the bill include housing remediation due to iron sulfide or other minerals that cause housing degradation.Made in Order20Version 1Sablan (MP)DemocratCodifies the annual reservation of 1.5 percent of Safe Drinking Water Act SRF for the U.S. Territories included in annual appropriations legislation covering the DWSRF every year since FY 2010.Made in Order21Version 1Courtney (CT), Himes (CT), Hayes (CT), DeLauro (CT), Larson, John (CT)DemocratAligns state and federal truck weight limits for agricultural products in the State of Connecticut on interstate highways.Made in Order22Version 1Walden (OR)RepublicanTemporarily waives certain limitations for purposes of pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements on the National Trail System in National Scenic Areas.Made in Order23Version 1Sablan (MP)DemocratClarifies current law regarding ferry operations between U.S. territories eligible for Ferry Boat Formula Program and Territorial Highway Program funding.Submitted24Version 1Quigley (IL), Garcia, Jesºs (IL)DemocratWithdrawn Creates the Park District Community Support Grant Program.Withdrawn25Version 1Panetta (CA), LaMalfa (CA), Spanberger (VA)Bi-PartisanRaises the cap on the Reforestation Trust Fund to $60,000,000 per year to address United States Forest Service replanting needs.Submitted26Version 2Porter (CA), Crdenas (CA), Hayes (CT)DemocratRevised Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to conduct a study on the effects of idling school buses and cars in school zones on children's health.Made in Order27Version 1Brownley (CA), Pressley (MA)DemocratRequires that beginning in 2029 all new buses purchased using FTA funds be zero emission buses.Submitted28Version 1Brownley (CA), Garamendi (CA)DemocratIncreases the authorization for FEMA's High Hazard Dams program to $600 million through FY2026, and it allows small hydroelectric dams to be eligible for the program.Submitted29Version 2Smith, Adam (WA), Norton (DC), Quigley (IL), Peters (CA), Lynch (MA), Beyer (VA), Suozzi (NY), Pressley (MA), Raskin (MD)DemocratRevised Requires the FAA and the EPA to work with the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a national study on the characteristics, distributions, sources, and potential health effects of airborne ultrafine particles in airport adjacent communities.Made in Order30Version 1Smith, Adam (WA), Norton (DC), Quigley (IL), Lynch (MA), Beyer (VA), Raskin (MD)DemocratAuthorizes airports to apply for AIP funding to cover the costs of replacing or repairing failing noise mitigation in homes previously mitigated under an AIP-funded noise program.Submitted31Version 1Miller (WV)RepublicanCreates a pilot program to study the prevention of driving under the influence of prescription and over-the-counter medication.Submitted32Version 1Brownley (CA)DemocratFixes the authorizing process for veterans healthcare facilities, aligning the VA process with the existing GSA process used by other agencies.Submitted33Version 1Mitchell (MI), Bonamici (OR), Langevin (RI), Thompson, Glenn (PA)Bi-PartisanIncludes the text of the bipartisan Building U.S. Infrastructure by Leveraging Demands for Skills (BUILDS) Act, H.R. 2831, which promotes industry or sector partnerships that engage in collaborative planning, resource alignment, and training efforts across multiple businesses, for a range of workers employed or potentially employed by targeted infrastructure industries, including energy, construction, information technology, utilities, and transportation, in order to encourage industry growth and competitiveness and to improve worker training, retention, and advancement.Submitted34Version 1Vela (TX)DemocratAssures that all primary commercial service airports within 20 miles of the southern border with land ports of entry in proximity to such airports are associated that land port of entry and that CBP designates such airports as ports of entry.Submitted35Version 2Crist (FL)DemocratRevised Includes consultation with HHS in updating the national safety plan to include responses to pandemics and other public health crises.Made in Order36Version 3Crist (FL)DemocratRevised Ensures that CDC guidelines are taken into account in adding infectious diseases to the required issues that must be addressed in safety plans.Made in Order37Version 1Blunt Rochester (DE)DemocratAuthorizes $20 billion over 5 years, and $84 million per year over 10 years for the administration of the program, in funding for states, federal buildings, and tribes to upgrade public building infrastructure, like hospitals and schools, making them more energy efficient and resilient. Funding will be delivered through three existing Department of Energy programs and will prioritize projects in environmental justice and low-income communities.Made in Order38Version 1Fulcher (ID)RepublicanIncludes amended text of H.R. 2871, the Aquifer Recharge Flexibility Act.Made in Order39Version 1Moore (WI)DemocratCreates an Invest in Building Resilient Communities grant program to support community led groups working to ensure safe, secure, and resilient communities, including those affected by civil unrest. Grants would, among other purposes, support projects to improve the built environment, such as revitalizing shared community spaces such as parks, community centers, schools, or housing and to provide community focused de-escalation training.Submitted40Version 2Meng (NY)DemocratWithdrawn Restricts the hiring of school bus drivers who have been convicted of, or pleaded guilty to, a felony drunk driving violation in the last two years.Withdrawn41Version 1Quigley (IL)DemocratEstablishes Advanced Energy Technology Research Initiative within FERC's Office of Energy Policy to reform power system modeling and improve grid transmission efficiency.Submitted42Version 1Meng (NY)DemocratRequires a report on accessibility to public transportation for pregnant women.Made in Order43Version 1Meng (NY)DemocratRequires as part of the National Transit Frontline Workforce Training Center training methods that would cater to the needs of diverse participants.Made in Order44Version 1Meng (NY)DemocratWithdrawn Requires the Federal Railroad Administration to prescribe regulations requiring rail coverings.Withdrawn45Version 1Meng (NY)DemocratRequires the race and ethnicity of officers who stop motor vehicles on highways, as well as the race/ethnicity of the driver.Made in Order46Version 1Meng (NY)DemocratEstablishes a $30 million prize competition for direct air capture technology and permanent sequestration.Submitted47Version 1Meng (NY)DemocratCreates a new $5 million grant program to replace water fountains at public playgrounds and parks.Made in Order48Version 1Titus (NV)DemocratAmends Sec. 405 of Title 23 to ensure funding to implement child passenger safety programs in low-income and underserved populations in lower seat belt use rate states as defined in Sec. 405(b)(3)(B).Made in Order49Version 1Garamendi (CA), Huffman (CA), Brownley (CA)DemocratRequires that federally funded highway projects use public employees for all construction inspections. States would be allowed to use private contractors if they lacked enough state-employed inspectors.Submitted50Version 1Garamendi (CA), Schrier (WA), LaMalfa (CA), Cox (CA), Harder (CA), McNerney (CA), Newhouse (WA)Bi-PartisanExtends from the current 35 to 50 years the repayment period under the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA).Submitted51Version 1Garamendi (CA)DemocratInserts Section 7 from H.R.1497 as reported, authorizing 10-year NPDES permits for public wastewater, water recycling, and stormwater projects.Submitted52Version 1Gonzlez-Col"n, Jenniffer (PR)RepublicanMakes Puerto Rico an eligible applicant location for the Bureau of Reclamation's WaterSMART Grants. Currently, Puerto Rico is the only territory and noncontiguous jurisdiction in the United States where these competitively-awarded water conservation and efficiency grants are not available.Made in Order53Version 1Crdenas (CA), Murphy, Stephanie (FL)DemocratEncourages USPS, in its process of replacing its aging delivery vehicle fleet, to take all reasonable steps to ensure that its vehicles are equipped with climate control units to protect the health and safety of its mail carriers, especially those working in areas of the country that are subject to extreme temperatures.Made in Order54Version 1Sarbanes (MD), Scott, Bobby (VA), Wittman (VA), Harris (MD)Bi-PartisanReauthorizes the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails program.Made in Order55Version 1Brownley (CA)DemocratUpdates the construction and leasing process for VA medical facilities and authorizes 13 outstanding leases.Submitted56Version 1Porter (CA)DemocratCreates a grant program to fund the development of apps that allow consumers to better understand energy grids in their states and regions. Users can monitor conditions, view the source of their energy, and receive system alerts.Submitted57Version 1Moore (WI)DemocratCreates a research program at the EPA to support ongoing efforts to use wastewater surveillance to track trends and the prevalence of COVID-19.Made in Order58Version 1Foster (IL), Kustoff (TN), Brindisi (NY), Roy (TX)Bi-PartisanAdjusts the current Highway Trust Fund state apportionment by creating a cap of 105% of the amount that states pay into the Highway Trust Fund General Fund that states can receive back in funding, while maintaining the 95% floor for apportionment.Submitted59Version 1Lowenthal (CA), Davis, Rodney (IL), Cohen (TN)Bi-PartisanDirects the Secretary of Transportation to issue a vehicle safety standard to require that new commercial motor vehicles are equipped with a universal electronic vehicle identifier.Made in Order60Version 2Porter (CA), Speier (CA), DeLauro (CT), Brownley (CA), Schakowsky (IL), Pressley (MA)DemocratRevised Improves the health and safety of women drivers by identifying the impact that vehicle sizing, design, and safety measures have on women.Made in Order61Version 1Wagner (MO)RepublicanRequires the Secretary of Transportation to study the safe and ethical integration of artificial intelligence into federally funded transportation systems, including into traffic management operations, motor vehicle crash reduction, and emergency management and response. Requires the Secretary to also include recommendations to protect the privacy of transportation system users.Submitted62Version 1Scott, Bobby (VA), Murphy, Stephanie (FL)DemocratExpresses a Sense of Congress that the Department of Transportation should utilize modeling and simulation technology to analyze federally funded highway and public transit projects to ensure that these projects will increase transportation capacity and safety, alleviate congestion, reduce travel time and environmental impact, and are as cost effective as practicable.Made in Order63Version 1Takano (CA)DemocratAuthorizes $20 billion to carry out the VA Asset and Infrastructure Review to evaluate VA's capacity to provide healthcare and reduce waste.Submitted64Version 1Larsen, Rick (WA), Payne, Jr. (NJ)DemocratDirects GAO to study the capital investment needs of U.S. public ferries and whether federal funding programs are meeting those needs. The report would also examine the feasibility of including public ferries in DOT's Conditions and Performance Report (C&P) and provide recommendations to Congress.Made in Order65Version 1Levin, Mike (CA)DemocratAuthorizes $3.396 billion for VA construction and maintenance and applies the existing governmentwide 3 percent goal for participation by service-disabled veteran owned small businesses to the minor construction and non-recurring maintenance allocations.Submitted66Version 2Trone (MD)DemocratRevised Establishes a pilot program to provide funding to states to incorporate wastewater testing for drugs at municipal wastewater treatment plants and to develop public health interventions to respond to the findings (amendment updated to reflect funding is subject to appropriations). This would allow public health departments to monitor drug consumption and detect new drug use more quickly and in a more specific geographic region than methods currently in use while preserving individual privacy.Made in Order67Version 2Morelle (NY)DemocratRevised Adds ''Buy America'' provisions to the Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing (RRIF) title of HR 2 to cover rolling stock (trainsets).Made in Order68Version 1Neguse (CO)DemocratAuthorizes the construction of Washington, D.C.'s first outdoor monument commemorating the women's suffrage movement.Submitted69Version 3Perlmutter (CO)DemocratRevised Authorizes funding for the US Geological Survey to support construction of a science facility conducting energy and minerals research.Made in Order70Version 1Norcross (NJ)DemocratCreates a rebate program for energy efficiency upgrades.Made in Order71Version 1Blunt Rochester (DE)DemocratAuthorizes $250 million per year over 5 years for a competitive grant program at EPA that incentivizes ports to create and implement climate action plans to reduce GHG emissions and other air pollutants. The grants will be prioritized based on several factors: regional collaboration, engagement of EJ and near-port communities in developing the climate action plans, and utilizing zero emissions as a key strategy of the plan.Made in Order72Version 1Lowenthal (CA)DemocratEstablishes a Water Reuse Interagency Working Group.Made in Order73Version 2Neguse (CO)DemocratRevised Requires the Federal Railroad Administration to report to Congress on the Supplementary Safety Measures and Alternative Safety Measures researched by the Railroad Research and Development Program that can be used by communities to qualify for a Quiet Zone.Made in Order74Version 1Norcross (NJ)DemocratAmends Section 22111(d) that a state may reserve each fiscal year up to 1% of the sums allotted to the State under this section for the fiscal year to carry out pre-apprenticeship programs.Submitted75Version 1Herrera Beutler (WA)RepublicanProhibits the collection of a new toll within a 25-mile radius of an Interstate border under Section 129 or the Value Pricing Pilot Program unless the Governor of each state, after consultation with the state legislature, agrees and certifies such toll.Submitted76Version 1Waters (CA)DemocratRequires States to report on the extent to which small businesses in the Department of Transportation's Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program actually receive grants, contracts, or subcontracts using DOT funds and disaggregate the small business data by the categories of gender, race and ethnicity, and the location within the State.Submitted77Version 2Titus (NV)DemocratRevised Amends Sec. 405(h) of Title 23 to enhance NHTSA nonmotorized safety grants for bike and pedestrian safety programs and campaigns.Made in Order78Version 1Neguse (CO), Perlmutter (CO)DemocratProvides a 10% tax incentive to emergency helicopter manufacturers to retrofit their older-model emergency helicopters with compliant crash-resistant fuel systems in order to increase helicopter safety and decrease the likelihood of post-crash fires.Submitted79Version 1Rutherford (FL)RepublicanStrikes Section 2603, regarding Automated Vehicle Transit Workforce Standards.Submitted80Version 1Krishnamoorthi (IL), Gallagher (WI)Bi-PartisanAdds a grant program for states that ban non-navigational viewing.Made in Order81Version 1Neguse (CO)DemocratAmends the Internal Revenue Code with respect to the low-income housing tax credit (''LIHTC'') to modify the rules for the acquisition of buildings constructed with LIHTC credits within the previous 10 years, thereby easing the process for local housing authorities and other entities to obtain already constructed properties for the purposes of keeping them as affordable housing.Submitted82Version 1Neguse (CO)DemocratAuthorizes a GAO study of the building codes and standards used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency'--including an assessment of the status of building code adoption across states, tribes, and territories, the economic benefits to prioritizing resiliency, and an assessment of the building codes utilized by FEMA with recommendations for improvements to their utilization of codes and standards to prepare for climate change and impacts.Made in Order83Version 1Matsui (CA)DemocratRaises the Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Rebate Program cap for eligible parties from $75,000 to $100,000 and lowers the minimum voltage level for qualifying Level 2 Charging Equipment from 240 volts to 208 volts.Made in Order84Version 2Moulton (MA)DemocratRevised Grants the Federal Railroad Administration advance acquisition authority for rail projects receiving federal funds, just as is given to the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration. Advance acquisition will not allow development on acquired right-of-way or adjacent real property interests prior to completing review and planning requirements.Made in Order85Version 1Panetta (CA)DemocratPermits an EDA grant recipient to repurpose funding from a revolving loan fund (RLF) after it has been lent out and repaid.Made in Order86Version 1Cohen (TN), Chabot (OH), Brownley (CA), Fitzpatrick (PA), Nadler (NY)Bi-PartisanAuthorizes a study by GAO on the reporting of alcohol-impaired driving arrest and citation results into federal databases to facilitate the widespread identification of repeat impaired driving offenders.Made in Order87Version 1Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Maloney, Carolyn (NY)DemocratSets aside $50,000,000 of funds for updating postal facilities to increase accessibility for disabled individuals, with a focus on facilities that are included in the National Register of Historic Places.Made in Order88Version 1Matsui (CA), Sarbanes (MD)DemocratAuthorizes a program at the Department of Energy to deliver grants to utilities that partner with nonprofit tree-planting organizations to provide free or discounted trees with the goal of reducing energy costs, reducing neighborhood temperatures, and promote local workforce development and community engagement.Made in Order89Version 3Krishnamoorthi (IL), Porter (CA)DemocratRevised Requires booster seat labeling.Made in Order90Version 4Rice, Kathleen (NY), Balderson (OH)Bi-PartisanRevised Creates a grant program for states to educate the public on the dangers of drug-impaired driving.Revised91Version 1Levin, Andy (MI), Ocasio-Cortez (NY)DemocratAmends the EV Charging, Natural Gas Fueling, Propane Fueling and Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure Grants by (1) Including environmental and environmental justice organizations on the list of relevant stakeholders; (2) Strengthening environmental justice protections and plans for renewable or zero emissions energy sources for charging and fueling infrastructure in the list of considerations for grant eligibility; (3) Directing the DOT to conduct a study on options for financing the placement of a national network of publicly available EV charging infrastructure along the National Highway System, and; (4) Directing the DOT to conduct a study to determine the maximum distance allowable between publicly available EV charging infrastructure such that a driver can drive across the National Highway System without running out of charging power.Made in Order92Version 1Chabot (OH)RepublicanAdds a provision to Section 1302 to reserve at least 10% of funding for urban areas that have functionally obsolete bridges.Submitted93Version 1Lynch (MA)DemocratWithdrawn Sets aside a minimum of 10% in Community Safety Grant awards administered by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration for communities that are situated in close proximity to natural gas pipeline infrastructure that is located in an active quarry blast zone or located in or adjacent to densely populated residential areas.Withdrawn94Version 1Clarke, Yvette (NY)DemocratClarifies eligibility under the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program for zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles and related equipment, including for projects/programs concerning: vehicle and equipment purchases, such as voucher programs, and electric vehicle supply equipment and hydrogen fueling infrastructure, such as depot infrastructure and infrastructure along routes servicing regional freight hubs.Submitted95Version 2Tlaib (MI), Kildee (MI), Slotkin (MI), Cicilline (RI), Moore (WI)DemocratRevised Adds $4.5 billion per fiscal year for 5 years for comprehensive lead service line replacement projects. Priority will be given to entities serving disadvantaged communities and environmental justice communities (with significant representation of communities of color, low-income communities, or Tribal and indigenous communities, that experience, or are at risk of experiencing, higher or more adverse human health or environmental effects).Made in Order96Version 1Cuellar (TX), Babin (TX), Bucshon (IN), Cloud (TX), Comer (KY), Crawford (AR), Fletcher (TX), Garcia, Sylvia (TX), Kustoff (TN), Olson (TX), Gonzalez, Vicente (TX)Bi-PartisanQualifies Future Interstates in a State Freight Plan as eligible for formula funding through the National Highway Freight Program (NHFP).Submitted97Version 1Chabot (OH), Wenstrup (OH), Davidson (OH)RepublicanAdds a provision to Section 1301 to consider projects that include two or more federal highways, and connect two states.Submitted98Version 1Rice, Kathleen (NY)DemocratCreates a grant program for nonprofit organizations to educate the public regarding the risks of distracted driving, including texting and driving.Submitted99Version 1Larsen, Rick (WA), Jayapal (WA), DelBene (WA), Schrier (WA), Kilmer (WA), Smith, Adam (WA)DemocratRequires at least 30% of funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation's BUILD grant program be awarded to cities with 10,000 to 75,000 residents. The goal is to ensure medium-sized cities can access federal funding for critical transportation and infrastructure projects.Submitted100Version 1Keating (MA)DemocratWithdrawn Requires the Secretary of the Department of Transportation to prioritize any federal owned asset valued at $250,000,000 or more to receive any discretionary funding made available by H.R. 2 to a state seeking federal aid.Withdrawn101Version 2Brownley (CA), Pence (IN)Bi-PartisanRevised Ensures the installation of protective devices and the replacement of functionally obsolete warning devices at railway-highway crossings are eligible under the rail grade crossing program.Made in Order102Version 1Maloney, Sean (NY)DemocratProhibits the use of funds for colleges and universities named after someone who served in the Confederacy.Submitted103Version 1Plaskett (VI), Gonzlez-Col"n, Jenniffer (PR), Velzquez (NY)Bi-PartisanAdds the Resiliency Enhancement Act of 2020 to allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency, for the duration of the recovery in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, to rebuild additional infrastructure to be more resilient than pre-disaster conditions.Submitted104Version 1Walberg (MI), Burgess (TX)RepublicanAdds the term ''mode of transportation'' to the criteria for collection of data on traffic stops.Made in Order105Version 1Cuellar (TX), Babin (TX)Bi-PartisanWithdrawn States that trains originating or destined to Mexico may be operated for distances of 20 air-miles or fewer from the international border, under certain requirements.Withdrawn106Version 1Haaland (NM), Lujan (NM), Schrier (WA), Gallego (AZ), Huffman (CA), Moore (WI), O'Halleran (AZ), Horn (OK)DemocratPostpones the FCC's 2.5 GHz Tribal Priority filing window deadline by 180 days that is set to close on August 3, 2020.Made in Order107Version 1Napolitano (CA), Moolenaar (MI), Engel (NY), Bergman (MI), Trone (MD), Fleischmann (TN), Kirkpatrick (AZ), Katko (NY), Johnson, Eddie Bernice (TX)Bi-PartisanAllows a passenger car, multipurpose passenger vehicle, truck, or bus to be equipped with a pulsating light system for high mounted stop lamps.Submitted108Version 1Haaland (NM), Huffman (CA), Schrier (WA), Horn (OK), Moore (WI)DemocratDelays the start date of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Phase I Auction (Auction 904) by not less than 180 days.Submitted109Version 1Cicilline (RI)DemocratCreates a Task Force to assess existing standards and test methods for the use of innovative materials in infrastructure, identify key barriers in the standards area that inhibit broader market adoption, and develop new methods and protocols, as necessary, to better evaluate innovative materials.Made in Order110Version 1Peterson (MN)DemocratInserts the text of H.R. 6723, the Universal Broadband Act, as introduced by Reps. Peterson and Young. The language would reform contributions to the Universal Service Fund under the Federal Communications Commission.Submitted111Version 1Keating (MA)DemocratWithdrawn Seeks to allow privately owned and operated ferries to receive federal funding.Withdrawn112Version 1Keating (MA)DemocratWithdrawn Direct the Federal Highways Administration to authorize $1 billion each year for 10 years for the replacement of federally-owned transportation assets that provide access to U.S. military bases.Withdrawn113Version 1Plaskett (VI)DemocratProvides for the equitable inclusion of the U.S. island territories within the meaning of the terms ''high-poverty area'' and ''persistent poverty county''.Made in Order114Version 2Jayapal (WA)DemocratRevised Ends the sunset date for the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and makes procedural and functional changes to allow the Council to provide more guidance to federal agencies as to how agency policies impact persons experiencing homelessness and housing instability. Creates a new advisory council composed of people currently and formerly experiencing homelessness & groups representing people experiencing homelessness.Made in Order115Version 1Plaskett (VI)DemocratMakes U.S. territories eligible for Safe Drinking Water Act assistance authorized for areas affected by natural disasters.Made in Order116Version 1Keating (MA)DemocratWithdrawn Requires the Federal Highway Administration to submit to Congress within 60 days a report identifying federal aid that states can use to replace pre-existing federally-funded bridge infrastructure, as well as list the ways the federal government can assist states undertaking replacement.Withdrawn117Version 1Aguilar (CA), Rouda (CA)DemocratAmends the Gridlock Reduction Grant Program to ensures eligibility for transportation authorities that are non-traditional local governments or MPOs, yet are legally responsible for delivering transportation improvements.Made in Order118Version 1Craig (MN)DemocratBlocks the FCC from taking action on a dual Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and also annuls the FCC's Declaratory Rulemaking that seeks to block an ordinance that was adopted to give local residents more broadband competition.Made in Order119Version 1Keating (MA)DemocratWithdrawn Allows the Secretary of the Army, acting through the Chief of Engineers, to enter a cooperative agreement with a state to replace bridges that are 1) owned by the Corps of Engineers and 2) rated functionally obsolete. This amendment also seeks to authorize an appropriations of $950,000,000.Withdrawn120Version 1Jayapal (WA)DemocratWithdrawn Amends the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act to allow FEMA Emergency Food and Shelter grants to be used for additional purposes, including provision of hygiene materials; maintenance and repair of shelters; and building of new, safe and sanitary forms of shelter, including tiny homes. Requires that regional variation in housing costs, costs of living, and rates of homelessness, housing instability and income inequality be considered in allocating federal funds.Withdrawn121Version 1Jayapal (WA)DemocratWithdrawn Requires HUD to commission a study on the housing infrastructure needs of populations at high risk of homelessness, including people of color, LGBTQ people, justice system-involved persons, foster and former foster youth, seniors, persons with disabilities and veterans. Report shall include policy and practice recommendations to ensure these populations' housing infrastructure needs are better met.Withdrawn122Version 1Haaland (NM)DemocratCreates the Reforest America Grant Program to provide cost-share grants to states, tribes, local governments, and non-profits to plant 1.6 billion trees by 2030 and over 6.5 billion trees by 2050, with dedicated funding to plant 100 million trees by 2030 in urban neighborhoods most in need of tree canopy cover, prioritizing communities of color and low-income communities.Submitted123Version 1Lynch (MA)DemocratRequires the Secretaries of Transportation, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security to establish an expert Joint Task Force to develop uniform federal safety guidelines and protect passengers and aviation employees against the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.Made in Order124Version 1Napolitano (CA)DemocratStrikes Section 1604, the Balance Exchanges for Infrastructure Program title, from the bill.Made in Order125Version 1Keating (MA)DemocratWithdrawn Seeks to provide $1 billion in federal funding to states, local governments, and tribes for evacuation route planning, acquisition, resilience, and capacity.Withdrawn126Version 1Lynch (MA)DemocratRestores core directives on climate change and national security issued by President Obama and require the Federal Government to consider the impacts of climate change in the development of relevant national security policies. Would also establish an interagency ''Climate and National Security Working Group'' and require agencies, including the Department of Transportation, to develop action plans to address the impact of climate change on their national security-related missions.Submitted127Version 1Aguilar (CA), Takano (CA)DemocratIncludes language to ''reduce the environmental impacts of freight movement on the National Highway Freight Network, including local pollution'' as a goal of the National Highway Freight Program. This language is intended to clarify that air pollution caused from vehicles idling at railway crossings is considered to be ''local pollution''.Made in Order128Version 1Cuellar (TX), Arrington (TX), Fletcher (TX), Babin (TX)Bi-PartisanWithdrawn Establishes I-27 as the Future Interstate Designation for Texas.Withdrawn129Version 2Jayapal (WA), Meng (NY)DemocratRevised Requires GAO to issue a report on the housing infrastructure needs of populations at higher risk of homelessness, including people of color; LGBTQ persons; justice system-involved persons; foster and former foster youth; seniors; people with disabilities; survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and intimate partner violence; and veterans. The report will recommend policy and practice changes by federal agencies to ensure housing infrastructure needs of those populations are better met.Made in Order130Version 2Lawrence (MI), Quigley (IL)DemocratRevised Requires the establishment of a school lead control and remediation grant program to help school districts install filtration systems and assist with lead remediation efforts.Revised131Version 1Graves, Garret (LA), Beyer (VA)Bi-PartisanCreates a DOT pilot grant program for the purpose of improving infrastructure for launch sites.Submitted132Version 1Beyer (VA)DemocratCreates a feasibility study on incorporating shadow pricing of carbon in federal agency spending decisionsSubmitted133Version 1Napolitano (CA), Lewis (GA), Scott, David (GA), Lowenthal (CA), Huffman (CA), Garamendi (CA), Rouda (CA), Schiff (CA)DemocratOverturns a 2014 FAA policy change and reestablishes previous FAA interpretation and enforcement that the restriction on the use of aviation fuel tax revenues for airport purposes applies to excise taxes and not general sales taxes.Made in Order134Version 1Cuellar (TX)DemocratDirects new highway-rail grade crossing grant program to specifically address projects involving grade crossing separations at international borders.Made in Order135Version 1Gomez (CA)DemocratInstructs the U.S. Department of Transportation to report on the planning, development, and funding of multimodal transit facilities, which connect two or more modes of transportation (walking, cycling, automobile, public transit, ferry, etc.) in one facility. The emergence of new aerial transportation technologies, such as Urban Aerial Mobility (UAM) and drones, creates a need for their thoughtful integration with existing and planned transportation modes.Submitted136Version 1Gosar (AZ)RepublicanAdds National Forest System lands under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture to the Public Lands Energy Development subtitle of Title IV of the bill.Submitted137Version 1Jayapal (WA), Brownley (CA)DemocratAdds requirements to Section 1621 to study workforce, training and equity considerations as related to job creation that would result from federal investments in climate-resilient transportation infrastructure.Made in Order138Version 1Loebsack (IA)DemocratEstablishes a competitive grant program for higher education institutions to engage in research on the safety and deployment of automated vehicles on rural and urban roads.Submitted139Version 2Dingell (MI), Fortenberry (NE), Raskin (MD)Bi-PartisanRevised Adds the bipartisan natural infrastructure bill H.R.3742, the Recovering America's Wildlife Act, which will enable States, Territories, and Tribes to complete habitat restoration and natural infrastructure projects, specified in Congressionally-mandated Wildlife Action Plans, to recover more than 12,000 wildlife, fish, and plant species of greatest conservation need, build recreational and educational infrastructure, and bolster community resilience through natural defenses.Made in Order140Version 1Jayapal (WA), Quigley (IL), Norton (DC), Lynch (MA), Smith, Adam (WA), Suozzi (NY), Pressley (MA), Brownley (CA), Speier (CA), Rouda (CA), Beyer (VA), Raskin (MD)DemocratIncreases set-aside from 4.5% to 5% for airport emission reduction projects, airplane noise mitigation and other airport projects that reduce the adverse effects of airport operations on the environment and surrounding communities.Made in Order141Version 1DelBene (WA), Katko (NY)Bi-PartisanDirects the FCC to collect and maintain data on the growth in usage of IoT devices, and devices that use 5G mobile networks. Requires the FCC to report to Congress on whether the current spectrum available meets the current demand of IoT devices, and determine the amount of spectrum necessary to meet future demand.Submitted142Version 2Lynch (MA), Balderson (OH), Pappas (NH), Webster (FL), Maloney, Carolyn (NY), Stivers (OH), Davids (KS), Davidson (OH)Bi-PartisanRevised Requires the Secretary of Transportation to ensure adequate payment and performance security to protect the federal interest, subcontractors, and workers on TIFIA projects.Revised143Version 1Rouda (CA), Napolitano (CA)DemocratExpands the review of construction materials procurement under Section 1617 to cover programs administered by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture. Ensures this review would not impact Buy America provisions or State and local authority.Submitted144Version 1Lynch (MA)DemocratProhibits Amtrak from furloughing workers so long as they accept federal money.Submitted145Version 1Lewis (GA)DemocratCodifies existing FAA rules about changes in airport sponsorship.Made in Order146Version 1Lewis (GA)DemocratAuthorizes the use of surface transportation funds to build noise barriers for older residential communities along major roads.Made in Order147Version 1Haaland (NM)DemocratEstablishes Urban Wood Programs that would create jobs in disadvantaged communities and retain sequestered carbon by supporting the reuse of lumber from abandoned buildings through grants, technical assistance, and research.Submitted148Version 1Escobar (TX)DemocratProvides for a required funding setaside for colonias.Submitted149Version 1Swalwell (CA), Maloney, Sean (NY)DemocratStrengthens limitations on financial assistance for state-owned enterprises by adding "exercising an option on a previously awarded contract" to section restricting the use of H.R. 2 funds.Made in Order150Version 1Garcia, Mike (CA), McCarthy (CA), Nunes (CA), LaMalfa (CA), Calvert (CA), Cook (CA), McClintock (CA)RepublicanReauthorizes Subtitle J of Title 3 of Public Law 114-322 through Fiscal Year 2028.Submitted151Version 1Gottheimer (NJ)DemocratCreates a national employer red-flag notification service for school bus drivers.Submitted152Version 1Gottheimer (NJ)DemocratRequires DOT to publish a contingency plan for a shutdown of train travel in the North River Tunnel under the Hudson River.Made in Order153Version 2Gottheimer (NJ)DemocratRevised Ensures DOT issues regulation requiring lap-and-shoulder seat belts on school buses within three years.Revised154Version 1Brownley (CA)DemocratRequires that medium- and heavy-duty vehicles purchased by the federal government are zero emission vehicles to the maximum extent feasible.Made in Order155Version 1Wagner (MO)RepublicanEstablishes a ''sliding scale'' matching requirement that increases the federal matching requirement in states with large amounts of public land for projects that provide or improve mobility for seniors and individuals with disabilities; eliminates the requirement that dictates a minimum spending level on certain activities and allows funds to be reallocated to non-urban areas at the recipient's discretion; allows projects in rural areas to comply with requirements and policies for formula grants for rural areas, rather than for projects in urban areas.Submitted156Version 1Jayapal (WA), Blumenauer (OR), Huffman (CA)DemocratEnsures that the national surface transportation system funding pilot promotes personal privacy for participants by 1) adding a consumer advocate to the advisory board to implement the program, 2) ensuring that the public awareness campaign to carry out the pilot includes information related to personal privacy and 3) adding that the report to Congress should include an analysis of how privacy for volunteer participants was maintained.Made in Order157Version 2Neguse (CO), Perlmutter (CO)DemocratRevised Directs GAO to complete a report every three years on the status of federal research facilities infrastructure, and strengthens current science infrastructure reporting requirements for the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Director by requiring that they report to Congress not only the infrastructure improvements that are needed at federal research facilities, but also the estimated funding levels that are required to complete them.Made in Order158Version 1Brownley (CA)DemocratIncreases the federal government's requirements on how much renewable energy it consumes to 35% of its total electricity share by 2030, 75% by 2040, and 100% by 2050. The amendment would also encourage '' to the maximum extent possible '' that we use renewable energy that is produced on-site at federal facilities, on federal lands, or on Native American lands.Submitted159Version 1Ruiz (CA), Cook (CA), Barragn (CA), Calvert (CA)Bi-PartisanProvides authorization for construction of an access road to the Desert Sage Youth Wellness Center, the only IHS Youth Regional Treatment Center in California.Made in Order160Version 1Morelle (NY)DemocratAuthorizes GAO study on the accessibility of FEMA's Public Assistance, Individual Assistance, and other relevant flood disaster assistance programs, with a focus on identifying barriers to access based on race, ethnicity, language, and income level.Made in Order161Version 1Garamendi (CA), Maloney, Sean (NY), Courtney (CT), Wittman (VA)Bi-PartisanInserts full text of the ''Energizing American Shipbuilding Act of 2019'' (H.R.3829).Submitted162Version 1Spano (FL)RepublicanCodifies the One Federal Decision policy for NEPA Authorizations, and mandates 2-year timeline for such authorizations.Submitted163Version 1Gianforte (MT)RepublicanPermits the continued use of Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program project use power by the Kinsey Irrigation Company and the Sidney Water Users Irrigation District.Made in Order164Version 2Gallego (AZ), Haaland (NM)DemocratRevised Requires Tribal and Native Hawaiian consultation in the development of the State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program and improves technical assistance for Tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations accessing the program.Made in Order165Version 1Rouda (CA), Norton (DC)DemocratEstablishes the Aviation Industry Assistance for Cleaner and Quieter Skies Voucher Program to provide incentives to enhance our domestic airline fleets and reduce emissions and noise.Made in Order166Version 1Escobar (TX)DemocratDirects the Department of Transportation to conduct a study on the infrastructure state of colonias, including surface, transit, water, and broadband infrastructure of such colonias.Made in Order167Version 1Escobar (TX)DemocratAllows border state governors to direct a portion of their Surface Transportation Program funds to relevant infrastructure projects in border counties.Submitted168Version 1Calvert (CA), LaMalfa (CA)RepublicanEliminates certain restrictions on constructing additional lanes and capacity on the National Highway System.Submitted169Version 1Brindisi (NY)DemocratEnsures that hybrid electric buses that make meaningful reductions to direct carbon emissions have a 90% cost share in the bus formula and bus competitive grant programs.Made in Order170Version 1Ruiz (CA)DemocratRequires NHTSA to study the safety implications of equipping school buses with air conditioning to prevent heat-related illness and over-heating among students.Made in Order171Version 1Luetkemeyer (MO)RepublicanClarifies the federal definition of an automobile transporter and synchronizes the overall length allowances among different types of automobile transporters.Submitted172Version 1Ruiz (CA)DemocratTakes land into trust for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.Made in Order173Version 1Peters (CA), McMorris Rodgers (WA), Heck (WA)Bi-PartisanRequires New Starts applicants to secure a memorandum of understanding with relevant agencies to adjust land use regulations to accommodate affordable and market-rate housing.Submitted174Version 1Crawford (AR)RepublicanAmends NEPA by requiring federal agencies to only consider reasonably foreseeable effects of a proposed federal action when determining if it is significant.Submitted175Version 1Ruiz (CA)DemocratFacilitates economic development via the closure of the Banning Municipal Airport in Banning, CA.Submitted176Version 1Thompson, Glenn (PA), Langevin (RI)Bi-PartisanAuthorizes investments to develop career pathways that lead to credentials in transportation-related industries that could range from manufacturing to operation, design and engineering of infrastructure. Additionally, the amendment prioritizes providing on-the-job training and work-based learning, developing dual enrollment programs to train high school students, promoting training related to new technologies and outreach and career counseling to increase participation in the transportation sector.Submitted177Version 1Calvert (CA), McCarthy (CA), McClintock (CA), Garcia, Mike (CA), LaMalfa (CA), Cook (CA), Nunes (CA)RepublicanRevises Sections 81311 and 81322 to retain current program purposes for WaterSMART.Submitted178Version 1Foxx (NC)RepublicanEliminates the requirement that all laborers and mechanics working on federal-aid highway and public transportation projects shall be paid wages at rates not less than the locally prevailing wage rate.Made in Order179Version 1Torres, Norma (CA)DemocratTriggers Treasury borrowing during recessions when the real interest rate is zero or lower to support infrastructure investments.Made in Order180Version 1Ruiz (CA)DemocratIncludes Indian Country and areas with high Native American populations in the priority areas for broadband expansion under the Universal Service Fund.Made in Order181Version 1Schakowsky (IL)DemocratRequires inclusive home designs so that all new single-family homes and townhouses built with federal dollars meet standards of visitability and are accessible for people with disabilities, seniors, and veterans.Submitted182Version 1Waltz (FL), Brown (MD), Mast (FL)Bi-PartisanModernizes and defines the Clean Water State Revolving Fund allotment in accordance with the Environmental Protection Agency's 2016 recommendations to Congress.Submitted183Version 1Crawford (AR)RepublicanAllows for Federal agencies to accept environmental impact statements prepared by project sponsors.Submitted184Version 3Kaptur (OH), Ryan (OH)DemocratRevised Expresses the sense of Congress disapproving of Amtrak's recent announcement drastically limiting daily long-distance train service to hundreds of communities across the nation.Made in Order185Version 1Speier (CA), Quigley (IL), Panetta (CA), Norton (DC), Suozzi (NY), Chu (CA), Jayapal (WA)DemocratRequires FAA staff to answer questions submitted in writing by Members of Congress relating to flight procedures or other data affecting their district within 90 days. It would also require FAA staff to appear at a meeting or town hall with a Member of Congress with 30 days' notice and under the same terms and conditions as specified by the FAA for appearances at Aviation Roundtables.Submitted186Version 1Crawford (AR), Gosar (AZ)RepublicanRequires the Council on Environmental Quality to remove consideration of controversy as a qualification on whether or not a proposed federal action is significant under NEPA.Submitted187Version 1Hastings (FL), Mast (FL)Bi-PartisanExpands eligibility for the Surface Transportation Block Grant program to include rural roads that serve to transport agriculture products from farms or ranches to the marketplace.Made in Order188Version 2Torres, Norma (CA)DemocratRevised Requires GAO to conduct a study of the impacts of vehicle miles traveled fee pilot programs.Made in Order189Version 1Spano (FL)RepublicanRequires all Environmental Impact Assessment includes a statement of purpose and need for the proposed agency action.Submitted190Version 1Johnson, Mike (LA)RepublicanRequires the Secretary of Transportation to accelerate the environmental review process for Interstate 49.Submitted191Version 1Spano (FL)RepublicanRequires each notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement include a request for public comment.Submitted192Version 1Davis, Rodney (IL)RepublicanStreamlines and consolidates the federal permitting process.Submitted193Version 1Lamb (PA)DemocratDirects the Secretary to carry out a study on the operational and safety performance of small commercial vehicles used in interstate commerce.Made in Order194Version 1Bost (IL), Crawford (AR)RepublicanStrikes Section 4408, which updates the required amount of insurance for commercial motor vehicles.Submitted195Version 1Davis, Rodney (IL)RepublicanRaises the cap on private activity bonds.Submitted196Version 1Brindisi (NY)DemocratInstructs the Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth to study the impact of monopolistic business practices by broadband service providers.Made in Order197Version 5Peters (CA), Smith, Adam (WA), Jayapal (WA), Levin, Mike (CA)DemocratRevised Ensures that projects submitted to the FTA Capital Investment Grants program can use ridership data collected before the COVID-19 outbreak and projections based on that data, if requested.Made in Order198Version 1Meng (NY)DemocratRequires the Federal Railroad Administration to prescribe regulations requiring rail coverings.Made in Order199Version 1Veasey (TX)DemocratAmends Sec. 2203 to grandfather in existing mobility as a service or mobility on demand projects in operation on the date of enactment to reflect existing existing contracts by certain municipalities.Submitted200Version 1Hastings (FL), Clarke, Yvette (NY)DemocratRequires the Comptroller General of the United States to study high-speed internet connectivity in Federally assisted housing, and requires the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development to submit a master plan to Congress for retrofitting these buildings and units as necessary to support broadband service.Made in Order201Version 1Bost (IL)RepublicanPrecludes funding for programs under the Transportation Alternatives Program where lands are acquired through eminent domain. Exceptions made for projects carried out under the Safe Routes to Schools Program, those that necessary to assist the disabled with daily needs under the Americans with Disabilities Act.Made in Order202Version 2Speier (CA)DemocratRevised Adjusts the definition of low-income individuals to include Federal Pell grant recipients for demonstration grants to support reduced fare transit.Made in Order203Version 3Lipinski (IL)DemocratRevised Requires NHTSA to issue a rule for motor vehicle bumpers and hoods to be designed to reduce the impact on vulnerable road users, including pedestrians and cyclists, in the event of a collision with a motor vehicle.Made in Order204Version 2Langevin (RI), Balderson (OH), Cartwright (PA), Hayes (CT), Horn (OK), McKinley (WV), Schrader (OR), Smith, Adam (WA)Bi-PartisanRevised Expands the surface transportation workforce program.Revised205Version 1Scott, Bobby (VA), Sarbanes (MD), Wittman (VA)Bi-PartisanAuthorizes the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to establish a program to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay watershed by investing in green infrastructure, habitat preservation, and ecosystem restoration to enhance community resilience, improve water quality, and increase recreational opportunities while also creating jobs and enhancing economic opportunities.Made in Order206Version 2Lawrence (MI)DemocratRevised Requires a study on water affordability, including water rates, shutoffs, and the effectiveness of SRF funding for promoting affordable and equitable service. The study will also investigate any discriminatory practices of water and sewer service providers and any violations of civil rights and equal access to water and sewer services and will further assess the availability of data on water access and water shutoffs.Made in Order207Version 1Stauber (MN)RepublicanEliminates duplicative 404 permitting requirements only if the state's 404 permitting standard is equal or higher than the federal government's.Made in Order208Version 2Murphy, Stephanie (FL), Soto (FL), Demings (FL)DemocratRevised Directs USDOT to take action to improve the risk-based stewardship and oversight of recipients of Federal funds.Made in Order209Version 1Ocasio-Cortez (NY)DemocratRepeals the Faircloth amendment which prohibits the construction of new public housing.Made in Order210Version 1LaMalfa (CA)RepublicanRequires discretionary grant funding given to the California High Speed Rail Authority be reimbursed and used for road projects of regional and national significance. This amendment would also create new requirements on any high-speed rail development at the Federal Railroad Administration.Submitted211Version 1Fulcher (ID), Gosar (AZ)RepublicanAllows for additional economical exploration opportunities of carbon free, baseload geothermal energy on federal land.Submitted212Version 1Morelle (NY)DemocratRequires Secretary of Transportation to create best practices for application of National National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 to federally funded bus shelters to assist recipients of Federal funds in receiving exclusions permitted by law.Made in Order213Version 1Brindisi (NY), Costa (CA)DemocratRequires the Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth to study the extent to which broadband service providers utilizing federal programs are delivering the upload and download speeds required.Made in Order214Version 1McClintock (CA), Cook (CA), LaMalfa (CA), McCarthy (CA), Nunes (CA), Calvert (CA), Garcia, Mike (CA)RepublicanProvides for western water security, reliability, modernization, and abundance, and for other purposes.Submitted215Version 3Adams (NC), Sewell (AL), Cooper (TN), Khanna (CA)DemocratRevised Changes "minority institutions" (20 U.S.C. 1067k) to "historically black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions" (20 U.S.C. 1067q) and raises the minimum number of grants to those institutions from two to four.Made in Order216Version 1Speier (CA), Quigley (IL), Panetta (CA), Norton (DC), Rouda (CA), Suozzi (NY), Ruiz (CA), Chu (CA), Jayapal (WA)DemocratAmends the FAA's prioritization of U.S. airspace use to add noise and health impacts to residents and other environmental concerns on an equal basis with efficiency. It would also require the FAA to update their Mission Statement to align with the revised airspace priorities.Submitted217Version 1Stauber (MN), Gosar (AZ)RepublicanAllows project sponsors to remedy permitting and project inquiries without placing an injunction on the project.Submitted218Version 1Estes (KS), Hastings (FL), Walorski (IN), Davis, Danny K. (IL), Timmons (SC), Clay (MO), LaHood (IL), Johnson, Eddie Bernice (TX), Larson, John (CT)Bi-PartisanWithdrawn Requires the Treasury Department to provide states with records relating to the purchase, ownership of the bond, bond serial numbers as well as any records sufficient to allow States to redeem the bond for full value, even if the bond is lost, destroyed, or not in the possession of the State.Withdrawn219Version 3Torres, Norma (CA)DemocratRevised Reauthorizes the Transportation Equity Research program and requires other transportation equity studies.Made in Order220Version 1Perry (PA), Brady (TX), Wright (TX), Babin (TX), Weber (TX), Flores (TX)RepublicanProhibits the provision of loans or loan guarantees for high speed rail projects not in compliance with FRA tier III safety standards.Submitted221Version 1Speier (CA), Huffman (CA), Garamendi (CA), Lofgren (CA), Thompson, Mike (CA)DemocratIncreases the authorized amount of the San Francisco Bay Restoration grant program from $25 million to $50 million.Made in Order222Version 2McCollum (MN)DemocratRevised Applies Buy America requirements to the Community Development Block Grant program with exemption for housing development.Made in Order223Version 1Bonamici (OR), Cisneros (CA), Finkenauer (IA)DemocratDirects the Department of Labor to provide grants to partnerships that support paid work-based learning programs, including Registered Apprenticeships, and supportive services to improve worker training, retention, and advancement for individuals who have historically faced barriers to employment in targeted infrastructure industries.Made in Order224Version 1LaMalfa (CA)RepublicanRequires that mechanical employees of railroads also be subject to all testing pursuant to 49 C.F.R. Part 219, including random drug and alcohol testing.Submitted225Version 1Ruiz (CA)DemocratAdds mitigation of adverse public health effects and benefits to disadvantaged communities to benefits to be considered during application to the program described in Sec. 81233. Expands project eligibility to include projects whose primary purpose is not to mitigate an environmental obligation.Submitted226Version 1McNerney (CA)DemocratEstablishes a program to provide grant funding for educational and technical training programs in renewable energy fields, helping the next generation of workers train for careers in these fast-growing fields.Submitted227Version 2Vargas (CA)DemocratRevised States that the the California New River Restoration Act Authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator to support projects recommended by the California-Mexico Border Relations Council. Additionally, the California New River Restoration Act of 2019 ensures that the EPA will consult with all the New River stakeholders on both sides of the border during the creation and implementation of the programs.Made in Order228Version 3DeFazio (OR)DemocratMANAGER'S AMENDMENT Revised Adds a credit providing for an additional subsidy for green energy projects that conform to certain labor standards and adds required labor standards for projects financed with certain tax-preference bonds. Directs the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to convert all covered employees and positions within TSA to the personnel management provisions of title 5, U.S.C., thereby ensuring that TSA employees are provided the same rights and civil service protections afforded most other Federal workers. Authorizes $3.396 billion for VA construction and maintenance and applies the existing government-wide three percent goal for participation by service-disabled veteran owned small businesses to the minor construction and non-recurring maintenance allocations. Adds trailers to the list of vehicles that may be purchased with the funds authorized. Adds Davis Bacon requirements to the Housing Trust Fund, Capital Magnet Fund, and Flood Mitigation Assistance funding in the bill. Raises the cap on the Reforestation Trust Fund to $60,000,000 per year to address United States Forest Service replanting needs. Makes certain changes to public outreach procedures for abandoned coal mine reclamation at the request of the states and restates existing law for Department of Energy technical assistance to states for reclaiming orphaned wells. Requires the Secretary of Transportation to enter into an agreement with the National Academies of Sciences to develop a long-term research agenda for the surface transportation system that would address integrating advanced technologies and innovation and requires the Secretary to establish a program for long-term, high-risk research. Provides authority to the Secretary to establish a program for the demonstration of advanced transportation technologies for local transportation organizations and transit agencies serving populations of 200,000 or less and reauthorizes a previously existing advisory council to facilitate receiving outside expertise. Amends Division G to insert Davis-Bacon requirements and clarifies prioritization of funding for broadband deployment policies, among other technical changes. Amends Division O, Agriculture Infrastructure Improvements, by doubling the current statutory deposit limit for the Reforestation Trust Fund, enabling additional reforestation activities on National Forest System lands, including tree planting, seeding, fertilization, and timber stand improvement. Deposits in the account are derived from tariffs on imported wood products. Requires that the National Lifeline Verifier be hooked up to SNAP's National Accuracy Clearinghouse.Considered as Adopted229Version 1Eshoo (CA), Matsui (CA), Costa (CA), Cisneros (CA)DemocratAdds charging speed and minimization of future upgrade costs as considerations for electric vehicle charging infrastructure grants.Made in Order230Version 1Adams (NC)DemocratSupports the development of fixed guideway capital projects near existing affordable housing by weighting the Federal Transit Administration's grant rating formula.Submitted231Version 2Axne (IA), Khanna (CA), Finkenauer (IA)DemocratRevised Establishes a grant program for the purchase and preservation of manufactured housing communities as long term affordable housing.Made in Order232Version 1Adams (NC), Sewell (AL), Cooper (TN)DemocratSupports HBCU infrastructure development by asking the Secretary of Education to comply with the GAO's recommendation that the Education Department analyze the potential benefits to HBCUs by modifying the terms of existing HBCU Capital Financing Program loans, as described in the GAO's report published on June 15, 2018 (GAO-18-455).Made in Order233Version 1Speier (CA)DemocratAmends the eligibility for the additional broadband benefit for low-income consumers to include households in which at least one member of the household has received a Federal Pell Grant in the most recent academic year.Made in Order234Version 1McNerney (CA), Harder (CA), Cox (CA), Thompson, Mike (CA), Costa (CA)DemocratRequires Amtrak to develop ridership and station staffing projections as part of its now required capital and operating projections.Made in Order235Version 3Calvert (CA), Takano (CA)Bi-PartisanRevised Establishes the Western Riverside County Wildlife Refuge.Made in Order236Version 1Finkenauer (IA)DemocratAuthorizes additional appropriations for the Rebuild Rural grant program in FY23 and FY24.Made in Order237Version 1Westerman (AR)RepublicanCreates a small project set aside for the PNRS program.Submitted238Version 1Calvert (CA), McCarthy (CA), McClintock (CA), Garcia, Mike (CA), LaMalfa (CA), Nunes (CA)RepublicanTransfers certain Endangered Species Act enforcement functions from the Department of Commerce to the Department of the Interior.Submitted239Version 1Bost (IL)RepublicanStrikes Section 4306(a), which delays implementation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Final Hours of Service Final Rule.Submitted240Version 1Rush (IL)DemocratEstablishes a nationwide energy-related industries workforce development program.Made in Order241Version 1Palmer (AL)RepublicanStrikes language that limits state use of federal funding exchange programs.Submitted242Version 1Schrier (WA)DemocratWaives FTA's spare ratio regulations for two years. The spare ratio regulations require that the number of spare buses in the active fleet for recipients operating 50 or more fixed-route revenue vehicles cannot exceed 20 percent of the number of vehicles operated in maximum fixed-route service.Made in Order243Version 1McMorris Rodgers (WA), Lamborn (CO), Newhouse (WA), Heck (WA), Schrier (WA)Bi-PartisanClears up confusion at existing Bureau of Reclamation reservoirs about regulatory permitting by making it clear that the Bureau of Reclamation has jurisdiction to oversee pumped storage development when two or more reservoirs are involved.Submitted244Version 1Escobar (TX)DemocratCreates a new $10 million grant program for colonias to maintain a state of good repair for surface infrastructure in these communities.Made in Order245Version 1Golden (ME), Gallagher (WI), Sensenbrenner (WI)Bi-PartisanPromotes safe transport of raw or unfinished forest products by allowing state-legal logging vehicles that exceed federal weight limits to travel up to 150 air miles on the Interstate, rather than requiring them to travel exclusively on state, county, and secondary roads.Submitted246Version 1Gonzalez, Vicente (TX), Vela (TX)DemocratBrings Interstate Route 2 in alignment with Interstate Route 69 and all local roads regarding trucking weight around the border area in Texas.Submitted247Version 1Brown (MD)DemocratEstablishes the Health Enterprise Zones program to reduce health disparities in areas that have poor health outcomes.Submitted248Version 1Vargas (CA), Garcia, Jesºs (IL)DemocratEnsures that for workforce training under Division B, states would identify need for enhancement in the STEM education pipeline to infrastructure jobs, for women and minorities, in their plans to reduce workforce gaps and underrepresentation of such individuals. Additionally, the amendment directs states to identify a need for increased recruitment of individuals entering the job market after securing their degree, and a need for funding to recruit and retain unemployed individuals.Submitted249Version 1Lipinski (IL)DemocratWithdrawn Delays the funding prohibition in Section 2603 of the bill related to federal public transportation funds being used for automated vehicles or mobility on demand for one year and requires the Secretary of Transportation to report to Congress the anticipated effects of those prohibitions.Withdrawn250Version 2Balderson (OH), Burgess (TX)RepublicanRevised Strikes ''lane splitting'' in Sec. 5304 and inserts descriptive language to better account for varying state laws.Made in Order251Version 1Meng (NY)DemocratIncludes in the Transportation Alternatives Program set-asides as an eligible project expansion of sidewalks for outdoor dining.Submitted252Version 3Dingell (MI)DemocratRevised Establishes a Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator to bolster and expand a robust clean energy workforce, deploy emissions reduction technologies, and invest in low-carbon infrastructure projects as an independent non-profit capitalized with $20 billion of federal funds spread over a six-year period. The Accelerator is also authorized to provide financial and technical support to state and local green banks in the United States.Made in Order253Version 1Babin (TX), Gibbs (OH), Webster (FL), Weber (TX), Rouzer (NC)RepublicanProhibits autonomous zones from receiving grants under title 23.Submitted254Version 1LaMalfa (CA), Walden (OR)RepublicanAmends this legislation to include H.R. 7116, which makes technical corrections to WRDA 2018, and clarifies uses for Klamath Basin funding.Submitted255Version 1Grothman (WI)RepublicanAllows the Secretary of Commerce or the Secretary of the Interior to consider the threat of invasive species before prescribing a fishway be constructed into a dam.Made in Order256Version 1McKinley (WV), Veasey (TX), Fletcher (TX), Sewell (AL), Schweikert (AZ), Peters (CA), Costa (CA), Miller (WV), Cisneros (CA), Horn (OK)Bi-PartisanAuthorizes and provide funding for a DOE carbon capture, utilization, and storage technology commercialization program and direct air capture technology prize program.Made in Order257Version 2Cuellar (TX), Babin (TX), Fletcher (TX), Arrington (TX), Lujan (NM)Bi-PartisanRevised Adds a new section that provides I-27 Future Interstate Designation for Texas and New Mexico.Made in Order258Version 1Neguse (CO)DemocratAuthorizes and establishes a $9 billion fund to invest in the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps, restore public lands infrastructure, and support jobs in conservation and natural resource management.Submitted259Version 2Kilmer (WA)DemocratRevised Amends Section 10103. Airport Resiliency Projects to include general aviation airports that are designated as a Federal staging area by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to accommodate critical emergency infrastructure in rural communities.Made in Order260Version 1Keller (PA), Thompson, Glenn (PA), Joyce, John (PA)RepublicanAllows the Department of Transportation to award transit research, development and testing funds in a competitive manner.Made in Order261Version 2Costa (CA)DemocratRevised Authorizes $400 million for a combination of habitat and ecosystem restoration, refuge water development, environmental monitoring, sustainable groundwater management, and drinking water programs for disadvantaged communities. Includes an authorization to fund repairs on essential water conveyance facilities to enable environmental, municipal, and other beneficial water uses.Revised262Version 1Phillips (MN)DemocratDirects the GAO to conduct a study on broadband deployment to cities and towns with populations between 2,500 and 50,000.Made in Order263Version 2Welch (VT), McKinley (WV), Hayes (CT)Bi-PartisanRevised Creates an online energy efficiency contractor training program. The amendment also makes improvements to the home energy efficiency rebate program already included in the committee text of the bill.Made in Order264Version 1Sablan (MP)DemocratIncludes the text of the bipartisan H.R. 1809 to amend the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act and the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act to provide parity for the U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.Submitted265Version 1Crawford (AR)RepublicanReduces CRISI mega project set aside from 50% to 25%.Submitted266Version 1Welch (VT), Kinzinger (IL), Kuster (NH)Bi-PartisanAmends the National Energy Conservation Policy Act to encourage the increased use of performance contracting in Federal facilities and requires Federal facilities to implement the energy savings measures already identified through energy audits.Submitted267Version 1Cuellar (TX), Babin (TX), Fletcher (TX), Arrington (TX), Lujan (NM)Bi-PartisanWithdrawn Full I-27 Future Interstate Designation.Withdrawn268Version 1Westerman (AR), Gosar (AZ)RepublicanMoves authorized fund for the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife and allocates them to the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.Submitted269Version 1Crawford (AR)RepublicanStrikes full mega-project set-aside.Made in Order270Version 1Beyer (VA), Wexton (VA), Wittman (VA), Brown (MD), Connolly (VA), Norton (DC)Bi-PartisanAuthorizes the Secretary of the Interior to convey certain federal land to the District of Columbia and the State of Virginia for the purposes of the Long Bridge project.Submitted271Version 1Lujan (NM), Foster (IL), Watson Coleman (NJ), Scott, Bobby (VA), Lofgren (CA), Haaland (NM), Neguse (CO), Lee, Barbara (CA), Underwood (IL), Swalwell (CA), Johnson, Eddie Bernice (TX)DemocratAuthorizes $6 billion to address the significant deferred maintenance needs and to accelerate the modernization of the Department of Energy's national laboratory infrastructure.Made in Order272Version 2Graves, Garret (LA)RepublicanRevised Establishes a nonprofit corporation to be known as "National Foundation for Resiliency".Revised273Version 1LaMalfa (CA), Brady (TX), Wright (TX), Perry (PA)RepublicanStrikes changes to credit risk premiums under 45 U.S.C 822.Made in Order274Version 2Garcia, Jesºs (IL), Carbajal (CA), Lynch (MA), Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Pressley (MA), Jayapal (WA)DemocratRevised Expands COVID-19 protections to passenger and freight/cargo transportation workers across all modes.Made in Order275Version 1Hayes (CT), Crdenas (CA)DemocratDoubles funding clean school bus programs under the Environmental Protection Agency and triple funding reserved for underserved and disadvantaged communities.Made in Order276Version 1Schneider (IL), Kaptur (OH), Pingree (ME), Rouda (CA), Carbajal (CA), Kim (NJ), Lowey (NY)DemocratProvides noncompetitive grant program through the Economic Development Administration to assist communities housing stranded nuclear waste from closed civilian nuclear power facilities. Same text as the STRANDED Act (H.R. 5608).Submitted277Version 1Rouda (CA), Porter (CA), Snchez (CA), Correa (CA), Ruiz (CA), Chu (CA), Levin, Mike (CA), Cisneros (CA)DemocratWithdrawn Directs the Secretary of Transportation to consider contributions from voter-approved measures to fund transportation projects when making grants under the Projects of National and Regional Significance Program.Withdrawn278Version 1Smith, Jason (MO), Gosar (AZ)RepublicanMakes all categorical exclusions available for use by any federal agency.Submitted279Version 1Rouda (CA), Porter (CA), Snchez (CA), Correa (CA), Ruiz (CA), Chu (CA), Levin, Mike (CA), Cisneros (CA)DemocratWithdrawn Directs the Secretary of Transportation to consider the extent to which projects would maximize the use of funds from voter-approved measures when making grants under the Gridlock Reduction Grant Program.Withdrawn280Version 2Garcia, Jesºs (IL), Gallagher (WI)Bi-PartisanRevised Amends parameters of the study on travel demand modeling described in section 1404 to account for induced demand and update antiquated models like 'Level of Service.'Made in Order281Version 1Finkenauer (IA), Axne (IA), Craig (MN), Bustos (IL), Marshall (KS), Loebsack (IA), Bacon (NE), Peterson (MN)Bi-PartisanDirects the Secretary of Energy to create a grant program for fuel pump infrastructure that supports higher blends of biofuels.Submitted282Version 1Garcia, Jesºs (IL), Gallagher (WI)Bi-PartisanWithdrawn Requires induced demand traffic projections to see if projects adding new capacity inadvertently increase traffic volumes, travel times, and congestion.Withdrawn283Version 1Nadler (NY)DemocratMakes common interest communities eligible for the same FEMA assistance available to other homeowners.Submitted284Version 1Crawford (AR)RepublicanExpands eligibility for RRIF CRP payments to short lines and other private applicants.Submitted285Version 1McKinley (WV), Veasey (TX), Fletcher (TX), Tipton (CO), Mooney (WV), Peters (CA), Schweikert (AZ), Costa (CA), Horn (OK)Bi-PartisanStrikes the two year extension of the "commence construction date" for the section 45Q tax credit in Section 90403, and extend it by ten years instead.Submitted286Version 1McKinley (WV), Cheney (WY), Gianforte (MT)RepublicanMakes clarifying changes to Section 401 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to ensure appropriate compliance with applicable water quality requirements.Made in Order287Version 1Garamendi (CA), Lamb (PA)DemocratMakes publicly owned airport projects eligible for any unobligated/uncommitted balance (currently $1.88B) under Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA), subject to FAA'S existing ''Buy American'' requirements.Submitted288Version 4Graves, Garret (LA), Richmond (LA), Scalise (LA)Bi-PartisanRevised Allows Mississippi River and Tributaries projects to compete for funding.Revised289Version 1Amendment number not in use.Submitted290Version 1Sherrill (NJ)DemocratAuthorizes a GAO study that would recommend specific safety measures to reduce exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus on mass transportation systems, as well as technologies that can assist with the implementation of these safety measures, i.e. technologies that facilitate large-scale sanitation/decontamination and encourage social distancing.Made in Order291Version 1Gibbs (OH)RepublicanStates that the cover sheet for each environmental impact statement shall include a statement of the estimated total cost of preparing such environmental impact statement.Submitted292Version 2Sherrill (NJ)DemocratRevised Adds $50 million to the credit risk premium subsidy for the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) program, using $50 million in funding originally authorized for the state-supported route subsidy.Made in Order293Version 1Garcia, Jesºs (IL), Schakowsky (IL)DemocratRequires that a study on how autonomous vehicles will impact transportation include secondary impacts on air quality and climate as well as energy consumption.Made in Order294Version 1Graves, Garret (LA)RepublicanAllows amounts made available under the Urbanized Formula program to be reprogrammed if another project provides a higher cost-benefit to the public.Submitted295Version 1Higgins, Clay (LA)RepublicanInventory (NBI) Condition rating of ''Poor''; Have an NBI Deck rating of ''Serious''; Have an NBI Superstructure rating of ''Serious''; and Have an NBI Substructure rating of ''Serious''.Submitted296Version 2Cohen (TN), Tlaib (MI)DemocratRevised Prohibits airports that received more than four times their annual operating expenses under the CARES Act from receiving funding under this legislationRevised297Version 2Babin (TX), Conaway (TX), Williams (TX), Bishop, Sanford (GA), Carter, John (TX), Abraham (LA), Weber (TX), Allen (GA), Flores (TX), Hice (GA), Cuellar (TX), Fletcher (TX), Palazzo (MS), Ferguson (GA)Bi-PartisanRevised Authorizes the expansion and improvement of interstate 14.Made in Order298Version 1Miller (WV), Balderson (OH), Cuellar (TX), Beatty (OH)Bi-PartisanWould further transformative and innovative transportation technologies, and the benefits that follow, by authorizing appropriations from the general fund of the Treasury. One of the eligible uses is ''advanced public transportation systems,'' a phrase broad enough to include public transit and longer-than-transit-trip fixed guideway transportation, such as a Hyperloops and other advanced transportation technologies.Submitted299Version 1Gonzlez-Col"n, Jenniffer (PR), Serrano (NY), Radewagen (AS), Plaskett (VI), Sablan (MP), San Nicolas (GU), Shalala (FL), Katko (NY), Fitzpatrick (PA)Bi-PartisanRaises the Puerto Rico and Territorial Highway block grant programs to $510,000 million for better parity to states.Submitted300Version 2Gonzlez-Col"n, Jenniffer (PR)RepublicanRevised Allows Puerto Rico to issue Commercial Driver's Licenses and also be eligible for Commercial Drivers License Improvement Program grant funding.Made in Order301Version 2Foster (IL)DemocratRevised Includes language in the Grid Security and Modernization section that would require the Secretary of Energy to provide goals and objectives, cost targets, a multi-year strategy, and testing and validation requirements for energy storage. The language also includes a limitation on the total number of demonstration projects to focus on the most promising technologies.Made in Order302Version 1Gibbs (OH)RepublicanEnvironmental assessments required shall be completed not later than 1 year after the date.Submitted303Version 1Crawford (AR)RepublicanApplies TIVSA protections to buses.Made in Order304Version 2Cunningham (SC)DemocratRevised Ensures that hospital infrastructure projects that are related to natural disaster preparedness and flood mitigation are given priority alongside projects dealing with public health emergency preparedness or cybersecurity.Made in Order305Version 2Rouda (CA), Huffman (CA), Katko (NY)Bi-PartisanRevised Creates a grant program to support the modernization of the Nation's drinking water infrastructure and management systems to maintain reliable, resilient, and affordable drinking water infrastructure and ensure the protection of public health.Revised306Version 1Amendment number not in use.Submitted307Version 2Rouda (CA), Huffman (CA), Katko (NY)Bi-PartisanRevised Creates a grant program to support the modernization of the Nation's publicly owned treatment works to maintain reliable and affordable water quality infrastructure that addresses demand impacts, including resiliency, to improve public health and natural resources.Made in Order308Version 1Amendment number not in use.Submitted309Version 1Jackson Lee (TX)DemocratExpresses a Sense of the Congress affirming the requirement that the Department of Transportation ensure that when funding an infrastructure project follow the National Historic Preservation Act, which requires steps to be taken to preserve and protect historic places that may be near construction or infrastructure improvement projects.Submitted310Version 1Jackson Lee (TX)DemocratCreates a national program to reduce pedestrian motor vehicle accidents by identifying locations where deaths have occurred and supports local efforts to address the conditions that may contribute to deaths to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety.Submitted311Version 1Jackson Lee (TX)DemocratLate Requires a report from the FAA on those areas of the airport system that have not received any COVID-19 related funding and requires prioritizing of funding to these areas.Made in Order312Version 2Tlaib (MI)DemocratLate Revised Requires an annual consultation between DOT and EPA to review all projects under the Community Climate program. The amendment also requires a one-time public comment solicitation prior to the first year of grants and before Charter Approval.Made in Order313Version 1Jackson Lee (TX)DemocratLate Expresses the Sense of the Congress on the proposed I-45 construction project that will continue decades of disparate impacts on communities of color caused by major highway construction projects in the city of Houston and the need to provide remedies to address economic, environmental and cultural disparities that result from policies that too often rely on expanding the capacity of road surface to carry more motor vehicle capacity instead of developing mass transit in urban areas.Submitted314Version 1Carter, Buddy (GA)RepublicanLate Streamlines the FAA's review process for spaceport applications, clarifies the environmental reviews, and ensures the proper specifications are used for launch sites and vehicles.Submitted315Version 3Luria (VA)DemocratLate Revised Incentivizes localities to build or expand transit to low-income areas or areas that do not have adequate access to public transportation.Made in Order316Version 1Luria (VA)DemocratLate Amend the Highway Beautification Act to allow billboards to be within 200 ft of the road.Submitted317Version 1Westerman (AR)RepublicanLate Seeks to prevent injunctions during the NEPA process before the final record of decision is released.Submitted318Version 1Spanberger (VA)DemocratLate Creates a set-aside of funds from the PNRS program for smaller, rural projects that would otherwise meet program requirements.Submitted319Version 2Spanberger (VA)DemocratLate Revised Requires GAO to conduct an evaluation and write a report on the efficacy of the FCC's existing process for establishing, reviewing, and updating its speed thresholds for broadband service.Made in Order320Version 1Palmer (AL)RepublicanLate Streamlines the environmental review process by requiring environmental impact statement completion in two years.Submitted321Version 1Velzquez (NY)DemocratLate Requires that grantees applying for a demonstration grant under section 2503 plan for a public awareness campaign, and for such campaign to be available in languages other than English, to notify low-income individuals of the agency's ability to provide reduced fares. Clarifies that jurisdictions already with a low-income program for reduced fares in place are still eligible to participate in the grant program.Made in Order322Version 1Bishop, Rob (UT)RepublicanLate Streamlines federal permitting for infrastructure by designating a lead federal agency, eliminates duplicative state and federal analysis, and makes permanent the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council.Submitted323Version 2Torres Small, Xochitl (NM), Cuellar (TX), Haaland (NM), Vargas (CA), Lujan (NM), Welch (VT), Grijalva (AZ)DemocratLate Revised Authorizes $100 million for infrastructure improvement projects at land ports of entry with significant total trade percentage growth in 2019.Made in Order324Version 1Gonzlez-Col"n, Jenniffer (PR), Radewagen (AS), Sablan (MP), Plaskett (VI), Soto (FL)Bi-PartisanLate Includes the text of the bipartisan H.R. 1014, the Offshore Wind for Territories Act, which seeks to amend federal law to study the potential for and authorize offshore wind energy development in the Exclusive Economic Zone adjacent to the U.S. territories. It will also establish a dedicated fund for coral reef conservation and direct a portion of the offshore wind revenues back into local communities.Submitted325Version 1Gibbs (OH)RepublicanLate Fixes CSA scores to remove public availability of scores until FMCSA updates the scoring criteria.Submitted326Version 2Cunningham (SC)DemocratLate Revised Requires the vulnerability assessment done by Metropolitan Planning Organizations to include a review of how accessible health care and public health facilities are in an emergency situation and what improvements may be made to adequately facilitate safe passage and ensures that projects that reduce risks of disruption to critical infrastructure are given priority for Section 1202 funding.Made in Order327Version 1Perry (PA), Kelly, Mike (PA), King, Steve (IA), Abraham (LA), McKinley (WV), Gosar (AZ), Byrne (AL), Gohmert (TX)RepublicanLate Strikes Subtitle G of Title IV, requiring Treasury to assess and report on the utility of the EPA's GHGRP data for the purpose of assessing a tax on greenhouse gas emissions.Submitted328Version 1Hice (GA)RepublicanLate Strikes $25 billion in unfunded vehicle purchases for the United States Postal Service.Made in Order329Version 2Cunningham (SC)DemocratLate Revised Requires NOAA to conduct a study on wild fish in PFAS-contaminated waters and the risks of consuming such fish to humans and natural predators.Made in Order330Version 1Hastings (FL)DemocratLate Withdrawn Clarifies that airports that have received records of decision under the FAA's Airport Investment Partnership Program are eligible for existing loan guarantee authority under the CARES Act.Withdrawn331Version 1Jackson Lee (TX)DemocratLate Reverses an adverse decision in 2015 by the Federal Transit Administration that eliminated federal funding for services operated by public transit agencies like Metro with High-Occupancy Vehicle (''HOV'') lanes that had been converted to HOT Lanes.Submitted332Version 1Jackson Lee (TX)DemocratLate Allows local transportation planners to receive "local sharte credits" for past projects financed solely with local funds. This will allow credits to be applied to new projects and thus reduce local funding requirements.Submitted333Version 1Jackson Lee (TX)DemocratLate Directs the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to execute a program previously authorized. This program provides local transportation agencies greater flexibility in funding projects. The amendment as drafted directs FTA to undertake the Program and to also commence a pilot program.Submitted334Version 2Richmond (LA), Graves, Garret (LA)Bi-PartisanLate Revised Directs the Secretary to (1) ensure public comment and hearings involving the community and any other relevant stakeholders that the Secretary determines appropriate;(2) make use of existing data made available by Federal and non-Federal parties; and (3) notwithstanding any other provision of law, utilize alternative arrangements pursuant to section 1432 of the FAST Act (23 U.S.C. 109 Note) for the purposes of constructing a new bridge crossing the Mississippi River, on or adjacent to Interstate 10, in the vicinity of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.Revised335Version 1Roy (TX)RepublicanLate Adjusts the Highway Trust Fund apportionment to ensure states receive what they pay into the Highway Trust Fund.Submitted336Version 1Marshall (KS), Gianforte (MT), Peterson (MN)Bi-PartisanLate Creates an exemption from the requirement of using electronic logging device.Submitted337Version 1Velzquez (NY)DemocratLate Revises the distribution of funds under the Public Housing Capital Fund to ensure at least 50 percent of the funding is distributed according to formula. Also ensures that PHAs working in good faith effort to resolve urgent health and safety concerns remain eligible for funding awards.Made in Order338Version 1Richmond (LA), Graves, Garret (LA), Scalise (LA)Bi-PartisanLate Requires any project to receive amounts for construction pursuant to the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008 (Public Law 110''252) for necessary expenses related to the consequences of Hurricane Katrina and other hurricanes of the 2005 season, and directs the Secretary to permit the full non-Federal contribution to be made without the accrual of interest during construction of the project.Submitted339Version 1Richmond (LA), Graves, Garret (LA), Scalise (LA)Bi-PartisanLate Reduces the amounts required to be paid by the non-Federal interest under the terms of the deferred payment agreements for the projects authorized by section 7012(a)(1)'' before the period at the end.Submitted340Version 1Horn (OK)DemocratLate Retains ban on commercial activities at Interstate rest areas; carves out exception for electric vehicle charging and other alternative fuel infrastructure at park and ride lots.Submitted341Version 1Pressley (MA)DemocratLate Prohibits the use of federal funds for the creation or maintenance of highways and streets named after Confederate leaders or containing symbols of the Confederacy.Submitted342Version 1Perry (PA)RepublicanLate Requires EPA's Chesapeake Bay Program Office to conduct analysis to estimate the uncertainty of the models used in carrying out the Chesapeake Bay Program.Submitted343Version 2Garcia, Jesºs (IL), Pressley (MA)DemocratLate Revised Directs HUD to check public housing projects and federally assisted housing projects for lead pipes and issue grants to remove them.Made in Order344Version 2Waters (CA)DemocratLate Revised Requires airport sponsors that receive supplemental funding for airports in FY 2021 to provide financial relief to airport concessionaires experiencing economic hardship and to show good faith efforts to provide relief to socially and economically disadvantaged businesses.Made in Order345Version 1DeFazio (OR)DemocratLate Withdrawn Extends to no later than 365 days (current deadline is 120 days) the time a federal electric utility (Power Marketing Administrations and Tennessee Valley Authority) to inform Treasury that an electric utility (which purchases power from a federal electric utility) is delinquent in payment to the federal electric utility.Withdrawn346Version 2Pressley (MA)DemocratLate Revised Requires the Secretary of HUD to conduct a study on the effect of criminal history or involvement with the criminal legal system on access to private and assisted housing.Made in Order347Version 1Gibbs (OH), Costa (CA)Bi-PartisanLate Defines Construction Materials for FHWA projects.Submitted348Version 1Hern (OK)RepublicanLate Bars any of the funds made available under H.R. 2 from being used to implement a federal ''prevailing wage'' standard.Submitted349Version 1Graves, Garret (LA)RepublicanLate Requires the Secretary to certify that the actions in Sec. 82201 are more critical than the sustainability of the region responsible for generating the revenue.Made in Order350Version 1Graves, Garret (LA)RepublicanLate Includes fishermen that have been impacted by unfair trade practices for consideration under Sec. 83101.Made in Order351Version 1Graves, Garret (LA)RepublicanLate Covers administrative costs for projects and disbursement of mineral revenues.Submitted352Version 1Soto (FL)DemocratLate Directs the Director of the United States Geological Survey to establish a program to map zones that are at greater risk of sinkhole formation.Made in Order353Version 1Omar (MN)DemocratLate Creates a dedicated fund within the Department of Housing and Urban Development to help local communities fight gentrification and invest in projects that prevent displacement and stabilize neighborhoods.Submitted354Version 2Omar (MN)DemocratLate Revised Creates a Low-Income Housing Acquisition fund within the Department of Housing and Urban Development to finance the purchase of private rental units by non-profits, public housing authorities, cooperatives, community land trusts, and states or local governments in the wake of the current economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.Revised355Version 1Lesko (AZ), Marshall (KS), Gosar (AZ), King, Steve (IA), Bishop, Dan (NC), Joyce, John (PA), Budd (NC), Perry (PA), Gohmert (TX), Steube (FL)RepublicanLate Ensures that states who issue driver licenses to illegal aliens do not receive federal highway funding.Submitted356Version 1Lesko (AZ), Gianforte (MT), LaMalfa (CA)RepublicanLate Repeals the excise tax on heavy trucks and trailers through 2021.Submitted357Version 1Slotkin (MI)DemocratLate Provides preference under the PFAS Infrastructure Grant Program to water systems that are located in a State that has implemented a PFAS drinking water or groundwater standard.Submitted358Version 2Slotkin (MI)DemocratLate Revised Stipulates that receipt of a grant under the PFAS Infrastructure Grant Program in no way absolves the Department of Defense of their responsibilities relating to cleanup of PFAS.Made in Order359Version 1Omar (MN)DemocratLate Withdrawn Specifies that in the Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth's report on broadband deployment, information on number of residents served must be disaggregated by gender, race, and ethnicity, and the economic impact must consider schools in addition to businesses and jobs.Withdrawn360Version 1Torres, Norma (CA), Aguilar (CA)DemocratLate Removes melting requirements on American steel companies.Submitted361Version 1Omar (MN)DemocratLate Directs the Administrator to establish and carry out a program to award grants, on a competitive basis, to eligible entities for projects that are consistent with zero-waste practices.Submitted362Version 1Hern (OK)RepublicanLate Exempts projects upgrading or fixing existing infrastructure projects, as carried out under H.R. 2, which do not change the nature of the specific piece of infrastructure from undergoing another Environmental Impact Study and the project will just be considered approved.Submitted363Version 1Hern (OK)RepublicanLate Makes it so that if states inquire to the Federal Highway Commission about approval for the project being carried out under H.R. 2 and they do not hear from the Federal Highway Commission within 90 calendar days they are considered approved and the project may progress.Submitted364Version 1Keating (MA)DemocratLate Adds projects replacing, reconstructing or rehabilitating a high commuter corridor as a consideration for awarding a grant under H.R. 2. It also clarifies that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of Land Management are eligible entities to receive funds.Made in Order365Version 2Hern (OK)RepublicanLate Revised States that to be eligible to receive funding authorized under this division, a State or unit of local government shall certify to the Secretary of Transportation that such State or unit of local government prioritizes the strategic priorities of the Federal Highway Administration.Revised366Version 1Keating (MA)DemocratLate Clarifies federal land transportation facilities as "highways, bridges, or other transportation facilities" for which the maintenance responsibility is vested in the Federal Government.Made in Order367Version 1Omar (MN)DemocratLate Requires a report on barriers to public transportation faced by residents of Areas of Concentrated Poverty.Made in Order368Version 1Slotkin (MI)DemocratLate Strengthens Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) reporting and transparency requirements related to pipeline leaks, damage, or disruptionMade in Order369Version 1Pressley (MA)DemocratLate Requires GAO to issue a report on the impact of transportation policies on marginalized communities, including fare evasion and speed enforcement camera policies, and make recommendations on ways to reduce any disproportionate impacts.Made in Order370Version 1Lamb (PA)DemocratLate Directs the Army Corps of Engineers to lead the development and implementation of an interagency plan to prepare for and respond to climate change within the Ohio River Basin, based on their previous report.Made in Order371Version 1Babin (TX), Cuellar (TX)Bi-PartisanLate Makes emergency and tow vehicles subject to state permit authority.Submitted372Version 1Budd (NC), Gohmert (TX)RepublicanLate The Secretary of Transportation shall invite the public to provide input to identify regulations, guidance, and policies that establish prescriptive requirements for regulated entities and are able to be replaced with performance-based standards.Submitted373Version 1Davis, Rodney (IL)RepublicanLate Allows for ferry grant funds to be used to repair approach roadways leased to grant recipients by the Army Corps of Engineers.Submitted374Version 1Rice, Tom (SC)RepublicanLate Incentivizes States and localities to invest in the quick recovery and long-term competitiveness of the travel industry, this section makes the federal share payable up to 100 percent (for FY21 '' FY23) for projects that significantly improve national or regional connectivity and result in greater economic growth through tourism and travel.Submitted375Version 1Rice, Tom (SC)RepublicanLate Sets aside 10 percent of funding in the PNRS and Community Transportation Investment Grant programs for the planning, operations and management of multistate corridors.Submitted376Version 1Rice, Tom (SC)RepublicanLate Sets aside 10 percent of funding in the Community Transportation Investment Grant programs for the planning, operations and management of multistate corridors.Submitted377Version 1Rice, Tom (SC)RepublicanLate Establishes a ''loser pays'' citizen suit structure under the Clean Water Act, removes EPA's oversight role of Section 404 permitting, and prevents environmental extortion activities.Submitted378Version 1Woodall (GA)RepublicanLate Allows vehicles carrying perishable goods to operate on the Interstate Highway System at the same weight tolerances/limits that states allow on their respective state roads and highways.Submitted379Version 1Omar (MN)DemocratLate Requires the Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth to conduct a study of the extent to which federal funds have expanded access to and adoption of broadband internet service by socially disadvantaged individuals.Made in Order380Version 1Burgess (TX)RepublicanLate Raises the threshold of covered projects under NEPA to $1 billion and allows projects with marginal environmental impact to be excluded from NEPA review.Submitted381Version 1Yoho (FL)RepublicanLate Includes the text of H.R. 487, the Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act.Submitted382Version 1Graves, Garret (LA)RepublicanLate Defines zero emission vehicle and set rare earth content requirement for zero emission bus grants.Submitted383Version 1Perry (PA)RepublicanLate Prohibits Buy America Waivers for Zero Emission Buses or their components.Submitted384Version 1Graves, Garret (LA)RepublicanLate Enhances climate change policies priorities.Submitted385Version 1Bishop, Rob (UT), Stewart (UT)RepublicanLate Allows states with adequate opportunity to take corrective action prior to the imposition of financial penalties for states that occasionally fall out of compliance of Federal standards that prohibit alcoholic open containers in motor vehicles and penalty standards for conviction of impaired driving repeat offenders due to the complexity of federal DUI and open container laws and regulations.Submitted386Version 1Graves, Garret (LA)RepublicanLate Amends the criteria for Climate Innovation Grants.Submitted387Version 2Graves, Garret (LA), Richmond (LA)Bi-PartisanLate Revised Broadens eligibility in the Gridlock Reduction Grant Program to include areas with populations of 500,000 or greater.Revised388Version 1Lamb (PA)DemocratLate States that it is the sense of the Congress that qualified teaching health centers or behavioral health care centers should place an emphasis on senior care during public health crises. This amendment also increases the Pilot Program to Improve Community-Based Care Infrastructure by $100,000,000.Submitted
Coronavirus stimulus deal blocks aid for Trump's properties - Schumer
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 04:09
WASHINGTON '' President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, senior administration officials and lawmakers would be prohibited from getting federal aid for any of their business interests under the proposed $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus deal, according to a summary of the plan released by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
Republican and Democratic senators have reached a deal on a roughly $2 trillion stimulus package to stem the economic damage from the coronavirus outbreak. The package would be by far the largest fiscal stimulus in U.S. history and would include one-time payments of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child. It also would include $367 billion to help small businesses and $500 billion for loans to larger industries.
The plan would "prohibit businesses controlled by the President, Vice President, Members of Congress, and heads of Executive Departments from receiving loans or investments from Treasury programs," according to the summary from Schumer's office.
The ban also applies to officials' children; Trump has said his family has controlled his business enterprises since his election to the presidency in 2016.
Democrats had criticized earlier proposals from Senate Republicans and the White House, arguing for restrictions on the business bailout, saying they were concerned that Trump's Treasury Department would use some of the money to help friends and allies of the president.
Stimulus deal:Senators agree on $2 trillion package, McConnell says voted planned for Wednesday
Senators who negotiated the final plan told reporters that a $500 billion loan and loan guarantee program would be scrutinized by an independent inspector general and an oversight board.
Schumer told CNN that "those of us who write the law shouldn't benefit from the law."
Neither Trump nor his aides have commented on the provision.
The Trump real estate and resort empire, like others, has been hit hard by the shutdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Trump Organization, led by his sons Eric and Donald Jr., has had to close hotels and resorts in the United States, Ireland, and Scotland. The list includes the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., and the golf club in Bedminster, N.J., both of which Trump has used for weekend and vacation retreats.
In all, the Trump team has shuttered six of its top seven revenue-producing clubs and hotels, facilities that bring in about $174 million per year '' about $478,000 per day, according to an analysis by The Washington Post.
Trump's business interests have long drawn scrutiny. After his election in 2016, Trump set a presidential precedent by refusing to divest from his business interests.
Trump hotels:President says his own properties are among those hurting amid pandemic
During round-the-clock negotiations on Capitol Hill in recent days, Trump has struck an equivocal note about his business interests could '' or should '' potentially benefit from the legislation.
"I have no idea what they're talking about," Trump told reporters on Sunday. "Let's just see what happens."
The day before, Trump said, "I just don't know what the government assistance would be for what I have. I have hotels. Everybody knew I had hotels when I got elected."
The president also said business is not "thriving when you decide to close down your hotels and your businesses. It's hurting me and it's hurting Hilton and it's hurting all of the great hotel chains all over the world."
What unites Planned Parenthood, Kushner and Kanye? PPP loans
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 05:00
WASHINGTON '-- The federal government backed loans totaling as much as $150 million for Planned Parenthood affiliates in recent weeks, according to federal Paycheck Protection Program data released Monday by the Small Business Administration.
The loans infuriated anti-abortion-rights conservatives, who cheered last year when President Donald Trump moved successfully to block the organization from getting access to the federal government's main family planning fund.
"Planned Parenthood shouldn't have received a dime from the government's PPP program," Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., a close Trump ally, said in a tweet. "It's sick!"
The Planned Parenthood money was just one of many revelations that caught the attention of lawmakers and activists across the political spectrum as they pored over the names of more than 600,000 loan recipients Monday. Ultimately, Congress and Trump placed few restrictions on eligibility for the loan program, which was designed to help struggling small businesses and nonprofits meet payroll during the coronavirus crisis.
But in addition to restaurants, mom-and-pop shops and churches, the list of beneficiaries includes a private school named for a grandfather of Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, companies with ties to lawmakers and their families, Washington lobbying shops, Wall Street investment firms and private jet managers.
Even the educational affiliate of Americans for Tax Reform '-- a group led by Grover Norquist, who once said he wanted to shrink government to the size it could be drowned in a bathtub '-- took a loan of $150,000 to $350,000.
The low-interest loans convert to taxpayer-funded grants '-- a cash giveaway '-- as long as the recipients keep their workers employed. So far, the Small Business Administration has tracked $521 billion in loans that senior administration officials say have helped about 50 million Americans stay in their jobs. The program still has almost $132 billion in its coffers.
The agency released data only on recipients that got at least $150,000, which left 86.5 percent of the borrowers unnamed, according to senior administration officials. And the loan amounts were given as ranges: $150,000 to $350,000; $350,000 to $1 million; $1 million to $2 million; $2 million to $5 million; and $5 million to $10 million.
At least 43 Planned Parenthood affiliates received loans of $65 million to $150 million, according to the SBA records. Planned Parenthood withdrew from the federal government's main family planning fund last year after Trump issued a regulation that would otherwise have limited its ability to advise patients about abortion.
Rachel Bovard, a former Senate GOP aide who is senior director of policy for the Conservative Partnership Institute, said Republican lawmakers had expected Planned Parenthood to be barred from getting loans under affiliation rules.
"An investigation into how Planned Parenthood was awarded these funds over the intent of the members who voted for it appears warranted," she said in a text message.
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But Planned Parenthood was hardly alone in jumping out on the list of recipients, and social media sites were abuzz with calls for various entities to give the money back.
The Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy in Livingston, New Jersey, supported by the Kushner family for many years, was approved for a loan of $1 million to $2 million just eight days after the program was created. The Yeezy limited liability company, owned by billionaire musician and Trump acquaintance Kanye West, also borrowed $2 million to $5 million.
Clay Lacy Aviation, which offered its private jet-owning clients account credits after taking a loan, got $5 million to $10 million. It was one of at least four aviation-management companies that received both loans and money from the Treasury Department's separate program to subsidize airlines.
RelatedWashington's influence industry '-- "the swamp," in modern political lexicon '-- wasn't excluded from a program that some of its members worked hard to shape.
Wiley Rein and APCO Worldwide each took loans of $5 million to $10 million, while Miller and Chevalier, which lobbies for McDonald's, Bechtel and CVS Health '-- among other clients '-- borrowed in the $2 million to $5 million range. So did the National Trust for Historic Preservation; former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's consulting firm, Albright Stonebridge; and the public affairs company DCI Group. The list of recipients includes dozens of lobbying shops, associations, government affairs consultants and think tanks.
"In deciding whether to accept the PPP loans, companies considered not only the highly technical legal criteria but also the inevitable public scrutiny and potential for congressional oversight," said David Mortlock, a lawyer in the Washington office of Willkie Farr & Gallagher who advised clients on the program. "It seems some recipients may not have carefully considered one or either of these factors."
Here are some of the billionaires who got PPP loans while small businesses went bankrupt
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 11:28
Billionaire property developer Joe Farrell, a prominent Republican fundraiser, received up to $1 million in taxpayer coronavirus relief funds, according to federal data released Monday.
Other players in the world of celebrity and influence who took advantage of loans under the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, to help struggling small businesses hurt by coronavirus shutdowns included Kanye West's $3 billion clothing and sneaker company, multimillionaire pop artist Jeff Koons and the Church of Scientology, which is reported to be worth at least $1 billion.
"PPP was sold to the American people as a program to help Mom-and-Pop shops keep their lights on during the pandemic," Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US, a government watchdog group, said by email. "The reality is that the Trump administration created a program that helped the well connected cut to the front of the line to get these loans."
Farrell, a developer in New York's exclusive Hamptons beachfront community, has thrown fundraising parties for President Donald Trump. His loan went to retain 41 jobs, according to data released by the Small Business Administration, which guarantees the loans.
Farrell this year rented out his 17,000-square-foot, $40 million East End estate, Sandcastle, for close to $2 million to a wealthy Manhattan family trying to escape the coronavirus for six months.
To legally qualify for the taxpayer-funded relief, businesses must self-certify in good faith that "current economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Applicant," according to the borrower application form. Applicants must also check a box that says the loan will be used to retain workers, maintain payroll and make mortgage interest, lease and utility payments.
The emergency payroll relief effort reached over 80 percent of all small-business employees and 27 percent of low- and moderate-income communities, according to the SBA.
In April, after the initial round of funding swiftly ran out, fierce battles broke out over which companies received the loans and whether they deserved to, by either the letter or the spirit of the CARES Act, which created the program.
Hundreds of public companies and an unknown number of private companies ended up canceling their loans and giving the money back. But others held on, including some operating in high-net-worth orbits.
"Even if they technically could argue that they did meet the criteria, taking the money clearly violates the spirit of the law and just seems greedy and wrong. This is one of the reasons why transparency is so important, why the government fought against it so hard and why a full accounting of recipients and details is so important," said Neil Barofsky, former special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which had oversight for some of the corporate funding relief during the 2008 financial crisis.
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Yeezy LLC, the apparel brand owned by West, the music producer and designer, took a loan for up to $5 million. The loan supported the retention of 106 jobs. West holds a 100 percent stake in his company, which was recently estimated to be worth $3 billion, according to Bloomberg.
The fine art studio of Koons, known for sculpting metal balloon animals that fetch tens of millions of dollars at auction, got a loan for up to $2 million, supporting 53 jobs.
The Church of Scientology, whose founder, L. Ron Hubbard, made it a stated goal to recruit celebrities and which claims several household-name actors among its members, had several entities take PPP loans.
According to the SBA data, the Church of Scientology New York; the mission of Belleair in Largo, Florida; and the founding Church of Scientology of Washington, D.C., each took loans for up to $350,000, supporting a total of 137 jobs. Nearly 100 of those were in New York, while almost 40 were in the Belleair facility. The D.C. organization self-reported zero jobs retained.
Companies are not required to report how many jobs they retain to take the loans, but they must do so within 24 weeks to qualify for the loan to become a free grant. Nearly 50,000 other companies had zero jobs retained in the dataset.
"PPP was created to retain jobs," SBA spokesman Jim Billimoria said in an email. "I can't speculate on what borrowers used funds for."
None of the entities had immediate comment.
Second Stimulus Check Income Eligibility May Be Capped At $40,000
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 11:15
51,766 views | | Jul 7, 2020, 09:20am EDT
Shahar Ziv Contributor Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. I teach students and employees how to ace their personal finances.
round of coronavirus relief bill, but with sharply limited eligibility, based on comments by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
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Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell changed his tune and said that a second stimulus check ''could well be'' part of the next coronavirus relief bill. Equally telling was his follow-up remark: ''I think the people who have been hit the hardest are people who make about $40,000 a year or less,'' he said.
McConnell's Second Stimulus Check Comment NoteworthyThe tides have been turning on the odds of a second stimulus check since the House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act and included an expanded second stimulus payment. Republican opposition has started to wane as President Trump and other members of his administration have increasingly, albeit unevenly, voiced support for a second direct payment. However, this is the first time McConnell has even tepidly acknowledged that direct payments may be included. His comments come as the Senate started a two-week recess and on the heels of record high cases of coronavirus across the U.S. and a reversal of state re-opening plans across several states and counties. While still far from a slam dunk, the fact that the Senate Majority leader is making positive comments is a noteworthy development.
McConnell's Use Of $40,000 Shouldn't Be Taken LightlyMcConnell's comments about how individuals earning less than $40,000 a year have been hit the hardest shouldn't be overlooked. ''Multiple sources say McConnell didn't just throw out $40,000 as a cut-off haphazardly '-- consensus within GOP is moving that direction, which would sharply limit eligibility,'' tweeted Jeff Stein of The Washington Post. In many ways, it could signal how McConnell will attempt to thread the needle between agreeing to a second direct payment to placate President Trump while keeping the overall cost of the next stimulus bill down to mollify fiscal conservatives feigning concern over the mounting national debt.
The $40,000 figure is also in line with McConnell's stated goal of making the next round of stimulus more targeted. The notion of more surgical aid may actually find support across the political aisle. ''I think the next round we've got to be more targeted to those who are really in need. So I hope we can target this a little bit better to those who have been hit hard because of COVID-19,'' Senator Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) said of a second stimulus payment.
MORE FROM FORBES Do Americans Even Need A Second Stimulus Check? By Shahar Ziv Those earning under $40,000 were hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Close to 40 percent of Americans earning less than $40,000 annually lost their jobs in March, when the coronavirus brought parts of the economy to a standstill, according to Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Therefore, using the $40,000 as a cutoff would allow Congress to help those were were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
Preference For $1 Trillion Bill McConnell told President Trump recently that the next relief bill cannot exceed $1 trillion. While this is in some ways posturing, it does reflect pressure on McConnell from his conservative base to keep the total cost of the next bill in check. There appears to be some consensus that the relief bill will come in between $1 trillion and $2 trillion dollars; more than McConnell's gauntlet, but less than the $3 trillion HEROES Act passed by the House.
Lower Income Eligibility Will Help Keep Cost DownBy reducing the income eligibility of a second stimulus check, McConnell can reduce the overall cost of the next relief bill. As part of the first round of CARES Act stimulus payments, the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sent out checks to more than 159 million Americans, totaling almost $267 billion. There are also an estimated 35 million payments that have not been issued yet, according to a report from the House Ways and Means Committee.
If an income limit of $40,000 for a second stimulus check was imposed, presumably for single filers, the number of eligible Americans would come down drastically. Kyle Pomerleau, an economist and resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, tweeted that using a $40,000 cut-off would result in approximately 80 million households being eligible for payments.
Two Factors That Could Increase Eligibility and CostIncome Threshold For Married Couples Filing JointlyGiven that the first round of direct payment had higher income eligibility for married filers, it may be safe to assume that if a second payment is included in the next bill, it would follow suit. Pomerleau added that a very rough estimate shows the ''IRS has an additional 12 million married couples filing jointly in the $40,000 '' $75,000 income range.''
Phase Out For Partial Stimulus CheckSimilarly, the first round of payments include an income phase-out. While individual filers earning less than $75,000 would receive a full $1,200 stimulus check, those making more than $75,000 but less than $99,000 were eligible for a partial check. If a similar clause is included for the next round of stimulus payments, that would augment the number of recipients too.
While the total number of eligible payments will vary depending on specific criteria, it will likely be significantly lower than the close to 200 million payments from the first round of stimulus. Perhaps this is the way of achieving consensus among Republicans, Democrats, and the White House?
Further Related Reading:Second Stimulus Check Odds Improved By White House Officials' Comments
Don't Expect Second Stimulus Check Clarity From June Jobs And Unemployment Report
These 3 Factors Will Determine If You Get A Second Stimulus Check
Second Stimulus Checks: 3 Most Critical Dates To Keep In Mind
Second Stimulus Check Update: Skepticism From Unexpected Source
President Trump Alleges Next Stimulus Check (Or Package) Coming In 'Couple Of Weeks'; Don't Hold Your Breath
Don't Expect Next Stimulus Bill Until End Of July
Are Trump, McConnell Correct That $2,400 Unemployment Benefit Creates Disincentive To Work? Hint: It's Not Even The Right Question To Ask
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Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website. Shahar is the founder of Acing Your Finances (, where he helps students and employees develop healthy financial habits. He co-founded a popular
'... Read More Shahar is the founder of Acing Your Finances (, where he helps students and employees develop healthy financial habits. He co-founded a popular personal financial management course at Harvard University and has worked with students at Wharton, Columbia, NYU, and U Chicago as well as lawyers at Skadden and Debevoise, resident physicians at Mount Sinai Hospital, and employees at DoorDash.
All opinions expressed are my own
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Pope Francis Scraps Comments on Hong Kong in Sunday Address
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 18:55
ROME '-- Pope Francis decided at the last minute to pull a section of his weekly Angelus address dealing with Hong Kong freedoms Sunday.
As Vatican observers have noted, the pope has avoided criticizing China over its human rights abuses, preferring to lavish praise on the Communist dictatorship and its leaders.
The Holy See Press Office had distributed an embargoed copy of the pontiff's words Sunday morning and thus accredited journalists were able to see the discrepancies between the original text and the speech as the pope delivered it. The 150-word paragraph dealing with Hong Kong was completely eliminated.
Veteran Vatican journalist Marco Tosatti opted to break with the terms of the embargo and published the excised comments along with his interpretation of what may have motivated the pope to drop his references to the Hong Kong situation.
Tosatti begins by acknowledging the known content of the original speech before questioning the rationale behind the deletion. ''What is not known, however, is what sort of pressure Beijing put on the Pope so that he would not speak on world television about the drama of the former British colony, even in the most delicate and peaceful tones possible.''
''This episode sheds even worse light '-- if that is possible '-- on the famous secret agreement signed between Beijing and the Holy See, whose consequences are being heavily felt in the lives of many Chinese Catholics, despite the propaganda of Vatican media,'' Tosatti continued. ''It is an agreement that risks constituting one of the most sensational errors in the history of Vatican diplomacy, and also one of the worst decisions of the Pope who wanted it and endorsed it, unlike his predecessors.''
''The question remains unanswered: what strings is Beijing using to gag the Pope?'' Tosatti asks in conclusion.
For his part, Vatican journalist Riccardo Cascioli added his own interpretation to the mix, suggesting that the Holy See is ''genuflecting'' before China's Communist regime.
''Chinese pressure or self-censorship, nothing changes: the Holy See is sacrificing its freedom and that of Chinese and Hong Kong Catholics, with a view to a normalization of relations with Beijing,'' Cascioli writes.
''It was already embarrassing enough '-- to say the least '-- that the Holy See has said nothing about what has been happening in Hong Kong for months, obviously not to displease Beijing,'' Cascioli notes. ''But what happened yesterday at the Angelus goes beyond all limits.''
As usual, the Angelus text that the Pope would recite shortly afterwards had been distributed in advance to journalists: it contained a reference to the situation in Hong Kong inviting dialogue and avoiding violent drifts. While ''certainly not a memorable speech,'' the pope's words would have at least constituted a nod to Hong Kong, but now we don't even have that, Cascioli said.
But all of this has been brewing for some time, as Vatican watchers are keenly aware.
In mid-May, the American Vatican journalist John L. Allen, Jr. wrote that the Vatican is pulling out all the stops to woo Beijing into full diplomatic relations.
In an article for Crux, a U.S.-based online Catholic news outlet, Allen wrote that the Vatican is ''covetous of a relationship with China, and often apparently willing to stifle objections and give away a great deal'' in order to make headway.
In short, ''the Vatican is moving full-steam ahead in its courtship of Beijing, with the ultimate prize remaining full diplomatic relations, a secure legal standing for the church, and partnerships on the global stage,'' Allen wrote.
In September, 2018, the Vatican inked a provisional accord with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on the naming of Chinese bishops, a move that triggered an avalanche of criticism at the time, which has only been aggravated by ongoing CCP aggressions against Christians after the deal was signed.
The Vatican's overture to Beijing was sweetened by the recent launch of a new Chinese edition of the Jesuit-edited journal Civilt Cattolica, which enjoys a semi-official Vatican status, Allen noted.
The Holy See's charm offensive on Beijing has not gone unnoticed by other Vatican-watchers, who have made similar assessments of the Vatican's ongoing pattern of appeasement.
Francis dreams of being the pope who will establish diplomatic relations with Beijing, and to achieve this goal he is willing to make ''concessions,'' declared Vatican analyst Alban Mikozy on French television last December.
''Pope Francis is a prudent man,'' Mikozy said. ''He pursues a dream: to be the sovereign pontiff who will restore relations between China and the Vatican.''
''In order to do this, he is ready to make a few concessions: say nothing about Hong Kong, do not get too excited when the Chinese leader talks about rewriting the Bible,'' he added, in reference to announcements that the CCP wishes to retranslate the Bible and other sacred texts to make them conform to socialist ideology.
Because of this overriding desire, Mikozy said, the pope is willing to turn a blind eye to the CCP's violations of religious liberty and other human rights issues.
Last month, exiled Chinese dissident Guo Wengui added a further element to the mix, alleging that the CCP ''allocates $2 billion a year'' to pay off the Vatican for its silence concerning Chinese atrocities.
In a June 20th interview on The War Room, Mr. Guo said the CCP earmarks massive sums each year to win the allegiance of foreign countries including the Vatican, Italy, and Australia. Among them, the Vatican receives up to 2 billion dollars from the Chinese Communist Party every year, he said.
''The Chinese Communist Party allocates 2 billion US dollars each year'' to gain influence over the Vatican's internal policy making and to pay for its silence on the CCP's repression of religious freedom, said the controversial billionaire whistleblower.
According to Tosatti's translation of the pope's omitted words, Francis was going to say that he has closely followed ''the complex situation'' in Hong Kong, noting that the issues involved are ''undoubtedly delicate and affect everyone's life; therefore it is understandable that there is a marked sensitivity in this regard.''
I hope that all those involved know how to deal with the various problems ''with a spirit of far-sighted wisdom and authentic dialogue,'' the text stated. ''This requires courage, humility, non-violence, and respect for the dignity and rights of all.''
I thus express the desire that ''societal freedom, and especially religious freedom, be expressed in full and true liberty, as indeed various international documents provide for,'' the text declared.
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China Bubonic Plague: Chinese city sounds alert for bubonic plague | World News - Times of India
Mon, 06 Jul 2020 10:47
PTI | Updated: Jul 6, 2020, 08:42 IST
BEIJING: A city in northern China on Sunday sounded an alert after a suspected case of bubonic plague was reported, according to official media here.
Bayannur, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, announced a level III warning of plague prevention and control, state-run People's Daily Online reported.
The suspected bubonic plague case was reported on Saturday by a hospital in Bayannur. The local health authority announced that the warning period will continue until the end of 2020.
"At present, there is a risk of a human plague epidemic spreading in this city. The public should improve its self-protection awareness and ability, and report abnormal health conditions promptly,'' the local health authority said.
On July 1, state-run Xinhua news agency said that two suspected cases of bubonic plague reported in Khovd province in western Mongolia have been confirmed by lab test results.
The confirmed cases are a 27-year-old resident and his 17-year-old brother, who are being treated at two separate hospitals in their province, it quoted a health official as saying.
The brothers ate marmot meat, the health official said, warning people not to eat marmot meat.
A total of 146 people who had contact with them have been isolated and treated at local hospitals, according to Narangerel.
Bubonic plague is a bacterial disease that is spread by fleas living on wild rodents such as marmots. It can kill an adult in less than 24 hours if not treated in time, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
A couple died of bubonic plague in the western Mongolian province of Bayan-Ulgii last year after eating raw marmot meat.
The news of bubonic plague came after Chinese researchers issued an early warning over another potential pandemic caused by an influenza virus in pigs.
Scientists from China Agricultural University, the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and other institutes detected a pig influenza virus bearing genotype 4 (G4), which is contagious among pigs and has the possibility of jumping to humans, as the G4 virus is able to bind with human cells, state-run Global Times reported last week.
The researchers are concerned that it could mutate further so that it can spread easily from person to person, and trigger a global outbreak, BBC reported.
"Controlling the prevailing G4 EA H1N1 viruses in pigs and close monitoring in human populations, especially workers in the swine industry, should be urgently implemented," Chinese researchers warned in the paper.
The new diseases were reported even as China grappled with the second attack of COVID-19 in Beijing after controlling it in Wuhan where it was first reported in December last year.
On Saturday, Beijing reported a single-digit COVID-19, local authorities said Sunday.
The number of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases reached a peak in Beijing on June 13 and 14 and then started declining in general, Xinhua quoted local officials as saying.
From June 11 to July 4, the city reported 334 confirmed locally transmitted cases, 47 per cent of whom are workers of the Xinfadi wholesale food market, the official said.
The writing on the wall: Understanding the messages left by protesters during the storming of the Hong Kong legislature | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP
Mon, 06 Jul 2020 19:02
Hundreds of demonstrators stormed the Legislative Council Complex on the evening of July 1, marking a turning point for political protest in Hong Kong. Without a traditional figurehead to speak on behalf of protesters, many found their own ways of expressing their demands and beliefs. HKFP surveys the messages and symbols left at the scene.
Defaced emblemProtesters partially defaced the city's official emblem in what became one of the night's most symbolic scenes.
Photo: May James.Shielding themselves with an array of umbrellas, they spray-painted over the white bauhinia flower. The Chinese characters for ''People's Republic of China'' were blackened out, but those for ''Hong Kong Special Administrative Region'' were spared.
Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.The National Flag and National Emblem Ordinance, passed in 1997, states that anyone who ''who desecrates the national flag or national emblem by publicly and wilfully burning, mutilating, scrawling on, defiling or trampling on it'' could be fined up to HK$50,000 and face three years in jail.
Five core demandsAmong the most common slogans spray-painted onto the walls were the five core demands, which protesters have insisted on since the anti-extradition law protests escalated in June.
Slogans scrawled on the wall reads: ''Release the martyrs,'' ''Carrie Lam step down'' and ''garbage.'' Photo: May James.They include: complete withdrawal of the extradition bill, stop classifying the June protests as ''riots,'' unconditional release of those arrested in relation to protests, investigate abuses of power by police, and Chief Executive Carrie Lam stepping down and electing her successor democratically.
Slogans on the wall read ''withdraw,'' referring to the extradition bill. Photo: Thammakhun John Crowcroft/HKFP.Later in the night, protesters also erected placards that show the demands printed onto pictures of the faces of Hong Kong's top officials.
Photo: May James.Police were also not spared from criticism, with protesters calling them ''black cops'' or ''police dogs.''
The graffiti reads ''black cops.'' Photo: May James.British Hong Kong flagAround 9:40pm, a protester draped the flag of colonial-era Hong Kong at the podium of the legislative chamber. The flag was later removed.
Protesters unfurl the flag of colonial Hong Kong at the podium in the occupied legislature. Photo: Thammakhun John Crowcroft/HKFP.There was debate on the Reddit-like forum LIHKG over whether displaying the colonial flag would cause more harm than good.
Protesters defaced the emblem of Hong Kong, spray-painted slogans, and unfurled the colonial-era flag. Slogans on the wall read ''released the righteous [protesters]'' and ''retract [extradition bill]''. Photo: Thammakhun John Crowcroft/HKFP.One user wrote, ''Britain won't come and save us, Britain was also responsible for selling out Hong Kong.'' Another wrote: ''This will give an excuse for others to attack us, take it back please.''
Criticism of Hong Kong's political systemWhile the main target of the protesters' ire was Carrie Lam and her administration, some also took issue with the Legislative Council.
Photo: May James.The portrait of LegCo president Andrew Leung was taken down and defaced.
Photo: May James.The framed photos of presidents Jasper Tsang and Rita Fan were also targetted.
Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.The portraits of pre-1997 legislature presidents were untouched.
Photo: Todd R. Darling.Protesters also spray-painted the slogan, ''abolish functional constituencies'' in multiple locations. Functional constituencies refer to the 30 seats in the 70-person legislature that are not openly contested, but are elected by members of specific professions or interest groups.
Slogan reads ''abolish functional constituencies''. Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.In another symbolically significant moment, a protester ripped up a copy of the Basic Law while standing at the podium of the legislative chamber.
Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.References to so-called 'martyrs'Some protesters told media that the escalation was necessary because people had ''given their lives for the movement.'' This was in reference to the three people who took their own lives, in incidents linked to the recent political crisis.
The slogans read: ''indefinite occupation'' and ''Have you repaid the debt of blood?'' Photo: Thammakhun John Crowcroft/HKFP.On the walls of the legislature, there were slogans such as ''blood for blood'' and ''Have you repaid the debt of blood?''
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.This was sometimes accompanied by calls for the release of the ''martyrs,'' meaning those who had been arrested or charged in relation to the protests.
Hong Kong identityA bench was spray-painted with ''Hong Kong is not China, not yet'' while in the background the wooden walls were covered with profanity.
Photo: Todd R. Darling.Another wall on the ground floor was densely covered with slogans, some referring to jailed activist Edward Leung and the slogan he used during his unsuccessful 2016 election bid, ''the revolution of our time.''
Slogans on the wall read: ''Release Edward Leung'', ''revolution of our time'', ''release the righteous'', ''black cops go to hell'', ''anti-Chinese colonialism''. Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.Slogans elsewhere also called for Leung's release.
Rationale for escalationThe graffiti on a column in the legislature reads: ''It was you who taught me peaceful marches are useless.'' Photo: Thammakhun John Crowcroft/HKFP.The image of graffiti on a column outside the legislative chamber quickly went viral. It read: ''It was you who taught me that peaceful marches are useless.''
Slogan on the wall reads: ''The government forced us to revolt''. Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.Another iconic slogan, which was both spray-painted onto walls and shown on a banner at the front of the legislative chamber, read: ''There are no rioters, only tyrannical rule.''
Slogans on the wall read: ''Murderous regime'' and ''There are no rioters only a tyrannical regime.'' Photo: Thammakhun John Crowcroft/HKFP.Another read ''the government forced us to revolt.''
Graffiti reads: ''The government forced us to revolt'' and ''Withdraw [the extradition bill].'' Photo: May James.Protesters 'not thieves'Inside the cafeteria on the ground floor, protesters left a note on the fridge saying ''We are not thieves, we won't take things without asking.''
Another widely circulated photo showed a small tray in the fridge which was filled with cash '' payment for the drinks taken.
Protesters left a notice on the freezer reading: ''We are not thieves, we won't take things without asking.'' Photo: Thammakhun John Crowcroft/HKFP.International solidarityThe vast majority of messages left by protesters referred to local issues, but one made reference to China's treatment of Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.''China will pay for its crimes against Uighur Muslims,'' the graffiti read. Up to one million members of mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking minority groups are held in internment camps, according to estimates cited by a UN panel.
The photo of the graffiti has been shared by Uyghur activists on social media.
Black bauhinia flagOutside the legislature, protesters raised the ''black bauhinia'' flag in the early hours of July 1. A riff on the official flag of Hong Kong, the design features a half-wilted bauhinia flower stained with blood, presented on a black background.
The black bauhinia flag, with the red colour symbolising blood stains. Photo: Isaac Yee/HKFP.The original HKSAR flag hung next to the black bauhinia flag outside the legislature, but protesters lowered it to half staff.
Pop culture referencesParticipants of the 2014 pro-democracy Umbrella Movement often cite the song ''Do you hear the people sing?'' from the musical Les Mis(C)rables.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.In 2019, many have cited a popular line from Suzanne Collins's Mockingjay, which is part of the science fiction Hunger Games series.
In the book, protagonist Katniss Everdeen addresses the tyrannical President Snow: ''Fire is catching! And if we burn, you burn with us!''
Photo: May James.See also: 'Taking back the legislature': What happened during the 3-hour occupation that shook Hong Kong
Support HKFP | Code of Ethics | Error/typo? | Contact Us | Newsletter | Annual & Transparency Report
Hong Kong security law: Police handed power to do warrantless searches, freeze assets, intercept comms, control internetSecurity law: Hong Kong police arrest 8 at 'blank placard' silent protestHong Kong security law: journalists and scholars 'at a loss' in trying to predict new red lines, says media law prof. Sharron Fast
U.S. Officials Warn Health Researchers: China May Be Trying to Steal Your Data - The New York Times
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 19:29
The National Institutes of Health has a budget of $39 billion this year, with more than $4 out of every $5 distributed to researchers around the country. Credit... Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press WASHINGTON '-- The Trump administration has warned scientists doing biomedical research at American universities that they may be targets of Chinese spies trying to steal and exploit information from their laboratories.
Scientists and universities receiving funds from the National Institutes of Health for cutting-edge research need to tighten their security procedures and take other precautions, said a panel of experts commissioned by the agency to investigate ''foreign influences on research integrity.''
''Unfortunately, some foreign governments have initiated systematic programs to unduly influence and capitalize on U.S.-conducted research, including that funded by N.I.H.,'' the panel said in a report last month to the director of the N.I.H., Dr. Francis S. Collins.
''Nontraditional collectors of information,'' as Dr. Collins and Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director, call the data thieves, have shared intellectual property with Beijing, run ''shadow laboratories'' in China and even pilfered biomedical secrets from confidential grant applications '-- all using a research system funded by American taxpayers.
''N.I.H. has basically been operating on the principle that everyone is well intentioned,'' said Scott Kennedy, an expert on China at the Center for Strategic and International Studies who briefed the N.I.H. working group. ''Then they run smack dab into the challenge of China, which has millions of researchers scrambling for money and for fame and for national glory. That creates an environment where some people may feel pressure to skirt, ignore or break the rules.''
In some cases, Dr. Collins and Mr. Wray said, Chinese graduate students or visitors have taken intellectual property from American laboratories and given it to Chinese scientists or arms of the Chinese government, which published and commercialized the findings.
In other cases, scientists who received grants from the N.I.H. had shadow laboratories in China, which also received funds from the Chinese government. The foreign funding and affiliations were, in some cases, unknown to the National Institutes of Health and even to the American universities where the scientists worked.
Particularly worrisome to American officials was the finding that China had somehow obtained confidential information from applications for N.I.H. research grants. Under federal law, the N.I.H. uses an elaborate process of peer review to evaluate applications, and information in the applications '-- providing valuable insights into some of the world's most advanced biomedical research '-- is supposed to remain confidential.
Congress has poured money into the institutes, which have a budget of $39 billion this year, up 30 percent from 2014, and lawmakers say the agency has been phenomenally productive. More than $4 out of every $5 is distributed to researchers around the country studying cancer, heart disease, diabetes and myriad other conditions.
In a letter to more than 10,000 institutions that receive grants from the N.I.H., Dr. Collins said he was concerned about the ''sharing of confidential information on grant applications by N.I.H. peer reviewers with others, including foreign entities.''
N.I.H. officials said they had already taken some steps, like the letter, to remind grantees of their responsibilities and were having their lawyers review other possible measures to tighten security. The Trump administration has broadly sought to crack down on what it views as Chinese theft of American technology and has, for example, moved to limit the duration of visas for some Chinese students in certain high-tech fields.
The expert panel said that ''peer review is a cornerstone of N.I.H. activities,'' so violations, though uncommon, are ''extremely problematic.''
The institutes confirmed ''breaches in the integrity'' of the peer review process, but refused to provide details, saying some cases were still under investigation.
''The biomedical research enterprise is under constant threat by risks to the security of intellectual property and the integrity of peer review,'' Dr. Collins said, and ''the magnitude of these risks is increasing.''
Health officials are trying to balance the need to protect against foreign threats with the openness and collaboration that have long been prized by scientists. ''The vast majority of foreign nationals make incredibly important contributions to American science,'' Dr. Collins said.
Image ''The biomedical research enterprise is under constant threat by risks to the security of intellectual property and the integrity of peer review,'' said the director of the health institutes, Dr. Francis S. Collins, and ''the magnitude of these risks is increasing.'' Credit... Sait Serkan Gurbuz/Associated Press The chairman of the panel, Dr. M. Roy Wilson, the president of Wayne State University, in Detroit, said a Chinese talent-recruitment program appeared to be ''a particular source of many of these infractions.'' The 10-year-old program, known as the Thousand Talents Plan, aims to lure global experts from Western universities and private companies to work in China and build its capabilities in science and technology.
China has seen a surge in spending on science and technology in the past decade, along with a huge increase in the number of articles published by Chinese scientists in peer-reviewed journals, according to the National Science Foundation.
The F.B.I. works with universities to make them aware of the risks and has even circulated a guide to ''academic espionage tradecraft.''
But Mr. Wray, the bureau director, told Congress last year that ''the level of na¯vet(C) on the part of the academic sector about this creates its own issues.''
China, he said, is ''exploiting the very open research and development environment that we have, which we all revere.''
Researchers who receive N.I.H. grants are supposed to report other sources of financial support for their work, but the requirements are somewhat vague and have not been vigorously enforced.
''It is not clear that these disclosure requirements adequately address the significant and pervasive threats posed by foreign entities to our research institutions and the integrity of taxpayer-funded studies,'' Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, said in a recent letter to Dr. Collins.
Far from denying or minimizing the problem, some American college presidents and medical school deans welcome federal efforts to alert them to foreign influences affecting the work of their faculty members.
''In our perception, this is a very serious problem,'' said Dr. Ross McKinney Jr., the chief scientific officer at the Association of American Medical Colleges, whose members receive large amounts of money from the N.I.H. ''We still view research as a collaborative endeavor, but there is a sense that there may be some cheating going on.''
Dr. McKinney said it appeared that researchers with well-funded ''shadow labs'' in China had been instructed not to disclose their existence to the N.I.H. because few did so.
This had two perverse effects. ''Those scientists could have a competitive advantage over other people applying for N.I.H. funds because they had two labs doing the work of one,'' Dr. McKinney said. ''In addition, they could claim that the discoveries occurred in China, even if they were really a result of research originally performed in the U.S., and the Chinese lab could keep the ideas as trade secrets for further development.''
Under federal law, economic espionage involving the misappropriation of trade secrets for the benefit of a foreign government is a crime.
Dr. Lawrence A. Tabak, the principal deputy director of the National Institutes of Health, said that the ''N.I.H. is not a law enforcement agency'' and ''does not conduct law enforcement investigations.''
But he said his agency worked closely with the Justice Department to prevent ''unacceptable breaches of trust and confidentiality that undermine the integrity of U.S. biomedical research.''
The advisory panel, which had eight members, including five university presidents, said the N.I.H. should expand the disclosure requirements and make them more explicit, to ''reduce the risk of data misappropriation.''
The N.I.H. has told universities that federal officials also want to know about ''duplicative funding for the same or similar projects.'' And it urged universities to ''reach out to an F.B.I. field office'' to obtain additional information.
''Even though you could argue that what we're doing doesn't relate to the national security, in a sense it does relate to our economic security,'' Dr. Tabak said. ''And it's produced with taxpayer dollars.''
A Letter on Justice and Open Debate | Harper's Magazine
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 19:09
Elliot AckermanSaladin Ambar, Rutgers University Martin AmisAnne ApplebaumMarie Arana, author Margaret AtwoodJohn BanvilleMia Bay, historian Louis Begley, writer Roger Berkowitz, Bard College Paul Berman, writer Sheri Berman, Barnard College Reginald Dwayne Betts, poet Neil Blair, agent David W. Blight, Yale University Jennifer Finney Boylan, author David BromwichDavid Brooks, columnist Ian Buruma, Bard College Lea CarpenterNoam Chomsky, MIT (emeritus) Nicholas A. Christakis, Yale University Roger Cohen, writer Ambassador Frances D. Cook, ret. Drucilla Cornell, Founder, uBuntu Project Kamel DaoudMeghan Daum, writer Gerald Early, Washington University-St. Louis Jeffrey Eugenides, writer Dexter FilkinsFederico Finchelstein, The New School Caitlin FlanaganRichard T. Ford, Stanford Law School Kmele FosterDavid Frum, journalist Francis Fukuyama, Stanford University Atul Gawande, Harvard University Todd Gitlin, Columbia University Kim GhattasMalcolm GladwellMichelle Goldberg, columnist Rebecca Goldstein, writer Anthony Grafton, Princeton University David Greenberg, Rutgers University Linda GreenhouseKerri Greenidge, historian Rinne B. Groff, playwright Sarah Haider, activist Jonathan Haidt, NYU-Stern Roya Hakakian, writer Shadi Hamid, Brookings Institution Jeet Heer, The Nation Katie Herzog, podcast host Susannah Heschel, Dartmouth College Adam Hochschild, author Arlie Russell Hochschild, author Eva Hoffman, writer Coleman Hughes, writer/Manhattan Institute Hussein Ibish, Arab Gulf States Institute Michael IgnatieffZaid Jilani, journalist Bill T. Jones, New York Live Arts Wendy Kaminer, writer Matthew Karp, Princeton University Garry Kasparov, Renew Democracy Initiative Daniel Kehlmann, writer Randall KennedyKhaled Khalifa, writer Parag Khanna, author Laura Kipnis, Northwestern University Frances Kissling, Center for Health, Ethics, Social Policy Enrique Krauze, historian Anthony Kronman, Yale University Joy Ladin, Yeshiva University Nicholas Lemann, Columbia University Mark Lilla, Columbia University Susie Linfield, New York University Damon Linker, writer Dahlia Lithwick, Slate Steven Lukes, New York University John R. MacArthur, publisher, writer Susan Madrak, writer Phoebe Maltz Bovy, writer Greil MarcusWynton Marsalis, Jazz at Lincoln Center Kati Marton, author Debra Maschek, scholar Deirdre McCloskey, University of Illinois at Chicago John McWhorter, Columbia University Uday Mehta, City University of New York Andrew Moravcsik, Princeton University Yascha Mounk, Persuasion Samuel Moyn, Yale University Meera Nanda, writer and teacher Cary Nelson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Olivia Nuzzi, New York Magazine Mark Oppenheimer, Yale University Dael Orlandersmith, writer/performer George PackerNell Irvin Painter, Princeton University (emerita) Greg Pardlo, Rutgers University '' Camden Orlando Patterson, Harvard University Steven Pinker, Harvard University Letty Cottin PogrebinKatha Pollitt, writer Claire Bond Potter, The New School Taufiq Rahim, New America Foundation Zia Haider Rahman, writer Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen, University of Wisconsin Jonathan Rauch, Brookings Institution/The Atlantic Neil Roberts, political theorist Melvin Rogers, Brown University Kat Rosenfield, writer Loretta J. Ross, Smith College J.K. RowlingSalman Rushdie, New York University Karim Sadjadpour, Carnegie Endowment Daryl Michael Scott, Howard University Diana Senechal, teacher and writer Jennifer Senior, columnist Judith Shulevitz, writer Jesse Singal, journalist Anne-Marie SlaughterAndrew Solomon, writer Deborah Solomon, critic and biographer Allison Stanger, Middlebury College Paul Starr, American Prospect/Princeton University Wendell Steavenson, writer Gloria Steinem, writer and activist Nadine Strossen, New York Law School Ronald S. Sullivan Jr., Harvard Law School Kian Tajbakhsh, Columbia University Zephyr Teachout, Fordham University Cynthia Tucker, University of South Alabama Adaner Usmani, Harvard University Chloe ValdaryLuc­a Mart­nez Valdivia, Reed College Helen Vendler, Harvard University Judy B. WalzerMichael WalzerEric K. Washington, historian Caroline Weber, historian Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers Bari WeissSean Wilentz, Princeton University Garry WillsThomas Chatterton Williams, writer Robert F. Worth, journalist and author Molly Worthen, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Matthew YglesiasEmily Yoffe, journalist Cathy Young, journalist Fareed Zakaria
1619 and Oprah
Slavery in America Didn't Start in Jamestown in 1619 | Time
Thu, 09 Jul 2020 03:50
I t was 400 years ago, ''about the latter end of August,'' that an English privateer ship reached Point Comfort on the Virginia peninsula. There, Governor George Yeardley and his head of trade, Cape Merchant Abraham Piersey, bought the ''20. and odd Negroes'' aboard in exchange for ''victuals'' '-- meaning, they traded food for slaves.
Such a trade, as described five months after the fact in a letter to the Virginia Company of London, had never before occurred in English North America, making this an ignominious milestone '-- and one that 400 years later is still surrounded by misconceptions and debate.
At the very least, 1619 represented a landmark in the long history of slavery in European colonies, and the beginning stages of what would become the institution of slavery in America. The New York Times this past weekend announced a special project devoted to its indelible mark on American society, and Hampton, Va., is commemorating the anniversary through Wednesday. Previously, on July 30, when President Trump spoke in Williamsburg, Va., to mark the 400th anniversary of Virginia's General Assembly, he noted '-- in a speech boycotted by the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, over Trump's comments about black politicians '-- that it wasn't long after that governing body first met that the colony saw ''the beginning of a barbaric trade in human lives.''
What Began in 1619The human cargo that arrived in Virginia in 1619 had come from the port city of Luanda, now the capital of present-day Angola. Back then, it was a Portuguese colony, and most of the enslaved are believed to have been captured during an ongoing war between Portugal and the kingdom of Ndongo, as John Thornton wrote in the The William and Mary Quarterly in 1998. Between 1618 and 1620, about 50,000 enslaved people '-- many of whom had been prisoners of war '-- were exported from Angola. An estimated 350 of these captives were loaded onto a Portuguese slave ship called the S£o Jo£o Bautista (more commonly known as the San Juan Batista).
That ship was en route to the Spanish colony of Veracruz when two English privateer ships, the White Lion and the Treasurer, intercepted it and seized some of the Angolans on board. According to James Horn, President and Chief Officer of Jamestown Rediscovery, both ships were owned by a powerful English nobleman, the Earl of Warwick Robert Rich. Rich was anti-Spanish and anti-Catholic, and profited from thwarting Spanish shipping in the Caribbean. The White Lion '-- which flew under the flag of a Dutch port known for its pirates '-- came to Virginia first in late August 1619, followed four days later by the Treasurer.
The most-cited account of those events in 1619 is found in that letter to the Virginia Company of London, which had run the Jamestown settlement since its establishment in 1607, from John Rolfe, one of the early English settlers there (and most famously Pocahontas' husband).
Historians do not know much about the men and women who were sold to Yeardley and Piersey, or what happened to them, though some of their names have been revealed. Anthony and Isabella (sometimes spelled ''Isabela'') stayed in present-day Hampton, Va., in an area then known as Elizabeth Cittie. They worked for William Tucker, a Virginia Company of London stockholder, and had a son also named William Tucker. Another woman who came off the Treasurer is identified as Angelo, and a 1625 census places her in William Pierce's house in an area outside the James Fort city called New Towne.
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A Turning Point, Not a BeginningThe people who came in August 1619 have been described as ''the first Africans to set foot on the North American continent,'' but that is incorrect.
For example, as historian Henry Louis Gates Jr. has pointed out, Juan Garrido became the first documented black person to arrive in what would become the U.S. when he accompanied Juan Ponce de Le"n in search of the Fountain of Youth in 1513, and they ended up in present-day Florida, around St. Augustine.
Nor is it the case that those who arrived in 1619 were the first enslaved people in what would become the United States. In 1565, for example, the Spanish brought enslaved Africans to present-day St. Augustine, Fla., the first European settlement in what's now the continental U.S. In 1526, a Spanish expedition to present-day South Carolina was thwarted when the enslaved Africans aboard resisted.
In addition, Indigenous people '-- notably those of the 30-odd tribal communities led by Pocahontas's father Powhatan '-- lived in the area that became Virginia long before Europeans or Africans got there. The English settlers enslaved indigenous people around the time of 1619, and some colonists later owned both American Indian and African slaves, says Ashley Atkins Spivey, an anthropologist and member of Pamunkey, the Powhatan chief's tribe.
After the marriage between Pocahontas and John Rolfe, there was peace between the English and the Powhatan people, but relations started to deteriorate after her 1617 death. Those tensions would come to a head in a 1622 uprising, and later, the English sold their American Indian captives as slaves to the British colonies in the West Indies to pay for their wars with Indigenous people on the East Coast, according to Spivey. ''People forget that there was a powerful Indigenous nation negotiating its own situation with the English in the year of 1619, and those descendants still continue to live today,'' she says.
The 400th anniversary being marked this month is really the 400th anniversary of the Anglo-centric history of Africans in the U.S., says Greg Carr, the Chair of the Department of Afro-American Studies at Howard University. Dating the history of Africans in North America to 400 years ago ''reinforces this narrative of English superiority.'' But, he argues, remembering the Spanish and indigenous sides of the history is more important now than ever, as ''the people [officials] are closing the border to are [descended from] people who were here when you came.''
''People don't tend to want to think about early U.S. history as being anything but English and English-speaking,'' echoes Michael Guasco, historian at Davidson College and author of Slaves and Englishmen: Human Bondage in the Early Modern Atlantic World. ''There is a Hispanic heritage that predates the U.S, and there's a tendency for people to willingly forget or omit the early history of Florida, Texas and California, particularly as the politics of today want to push back against Spanish language and immigration from Latin America.''
That said, something did change in 1619. Because of the central role of the English colonies in American history, the introduction of the transatlantic slave trade to Virginia is likewise central to this ugly and inescapable part of that story. In addition, the type of race-based chattel slavery system that solidified in the centuries that followed was its own unique American tragedy.
What to RememberToday, Fort Monroe stands where the White Lion landed. The proclamation by President Barack Obama in 2011 that made the fort a national monument reads, ''The first enslaved Africans in England's colonies in America were brought to this peninsula on a ship flying the Dutch flag in 1619, beginning a long ignoble period of slavery in the colonies and, later, this Nation.'' That proclamation validated research by Calvin Pearson, who runs a local history effort called Project 1619.
But despite the official recognition, debate remains over this history '-- down to the words best to use to describe it.
U.S. President Barack Obama (center) speaks after signing a proclamation to designate Ft. Monroe in Hampton, Va., a national monument on Nov. 1, 2011, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C.
Pool'--Getty Images
''I don't like to use the word 'arrive.' I prefer landing. Arriving seems to indicate that they came willingly,'' says Audrey Perry Williams, the Hampton Roads branch president of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. She also feels that state curriculum standards, which now require teachers to discuss ''the impact of the arrival of Africans and English women to the Jamestown settlement,'' should make clear that the first enslaved Africans landed at present-day Fort Monroe in Hampton, Va., not Jamestown, though scholars disagree about precisely where events in this history took place, and whether the place more worth highlighting is the landing spot or where the people lived.
There are also some who argue the first Africans in Virginia should be classified as indentured servants, as laws on lifetime slavery '-- including the law that said children of enslaved mothers are slaves '-- didn't start to appear until the late 17th century and early 18th century. Those on this side of the argument say the word ''slave'' wasn't used at the time, citing a 1620s census that uses the word ''servants.'' Just as there were free black populations in Spanish and Portuguese colonies, there were some free black people in Virginia before the laws codified race-based slavery in the late 17th century; for example, Anthony Johnson owned land in the 1650s. Earlier this year, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam referred to the long history of racism in the U.S. as dating back 400 years to ''the first indentured servants from Africa'' landing at Point Comfort in an interview with CBS This Morning. But co-host Gayle King quickly added that their servitude is ''also known as slavery,'' and many observers agreed that ''indentured servant'' was in this case merely a euphemism for slavery.
Rolfe's letter says the people were traded for food, indicating they were seen as property, and research suggests most of them were kidnapped, meaning they didn't come to America willingly. On top of that, the transatlantic slave trade had been going on for about a century by August 1619.
''There's pretty much overwhelming consensus here: there's really no evidence to argue that the Africans were not envisioned as slaves,'' says Guasco.
Some scholars also advocate reframing the story of 1619 so the emphasis is less on the trade that happened in Virginia and more on the horrifying voyage to get there '-- and what came after.
As Colita Nichols Fairfax, co-chair of the Hampton 2019 Commemorative Commission and professor at Norfolk State University, tells TIME, ''Our children are not learning the human tragedy of enslavement. They're only learning that they were brought here to work for other people. They're not taught the human tragedy of being split up from the people you survived a harrowing journey with when you're sold for food because you're not seen as people. A woman named Angelo, who was purchased and worked in Pierce's house, alone, no family. What was her experience like?''
So at the heart of the 400th anniversary being marked this week is a story of endurance, and of how people brought from Africa against their wills played an integral role in the American story. Their contributions ranged from vocabulary to agriculture to cuisine, including staples like rice that were a key part of the English colonies' success. They probably also brought some Christian practices that they learned from the Portuguese Catholic missionaries in Africa. As the Internet has helped African Americans try to trace their roots back to the 17th century, interest in these aspects of the story is growing.
''We have to rethink the place of those Africans in history,'' says Fairfax. ''They are not just victims. They survived and contributed.''
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The 1619 Project - The New York Times
Thu, 09 Jul 2020 03:48
In August of 1619, a ship appeared on this horizon, near Point Comfort, a coastal port in the English colony of Virginia. It carried more than 20 enslaved Africans, who were sold to the colonists. No aspect of the country that would be formed here has been untouched by the years of slavery that followed. On the 400th anniversary of this fateful moment, it is finally time to tell our story truthfully. The 1619 Project The 1619 Project is an ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country's history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative. Read more about The 1619 Project.Photograph by Dannielle Bowman
Two New York Attorneys Face 45-Year Sentences for Burning Empty Police Car | Democracy Now!
Mon, 06 Jul 2020 20:08
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Headline Jun 24, 2020
The Center for Constitutional Rights and a coalition of other civil rights organizations are calling on federal prosecutors to release on bail two New York attorneys who are accused of throwing Molotov cocktails into an empty New York police car during protests in Brooklyn on May 30. The lawyers '-- Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman '-- are facing a minimum of 45 years in prison if convicted on the federal charges. The two were initially released on bail, but then the federal government challenged the bail conditions, sending them back to pretrial detention '-- a move that shocked many in the legal community since neither Mattis nor Rahman have a criminal history. A group of over 50 former federal prosecutors have also signed a letter opposing the government's handling of the case.
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Jake Whittenberg 🎥 on Twitter: "BREAKING: #Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan's office confirms she is asking council to 'punish or expel' Councilmember Kshama Sawant for her recent actions. Including..." / Twitter
Mon, 06 Jul 2020 21:48
Jake Whittenberg 🎥 : BREAKING: #Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan's office confirms she is asking council to 'punish or expel' Councilmember Ks'...
Tue Jun 30 18:05:48 +0000 2020
Brahma : @jwhittenbergK5 They should punish the mayor and the Governor too, they destroyed their own city and state
Mon Jul 06 17:15:06 +0000 2020
Politically Stripped '¸ 🇺🇸🗽 : @jwhittenbergK5 Why is Mayor Jenny Durkan so afraid of Democracy?!
Mon Jul 06 17:11:32 +0000 2020
Politically Stripped '¸ 🇺🇸🗽 : @jwhittenbergK5 Democrats always end up eating their own
Mon Jul 06 17:06:05 +0000 2020
Chicago Gun Violence: Big Numbers, But a Surprisingly Small Network | Chicago magazine | Politics & City Life April 2014
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 18:59
A little while back, I wrote something on the research of Andrew Papachristos, a Yale sociologist not long out of Chicago, on the small social networks of Chicago homicide. In short, how much of fatal violence in Chicago is contained within a comparatively small group of people, who are themselves linked by crime.
It was a fascinating paper, but it had its limitations. Chicago has high raw numbers of homicides and a relatively high homicide rate. But statistically speaking, homicides are a small sample of violence in the city, and in some respects a random one. Recently, Papachristos followed up with a new investigation, and a much larger new data set: non-fatal gunshot injuries in the city.
The data in the new paper is equally fascinating, and on one level, as you might expect, quite troubling. To begin with, the dramatic disparities the rates of nonfatal gunshot injury: overall it's 46.5 per 100,000 for the city as a whole from 2006-2012. It's 1.62 per 100,000 for whites; 28.72 for Hispanics, and 112.83 for blacks.
For all males, it's 44.68 per 100,000; 239.77 for black males, and for black males from 18-34 it's 599.65. As Papachristos and co-authors Christopher Wildeman and Elizabeth Roberto point out, that's a staggering one in 200.
The numbers are enormous, and they've caused a lot of pessimism. But the point of digging into the data is to create, literally, maps'--to follow the violence through the city and, as maps are meant to do, guide us back to its sources. And in that sense, cohesive patterns emerge.
Papachristos constructs a social network'--not a virtual one in the Facebook sense, but a real one of social connections between people'--by looking at arrestees who have been arrested together. That turns out to be a lot of people in raw numbers, almost 170,000 people with a ''co-offending tie'' to one another, with an average age of 25.7 years, 78.6 percent male and 69.5 percent black. It's also a large percentage of all the individuals arrested: 40 percent of all the individuals arrested during that period.
Within the entire group, the largest component of that whole co-offender group has 107,740 people.
Within the timeframe'--from 2006 to 2010'--70 percent of all shootings in Chicago, or about 7,500 out of over 10,000, are contained within all the co-offending networks. And 89 percent of those shootings are within the largest component.
Or, to put another way: the rate of gunshot victimization (nonfatal + fatal) in Chicago is 62.1 per 100k. Within a co-offending network, it's 740.5'--more than 10 times higher.
''This finding has (at least) two implications for our understanding of non-fatal gunshot injuries,'' the authors write. ''First, the concentration of non-fatal gunshot injuries in networks such as these demonstrate that such incidents are more concentrated than previously thought, and even more concentrated than gun homicide by either demographic group or place. Our findings indicate that 70 percent of all non-fatal shootings occur in networks comprising less than 6 percent of Chicago's total population. This distribution of shootings within co-offending networks fundamentally changes how we assess the distribution of risk in Chicago.'' (Emphasis theirs.)
That, from the perspective of a sociologist or criminologist, is reason to be optimistic, in a sense. Density, and density of connections'--especially given the comparatively blunt data that is arrest records'--means paths, and paths can be followed and refined.
Papachristos spoke with me about his research, its implications, and what happens next.
Compared to your last paper on the social networks of homicide, scaling up to nonfatal gunshot injuries involves much more data. Did anything surprise you about the findings?
The thing that happily surprised me'--from the statistical standpoint, not the practical standpoint'--you start to see more of the variations you would expect to see by gang membership and race. One of the things that had me a little anxious in the first paper was that the gang member variable wasn't significant. And I hypothesized that it was because there was so much uniformity in the data in the West Side.
In the AJPH study, everyone was black, 40 percent were gang members, and they were all young men; they were all exposed to the same neighborhood conditions as well. When you expand to the whole city, you get Rogers Park, you get Englewood, you get Little Village. You get different types of conditions'--housing projects, no housing projects. And that puts a lot more variation in people, and they're exposed to different things. If everybody's coming from the West Side, there's still some variation, but by and large they have the same institutions and sorts of structures.
What you see when you expand to the rest of the city, into the nonfatal shootings, you start to see that work like you'd expect it to work.
The thing that really shocked me was how connected the city was as a whole. The largest component, the big network in the city, is like 106,000 people. That includes people of different races, from different parts of the community. (The study I'm working on now actually looks not at the connections between individuals, but between neighborhoods.)
It means that the city is connected in crime in a much more complicated way than just being spatially next to each other. I anticipated that you would have a bunch of small networks'--this neighborhood, this park, South Side, North Side, all the things we usually think about. But what you see is that there are these connections that bind this world together. But it's not some kind of organized crime syndicate. We're talking about everyday interactions'--small stuff that links people together. I never thought you'd have such a massive chunk of the city connected to each other.
I was interested to see what would happen when you move from homicides to nonfatal shootings, you're kind of moving to a less random outcome.
Not just less random, but more of it. From a statistical standpoint, you have fewer zeroes. One of the things that happens is that it's easier to model. It's like when historians or political scientists model wars, but there's a small number of wars and conflicts, statistically speaking. The same is true of homicides. Even though there are too many homicides, they're about six to one fatal to non-fatal. Not only are they less random, they provide you with the statistical power to do things you couldn't do with fewer cases.
We all know this, but because of how we track data, it's easier to track a homicide than a non-fatal shooting, just from the way things are reported.
That's always surprised me a bit'--the things that police would want to track, and public health agencies would want to track, the data's just not as good.
It appalls me, actually. I wish you could get data on nonfatals. It has a lot to do with resource allocation and tracking. If you have to spend investigatory power on a homicide versus a shooting, it usually goes to the homicide, for all sorts of political, but also practical reasons.
The other thing is the legal classification'--you guys ran that big story about all this. The classification of shootings is even more tricky than murder, homicide, manslaughter, and all that. It can be an assault, an accident, all sorts of things. In a lot of cases, what happens where they don't have an offender, it's not quite clear'--and this is my understanding from the outside'--it's much less clear how you classify it.
Victim records, when the individual is not dead, aren't necessarily public, unless they waive their rights. It's not the same as a death certificate, which is a public record. I don't want them to die, but it's a practical barrier. The victim doesn't have to give their name, necessarily.
When I read this paper, I felt a lot more pessimistic than the previous one, because the numbers are so much larger'--not just in terms of victims, but also how the odds increase when you scale up. My reaction was that it makes the problem seem more intractable.
I didn't have that same reaction. The one thing I found most reassuring as a scientist is that the basic, same finding was there. It's still super-concentrated within small networks. It suggests, again, short-term remedies'--not long-term remedies'--being more directed and more precise.
The problem that might make it seem intractable is that there are just so many more. But the same central premise is true, which I think is a good sign. In addition to digging even further, and trying to find more about the pairing of victims, that's obviously the next step. The good news is that it's not the majority of people'--less than eight percent of the population in these communities.
This focus on only homicides is a bit off. There is some statistical randomness'--we would be better off focusing on non-fatal and fatal shootings, because there aren't that many differences between them, other than a couple inches. And we don't really know a lot about the survivors. That's one thing I don't go into, except at the beginning of the paper'--we don't know what happens to these people who are living with bullets in their bodies, they have all sorts of stress. It's been getting a lot of press these days, and I'm glad it is'--PTSD, anxiety, disabilities.
We really don't think about that. If we want people and communities and families to be healthy, we need to pay attention to that in a different way. That's something where I hope the media as well can start to do, and I think they have, especially on this issue of exposure to violence.
It seems like there's progress on that, such as Jens Ludwig's work on cost-benefit analysis with educational programs, but the data is really broad.
There's no intersection between the different levels of exposure [to violence]. Even in my own work, the stuff I've done with networks, the stuff I've done with Patrick Sharkey where we looked at kids in the Head Start program who'd had a homicide on their block, we know it does bad things to kids, we know it does bad things to kids, we know it does to your brain if something happens in your neighborhood, we know if you hang around people you are more likely to be shot, we know that exposure at community and family level is related to all sorts of bad things.
But exposure to different levels of violence, in different ways, we haven't begun to untangle that. It's hard to think at which level interactions should come in. Jens's stuff is focused on this really vulnerable age, adolescence. If they stay in school, their trajectory is quite different, even without such programs, but we want to funnel resources into those individuals.
We also have to think about the systemic community level'--how do we improve communities? More at that macro level. Healthier, safer communities. All these things at once; it makes it so hard.
That's what I was thinking when I was reading our piece on crime statistics'--whenever there's a spike in homicides, all the attention goes to the cops, and it's a narrow way of looking at the problem.
This is a great example of how we think about health care and health. This last series of mass shooters'--the discussion went to mental health, for good reason. We don't want crazy people with guns; that discussion should be had. But the real reason we should be talking about mental health is, what does the mental health of, say, mothers does for their families. Even in adverse conditions, even in high-crime communities, high-poverty communities, disadvantaged communities, if the mother of the child is mentally stable and healthy, the child does better. We know this. We know this from clinical trials. We know this from all sorts of things. Yet we never discuss that as part of safety and childhood well-being.
I think part of it is, and this is not to blame the police, and the public more generally, is that we want responsive policing, we want them to come when we call 911 or 311, and if they don't we're angry. And that the same time we want them out there building community, preventing crime, which is not really what policing is designed to do, though that's what they spend a lot of time doing.
But we don't really look at how health centers or schools can prevent crime. This is the one thing with school violence are about preventing crime tomorrow. Yes, they want to reduce violence today, but even the evaluation with [Becoming a Man], part of that was the kids having better educational outcomes. Not just about the decline in arrest rates, which was important'--they're not the killers or shooters. It happens. But if you look at the average age of shooters and victims, it's in the 20s, not in the teens. They happen, but that's not what you're doing. You're preventing something later.
One last example: the Brady Bill, from the early '90s, everyone wanted that to be a gun-violence reduction program. And it actually did almost nothing for gun violence, but it did a whole hell of a lot for gun suicides. Some people say that's a failure; I say that's a great success because there are more suicides than homicides. It didn't have the intended effect, but it had very dramatic effect on another form of violence. So we need to expand the ways to do the safety and health of communities. It involves policing, but it also involves these other things.
It becomes difficult when you have competing interests and competing budgets, trying to figure out how you're going to frame something. The White House has put out a call for these types of mentoring programs, and that means people are going to shift how they frame their work and what they're going to be doing. That happened when we did the faith-based communities under the early Bush administration as well. That's one of the things we need to do is think more holistically.
It's also hard, because there's no one agency that does it all. Police and schools are the two go-tos, but there are things they just don't do. Trying to build some kind of collaborative front is hard to do.
What happened with the Brady Bill and suicides/homicides?
The Brady Bill essentially called for waiting periods for handguns. Three to five days, I forget exactly. But that was the central feature. As you can imagine it started this entire debate'--is that violating our civil rights, we won't be able to protect ourselves. It was ruled constitutional, and it came into effect. So from then on you had to have this waiting period to buy a gun.
The subsequent evaluation of the Brady Bill, some people say it works, some people say it doesn't, or if it does work, it has very modest effects on aggregate levels of gun crime.
What people consistently find is that there were pretty significant effects on gun suicides'--a decline in gun suicides since the Brady Bill. And the logic is something that people who study suicides know: when people kill themselves with a gun, they don't spend a lot of time thinking about it. They go through a horrific mental process, but when they actually get the gun and pull the trigger, it's actually minutes, it's not weeks or hours. So it makes sense that if you have to wait to get a gun, it would have an effect on gun suicides.
And gun suicide rates had been unlike gun homicide rates, which kind of go up and down with trends. Gun suicides have stable patterns. They tend not to run in the same direction, ups and downs, of homicides. So it was a startling change. Unlike the effects of gun crime, which mainly we're talking about homicides, the effects and studies on gun suicides and the Brady Bill were pretty consistent.
One thing that comes up in the paper is that there's a need to better understand the ''contours'' of social networks. What does that mean, and how do we get there?
It's like looking at a street system. Networks can be built a bunch of different ways. It can be a grid like Chicago, it can be whatever Boston is, I can't even describe it'--spoke-y, hub-y, crossing paths, backroads. They look different as a network.
Part of what I mean by understanding the contours is figuring out if this whole thing is really a super, big clumpy plate of spaghetti, or whether it's spread out. Whether or not there are dense pockets, and that those might be gangs or not gangs, or loose kinds of little triangles.
There are also statistical properties of networks. Is it a small world? This is one of the things I'm working on with a student now. Small world graphs'--this idea that creates that phenomenon where you say ''oh, you know so-and-so? What a small world.'' There are statistical properties that include clustering and path length, literally how many of these handshakes away you are.
So when I say ''understand the contours of these graphs,'' what I actually mean is ''can we do a better job of mapping them out?'' Can we say, this is what the criminal world actually looks like? All I've done at this point is create the damn map. Now it's time to figure out, are there certain structures, for example, certain road patterns, that are more conducive to violence than others?
To draw the analogy with suicides, for example, there have been a few studies on networks and suicides among schoolkids, for example. Obviously one of the things we know'--we don't know, but intuitively, but it bears out that people that are in very isolated networks, without a lot of ties, have a much more increased chance of suicide.
So one of the things you think about in terms of how that relates to prevention of suicide is making sure people have ties, whether that's from the school, or fostering friends, or encouraging whatever, but that actually plays out in suicides.
We don't know the same just yet for the gun violence issue. Are there certain types of paths, or network structures, that are more conducive to victimization? There are all kinds of hypotheses. One of them is being in between. For example, if you're in between different parts of a network, if you're that person who connects a network, perhaps you're more exposed. This is what ethnographers or cops tell you about gangs. The guys that go between factions, or running with two different crews, are a little more at risk.
That's what I mean by the contours: trying to understand more precise ways the network could effect these risks.
How do you think people will go about finding these contours?
First of all, I hope they do, let me start with that.
Now, I'm a smart guy, but I'm not that smart, though. All I've really done is take one developing mode of science and apply it to that area. What people need to do is something quite similar'--we know a lot about how networks effect all kinds of health behaviors; suicides, like I mentioned, but also depression, happiness, disease transmission. We just need to do the same steps at this point.
I've laid out in this paper ways to do these networks, it just some more people to kind of go at it. Because this is a really wide-open area. The more people that start to do that, and analyze those things, the more you'll find. We have plenty of places to start.
The danger, of course, is realizing that we're talking about violence and arrests, not Facebook and the flu. You need to remember what these networks are. That's what happens when I give presentations or talks'--everyone assumes I'm talking about Facebook or Twitter. And I have to remind them that I'm talking about behavioral networks, people doing stuff.
Among the people in these networks, how good a sense do you think they have of the risks? I'm assuming that if you're associated with a lot of people who are committing crime, you do, but if you're on the margins, do you realize how much the risk is increased?
The statistical and practical experiences, for me, have been quite convergent. When I show these to people, young men who are involved in these interventions and the strategies we're working on, they're riveted. And they're riveted because of the same things that you and I do when we're talking about our networks.
They know their friends'--"oh, yeah, I know these guys.'' And then they'll forget someone'--"I forgot about that guy.'' Like the movie Hangover: ''I forgot about that, we got arrested, it was crazy.'' More often than not, they remember their immediate connections. The issue with the world is not that you don't remember your friends and associates, the issue is that you don't always pay attention to their associates.
That's why this exposure, and those distance measures, are so significant. Again, this goes back to other sorts of phenomena, like the small-world phenomenon. When you have that feeling'--"oh, you're so-and-so's cousin,'' or ''you know Tommy,'' or ''I forgot you were at that party, because that was so-and-so's party.'' That's when you start to realize that people don't see that far in their own networks. It's true in all kinds of networks. I know who I'm sleeping with, and my partner might tell me who they were sleeping with, but I probably didn't meet them. You don't actually see very far. But just because you don't see it, it doesn't mean it doesn't effect you, and that's actually what puts people at risk.
People have a sense of these networks. As an example, I'm working on this New Haven project'--there were three homicides that just happened, young men, 16 and 17 year-olds, these last two and a half weeks. All three of the victims were connected. Not only were they connected to each other, they were connected to two victims last year. So they all knew each other. They were not necessarily related instances; they weren't retaliations or some Romeo-and-Juliet thing. But this is their world. If you asked one if he knew the other, they'd say, yeah; they went to the same school.
People really do know who's around them. The issue is not that; the issue is when your friend says, somebody came and shot at me. You don't know that somebody, but because that person's your friend, you get pulled into it. That's true in all sorts of behaviors, but particularly in this instance.
When they see it, they become riveted. You become obsessed with it'--or maybe I do, because I study it.
Edit Module Other Whet Moser stories Edit Module
Everyday words and phrases that have racist connotations - CNN
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 21:24
(CNN)The words and phrases permeate nearly every aspect of our society.
Many are so entrenched that Americans don't think twice about using them. But some of these terms are directly rooted in the nation's history with chattel slavery. Others now evoke racist notions about Black people.
"Words like 'slave' and' master' are so folded into our vocabulary and almost unconsciously speak to the history of racial slavery and racism in the US," says Elizabeth Pryor, an associate professor of history at Smith College.
Pryor suggests people think about the context certain words can carry and how using them could alienate others.
"Language works best when it brings as many people into communication with each other," she says. "If we know, by using certain language, we're disinviting certain people from that conversation, language isn't doing its job."
Here are some familiar words and phrases you might consider dropping from your vocabulary.
In real estate
Master bedrooms/bathrooms: A master bedroom typically refers to the largest bedroom in the house, often accompanied by a private bathroom.
Nationally, 42% of current property listings on Zillow use the term "master" in reference to a bedroom or a bath.
The phrase "master bedroom" first appeared in the 1926 Sears catalog, according to the
real estate blog Trelora. It was a feature of a $4,398 Dutch colonial home, the most expensive in the catalog, referring to a large second floor bedroom with a private bathroom.
"Master bedrooms" were more widely implemented in American homes after World War II, intended to give working parents a private space within their own homes, Trelora notes.
While it's unclear whether the term is rooted in American slavery on plantations, it evokes that history.
Now, because of its slavery-era connotations, some members of the real estate industry are now calling to retire the term "master."
Houston Association of Realtors recently announced it would replace "master" with "primary" to describe bedrooms and bathrooms on its listings.
And the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO), a group that includes associations, data companies and multiple listing services, told CNN that it's discussing its standards around the use of the term.
In computer technology
Master/slave: Tech engineers use these terms to describe components of software and hardware in which one process or device controls another.
The terms have been around for decades, and they've long raised concerns.
In 2014, the programming language
Drupal replaced "master/slave" terminology with "primary/replica."
Django opted to use "primary/replica," too.
Python, one of the most popular programming languages in the world, eliminated "master/slave" terms in 2018.
And last week
Twitter announced it's dropping "master," "slave" and "blacklist" from its code after two engineers lobbied for the use of more inclusive programming language. America's biggest bank, JPMorgan Chase, says it's taking similar steps.
"Words matter," a Twitter engineer said about the move.
Blacklist/whitelist: In tech, a blacklist refers to a directory of specific elements, such as email addresses, IP addresses or URLs, that are blocked. A whitelist, by contrast, is made up of elements that are allowed.
Though the origins of those terms don't appear to be directly connected to race,
some argue that they reinforce notions that black=bad and white=good.
Chromium, an open-source browser project, and
Android's open-source project have both encouraged developers to use "blocklist" and "allowlist" instead.
And recently, the
National Institute of Standards and Technology -- a federal agency that develops technology, metrics and standards for everything from atomic clocks to computer chips -- said it would stop using computer security terms with racist overtones. The agency said it would formally urge other organizations to drop them too.
In sports
The Masters Tournament: It's one of the four major tournaments on the PGA tour and is usually called simply, "the Masters."
The history of the name goes back to 1934, when the tournament was first held at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. Clifford Roberts, one of the co-founders, wanted to call the event the "Masters Tournament," according to the
tournament's website. But co-founder Bobby Jones rejected the idea over concerns that it was too "presumptuous."
Roberts finally got his way in 1939. The name appears to have been a reference to golfers with great skills, but its connotations have brought the name under scrutiny.
Deadspin sportswriter Rob Parker
recently called on the tournament to change its name.
Parker argues the name evokes slave masters in the US South, especially given the history of the golf course where it's held.
For decades Augusta National Golf Club required that
all caddies be Black. It also banned Black golfers from the Masters Tournament until 1975, when
Lee Elder broke its color barrier.
Black members
weren't admitted to the club until 1990, and women weren't admitted until 2012.
In the arts
Peanut gallery: The phrase typically refers to the cheapest seats in a theater, and is informally used to describe critics or hecklers.
When someone says "
no comments from the peanut gallery," it implies that a certain group of commentators is rowdy or uninformed.
The term dates back to the vaudeville era of the late 19th century and referred to the sections of the theater where Black people typically sat. Jeffrey Barg, who writes a language column for the Philadelphia Inquirer,
noted recently that the first documented use of "peanut gallery" appeared in the New Orleans Times-Picayune in 1867.
The term was cemented in pop culture in the 1940s, when the radio show "Howdy Doody" used it to refer to its live audience of children. That name also carried over to the TV version of "Howdy Doody" in the 1950s.
In law
Grandfathered in: This legal term broadly refers to the "grandfather clause" adopted by seven Southern states during the Reconstruction Era.
Under it, anyone who was able to vote before 1867 was exempt from the literacy tests, property requirements and poll taxes needed for voting. But enslaved Black people were not freed until 1865, when the 13th Amendment passed, and weren't granted the right to vote until the 15th Amendment was passed in 1870.
The grandfather clause effectively excluded them from voting -- a practice that continued until the 1960s,
according to Encyclopedia Britannica.
Now, "grandfathered in" means that a person or company are exempt from following new laws, but "grandfather clause" in its original context disenfranchised Black Americans for decades.
In everyday speech
Cakewalk: It's what we call an easy victory, or something that's easily accomplished.
The cakewalk originated as
a dance performed by enslaved Black people on plantations before the Civil War. It was intended to be a mockery of the way White people danced, though plantation owners often interpreted slaves' movements as unskillful attempts to be like them.
Owners held contests in which enslaved people competed for a cake. Later, the dance -- and the idiom -- was popularized through
minstrel shows, characterized by a "a high-leg prance with a backward tilt of the head, shoulders and upper torso."
Lynch mob: The racist roots of the phrase are hidden in plain sight. Though it's evolved into an umbrella term for an "unjust attack," lynch mobs originated as hordes of people, most always White, who'd torture and kill Black people -- often by hanging them -- as a form of vigilante justice.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, Black Americans could be lynched for speaking to a White person or being perceived as insubordinate. White Americans have since co-opted the term to characterize what they feel is undue punishment.
President Donald Trump last October
called his impeachment inquiry a "lynching," an interpretation of the word that doesn't fit the description from the Equal Justice Initiative, a group which fights racism in the criminal justice system. In the organization's report,
"Lynching in America," lynchings are defined as hangings that inflict terror and are usually racially motivated.
Uppity: It's an epithet used by White people in the Jim Crow era to describe Black people they believed weren't showing them enough deference.
It's far more malevolent than a synonym for "arrogant," though. Per
PBS' long-running "American Experience" series, many Black men and women were lynched by White mobs for seeming too "uppity."
"It was and remains an insulting way to describe a Black person because it suggests that they are 'too big for their britches' or are demonstrating a sense of dignity or autonomy they are not supposed to possess," said Krystal Smalls, an assistant professor of anthropology and linguistics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
The insult was
frequently lodged at President Barack Obama and
first lady Michelle Obama throughout the 44th president's two terms, usually by conservative opponents who claimed they were unaware of the word's racist origins. And American and British journalists have
used the term to describe Meghan Markle, who is biracial, after she became the Duchess of Sussex.
Blackball, black mark: The terms both imply wrongdoing. If you bear a black mark, you've done something that people hold against you. If you've been blackballed, you've been banned from joining an organization because of something you've done.
The phrases didn't originate in times of slavery, but the use of "black" to describe things that are wrong is subconsciously racialized, according to Douglas Longshore, a UCLA researcher who
published a study in 1979 on color connotations and race.
"Black has connoted evil and disgrace, while white has connoted decency and purity," Longshore wrote then. Those colors and their connotations, he added, "may well reinforce social norms pertaining to those groups" of people.
Sold down the river: While this phrase now refers to a devastating betrayal, its history is more fraught.
In the 1800s, Black slaves were literally sold down the river. Slave traders traveled along the Mississippi River, selling enslaved people to plantation owners further south. There awaited inhumane conditions and brutal labor that often ended in death.
"Thus to be 'sold down the river' was to commence a life of crushing circumstances," according to the
Mississippi Encyclopedia, a project from the University of Mississippi's Center for the Study of Southern Culture.
Americans may unwittingly evoke racism when they use phrases like this for exaggeration, said Jamaal Muwwakkil, a PhD candidate in linguistics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
"It takes away the weight of the reality of chattel slavery," he said. "You can, through hyperbole, water down the association of [that word] to slavery."
But the association remains. And in 2020, people are seeing these words in a new light.
CNN's Anna Bahney contributed to this report.
Not the Bee: Teacher, BLM activist says "2 + 2 = 4" is a "cultural" belief based on "western imperialism/colonization" | Disrn
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 12:15
Aaaand we're living in 1984. Not the year. The novel.
This lady on Twitter who describes herself in her bio as "she/her, teacher, scholar, social justice change agent, Chicagoan, PhD student, architecture enthusiast, wannabe math person, BLM always..." has gone and fulfilled another George Orwell prophecy.
Miss Marshall really said this:
And her bio really says this:
So for those keeping score at home, we're getting to the point in the postmodern neo-Marxism pandemic in which the simplest math facts you learned in kindergarten are now being called agents of oppression which must be dismantled.
That's right, math is racist.
All of which reminded me of one of my favorite quotes from 1984 (which is one of the greatest novels ever written, for the record):
You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.
Here we are, folks. This is reality.
* * *
This has been an episode of Not the Bee. Now back to your regularly scheduled news.
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Speech Recognition Tech Is Yet Another Example of Bias - Scientific American
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 13:53
''Clow-dia,'' I say once. Twice. A third time. Defeated, I say the Americanized version of my name: ''Claw-dee-ah.'' Finally, Siri recognizes it.
Having to adapt our way of speaking to interact with speech recognition technologies is a familiar experience for people whose first language is not English or who do not have conventionally American-sounding names. I have even stopped using Siri because of it.
Implementation of speech recognition technology in the last few decades has unveiled a very problematic issue ingrained in them: racial bias. One recent study, published in PNAS, showed that speech recognition programs are biased against Black speakers. On average, all five programs from leading technology companies like Apple and Microsoft showed significant race disparities; they were twice as likely to incorrectly transcribe audio from Black speakers as opposed to white speakers.
In normal conversations with other people, we might choose to code-switch, alternating between languages, accents or ways of speaking, depending on one's audience. But with automated speech recognition programs, there is no code-switching'--either you assimilate, or you are not understood. This effectively censors voices that are not part of the ''standard'' languages or accents used to create these technologies.
''I don't get to negotiate with these devices unless I adapt my language patterns,'' says Halcyon Lawrence, an assistant professor of technical communication and information design at Towson University who was not part of the study. ''That is problematic.'' Specifically, the problem goes beyond just having to change your way of speaking: it means having to adapt your identity and assimilate.
For Lawrence, who has a Trinidad and Tobagonian accent, and others part of our identity comes from speaking a particular language, having an accent, or using a set of speech forms such as African American Vernacular English (AAVE). For me as a Puerto Rican, saying my name in Spanish, rather than trying to translate the sounds to make it understandable for North American listeners, means staying true to my roots. Having to change such an integral part of an identity to be able to be recognized is inherently cruel, Lawrence adds: ''The same way one wouldn't expect that I would take the color of my skin off.''
The inability to be understood by speech recognition programs impacts other marginalized communities. Allison Koenecke, a computational graduate student and first author of the study, points out a uniquely vulnerable community: people with disabilities who rely on voice recognition and speech-to-text tools. ''This is only going to work for one subset of the population who is able to be understood by [automated speech recognition] systems,'' she says. For someone who has a disability and is dependent on these technologies, being misunderstood could have serious consequences.
There are probably many culprits for these disparities, but Koenecke points to the most likely: training data. Across the board, the ''standard'' data used to train speech recognition technologies are predominantly white. By using narrow speech corpora both in the words that are used and how they are said, systems exclude accents and other ways of speaking that have unique linguistic features, such as AAVE. In fact, the study found that with increased use of AAVE, the likelihood of misunderstanding also increased. Specifically, the disparities found in the study were mainly due to the way words were said, since even when speakers said identical phrases, Black speakers were again twice as likely to be misunderstood compared to white speakers.
Additionally, accent and language bias lives in the humans that create these technologies. For example, research shows that the presence of an accent affects whether jurors find people guilty and whether patients find their doctors competent. Recognizing these biases would be an important way to avoid implementing them in technologies.
Safiya Noble, associate professor of information studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, admits that language is tricky to incorporate into a technology. ''Language is contextual,'' says Noble, who was not involved in the study. ''Certain words mean certain things when certain bodies say them, and these [speech] recognition systems really don't account for a lot of that.'' But that doesn't mean that companies shouldn't strive to decrease bias and disparities in their technologies. However, to try to do this, they need to appreciate the complexities of human language. For this reason, solutions can come not only from the field of technology but also from the fields of humanities, linguistics, and social sciences.
Lawrence argues that developers have to be aware of the implications of the technologies they create, and that people have to question what purpose and who these technologies serve. The only way to do this is to have humanists and social scientists at the table and in dialogue with technologists to ask the important questions of if these recognition technologies could be co-opted as weapons against marginalized communities, similar to certain harmful developments with facial recognition technologies.
From the tech side, feeding more diverse training data into the programs could close this gap, says Koenecke. ''I think at least increasing the share of non-standard English audio samples in the training data set will take us towards closing the race gap,'' she adds. They should also test their products more widely and have more diverse work forces so people from different backgrounds and perspectives can directly influence the design of speech technologies, says Noble.
But both sides agree that tech companies must be held accountable and should aim to change. Koenecke suggests that automated speech recognition companies use their study as a preliminary benchmark and continue using this to assess their systems over time.
With these strategies, tech companies and developers may be able to make speech recognition technologies more inclusive. But if they continue to be disconnected from the complexities of human language and society without recognizing their own biases, there will continue to be gaps. In the meantime, many of us will continue to struggle between identity and being understood when interacting with Alexa, Cortana or Siri. But Lawrence chooses identity every time: ''I'm not switching, I'm not doing it.''
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)Claudia Lopez LloredaClaudia Lopez Lloreda is a freelance science writer and neuroscience graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania.
Racism also an issue in sport climbing
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 14:12
The Black Lives Matter movement in the United States has also brought racism and a lack of diversity in sport climbing to the fore. The German climbing scene is no exception.
"I hope that one day, racism doesn't exist, but for now, it is still an issue, and it has been an issue," Black climber Meagan Martin told DW. Martin believes racism "for most people, it's something that they don't witness regularly, but just because you don't always see it, doesn't mean it's not there. As a Black climber, I've always been aware of the presence of racism, but I've chosen not to let it bring me down, and instead make me stronger."
Meagan Martin is a professional climber who has competed for the United States in World Cup competitions. She became famous for her agility in the obstacle course on the television show American Ninja Warrior. Martin has been actively involved in the Black Lives Matter movement.
"I think that we are already seeing how the acknowledgment that racism exists is impacting the climbing community," Martin said. "Companies are taking a step back and looking inward to see areas where they've failed to be an ally to the Black community and how they can do better moving forward. Many athletes are also taking this time to reflect, take accountability, and educate themselves to be a better ally."
'Adventure gap'
People of Color are still underrepresented in sport climbing. A 2019 study in the United States showed that in national parks African-Americans made up just one percent of the visitors, despite accounting for around 13 percent of the entire population.
Read more: Black footballers speak out on racism
Black journalist and author James Edward Mills describes this phenomenon as an "adventure gap."
"That lack of participation is the problem," Mills told National Geographic. "It's not a question of whether or not African-Americans can climb high mountains. What matters is as a group we tend not to. And for a variety of different social and cultural reasons the world of mountaineering has been relegated almost exclusively to white men."
Black climbers are not just the exception on climbing walls, but also on expeditions to the world's largest mountains.
One of the reasons for this is a "lack of Black role models in sport climbing," said Molly Thompson-Smith.
"I'm constantly aware of how I 'stick out'," said the 22-year-old, who is already one of biggest talents in British climbing and has reached the podium at a World Cup event. "For some people I think this could be a reason to avoid starting climbing, due to feeling uncomfortable or just a lack of connection to the sport. With a lack of Black role models to relate to within the sport, I'm not surprised people of color may not feel like they could see themselves being a part of the community."
Not only that, but climbing "is a fairly expensive sport especially if you want to have nice gear, memberships at different walls, and travel for climbing on rock or in competitions. This will influence who can be a part of the community and become a barrier to those from less privileged backgrounds."
Meant as a joke but wide of the mark
Thompson-Smith said that she has only personally experienced racism a handful of times.
"When it has happened in a climbing gym it's been 'harmless' comments or jokes I've just shrugged off. I'm white and Black Caribbean with fairly light skin '' it's my hair that is the 'giveaway.' Jokes from friends about my skin tone or people wanting to touch my hair in fascination were normal in my climbing childhood, and I never told people how it really felt to be the subject of those words/actions. It may have not meant to be offensive, but I wouldn't be so accepting of these comments nowadays."
Like Meagan Martin, Molly Thompson-Smith is also taking an active role in the Black Lives Matter movement.
"I've found the last month very emotionally draining, but it's also made me quite hopeful," Thompson-Smith said. "I admit, I could have been '' and should have been better when it came to racism. I could have educated people on how their 'jokes' or 'observations' about people of color were not appropriate. The situation has made me want to do more to encourage more diversity within the climbing community, and to make sure it feels like a safe and welcoming place for people of any background to be a part of."
'White, male dominated club'
Last week the respected editor-in-chief and publisher of the US climbing magazine Rock and Ice, Duane Raleigh, resigned '' under extraordinary circumstances.
"We were young and could climb and enjoy risks because we had freedoms that non-white America does not have," he said. "We were part of a culture that I regret. White privilege let our 'fraternity' exist, and we could be inappropriate, and do just about anything without consequences. Broadly speaking, the white, male-dominated club still exists worldwide."
Raleigh also apologized for something he did when he was a young man '' using the N-word to name a route that he had conquered.
Fresh discussion
The Black Lives Matter movement has sparked a discussion about discriminatory names being used for climbing routes. In mountain climbing, whoever conquers a route for the first time has the right to name it. What may be an attempt at humor can be deeply insulting.
US climbers, for example, have now spoken out in favor of boycotting the "N****** Wall" in the Owens River Gorge in Eastern California until the insulting name is replaced. The climbing portal maintains a list of "bad names," route names that are perceived as racist, sexist or otherwise discriminatory. The list now includes more than 2,000 names.
Discriminatory route names in Germany
Germany is no exception when it comes to discriminatory names. Among them are "Der N**** mit dem Knackarsch" in the Franconian Jura, a popular climbing region in southern Germany. The climbing portal lists two further route names that included the N-word ("N****kuss" and "Scharfer N****).
A fourth route ("Indianer and Bambusn****") has since been renamed.
"Even though the story behind it was a lot of fun, the name is no longer tenable in today's world," explained the first person to conquer that route.
This would also apply to "Bimboland," as part of a climbing region near Kochel am See in Bavaria has been named. It includes a term often used by right-wing extremists.
No easy fix
The German Alpine Association (DAV) said in response to a DW query that it is important to "stand up for equality and diversity at all levels."
However, according to Steffen Reich, the DAV's head of nature conservation and cartography department, the scope for action is limited.
"Firstly, the route names are not assigned by us but by the first ascenders. And secondly, we do not keep a database and do not create climbing guides in which the discriminatory names are listed, so we can't simply change them," he said.
According to Reich, the only practical way forward is to impress upon authors, publishers and climbing portals the need "to work towards changing or deleting the discriminatory names."
Members of the climbing community not only in the United States or Germany, but all over the world would do well to take Meghan Martin's words to heart regarding the current debate on racism:
"I was born this way, this is the life I've chosen to lead, and I am proud to be a black woman in the climbing community, but it is comforting to know that my climbing peers are taking a second to see the world through my lens and the differences that do exist.
Grave of 17 Dead Unknown Confederate Soldiers Desecrated at Church in DC Suburb
Thu, 09 Jul 2020 12:09
A memorial at the grave of 17 Confederate soldiers, 16 of whom were never identified, was desecrated at a church in the DC suburb of Silver Spring, MD, last month.The vandalized gravestone memorial was barely mentioned by any national media, despite being only minutes from the nation's capital and nearby the homes of hundreds of journalists.
The grave marker for the 17 soldiers at Grace Episcopal Church cemetery in Silver Spring was vandalized in early June, then toppled completely on June 14.
While desecration of any grave is vile and should be condemned fully, the story of this monument is particularly interesting for anyone with an interest in American history.
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The soldiers buried at this church died in the battle of Fort Stevens in July of 1864 and their bodies were unceremoniously dumped in shallow graves at several farms in Silver Spring, while the Union soldiers who perished were buried formally at the Battleground National Cemetery.
''In 1874, the pastor of Grace Episcopal Church, himself a Confederate veteran, was able to locate 17 bodies and had them moved to the church cemetery. The only body that could be identified was Pvt. James Bland of Highland County, Virginia. The graves were lined up in front of the church in a lot donated by Montgomery Blair, a parishioner who had been Lincoln's postmaster and Dred Scott's attorney,'' Allen Browne's 2011 blog about the landmark explained.
WUSA9 reports that the ''interim pastor of Grace Episcopal, Richard Kukowski, said the church did not file a police report because they intended to handle the issue 'in house.'''
The grave vandals also left a sign calling the unknown soldiers ''white supremacists'' who ''died fighting to keep black people enslaved.'' Nearly 30,000 Native Americans also fought on the side of the Confederacy.
U.S. first lady Melania Trump statue set on fire in Slovenia | Article [AMP] | Reuters
Thu, 09 Jul 2020 13:03
Thu Jul 9, 2020 / 8:08 AM EDT
ROZNO, Slovenia ROZNO, Slovenia (Reuters) - A wooden sculpture of U.S. first lady Melania Trump was torched near her hometown of Sevnica, Slovenia, on the night of July Fourth, as Americans celebrated U.S. Independence Day, said the artist who commissioned the sculpture.
Brad Downey, a Berlin-based American artist, told Reuters he had the life-sized blackened, disfigured sculpture removed as soon as police informed him on July 5th of the incident.
"I want to know why they did it," said Downey, who had hoped the statue would foster a dialogue about the political situation in the United States, highlighting Melania Trump's status as an immigrant married to a president sworn to reduce immigration.
In Washington, the office of Melania Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In recent weeks, President Donald Trump has pledged to take a hard line on anyone destroying or vandalizing U.S. historical monuments, as political activism against racial injustice has swept across the country.
Downey, 39, said he had filed a police report and would like to interview the culprits, if found, for a film he is preparing ahead of his exhibition due to open in Slovenia in September.
"The investigation in this case has not been completed yet so we cannot reveal details due to the interest of further procedures," police spokeswoman Alenka Drenik told Reuters.
Although the statue's face was rough-hewn and unrecognizable prior to the fire, the figure was painted with a pale blue wraparound coat resembling the one Melania Trump wore at the swearing in of her husband U.S. President Donald Trump.
The figure was carved with a chainsaw by local folk artist Ales Zupevc from the trunk of a living linden tree.
In January, a large wooden statue resembling Donald Trump, designed by a local artist last year, was burnt in Slovenia's city of Moravce, east of the capital Ljubljana.
(Reporting by Marja Novak and Borut Zivulovic; Editing by Diane Craft)
White Fragility
Christopher F. Rufo on Twitter: "The City of Seattle held a training session for white employees called ''Interrupting Internalized Racial Superiority and Whiteness.'' So I did a public records request to find out exactly what this means. Let's go throu
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 04:22
Christopher F. Rufo : The City of Seattle held a training session for white employees called ''Interrupting Internalized Racial Superiorit'...
Mon Jul 06 23:08:18 +0000 2020
🇺🇸Another Patriotic Oregonian🇺🇸 : @realchrisrufo **projectile vomits on phone.
Tue Jul 07 04:21:57 +0000 2020
Bob White : @realchrisrufo Before completing the training all participants must poke a knitting needle in their eye to show the'...
Tue Jul 07 04:21:02 +0000 2020
Karen Lebens : @realchrisrufo When I was a City employee working with very high voltage & huge machines they hired a trainer to co'...
Tue Jul 07 04:20:05 +0000 2020
Ivan : @realchrisrufo If the idea is that whites are flawed & this is meant to improve them as co-occupants of the world,'...
Tue Jul 07 04:19:54 +0000 2020
Tim Tibbles : @realchrisrufo This is insanity
Tue Jul 07 04:19:42 +0000 2020
Beth Rea : @realchrisrufo @DrewHolden360 Is this the beginning of reeducation camps? Chilling.
Tue Jul 07 04:17:56 +0000 2020
B.R. Kelley : @realchrisrufo The re-education camps have begun.
Tue Jul 07 04:17:51 +0000 2020
Seattle holds training session for white employees aimed at affirming 'complicity in racism' and 'undoing whiteness'
Thu, 09 Jul 2020 03:56
| July 07, 2020 03:43 PM
The city of Seattle held a training session for white employees aimed at teaching them how to ''practice self-talk'' that ''affirms their complicity'' in racism and about ''undoing'' their own whiteness.
''The City of Seattle held a training session for white employees called 'Interrupting Internalized Racial Superiority and Whiteness,''' the director of the Center on Wealth & Poverty and contributing editor at City Journal, Christopher Rufo, tweeted Monday. His tweet thread described what a public records request suggested about the training, which the city confirmed to the Washington Examiner is provided by the Seattle Office for Civil Rights.
The City of Seattle held a training session for white employees called ''Interrupting Internalized Racial Superiority and Whiteness.''So I did a public records request to find out exactly what this means. Let's go through it together in this thread. 👇
'-- Christopher F. Rufo (@realchrisrufo) July 6, 2020 Rufo added that the diversity trainers encourage white employees to "practice self-talk that affirms [their] complicity in racism" and urge them to work on "undoing your own whiteness'' while also providing employees with a flow chart meant to illustrate how white people ''cause harm'' to people of color.
Then they go through a flow chart that outlines how white people "cause harm to POC," "show up small and inauthentic," and are unable to access their "humanity."
'-- Christopher F. Rufo (@realchrisrufo) July 6, 2020 As @DrKarlynB first reported, the invitation for this training was strictly segregated to "white City employees."The goal is to teach them how they have "complicity in the system of white supremacy" and must be held "accountable to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color."
'-- Christopher F. Rufo (@realchrisrufo) July 6, 2020 According to Rufo, the city has declined to provide the names of the diversity trainers, the program's budget, or video from the session, which took place on the Microsoft Teams platform.
Several political commentators responded to Rufo's thread, criticizing Seattle officials for the taxpayer-funded, white-only training.
''My liberal friends & acquaintances see themselves as evidence-based & pro-science,'' American Enterprise Institute scholar Christina Hoff Sommers wrote. ''But they are mostly silent about the nonsensical pseudo-science that informs corporate & academic diversity training. Look what happened in Seattle."
My liberal friends & acquaintances see themselves as evidence-based & pro-science. But they are mostly silent about the nonsensical pseudo-science that informs corporate & academic diversity training. Look what happened in Seattle👇
'-- Christina Sommers (@CHSommers) July 7, 2020 ''These 'training sessions' are taxpayer-funded cult indoctrination sessions, with all the coercion and abolition of independent thought that the word 'cult' implies,'' journalist Michael Tracey responded.
These ''training sessions'' are taxpayer-funded cult indoctrination sessions, with all the coercion and abolition of independent thought that the word ''cult'' implies
'-- Michael Tracey (@mtracey) July 7, 2020 ''It is, and always has been, about domination,'' author and podcaster Michael Malice tweeted in a thread of his own. "People can take informed action accordingly."
''Any form of anti-racism which argues that individualism, objectivity or intellectualization are attributes that are somehow especially characteristic of whites is, in fact, a form or racism,'' writer and professor Yascha Mounk tweeted.
Any form of anti-racism which argues that individualism, objectivity or intellectualization are attributes that are somehow especially characteristic of whites is, in fact, a form or racism.
'-- Yascha Mounk (@Yascha_Mounk) July 6, 2020 The training, which took place in mid-June, came as peaceful protests, looting, and riots broke out in Seattle and across the country following the death of George Floyd on May 25.
Noodle Gun
cancel culture is "you gonna lose your job"
value 4 value is cancel culture kryptonite
#StopHateForProfit Ad Boycott to Go on as Facebook Disappoints Civil Rights Groups
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 11:28
Photo: Christof Stache (AP)CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook'--the social media company you may recognize from United Nations accusations of complicity in genocide and its role in recklessly flooding the web with conspiracy theories and extremism '--predictably failed to placate a coalition of civil rights groups leading an ad boycott at a meeting on Tuesday, the groups said. As such, the boycott will go on.
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Groups leading the #StopHateForProfit campaign include the Anti-Defamation League, Color of Change, Free Press, the NAACP, and Sleeping Giants, and they've managed to sign on over 900 advertisers. Those companies are participating to varying degrees that don't always involve total divestment, and the boycott has yet to significantly impact Facebook's bottom line. But it has also become a major embarrassment for Facebook, highlighting its continual shell game of promising to fight hate speech and then taking half-hearted or ineffective action.
Throughout the first half of the year, Facebook seemed increasingly poised to ally itself with the definition of ''free speech'' favored by right-wingers. In the most visible examples, Zuckerberg and crew twisted and baked themselves into lumpy brain pretzels to justify not removing posts by Donald Trump spreading baseless lies about voter fraud and threatening violence against protesters. The CEO even went on Fox News to proclaim Facebook wouldn't be the ''arbiter of truth.''
Tuesday's Best Deals: Watch Dogs Leigon, Bomaker ANC Headphones, Nike...
Then, last month, Zuckerberg abruptly flipped his public messaging on the matter in response to the boycott, staff walkouts , and mounting political pressure . But talk is cheap and Facebook is worth hundreds of billions of dollars. In private, Zuckerberg assured staff advertisers would return ''soon enough,'' called the situation more of a ''reputational and a partner issue,'' and claimed Facebook wouldn't bow to pressure from outside parties. On Tuesday morning, Sandberg posted a lengthy letter claiming that Facebook would do more to stand ''firmly against hate,'' but simultaneously laid the groundwork for the company to bail on any of the recommendations in a soon-to-be released ''independent civil rights audit'' (commissioned, for the record, by Facebook). At the meeting later in the day, Zuckerberg and Sandberg failed to meet any of the boycott campaign's demands, civil rights groups present said.
In a statement to Gizmodo via email, the Stop Hate for Profit campaign wrote the ''only recommendation [Facebook] even attempted to address is hiring a civil rights position,'' but that the company refused to commit to making it a c-suite level role. There was ''no attempt'' by Facebook to address any of the other recommendations, according to the campaign. Those included no longer actively recommending users join hate and extremist groups via algorithm, proactively taking down those groups, establishing a civil rights infrastructure, third-party independent auditing of its anti-hate and misinformation efforts, and refunding advertisers whose ads run alongside content that violates Facebook's terms of service.
''Zuckerberg offered no automatic recourse for advertisers whose content runs alongside hateful content,'' Stop Hate for Profit wrote. ''He had no answer for why Facebook recommends hateful groups to users. He refused to agree to provide an option for victims of hate and harassment to connect with a live Facebook representative.''
''He declined to adopt common sense content moderation policies and practices like the ones put forward by the Change the Terms coalition, or develop a process to ensure that their terms of service are fairly applied and do not bend to political expediency,'' the group added. ''And he did not offer any tangible plans on how Facebook will address the rampant disinformation and violent conspiracies on its platform.''
Instead, the campaign said that Zuckerberg offered only the ''same old defense of white supremacist, antisemitic, islamophobic and other hateful groups on Facebook'' and the ''same old rhetoric, repackaged as a fresh response... None of this is hard, especially for one of the world's most innovative companies whose founder coined the term move fast and break things. Mark Zuckerberg, you aren't breaking things, you are breaking people.''
''For over 2 years, NAACP has entered into dialogue,'' NAACP president Derrick Johnson told CNN . ''We've watched the conversation blossom into nothingness.''
''This isn't the first time our organizations have asked Facebook to clean up its act,'' Jessica Gonzlez, co-CEO of Free Press, wrote to Gizmodo in a separate statement via email. ''We've seen over and over again how it will do anything to duck accountability by firing up its powerful PR machine and trying to spin the news. We stand with truth and justice, and have been through this enough times to know when Facebook is trying to play us.''
''... This isn't over,'' Gonzlez added. ''We will continue to expand the boycott until Facebook takes our demands seriously.''
In a call after the meeting, the New York Times reported , Color of Change head Rashad Robinson said ''They showed up to the meeting expecting an A for attendance. Attending alone is not enough.''
As for the release of Facebook's commissioned civil rights audit, Robinson said on the call, it's ''only as good as what Facebook ends up doing with the content... [or else] it's like going to the doctor, getting a new set of recommendations about your diet and then not doing anything about it and wondering why you're not getting any healthier.''
In a statement to CNBC , a Facebook spokesperson said they ''want Facebook to be free of hate speech and so do we. That's why it's so important that we work to get this right. We know we will be judged by our actions not by our words and are grateful to these groups and many others for their continued engagement.''
"... An upperclassman who had been researching terrorist groups online." - Washington Post
Google, Amazon Funnel Over $20 Million to Virus Conspiracy Sites
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 14:15
(Bloomberg) -- Digital advertising platforms run by Google, Inc. and other tech companies will funnel at least $25 million to websites spreading misinformation about Covid-19 this year, according to a study released Wednesday.
Google's platforms will provide $19 million, or $3 out of every $4 that the misinformation sites get in ad revenue. OpenX, a smaller digital ad distributor, handles about 10% of the money, while Amazon's technology delivers roughly $1.7 million, or 7%, of the digital marketing spending these sites will receive, according to a research group called the Global Disinformation Index.
GDI made the estimates in a study that analyzed ads running between January and June on 480 English language websites identified as publishers of virus misinformation. Some of the ads were for brands including cosmetics giant L'Oreal SA, furniture website Wayfair Inc. and imaging technology company Canon Inc. The data exclude social-media and online-video services, so the true total is likely much higher.
Governments and health officials are still learning more about the virus, and this has allowed misinformation to flourish online. Silicon Valley giants have pledged to crack down, and Alphabet Inc.'s Google has removed ads from sites that violate its policies. However, GDI thinks these platforms need to do more to limit the spread of misinformation.
''The difference between what the companies say publicly about their dedication to not monetizing hate speech and harmful content, especially around the pandemic, is not matching up with what our data is telling us that's actually happening,'' said Danny Rogers, co-founder of the Global Disinformation Index.
In an ad delivered on May 19 by Amazon, a L'Oreal product was promoted on next to an article titled ''Is Big Pharma Suppressing Hydroxychloroquine?'' Earlier this month, Google served up a Bloomberg News ad on the website, according to the GDI report.
The Global Disinformation Index is a U.K.-based research group that provides disinformation risk ratings on media sites all over the world. GDI said it presented Google, Amazon and OpenX with the latest findings from its report and none of the tech companies provided a formal response. The group updates its research weekly and often tells tech companies when their platforms place ads on misinformation sites.
The research group releases this information, in part, as a way to alert advertisers when their marketing spots show up on this kind of website. These brands can help by pulling ads from tech platforms when they see issues like this, Rogers said.
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Ford employees ask the company to stop making police cars - The Verge
Thu, 09 Jul 2020 11:15
Employees inside Ford have asked the company's leadership to stop making and selling police vehicles, according to Jalopnik. In response, Ford CEO Jim Hackett has told employees in a letter that he doesn't think it's ''controversial that the Ford Police Interceptor helps officers do their job'' and that Ford will continue the business.
The internal discussion, which Ford confirmed to The Verge, comes as the country is gripped by national movements for racial justice and against police brutality that were sparked by the killing of George Floyd.
Ford is far and away the leading automaker in the US when it comes to making and selling specially-designed vehicles for law enforcement, making up some two-thirds of the market. While it's not a big source of the company's annual revenue (which was $156 billion in 2019), Ford has long maintained that its overall lineup benefits from new technologies that get tested in the police vehicles (like hybrid electric drivetrains, for example).
''Our resources can and should be diverted to other forms of first response and public safety''
The national protests, though, have inspired some Ford employees to rethink the company's relationship with police. The issue has been brought up at recent town hall meetings, and now employees '-- including Black workers who are part of Ford's African Ancestry Network (FAAN) employee resource group '-- have circulated a letter asking the company to ''cease development, production, and sale of all custom police vehicles and products.''
Other employees have since signed onto the letter (though it's unclear how many) and they want the company to take some kind of action by July 15th, according to Jalopnik. ''Our resources can and should be diverted to other forms of first response and public safety,'' the employees wrote.
The seemingly endless footage of police violence captured across the last few months has caused a reckoning in some industries, especially tech. Nextdoor stopped a program that allowed users to forward posts to law enforcement. Amazon even announced it will stop allowing police to use its facial recognition technology for a year, and Microsoft has made a similar pledge. This all came after employees across the tech industry have spent the last year pushing back against their companies' contracts with government agencies, too.
But the same couldn't really be said for the transportation industry (save for bike companies, which are split on the matter), even though some of the most horrific videos to go viral in the last two months featured protestors being run over by Ford police vehicles.
This is one reason why employees inside Ford are now arguing that the company should sever its relationship with police. ''We cannot claim to support the fight against systemic racism while supplying and supporting the very systems that perpetrate violence against Black Americans,'' the group wrote, according to Jalopnik.
They continued:
Throughout our history, the vehicles that Ford employees design and build have been used as accessories to police brutality and oppression. We know that while many join, support, or supply law enforcement with good intentions, these racist policing practices that plague our society are historic and systemic '-- a history and system perpetuated by Ford for over 70 years '-- ever since Ford introduced the first-ever police package in 1950. As an undeniable part of that history and system, we are long overdue to ''think and act differently'' on our role in racism.
When Hackett publicly addressed the nationwide protests in early June, he said ''[t]here are no easy answers,'' and that Ford is ''not interested in superficial actions.'' Hackett said that ''[t]his is our moment to lead from the front and fully commit to creating the fair, just and inclusive culture that our employees deserve.''
But in his internal letter to employees, Hackett defended the company's business of making vehicles for police. And he argued that Ford's police cars, SUVs, and trucks could make those police officers ''safer and more accountable'' '-- though without going into detail:
The issues plaguing police credibility have nothing to do with the vehicles they're driving. In fact, as we imagine the future power of our connected vehicles, smarter Ford vehicles can be used to not only improve officers' ability to protect and serve, but also provide data that can make police safer and more accountable. Just think, dating back to the Model T, Ford has more than 100 years in serving first responders and that leadership over the decades has been earned by co-developing our purpose-built vehicles and technologies with police and emergency agencies to make our vehicles the number one choice.
Hackett also said that taking away Ford's specially-built vehicles ''would be doing harm to [police officers'] safety and making it harder for them to do their job.''
''Again, this is why, given our insights, new capabilities and leadership, I believe these unfortunate circumstances present Ford with an even greater opportunity to not only innovate new solutions but also leverage our unique position to support the dialogue and reform needed to create safer communities for all,'' Hackett wrote.
He wrapped his letter by thanking employees for speaking up, but saying that Ford won't change course. ''I do appreciate people speaking their mind to me on this issue '' it helped me generate this note to explain why we are continuing our commitment to police forces all over the world in our trusted products,'' he said.
Ford declined to comment beyond Hackett's letter.
Royal College of Art in race row
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 12:02
Some 800 former and current staff of the Royal College of Art signed the letterThey have criticised the appointment of Mark Harrison as their head of diversity Alumni of the college include Henry Moore, Tracey Emin and David Hockney The college later rescinded Mr Harrison's job offer following the controversy Staff at the Royal College of Art have criticised the appointment of Mark Harrison, pictured, as the institution's head of diversity. The position was later withdrawnThe Royal College of Art has withdrawn a job offer to a white, middle-aged man from its new 'Head of Inclusion' diversity role after a rebellion from tutors and staff who said the appointment showed a 'hideous culture of overt and insidious systemic racism'.
VIce-chancellor Paul Thompson handed the position to Mark Harrison, who had previously worked in a similar position at the University of London.
But a letter signed by academic staff claimed the college had fostered a 'hideous culture of overt and insidious systemic racism'.
They also called for a vote of no confidence in Dr Thompson.
After news of the letter emerged the RCA announced it had withdrawn the offer and would change the job specifications and title.
'We will reopen the search for a head of equality and diversity in the new academic year,' a college spokesman told the Times.
The letter has been signed by more than 800 former and current staff at the college which boasts Henry Moore, Tracey Emin and David Hockney amongst its alumni.
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The letter has also been signed by all four winners of this year's Turner prize, Tai Shani, Oscar Murillo, Lawrence Abu Hamdan and Helen Cammock.
It criticised Mr Harrison's appointment at a time of mass protest around the violent marginalisation of black people from society'.
Staff said the role should have gone to someone from a more diverse background.
Some 19 per cent of staff are from ethnic minorities while that figure falls to 13 per cent when it comes to academic jobs.
The college told The TImes: 'Transformational progress on [eradicating racism] is vital to the development of the entire RCA.'
The college later withdrew the job offer as a result of the controversy.
MailOnline has approached the RCA for a comment.
The letter from academics proposed a vote of no confidence in vice-chancellor Dr Paul Thompson, pictured Some 800 former and current staff members wrote the letter to the college, pictured, to criticise Mr Harrison's appointment
Halle Berry apologises for transgender comments after facing fierce backlash - Mirror Online
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 12:12
Halle Berry had been speaking about wanting to play a transgender male in a movie role but was criticised for the language she used and for misgendering the role
Halle Berry has apologised after facing a backlash for speaking about her interest in playing a transgender man in an upcoming film.
The 53-year-old Oscar-winning Hollywood actress revealed her desires during an Instagram Live, in which she said that she had been preparing for the role before another project came up.
Halle faced a mountain of criticism when she said she wanted to do a "deep dive" into "that world," apparently a reference to the transgender community, and repeatedly referred to the character as a woman.
That led to allegations of "misgendering" while others said any role involving a trans character should go to a trans actor.
Halle has now apologised and said she should not have been considered for the part.
Halle Berry has apologised for her comments on a transgender film role (Image: Getty Images)Speaking out, Halle said: "Over the weekend I had the opportunity to discuss my consideration of an upcoming role as a transgender man and I'd like to apologise for those remarks.
"As a cisgender woman, I now understand that I should not have considered this role and that the transgender community should undeniably have the opportunity to tell their own stories.
"I am grateful for the guidance and critical conversation over the past few days and I will continue to listen, educate and learn from this mistake.
"I vow to be an ally in using my voice to promote better representation on-screen, both in front of and behind the camera."
GLAAD, the LGBT advocacy group, welcomed her apology, writing: "We are pleased that @halleberry listened to the concerns of transgender people and learned from them. Other powerful people should do the same."
Halle's comments come amid a renewed focus on representation in the entertainment industry, while trans rights have also been in the news due to JK Rowling.
Halle Berry faced criticism for her transgender comments (Image: Getty Images) Read More Ryan Seacrest 'struggling with his emotions' after splitting from Shayna Taylor She has been criticised by Harry Potter stars for her beliefs on biological sex, though the author has strongly denied allegations of transphobia.
Netflix's critically acclaimed documentary Disclosure has been praised for its exploration of trans characters in TV and film.
Do you have a story to sell? Get in touch with us at or call us direct 0207 29 33033.
Walther Schoonenberg on Twitter: "De gaper van Herenstraat 7 wordt van de gevel gehaald omdat de uitbeelding van een zwarte man niet meer zou kunnen. Maar een gaper heeft niets met slavernij te maken. Het stelt een Arabische geneesheer voor, een uithangte
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 14:56
Walther Schoonenberg : De gaper van Herenstraat 7 wordt van de gevel gehaald omdat de uitbeelding van een zwarte man niet meer zou kunnen.'...
Wed Jul 08 11:44:56 +0000 2020
Rik van Dorst : @WSchoonenberg @FritstenHove Waarom moeten de #Hollanders zich altijd verdedigen en tradities verklaren. Heeft men'...
Wed Jul 08 14:55:27 +0000 2020
Jacy ðŸ...‹ : @WSchoonenberg Ipv dat ze nu eens grondig onderzoeken wat ze van de muur willen trekken.. Zo loopt het uit de hand.'...
Wed Jul 08 14:46:55 +0000 2020
Loes Hageman Weteling : @WSchoonenberg Wanneer stopt deze gekte
Wed Jul 08 14:46:08 +0000 2020
Velo Mondial, Urban Digital Mobility Platforms Now : @WSchoonenberg @jan_bert politiek correctheid is ook een ziekte maar dit heeft meer van De Ingebeelde Zieke
Wed Jul 08 14:46:00 +0000 2020
John Stael : @WSchoonenberg @MiesjeB Wat doen we met de zwarte zwaan in het Zwanenmeer? Ik vrees het ergste.
Wed Jul 08 14:43:42 +0000 2020
Tessa : @WSchoonenberg Het zal niet om de kleur gaan, maar om de manier waarop er een karikatuur gemaakt is van iemand van'...
Wed Jul 08 14:38:51 +0000 2020
Syl : @WSchoonenberg Wanneer gaat er iemand voor, op, onder, over staan en zegt ; '' het houdt hier op! Klaar!
Wed Jul 08 14:33:59 +0000 2020
Frank Wester : @WSchoonenberg ðŸ¤-- kunnen we stoppen met deze doorgeslagen zelfcensuur, dit dictatoriaal cultuur marxisme, ongepaste'...
Wed Jul 08 14:33:38 +0000 2020
Marieke : @WSchoonenberg @marielle8369 De Gaper van drogisterij Van der Pigge in Haarlem heeft een nieuwe lik verf gekregen.'...
Wed Jul 08 14:18:48 +0000 2020
Cees_de_Krom : @WSchoonenberg Tja, wat eens was ons ''Nederland'' is langzamerhand gek aan het worden. ðŸ‰ðŸ(C)🤬
Wed Jul 08 14:14:11 +0000 2020
Threa Klaus : @WSchoonenberg @JohnvdNet Zoooooo dom.
Wed Jul 08 14:06:32 +0000 2020
Frank Wijn : @WSchoonenberg @martinspecken Hoogopgeleide van de gevel verwijderd.
Wed Jul 08 13:42:43 +0000 2020
Anton Wijshake : @WSchoonenberg Wat een trut
Wed Jul 08 13:38:54 +0000 2020
P 🌬 : @WSchoonenberg En bedankt h¨ #SylviaWitteman
Wed Jul 08 13:37:04 +0000 2020
Frits ten Hove : @WSchoonenberg @marielle8369 Als het zo doorgaat, zijn gekleurde mensen ook niet meer toegestaan. Sturen ze zichzel'...
Wed Jul 08 13:34:29 +0000 2020
Vox journalist Matthew Yglesias publicly shamed by colleague for daring to sign anti-cancel culture letter
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 22:55
Vox co-founder and writer Matthew Yglesias has been publicly shamed by a colleague for signing an open letter addressing the stain of cancel culture. Free speech advocates and fellow journalists are defending him, in a rare show of solidarity between both conservatives and some liberals.
More than 100 liberals, including activists, academicians, and writers, signed the open letter titled ''A Letter on Justice and Open Debate.'' The letter was published in Harper's Magazine on July 7.
''Our cultural institutions are facing a moment of trial. Powerful protests for racial and social justice are leading to overdue demands for police reform, along with wider calls for greater equality and inclusion across our society, not least in higher education, journalism, philanthropy, and the arts.
''But this needed reckoning has also intensified a new set of moral attitudes and political commitments that tend to weaken our norms of open debate and toleration of differences in favor of ideological conformity. As we applaud the first development, we also raise our voices against the second,'' the letter begins.
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In a nutshell, the letter warns that in an attempt to call out dissenting opinions, internet users are creating an ''intolerant climate.''
''The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted,'' explains the letter.
On the same day this letter was published, Vox writer Emily VanDerWerff wrote a letter of her own to editors and, despite saying she promises she doesn't want Yglesias ''reprimanded or fired,'' she decided to air her grievances in public, sharing a copy with the world on Twitter.
Her issue was the fact that Yglesias signed a letter that was signed by authors such as JK Rowling. Rowling has recently expressed skepticism of hormone blockers being given to children and has accused activists of misogyny, suggesting they're trying to erase the experience of biological women.
''As a trans woman who very much values her position at Vox and the support the publication has given her through the emotional and physical turmoil of transition, I was deeply saddened to see Matt Yglesias' signature on the Harper's Weekly letter,'' her letter begins.
She then acknowledges Yglesias is a ''nuanced thinker'' and applauds him for publicly supporting her work. Yet, despite praising Yglesias, she still felt the need to publically call him out. It appears her only criticism of him is that he signed the letter.
''But the letter, signed as it is by several prominent anti-trans voices and containing as many dog whistles towards anti-trans positions as it does, ideally would not have been signed by anybody at Vox, much less one of the most prominent people at our publication.''
She continues to say that Yglesias' signing the letter makes her feel ''less safe'' at Vox, but didn't elaborate on what she feels unsafe from. She also claimed her work would become more challenging as readers will think she also holds the same opinion.
VanDerWerff's letter was met with opposition, particularly from conservative media personalities, with many highlighting how people are getting attacked for signing a letter that highlights the problem with people getting attacked for their opinions.
''I can't stress enough that these claims that differing opinions make them feel ''unsafe'' aren't sincere. Don't fall for it. These aren't fragile snowflakes who are scared. They are ruthless people who know 'you're making me feel unsafe' is an easy weapon with which to destroy you,'' Jeremy Dunleavy of the Washington Examiner tweeted.
''How in the world has the Left gone so batty that I'm now defending Matthew Yglesias?'' read a tweet by commentator, Ben Shapiro.
''It is absolutely crazy that someone feels comfortable writing and sending this. Why would any worthwhile publication want someone this intolerant working for them? I'm now having to defend Matt Yglesias for him expressing a reasonable and worthwhile opinion. 2020 is wild,'' wrote AG Hamilton.
''I will never forgive the world for making me want to support Matt Yglesias,'' said Jeff Blehar of the conservative newspaper National Review.
While there was much opposition online, VanDerWerff was also met with some support in her decision to call out Yglesias in public. Other Vox writers such as Aja Romano weighed in.
Fellow Vox co-founder Ezra Klein has yet to comment on the incident directly but did tweet a vague musing about free speech, doing little to quell the notion that supporting free speech at Vox will get you rebuked:
(5) byebyejob
Thu, 09 Jul 2020 12:43
Original video:
A raging mask debate during a Gulf Coast Town Center Costco yelling incident was captured on video June 27 and went viral Monday night with almost 10 million views. The tirade appears to have cost the man his job.
A man wearing a red, ''Running the world since 1776'' T-shirt, dark shorts and flip flops was seen yelling ''I feel threatened!'' and ''Back up! Back the (expletive) up and put your (expletive) phone down!'' He glared at the camera after a female shopper had asked him to comply with Costco's mask policy at Gulf Coast Town Center in south Fort Myers.
Taliban Talks and Bangahzi
So here's the REAL story:
Ambassador Stevens was sent to Benghazi to secretly retrieve US made Stinger Missiles that the State Dept had supplied to Ansar al Sharia in Libya WITHOUT Congressional oversight or permission.
Sec State Hillary Clinton had brokered the Libya deal through Ambassador Stevens and a Private Arms Dealer named Marc Turi, but some of the shoulder fired Stinger Missiles ended up in Afghanistan where they were used against our own military. On July 25th, 2012, a US Chinook helicopter was downed by one of them. Not destroyed only because the idiot Taliban didn't arm the missile. The helicopter didn't explode, but it had to land and an ordnance team recovered the missile's serial number which led back to a cache of Stinger Missiles kept in
Qatar by the CIA.
Obama and Hillary were in full panic mode, so Ambassador Stevens was sent to Benghazi to retrieve the rest of the Stinger Missiles. This was a "do-or-die" mission, which explains the Stand Down Orders given to multiple rescue teams during the siege of the US Embassy.
It was the State Dept, NOT the CIA, that supplied the Stinger Missiles to our sworn enemies because Gen. Petraeus at CIA would not approve supplying the deadly missiles due to their potential use against commercial aircraft. So then, Obama threw Gen. Petraeus under the bus when he refused to testify in support of Obama's phony claim of a "spontaneous uprising caused by a YouTube video that insulted Muslims."
Obama and Hillary committed TREASON!
THIS is what the investigation is all about, WHY she had a Private Server, (in order to delete the digital evidence), and WHY Obama, two weeks after the attack, told the UN that the attack was the result of the YouTube video, even though everyone KNEW it was not.
Furthermore, the Taliban knew that the administration had aided and abetted the enemy WITHOUT Congressional oversight or permission, so they began pressuring (blackmailing) the Obama Administration to release five Taliban generals being held at Guantanamo.
Bowe Bergdahl was just a useful pawn used to cover the release of the Taliban generals. Everyone knew Bergdahl was a traitor but Obama used Bergdahl's exchange for the five Taliban generals to cover that Obama was being coerced by the Taliban about the unauthorized Stinger Missile deal.
So we have a traitor as POTUS that is not only corrupt, but compromised, as well and a Sec of State that is a serial liar, who perjured herself multiple times at the Congressional Hearings on Benghazi. Perhaps this is why no military aircraft were called upon for help in Benghazi: because the administration knew that our enemies had Stinger Missiles that, if used to down those planes, would likely be traced back to the CIA cache in Qatar and then to the State Dept's illegitimate arms deal in Libya.
Forward this again and again and again until everyone reads the true story of Benghazi.
How Matching donations work
Hi Adam,
Here's a little explanation of how matching donations may work for the campaign. I'm not sure that this is widely done but it happened to my company when then donated a sum of money earlier this year.
If a company makes an anonymous contribution (aka they don't need to make a virtue signaling press release) they will accept the donation willingly. After they receive the donation they will ask the donator if they can use the money to market a 2x matching campaign for up to the amount that was donated. They have the money the whole time wether or not anyone does the initial donation to be matched.
As started I'm not sure if this is common practice but it did happen to us.
Thanks and ITM.
Daniel Navetta
Kanye West Says He's Done With Trump'--Opens Up About White House Bid, Damaging Biden And Everything In Between
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 12:58
Kanye West's Fourth of July declaration, via Tweet, that he was running for president lit the internet on fire, even as pundits were trying to discern how serious he was. Over the course of four rambling hours of interviews on Tuesday, the billionaire rapper turned sneaker mogul revealed: That he's running for president in 2020 under a new banner'--the Birthday Party'--with guidance from Elon Musk and an obscure vice presidential candidate he's already chosen. ''Like anything I've ever done in my life,'' says West, ''I'm doing to win.'' That he no longer supports President Trump. ''I am taking the red hat off, with this interview.'' That he's ok with siphoning off Black votes from the Democratic nominee, thus helping Trump. ''I'm not denying it, I just told you. To say that the Black vote is Democratic is a form of racism and white supremacy.'' That he's never voted in his life. That he was sick with Covid-19 in February. That he's suspicious of a coronavirus vaccine, terming vaccines ''the mark of the beast.'' That he believes ''Planned Parenthoods have been placed inside cities by white supremacists to do the Devil's work.'' That he envisions a White House organizational model based on the secret country of Wakanda in Black Panther.And that's just for starters. For much of the phone calls, his core message, strategically, was that he has 30 days to make a final decision about running for president. At that point, he says, he'd miss the filing deadline for most states, though he believes an argument could be made to get onto any ballots he's missed, citing coronavirus issues. ''I'm speaking with experts, I'm going to speak with Jared Kushner, the White House, with Biden,'' says West. He has no campaign apparatus of any kind. His advisors right now, he says, are the two people who notably endorsed him on the Fourth: his wife Kim Kardashian-West, and Elon Musk, of whom he says, ''We've been talking about this for years.'' (Adds West: ''I proposed to him to be the head of our space program.'')
An hour into the interview, the hedging was done: He says he definitely plans to run in 2020, versus his original plan in 2024. The campaign slogan: ''YES!'' His running mate? Michelle Tidball, an obscure preacher from Wyoming. And why the Birthday Party? ''Because when we win, it's everybody's birthday.''
If it all sounds like a parody, or a particularly surreal episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, West doesn't seem to be in on it. Calling from his ranch near Cody, Wyoming, where he says that he registered to vote for the first time on Monday, West denies it is a publicity stunt for his upcoming album. (''I give my album away for free.'') A few weeks after he ended two separate text chains with me with the message ''Trump 2020'' and a fist raised high, he insists he's lost confidence in the president. ''It looks like one big mess to me,'' he says. ''I don't like that I caught wind that he hid in the bunker.'' West also says that he contracted the coronavirus in late February, though he maintains that had nothing to do with his thoughts on running this year.
That said, he won't say much more against Trump. He's much less shy about criticizing Biden, which certainly won't tamp down the idea that the Birthday Party is a ruse to help re-elect Trump. ''I'm not saying Trump's in my way, he may be a part of my way. And Joe Biden? Like come on man, please. You know? Obama's special. Trump's special. We say Kanye West is special. America needs special people that lead. Bill Clinton? Special. Joe Biden's not special.''
From there, he holds forth on pretty much everything else, and occasionally breaks into spontaneous freestyle raps (''If I catch a vibe, I'm gonna catch that vibe'').
Rapper Kanye West speaks during a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in the Oval office of the White House on October 11, 2018 in Washington, DC. GETTY IMAGESON HIS NATURAL POLITICAL PARTY''I would run as a Republican if Trump wasn't there. I will run as an independent if Trump is there.''
ON HIS PREVIOUS SUPPORT FOR TRUMP''Trump is the closest president we've had in years to allowing God to still be part of the conversation.''
ON HIS MAGA HAT MOMENT''One of the main reasons I wore the red hat as a protest to the segregation of votes in the Black community. Also, other than the fact that I like Trump hotels and the saxophones in the lobby.''
ON DISCUSSIONS ON RACE WITH THE WHITE HOUSE''One time I talked to Jared Kushner who was saying we don't have Black leaders, we just have hustlers. Why? Because they killed all the Black leaders.'' (Requests for comment from the White House and the Kushner Companies last night were not immediately returned.)
ON DEMOCRATS''That is a form of racism and white supremacy and white control to say that all Black people need to be Democrat and to assume that me running is me splitting the vote. All of that information is being charged up on social media platforms by Democrats. And Democrats used to tell me, the same Democrats have threatened me'.... The reason why this is the first day I registered to vote is because I was scared. I was told that if I voted on Trump my music career would be over. I was threatened into being in one party. I was threatened as a celebrity into being in one party. I was threatened as a Black man into the Democratic party. And that's what the Democrats are doing, emotionally, to my people. Threatening them to the point where this white man can tell a Black man if you don't vote for me, you're not Black.''
ON HOW THE RACE WILL BE DECIDED''Let's see if the appointing is at 2020 or if it's 2024'--because God appoints the president. If I win in 2020 then it was God's appointment. If I win in 2024 then that was God's appointment.''
ON THE CORONAVIRUS CURE''We pray. We pray for the freedom. It's all about God. We need to stop doing things that make God mad.''
ON VACCINES''It's so many of our children that are being vaccinated and paralyzed'... So when they say the way we're going to fix Covid is with a vaccine, I'm extremely cautious. That's the mark of the beast. They want to put chips inside of us, they want to do all kinds of things, to make it where we can't cross the gates of heaven. I'm sorry when I say they, the humans that have the Devil inside them. And the sad thing is that, the saddest thing is that we all won't make it to heaven, that there'll be some of us that do not make it. Next question.''
ON DECIDING TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT''It's when I was being offered the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Awards at MTV. I remember being at my mom's house, my mother-in-law, because my house was being worked on, she calls me 'son' and I call her 'mom,' I was in the shower thinking, I write raps in the shower. It hit me to say, 'you're going to run for president' and I started laughing hysterically, I was like this is the best, I'm going to go out there and they're going to think I'm going to do these songs and do this for entertainment, how rigged awards shows are, and then say I'm president. And I just laughed in the shower, I don't know for how long, but that's the moment it hit me.''
ON HIS FOREIGN POLICY''I haven't developed it yet. I'm focused on protecting America, first, with our great military. Let's focus on ourselves first.''
ON ABORTION''I am pro-life because I'm following the word of the bible.''
ON BEING A POLITICAL NOVICE''I have to say with all humility that as a man, I don't have all of the pieces in the puzzle. As I speak to you for what a political campaign'--a political walk, as I told you, because I'm not running, I'm walking. I'm not running, we the people are walking. We're not running anymore, we're not running, we're not excited'--we are energized, Someone can say, 'Hey, I got a brand new car for you, it's across the street and you get so excited you run across the street and get hit by a car trying to run to your new car. That's how they control the Black community, through emotions, they get us excited, we're so excited, but then for 400 years the change doesn't truly happen.
ON THE NEED FOR RACIAL HEALING, AFTER GEORGE FLOYD''Well, God has already started the healing/This conversation alone is healing and revealing/We all need to start praying and kneeling'... another bar after that, but when a rhyme comes together I'm going to complete it, not inside the lines created by organizations that we know as our reality. The schools, the infrastructure was made for us to not truly be all we can be but to be just good enough to work for the corporations that designed the school systems. We're tearing that up, what we'll do is we're not going to tear up the Constitution, what we will do is amend.''
ON BLACK HISTORY MONTH''Oh one other thing, Black History Month. That is torture porn because when that comes up what we do is we see'--and by the way, if I get that vibe'--that's the process and we are going to a beautiful, uplifting, fun, creative process as a people, as America collectively, and show the world how great we are. So here we go. Black History Month every year they gotta remind us about the fact that we couldn't vote, they meaning white supremacy construct, and I said that with the CT at the end, I knew what was I was talking about'...Our minds are so much more infinite than what's coming across TikTok or Instagram, what's trying to influence our children and the next generation of who we are.
ON HAVING COVID-19''Chills, shaking in the bed, taking hot showers, looking at videos telling me what I'm supposed to do to get over it. I remember someone had told me Drake had the coronavirus and my response was Drake can't be sicker than me!'' (laughs)
ON RUNNING IN 2020''God just gave me the clarity and said it's time. You know I was out there, ended up in the hospital, people were calling me crazy. I'm not crazy. Between all of the influences and the positions that we can be put in as musicians'--you go on tour, you put out all these albums, and you look up and you don't have any money in your account. It can drive you crazy, through all of that I was looking crazy because it wasn't the time. Now it's time. And we're not going crazy, we're going Yeezy, it's a whole 'notha level now. N-O-T-H-A.
ON JOE BIDEN''A lot of times just like political parties they feel all Blacks have to be Democrat. This man, Joe Biden, said if you don't vote for me, then you are not Black. Well, act like we didn't hear that? We act like we didn't hear that man say that? That man said that. It's a rap. We gonna walk, all the people. Jay-Z said it best. For the other candidates, I just gracefully suggest y'all bow out'--Trump and Biden, gracefully bow out. It's God's country, we are doing everything in service to God, nobody but God no more. I am in service of our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ, and I put everything I get on the line to serve God.''
ON DEVELOPING POLICIES''I don't know if I would use the word policy for the way I would approach things. I don't have a policy when I went to Nike and designed Yeezy and went to Louis and designed a Louis Vuitton at the same time. It wasn't a policy, it was a design. We need to innovate the design to be able to free the mind at this time.''
ON THE WAKANDA MANAGEMENT MODEL''A lot of Africans do not like the movie [Black Panther] and representation of themselves in'...Wakanda. But I'm gonna use the framework of Wakanda right now because it's the best explanation of what our design group is going to feel like in the White House'...That is a positive idea: you got Kanye West, one of the most powerful humans'--I'm not saying the most because you got a lot of alien level superpowers and it's only collectively that we can set it free. Let's get back to Wakanda'... like in the movie in Wakanda when the king went to visit that lead scientist to have the shoes wrap around her shoes. Just the amount of innovation that can happen, the amount of innovation in medicine'--like big pharma'--we are going to work, innovate, together. This is not going to be some Nipsey Hussle being murdered, they're doing a documentary, we have so many soldiers that die for our freedom, our freedom of information, that there is a cure for AIDS out there, there is going to be a mix of big pharma and holistic.''
ON PRAYER IN SCHOOLS''Reinstate in God's state, in God's country, the fear and love of God in all schools and organizations and you chill the fear and love of everything else, so that was a plan by the Devil to have our kids committing suicide at an all-time high by removing God to have murders in Chicago at an all-time high because the human beings working for the Devil removed God and prayer from the schools. That means more drugs, more murders, more suicide.''
ON TAXES''I haven't done enough research on that yet. I will research that with the strongest experts that serve God and come back with the best solution. And that will be my answer for anything that I haven't researched. I have the earplug in and I'm going to use that earplug.''
ON CHINA''When I become president'--let me make some promises'--the NBA will open all the way back up from Nigeria to Nanchang and the world will see the greatest athletes play. The world will experience the change in their element. The money is gonna come back. I love China. I love China. It's not China's fault that disease. It's not the Chinese people's fault. They're God's people also. I love China. It changed my life. It changed my perspective, it gave me such a wide perspective. My mom as an English professor taught English in China when I was in 5th grade.''
ON CAPITAL PUNISHMENT''Thou shalt not kill. I'm against the death penalty.''
ON POLICE KILLINGSOne of my to-do lists is to end police brutality. The police are people too. To end laws that don't make sense. Like, in the George Floyd case, there was a Black guy that went to jail and it was his first day on the force. So if it's your first day on the force and it's your training day, and this OG accredited cop with 18 violations already starts filing out, are you going to jump in front of that person and lose your job that same day? Especially in this climate when 40,000 people lost their jobs? This man was put in a position where'--and also he probably didn't realize that the cop was going to take it that far, he probably was so scared, in shock, paralyzed, like so many Black people. I'm one of the few Black people that would speak openly like this.
ON HIS OTHER PRIORITIES''Clean up the chemicals. In our deodorant, in our toothpaste, there are chemicals that affect our ability to be of service to God.''
ON HIS CAMPAIGN SLOGAN''Well my second album is called Late Registration. I got a rap '... The other thing is, my campaign is Kanye West YES, not YEP, not YEAH. YES. YES. YES... When I'm president, let's also have some fun. Let's get past all the racism conversation, let's empower people with 40 acres and a mule, let's give some land, that's the plan.''
Anti-abortion, anti-vaccine & pro-fun: Kanye West doubles down on White House bid, says he will run for the 'Birthday Party' '-- RT USA News
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 14:14
Kanye West has insisted that his presidential bid is not a publicity stunt, explaining in a rollercoaster interview that his newly minted 'Birthday Party' will be anti-abortion, anti-vaccine, anti-Democratic Party and pro-fun.
The billionaire music artist turned sneaker designer told Forbes that he was running to win in November '' even though it is too late for him to register as a candidate in some states. (He'll win in 2024 if things don't work out this time around, he explained to the magazine.)
Although billing himself as an independent, West says he is forming a new Birthday Party to defeat Democrat Joe Biden and Republican incumbent Donald Trump. He chose the name ''because when we win, it's everybody's birthday.''
He is reportedly being advised by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and he has selected a little-known preacher from Wyoming, Michelle Tidball, as his running mate. West announced that their campaign slogan is ''YES!'' '' not ''YEP'' or ''YEAH,'' he clarified.
His platform contains an eclectic array of positions. West told Forbes that he was ''extremely cautious'' about efforts to develop a vaccine for coronavirus, claiming that ''they are trying to chip us'' and that the vaccine represents ''the mark of the beast.'' The billionaire also came out strongly against abortion, accusing Planned Parenthood of doing the ''Devil's work.''
Also on 'Yeezy for President': Imprisoned 'Pharma Bro' Martin Shkreli endorses Kanye West, says he can be treasury secretary West acknowledged that he hasn't hammered out a foreign policy yet, as he wants to ''focus on ourselves first'' '' a position which sounds similar to Trump's 'America First' worldview. He also has no position on taxes, but he promised to consult ''experts that serve God and come back with the best solution.''
The Birthday Party has very strong feelings about fun, however.
''When I'm president, let's also have some fun. Let's get past all the racism conversation, let's empower people with 40 acres and a mule, let's give some land, that's the plan,'' he told Forbes.
The reference comes from a post-Civil War plan which called for free land for newly freed slaves in the South.
The rapper, once a vocal Trump supporter, said he was dismayed by reports claiming the president had taken refuge in the White House bunker during Black Lives Matter protests in Washington, DC. However, he claimed that the current president could potentially be part of his political vision, and said he had no issue with siphoning off black votes from Biden, even if it hands Trump another four years. West urged both Trump and Biden to ''bow out'' of the race, saying that he alone was ''in the service of God.''
Also on 'I am running for president of the United States': Kanye West says he's joining presidential race, wins backing from Elon Musk However, the Birthday Party candidate was noticeably less charitable when describing Biden, calling the Democrat ''not special'' and arguing that it's a ''form of racism and white supremacy'' to tell black people that they must vote Democrat. Biden had claimed in an interview that ''you ain't black'' unless you support him in November '' comments which he was later forced to walk back.
According to Bloomberg, the pop culture icon has yet to file the necessary paperwork to have his name appear on state ballots. In fact, the outlet reported that West has yet to take any meaningful action that would make him eligible to win the White House in November.
West announced his presidential bid last week on Twitter. In a recent interview, Trump called the rapper's candidacy ''interesting'' but argued he had little chance of winning because he launched his campaign too late.
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Swing states may be up for grabs as Covid-19 hits Republican strongholds | US elections 2020 | The Guardian
Mon, 06 Jul 2020 15:44
Show caption The White House lit up in red, white, and blue following Donald Trump's Fourth of July 'Salute to America' event in Washington. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock
US elections 2020As the devastation of the pandemic spreads across the country, states long considered to be reliably Republican appear increasingly up for grabs
Just two months ago, Donald Trump was warning against ''bailouts'' for Democratic-run states that were grappling with the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
'We've got to do something': Republican rebels come together to take on Trump ''It's not fair to the Republicans because all the states that need help '' they're run by Democrats in every case,'' the US president said at the time, as hard-hit states such as New York and California sought federal financial relief from the impact of the virus.
Two months later, the US map of new coronavirus outbreaks looks entirely different. States that reopened quickly, as the president advised, are now seeing a surge in cases and a rising hospitalizations and that is impacting the Republican heartland. States that Trump won in 2016 account for about 75% of the new cases, according to the Associated Press.
A few of those are key swing states that Trump will almost certainly need to win again to secure a second term. And as the devastation of the pandemic spreads across the country, other states long considered to be reliably Republican also appear increasingly up for grabs.
Recent polls have shown Trump trailing Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, in battleground states like Florida and Arizona. A set of Fox News polls taken late last month also found Trump and Biden virtually tied in Texas and Georgia, two states that have long been considered Republican strongholds. All four states have reported record-high levels of new coronavirus cases in the past two weeks.
Trump has dismissed his disappointing polling numbers as ''fake'', but his re-election campaign is clearly aware of the president's growing unpopularity as he avoids confronting the latest surge in new cases. The Trump campaign placed its first television ads in Georgia late last month, and several voter registration events were held in Texas over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
''The pandemic really has clarified and highlighted both Republican failures in leadership and the need for so many of the different policy reforms that Democrats have been fighting for for years,'' said Royce Brooks, the executive director of Annie's List, which works to elect progressive women in the state, adding: ''Texas is certainly up for grabs.''
Most election experts say Trump still has the advantage in Texas, which he won by nine points in 2016, but his sinking popularity could help down-ballot Democrats secure historic victories in the state. ''We may or may not see Texas deliver a statewide win for the Democratic Senate candidate or for the presidential race, but we are absolutely on track to flip the statehouse to Democratic control in November,'' Royce said.
The situation is even worse for down-ballot Republicans in traditional swing states like Florida, where Trump has been losing ground to Biden. A Fox News poll taken late last month showed Biden leading by nine points in Florida, up from a three-point advantage in April.
''We can tell from our polling and we can tell just anecdotally that independents are being turned off, so that is a growing concern,'' said Alex Patton, a Republican strategist based in Gainesville, Florida. ''Down-ballot, people are suffering a lot.''
Those hurdles could have profound implications for the US Senate, as Democrats fight to regain control of the chamber. Texas, Georgia and Arizona are all holding Senate races this fall, and Trump's controversial comments about the coronavirus pandemic have put Republican senators in difficult positions as they prepare for their November elections.
Republican senator Martha McSally was already facing trouble in Arizona, where Democratic candidate Mark Kelly has been consistently leading in the polls. McSally has declined to distance herself from Trump, even as evidence suggests his numbers are sinking in the state. An Arizona poll taken last month showed Biden ahead by seven points, even though Democrats have only won the state once since 1952.
However, the 2018 midterms showed Arizona was an increasingly difficult state for Republicans, as suburban and Latinx voters increasingly drifted toward Democrats. McSally, who was appointed to her current Senate seat, narrowly lost her 2018 Senate race to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema. Now, as Arizona sees a rising number of coronavirus infections, Democrats believe the state's residents are ready for a change on the presidential level.
''Arizona's been in a long-term trend, especially over the last decade, away from the GOP,'' said Democratic strategist DJ Quinlan. ''But I think Covid and a number of other things have only made that happen faster.''
Chip Scutari, a political consultant based in Phoenix, Arizona, noted any incumbent president would face challenges in trying to win a second term amid a global pandemic that has caused severe financial distress. ''[Voters] don't pay attention to a lot of the policy battles, but they are paying attention when someone in their family gets sick or their dad loses a job,'' Scutari said. ''This has transcended partisan politics, in my opinion.'' He added, ''I think the battleground states have to be shifting toward a blue wave at this moment.''
Despite his complaints of ''fake polls'', Trump appears to be somewhat aware of the precarious position he is in. The president has already started to claim the election will be ''rigged'' by voter fraud because of efforts to expand voting by mail, even though voter fraud is actually very rare. Trump's baseless claims have been read as an attempt to delegitimize the election in case he loses.
''Republicans know they're in trouble. They knew it even before the pandemic,'' Brooks of Annie's List said. ''That's why they insist on engaging in voter suppression tactics here.''
Late last month, the supreme court rejected Texas Democrats' request to expand voting by mail to all voters in the state, leaving in place strict regulations on mail-in ballots. But Brooks said she is confident Texans will still turn out to vote in November.
''This is certainly not the first time in our history when people have been forced to choose between their safety and their right to vote,'' Brooks said. ''And time and time again, we have seen people choose to vote.''
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Opinion | Biden Should Not Debate Trump Unless '... - The New York Times
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 12:42
Here are two conditions the Democrat should set.
July 7, 2020President Trump at a 2016 debate and Joe Biden at a debate in March. Credit... From left: Doug Mills/The New York Times; Erin Schaff/The New York Times I worry about Joe Biden debating Donald Trump. He should do it only under two conditions. Otherwise, he's giving Trump unfair advantages.
First, Biden should declare that he will take part in a debate only if Trump releases his tax returns for 2016 through 2018. Biden has already done so, and they are on his website. Trump must, too. No more gifting Trump something he can attack while hiding his own questionable finances.
And second, Biden should insist that a real-time fact-checking team approved by both candidates be hired by the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates '-- and that 10 minutes before the scheduled conclusion of the debate this team report on any misleading statements, phony numbers or outright lies either candidate had uttered. That way no one in that massive television audience can go away easily misled.
Debates always have ground rules. Why can't telling the truth and equal transparency on taxes be conditions for this one?
Yes, the fact that we have to make truth-telling an explicit condition is an incredibly sad statement about our time; normally such things are unspoken and understood. But if the past teaches us anything, Trump might very well lie and mislead for the entire debate, forcing Biden to have to spend a majority of his time correcting Trump before making his own points.
That is not a good way for Biden to reintroduce himself to the American people. And, let's not kid ourselves, these debates will be his reintroduction to most Americans, who have neither seen nor heard from him for months if not years.
Because of Covid-19, Biden has been sticking close to home, wearing a mask and social distancing. And with the coronavirus now spreading further, and Biden being a responsible individual and role model, it's likely that he won't be able to engage with any large groups of voters before Election Day. Therefore, the three scheduled televised debates, which will garner huge audiences, will carry more weight for him than ever.
He should not go into such a high-stakes moment ceding any advantages to Trump. Trump is badly trailing in the polls, and he needs these debates much more than Biden does to win over undecided voters. So Biden needs to make Trump pay for them in the currency of transparency and fact-checking '-- universal principles that will level the playing field for him and illuminate and enrich the debates for all citizens.
Of course, Trump will stomp and protest and say, ''No way.'' Fine. Let Trump cancel. Let Trump look American voters in the eye and say: ''There will be no debate, because I should be able to continue hiding my tax returns from you all, even though I promised that I wouldn't and even though Biden has shown you his. And there will be no debate, because I should be able to make any statement I want without any independent fact-checking.''
If Trump says that, Biden can retort: ''Well, that's not a debate then, that's a circus. If that's what you want, why don't we just arm wrestle or flip a coin to see who wins?''
I get why Republican senators and Fox News don't press Trump on his taxes or call out his lies. They're afraid of him and his base and unconcerned about the truth. But why should Biden, or the rest of us, play along?
After all, these issues around taxes and truth are more vital than ever for voters to make an informed choice.
Trump, you will recall, never sold his Trump Organization holdings or put them into a blind trust '-- as past presidents did with their investments '-- to avoid any conflicts of interest. Rather, his assets are in a revocable trust, whose trustees are his eldest son, Donald Jr., and Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization's chief financial officer. Which is a joke.
Trump promised during the last campaign to release his tax returns after an I.R.S. ''audit'' was finished. Which turned out to have been another joke.
Once elected, Trump claimed that the American people were not interested in seeing his tax returns. Actually, we are now more interested than ever '-- and not just because it's utterly unfair that Biden go into the debate with all his income exposed (he and his wife, Jill, earned more than $15 million in the two years after they left the Obama administration, largely from speaking engagements and books) while Trump doesn't have to do the same.
There must be something in those tax returns that Trump really does not want the American public to see. It may be just silly '-- that he's actually not all that rich. It may have to do with the fact that foreign delegations and domestic lobbyists, who want to curry favor with him, stay in his hotel in Washington or use it for corporate entertaining.
Or, more ominously, it may be related to Trump's incomprehensible willingness to give Russian President Vladimir Putin the benefit of every doubt for the last three-plus years. Virtually every time there has been a major public dispute between Putin and U.S. intelligence agencies alleging Russian misdeeds '-- including, of late, that the Kremlin offered bounties for the killing of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan '-- Trump has sided with Putin.
The notion that Putin may have leverage over him is not crazy, given little previous hints by his sons.
As Michael Hirsh recalled in a 2018 article in Foreign Policy about how Russian money helped to save the Trump empire from bankruptcy: ''In September 2008, at the 'Bridging U.S. and Emerging Markets Real Estate' conference in New York, the president's eldest son, Donald Jr., said: 'In terms of high-end product influx into the United States, Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. Say, in Dubai, and certainly with our project in SoHo, and anywhere in New York. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.'''
The American people need to know if Trump is in debt in any way to Russian banks and financiers who might be close to Putin. Because if Trump is re-elected, and unconstrained from needing to run again, he will most likely act even more slavishly toward Putin, and that is a national security threat.
At the same time, debating Trump is unlike debating any other human being. Trump literally lies as he breathes, and because he has absolutely no shame, there are no guardrails. According to the Fact Checker team at The Washington Post, between Trump's inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017, and May 29, 2020, he made 19,127 false or misleading claims.
Biden has been dogged by bone-headed issues of plagiarism in his career, but nothing compared to Trump's daily fire hose of dishonesty, which has no rival in U.S. presidential history. That's why it's so important to insist that the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates hire independent fact-checkers who, after the two candidates give their closing arguments '-- but before the debate goes off the air '-- would present a rundown of any statements that were false or only partly true.
Only if leading into the debate, American voters have a clear picture of Trump's tax returns alongside Biden's, and only if, coming out of the debate, they have a clear picture of who was telling the truth and who was not, will they be able to make a fair judgment between the two candidates.
That kind of debate and only that kind of debate would be worthy of voters' consideration and Biden's participation.
Otherwise, Joe, stay in your basement.
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Trump's approval rating plunges in 500 counties with surging coronavirus cases | The Independent
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 11:29
Donald Trump's approval rating has taken a considerable hit amid the coronavirus pandemic, as new research revealed possible connections between the president's plunge in support and a spike in the number of new cases nationwide.
The president's approval dropped the fastest in 500 counties suffering from 28 deaths resulting from Covid-19 per 100,000 people, according to the latest data from Pew Research Centre.
By late June, his support fell 17 per cent among voters who previously said in March they approved of the president '-- just as the Covid-19 outbreak was declared a national emergency and global pandemic.
Download the new Independent Premium appSharing the full story, not just the headlines
According to Pew Research Centre, the dip in support transcended party lines and voting blocs, with an almost-equal split among Democrats and Republicans. Men and women, as well as college graduates and non-graduates, were also reportedly unified in their newfound disapproval of the president '-- particularly in counties facing a rise in coronavirus infections.
The data showed Mr Trump trailing former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, in key battleground states like Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania '-- all of which helped the president secure victory in 2016 '-- where he was losing critical support among voters aged 65 and over.
He also appeared to be struggling in states like Arizona, North Carolina and Florida, where a majority of senior voters said they disapproved of the president's response to the coronavirus pandemic in the US.
The vast majority of new cases '-- 75 percent '-- were in states that went to Mr Trump in 2016.
Mr Trump has meanwhile continued to downplay the pandemic, only acknowledging just last week that he may, in fact, wear a mask amid mounting criticism over his numerous appearances in public in which the president does not wear any face coverings.
Vice President Mike Pence has begun wearing a mask during public outings, though he has also attacked the media for ''fear-mongering'' over the virus in a recent Op-Ed published in the Wall Street Journal.
The outbreak appeared to be spreading from largely urban hotspots to more rural parts of the country, as hospitals nationwide warned they may soon reach capacity and lack critical supplies, as New York and other states similarly endured at the start of the pandemic.
Mr Trump's 2020 re-election campaign has released a statement ''strongly'' encouraging supporters at an upcoming rally in New Hampshire to wear face masks.
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How Lincoln Project anti-Trump Republicans got into his head. Spoiler alert: It was easy.
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 11:31
Seeking to defend President Donald Trump from questions over whether he actually reads his daily intelligence briefing, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters last week that "the president does read" and "is the most informed person on planet Earth when it comes to the threats we face."
Within an hour, the Lincoln Project, a super PAC run by a host of so-called never-Trump Republicans, tweeted a six-second edited video of the moment out to its more than 1 million followers in its latest attempt to troll the president.
"This is CNN breaking news," the video begins, playing a quick cut from the network, followed by McEnany saying, "The president does read."
The anti-Trump group has become ubiquitous on social media in recent weeks as the president is bogged down by the COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest. Its members include George Conway, husband of top White House official Kellyanne Conway, and prominent Republican operatives like John Weaver, Reed Galen, Steve Schmidt, Rick Wilson and Stuart Stevens, who have worked on the presidential campaigns of George W. Bush, John McCain, Mitt Romney and John Kasich.
Founded in December, the group's stated mission is to "defeat Trump and Trumpism" in 2020.
Weaver said the Lincoln Project seeks to provoke a Trump response with its ads and social media ventures while targeting white voters who may traditionally vote Republican but are uneasy about the president.
He said the group tries "to do it in such a way, as Republicans, that they're used to seeing when we would go after Democrats with the same type of language and symbolism."
During the Lincoln Project's first few months, nothing much took off. But then came the coronavirus outbreak, and the group released a pandemic-themed ad titled "Mourning in America," playing on President Ronald Reagan's 1984 re-election ad.
''Under the leadership of Donald Trump, our county is weaker and sicker and poorer,'' the ad states. "And now, Americans are asking, 'If we have another four years like this, will there even be an America?'"
View this graphic on The group spent a few thousand dollars to place the ad on Fox News in the Washington media market in early May hoping Trump would take the bait.
He did.
In a four-part tweetstorm sent just before 1 a.m. ET on May 5, Trump said the "group of RINO Republicans who failed badly 12 years ago, then again 8 years ago, and then got BADLY beaten by me, a political first timer, 4 years ago" are "doing everything possible to get even for all of their many failures." (RINO is shorthand for "Republican in name only.")
The president then called out members of the group individually, adding, "They're all LOSERS, but Abe Lincoln, Republican, is all smiles!"
It was the never-Trumpers, however, who were all smiles after Trump's lengthy attack, particularly as fundraising increased. Weaver said that ad alone got more than 30 million views, adding that in June the group had more than 110 million video views on its ads.
"By attacking us, he's become our biggest financial bundler," Weaver said. "If we were an administration, we'd probably make him ambassador to Slovenia or something, because he's raising so much money for us."
Through the end of March, the group raised had about $2.6 million and spent a little less than $1.4 million. It had spent about $223,000 against Trump as of early May. The number had increased to more than $2 million as of late June.
The group has particularly targeted Washington and swing states like Wisconsin, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. It has also spent hundreds of thousands against Republican Senate candidates in states like Arizona, Iowa and Montana.
June was its biggest month by far for expenditures in the 2020 cycle, with the group spending more than $1.46 million. Its largest donors through March included the hedge funder Andrew Redleaf, Walton family heir Christy Walton and venture capitalist Ron Conway.
"Trump is his own worst political enemy at times," Weaver said. "And there's no doubt that he has given us rocket fuel by engaging with us. I mean, it's hard to claim we're irrelevant if they're constantly attacking us."
While the group isn't one of the better-funded PACs, it has been able to take advantage of the members' large combined social media followings and prevalence on cable news.
Galen said the Lincoln Project sees itself as "a pirate ship" that, because it isn't aligned with any party, is able "to be extremely nimble" and is not subject to "a lot of hemming and hawing" over decision-making.
Recent ads mocked Trump for his smaller-than-promised crowd at his rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma; ridiculed him over the latest controversy over Russian bounty intelligence; and lampooned his handling of the coronavirus response.
View this graphic on The group also cut a spot hitting Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale over lavish spending, which included purchasing a Ferrari.
Since Trump put a bull's-eye on the Lincoln Project, Republicans and GOP-aligned groups have taken aim.
The conservative super PAC Club for Growth Action recently released an ad exclusively on Fox News in Washington ripping the Lincoln Project and accusing its members of hating Trump supporters and pocketing contributions.
Over the July 4 weekend, meanwhile, the Lincoln Project shared another user's video of Trump's Independence Day remarks that Twitter deemed "manipulated." The video made it seem as if Trump said Operation Desert Storm took place during the Vietnam War when in reality, the president had tripped up in reading his prepared remarks.
Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said in a statement that Trump "has the support of a record number of Republicans and leads a united party." He continued, "Every shred of evidence proves that Republicans enthusiastically support President Trump, so any efforts by disgruntled former Republicans are doomed to fail."
Republican strategist Matt Mackowiak, president of the Potomac Strategy Group, called the Lincoln Project a "Democrat-funded group that is doing the bidding of the left by trying to flip the Senate."
"Their 'strategy' of trying to make Trump see their ads is absurd and strategically useless," he said, adding, "But I'm sure the operatives are getting paid."
The Trump campaign has called the Lincoln Project a "scam PAC," accusing members of "lining" their pockets. In response, Lincoln Project spokesman Keith Edwards said, "No one here is buying a Ferrari."
A recent New York Times/Siena College poll found that Trump enjoys 91 percent approval among Republicans, although his numbers are slipping with some key voting groups as former Vice President Joe Biden opens up a lead nationally.
Democrats have welcomed the group's efforts, although whether it would have influence on a potential Biden administration is an open question.
Rebecca Katz, a progressive strategist, said the Lincoln Project was "not really my cup of tea, but to the extent that they can focus on Trump voters and let the Biden campaign focus on motivating the Democratic voters who stayed home in 2016, then I'm all for it."
Jesse Ferguson, a top staffer on Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign, said the Lincoln Project is "telling a powerful story about the soul of this nation '-- not about a political party, but about the character of the country versus the character of Trump."
"Defeating Palpatine even required getting Darth Vader to switch sides," he said, referring to the "Star Wars" franchise.
Lincoln Project members say they don't feel as if their mission will wrap should Biden pull off a November victory.
"From the moment that we launched back in mid-December, we said that job one is to defeat Donald Trump," Galen said.
"But from our position," he continued, "the job is not done until Joe Biden takes the oath of office on Jan. 20. And even after Joe Biden is elected and sworn in, there's a whole bunch of Trumpism left in the system."
Lame Cherry: Joe Biden is Dead to Democrats - So who will rule for Biden? THEY WANT TO LOSE
Trump and Biden campaigns shift focus to coronavirus as pandemic surges - The Washington Post
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 15:03
The Trump and Biden presidential campaigns now see the coronavirus response as the preeminent force shaping the results of November's election, prompting both camps to try to refocus their campaigns more heavily on the pandemic, according to officials and advisers of both campaigns.
Advisers to presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden see the covid-19 crisis as perhaps the clearest way yet to contrast the former vice president with President Trump, using the stumbling response and renewed surge in cases as ways to paint Trump as uninformed, incapable of empathy and concerned only about his own political standing.
Trump's advisers, by contrast, are seeking ways to reframe his response to the coronavirus '-- even as the president himself largely seeks to avoid the topic because he views it as a political loser. They are sending health officials to swing states, putting doctors on TV in regional markets where the virus is surging, crafting messages on an economic recovery and writing talking points for allies to deliver to potential voters.
The goal is to convince Americans that they can live with the virus '-- that schools should reopen, professional sports should return, a vaccine is likely to arrive by the end of the year and the economy will continue to improve.
White House officials also hope Americans will grow numb to the escalating death toll and learn to accept tens of thousands of new cases a day, according to three people familiar with the White House's thinking, who requested anonymity to reveal internal deliberations. Americans will ''live with the virus being a threat,'' in the words of one of those people, a senior administration official.
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''They're of the belief that people will get over it or if we stop highlighting it, the base will move on and the public will learn to accept 50,000 to 100,000 new cases a day,'' said a former administration official in touch with the campaign.
Trump campaign officials and advisers recognize that the administration's coronavirus response presents one of their biggest political challenges in coming months, as voters generally disapprove of Trump's handling of the virus and the push to reopen, while still giving Trump higher marks than Biden on the economy.
Faced with some of Trump's tide of problematic comments '-- such as suggesting lungs could be cleaned of coronavirus with disinfectants '-- the administration also plans to rely on surrogates to speak on the issue, including Vice President Pence and White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx. Several advisers have proposed coronavirus events in upcoming weeks that Trump has agreed to participate in that will highlight a potential vaccine and economic recovery, according to two campaign advisers and a White House official.
Several advisers said Trump is still shellshocked by the faltering economy, protests over racial injustice and his declining political fortunes. Some close to Trump, including a range of Republican senators and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), have encouraged him to focus on blaming China for the pandemic and to emphasize the administration's successes in the response, including preventing a widely feared ventilator shortage and increasing the country's testing capacity to 500,000 tests a day.
''Anytime you're an incumbent, you kind of own these things more than the challengers,'' said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), adding that the election will hinge on whether the economy has made a robust recovery, which can happen only if the outbreak comes under control.
Biden has ramped up attacks on Trump's response and outlined how he would place the federal government at the center of the response if he is elected, a contrast to Trump's decision to largely leave it to the states to procure testing kits and personal protective equipment and decide when and how to reopen. Trump reiterated his belief on Wednesday that the virus would simply ''disappear,'' despite new daily infections surpassing 50,000 for the first time last week and more than 127,000 Americans dying from the disease.
Trump's May days: A month of distractions and grievances as nation marks bleak coronavirus milestone
''From really January on, Vice President Biden has been laser-focused on the rising risk to the American people presented by this pandemic,'' said Biden campaign adviser Ariana Berengaut. ''You can almost imagine them side by side '-- Trump's leadership and Biden's leadership. .'‰.'‰. Trump has no plan for tomorrow, no plan for a week from now, so there is absolutely no plan for the fall, and that's what encapsulates the whole arc of that contrast.''
Polls have shown Americans growing increasingly worried about the course of the outbreak. A Gallup poll released Thursday found a new high of 65 percent of Americans saying that the coronavirus situation is getting worse '-- up from 48 percent the week before.
And Trump's approval rating has steadily slipped since March. In a Washington Post average of polls, Biden led Trump by 11 points in June, up from an eight-point lead in May and a six- to seven-point lead between February and April.
''Trump is increasingly defined in voters' minds by his failing response to the coronavirus crisis, and virtually every action and position he's taken have been wildly out of sync with where the public is at on what should be done,'' said Democratic pollster Geoff Garin. ''Biden now has a remarkable opportunity to contrast himself with this failure of leadership that a large majority of voters see so clearly.''
Republican leaders now say everyone should wear a mask '-- even as Trump refuses and mocks some who do
Biden delivered a 20-minute speech on Tuesday outlining actions he would take as president to bring the outbreak under control and criticized Trump for having ''surrendered'' to the virus and refusing to wear a mask in public.
Biden's campaign plans to continue hammering Trump for what they perceive as his failed response and highlighting many of his most controversial statements, including his claim that he asked officials to ''slow down the testing,'' his push of unproven drugs, his accusation that health-care workers were stealing masks and his sidelining of scientists.
They also plan to put out policies and proposals as the course of the virus changes, one Biden campaign adviser said, to continue making the case that ''the country would be in a much different place today .'‰.'‰. if Joe Biden had been the president in January.''
''Make no mistake: We are still in a deep, deep jobs hole because Donald Trump has so badly bungled the response to the coronavirus and now has basically given up responding at all,'' Biden said Thursday. ''Millions more Americans would still have their jobs today if Donald Trump had done his job. And many of the jobs that have now come back should never have been lost in the first place.''
Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said the campaign plans to highlight the ''radical ramping up of testing,'' along with private-sector collaboration that secured more ventilators than the country eventually needed.
''Every time he opens his mouth, he gives the same speech,'' Murtaugh said of Biden. ''They act as if Biden is sitting in some position of authority to be armchair quarterbacking on this.''
White House spokeswoman Sarah Matthews said in a statement that ''President Trump's response has marshaled the power and might of the greatest mobilization since World War II'' to combat the coronavirus and that he ''will rebuild the most inclusive economy in history.''
A key problem is that Trump himself has resisted focusing on the pandemic as deaths have climbed, saying that no matter what he does, it will not be a ''good story'' for him, one senior administration official said.
Biden escalates criticism of Trump on coronavirus as cases grow nationwide
Trump has attacked Biden for the Obama administration's response to the 2009 H1N1 swine flu outbreak and what the former vice president said after Trump decided on Jan. 31 to ban most travel from China to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
From April 2009 to April 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that there were about 12,500 deaths from the swine flu '-- far fewer than the 30,000 to 90,000 deaths once projected.
Trump has also repeatedly referenced Biden's comments following the China travel ban. ''We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus. We need to lead the way with science '-- not Donald Trump's record of hysteria, xenophobia and fearmongering. He is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency,'' Biden wrote on Twitter on Feb. 1, the day after the China travel restrictions were announced.
Fact Checker: How specific were Biden's warnings on coronavirus?
Communications aides hope to work with Trump so that he can talk about his administration's response in a more effective and comprehensive way and are planning coronavirus-focused events for coming weeks, according to two senior administration officials, who requested anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
The campaign and White House have compiled extensive talking points in an effort to reframe the administration's response '-- or, at the very least, ''fight it back closer to a draw,'' one of the senior administration officials said.
Kanye West says he's serious about a 2020 White House bid despite no organization and other obstacles - The Washington Post
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 14:16
Rapper Kanye West has no campaign organization and has already missed the filing deadline in a few key states, but he confirmed in an interview published Wednesday that he has broken ranks with President Trump and plans a late-hour White House bid this year.
''God just gave me the clarity and said it's time,'' West told Forbes in a meandering interview in which he clarified that a Saturday tweet announcing a run for president referred to this year and not 2024, which had been his original plan.
Among other details, West disclosed that his running mate will be Michelle Tidball, a little-known preacher from Wyoming, that his campaign slogan will be ''YES!'' and that he will run under the banner of the Birthday Party.
''Because when we win, it's everybody's birthday,'' West said.
Rapper Kanye West calls Trump 'my brother' '-- 'very cool!' Trump responds
West, who has enjoyed a friendly relationship with Trump, including a high-profile visit to the White House, suggested that he no longer supports the president's reelection.
''I am taking the red hat off, with this interview,'' West said, referring to the red Make America Great Again cap he has frequently donned.
West '-- who has also started promoting a forthcoming album '-- has not registered as a candidate and has already missed the filing deadline to run as an independent in a few key states, including North Carolina and Texas. Deadlines are rapidly approaching in others. It remains unclear whether he could mobilize quickly enough to be much of a factor in the race '-- or if he will actually follow through with a bid.
At one point in the interview, West said, ''I'm walking. I'm not running.''
His tweet on Saturday prompted speculation that his bid could be an attempt to siphon off African American votes from Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, in an effort to bolster Trump.
Speaking to Forbes, West made clear that he's not a fan of the former vice president, comparing him unfavorably to past Democratic presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
''Joe Biden?'' West said. ''Like come on man, please. You know? Obama's special. Trump's special. We say Kanye West is special. America needs special people that lead. Bill Clinton? Special. Joe Biden's not special.''
In an interview Tuesday with RealClearPolitics, Trump said a 2020 bid by West would be ''a trial run'' for 2024 in his view.
''It'd have to be limited to certain states because in some states the deadline has been missed,'' Trump said, adding that he finds the prospect ''very interesting.''
Houston mayor cancels Texas GOP convention | One America News Network
Thu, 09 Jul 2020 12:00
FILE '' In this June 28, 2020 file photo, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner speaks in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip File)
OAN NewsroomUPDATED 6:25 PM PT '-- Wednesday, July 8, 2020Officials in the city of Houston, Texas have cancelled the state's Republican convention. On Wednesday, Democrat Mayor Sylvester Turner announced he has instructed the city's convention center to cancel the event.
Today I instructed the Houston First Corporation to exercise its right contractually in cancelling the State's Republican Convention that was set to take place next week at GRB. #COVID19
'-- Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) July 8, 2020
It was supposed to be held there next week, but Turner claimed it would've posed a ''clear and present'' danger.
''No one wanted to make this even appear to be political,'' he stated. ''Houston is a hot spot right now in a global pandemic and we cannot have thousands of people gathering inside the George R. Brown.''
Today's City of Houston #COVID19 update.
'-- Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) July 8, 2020
People wait inside their vehicles in line at COVID-19 testing site Wednesday, July 8, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
The chairman of the Texas Republican Party slammed the decision. He questioned what prompted the move, especially following the mass protests that were allowed to take place in the same location recently.
''This cancellation is not about the health and safety of Houstonians, or the delegates and guests to our convention. We made every effort to conduct our convention in a safe manner, working cooperatively with the convention center (and) going well beyond the requirements of the center's health safety plan. If Mayor Turner's motivations were pure, he could have cancelled the lease weeks ago. Instead, he waited until the eve of the convention to inflict the greatest disruption.'' '' James Dickey, Chairman of the Texas Republican Party
The chairman added the party is weighing its legal options.
''Make no mistake, our state convention will continue unimpeded,'' he said. ''If necessary, we will protect the rights of our delegates and complete the electoral business delegated to us by the U.S. Constitution and the laws of the state of Texas using online technologies.''
RELATED: Houston Health Officials Worried For Weeks To Come
Social Networks use likes and algos to focus preferred messaging
How to Win Friends: Have a Big Amygdala? |
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 04:19
Dorling Kindersley/Getty ImagesGot a big social network? Then you probably have a large amygdala, according to a new study that found a connection between the size of this brain region and the number of social relationships a person has. The complexity of those relationships '-- as measured by the number of people who occupied multiple roles in a social network such as being simultaneously a friend and a co-worker '-- was also linked with amygdala size.
The findings are in line with past animal studies that have shown that species with larger social groups have relatively larger amygdalas, when brain and body size are taken into account, compared with less social animals. ''Our question was, could we see this variation within a single species?'' says lead author Lisa Barrett, director of the Interdisciplinary Affective Science Laboratory at Northeastern University. (More on Where Does Fear Come From? (Hint: It's Not the Creepy Basement)
Understanding the relationship between the size of an individual's amygdala and his or her social relationships could help lead to treatments for a variety of conditions that involve difficulties with social connections, such as depression or autism.
So what does the amygdala actually do? ''[It's] strongly connected with almost every other structure in brain. In the past, people assumed it was really important for fear. Then they discovered it was actually important for all emotions. And it's also important for social interaction and face recognition,'' Barrett says. ''The amygdala's job in general is to signal to the rest of brain when something that you're faced with is uncertain. For example, if you don't know who someone is, and you are trying to identify them, whether it is a friend or a foe, the amygdala is probably playing a role in helping you to perform all of those tasks.''
Barrett says it is commonly assumed that the size of a structure reflects its computational capacity, noting that if your larger amygdala easily allows you to identify people you've met before at a cocktail party, you will have a much easier time connecting and socializing. ''You can imagine that might be one thing someone with big amygdala might be better at and that might lay the foundation for easier formation of social bonds,'' she says. (More on Why That Rich Guy is Being So Nice to You)
The research, which was published in Nature Neuroscience, found a moderate correlation between amygdala size and the number and complexity of social relationships in 58 healthy adults aged 19 to 83.
Interestingly, however, amygdala size was not related to the quality of those relationships or to whether or not people enjoyed socializing. ''We looked at measures of 'How much do you enjoy social interaction?' and 'Are you satisfied with your social support?' and that was not related to amygdala volume,'' says Barrett.
Prior research has shown that people with autistic spectrum disorders have smaller amygdalas, which could help explain their social problems. But these studies cannot determine cause or effect '-- whether having a small amygdala makes socializing difficult, or whether lack of social interaction shrinks the amygdala '-- or whether both factors interact and result in a smaller brain region. For example, it may be that the amygdala requires a certain amount of social experience in order to develop properly; not receiving that, it may remain small but capable of further growth given the right social exposure. (More on Forget the Joneses: How Envy Drives Destructive Behavior)''This study represents an important initial study in human neurosociology '-- the study of the neurobiology of human living groups. The findings, while preliminary, suggest that the structure and functional capacity of our brain is influenced by the nature, quality and quantity of relational connections we '-- and our extended relational community '-- have,'' says Dr. Bruce Perry, senior fellow at the ChildTrauma Academy who was not associated with the research. (Full disclosure: Perry and I have co-authored two books.)
While this study did not look at the size of people's online social networks, the researchers plan to include those measures in future research to determine their influence.
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U.S. Officials Warn Health Researchers: China May Be Trying to Steal Your Data - The New York Times
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 19:29
The National Institutes of Health has a budget of $39 billion this year, with more than $4 out of every $5 distributed to researchers around the country. Credit... Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press WASHINGTON '-- The Trump administration has warned scientists doing biomedical research at American universities that they may be targets of Chinese spies trying to steal and exploit information from their laboratories.
Scientists and universities receiving funds from the National Institutes of Health for cutting-edge research need to tighten their security procedures and take other precautions, said a panel of experts commissioned by the agency to investigate ''foreign influences on research integrity.''
''Unfortunately, some foreign governments have initiated systematic programs to unduly influence and capitalize on U.S.-conducted research, including that funded by N.I.H.,'' the panel said in a report last month to the director of the N.I.H., Dr. Francis S. Collins.
''Nontraditional collectors of information,'' as Dr. Collins and Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director, call the data thieves, have shared intellectual property with Beijing, run ''shadow laboratories'' in China and even pilfered biomedical secrets from confidential grant applications '-- all using a research system funded by American taxpayers.
''N.I.H. has basically been operating on the principle that everyone is well intentioned,'' said Scott Kennedy, an expert on China at the Center for Strategic and International Studies who briefed the N.I.H. working group. ''Then they run smack dab into the challenge of China, which has millions of researchers scrambling for money and for fame and for national glory. That creates an environment where some people may feel pressure to skirt, ignore or break the rules.''
In some cases, Dr. Collins and Mr. Wray said, Chinese graduate students or visitors have taken intellectual property from American laboratories and given it to Chinese scientists or arms of the Chinese government, which published and commercialized the findings.
In other cases, scientists who received grants from the N.I.H. had shadow laboratories in China, which also received funds from the Chinese government. The foreign funding and affiliations were, in some cases, unknown to the National Institutes of Health and even to the American universities where the scientists worked.
Particularly worrisome to American officials was the finding that China had somehow obtained confidential information from applications for N.I.H. research grants. Under federal law, the N.I.H. uses an elaborate process of peer review to evaluate applications, and information in the applications '-- providing valuable insights into some of the world's most advanced biomedical research '-- is supposed to remain confidential.
Congress has poured money into the institutes, which have a budget of $39 billion this year, up 30 percent from 2014, and lawmakers say the agency has been phenomenally productive. More than $4 out of every $5 is distributed to researchers around the country studying cancer, heart disease, diabetes and myriad other conditions.
In a letter to more than 10,000 institutions that receive grants from the N.I.H., Dr. Collins said he was concerned about the ''sharing of confidential information on grant applications by N.I.H. peer reviewers with others, including foreign entities.''
N.I.H. officials said they had already taken some steps, like the letter, to remind grantees of their responsibilities and were having their lawyers review other possible measures to tighten security. The Trump administration has broadly sought to crack down on what it views as Chinese theft of American technology and has, for example, moved to limit the duration of visas for some Chinese students in certain high-tech fields.
The expert panel said that ''peer review is a cornerstone of N.I.H. activities,'' so violations, though uncommon, are ''extremely problematic.''
The institutes confirmed ''breaches in the integrity'' of the peer review process, but refused to provide details, saying some cases were still under investigation.
''The biomedical research enterprise is under constant threat by risks to the security of intellectual property and the integrity of peer review,'' Dr. Collins said, and ''the magnitude of these risks is increasing.''
Health officials are trying to balance the need to protect against foreign threats with the openness and collaboration that have long been prized by scientists. ''The vast majority of foreign nationals make incredibly important contributions to American science,'' Dr. Collins said.
Image ''The biomedical research enterprise is under constant threat by risks to the security of intellectual property and the integrity of peer review,'' said the director of the health institutes, Dr. Francis S. Collins, and ''the magnitude of these risks is increasing.'' Credit... Sait Serkan Gurbuz/Associated Press The chairman of the panel, Dr. M. Roy Wilson, the president of Wayne State University, in Detroit, said a Chinese talent-recruitment program appeared to be ''a particular source of many of these infractions.'' The 10-year-old program, known as the Thousand Talents Plan, aims to lure global experts from Western universities and private companies to work in China and build its capabilities in science and technology.
China has seen a surge in spending on science and technology in the past decade, along with a huge increase in the number of articles published by Chinese scientists in peer-reviewed journals, according to the National Science Foundation.
The F.B.I. works with universities to make them aware of the risks and has even circulated a guide to ''academic espionage tradecraft.''
But Mr. Wray, the bureau director, told Congress last year that ''the level of na¯vet(C) on the part of the academic sector about this creates its own issues.''
China, he said, is ''exploiting the very open research and development environment that we have, which we all revere.''
Researchers who receive N.I.H. grants are supposed to report other sources of financial support for their work, but the requirements are somewhat vague and have not been vigorously enforced.
''It is not clear that these disclosure requirements adequately address the significant and pervasive threats posed by foreign entities to our research institutions and the integrity of taxpayer-funded studies,'' Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, said in a recent letter to Dr. Collins.
Far from denying or minimizing the problem, some American college presidents and medical school deans welcome federal efforts to alert them to foreign influences affecting the work of their faculty members.
''In our perception, this is a very serious problem,'' said Dr. Ross McKinney Jr., the chief scientific officer at the Association of American Medical Colleges, whose members receive large amounts of money from the N.I.H. ''We still view research as a collaborative endeavor, but there is a sense that there may be some cheating going on.''
Dr. McKinney said it appeared that researchers with well-funded ''shadow labs'' in China had been instructed not to disclose their existence to the N.I.H. because few did so.
This had two perverse effects. ''Those scientists could have a competitive advantage over other people applying for N.I.H. funds because they had two labs doing the work of one,'' Dr. McKinney said. ''In addition, they could claim that the discoveries occurred in China, even if they were really a result of research originally performed in the U.S., and the Chinese lab could keep the ideas as trade secrets for further development.''
Under federal law, economic espionage involving the misappropriation of trade secrets for the benefit of a foreign government is a crime.
Dr. Lawrence A. Tabak, the principal deputy director of the National Institutes of Health, said that the ''N.I.H. is not a law enforcement agency'' and ''does not conduct law enforcement investigations.''
But he said his agency worked closely with the Justice Department to prevent ''unacceptable breaches of trust and confidentiality that undermine the integrity of U.S. biomedical research.''
The advisory panel, which had eight members, including five university presidents, said the N.I.H. should expand the disclosure requirements and make them more explicit, to ''reduce the risk of data misappropriation.''
The N.I.H. has told universities that federal officials also want to know about ''duplicative funding for the same or similar projects.'' And it urged universities to ''reach out to an F.B.I. field office'' to obtain additional information.
''Even though you could argue that what we're doing doesn't relate to the national security, in a sense it does relate to our economic security,'' Dr. Tabak said. ''And it's produced with taxpayer dollars.''
NO to LD 2117 & Government Database of All Patient Prescriptions - AAPS | Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
Thu, 09 Jul 2020 12:27
Dear AAPS Members and Friends,
The Maine legislature is considering a bill, LD 2117, that would significantly expand the state's Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program into a database of EVERY prescription dispensed to EVERY patient in the state.
The bill language states: ''No later than January 1, 2021, the department shall expand the program to include the reporting of the dispensing of all prescription drugs'....''
This is a massive overreach of government into the patient-physician relationship and an egregious violation of patients' privacy. In addition, PDMPs focused solely on controlled substances, do not even achieve the goal of reducing opioid deaths as claimed.
Data required to be submitted, by each dispenser, for each prescription, will include the following:
And a wide array of entities are allowed access to the data.
The purported rationale for the legislation is to facilitate ''patient safety activities.'' However patient safety should be accomplished without violating the rights of the citizens of Maine and is properly managed by a patient, the patient's physician, and other medical professionals the patient chooses to involve in his or her care.
If you're not in Maine, we are letting you know so you can keep an eye out for dangerous bills like this in your state. Please let us know if you are aware of similar legislation. If you are in Maine, or have a connection to that state, read on for instructions about communicating with legislators and asking them to to stop LD 2117.
At 1pm on March 10, the bill will be considered by the Committee on Health and Human Service in Cross Building, Room 209, at the Capitol in Augusta.
PLEASE take a minute or two to speak out and ask the Committee Members to Vote NO on LD 2117.
Here's a template message you can copy and paste. Please consider adding in comments in your own words:
Dear Chair Gratwick, Chair Hymanson, and Members of the Committee on Health and Human Services:
I ask you to vote ''No'' on LD 2117. Patient safety is an important goal, but expanding the collection of private medical information by the State of Maine, without patient consent, is the wrong approach. Not only does it violate patients' privacy, but it is likely to result in patient harm. If patients cannot trust that information concerning their personal medical history will remain between them, their physicians, and other medical professionals, they may hesitate to seek out or delay necessary medical care.
Thank you for standing up for the rights of citizens of Maine and rejecting LD 2117.
You can submit official testimony using the following link:
Choose ''Health and Human Services'' from the Committee drop down menu, then ''Mar 10 2020 1:00PM'' from the Date menu, and be sure to check the LD 2117 box.
The menu boxes look like this:
War on Cash
There's a nationwide shortage of coins because of the pandemic - CNN
Mon, 06 Jul 2020 21:35
(CNN)Masks were the first to go. Then toilet paper flew off shelves. And while Americans are being nickel-and-dimed with coronavirus-related costs in a shaky economy, the latest national shortage includes, well, nickels and dimes.
There's a coin shortage in the US.
"What's happened is that, with the partial closure of the economy, the flow of coins through the economy has gotten all '-- it's kind of stopped," Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said during a
virtual hearing with the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday.
That's because the
supply chain that coins usually flow through has been interrupted during the pandemic, Powell said.
Banks and businesses have shuttered or changed the way they operate. And so there are fewer coins reaching the public.
"The places where you go to give your coins, and get credit at the store and get cash '-- you know, folding money '-- those have not been working. Stores have been closed," he said. "So the whole system has kind of, had come to a stop."
The impact
the hearing Wednesday, Rep. John Rose of Tennessee told Powell that banks in his district were notified by the Federal Reserve that they'd only receive a small portion of their weekly coin order. The banks told him they'd likely run out of coins by the end of the week or may need to round up or down if they run low, Rose said.
"In a time when pennies are the difference between profitability and loss, it seems like it might be a bigger concern than the announcement from the Fed would indicate that it is," Rose said.
What's being done
To mitigate the coin shortage, the Federal Reserve Banks began the "strategic allocation of coin inventories" this week to evenly distribute coins across banks and credit unions. Those "strategic allocation" measures include imposing order limits based on the historic order volume of those coins and how many coins the US Mint is currently producing.
In the meantime, the Federal Reserve is working with the Mint to produce more coins and lift supply constraints. The Reserve encourages institutions to order only the amount of coins they need to meet customer demand in the short term.
"Although the Federal Reserve is confident that the coin inventory issues will resolve once the economy opens more broadly and the coin supply chain returns to normal circulation patterns, we recognize that these measures alone will not be enough to resolve near'term issues," the Reserve Banks statement said.
Federal Reserve officials believe the shortage is temporary, Powell said.
"As the economy reopens, we're seeing coins begin to move around again," he said.
The Latest Pandemic Shortage: Coins : NPR
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 21:20
Banks around the U.S. are running low on nickels, dimes, quarters and even pennies because of problems with production and distribution caused by coronavirus pandemic. Stephen Hilger/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption Stephen Hilger/Bloomberg via Getty Images Banks around the U.S. are running low on nickels, dimes, quarters and even pennies because of problems with production and distribution caused by coronavirus pandemic.
Stephen Hilger/Bloomberg via Getty Images Updated at 1:25 p.m. ET
Just as supplies of toilet paper are finally getting back to normal, the coronavirus has triggered another shortage of something we typically take for granted: pocket change.
Banks around the U.S. are running low on nickels, dimes, quarters and even pennies. And the Federal Reserve, which supplies banks, has been forced to ration scarce supplies.
"It was just a surprise," said Gay Dempsey, who runs the Bank of Lincoln County in Tennessee, when she learned of the rationing order. "Nobody was expecting it."
Dempsey's bank typically dispenses 400 to 500 rolls of pennies each week. Under the rationing order, her allotment was cut down to just 100 rolls, with similar cutbacks in nickels, dimes and quarters.
That spells trouble for Dempsey's business customers, who need the coins to stock cash registers all around Lincoln County, Tenn.
"You think about all your grocery stores and convenience stores and a lot of people that still operate with cash," Dempsey said. "They have to have that just to make change."
Rural banks in particular seem to be getting shortchanged, according to Colin Barrett, CEO of the Tennessee Bankers Association.
Rep. John Rose, R-Tenn., sounded the alarm last week during a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee.
"My fear is that customers who use these banks will react very poorly," Rose said. "And I know that we all don't want to wake up to headlines in the near future such as 'Banks Out of Money.' "
The congressman warned that if businesses are unable to make exact change, they'll be forced to round up or round down, "in a time when pennies are the difference between profitability and loss."
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell assured Rose that the central bank is monitoring the situation closely.
"We're working with the mint to increase supply, and we're working with the reserve banks to get that supply where it needs to be," Powell said. "So we think it's a temporary situation."
The U.S. Mint produced fewer coins than usual this spring in an effort to protect employees from infection. But the larger problem '-- as with many other pandemic shortages '-- is distribution.
During the lockdown, many bank lobbies where people can recycle coins were off limits. And coin-sorting kiosks in retail stores saw reduced traffic. With many businesses closed, unused coins piled up in darkened cash drawers, in pants pockets and on nightstands, even as banks went begging.
"The flow of coins through the economy ... kind of stopped," Powell said.
The Fed chairman stressed that this clog in the financial plumbing should clear quickly, now that businesses are reopening, and that supplies of coins should soon be back to normal.
Coinstar, which operates 17,000 coin-sorting kiosks around the country, says people have started cashing in more change as stay-at-home orders are lifted.
"We've been making more frequent coin pick-ups to help get coins back into circulation," said Coinstar CEO Jim Gaherity.
In the meantime, Dempsey, the banker, has secured an emergency stash of coins from some of her business customers who run vending machines and laundromats.
While a growing number of people rely on credit cards or smartphone apps for many transactions today, the coin crunch is a reminder that sometimes you just need change.
"Cash is still king, I guess," Dempsey mused.
The drugs found in Michael Jackson's body after he died - BBC Newsbeat
Mon, 06 Jul 2020 10:00
Michael Jackson's physician, Doctor Conrad Murray, has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter by a jury in Los Angeles.
During the trial they were shown images of the singer lying dead in a hospital and rehearsing the day before his death.
The prosecution team claimed Conrad Murray was an incompetent physician who used an anaesthetic called Propofol without the proper safeguards.
The defence said Jackson caused his own death by taking a drug overdose, including Propofol, after Murray left his bedroom on the day of his death.
Find out what drugs were found in Michael Jackson's body.
PropofolPropofol is a fast-acting hospital sedative, administered intravenously and used before anaesthetics. It was first used widely in the late 1980s.
The drug, which Conrad Murray gave to the singer to help him sleep, is made by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and is also sold under the brand name Diprivan.
Image caption The prosecution team said Murray used large quantities of Propofol
Experts say Propofol is extremely powerful and not meant for use outside hospitals and clinics.
Propofol was referred to by Michael Jackson as his "milk" because of the milk-like appearance.
The drug is administered either by intravenous drip or by being injected ahead of an anaesthetic, or to keep a patient anesthetized during an operation.
It is a preferred sedative in operating theatres because it is well tolerated and allows patients to recover quicker.
It's commonly used in outpatient surgery or as a sedative for certain examinations.
Propofol is also used as a painkiller or anti-anxiety drug in post-operative care.
LorazepamConrad Murray told police in 2009 that he gave Michael Jackson other drugs known as benzodiazepines, which are also used as sleep aids.
But when they did not work, he claimed Jackson demanded Propofol.
Murray's defence lawyer Ed Chernoff said the singer swallowed several pills of Lorazepam on the morning of his death, enough to put six people to sleep.
It is widely used as a sedative and muscle relaxant.
Also known as Ativan and Temesta, the drug is used short-term for insomnia, anxiety, seizures and for sedating aggressive patients.
MidazolamMidazolam is used in a similar way to Lorazepam.
It is widely used as a sedative and to treat seizures.
Also know as Dormicum, Hypnovel and Versed, the drug is also used short-term to treat severe insomnia and anxiety.
Jackson was given four milligrams of the drug on the morning of his death.
DiazepamDiazepam is better known as Valium.
It's used as a relaxant for patients suffering from insomnia and anxiety as well as seizures.
Michael Jackson was given a 10 milligram tablet of Diazepam at 1.30am on the morning of his death because he couldn't sleep.
LidocaineLidocaine is a local anaesthetic and is sometimes used to treat skin inflammations.
It is used by dentists to anaesthetise patients' gums.
Michael Jackson had a dose of Propofol diluted with Lidocaine at 10.40am on the day of his death.
EphedrineEphedrine was also found in Michael Jackson's body.
It is primarily used as an appetite suppressant and stimulant.
Dutch arrests after discovery of 'torture chamber' in sea containers | World news | The Guardian
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 19:24
Police raids offer chilling insight into increasingly violent criminal underworld
A press conference last week at the Hague on the dismantling of the encrypted criminal communication network. Detectives in the UK and Netherlands have arrested hundreds of suspects based on the encrypted messages.Photograph: Hollandse Hoogte/Rex/ShutterstockDutch police have arrested six men after discovering sea containers that had been converted into a makeshift prison and sound-proofed ''torture chamber'' complete with a dentist's chair, tools including pliers and scalpels and handcuffs, a high-ranking officer announced.
Authorities said police conducted the raid before the converted containers could be used and alerted potential victims, who went into hiding.
The discovery was made last month by officers investigating leads generated by data from encrypted phones used by criminals that were cracked recently by French police. Detectives in the UK and the Netherlands have arrested hundreds of suspects based on the encrypted messages.
Tuesday's announcement gave a chilling insight into the increasingly violent Dutch criminal underworld, which is involved in the large-scale production and trafficking of drugs.
Dutch police said last week their investigations, codenamed 26Lemont, based on millions of messages from the EncroChat phones, had led to the arrest of more than 100 suspects and the seizure of more than 8,000kg (17,600lbs) of cocaine and 1,200kg (2,600 lbs) of crystal meth, as well as the dismantling of 19 synthetic drugs labs and seizure of dozens of firearms.
On 22 June, Dutch national police force officers arrested six men on suspicion of crimes including preparing kidnappings and serious assault. Detectives also discovered the seven converted sea containers in a warehouse in Wouwse Plantage, a village in the south-west of the country, close to the border with Belgium.
They were tipped off by messages from an EncroChat phone that included photos of the containers and dentist's chair with belts attached to the arm and foot supports. The messages called the warehouse the ''treatment room'' and the ''ebi'', a reference to a top security Dutch prison. The messages also revealed identities of potential victims, who were warned and went into hiding, police said.
Video released by the police showed heavily armed officers blasting open a door at the warehouse and discovering the improvised prison. Another armed team detained a suspect in Rotterdam.
''Six of the containers were intended as cells in which people could be tied up and one container was intended as a torture chamber,'' Andy Kraag, the head of the police's national investigation service, said in a video, adding that the police operation ''prevented a number of violent crimes''.
A search of the containers uncovered bags containing tools including hedge cutters, scalpels and pliers. The items ''were likely intended to torture victims or at least put them under pressure'', the police said.
In searches of other properties, including what police described as a base for the criminals near Rotterdam, officers found police uniforms and body armour, stolen vehicles, 25 firearms and drugs.
A court in Amsterdam ordered the six suspects to be held for 90 days as investigations continue.
''This is a great result of the 26Lemont investigation,'' Kraag said. ''And, take it from me, many more results will follow.''
Inside Ghislaine Maxwell's Life on the Lam | Vanity Fair
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 13:59
''Ghislaine, is that you?'' The woman making her way into the first-class cabin of a commercial flight from Miami to New York City was almost unrecognizable. Her attire, once stylish and attention grabbing, now seemed designed to deflect notice; her face, usually painted to perfection, was devoid of makeup. There was a hint of gray in her signature black bob, and her days of starvation diets and charity-circuit appearances seemed far behind her. Wearing no traces of her glamorous New York life, much of it once provided by Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell could have been anybody. Or nobody.
It was the spring of 2018, and it had been a decade since Maxwell's former best friend and lover had served 13 months in a Palm Beach jail, with time free on work release, after pleading guilty to two charges, including soliciting a minor for prostitution. Maxwell, who had sold her Manhattan home'--a five-story, 7,000-square-foot town house on East 65th Street'--was essentially homeless. ''No fixed address,'' someone claiming firsthand knowledge of her situation would later say. She might have spent the flight in anonymity had she not been spotted by a friend from New York who was sitting just behind her in the second row. ''I was so shocked by her look,'' the friend recalls. ''I didn't recognize her.''
Maxwell playing chess with her father, Robert Maxwell, while seated in her sister's lap, 1964; posing with her mother, Elisabeth, in Jerusalem four days after Robert's death, 1991. Top, from News Licensing/MEGA; bottom, by Esaias BAITEL/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images. Watching a soccer match between Oxford and Brighton with her father, 1984; escorting her father's coffin from a chartered jet at Jerusalem airport, 1991. Top, from PA Images/Alamy; bottom, from Trinity Mirror/Alamy.The friend had known all the incarnations of Ghislaine Maxwell: the cherished youngest daughter of the British media baron Robert Maxwell, who died during a voyage on his yacht, Lady Ghislaine, under mysterious circumstances in 1991; the ''broken bird'' who returned to New York to move into a smaller apartment and launch a new life as a business consultant; the boldface-name Ghislaine, who seemed to be everywhere at once, so socially connected and sexually self-assured that she once hosted a dinner for East Side socialites on the fine art of giving a blow job, with dildos at each place setting; and the longtime companion of Epstein, a man even richer and more mysterious than her father. She had served him for years, maintaining his homes, ranch, and private island, all the while allegedly recruiting and grooming a steady stream of girls for him and his powerful friends. Sometimes, federal prosecutors say, Maxwell herself took part in the sexual abuse.
By the time the friend ran into her on the plane, Maxwell and one of Epstein's victims, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, had settled a lawsuit in which Giuffre accused Maxwell of recruiting her as a ''sex slave'' for Epstein and Prince Andrew, among others, when she was only 17. Now Maxwell was in the process of quietly withdrawing from the life she had made for herself. She shuttered the ocean-protection charity she had founded, the TerraMar Project, which left her with debts of $549,093. She even gave up her name, sometimes introducing herself to new acquaintances only as ''G.'' Yet here she was, on a commercial flight from Miami to New York.
For a moment, as the two friends chatted, the old Maxwell burst through: the Oxford-educated, knows-everybody-and-everything Maxwell, the woman who wanted to save the oceans but couldn't seem to save herself from the men in her life. ''Where are you living, Ghislaine?'' the friend asked. ''I lost touch with you.''
Maxwell suddenly went blank. ''Oh,'' she replied, ''a little bit everywhere.''
''But where?'' her friend pressed. Maxwell wouldn't answer.
''Looking back,'' the friend says now, ''I personally think she knew that the shit was really about to go down.''
It went down quickly. Within a year, Epstein was exposed as one of history's most notorious sexual predators, arrested on July 6, 2019, and found dead in a Manhattan jail cell five weeks later. After Epstein's death, Maxwell disappeared from view entirely, leaving the courts, the media, his victims, and a transfixed and horrified public focused on a single question: Where in the world was Ghislaine Maxwell? Everyone, it seemed, had a theory, each wilder than the last. She was said to be hiding deep beneath the sea in a submarine, which she was licensed to pilot. Or she was lying low in Israel, under the protection of the Mossad, the powerful intelligence agency with whom her late father supposedly tangled. Or she was in the FBI witness protection program, or ensconced in luxury in a villa in the South of France, or sunning herself naked on the coast of Spain, or holed up in a high-security doomsday bunker belonging to rich and powerful friends whose lives might implode should Maxwell ever reveal what she knows'--all the dirty secrets of the dirty world that she and Epstein shared.
''Maxwell is not gonna be able to hide,'' David Boies, the powerful superlawyer who represents several victims who are suing her, declared confidently a few days after Epstein's death, in August 2019. ''There's no place in the civilized world where she can go and not be found. And unlike Epstein, she does not have the massive resources that would be required to carve out a new life in some obscure place where she cannot be extradited from.''
But it's a big planet for a citizen of three nations'--the United States, Great Britain, and France'--who speaks four languages fluently and has a world of connections. Almost a year after Boies's statement, Maxwell remained at large, beyond the reach of attorneys, tabloid reporters, and a 10,000-pound reward from The Sun in London. ''It's a little bit like Elvis'--you get lots of reports but they're hard to verify,'' Boies said in May.
''You have made efforts to locate her and have been unable to do so?'' Judge Debra Freeman asked an attorney representing several Epstein victims in a crowded Manhattan courtroom on February 11. The attorneys were seeking a court order to serve Maxwell via alternative service, including email, after their attempts to find her had turned into what one of them called ''a cat-and-mouse chase.''
''Yes, your honor,'' replied the attorney.
The judge granted the request. But while the complaint apparently reached Maxwell, it provided no clue to her location. In late June, the tabloids placed her in Paris, where she was reportedly residing in a luxury apartment and walking the streets near the Israeli embassy with a ''large patterned blanket'' draped around her face and head'--a scenario a friend of hers described as ''drivel.''
Attending a function for the Henry Street Settlement in New York City with Epstein, 1995; meeting Princess Diana at the London premiere of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, 1984; Top, by Patrick McMullan/Getty Images; bottom, by Harry Myers/Shutterstock. Keeping socially distant from Prince Andrew at the wedding of his former girlfriend Aurelia Cecil, 2000; taking in the Epsom Derby with George Hamilton, 1991. Top, by Stewart Mark/Camera Press/Redux; bottom, (C) Jim James/PA Wire/ZUMA Press.''She could be anywhere,'' said one person familiar with the lengths people went to track her down. ''Russia, China, Singapore, the Middle East, England. She's in some friend's castle in the middle of nowhere. Or in a tent somewhere deep in some desert. Wherever she is, she's on the down low.''
Maxwell's year on the run came to an abrupt end in the early hours of July 2, when the FBI and New York Police Department arrested her in the small New England town of Bradford, New Hampshire. Prosecutors from the Southern District of New York charged her with four counts in connection with the sexual abuse of minors and two counts of perjury for lying under oath. Between 1994 and 1997, the years of her ''intimate relationship with Epstein,'' the indictment charged, she ''assisted, facilitated, and contributed to Jeffrey Epstein's abuse of minor girls.'' One of the three unnamed victims was ''as young as 14 years old when they were groomed and abused by Maxwell and Epstein, both of whom knew that certain victims were in fact under the age of 18.''
The indictment paints Maxwell as Epstein's partner in crime, adept at the art of grooming victims for him. Her methods, prosecutors said, involved befriending ''some of Epstein's minor victims prior to their abuse, including by asking the victims about their lives, their schools, and their families. Maxwell and Epstein would spend time building friendships with minor victims by, for example, taking minor victims to the movies or shopping.''
Maxwell ''delivered them into the trap,'' Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said at a press conference the day of Maxwell's arrest. ''She pretended to be a woman they could trust. All the while she was setting them up to be sexually abused by Epstein and, in some cases, by Maxwell herself.''
Once the trap was laid and rapport established, Maxwell would then ''try to normalize sexual abuse for a minor victim by, among other things, discussing sexual topics, undressing in front of the victim, being present when a minor victim was undressed, and/or being present for sex acts involving the minor victim and Epstein,'' all of which ''helped put the victims at ease because an adult woman was present,'' according to the indictment.
Maxwell knew full well what Epstein planned to do, the indictment continued, ''knowing that he had a sexual preference for underage girls,'' and she sometimes ''was present for and participated in the sexual abuse of minor victims.'' Some of the acts of abuse, prosecutors say, took place at Maxwell's London residence.
When Maxwell was finally brought in for a deposition under oath, in 2016, in the defamation case against her by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, she ''repeatedly lied when questioned about her conduct.''
She did so, said Strauss, ''because the truth, as alleged, was almost unspeakable.''
''Ghislaine helped Jeffrey become who he became,'' says one of Epstein's victims. ''He had the money, but he didn't know what to do with it. She showed him.''
At the press conference, FBI assistant director William F. Sweeney Jr. described Maxwell as ''one of the villains of this investigation,'' who had ''slithered away to a gorgeous property'' in New Hampshire, where she was ''continuing to live a life of privilege while her victims live with the trauma inflicted upon them years ago.''
It was not the first time in her life Ghislaine Maxwell went to ground. Her process of disappearing began, really, on a dreadful day almost 30 years ago, with a dead body floating in the sea.
Arms splayed out, face staring into the sky, enormous belly bobbing in the Atlantic just off the coast of Tenerife in the Canary Islands: That's how Spanish police discovered the ''naked, stiff, and floating'' corpse of the British media baron Robert Maxwell on November 5, 1991. A helicopter hovered overhead, lowering its cable and straining to recover the cadaver, which weighed 310 pounds. Fifteen miles away was Maxwell's 180-foot yacht'--from which, according to various theories, he either jumped, fell, or was pushed'--named Lady Ghislaine, after his 29-year-old daughter. She had been his miracle baby, born on Christmas Day 1961. Two days after her birth, Maxwell's eldest son suffered a car accident that would turn out to be fatal. ''I've been told it means ray of sunshine,'' Ghislaine once said of the origins of her French first name. The morning after the police helicopter lifted the bloated body from the sea, she flew in from London to be at her beloved father's side.
To Ghislaine, her mother, three brothers, and three sisters, Robert Maxwell was Samson, tearing down the gates of Gaza, as he was depicted in a stained-glass window in their 51-room Oxford mansion: a titan of luck, impossible achievement, and unlimited wealth. ''If Bob Maxwell didn't exist, no one could invent him,'' Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock would say. Born Jan Ludvik Hoch into a Hasidic family in a tiny village in Czechoslovakia, he was so poor that he and his six siblings had to wear shoes in shifts. He evolved into a warrior, surviving the Holocaust, in which 300 of his immediate and extended family members perished, to join the Czech resistance. When his country fell to the Nazis, he fled to France and joined the British Army, fighting in bloody battles from Normandy to Germany. After the war, he married the daughter of a prosperous British silk merchant, christened himself Robert Maxwell, and bought Pergamon Press, a publisher of scientific journals. It became the anchor of an empire that would, at the time of his death, include hundreds of companies, among them the publishing giant Macmillan and newspapers from The Mirror in London to the New York Daily News. As big as or maybe even big-ger than his rival, Rupert Murdoch, Maxwell was a bombastic, demanding patriarch who dined with kings and presidents and exhibited a bottomless appetite for family, food, fortune, and fame.
Maxwell smiles as Prince Andrew embraces Virginia Roberts, 2001. From MediaPunch/BACKGRID.Now he was dead, and it wasn't long before the mighty house of Maxwell was exposed as a house of cards. Maxwell, it turned out, had pledged millions from his company's pension funds to shore up his tottering empire, exposing his 32,000 employees to retirement ruin and racking up debts of nearly $5 billion. The conspiracy theories multiplied: He committed suicide rather than face his financial crimes; he died aboard his yacht while engaged in sex with a mistress; he fell overboard during his regular postmidnight piss over the railings; he was murdered by British security agents panicked that he had taken possession of tapes that could incriminate the MI6 intelligence service in crime and espionage; he was injected with a poisonous syringe by frogmen sent by his Mossad spymasters to silence him from revealing their secret arms deals.
No one was more shocked and distraught at the revelations than Ghislaine Maxwell. She had always been, as a friend told The Times of London, ''the life and soul of the party wherever she wanted to go in the world and never had to worry about money.'' Now she was the shattered child of a man described as a monster, his name forever equated to scandal. ''She was catatonic,'' the friend said. ''It hit her in a way that scared people.''
She was weeping when she boarded her father's yacht, weeping when her mother asked her to address the media throngs, weeping as she rehearsed her speech over and over. Every time she came to the words my daddy, she began to shake and tremble. ''I felt sorry for her because she was daddy's girl,'' recalls former Mirror photographer Ken Lennox, who was aboard the Lady Ghislaine that morning and who helped draft Maxwell's remarks. ''She obviously adored her dad.''
But when she finally stepped before the reporters, she had somehow collected herself. ''She raised her hand, an imperious gesture she had seen her father use to quieten a media frenzy,'' according to an account in Robert Maxwell: Israel's Superspy. ''How did your father die?'' a journalist shouted at Maxwell. She looked down at the mob and ''in a loud and clear voice she spoke. 'I think he was murdered.''‰''
After Robert Maxwell's burial on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, the family returned to London, where they faced a frenzy in the press. The British tabloids, which once enriched the Maxwell family, now seemed intent on destroying it. Maxwell's widow grew ''numb from the savage public battering,'' Vanity Fair reported at the time. ''People were calling her husband 'rogue,' 'crook,' 'bully,' 'thief,' 'megalomaniac,' 'gangster.' They told lurid tales of his sex orgies.'... They painted a portrait of an erratic and cruel tyrant, one who used Turkish towels for toilet paper.'' Maxwell's widow, the elegant and erudite Elisabeth Jenny Jeanne Meynard Maxwell, went underground, moving surreptitiously from lawyer to lawyer. ''I've had to live by night and sleep by day to avoid the reptiles,'' she said.
Ghislaine Maxwell was hunted by the tabloids too. ''There's a story that the Maxwell name was so detested in London that she had to walk around in a blond wig so people wouldn't recognize her,'' an unnamed ''prominent New York socialite'' who knew Ghislaine reportedly told the New York Post. Hoping to launch a new life, she returned to New York City, where she had served as her father's ambassador to America in the days when he hoped his daughter might marry her friend John F. Kennedy Jr., binding two great dynasties into one. Now, forced to vacate her spacious company-provided residence, she moved into a small apartment. When a friend came to visit, Ghislaine told her, ''They took everything'--everything'--even the cutlery.''
One of the three unnamed victims was ''as young as 14 years old when they were groomed and abused by Maxwell and Epstein,'' the indictment charges.
''She was broke, the family was broke,'' the friend recalls. ''This girl who was brought up in luxury, and'--bang'--everything was taken from them, and she came to the United States to begin again.''
Ghislaine Maxwell's reinvention didn't take long. In November 1992, one year after the death of her father, she was reportedly seen boarding the Concorde from London to New York. ''Unnoticed by almost everybody, traveling with her was a greying, plumpish, middle-aged American businessman who managed to avoid the photographers,'' reported the Mail on Sunday, one of her father's rival newspapers. ''It is to this man that 30-year-old Ghislaine has turned to ease the heartache of her father's shame.
''His name is Jeffrey Epstein.''
At first, Ghislaine seemed to keep quiet about her new romance, even with friends. One day she invited someone who had known her during her London days to visit her in New York. He was shocked when she met him at the door of the largest private residence in the city, a gilded seven-story town house on East 71st Street.
''Whose house is this, Ghislaine?'' the friend asked. ''Who lives here?''
''My friend,'' Maxwell replied.
''Well, is he banging you?'' the friend demanded. ''What's the scoop here?''
Maxwell wouldn't say. ''She would never bloody let on,'' the friend recalls. ''I didn't get further than the drawing room. She was very, very cagey about me being there. I didn't have an affair with her, but I certainly chased her for a bit. She was sexy and fun. I guess if Epstein had seen me there, he would have been really pissed off to have some young dude who was trying to shag his friend.''
Maxwell didn't mention the relationship to Hello! magazine when it featured her on its cover in February 1997, in her first interview since her father's death. She was now ''far from the ever watchful eye of the British press,'' the magazine reported, and had become a ''business consultant,'' living and working out of her East Side apartment with Max, a Yorkshire terrier named after her father. ''She is proud of the fact that her new life is all down to her own hard work and has her elegant apartment to show for it,'' the magazine added. One day, Maxwell said, she would ''get married and have kids. But it has never been a focus: My focus is my business.''
Maxwell sits next to Epstein at a Valentino show in Paris, 1992. From Best Image/BACKGRID. Maxwell disembarks from her father's yacht, Lady Ghislaine, 1991. By Matthew Polak/Sygma/Getty Images.Her business, first and foremost, was keeping Jeffrey Epstein happy. He shared much with her father: a humble origin, a vast fortune derived by mysterious means, even rumors of ties to the Mossad and other intelligence agencies. Like Robert Maxwell, Epstein also attached himself to a woman of higher status. In those days, Manhattan was party central, a place where connections were made at night, person to person. ''Ghislaine was at the epicenter of all that,'' says Euan Rellie, a British investment banker who knew Maxwell in both London and New York. ''She befriended everybody and had a massive Rolodex of influential people.''
Those connections proved pivotal to Epstein. ''I always say that Ghislaine helped Jeffrey become who he became,'' says one of Epstein's victims. ''He had the money, but he didn't know what to do with it. She showed him.'' Epstein built a 21,000-square-foot mansion on a 10,000-acre ranch in New Mexico, which he boasted made his New York town house ''look like a shack,'' and named it the Zorro Ranch. He also acquired a 72-acre island in the Virgin Islands and an 8,600-square-foot home in Paris, which is said to have featured a specially built massage room. Maxwell is said to have shared Epstein's bed in each of the residences, as his girlfriend, before moving on to become his ''best friend,'' as he called her in Vanity Fair. (''When a relationship is over, the girlfriend 'moves up, not down' to friendship status.'')
Maxwell soon had a bed of her own in a five-story town house on the Upper East Side, tended by a live-in couple who served as her housekeeper and driver, two secretaries (one for her and a second for Jeffrey), and an immense budget for the six properties she was managing for Epstein. She had found a path back to the lifestyle she'd lost when her father died. ''She was used to living very well,'' says a friend who knew her then. ''She didn't want to go back to where she was.''
She wore a large diamond ring Epstein had given her, which she called her engagement ring, according to one of Epstein's victims. ''She would say things like she was the only one who Jeffrey slept with,'' the woman says. ''I know that she would have died to marry him. She would have done anything for him. He trumped everybody and everything.''
Maxwell was expected to drop everything to serve Epstein. ''Ghislaine was one of the first people in New York to walk around with a cellular phone, and she would very ostentatiously put it on the table at lunch,'' says Christopher Mason, the British writer and TV host. One day, the phone rang while Maxwell was hosting a friend for tea in her apartment.
''That was Jeffrey,'' she told her friend. ''He has the flu, and he wants me to go and get the best chicken soup in New York and take it to his house.'
''Ghislaine, he has people on staff!'' the friend said. ''Can't he send one of them?''
''No, no,'' Maxwell said. ''It has to be me.''
Every few days, it seemed, Maxwell's phone would ring and Epstein would inquire about the weather in Palm Beach, New Mexico, the Virgin Islands, or Paris. Ever-efficient Maxwell would spring into action, consulting the forecast, then alerting the pilots to ready the plane to fly to wherever skies were clearest. Then they were off: Maxwell organizing armies of staff in the various locations, coordinating everything, almost as demanding and bombastic as her father. ''She would call people her minion, piglet, polyp,'' says one victim. ''So you felt like you were nothing.''
She had to keep everyone in line, because one misstep would unleash the wrath of Epstein, one of the few people who could make Maxwell cry. ''He would be screaming over the phone,'' recalls a victim, ''and she would burst into tears.'' The woman who once had everything money could buy, only to lose it all because of a man, was once again living a life of luxury. All she had to do to keep it was to give the monster what he wanted. And what he increasingly wanted were women'--''on the younger side,'' as Donald Trump would say'--for whom Maxwell is said to have searched everywhere: spas, massage parlors, parties. Once she found them, she would invite them to ''tea'' at Epstein's mansion.
''Oh, my God, look at those girls!'' Maxwell exclaimed, according to a friend. ''I'd like to meet them because I know Jeffrey would like to meet them.''
''She was his gatekeeper into civilized society,'' says Rellie. ''Every 20- to 30-year-old interesting pretty new girl that showed up in New York, Ghislaine would get to know them and invite them to tea with Jeffrey.''
The teas soon grew into dinners, and the guests rose in stature. ''It all felt very frenzied and frothy,'' recalls Mason. ''It seemed like everyone I knew knew her. Ghislaine was always on her way to have a meeting with someone like Bill Clinton. Everything was with the idea that she was staggeringly well connected.''
Her New York town house became a social nexus; one dinner party's 80 guests included members of the Kennedy and Rockefeller clans, ''along with the requisite sprinkling of countesses and billionaires,'' reported The Times of London in 2011. Maxwell had become ''a modern-day geisha'' in a ''domain filled with the richest people in the world'--some of whom are good guys, and some of whom are bad'--and who think they are above the law. It's a world frequented by young half naked girls in bikinis, billionaires and lavish lifestyles, but it borders on the grotesque. You are never really sure what is going on behind closed doors.''
One Christmas, a very big billionaire threw a very big party in his very big apartment. Maxwell swept in and scanned the room, her eyes falling on two young sisters.
''Oh, my God, look at those girls!'' Maxwell exclaimed, according to a friend. ''I didn't realize that they're so beautiful! Can you introduce me to them?''
''Ghislaine, why would you want to meet them?'' the friend asked. ''Wouldn't you rather meet their parents?''
''I'd like to meet them because I know Jeffrey would like to meet them,'' Maxwell explained.
''And that,'' the friend recalls, ''is when I realized something was very strange.''
Maxwell consistently denied ever soliciting underage girls for Epstein. And she began trying to distance herself from him long before he went to jail. In the early 2000s, she spent time in California with a man many times richer than Epstein: Ted Waitt. He lived in a seven-bedroom, 14-bath mansion in La Jolla, and they sailed aboard the 240-foot mega-yacht she helped him purchase, the Plan B. It was equipped with a helipad, Jacuzzi, elevator, gym, and onboard submarine, which Maxwell was soon licensed to pilot. ''After she became his girlfriend,'' according to the New York Times, ''Mr. Waitt shaved his head, started wearing tinted glasses, and became a virtual doppelg¤nger for Jason Statham.'' (Waitt could not be reached for comment.)
Epstein, who some say felt threatened by the relationship, convinced Maxwell to return to work for him in 2004. In court papers, Maxwell's attorneys stated, ''From approximately 1999 through at least 2006, Maxwell was employed by Epstein individually, and by several of his affiliated businesses.'' She reportedly continued to accept rides on Epstein's plane until at least 2006, along with his money. ''In some of the litigation we brought against her in 2015, 2016, and 2017, Epstein was paying her legal fees,'' says David Boies. The last known photo of them together is from a benefit for Wall Street Rising in 2005. In the photo, Epstein has his arm around Maxwell's neck, pulling her close. A broad smile lights up her face.
Away from Epstein, Maxwell was reborn, appearing on CNN, giving a speech at a TED event, and speaking nine times before the United Nations, having refocused her attention to something that she felt desperately needed saving: the crypt of her father, the sea. In September 2012, she founded the Terra-Mar Project ''to build a global community to give a voice to the least explored, most ignored part of our planet'--the high seas.'' Her ''founding citizens'' included Virgin Group owner Richard Branson.
Epstein and Maxwell with Deborah Blohm and Gwendolyn Beck at Mar-a-Lago, 1995; accusers Michelle Licata and Courtney Wild outside federal court in New York City, July 8, 2019. Top, by Davidoff Studios/Getty Images; bottom, by Peter Foley/Bloomberg/Getty Images. Maxwell with Naomi Campbell, Donald Trump, and Melania Knauss in New York, 2002. By Thos Robinson/Patrick McMullan/Getty Images.But process servers were now on her trail, dispatched by an attorney named Bradley Edwards, who was determined to depose her about her relationship with Epstein. In what he would call a 12-year campaign to bring Epstein to justice, Edwards became convinced that Maxwell was ''the most important of all,'' the key to unlocking Epstein's secret world, the ''one woman, who by all appearances, Epstein treated as his equal.'' He hired investigators to track her and succeeded in serving her at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting in New York in September 2009. ''To say she was upset about being publicly served at this function is an understatement,'' Edwards later wrote.
As the July 2010 date for Maxwell's deposition approached, her attorney called Edwards to explain that ''Maxwell's mother was very ill, so Maxwell was leaving the country with no plans to return to the United States.'' A few weeks later, Edwards opened People magazine to find a photo of Bill Clinton walking his daughter, Chelsea, down the aisle at her July 31 wedding in Rhinebeck, New York.
''Holy shit!'' Edwards would later write. ''Who was front and center on the aisle? Ghislaine Maxwell.''
It would be six years before attorneys for a different accuser would get the chance to depose Maxwell at last. Virginia Roberts was a 17-year-old changing-room attendant at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club when, she said, Maxwell recruited her as a traveling masseuse for Epstein. She had first told her story to the FBI and the Daily Mail in 2011. In December 2014, using her married name of Virginia Roberts Giuffre, she filed a motion in the Southern District of Florida describing Maxwell as Epstein's ''primary coconspirator and participant in his sexual abuse and sex trafficking scheme.''
Maxwell reacted with fury, issuing an ''urgent'' statement to the media dismissing Giuffre's claims as ''defamatory'' and ''obvious lies.'' Giuffre, in turn, sued Maxwell for defamation in federal court in New York, a lawsuit ''widely viewed as a vessel for Epstein's victims to expose the scope of Epstein's crimes,'' the Miami Herald would later report.
The depositions took place over several days, led by Roberts's attorneys David Boies and Sigrid McCawley. Maxwell vociferously proclaimed her innocence, at one point banging her fists on the table. The indictment charges that during these depositions, on April 22 and July 22, 2016, she committed two counts of perjury.
''Did Jeffrey Epstein have a scheme to recruit underage girls for sexual massages?'' she was asked.
''I don't know what you're talking about,'' she replied.
''Were you aware of the presence of sex toys or devices used in sexual activities in Mr. Epstein's Palm Beach house?''
''No, not that I recall,'' she answered.
She said she was ''not aware of anybody that I interacted with, other than obviously [the plaintiff] who was 17 at this point.'' She said she ''wasn't aware that [Epstein] was having sexual activities with anyone when I was with him other than myself.'' And she said, ''I have not given anyone a massage.''
Faced with the same kind of tabloid frenzy that accompanied the death of her father, Maxwell opted for the same escape route: She uprooted herself and tried to start over. After selling her Manhattan town house and disposing of many of her possessions, she moved to Manchester-by-the-Sea, a quiet village 30 miles north of Boston. There she lived for a time in the $3 million, five-bedroom colonial home of Scott Borgerson, a handsome data analyst who focuses on maritime trade. Maxwell and Borgerson had met in 2013, when they were both speaking on panels at the Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik. (Maxwell appeared on ''Climate Change: A Plan for Action,'' a panel whose experts included former vice president Al Gore, who called in via video.)
In the spring and early summer of 2019, when the U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York reopened the criminal investigation into Epstein, Maxwell was far away and seemingly unconcerned. On June 6, she met with Prince Andrew in Buckingham Palace. ''She was here doing some rally,'' Prince Andrew would later say in a disastrous interview on BBC's Newsnight. ''Some rally'' was an understatement. Maxwell had been invited to participate in Cash & Rocket, an annual charity road rally in which 80 women'--including Paris Hilton and Topshop heiress Chloe Green'--drove 1,500 miles over four days in a caravan of red Ferraris, Alfa Romeos, and Bentleys from London to Paris to Geneva to Monte Carlo. In screaming red jumpsuits, Maxwell and her copilot, Annette Mason, the wife of Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, drove car No. 28, a cherry red Alfa Romeo, in shifts, stopping for the rally's parties and photo ops along the way.
Maxwell and Epstein with Harvey Weinstein at Princess Beatrice's 18th birthday party at Windsor Castle, 2006 From MEGA Agency.Following a pre-tour Masquerade Ball in London's Victoria and Albert Museum, the participants hit the road, and Maxwell could be seen smiling in the party pictures: in white at the Elegant in White dinner at La Reserve in Geneva; in a sparkly red dress and dangly earrings at the Red party at the Yacht Club de Monaco. These party photos would be her last. Cash & Rocket would soon scrub Maxwell's photo from its website, claiming she had been invited by one of the drivers, not the rally itself.
After the rally, she disappeared.
On July 6, Epstein was arrested by federal agents after his jet landed at Teterboro Airport from Paris. The FBI raided his mansion and charged him with sex trafficking of minors, stemming from incidents between 2002 and 2005. With his arrest, attention began shifting toward Maxwell. ''Epstein's pimp girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, a very well-connected Brit socialite cannot just walk free,'' the actress Ellen Barkin tweeted the day after Epstein's arrest. ''This woman is his pimp. She pilots planes to and from the island. I know because she told me.''
Now she was back on the tabloid radar. The Daily Mail would soon dispatch a team to Manchester-by-the-Sea on a tip that Maxwell was living there. Helicopters hovered over the village. Neighbors faced media interrogations. Maxwell's older sister, Christine, was photographed packing bags into a car, and Scott Borgerson was snapped walking a dog believed to belong to ''G'': a vizsla, the aristocratic breed of Hungarian sporting dog Maxwell had once shown at Westminster. (''I'm home alone with my cat,'' Borgerson later told the New York Post. ''She's not here, I have no idea where she is.'... Nobody wants to be close to this radioactive situation.'')
In the Netflix documentary Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich, several victims claim that Maxwell not only lured them into Epstein's web, but also fondled or sexually abused them. When asked about Maxwell's role in his sex crimes during a deposition, Epstein invoked the Fifth Amendment at least 14 times. She doesn't appear to have visited him during his 13-month stay in the Palm Beach County Jail in 2008 or during his 2019 incarceration in New York.
On the morning of August 10, Epstein was found dead, hanged in his jail cell. Fashioning a noose from his orange prison bedsheet, police said, he tied it around his neck, fell to his knees, bent forward, and strangled himself, along with his secrets. His body was discovered at 6:30 a.m. ''Noel [the guard] sent me burnt food,'' Epstein reportedly wrote in his suicide note. ''Giants bugs crawling over my hands. No fun!!''
Somewhere far away, Maxwell awoke to the news. Her year of no fun was about to begin.
Attorney David Boies and accuser Annie Farmer leave Epstein's bail hearing, July 15, 2019. By Drew Angerer/Getty Images. Accuser Jennifer Araoz, left, exits a hearing, August 2019; Attorney Gloria Allred accompanies accuser Teala Davies to court, August 2019. Top, by Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg/Getty Images; bottom, by Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg/Getty Images.The day before Epstein committed suicide, a federal court unsealed 2,000 pages of evidence from the defamation case brought by Virginia Roberts Giuffre. Maxwell strides through the pages, accused of being Epstein's madam and mistress: allegedly recruiting girls to satiate what Epstein called his required three orgasms a day (''It was biological, like eating,'' one of his victims testified); instructing the girls on the fine art of erotic massage (''She was implying that I did not get Jeffrey off, and so she had to do it,'' the same victim said); and allegedly even participating in sex acts along with Epstein. Her name appeared on message slips that investigators pulled from Epstein's trash in Palm Beach, and on the flight manifests of Epstein's Boeing 727, dubbed ''the Lolita Express.''
Now, with Epstein's arrest followed swiftly by his death, Maxwell was on her way to becoming one of the world's most wanted women.
Then, the strangest thing happened: She supposedly emerged in broad daylight at, of all places, the In-N-Out hamburger franchise on Cahuenga Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley.
If ever there were a day for Maxwell to lie low and stay out of sight, it was Monday, August 12, a day when her name was being featured prominently in headlines and news broadcasts worldwide. ''The death of Jeffrey Epstein is putting new attention on his alleged coconspirators, who could still face charges,'' CBS reported that day. ''The number one person on that list is Ghislaine Maxwell, who's accused of finding teenage girls for Epstein and his friends.''
And yet here was Maxwell'--or at least her image'--sitting outdoors at a Formica-topped table, in a baby-blue hoodie and capri pants befitting a suburban L.A. housewife. Before her on the table was a hamburger, a shake, and an order of hand-cut fries. She had apparently brought along a friend's dog and something to read, The Book of Honor: The Secret Lives and Deaths of CIA Operatives, by Ted Gup, whose Amazon ranking was about to skyrocket more than 300,000 places, to No. 103 on the best-seller list, because of what was about to occur.
Three days later, photos of this humdrum tableau appeared in the New York Post. According to the accompanying article, a fellow diner had simply recognized Maxwell and taken her picture. Is that really what happened? Were these actual photos of Ghislaine Maxwell eating a burger and reading a book two days after the man she spent much of her life with died in disgrace behind bars? Or were they, as many would contend, photoshopped fakes designed to throw the bloodhounds off her trail? Those arguing against their authenticity cited a poster for the movie Good Boys on a bus stop in the background that records show had never been displayed there, questioned why Maxwell had two trays and two cups if she was eating alone, and pointed out that the metadata in one of the images published on suggested that it had been supplied by a Los Angeles''area attorney friend of Maxwell's'--who just so happens to be the owner of the dog.
Nevertheless, people flocked to the In-N-Out to take pictures of the table where Maxwell had supposedly dined. Theories of the deeper meaning behind the photos began circulating. The New Yorker suggested it was a brazen come-find-me message, a taunt to the world on her tail, a real-life version of Where's Waldo? ''There appeared to be, in other words, a distinct possibility that Maxwell was fucking with us,'' wrote Naomi Fry. '''‰'Here I am,' her face seemed to say. 'Figure this out.''‰''
After that, Maxwell once again disappeared. But where? Was it possible Sky News got it right when it placed her on the southern coast of Brazil, citing an unidentified American former police officer who had allegedly traced phones belonging to Maxwell and the modeling agent Jean-Luc Brunel, another Epstein associate? Or was she in London, as evidenced by an affidavit she signed in her elaborately indecipherable signature, filled with loops and swirls, on November 22, 2019, listing her location as Half Moon Street in the affluent Mayfair neighborhood? Or did she sign it from afar?
She was ''both everywhere and nowhere,'' bemoaned The Guardian.
Then something happened that forced Maxwell to take new precautions. ''Death threats,'' said a friend who claimed knowledge of Maxwell's situation. They arrived by social media, email, phone, text, and postal service, a chorus of anger intent on revenge. The threats began in earnest with Epstein's arrest, multiplied with his death, and accelerated in the months that followed. They soon became a routine part of her life.
''It's not a specific threat,'' the friend said. ''It's the volume of threats. These are credible threats. That's a term that law enforcement uses'--credible threats. So you take appropriate action.''
Maxwell keeps a low profile on an Upper East Side sidewalk, 2015. By Elder Ordonez/Splash News.A professional security firm was hired, its plainclothes operatives said to be veterans of intelligence and law enforcement agencies. ''Maxwell receives regular threats to her life and safety, which required her to hire personal security services and find safe accommodation,'' reads the complaint she filed in the Virgin Islands last March, seeking payment of her expenses from Epstein's estate, reportedly valued at more than $600 million. ''These expenses will be ongoing.''
Maxwell's effort to tap Epstein's estate to cover her security costs prompted new outrage. ''It is absolutely appalling that Ghislaine Maxwell' seeking to drain funds from the very estate that should be paying the Epstein victims' claims,'' Sigrid McCawley, attorney for Giuffre and other victims, said in a statement.
''We've had reports of her being in the South of France, Northern California, in the U.K., Israel, and maybe she's moved around in all those places, but we don't really know where she is now,'' David Boies said in May. By then, Maxwell had become such a phantom that even some of her own attorneys would contend that they didn't know her physical location and communicated with her primarily via email.
Imaginations ran rampant; theories multiplied. It was during this time that a friend came forward to Vanity Fair not with a sighting but rather with a description of Maxwell's lifestyle undercover. It was an incognito existence of revolving residences and long runs on neighborhood roads. But her once-opulent life had been stripped down to the bare essentials: iPhone, iPad, laptop, casual clothing, and an inexpensive pressure cooker with which the friend said she emulated her Cordon Bleu''trained mother's French recipes: beef bourguignon, red cabbage and apples, leek soup.
Every day, sometimes on public roads and hiking trails, she went for a run. If there was a pool available, she swam laps. Before gyms shut down, she boxed regularly, pounding away at a punching bag.
''The whole point of security is you don't set a routine,'' said the friend. At the end of the day, she usually exercised again, lifting weights or stretching while she watched the news. Afterward, she turned off the television for the night. Instead, she cooked and read, usually biographies. Her bedtime selections, according to the friend, included The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History, by Boris Johnson, and Relentless Pursuit: My Fight for the Victims of Jeffrey Epstein, by victims attorney Bradley Edwards, in which she is prominently featured. Then it was lights out for her nightly five hours of sleep.
The only thing predictable about Maxwell's life was her work, the friend said: speaking each day with her attorneys to hash out her defense in the cases against her. Maxwell had assembled a team of criminal and civil defense lawyers in New York, Colorado, the U.K., and the Virgin Islands, all typically ranging in fees from $500 to $1,500 an hour. ''Her life is lawyers,'' the friend said. ''She speaks to lawyers and blood relatives. That is her universe. Defending all of these cases is a full-time job.''
At least three women have included Maxwell as a defendant in civil suits against Epstein's estate for damages from sexual abuse. One is Annie Farmer, whose lawsuit states that Maxwell and Epstein subjected her and her sister Maria to ''a scheme for manipulation and abuse of young females.'' Annie was just 16 in 1995, when Epstein flew her from Arizona to New York. The sexual abuse began there and continued at his New Mexico ranch. Epstein later offered Maria, then 26, an ''artist-in-residence'' opportunity at a 10,600-square-foot residence in billionaire Les Wexner's Ohio compound, where she was sexually abused by both Epstein and Maxwell, according to the lawsuit.
Audrey Strauss, acting United States attorney for the southern district of New York, speaks during a news conference to announce charges against Ghislaine Maxwell for her alleged role in the sexual exploitation and abuse of multiple minor girls by Jeffrey Epstein. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)On August 27, Annie Farmer appeared alongside 15 other accusers at a federal court hearing in New York. Epstein had died two weeks earlier, and an empty chair sat ominously at the defendant's table as his accusers poured out their emotions, detailed their abuse, and demanded justice. ''Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell not only assaulted [Maria], but as we've heard from so many of the brave women here today, they stole her dreams and her livelihood,'' Farmer told the crowded courtroom.
''The fact that I will never have a chance to face my predator in court eats away at my soul,'' Jennifer Araoz said at the hearing. She accused Epstein of raping her when she was a 14-year-old high school student. ''They let this man kill himself and kill the chance for justice for so many others in the process, taking away our ability to speak.'' Days after Epstein's death, she sued Maxwell, Epstein's estate, and others, claiming that ''Defendant Maxwell participated with and assisted Epstein in maintaining and protecting his sex trafficking ring, ensuring that approximately three girls a day were made available to him for his sexual pleasure.''
And now, following her arrest, she faces criminal charges. According to the detention memo filed by the Southern District of New York on July 2, Maxwell began ''hiding out in locations in New England'' in July 2019 and making ''intentional efforts to avoid detection including moving locations at least twice, switching her primary phone number (which she registered under the name 'G Max') and email address, and ordering packages for delivery with a different person listed on the shipping label.''
If convicted, Maxwell faces up to 35 years in prison, and prosecutors arguing to deny her bail invoked her history of globe-trotting and apparent access to secret stashes of money. In the last three years, she took at least 15 international flights to ''the United Kingdom, Japan, and Qatar,'' according to the memo. She also had 15 different bank accounts from 2016 to the present, ''and during that same period, the total balances of those accounts have ranged from a total of hundreds of thousands of dollars to more than $20 million.'' She allegedly made transfers of ''hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time.''
They finally found her in a four-bedroom, 4,365-square-foot home on a 156-acre wooded lot that she ''acquired through an all-cash purchase in December 2019 (through a carefully anonymized LLC) in Bradford, New Hampshire, an area to which she has no other known connections.'' The home is reportedly called Tuckedaway, and an online listing describes it as ''an amazing retreat for the nature lover who also wants total privacy.'' The sale price was $1,070,750.
Before Maxwell was arrested, I asked the friend who claimed to know her situation a question: ''How does she see her future?''
When Maxwell was asked this question by Hello! magazine in 1997, she was 35 years old and starting over again in New York. ''I am optimistic about my future,'' she said, ''and believe things will continue to improve for me as time passes.''
Now that time is gone, along with Jeffrey Epstein.
''I don't think she sees there is a future,'' came the reply.
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Dutch police finds torture room in seacontainers | QRV
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 19:21
On June 22, 2020, the National Unit arrested six men suspected of preparing kidnappings and hostage-taking in the criminal environment. In a shed the police found seven sea containers. Six of them were arranged as a cell in which people could be tied up and one container was intended as a torture chamber. The police also found a second shed in Rotterdam, which was probably intended as a base for criminals.
"Last week, we released the investigation to cryptocommunication provider Encrochat. In this investigation, the police read live for a long time with chat messages that criminals sent each other. That provided a wealth of information. "
In the messages, photos were sent of a warehouse and a sea container with a dental chair, with straps on the armrests and footrest. There was talk of kidnapping and torture: "if I have him on the chair more will come", "but that dog is missing." The warehouse was designated as ''ebi'' (which is the Extra Secure Facility in Vught) and ''treatment room''. The upcoming kidnappings seemed to be prepared with great precision: there were several "teams" and an "OT" (observation team), and weapons, police clothes, vans, stop signs and bullet proof vests were arranged.
The spaces in the containers were finished with sound-insulating plates and heat-insulating foil. Handcuffs were attached to the ceiling and floor in each of the cells. Furthermore, there was only a chemical toilet. A camera was mounted in the corner to keep a clear view of the situation in each cell.
One of the sea containers contained several sets of police clothing, bulletproof vests and police lightbars. Another shipping container held bags of items believed to be used to torture or at least pressure victims. Police found pruning shears, loppers, branch saws, scalpels, pliers, handcuffs, fingercuffs, tape, balaclavas and black cotton bags that can be pulled over the head. During the search of a house in Rotterdam, 24 kilos of MDMA were also found.
The warehouse also had three stolen vans and two fast BMWs. A sitting and sleeping area was set up in an adjacent room, probably for guards. In the hangar in Rotterdam we found seven small arms and an automatic assault rifle, a Chinese variant of the Kalashnikov AK-47. A total of 25 weapons were found among the suspects.
Ghislaine Maxwell in coronavirus isolation at Brooklyn jail | Daily Mail Online
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 20:30
Ghislaine Maxwell has been placed in COVID isolation for 14 days at the Brooklyn jail that has been described as a 'hell hole' by the former warden, sources tell
She was transferred on Monday from a New Hampshire prison so she can face justice in her former playground of New York.
The jail is a far cry from the luxurious townhouse where she often resided with pedophile Jeffrey Epstein before his arrest and suicide - or the million-dollar estate in New Hampshire where she had been living since the beginning of the year.
Maxwell will dodge her first public appearance in Manhattan's Federal Court, after opting instead to appear remotely due to the COVID health crisis and 'significant safety issues' related to in-court proceedings, can reveal.
The 58-year-old socialite - who once mixed with celebrities, presidents and royalty at high-class parties - is now bedding in at the Metropolitan Detention Center, once described by a judge as 'like a third-world country'.
Guards at the jail, which is different to the one where Jeffrey Epstein died last year, have been jailed for raping female prisoners, while the jail also lost power for an entire week during winter last year - leaving inmates locked in freezing, dark cells.
It is unclear exactly how long Maxwell will remain in the jail, which is typically used as a waiting room for those with an upcoming court date.
Maxwell's legal team - which now includes Christian Everdell, a former New York prosecutor who helped put down El Chapo - are still trying to set a date with a judge.
Ghislaine Maxwell is being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, in a 10ft by 12ft cell that contains little other than a bunk bed (pictured) and a toilet
The prison (cell toilet pictured) has been described as one of the most troubled in America by its former warden, and 'like a third-world country' by a judge
Maxwell will be held in the jail at least until her first court appearance - potentially a week away - on charges of sex trafficking for her friend Jeffrey Epstein (pictured together)
Initially it was thought she would appear in court on Friday, but that date could now be as soon as Thursday this week or as late as Tuesday next week.
It comes after Maxwell's lawyers struck a deal with the judge allowing her to appear over video link, rather than in person.
At least until that appearance takes place, and perhaps afterwards, Maxwell will call the MDC home.
A New York judge once said she avoids sending women to the prison because the conditions are similar to 'some third-world country'.
Meanwhile Cameron Lindsay, a former warden at the MDC, described life in the jail as 'a crushing experience', especially for someone who is used to the high life.
'You go from living a life like Maxwell to all of a sudden being... strip-searched and having people look into your body cavities,' he said.
One of the biggest questions facing prison bosses will be whether to keep Maxwell in a 10ft by 12ft cell alone, or with another prisoner.
Giving her a cellmate would help prevent suicide, a key issue after Epstein's death, but will also make her a target.
For other prisoners, injuring Maxwell 'would be a badge of honor,' said Lindsay.
Another source told the New York Post that Maxwell will have a security camera trained on her cell and will be shadowed by guards every time she leaves it.
Guards at the jail have previously been found guilty of repeatedly raping and beating inmates, while conditions for female prisoners have been condemned as inhumane
The MDC is located in Greenwood Heights, opposite the famous cemetery and just a 15 minute drive from the Brooklyn Bridge
'They want to make sure she'll stand trial,' the source said.
Maxwell's life with Epstein was one of private jets, Caribbean islands and partying with luminaries including Prince Andrew.
After Epstein's arrest, she was hiding out on a million-dollar estate in New Hampshire and had access to 15 bank accounts with combined balances that at times topped $20 million.
But at the MDC, she will have just T-shirt and other basic clothing, a thin mattress, pillow and blanket.
She may be allowed to have an approved religious medallion or book, such as the Bible, but that's it.
Detainees 'have nothing of their personal property,' Lindsay said.
Her new location, with a capacity of 1,600 men and women, has had its share of famous residents, including singer R. Kelly, accused of sex abuse, and 'pharma bro' Martin Shkreli, a former chief executive convicted of defrauding investors.
But it has had more than its share of problems as well.
In 2001, following the 9/11 attacks on New York, investigators found that guards had been carrying out a campaign of harassment against Muslim prisoners who were slammed face-first into walls and told they would 'die'.
A probe was also carried out into guards accused of beating two inmates between 2002 and 2006.
Other famous residents have included R Kelly (left) who was locked up there charged with sex abuse, and 'pharma bro' Martin Shkreli (right)
In the depths of winter last year the jail lost power for an entire week, leaving inmates locked in freezing cold, pitch-black cells for at least three days (file image)
In 2018, two former lieutenants and a guard were jailed for repeated rapes and sexual assaults on female inmates - who make up about three per cent of inmates.
One woman, a Dominican prisoner in jail on a drugs charge, recalled being raped at least four times over five months while on night cleaning duty.
The most recent crisis to befall the jail came in January last year when, after weeks of malfunctioning, an electrical panel exploded - plunging the jail into darkness and cutting off the heat.
Inmates told the New York Times that they were left locked in their cells for 23 hours a day in almost-total darkness without heat after the problem first started.
Because the outage hit the kitchens, guards were forced to make cold food to take to the prisoners in their cells, where they were wrapped in everything they could find in order to keep warm.
With most phonelines and the internet also down, word was slow in getting out - and when it did the initial reaction by officials was to deny the problem.
Only on February 3, a week after the powercut started, was the problem fixed.
Jerry Nadler, who leads the House Judiciary Committee, visited the prison during the blackout and denounced the conditions as well as 'an absolute lack of urgency or caring by the leadership.'
Maxwell finds herself in the jail accused of luring underage girls so that Epstein could sexually abuse them at lavish mansions in Palm Beach, New Mexico and Manhattan.
Maxwell will be house in the prison until at least her first court date, but potentially until her legal team strikes a plea deal or until she faces trial (file)
In total she is facing six counts - four relating to child sex trafficking, and two of perjury for lying under oath about the trafficking during a previous lawsuit.
If convicted on all charges, she is facing up to 35 years behind bars.
Friends of Maxwell suspect she will try to arrange a plea deal with prosecutors, implicating others in Epstein's sex ring in order to buy her own freedom.
Maxwell's former friend told the 'If Ghislaine goes down, she's going to take the whole damn lot of them with her.
'Not only did Epstein like to capture himself with underage girls on camera '' he wanted to make sure he had something to hold over the rich and powerful men who took advantage of his sick largesse.
'I'll bet anything that once it comes out that Ghislaine has those tapes these men will be quaking in their Italian leather boots.
'Ghislaine made sure that she socked away thumb drives of it all. She knows where all the bodies are buried and she'll use whatever she had to save her own a**.
Epstein was awaiting trial on federal charges of trafficking minors between 2002 and 2005 when he was found hanging by his neck in a different federal jail in New York City in August. Medical examiners concluded his death was a suicide.
Search Jeffrey Epstein's little black book for the first time - Business Insider
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 23:55
Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images; Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images; Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images; Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images; Robin Marchant/WireImage; Bennett Raglin/WireImage; Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images; David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images; Alexander Koerner/Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Business Insider This story is available exclusively on Business Insider Prime. Join BI Prime and start reading now. Business Insider has tabulated Jeffrey Epstein's notorious little black book, making its entries searchable for the first time.There are 1,510 people listed in the late sex offender's ill-famed Rolodex, including dozens of billionaires, high-ranking politicians and diplomats, and royalty.The black book first emerged in court after Epstein's former property manager Alfredo Rodriguez tried to sell it for $50,000. Gawker published it in 2015.Names in the address book likely include aspirational contacts in addition to those Epstein had met personally. Rodriguez circled three dozen entries but died before clarifying their significance.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.There are more than 1,500 people listed in Jeffrey Epstein's infamous little black book. Among them are royalty and nobility, celebrities and academics, art collectors and hedge funders, politicians and heads of state: a motley compendium of global high society.
Business Insider has transcribed and tabulated the black book in its entirety, making the entries in the late sex offender's notorious Rolodex fully searchable for the first time.
First published by Gawker in 2015, the address book was unearthed by the FBI after Epstein's former Palm Beach, Florida, house manager Alfredo Rodriguez attempted to sell it to an attorney representing an Epstein accuser for $50,000 in 2009. Rodriguez annotated dozens of entries '-- including those of Donald Trump, Les Wexner, Courtney Love, Ehud Barak, Alan Dershowitz, and two labeled "witness" '-- but died before he could illuminate their precise meaning.
Still, the volume is undoubtedly significant. "The FBI's case against him makes clear that Rodriguez regarded the address book as crucial to understanding Epstein's crimes," Gawker's Nick Bryant wrote, citing the 2009 affidavit of an FBI agent who interviewed Rodriguez.
Read more: We compiled every known flight made by Jeffrey Epstein's fleet of private planes. Search them all for the first time.Business Insider's black-book database comprises only the main entries of the book, excluding any names of people listed beneath them, such as assistants and massage girls who may have been victims of Epstein. Spelling errors, where obvious, were corrected from the original document.
In total, the book contains 1,749 entries, consisting of 1,510 people, 210 businesses, and 25 listings that Business Insider categorized as miscellaneous or unknown. Epstein's contacts '-- which likely consist of people he aspired to meet, in addition to those he knew personally '-- include more than 40 members of royalty and European nobility and a dozen high-ranking politicians and diplomats.
Notable names in Jeffrey Epstein's black bookThose in Epstein's orbit lived everywhere from Argentina to Kenya, according to the address book, but the vast majority of his associates resided in the major metropolitan centers of the US and Western Europe, with 383 entries labeled in New York '-- Epstein's primary place of residence '-- and 363 in London, where Ghislaine Maxwell, who is accused of being his coconspirator, lived.
Where Jeffrey Epstein's contacts lived Shayanne Gal/Business Insider Search the full database below. More: BI Prime Jeffrey Epstein Investigations BI Graphics Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.
One-third of Toledo's City Council arrested on bribery, extortion charges | Fox News
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 11:49
Published July 01, 2020
Last Update 6 days ago
The FBI led a two-year investigationThe FBI on Tuesday arrested a local attorney and four members of the city council in Toledo, Ohio, for their alleged participation in a bribery and extortion scheme.
Tyrone Riley, Yvonne Harper, Garrick ''Gary'' Johnson, Larry Sykes and Keith Mitchell were charged with bribery and extortion in a federal criminal complaint after a two-year investigation, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
''As alleged in the Complaint, four Toledo City Council members and a local attorney have been engaged in a pay-to-play scheme involving bribes for Council votes,'' U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said in a statement to Fox News Wednesday. ''Maintaining the public's trust in its elected officials is one of the Department of Justice's core responsibilities."
The FBI started its investigation into the Toledo City Council members in 2018 for allegedly soliciting or accepting money or other things of value from local businesses in exchange for their votes.
Harper reportedly solicited nearly $16,000, the largest sum out of the council members. She also faces charges of unlawful interstate communications with the intent to extort.
The bribes were allegedly paid through Mitchell, the attorney who reportedly oversaw the distribution of funds.
One event investigated by the FBI was the payment submitted to four members of the city council by a local business owner seeking a Special Use Permit for an Internet cafe. The request passed the city council with unanimous consent, the DOJ said.
''The residents of Toledo should know, as should every other resident of the Northern District of Ohio, that where there are allegations of public corruption and kickbacks, we and our federal partners will be there every time,'' Herdman said.
In a press conference, Herdman said the charges for bribery carry a 10-year maximum charge and that extortion carries another 20-year maximum sentence. Both charges also carry a $250,000 fine.
The FBI said it utilized confidential informants, recorded phone calls and text messages, along with analysis of financial, business and government records during its investigation.
The council members were all released on a $50,000 bond.
City Council President Matt Cherry and Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz have called for the council member's resignations.
According to a DOJ spokesperson, a confidential source approached the FBI with information relating to the bribery scheme members of the City Council were allegedly participating in. The source was a former business owner with knowledge of the bribery and extortion, the spokesperson told Fox News Wednesday.
"Elected officials are elected by the people, to serve the people, not to serve their own financial self-interest,'' said FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric B. Smith. ''The FBI will continue efforts to root out public corruption so citizens can have faith and trust in their public officials.''
Ministry of Truthiness
Former Fox Host Shepard Smith Heading to CNBC for Prime Time Anchor Slot
Thu, 09 Jul 2020 04:16
Follow Matt on TwitterA former Fox News anchor who was hated by many viewers on the network is headed to a liberal stronghold. That's right, Shepard Smith the embattled former anchor is headed back to work.
Shepard Smith, who quit last year after clashes with Fox News colleagues, has signed on to anchor a new one-hour evening news show called ''The News with Shepard Smith,'' CNBC announced.
Smith is headed back to TV this fall. Smith, who left Fox News in 2019 after getting into constant arguments with fellow fox hosts.
CNBC is giving Shep some big titles: ''CNBC's Chief General News Anchor and Chief Breaking General News Anchor as well as Executive Editor of The News with Shepard Smith.''
Shep says CNBC boss Mark Hoffman ''presented me with CNBC's vision for a fact-based, hour-long evening news program with the mission to cut through the static to deliver facts, in context and with perspective. I know I found a great home for my newscast.''
This will be a time slot homecoming for Shep, who helmed the 7pm hour on Fox News until Roger Ailes demoted him in 2013 to make room for Megyn Kelly. No word on an exact launch date yet.
Tristatecity onze visie op Nederland Wereldstad
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 19:35
In 2025 woont 70% van de wereldbevolking in grote steden... er ontstaan 60 zeer grote agglomeraties met 15-30 miljoen inwoners... De concurrentie tussen deze mega-cities neemt sterk toe ... Het zijn magneten voor buitenlandse investeerders en human talent in deze 'Battle of the Cities' willen wij NEDERLAND VEEL STERKER OP DE KAART ZETTEN! als grote, groene wereldstad met 30 miljoen inwoners en in samenhang met onze buurregio's Vlaanderen en Nord Rhein Westfalen 'The Battle of the Cities'
Door de snelle urbanisatie in de groeilanden zijn er, in amper 20 jaar tijd, circa 60 super-steden in de wereld ontstaan. In deze enorme stedelijke agglomeraties wonen gemiddeld 15-30 miljoen mensen. Mega-cities concurreren sterk met elkaar als het gaat om het aantrekken van buitenlandse investeringen en internationaal top-talent. Nederlandse steden zijn (met gemiddeld 150.000 inwoners) veel te klein om mee te doen in deze 'Battle of the Cities'.
Nederland als geheel en als sterk verstedelijkte delta (met 17 miljoen inwoners) zou wel een hele sterke speler zijn in deze 'strijd der titanen'. Onze citymarketing is echter sterk gefragmenteerd en daardoor niet efficint. In de praktijk concurreren Nederlandse steden en regio's met elkaar in het buitenland.
Paraplu-model / platform voor lokale citymarketing
TristateCity is ontwikkeld als paraplu-model voor lokale citymarketing en plaatst de Nederlandse steden in een grootstedelijk kader. Met behoud van eigen identiteit kunnen deelnemende steden gebruik maken van de agglomeratiekracht die Nederland, als grote groene wereldstad, heeft. Daarbij kijken wij niet alleen verder dan de Randstad maar betrekken ook onze directe buurlanden (Vlaanderen en Nord Rhein Westfalen) in onze presentatie.
Paraplu-model ook voor netwerk-visualisaties bedrijven & kennisinstellingen
Onze economie bevindt zich voor 50% in de Randstad en voor 50% in de ring daar omheen. 40% van de Nederlanders woont in de randstad en 60% woont daarbuiten.
Nederland drijft meer handel met Nord Rhein Westfahlen, dan met alle BRICS landen bij elkaar opgeteld. In de driehoek Amsterdam-Brussel-D¼sseldorf gaat jaarlijks een volume van 150 miljard aan handel om! Daarnaast behoren de ruim 30 miljoen inwoners van deze mega-agglomeratie tot de meest welvarende, hoog opgeleide en '... gelukkigste mensen van de wereld! TristateCity heeft 8 universiteiten in de wereld-top honderd en nog eens 7 in de top 150.
TristateCity is zowel de Europese Gateway (3 luchthavens/3 zeehavens), de Europese Capital ( Hoofdstad Brussel) en een van de belangrijkste Europese Innovation Hotspot (Eindhoven/Rhein-Ruhr).
Belang voor de BV Nederland De BV Nederland heeft er dus alle belang bij om zich als grote groene wereldstad te presenteren. In veel opzichten zijn wij, als organisch gegroeide super-stad, een geslaagd voorbeeld voor al die mega-cities in wording. De circa 25.000 innovatieve MKB bedrijven die hier actief zijn kunnen daarvan profiteren als zij hun export uit gaan breiden naar de groeilanden.
TristateCity is een initiatief van Peter Savelberg in samenwerking met VNO-NCW en wordt gesponsord en gesteund door o.a. de koepel van institutionele beleggers IVBN. Sponsoren hebben zich verenigd in een denktank die 2 x per jaar bijeen komt. Begin 2016 is het model gepresenteerd aan 3 ministeries, de G5 en de Randstadprovincies+ Noord Brabant. Het werd daar positief ontvangen.
Randstad Holland
Vlaamse Ruit
Green New Deal
I Have Been Censored By Facebook For Telling The Truth About Climate Change And Extinctions '-- Environmental Progress
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 23:48
Click here for PDF Version of this letter
July 2, 2020
Mark Zuckerberg
Via Facebook, Twitter, and email
Dear Mr. Zuckerberg,
I am writing to inform you that Facebook has inappropriately censored a scientifically accurate article that I wrote and Zero Hedge, Quillette, Environmental Progress, and other web sites reprinted.
It is called, ''On Behalf Of Environmentalists, I Apologize For The Climate Scare.'' The article now comes with a warning, which is a form of censorship, as it leads '-- or, in this case, misleads '-- the reader to believe that what they are about to read is false.
As background, my new book, Apocalypse Never , is a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence on climate change, deforestation, plastic waste, species extinction, and other major environmental topics. It has been praised by a large number of the world's leading climate and environmental scientists and scholars.
My article made claims that are based directly on the content and references in Apocalypse Never. The article is accurate, as is my book, which is one of the most thorough reviews of the scientific evidence to date.
However, Facebook has apparently deferred its science fact-checking to an organization called ''Climate Feedback,'' which is misrepresenting the science examining climate change's impact, or lack thereof, on natural disasters, and other major questions.
For example, my article said, ''Humans are not causing a ''sixth mass extinction,'' which is true. All major scientific bodies, including the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) reject strongly the idea that humankind is creating a ''sixth mass extinction.'' I review this science in Apocalypse Never.
As recently as May 4, 2020, I asked directly Josef Settle, the co-chair of IPBES), ''Is it scientifically accurate to say humans are causing a sixth great extinction?''
His answer was , ''It's not; we don't say that; it's rather a popular catchy expression'... It's not helpful for all of these activities to come across as being alarmist '-- that's also a matter of credibility. You have to look at the evidence. Sixth mass extinction shows up in the media, but not because we said so, rather because certain circles prefer using this term.''
However, Climate Feedback falsely repeats the myth that we are in a sixth great extinction.
Second, the evidence is overwhelming and incontrovertible that the deaths from natural disasters have declined 90% in 100 years and over 80% in the last 40 years. Nobody denies this.
Similarly, nobody denies that the economic cost of natural disasters generally and weather disasters specifically have remained flat when the data is normalized to account for much higher levels of wealth. A peer-reviewed review of the scientific literature concludes that there is ''little evidence to support claims that any part of the overall increase in global economic losses documented on climate time scales can be attributed to human-caused changes in climate, reinforcing conclusions of recent assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.''
Climate Feedback is expressing opinions contrary to the latest scientific, peer reviewed literature.
Climate Feedback is not the first organization to misrepresent the science on species extinctions or disasters. In Apocalypse Never, I describe the history of such misinformation. And in a longer document , I have summarized the many more scientific errors that Climate Feedback made in its review of my article.
These issues are important. Climate change disasters are not killing more people or making disasters more expensive, and yet many people have been misled to believe that is the case. In January, one out of five British children surveyed told pollsters they were having nightmares about climate change. And climate alarmism is being used by the international development banks to justify diverting funding from cheap and reliable energy sources for poor nations to expensive and unreliable ones.
I am formally requesting an investigation of this action by Facebook. Climate Feedback got it wrong, and thus Facebook got it wrong. Many people only get their news from Facebook, which exercises extraordinary market power, and power over how people decide what is true and false. I am confident that you take your extraordinary powers extremely seriously.
Michael Shellenberger
Founder and President
What Happened to Ed Henry on Fox News? The Details Behind His Firing
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 00:56
Over the past week, several anchors have taken over Ed Henry's co-hosting duties on the Fox News morning show America's Newsroom following the journalist's suspension and subsequent firing from the channel.
In an email to employees on July 1, Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace revealed why they dismissed the former chief White House correspondent.
What happened to Ed Henry on Fox News?The 48-year-old was initially removed from his on-air responsibilities on June 25 after the network received a complaint from a past employee accusing the Fox and Friends Weekend contributor of "willful sexual misconduct in the workplace."
Source: Getty ImagesAccording to Scott and Wallace, the alleged behavior happened "years ago," but based on investigative findings by a third-party law firm, Henry was terminated.
"Fox News Media strictly prohibits all forms of sexual harassment, misconduct, and discrimination," the pair said in their email to staff. "We will continue striving to maintain a safe and inclusive workplace for all employees."
In response to the allegations, Henry's attorney, Catherine Foti, released the following statement: "Ed Henry denies the allegations referenced in the Fox announcement and is confident that he will be vindicated after a full hearing in an appropriate forum."
Supporters have since flocked to the author's Instagram page to offer up words of encouragement. "Ed, hope you stay strong. We your loyal viewers know that there is no truth to this and I would say shame on Fox News for making this decision this fast," one fan wrote.
Source: InstagramA second user commented, "I don't believe this news! I'll pray for you to clear your name. I just don't trust these people that come out of the woodwork years later. If something truly happened to offend this woman, why wait?!??"
Ed Henry was previously disciplined over an alleged extramarital affair.In 2016, the married on-air personality took a leave of absence after reports surfaced that he had been cheating on his wife with a Las Vegas hostess.
Natalia Lima told In Touch that the duo's 10-month affair began in the spring of 2015, five years after they first connected through social media. "Whenever he was in town, we would pretty much just have sex. He has a really high sex drive," she claimed.
Source: Getty ImagesEd Henry with wife Shirley Hung in 2014.
Lima added that the reporter would send her raunchy texts and once paid her rent. They allegedly began sleeping together at the Wynn Las Vegas Resort, the same spot where Henry married wife Shirley Hung in June 2010.
His absence from Fox News ended up lasting nearly four months. At the time, a network spokesperson said, "We recently became aware of Ed's personal issues and he's taking some time off to work things out."
In a now ironic twist, then Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes condemned Henry's alleged misconduct. "This raises serious questions about Ed's lack of judgment, especially given his position as a journalist," the executive stated.
A little over two months later, Ailes resigned after 23 women accused him of sexual assault. He received $40 million as part of an exit agreement.
Out There
Goop and Infowars sell the same wellness stuff / Boing Boing
Mon, 06 Jul 2020 21:31
You'd think Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow's "lifestyle brand" for clean-freak whippies, and Infowars, Alex Jones' conspiracy compendium for seething fascists, wouldn't share much in common. But they both have exactly the same business model: selling wellness to people skeptical and fearful of mainstream medicine and healthcare. Nikhil Sonnad took a look at the ingredients on each site and found that it's all the same stuff.
We at Quartz have created a compendium, from Ashwagandha to zizyphus, of the magical healing ingredients both sides of the political spectrum are buying, and how they are presented to each. We looked at the ingredients used in products sold on the Infowars store, and compared them to products on the wellness shops Moon Juice and Goop. All make similar claims about the health benefits of these ingredients, but what gets called ''Super Male Vitality'' by Infowars is branded as ''Sex Dust'' by Moon Juice.
Call it horseshit theory: opposite extremes of lifestyle branding converging on a hidden axis of shared appreciation for their audiences.
[h/t Agies]
Drone filmmaker captures Children's Fairyland from the view of a flying fairy '-- and it's downright magicalThere's still magic in the world, as evidenced by this fairy's-eye view of Children's Fairyland, that charming 70-year-old storybook theme park in Oakland, California. You might remember that when I'm not blogging, I work with Fairyland. WELL'... months before we were mandated to shelter in place, a local photographer, Stephen Loewinsohn, contacted our team at ['...]
READ THE RESTNorth Korea state media officially admits that Kim Jong Un did not teleport or time travelTo my disappointment, North Korean state media stated that Kim Jong Un did not use his family's mastery of magic to teleport or time travel out of the public eye. ''In fact, people can't disappear and reappear by folding space,'' stated a report in the Rodong Shinmun, the newspaper of the Central Committee of the ['...]
READ THE RESTFerdinando Buscema and Erik Davis on our pandemic house of cardsBoing Boing pals, magician Ferdinando Buscema and writer Erik Davis (High Weirdness), have created a really lovely and provocative little four-minute ''visual meditation'' based on the PK Dick essay, How To Build A Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later Ferdinando says he put the piece together ''to alchemize the anxiety and distill something ['...]
READ THE RESTLearn how to make your own games with the Unreal Engine for only $40Game engines aren't just the lifeblood of the video game industry. They may soon be the lifeblood of Hollywood. Since emerging in the late '90s, the Unreal game engine has quickly become one of the world's foremost tools for game creators. Now, Disney's hit Star Wars spinoff series The Mandalorian is using Unreal as well. ['...]
READ THE RESTDon't want to spend hundreds on AirPods? These buds are a solid alternativeApple AirPods have become the default earbuds beloved by millions. Unfortunately, they also cost $159, so it's no surprise that since they were first introduced in 2016, companies have battled to produce comparable headphones at a lower price. The UK-designed and engineered Veho STIX true wireless earphones may have cracked that particular problem, striking a ['...]
READ THE RESTLearn how to utilize Instagram to its fullest with these expert led classesInstagram isn't just for tweens and foodies. In fact, the image-heavy platform not only wants to mint new Instagram influencers '-- it also wants to make them rich. In the last few weeks, the company announced ad revenue sharing on IGTV videos, special badges you can buy from your favorite accounts through Instagram Live, merchandise ['...]
Ivan Pentchoukov on Twitter: "In light of what we've recently learned about CrowdStrike's involvement in the probe of the DNC hack, I revisited Donna Brazile's book. She makes several revelations given what we now know..." / Twitter
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 12:22
Ivan Pentchoukov : In light of what we've recently learned about CrowdStrike's involvement in the probe of the DNC hack, I revisited D'...
Tue Jul 07 20:29:53 +0000 2020
''Œ RIGGEDIT.COM ''Œ'­¸'­¸'­¸ : @IvanPentchoukov #SPYGATE is #OBAMAGATE:DNC was NOT HACKED, was an internal LEAK!#RUSSIAGATE a #TOTALFABRICATION'...
Wed Jul 08 03:40:34 +0000 2020
American : @IvanPentchoukov @DutyOfAPatriot She said that she ''feared for her life'' after the Seth Rich Murder. The official s'...
Wed Jul 08 03:32:02 +0000 2020
winkylee : @IvanPentchoukov Because they were never hacked. It was taken and put on thumb drives then given to Wikileaks.
Wed Jul 08 03:20:20 +0000 2020
Francis Jeffrey : @IvanPentchoukov
Wed Jul 08 03:20:09 +0000 2020
BBC - Travel - Could eating ants help us live longer?
Thu, 09 Jul 2020 11:58
The most important day of the year in Barichara, a colonial town in the Colombian Andes, is not Christmas, New Year or Easter, but what locals excitedly call La Salida, or ''The Exit''.
When that day arrives, a palpable sense of anticipation surges through Barichara's cobblestone streets and whitewashed buildings. Street sweepers and domestic cleaners throw down their tools mid-work, children sneak out of school and shopkeepers disappear without a trace.
They are all in search of the precious hormigas culonas, or ''big-butt'' ants, that are considered the caviar of Colombia's north-central Santander region. Each spring as millions of these ample-bottomed insects hatch in the surrounding countryside, the annual harvest frenzy ensues.
It's first-come, first-serve
''It's first-come, first-serve,'' said Margarita Higuera, a psychologist-turned-chef who moved to Barichara in 2000. ''If you can get a bucket on top of an ant nest, then it is yours to keep no matter if you own the land or not.''
Taking place around March or April each year, when the sun shines brightly following days of heavy rainfall and the moon is full, La Salida marks the beginning of the ants' annual mating season, which can last for up to two months, during which time locals scramble to collect as many queen ants as they can. Bloated with eggs and ready to reproduce, the brown, cockroach-sized queens are prized for their rotund, pea-shaped bottoms, which can taste like peanuts, popcorn or even crispy bacon when roasted and salted.
''For me, the flavour is unique,'' said Higuera, while plucking the papery wings off ants that filled a small pot on her kitchen table. ''It reminds me of my past. I remember one time when my grandfather bought a barrel full of them and you could hear them all crawling inside. The whole family sat around it preparing them one by one.''
It can be tough work. The colonies don't let you take their queens away easily
The queen ants are savoured as a delicacy and munched by the handful on street corners, fried on the stoves of working-class homes and featured on tasting menus of high-end restaurants across Colombia. In fact, 1kg of these insects can fetch as much as 300,000 pesos (£65), making them several times more valuable than Colombia's world-famous coffee. As a result, they're also a healthy source of income for locals.
''I can earn a week's wages in a single day through collecting hormigas,'' said Federico Pedraza, who works as a street cleaner in Barichara. ''But it can be tough work. The colonies don't let you take their queens away easily.''
Wearing ankle-high rubber boots and long sleeves for protection, collectors must work quickly because the soldier ants of the colony, who are tasked with protecting the queens from predators, can inflict painful bites that draw blood. Villagers scattered in the fields deposit the mouth-watering queens into anything at hand '' bags, jugs, pots, sacks '' working frantically through the daylight hours. But the rewards are considerable, especially for diners.
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As well as being an excellent source of protein, the atta laevigata species, also known as the South American leafcutter ant, is a rich source of unsaturated fatty acids, which prevent high cholesterol. Other research published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition has revealed that ants contain high levels of antioxidants and that regular consumption of them could help prevent cancer.
''That's the reason why us baricharas (locals) usually live long, healthy lives,'' said Cecilia Gonzlez-Quintero, a shopkeeper who has been preserving and selling the ants in glass jars for 20 years. ''The ants give us a special strength '' [especially] the ones with the juicy culonas (big butts).''
Hormigas culones have been consumed in and around Santander for roughly 1,400 years. According to historical records, the native Guane people of central Colombia first began cultivating and cooking the insects in the 7th Century, and they used the ants' sharp pincers as stitches to heal wounds. Later the marauding Spanish conquistadors adopted the habit.
That's the reason why us baricharas (locals) usually live long, healthy lives
Perhaps due to the circumstances in which they are caught '' on the amorous cusp of reproduction '' the ants are also considered an aphrodisiac and are often gifted in ceramic pots as a wedding present. This custom is particularly common among indigenous Andean communities known as pati amarillos, or ''yellow feet'' people, so named after the orange-yellow earth on which they walk and with which they build their traditional adobe homes.
In the nearby city of Bucaramanga, enormous metal sculptures have been erected in homage to the insects. Colourful murals depicting them can be seen on walls all around town. Taxi drivers stop to snack on handfuls of crunchy, roasted hormigas, and children play with small, furry ant toys.
In recent years, a growing appetite for this crawling culinary specialty has seen the ants spread from a regional snack to something of a gourmet ingredient. Each spring, harvesters send truckloads of the queens to hungry buyers across Colombia. Even experimental, high-end restaurants in the country's capital, Bogot, feature them seasonally '' such as at Mini-Mal, where the ants are served alongside smoked Amazonian pirarucu fish or as part of an ant-infused black pepper sauce with roast beef to a daring clientele.
''Hormigas are an important part of Colombian cuisine,'' said the restaurant's chef Eduardo Mart­nez, who first tasted them on a family trip to Santander as a nine-year-old. ''I want to promote their use and ensure that this tradition survives.''
But in recent generations, a combination of deforestation and urbanisation has led to problems between the ants and people in Santander. Population growth has seen the insects dig into the foundations of buildings and clash with farmers, whose crops are being eaten by ravenous leafcutters.
In addition, climate change has affected the reproductive cycle of the ants, as extreme, erratic weather has knocked the colonies' essential balance of humidity, sun and rainfall out of kilter. Because their mating season relies on very specific weather conditions, if the ground isn't soft enough, the queens might not be able to emerge from their underground tunnels easily. And similarly, deforestation and urbanisation is affecting the natural habitats of the ants, limiting where the nests can spread.
If the right conditions aren't present, the ants might not be born or they might not be able to escape from the ground
''The ecosystem is changing,'' said Aura Judit Cuadros, a researcher at the Autonomous University of Bucaramanga, who is studying ways to breed the ants sustainably for large-scale consumption. ''If the right conditions aren't present, the ants might not be born or they might not be able to escape from the ground.''
From the rolling foothills of Barichara to the valleys that encircle the towns of San Gil, Curit­, Villanueva, and Guane, however, the enduring ubiquity of these treasured insects means that their disappearance is not yet a serious concern.
When I visited, Alex Jim(C)nez, a guide and ant expert from the area, prodded the entrance to a hormiguero, or ant nest, with a long tree branch. Soon several irritated soldier ants emerged to investigate the disturbance, marching around in search of the perpetrator. According to Jim(C)nez, each nest contains many thousands of ants and can extend 5m underground in a vast labyrinth of tunnels that would stretch for miles if laid straight. Curiously, the queen of the nest can live for up to 15 years, but when she dies, the colony must move and build a new one.
''These ants have a certain intelligence, a natural one,'' said Jim(C)nez, peering at the line of leafcutters carrying cuts of foliage above their tiny abdomens. ''They work as one to ensure the survival of the whole. They've been collected and eaten for hundreds of years. They won't die out.''
As if to prove the point, the Santander native recounted a memorable 6km bike ride with friends during the peak of mating season last year. Jim(C)nez said the cycle through the countryside should have taken 30 minutes, but it ended up lasting nearly four hours as the group, overwhelmed by the sight of ants, could not help but stop every few minutes to collect more and more. They were seemingly joined on the hillsides by entire villages, eager to take part in this centuries-old Colombian and pre-Columbian tradition.
''The whole town smelt of hormigas that night,'' he exclaimed. ''Hormigas! Hormigas! Hormigas!''
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VIDEO-Austin City Council considers tough measures to shoot down soaring coronavirus
Thu, 09 Jul 2020 13:04
On the city's color-coded COVID risk chart we are now in the red area which could trigger new restrictions to slow the spread of the virus. Today council members will hear from experts to help them decide what to do next. (Photo: CBS Austin)
AUSTIN, Texas '--Before coronavirus came along some would say these are just more crazy ideas from the Austin City Council. But looking at where we are today in this so-called ''war against an invisible enemy,'' something really needs to be done to shoot down the soaring spread of COVID-19.
On the city's color-coded COVID risk chart we are now in the red area which could trigger new restrictions to slow the spread of the virus. Today council members will hear from experts to help them decide what to do next. Austin Mayor Steve Adler adds, ''They're going to tell us whether we're screaming into it or not and what the indicated action is. But it is of concern now that we're above 70, now at 75. But we need to figure out what those trajectories are.''
The same experts will also explain a proposal to shut down the city voluntarily for 35 days. Mayor Adler is among those who believe it will allow the coronavirus to subside enough that we would be able to reopen our schools for fall.
Also on the agenda, an ordinance that would declare businesses a nuisance if they don't take more action to prevent COVID-19's spread. This goes beyond the current requirement that businesses enforce mask use. They would also have to disinfect twice a day, post information signs and limit groups to ten or less among other things. Violators declared a "nuisance" will face a civil suit filed by the city attorney.
RELATED: Austinites asked to dial back activities by 90-percent to slow coronavirus spread
Business owners may not like the additional rules, but this proposal apparently has some critical support at the top. Mayor Adler said on his Facebook Live Wednesday night, ''I got a letter from the governor supporting what the city council's doing. So I'm encouraged.''
This special called meeting of the Austin City Council starts at 10:00 AM and the mayor says they'll be done in three hours.
VIDEO - Pompeo slams Susan Rice: She has a history of going on Sunday shows and lying - YouTube
Thu, 09 Jul 2020 12:46
VIDEO - WATCH: CNN host temporarily speechless after Ohio sheriff says he won't be the 'mask police' '' Raw Story
Thu, 09 Jul 2020 12:30
In a segment on CNN this Wednesday, Brianna Keiler interviewed Sheriff Richard Jones of Butler County, Ohio, grilling him over his refusal to enforce his state's face mask mandate.
Keiler mentioned how asymptomatic coronavirus carriers can still spread the virus, to which Jones replied that the numerous studies and statements from health agencies are too confusing to enforce any one policy.
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''I'm not trusting what you say '-- I don't know you that well,'' Jones told Keiler. ''Every week they change how you can catch this, how you can't '-- first to wear a mask, then not to wear a mask, then it's a certain kind of mask '... people are confused, I'm confused. I wear a mask, but we shouldn't have our government demand that we wear a mask, that we can't work, that the economy's shut down '... when this is all over and the studies come out, there will be more people who have died from not being able to go to a hospital, without being able to get their medication '-- this is my opinion.''
Keiler pointed out that if more people wear masks, the economy will open up sooner after the spread of the virus has been stemmed, but Jones was unmoved.
''Sir, it sounds like you're just very confused about how this works and the facts about this,'' Keiler said, prompting Jones to fire back that he believes ''you and the media are confused.''
''I'm not going to be the mask police, period,'' Jones said, causing Keiler to be speechless for a few seconds.
Watch the full exchange in the video below:
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VIDEO - CAUGHT: Tent city protesters staying at expensive downtown hotel - YouTube
Thu, 09 Jul 2020 12:25
VIDEO - (30) Tom Elliott on Twitter: "SUPERCUT! Media: Despite Falling Covid Death Rate, We Must Remain Terrified!" / Twitter
Thu, 09 Jul 2020 12:01
Tom Elliott : SUPERCUT!Media: Despite Falling Covid Death Rate, We Must Remain Terrified!
Wed Jul 08 23:18:03 +0000 2020
Kyle Harrison : @tomselliott Will you all stop the fear monger tactics after Trump wins or will you create something else.'...
Thu Jul 09 11:49:29 +0000 2020
QAmom : @tomselliott 🛑 STOP THE SPREAD NOW! We should do what's advised '¤µ¸'¤µ¸
Thu Jul 09 11:45:45 +0000 2020
mindless is sad : @tomselliott @RealSaavedra So sick of these people...and there are so many of them..No shame..
Thu Jul 09 11:44:19 +0000 2020
VIDEO - The Segregation Myth: Richard Rothstein Debunks an American Lie | NowThis - YouTube
Thu, 09 Jul 2020 11:47
VIDEO - CNN's Don Lemon Offers 5 Tips To "End The Violence & Chaos" In Black Communities | Zero Hedge
Thu, 09 Jul 2020 11:41
This is going to be a little awkward for some.
Having recently gone to battle with Terry Crews over the semantic difference between the "Black Lives Matter" movement (which appears not to care about 'some' black lives) and Crews' argument that "all black lives matter", video from 2013 has exposed CNN's infamously outspoken African American anchor Don Lemon as a thoughtful, pensive, open-minded pundit who truly went out on a limb to help America's black communities lift themselves up... by agreeing with none other than Fox's Bill O'Reilly.
From July 2013, courtesy of Ian Stewart at,
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: I want to talk to you because we're going to take a break from the headlines to talk about something I've had on my mind for quite some time now. So much so that I felt compelled to bring back our segment where we hold politicians, leaders, and pundits accountable for what comes out of their mouths. It's time now, again, for No Talking Points.
The Trayvon Martin murder case got just about everybody talking about race, and not just specifically how it related to the case. It got some, many on the political right, wondering why the so-called liberal media wasn't talking about other problems in the black community.
Ok, so far so good, but it sounds like Lemon is about to rail on the 'rightist' racism... But wait...
LEMON: Someone on another network got the chance to go first because I couldn't go during the week. I'm only here on the weekend, so listen to this
BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST: The reason there is so much violence and chaos in the black precincts is the disintegration of the African- American family.
LEMON: He's got a point. In fact, he's got more than a point. Bill?
O'REILLY: Raised without much structure, young black men often reject education and gravitate towards the street culture, drugs, hustling, gangs. Nobody forces them to do that, again, it is a personal decision.
LEMON: He is right about that, too.
Ok, now remove all fluids from your mouth and put down all sharp objects, things are about to get very real and very Twilight Zone at the same time. CNN's Don Lemon then offers black people five things they should think about doing if they want to, in his words "fix their problem." (annotated below, see the full transcript here)
Number five. Pull up your pants...
Sagging pants, whether Justin Bieber or No-name Derek around the way, walking around with your ass and your underwear showing is not OK.
Number four is the n-word...
By promoting the use of that word when it's not germane to the conversation, have you ever considered that you may be just perpetuating the stereotype the master intended acting like a n***er?
Number three. Respect where you live...
Start small by not dropping trash, littering in your own communities.
Number two, finish school...
You want to break the cycle of poverty? Stop telling kids they're acting white because they go to school or they speak proper English.
Number one, and probably the most important, just because you can have a baby, it doesn't mean you should...
Studies show that lack of a male role model is an express train right to prison and the cycle continues.
Lemon concludes:
"So, please, black folks, as I said if this doesn't apply to you, I'm not talking to you. Pay attention to and think about what has been presented in recent history as acceptable behavior. Pay close attention to the hip-hop and rap culture that many of you embrace. A culture that glorifies everything I just mentioned, thug and reprehensible behavior, a culture that is making a lot of people rich, just not you."
Watch the full clip below (before it is banned for its clear racism):
We wonder what would happen if President Trump held a press conference and suggested these five steps as a starting point for "Making Black America Great Again"? We suspect Lemon would be the first to exclaim "racism" at the President's "white supremacist" attitude, daring to offer an opinion on what might help.
What a difference seven years (and a different president) makes.
Its amazing how crazy @donlemon went in such a short time
'-- Tha Bobster (@bobneedsmoney) July 8, 2020Is Don Lemon about to be #canceled?
VIDEO - Parading Joe Biden about on the world's stage is 'sad and cruel' - YouTube
Thu, 09 Jul 2020 11:14
VIDEO-What is pool testing and how does it work? - The Washington Post
Thu, 09 Jul 2020 03:53
Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Thursday in an interview with The Washington Post that health officials are having ''intense discussions'' about what's known as ''pool testing.'' It would mark the newest strategy to contain the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, which has killed at least 123,000 people and infected more than 2.4 million.
What is pool testing?
Also known as batch testing, pool testing combines samples from several people and tests them for the coronavirus all at once, cutting down on the time and supplies required. The protocol was first invented to test for syphilis during World War II and has been used in the past for outbreaks of other sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.
''If everyone is negative, then you're done,'' Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told The Post in May.
Coronavirus samples may be pooled to expedite and expand testing. (Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)
If the test detected the presence of the virus, then each person would have to be tested and the results individually analyzed to determine whose sample produced the positive result.
''You can rapidly increase the capacity of testing,'' said Benjamin Pinsky, director of the Clinical Virology Laboratory at Stanford University's School of Medicine. ''The trade-off is that there's reduced sensitivity. It's kind of a balance.'' Samples with low viral loads are more likely to go undetected in a pool, he said.
Stay safe and informed with our free Coronavirus Updates newsletter
How many samples are pooled?
Researchers have generally suggested quantities between three and 50. The bigger the pool, the more likely a positive case with a low viral load will be too diluted to trigger detection of the virus. Israeli researchers found that a positive sample was detectable in a pool of 32 and even a pool of 64, although the latter group might require more cycles of amplifying the virus. A large pool that contains a positive case also means more individual tests will have to be run to find the infected person. But researchers are also experimenting with ways to organize the samples that will make it easier to disaggregate a positive case from a pool.
When does pool sampling make sense '-- and when does it not?
Pool sampling works best in a large population in which the infection rate is believed to be low. If you are working with a small group, pool testing isn't necessary. If you are working with a large group but suspect many of those people are positive, it's not helpful to group them together, because many of the samples will have to be retested individually.
Jha said the method could be used, hypothetically, to test children attending a summer camp in a low-transmission area. ''You use one test kit, and if it's negative, then you say, we'll have the camp. And if it's positive, we'll send everyone home and tell parents to figure out who is positive,'' he said.
Jha and other experts suggested that other group settings in which regular pool testing might be effective include schools, offices and correctional institutions.
The concern over false negatives would be mitigated if the same pool is tested multiple times, offering more chances to catch the virus.
''It could be very useful in back-to-work or back-to-school programs or large-scale screening because this allows you to test more people and test them more frequently, and that's the key,'' Pinsky said.
Is anyone else doing this?
Countries around the world have been doing pool testing. India's protocol combines 25 samples at a time for migrant workers and international travelers in quarantine and for surveillance in ''green zones'' where prevalence is low. Germany has used pool testing in nursing homes and residential care facilities. Singapore has as well.
If it's so great, why aren't we doing it already?
In the United States, federal restrictions have limited the availability of batch testing. The Food and Drug Administration considers pooling samples a modification that takes a test out of compliance. One exception is Nebraska, where Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) gave the state public health laboratory emergency authorization to pool tests.
''We were running out of reagents. We were at a point here we were going to have to shut the lab down,'' lab director Peter C. Iwen recalled.
The FDA subsequently agreed that the lab could pool up to five tests at a time as long as the overall positivity rate remained below 10 percent. Iwen said he is in conversation with pathologists and the FDA about how to allow national pool testing. Just 10 days ago, the FDA released a template for labs to seek approval of pool testing protocols.
''There's a huge change going on .'‰.'‰. to allow this to happen,'' he said. ''This is what we need. Everybody is skittish about doing this because of the regulations.''
Pinksy's lab at Stanford has also done some pool testing of San Francisco residents who were swabbed for respiratory symptoms from December through February '-- before a coronavirus test was available. Using groups of 10, they tested 2,888 samples and found only two positive cases, indicating the virus was not widespread in the area at that point.
The lab is now preparing for clinical pool testing, pending approval from the FDA.
Paige Winfield Cunningham and Rosalind S. Helderman contributed to this report.
VIDEO - 'Herd immunity' near, but MSM suppress recovery numbers - YouTube
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 21:50
VIDEO - Former Trump aide Flynn appears to make pledge to QAnon in July 4 video | The Independent
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 21:35
Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn appeared to signal his support for the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory on the July 4 holiday by posting a video to his Twitter reciting an oath of duty that ends with a QAnon slogan.
"Where we go one, we go all," the retired three-star US Army lieutenant general and five other people say in the video, a phrase that has been adopted by followers of the shadowy "Q" figure who leads the growing community of conspiracy theorists.
The conspiracy theory, which arose in October 2017, maintains, without evidence, that a corrupt "deep state" of paedophiles, cannibals and otherwise malign individuals within the US government (and all over the world) control everything that happens in it '-- and that Donald Trump is in a shadow war to put an end to the evildoers' reign.
Download the new Independent Premium appSharing the full story, not just the headlines
The theory originated on the far-right message board 4chan after a person with the username "Q Clearance Patriot" began posting message threads about such plots.
Q, as the user came to be known as, claimed to have "Q" level security clearance with the United States Department of Energy that gave them Top Secret-level information about nuclear weapons and resources.
Mr Flynn's video on Saturday, in which he and his friends recite the congressional oath of office to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic," is one of several recent indications that he has embraced his martyr status among QAnon believers.
He has added the QAnon hashtag "#TakeTheOath" to his Twitter bio and penned several columns employing similar language and imagery as other QAnon believers, the Daily Beast has reported.
Mr Flynn was indicted in 2017 for lying to the FBI in January of that year about his communications with then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak.
QAnon believers say he was the victim of deep state conspirators.
The president, several GOP lawmakers, and even the Justice Department led by Attorney General William barr have since indicated they hold the same notion.
The DOJ recently dropped its case against Mr Flynn, even though the former Trump national security adviser pleaded guilty to the charges on more than one occasion.
No hype, just the advice and analysis you need
In moving to backtrack on its own prosecutors' work and dismiss the case, the DOJ argued that FBI officials sought to unfairly entrap Mr Flynn and that his lies about his communications with then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak were not material to the broader investigation into possible links between Mr Trump's associates and agents of the Russian government.
The FBI's questioning of Mr Flynn in 2017 about his communications with Mr Kislyak were ''untethered to, and unjustified by, the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into Mr Flynn'' and that it was ''conducted without any legitimate investigative basis,'' the DOJ wrote, a position Democratic lawmakers and scores of outside legal experts have lampooned.
The QAnon conspiracy theory has recently wended its way from the corners of 4chan '-- and later 8chan '-- to the political mainstream.
Restaurant owner and gun rights activist Lauren Boebert, an avowed QAnon believer, defeated longtime Republican Congressman Scott Tipton in the GOP primary for Colorado's 3rd District last week. The district is solidly Republican, and Ms Boebert is expected to win the general election to become a US House member next year.
And last month, the president's son Eric Trump posted a photo on his Instagram page ahead of his father's rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that featured QAnon imagery.
VIDEO - SJW Karens Accuse NY Volunteer of Racism | Education Council Member, Tom Wrocklage - YouTube
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 21:24
VIDEO - WHO Officials Address Airborne Transmission Of COVID-19 | NBC News NOW - YouTube
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 20:56
VIDEO-Scott Jensen on Twitter: "Most important video I've done...could this happen to you? Share the message, no one's immune to attacks. (part 1/2)" / Twitter
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 14:48
Scott Jensen : Most important video I've done...could this happen to you? Share the message, no one's immune to attacks. (part 1/'...
Mon Jul 06 16:39:32 +0000 2020
Nick Reynolds : @drscottjensen Thank you Dr. Jensen
Wed Jul 08 14:39:53 +0000 2020
Frank : @drscottjensen
Wed Jul 08 14:17:08 +0000 2020
''ŒðŸ¾Sara''ŒðŸ¾ : @drscottjensen Thank you for using your platform to educate us all and speak your peace. Your bravery will be rewar'...
Wed Jul 08 14:14:41 +0000 2020
VIDEO-SkyNews on Twitter: ""This is going to be a green recovery, with concern for our environment at its heart." Chancellor @RishiSunak announces vouchers worth up to £5,000 per household to make homes more energy efficient - doubling to £10,000 for lo
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 12:37
SkyNews : "This is going to be a green recovery, with concern for our environment at its heart."Chancellor @RishiSunak anno'...
Wed Jul 08 12:18:29 +0000 2020
VIDEO-White House Press Sec Kayleigh McEnany Acknowledged the Armenian Genocide This Week, A Long-Awaited and Welcome Step
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 12:30
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany went further than any U.S. administration official in recognizing the Armenian genocide from the White House podium this week.McEnany said Monday:
'''... We've got a real problem in this country, when you have rioters, who I have listed of some of the examples of the abolitionists, there seems to zero understanding of history when you are defacing the statue of Matthias Baldwin, John Whittier and Ulysses S. Grant, there seems to be a lack of understanding of historical knowledge, when the Armenian Genocide memorial , remembering the victims of all crimes against humanity, including slavery is vandalized there seems to be a lack of historical understanding'...''
There has of course been bipartisan recognition of the Armenian Genocide in the Senate and House. The Trump administration, like its predecessor, has used the term ''Meds Yeghern'' '' the Armenian victims' own phrase '' to refer to it.
And the latest step forward, with McEnany using the word ''genocide,'' should be welcomed.
This year, on 24th of April, the Memorial Day of Meds Yeghern, the White House issued the following opening statement:
''Today, we join the global community in'¯memorializing the lives lost during'¯the Meds'¯Yeghern, one'¯of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century.'¯ Beginning in 1915, 1 and a half million Armenians were deported, massacred, or marched to their deaths in the final years of the Ottoman Empire.'¯'¯On'¯this day of remembrance, we'¯pay respect to those who suffered and lost their lives, while also renewing our commitment to fostering a more humane and peaceful'¯world.''
Meds Yeghern means ''big atrocities/crime/catastrophe/carnage/mass murder'' in Armenian, and is the adopted language of the victims themselves.
Having had different descriptions in the past, only President Ronald Reagan as a sitting president has called the atrocities a genocide:
''Like the genocide of the Armenians before it, and the genocide of the Cambodians which followed it '-- and like too many other such persecutions of too many other peoples '-- the lessons of the Holocaust must never be forgotten.''
'' President Ronald Reagan, April 22, 1981
Now the Trump administration has already taken the most geopolitically uncomfortable step: using the 'G word'.
McEnany should be applauded, and the genocide should now be formally recognized as such.
Wahagen Khabayan Wahagen Khabayan is a 2020 National Pulse Writing Fellow based in Salzburg, Austria
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VIDEO-'Emerging evidence' of airborne transmission of coronavirus, says WHO - CNN
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 11:40
(CNN) The World Health Organization confirmed there is "emerging evidence" of airborne transmission of the coronavirus following the publication of a letter Monday signed by 239 scientists that urged the agency to be more forthcoming about the likelihood that people can catch the virus from droplets floating in the air.
Dr. Benedetta Alleganzi, WHO Technical Lead for Infection Prevention and Control, said during a briefing Tuesday, that the agency has discussed and collaborated with many of the scientists who signed the letter.
"We acknowledge that there is emerging evidence in this field, as in all other fields regarding the Covid-19 virus and pandemic and therefore we believe that we have to be open to this evidence and understand its implications regarding the modes of transmission and also regarding the precautions that need to be taken," Alleganzi said.
Infectious disease epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkove, with WHO's Health Emergencies Program, said many of the letter's signatories are engineers, "which adds to growing knowledge about the importance of ventilation, which we feel is very important."
"We have been talking about the possibility of airborne transmission and aerosol transmission as one of the modes of transmission of Covid-19, as well as droplet. We've looked at fomites. We've looked at fecal oral. We've looked at mother to child. We've looked at animal to human, of course as well," Van Kerkove said.
She said the agency is working on a scientific brief summarizing the current knowledge around transmission of the deadly virus, which should be available in the coming weeks.
Alleganzi emphasized more research is still needed on Covid-19 transmission.
"So, these are fields of research that are really growing and for which there is some evidence emerging but is not definitive," she said.
"And therefore, the possibility of airborne transmission in public settings, especially in very specific conditions crowded, closed, poorly ventilated settings that have been described cannot be ruled out. However, the evidence needs to be gathered and interpreted."
VIDEO-Dr. Richard Bartlett | ACWT Interview 7.2.20 - YouTube
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 10:53
VIDEO-Facebook ad boycott organizers met with Zuckerberg. It didn't go well - CNN
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 23:54
By Brian Fung, CNN Business
Updated 6:28 PM EDT, Tue July 07, 2020
(CNN Business) Civil rights and activist groups blasted Facebook's leadership on Tuesday after meeting with CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other executives to discuss the demands of a large advertiser boycott that now includes hundreds of brands.
"The meeting we just left was a disappointment," said Rashad Robinson, the president of Color of Change. "[Facebook] showed up to the meeting expecting an 'A' for attendance."
Free Press, a media activist group and one of the organizers of the #StopHateForProfit campaign to halt ad spending on the social network, said Facebook still has not taken the boycott's calls to action seriously.
"Instead of committing to a timeline to root out hate and disinformation on Facebook, the company's leaders delivered the same old talking points to try to placate us without meeting our demands," said Free Press Co-CEO Jessica Gonzalez. "Facebook approached our meeting today like it was nothing more than a PR exercise."
In a statement, Facebook spokesman Andy Stone said the company has established new policies banning voting and census suppression and removed more than 200 white supremacist organizations from the platform.
"This meeting was an opportunity for us to hear from the campaign organizers and reaffirm our commitment to combating hate on our platform. They want Facebook to be free of hate speech and so do we," the statement said. "We know we will be judged by our actions not by our words and are grateful to these groups and many others for their continued engagement."
A long list of big and small businesses, including household names like The North Face, Pfizer ( PFE ) and Levi Strauss ( LEVI ) , have joined the pressure campaign over the social network's handling of hate speech and misinformation. The companies participating in the protest have vowed to pull their ads from Facebook and Instagram for at least the month of July.
The protest came after Facebook decided not to take action on a series of controversial posts from President Donald Trump '-- including one during racial justice protests that said "looting" would lead to "shooting." Facebook and Zuckerberg came under pressure from employees and politicians, but the ad boycott represented a more direct potential threat to the social network's core business.
The meeting on Tuesday lasted for a little over an hour, and was conducted via Zoom, said Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League. The meeting included Zuckerberg, COO Sheryl Sandberg, chief product officer Chris Cox, and members of the Facebook policy team, he said.
The campaign had called on participating brands to ask for 10 changes that touch on seemingly every aspect of how Facebook operates, from the ads it allows to run on the platform to the makeup of its leadership team and its content moderation policies.
The list includes demanding that Facebook hire a C-Suite executive with "deep" civil rights experience to assess products and policies for discrimination, bias and hate. The organizers are also calling for Facebook to pledge to do regular, independent audits of hate and misinformation; remove public and private groups focused on hate or violent conspiracies and stop the recommendation and reach of such groups; and give all moderators anti-bias and hate-related training in the next 90 days.
The group also wants Facebook to ban political ads with blatant lies, which the company has faced criticism for allowing in the past. Facebook has previously defended the policy, saying it does not want to censor political speech.
Greenblatt said the groups methodically outlined their demands in the meeting, such as the call for a new civil rights executive position at Facebook, but got no commitments or timeframes for change.
"We had 10 demands and literally, we went through the 10, and didn't get commitments or timeframes or clear outcomes," said Greenblatt. Zuckerberg came to the meeting expressing appreciation for the opportunity to hear the nuances of the groups' position, Greenblatt added. "And we said: 'There is no nuance in white nationalism.'"
Many of the organizations expressed disappointment with what they said were repeated dialogues with few results.
"For over 2 years, NAACP has entered into dialogue," said Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP. "We've watched the conversation blossom into nothingness."
Gonzalez told CNN Business she is "really tired of the vague promises," and that her organization might not join future meetings with Facebook.
"I don't know that I would sit down again until they've actually made some commitments," she said.
Robinson said his previous meeting with Facebook '-- along with the apparent futility of the meetings '-- was what helped to inspire the boycott campaign.
"At the June 1st meeting, I kept saying, 'What are we even doing '-- Mark, why are we meeting?' It was at that point that I knew we would move into a boycott mode," said Robinson. "Facebook has our demands and recommendations, and so any other meetings need commitments."
In a Facebook post Tuesday morning, Sandberg said the company would release on Wednesday the final report in a two-year-long civil rights audit of the company.
"It has helped us learn a lot about what we could do better, and we have put many recommendations from the auditors and the wider civil rights community into practice," Sandberg wrote. "While we won't be making every change they call for, we will put more of their proposals into practice soon."
Civil rights groups expressed skepticism about the report's likelihood of leading to changes.
"It's only as good as what Facebook ends up doing with the content," said Robinson of Color of Change. "It's like going to a doctor, getting a new set of recommendations about your diet, and not doing anything about it and wondering why you're not any healthier."
Kaya Yurieff contributed to this report.
VIDEO-Carly on Twitter: "Has your party left you? @adamcurry @elincomm @THErealDVORAK" / Twitter
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 23:46
Carly : Has your party left you? @adamcurry @elincomm @THErealDVORAK
Tue Jul 07 23:02:38 +0000 2020
VIDEO - John Bolton: A second Trump term would be dangerous for Israel - US & Canada - Israel National News
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 20:59
For US National Security Advisor John Bolton warned that President Trump's reelection could imperil Israel.
Speaking with Israel's Channel 13 in an interview which is set to be aired Thursday night, Bolton said he fears that if President Trump is reelected this November, it could create a 'risk' for Israel.
Specifically, Bolton claimed that Trump is ''eager'' to open negotiations with Iran and could offer sanctions relief, something which would pose a ''a danger''.
So you think there might be a risk to Israel [if Trump is reelected]?
''Yes, because I think that the president's policies could shift. I lay out in the book how eager he was to have a meeting with the Iranian leadership, whether Rouhani or Khameni. Are the Iranians prepared to talk to get relief from the economic sanctions, to buy time so they can continue their nuclear program? Sure, they're willing to do that.''
''Just as Kim Jong-Un played Trump along in the Korea context, I worry that in a second term, the Iranians might be able to do the same with Trump. That to me is a danger.''
Trump fired Bolton last September, 17 months after he tapped Bolton for the position.
Following his dismissal from the Trump administration, Bolton penned the 592-page book, The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir.
In the book, Bolton repeated derides Trump, painting him as an erratic, ''foolish'' and 'irrational' Commander in Chief.
VIDEO - Ep. 1687 Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All | Tom Woods
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 19:26
Subscribe To The Tom Woods ShowMichael Shellenberger joins me to discuss his new book, Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All.
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VIDEO - Beelden: politie ontdekt martelkamer in container - YouTube
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 19:20
VIDEO - Don Lemon to Terry Crews: Black Lives Matter 'Not About What's Happening in Black Neighborhoods'
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 19:05
Monday night on CNN, host Don Lemon had a heated debate with actor Terry Crews over the Black Lives Matter movement.
Crews said, ''When you have the leaders of the Black Lives movement, who are now talking about, 'If we don't get our demands, we're going to burn it down,' other Black people who are talking about working with other whites and other races, they're being viewed as sell-outs, or called Uncle Toms. You start to understand you're now being controlled. You're not being treated as loved. You're actually being controlled. Someone wants to control the narrative. I viewed it as a very, very dangerous self-righteousness that was developing. That, you know, that really viewed themselves as better. It was almost a supremacist move where they viewed that their Black lives mattered a lot more than mine.''
Lemon asked, ''You think Black Lives Matter, you said you think it's an extreme movement?''
Crews said, ''No, this is the thing. It's a great mantra. It's the true mantra. Black lives do matter. But, when you're talking about an organization, you're talking about the leaders, you are talking about the people who are responsible for putting these things together.''
Lemon said, ''Terry, you realize that even during the civil rights movement, that Dr. King was seen as extreme? That movement was seen as extreme. To people who don't want to make change, movements are seen as extreme. You can paint them easily, as extreme when they are not.''
Crews said, ''When you look at the city of Chicago, there are nine children who've died by gun violence, by Black-on-Black gun violence from June 20th all the way to today.''
He added, ''You're talking about a month, and you have nine Black kids, and the Black Lives Matter movement has said nothing about this kind of thing.''
Lemon said, ''What does that have to do with equality, though, Terry? I don't understand what that has to do with equality?''
He added, ''I lived in Chicago. There are many people who are working in those communities to try to get rid of the gun violence. The gun culture in this country is prevalent. But I don't understand what that has to do with a movement that's for equality for Black people. It's not mutually exclusive that, if you care about equality for Black people, that somehow you are going to stop random violence, or, unfortunately, kids from being shot. It just seems like apples and oranges.''
Crews said, ''You know, it's not that way. You know, this is the thing, Don, you know Black people need to hold other Black people accountable. This is the Black America's version of the Me Too movement. If anything's going to change, we, ourselves, need to look at our own communities and look at each other and say this thing cannot go down. This is the thing too. There are a lot of great, great people there who are held, hostage. Who are held hostage by people who, literally, are running these neighborhoods with violence, and then claiming that Black lives matter.''
Lemon said, ''The Black Lives Matter movement was started because it was talking about police brutality. If you want an All Black Lives Matter movement that talks about gun violence in communities, including, you know, Black communities, then start that movement with that name. But that's not what Black Lives Matter is about. It's not all-encompassing. If someone started a movement that said cancer matters, and then someone comes and says, 'Why aren't you talking about HIV?' It's not the same thing. We're talking about cancer. So the Black Lives Matter movement is about police brutality and injustice, in that manner. Not about what's happening in Black neighborhoods.''
Crews said, ''But when you look at the organization, police brutality is not the only thing they are talking about.''
Lemon said, ''I know that. I agree. But that's not what the Black Lives Matter movement is about, Terry. Black lives matter is about police brutality and about criminal justice. It's not about what happens in communities when it comes to crime, black-on-black crime. People who live near each other, black people, kill each other. Same as whites. Eighty-some percent of white people are killed by white people because of proximity. Same thing with black people. It happens in every single neighborhood. But again, I'm not saying it's not important that those kids died, but it's a different movement.''
Crews said, ''I understand what you're saying. I totally understand. It is about police brutality. That should never be accepted. I am not saying that that's not it. But there's more there. And when I look, if they have more on their agenda, we need to ask them about what else is on that agenda, other than police brutality. And that's all I'm doing, questioning. Warning, watching. And if that bothers you, now, that bothers me.''
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN
VIDEO - Houston Fights COVID
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 16:27
Do your part to end COVID. Join #HoustonFightsCOVID now!ABOUTTo develop a COVID vaccine, the FDA, drug manufacturers, and researchers across the country are all working together to fast track the normally years-long process down to just weeks.
We are entering the final phases of vaccine trials. With your help, we can fight COVID and go back to normal quickly.
Houstonians, now is our time to join the fight.
JOIN THE FIGHT''If all the cards fall into the right place and all the stars are aligned, you definitely could get a vaccine by December or January.'' Dr. Anthony FauciDirector, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH)
How I can help Raise Your Hand. Join The Fight. Take 1 minute to fill out the questionnaire and we will promptly reach out to you. COUNT ME IN
Spread The Word. Save The World. Get more Houstonians to join the fight. Invite them through our Ambassador Program. INVITE TO FIGHT
FAQ 1I don't want to be a guinea pig. Is it safe?
The investigational vaccines you will take have already been approved by the FDA for Phase 2 or 3 trials'--which means there is human safety data available from earlier phases of clinical trials.
2Will I be compensated?
Yes. We appreciate and value your time and commitment. The compensation for your time and travel costs could total as much as $1,000 over the course of the study. We will discuss this, along with other specifics of the study, during the consenting process.
3Who is sponsoring the trial? Should I trust you?
We have a number of FDA-approved COVID vaccine trials underway and in the pipeline, in phase 2 and phase 3, sponsored by preeminent pharmaceutical companies. We, here at the Texas Center for Drug Development, along with our partner institution DM Clinical Research comprise the largest non-institutional clinical research networks serving Greater Houston for over a decade and a half.
4What happens after I sign up?
Your answer to the questionnaire will help us identify the trial for which you may be eligible. If you qualify, we will reach out to you to ask more detailed questions to assess your interest and eligibility for trial enrollment. Because different trials will start over time, with different criteria, you might be invited to a trial some time over the following weeks or months.
5How long does it take? What should I expect?
Your initial visit is very much like a visit to your general practitioner and will take about 1''2 hours. We extend the greatest of care here for you from check-in, to vitals, physical exam, a few questions about your medical history, drawing blood and administering the investigational vaccine or placebo* in a safe environment. There is typically a second dose administered in about a month. We will follow up regularly by phone and have you come in for a few short clinic visits over the next year or two. Watch the video below to learn more.*As part of the trial, a portion of participants will be given a placebo.
6What is a clinical trial?
Clinical trials are research studies where volunteers help researchers understand medical conditions or evaluate new ways of treating, diagnosing or preventing these conditions. The trial is conducted under the supervision of a physician based on a detailed study plan, so you can rest assured you are in good hands. In our case, all trials have been approved by the FDA.
7Who can participate?
You and everyone you know. Everyone can play a role. We need men and women of all ages (18 and older) especially those who are most at risk of exposure to COVID infection: frontline workers, medical personnel, essential workers, or those living with them. It is also important to us to ensure opportunities for participation to under-represented communities, including African American and Hispanic communities, that have been hard-hit.
8How does my participation help?
There are many companies in the healthcare industry working on a vaccine and taking potential vaccines through rigorous clinical trials is the only way to earn approval for general availability. The sooner these trials enroll the participants they need, the sooner that milestone can be reached. At the same time, vaccine trial spots are limited, and we would like as many Houstonians to have the opportunity to access these investigational vaccines as possible. Here in Houston, we've always risen together in the face of adversity. This pandemic has fundamentally disrupted our lives. Without a vaccine, the status quo will remain and a life of masks, quarantine, social distancing , and shut-downs will continue.
9Is my information submitted to your site secure? How will it be used?
Your information is collected in a HIPAA-compliant platform, will not be shared with anyone, and will only be used to assess your suitability for potential clinical research participation at our organization. Learn more about privacy policy
10How can I contact you?
actnowJoin #HoustonFightsCOVID and help make the world safer together.
We all want to go back to normal. To celebrate together, to support each other, to breathe freely without worrying about social distancing. Your participation in #HoustonFightsCOVID will get all of us there, faster.
Join the fight against COVID and provide hope and relief to the Houston community and the world.JOIN THE FIGHT
VIDEO - NIH Director On Why He Is Declining To Speak On Panels That Exclude Women : NPR
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 14:53
NIH Director On Why He Is Declining To Speak On Panels That Exclude Women NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, about his decision to decline speaking on what he calls "manels" '-- panels that exclude women.
NIH Director On Why He Is Declining To Speak On Panels That Exclude WomenNPR's Audie Cornish speaks with Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, about his decision to decline speaking on what he calls "manels" '-- panels that exclude women.
It is time to end the tradition in science of all-male speaking panels. That's the word from Francis Collins. And he should know. Collins is the head of the National Institutes of Health. He led the Human Genome Project. And he has been to a lot of all-male panels or manels. Seriously, it's so common, there are multiple nicknames for the practice, including manferences and himposiums. Now, in an attempt to break down that tradition, he is vowing not to speak on panels that do not fairly consider scientists of all backgrounds. He joins us more to talk about this pledge. Welcome to the program.
FRANCIS COLLINS: Nice to be with you, Audie.
CORNISH: So you've been in this business a long time. What do you think has prevented women or diversity in general from these panels?
COLLINS: I'd like to think that there's not an intentional bias going on, but there certainly seems to be an implicit bias. When people are setting up workshops or panels or symposia, they kind of pick out, oh, I know this person and I know that person. And all too often, the people they're thinking of are the men. And then you end up coming to one of these events and being embarrassed to be part of something when we have a wonderfully diverse scientific workforce, and it doesn't seem to be getting represented. And I just decided, enough of this already. I'm not going to take part in such things from now on.
CORNISH: Now, roughly at the same time you announced that you wouldn't be appearing on panels, you know, that were not diverse, the National Institutes of Health released this result of an employee survey there - right? - that said, among other things, that 22 percent of women who responded had experienced gender harassment. This is at NIH. So how do you address this?
COLLINS: I'm very concerned about that. And we decided to organize our own very scientific survey to find out just how widespread the problem is. It's been certainly reported in lots of other circumstances. And it turns out it's true in our own group here at NIH. And that's something we needed to know. And now we can start to act upon it. It's time to face up to this and not simply say, oh, well, you know, it's just the way it is. We have potential solutions here. We should implement them.
CORNISH: I ask 'cause all of this publicity opens you up personally to a lot of criticism, right? I mean your deputy directors are men if we go on the website right now.
COLLINS: I think if you looked at the most recent meeting of my advisory committee to the director, which just met two weeks ago, you would see we invited seven new members this particular cycle out of a group of 20. They are all women. We are trying also with our own senior leadership to change this. As far as institute directors who come as full-time employees. I have the chance to do a lot of that recruiting. Of the last six institute directors that we've recruited from the outside, five of them have been women.
CORNISH: So have you turned down any speaking engagements so far?
COLLINS: I have certainly sent a message to one meeting that wanted me to come that unless something changes with the way that agenda is set up, I'm probably not going to be able to be amongst their speakers. So we'll see.
CORNISH: I'm asking this 'cause I'm a woman, and no one's going to tell me - what have you heard from men in your field since your statement?
COLLINS: Most of the men that I've heard from have been extremely supportive. And some of them have also gotten out there to say, OK, me too. I'm not going to do this, either. I won't show up for such meetings if they're not balanced. There have been a few cranky responses from men that probably I would consider to be a little bit living in the past and maybe a little bit entitled who are complaining that this is somehow not consistent with the meritocracy. But I think, actually, their perspectives are unsupported by data and are frankly offensive to women.
CORNISH: Interesting. So you're going to use a data-driven argument for this to try and make your case against the naysayers.
COLLINS: I'm always in favor of backing up whatever we do at NIH with data. And this is no different.
CORNISH: Francis Collins is the director of the National Institutes of Health. Thank you for speaking with ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. Good luck with your pledge.
COLLINS: You're welcome. And thank you, Audie.
Copyright (C) 2019 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio record.
VIDEO-Francis Collins: How I became a Christian - YouTube
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 13:56
VIDEO-Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Francis Collins deliver a COVID-19 update (LIVE) | USA TODAY - YouTube
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 12:33
VIDEO-Volunteers needed in Houston for COVID-19 vaccine trials |
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 12:12
Volunteers are needed for trials that will begin in a couple of weeks.
HOUSTON '-- A Houston research firm has been selected for COVID-19 vaccine trials.
The Texas Center for Drug Development is looking for volunteers for trials that will be underway in a couple of weeks.
The program is a joint initiative between the Texas Center for Drug Development and DM Clinical Research.
"We do want more people who are high risk, such as healthcare workers, firefighters, essential workers, people who work in grocery stores, but we do have vaccines for all different risk levels,'' said Dr. Vicki Miller, of the Texas Center for Drug Development.
They want to make the pool of volunteers as diverse as possible and say Houston's diversity is one of the reasons the area was chosen.
"In order for trials to be shown to be effective and safe in all populations, all different types of people, all genders, races need to participate," Miller said.
They'll be trying out several possible vaccines that have already passed the first phase of testing.
"We are very careful, we don't want to enroll anybody who wouldn't qualify or would not be safe,'' Miller said.
To sign up, go to
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KHOU has just upgraded its technology. If you were unable to receive KHOU with your antenna in the past, try again on channel 11.11. You may have to rescan your channels for it to work '' if that's the case, we've got some instructions at If you already see KHOU on 11.1, you may now ALSO see it on 11.11 '' it's the exact same programming. We're really excited to be able to bring our KHOU 11 News, CBS shows and sports, Wheel of Fortune, Ellen and Great Day Houston to more homes around the area. If you're still having trouble, please contact us here and we'll try to get you set up.
VIDEO-Dan Ramos: "@adam @Johncdvorak Pay special attention to 27:'..." - No Agenda Social
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 04:58
@ adam @ Johncdvorak
Pay special attention to 27:44 to 30:25 !
"US Navy, B-52 bomber in South China Sea drills; Wuhan raises flood alert level as rains batter China"
VIDEO-Matt Taibbi DISMANTLES woke corporate race book 'White Fragility' - YouTube
Mon, 06 Jul 2020 15:33
VIDEO-Using ground relays with Starlink - YouTube
Mon, 06 Jul 2020 15:21
VIDEO-Sheriffs say be prepared, get armed | FOX 35 Orlando
Mon, 06 Jul 2020 10:39
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Two more Central Florida sheriffs are joining Brevard County's top cop by urging citizens to prepare in case of an attack, and if they're willing '' get armed.
On Wednesday, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told FOX 13 in Tampa citizens should have a concealed weapons permit and carry their gun with them whenever they can. He also says gun owners should keep their skills sharp.
''The armed assailant doesn't plan on you fighting back,'' said Sheriff Grady Judd. ''He plans on having a gun, doing all the shooting, and you're just a sitting duck. Well, the ducks need to shoot back.''
The advice is the Sheriff's response to attacks across the country and around the world including last year at the Pulse Nightclub and more recently in London. Judd said residents should be ready to defend themselves and those around them.
''If you're not afraid of a gun, get one,'' said the sheriff. ''And if you need to shoot somebody, shoot 'em a lot.''Judd's stance on the topic comes just two weeks after Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivy made a similar case in a video posted to the agency's Facebook page.
"No matter your position on guns - the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun or knife is an armed and well prepared citizen or law enforcement officer,'' Ivy said.
That six minute video had been shared over 4,000 times and viewed almost half a million times on Facebook as of Wednesday night. Commenters are generally standing behind the sheriff and his message so far; though some disagreed saying the stance wasn't helping or could even incite panic.
The duo got more backup Wednesday night. Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood told FOX 35 that he agrees with his fellow sheriffs' stance on this one.
''There's not enough police in America to stop all of the threats,'' said Chitwood.
Chitwood adds that in his experience licensed gun owners tend to be some of the most law abiding citizens he encounters, and that just one citizen prepared for a bad situation could make all the difference.
VIDEO-Lange Frans - Lockdown LYRICS - YouTube
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Clips & Documents

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Fauci Collins -1- We were averaging 20k and early opening states blew it unlike EU - red states suck.mp3
Fauci Collins -10- This is a GOOD virus for a VACCINE.mp3
Fauci Collins -11- Testing is ramped up (just in time).mp3
Fauci Collins -12- Holds up model of the bad boy they will destroy.mp3
Fauci Collins -13- Hang on and party hope as last in his list - Great show.mp3
Fauci Collins -2- It is the case that its young people cases - setup to the messaging - ITS ABOUT US.mp3
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Fauci Collins -4- ACTIVE is pre-paid by - Captain OBVIOUS - Safe as always.mp3
Fauci Collins -5- The trial has to be BIG yay - lets try it on Africa too.mp3
Fauci Collins -6- SIgn Up for the Vaccine trials - Lets makes sure westart with the blacks and browns - Community outreach.mp3